January One -- Ariann

December 19, 2006

The Knit That Saved My Life

First of all: STOP! We don't want to cry ANYMORE. And all you nice people keep making us cry harder with all the freaking LOVE you're sending our way. ENOUGH! Really, though, I don't know what to say, I'm all kinds of touched. You start this blog thing because, you know, maybe you'll talk about your knits and maybe you'll meet some people who also like to knit and next thing you know this awful thing happens and you've got good vibes and thoughts and karma and hopes and prayers coming out the wazoo. I never expected it - I'm not really even sure I wanted this - but oh my god I'm so freaking grateful it hurts. ALL RIGHT. I said no more tears and I MEANT IT. NO MORE. It's party time at this here blog - it's coming up to the day we wait ALL YEAR for so no more. I'm going say THANK YOU from the depths of our hearts and that's that.

Let's talk knits.

On November 28, five days after we found out Georgie had cancer (did I mention he doesn't have it anymore? No? Well, HE DOESN'T HAVE IT ANYMORE!!!) I became obsessed with Ariann after seeing it over at Margene's. I bought the pattern and immediately began swatching. The next day I went and bought some yarn. Twenty days later, I've got this:

It's not perfect, technically, but it's freaking perfect. I have barely taken it off since I finished it. I LOVE THIS SWEATER. I knit it while I worried about my husband and our life together and basically everything under the sun and it calmed me down and distracted me and made me happy at a time when I was probably the least happy I've ever been. Happy, hell, I was scared shitless. But the knitting made me feel better.

I knit this sweater while I waited for G to get out of surgery - possibly the worst day of my life - and the sweater kept me sane when I was full of panic. Xanax schmanax. Ariann was my drug of choice.

The pattern is pretty much perfect as written because, well, Bonne Marie is a MASTER, but I did tweak it some. I made the body longer and I'm very happy with the jacket look. And I made the sleeves longer - although they turned out much longer than I intended. I turn the edges under and it looks fine and I don't care because I love every inch of this sweater. I can pretty much guarantee that it will never be buttoned and I won't be making the belt.

Sure I ripped it back a few times. Sure I messed up the sleeves a few times. Sure I knit more than I needed to a few times. Ask me if I care. Go ahead. Ask me.

I'll tell you - I don't care. Because anything that can make me feel like this at any time in my life, let alone the worst time in my life, is PERFECT in my book!

Pattern: designed by the GENIUS that is Bonne Marie Burns at ChicKnits. (I made the 43" size - I would recommend sizing up - a lot of people have been coming up small.)
Yarn: Cascade 220, The Heathers, Color #9460 - Dune Heath (I used six skeins just about.)
Needles: Addi Turbo, US size 6 (4.0mm) and 7 (4.5mm)
Buttons: Purchased at Tender Buttons in NYC.
Pictures: Jen stepped up once again. She of the supermodel post - man she can work that shutter, baybee.

If I had the yarn, right here right now, I'd start this sweater all over again. Did I mention how much I love it? Just a little bit?

I love this sweater.

Posted by Cara at 10:53 PM | Comments (143)

December 18, 2006

Beginnings and Ends

I finished knitting Ariann at around midnight Friday. Then I went to Philly for the day on Saturday and when I came home Saturday night I closed up the underarms seams and let it soak. Then I laid it out to block. All day Sunday I fussed with it and right now I'm wearing it!! It fits. Sort of. It definitely fits in the body - I'm not sure I'll ever wear it buttoned (not sure I would've anyway) and I'm not sure I'll make a belt for it (not sure I would've anyway) and the sleeves are way too long, but I've got them tucked under and they're good. I'd rather have too long sleeves than too short anyway. Overall I'm very happy with the sweater - it's toasty warm and looks really nice and it's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination - but it will be a good sweater and I will definitely make it again. I'd cast on right now if I had the right yarn for it. Not sure what that is, but I'm thinking about it. (Maybe denim? Kay? What do you think?)

