Monday, October 29, 2007

Socktoberfest made me do it!

Socktoberfest is nearing to a close (thanks Lolly!), and I have but one offering to make to its altar. To my great relief, I finally finished my one-and-only pair of Jaywalkers , knit in Lana Grossa's Meilenweit cotton. All I can say is: NEVER AGAIN!!!!

Don't get me wrong, the pattern is great, but knitting cotton socks really really really truly sucks more than any other knitting experience I've ever had. I'm usually a fast knitter, but it took me over a YEAR AND A HALF to knit these. I couldn't bear to work on them for more than 5 minutes at a time, and they languished in my WIPS basket for freaking ever. Of course, they're way too small for me, which is a relief really, because I never want to see them again. Ever.

You hear me cotton sock yarn? I wouldn't knit with you again even if you were the last yarn on Earth!

Sarah, my teeny-footed friend, I hope you enjoy them as much as I despise them. Just make sure you don't wear them around me.

Happy Halloween/All Saints/Day of the Dead/Samhain celebrations. And welcome Great Pumpkin! Hope you get more than a rock in your pillowcase!

Yes, still another Rhinebeck post

First of all, thank you so much for the Oregon love. Your kind comments really made me happy. And for those who don't believe me, let me say again that this was really easy and enjoyable to knit. Don't let steeking intimidate you, it's not half as hard as it looks (though a shot of scotch doesn't hurt either).

For those of you who were hoping and praying that the whole Rhinebeck thing was over, sorry. I'll try and be short and sweet. You've heard the details already (fantastic weather, hoards of people, great vendors, blah blah blah) but in short, I had a great time.

Rhinebeck sights:

Who's a pretty goat? (or is it a sheep? Ah crap, I don't know. Anyone?)

FSFA (Future Sheep Farmers of America) in training.

Oregon vest out in public!

The vest got a decent amount of recognition ("Is that Alice Starmore's Oregon?" and "Did you knit it?" were the most common questions), mostly thanks to the fact that the pattern is featured in the current issue of Vogue Knitting. Here I am posing with what may be the official Rhinebeck mascot. I'm not sure what breed she is, she was very quiet and coy for a sheep.

Later that evening:

The lovely Carol, suffering from a severe case of Post-Rhinebeck-Shopping-Induced delirium. She's modeling her poodle-patterned tea cosy as a very fetching hat (John Galliano, take note! Poodle-print tea cosy hats will be all the rage in 2008). Wine may have been flowing freely at this point.

Sunday morning:

Joanne and I, soaking up the incredible weather at our very pastoral B&B

The "Rhinebeck 5", exhausted, broke, and happy, saying goodbye to all the sheepy-goodness.

What did I buy, you may ask?

Lovely plant-dyed and wind-powered Hope Spinnery yarn, in warm shades running from earthy pinks to burnished orange. The middle shades are more yellow than they appear in the photo. I'll probably make a simple pullover sweater where one colour melts into another.

My first ever skein of lightweight Socks That Rock in the aptly named "Pond Scum". I arrived at the Blue Moon booth late, and there wasn't much left. But luckily for me, I had this colourway in mind all along. I think I might knit the Snicket Socks (just watched Lemony Snicket's last night on tv. I really enjoyed it, especially the art direction!)

I bought many more things, but the rest will have to wait till another post, because my camera batteries just died...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Without further ado...

Alice Starmore's Oregon Vest


I was hoping for a sunny photo shoot in the woods, amidst the incredible fall foliage. But Mother Nature had other plans, with cold, dark and rainy weather. She's probably punishing me for wanting to get that "Rowan" look again.

The dreaded steek cutting was not so dreaded after all.


If you think about it, knitting doesn't really want to come undone sideways (have you ever seen pantyhose run horizontally?) so the fabric stays pretty much intact after you cut it. Mind you, so long as you're using "sticky" fibres like this stuff. I wouldn't want to steek silky cotton.

The button/arm/neck bands went pretty well. I had to pick up and knit 354 stitches for the button band, so thank Lordy Begordy I got it to lay flat on the first try. I did have to bind off a few times to get it just so. The button band needed a very loose binding off, and the arm bands needed an extra tight binding off. Go figure!

I love the fact that with fair-isle, the inside looks almost as handsome as the outside.


I chose some lovely iridescent shell buttons with shimmers of blue and green that are impossible to capture correctly on camera. You'll just have to see them in person when you run into me at Rhinebeck, ok?



Without a doubt this is the most pleasant and satisfying project I've ever knitted. The pattern was easy to follow (no, really, it was easy!), the materials were lovely, it fits well and I think it looks beautiful. It's not the most fashion-forward garment in my closet, but I think it has a timeless quality to it. Being a vest, it's flexible and makes a lovely layering piece.

I think it's going to be hard to top this one. Rhinebeck, whatcha got for me? Hit me with your best shot.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Moment of truth

I've done a lot of this...


Now I'm ready to do this...


But first I might need a little bit of this...