b r o o k l y n t w e e d
  homeward bound
tomorrow i hop on a plane and head for my dear sweet home of washington state. its a short visit, but i couldn't be more excited to see the mountains again! especially since we've hit the humid ass-heat of summer here. i'll gladly fly away from that. tonight i'll be 'packing,' which basically means planning out which projects to take where, double checking airline regulations as they pertain to knitting needles, projecting how many extra hanks of yarn i'll be needing, etc. etc. 7 hour flight? dont mind at all as long as i've got a portable project handy. and (*please god*) a tolerable seat-partner who will stay relatively quiet and keep the gawking at a minimum.

i'll be heading down to the oregon coast on thursday for my big bro's wedding. why should you be excited about this? because i'll finally be able to show you a project that i've been keeping quiet about for some time. its for my (very) soon-to-be sister (in law) (Joelle, i'm assuming you wont read this before thursday, what with wedding plans and all...). and i'll give you a little peek at it right now to keep you coming back for more later...

Lace Leaves

ooh, i'm excited to show you the rest in a few days. sorry to make you wait. regarding other projects: despite the heat, i worked with wool all weekend and finished both front pieces to Jarrett. I also started up the sleeves and am about a quarter of the way done with them. I'm hoping to finish the sleeves by the end of my vacation so i can come home and start the finishing!

what else? oh - swatched and washed the denim. still loving it. looks like i'll be making this thing on US 7s. still didn't really get guage, but close enough. nothings holding me back from raspy now (i'm still debating on whether or not i want to bring it to WA and start it there... very tempting). and i've started the trellis scarf. See below:

Trellis Scarf Beginnings
lacin' it up

worked about 2 inches and already hate the k7togs. whats up with that? sure they look cool, but is it worth the wrist torture and stress of 7 stitches shooting off your needle at any moment? and please no comments about the use of addis. i've tried three types of needles, and none of them have made it 'enjoyable' yet... but the baby silk was sticking to the bamboo like crazy and driving me nuts. i opted for the smooth glide, despite the blunt stumps. we'll see how this project goes. for now, i'm reserveing my judgment until a later date. god knows this is definitely not plane-safe. i dont want to find myself cursing loudly and scaring small children...

happy knitting and i'll see you on the flipside!
  a special friday post
do you all know julie? if not... you should get to know her! she's one of those teachers that gives me hope for the younguns of the world.

julie teaches 6th grade language arts, but also teaches gender studies to her students! I was an avid gender studies buff in college and was blown away when i heard that she was discussing some complex and important gender topics with her 6th graders! can you imagine what an impact gender studies would have on our society-at-large if we included it in our education system as a requirement?

how does this relate to knitting? well let me tell you - earlier in the year Julie taught her students how to knit, and the response was overwhelming from both her male and female pupils (not surprisingly). At the present time, she has an afternoon knitting class for her students that has 32+ members. She has had to ask for additional teacher assistance to help her with the growing class size, and unfortunately had to bar other grades from joining (temporarily) because the group was getting too large (although, there are plans for a younger group to begin next year...). her students, like all knitters, seem ravenous to learn new techniques and take in all the addicting aspects of our art.

not surprisingly, some her male knitting students (some of whom seem very prolific already!) have run into opposition from friends and parents (specifiaclly fathers), who are uncomfortable with males taking such an avid interest in a traditionally 'female hobby.' Well, of course we had to do something about that........

Julie asked me if i would be available for an informal interview from some of her aspiring male students, and of course I jumped at the opportunity!

She has blogged their interview letter and attached my response over at fricknits - I think its really wonderful to see these young active minds latching onto, what i think (and i'm sure you agree) is an important and meaningful art form.

I encourage you to check out THE WHOLE EXCHANGE. Its sure to be a feel good moment for all knitters who are reading, and also, you'll get a little peak into my own knitting history. Just a little... heh.

and because this made my day - here is a picture of her students showing their love for the fiber:

Julie's Students

this is a big THANK YOU to Julie for pushing the envelope in her teaching and giving her students a terribly valuable and empowering life lesson. I wish she had been my teacher!
  some pictures for you
hi! there's been a lot of activity in my mailbox recently. i thought i'd document the loot for your viewing pleasure:

den-m-knit from elann (mid indigo)

my denim finally came, and i can't get over how good the blue is. i can't stop staring at it. pure blue saturation. i think its funny that the website calls this yarn 'worsted,' because it is clearly a sport weight. i guess i can kind of understand, the patterns in 'Denim People' call for a guage of 20 spi, although i'm not used to getting this guage with something so fine. its more drapey than i expected, but i guess when you're working with denim, you dont want it too thick. either way, i love it! i'll probably hold off on raspy till i gain some significant ground on the sleeves of jarrett.

