<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\07517970835\46blogName\75Tres+Chic++Veronique\46publishMode\75PUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\46navbarType\75BLUE\46layoutType\75CLASSIC\46searchRoot\75http://treschicveronique.blogspot.com/search\46blogLocale\75en_US\46v\0752\46homepageUrl\75http://treschicveronique.blogspot.com/\46vt\0751929942592899274238', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Tres Chic Veronique

 

to dye for...

By now, you've all heard that Marie had a fantastic dyeing party at her appartment on saturday. She has tons of dyes, and it took us quite a while of staring at the sample cards until we could each invent a colorway.
Marie's dyes
I dyed 4 balls of Misti Alpaca Sportweight to make Evelyn Clark's Shetland Triangle Shawl from Wrap Style. It's a triangular shawl very similar to the Flower Basket Shawl, so I didn't want too many colors to compete with the lace motif. In the end, I Jackson Pollock-ed various shades of green. Here is the result:
My alpaca yarn
I love it!
I must be the last to post about this fantastic party (I started writing on sunday, but then I got ill, and I had an interview today, gah!), so I have the advantage of having seen all the Spiders' newly dyed yarn, and let me tell you: the yarn is beautiful and we had loads of fun.
Next up: my secret pal, Special Mittens, scores again! Pictures in the next post.

By Veronique
On Tuesday, January 31, 2006
At 1/31/2006 02:06:00 PM


 
 

too many projects

I cannot stay faithful to one project.

I've been chugging along on My Very Own Design. I'm maybe 40-50% done, knitting-wise, but you never know if I might need to rip and re-knit... I have no idea how this project will turn out, but I am holding out some hope that it might be the best cardigan *ever* and that I might submit it somewhere. A girl can dream, right? Just in case you were wondering, that's why I'm not posting pictures. Or maybe I'm just holding out on you.
Anyway, I got so tired of K2P2 ribbing on size 4 needles that I started glancing towards my stash. And guess what? Lots of interesting stuff in the stash! Who knew?

For example, I found some Lamb's Pride Worsted that I bought this summer. I've never ever knit with this yarn, and I have 6 skeins. I started making Poor Miss Finch's Esther Williams hat. It's going swimmingly (sorry, couldn't resist!). I figured it *might* get cold sometime during this winter and I'll need a hat.

Then, I got a scarf request from a friend of mine (president of this club) who, although he resides in Texas, spends 4-5 days a week in offices in DC/Pennsylvania/Jersey. This boy knows nothing about cold: he admitted to not even owning a winter coat! He asked if I would knit him a scarf, and I really could not say no. He specified that I could not go crazy on the colors, so I chose the monochromatic Interlocking Balloons pattern from Scarf Styles (check out Streets & YOs' and Naive Knitting's versions). I scored 4 balls of Karabella Aurora in a mustardy color from Marie at our yarn exchange in November, and it is perfect for this project! I might dye it a different color after I'm done knitting though, to turn it into a more "manly" color. You know, navy, gray, brown.... (Bo-ring!).



Oh, and I'm knitting the cutest baby project in GGH Esprit. The pieces of this cardigan are so small and the knitting is quick! Maybe I should only knit baby garments...

And please, don't mention the Somewhat Cowl. (I have the yarn. I even cast on and realized I'm off gauge. I will just have to live vicariously through Spiders Amanda, Katie and Stephanie who are all knitting it).

By Veronique
On Tuesday, January 24, 2006
At 1/24/2006 05:56:00 PM


 
 

We're in the news!

The knitting news that is! Check out the Daily News article!

The author of the sunday column "Blog On!", Dawn Eden, promised she would not mention the phrase "not your grand-mother's knitting", and boy, did she ever follow up. The article really captures what being a knit blogger is all about. Thanks Dawn!

By Veronique
On Sunday, January 22, 2006
At 1/22/2006 01:18:00 PM


 
 

finished Fair Isle mittens!

Have you ever had a project be the bane of your existence? Here is my list of grievances for my Vinternatt fair isle mittens project:

  • I hate the yarn. Strikkegarn is the scratchiest yarn ever. Why they decided it would be good for mittens is beyond me. Although WendyKnits.net claimed it was not too scratchy... I guess I have sensitive hands! I think Strikkegarn is an old-fashioned yarn that's been around forever, and we've been spoiled by the new super soft yarns...
  • Hate the needles. I used size 4 Crystal Palace bamboo 40" long circs, so I could make the mittens in the round using the magic loop method. These circs are awful. The yarn catches on the join, and the cord is hard plastic which coils like crazy. And the bamboo splintered!
  • Hate this yarn on those needles. The yarn is sticky and the bamboo grabs the yarn too much. The result? I had to fight each stitch.
  • Not too crazy about fair isle. It's just so awkward to work with 2 yarns. I used 2 methods of holding yarns from Montse Stanley's book: both in one hand or one in each hand, and both were uncomfortable for me.
That being said, I'm dying to make the "we call them pirates" hat. In non-scratchy yarn. With Addis. (Check out Nipper's hat!)

