Sunday, July 31, 2005

Trip to Monterey Aquarium

A trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium means this:

Kidlet Tank

I am at the armholes decreases and hoping to wrap this up tomorrow. I really like Bernat Cottontots, it is really soft, but I am wondering how it will hold up, since it seems to be wearing out while I am knitting.

Last night I knitted a second square for Afghan Project in the name of John Glick that is being organized by Annie of Knitty Gritty:


So I can now report that one ball of KnitPicks Wool of Andes is enough for two 8" squares - just if you were dying to know!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Imagine a creative title here

After much thinking and research, I have decided to abandon the idea of making a Triada. I have been looking at similar patterns and I have come to the conclusion that to make as wide as I want, I really need at least two skeins, but I am not going to spend another $30 plus for a project I am not that interested in anymore.

So, what to do with La Boheme? When I was visiting A Good Yarn, I saw an Opera Scarf and I loved it. I have seen the pattern before, but the photo on the cover does not do it justice. And, hey, Opera with La Boheme? It's destiny.

I blogged a while ago about the Afghan Project in the name of John Glick that is being organized by Annie of Knitty Gritty - this is my first square with Knit Picks Wool of Andes:


I say "first" because I'll keep making squares until I am done with the ball - I need to work throughout my stash here!
And since I am on the subject, the next due date for Afghans for Afghans is September 15. Read here about the Special Campaign for 5,000 Children.

Another of my nieces is visiting - actually, I usually say "my husband's niece" because, well, she is my husband's niece, his brother's daughter, but I was severally reprimanded for that. And while I am writing this I am wondering while I let that carry over here - my blog.

Anyway, Principessa decided to make her a hat for the winter. The actual deal is that Principessa told me that I need to finish the Kidlet Tank she was working on because she needs to make the hat. Um, why don't I get to make the hat? One of the reasons is that she was eyeing this

Noro Tubu

for a while now, and it is just perfect for a quick albeit gorgeous hat.

Since I am done with my Sockapal2za socks, and I have given up on Triada, two knit-alongs out, one knit-along in: I joined the felted abg KAL and I going to make BHB soon - it's my stashbuster project for August.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


When I came back, I found several things in the mail.

First of all, Colette sent me this pattern:


Isn't it beautiful? The pattern suggests 100% cotton, but I am thinking about SWTC Oasis Passion.

Then I received this from KnitPicks:

Knit Picks Paint Your Own

Wrong yarn, I ordered fingering, not lace! Not happy.

But I got my two orders of needles from Loop, so I can start on Soleil, Tivoli and OSW - since I do not have much on the needles.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I love Boston - more

Yesterday, after the seminar was over, I walked to Kendall Square, took the T, went to Park Sq., changed to the green line to Riverside (not trivial task because there 3 green line, the exact sane green), get off at Brookline Village, and I was here, my carry-on, my back pack, a yarn sale and me.

I don't know the name of the girl who was there, but she was lovely. She told me about the incredible sale there were having (both of us looked at my carry-on and laughed) and then left me alone.

This is the loot*:

Artful Yarn Fable

Color Me

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky

New ball count: 404, and this is before adding the yarn that I got at Woolcott on Monday.

The store is small but really nice and filled with really beautiful yarn. And I got buttons too. And I saw an original NBaT. I really had a lovely time. And I got busted at the airport. My colleague saw me before I could hide the loot in my carry-on (it was a challenge) and so now he knows, as he put it, "what you do when you disappearing strange cites". As I always say, I could have a worse addiction.

You guys want to see the loot from Monday too? Here it goes*:


Mountain Colors Handpainted Yarn

Reynolds Scandal and Berroco Mosaic FX

New total: 417

But there was knitting in Cambridge/Boston as well, not only yarn buying. Actually it was more on the flights, so here there are, my Happy HP6 Sox for Sockapal2za

Happy Sox
Pattern by Sarah E. Burns
Yarn: Lorna's Laces - Funky Stripes

and the first pair of baby socks for the new moms at Camp Pendleton:

baby socks

and I already casted for the next pair:

Baby Socks

* Click on the photo to see more details.