Today I will be weaving in ends and sewing on buttons and maybe taking a couple of pictures - it's really gray and dark today, so I'm not sure. The sweater deserves nice pictures, so if I have to wait for a better day, I will. Sorry.

Here's a meme I saw over at Vicki's the other day (and a million other places), since I'm light on content.

The first sentence of each first post of the month for 2006:

My grandparents, thirty-six years ago, at the hospital the morning I was born.

Yesterday was the last day of E Street Radio on Sirius.

I know I said I was going to work on Short Rows, but really, that's about weaving in ends so any distraction is welcome.

This is NOT a joke.

Not one person said anything to me about my shawl at the wedding, but WHO CARES!!!

One of my favorite movie moments is when they all raise that barn in Witness.


The move went well in that all the stuff from the old house is in the new house and no one died.

The kids and my sister are gone.

I'm home.

Yesterday, as most of you probably know, was November 1st.


It's been quite the year. I'd be lying if I said I wish it wouldn't end.

I was tagged for another meme by Wendy but I'm not sure I'm going to do it. I'm paying the tag forward - if you like the meme at Wendy's go to it. I'm feeling all kinds of weird these days and I'm not really sure I want to write it all down.

Another issue I'm having: ALL WOOLEE WINDER USERS! Question for you - did you have a big adjustment period? I purchased the WooLee Winder about a week and half BEFORE Rhinebeck and only just received it last week after many delays. The karma might not be with me on this one. I finally took it out yesterday and was so excited to get back to my spinning - and then it positively sucked. I felt like a rank beginner. I could not get the tension right to save my life and there was too much twist or not enough twist and the yarn kept breaking and finally I said forget it because I was getting so frustrated I was about to ship the thing back. Please tell me it will click. I waited and waited and waited some more and to be this disappointed now is a huge letdown. I just want to spin. Is that so wrong? Thanks for any tips and tricks or commiserations.

Pictures of Ariann soon. I hope.

PS - The new Yarnival is up! Check it out!

Posted by Cara at 09:36 AM | Comments (19)

December 15, 2006

Better Days!

I sailed along on Ariann yesterday! I think I only had to rip back once - and that was only like two rows (it was faster to rip than to tink.) PROGRESS! I even got to talk to the designer herself, and she was most encouraging. Thanks Bonne Marie!

I hate to say it, but I think I might be able to finish this for tomorrow. I'm tempting fate, I know, but I've got 11 more decreases to go (although I lost count somewhere along the way and this seems like too many decreases, but it's how I can get to the numbers needed in the pattern. I can't find a mistake anywhere but it looks like I'm going to be two stitches short along the back. Maybe I'll just drop off two decreases back there. Otherwise, everything lines up. It's all going to be covered by the collar anyway, right?)

Anyway - I'm off to get buttons today. If I make it back and there's still light I'll snap a picture - otherwise, patience my pretties. Patience.

Have a great weekend!
L, C

ETA: I found buttons!

I went to Tender Buttons in NYC and this is what I came up with - I swear I went through a million buttons. This color is really really hard. I ended up with a pretty plain button - it's gray with a hint of green - which picks up the gray in the heather of the yarn. There's a really nice swirl to the button so it's not as plain as it appears at first glance. These may not be the buttons I end up with, but for now, they'll do. Off to finish the sweater! It'll be the best Hanukkah present! Happy Hanukkah everyone!

Posted by Cara at 10:05 AM | Comments (31)

December 14, 2006

One Step Up, Two Steps Back

It shouldn't be surprising; it's the story of my life these days. I'd show you a new picture of Ariann, but really, just look at yesterday's picture because it looks EXACTLY the same. But, yet, I knit for hours and hours and hours yesterday. Behold: A Cautionary Tale.

