Archive for January, 2008

Did you make it yourself?

January 30, 2008

Some of you Esty-ers may know about this already but there’s a cool little contest at StyleMob called Made It Myself.
Submit photos of stuff you’ve sewn, designed, crafted, etc and then they’re voted on. The prizes are Etsy gift certificates.

Not sure if I will enter anything (there are some crazy sewn FOs from a while ago), but I imagine lots of you will have something to contribute to the contest.


sometimes I get angry…

January 28, 2008

When I have to defend things that I feel need no defense: like knitting.
I received a comment on my Hillary’s Nipple post that ended with a comment about returning to the subject of knitting, with what I interpret as a suggestion that knitting is frivolous.

Here’s my question to all that think knitting is frivolous:

What can you do/make that is useful? (typing doesn’t count)

Can you actually meet any of your basic needs on your own–food, clothing, shelter?

Maybe I’m alone in this, maybe I’m not–but I’ve always had incredible respect for people that are able to do these things: carpenters, metalsmiths, farmers, knitters and sewers, among others.

Knitting on a jet plane

January 27, 2008

Am I allowed to do this?

If I am, I’m ready for it.

With 6 skeins of Twinkle Soft Chunky in Sapphire–this color is gorgeous (so far I’ve used the french grey and urchin, but this color is so brilliant and rich), size 17 needles, and the winter 2007 Vogue Knitting. The expected outcome is #23, the Twinkle Dress.

I gathered all these supplies to have ready for a 20 hour flight to Delhi in a couple of weeks. I’ve already knit the sleeves, so I figured I could actually finish this thing on the plane given the incredible speed at which Twinkle knits can be completed.

But now…now I wonder. If I can’t take my nail clippers or tweezers–or face lotion for that matter on the plane, can I take knitting needles? I guess I could poke someone’s eye out or something…but I’m not sure how I could use them to fashion a last-minute bomb for high-jacking purposes. I guess I’m not so up on my bomb-making skills though.

Has anyone traveled lately and been able to knit on the plane?

I found this on the TSA website after some searching:

Transporting Knitting Needles and Needlepoint

Knitting needles are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage. However, there is a possibility that the needles can be perceived as a possible weapon by one of our Security Officers. Our Security Officers have the authority to determine if an item could be used as a weapon and may not allow said item to pass through security. We recommend the following when bring knitting needles on an airplane:

  • Circular knitting needles are recommended to be less than 31 inches in total length
  • We recommend that the needles be made of bamboo or plastic (Not Metal)
  • Scissors must have blunt points
  • In case a Security Officer does not allow your knitting tools through security it is recommended that you carry a self addressed envelope so that you can mail your tools back to yourself as opposed to surrendering them at the security check point.
  • As a precautionary measure we recommend that you carry a crochet hook with yarn to save the work you have already done in case your knitting tools are surrendered at the checkpoint

Most of the items needed to pursue a Needlepoint project are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage with the exception of circular thread cutters or any cutter with a blade contained inside. These items cannot be taken through a security checkpoint. They must go in your checked baggage.

But I would like to know if anyone’s had any trouble traveling with needles…
Unfortunately my 17s are Addis and therefore metal, and there’s just nothing that can be done about that.

lys in the news

January 26, 2008

So my LYS, Stitch DC, was in the Washington Post today (on page 3):

An article on Quick Study, where she (correction, the author, who is male and I assumed was female–very very bad of me!!) learns to knit in 15 minutes.

This is my favorite part:

“By the end of the two hours, I am emotionally wedded to the needles and the yarn, so I take what I have in my hands to the front of the store to purchase it. The wind comes out of my sails when the total hits $52. (I mean, it’s just string, right?) Worth it, I convince myself. Worth it, even coupled with the price tag for the course. In a month or two you’ll have a scarf you made yourself, I think. I’ll be able to give it to someone and say, ‘I made it. Me. Not some kid in Indonesia. Me. Boo-yah.’

