Archives for posts with tag: MadelineTosh

Typing “Albuquerque” is turning into a real finger twister on the keyboard.  Albuquerque.  Albuquerque.  Albuquerque.  Gah.  Takes too long for my pinky to reach that “q” and then the rest of my fingers get all befuddled and start drifting off the home row.  But that’s not what you want to read about, is it?

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have dedicated this month to some rambling around.  It has almost been a year since I’ve hung out with my knitting buddy, Holly.  The last time we hung out together was at Rhinebeck and I embarrassed myself thoroughly by spilling coffee and wine all over myself and my yarn.  Yet, she still saw something in me and continued to talk to me.  Why?  Maybe she thinks I’m one of those cool dorks, which… I totally am.

I decided that it had been far too long since we got our knit on together, so I headed down to Albukirky (so much easier to type!) to remedy that situation.

Ever a gracious host, she took me to the Sandias, where we went on a small trail walk up to the Kiwanis Rock Cabin, a product of the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), and got an amazing view of the city below.  The CCC was a work relief program put together under the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  It’s main objective was to provide unskilled labor work and jobs during the Great Depression.  Their work went a long way to conserving our natural resources across America.  It’s pretty cool to come across the CCC cabins and see their work still standing strong.

Although I prefer snow-capped mountains and alpine lakes, there’s a certain beauty to the desert landscape, and the Sandias delivered nothing short of that.  I could not stop staring at the clouds; they are incredible!

The next day, we took a quick trip over to Santa Fe to check out the farmer’s market at the railyard.  Even though we showed up a little before noon, the market was already getting ready to close up for the day.  Kind of unfortunate, but we did score a few free baked goods and got a quick afternoon wine tasting in.

After venturing through Santa Fe’s old town and touring a few yarn stores, it was time to do some serious stuff: Beer tasting and swatch knitting.

My beer tour in Albukirky took me to Marble Brewery, La Cumbre Brewing, and Il Vicino Brewery Canteen.

At one point, we both got super excited by the fact that our knitting matched our brews perfectly.

I tasted many a fine beer while I happily knitted away on my swatch.  My favorite beers were La Cumbre’s Hefeweizen and Il Vicino’s Brown.  If you want to know more about the beers though, Holly does a great Pints and Purls section on her blog.  Even if you’re not a knitter, check it out; she knows how to pick some tasty beers.

I’m pretty excited about my swatch too (surprise, surprise, it’s more Madelinetosh).  It felt so good to knit my little heart out and experiment with different stitch patterns.  I’ve got something pretty specific in mind for this project, so it’s going to take some work to achieve that.  But I’m ready for the challenge.  My trip out to Albukirky was just what my knitting soul needed: spending quality time with a fellow knitter, drinking beers and doing all things knitting related.

I opened up my laptop, because I was supposed to be doing something.  But I completely forgot what it was that I was supposed to do.  I’m sure it’s something really important, because I only forget the important things.  All those stupid little things I always remember, like how I always remember to get a bag of chips at the grocery store, but then forget the toilet paper.  Why is it always the toilet paper?  I’m stocked now, in case you’re wondering…

Well, since I’m here and since it’s 1am and I can’t sleep (because I am not a normal person) and I can’t remember what it was that I was supposed to be doing, I’m going to obsess over knitting stuff.  I finished the sweater!  A couple of weeks had gone by and my hands recovered mostly (I’m pretty sure I developed early onset arthritis in my thumbs), so I picked up the needles again to finish knitting the pockets.  It really amazes me how often I underestimate the amount of work that needs to be done for something.  I looked at this pattern and thought: yes, I can totally knit that in three weeks tops.  It’s all stockinette, what can be so hard about that?  I suppose I never really took into account the fact that I was going to be knitting on the tiniest needles imaginable for a sweater.  Turns out it doesn’t take only 10 minutes to knit each pocket.  I think I must have an extreme amount of blind optimism for knitting.

Knitting a sweater for someone was definitely a new experience. Knitting a sweater is no easy task and right now, I have nothing to show for it besides some really crappy pictures (thank you Seattle for another dark rainy day).  It’s weird having knit something like that and not being able to fondle it with love and affection while wearing it.  Maybe I’m suffering from withdrawals.  I’m not sure.  Maybe I need to buy more yarn to assuage my postpartum knitting depression.  Something super bulky…. Don’t judge me.

Pattern Details:

Pattern: Clarity Cardigan by Gretchen Ronnevik
Yarn: MadelineTosh DK in Venetian and in Tern (pocket lining)
Needles: US 4 [3.5mm] Circulars
Modifications:  Nothing too drastic: did a couple extra increases in the yoke because I felt it was too tight originally.  I didn’t follow her decrease notes on the sleeves and just worked it myself.  I thought hers made for really baggy sleeves (even if I didn’t do extra yoke increases).
Recommend to a friend: I would only recommend this pattern to experienced knitters.  Although simple to knit, the pattern itself was a pain to follow.  I had to rely on my intuition a lot as I found a few errors and inconsistencies with her writing.  It’s a great design, but I think the pattern deserves another once over from a better tech editor.
Notes:  See my notes on my Ravelry page.  And think twice before you cast on for a sweater on size 4 needles.

PS. Sorry for my uber crappy photos.  It’s always great to see a lifeless sweater limply styled on a plastic hanger.  My friend is giving this to his mom on Sunday and he said he’d take a picture of her wearing it.  I hope she likes it.  If not, they better lie to me because I don’t think I’d be able to handle that sort of rejection.

