Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Aunt Mem's Scarf, Take 2

Remember this??
Take another look. . .It's baaaack!
I've reprised Aunt Mem's scarf. I totally frogged that sucker and refreshed the yarn. (How did I do that? Well. Wool is made up of proteins in alpha-helices, and I figure this is probably how my curly hair is composed, so I unraveled the yarn and just spritzed water and scrunched--just like I do to get curls in my hair! The yarn seemed to plump up just fine!)

Aaaaaat any rate, I changed from a seed stitch to. . .I don't know what it is called! Seed stitch filled the requirement for something reversible with texture, but it didn't have a nice drape to it. I think Aunt Mem would have felt like she was wearing a neck brace and not a scarf! So, I changed from alternating every wale and every course with knits and purls (i.e., seed stitch) to alternating every wale and every other course with knits and purls (stitch name, anyone?). Still reversible. Still has texture. But it has a muuuuch nicer drape.

Only four more feet to go!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Opening the Floodgates

Kristina and I have moved the Salina KAL site--see my link at the side.
And we are officially open! Feel free to stop by, sign up, and join the fun (which starts March 1, just enough time to gather materials).

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Introducing Salina!

Here's our new KAL! Link coming soon!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Kristina and I are orchestrating a Knit-along! We plowed through patterns like Simon goes through American Idol contestants. What kills us is that designers don't show the garments well in the photoshoots. What a concept, right?

We both had our specifications. She--doesn't do turtlenecks (that is my entire winter wardrobe). I--love texture and shaping and a little extravagance. I--need something still simple enough to work on in my vicodin-enhanced post-op state and something that I already have yarn for. I guess I'm the picky one in the relationship!

We've officially decided on a pattern, but I'm not saying anything just yet. There is still business on our end of things to take care of.

Here's another item of business: How well does acrylic yarn block? Lara is nearly complete, but as always, the garment is short through the waist. Such is life [sigh].

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Under the Wire

I finished Fleur with only a few moments of daylight remaining.

Pattern: Fleur, from Rowan Vintage Knits
Needles: US3s, circular and straights (edgings only)
Yarn: Patons Classic Merino Wool, color Peacock, under 6 skeins
Gauge: 28 x 36 = 4"
Mods: yarn substitution and edging changed from 9 stitches to 20 for the body and 14 for the neck and wrists.

Friday, January 12, 2007

18 x 24

Hey, look! It's a giant knitted uterus!
No. . . Actually, it's a little over 24 hours' progress on Lara, first the right sleeve, and now the right body. Life is great at 18 x 24 gauge on US 8s.
I will be traveling home for more pre-op workup things and to donate blood (yikes!) for the surgery (double yikes!). The minimum BP allowed for donating is 110/60, and since I can consistently be 100/58, this could be tricky. I'm hoping a lot of caffeine and adrenaline will bump it up enough. All this to say that I may not be posting again anytime soon.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Happy Birthday to ME!!!

Today is my birthday! And trust me, I'm feeling EVERY DAY of my new age. (Don't even ask, you know better.)

I think I'll take a nap now. . .

A New Project

What is it?? Any guesses? I've dropped some hints, so if you're astute, you'll nail it!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

More Vogue feedback

I've updated my Vogue review. I just got my copy today and saw more details in the pix. I've placed the updated comments in italics in the old entry.

Monday, January 08, 2007

I've included a few links on the sidebar regarding obesity and cancer.

Just click on the "begin manual download" link once you get to the page and the PDF of the scientific article will appear.

It's just more motivation to get in shape!

Just when I thought I couldn't take it anymore, I came across this. I lose it at the part about the rake.

I'm going to be on a no-chew diet (I have a booklet called "Dinner Through a Straw") for at least 2 weeks, perhaps I should get this.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Vogue in Review

I've actually been asked to provide a review of the new issue of Vogue Knitting! I can hardly believe that SOMEONE wants lil' ol' ME to provide a perspective on fashion.

