Friday, December 02, 2005

Several Knitting Sudden Intuitive Leaps of Understanding

Things around the old Totally Knitting Universe have been a little slow. Brian hasn't picked up his entrelocks in awhile, and instead is plugging along at a new scarf style project with his blue bamboo yarn and he completed a test knitting project for Annie Modesitt of a hat and scarf that were the bane of his existence because of his desire for them to be 100% perfect. His nephew Xander was born and so we have to do some sort of ticker at the bottom. I may start a ticker for my dear friends Holly and Lois, who are inseminating this week.

I finished the triangle scarf from "Hand Knit Holidays". Because it was so glamorous (and didn't take so much time to make) I donated it to a charity raffle but didn't get a good FO pic of it. I also did a knitted womb for my friend CMolieri, who recently lost her right fallopian tube in emergency surgery. That womb was modeled after her own organ, without the right fallopian tube. She loved it.

In these meditative times of mine, I've become very addicted to knitting "Cross Lane Cables" from Scarf Style. It's on Peruvian Tweed, which I got from Flying Fingers that time we took the Yarn Bus and were featured in the New Yorker. It is a really soft, amazing yarn and looks awesome in the cross lane cables pattern. It's a 7 row repeat, reversible cable pattern and was quick to memorize and is so relaxing and fun to do. Being a DK weight yarn on size 5 needles I anticipate finishing sometime in May, but I really love doing it so who cares?

I've been trying to get around to starting my holiday sweater for Macy, which I will enter in the Knitting Curmudgeon's Christmas Crap-A-Long competition. I have the design done, complete with obnoxious knitted border designed from Nicky Epstein's Knitting Over the Edge. That book has some really great borders but if not used with an intention to be classy you can go really over the top. It is my hope to really work that to my advantage. The prize for the Crap-A-Long is four friggin' skeins of Koigu!

Luckily, Macy is only 11 pounds so sweaters for her are less than a week's project.

As mentioned in a previous post, my girlfriend of three years broke up with me two months ago. I have had the requisite "Oh please, I want to take you back, I regret breaking up with you" plea from her (only after I went on a date with someone else) and have reacted with the Sudden Intuitive Leap of Understanding "We weren't right for each other, anyway. Please move your shit out of my apartment and take your cats."

The break-up has lead me to several knitting Sudden Intuitive Leaps of Understanding.

KNITTING Sudden Intuitive Leap of Understanding ONE

Knitting, for me, is a huge stress releiver. Brian found some study that said knitting is as stress relieving, minute for minute, as yoga. It is also sort of an escapism thing. So for the last few months, when I was in an unhappy relationship, I was knitting all the time at my house. If I wasn't going about the business of getting ready for work, cooking or taking care of the dog I was knitting. Which meant that I wasn't cleaning my house. I let the clutter and bullshit pile up to really outrageous levels. Now, ladies, I was never filthy. My dishes got done regularly and I am fastidious about the bathroom. But clothes and knitting bags and camping equipment from August... The friends that came over always got some excuse about the state of my apartment, but it was what it was and it was ridiculous.

About a month out of the relationship I realized what I had been doing and spend six solid nights straightening, sorting and cleaning out my apartment. No knitting was done, unless on my lunch hour at work. It was hard to forego the knitting but it was important and I am so much happier at my house without the mess. I also sorted through all of my yarn (bags from various yarn binges all over the place) and probably have about $100 worth of sugar and cream. One can only have those moments of "OOOOH! I don't have THAT color yet," so many times. I mean, I have enough balls for about 70 baby bibs or dishcloths. I am insane.

Life is so much easier with all of my SWIPES* and UFOs** in one place, and knowing what yarn is in my stash.

KNITTING Sudden Intuitive Leap of Understanding TWO

Knitting gifts on a deadline is pointless and takes the fun out of it. I have decided to adopt the mantra that I never knit on a deadline unless there's a monetary reward. Crap-A-Long is a constructively monetary reward, see above re: 4 friggin' skeins of expensive yarn. I successfully finished two gifts for Christmas last year, one to my ex's mom and one to her neice. I was literally finishing them on Christmas Eve and that is lame. I want to knit for fun and if I give it to someone, they should be grateful and joyful and I'm not going to add stress to something that should be as awseome for me as for the recipient.

KNITTING Sudden Intuitive Leap of Understanding THREE

Break-ups make SWIPES. When that girl broke up with me, I was literally, at that momemnt, knitting Leroy (her dog, the little white chihuahua) a dinosaur sweater. I had to finish it, it was too adorable not to. Plus, I loved that dog and it was the first week after we broke up, I was still in love and wanted her back.

However, at the same time I had been working on a Christmas stocking for her 3 year old nephew. I was (still am) about halfway done. It is a miracle in fair isle. One section of it (trains, he really likes trains) even has four colors stranded at once. I was thinking originally I was going to finish it and send it to his family, along with one I planned to do for his sister, the 18 month old neice I adored. But I just can't do it. Again, there is the knitting on a deadline thing and also it's just sort of weird now. It is really too bad I already knitted her nephew's name into it in fair isle. Otherwise I'd finish it and gift it to someone else or donate it to charity.

Another SWIPE that will always be a SWIPE is this dress I was making for her neice. This was a SWIPE mostly because it was a dress knitted in DK weight yarn done in seed stitch. I realized about halfway through one side and already done with the intarsia mouse that I really. hate. seed stitch. Don't know what to do with the yarn, it's a really pretty blue cotton. I may finish the dress one day when I manage to learn contininental style knitting, as I hear it makes ribbing and seed stitch a breeze, but until then my english knitting ass is only using seed stitch in borders and accents.

After the Sudden Intuitive Leaps of Understanding

In addition to cleaning, organizing my stash and my life, and having knitting Sudden Intuitive Leaps of Understanding, I have taught two friends to knit. One is my coworker Eldy who is totally getting as obsessed with knitting as Brian and me are. And the above-referenced CMolieri is working on her first scarf. It took both me and Brian to get her going, but she's chugging along.

Brian and I went to Smiley's Yarns Manhattan YARN RIOT. Yes, it was called a Yarn Riot. It was okay. I liked our first Smiley's haul better, back in February when we went to the sale they had at their Queens store. We left with garbage bags of yarn both times, but at their Queens store they sell yarn by the ball and we were able to get a lot of colors and various projects prepared. I had wanted to get cheap felting wools (I have a Nicky Epstein project with 12 colors I want to start) but instead wound up having to buy yarn by the bag at the Manhattan sale. Don't get me wrong, we spent $175 between us and ended up with a big stash enhancement and garbage bags. But mostly I got some camel, burgundy and cream colored skeins of Lion Brand "Kool Wool" for making more masculine scarves ($6 per three ball bag), we split a bag of blue worsted that is a really pretty cornflower color ($10 for 10 skeins), we split a bag of white 100% cashmere ($60 for about 600 yards in four hanks), I got a bag of a chunky pink wool for making a gorgeous '40s style wrap from Wrap Style and girly scarves ($25 for 10 skeins), Brian got an afghan's worth of Lion Brand Cotton Ease, three bags of red and one of yellow ($10 a bag?). And we each bough a bag of six skeins of Jamie yarn, one in baby blue one in lavender for the babies forthcoming in our lives ($6 per bag). Brian was outraged that there were only three options for sock yarn. We felt like Santas leaving that yarn riot with garbage bags over our shoulders.

Not many people were smiling, even though the place is called "Smileys". And there were moments we were scared of the rioters. One time Brian poked a finger into a bag to feel the yarn inside and it turned out that the bag belonged to a woman who was standing with her back to us. She was good natured about it, though you could tell there was a glint in her eye about how outrageous it was that her merchandise was poked by another shopper.

Hopefully our next update will have photos and some FOs. It's time.

*Stalled Works In Progress
**Unifnished Objects

Monday, October 31, 2005

Progress Report

As has recently been reported here at the Totally Knitting Universe, I am making Entrelocks from a pattern found at Men Knit. The pattern calls for 6 different colors that go nicely together. 6 balls of sock yarn, for the record, is about enough to make 6 socks, so I convinced Bevin that we should go in on this endeavor together, that we could split the materials and the cost and still have plenty left over in the end.

Oh, what a plan!

I was impatient and started mine right away. Here's a progress pic.

I mentioned to Rose that I'm sort of glad my first piece of entrelac is in the round because it has the modest advantage of not requiring the construction of left or right triangles. Just three shapes instead of five. Since this photo was taken I've progressed a little further to the point where I'm ready to start the heel flap.

Which I will do as soon as my super speed emergency project is complete.

Ladies, let's talk about Lion Brand Homespun.

Now, I hate it. It is difficult to work with, sheds great fistfuls of fiber, the boucle bunches up on the working yarn as you knit and it pills the instant you bind off. Think I'm exaggerating? Just try it yourself.

I don't buy it.