Anyway. I had half of a mitten to finish for the longest time and kept on putting it off. I bit the bullet and completed these in one afternoon! Here is my "as God is my withness I will never knit scratchy fair isle mittens ever again!" pose.

dreaming cropped

By Veronique
On Friday, January 20, 2006
At 1/20/2006 12:32:00 PM


 
 

awesome secret pal!

I have a great Secret Pal! I'd heard stories of SPs flaking out, or being wishy-washy or downright rude... But mine emailed me right away, several times! She's funny, quirky, and she's dared to me to figure out her identity. Her secret name is Special Mittens. I've tried googling "special mittens blog", but of course nothing comes up.
She lives in England and I've already received a package from her: one giant ball of thick 'n thin multicolor Colinette Point 5 (how did she know I'm on an orange/purple kick?) and some glitter yarn from the R2 collection by Rowan. That's right *glitter*. I love glitter... Thank you Secret Pal!!
Here's the yarn:
yarn
I started out making a bias knit garter stitch scarf (15 st wide), but ripped it because I thought I might run out of yarn... I stuck my hand in there for scale: Point 5 is huge!
scarf1
Then, I made a bias knit garter stitch elongated scarf (9 st wide). Yeah, I know, it looks the same, but it's airier, I swear.
sparkle scarf2
But I don't like it. So the quest for the perfect one skein Point 5 scarf pattern continues.

On another note, Phildar has finally created an online store. Now you won't have to pay exorbitant prices from canadian stores (sometimes double the price!) or wait 2-3 weeks for shipping from Belgium or the Netherlands... For me, the problems of ordering yarn from small yarn stores in Europe was compounded by my incompetent mailroom. They have "lost" so many of my packages, including both of my Phildar orders. Each time, the yarn store was kind enough to send another package. Allow me another example: my aunt sent me a gift via FedEx. I waited and waited and waited. I checked my mailbox twice a day for that little yellow slip. I was hoping that the gift was some Alpaca Silk to make the Somewhat Cowl, so I was not waiting very patiently. Ten days later, my aunt sent me tracking info online, and I realized that the package had been delivered 7 days prior. SEVEN DAYS. ONE FULL WEEK. I ran over to my mailroom, furious, and one of the mailroom guys casually handed it over. No apology, no explanation, nothing. Some of you may know that my mailroom is under investigation because of a high number of "lost" packages. Well, I found out that today is the manager's last day! Did he get fired? Or is he just retiring? Hmm. I hope things change...
Anyway. Phildar. Their website is awesome. You can look at every single page of their magazines. For every single pattern in their magazines, you can click "buy the yarn for this pattern" ("je commande mes fils"), which brings you to a page where you select your size and the color you want. And they ship to the US. Now, if only they would stop adding all that acrylic (*shudder*) to their yarns... But they have plenty of cotton yarns, and linen, and silk. Hmmm, Spring knitting... Too bad I haven't finished my Winter knitting.

By Veronique
On Thursday, January 19, 2006
At 1/19/2006 04:27:00 PM


 
 

Lady E...

I've been holding out on you... I've started knitting the Lady Eleanor entrelac stole on Christmas day. I bought 10 balls of Noro Kureyon (color 124) on sale at Little Knits and have been waiting for the perfect pattern for it. The only pattern I really liked was from a pattern book I did not have and necessitated an additional yarn purchase. Hmmm. I'm all for buying more yarn, but thought that maybe I should just play with what I already owned. Of course, I had seen the Lady E pattern, but when I saw that Fig and Plum was knitting it in Noro Silk Garden, I clicked immediately: I have the yarn! The pattern is pretty! Jillian started a KAL! What am I waiting for!