Monday, July 25, 2005

I love Boston

Even if I have not left Cambridge yet, but to come from the airport to Cambridge.
What's so great about Boston/Cambridge? It's a city! And if you were born and raised in Roma like me to than move to the Silicon Valley, you would appreciate the sentiment. I used to live within walking distance from St. Peter and Piazza del Popolo, and now I have cows across the street from my house (cows!), a creek two houses from my backyard and a golf course across the creek. When I leave the place where I live, I need to see people, coffehouses, shops, noises! Now I have squirrels and hummingbirds, that are way more annoying then tourists and pilgrims.
Here, there is traffic - how do I love traffic! And the T, so who cares about traffic again? I love the underground, I almost had tears in my eyes: public transportations.
Yesterday I took the T at Kendall Square and I went to Harvard - since it was Sunday and after 5 Woolcott & Co. was closed, but I had a good time walking around.
Today I was free at 5, so I dashed to the T again and I ran there. As I said before, once I crossed the state line all bets are off, so here is the loot (photos will come later):

  • Mountain Colors Handpainted Yarn - Montana Goat in Ladyslipper, 2 hanks (460 yards). It knits at 5 sts/4", no idea what I'll do with it.

  • Euroflax - Sport Wt. (Fine) Solid colors, 3.25 - 3.5mm needles (6 sts/in.) , 100% linen, 3 hanks (810 yards), no plan yet, but most likely a shawl. It's red, no variegated.

  • Reynolds Scandal and Berroco Mosaic FX - 2 balls each, and for $10 only! For that price, I could not leave it, it's going to be two scarves.

Then I found a shop that sells Burt's Bees and I stocked up, I went to beads store Julie suggested and then I browsed the Coop for a while. And I had an epiphany. A small one, but still.
A while ago Alison left a comment saying that my Happy Sox are very HP6. My socks are Hewlett-Packard? And what purple and green have to do with HP? It's a code for layoffs?
Then today, glancing at a Henry Potter's display, I went "oh". It must be being here. A city. Harvard. Smart people. Must be contagious.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

It's a curse

The curse of the circular needles, that's it. I never have the one I need. And no, do not suggest a set like the Denise, I tried and I hated it. The only circulars I can use are Addi Turbos and Inox Express.
So, Loop sent me a coupon code for 10% and I placed a big order for circular needles, that after ordering the ones I need for Soleil and OSW. Still, I want to make the Buttonhole bag and I do not have #15. I do have #13 and #17.
I said it, a curse.

Wondering if I can use #17 since I am using three strand of Heilo. Opinions from felting experts?

Friday, July 22, 2005

I think I know my problem

Well, at least I know what my problem is when it comes to variegated yarn, it may be not the hardest puzzle I need to figure out in life, but, hey, it's something.
I don't like it when it is knitted up in lacey pattern.
I mean, how can I not fall in love with something like this? Of course I want it, but then, I need to remind myself that if it is variegated, it can't be lace or any busy stitch.
This sudden realization - is it the second one in one week? - came when I saw this. I am one of the few people who went "Ugh?" when saw Clapotis. "Ugh" means "I really do not think I like that". But then everybody was making one so I even bough some Lily to make a mini one. Never did, I kept going "Ugh?". But when I saw Becca's Clapotis, I loved it and so it dawned on me: it's not variegated, and I almost order some yarn to make one, red. Then I stopped, yarn diet, remember?
But now I know that I'll eventually make one, solid red.
So, what about this?

I do not think it wants to be a shawl, I think it wants to be Chiara, i.e. a lightweight pullover for a girl living in South California.

Thursday, July 21, 2005



She was very happy with the tank top – well, she is always happy and smiling, but I can always think it was the top, can’t I?


I have re-arranged my queue in “Knit Soon” and “Knit late”, somehow having 10 projects that I want to make soon and 33 that I’ll make later seems less crazy than having a bit queue of 43 projects.
I am still debating what to do about Triada - do I cast 58 stitiches instead of 40 and hope I have enough yarn or just forget about it?

