A Very Merry Must Have
Friday, December 24, 2004
I finally finished my "Must Have Cardigan"! I can't believe how long it took. I'll try to get Kyle to take a picture of me wearing it later. The only think I don't like about it is the buttons. I didn't have any buttons so I used the leftover wooden toggles for my J. Crew knock-off sweater. I don't really like them, but I can always change that eventually.
Oh, and Merry Christmas! May Santa bring you loads of hand-dyed yarn! :^)
posted at 7:58 AM .
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It's a Joke
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Kyle sent this one today:
A highway patrolman pulled alongside a speeding car on the freeway.
Glancing at the car, he was astounded to see that the blonde behind the wheel was knitting!
Realizing that she was oblivious to his flashing lights and siren, the trooper cranked down his window, turned on his bullhorn and yelled, "PULL OVER!"
"NO!" the blonde yelled back, "SCARF!"
posted at 11:53 AM .
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Tuesday, December 14, 2004
This is the hardest sweater I've knit thus far. And also the best fitting, although it is a little snug around the armpits. This sweater is from the Spring 2003 Interweave Knits and was designed by Leigh Radford. This was the first issue I ever bought and I was certain I'd never be able to knit anything in it, but I got it any way. The designs are intricate and interesting and the photography is beautiful. "Remembering Honey" immediately caught my eye. The color and the lace drew me in and I swore that I'd knit it some day. One day, soon after I learned to knit, I started it in some shit yarn I got at P&S. It wasn't working out, so I gave up.
But the sweater haunted me. Every time I flipped through that magazine, there was Honey, saying "Remember me!?" I wanted it. I later bought a cone of Crystal Palace Breeze, in Teal. And finally, when I was good and ready, I began. I think it came out pretty good. I still can't believe I knit it when I look at the lace on the sleeves and neck. Did I really do that? Pretty cool, eh?
posted at 11:50 PM .
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Friday, December 10, 2004
This is the first sweater I ever knit. It was an accident. I went to Seaport Yarns, just to check it out, and I saw this acid green Manos del Uruguay yarn. It was love at first sight. I bought several skeins, not even knowing what I was going to do with it. Then I remembered a somewhat simple sweater from the Spring 2003 Interweave Knits. It's called the Gatsby Pullover. One of the interesting features is that it has shaping a few inches in from the seams. This adds an interesting dimension to an otherwise straight forward sweater. This being the first sweater I ever knit, the arms are too long and its rustic nature makes Kyle call it my Hobbit sweater. But I like it just fine.
I love love love Manos Del Uruguay. Their colors are bright and jewel-like. I love thick and think homespun yarn. And every time I see Manos in a shop I gravitate to this color. It's called "Citric". Maybe I'll get some more and make a matching hat and scarf.
posted at 1:06 AM .
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Green Tweed Poncho
Thursday, December 09, 2004
I wanted to make a poncho, but I didn't want to make one of those rectangle ponchos. I wanted a fitted poncho. Something knit in the round. And it had to be long enough to keep me warm. I didn't want a glorified scarf that ended at my elbows. So I kept an eye out and lo -- there in the Fall 2004 FC Easy Knitting I found the perfect poncho designed by Lisa Paul. It had everything I wanted: a turtle neck, shaping, no fringe, and wrist grazing length. Okay, so I didn't want that much of a turtle neck, so I made mine more of a mock. And I made it a little shorter, since I'm short. Of course I didn't use the yarn specified. I usually don't. I used a double strand of Patons Decor in Olive and Pale Olive. I like the way using two similar colors gives the effect of tweed with out the cost. I really dig Patons yarns. They're cheap, come in lots of colors and their Classic Wool felts well. Decor is 75% acrylic/25% wool, so it's warm but easy going. The poncho looks pretty good on, but the problem I have with ponchos is that by the time it's cold enough to wear one, they're not warm enough to wear. Or it's too warm and I end up carrying around a woolen lap blanket all bunched up under my arm. Sigh. I just can't win.
Mini likes the poncho, as you can see. She likes anything knitted. I'm working on a knitted bedspread which should take me until the next millennium to finish. She likes to lay on that, too. It's already covered with cat hair and It's not even on the bed yet.
posted at 1:39 AM .
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J. Crew Knockoff
Last year J. Crew decided it missed its rarified roots and went back to selling frog embroidered khakis and $295 tweed blazers. I was bereft. I like J. Crew, even the uber preppie stuff. I mean, I would never buy the patchwork plaid shorts made of twenty differnt plaids, but I thought the jeans and sweaters were nice. But the elevation of their clientele was followed by the elevation of their already high prices. Now I can't even afford to buy a pair of socks from them. Good thing I work from home. I have no need to shop for more than tank tops and overalls.