Ariann is no doubt a great knit. If this sucker should fit when I'm through with it I can safely say it may be one of my favorite knits of all time. But I think it's a challenging knit in some respects. Those dreaded words: increase/decrease within the pattern are going to kill me. When last we saw Ariann, she was speeding along, decreasing up a storm. Raglans are nice in that the rows get shorter and shorter and the knitting gets faster and faster. I was on the phone with my fellow Ariann knitter, Margene, yesterday boasting about how much work I was getting done when I remembered that my row gauge was off and my beautiful decreases were probably not going to work so well. Margene encouraged me to take it off the needles and try it on to see how the underarms were doing. I did and cried for ten minutes because it's small across the bust. Then I remembered my beautiful swatch and took that out and measured it and measured it again and reminded myself that I washed it and it grew and everything will be okay with the sweater. (Please let everything be okay with the sweater. This sweater HAS to fit.)

I redid the measurements with help from Ann and started back on the decreases. Then I forgot one and had to rip back. (One thing about the Cascade - I can't fix mistakes without ripping because the loops get so stretched out when I try to reknit them nice and tight without ripping - drives me crazy!) Then I knit back. Then I figured out I had messed up two yos and I had to rip back again. By this time I had knit for hours and hours and I realized that something was VERY wrong with the decreases - I was actually INCREASING stitches everytime I did a DECREASE. Magic, no? What I wasn't paying attention to was that there are mirrored increases and decreases in the stitch pattern. I had decreased out a decrease, but by still knitting in pattern, I was INCREASING every right side row. And since I had added rows to compensate for my row gauge, I was making the freaking sweater BIGGER instead of smaller!!! After hours and hours and hours of knitting, I had to go back and rip down to one of the first few decreases to get things back on track. I managed to knit back to where I started yesterday - maybe even a bit further row wise because of the added rows, but I've still got a lot to go.

Of course, all of these problems showed up right after I said I wanted to finish it for Saturday. I found out yesterday that I'm going to see The Nutcracker on Saturday with my sister and her two oldest and I thought how perfect! I can wear my new sweater! Isn't that always the way? Hopefully some decent progress pictures tomorrow.

Posted by Cara at 10:01 AM | Comments (22)

December 13, 2006

Knit On

with confidence and hope, through all crises.

That Zimmerman chick might have known what she was talking about. I think this sweater, Ariann, saved my life yesterday. But first, the surgery went fine and G now has an approximately 8" gash along his side and he's quite comfortable actually and we don't know anything. They told us we'll know something between Xmas and New Year's - like two weeks. The torture continues.

I knit A LOT on Ariann yesterday - I finished the sleeves and added a few repeats to the body and joined the whole thing up and knit the first set of decreases for my size. I've got a lot more to do but I want this sweater DONE. It's incredibly tantalizing to be almost there so I keep knitting and knitting. Yesterday this sweater felt like my only friend. I've waited for G to get out of surgery many times before - but those were always orthopedic surgeries where they come out and tell me he's got to do PT and he'll be fine. This was SO MUCH different. First of all, I was alone. Which was my own fault because I had lots of people offer to sit with me. I just thought it wouldn't be a big deal since I've waited out surgery alone lots of times. I had my knitting, right? Man was I wrong. This was the absolute worst. The waiting area was huge and packed with families all waiting and I overheard what felt like a hundred awful stories and everyone is so anxious it's like the AIR is anxious and it's noisy and crowded and it was all I could do to keep my head down and knit and knit and knit. If you should, god forbid, ever have to wait out surgery in a cancer hospital, my advice to you is to bring a friend.

But it's over now and the waiting at home continues on and January One can't come soon enough. If I'm lucky I'll have a beautiful new sweater and a healthy happy family to go with the day. We continue to appreciate and thank you for all your good wishes. Thank you. Thank you.

Posted by Cara at 10:52 AM | Comments (56)

December 07, 2006

Why do they call it Sleeve Island?

Because it's more like sleeve hell. And an island connotes peacefulness, calm, vacation. Sleeves are anything but. I'm still loving the pattern and the yarn and yada yada yada but really there's nothing enjoyable about knitting sleeves. Why is that? I'm SO glad I'm doing them both together because the pattern calls for you to work the increases into the pattern and oh my god that's so freaking hard that if I had to decide what I was going to do on one sleeve then try to remember or understand what I did when knitting the SECOND sleeve I would never get it done. And of course I write stuff down but who can remember what they wrote when they're scribbling stuff? And I always forget something somewhere. So the sleeves continue.

