why am i here and who are you?

Take a look at this girl, blithely knitting away, not a care in the world: she had the brilliant idea of knitting a whole sweater during a cross-country road trip to New York City.


Because here we are, two years later. That "easy, quick!" sweater was still sitting in a tangled mess in my knitting basket, neglected. Naturally, during the course of aforementioned road trip, I objected to an instruction in the pattern. My obsessive-compulsive, perfectionist self balked at knitting a sweater side-to-side because the increases and decreases would not look identical! This is the point at which most people would move on and accept the VERY slight difference between these features, but no, not me.

Instead, I do what I normally do: ignore the problem, stash the sweater away, and sulk until I forget that it exists.

But the obsessive-compulsive side of me always wins. Always. Because this was an unfinished project! We can't have those! I just pulled it out and began the process of repairing/ripping/trying to figure out what that vacationing brain of mine was thinking all those months ago. I think I have a plan, so full speed ahead, time to finish this sweater once and for all!

READER POLL: should I overdye this sweater once it's finished? The color is a lot brighter than I had intended. I'll knit some swatches and dye those first, of course, but please tell me what you think!


if you're vaguely attracted to rooftops

Oh, finishing a project! (In this case, half. But still.) These are exact replicas of the red version here, but my father is overdue for a new pair of socks and these had been on the needles for quite a long time. Shamefully long! Anyway. The yarn I used here is Berroco's Alpaca Fine. I just checked my posts and was surprised to find that I hadn't enthusiastically-manically expounded on this yarn yet...so here goes!

Lots of people are afraid (or extremely hesitant) to work with fine yarn. Alpaca Fine is fingering weight, so it's best knit on small needles. I knit my socks on size 0, although slightly looser knitters would have success on size 1. Since it's alpaca, the yarn tends to loft (fluff up) a little bit, so you can get away with knitting it on a larger size as long as you don't expect a super-firm fabric. I knit a swatch on size 3 needles and it looked fine! (Ha, ha- Alpaca Fine...OK moving on now.) One skein has 430 yards, which is more than enough to knit a pair of socks...even if the recipient has large feet! And the best part: it's only $10-11. Seriously! The yarn is amazing: a perfect blend of alpaca, nylon, and wool. If you haven't knit with it yet, go out and buy some NOW! You won't be sorry. And once you've started knitting on little needles, I don't think you'll go back...in some ways, it's actually more natural than knitting on bigger needles. Besides, you can go faster because it requires smaller motions from your hands! (If you don't like this yarn and/or my advice, I'm sorry...and accept the blame. Just send your leftover Alpaca Fine my way.)

I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get a clear picture today since it's a rainy, chilly spring day. Luckily the light worked in my favor. The snow is gone!


when the city clears and sun ascends

After a very, very long (and inexcusable) absence, Kniterary Club has returned! Naturally I've finished a project that is ill-timed for the season, but since I love knitting and spring pretty much boundlessly equally, it's okay.

These mittens are knit from yarn I dyed myself last summer during the class I taught at Old Village Yarn Shop. I picked an alpaca-nylon blend, fingering weight yarn, figuring I would knit socks like I had with all my other home-dyed yarns. When my other mittens started to deteriorate from overuse, I knew what this yarn was destined to be. Since it was fingering weight, I had to hold it double-stranded with size 3 needles...I'm pretty patient, but knitting mittens on size 0 needles just wasn't happening that day. These turned out to be a perfect density, nice and warm, no drafts come in! Once they've been worn a bit, they'll felt just a little, and that will be ideal.

I used The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns as a guide, but changed a few things to customize these (although I liked my original mittens, there were a few minor upgrades I wanted to make). First, I made the cuff a lot longer; this way they'll stay tucked well under my coat sleeves. I started the thumb gusset a little later, too, and didn't increase quite as much. I was hoping the skinnier thumb would help the mitten feel a little less oversized. I was really happy with the improvements, but will have to wait till next winter for these to really prove themselves...which is TOTALLY okay with me! We're all so hungry for spring.

Now, concerning the blog: I will post when I can, what I can...but I'm back in grad school and time is precious! I've missed my knitting, though. Let's say I was in hibernation for the winter...