February 2008 Archives

This page is an archive of entries from February 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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Fridays are For...


Perhaps. I doubt that I can make this a regular series, but in celebration of the Spiders' triumphant return to Brooklyn General today, I'm talking about more upcoming sewing projects.

Brooklyn General, as you might know, sells wonderful fabric. I certainly have been dreaming about it for a long time. At long last I'm ready to buy some of it to produce something cute for moi!

Sheepishly, though, I'll admit that I'm planning things a bit far in advance.


What can I say? It was $5. And, although my sewing prowess leaves much to be desired, I can already think of things I want to change on this pattern. First, I know (without even looking) that I'll need to lengthen the waist. I'm not extremely tall (5 feet 8--172cm, if you're being metric about it) but proportionally a lot of that height must be concentrated in my waist.

I might want to add a seam close to the base of the skirt, just to add a subtle detail. I haven't yet worked this out. Maybe I would change the direction of the fabric below the seam. Maybe I would use some piping at the seam. I don't know. I don't even know how hard it is to do something like that. And maybe, if it weren't too hard, I would add the same detail on the sleeves. Anyway, some advice/opinions from all the real seamstresses out there would be appreciated.

Mystery Subway Knitter of the Week!

It's been a while, hasn't it?


What are you knitting, subway knitter? Did you felt the flower pin that you're wearing? Some questions might never be answered.

I'm not sure I want an answer to the following questions:


How did this happen? And why? That's a pair of pants on the downtown R/W platform at 28th Street. And it doesn't look as if they dropped out of a shopping bag, or fell off of a pile of newly washed clothes. (Incidentally would you take freshly laundered clothing on the subway? I would not.) It really looks like someone purposely took off his pants before boarding the train. Ah, New York.

It does, however, add an interesting twist to the I'm-wearing-no-pants dream. You've boarded a crowded train when you suddenly realize that (mysteriously) your pants are still on the platform, and the doors have just closed....

Oh Come ON!

Just because I live in New York doesn't mean that I don't keep up on what's happening to the rest of the world. No, no, no. I still do, sometimes, pick up a copy of the Boston Globe :-).

One article in particular caught my eye. Did you know that young people knit? That there are, you know, whole blogs and stuff like that devoted just to knitting? Go figure!

Must be a slow news day up there. Didn't you guys just get a lot of snow? Isn't that worth a story or two?

Actually, I think a better spin on this whole knitting-isn't-just-for-grandmas-anymore business is, indeed, all the economic activity that has sprung up due to the internet's ability to connect people. Think about it. How many knitters dye yarn? How many knitters have become fashion designers when their patterns are published? And then there's Ravelry. Need I go further?

This can't be unique to knitting, but for the outside (non-knitting) world it must be strange to think about a rather old-fashioned hobby depending on such a high-tech platform to grow.

Finally, if I were a grandmother, I would be insulted.

A Plan

A plan. A plan, yes, I have a plan.

It's a plan for sewing. Remember last Friday that I was coveting this shirt from the newly (to me, anyway) improved Burda Style site?


I'm especially loving a version of this shirt that had contrasting fabric on the cuffs. Oooh, I can totally see myself wearing it. I might need to lengthen the waist a bit so that I can maintain back coverage while bending over.

But it's been a while since I've given the sewing machine a workout. Don't you think it would be a good idea to get warmed up first? I do. It was on Nikki-Shell that I saw this bag. [ETA: The bag in the photo was sewn by the pattern's designer, Ali. Nichola made a version of her own--you can see it on her blog.]


Cute, eh? Incidentally, Nikki-Shell also created the shirt that you see above. The fact that she used both of these patterns is a complete coincidence. Apparently, great minds think alike :-).

I Wanna

I hope that everyone had a nice Valentine's Day. Let me tell you, it didn't happen a moment too soon. Chez Subway Knitter was down to its last morsel of chocolate! We were truly in a state of emergency.

Despite the dire situation, I'm doing a little project planning these days. I know, I know, I've got a sock on the needles that needs to get finished (and I'm having fun knitting it, too). What business do I have thinking ahead?

But, I cannot help myself. The eye wanders.

Being a New Yorker and all, I'm making a concerted effort to add a bit of fashion to the wardrobe. I'm mostly failing miserably at this task, but I'm hopeful that little by little I can turn it around. I did buy new jeans last weekend (good!). Not crazy-expensive designer jeans (bad!), but inside this budding New Yorker is a prudent New Englander, and she will not let me spend all outdoors for an item of clothing that I can wear once, maybe twice a week. I bought two non-designer pairs for about the price of one pair of Calvins.