With that said, let me explain what I look for in a pattern--I'm fairly modest and will NOT wear low-cut necklines, plus, those sorts of garments don't avail themselves as work apparel. I want to knit something I can wear to work. Furthermore, it has to have some shaping, some highlighting of the waist, to it. Knitted garments have the potential to be so bulky, and if they don't have any waist shaping, just plan on looking 15# heavier than you really are. I consider myself to be a girl's girl (despite working in the Old Boys' Club), so there has to be something feminine yet strong about it. No frilly things that can get blown around in the wind--sort of a negative metaphor for me not holding my ground. I think Vladimir Teriokhin has mastered the feminine-but-strong combo pretty well. And to top it off, the pattern has to have something unusual, something you can't find in the store, to it, without practically making you stand on your head to acheive it. Simple but elegant. And NO novelty yarns. I want to show off my Skillz, not some frou-frou yarn. Combine this with my basic stance of NO intarsia, NO flowers, NO socks, and NO Fair Isle. . . And I'm left with practically nothing to knit!

All that being said, here we go. . .
No woman should be knitting these. First, if she's single, it's not applicable, and second, if she's committed, it will be her undoing. As someone who advocates gender equality, I will say it was kind of Vogue to include something for the fairer sex (oops, I mean the men) to knit for themselves. But I do have to say that the middle design is iffy. What man would actually wear something asymmetrical? Really, now. Update: the middle design, the
asymmetrical number, was done by Vladimir Teriokhin, I am SOOOOO disappointed in him! He always does good work, but this is nasty.
Given the background setting of white and rococco furniture, I'm guessing the section called "Northern Lights" is meant to be an homage to Scandinavia, and not necessarily a knitter's interpretation of the aurora borealis, considering none of them look like the Northern Lights. I'll discuss them L-R, top to bottom, numbered 1-6. #1: I can't see the detail very well, but it looks promising. If it requires knitting thru the back loop or into the loop below, count me out, cuz I don't know how. Update: yarn is too "novelty" for my taste. #2: Boring. Uninspired. Remember, changing yarn colors = lots of weaving in ends! #3: A definite possibility. I would have to see what kind of yarn they use. If it's really expensive and I can't find a cheaper alternative, forget it. #4: Beautiful, but look at how fine that yarn is. One snag and it's all over. I'm not putting that kind of work into a garment to have it destroyed in the first 5 minutes I wear it. #5: Fits my "simple but elegant" requirement. Not a whole lot of shaping, but that collar is positively yummy. I would change the color combinations, but you have to stay subtle with it or you'll look like a medieval harlequin joker. Update: I don't like the change in yarn texture at the collar and cuffs. They should have used the same yarn as the rest of the sweater. And I don't like the Fair Isle knitting in the pieces. . .I couldn't see that in the photos online. Not keen on all the seaming, but I like how they did it inside-out. . .I think. #6: Love the shaping and cabling. I'm not sold on the bobbles. They are distracting. I'd knit it without the bobbles, do you think it would work? Update: It's very short, sort of cropped. It would need some lengthening.

From the New York Noir category . . .

"Noir" means "black" in French. None of these are entirely black. #1: Looks suspiciously like the camel jacket from Teriokhin in last year's Vogue holiday or Vogue winter. I can't find a photo of that online to compare, but trust me. I would knit either one. Update: This one is NOT by VT.#2: IT'S A DRESS. No $@#%ing way. Repeat after me girls, No $@#%ing way! #3: See Northern Lights #2. #4: A definite possibility. Update: what is it with seaming multiple pieces in this issue? #5: What is it? I can't see the whole thing, or IS that the whole thing? COME ON VK, if we're going to spend hours and hours on a garment, at the expense of other important things in our lives, at least give us a decent photo before we commit! And it has ruffles. You know how I feel about ruffles. Update: That really is the whole thing, one giant ruffle.#6. Ruffles again. . .

