Blogging…something I apparently forgot how to do. 🙂

Pattern: Staccato Cowl, my own. I’ll detail how to make it below.

Yarn: Jade Sapphire, Angelwing Sport, 200 yards, 100% cashmere. I had a $20 gift certificate to Purl from my NYU Business School creativity project thing, and this was on sale. I think I paid an additional $12, so I think it was $32. The price tag says $46—yikes! Cashmere! I think it was about 30% off.

Needles: Clover 5, 16″ circs.

Project begun/ended: I think I made this in a month or so, just in time for the East Coast’s freak October snowstorm!

cowl 2

How to make:

Gauge: 5 stitches = 1″ in stockinette

1.) Cast on 105 stitches with a long-tail cast on.

2.) Join, make sure not to twist. Place marker.

3.) k1, *p1,k2,* repeat until the last 2 stitches, p1, k1

4.) repeat round 3

5.) *p2, k1* repeat until the end

6.) repeat round 5

7.) k all

8.) k all

9.) repeat rounds 3 through 8 until you run out of yarn. End on one of the non-knit-all rounds.

10.) Do some sort of sewn bind-off.

It is named Staccato because it has a staggered rib, like the way staccato sounds. On a semi-related note, I read that Rick Perry’s favorite movie is Immortal Beloved, which I saw in the movie theater, and is a semi-ridiculous bio-pic of Beethoven, starring Gary Oldman and a lot of hair. I find this a very weird choice for Rick Perry, but who knows? The power of Ludwig is great.



Posted in Finished Objects 2011, Hats, patterns, Uncategorized at October 31st, 2011.

The other day I said very loudly on the subway, “Wait, what does OPP mean?” Adam was like, “Shhhh!” Apparently I grew up during the ’80s in a bubble of innocence about Naughty By Nature lyrics.

Anyway, I was looking at the preview for the new Fall Interweave Knits and I noticed that two of the patterns in the issue were very similar to ideas that had been in my head. I did exactly nothing with these ideas, since I am strangely addicted to knitting socks, but this just goes to show how easy it is to have the same ideas as someone else. (Even though I kept these ideas in my brain, I was like “Hey! Interweave! You stole my thunder!” when of course, they did nothing of the sort.)

The first one was the Freyja hat, by Courtney Kelley :


I even have this exact yarn (Road to China) in my stash–I bought three skeins of it, and I had planned a very similar stranded zig-zag pattern in three different colors for a cowl or a hat.

The other was the Farmer’s Market Cardigan, by Connie Chang Chinchio:


I was like “Grr!” because I had this exact idea–a shawl collar that forms the border for a pocket. I have to say though that I was inspired by someone I saw on the subway wearing a sweater with this feature, so I was hardly original in thinking of it. But I hadn’t seen it in any knitting patterns so I felt a little special in thinking it up, but I guess I can’t really claim credit for it if I did nothing about it.

Random note: Other things I like to claim credit for include inventing the word “defriend” and the idea of high-end  street food for Western audiences (*cough* I’m looking at you Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Spice Market *cough*). There was a part in The Lost Father, by Mona Simpson (an all-around great book) about how the narrator is convinced she started the trend of leather backpacks, and I was very sympathetic. Sometimes you feel like you invented something, even if you probably didn’t.

Posted in patterns, Uncategorized at July 27th, 2009.

grandmother's hat

Pattern: My own top-down helmet, following instructions in Barbara Walker’s Knitting From the Top. A similar free pattern for heavier (worsted-weight) yarn is here (or in Stitch and Bitch).

Yarn: One ball of Rowan Felted Tweed in camel, bought on sale when The Yarn Connection closed. I think it was about $5, after discount.

Needles: Size 5 DPNs, and one bamboo Clover 16″ circular in size 5.

Project started/ended: February 5 to February 12, so about a week.

grandmother's hat

Notes: This is pretty easy to make. I’m not giving a formal pattern because the average person should be able to figure it out, but here’s the basic recipe:

Cast on about seven stitches, increase (k1fb) in seven “slices” using DPNs (increase a round, knit a round plain, repeat for a while). Measure gauge. Calculate how many stitches you would need to fit around your head, by multiplying gauge by the circumference of your head. Keep knitting. Slip stitches onto 16″ circulars when wide enough. When you have knit for a while, slip stitches off onto a spare piece of yarn (something non-sticky, like cotton yarn) and try on. Stop knitting about an inch and a half before you want the hat to end. Knit in seed stitch (k1, p1) for about an 1″ to 1.5″ (knitter’s choice). Stop knitting.

