The Dalek Poses with ... (by Slice)

Adam has become obsessed with Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series. So obsessed in fact, that he was champing at the bit for volumes 2 and 3, which no Barnes and Noble had in stock. We had to go to Forbidden Planet to find them, and inside, we saw this Dalek [which due to Adam’s other nerd hobbies–like watching Dr. Who–I recognized]. I was like “Nerd hobbies collide! Traveling sock must pose with the Dalek!”

I was actually rather sympathetic to Adam’s plight because I had been searching every Barnes and Noble and yarn store in the city for this issue of Piecework, which features an article about how to make these Finnish mittens. Somehow, every other knitter in New York had snatched them up, and I was forced to order it off the internet, but I did get a copy.

I read some article once and the now-forgotten person being profiled said to their intern, “This is New York. You can find anything.” I have held this quote firmly to my bosom, but I have news for whoever said this. There are things you cannot find here.

Traveling socks…in the snow.

I may have acquired Piecework, but I often see beautiful knitting projects on the internet, and they are–unless one is willing to pay ridiculous shipping fees–impossible to get. (Though I sometimes think most of the fun of shopping for hard to find items is the search, no? The end product isn’t even that important.) Here for you to lust after, Things I Cannot Find in New York:

1.) Germany: Sport & Strumpfwolle Color-Ringel, color 15742. I saw Elemmaciltur‘s socks and I have been lusting ever since, though my babelfish-translated email to the company garnered me a depressing response: shipping to the U.S. is incredibly expensive.

2.) Japan: Ooh! Exciting news! I just realized one of my long-time favorite Flickr projects, this Japanese shawl, is actually a pattern I have! It’s a variation of a tablecloth in Marianne Kinzel’s First Book of Modern Lace Knitting–Yarn Harlot made it into a shawl here.

But Japan continues to lure me with cute things. Look at this beautiful baby sweater! So refined, yet cute!

3.) France: I actually tracked down (and bought) this pattern via ebay, but the yarn has been discontinued, and the occasional lots that pop up on cost way to much to ship here, especially for a novelty acrylic yarn.

4.) U.S.: Even things in my own country continue to elude me. Like Jess Hutchison’s booklet of Unusual Toys for You to Knit and Enjoy [the ethics of copying her out-of-print booklet has been hotly debated on Ravelry–a topic, interestingly, that is discussed almost point for point in today’s The Ethicist] and Hello Yarn’s fiddlehead mitten kit (good news on that front though–Hello Yarn is going to release just the pattern soon).

Posted in Socks, travelingproject, Uncategorized at February 24th, 2008.

Oh, by the way, if you’re interested in making a Dairy Queen hat, with that crisp fold and not my weird holes, Meg Swansen is holding a knit-along on the Schoolhouse Press website, complete with instructions and photos.

Posted in Hats, Uncategorized at February 7th, 2008.

Disclaimer: I am looking like I am great with child in this photo. I am not great with child. I am great with BLTs and not so great with sit-ups, and hence my visible paunch in these photos.

Pattern: Ella, from Knitty, by Wendy Wonnacott

Yarn: Two skeins of Fleece Artist Sea Wool. I bought mine for $28/skein from Knitty City with a gift certificate from Sarah and her mom. Thanks Sarah and Sarah’s Mom!

Needles: Size 5 circulars lace Addis from Knit-a-Way.

Project Began/Ended: I started June 26, 2007 and finished January 30, 2008, so seven months, more or less.

I was inspired to knit this shawl by Wendy’s photos on Knit and Tonic. Hers looked so good that I wanted to make one too. I searched all over for the same color and type of yarn that she used, but couldn’t find it, and ended up buying the Sea Wool instead. At the time, I didn’t really realize that if I used a lighter yarn and smaller needles, I would, technically, need more yarn than called for in the original pattern, which is made from a worsted yarn. But the salesgirl at Knitty City pointed out that I was smaller than the model in the pattern* and that two skeins (which was significantly less yardage than the pattern specified) should be enough. And miraculously, it was!

* As the pattern says, it “is the perfect compliment [sic] for any goddess,” which seems to be a euphemism for taller and larger ladies. I don’t know if larger men are called “gods,” but as a person who has a generally more elf-like figure, two 350 meters skeins of a sock weight yarn were sufficient for my shawl.

I have to admit, I originally had mixed feelings about this project. It was a triangular shawl (very old lady-ish) and knit from variegated yarn (the color of which looked disturbingly like the dead undergrowth on evergreens in the winter). Also, the Sea Wool kept puking up puffs of undyed “sea wool,” [whatever that’s a euphemism for], which made me worried that the yarn would either be too thin in places if I picked out the puffs, or have weird bits if I left them in (I did a combination of both, and I would vote for picking out). I did a bit of an internet search and it seems that though not all batches have this tufty sea wool problem, quite a few other people have also had this problem.

But it turned out great! I love it! I made the triangle version, because I was worried I wouldn’t have enough for the V-version. (Also, unless my math is off, one skein of wool had considerably less wool than the other, leading to me binding off the shawl in the middle of a motif, instead of at the end like you’re supposed to.)

It’s surprisingly warm (though, thanks to global warming, New York was strangely balmy on a February day) and amazingly light.

Also: You can use it as a cape!

Posted in Finished Objects 2008, lace, Shawls, Uncategorized at February 5th, 2008.