April 2005 Archives

This page is an archive of entries from April 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

To see all archives, visit the Archive Index.

March 2005 is the previous archive.

May 2005 is the next archive.

Har-LOT! Har-LOT! Har-LOT!

The excitement was building in Boston Blogland.  The buzz was deafening, and as I read my usual morning blogs, the reports coming out of NYC indicated that one fantastic time would be had at Circles.

First, though, I had to run home.  I realized that I didn't have the right project with me for the event.  A swatch wouldn't cut it.  Then I walked up to Circles.


Ah, that's better.

Did I meet other bloggers?  You bet your sweet patootie that I met other bloggers!  Some of these fine ladies I already knew; others I knew only from their blogs; still others were completely new to me.


From left that's Melanie, Debbie, Kellee, and Jackie.


Here are Judy and Paula discussing the merits of various yarn stores in Rhode Island.

I was thrilled to finally meet Ms. Grumperina herself, Kathy!  Seana was there, along with Alison and Sandy.  Alas, there are no pictures :-(.

Oh, and the Harlot was there, too:


Look, there she is knitting with us.  Isn't that a great cardi that she's wearing?  Shoot! I forgot to ask her about that.


And here she is again, blogging right along with the rest of us!

One very enjoyable side effect of Ms. Pearl-McPhee's visit has been the extensive blog linking that I've seen in posts about book-signing events.  Let's not forget the bloggers who are coming out of the woodwork to attend.  Steph, you're getting us together!  There are so many great blogs out there.  Seems like my Bloglines and Sage subscription lists could use some updating.

What handknit item did I wear?  I thought long and hard about wearing the Spring Breeze Top, but in the end I decided to stick with my new tank under a new favorite shirt.  I felt cool and collected.  All this did not help me be cool and collected when it was my turn in the book signing line.  I couldn't help but gush!  I think that I managed to stammer out something about how much I enjoy Stephanie's blog (I do, I really do!) and thank her for stopping by Boston.  Thank you again, Stephanie, for sharing some of your wit and knitterly wisdom with us.

Then there was a little post-Harlot hang out:


Oh my goodness!  Who took these photos?!  That's a very blurry Claudia with another blurry Rosemary (sorry to you both), and Kellee, in the (very cute) red shirt.


Kellee again, followed by Debbie and Melanie.


Then Johanna, Jackie, and Amy.

Merci Mon Tricot

Something wasn't working.  Something didn't look quite right.  The question was, how do I fix the problem.

This wasn't a technical problem, rather, it was an aesthetic one.  The cable was too bold, too heavy for its location.  I needed to find something lighter.


Out came the books, and in Mon Tricot, I discovered my solution.  Of course, I can't really show you the solution, but if you look carefully at the graph paper, it will give you an idea.

To all my Boston knitbuds:  will I see you tonight?  I found a copy of At Knit's End when I was in Hah-vahd Squa-yah last night, just before some hapless tourists spilled orange juice all down the back of my coat and into my shoe.  Dee-frickin-lightful!  How do you clean OJ from the inside of a shoe?  But hey, who cares about shoes and coats and all that?  I'm going to see The Harlot and I have the book!


The Tank Tops that Ate Brookline


Aieee!  Giant tank tops!

No, not really.  These were some eye candy hanging in the window of one of my LYSs in nearby Brookline Village.  When I photographed them in the shop's window, I also picked up the reflections of the buildings across the street from the shop.  Doesn't it look a little bit like huge knitted tanks are hanging from the side of that building?

Do you recognize the tank on the left?  It was knit by none other than Johanna.  Great job on the tank, Johanna!

Not One to Disappoint

Who am I to disappoint my blog readership?


There you have it.  That's me modeling my tank.  As you can see, it's a perfect garment for wearing under my one and only suit.

I noticed something rather strange this morning.  The tank's front faded!  It must have happened when I dried it outside.  I didn't detect any dye bleeding when I blocked it, and it spent no more than six hours in the sun.  There are no warnings on the label about poor colorfast-ness with the dye.  Is it too much to expect dye to hold up better than that?  The color difference is not very noticeable, but it makes me wonder about what to expect with future washings.

Weekend Work

Who knew that knitting involved so much computer work?


I'm enjoying the challenge of this pattern, and the thinking involved with it.  The problem solving has been wonderful for head clearing.  Because I'm sorting out so many things with my knitting, I feel like I'm thinking very clearly indeed.  Does that make sense to anyone out there?