And even though they look like socks, I promise, they really are sleeves.

I probably won't get much knitting done this weekend because the cards and all their packing materials arrived. Now I just have to put it all together and wait for USPS to send me the priority mail boxes. Which hopefully come today or tomorrow. There is still stock to be had, so if you're interested, here's the information again:

Palette Blank NoteCards

Box of eight press printed notecards. 5"x7" glossy card stock. Blank inside. Envelopes included with each box. All cards in box are the same. Will ship in approximately two weeks from purchase. $4.50 shipping and handling charge added to each purchase. Quantities are limited.

The cards came out better than I ever hoped and I'm really really really happy with them. Thank you to all who have purchased the cards - I hope you love them as much as I do! (PS - They make great stocking stuffers. ;-) I'm SO bad at the self-promotion!)

Once again, thank you for all the good wishes, vibes, mojo, karma you're sending our way. I fear I may have used up a lot of my own personal good karma yesterday driving into the city to get to the appointment. G had gone to work much earlier for some conference calls and I left around 9:30. You should know that NYC is literally around 3 or 4 miles from my house. Then add on another couple miles to get to the East Side. Round it off large and you've got say, 10 miles. That's being generous. It took me over 2 hrs to get to the appointment. I alternated between crying hysterically that I was missing possibly the most important appointment of our lives, and screaming at the top of my lungs at every other car on the streets of New York. If you happened to be looking into my vehicle yesterday, I can assure you it was NOT a pretty scene. As luck would have it, when I finally got to the hospital, G had not gone in yet and we waited another 45 minutes before they called us in. I felt like the worst wife in the world while I was driving though - it was not a fun start to the day.

Thanks for all the advice about going on the Internets and looking up cancer. We learned that lesson the first weekend after the diagnosis. I'd be in the office ostensibly doing work and would let out some huge sigh and G would call from the other room - what'd you read? Tell me what you read. Or I would walk into the living room where G would ostensibly be doing work and his eyes would look a little red and I'd say what did you read? Tell me what you read. We quickly got over that and stopped reading. Even me, former research queen - I couldn't handle it. I figured there would be plenty of time for research when and if we needed it. Fingers crossed we won't need it.

Posted by Cara at 08:38 AM | Comments (32)

December 05, 2006

Story Time

Gather round, kids – Auntie Cara’s going to tell you a story. If you sit quietly and listen – there will be a knitting treat at the end.

I’m glad my post yesterday hit such a nerve with so many of you and all day as I read your comments I thought about how I came to know what I know in my life. I thought I’d tell you a little bit more about me.

It was fourteen years ago – almost to the day really – that I had my first existential crisis. It was to be the first of many and in retrospect hardly the worst, but it taught me one of the most important lessons of my life. I was weeks away from my 23rd birthday – just a baby really – and I was preparing my first papers for graduate school. I was supposed to be living the dream: one year out of college I was accepted to a very prestigious graduate school in a PhD program in a subject I loved (Philosophy of Religion – Theological Existentialism – specializing in Kierkegaard.) I was commuting back and forth to Philly from North Jersey for school – living with the love of my life – preparing to write papers on my favorite subjects. I had worked for this for years – it was my dream come true.

And then I couldn’t write the papers. I did all the research and made all the notes and I couldn’t write. Every day that I couldn’t write I got sicker and sicker. Anxiety attacks. Nausea. I could barely leave the house I was so panicked. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I thought I was either dying or going crazy. Or both.