This does not mean that I don't have garbage bags full of it in my home, however. A friend who moved recently gave me great heaps of it so she wouldn't have to move it. I tried to decline, but my friend, well she's insistent. Bevin and I have been puzzling over what to do with all this stuff that I now own but don't want to use. She's in favor of me putting it on ebay and auctioning it off. Other ideas have been to get giant needles and use it to make that mythical afghan that uses like ten strands of yarn at once so we can donate it to Katrina victims who need something to snuggle with and don't care if it pills because winter is coming and all they have is a damn tent and would be happy to have a crappy blanket to cover their naked bodies as they try to stave off death for just one more day.

Well, in the midst of that conversation I landed a great new job and gave notice at my current position and I have been recieving cards and little tokens from my co-workers as I pack up and prepare to move on. One of these co-workers, the sweetest and most wonderful woman ever, presented me with a card and a nicely wrapped package containing three skeins of Lion Brand Homespun.

It is bad form to throw away gifts, and none of my knitting friends would have accepted it as a re-gift, so I decided that I absolutely must turn some portion of this into a scarf to give back to her. I could consider what ever was left over as waste, or as the 11th strand of that afghan I mentioned and which is spoken of so frequently on the purile Knitlist. I also decided that I had to have it done before I leave this job two days from now on Wednesday.

I recently came into a little miracle called Handknit Holidays which features a very interesting and very easy scarf design for heavier weight yarn. The pattern, Snowy Triangles," is a series of garter stitch triangles up the length of the scarf done with increases at the start of each right side row and a decrease at the border between triangles. Simple, and very effective.

I cast on for this scarf in Homespun and am racing along, trying to finish in the next two nights. I'll let you know how it goes. In the mean time, here's a progress pic on this project as well.

Yes, the image is upside down, which is not my preference. But Bevin is hosting the image and I have to prevail upon her to fix it. In the photograph the triangles are difficult to see, but not in person. I hope that I will be able to get a few more shots that highlight the design better before I give it away. And this Homespun business will all go away soon. Since this photo was taken the scarf has doubled it's length. I continue to barrel toward completion.

Bevin cast on the same scarf in some yarn from her stash. You can see the stitch definintion more clearly here because hers is not a boucle. The second triangle is just starting to form on the right side. You get the idea.

Of course, hers is far more glamorous.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Happy Howloween


I saw a sweater in a picture ages ago online and said "I MUST make this for Leroy". I could never find the pattern. Until one day I happened upon the pattern book in a random yarn store in Nyak, NY. I snatched it up and cast on Leroy's sweater. This was right before my girlfriend broke up with me, but I decided to continue knitting it because Leroy's been my step dog for almost three years and he didn't break up with me.

Plus, look at how f*ing cute he is:

I'm not sure if my exGF has plans with Leroy for halloween but I feel like this dino sweater can be year-round. It is versatile.

The pattern book, for those playing at home, is Patons "Another Dog's Life" and it's one of those mini pattern booklets. It calls for worsted weight yarn. Basically, you knit a turtleneck sweater in one color to your dog's size and use duplicate stitch (which is basically sewing, which is great if you're a quilter but I prefer knitting and using intarsia) for the polka dots and knit up the ridge as a garter stitch type triangle thing that you sew on. It was pretty easy. Fits him perfectly in the Petite size.

I bought Macy two costumes this year for halloween, both of which were labeled "Small", one was too big (from Old Navy) one was too small (from Target). So, feeling inspired by the dino sweater and emboldened to try to actualize a vision, I made the following sweater from my own design.

I added the waddle at the last minute, which is why it's only in one photo.

Tomorrow I plan to give her a bath and a trim and take more pictures. I really want to do her justice.

I hope to use this sweater as a prototype and submit it somewhere for publication. It was really fun but time consuming to put everything together.

Up next, sweaters for Dewey and Johnny's new dog, Zoey and Erica and Amy's new SHIH TZU, Pluto. And a gaudy holiday masterpiece for Macy.

Monday, October 24, 2005

FO*s for Feet

As you may have read in the New Yorker, February was Sock Month.

We totally failed to make socks in February, but that doesn't mean that we failed to make socks.


As modeled by the Official Spokesdog of the Totally Knitting Universe (TM), Macy, we have completed socks!

I started first, with some Koigu premium suchandsucha sock yarn at $11.50 per skein, so a $22 per pair of socks plus NY State sales tax. I loved the colorway and wanted a real sock yarn to start off with. Brian had bought the book "Knit Socks!" in February for Sock Month and I borrowed it and went with Starter Stockinette as the basic sock pattern. I was in and out of those socks, even with an 8" leg in under two weeks. Totally fun and easy to understand pattern, this book (along with some Knitty Gritty basics Brian retained) really helped me through the new techniques. Even this trick with twisting knit stitches when you pick up the gusset. Brian failed to mention this until after I had knit the gusset on one of the socks. I have holes at the gusset on one sock but not the other. My left foot is eternally grateful to Brian.

Brian saw me do those socks and was all hella jealous so he grabbed his Lion Brand Magic Stripes (one skein = 2 socks at $4.50 on sale at AC Moore in NJ, no sales tax) and whipped up his own Starter Stockinettes. His legs are shorter on his socks but I have to say it makes more sense the way he did it. He went with 5" instead of the pattern prescribed 8".

Brian is very pleased with his socks and thinks they are comfy and warm. Unfortunately there was a little laddering around decreases for both the gusset and the toe. This is something Brian intends to work on in future sock projects. Brian's socks are totally cheaper but still completely snuggly and still cheaper (Brian keeps making me type cheaper).

I liked knitting with my expensive and nice sock yarn better, though. The debate rages on.

The coolest part about the pattern in "Knit Socks!" was that the heel flap is worked with a slip stitch that makes the varriagated yarn look woven and marvelous and provides extra cushioning and wear for the heel.

Brian has already cast on a second pair of starter stockinettes in more Magic Stripes (the bitch bought, like 5 balls at the same time--he totally gave me one when I begged for it, this free ball of Magic Stripes will totally offset the $22 plus NY State sales tax pair I'm wearing this very minute) and worked all weekend on the Entrelac Socks from the recent issue of Men Knit Magazine. I saw this magazine first and knew, instantly, Brian would be drawn to those socks. Progress pics shortly.

Brian has completed almost the whole leg and it looks super cool. Brian is truly a master sock knitter/entrelacker (entrelacer? entrelocker?). Brian is also super gay, because he chose (with my urging, since I agreed to pay for half of the six skeins of sock yarn neccessary so that I could also make entrelocks) rainbow colors for our sock yarn.

If you want to knit socks you totally should. Easy enough to fly by, hard enough to keep your interest. They rule.

*Finished Object

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Shih Tzu Style

I recently bought Wrap Style. There are only like 3 ponchos in the whole thing and the wonderful capelets make up for those awful and ugly afghans for wearing. I especially bought it for this wrap.

I am thinking about making a book called Shih Tzu Style and soliciting "Innovative and Inspiring" designs from top designers, all to be modeled by various Shih Tzus, including my Gorgeous Macy Poo Pie. Isn't she sweet?

While I was at the AC Moore in Seacaucus the other day, I found that they have not only expanded their yarn selection but also included some knitting magainzes and LYS* quality knitting books. Totally awesome. I came across Creative Knitting November edition. It had some mediocre designs inside, but what caught my eye was that the cover had a Shih Tzu modeling knitwear.

That Shih Tzu is WEARING A PONCHO. For crying out loud!

Such a waste of a shih tzu modeling opportunity.


What follows is some correspondence regarding our next trip to THE OFFICIAL LYS* OF THE TOTALLY KNITTING UNIVERSE. You can see why, other than their passion for and quality of yarn we totally heart Kevin, Elise and their Yarn Shoppe. Even if they discriminate against pets who aren't celebrities.

Dear Kevin and Elise or Both:

Hello to you! This is Bevin, of Bevin and Brian. You may remember us from such times as we rode the yarn bus with a reporter from the New Yorker magazine and were featured in the Talk of the Town section. I actually just got a Friendster message from a guy I was a Resident Advisor with at UC Davis who I haven't heard from since 1998 who totally recognized my name when he read a back issue of the New Yorker his mom sent him since he's working in Amsterdam for Mattell. Small world, right?

Anyway, Brian and I mentioned in the New Yorker article how February was totally going to be sock month. Well. We didn't quite make it. I cast on my first socks in August and loved loved loved the process so much Brian was right on my heels. We are about to post the products of our joyful labor on our blog (

As you may be aware, sock knitting is a bit of a cultish type activity because it is so fun. I knitted my first pair out of koigu sock yarn and loved the colors they had to offer. We want to know if you offer that at FF just for our own edification. I'm sure you have lots of other great sock yarns available (I seem to recall Cherry Tree Hill being in stock last time we came up). We are ready to purchase more sock yarn (even though Brian went a little nuts with the Magic Stripes from AC Moore, but I'm trying to get him into real sock fibers). Brian and I are also a little liberal with the monies for such fine sock yarn, since he just got a new job offer from a big firm almost doubling his salary as a librarian and my girlfriend of three years just broke up with me and I need to console myself with consumerism, including knitting to distract myself.