Still life: Tank Top in a Tree

Just in the nick of time, as the spring breezes are infiltrating Boston, my Spring Fling Tank is finished:


It just needs a little more time to swing in the fresh air and it will be completely dry.

Don't you love spring?

Now, what about the fling....

On My Lap

Nothing says "I don't know what I"m doing." better than a tangle of yarn resting on my lap.


Why is it so difficult to find the inside end of a machine-made center-pull skein?  I know, I know: pull out an odd number of yarns, and your end will be in it.  Well I always do that, and most of the time it doesn't work.

My plan was to cast on during the subway ride to Somerville, knit for a time in a café, and then have loads of mindless stockinette to occupy my hands during the movie.

Best laid plans....

I had to cast on twice because my long tail wasn't quite long enough.  Then, I spent 20 minutes untangling the wad of yarn that you see in the photograph.  By the time I made it inside the cinema, I had only a few rows of ribbing complete.  Ribbing and increasing are best done when you can see, and not in a darkened room.

So, what's a knitter to do? I sat back and enjoyed the show!  I'm not going all "movie critic" on you, because I don't know enough about films to do that (but believe me, the film crowd was there, and lovin' it!).  Suffice it to say I enjoyed the movie, quite a bit, and I'm looking forward to the next Zoller Seitz release.  Valentina, DH was looking very fine in his hand-knit scarf.

Back to the knitting

It's been one silly week on my blog.  All of the nice weather must be affecting my brain.  Okay, people, enough silly photos from those books!  Let's get back to the knitting.  We're talking about my knitting, to be more precise.


Here's my Spring Fling Tank in its unblocked glory.  The shoulder straps went very quickly, and I was through with the back before I knew it.  I originally planned to knit the back slightly lower than the front, and I did just that (as you can see).  By eliminating about an inch of straight knitting, and binding off the neck opening immediately, I lowered the back just enough to suit me.

Who are the Yarnpeople?

They are the yarnpeople:


Not "yarn people" mind you, but "yarnpeople".  Who was working in Bernat's marketing department in 1979?

Now for something completely different: what are you doing this weekend?  It's going to rain in Boston.  What a perfect opportunity to see a movie!  How about this one?  I'll be at the 4:00pm show on Saturday (tomorrow!) at the Somerville Theatre.  If you're interested, feel free to join me.  Valentina, it's okay to knit during the showing, right?

Just a Front

Yes, the front of the Spring Fling tank is finished, and is waiting to join the back.


Once again, I am convinced that this yarn is suitable for nothing more than a tank.  It's too heavy for anything else.  I think I know why Adriafil discontinued many of its colorways in the Ibiza.

Grandma Rocks!

Anyone with a contradictory opinion is not welcome at this blog :-).

Matt and I went to visit my grandmother last weekend.  After eating a yummy lunch, she and I were flipping through knitting books.  In true grandma fashion she couldn't let me leave her house without a few of those books under my arm.  They are a hoot!


I think that woman on the cover is trying to reassure that little girl "Don't worry, the other kids won't make too much fun of you."

Then there is this beauty, Bernat Handicrafter, from 1956:


It's full of all those vintage knitting photos that we've come to love.  What's happening in that cover photo?  Is the guy on the right smoking a post-match cigar?  Did he acutally play tennis wearing a tie, or did he just run down to the courts to talk to his friend?

Free Yarn

The only way you would get me to do this:


is if there were lots of free yarn waiting for me at the finish line.  Congratuations to everyone who ran the Boston Marathon yesterday!  Me?  I was knitting.

Almost There!

That is the way I feel with this tank top.  "There" is finished, and I am almost done with this top.

I finished knitting the body, and I separated the front and back stitches to shape the armholes and the neckline.  Here is where I depart from Alison's pattern.  Her yarn was well suited for the cast-on straps that she instructs for her pattern.  The texture of the Esprit would hide the change in stitch direction.  With my Ibiza, the change in direction would be too distracting.

So, with that in mind, I adjusted the armhole and neckline section of the Shapely Tank Top pattern to suit my gauge.  I know that the pattern has good BSC (bra-strap coverage) so I don't have to worry about any surprises when I slip the tank over my head for the first wearing.  The front is nearly done, and then it's on to the back.


All the beautiful, sunny weather is extra motivation to knit!

The list

is ready.  The HTML is a little bit wonky, but the information is there.

A big "thank you" to everyone who contributed.  I hope that I've given credit properly in each listing.  If you're not happy with the way you or your blog is listed, please be in touch!

Do you have a listing to share?  If so, please email me, or post a comment on my blog.

