Friday, February 01, 2008


Ok, I just wrote a gigantic post of updates - restaurant week reviews, knitting updates, etc. and somehow, I deleted the whole thing!!! Its that new autosave function - uch!!!!

Anyway, I'm going to skip the restaurant reviews - I just can't bring myself to write them all over again. Let's just leave it as I'm really fat - I ate at Upstairs at Varalli's Monday (which was really downstairs at Sotto, which was abig disappointment because my whole plan was to have a great, romantic view of Broad Street), Amada Tuesday, Wednesday was a day of food coma, Thursday was Bliss (and Avenue Q - go see it!), and Friday was Xochitl. Saturday was Chinese New Year, and fried food galore, and Sunday I made super awesome chili and cornbread for the Superbowl - mmm mmm good!

Ok, so there you have it. Now to the knitting update, which I had just started typing, so it's not going to quite kill me to do it again.

For a few weeks, I felt like the biggest loser knitter. I just wasn't getting anything done. And, it wasn't the typical, I'm not finishing anything because I keep casting on - it was I'm not finishing anything because I keep messing up. And, because I came up with the bright idea to do a Kaffe Fassett workshop at Rosie's, and then found myself in the position of actually having to knit a Kaffe project - something that had never been on my radar.

But, first the mess ups - the lace. Ah, poor Spring Shawl Surprice. By the middle of clue 2 or was it 3? I realized that the fill pattern was this dreaded pattern, my nemesis from the red shawl. For some reason, even though I know this pattern kicks my ass, I decided to work on it while I was working at the shop - big mistake - no amount of unknitting the one row has been able to fix it - at least 3 rows are going to have to come out, so I've tossed it aside in frustration.

I also started Irtfa, in the recommended yarn, Laci, from Blue Moon, from the Raven colorway series. I forget what color this is, but it's in the blue family: Anyway, this is also on hold, in favor of the Kaffe project, and others - I finished the first chart, and have a bit done of the second, nothing tragic, other than it's just hibernating.

And the Kaffe project - you can read about the inception of my project, Little Circles, here. I cast on, and the knitting is laborious, to say the least. I'm not the best stranded knitter to begin with, and this pattern has three colors per row, and as Elizabeth Zimmerman says, any pattern with more than 2 colors per row should be viewed with suspicion - because there's just no need. Here here Elizabeth!

After four stripes of bubbles I put the work down, and thought about it - and I hated it. I hated working with different yarn - I didn't like the texture/weight changes. I didn't like how it looked. I didn't like that it appeared to be REALLY small, even though my gauge and my stitch no. should have been making it big enough. I really really wanted to just rip it out - or take a scissors to it and slash it into a million pieces. But, I didn't, I put it aside, and I started again. This time with Jamison spindrift, in the colors from Autumn Rose. I figured, I like Autumn rose, there's the same number of colors - it'll work.
Eh, not so much. The problem is that while there are many 2 color combinations that work well together, there aren't that many 3 color combinations that play well together in a way that you can actually see the bubble blobs.

What to do? I already returned the yarn for the first incarnation - well, the ones that I hadn't busted open the ball bands. But, that's not such a big deal - I had ended up with colors that I liked, plus colors Lisa, Courtney and Kate liked - too many hands in the pie, I think, because I ended up with some colors that I just don't like, or didn't work - specifically, the blue in the ribbing section. So, I think I'm going to set aside incarnation 2, and save the yarn to actually knit Autumn Rose. Then, I'm going to take No. 1 off the needles and block it, as Courtney warned me was really the only true solution. And, if it's going to work size wise, I'm going to rip out the ribbing, and leave a provisional cast-on there, and knit down after the thing is finished.

Or, I'm going to pick a different Kaffe project . . .

So, what better to solve my knitting frustrations but the maniacally large Manos blanket. Can you believe it - I messed that up too!

See that multi, large square that I'm working on now - at the bottom edge. Well, instead of picking up the first edge, and casting on the second edge, I picked up the first edge and the second edge, and I didn't notice until I had finished knitting that entire gigantic square. AAHHHH!!!! I couldn't even do that right. So, I tossed that aside too.

And, instead of resurrecting something, I opted for something foolproof - an Elizabeth Zimmerman yoke sweater. I had originally thought I would stick my own fair isle design on the yoke, but considering how woeful freestyle knitting was going, I opted to use the one she had in the book:

I knit this in Rowan's Cocoon. I had originally planned to do it all in Cocoon, with the fair isle pattern being subtle shades of browns, naturals and greys. But, it was too subtle, and I threw in some Polar (the purpley pink), and some Cascade 128 (the magenta). Since taking this picture on Friday, I finished the sweater over the weekend. The ends are woven in, and it just needs to be blocked. And, of course since it's warm and yummy and cozy, it's supposed to be in the 50's all week, so it's unlikely I'll get a wearing in immediately, as is needed, right? In any event, pictures sometime this week.

So, now that the EPS yoke is done, it's back to the Kaffe (whatever that may be), and, um, I bought yarn for another Elizabeth EPS sweater - this time the saddle shoulder sweater. I have this idea in my head to do the sleeves of this:, with the fair isle continuing on the saddle, with a solid body. This, of course, will require some intarsia when the sleeves are joined to the body, and some flat knitting, when the saddles are knit, but I think it'll be neato. We'll see. Between the two ends of the spectrum - Kaffe and Elizabeth - I'm in the Zimmerman camp at the moment.

So, that's the update. Still in project limbo are the Tangled Yoke Cardigan (body and sleeves knit, trepidation about starting the cable), Martha (back 3/4's done, just not enough time in the world, and it's not stirring my imagination), and a host of forgotten things -

Goal for this week? Get Kaffe back on track, whatever track that may be. Right now, it feels like a train to no where, and I'd be happy just to get to Hoboken.


Wendy said...

Seems I've been derailed too ... similar problems, different station! Can't wait to see your sweater ... since that's something on my list, perhaps it is time to revisit ...

Liz K. said...

I went to Amada over Christmas and thought is was amazing. Truly awesome.

I hope your knitting luck turns around soon.

Macoco said...

Oh no, well I'll send you some good knitting vibes. The kaffe looks so pretty, I hope that does work out for you.

Lisa said...

Yikes that blanket is going to be huge! How many pounds of Manos will be in it?

BTW...go visit my blog because you make my day!!

ShinyNewThing said...

I am so thrilled to find this post because I literally just finished knitting a tension swatch for Little Circles and it was awful. I was thinking I was hot stuff after knitting a 2-colour Norwegian mitten, but trying to strand 3 colours was a surprisingly unpleasant experience. I've blocked the swatch, but will be watching to see how you get on