December 2009 Archives

This page is an archive of entries from December 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

To see all archives, visit the Archive Index.

November 2009 is the previous archive.

March 2010 is the next archive.

2009: Year in Review

...yeah, right. If only I had the energy to give you a knitting year in review. Besides, you don't care! You're too busy getting ready to party.

Y'all have a great time tonight. Be careful, drive safely (if you're planning to be out on the roads), and all that good stuff.

We'll ring in 2010 with some dinner and dancing. These guys are the band, the 21 Club is the venue.


Sometimes we do manage to take advantage of the amazing city in which we live.

This is a picture of Sven and me, but not at 21 and not dancing to Double Down. This was at our second wedding party in Cologne. Why yes, I did knit the bolero I'm wearing. Deets to follow in the new year.

Oh, Test Knitting...

I've completed you!


I can't say much about the specifics of this pattern, but I'll let you know as soon as its released. It was a wonderful, relaxing, satisfying knit using a lovely yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light. I now have an extremely cute knitted object to wear.

So, the edge photo up there? At the end of my knitting, I realized that I needed to tink back about a half and inch of a long ribbed band. Usually I would just undo the bind-off edge and remove it from there. Not so fast. Unfortunately, I needed to take the half inch from the cast on edge. It's not impossible to do, it's just a lot more time consuming and tedious. It took me a couple of subway rides and lunch breaks to get it all done. But once I did, I bound off and was done.

I'm sorry to be so cagey about the project, but stay tuned, you will love it--trust me!

Mystery Subway Knitter of the Week

Let's just say that I took a snow day yesterday....

It was not hard to tell that last weekend's storm was the first of the season. Before the snow started, I ventured outside to stock up on essential supplies: bagels and lox. There I was at the checkout of Blue Apron, when one of the clerks noticed teeny flakes falling onto the pavement. A very audible "awwww" went up in the store, and a few customers craned their necks to look out the window. I may have been one of them...

All I can say is, remind me of this post when it's still snowing in March.

It was a fine weekend for knitting. Knitting, knitting everywhere, even on the 4 train:


Just a little mention here: I'm on Twitter, and I protect my updates. Every time I mention this on the blog, I get a few new follower requests. Sometimes I'm like "Oh, yeah, hey, hi!" and know who you are immediately because of your user name. Sometime, however, I don't. And when I don't recognize your user name, or know anything about you from your Twitter profile, I'm tempted to click "Decline." Most of the time, that's exactly what I do.

I don't want to be snobby, but I only want people I know to follow me on Twitter. Therefore, just drop me a note and say "Hey, I'm So-and-So on Twitter."

Never Again!

In yesterday's post I blithely dropped that I needed to stop by Seaport Yarns to replace some DPNs which went into hiding.

Let me say here that I will never, ever set foot inside that store again. Never. Ever. Again.

A couple of years ago I wrote a review about Seaport in its prior location, on Nassau Street. The new store is still in Lower Manhattan, but on Broadway. It's still in an upper-floor location, the store is still a mess, and the same office-cum-yarnstore environment remains. I tolerated the store when I needed something quick because it is mere steps from my office. But last night the owner's bitchy 'tude finally tipped me over the edge. I'm sorry that I came in right at 6pm as you were closing (although the man on the phone did tell me that the store would be open to 8.) Furthermore, maybe you should answer the phone with "Seaport Yarns, Broadway" or "Seaport Yarns, Portland" if you don't want people confused as to which store they called. Maybe I should have looked more carefully, but

The entire five-minute interaction left a bad taste in my mouth. So bad, in fact, that more than 12 hours later, I'm writing about it. There was some discussion on Twitter last night. Apparently I'm far from the only one who has had this type of experience with the store.

There are many, many more yarn shops that deserve my money more than Seaport Yarns. I can't believe that the economy (combined with the horrible environment, poor service, and iffy location) hasn't yet sunk the place. I think that one of my new year's resolutions will be to shop only at stores that make me happy.

Seaport Yarns ain't one of them.

Dear US5 DPNs,

Where in the heck are you?


Subway Knitter


I'm getting to the point in this project where I'll need to switch to DPNs, and my US5s are nowhere to be found. Let me correct that a bit. ONE DPN is in my needle case. The remaining four? Keine Ahnung, as my German in-laws might say. A thorough search of the usual (and not-so-usual) locations yielded nothing.