And now we move on to roses. I guess the VK people were thinking, "English rose, English tea, let's stick her in a kitchen to make it really sexy." No offense to the housewives or chefs, what you do is entirely necessary and appreciated, but let's face it, it's not really sexy. At least not when you wear sweaters with knitted flowers, or anything at all, for that matter. I suppose the Cleopatra-like hair and eye makeup are to be a hard contrast to the softness of the flowers. It's not working for me. #1: Is that a peacock I see? Out of the three here, this one I sort of like, but would never actually knit. #2: Gosh, I really hope the tunic-and-leggings thing passes quickly. #3: The sweater might be cool without the intarsia, in a sort of 1920's art deco caftan sort of way, but I don't think I would knit even that.

Update: I haven't commented on the cover piece yet, because I couldn't get a similar photo to the others here. I like it. A lot. It continues to grow on me. I suspected it was by Norah Gaughan because it had that "Knitting Nature" look to it (and I think this is the most sophisticated example of her knitted pentagon technique). Not keen on all that seaming, but the overall effect is super cool, don't you think???

To summarize: A few conditional possibilites, but Vogue fell way short of the standard this time. I've had better.

Strike a pose, there's nothing to it. . .
Who's excited about the new Vogue Knitting Winter 06-07 coming out on Tuesday???
The Northern Lights section has piqued my interest. . .
I really could do without the section on roses. I will NOT knit intarsia, especially when it involves flowers. (Flowers "magically" appearing in lace knitting--OK.)
Props on including a section for the gentlemen.
And who would really knit a dress? A dress! That's like a 3-sweater project! How would you seam that sucker?? (But it does look nice)
I've got my finger on an apartment in the building that just opened up. It's just down the hall and down one floor and right by the elevator. Perfect, I think. The only catch is that I would have to move right after I return from having surgery. I think I can swing it. I got people.
And yes, I'm having trouble calling it a night.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Relief and Resignation

Welp. As you can see, the art nouveau border idea bit the dust. In my effort to pre-emptively pack for moving (when? where? who knows. . .) I stumbled across an entire skein of the yarn. I guess I miscounted how many I had burned through. The new extra skein, plus the discovery of Fleur being waaaaaaay too short and flippy in the back took me to the drawing board once again. I decided to go for the recommended ribbed border. It just wasn't worth it to try and fight it.
I *did* add a few stitches. The recommended edging was 9 stitches and this is 20. And NO BEADS. No way. I'm not putting THAT much work into this thing.
It puckers along the sharp part of the curve (under my ba-zoom) but I think I can live with it.

The beautiful thing is, once I seamed the border on, the flippy thing in the back went away! It's pure magic, I tell you! I hate seaming, but this week, seaming became my new best friend.

I'm still not looking forward to tucking in all the ends.

Again, sorry for the blurry pix. I tried. When you don't have someone available to help with the photo shoot, you improvise. In this case, it included a hand mirror as well as the door mirror to get the job done. I was practically sea-sick by the end of it. Where's the Dramamine?!?!?


Well. Now the color of the font will likely change. I should have added all the bells and whistles (like colored fonts) once the entry was all packaged up.

So I read Kristina's post about running 100 miles before 01/04/07 literally before I walked out the door to our complex's gym, which, by the way, I've visited 4 times this week (yes, hell has indeed frozen over). I used to run 6 miles every other day (4th year of med school is ridiculously light, even for a gunner such as I who packed in more electives than she should have). And then all of a sudden I had to graduate, research and buy a car (I had never had one at that point), and apartment shop in Texas, and move to TX, and start residency. So of course running fell to the wayside. I managed to stay buff and toned and lithe in residency thanks to slow elevators--I distinctly remember taking 8 flights of stairs by 2s and 3s to take care of a patient whose heart rate had dropped into the 20's. (In case you were wondering, it turned out the guy was having seizures. When you're 70 and Indian and don't speak Engish, it takes a while to figure it out. The funny thing was, his nephew, a neurologist, was never happy with how the team managed his uncle, but even HE didn't know the man was having seizures.)