UPDATE, 8:25am: I changed a few encoding options in my original document, and the wonkyness has disappeared.  If you, however, encounter any formatting irregularities when you look at the list, please let me know.


Is anyone else having trouble with Bloglines today?  Is it just me?  I can't log in to my account.

Do You Like This?

It's rather cute, don't you think?


It's the Bevin Tank by Rhode Island knitter Christine Buhagiar, and I think it's just swell.   The lacy, Feather and Fan-esque panel in the front is a lovely detail.  I found the pattern in the latest issue of Spun.  From the title, you might think that this is a 'zine about spinning.  Nope, it's about knitting.  A couple months ago I tripped over a link to this 'zine on someones blog, and I tripped over a link to the latest issue just the other day.

Christine, I'm curious about the neckline/armhole configuration, especially in the context of bra coverage.  You don't, by any chance, have a picture of someone wearing the tank?

Just put this in my to-knit pile.  So many great summer knits.  So little time.

Help me out here: am I being terribly 1989 by using the word "'zine"?  That one is still current, no?


Spring knitting in the green grass....


I'm hoping that the bright sunshine imparts some good summertime vibes to this tank :-).  Where did I find this spot o' sun?  Here:


Some of you might recognize this as one of the buildings on the campus of UMass Dartmouth, designed by Paul Rudolph (Google Paul Rudolph and read about him on several websites.  I was unable to find one good, comprehensive link about his work.)  To be precise, this is the library.  I won't pass judgement on the architecture one way or the other.  I'll let you form your own opinion.



this obviously isn't working....


It's back to the drawing board for me.

Thank you everyone who sent me a favorite location to knit in public.  This is great!  I'm in the process of compiling that list into some sort of pop-up window, and will post it as soon as it's ready.

A Request

As many of my readers know, I love to knit in public.  Give me a café, some coffee or tea, a table and a chair (or a counter and a stool) and I will be content for hours.

I don't think I'm alone in that.

This brings me to my request.  I want to start a list of good places to knit in public in the Boston area.  Surely there are many cafés and bakeries outside of my usual orbit that are welcoming environments for us knitters.  Do you know of any?  Can you share their names and locations?

My criteria:

1.  No national chains!  Don't tell me about the Starbucks, Peets, Au Bon Pain, or any business that you could find in more than two cities in the US.  Local or regional chains are okay, but I want the Starbucks alternatives.

2.  Make sure that it's a place that you've visted and loved.

There is a new list on my side bar:  KIP Boston.  You can read the (very) small list that I began.  I need your help!  Of course, if you contribute you'll receive full credit.

If you have a listing, please email me at subwayknitter[at]yahoo[dot]com, or leave a comment to this post.   Include the location's full name, and its address or a nearby landmak (for example, Washington Street, at Forest Hills Station, is fine).

Thank you!

A Chance Encounter

Boston, Orange Line, 6:00pm:


Two knitters meet, swap yarn tips, and depart the train--never to meet again.  The woman on the right was doing some interesting things with black trash bags (!).  The woman on the left was surprised to find fellow knitters on the subway.  It's always great to discover that you're not the only one knitting in a public place.

After those two women left the train, a third woman volunteered that she also knit!  She was new to the area and I gave her information about Circles, A Good Yarn, and the Stitch-n-Bitch Boston Yahoo list.  I hope she is able to find her way to a meeting soon.

Do you see what knitting in public can start? 

More Knitting Zen

I never mentioned the reason for my green swatch.


Mum's the word.  Sorry!  You'll have to wait and see

To the lady in the photograph: I don't know who you are, but letting your kids wander unsupervised around Flat Black was one of the most annoying experiences of my day.

Flat Black, incidentally, is a great place for knitting in public.  The coffee is excellent; there is a good view to the historic, and oh-so-architecturally-fabulous Baker Chocolate Factory (now condominiums); and the stools are both cool and comfortable (Julia, the divine Miss C would love them).

Filling the Tank

Okay, let's see how long I can keep up these tank-top puns.


Am I glad that I decided on nothing more than a tank top for this yarn!  Even working half way up the body, I can feel the weight of this yarn.  It is heavy, heavy, heavy!


Yes, I know.  With my latest project blog excitement has, ahem, tanked a little bit.  Green ribbon yarn, green ribbon yarn, green ribbon yarn.  Can this woman do anything else but knit with green ribbon yarn?

Yes, actually, I can.


Green worsted yarn.

This is an in-the-round gauge swatch of my new Cascade 220 Superwash.  It is yummy Cascade 220 softness.  Just as an aside, 220 in regular or superwash is one of my favorite yarns.  It is soft, extremely affordable, and has a huge color selection.  This swatch is now drying and awaiting an official gauge taking.