Tell me, Kevin or Elise or Both, do you have room on the Yarn Bus (early shift) for two avid sock knitters on Saturday, October 22, 2005, returning on either afternoon return trip busses, preferably the earlier. We are also free on Sunday, October 23, 2005 but prefer Saturday so that Sunday can be Sock Day. You see what I'm saying.

Hope you are all doing well and work on the new storefront is progressing smoothly so that you can expand your yarn offerings even more. We are waiting with baited breath for the Grand Opening.


Bevin (and Brian, via proxy)

P.S. We got your email about the Martha feature of the Yarn Bus too late to DVR it. Do you have a tape of the episode available along with a tv and vcr at the shop so we can watch it when we get there, or, as an alternative, do you know when it will be rebroadcast?

Dear Bevin,

Ah, yes, I do vaguely remember you...
Oh, no, right, Bevin of Brian and Bevin--you got me all confused with the order there :)

Actually, I remember you as Bevin of totally knitting universe where so many people have been turned on to Flying Fingers Yarn Shop--thank you very much.

Of course, we have room for you two on the Oct 22 bus. Are we picking up in the usual not Union Sq almost Chelsea location?

All the prospects for wonton consumer spending are as thrilling for me as they are for you!

Hey, I thought of Brian the other day thinking of crocheted skull motifs (not sure how well you can see the photo):

[included in original]

Waiting to see you again with an.........................ticipation,

-Kevin! "Feel the Yarn!"

[an additional email as an addendum]

I believe I'd prefer "wanton spending" not "wonton spending" since we don't accept food as legal tender. Geez!

Dear Kevin:

I am so glad that you received our request and can accommodate us on the Yarn Bus. I did, of course, mean the almost Union Square but mostly Chelsea stop (and still plug that there be a 33rd street stop near the PATH station).

I am disappointed about the wonton spending. I was hoping to knit up some wontons using knitty's pattern ( ). Do you and Elise have a cat?

Also, speaking of patterns. This may be a long shot but I was wondering if an 11 pound Shih Tzu would ever be invited into the hallowed halls of Flying Fingers and on the Yarn Bus? She does not eat yarn and doesn't pee inside. Not this time around but some other time I want to film my audition tape for the Martha Stewart Apprentice show and am thinking about trying out in tandem with my dog. Oprah is the highest powered woman in the whole world and brings her cocker spaniels everywhere she goes. Plus I think Macy would really dig Irvington on Hudson.

I am also glad to see that people are patronizing the Official LYS of the Totally Knitting Universe. They know good taste.

And the skull crochet was hard to see. Perhaps you have this item in person that you could show us when we get there? I can pass the pattern to my friend Jackie and demand she crochet it for me.



That's a tough one. We do occasionally allow dogs in the shop--when it's not too busy and with the caveat they must leave if any human complains--people have allergies, fear (justified or not), kids, their own dog that doesn't want to get along, etc. However, its tough to kick a pet and their owner off the bus, so we have to say no. Sorry. (Yes, we would allow Oprah's and it's not fair...) Thanks for understanding (hopefully).

*Local Yarn Shoppe

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Emergency Knitting!

I went to Columbus last weekend to go to a housewarming party at The Crocheter and her partner's new home. They used to live in Philadelphia and now it's a 10 hour drive.

Anyway. I learned to knit on size 15 needles using fun fur type yarns. It hid my mistakes and knit up really quickly (though was super expensive). Once I started really knitting I would use smaller yarn and smaller needles and it would take me SO long to finish something. Anyway, I have this really warped sense of timing with knitting projects.

Recently I found this interesting furry style yarn, Bliss by Carons, for $2 a skein from a super mega Rag Shop sale. Since I needed a cute and furry scarf to begin the winter with, I decided to do the Snuggly Neck Warmer from Knit Scarves! This is basically a garter stitch scarf with a hole in the middle to slide your scarf through. Forgetting how quickly garter stitch fun fur scarves knit up, I managed to finish my scarf by the time my ride got to Columbus.

This was devastating, knowing that I was going to have to endure an 8 hour return trip with no knitting. I made a big stink with people asking if I could go to a yarn store sometime. Those plans fell through and I was thoroughly depressed about it, especially since I had been told about a new store that had recently opened called "Wholly Craft!" during their party. I just like saying the name. No one could confirm whether they had yarn but I thought it was worth a shot when I saw it, literally as we were driving out of town. Turns out it is a store that sells some handmade crafts and also THRIFT STORE CRAFT SUPPLIES. Including a few baskets of old acrylic yarn probably from estate sales and pre-balled. Oh, the sexiness of $3.00 for 5 balls of yarn! Oh the joy of $1.50 size 9 needles! Oh the miracle of a knitting book from the 70s for $2!

Needless to say, I had an interesting and occupying project for my 8 hours. I did this vertical striped hat shaped in short rows. I will post progress photos, right now it looks like half a hallowig.

Brian was really enthusiastic about the pattern book. There are some crazy AWFUL poncho designs and also a pair of socks with knitted on shoes. Seriously.


I love the Knitting Curmudgeon! She is fantastic. Not only snarky but good knits and you can't beat that.

The best blog thing I've read recently, though, has to be the bitchy comments about Crochet in a recent post, with defensive comments by the designer. Holy shit.

"Crochet that isn't too tacky. A novel idea, but impossible."

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Oh, fellow knitting bitches, I've got some fos* to show you.

First up, Mandarin Moonlight. You will recall the following from previous posts.

Many of you may recognize this as a scarf modeled on the pattern entitled Midwest Moonlight [from Pam Allen's Scarf Style]. My scarf is called Mandarin Moonlight because it is being knit from Southwest Trading Company's Bamboo in firey red. This yarn is actually made from bamboo, which as you know is native to China and a healthy snack for pandas. Also the Chinese are totally red communists. The name change seems inevitable when these facts are considered. I'm sure you all agree.

Here are some photos of the finished scarf being modeled by Macy, the official spokes dog of the Totally Knitting Universe.

This was a lot of fun to knit and I really enjoyed working with the Bamboo. I bought more bamboo, this time in electric blue, but haven't yet decided how to use it. The scarf became a gift to a dear friend who moved away. Of course, I had the distinct impression that if I hadn't graciously gifted it, said friend would have stolen it. Had I not continually reassured her that the scarf would be hers I'm certain she would have mugged me for it in a dark alley.

Next up, a baby blanket I made for my soon to be born nephew, Xander. I call it the Stained Glass Sampler. It is also being modeled by Macy, the official spokes dog of the Totally Knitting Universe.

This blanket is based on a sampler found in Vogue Knitting On The Go's Baby Blankets II. The design has the blanket done in a single color, but I wanted something more vibrant. This was knit in Lion Brand Baby Soft, because expensive fibers should never get so close to spitup. It features a lace border and I'm very proud of myself for enduring all the crochet necessary for the seaming.

I effin' crocheted that bad boy together!

Currently OTN** Building Blocks Baby Blanket (again for Xander) from Vogue Knitting on the Go's Baby Blankets.

Stockinette Starters from Knit Socks! in Lion Brand Magic Stripes, denim color way. Hella cool.

*Finished objects

**On the needles

Friday, September 23, 2005

Peth Tagged Us

I am only doing this because Peth tagged us. And she is sexy so I do what she says.

1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five people to do the same.

The article is not technically about us, but we are none the less featured extensively.

Totally referring to our New Yorker announcement.

I tag anyone reading this.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Possum Yarn?

Possum Yarn?

I find possums creepy. They have rat-like tails. And are not even cuddly-looking. There are some in my neighborhood and one time I saw one sitting in my neighbor's window bars, right next to his front door. If I walked out of my door and saw a Possum sitting in my window bars I would scream very loudly. I vow to you that even if I am eccentric enough to seriously consider adopting 2 chickens as pets, I would never ever knit with Possum yarn.


As there are a few babies being birthed into my life, and last summer after giving birth to her second child, Ava, my GF* Haywood's sister in law told me they don't really need clothes for their kids but they always need bibs. Since babies vomit and drool a lot, I can see how that is true. I imagine it's sort of like how when you have to do your laundry at a laundromat, you have to have a lot of underwear to meet the demand.

Since I enjoy the Knitting and since I discovered how incredibly long it takes to knit a baby blanket, I thought that knitting bibs would be a good idea for making fast and easy gifts for friends. Cotton yarn is totally cheap, too. I got a pattern online for a basketweave baby bib, made it fast but was unhappy with how they had the strap designed (crochet, ugh) so I modified it a bit for my own means. I have since embarked on a journey to create a fabulous and well-designed line of punk rock baby bibs.

While I'm working out the kinks, though, Ava will be the recipient and test subject of these bibs. Her parents were delighted with my first attempt, pictured below.

Ava (13 months old) with my GF modeling the finished product.

Close up of design.

I didn't plan this out well enough because I was trying to figure out how big to make it, get the row and stitch dimensions, etc... And since I don't belive in frogging or starting over or whatever on something where the yarn cost $1.50, I just kept going and learned for next time to make the chart bigger and not to screw up the spacing between letters or whatever. But the straps rule and that's what I was really trying to work out. Haywood offered "constructive" criticism, that I might just use a longer piece of the fuzzy part of the velcro (I sewed on velcro to attach it) and that way the size is adjustable and can grow with the baby.