Cambridge, MA

I am going to Cambridge for work and I had made my plans to carve out some time for yarn shop hopping. The yarn diet diet is valid only in California, when I pass the state line all the bets are off and I can buy and buy. I just made this rule – it’s my diet and I’ll do as I please!
So, I arrive on Sunday at 5 pm and I think that Woolcott & Co. is open on Sunday. There are no store hours on the website, but there are workshop on Sundays so I can hope. It is really close to where I am staying.
Monday I’ll be busy until 6, so maybe I’ll just have time to ran to Windsor Button, but Tuesday I am going to A Good Yarn since I am free at 2:30 and my flight is at 7.
Anfd of course, I am hoping to get a lot of knitting done on the plane and in the hotel room at night. I’ll bring Happy Sox and baby socks with me, and I really hope the circular needles I ordered for Soleil and OSW will arrive today or tomorrow – I could get started on OSW.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I joined the dark side

Last night I want to the Peninsula Knitters meeting and there was a new girl, college students. We met her at the Relay for Life and she is knitting this huge green afghan that she'll donate to Afghans for Afghans.
Toward the end of the evening, she said that she was walking back to the dorm.
A weird voice that I have heard before start screaming in my head "Girl, are you crazy? You are going to walk 30 minutes in the dark, on Palm Drive and then on Campus Drive?”
But I managed to say in my nice-let's-not-scare-her cool voice: "I need to drive through the campus to go home, so I can give you a ride".
She promptly accepted, lucky for her otherwise I would have dragged to the car, safely buckled her in the back seat and then proceeded to lecture her all the way home. But since she was reasonable, we just walked to the car, she rode in the front seat and I safely delivered her to the dorm.
While I was driving to my place, a sudden realization came to me.
It has happened, and there is not way back. I joined the dark side. I am a mom.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Afghan Project in the name of John Glick

Check out The Afghan Project in the name of John Glick that is being organized by Annie of Knitty Gritty - I am knitting a square.

Tuesday is knit-along day

Matilde is done, and I am working on Haiku.

Finished the baby socks, started another pair of baby socks, one Happy Sox done, it's socks, socks, socks!

Making baby socks for the new mom at Camp Pendleton.

One pink projects on the needles: Haiku.

Summer Knit-Along
5 6 summer projects done (SnB Little Top, Knee High Socks, Striped Toe-up Socks, Fragola, baby tank top, and Matilde) and 3 2 on the needles (Haiku and NBaT).

Triada Along
Got La Boheme, but I am pondering if I want to make it after all.

Matilde is done!

Soleil Along
Still waiting for me needles.

Ordered the yarn last week, bought the Kool-aid yesterday.

Current weight: 69.4 kg (153 lb), I gained 1/2 kilo? Blame in-laws related stress, see below.

Back on.

