Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Made it!

I got invited to Ravelry yesterday! They are definitely plugging through the waiting list (about 1200 per week). I already found another knitter that employs a Shih Tzu knitwear model and am really impressed at how easy it was to plug in my projects (I have yet to enter a yarn they don't already have in their database, which makes it really easy to not have to hunt for ball bands). I am the only one on their knitting the Building Blocks blankie. And one of hundreds knitting the mystery shawl!

I uploaded some older projects into Flickr and can't wait to clickie some more through other people's FOs and WIPs.


Friday, July 27, 2007

What to knit in the dirt

As of 4:44 pm today, 191 people in front of me on Ravelry.

I am going back to Michfest this year. The last time I went, in 2005, I knitted eight womb dolls in pink and blue and used them to barter in the Barter Mart.

They were a big hit and it has been requested that I make some more. I only have green and black in the correct weight of yarn, so unless I do an emergency yarn mission, I am going to just have to go with those colors. I might make one or two.

I am unsure of what other mindless projects to bring with me. Last summer, my beach project was making baby bibs. Beaches have similar conditions to this trip--lots of sitting near dirt or
on dirt when the knitting takes place. Needs to be lightweight and portable and needs to be mindless.

I have plenty of kitchen cotton, but for some reason the idea of making a bunch of dishcloths isn't as interesting. I might flip through my copy of One Skein and see if I can rustle up an easy project in a washable yarn. I have a whole box of "one skeins".

When on longer trips, I have a tendency to bring a "car project" and a "there project". The "car project" (lately the lego blankie) tends to be bigger and more involved--thus more interesting for the drive. The "there project" is usually small and easy to whip out and knit on when having company. Since space in the car is at a premium I am thinking about just bringing socks. But ever since my "socks fit for a giant" fiasco I have been sort of resentful of sock knitting.

Startitis is rearing its ugly head, I think.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Okay, I am totally drooling over Ravelry. I am staring at my yarn stash while I work out on the elliptical machine (which faces the stash) and thinking "I can't wait to organize all this stuff on the internet" and also "what am I going to do with that funky colorway of dk weight I bought on a whim, I bet I can find that on Ravelry."

Right? I can't be alone in this.

I have actually thought of going over to Last One Skeining's apartment to peek at her Ravelry account and see how cool it really is.

Anyway, so Ravelry ponied up with the best feature EVER.

As per their website:

July 14, 2007 We have been buried in 'where am I on the list?' emails! You can now look up your position yourself.

And then you clickie clickie and you enter your email and poof!

Found you!
  • You signed up on June 5, 2007
  • You are #7063 on the list.
  • 261 people are ahead of you in line.
  • 13583 people are behind you in line.
  • 32% of the list has been invited so far
Yesterday I had 411 people in front of me. I am thinking this bodes well. If the site is as delightful as this little feature, I will be in social networking heaven.

Also, this is my Alien cat watching over row 85 of my mystery stole. I had to frog. It was like doing open heart surgery and I just don't want to talk about it anymore.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

Rumor and Inuendo Abound!

I received the following Special Notice from the Mystery Stole 3* yahoo group (I am not signed up for the emails--there are hundreds per day!)

There is a theme guess that was posted on Ravelry** this afternoon
regarding the theme of MS3 as being related to Dante's Inferno and
tying in with some apocolyptic and Satanic symbols. I just wanted
everyone to know that this is purely a guess and not at all correct.

For those who are concerned about this, please don't worry, this stole
and design are completely appropriate for just about any situation
(Christine has pointed out that monster truck rallies, mud wrestling,
and water slides might not be appropriate) . Not all brides will want
to wear it, but that reason will be revealed when I reveal the theme,
and some won't be bothered by the theme.

I just wanted to reassure everyone because I know some people are on
digest and won't get these messages for a while and some of you who are
on Special Notice might see the original post in Ravelry.

Don't Panic, Melanie

I suppose if I were the designer of a mystery being knit by over 4,000 people I would want to squash any slander I came across but honestly, who is going to believe that someone is leading that many people on a blind path into satan worship? Being fairly new to the lace knitting game, I was looking at this more as a learning experience and less of a true "mystery" in terms of deducing her theme. I have also read some of the theme ideas on the yahoo group and they are as hysterical as they are diverse.

Now, Melanie did give fair warning in the pre-project show notes that the shawl would not be appropriate for a bride. It never once occurred to me that the ultimate design, other than being pretty, might result in something out of a horror movie. Though, if I were leading the blind and this kind of rumor popped out, I might make a quick chart alteration for the next clue (clue five is due out a week from Friday) and make some letters that spell out something more mischievous. "Go Fug Yourself" might make a nice surprise.

*I am on row 85 and did not bring it along this weekend for our road trip. However, at some point tonight I managed to add an extra stitch. I sense some quality time with the shawl coming soon to "read my knitting" and repair it. This is the most tedious thing about lace knitting--fixing errors!