I went home for my birthday and I remember driving around with my mother and I told her that I didn’t think I wanted to go to graduate school anymore. Instantly I felt better. Instantly it felt right. This wasn’t what I wanted to do. Of course, the anxiety didn’t end there – I had to actually drop out of school. I had to tell my father, who had hung banners of this prestigious school all over his office walls and told everyone he met that his 22 yr old daughter was in a PhD program. I had to tell the school – where I was supposed to be TAing a class the next semester. I had to tell Georgie. But most of all I had to convince myself that it was okay not to do this – this thing I had wanted to do for years. Had worked hard for – had made a commitment to – not just on paper but in my heart and soul. The visions I had of my future were all academic – I would be off summers to raise our kids. The ivy halls would become my home. We’d travel to the best jobs. I’d start smoking a pipe and have leather patches on my elbows. The saddest part of the whole thing was that the 2 hour train rides back and forth from home were my favorite part of the day. And if you’ve ever commuted on Amtrak you know that that’s pretty pathetic.

So I came home from my parents and told Georgie that I wanted to quit school. I was sitting in his lap in our old apartment and he was holding me and I was crying and without missing a beat he said I’ll take care of you. Possibly the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. Really. And we were so young then.

I did drop out. I threw up in my father’s office before I had to go talk to school but they seemed to understand and I’ve never had any contact with them again. I came home and continued to have anxiety attacks. I didn’t work. I took up pottery. And then I started to look for a job. I needed a job. The week before I was supposed to start a new job I had the worst anxiety attacks of my life (up to that point – unfortunately they would actually get worse much later on.) I started seeing a psychiatrist. I started my new job and the first week of work I popped a Xanax before I left home every day. Eventually everything got better and the anxiety lessened and I realized some things about myself and my life.

Deciding that I didn’t want to go to graduate school – deciding that I didn’t want to spend at least seven years of my life being miserable doing a job I was never going to enjoy doing – doesn’t mean I QUIT. It means I made a DECISION that something was not right for me. As a life long perfectionist taught to finish what you start, deciding that this wasn’t the best thing for me was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. On paper it really does look like I couldn’t do it and I quit. But that’s not how real life works. I remember talking to a good friend afterward and she told me how strong she thought I was – I laughed because here I was paralyzed with fear – and she said no – I was strong because she would never have left the program and would’ve been stuck there forever. I guess I was strong but really I was just insane. My body and mind forced my hand in making this decision because I was making myself sick. It had to stop.

I learned, too, that I had to grieve for this person, this vision of what I would not become. I would never be a professor. Never be a Kierkegaardian scholar. And THANK GOD for that because I would be one of the most miserable people in the world right now and my life wouldn’t be anything like it is and despite some blips in the road here and there, I have a fantastic life. I love it just the way it is – ever changing but true to me.

The moral of this story is to listen to your insides. If they’re making you crazy sit up and listen! Deciding that some path or relationship or situation is WRONG for YOU doesn’t make you a quitter. It makes you smart and content and it may take a while to see these things through – I was pretty miserable for a long time after I left graduate school – but eventually you will be all the better for it.

I may have taken this advice too much to heart at times – I’m on my fourth career now – and I’ve been INCREDIBLY fortunate to have the support I have from my husband and my family in all the endeavors I’ve undertaken. But I’ve always worked very hard for what I’ve done and what I’ve had and continue to have.

I’m not sure why I’m telling you all this today – maybe because I feel a receptive audience or maybe because I’ve been thinking about my life a lot lately, but here it is. It’s good to share and if maybe one of you is kind to yourself and realizes that you aren’t where you want to be or need to be and finds some courage in this post and gives yourself permission to CHANGE, not quit, then I’m happy. What’s a life lived if you can’t share it with others?

Thank you for listening. Now onto the knits.

Here's the blocking rug shot of Ariann, ala Bonne Marie:

I just realized the color is WAY off. I must have changed the white balance and didn't notice. There's no blue in this green at all. See here for accurate color. And another shot of the body:

Yesterday was sleeve day. I love doing both sleeves at the same time when I knit sweaters. There's nothing worse than finishing the back and the fronts and one sleeve only to have to knit ANOTHER sleeve before you're done. So I do both sleeves at the same time. Also, this helps when you fuck things up on one sleeve - the same fuck-up occurs on the second sleeve and you can therefore call it a design element. Voila! The sleeves for Ariann are knit in the round, so this was also a good opportunity to learn how to knit two things at once on two circulars which is my preferred way of knitting small circumferences. I looked at all the websites and couldn't figure out the freaking cast on. This has been my problem before. So I solved it myself. The pattern has you start knitting the sleeves on small needles, so I cast on the sleeves on BIGGER needles. I joined the first sleeve in the round then transferred it to the smaller needles. Then I cast on the SECOND sleeve on the bigger needles, joined that one in the round and transferred it to the smaller needles. Two sleeves on two circulars! It worked (after the second or third attempt and one rip out because I thought I had the wrong number of stitches but really I just read the pattern wrong.) Things were going along swimmingly until around midnight last night when I realized that I made a mistake on ONE sleeve, but not the other (only I can fuck up a design element.) So I ripped the bad sleeve while leaving the good sleeve intact on temporary needles - knit until the bad sleeve caught back up to the good sleeve and put them both back on the needles and we were on our merry way. It's slow going knitting both sleeves at the same time, but when I'm done - I'm DONE (with the sleeves at least.) I'm not sure I would do this with socks though. Don't ask me why, but it feels like I wouldn't do this with socks. Maybe. We'll see.

Sorry if I got a bit preachy or pedantic up there. I'm just trying to spread the love. And save the cheerleader.
L, C

Posted by Cara at 10:06 AM | Comments (130)

December 04, 2006

Still in Love

I managed to finish the back/fronts of Ariann yesterday. At least I think I've finished them. I didn't bind off the way the pattern instructs you too because, well, you never know if you're going to need to tink a bit or add some on so I stopped at 16" (the pattern calls for 14, but I added some to the length) and I'm going to start on the sleeves today. I'd take a picture - actually I tried to take a picture - but it's sort of long and the pattern looks EXACTLY the same as it did the other day when I posted pictures so I decided they weren't going to be interesting so leave them out.

I generally like to do the sleeves at the same time, and I'm taking this opportunity to learn to do two socks on two circulars but instead I'm going to do two sleeves on two circulars. It's always the cast on that trips me up so I'm going to take extra time today to figure it out. It really shouldn't be too hard.

I'm still LOVING this project. I pass my own test. What test is that you ask? Well, I was reading over at Megan's (The Knitting Philistine - very nice blog, by the way) and she was saying that if you don't love your knit as much as I professed to love Ariann in my last post, then maybe you should move along to another project. Tongue in cheek, surely, and I can certainly be accused of being OVERLY enthusiastic at times, but really, why knit something you're not enjoying?

I've tried to live my life in this manner. If I find that I don't like something - be it graduate school, a job - and I mean REALLY don't like it - not have a frustrating or a bad day every now and then - I mean when it eats at you and it's a chore to get through the simplest tasks and you feel nauseous when you go to work every day - then it's time to move on. Life is SO short and we can't waste our time doing things we don't like. I understand that I've been extraordinarily fortunate that when I hated a job or a life direction I was able to move on to the next thing and find what I love. I've been EXTREMELY fortunate in that. But I have worked at jobs that I didn't love. Jobs that were just a job, a way to make ends meet - and it was during those times that I tried to fill my off hours with things I DID love. I worked so that I could throw pots. Or take classes. Unfortunately I wasn't knitting then, but I loved what I was doing outside of work nonetheless.

I've talked before about how knits don't have feelings. So if you want to start one project but don't feel like you can move on from what you're working on - even if it's no longer giving you pleasure -take it from me: the knits don't care. They really and truly don't. One of the greatest lessons I've learned in my life is that it's just as important to find the things you DON'T like as it is to find the things you DO like. Crossing things off the list - whether it be a knitting pattern or a career choice or a relationship - these are learning opportunities. I've found it's much easier to find out what you don't like than it is to find what you love. And everytime you cross something else off the list, you're getting that much closer to the thing that will give you the most fulfillment.

So people might say that my knitting has become very pigeon-holed and that I limit myself to certain fibers and certain kinds of patterns - but I've tried a lot of stuff and I KNOW WHAT I LIKE. It works for me. And that's all that really matters.