I love knitting a sweater flat in stockinette stitch with size 4 needles!!!!!  Said no knitter ever.

I don’t even want to get into the fact that it’s been on too small of a bamboo circular needle.  If only I had some metal needles so the yarn wouldn’t stick so much.  If only I had a longer circular needle so my project wasn’t bunched up so much.  If only….and then it happened:  The world went dark and I started spinning.  I completely blacked out.  I could hear voices ringing in my ears.  I felt something leave me in that moment.  It was strange, like someone ripped open a tiny hole in my body and took out a thin, rectangular plastic organ.  It felt like an eternity, but it must have only been mere moments.

When I came to, I was clutching onto this:

Addiclicks Lace

Honestly, guys.  I have no idea how that happened.  No idea whatsoever.  But hey, I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.  Even though, technically, I gave myself the horse and therefore am fairly certain of the condition of the mouth (gross, by the way…horse mouth).  What I’m trying to say is that this makes knitting a sweater flat in stockinette stitch with size 4 needles a little more bearable.  Ok, I’m just trying to tone down my excitement about these needles.  It’s more like knitting with butter (though, I wouldn’t recommend that).  I got the lace tips, because lord knows the sharper the tips, the better the knits.  I totally made that up, but I much prefer sharp needles.  Oh man, if I could just tell you how nicely the stitches glide along the needle and work off the tips.  It’s just heaven…. Excuse me a moment, I must go fondle my needles some more.

Ahem…anyways, you know what else makes knitting a sweater for someone else on size 4 needles more bearable? ToshDK.  No need to clean your monitors, you read that right.  I’m knitting a sweater for a friend’s mom for Christmas.  Why?  Because I’m crazy and I have a hard time saying no to people.  Also, I’m crazy.  Really, I thought you guys would have figured that out by now.  I’m knitting Clarity Cardigan by Gretchen Ronnevik.


I think I might be in a purple phase.  Maybe I’m finally over that lace shawl from hell and can face knitting with purple again.  Come to think of it, this is only the third time that I’ve knit in purple and all three projects were destined as gifts.  It must be the color of gift knitting.  Also, purple is a weird word.  Am I right?  Purple? Purrrrrple?  I stayed up late knitting, so you must forgive my state of mind at the moment.

It’s possible to finish this before Christmas, right?  I think that since I’m at pocket level, it’s totally doable (but then again, I have unreasonably high and unmet expectations for this sort of thing).  Oh ya, I totally forgot to mention that I’m going to Costa Rica soon.  And I may or may not (which, of course, really means that I do with all certainty) have more gift knitting to take care of before then.  Do I really need to tell you that I’m crazy again?  I didn’t think so.

Back to endless stockinette…. What are you doing with your weekend?

I think I owe you a recount of the second half of my trip to New York.  But I thought it would have been a little inappropriate to show you what a great time I had in New York, while Sandy ransacked the East coast.  (sidenote: does anyone else picture a giant one of these or one of these whipping around the East coast?  Not to totally downplay the reality of a hurricane, but Sandy?  Really?)

Anyways, I’m glad to know that my one friend out there in Brooklyn is doing great and staying dry.  Hopefully everyone else is staying safe and will recover quickly from the storm.

When we were walking around the Brooklyn bridge last week, this is what it looked like:

And then Sandy made it look like this and Jane’s carousel in the back like this.

I’m lucky I didn’t get stranded there (although, like a champ, I missed my flight out due to a very delayed train).  As much as I liked visiting New York, I don’t think I could ever live there.  I would be perpetually lost and consistently lacking in style.  Also, why are the subways so hot and can anyone really understand what they’re announcing over the loudspeakers?!

Sarah was a great hostess though.  She knows how to feed me and take me to cool free things like the Tatzu Nishi‘s Christopher Columbus tower exhibit.  When was the last time you stared a 75ft tall monument in the face?  Or rather…foot.


Also I was thinking that this had to be the cleanest Chris has been since his debut.  I wonder who had the honorary job of cleaning all the bird turd off his shoulders….

She also knows that I love LOVE yarn and that a trip to Purl Soho is kind of a must for me.  Dear lord that shop is tiny and there were at least 5 employees in there.  I think if less people worked there, it might be easier for the shoppers to move around, but maybe that’s just me.

After every single employee and their mother asked if I needed help, I finally caved and bought a skein of MadelineTosh.  Ok, fiiiine, I bought two skeins of MadTosh.  The color combo was hard to resist.  Like an andes mint.  Who says no to that?  No one.

We walked around the city a lot.  And I got really turned around and lost a lot.  And then I saw David Cross and Amber Tamblyn and freaked out a little (ok, a lot!), because I get excited by stupid things like that.  They looked like real people, which I understand is because they are in fact real people, but you know what I mean.

And then sadly, I had to go home (or at least attempt to go home and then have a major breakdown in the airport upon missing my flight).  I hate coming back from vacation and realizing that I have work and things to do.  I have so many things to show you and I’m trying to organize all my thoughts and time and whatever else.  I’m doing a really bad job so far.  But, I did manage to squeeze in a little time this weekend to make this awesome Halloween costume.  It’s baaaamazing.

Don’t judge me guys, but I walked away from work today with my arms full of this:

It really, honestly, couldn’t be helped.  You understand, right?

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