Try on again by sliding stitches onto a spare piece of yarn. Using scraps of string, mark (tie string between stitches, but not around the needle) where you want your ear flaps to go. Put stitches back on needle. Bind off in pattern (k1, p1) in the bigger sections between the markers (aka the front brim and the back brim). When you get to the ear flap markers, slide those stitches onto a spare piece of yarn. Continue binding off, slide next ear flap stitches onto a piece of string. Put one set of ear flap stitches back onto the needles. Knit a flap. (Seed stitch one row, and then decrease at the sides–k2tog at beginning and end of the row. Repeat until flap is longer than ear. Decrease rapidly by k2tog two or three times, then k a couple of stitches, then k2 two or three times, repeat until you have two or three stitches. Bind off. You may want to throw in a couple of rows of plain seed stitch between the decrease rows to give a slower taper to the triangle.) Repeat for other flap.

Knit two lengths of i-cord. Weave in ends on hat. Sew i-cord to each point of each flap. Wash and block. WAA-LAA!*

* I used to work at a magazine whose readers would post recipes in their online forums, and they would always end their recipes with the phrase “waa-laa,” and I could never figure out whether they were joking or didn’t know how to spell “voilĂ .” But I kind of loved it and think it’s much more dramatic than just “voilĂ .”

Note: If you’re interested in the cowl I am wearing, it’s my Ithacowl, which is my own free pattern. You can download it from Ravelry or here.

But you don't look a day over five!

Photo shoot notes: Adam took me to Montauk for Valentine’s Day, which is on the tip of Long Island, and also where they filmed parts of Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind**, a movie that inspired many people (including me) to go visit in the winter. It was beautiful, and in the back of these pictures, you can see the famous Montauk lighthouse.

On the way back, we stopped by a grocery store where I saw this funny bag of fruits (above). I would say that those banana chips don’t look a day over seventeen, wouldn’t you?

** An astoundingly beautiful movie despite the fact it stars Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey, two of my least favorite actors ever.

Posted in Finished Objects 2009, Hats, patterns, Uncategorized at February 16th, 2009.

This photo is a bit dark, since it was 7:30 p.m. when it was taken.

Pattern: My own, detailed below.

Yarn: 1 skein Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Worsted, 75% wool, 25% alpaca, color: natural heather. $9 from Homespun, in Ithaca, NY.

Needles: 16″ bamboo Clovers, size 7

Gauge: 22 stitches per 4″, unstretched in pattern stitch

Project began/ended: I started this on February 16, and finished yesterday, March 31, while watching, of all things, an episode of Girlfriends about how knitting made you old. The funniest line was when Diana Ross’s daughter (in real life; not on the show), who is kind of the nerd of the group and is angry because she had been dragged out to a club to recapture her youth, says, “I would have been halfway through that headwrap if you had let me stay home and knit.”

How to make it:

1. Find some yarn. This yarn is 220 yards, and a quarter alpaca, so it has some drape and fuzz. If you want drape and no fuzz, go with something that has some silk or something slinky in it. Find a 16″ circular needle that goes with your yarn.

2. I don’t think gauge is very important in this project. Use a long-tail cast on to cast on some multiple of 4 stitches. I’m pretty sure I cast on 108 stitches. Cast on more or less based on your own experience with hats and gauge.

3. Join into a circle. Don’t twist. Though actually, I think this might have worked nicer as a moebius cowl, so if you want that, twist.

4. Place marker at beginning of round. (I actually found it helpful to place markers every 10 stitches until the pattern was established. If doing so, make sure the marker that identifies the beginning of the round is different than the others.)

5. Mistake rib:

Round 1: *K2, p2; repeat from *
Round 2: K1 *p2, k2; repeat from *, until you have 3 stitches left, then p2, k1.

By the way, I found it helpful to think of the pattern as a column of knits and a column of purls, each bordered with columns of alternating knits and purls. This is what gives the stitch such a raised and sunken surface, unlike regular ribbing.

6. Keep repeating these two rounds until you run out of yarn.

7. Bind off with Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Sewn Bind-Off.

8. No need to block. Wear dramatically.

Download the pattern: The Ithacowl [pdf]

Posted in Finished Objects 2008, patterns, Scarves, Uncategorized at March 31st, 2008.