Blast! And did it dawn on me to take my slightly extended lunch hour yesterday and go get new ones? Nooooo! So now I need to zip out to Seaport today. I go to Seaport because it's close to my office, not because the store is a particular favorite. In fact, their needle supplies are so spotty I think that I should call ahead before trekking outside in this cold air. The office-cum-yarnstore environment makes me feel like I'm intruding. There is a completely lovely woman who works there, but she can only do so much.

This of course, guarantees that those four needles will make their reappearance this evening, after I've bought their replacements. Grrr.

Knit, Yo!

This here is yet another link courtesy of Ms. SuperGuppy who blogged about this yesterday. I almost spit out my tea when I watched this.

Be warned. While it's certainly not vulgar, occasionally strong language is used. The video might not be workplace or kid appropriate. Use your judgment, yo!

Oh Test Knitting... complete me:


The combination of the yarn and the mindless stockinette in the round are lovely. And the design is just so freakin' cute, each round gets me closer and closer to the finished (and thus, wearable) product. I know that, so I eagerly keep knitting!

Nutella Fudge

Last year, a suggestion led me to experiment a bit with KG's (that's Knitting Grandma, to long-time blog readers) fudge recipe. KG's chocolate-walnut fudge is a family favorite, and she makes pounds of it every year. What else, I wondered, could I do with that recipe?

I tried various things. Chili and cinnamon, peppermint, and almond varieties come to mind. Then someone suggested Nutella. You know Nutella, right? It's that chocolate and hazelnut spread that all the Europeans like way more than peanut butter. They even like Italian Nutella much better than the stuff you can buy in the US. [True story! Sven is 100-percent convinced that the Nutella you can buy in Italy is far superior to the stuff that graces the shelves of our Key Foods.]

Last year I began the quest for the recipe. My basic fudge recipe is here. I make no secret about that. What? Can't get Fluff where you are? Just use 20 full-size marshmallows, instead.

Colleen's Nutella Fudge

  • 1 3/4 c. sugar

  • 3/4 tsp. salt

  • 1/2 stick butter or margarine

  • 2/3 c.evaporated milk

  • 1 Jar (7 1/2oz) Marshmallow Fluff

  • 3/4 tsp. hazelnut extract (Last year I had trouble finding this. THIS year, I notice that my local market stocks it.)

  • 1 12-oz. Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips

  • 1/2 c. chopped hazelnuts

  • 1/2 c. hazelnut butter (Even as a NYer I had trouble finding hazelnut butter. I finally found it at Kalustyans, for those of you who are local. If you're not in the area you can order online from Kalustyans, the hazelnut butter is item 231H02

  • Grease a 9-inch square baking pan; set aside.

    In large saucepan (2 quarts is a good size) combine the first 5 ingredients. Stir frequently (if not constantly) over low heat until blended. Increase heat to medium and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir the mixture slowly so that you don't mix in a lot of air and confuse yourself as to whether or not the bubbles are just air escaping or the mixture beginning to boil. Boil slowly for five minutes, stirring constantly.

    After five mintues, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the hazelnut extract and the chocolate until chocolate is completely blended melted. Add the hazelnut butter and chopped nuts and blend those completely into the mixture. Turn into greased pan and cool. I usually slice my fudge before it's completely cooled off--it makes it easier that way.

    Makes 2 1/2 pounds of fudge, and you the hit of the party!

    On The Edge

    Brrr! It's a cold and windy morning in New York City. While I really wanted to stay home with my tea and my knitting, I compromised with some subway knitting.


    I'm especially happy with this edge. The pattern directs me to use a slip-stitch edging, and for the first time I've achieved matching edges with both a slipped purl and slipped knit stitches. Maybe this was obvious to all of you, but I like my edges much better if I relocate the yarn for the following stitch after I slip the first stitch. Normally, I would have done this only for the knits. Thus: uneven looking edges stitches.

    I've been knitting for ten years, and I'm still finding little ways to make my projects better.

    Socks? Socks? What Socks?

    Ah, poor Sven. As soon as I reach a good point with his socks, I volunteer myself to do some test knitting.


    I'm swatching for gauge. I consider test knitting to be a public service to the knitting community, and since I've emerged from a fog, I think that I finally have the focus to be able to pull off something like this in a timely manner.

    I'm using some really lovely Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light. ThIs reminds me how much I like Berroco yarns, and how seldom I use them. Oh dear, yet something else to add to the knitting to-do list!