I think this is a good first attempt and will, of course, continue to update with my progress.


Monday, August 29, 2005

Yarn Art

The new LYS* is called "Yarn Art". Brian just emailed me this update:

While passing by on the bus this morning I saved Yarn Art's phone number to my phone. I intended to call them to ask when the grand opening would be and to suggest a grand opening sale with deep discount prices in case they hadn't already thought that one up.

Unfortunately, at this time the phone number is not being answered by other than a machine whose recording does not indicate the grand opening date nor the plan to offer deep discount prices upon opening.

I will keep you updated on this matter as time passes.


P.S. The subtitle on their sign is as follows. "Home of Fine and Novelty Knitting Yarns." The complete snub of those crochet bitches has heartened me muchly, Bevin. Muchly.

*Local Yarn Shoppe

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Totally Incredible News!

There is a new LYS* opening up right near Brian's house either this week or next week! I hope they are open late one evening each week and not "late" like 7 PM, either, so working people who aren't bartenders or teachers can't ever actually make it there.


Wrap Style is out soon, which is yet another affront to our anti-poncho sensibilities. First Debbie Stoller trying to glamorize crochet and "make it sexy" and now Pam Allen trying to make FUCKING PONCHOS "stylish". I am dubious about this one but will still look to see if there is a miracle within all of those afghans with squares in the middle in that book.

While I was at Michigan, I went into the crafts area (basically a shopping mall of mostly faaaabulous crafts and some other crap) and wandered into a booth selling cute crinolin skirts and asked if they had one in my size (a 24). The woman in the booth said "No, but I do have THIS!" and she whips off a rack with a flourish a FUCKING PONCHO.

My friend Megan started laughing OUT LOUD. I said, "You are trying to sell me a PONCHO for $100!!"

"Oh, but NO! This is so much MORE than a PONCHO. It has this! It's a CAPE!" She drew her hand across the slit in the front with a flourish.

It is a FUCKING PONCHO WITH A SLIT. Which makes it a wrap, which can be cute in some instances that are entirely isolated and never ever worth $100. It's a PIECE OF FABRIC.

Anyway. They had a different styled cape/jacket thingy that was on display for $1100.00. US Dollars. It had a lot of bead work on it, though, and individual strips of ruffly fabric between the beading. It was quite beautiful and looked intricate and I noticed someone had purchased it by the end of the week. This was far more than a piece of fabric.


In other, knitting related, news, I finished "My Constant Companion" in March and felted it at my mom's house. So it's long overdue for a post but whatever.

This was the first bag I ever felted. I used Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride in (insert fancy name for) red and (insert fancy name for) black.

The purchase of the pattern was reasonable and fast and it came in a nice plastic covered sheet thing so my (pattern destroying paper eating) cat wouldn't eat it. And I learned a lot about I Cord finishing and made my first I Cord for the strap (though I recommend doing 2 or making a wider strap because it is a really heavy bag. I followed the pattern but mine is way bigger than the ones in the photos so maybe next time I should make the sides shorter.

It took forever to knit (months) but it was a great project to have around the house as the 18 inches you simply knit in the round was a perfect brainless knitting circle/being at a meeting project to keep along where distractions don't really matter.

The pattern does not give the design for the pocket they used, so being the punk rock knitting girl I am and wanting a tough knitting bag, I ganked a skull chart I'd liked on the internet and used that, cutting off the top part of the head.

Since the pocket was fair isle I had to felt it longer than the cords or the bag, but it all worked out and how cute and marvelous is my knitting bag??

The pets often sleep on it, too. Which I guess is a testament to the cuddliness of Nebraskan Sheep.

*Local Yarn Shoppe

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Latest Outrage

Go Ahead and Click Me.

I can't believe this. This is bullshit, people. Bullshit.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Which Womb?

For those of you who do not know, every year during the second week of August, there is a womyn's music festival in Michigan. Yes, womyn with a "y". Normally I do not spell women this way but referring to the Festival, I defer to their spelling. It is a week long event of concerts, workshops, super tasty food, camping and about 6-10,000 womyn. Mostly lesbians. It is a totally different experience going from being a minority in a male cuture to an entirely female culture and being the majority. I view the whole week as girl scout camp for grown-ups.

Anyway, a cool part about MichFest (one of the many) is that many traditions exist created by the womyn who attend the festival every year. Not officially scheduled/programmed events are sustained year to year by the attendies. One of them is the Barter Mart, where womyn bring crafts, books, clothes, anything that they wish to barter with other womyn. I decided that this was the perfect place to bring Womb Dolls. They only take about a night to make and are really cute and cuddly. And a womyn's festival is all about the girlparts, really.

I made 8 of them, in the pattern specified yarn (Cascade 128) in both pink and blue. Blue for those who are of the more masculine presenting or perhaps people whose wombs make them blue, even just for a couple days per month. Everytime I think of my Blue Wombs I sing "Blue Womb, you saw me standing alone..." to myself.

In conjunction with my pile o' wombs, Knitty is having a contest. They want pictures of an item produced of a Knitty pattern in an unusual situation. What is more magical than a pile o' wombs with a shih tzu in the middle of it?

I have decided to submit one of the following photos of Macy, the Official Spokesdog of the Totally Knitting Universe (TM).

Choice #1

Choice #2

Choice #3

I need to make this decision by Saturday night, so I need y'all to comment NOW on which one you think should go to the Knitty Editorial Staff.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005



"This photo shows me wearing a poncho adapted from the Lion Brand Homespun free pattern listed on your website and my pet rat Nibbler wearing a crocheted cape I made for her. It's basically a granny square with a tie in the front to hold it on. The amazing thing is that she likes to wear it. I often crochet her little blankets for her cage from the scraps I have left over from bigger projects. Lion Brand yarns must taste great, because she doesn't just nibble on her cage bars, she nibbles on the blankets!"

JesuschristIcan'tevenstandit! That'saneffingRATPONCHO! FORFUCKSAKE!

Monday, July 11, 2005

An Open Letter to Taco

Below please find the following review that Brian and I consulted, via Yahoo! Movies, prior to viewing the film Batman Begins.

Disapointing by (movies profile) Jun 16, 2005 82 of 1235 people found this review helpful

First of all I reserved these tickets for about ten people and was exited to see this new movie. But it was so boring, slow and long. And the action, what action? there wasnt any except like in a chase scene and at the end on a train, but thats it and the movie is about two and a half hours long. The effects were really good too, well since there wasnt much action there wasnt much effects to fill out. Second I didnt get it, the story kept going from one persons view to another. And the villains, theres like three but they dont even do anything, and the most popular villain in the movie is the scarecrow and he is only a henchman. The acting was pretty good Christian Bale and Katie Holmes werent bad. But what really ticked me off was that the characters kept talking and talking and no action was done. It just carried on too much you dont know how much until you see the movie. Oh and another thing when Bruce/Christian wears the Batman suit his voice changes it sounds kind of like Clint Eastwoods voice which made it even cheesier. So much hype but it just failed to deliver. "Man" such a dissapointment wait for War of the Worlds of Fantastic Four.

Here follows our open letter to Taco regarding his review.

Dear Taco10407:

Hello to you!! We are writing in response to your Yahoo! Movies review entitled “Disapointing [sic]” dated June 16, 2005 and regarding the film Batman Begins.

I am Bevin, you may recall me from such antics as that time I bought yarn from LadyOfyre on ebay or my appearance in the New Yorker magazine when I totally rode the Yarn Bus and reached national fame. This letter is being jointly written with Brian, who you may recall as the Boy Knitter of the Knitlist or the other person on the Yarn Bus with Bevin that time when the New Yorker profiled them and they reached national fame.

It is difficult to absorb the complexity of a review as intricate as “Disapointing [sic]”. However, noting your dismay regarding the “lack of action” in Batman Begins, Brian and I saw the movie and counted the number of action scenes. Taco, we must say, we were surprised to note, especially after your review stating that there were only two action scenes (“except like in a chase scene and at the end on a train”) that there were no fewer than 22 action scenes in Batman Begins. This is, of course, assuming you count the time when Katie Holmes (aka Joey from Dawson’s) totally slapped that boy—twice—in the car for being a mofo. That was actiony in that it totally involved contact and violence, but no special effects. Also, it was the closest to sex we got in the movie. Purists may say this was not an action scene, in which case there are still 21 action scenes.

Some action sequences that may have slipped your mind when drafting “Disapointing [sic]” were that time Bruce Wayne got into a fight with 12 prisoners in the Asian Prison. Which, by the way, we feel is a sign of a good movie these days, please see Bridget Jones 2 for example, where she is totally in Asian Prison. Or that time when Bruce Wayne blew up the dojo in the Himalayas and almost fell off of a mountain. Or the time when he did that thing to that guy and then did the spotlight and then we had a bat signal. And there’s also that one time he is dangling that guy off the roof and yelling “swear to me” and stuff. There were many more, and that slap scene if you buy it as action, which we do.