I continue knitting the scarf on the Metro ride home and later in bed while watching Letterman. Boo-yah, indeed.”


Finished! Phildar Cardigan

January 26, 2008

Well, here it is. Seemed like it took forever after being spoiled with the instant gratification of the Twinkle knits. But this may be the nicest thing I’ve made–the kind of thing where I wore it to work and people who know I’m knitter didn’t assume I made it. I’m really happy with it and pretty proud of it. This was my first Phildar knit and I love the simplicity (and thus wearability) of their designs. The patterns are also extremely easy to follow. The mistakes I made were when I was rushing through something and weren’t a reflection of pattern vagueness or typos. The only thing about Phildar is actually getting your hands on the magazines, which for me ended up costing a small fortune–I ordered through Knit n’ Tyme in the fair land of Canadia and for 2 magazines I paid something like $50!! I’ve learned through the Ravelry forums that it would’ve been better to have ordered directly from Phildar.

I used Jo Sharp Alpaca Kid Lustre, which I have to say is gorgeous yarn. It has the right amount of sheen to make the piece look so nice in the end. And the alpaca makes it so warm and soft. The yarn gave me a slightly smaller gauge than the pattern called for, but since I wanted it to fit a little tighter than on the model I didn’t do any mods. The fit came out generally the way I wanted.

The buttons are ginormous vintage glass faceted buttons I got on Etsy. I had something else in mind but I couldn’t find what I wanted anywhere. My next endeavor may be button-making.

The skirt actually is another FO, of the sewing variety from a year or so ago. I love the buttons on it, which I got at Mood in NYC while I was living there. I only wish I had that place at my disposal still. It’s a very simple skirt, but finally something wearable. I went through a silk phase where I made all these silk pants and shorts and fluffy shirts that are cool…but in a costumy sort of way. Actually the shorts are cool. Maybe I’ll share those at some point.

Stay in and knit.

January 25, 2008

I don’t know if anyone saw this on

Purl Jam
“And how to keep yourself from biting your now-pretty little nails while waiting anxiously for the results of all those nerve-racking presidential primaries? Try knitting. If you’ve never learned how to knit one, purl two, call Lauren Sheaffer, a Seventh Avenue insider who was hired by Elizabeth Musmanno of Vera Wang to give her daughter lessons for Christmas. A textile designer for a major American designer by day, Sheaffer is an ace with a pair of needles by night. On the West Coast, aspiring sweater sisters turn to Suss Cousins, a native of Sweden. Cousins knits for the movies—her credits include The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Matrix, and Scooby-Doo (well, Velma is famous for her orange turtleneck, isn’t she?)—and offers classes at her boutique or at your place.”

This is def how I’ve spent my winter…knitting every single day after work right until I go to bed.
“Time for bed?” says Roommate
“Just one more line” says I
“Addict” says Roommate
“Yes” says I

I do think it would be amazing to knit for movies.

I also wish I could just knit and blog about it all day long. every day.

Slow going photography

January 23, 2008

In 2003 I backpacked through India and Nepal for 6 months with 2 fantastic friends. I like to think of myself as a bit of a photographer, having studied black and white darkroom photography, gone to portfolio reviews and all that. But in reality I’m not much of one–or I’m a painfully slow one. Since it took me 5 years to have these slides printed. I’m actually going back to India for a cousin’s wedding in a couple of weeks, so these photos have really re-excited me. While they have nothing to do with knitting, I do think that having a knitting blog has brought back my photography obsession. I’m going to have to get into the self-portraiture thing for my FOs from now on. In that spirit, I thought I would share some photos I’m proud of:

Boys in Kanya Kumari–the southernmost tip of India where the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal meet.

A soldier at the India/Pakistan border, just north of Amritsar in the state of Punjab.

Chained elephants for a New Year’s celebration in Cochin.

A lone sadhu in Hampi (in Karnataka), which is a hippie-filled, but magical UNESCO site.