I had a few comments about the fact that I not only swatch, but I wash and dry my swatches before taking a gauge measurement.  Truly, it is pure self interest that causes me to do this.  My gauge changes when I knit in the round.  Hence the in-the-round swatch.  Yarns change gauge after a washing, and a few nasty knitting surprises have greeted me after a project's first washing.  Hence my swatch washing.

I had the pleasure of knitting with the Thursday-evening Roslindale ladies last week.  Wendy, Chris, and Barbara (who is blogless at the moment) are a fine bunch of knitting companions, and I hope to make it back to their usual Thursday haunt very soon.  Perhaps it will be this week.

Breezing Along

I am breezing along with my Spring Fling Tank.  I measured my gauge, adjusted the pattern and added some waist shaping to the body.  It would seem that, lately, I cannot knit anything without adding waist shaping.  I guess that I'm becoming predictable in my knitting.


I know that it doesn't look like much now, but the tank will take shape in time.  Remember the zen of yesterday's post?  The knitting is smooth and quick with the Addis; sometimes it's too smooth.  A few times stitches have popped off the needle in their eagerness to be worked.

The knitting also goes smoothly when there is nice conversation to accompany it.  I had the pleasure of knitting with Ms. Bookish Girl Wendy this week.  Unfortunately my camera and my Sharpie were left at chez Subway Knitter, so I couldn't supply Wendy with the hilarity to which she's accustomed when she's out on the town with fellow bloggers.  What can I say?

Knitting Zen

Patience, I tell myself.  Patience.

Now that I've settled on a pattern for my Adriafil Ibiza, and bought my Addis, I am so eager to cast on that it is eating at me.

First, I need an accurate measurement of my gauge.  This is achieved by washing my swatch and letting it dry.

Then, I need to tweak Alison's very fine pattern.  Unfortunately, I don't share in Alison's petite-ness, so I need to adjust it for my size, and for a design change that I want to try.  I want the back to dip down a little bit more so that the top is even more flingy, but not enough so that my bra peeks out.  I am a firm believer that as an UNDERGARMENT, a bra should remain under a garment and not be sticking out all over the place.  All of this requires math.  It is not difficult math, but it is math nonetheless.  If I want that math to yield an accurate result, I must have an accurate gauge measurement.


I remain zen about all this (yeah, right).  The swatch will dry, the gauge will come, the math will be finished all in due time (now, now, now!).

More Good Yarn

Wild and Woolly wasn't the only yarn store I visited last weekend.  On Sunday afternoon I visited one of my LYSs, A Good YarnAlison happened to be working that afternoon.  I had been eyeing a Classic Elite pattern book since I received the winter edition of Vogue Knitting, but since I had other projects on the needles, its purchase could wait until last weekend.


I also left with this Classic Elite book.  Good fodder for project planning.


All this Chibi action over at eBay made me think that one of them might be useful for my own knitting bag.  So, for $4.50, I purchased a green one.  Sure, mine isn't the I'm-such-a-cool-knitter pink, but then again I paid less than a tenth of the pink price.  And really, who cares?


Can someone please explain the pink appeal?  Am I missing something?  Chibis are little plastic containers to hold your tapestry needles.   Clover once made them in pink plastic, now they are made with green plastic.  Do the pink ones do something extra special?  You better believe that once some Clover executive discovers the allure of the pink Chibi, those machines will be churning out pink ones faster than you can say "reserve met".


...to Blogland and it feels soooo good.

A million thanks to the oh-so-wonderful Johanna and Melanie for pointing me in the direction of Sage for blog-feed updates.  I downloaded Mozilla and then Sage, added to it those blogs listed on my blogroll, and I was back in business!

I won't bother extolling all the virtues of Sage over Bloglines.  If you're curious, click on over there and try it for yourself.  Bloglines isn't accessible at my office, and Sage is (so far).  I've been using Sage only for a day or so, and I can see pros and cons of each.

Unfortunately, Johanna's blog is one of those blogs that Sage doesn't read as having an RSS feed :-(.  Guess which blogging services Sage only intermittently recognizes.  Yup!  Blogger and Blogspot!  I could subscribe to some blogs, and not to others.  Those that initially offered me a subscription later reported error messages.  What is wrong over there?  I wish I knew.

It feels nice to spread my blog reading throughout the day, instead of rushing through it before I leave the house, or before I eat dinner.  I'm not always feeling wise and witty at those times, and a lot of great posts went commentless in my quest to read all my blog friends' updates.

