wip: mrs. beeton cuffs

ahhh, mrs. beeton. so much fun to make. and so much nifty technique jammed into such a pretty package! made the first one during a christmas visit with my brother and his girlfriend laurie, who also happens to be as obsessive about knitting as i am.

there is much to love about mrs. beeton. first, there is not one, but two ruffles. you're supposed to only bead the top one. but i got a little carried away and ended up beading the bottom one, too. it's actually done via a beaded cast-on, which was easier than i thought it would be.

from there, you attach the ruffles by knitting through both ruffles. this means you have six needles going at once! a little cumbersome, i must say.

the last bit is a picot bind-off, another fun technique with oh-so-pretty results.



newsflash: knitting is in

dig the ferragamo bag

don't you just love how fashion designers have just "discovered" knitting and crochet? as if we didn't know it was in vogue all along!

but, i will say this...that ferragamo bag is to die for. and i think it could easily be knocked off. all you'd have to do is find an interesting enough top, a la that cool woven one. the counterpane scallops are very similar to the bag from melanie falick's holiday handknits.


knit porn

...two for me!
Originally uploaded by hitbyabus.
these two diddies were under the tree yesterday morning. props to jimmy for picking them out all by his lonesome.

i must say, both are beautifully designed, photographed, and produced.

the knit journal is a bit contrived for my taste. but i surely will make use of the blank graph pages. and i'm sure the needle inventory and gauge will come in handy.

alterknits is gorgeous to look at, but there wasn't one thing in there i felt a burning desire to knit. i applaud leah radford's creativity in seeing the world through a knitter's eyes. but come on. a SCREEN? as if.



norwegian stocking
Originally uploaded by hitbyabus.
well, when life gives you lemons, knit a christmas stocking. a norwegian christmas stocking, that is. loretta from flickr suggested i put my misfit sock to good use...as my dog mac's christmas stocking. voila! and the pooch loves it. especially when it's stuffed with rawhides and squeaky toys. merry christmas!



felted shackle
Originally uploaded by hitbyabus.
a palate-cleanser of sorts. just to clear the air in between socks. ahhhh, how refreshing!


wip: dwarfen

despite the glitches with stranding and gauge. despite the unbuttressed heel. despite all the goofusness. and yes, even despite the dwarfen length, i stand, one foot held high. i am damn proud of this thing, in all its smurfy, imperfect glory. thanks to mj and jess and clairity123 for your encouragement and support. you guys are the best!

now it's on to stocking #2, in which all the aforementioned tragedies become but a comic memory.


wip: norwegian chin cosy?

norwegian heel
Originally uploaded by hitbyabus.
is it just me or does the heel of my norwegian stockings look ever so much like a chin? and a weak one at that. or maybe a cosy for the chin on one of those shriveled-up apple dolls.

ok, so i didn't bother to reinforce the heel. maybe that's it. or, maybe it will work itself out when i block it?

something tells me this will be the sock which shall remain single for the rest of its life. which isn't to say that i won't knit another norwegian stocking. and another--its perfect mate. but this stocking, the poor, lonely, weak-chinned stocking, will be made to languish in a sock drawer.

until one day, it will realize that being single isn't the worst thing in the world. no. in fact, it rather enjoys being single. it can date all the other single socks. the lonely gold toe that lost its mate in the dryer. the misshapen fruit o' the loom. the tube sock with the hole in the toe.



just stumbled upon this incredibly inspiring post by keri at wish jar journal. it's all about how to make your work reflect your personality. looks like it was part of a talk delivered to graphic designers, but i think it has relevance way beyond that audience. check it out when you get a chance. i bet you'll be inspired, too.


goofus & gallant go to fair isle

there are two kinds of creative types. there are the progress ones, who are all about getting it done, for pete's sake. and then, there are the process ones, who juuust like to take their sweet time, puttering around for awhile, seeking others' advice and opinions, cogitating, trying out different things, and basically using whatever procrastination technique happens to be at hand to drag the whole thing out for as long as possible. or at least until the deadline arrives. one's a little bit country. the other, a little bit rock n roll. or, in my case goofus and gallant.

with that said, i've made good progress on these. and learned a ton in the process.

as in, i was doing it all wrong. as in, my stranding was too tight and causing these little puckers to form along the vertical striping on the sock. (btw, i am heartened by the fact that i am not alone in my norwegian woes. the adorable and prolific jess over at fig and plum has done an amazing job chronicling her own trials and tribulations with these stockings.)

first of all, i knit in the robust english style, throwing the yarn (and caution) to the wind. but i do it like an ugly american. (i wish i could daintily pick it like those suave, sophisticated continentals, i really do. but that's another story.) which is to say, rather than winding the yarn around my pinky and forefinger, i clutch it between my thumb and forefinger--as if i was holding a toothpick, say, or pulling the head off a beetle. it's not pretty. but it gets me there, ok?

anyway, i had my main color in the skein and my secondary color wound on a bobbin. i would knit merrily along in the main color, drop the main color, pick up the bobbin yarn from underneath so that it would twist around the main color, knit with the bobbin yarn, and so on. the problem was in the twisting. the weight of the bobbin would pull along the float.

what i finally realized after watching this great video tutorial was that the bobbin was not necessary. in fact, it was totally messing me up. (that damn bobbin.) as in, causing the puckering. but thank goodness, there is a simple trick to prevent puckering. it's simply spreading out the group of stitches that you're stranding across. well, knock me over with a feather boa.

it's not necessary to deliberately twist the yarns as i had been doing. rather, as you pick up each yarn and spread out each little group of stitches you're stranding across, it creates a nice, clean strand across the back. if the strand is too loose, no worries. you can always tighten it up later on. but if it's too tight, well, you're SOL, as my stocking detail below so blatantly depicts.

see how the green pattern parts look here? it's all pinched and puckered. it needs to loosen up. it needs a lot of drinks.

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, now, doesn't that feel better?

here's a closeup of goofus and gallant. see how goofus pulls everything too tight and pisses everyone off? now, notice how gallant is so smooth and even and feelin' fine. don't you just love gallant? of course you do.


bubble girl

marc jacobs bubble sweater
Originally uploaded by hitbyabus.
the marc jacobs bubble sweater. fall 1989 VK. with jeans getting skinnier and boots and sweaters getting slouchier, i think it's time to bring this baby back. maybe not quite so bubbly this time...certainly no shoulder pads...most likely no pockets...but how cool would this be with jeans and boots? verrrry, i think.



top 10 things i could (should?) be doing at this moment as opposed to taking pictures of and blogging about my norwegian stockings:

1. knitting christmas presents
2. wrapping christmas presents
3. writing copy for my clients (oh yeah, that should probably be number one.)
4. cleaning the kitchen
5. doing laundry
6. calling my mother (oops, sorry mom, i meant THAT should be number one.)
7. clearing the piles of crap off my desk
8. paying bills
9. letting the dog out
10. getting myself another cup of coffee

of course, there is the number one thing i would rather be doing...and that is working on the damn things. i'm a little disappointed in my color choices now that the pattern is emerging. why didn't i pick something a little more girly? i guess i was thinking the charcoal gray would go with more stuff. like i am so gonna wear these with everything in my closet. the green and cream actually would have looked verrry cool with my new favorite color, peacock blue. think i'll go get myself that cup of coffee now.
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