This pattern is addictive: you just want to make one more square, wait for one more color change... In order to make sure that I didn't run out of steam on this project, I decided to take a picture after each ball of yarn knitted. That way, I made a "flip-through" type of photo booklet. This really helped! Here it is:

After 2 balls:
2.dec 31

After 3 balls:
3. jan 2

After 4 balls:
4. jan 4

After 5 balls:
5. jan 8

After 6 balls:
6. jan 9

After 7 balls:
7. jan 10

After 8 balls (look: fringe!):
08. jan 14

After 9 balls:
09. jan 15

I used the 10th ball for just a couple of tiers and all that fringe and.... voila!
finished lady E

By Veronique
On Monday, January 16, 2006
At 1/16/2006 04:52:00 PM


 
 

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by Sassy Stitchess!

Instructions: remove the blog in the top spot from the following
list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot.

step into my thimble
scissorina
gleek.net
Sassy Stitchess
TresChicVeronique

Then add three people to tag:
Brooklyn Tweed because I read his blog and yet know nothing about him.
'Tina because she missed my last tag.
Marie because I want to hear more about her opera singing.


That were you doing 9 years ago?
January '97: I had to look it up on my CV! I was in the middle of my second maitrise (somewhat similar to a Master's), this one in genetics, in my hometown of Strasbourg, France. I had broken up with an evil boyfriend of 4 years, and had just hooked up (New Year's eve!) with a new, soon-to-be boyfriend of 4 years. It seems there is a expiration date on my boyfriends. I was living in a crummy little studio, and I hated it. Also, most of my friends had turned out to be loyal to my ex, so I was pretty lonely that year. Anyway, this new boyfriend was american and convinced me to come to the States, which I did, that summer. So I got my driver's licence and moved into an apartment in Long Island with my new boyfriend. I was scared out of my wits, but really wanted to get out of my hometown! (Take heart, Joy!) My father predicted that I would be back within a year... Sorry dad!

What were you doing 6 years ago?
January 2000. Well, I had spent the 2000 New Year in the middle of nowhere in Bretagne, France. My parents rented a quaint cottage right by the ocean. I was a graduate student at SUNY Stony Brook, and all my classmates were preparing for their qualifying exam. At that point, I already knew that my lab was moving from Long Island to NYC, and I did not have to take this dreaded exam since I was transfering to a NYC university which did not impose a qualifying exam on its students... I was so excited to be leaving Long Island!! Of course, I had been to the city many times, but the idea of actually living made me giddy.

What were you doing one hour ago?
Looking up submission guidelines for Knitty. I dowloaded the pattern template, and started filling it in. Then I changed my mind about my design. It turns out I don't want a sweater, I want a cardigan! The problem with hand-knitted sweaters is that they are always too warm. The only things I knitted that I wear often are cardigans. The sweaters are on a shelf, and I pet them every once in a while, but I rarely wear them. (But I'm still making the Somewhat Cowl with 3/4 sleeves because I think it would be wearable).

Name 3 movies/tv program you can't turn off if you stumble across them on television:


Name 3 things you want to improve upon this year:
  • Force myself to finish projects. (Hear that almost-finished-fair-isle-mitten?)
  • Stop procrastinating. (Hear that, pile-of-laundry?)
  • Stop interrupting people all the time

Name 3 things you can't live without:

Name 3 things you could...
  • The construction on FDR drive, right below my window, which starts at 7:30 am every day, sometimes even on weekends and sometimes even at night.
  • My dependence on contacts. I wish I could just open my eyes and see! (Or that I could get that fancy Lasik surgery).
  • Root beer. It smells like the french antiseptic Synthol.

Name 3 things you really like about yourself.
  • My step-mother once told me I was energetic. Funny, I see myself as such a procrastinator, and I could make you a list of things that I should have done this week but did not do. My point is, yes, I was surprised by her comment, but when I think about it, I am energetic. (I'm hoping she meant that in a good way --focused, gets things done-- and not in a bad way --hyper, scattered, loud--).
  • I like my nails. I know it sounds silly, but I used to bite my nails something fierce. I would bite them off until I bled. (TMI? Sorry). When I turned 24, I decided to stop. And I did, and now I don't have bloody stumps.
  • I am always on time, even though I don't wear a watch.

By Veronique
On Saturday, January 14, 2006
At 1/14/2006 10:41:00 AM


 
 

New Vogue Knitting!

For once, I am not the last to receive a knitting magazine in the mail! When I saw the preview online, nothing really popped out. But now that I have the paper version in my hands, there's lots of interesting stuff... At least 2 cabled sweaters have piqued my interest.
However, I am 8 balls into my Lady Eleanor stole (I signed up for sknitty's KAL) and started knitting on my very own design! So no VK knitting anytime soon. I'm reading it for the articles, honest!
Edited to add: I've already heard from my Secret Pal! I'm so excited about this! She has already sent me a package... Now *that's* a secret pal! Her name is "special mittens" and, yes, I've tried googling it, to no avail. My internet sleuthing has come to a halt. But I will persits, oh yes I will.