Posted by Cara at 10:15 AM | Comments (40)

December 01, 2006


KNITTING! And it feels so so so good!

I have one purl row to go before the last waist shaping decrease. I need to figure out a button hole method and also add a new ball of yarn (one down six to go!) before I start knitting again. That's about 7'' of glorious Ariann. I love this pattern. LOVE IT! I've made it a bit longer - instead of the pattern specified 4 pattern repeats before the waist shaping I did 9. A repeat is only two rows and I'm dealing with the whole row gauge thing (I'm getting 28 instead of 24 per 4 inches) so I think it works out well. And when I did the decreases I added an extra repeat between each one. I'm going to do the same with the increases. YAY! My goal is to have the body finished by the end of the weekend. We'll see - no pressure - but I want this sweater wrapped around me ASAP.

Bonne Marie
is a genius. Look how beautiful the stitches are - I love how the decreases and YOs all work together. I think this would make a beautiful sock pattern as well. Nice and simple but oh so elegant. I did what Bonne Marie suggests and took the sweater off the needles and measured it width-wise to see how it's going. With a little bit of stretching (which you'll need to do for the lace anyway) I'm getting the 43" called for in the pattern. I'm just so happy about this project. I hope nothing happens to fuck it up. It's like I've put all my eggs in Ariann's basket. Not too much pressure or anything.

I was remiss yesterday in not mentioning where I bought the cutie string dolls and yarn - Knitty City in NYC. A very nice yarn store. Check it out if you're in town. A MUCH better choice than the other knitting store on the Upper West Side. BEYOND better.

A couple of other things: SUBMIT TO YARNIVAL!!! Two days until the deadline for submissions for the next issue. Go! Run! SUBMIT!

Also, I might be the last person in the world to link this, but I first saw it over at Cate's. Apparently, there's this guy who's doing some kind of project on how meme's spread. Consider this my mention and link to the project. And now I'm going to go ping the entry. Let's show this guy that knitters KICK ASS. Go ahead and link to the project on your own blog. And don't forget to ping! (What does that mean anyway?)

Have a great day. I'm gonna go eat some fantastic leftovers from the fabu dinner Georgie cooked last night and then I'm gonna knit knit KNIT!

Posted by Cara at 12:21 PM | Comments (27)

November 30, 2006

Livin' Large

Thanks for all the comments on my goof up on row gauge. I actually figured it out myself while sitting a red light yesterday. Thank god no one told me how much math is involved in knitting before I actually started because I'm afraid I never would've picked up the needles and knitting is manna from heaven so WHEW! Dodged that bullet. I still hate math and knitty math even more because I know what should be right but I just can't seem to wrap my brain around it. So I sort of gloss over and ignore it and, well, that just makes more work than necessary.

When I left you all yesterday I was pondering which size to choose for Ariann - the 38" or the 40.5" I was pretty set on the 40.5" and then I went home from buying yarn (more on that in a minute) and measured my ginormous boobs and found out that I'm about 39.5" around. Hmmm. That's not a lot of ease in the 40.5" and people have said that this pattern is running a bit small. I don't want a close fitting cardigan. I'm not going to wear a camisole underneath it (the last time I wore a camisole I was like 8) and I want something I can really wrap around me. So in a complete surprise I cast on for the 43". I don't think this sweater will look bad on the bigger side. I don't intend to ever really belt it or button it and I like the big floppy look to it. Besides, so far I'm LOVING knitting it and I have enough yarn so why not? What's the worst thing that can happen? It's a little big? I'd much rather it be big than small.

I bought yarn yesterday while out with my stylist and she said it was PERFECT.

It's one of Cascade 220's THE HEATHERS which I totally love because pop-culturally that makes this yarn really really bitchy and I've just been itching to be bitchy lately. Color #9460 - Dune Heath - it's a mixture of celadon green, some subtle yellow and gray. I think the picture above is fairly accurate. After debating for too long of a time on what size to cast on - I cast on.

