December 2008 Archives

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

To see all archives, visit the Archive Index.

October 2008 is the previous archive.

January 2009 is the next archive.

New Year's Eve!

As the title of yesterday's post implies, I was down visiting Kate over Christmas. I'll tell you about it today--New Year's Eve.

Oh yeah, her parents and my parents were there too, but really, it was all about Kate.

And I think that she knew it:


Why does this picture make me think that in her own two-year-old way Kate was thinking "Sheesh! Those paparazzi!"?

She spent the entire holiday trying to get away from the camera:


She even hired a driver:


Despite these efforts, she had no luck giving us the slip. This isn't to say, however, that our girl Kate wasn't busy having a good time:


Here she is enjoying another round of that classic game "Let's Shake Kate's Chair."

But, life can't be all fun and games. There's work to do:


I expect a busy 2009 ahead. Happy New Year, everyone!

Mystery Airport Knitter of the Week (RDU Edition)

The title says it all. You and I boarded the same flight on Saturday, both bound for JFK. I noticed the needles as you stood a few people in front of me.


I saw you there, wearing that red plaid shirt and holding that green bag. The Shepard Fairey Obama button telling the rest of us that maybe you were one of those that helped NC to go blue in November.

Then on the plane (and I wish that I had been able to snap a photo of this) you were working with huge needles. What on earth were you knitting? A rug?

Of course, you were long gone off of that plane by the time I passed your seat (that 90-minute delay was a bummer, no?) so I won't know for sure.

Unless you're reading here, oh mystery knitter.

Hats, Hats, and More Hats

As I wrote earlier in the week, if there's one project that I can always get excited about, it's a hat. So, after queuing ("queue" is a very strange word to spell) The Fantastically Bowed Cardigan (i.e. the Big Bowed Cardigan) in Ravelry, I was cruising around Blogland and I saw this (again, photo stolen, but saved to my own server):


It's Sarah's Columbia Beret (free pattern). The little detail on the top will work perfectly with the scarf detail on the cardigan. And because one is knit and the other is crochet the two together won't be too matchy matchy.

Because if there's one thing we don't like here at Subway Knitter, it's matchy matchy.

Boxing Day Post (for lack of a more creative title)


This is the first time that I've been so careful about reusing yarn. Usually I just knit right from the frogged yarn. Then again, usually, I'm reknitting a piece on which I've made a huge mistake. I think that this is the first time that I've done a knitting about face and changed a project midstream.

Once this Blue Sky Alpaca Silk dries, I can wind it up and begin Claudette!

A watched pot never boils. Does watched yarn never dry?

I've Found It

No, no, not the perfect yarn with which to crochet the Fantastically Bowed Cardigan (Julia calls this the Big Bowed Cardigan). That pattern calls for Naturally Naturelle Aran 10 Ply, and you can buy that here.

When I get around to crocheting this sweater--and not necessarily for the wedding--I think that I had better stick with the yarn specified in the pattern. In case you bothered to look at the link above (don't worry, I'll wait...) I think that colorway 200, the blue one, would be nice with my eyes, no?

No, not that project. What I did find was another project for my Blue Sky Alpaca yarn. I bought the yarn to knit Ooh La Lace Stole. As I wrote previously, I'm just not at a point in my life where a 25-row chart is a good thing.

I was at The Point on Friday. The Point has lots of hat samples gracing the shop, and if there's one thing I always like to knit, it's a hat. This hat in particular caught my eye:


[Once again, I totally stole this photo. This time it's from The Point's Ravelry page. Somehow, I don't think that they'll mind, given that I'm telling all of you to GO OUT AND BUY THIS PATTERN FOR A VERY CUTE HAT. The photo of the hat I took in the store didn't come out, and you need a very clear photo in order to explain the appearance.]

It's Claudette (Rav link), and once I saw it and tried on the sample I knew one thing: I had to have it. The designer (Erin Butler, Assistant Manager of The Point) used Ella Rae Lace Merino, but I'm not too taken by the available colorways. Besides, when I was at The Point I said to myself "better look in the stash".

Of course, what did I do when I got home? I looked at WEBS. [Incidentally, why do we knitters always capitalize WEBS? Is it an acronym? Or, is it like the way that everyone writes IKEA. IKEA. WEBS.] What's out there for DK-weight yarn? I realized that the pattern's gauge works well with Blue Sky Alpaca & Silk. Ravelry link here. Blue Sky Alpaca and Silk, a yarn which I already own.

It's a Christmas miracle! Speaking of which: have a great holiday!

Mystery Subway Knitter of the Week (Christmas Red Edition)

So I'm riding the 4 train down from the UES (that's New York for Upper East Side) and I spy a woman two seats away who's knitting like crazy with some red yarn. Hmm, I thought, must be a Christmas gift. It was indeed. Turns out this woman (who instantly slid over to me and asked what I was knitting) is an UES nanny and is making a red hat for one of her little charges.


And, some UES family is getting a steal of a childcare deal: according to this woman she makes $600 a week for a 60-hour workweek. [Love it when I get subway TMI--too much information.]