Also, regarding special effects. There were a great deal of special effects shots, though some may have been seamless to your discerning eye. One may say the hallmark of a good special effect is that it does not seem like a special effect and becomes expendable to the viewer as the reality of the film’s shoot. For example, didn’t it hella look like it was a real train system going into that tower, every time they showed it and not just the time when Batman [editing this so as not to spoil the film for potential viewers, but let me assure you this is no doubt the second action sequence you refer to in your review].

And how about those maggots on the Scarecrow’s mask? Those weren’t actiony but, come on Taco, did you really think that cute boy would let so many maggots near his pristine visage and especially his mouth?

Taco, we theorize that you either did not see the same movie we did, or that you might have been high while viewing it. The fact that the movie kept changing from one actor to another indicates that the point of view was omniscient and not first person and that they were telling a story instead of playing a video game. This is called a plot and is a very useful tool when one is trying to move along a movie and make the actiony elements even slightly believable.

The one thing we totally agree with you about, Taco, is that Christian Bale channels Clint Eastwood as his Batman voice. We both would have gone with something more Darth Vadery but that’s us.

We certainly hope your other nine friends thought this was a fantastic action flick and enjoyed the fact that it was plot-driven.

Perhaps next summer Vin Diesel will make a movie without a plot and only action just for you.

See you at the movies?

Bevin & Brian

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Old FOs and a Problem

First, a couple of FO**** pictures I found in my stash:

I finally finished Haywood's* valentine's day wristband. Here it is modeled by Leroy, the brother of the Official Spokesdog of the Totally Knitting Universe, Macy, who was in the backseat during this photo shoot.

The wristbands are in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. (I bought the Debbie Bliss before I knew that the namesake made the mother of the proprietrix of the Official LYS** of the Totally Knitting Universe cry.) There is going to be another one, using black as the background. I used the pattern from this woman's blog, but modified it a little bit. Three false starts on this one. I used the first try, a wristband that was literally three inches too small, to make a cell phone cozy for myself. I also tried it on DPNs*** and completely failed. I made a knot, not unlike crochet. Anyway, I used size one needles, which is a size up from her pattern, and used dk weight yarn and she used fingering. There was a whole thing with getting the right gauge. Either her husband's wrists are super super skinny, or she knits way looser than I do.

Second FO is the CA Dishcloth I made for my mom so that she remembers the state she is in every time she does dishes. You can't really see CA in it, but it's there.

My problem FO is the rose trellis bag I made from Nicky Epstein's pattern in Vogue Knitting Winter '05. See the knitalong here. This is my finished bag. (Not too long to knit but a shit load of sewing.)

It looks funny. Like when it dried it didn't dry well formed or something. Brian thinks I should get it wet with really hot water and stretch it into shape over something (like a trash can) and let it dry that way. I'm sure there's a better solution. Any ideas?

*My GF.

**Local Yarn Shoppe

***Double Pointed Needles

****Finished Object

Thursday, July 07, 2005

It's a flat knot shaped like a bag

When I let my mom know I was knitting she immediately put in requests/demands for many things. Things that will take me years to complete. She actually said "I would like 10 or so knitted grocery bags."

10. Bags. I have knitted two bags, both to be felted, and both took me about three months to make.

I began the cotton knitted bag from Knitty and got about five nights into it and realized it would take me about 6 solid weeks of work. The pattern is tough, the stitch isn't easy to do, especially with cotton, and I just knew I didn't want to put the kind of time into a cotton bag that this pattern called for.

I then decided to succumb to the crochet, because it is fast (relatively) and allegedly easy. I have only done one crochet project, a chain stitch trellis scarf I haven't finished the flowers for yet. I only had to decipher one term in that pattern, though. So I did some online research, got a few bag patterns that would work for groceries, sat down and completely didn't understand the first line of the pattern. I didn't have internet access and didn't bother looking anything up, I just tried to figure it out based on a couple of cursory crochet explanations in one of my pattern books.

Needless to say, I am free forming a bag based on some chain stitches with a double crochet (much help from this site which has video explanations, the photos and illustrations in books did not help me) loop around where the bottom meets the sides. Currently it is big enough that it would make an awesome/ridiculous garden hat for one of my drag characters.

Brian has given me endless shit about this, so, it remains the position of the Totally Knitting Universe that Crochet is an Inferior Fiber Art (TM). But mom will have a belated birthday gift with installment one of ten crochet grocery bags. (I really want to try to make an onion grocery bag next.) She thinks she's getting an afghan she has to piece together herself. In the bag I will put some goodies, like the several dishclothes I've knitted her (another request), which include the states of New Jersey, California and Texas. As well I will put a travel coffee mug with a picture of her favorite cat in it.

Anyway. I am not a fan of the crochet as a form to make something pretty or marvelous, except in rare instances. But for ease of use and quickness, it makes a good side project with the hateful Anny Blatt maus jumper thing I'm knitting. (See below entry.)

Also, this girl makes awesome crochet monsters which are the rare instance when crochet is cute.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Anny Blatt is Expensive, Therefore Hateful

There is breaking news here at The Totally Knitting Universe. Brian's sister, aka the Incubator of the Official Fetus of the Totally Knitting Universe (TM), has been informed of the gender of the newest member of their family. It is a boy!

Brian and I know the name already, but I do not think that this is public knowledge yet. We are calling him "X" and have planned several knitted items with this letter incorporated.

Now that we know this crucial information, we can make color appropriate choices regarding X's knitwear. While in Oklahoma recently, visiting X and his Incubator, Brian picked up an Anny Blatt book of patterns for tots (I cannot find it online, or there would be a helpful link). Everything in there is a miracle. We are very excited to knit a whole series of cow incorporated fashions. As some of you may know, I enjoy farm animals and have a fondness for chickens. Cows are a good second.

One of the patterns, a little pink jumper with mice on the pockets, is going to be the knitted birthday present for Ava, my GF's neice. As some may recall, I knitted her a set of booties and a hat, photos of Ava modeling this knitwear available in the FO gallery.

Today, since this is the first lazy Saturday in a long long long time (weddings, weddings, drag shows, weddings, trip to Toronto, weddings), I did some numbers crunching online to determine which totally washable and totally not expensive yarns I plan to use for Ava's jumper and X's various cow clothing. I have a newfound crush on LionBrand Microspun and sort of want to use it for this jumper, but I'm not sure if it's too shiny or slippery. It is quite soft.

In a completely unrelated note, I've been annoyed at my lack of ability to find grown-up colors (i.e. not pastels) in DK weight acrylic yarns.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Long Weekend

Someone put the long weekend to good use. That someone totally has two new FOs*. Details and photos to follow.

*Finished Objects

Monday, May 16, 2005

Stained Glass Sampler

Hello to you!

I have been very busy with my Sex Library project, but I wanted you all to know that I am still here and still knitting. Bevin has been all tied up with her boss who has lost some of his charm when a few of his secrets were revealed. This has been the source of much rage and gnashing of teeth.

Regardless since it has been a couple of weeks I wanted to give you some progress report photos of the project that has taken my full attention over the past 7 or 8 weeks. As you may recall, I have a niecephew on the way. I am very excited by this. I want very much to be that uncle who drops in with a live bunny and then leaves. Or a drum set. You get the idea. I want to be the most loved uncle ever and damn the consequences to the parents.

Anyway, there is totally a fetus out there that is related to me so I wanted to make it a blanket. A special magical blanket of joy and sherbert colors. I opted for a sampler from one of the Vogue Knitting On The Go Baby Blanket books. It's not with me here at work right now or I would provide specific details regarding publication and designer. I promise to leave a comment tomorrow with that information.

I note here that I have been so excited about the pending arrival of the OFOTTKU* that for the first time in my knitting life I have allowed all my other projects to become SWIPes** and I have worked on this virtually nonstop for almost two months. The only exceptions have been the construction of three wombs.

The patern called for the sampler to be done entirely in one color, an exercise in texture and lace. Bevin has also begun the same sampler and she has opted for the single color method. Hers is being done in a very lovely lavender. I may have done the same, but I wanted to make the blanket RIGHT AWAY and I didn't have crucial information like the sex of the baby, the colors of the nursery, the preference of the parents. So I decided to make it from many colors that seemed pleasing to me, which is code for not pastel. I have finished all the panels of the samlper and this past week I finished crocheting (I know) them together. This blanket is done entirely in Lion Brand Baby Soft.

I was very lucky to find the yarn used for the crochet (I know) border around each square and to crochet (I know) the squares together as it is primarily white but contains flecks of the same colors used in the blocks. It matches very well. Also I like that the color way has been named "Carnival".

I am currently about two feet into the 11 foot lace border I will put around the whole blanket. The border is also in Carnival. The border and crochet (I know) make the blanket look very much like a window with many panes so I am calling this blanket the Stained Glass Sampler. I promise more pictures once the border is attached and the ends are woven in.

Perhaps this week I will post something randy to the knitlist? I wouldn't want the knitflamers to forget me.

*Official Fetus of the Totally Knitting Universe
**Stalled Work in Progress

Monday, April 25, 2005

Blogging Philosophy and Recent Correspondence

(Skip to the bottom for OKC*)

Hello to you!