I'm about 4.5 pattern repeats in. Technically I should've started the waist shaping but I'm going to do at least 2 extra pattern repeats (two rows) maybe more because a) my row gauge is a bit off and b) I want it to be a bit longer anyway. So I'm knitting knitting knitting. And I'm loving it! It's so nice to not want to put a project down. I've been missing that.

Kay bought my boy a present yesterday too and then I bought one for me.

These are string dolls from Kamibashi and right now I love them more than anything. Kay bought Safety Boy for G:

Safety Boy will help you recover from your injuries quickly. My boy really needs that now. And I bought Lover Boy.

Lover Boy attracts passion, inspires loyalty, and serves up the love. As you all know, I'm all about the love.

Posted by Cara at 12:16 PM | Comments (43)

November 29, 2006

C'mon and Love Me

I can't tell you how happy it made my boy to know there were people out there getting our fucked up sense of humor. The title of yesterday's post was, indeed, a bastardized version of the lyrics in "C'mon and Love Me" by the hottest band in the land: KISS. Bouncing around singing KISS songs the other night surely let some air out of this pressure cooker we're living in. As good as C'mon and Love Me was - Firehouse was SO much better. Whoo Ooo YEAH!

Speaking of letting the air out, yesterday I spent THE most enjoyable couple of hours knitting of all things A SWATCH.

Can you believe it? First off, I swatched. Secondly, I liked it. The world surely MUST be coming to an end. This kind of hideous green yarn is just gorgeous in my book. I started off swatching for my new found love, Ariann, with the multitudes of Jo Sharp I have in the stash. It was clear to me pretty quickly that this yarn wasn't going to work. It's a very sticky yarn. Especially after you wash it. Which doesn't seem like it would work very well for a kind of drapey lacy cardigan. And I really don't think that you'd be able to see the cool pattern feature of decreases that Bonne Marie has worked out. The thing is, I was hoping to use stash for this project. My home runneth over with yarn and fiber and I'm not that into spending money these days so USE STASH! Perfect. Problem is I only have sweaters worth of Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed or Silkroad DK Tweed - all bought back in the great Elann sale of November '04. Not going to work.

So I searched and searched the internets to see what kind of yarn people were using for Ariann. Turns out any worsted weight yarn will do, but what did I really want? And how long did I want to WAIT? The wait time is way more important than the yarn this time out because I'm desperate to get involved in something - not put it down - have it consume all of my waking hours. I need that right now. So I started thinking about which yarns I could get locally and wouldn't break the bank and had lots of colors to choose from - and you know where this is going, right? I, like the rest of the knitting world, had a couple of balls of Cascade 220, the PERFECT YARN, in my stash. I took out the hideous green you see above (don't ask why this is in the stash) and starting knitting. I knew right away it WAS the perfect yarn, and I didn't stop until the swatch was done. Then I took the swatch with me to pick up G at the train station and to Home Despot and to the supermarket and finally I brought it home and gave it a good wash in the new SOAK I bought at Stitches (yummy and G-smell approved!) and blocked the sucker out.

Guess what?

I got gauge.

Well, sort of. The pattern calls for 19 stitches/24 rows per 4" and I got stitch gauge, but not row gauge. And stitch gauge is SO much harder to deal with no? I'm getting about 28 rows to the inch instead of 24 which is totally fine with me because I was going to make it a bit longer anyway. Now I can just knit and be happy and not worry. Maybe I'll start the armhole decreases a bit sooner - who knows. All I have to do now is find the right color (that they have enough of - I'm not going to be nitpicky about this) and cast on! I CAN'T WAIT!!! All you Ariann knitters out there - I've heard a rumor it's running a bit small - should I go with the 38" size or the 40.5"? I'm leaning toward the 40.5". I don't think I'll care if it's a little bit big and I'm fat these days, so that might be the way to go. Chime in with opinions please.

I can't tell you how happy I am to be excited about something. I want this sweater done for my birthday. I've got about a month. I think I can do it.

Posted by Cara at 09:11 AM | Comments (42)