While you're clicking around, add Kathy's new feed to your blogroll.  She's made the wise choice to ditch Blogger and set up her own domail.  It looks great, Kathy!

Wild Times

What's a knitter to do in Lexington, Massachusetts?  Why, go to Wild and Woolly, of course!

Especially when you can walk there.  Matt and I spent some of last weekend in Lexington, and of course, I couldn't pass on the opportunity to pick up a couple of things that I needed.

First, this Rowan mag:


I want to knit Venus in Summer Tweed.

Then, this Cascade 220 Superwash, in a bright apple green.


Finally, I bought a Wild and Woolly "Wild Card".  It's an interesting concept.  For $1.50, I have an unlimited amount of time to buy $320 worth of yarn at the store.  When I spend that amount, I receive $30 off anything that I want.  Now, I'm not at Wild and Woolly a lot, and it will probably take me a very long time to spend the amount required for the discount.  Still, at $1.50 per card, I don't have a great deal of money invested.  It's a concept other stores might want to consider.

All in all a great shopping experience.  My only complaint would be the hours of operation.  Wild and Woolly has terrible hours.  No Sunday hours in the summer, and no evenings at any time of the year.  The only days when I can shop there are Saturdays, and I'm not often in Lexington on a Saturday.  Doesn't anyone realize that we knitters need to work to support a yarn habit?

This Stuff is Cool!

I hope that all my American readers remembered to "spring forward" last night (unless you're in Arizona).  Welcome Daylight Savings Time!  Despite the lost hour of sleep last night, I love it.  Or perhaps I'm just giddy from the sleep deprivation; you decide.

There's no doubt, however, that I love this Adriafil Ibiza.  It's novelty yarn that doesn't get snagged on my needles, and it is touch-all-day soft.  I want to make something with it that will be close to my skin.  The yarn is heavy, so whatever I make will need to be quite small.

This confirms that Alison's Spring Fling Tank will be perfect.  I don't have enough yarn for a Shapely Tank,  and besides, I don't think that this yarn will shortrow very well.  I have an idea to play with the back neck a little bit, and to beef up the straps.   Thicker straps mean added insurance against any potential bra-strap issues (BSIs).  I'll let you know what I decide. 


Look at my swatch.  I started with US 8s, and decided that the knitted fabric was too dense.  I switched to US 10s, and not only is the fabric looser and stretchier, the metal needles are very compatible with this yarn (note to self: get some Addis).

I could almost imagine wearing this tank on a little spring fling of my own.  Oooh-la-la!

Blogging Woes

First, it was Blogger.  Then, it was the server.  I've been cut off from accessing Bloglines at a location where I spend a good chunk of my day (i.e. work).  Even when I can get to my blogroll, many of the blogs won't let me post a comment.  Come on, Blogger, fix your comment application!

As a substitute for leaving comments on the actual blogs, read on:

Concateknits:  Walking or driving in Boston, I'm not sure which is worse.  What I love are those pedestrians who waltz out into the street and make the traffic come to a screeching stop for them.  Glad to read that you survived the intersection.  I am loving your Ribby!

Amy Boogie:  So, you will be doing more destashing.  I eagerly await your book list (I agree, it's hard to give away books).

PumpkinKnits:  I cannot help you rationalize yarn purchases.  That power must come from inside you :-).

Amber:  [The server is also blocking access to Livejournal.]  Snark on, my dear!  My subscriptions to both VK and IK will expire next winter, and I think that from then on I'll preview the issues at Brookline Booksmith (must support a local, independent book dealer, mustn't we?) or at my LYS, and buy the issue only if I find a pattern to love.  Besides, the newsstand copies hit the streets weeks before we lowly subscribers receive ours.  That reality must be punished, and the best way I can think to do that is to drop my subscriptions.

This really stinks!  Does anyone know how I can load my blogroll onto my blog and use some sort of "recently updated" indicator?

Look at the time of this post, and I've already been up for almost an hour!  This time of year it is painfully obvious who is the morning person 'round these parts :-).

I don't want to speak too soon

Lest I stir Mother Nature into giving us one more wallop of winter.  Maybe, just maybe, it's time to put the wool and the winter knits away.

I pulled this out of my stash bin last night:


Can you see it?  The "yarn" looks like strips of torn t-shirts.  I have ten balls of this stuff.  I'm hoping that it's enough for a simple tank (or maybe this), and that it doesn't look too ridiculous on my needles.

Besides this, my stash bin is not worth photographing.  Trust me!

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