There's the frugality, and then there's the simple fact that none of those designer jeans fit me. My goodness! How scrawny do your thighs have to be to fit inside one of those pairs? Seriously. I'm size six or eight (depending on the brand), and I'm usually working to get those jeans up to my backside. And how low do I want my "waistband" to go? I'm not the only person who doesn't want to feel like a sausage, am I?

So, apparently I'm not a designer-jeans kinda gal. I accept that. But surely, this doesn't exclude me from other types of fashion forwardness.

Last year, during my Queens days, I laid my eyes upon an unusual wrap-type-thingie at The Point. It was a house pattern, free with the yarn purchase. Although I loved the design (and unfortunately, no, I don't have a picture), I couldn't quite pull the trigger. Then with the move, and unpacking, and the holidays, and the traveling, I forgot about it until last week.

This, however, is very similar, and I find its drape appealing.


Thea designed this pattern.

It's almost like a scarf with sleeves, right? Now, occasionally, yours truly gets to go to a big, dressy affair. Imagine this knit in cashmere. Delish, no? And, something like this would have been perfect for that Christmas party I went to this year when we were on the roof watching the fireworks... Yes, I went to a private Christmas party that included fireworks over the East River. Trust me, in New York, these things happen all the time. Such a garment would be useful.

Thea's offering the design on her blog as a fundraiser for FINCA, and you can read more about this worthy organization here.

I'm thinking that for spring it would be great to have a loose, wrappy type coat-thing that I could toss on when I was running out for errands, or dinner in the neighborhood, or, or, or.

And, I want to sew. Sew! Sew! Sew! "Sew what?" you ask. (Ha! Nice pun, I reply.) Sew this.

It's a shirt. I don't think that I've ever sewn a shirt before. Have I? No. But I find the long cuffs on this one hard to resist. Imagine the insides of the cuffs sewn in a coordinating fabric. Pretty nice, huh?

Plus, it would go with my new jeans....

Teeny Tiny

Like a bicycle stuck in today's slush, so goes the second sock.

Oh I've got lots of excuses. Last week was the first week of many with two classes. And that just means homework, lots of homework. [Especially when one of the classes began a chapter ahead of where we ended last semester. Hmmm?]

So, there's homework, and then there's this teeny home-improvement project that we're planning (for our teeny home). Or, I should say that it was teeny project (home is, however, still teeny). It began as a way to get more storage in the kitchen, and evolved from there. You know how these things evolve. New counters didn't seem like such a bad idea, either. No, no, not with Formica. How about quartz? But wait, weren't we going to replace those cabinets in five years anyway? Not with quartz counters, we aren't! Hmm, maybe we should get new cabinets, too. And a microwave over the stove! While we're at it, and the cabinets and appliances are out of the room, wouldn't this be a good opportunity to get rid of the white tile floor that shows every single speck of dirt?

The way that we justified it, it would stupid NOT to redo the entire kitchen now. One would think that this would be a relatively straightforward process, especially if you're not doing the work yourself. Oh, no, no. First, there are all the catalogs. Then there are all the decisions that the catalogs present. Then there are the "options" and "upgrades". It's not enough to settle on a brand and a doorstyle (which we did rather quickly--for us). You then need to settle on all the details. When you have a small kitchen, a few inches here or there can make a big difference. Once we did that, then we had the plans and specs generated. Then we reviewed the specs and discovered (because we now know the catalog better than the "designer" does) that there were quite a few mistakes. So now we need to return to the store to have the specs redone.

You wouldn't think it, but this stuff takes a lot of time. We've spent hours looking at catalogs, taking measurements, making drawings, and looking at samples. All will be worth it in the end.


I'm making teeny progress with the toe. That is, when I get another chance to knit. Maybe on the way to Lowe's...

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday, here's a finished sock:


The first of the Waffle House Socks, designed by Marie is done. For those of you who don't remember, I'm test knitting this pattern. Since I've knit one sock, and I don't expect the other to be much different, Marie should be able to issue this pattern soon (if you're interested). I have only a few minor suggestions. Otherwise both Marie (designer) and Veronique (tech editor) did a fantastic job of giving us knitters a enjoyable knit that was easy enough to knit on the train, but just complicated enough to hold my interest throughout.

