While at a party tonight, I was chatting with a respected journalist who also happened to be a knitter. She mentioned that she had never really gotten into it, and I said, “Ahh, so you’re not yet a ‘Nitter’, with a capital ‘N.'” And she said, “I think you mean ‘Knitter,’ with a capital ‘K.” And I was embarassed, but then I recovered, and said, “No! Nnnnnittting! It’s more than just knitting!” Oh my future is so bright.

Posted in Uncategorized at September 17th, 2008.

I read the news today, oh boy. RIP David Foster Wallace. My friend Kim introduced me to him in college and she was one of the first to email with the news yesterday. Infinite Jest was an amazing experience–one of the few books I read as an adult that I really loved. I went to a signing a few years ago, and I asked him what happened to the grandmother at the end of The Broom of the System (the mysteries of IJ were too great to tackle at a reading), and he asked what I thought. I was all, “Um, she was in the basement of the building,” and he was like, “Sure!” At that point I slunk away, because I was too embarassed, and he called out, “No, why do you think that?”

On a different note, what is happening with Wall Street? Yikes. I went to college here in the city, so I’ve always had friends on Wall Street (and I even interviewed with Merrill Lynch years ago, right after graduation). The crisis doesn’t feel distant for me. Sometimes I get the feeling that people think of New York as this far-off place, filled with so-called hoodlums and elites, people who aren’t, to use an awful phrase, “like us.” Well, this is us. Hoodlums and elites both, I guess.

Anyway, onto the knitting, which is a bit like fiddling while Rome burns, but this is a knitting blog, after all.
Hot Pink Mittens

Pattern: Aran Island Mittens, by Marcia Lewandowski, from Folk Mittens

Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino, about 1/2 ball. I think this was $7/ball.

Needles: size 3 DPNs, Susan Bates

Project started/ended: A long time ago? Maybe March or April of 2007, finished September 14, 2008.

Hot Pink Mittens

Notes and Modifications: I developed serious Second Mitten Syndrome with this project. First of all, the gauge with worsted-weight wool is totally impossible, so I chopped off the side cables from the front. (I also eliminated the cuff cables because I thought they were ugly.) Secondly, I couldn’t figure out how to make the thumb, so I made an afterthought thumb, but that ended up pulling the palm’s patterning askew. So I was all “ugh” about making the second mitten. But last week I buckled down and made the second one–in just one week! They’re my first real cabling project and first closed-top mittens, so I think they could use some improvement, but at least I finished them, phew.

Hot Pink Mittens

And on a final David Foster Wallace note, it’s worth getting a copy of his essay about John McCain running against George W. Bush in 2000–it’s a great read, and very apt for this year’s presidential season. *

* Though worth noting that DFW acknowledged that the 2008 McCain is not the same as the 2000 McCain.

Posted in Finished Objects 2008, Mittens, Uncategorized at September 15th, 2008.

Rainbow Jaywalkers

Pattern: Jaywalkers, by Grumperina

Yarn: The elusive Regia Nation 5399, aka Rainbow. This color is a little hard to find (and now discontinued) so I grabbed two skeins ($8/each, for a total of $16) when I saw them at The Point.

Needles: 0 and 1, Susan Bates

Project started/ended: Started July 3, finished September August 30

Notes and Modifications: Since everyone has knit a pair of these (and many people in this colorway), I’m not sure anyone needs my notes, but here they are!

I cast on for the small/medium size and knit following the instructions for the red and orange stripe with a size 1 needle. Then I switched to a size 0 needle and knit for yellow and green stripe. Then I decreased eight stitches by working one row without the k f/bs, allowing the decreases to be hidden within the pattern. When I got to the purple stripe, I switched back to a size 1 needle (to try and increase the ankle area a bit, even though it’s still tight), and then back to a zero once I had made the heel flap and started turning the heel.

When I got to the toe, I knit a round toe, making six evenly spaced decreases (k2tog) every other row, because I find that the regular toe suggested in the pattern often results in stretched out sides when worn. Just something new I am trying.

Posted in Finished Objects 2008, Socks, Uncategorized at September 7th, 2008.