Autorickshaws–a major mode of transport in much of Asia and the topic of my master’s thesis. Ugh.

Hillary’s nipple?

January 21, 2008

I don’t mean to get political, but….

I’ll start with this–I’m not sure who I’m voting for. I also do not think that women have to vote for Hillary Clinton.
BUT. This is what this website says:

Hillary Clinton, the Wicked Witch of Capitol Hill, wants to be President of the United States. Republicans and Democrats across the nation agree that 2008 is the year of the storm, and this hurricane’s name is Hillary.
Our nation doesn’t have the patience for a wardrobe malfunction, and Monica doesn’t have a brother. Do your part to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House. Hillary T-Shirts are here to help.”

First of all that a woman can actually be tarnished by the actions of her husband is ridiculous, when in her actions she has never proven to lack the specific sexual moral compass that Americans seem to think is important in leading a country.

Second, I don’t understand the wardrobe malfunction comment. As far as I can tell, this refers to the terrifying possibility that we could at some point see Senator Clinton’s nipple–or (oh God!) some cleave! This is just not a risk that America should be willing to take by voting for a woman.

So, while I’m not sure about anything regarding this election, I will say this: if Hillary wins, I can see myself being overcome with emotion at the (albeit SLOW) progress of women in this country. Especially when I ethnically come from a country (India) that is perceived to be extremely sexist–and in many ways is, but embraced female leadership decades ago.
I remember being unbelievably frustrated when I was backpacking through India and would find that many cities had public restrooms for men only. Forget that it’s women that can’t just pee anywhere and have smaller bladders…it’s an interesting situation when the female presidents or prime ministers of the past can’t find a place to pee in the capital.
Maybe this country is the opposite, but I’m not sure which is better. Is there a third option?

The point is that website makes a stupid sexist point. It may be possible that I’m interpreting it wrong, but I can’t imagine what the explanation is.

Brrrrrrrr. I hate winter.

January 20, 2008

Damn gloves. Didn’t help too much. It was like 11 degrees today…or something. But it was sunny and I wanted to take my film camera out and test some different aperture settings…it’s been a while and I have to refresh my memory on all the photography basics since one thing I’m vowing to do before a much needed trip to New Delhi (for a cousin’s wedding) and then Italy (yay!!) in a few weeks is to get my new Crown Graphic 4×5 camera up and running. Which means I need to remember how manual settings work. Which is also how I think truly beautiful photographs are crafted–with direct and clear intent. I guess often it’s just luck…but maybe that’s what separates photographers from everyone else. Someday I’d like to actually be at least almost a photographer.

Anyway, today’s bitter cold was an excellent reason to take my newly completely completed best friend cardigan (and aspen hat) out for a spin. And did she perform. I stayed relatively warm, and with the seams finally looking good, I love her!

But not enough to smile when it’s this goddamn cold out.

Nine Inch Nails and knitting.

January 19, 2008

Seemingly incongruous, yet not so.
So here’s the charted afghan. Unfortunately it’s not readable, but if you click on it it enlarges to be semi-readable. Basically it’s just a mix of the color pattern and the KBB blanket stitch pattern, but with 10 rows of seed stitch for the borders instead of 6 garter stitch rows. The S=seed stitch, |=knit, B=ktbl, O=purl…I like that all the wrong side rows almost spell boob…(boooob).
but I did it on purpose. At least I don’t lie, right?

I really like making these charts. This is my second one, my first being on my very first project–a chevron stripe scarf for my boyfriend.

Unfortunately I wasn’t wise to the curling of the stockinette stitch, but it’s still warm and pretty…in a manly sort of way, given the current owner. Made with Manos del Uruguay yarn…I think 2 skeins of the red and 1 of the grey.

I casted on for the afghan last night and I think it’s going to be fun project. The yarn is just great to work with and it’s chunky enough that I think this may take far less time than I thought–which is always a good thing. Leaves room for even more knitting…though I’m really going to have to get to a point where I cut myself off.