Dear Interweave,

Hi! It's Subway Knitter. Yeah, you know, the "designer" of the mitten with a pocket. Remember? Winter 2007 issue? You send me a check every few months, and hey, it's starting to really add up. [No kidding here, grocery money is grocery money no two ways about it.] Yup, that's the one.

Well, anyway, um, the reason that I'm writing is that I happened to be on Knotions last week (hey, the new edition is up and, Jodi, it looks great). You know, I happened to see this review. Wow, that Boutique Knits is one heck of a great knitting book. At least, I think that it is. I wouldn't really know, given that I don't have a copy of the book.


You know how sometimes, entertainment-type people get the whole special-treatment thing? Yeah, well, this whole royalty-check thing we got going makes me feel like an entertainment-type person. Does everyone get a royalty check from you? I think not.

This brings me to my point. What do you think about giving me, an entertainment-type person who gets a royalty check from you, a copy of that book? Yeah, come on. It's a great deal. I get a free book, and you get the satisfaction of knowing that yours truly is going to be reading that book everywhere. I'll have it on the 2/3 train and the 4/5. Perhaps, it'll even be on the Q. I'll have you know that I'm in Midtown Manhattan, like, once a week! Just imagine what will happen when I start wearing the projects that I knit from the book (like that cute hat from the cover). Well, you just can't buy product placement like that. And with that book in my hands, you won't have to!

Think about it. Your people can talk to my people, and then we can all do lunch, okay?


Subway Knitter

p.s. Please. Pretty please?

p.p.s. Sven? Hello? Reading here? Hint, hint.


Thanks a lot. Seriously. I had asked for reasons NOT to make the fantastically bowed cardigan from Thursday's post. What do you say in response? "Make it for the rehearsal dinner." "Sew something similar." "Oh, yeah, you could totally sew something like this." Ironically, the cardigan's designer was the lone voice of reason in this discussion. She even helped me practice my German a bit:

I am very happy you like my design. However, even I have to talk you out of making it for a wedding. This is supposed to be for outside, when it's cold. The bow can be worn as a scarf, but... again... that's better outside and when it's cold... If you wanted something with a bow, the other posters already said it, and if you can sew, you should sew it. However, you could always consider making the jacket for another occasion. :) And I don't think the bow is pinned in place for the picture [emphasis added], it holds up like this on its own. But it obviously has some weight and for everyday wear, I'd rather wear it like a scarf.

Anyway.... Weiterhin viel Spass bei den Hochzeitsvorbereitungen und alles Gute! GrĂ¼sse aus Paris.

Gotta love those compound nouns in German! Hochzeitsvorbereitungen? Wedding preparations.

The comment also solved one mystery: the bow is not pinned, it stays up that way on its own. How cute is that?

The bowed look is not the only way that one can wear this pattern. [I totally stole these photos from Julia, but I saved them to my own server.]


Mmm, yeah. This is not helping me one iota. Now to take a crocheting class?

Oh Goodness....

So, I promised you all that I wouldn't turn this into a wedding-planning blog, and I promised myself that I wouldn't set any impossible goals by trying to knit something for me to wear at the wedding, but then I saw this:


That BOW! How cute is that? [We won't get into the whole bride-as-gift, thus bride-as-object symbolism.] Okay, okay (and here's where things will start to go horribly, miserably wrong), I would need to make some changes. Like, that whole crochet thing. I have nothing against crochet, but methinks that I would want to change the stitch pattern of the overall sweater so it didn't look so chunky. Spider Nancy has some absolutely lovely crocheted sweaters. Perhaps I could pick her brain.

And maybe I would need to change the sweater's overall shape. Something a bit more fitted, cropped. A bolero, perhaps?

That bow! [It's pinned in place, right?]

Instead of the wedding, perhaps I should think about wearing this to the German party. What party, you ask? We're having a big ol' party in Cologne two weeks after the wedding to celebrate with all those who couldn't be with us in New York. But still, I would need to improve upon the stitch.

But that bow! [It would be way too heavy and hot, right? Bad for dancing, right?]

Talk me out of this. Please!

That bow! [Maybe for Kate?]

Monday Surprises

Why, you might ask, am I writing about Monday surprises on a Wednesday? When I arrived at my desk on Monday morning (after a weekend that included the Spiders' Annual Holiday Bash--good times!) a package awaited me:


Country Weekend Knits: 25 Classic Patterns for Timeless Knitwear might be a gift for the knitter(s) on your list. It was published last month by St. Martin's Press. As promised there are 25 patterns, divided into four chapters; each chapter is a small sampler of a traditional knitting techniques from the UK and Ireland.

I like the concept. If the economy has you canceling your trip 'cross the Pond, perhaps this book will be a small consolation. The overall color palate is quite subdued, with lots of earth tones and gentle hues. One might imagine wearing these on the estate, during a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of The City.


Yup, can't you just see me hopping fences at the country estate? No? Really? Huh.

