b r o o k l y n t w e e d
The vacation euphoria is wearing thin and things are getting back to normal - the AM routine has resumed in it's habitual glory and I'm back to my most exciting decision of the morning being which scarf I'll wear as I leave the house . My life is so exciting.

This morning I realized that one of the most popular scarves in my arsenal has yet to get any blog play, and she's been going strong out there in the streets of New York for a couple months already. Allow me to introduce you.

Espresso Scarf (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

Pattern: Generic Garter Stitch Scarf
Materials: My Handspun (see below for details)
Needles: US6/4.0mm bamboo
Dimensions: 6" width, 71" length

Started: November 2007
Finished: January 2008

Espresso Scarf (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

One of the greatest things about handspun, aside from the fact that it's so incredibly rewarding to work with, is that the yarn carries everything. There's really no need for fancy stitchwork or impressive knitting acrobatics. In fact, I would venture to say that handspun is at its most impressive while standing alone in garter. This may be one of the reasons I have multiple of these scarves started - the same pattern can have multiple personalities with various handspun yarns. And they're really fun to knit (something so beautiful shouldn't be so easy. It's dangerous).

Espresso 2-Ply (first 3 oz) (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

I knit this scarf with two skeins of dk-weight 2-ply merino, just over 6 oz of wool. The fiber is Hello Yarn (I don't have a problem.. really I don't) and entitled "Espresso". The pre-spun fiber looked like this.

[Sidenote: I've received a lot of comments/e-mails from people who love seeing handspun yarn alongside their pre-spun fiber predecessors for comparisons sake. Would you all be interested in a very informal post about the anatomy of a handspun, with pictures from start to finish?]

And while I had my camera at the ready, I thought I'd take some pictures of an oldie that I knit back in 2005. Up for it's 2 year review - the So-Called Scarf:

So-Called (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

This was knit with Manos Del Uruguay. Pattern is here. A quick review - this scarf doesn't get much wear unfortunately, despite the fact that I like to look at it. I knit this in the days before Malabrigo, and now that I have scarves in both Manos and Malabrigo, the scratchier of the two (Manos) definitely gets neglected. They both pill, so that's not really an issue either. And Malabrigo is butter... so what am I to do?

So-Called (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

I realize scarf weather is slowly disappearing - spring is coming and everyone is excited, so I'm getting as much wool-wearing in as possible. I love spring as much as the next guy, but the thing is, I think I love winter waaaay more than the next guy, so I'm always slightly sad to see it disappear. I guess I'll just have to enjoy all this extra sunlight...

  New Beginnings
Well, I'm officially on Spring Break and feel like I can actually take a nice deep breath, knit profusely, and talk about it. So today I get to share with you some of the knitting fun that has been sporadically plodding along behind the scenes.

The most exciting undertaking to have begun in the last couple of weeks is the second project in the ongoing process of project provocation that Adrian and I seem to continually dish out, or as we officially call it, our 2-Person-Knit-a-long.

I think we've probably been waxing poetic about Alice Starmore's Na Craga [via Ravelry] pattern for well over a year. Armed with lots of wool (this thing is a beast) it's a wonder that we've finally taken the plunge and started the knitting. I can't tell you how good it feels to have tweedy cables back in my life.

Gimme The Good Stuff

We're both heavily modifying it from its sack-like origins. Since the fabric is thick like a jacket, and I'm pre-disposed to being warm, this is undergoing a full cardiganization. I also have hopes of making it hooded, the thought of which makes me positively giddy, but this of course all depends on how much yarn I have. Yarn which, as naturally happens, is discontinued.

Twisted Ribbing

I'm dipping into my last sweaters-worth of the lovely Skye Tweed from Classic Elite (may she rest in peace). This will be my third sweater with this yarn... wow, maybe it's good that I'm being forced to move on?

I'll be doing the standard seamless treatment on this one too, meaning lovely knitting done all in one piece, just the way I like it. Rather than steeking this time around, I'm knitting back and forth (all the cabling happens on even rows, so it's nice and clean) with a buttonband worked in as I go.

Cables Everywhere

The cables in this thing are spectacular - those cheese-grater-like honeycombs not only run up the body, but also right up the center of the sleeves and flow into one of the best saddle-shoulders I think I've ever seen. The braided plait cables, while being the biggest hand-haters of any motif in the pattern, look so good I can't complain (that much). And how about that twisted ribbing?! It really makes it.

Knitting a sweater like this is always an up and down saga, but so far we haven't had any major snags, aside from sometimes being so brain dead at the end of the day that the thought of even looking at the thing sometimes seems outside of my human capacity. In these cases, it's good to have a back up. To that end, I'm still plugging away on my ginormous garter stitch afghan which I can now safely use to keep me warm whilst I work on it - a huge bonus in my book.


I'm getting out of the city for the week and couldn't be happier. For those of you who are lucky enough to get a break this week - I hope you enjoy! Tomorrow my knitting and I will be spending some quality time on a train speeding along the Hudson and away from Gotham. Have a great week!
  Kureyon Gloves
Last week while riding the train early in the morning with my bare hands stuffed deep in the pockets of my winter jacket I decided I was sick of having cold hands in the morning. Last weekend I resolved to put my current knitting on hold and tend to my cold-hand problem post-haste.

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See, I'm a fidgety person who tends to keep busy at all times (a blessing and a curse), including in transit - so mittens aren't great for me. I love knitting them but feel positively annoyed while wearing them in most situations. Too many times I've tried to answer the phone or scribble some notes in a notebook while mitten-clad, only to see my phone crash onto the sidewalk or my pen go flying under my neighbors subway seat. And lets not even talk about coffee spillage. Granted gloves also lend themselves to an obvious loss of dexterity but at this point in the winter, it's all relative.

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Pattern: Ken (free from the Berroco design team) [*via Ravelry]
Materials: Noro Kureyon; #51
Amount: 160 grams (just over 1.5 skeins)
Needles: US8/5.0mm Double Pointed Needles

Started: 22 February 2008
Finished: 23 February 2008

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This was a total impulse knit. I didn't even have a pattern in mind, just grabbed two balls of Kureyon from the stash and went pattern-huntin' on Ravelry. I found this free pattern, got gauge on the first try and went for it. There's something really refreshing about spicing up your knitting with small, impulse-projects, especially when they work out - and I find that they often do. Maybe it's the absence of obsessive planning and worrying that seems to surprise us time and again.

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I like this pattern - it's fitted and detailed while remaining straightforward. Knitting ten fingers is always kind of a drag, but at this gauge they go mighty quick. I think that Kureyon is slightly heavier than the yarn called for in the pattern and makes for a semi-dense, very fitted glove. I really like it like this, but if you prefer a glove with a bit of ease on your hands, I'd recommend maybe using a different yarn or jumping up a needle size.

Green Fingers (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

I guess I should also mention that my hands are large-ish and the pattern specifies a men's medium, so if you have average size manhands, you can probably disregard my previous warning.

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I was putting off knitting myself a pair of gloves, mostly because I continue to entertain the idea that spring is just around the corner. I know that this is wishful thinking here in the city, and winter is, after all, one of my favorite times of year. Although I think most of us knitters are perpetually wistful for Fall, winter is pretty great too (Sometimes I forget. Usually early in the morning).

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To sum up - this is a great *free* pattern that is definitely worthy of being squeezed into a weekend. Why not go spelunking in your stash and surprise someone you love with warm hands for the rest of the winter? Until next time - happy knitting.

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