By Veronique
On Friday, January 13, 2006
At 1/13/2006 01:58:00 PM


 
 

Secret Pal questionnaire

I'm so excited to be part of Secret Pal 7!!

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand?
Why yes, I am a yarn snob! I started out buying cheap-o acrylic yarn, like many others. I soon discovered the joys of merino wool, as well as silk and hand-dyed yarns... I haven't looked back since.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I crochet a little, mostly edgings of knitted projects. I bought a crochet kit from Habu in the fall, and all I did was the knitted neck part...

3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have 2 small drawers. Now that I think of it, a hanging circular needles thing (what are those called?) would be useful.

4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I started really knitting in 2001. I am very much a process knitter and I'm curious about techniques. This has lead me to making scarves, lace shawls, socks, sweaters, gloves, fair isle, entrelac... Does that mean I'm advanced?

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes!

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Grapefruit, anis, licorice. Please, not lavender.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I don't have a sweet tooth, I have several sweet teeth... Licorice candy is a fave. Ooh! Or anything sour!

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I try to sew. I like to cook. I have beads, but not the patience to make an entire necklace. Basically, knitting is the one craft that I'm good at, and other crafts don't appeal to me as much because I'm not so good at them...

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Mostly rock.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
I was stuck in an orange phase for a while, and I'm now shifting to purples. Hmmm, purple. But I also like teal. And steel gray. Oh, and green! Green is my favorite color.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live with a roommate, no pets.

12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes to all of the above, except maybe for ponchos. I know they've been reviled, but I have to confess that I kind of like ponchos. Kind of.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
Merino! Any soft and with crisp definition.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Acrylic. Anything shaggy. Anything scratchy (Lopi...).

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Designing! I'm trying my hand at designing. I love knitting lacey things, and socks. I'm antsy right now, so I keep on changing the types of projects that I work on: I'll work on socks then become obsessed with fair isle mittens, which I will abandon for an entrelac stole etc...

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Usually, once I'm sick of working on a particular project, I'll be itching to start the next one. I'll research the pattern, find yarn online, talk it over with the Spiders, cast on... That's my favorite part of the project: the very beginning. So, really, it doesn't matter what the item is, it could be a sweater, or socks, or a shawl, or gloves, or...

17. What are you knitting right now?
I always have several projects going on at any given time. Right now, a second glove, a second fair isle mitten, a pair of rainbow socks, a Kureyon entrelac stole, and a baby sweater.

18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
YES! How could you be a knitter and not appreciate handmade gifts?!

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
Circs all the way. I hardly ever use straights.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Addis, except for lace, then I use bamboo.

21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yes, both.

22. How did you learn to knit?
My grand-mother taught me. I re-taught myself using books and looking things up online.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
Knitty's Hush-Hush, which I am making for my best friend. She bought the yarn, so I can't just shelf this project. I imagine miles and miles of stockinette...

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
? Is this an actual question?

25. What is your favorite holiday?
Summer. You know when you're a kid, and summer starts and you're free? It's warm, you're about to go away, and you're free! Now of course, I can't take entire summers off, but still, people want to go out more, are more relaxed and smile more. Bliss.

26. Is there anything that you collect?
Other than yarn? Nope.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
IK and VK.

28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?
Socks That Rock!! I've seen so much of it but I haven't gotten my hands on any. I'm also coveting Lantern Moon needles, but it seems like such an extravagance.

29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
As I said, I'm a process knitter, so I've tried plenty of techniques. Here's one I haven't totally mastered: the "finish that second sock/glove/mitten" technique.

30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes, I have knit socks. Circumference: 9" and length 9.5".

31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
May 3rd.

By Veronique
On Sunday, January 08, 2006
At 1/08/2006 09:17:00 PM


 
 

designing...

I think when you've been knitting for a while, you start to "get" how a sweater is structured. You cast on stitches for the front, do a little decreasing, then a little increasing, bind off for the armholes... It starts to feel like a fill-in-the-blank template. In fact, it can be: just look at Ann Budd's Handy Guide to Knitted Sweaters! Easy, right? Right? OK, fine, maybe not so easy...