**I have been on the waiting list for Ravelry for 2 months and still haven't received my membership. I am dying to get on there!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Too hot to be outside

When the summer heat bears down I am disinclined to leave my house for anything other than going to the beach.

On Sunday I actually bailed on plans with my friend/blogging partner Kelli because it was really far too hot to do anything but sit inside. It was a blogger meet-up at a bar in Brooklyn and I know the Cattyshack was not going to be air conditioned (or at least not well-air conditioned). She was understanding and I went back into the world of working on my Mystery Stole.

I am still not done with Clue 1, despite the fact that I got about 50 rows done this weekend.

I learned that, when knitting lace, I require a table at standard table height so that I can read the chart (as opposed to coffee table height) and I need something heavy enough to hold down two sheets of paper taped together and keep my place on the chart. Right now I am using a CD case but I am hoping to find something longer but not obnoxious, like a legal sized notebook. As a lawyer, I think casting about in my office should yield something.

After some trial and error, I set myself up in a corner of the living room and brought down a table from the yarn room upstairs. I would knit up there (and might relocate eventually) but there is no sound system and it needs better lighting. Baby steps.

Check out my sexy new knitting bag.

I did install my first lifeline (at row 50) and solved two major stitch issues, so all of that progress, while not the major speed with which some of the knitalongers are doing on the yahoo group, still makes me very proud of my MS3 stole progress.

Since I felt bad for snapping at Dan or demanding complete silence in the living room, when he wanted to watch the Singing Bee I consented and switched to my baby blanket. It is coming along really quickly and I hope to have it finished before the end of the summer.

I just found out this morning my great aunt's funeral is in Maine. Dan and I will take a road trip up there on Friday. With all the time in the car, will I be able to knit lace? I am very compelled to keep working.

Speaking of my car, Jack Knife Winston just got a new accessory:

The lighting is crappy, but it is a pink yarn ball and needles from Lisa Knit! It arrived in record time and she charges actual shipping costs. Not bad for $6.97. I really hope no one steals it.

Friday, July 13, 2007


I am jumping on the Mystery Stole 3 Bandwagon. Or, more accurately, I am already on the back of the cart, rain colored yarn in hand dangling my feet off and clutching my circs to my chest everytime the wagon hits a bump.

I haven't photographed my (slow) progress yet but I am totally digging it in full knitster geek way.

It has been awhile since I've embarked on something truly new and challenging*. While I have knit lace before (an entire blanket in lace pieces and the Perfect Pie Shawl from Weekend Knitting) and I just worked something very simple in laceweight mohair, I have never knit a complicated lace project on laceweight mohair. So I thought I would take on the challenge.

I cannot say enough about how awesome the support of over 4,000 knitters working on the same project at (relatively) the same pace is. I went to Patricia's Yarns in Hoboken to get some laceweight for the project and she suggested Rowan Kidsilk Haze. Or, rather, dangled it in front of me like a snake charmer and I was powerless to its influence despite the hefty pricetag.

To the right is a photo of Macy, the Official Spokesdog of the Totally Knitting Universe at Patricia's Yarns. They were very hospitable to yarn loving Shih Tzus who keep their paws off the merch. Macy helped another customer pick a color of yarn the last time I took her over there.

Then I brought it home and started feeling really insecure about the yarn choice. First of all, I have never had a lace project that did not specify the needle size. The ball band and the pattern gave a range of needle sizes, so I didn't even know where to start. Plus, I picked a color other than the recommended black, white or shades thereof. When I start getting insecure it eats at me and definitely puts a damper on the excitement of beginning something new.

So I did a quick search of the messages in the Yahoo group and lo and behold, not only had this question been asked by someone "Omigod I am using Rowan Kidsilk Haze and I don't know what needle size to use! OMG help!" but it had been answered! By list members and the pattern designer, who suggested size 7 needles and assured that it would work.

What a relief!

In addition to that, I am completely loving the resource links! Someone posted a video tutorial on how to do the crochet hook bead adding technique. So much easier than I thought!

Someone posted a link to a description of how to add a lifeline!

Someone posted a link to how to correct a lost yarnover!

And even though I haven't yet needed to add a new ball, I learned about the Russian Join technique.

Clearly I love to learn new things. For the mystery stole, however, I do need to remember not to bring it to my knitting group. My first missed yarn over on Tuesday night requires a bit of surgery.

*As lawyers, when Brian and I first began peeking under the skirt of the great monster that is the knitting universe, we wanted to learn as much as possible and mount our knitting challenges in quick succession. Now that the initial fires have cooled a bit, I had to scale back my thirst for extremely challenging knitting because it is hard to not screw up hard knitting when you don't devote huge chunks of time to it.