I bound off the two inches of ribbing last night, but didn't weave in the ends. Here's the benefit of toe-up socks: minimal finishing. As much as I like a good round of kitchener, eliminating kitchener means eliminating an end of yarn. I'm leaving the ends as is for now. I just might redo the ribbing bind off using a more flexible version than the simple one I employed.

Am I ready to do this all over again? You bet!

Well, La Dee Dah!

Do you ever read Apartment Therapy? I do, almost every day.

Apparently, last week, there was a giveaway of some kind. The winner received a consult with a personal organizer. Sounds pretty cool.

Did you read what the winner plans to do with the session?

I am an avid knitter and crocheter and have just moved into a new house. I need help organizing my new crafting space! I want to be able to find my patterns and yarn.

Don't we all! I'm only disappointed that I didn't win (and since I didn't enter the contest...)

Now, I think that there's a real business opportunity for someone to be a personal organizer specializing in the fiber arts. Moth-free storage solutions! Needle cases you will love! Niddy-noddy storage boxes!

Maybe this'll be my retirement career.

Mystery Subway Knitter of the Week (Serendipity Edition)

It's been a long time since we've seen one of these. I was beginning to feel rather lonely, riding the rails of the MTA and seeing just my needles and yarn.


Luckily, I missed a bus yesterday morning. It was one of those mornings where we left three minutes to make a four minute walk, and the bus zoomed by just out of reach. Of course, I was cursing myself as it happened. But then another, different bus came, one which caused us to get to our destination by way of the F train.

What's she got on the needles? Certainly it's not a pair of the Mittens of the Beast.

This Explains A Lot

Evil Mitten.JPG

I'm a little behind the eight ball when it comes to certain things. Like finding stuff on the internet. An alert reader kindly sent me a link to an old thread on Ravelry. The thread link is here, and if you have a Ravelry username you can read the thread in its entirety. If you don't have a Ravelry account, then I'll post some excerpts for you. I am not a member of the group where the discussion originated, and I have no opinions on its members or other discussions which have occurred within the group. To the credit of many participants in this particular thread, it was pointed out very early that the original poster was putting waaaaaaay too much significance on a pair of wool mittens. My comments are given in straight brackets [ ].

Having said that, without further ado:

Knitting In Preparation For The Mark of The Beast

Arielluria: I thought the subject line would get your attention ;o).......

I just saw this on the preview of IK Winter issue and it reminded me, I heard on a knitting podcast that people who take subways have been getting their hands embedded with an RFID chip so they don't have to show a pass!!! On IK Winter there was a pattern for these mittens:

[Insert photograph of my CharlieCard Mittens here.]

Honestly! It's sad but it's prophecy coming true. However, many will take the mark of the beast because they didn't know God's Word!

[I snipped out three quotations from Revelations.]

dlofink: We are so very close. Jesus is coming soon. I think we will see it in our lifetimes.

Arielluria: I do agree. At no time have so many previously thought impossible things existed. Oh sure, there were evil men people thought were the Anti-Christ, etc. but being able to see the 2 witnesses around the globe in real time, micro-chipping, etc. [What the heck does this mean?]

[I cut out a post here that I felt had nothing to do with the mittens, and broached a much larger subject that I don't want discussed here.]

Kate64: I don't know. I think connecting that knitting pattern to the mark of the beast is a bit of a stretch, personally. I wouldn't get an embedded chip in my hand, just because of the "ick" factor...

I think the interesting part is the fact the technology now exists to "mark" someone in the hand or the forehead and not allow them to buy or sell without the mark. And the new pattern accomodates [sic] that technology very well. [Does it?]

Arielluria: Exactly.........the pattern IS for a chip as it is described in Revelation. [No it's not!] I don't mean the pattern is evil or anything like that [Now that's a relief] :o) just that it's sad there are actually people falling for it already........and those who take it, will have to die for their faith to be in Heaven. But if they do, they will have a special blessing, thrones around the throne of God. [Again, I gotta ask what this is all about.]

When I saw the gloves I thought those flaps were for pockets to put subway tokens, not open to the hand? Guess I'll have to wait and see when the magazine comes out.

[I removed a post here about security in schools.]

I agree. If you look closely, it looks like a rectangular pocket for a subway card. My problem would be that I would probably lose that mitten. I hardly ride the metro anyways.

Arielluria: Yes, I just found out it was for a pocket. I guess those are the mittens which I heard about on a podcast, which WERE specifically for the implants.