Christmas time last year they had a really nice aran cable sweater in the holiday catalog. It was creamy white, covered in cables, with a long ribbed collar and rustic wooden toggle buttons. I wanted it sooo bad. But it was expensive. I don't remember exactly how expensive, but it was expensive enough. So I did what I could: I found a pattern and made my own aran sweater. Well, it's not exactly that Aran, it's only got two braided cable panels, but it was the first cable sweater I ever knit, and my first cardigan. The pattern was a supplement from Tahki Yarns in the Holiday 2003 issue of Vogue Knitting. I used Lion Brand Wool Ease Chunky in "Fisherman". I also made some adjustments. The original sweater was hip length. I made mine a little longer. I made the collar longer, too. And I found some cool wooden toggles on eBay that I used instead of the zipper. This was also my first attempt to make the arms shorter, although I didn't know how to do it. Instead of decreasing the number of rows between the arm increases I shortened the length of the upper arm after I finished increasiing. As a result the sleeves have sort of a Popeye look, but oh well. It still fits. Kinda.
posted at 1:13 AM .
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Wednesday, December 08, 2004
This is my version of Teva Durham's Unisex Kick-Around Cashmere Pullover from Weekend Knitting : 50 Unique Projects and Ideas. I didn't have several hundred dollars to drop on chunky cashmere tweed, so I settled on Lion Brand Homespun in "Shaker". I love Homespun. It's really soft and comfy to wear -- not to mention cheap.
This sweater was hard to knit. At least it was hard when I knit it last year. The construction is weird. You knit the middle panels first, then pick up stitches along one side and knit the top and arms in one piece. Of course, it didn't fit me well. Nothing I knit fits well. I'm petite so the arms are always too long or things look weird. Originally I knit the bottom as specified by the pattern, but this year when I took the sweater out of storage, I decided it looked too long and stupid on me, so I removed the bottom and knit a smaller border in reverse stockinette stitch. It doesn't look like much in this picture, but it actually looks good on me, not withstanding the monkey arms.
posted at 5:51 PM .
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It's a Must Have
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Right now I'm working on the "Must Have Cardigan" from Patons Street Smart pattern booklet. It's pretty crazy. I mean, not that crazy, but it's crazy enough for me. I love doing cables. Its hard enough to keep me interested but it's not busy color work where I'd be weaving in loose ends for the next century.
I finished the back, two fronts and half a sleeve. I can't wait till it's done so I can start a new project while wearing it! Lulu thinks this is yet another sweater for her. Get in line, little dog. I already made you a hundred sweaters.
posted at 9:14 PM .
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Monday, December 06, 2004
The new Knitty is up. I like "belle epoque" and "tempting", but my favorite is the little knitted womb. So weird. It would be really funny to give that to some six year old for his birthday and then stick around to hear the horrified parent's explanation.
posted at 1:39 PM .
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Why So Angry?
Sunday, December 05, 2004
I never really wanted to learn how to knit. If I had, I could have asked my Aunt Nay to teach me. She's been knitting and crocheting since the year of the flood. I've seen countless baby sweaters, christening shawls and afghans flow from her needles. Aside from one short period of my life, right after she crocheted me a family of pink acrylic pigs, I was never interested in learning the craft myself. My experience was confined to an uneven length of chain stitch and countless knitted tubes I cranked out on my Barbie Knitting Machine. I never understood why my aunt did it. She never made sweaters for anyone over 18 months. She never even made sweaters for herself.
A few years ago, knitting became "hip". I hate "hip". I don't know why. I hate that label. It reeks of "Look at me -- jumping on the bandwagon!" So knitting became hip and twenty-something Williamsburg hipsters started doing it on the L train. And I still had no desire to learn. Actually, I had even less.
Then my friend Alison told me she was going to take knitting lessons. I said, "Oh, that's cool" or something to that effect. The next time I talked to her, though, she seemed to think I agreed to sign up for knitting lessons, too. I don't quite know how that happened but I figured, "Oh well, it will get me out of the house."
So I signed up.
I'd heard that knitting was relaxing. It was the new Zen. My first lesson was so fraught with tension, I couldn't believe I'd paid money to be put through this torture. I'm in my thirties. Most of the things I do day in and day out I'd learned a long time ago. Walking, writing, talking, tying my shoes, drawing – All of these things are difficult, but I'd mastered them so long ago they were second nature. Casting on was not one of these ingrained skills. Neither was knitting. Forget about purling. Just holding the needles was foreign. You mean you don't hold knitting needles like a pencil? Huh? I felt so stupid, like I had no control over my now useless limbs. I felt like a baby. A really cranky baby. And as soon as I got home, I forgot everything I learned.
The next session was better. But not by much. My stitches were so tight I had to dig them out with brute force. Garter stitch was my enemy. How many stitches were there supposed to be? Did I drop one? Why did I pick out this day-glo orange yarn? Isn't knitting supposed to be relaxing?!?
But then I got the hang of it. The other woman in our class began to insinuate that I already knew how to knit. I must have learned as a child and just took this class to brush up. But that wasn't it. Something clicked inside me. The knitting began to flow.
And it's been flowing ever since.
I love to knit. I do it every day. I'm obsessed with it. I have yarn to last me a few years, yet I'm always buying more. I have a zillion knitting books. My husband thinks I have a serious problem. Hello. My name is Angela and I'm a stashaholic.
But why "The Angry Knitter"? Don't I knit to relax? No. I knit to knit. It's a compulsion. And I'm meticulous. Nearly every night my husband laughs as I mutter "SHIT!" when I discover a mistake five rows down and I start to rip the stitches. He's the one who christened me the Angry Knitter.
And so that's what this site is about. My obsession. Knitting.
posted at 9:02 PM .
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