It has been a while since I updated TK.BS** and I've missed you terribly. But I haven't been ignoring you, certainly not. There've been a number of Bevin posts to keep you interested and who could have believed that the West Coast Editions of TK.BS** would be as magical as they were prior to feasting ones eyes on them? Mostly, I've been waiting for something of note to happen. Something worth blogging about.

Bevin has recently taken me to task for my patience. It went down something like this.

Brian, you really need to updated TK.BS**. It's been like three weeks.

I don't have anything to report. No FOs***, Knitflame isn't talking about me even though I am their superstar, I've not asked any cutsie pie questions on the knitlist. And besides, my campaign for Pope has been taking up all my free time.

Brian, as you know, I support your bid for pontiff in all ways throughout the known universe in perpetuity, but totally knitting is more important to me even than seeing my friend crowned King of the Catholics.

But I don't have anything to say.

Well, you could blog about that needle sale we totally stumbled on at Treasure Island.

The only interesting part of that trip was that you tried to bring both your dogs into the store with you, one in a bag the other on a leash, not that I saved a dollar on my new size US 10.5s.

Yes! Write about that!

Yeah, um. No.

I learned to blog at Diaryland, which was at the time the easiest to use blogging tool on the web. It is free and it's run by a Canadian. This is marvelous if you are new to blogging, but it is also marvelous if you are a suicidal teenage girl with an eating disorder and a tendency to cut yourself. You see, you can put your cry for help on the internet in like a nanosecond and not have to pay anybody for it.

Therefore, diaryland is primarily filled with annoying people who are unnecessarily angsty. And they go into great detail about their angst every single day. I find this to be tedious and unnecessary, so I try to avoid it in all my blogging. Oh, Diaryland has its gems too, don't get me wrong. But I have personally driven enough angsty teens off of Diaryland to know what not to do. Ask Bevin or Peth or Zanti or anyone of a dozen others for the details. (Mention Wesley or the Sparkle Bitch in particular.)

So with all that in mind I invite you to take my poll to help me determine if I've been hopelessly wrong about all this. I will take public opinion under advisement.


Some recent Correspondence.

By Bevin, signing my name:

Dear Proprietors of Knit New York,

It is widely known that you are the most happening knitting spot in the Greater New York Area. Is your cafe or Yarn Store hiring? I am an advanced knitter and former waiter looking for part time work in the evening and on weekends. Being around so much yarn and coffee would be the ideal setting to make a second job a joy and not an obligation.

Brian Blaho

Their Response:

Thank you very much for your email.

Can you send me a resume so I can get to know more amount about you?

Best Regards (and of course happy knitting)


My resume is not very knitting oriented. It's really very legal and very library and very research and very MENSA and very not retail. My response:

Dear Miriam,

Thank you for your prompt reply to my email. I have attached a resume for you and am certain you will find it instructive. I note here that it has been some time since I worked a retail store front and as a result many of those items are not detailed on my current resume. I would therefore like to bring a few things to your attention. Please forgive the informality and consider this email a cover letter.

As an undergraduate I worked as a bartender at a local restaurant in my home town. The restaurant sold equal numbers of adult beverages and coffee drinks and it was my responsibility to prepare both. I can, therefore, froth milk like the best of them and the creme on my espresso is the stuff of legend. I'm not even kidding; there are epic poems. This employment lasted just short of two years from 1993-1995.

This is not to say that decades old experience is the only thing I have to offer. In my current position as an accademic reference librarian, I interface with the public daily. I enjoy interacting with our patrons and while terminology may differ slightly, I take pride in the high level of "customer service" I provide. I like working with people and what's more I like making them happy.

Additionally, a large part of my role as a reference librarian is instructive. I teach workshops on technology, research, citation, and writing methods. These workshops are geared toward the entire university community from faculty and administration to newly entering students. But even in less formal settings, when I work at the reference desk for example, I teach individual patrons how to use the library's resources efficiently and effectively with every question asked of me.

As for knitting, I am merely a passionate enthusiast. I knit almost every day and always have 6 or 8 projects going at once. Currently I am working on a diagonal ribbed lapghan for my grandmother which I hope to complete by Mother's Day (cross your fingers for me), a sampler baby blanket for my sister who is expecting, a pair of socks for myself (grey wool with a green heel flap and toe) and a lace scarf made from Southwest Trading Co's Bamboo. I can run a swift and a ball winder and have just recently learned the basics of crochet. I intend to put them to use by crocheting the sampler blocks together (instead of icky sewing) for the baby blanket currently in progress.

What I can bring to Knit New York is multifacited. I can bring a high level of customer service to your niche patrons. First, I can intelligently discuss choice of fiber, weight and guage, and yarn substitution with them. Second, I can answer basic questions about knitting, correcting problems or mistakes, pattern abbreviations, and size alterations. Finally, if called upon to do so, I could teach a class on any range of subjects from beginning techniques to felting or whatever your needs may be. Miriam, I could do all of this while simultaneously pushing coffee beverages and over priced pastries. I'm that good.

In terms of my needs I am interested in 10 to 15 hours per week, nights and weekends. I am employed full time, but I would like to supplement my income a little and do so in a way that seems fun, and captures my interests. If your business could use someone like me at this time, I would very much enjoy speaking with you further.


Brian Blaho

Bevin congratulated me on including an OTN**** while asking for a part time job.

Hey, by the way, anybody hiring?

* Obligatory Knitting Content
*** Finished Objects
**** On the Needles

Monday, April 18, 2005

Perfect Pie Shawl and Yarn Store Smells

I'm such a distracted knitter sometimes. I think I have at least a dozen projects going on currently. Haywood is going to kill me if I do not bang out a rockin' cashmere wristband shortly. Oops.

Last night Brian finished his first womb in one sitting. It was marvelous. It was in reverse stockinette because, as he told me, he really loves reverse stockinette. He's always been drawn to it. It recalls for him the comfort of an inside out sweater.

I recently purchased Weekend Knitting. It had at least ten projects I want to do. Including what is known to them as the "Perfect Pie Shawl" (my own name to be announced) and it is so much fun to knit. It is done in wedge shapes and started out really slow by all appearances (Brian said it was going to take me forever) but once I figured out a system of stitch markers that made it easier for me to make progress without a lot of counting I have flown through 1 1/2 wedges (of 5 total, not including the edging). I may even finish it before it's too warm for a shawl.

I'm using a mohair/acrylic blend I bought at the Yarn Co. of Palm Desert while I was on my yarn binge in California (Palm Desert is just next to Palm Springs in Southern California). It is called Artisan Paintbucket or something like that and it is a really pretty green/pink/black colorway that will coordinate really well with my many pink and black outfits. I have a really hard time when I buy yarn in a colorway trying to figure out whether I like it or just plain having all colors in it be ones I enjoy. (There always seems to be one I hate which is a colorway deal breaker.) Perhaps there is not a lot of call for black and red colorways, but I always see an emphasis on colors I don't enjoy like magenta and blue or something ridiculous. The Noro and Colinette colorways are rockin', but those yarns are cost-prohibitive. I suppose that's the pain of getting something made with good taste?

I liked the Yarn Co. of Palm Desert for their sheer inventory, but it was so busy and bustling it was hard to get help with anything AND they didn't have prices on their yarn. I totally hate that. Please, take the time to price your yarn or make sure your signage corresponds to the inventory on display. Otherwise I cannot make an informed yarn binge decision until I wait for the attention of a staff member.

The Yarn Co. also totally had a slight musty/attic smell to it. I do not like my yarn to smell and I think that it is crucial for a yarn store to have some sort of circulation happening.

Friday, April 15, 2005

The Story of a Fruit Hat

This is the story of how a project I intended to finish in a night became a five day nightmare...

My Aunt and Uncle had a baby three weeks early. Since I am one of eight granddaughters on this side (all of us are over 24 except for my Aunt & Uncle's 3 year old daughter) I anticipated that it would be a girl. Unfortunately, I was wrong. I am still a little bit sore about this whole "boy in the family" business.

Anyway, "he" was born almost two weeks ago. I started "his" baby blanket a couple of months ago as my train in and out of NYC project. Though I feel as though it's going quickly, there is still about 3/4 to go on the Baby Blanket Sampler from Vogue Knitting On the Go Baby Blankets II in lavendar acrylic. Since this is obviously going to be a christening present (I can finish it by May 22, no problem) I decided it would be nice to acknowledge "his" presence in the family by knitting him a cute hat.

I'd heard so much about Ann Norling's Baby Fruit Hat pattern that I thought it would be a cool thing to make for any baby, especially a wee little one. I couldn't find a cool fruit hat pattern online (the only one I found was sort of lame, with sewn on leaves), so I dropped $4 on the pattern at an LYS.

First of all, how hard is it to find sport weight yarn in hunter green at a craft store? Seriously. Hard. Then I cast on, only to find out the pattern calls for a 16" circular size 6 needle. The smaller size hat wouldn't work on this circular. I used the smallest cord for my Denise Circulars and it was so awkward to try to knit. I don't know what was up with that, but next time I do it I'm just going to start it on DPNs. (Up after the leaves you change to DPNs and I found it much easier.) So I forged on, making it the size larger, for 6-12 month olds, considering that babies get giant in a milisecond.