    So, What am I Knitting?

    Good question. How about socks? Socks for Sven!


    I started these socks during a pre-honeymoon trip to Germany in October. We had another party for those relatives of Sven who could not travel to New York for the actual event. Anyway, I'm still working away on the cuff of the first sock.

    The pattern is Priscilla's Dream Socks, with a modified cuff in twisted rib. Twisted rib, as I have discovered, takes me a lot longer to work than regular old K2P2 ribbing. Still, it makes a nice change.

    The yarn is some Socka Color that someone gave me a few years ago. It's been waiting patiently in the stash for the perfect moment. German yarn for a trip to Germany to make socks for my German husband. Perfect, no?

    Knit by H&M

    I should really talk about my own knitting (such that it is) but before I do, let me share this with you and ask some questions.


    I saw this advertisement on the R/W at Rector late last week. First, let me ask you about the style. Can you think of any guy you know who would wear a sweater like this? I can't. That neck/collar design looks like a chest-hair prosthesis.


    Second, look at the price. $14.95! Fourteen US Dollars. That's like, what, EU1.50? :-) What the heck is in that yarn? If I were a stronger person, I would brave the crowds at H&M just to see. But I'm not going to do that. H&M normally is bit of a scrum. I can't imagine what it would be like near Christmas.

    Before I leave today, I just want to say thank you for your continued compliments on both our wedding and my return to blogging. For many different reasons I needed to take a break from blogging (and knitting in general) over the past several months. Maybe it was the wedding, maybe it was some kind of long-extended adjustment reaction, maybe it was just that I needed to let my brain fill up with some ideas. I don't know. It's good to be back, however.

    Mystery Subway Crocheter of the Week (Cold Weather Edition)

    What caught my eye about this knitter was the color of her yarn. As you may have heard we New Yorkers are all about black, and this is even more true when the weather gets cold. But there she was with that beautiful violet yarn hooking up a storm, all the while a real rainstorm was raging above ground.


    And, wow, my apologies to anyone who came to the city this weekend, especially Saturday. Can you say "Nasty?" I've seldom been happier to enter my building's overheated lobby. Soup was on the stove, carols were on the radio, and I was on the couch--knitting.

    Don't Read My Blog Today

    Read theirs. It's really funny, and inspirational in many ways, I only wish that they knit!

    Thanks to Kat for the link!

    Things I Don't Like

    This morning, I do not like the New York State Senate. Although my Senator supported the equal rights of all of his constituents yesterday, the majority of his colleagues did not. New York State: you can suck it!

    It must also be said that I've never fully liked my digital camera. I've never been able to produce great images with it--every one is so blue, and the battery life is terrible. This camera reality is highlighted by the fact that my darling husband is now the proud owner of a Nikon D90. Oh, I don't have much of a clue how to use it, but that shutter makes the most delightful "ca-thwip" when you press the button. It is very truly satisfying. *ca-thwip* *ca-thwip* *ca-thwip*

    I'm not getting a D90 or any other kind of DSLR. It's just not practical. You see, in my other life I spend a lot of time hanging around construction sites, old buildings, scaffolding, you name it. A point-and-shoot is just more what I need those situations.

    So, to be more accurate, what I really need is a point-and-shoot that makes me happy.

    Oh, and it's also time to admit that I don't have a clue in h-e-l-l about this Google Wave. Can somebody tell me what it is supposed to do?

    Mystery Subway Knitter of the Week (Gift Edition)

    We understand! It's 23 days until Christmas and you've got lots of stockings to fill (with, um, stockings, but we'll leave that reality for another post):


    That Was Great!

    First, it's so nice that anyone, anywhere still subscribes to this blog after my months and months of silence. Second, it was great seeing all of your comments! I was sitting in front of the screen saying "Hi!" over and over. It was like a reunion.

    Thank you all for your nice comments about the wedding. Yup, we're finally married! It was a wonderful day, and lots of fun was had with friends and family, but I'm telling you: I have no desire whatsoever to plan another wedding ever again. Things have settled down, just in time for the craziness that is the holidays.


    And speaking of reunions, Interweave Press just published a reunion edition of sorts, with many fine patterns for beautiful and practical accessories. I'm tickled to write that my Subway Mittens (aka the CharlieCard Mittens) were included in the 2009 Holiday Gift Edition.

    Mittens with pockets for everyone, yay!!!

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