Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I scream, you scream, we all scream for...pictures!!!

Lady Eleanor

Here's another!


Yes, that is indeed the Lady Eleanor. The yarn I'd ordered for her arrived last Wednesday and I've been knitting like crazy since then. Sadly, I'm not as far along as I should be by now because on Saturday, I dropped a stitch and had to unravel the whole thing. Ok, I didn't have to but I got so frustrated trying to fix the damn thing that I thought it'd be best to just start all over. Thankfully I'd only completed two tiers and so I didn't have to do much unravelling. Aside from that unfortunate mishap, the Lady is progressing very nicely. The pattern is much easier than you might think from looking at the scarf. There are no unusual stitches or complicated charts to follow, just your basic knitting, purling and picking up stitches. The one annoying thing is the pattern requires you to turn your work after every eight stitches or so, which slows me down considerably. In an effort to avoid turning my work, I successfully taught myself how to knit backwards and did so for several tiers but was forced to abandon my new trick when I realized that my gauge was much too loose. It also felt extremely awkward and more importantly, I couldn't do it without looking at my work and so it detracted from precious Gilmore Girls watching time. Obviously I couldn't have that and so I settled for the inconvenience of turning my knitting. Oh well, at least I learned a valuable skill that should come in handy someday.

On Saturday Zeb and I braved the rain and nasty weather for our first trip to Grimaldis in DUMBO. For those of you who don't know, Grimaldis has a reputation for churning out pizza pies so amazingly delicious that there is frequently a long line of people waiting outside the restaurant for their chance to experience pizza nirvana. Since they don't deliver or sell slices, if you want to try their pizza you have to suck it up and get in line which is what we and our friends Veronica and Brian did. Fortunately, we only had to wait about 7 minutes or so before we were ushered into the restaurant and directed to a table by the window. We ordered two pies: one with sausage and sundried tomatoes and one with ham and onions. Both were underwhelming. Don't get me wrong, the fresh ingredients, thick tomato sauce and thin, crunchy crusts made our pizzas delicious but they weren't so mind-bogglingly good that I'd make repeat trips to Grimaldis for another taste. Frankly, I find a bacon and spicy sausage from Papa Johns just as tasty, if not more so.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Ahem...drumroll please!!!

Progress 2
It's not much, but that's your first look at the project on which I'm currently working. Meet "Backyard Leaves", another scarf from my new favorite knitting book, Scarf Style. I want to knit EVERYTHING in this book. Ok, there are two or three scarves in there that I'm not crazy about but even those are nice, just not my style. My only complaint about the book is nearly all the photographs seem to have been taken in very soft lighting and so you can't clearly see the stitch detail in each scarf. But I digress. You probably can't tell from the picture but I swear there's actually a discernible pattern in there somewhere, and a gorgeous one at that. Don't believe me? Take a look at this:
Another view
Backyard leaves scarf
Sure, it looks pretty but those pictures don't really do this scarf justice. I didn't realize how beautifully designed it is until I looked at the many photos of it on other knitting blogs. It's also a fun knit, just complex enough to make it interesting but not so complicated that I'm constantly frustrated. I'm a little concerned that the color I'm using is a little too dark to showcase the intricate pattern. I guess I'll just have to wait to see what it looks like as things progress.

Lady Eleanor update: I ordered the yarn for this pattern on Saturday and it should be here either today or tomorrow (fingers crossed!!). I found a great deal on Noro Silk Garden on ebay and decided to purchase the 10 skeins of yarn required for this project. It cost me $88 but that's not too bad considering how much Silk Garden usually costs. I can't wait!!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Thanks to a delivery from a good friend I may be starting a new project this weekend. I ordered this last week and it arrived a few days ago, its pages filled with pictures of beautiful scarves and shawls. I'm already coveting the Lady Eleanor Entrelac stole which seems to have been knit by every knitter in the blogosphere except me. From what I've seen Lady Eleanor is lovely and dramatic, the kind of accessory that is likely to elicit gasps of wonder from anyone who witnesses it. I MUST have it!