The pattern teaches you how to make a strawberry using fair isle (without explicitly telling you "use fair isle"--I tried intarsia and had to frog) or a raspberry using bobbles. The problem with that is that the pattern tells you to begin your color work on row 1. Hello? Part of the design of this is that the bottom edge rolls up in stockinette. And it looks crappy because the crappy edge rolls up. This I figured out around my 16th round, when frogging was not an option.

So I just decided to finish my hat and figure out what to do with the edge.

Here's the finished project, I intentionally made it a little less tall than the pattern called for because I knew I was going to edge it.

Haywood had a good time modeling it as a potential Fruit Yarmulke.

So I went to my new favorite edging book, Knitting on the Edge by the Official Favorite Knitwear Designer of the Totally Knitting Universe Nicky Epstein. I picked out this cute edge that had some lacework and did this cool zig zag edge that was very strawberryish. I did a few repeats of it and Haywood pointed out that it didn't really go with the stockinette stitch hat. After an hour of lace work. She was right so I picked something else out. Just a plain, garter stitch ruffle. Can't go wrong with that, right? I even threw in a stripe of green to blend everything together.

I finally finished knitting that border, and began sewing. I hate sewing, by the way. Knitting I love but sewing is boring, even when it involves improving my knitting.

Anyway, I sewed on half the ruffle and I looked up at Brian (this whole project went on for several days because of all this backsliding) and said "I think this ruffle is making this hat look less masculine."

Brian said "You made a beautiful hat... for a girl!"

It made me feel like this:

All of that work, all of that pain, all of those design alterations... As a peace offering to the first boy in the family I make a friggin' girls' hat.

I've now decided to do one hour booties. I just can't drag another one night project on for five days again...

Saturday, April 09, 2005


I mostly knitted and shopped while I was in California. It was pretty perfect. I'll give you the run-down on the LYSs* I visited in a future post, but first I wanted to speak about a very special FO** I created while out there.

When I first saw this project on Knitty, I knew that I had to make my Best Friend's mom a Womb stuffed toy. Her mom has her phd in Women's Health and, in addition to being a professor of nursing, she also has a penchant for girlpart art. I forget what we saw at the BF's house, but it was totally girl art and we have since made jokes about it.

As you can read about in the Best Friend's diary, her dad has recently been diagnosed with Throat Cancer in addition to Parkinson's less than a year ago. Things are tough for their family right now. I thought this was the best time to drop off the womb, since quite by accident The Best Friend and I were both in our home state at the same time (she lives in Minnesota now).

I did it in the yarn prescribed by the pattern, Cascade 128. I bought $12 DPNs*** out of bamboo because 1. I got them at the LYS in my home town and 2. I knew knitting pure wool on these would be really nice. And it was, it was so delightful to knit.

I did the "cervix" and "uterus" part during a comedy show my friend Kelli was performing in in San Francisco. I was actually there with my friend Kaia who originally taught me to knit last summer and lives in Oakland. Even though it was mostly dark I was still almost 100% successful.

I did the fallopian tubes out at lunch with my friend Mary. The putting together of everything was okay, but when I do this again (and I have so much left over, apparently enough for three of them total per skein) I will knit the pipe cleaner in with the I Cord fallopian tubes. I had a really hard time jamming it up there.

The results were super mega cute. I cannot wait to make "blue wombs" for some of my less girly friends.

P.S. I have been harassing Brian to update on his knitting progress. He doesn't want to tell you the minutiae about how we recently found needles for 30% off at Treasure Island and he bought several pair or how we are overjoyed at 25% off yarn at AC Moore this weekend and 30% off everything in the store coupons to the Rag Shop next Saturday. He is nearly done with his grandmother's afghan and 2 baby blankets for the Official Fetus of the Totally Knitting Universe. And he is also running for Pope.

*Local Yarn Shoppes
**Finished Object
***Double Pointed Needles

For Trade!!

I am completely ready to trade some circular needles for some DPNs*.

Since I have a set of Denise Circulars, I no longer need the circulars I already owned.

One is BRAND NEW, NEVER USED. US Size 9 36" clover bamboo needles.

The other was only used for one project and still has original packet thingy. US Size 10.5 29" Susan Bates "Silvalume" needles.

I am willing to trade these for two sets of DPNs. I need any size DPNs except for 2s and 8s. I am also interested in size 1 or 2 circulars for sock making.

*Double Pointed Needles

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


It makes me so sad that I cannot apply for this job and retain my sanity, as I cannot stand driving in New York. I am still hoping that Kevin or Elise or Both use me as their attorney some time in exchange for yarn.

From: "Peter Shankman" peter@s...
Subject: Job Opportunity:

A very, very cool job opportunity exists with one of my clients. Thanks in part to my PR brilliance (big grin), Flying Fingers Yarn Shop, inIrvington, NY (21 miles from Manhattan) is quickly becoming the largest yarnstore not ONLY on the East Coast, but in the entire country. You can get alook at them at About a year ago, I convinced them that they needed to create a super coolway for people from Manhattan to shop their wares. Six months later, the Yarn Bus was born.

This is the famed Yarn Bus that has been covered in the NY Times, AP, ABC,The New Yorker, and countless other media around the globe. It's known inknitting circles, and is quickly becoming one of the coolest promotions I'veever come up with for any client.You can see a photo of the Yarn Bus here:

The Yarn bus makes the trip from NYC to Irvington twice on Saturdays andSundays, and occasionally during the week. It also makes special appearancesat news events, and the like. This bus was designed by the same people who built the Oscar MeyerWeiner-mobile and the Yoo-hoo Stinkin' Summer Tour Garbage Truck. It's a blast to drive, and you don't need any special kind of license.

Flying Fingers is looking for a driver for the bus - someone who likes tohave fun, but is responsible, and won't try to pull an Otto from theSimpsons on the bus. There will also be some helping out in the store, aswell. If you don't know how to knit, trust me, you will by the time you take your next job.

The pay is $15 per hour, which, by the way, is what school-bus drivers make- so we're competitive. Plus, you'll get all the free yarn and knittingneedles and knitting classes you could ever want. If you're interested, send me an interesting cover letter, telling me whyyou'd be the perfect Yarn Bus driver. Enclose your resume, as well, eitheras a word doc or a pdf. Don't call me.

Feel free to pass this around to all your friends - in fact, I'd appreciateit! Oh, and one other thing - be comfortable being on TV and in the news -because you will be.


Friday, March 25, 2005

On VK Spring/Summer

For those of you who do not know, I am originally from the Bay Area, California (now live in Jersey City, NJ). My mom still lives here and since there is a christian holiday on the near horizon I have taken a trip to visit.

Because my flight was non-stop I figured the best thing to bring with me was backyard leaves from Scarf Style. All of the things I've read about it on the knitalong indicated it was really hard and really easy to mess up. I thought that since I couldn't really be distracted while sitting still for 5.5 hours it would be the ideal starting place.

I frogged four times and, in sum, did 10 rows. The leaves aren't even showing up yet.

I spent much of my plane trip, though, devouring the new issue of VK*, which arrived in my mailbox yesterday. I subscribed after loving the flower basket of magical miracles and all of the great yarn store advertisements and product information. Most of it seems to be about sweaters and stuff. Which is nice but I'd like to see anyone who knits more than 2 projects out of each issue of VK, because those sweaters are pretty complicated. So this year is a trial year and if I don't consistently use it for some sort of resource I'll cancel.

Anyway, what sort of irked me a lot about this issue was the following juxtaposition: There was a whole article about knitters who take sweater patterns made for the skinny minnies and redesign them to fit their bodies. With emphasis on knitters who are plus-sized. They explicitly mentioned how wrong it is that so many patterns are written with complete disregard for the average body size and what have you. (That most top out at BELOW the average bust size for a woman, etc...) They also mentioned how revolutionary and empowering doing such a thing was because you could go into a pattern with YOUR body as the norm without regard to the standards of beauty. It didn't get into the specifics of how one might alter a pattern for a bigger size, but it was inferred.

However, once you plunge into the sweater patterns in the back of VK, you see that all of them top out at large or XL. Hello? Didn't we just read your article? But we have to do all the work instead of your designers? They didn't even bother putting a timely plus-sized section. It was an annoying aspect of this issue, the fact of them not following their own advice.

I, for one, have had the intention of doing just such a thing at some point using the tips laid out in stitch n' bitch nation or simply bribing Lucia to do it for me, since she hearts math and knitting so much. ;)

I also have earmarked my first sweater pattern, this lacy mohair cowl necked sleeveless number from Weekend Knits. Brian and I were at the B&N looking for copies of the New Yorker with our article in it (I saw one at the dentist's office today!) and since they didn't have our issue out yet we headed to the knitting book section and he specifically pointed the sweater out as "perfect" for me. I can't wait to do the math and make it happen. And make it longer and all of that. If I can make it proportional it will be my favorite work garment for summer.