Baby Silk
baby silk

here we have 4 balls of baby silk (80% alpaca, 20% silk) in 'parchment,' all wound up together and ready to rock the trellis scarf from this springs IK. no lace currently on the needles, so i needed a small project to keep the lace urges satisfied. i swatched with US 6's but didn't like it, so i'm gonna go with US 4's. (why i didn't try the recommended US 5, i dont know. maybe i'm just stubborn). the photo doesn't ideally capture the SUBTLEST sheen that makes this stuff really special, but a photo can only say so much.

Nordic Fiber Arts
strikkegarn from nordic fiber arts

and here's what i'm REEEEAALLY excited about - my strikkegarn color card from Nordic Fiber Arts. to make something clear: i'm a color-card whore. they're one of my favorite things ever, and i think, one of the most powerful tools at a knitters disposal. so when i saw the strikkegarn pallette... it was click click click, swipe the card get it in the mail. i want it. there's no fair isle in my basket, so i'm rounding on a new project: the fair isle bag from IK summer 2004*. check it out here and here. although, i'm gonna do my own spin on it, with new colors (and probably a different strap, no drawstrings for me). with a pallette like this, how can i resist? and, not that it needs pointing out... but do you SEE the greens? yeah........

i actually have a really wonderful knitting-related experience to share with you, but i want to give ample time to the write up, so hopefully i'll be able to post about it soon. but for now, i'm sure you'll be happy with photos of yarn.

*i was just wondering....................
i'm having a hard time finding a copy of Summer 2004 Interweave Knits and am wondering if any scanner/copymachine clad readers who have an old copy lying around might mind helping a brother out?? shameless, i know, but a good pattern will do that to you!
  stash busting
there's been a lot of knitting around here, although not a lot of exciting progress to post. i guess thats standard protocol when you'v got a DK weight sweater on the needles. i did a little stashbusting recently when the hat bug came around biting. i can only go so long without making a new hat... and my hat drawer is beyond overfull. never stopped anyone though.

Odessa 1

Pattern: Odessa (sans beads) by
Source: MagKnits Feb '06
Materials: Debbie Bliss Merino Aran in 'Taupe' (1.5 balls. yardage SUCKED, but i got it on super sale)
Needles: US 4 addis for brim and US 6 bamboos for the rest>

Modifcations: just minor ones. subbed an aran weight yarn (although to me DB merino aran is more like a DK, similar to KnitPicks Merino, just a liiittle heavier) for the required Cashsoft DK. this accounted for sizing the hat larger (24.25" melonhead here people), so I didn't have to change the numbers in the pattern. I also added a little length to the ribbing on the brim to 'stabalize' it - a lot of Odessa's i've seen that have the recommended 1" brim, once stretched over the noggin, look a little crooked (the brim on the bottom is pulled slightly diagonal by the stitch pattern above). I added an inch and it works better for me. oh, and no beads. this pattern was fun! thanks, Kathy!

on the Jarrett front: i've completed the back piece. its not wildly exciting to look at, but of course i'm gonna show you anyway.

Jarrett Back

wow, yeah the back piece of a sweater. you're all excited, i can tell. but WAIT. there's more to this piece than meets the eye. now, if you haven't tried a tubular cast on before, you may not understand the giddiness, but if you have - theres no explanation needed.

Tubular Cast On

this is the first time i've actually done the tubular thing, although i've wanted to for a while. turns out, i hardly ever work something in 1x1 ribbing. it adds that little extra detail and cleanliness that gets me really pumped up about a project! and makes the finished product that much more special and pro-fesh. sure it takes longer... but feeling that rounded edge afterwards makes it all worth it (i just cast on for the front pieces last night, so i got to do it again, hence the excitement).

unfortunately, i wont be getting my usual huge chunk of knitting time this weekend, which i'm pretty bummed about, but i will be doing other great things like seeing good art and BBQ-ing (philly baby!). so i'm not complaining. knit something warm - screw the summer! have a good weekend y'all.
  (b)log cabin: corksocks
this pattern never stood out to me when first perusing the pages of handknit holidays. but when i saw some of these cropping up around on the internet, i started getting the itch. when i saw they were knit up in rowan cork, a yarn i had always wanted to try (but never wanted to drop the cash for a sweaters-worth on) for a long time, i was further intrigued. when i found out cork was discontinued, i was discouraged and the pattern drifted out of consciousness. then... in a random ebay search i found 3 balls of cork for a smokin deal (although the color is one that i normally wouldn't choose) and the log cabin socks were back on the table. and now, here they are, all ready for the fireplace in the log cabin that i wish i lived in. right now i'm settling for a hardwood floor and brooklyn. not a horrible sacrifice by any means... but i do like cabins. and the woods. i miss the pacific NW. but i'm not gonna whine about homesickness here.