MaidMirawyn: If you were chipped, you wouldn't need any special mitten...for instance, there's an RFID chip in Atlanta's public transportation card; most guys just tap their wallet at the gate, without taking the card out. A regular glove or mitten would be no impediment to the RFID reader.

[I love how there's already a verb for this. "Watch the arm! I got chipped last week."]

dlofink: My husband said the same thing. Irregardless, the chip is technology that could easily underlie bible prophecy. We are so close. [To what?] It will be interesting to find out the purpose of the hole in that mitten. [What hole?]

If you look very carefully at the photo, it is actually a pocket on the front of the mitten not a hole in the mitten. I think Mowygirl noticed this first. I can think of a lot of handy uses for mittens with a pocket. [Yup. It's a mitten with a pocket.]

It would be great if a key or something could fit into it so when the kids and I go for our walks this winter I don't have to take my whole key chain :)

dlofink: Oh you are right. I can see the pocket now.

[I clipped a few posts about preparations one should make for The Rapture.]

[Finally a voice of reason!]
yankeegirlsue: You're reading too much into the mitten. :-) It was designed with a pocket in it to hold a public transportation card so the user doesn't need to take off her/his mitten to take the card out of a purse or pocket to wave it near the reader. The mitten simply allows the user to wave his/her hand in front of the reader. I think it's a good idea. I'm going to make these for my sister who takes the train into Boston every day for work.

Please be careful about what you hear...sources are not always reliable.

txjewelrylady: I agree on your thought process, but those mittens are to hold the Metro Pass card in the pocket so it can get scanned, not an embedded chip in the skin. There have been several mentions of embedding chips in various body parts over the years... I cringe at the thought of it. So, I think these mittens are relatively safe, tho it may get more people used to the skin scanning idea. [Okay, I give up. The CharlieCard mittens are all a big Government Conspiracy. Who have ever thought that there could be a conspiracy therory surrounding a pair of mittens?]

Arielluria: I totally agree....I posted later that it was for card, and not, as I had heard on a podcast (about some other pattern) to access a chip in the skin. [Why would the chip work when it was imbedded under your skin, but somehow cease to function when it was covered by a mitten? And what is this blasted pattern that she keeps talking about?]

I believe in prophecy (past prophecy has always come true and we are living in a day where it is being unveiled to us)....so I don't have to read into anything. I know a day is coming very soon where people will have chips implanted and eventually without them those who do not worship the Anti-Christ will not be able to buy or sell: [What?!?!?]

[I cut out a passage from Revelations.]

The word "mark" is in Greek "charagma" which means a scratch or etching or engraving, as in a stamp (as a badge of servitude).

[I took out a post about a passage from John and another post that was a response directed solely at that passage.]

Arielluria: I completely agree, but He did give us signs, so though His arrival will be “like a thief in the night”, He gave us many unambiguous signs, all of which we are seeing now ;o)

God bless! See you UP there!

Genuine: Um…what about Christians who don’t believe in pre-Trib rapture, and also don’t think that a woodenly literal intrepretation [sic] of Revelations does credit to the author, the intent of the book, or the highly allegorical and metaphorical language used therein? Can we still knit demon mittens? Please?

As of yesterday afternoon, the thread ended there.

I thought a little bit about whether or not I wanted to blog about this, but it's too good to pass up. I sought the advice of a few friends, all of whom could not believe that I would hesitate for a moment to write something about this. As one of them said, "if they can declare that your mittens bear the mark of the devil in a public forum, you are well within your rights to blog about it." Another friend took the time to show us what she thought my mittens would look like as the Evil Incarnate (see above).

Okay, so here's my post. This is much better than the time that I pissed off half of the S-n-B Boston Yahoo! list by telling a beginning knitter that she should be able to figure out the pocket without a pattern. Sorry, I guess that I gave her too much credit!

Perhaps by blogging here I'll remind myself that there are, indeed, those who balance their religious beliefs with a good dose of reason and common sense.

The idea of attaching religious significance to my mittens is absurd. Completely, totally, and utterly absurd. And wrong. I won't even bother to get offended that someone implied that I'm propagating evil in this world by designing a mitten with a pocket. That's even more jaw-droppingly absurd. A mitten with a pocket. A. Mitten. With. A. Pocket. People, how many times do I need to say this? It's a mitten with a pocket. Period. End of story.

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