I left Brian a message this morning at 6:30 AM the second I saw the ad in VK for the new magazine "Rebecca Home". We heart knits for home.

On my week long stint here in the Bay Area (and at grandmother's in Palm Springs) I plan to visit many yarn stores and finish my Flower Basket of Marvelous Mysterious Mischief so that I can felt it FOR FREE.

*Vogue Knitting

Monday, March 21, 2005

They think WE are full of ourselves

Recall my recent response to speculation posted about Brian on Knitflame, an email list devoted entirely to making mean comments about what people post to the Knitlist. Below find some of the response from the list.

From: "fernbacj"
Date: Sat Mar 19, 2005 6:05 am
Subject: Re: was there an election?

Dear, dear Bev,

Thank you *sooooooooooooo* much for clearing all that up. I'm sure I
speak for everyone here when I tell you how very excited we all are
to have such celebrities in our midst. Enjoy your stay.

From: Robin
Date: Sat Mar 19, 2005 6:36 am
Subject: Re: was there an election?

> Yes, we are
> super stars and yes, that makes you want to know more about us

Bullshit. I would very much not like to hear any more.


From: "sara_in_houston"
Date: Sat Mar 19, 2005 6:40 am
Subject: Re: was there an election?

Psst! Trolls go away if you don't feed them.

From: Robin
Date: Sat Mar 19, 2005 6:43 am
Subject: Re: was there an election?

> Psst! Trolls go away if you don't feed them.

Not this kind.


From: Sharon Siegel
Date: Sat Mar 19, 2005 6:45 am
Subject: Re: [knitflame] Re: was there an election?

>Yes, we are
>super stars and yes, that makes you want to know more about us and

Personally, I couldn't give a shit.

"when in doubt, kill the frog."

From: "Mark Ostrem"
Date: Sat Mar 19, 2005 6:49 am
Subject: hey bevin

> However, I want to let you know that your
>post was
> completely off-base and sort of lame, both in fact and
> implication.

And yours was *not* lame? Give me a break. At least
leabob knows how send a privately addressed email to the
correct address (if it was meant to be public, why address
it Dear Leabob?) *and* she knows how to trim the replies

oh, and leabob is usually funny. Your tone of benevolent
educator is ho-hum. Knitflame is for flaming. If you can't
be entertaining, Move on.

You may be a celebrity in your own mind but it doesn't
draw any depth here.


From: "lloeren"
Date: Sat Mar 19, 2005 7:04 am
Subject: Re: was there an election?

It seems like someone overdosed on arrogance today.

"Yes, we are
super stars and yes, that makes you want to know more about us and
speculat--especially on the very speculative and insightful forum,

You have a very, very long way to go before you can reach the level of
the true superstars of this list and the Knitlist.

They are the ones who tirelessly give detailed technical answers over
and over again on the list. They are the ones who because they
consistently write lengthy technical essays on many knitting topics on
their blogs have huge blog readership. They are the ones who actually
make a worthwhile contribution.

Finally, they are they ones who don't have their heads up their own
arses blowing a trumpet.

Emma, a regular lurker.

From: "Milinda"
Date: Sat Mar 19, 2005 10:27 am
Subject: Re: was there an election?

Holy Shit! who left the Troll Gate open this time?

As for you, Bevin, do you really think that we give a fuck about you
and the "boy knitter?"

Jesus, take the garbage out.

getting crankier by the day
From: "troiscoquettes"
Date: Sat Mar 19, 2005 10:48 am
Subject: Re: was there an election?

Seems to me that we had contracted to not only have a gate added to the
stile, but for it to also be both electrified and rabbit-proofed.

I think maybe the GC fell down on the job.


It is the official position of the Totally Knitting Universe that the Knit"flamers" aren't even a little remarkable. It is a shame, too, because that forum could really be clever and funny but instead it is simply mean for mean's sake.

Friday, March 18, 2005

For the Record, Brian is a Real Boy

The following was posted to the KnitFlame list today:

----- Original Message -----
" I am Brian, boy* knitter of the knitlist and star of knitflame"

I'm beginning to wonder if he thinks he's the only male knitter on theknitlist. The way he posts it sounds like he does. i would *so* bet you that it's not that he sees himself as the only male knitter -- it's that he sees himself as a *b0y* knitter. i have a friend* who's very much into the SMBD scene & refers to herself as a "boi". i've gathered that the term denotes a butch lesbian who's a submissive & who likes to playgames with a father/son twist (even when the father is a femme lesbian). she likes lots of punishment, but i don't know if that's a standard part of that scenario. anyway, i wouldn't be surprised to find that our self-centered egomaniac is of a similar persuasion. some people have very complex boats to float.

lea bob

* she's not so much a close friend anymore. we used to have lots ofdiscussions regarding research, renaissance england & what store had the bestfabric/rhinestones/trim/metal bits for costumes. once she came out of thecloset** & got into the SMBD scene, all she wanted to talk about was being a sub& giving the details of her sex life. frankly, there's not many details that iwant to know about other people's sex lives no matter what kind of sex they'rehaving, or with whom.

** her "coming out" was rather anticlimactic since the rest of us had peggedher as a lesbian long before. we just thought that she was discrete about it.little did we know. once she decided to officially admit being a lesbian, shecouldn't shut up about the details. we found out that she hadn't been discrete;she'd been repressed &, when her mother died, she cut loose in a big way. imean, she didn't so much come out of the closet as she exploded into a non-stop,no-holds-barred, detailed, constant discussion of lesbian sex, bondage,discipline, and -- well, the kind of sexual games that leave you thinking, " sweet. god. are you saying that people really *do* that? and enjoy it?!!."suddenly we were all faced with a 52-year old, overweight, badly groomed,coke-bottle glasses-wearing, badly dressed lesbian with a lousy haircut & no"mute" button. imagine how entertained we all were when she managed (she's gota big voice) to take over an entire party & regale us with all the details ofher newly-discovered sexual gameplaying. you've never seen so many peoplezipping past their hostess with a muttered, "hadagreattime, delightfulparty,gottago". and you've never seen a more horrified look on a hostess' face whenshe realized that, not only was the entire party bailing on her, she'd offeredDonna a place to stay for the weekend. and we, chickenshits that we were,shamelessly left her standing there while we rushed to our blessedly quiet,Donna-less homes. i heard later that she managed to stay drunk most of theweekend.

Below, please find my response, posted to KnitFlame:

Dear LeaBob:

I am Bevin. You may remember me from such things as I was riding the yarn bus and was completely interviewed by the New Yorker and my post to the Clapotis Knitalong that indicated that I thought the whole thing was overrated.

Brian, the Boy Knitter of the Knitlist, Star of Knitflame and the person you refer to in the below-referenced post to Knitflame, is my blogging Partner in Crime, best knitting pal and a good friend of mine.

I know that much of our lives is shrouded in mystery. Yes, we are super stars and yes, that makes you want to know more about us and speculate--especially on the very speculative and insightful forum, Knitflame. However, I want to let you know that your post was completely off-base and sort of lame, both in fact and in implication. I do not want to forget to mention that it was also offensive.

You see, Lea Bob, Brian is a biological boy. He was born with XY chromosomes and as far as I know has identified as a male person his whole entire life. As Joan in Eugene has completely pegged, Brian has identified himself as the "Boy" Knitter of the knitlist in an attempt to be "cutsie pie". He is a charming man and is prone to being the center of attention at parties, not because he has no "mute" button, but because he is a very nice and funny person and people enjoy speaking with him. He and I both have seen the knitlist as a group of people who may appreciate a cleverly-worded email now and again. I know for a fact that Brian knows he is not the only boy on the knitlist, as Rodney from Palo Alto, CA has contacted him regarding the leagues of male knitters that mostly lurk.

I am not going to address your specific implications about Brian's sex life but let me just assure you all that unless you are a dorky boy and identify as gay you will not have a piece of his sweet sweet ass. But I bet Brian will find it sexy that you used a footnote within a footnote in your post.

Lea Bob, I am also a member of the gay and lesbian community, but as I am a girl I am in the opposite camp of my friend Brian. But, unlike Brian, I have been a lot more active in the LGBT community and, it's fair to say, know a broader-based group of queer people.

I do know what a "boi" is, as you incorrectly termed it in your email. A "boi" is sometimes used in the S/M community to refer to someone who biologically may be male or female and identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual or anything on that spectrum but generally prefers the submissive end of role playing. A "boi" is also a term sometimes adopted by genderqueers as a label for gender identity, that they identify as more masculine but not neccesarilty as a man. This is incredibly oversimplified, but I felt needed to be addressed.

Lea Bob, I think you have given us way too many details about your friend (or former friend, if I read your post right) in order to make your point about Brian potentially being a kinky butch lesbian and not a male knitter trying to entertain older women on an email list by being cutsie pie.

But I will say this about Donna, I am happy for her that she has found a community she identifies with and finds support in. It is certainly obvious she wasn't getting that from your circle of friends.


Jersey City, NJ

OTN: Heirloom Baby Blanket Sampler from VK Baby Blankets on the Go II, in acrylic lavender.