The only thing that might keep me from starting this as soon as I'd like to is the fact that it requires 15 skeins of La Lana yarn. One skein costs $24 so I'm looking at $360 for 15 skeins...no thanks. Several bloggers used Noro Silk Garden as a substitute but one skein of that is about $10 and so I'll have to spend about $150, which is a lot better than $240 but still a tad too much for my liking. Although, the Noro has about 110 yards per skein whereas La Lana only has 81 yards and so I'll need fewer skeins. Regardless, I'm going to have to scour ebay for a cheaper deal. Maybe I'll make one of the other scarves from the book in the interim.

In other non-knitting news, Zeb and I have been having lots of fun watching Degrassi Junior High on DVD. I LOVE this show! I'd heard several people (including Zeb) rave about it and so I rented Degrassi, The Next Generation thinking it was the same show. Well, it's not. It's actually an updated version of Degrassi Junior High centering around the lives of a bunch of kids, some of whom are the offspring of characters featured in the original. The show was pretty good but I have to say that the original is so much better. Yeah, the acting is occasionally laughable but the show is the most honest and realistic portrayal of adolescent life that I've ever seen. It also showcases some of the worst hair and bad '80s fashion I've ever seen. If I ever have kids they're going to be forced to watch every episode of Degrassi.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I wish I could say that I've been too busy knitting to post updates but I haven't been very productive lately. In fact, I've picked up my needles only once in the past week and a half, and that was to knit a tank which, surprise, was frogged after several rows when I realized I didn't have enough yarn to complete it. After that failed endeavor, I decided to take a break and spend some time perusing my favorite knitting blogs in hopes of finding ideas for a new project. And as usual, one look at Eunny Jang's blog has me itching to knit again. I discovered Eunny's blog earlier this year and since then I've spent an inordinate amount of time drooling over her finished projects. She is incredibly thorough and detail-oriented and as a result, everything she knits is gorgeous. Did I mention she also writes very informative and in-depth tutorials on complicated knitting techniques? I'll admit that the very thought of attempting a Norwegian steek sends droplets of cold sweat rolling down by back but if I ever dig up the courage to try it, I'm sure her tutorials will guide me through what is sure to be a terrifying experience. I would sell my sweet mother's soul to George W. just to have a tenth of Eunny's talent. Sigh.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Here it is!
My Kittyville
Yay! It's so exciting to finally finish something. I'm very pleased with the way Kittyville looks. I was a little nervous because the pattern calls for circular needles which I had never used before. But I think I may have become a circular needle convert; it was so nice not having to purl (except when working the seed stitch) and not having to turn my work at the end of each row. The decrease rows were a bit challenging because I don't own any size US 7 double-pointed needles (dpns) and so I had to use the circulars until I absolutely could not do it anymore (my limit was 20 stitches). At that point, I switched to US 8 dpns and the rest was easy. Unfortunately, Zeb wouldn't let me post pics of him wearing Kittyville so you'll have to settle for one of me instead. Please excuse the blotchy forehead, my skin has been very uncooperative lately...

Aren't I cute?
Now that Kittyville's done, I'm free to go back to agonizing over what to knit...fantastic!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Finally! After nearly two weeks of wallowing in a seemingly unshakeable funk, I went into a knitting frenzy yesterday and completed about 95% of the Kittyville hat from Stitch & Bitch. I just have to finish knitting both the ears and then I'll be done! I didn't want to knit this hat because it's not the sort of thing I could see myself wearing out of the house. For one thing, my 'fro's getting bigger every day and there's no way I'll be able to fit all of my hair under the hat unless I braid it, which I'm simply too lazy to do. Plus, Kittyville is a really cutesy hat, the sort of thing a 5-year-old might wear. Nothing against the style choices of 5-year-olds (hey, I've seen some with better taste in clothing than most women my age) but I have no desire to look like one. I already look like I'm 16....or so the guy at the bodega down the street tells me. Anyway, after seeing how cute Zeb looks with it on I just might dig up the courage to wear it in public.

I'll be posting pictures as soon as I finish it. You might even get to see the aforementioned Zeb photos...if he doesn't kill me first.