Overall there isn't anything ground-breaking in this book. I think that's the point. The book highlights classic forms, designs, and techniques that are common in English, Scottish, and Irish knitting. These are sweaters that, if you like the designs, you could probably return to this book again and again.

There is one pattern I dearly, dearly love:


It reminds me a lot of that Rowan design that was sweeping through Blogland a few years ago. I can't even remember the name. I thought that it was Butterfly, but that turns out to be something different. I don't remember the name, but I remember that the sleeves were very similar. Or, maybe it was a Rebecca pattern? Does anyone know what I am talking about?

Anyway, this brings me to a small issue. The sizing is very inconsistent. The above-mentioned sweater? I'm, apparently, too large for this design. Even the newly svelted, just-lost-15-pounds, wear-a-size-6-pant me is too large for this knit. I can understand if a designer doesn't want to calculate every size from a 24-inch to a 44-inch chest, but inclusive sizing will help you sell more books. It's part of the reason that I could never get into Rowan's publications all that much. [Although I hear that they've gotten the sizing message and started to include larger sizes. Maybe I should give them another chance.]

If your bust is larger than 34 inches (which, ahem, mine is), then you'll find that many of the patterns are too small for you. Sure, some of the patterns go up to a size 38, and the mens patterns go up to about a 40. But, if I'm buying a book, then I want a broad range of sizes that will fit all the people in my life (most especially, myself!)

Secondly, the patterns lack schematics. Show me what the sweater pieces will look like, how wide the neck opening is, and how long the armhole openings are. Is this too much to ask? I wonder if this was a layout or an editing decision. Perhaps in the race to get this out before the holidays, some corners needed to be cut.

Getting back to the positives: the thoughtful photography is definitely a plus. You see the garment artfully posed, but you also see it posed so that you can figure out what's going on. Nothing bothers me more than a pattern photograph in which you cannot fully see the item in question. There's none of that here. Kudos to the art director/photo director/person-who-figures-this-stuff-out.

Let's face it, this isn't the most fashion-forward knitting book. But sometimes you just want an old favorite to knit.

Mystery Subway Knitter of the Week (Green Edition)

Ha! It's been a while:


I wonder, is that a Christmas gift in the making?

It's Time to Face Reality

It's time to face the reality that I'm really NOT loving the Ooh La Lace Stole. Too bad, as I spent viele Geld on that Blue Sky Alpaca yarn. [See--German! Maybe all this work actually paying off.]


Not to fear, though, as I'm sure that I'll be able to find something else to do with it...soon.

Why don't I enjoy this knit? First, it has to do with the chart. It's a long chart--25 rows. it's impossible for me to memorize, and it's so freakin' easy to lose my place in it. Second, it has to do with facing another type of knitting reality these days. I ain't got no time to knit! And, I ask you: when I do have time to knit, why would I spend it by working on a project that I don't like?

I suppose that I would enjoy this project more if I regularly had long stretches where all I needed to do was knit. Apparently, my New York life is not going to allow me copious amounts of knitting time. It's not a bad thing. I have other responsibilities, an engaging home life (It's interesting to live with someone who seems genuinely happy to see me in the evening), a social life, and only one more "accelerated" German classe left before the semester ends. I'm hoping that once the course finishes I won't feel guilty every time that I decide to do something besides studying, reviewing, memorizing, and writing exercises.

The realization that I don't really like this project was reinforced by a knitting project I began and completed a couple of weeks ago. Sorry, no pictures. It was a gift. I suppose that I should have taken a photo before gift wrapping, and well I didn't. But imagine two garter-stitch squares. Yeah, it was a simple, quick, satisfying project that reminded me that I really do like knitting, when I don't need to make a project out of remembering the project that I'm knitting.

So, with that in mind I grabbed some stash yarn and began to swatch:


I grabbed this Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky last spring at Brooklyn General. I have no idea what I'm working towards. I consulted a few Spiders about adjusting the gauge for the FLS, and I received a resounding "no!". Okay, that's some good advice from people who know. Also in the queue is another one of Shannon's great turtleneck sweaters. Who couldn't use another turtleneck in this weather? I think that this yarn would work perfectly for that. But can I commit to another sweater right now? Maybe I want a different project.

Perusing the stash last week I came across a Morehouse kit I bought last year at Rhinebeck. I had wound up the yarn and everything. I looked at the pattern. Hmmm, a four-row repeat, three rows of which are garter stitch. Somehow I think that I could handle this.

So, Sophie's Shawl it is. A few rows in, and all seems well. I hate to write that though, because I think I have said that about so many projects in the past year or so.

This is SO not Me

But I want to know: who's getting into my act?

Via Craigslist

girl who I think too my picture on the R - m4w - 26 (manhatten bound R)

Reply to: X
Date: 2008-12-11, 11:49PM EST

ME: Knitting on the R train, black coat and glasses..
You: Cute asian girl with blue hat with cell phone camera.

I didn't know if you were taking my picture or not but I thought you were cute and didn't really know what to say...

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