Tony Soprano and the freezer

My husband's best friend always tells him: "Only you and Tony Soprano say breaking balls, it's busting". Well, it's the literal translation of "rompere le palle", and my husband likes Tony Soprano (talking about wise choice of role models), so it takes it as a compliment.
So, every once in a while, I ask him, if I bother you a lot about this, like there is not end to it, se ti rompo le palle e non la finisco piu', will you do it?
He laughs at me. Really hard.
See, he grew up with a professional ball breaker, someone who could win a gold medal for it, I am an amateur.
His mother can complain, bother, ask, order, plead, argue about something no stop for days until anybody would do anything to MAKE.HER.STOP.
When you are not the object of her act, it is actually amusing to watch. If you are, you wish someone will put you out of your misery.
Nothing short that obtaining what she wants stops her. I personally tried several approach. If one ignores her, she keep going. Arguing with her only gives her more fuel. Trying to be firm and put a stop to it with something like "This is not up for discussion, it is my decision" sends her in a terrifying whirl of fury and unlogical crazy statements - there is no doubt in her mind that she is right about everything, and the only way she can forgive people for not doing things her way is because "You did not think about it, right?". Try answering, No, I did think about it and I decided otherwise, hell breaks loose.
So, the freezer. Our freezer does not work very well. It gets stuck in the defrost mode and so it does not freeze anymore. We don't care because we do not use it much. I am the "shop for tonight dinner cooking from scratch" kind and I keep a couple of items in the freeze. If the freeze gets stuck and does not work, I throw them away. When it gets stuck, it stops making ice so I know it is not working, I throw away the two items, that's the end of it.
Until now.
She is on a mission to get my husband to have the freezer fixed. Do not know why. Our refrigerator is stacked with food of their choice and she is always worried there is nothing to eat. I stop at the market every day coming back home from work because they need more bread, more jelly and more eggs. The amount of bread and eggs they consume is amazing. And tomatoes. If I were to eat as much as them I would weight 250 pounds. So, I sit back and watch her following my husband around the house talking about the freezer. Some of the things she says are truly insulting, like accusing us to make the children sick because we thaw and re-freeze food - never happened. But when she is on a roll she gets more and more far fetched, starts making up stories that then she'll believe.
But you know, if I get over the fact that she is making up tales about us being irresponsible parents who feed rotten food to their children, I get a sadistic pleasure watching her. After all, she is his mother so it is his fault she is here.
And I wonder if I can get her on his case about the screen door to the backyard. I am evil.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Now what to do?

Now that I have abandoned my plans to make the A-line Jacket, what am I going to do with my Jagger Trinity?
I am in no hurry to decide, but having a yarn without not even the hint of an assigned project bothers me. It's like always in the back of my mind. It is pure stash - I once argued that I have no or little stash because almost every yarn I have has an intended project, and this is what that thinking led me to.

So, what to do with Trinity?

Not a cardi, the yarn is too flimsy. A good flimsy, but flimsy. I got a gauge of 22 sts / 4" on US #6, but I'll probably use #5 or #4 to obtain a more substantial fabric. So a camisole? A tank top?

Browsing here is so dangerous because I may see something else I like and I do not have the yarn for, like this, that I could make with this, if I were to buy yarn, but I am not because of this.
I could go for Rose or Maisy (when you look, try not to focus on the hat) , or both since I have 2,218 yards!

On actual knitting news, I made Matilde's armhole bands, sewed the sides up and I am only to make the neckband. And I even knitted some of Haiku, I am 3 inches from the neck opening.
I haven't casted for the new NBaT, I really want to finish Matilde first. Then I'll give me permission to cast for NBaT and another baby project.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Got gauge?

Well, no. Remember when I complain that Jo Sharp Desert Garden has low yardage and it splits like there is no tomorrow? I don't care, I so love this yarn, it is such a pleasure to handle it that I even like to swatch. So I have this:

Jo Sharp Desert Garden

and this:

Jo Sharp Desert Garden

and finally this:

Jo Sharp Desert Garden

when I decided to stop since I am down to needle size 4, and even if I do not have gauge yet (17 vs. 19 I need), I finally got the drape I want. Can't believe I am going to knit NBaT on #4. The good thing is that I do not have to re-do any math because I'll just knit the smallest size (plus 2 stitches salvage) and that's my size.

It is so true that knitting is a tactile experience, there are yarn that I love so much that I am happy to knit and re-knit forever, and others I just don't care for, no matter how stunning the colors. That's the reason why Haiku is not growing, I live the colors of the yarn, but just not enjoy knitting it so much. But this, this and this, I could pet them forever!

Saturday, July 16, 2005


I found an outlet for my negative energy, I am frogging projects I am not happy with:


So there, no more A-line jacket. It was coming out huge (even if I was getting the right gauge, then I read the pattern better and it states a finished measurement of 48 in for a 40 in bust, what the heck?), I think I should use #5 not #6 for the Jaeger Trinity because the fabric was too loose, and I am not sure I like the pattern anymore.
So there, frogged and out. That brings my yarn count up 1 ball.

Then NBaT, I still love the pattern but several things were wrong with my executions. Again, the fabric was too loose, so I am going to use a smaller needles size. And I'll probably widen the collar too. I am not sure how many balls my stash count will go up for that, since I am still frogging.