I was hooked on running and had even started to prepare for a marathon and had all these books about running. Now that I'm FINALLY scheduled for MMA surgery, the prospect of getting a decent night's sleep and getting my life back has me so excited, excited enough to do a mini self-makeover (the surgery will take care of the face and the sleep, why not do something about the rest of me?). Excited enough to eliminate the pudge I've accumulated in the lab and eventually run again. Excited enough to go to the gym.

I've been doing the elliptical thing. I like the no-trauma-to-the-knees thing now that I'm approaching 30 (but I will run again, don't worry). Problem is, my stride is bigger than the machine allows. It bugs me every time. I was on it for 30 minutes and gung-ho about clocking 100 miles by 01/04/07 in my own special way (not running-- too intensive, too early)--and then I saw the display doesn't record mileage! What kind of exercise machine doesn't record the distance you've covered? Good grief, even the stair climber lists flights climbed. WTF???

So I moved to the treadmill and did 2 miles on top of what I already did. I'm guessing I got about 4 for the day.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I resolve

I resolve. . .

1. To take my vitamins. I have jumbo bottles which accompanied me from Texas nearly 2 years ago, and they're mostly full (Fergon, B complex, C, and a multi). Why did I buy such massive bottles? Why did I pay to ship them here, when all they're doing is taking up space? I could have the glow of a pregnant woman by now.
2. To exercise more. I don't like to formally exercise, unless you consider running in the park formal. I don't like gyms. I guess I view gyms the same way that George Clooney views marriage: too confining. But I've turned into a pile of pudge here in the lab. Really, I have. The photos on this site lie. I airbrushed them all. :o)
3. To de-clutter. I am suffocating in this apartment, and nothing is opening up in this building anytime soon. Something has to give. I have to give. Give away, that is.
4. To try all the recipes in my cookbooks (French Cooking, Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey, and some random but good book my mother gave me). The exception: I won't eat organ meats. Do I really need to explain why?
5. To read the following books: Lincoln's Melancholy, Under a Marble Sky, The Tipping Point, Mayflower, 1776, HRH, The Red Tent, Zippora, Lilah, Sarah.
6. To watch the following movies: The Pursuit of Happyness, Queen, The Holiday, A Good Year, MI-3, Dream Girls, The Good Shepherd, Proof, The Black Dahlia.
7. Take Step III of the USMLE exam. (this involves shelling out I'm imagining about $500)
8. Knitting: Use up the yarn I already have. No more new #&$*.
9. Learn more Spanish (this includes proper grammar) so I can communicate better with my patients. . . Hahahahahahahahahaha!!!
10. Have major surgery in which my face is splayed open. Yes, we're on the dockett!! February 13 is the big day. Don't worry, it's not a Friday. I told you I would find a way to Make It Happen. What I want, I get, one way or another. My stubbornness is my best quality.

The no-title post

This, as highlighted by the lovely Kate, is great.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Fleur progress

Fleur marches on. . .Try to ignore the fact that only half of it is seamed. (Try to ignore the blurry pix, too.) I decided to hold off on the edging until I tried the thing on, and now I see that it is impossibly short! It didn't look like this in the picture! No, indeed. They must have made it for dwarves! It practically grazed the waistline of that dwarf model's skirt.

That won't be happening here in Sharkville. Case in point:
It barely comes to the small of my back! To add insult to injury, it doesn't even hug the curve of my back in that cutesy sort of way. It does a little flippy thing.
I'm not sold on the seams over the arm, either.

Well. The edging I started is getting scrapped. I have to come up with something else now that I see it is so very short. I'm thinking of working with it as a bolero, instead of going against the grain and devising an edging to make up the difference in length. What do you think?