My point is, the idea of using an Ann Budd template and a stitch pattern from my stitch a day calendar to design my very own sweater somehow does not seem very imaginative to me. I want something with more panache. So, for the past few days, I've been contemplating my large stash and trying to figure out what to make with it, and I am getting very ambitious... "Panache"? "Imaginative"? "Ambitious"? Should I really go this route?

I'm inspired by all the fantastic sweaters out there which stray from the conventional construction. Here's a few of my favorites:

  • Klaralund has sleeves that extend to form the top part of the sweater and the V neck.
  • Tubey's sleeves and top part are knit in one piece, and create the niftiest square neckline.
  • Hanne Falkenberg's Mermaid (oh, it pains me to type that) is knit sideways and has swing-y gussets that make you want to twirl.
  • Annie Modesitt's Pin-Up Queen in Stitch 'n Bitch uses short-row shaping to create the 2 slanting sides of the V neck.
  • Knit and Tonic's Somewhat Cowl is knit in the round and has that great cowl-like neckline.
All these sweaters have clean and elegant lines, yet incorporate one clever element. That makes them both wearable and fun knits. And every knitter out there wants to make something that is delightful to knit AND that you can actually wear. You've probably guessed that if I'm going to take the designing plunge, I really want to come up with something clever! Which means... I have to become clever. Can I learn clever? If I stare at clever patterns long enough, will I be rewarded with a clever idea?

I've now latched on to a design element that I'm starting to see everywhere. Can I cleverly make it my own?

In the meantime, I am thoroughly amused by my new i-cord toy:
icord
I cranked this out in mere minutes!! I used my Herrschner's gift certificate from the lab to buy this gadget.

By Veronique
On Thursday, January 05, 2006
At 1/05/2006 11:53:00 AM


 
 

lists

Let's see, what have I accomplished in 2005?

1. Got my PhD. Lots of obtacles stood in my way (move from Long Island to the city, major change in project, general feelings of "I'm never going to make it"), but I still made it!!

2. Started a blog. I had been reading blogs for, oh, 2-3 years and it had provided invaluable help. I remember the first time I knit with cotton and I got horrible rowing out. I thought it was all my fault and that I was a terrible knitter until I read on Fluffa and the Blue Blog that a) cotton is inelastic and b) that often, purl rows are looser than knit rows. I had a big *ah ha!* moment. Of course, when you read so many blogs, you're secretly thinking of having one of your own... The final little push I needed came from the Spiders. One sine qua non condition of becoming a Spider was to have a blog. So I jumped in!

3. Met the Spiders. I had been knitting in isolation until I met them. Seriously, I learned knitting from books and blogs. Finding like-minded souls is such a relief! Finally, I can talk about patterns, yarns and yarn stores that I like (or dislike) and they know *exactly* what I'm talking about. Also, they are generous: Gleek brought us all presents from Japan and the yarns they brought to our yarn swap put my crappy acrylic to shame.

4. Became a Vidal Sassoon hair model. Instead of having unstyled long hair out of sheer lack of imagination, I let Arlene and Hamid do whatever they wanted. I was in shock after my first haircut, but grew to love it. Now I can't wait to go again!

5. Went to a Craft Fair in Brooklyn. Not the Renegade Craft Fair, but a simple, local one, at Carroll Park. My friend Rebekah makes amazing jewelry and I helped her out at her stand. It suddenly seemed so simple: you start out with a craft that you're good at, you make things, you sell them. OK, so I'm not designing patterns or selling knitted items, but I feel *thisclose*.

What I want to accomplish in 2006:
1. Get my first "real" job. Let's see what this 9-to-5 thing is that everyone's talking about. I am done being a student!! I can't wait to get a real paycheck. (Please don't burst my bubble).
2. Use up yarn in the stash. I still have not touched the Kid Classic to make Rapunzel whichI got *last* Christmas. I bought some Phildar ribbon yarn with a particular pattern in mind, and didn't do anything beyond swatching. I have sock yarn. I have lots of Habu's undyed soft wool (A-89B, now discontinued). I have 5 skeins of Artfibers' Kyoto. I have Debbie Bliss Merino Wool. I have 5 hanks of Manos Cotton Stria for W. I have much more, but I think you get the idea...

3. Design something of my own! Have you ever seen a pattern and thought "why didn't I think of that?!". (Tubey comes to mind). Well, maybe I *should* think of that. I can and I will. I have 2 ideas already! Maybe I should crack open Ann Budd's Handy Book of Knitted Sweaters right now, since I'm all hyped up just writing this list.

Happy New Year everyone!

By Veronique
On Monday, January 02, 2006
At 1/02/2006 11:50:00 AM