And then, ready for my latest stash enhancement?

First, remember when I was stalking Full Thread Ahead for Karaoke, here is the loot:


And cotton for $3.5/ball? I can finally make Ibiza from Loop-d-loop:


And for that price, I threw in 2 extra balls for the Ballerina top for Principessa as well.

And since everybody was buying it, Pakucho from Elann:

Pakucho Organic Cotton

to finally make the Suspension Cardigan (and matching top) from Hapagirl.

So my stash count is over 400 now - NEED.TO.DO.SOMETHING.

Plan A: Throw in-laws out. Sorry, can't do. I am Italian after all.

Plan B: Run away. I would, but I can't pack all my yarn with me and I can't bear to leave it behind. And the kids too.

Plan C: join this. Uhmm, it might work.

And I knitted some yesterday, one armhole band for Matilde. Felling slightly better, thanks everybody for the nice comments and concerns. I have survived six weeks of in-laws before, I'll do it again.

Or at least it is what I am telling myself ......

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Another package from my Knitty SP

KnittySP4 package #3

Today when I got home my in-laws told me that a package arrived. Well, receiving this

KnittySP4 package #3

makes me do not care about the "in-laws" part - yes, they are visiting, do not ask for how long, please.

Look, Noro Tubu:

Noro Tubu

that Principessa wants, and I thought "yeah, right", before saying "do not even think about this one":

Rowan Kidsilk Haze

And look at all the goodies:

KnittySP4 goodies

This sheep is the cutest thing I have seen in a while:


and these candies are the best candies I ever had - and almost all gone already!

KnittySP4 candies


But there is something gone with my wonderful SP, she wrote that she is going to send me one last package - she can't count! But I can and I remember yarn well; Colinette and Patricia Roberts:

Knitty SP4 gifts


Knitty SP4 gifts

Today was the third package, I don't deserve a fourth one, you already spoiled me so much!

Oh, and she gives me an hint re her identity: she bought some yarn from HipKnits recently ......

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Stash update

Elspeth asked about a stash update, and the answer is: nothing to report. Now, I am lying because I went to Hollis last night, but I have no stash decrease to report after all my Hawaii knitting.
How is that possible?
As you can see:

Baby Socks

I still have all that Crazy Stripes left, so nothing to subtract there.
The yarn for the blue hat was Hollis', even if I am done now with the red hat I still have plenty of Optimum left - fish? And see that ball there, on the left?

Happy Sox

That is the leftover from the first socks - 90 yards! That means that I'll have 180 yards left when I am done with the second socks. That is enough for a pair of ankle socks, even if Lorna's Laces is too nice go into shoes where nobody can see it. And before someone suggests it, no, I'll never wear those see through clear plastic shoes. I am Italian, shoes is a serious subject for me, plastic does not belong on my feet. I time my trips to Italy according to the shoes I need.
I'll probably make baby socks with the Lorna's laces leftover - baby do not wear shoes and their feet are always up.

So I knitted, knitted and knitted and the total is still 366. Without counting the Beyond and the Karaoke.

Tuesday is knit-along day

I haven't worked a stitch of my A-line jacket in a long time, but Matilde is definitely a stashbuster project!

Finished the baby socks, started another pair of baby socks, one Happy Sox done, it's socks, socks, socks!

Making baby socks for the new mom at Camp Pendleton.

Two pink projects on the needles: Haiku and Matilde.

Summer Knit-Along
6 5 summer projects done (SnB Little Top, Knee High Socks, NBaT, Striped Toe-up Socks, Fragola, and baby tank top) and 3 on the needles (A-Line Jacket, Haiku, and Matilde).

Triada Along
Got La Boheme, need to muster the courage to start again!

The baby set is done and was given to the mom-to-be, who loved it! Matilde is on the needles.

Soleil Along
I do not have my needles yet - problems with my usual eBay addi turbo dealer.

Ordered the yarn today, need to buy Kool-aid!