Pattern: Log Cabin Socks
Source: Handknit Holidays by Melanie Falick
Materials: Rowan Cork in 'Vapor' :: 2.5 balls (had to get extra yarn. these are a mens size 12... ugh)
Needles: US 5 dpn's for cuff, US 6 dpn's for the rest
Modifications: had to lenthen foot to fit my big feet. Other than that, nothin!

need to put a little elastic in these babies

Thoughts: First, concerning Cork - in general i really loved it, and now really covet a full size sweater knit up in this yarn. Although, if I ever make a cork-sweater, i'll definitely be adhering to the advised needle sizes (9-11). the LCS pattern calls for a US6 for a denser fabric. The small needles combined with all the cabling really destroyed my wrists. Also, my US 6 DPN's are really sharp (i think they're crystal palace bamboo, but i'm not sure) and they constantly tried to impale my hands! what i'm trying to say is, this project was fraught with physical pain! which is not that fun. I guess i could've done some addi magic looping to take care of the porcupine effect, but i'm too lazy or stubborn. i wanted to use dpns! But the thought of a sweater with cork on US 9 addi's seems like a dream to me. So maybe someday, if i ever find some cheap cork.

from the back

Oh, one more thing: cork seems to stretch and not keep its shape very well, at least in the ribbing at the cuff. I'm definitely planning on imbedding some elastic threads in the cuff to keep them wearable. for my socks, the snugger the better (is snugger a word?).

*Note: couldn't get ideal light for the photos. its been dark and overcast. apologies.

now. lets move onto more important things. you know my oath? that whole thing about finishing ALL the works-in-progress before starting Jarrett? yeah. that was a stupid oath. and i'm breaking it. i should note, before you think that i have no control or self-discipline, i have finished all but ONE measley project. So to a degree, I feel like the oath was successful. But, having only one project on the needles can get a little monotonous, so we're revising the old oath. and i'll finish forbes, no problem. especially since i wont be wearing it till next fall anyway. so i'm okay with this. (please keep shaming minimal...)
Rowanspun DK
rowanspun dk in 'rush'
with that said, i started the sweater last night and am already more than happy with the yarn choice. i will be making some guage-specific modifications out of necessity. did i get guage? no. did i even get close? not really. but when has guage ever stopped anyone...right?
more to come on this sweater and tubular-cast-on-inspired giddiness. have a great weekend, but don't forget your needles!
  Ene's Scarf
the next installment of WIP domination: enter Ene.

Ene 2

there hasn't been much blogging about this project. a few measley entries way back in january (i had to check my archives to be sure). sometime in february i ripped it all out because of a 'creative difference' with the pattern. in order to be at peace with it, i knew i better start over or regret it later. after that... it was very slow going. until last weekend, when, with new resolve i knit about 70% of the shawl in marathon style.

and was it ever worth it! i'm very happy with how it turned out. we took some photos this weekend with the new recipient...

Ene 6

Pattern: Ene's Scarf by Nancy Bush
Source: Scarf Style (Interweave Press)
Materials: Blackberry Ridge Laceweight Wool/Silk in 'Willow'
Needles: US 5 circulars

Ene Sunlight 2 Ene 9

a quick note about the yarn: i loved it. i will definitely consider using it again in the future, although i wish there was more of a color selection. it softened after a wash, and the silk content adds a great subtle texture - little white flecks and the faintest hint of a sheen. i was really happy with how it worked out, and i love the blackberry ridge mill also.

finally, you know how it is... when you have something this beautiful... you just can't stop taking pictures of it. at least i couldn't. (theres more in the flickr set if you still aren't satisfied!!)

Ene Sunlight 1

head down, power through!
  kicking ass. taking names.
i have to say, i'm even impressing myself with how well i'm sticking to my oath of cleaning out my WIP backlog. i have not one, but two finished objects to present to you... although i am waiting until the weekend to do them up right with photos. one of them is so beautiful, anything short of a proper photo-shoot would be offensive.

of course, with only two small projects standing between me and the wide open knitting terrain, i'm gearing up for the next big thing. or... things. theres clearly more than one. i'm a knitter.

the only two WIP's lingering in the basket are the Log Cabin Socks and Forbes Forest (which probably would be complete by now if i hadn't left it in philly last weekend! ... but i'll be reunited with it this weekend.. so things will be fine.)

just over the horizon :: two badass sweater project from our friends at rowan:


'Jarrett' from "Vintage Style." The yarn is already purchased (got a smokin deal on ebay!) and somewhere over the atlantic ocean. 10 skeins of rowanspun dk in 'rush' coming from london. mouth is watering. notice awesome seed stitch elbow and shoulder pads. not to mention awesome collar. and you know i love tweed. obviously.


'Raspy' from "Denim People." taking the lead of other crazy awesome knitters with this sweater, i'll be using elann's denim (den-m-knit) for the obvious reasons - it does all the same things as rowan denim for a fraction of the price. denim sweater... come on. now thats gonna be sweet.

and after blocking another lace piece this week (you'll get to see Ene soon), i'm thinking i won't be able to go too long without another lace project on the needles. its magic i tell you!

now... just gotta power through those languishing basket-bottomers.

oh! do you like the new look of The Tweed? i wanted something different, and despite the debilitating limitations of blogger, i think this is a nice change.

knit for your lives!

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