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Tres Chic Veronique

 

the big reveal

I got my last package from my Secret Pal. I actually can't show it to you, but there's a very good reason for that. She gave me a hand-knitted item, the pattern for which will soon be published in Magknits! I believe I have the original... I cannot tell you how bowled over I am. This item is clever, beautiful, functional, elegant, edgy and geeky all at once. (Spiders, you'll get to see it tonight).

I just want to take a minute to thank my Secret Pal for going above and beyond anything I ever expected. 4 packages! Lots of postcards! Cute pattern ideas!

And the big reveal: my Secret Pal is Alice, aka SLIPPED STITCH!
(Check out her shadow knitting sock pattern: the heart pattern only appears when you look at it from a certain angle. Wow! )


PS Thanks to Gleek and Julsey, I think I have solved my Rapunzel dilemma. I am going to rip down to the armholes, knit even for about an inch (maybe 1.5") and then do the armholes. That way, the diagonal line will be shifted down 1-1.5" and I don't have to rip half of my work. Lisa very kindly declared me "so smart" earlier this week, but I have to admit, I would never have thought of fixing my problem this way. Isn't the internet great?

By Veronique
On Friday, March 31, 2006
At 3/31/2006 11:58:00 AM


 
 

I think I am going to cry


See that diagonal line that is separating the travelling ribs at the bottom from the Fair Isle seed stitch at the top? In the Rowan picture, this line is right *under* the bust. In my rendition, this line goes right *across my boobs*.

The thought of ripping down to the beginning of this diagonal line and reknitting it so it hits just right is .... discouraging. (I am trying not to use swear words as Katie won't be able to read my blog at work. Hi Katie! Aren't you glad you can read this whiny post?). This means ripping back each front and the back to about the halfway point. Not to mention that I've done a 3 needle bind off for the shoulders and started knitting the collar.

Why Rowan? Why?

And the worst part is, I still think this is going to be the best sweater ever. I haven't even given up on Rowan magazine #34: I'm dying to make Birch. All I want to do is run over to Habu and buy some of their mohair/silk yarn in steel gray (Gobaishi). Won't it keep me nice and warm this summer, in overly air condionned places?

ETA: I got a huge response from everybody about my last post. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that cutting yarn would freak knitters out! Made your blood pressure go up, huh? He he he...
Oh, and by the way, the sleeves of Rapunzel are (I think) working out just fine. (Knock on wood).

By Veronique
On Wednesday, March 29, 2006
At 3/29/2006 04:54:00 PM


 
 

caution: knitting surgery ahead!

Before I show you pictures of knitting surgery, I'd like to show you my latest FO: the Cherry Bomb scarf. I specifically chose the red color so that it would go with my pink coat. Not very subtle, and it's possible that a black scarf would have looked more sleek and dignified, but have you ever tried to knit with black yarn?!
(Sorry, the flash startled me. I don't think my eyebrows are *that* arched. And I don't think I'm crossed-eyed).
Specs:
Yarn: Dive' Teseo (is it italian? is Dive' the name of the yarn or the company?), purchased at Knit A Way in Brooklyn. I got 3 skeins, it was all they had! I was afraid that 3x 98 yds might not be enough... But Cherry Bomb measures at 6" x 66". Perfect for a scarf you're going to tuck inside your coat.
Pattern: stitch pattern from Nicky Epstein's Knitting on the Edge, page 137. She calls it "Palm Tree Puff". I cast on 24 st, and did 30 repeats.

And now, on to the scary stuff!
It's Rapunzel, of course. This pattern is so beautiful, and yet, every single step of the way has been giving me trouble... Now, I know you can't see it in the picture that I'm linking to, but there is a cable in the middle of the back. The diagonal ribbing meets in the middle and forms a kind of upside-down "V", right at the cable. I originally thought that this cable in the middle of the back was not quite right: should it twist to the left? or to the right? I order to avoid this, I simply omitted the cable and made a column of 4 knit st in the middle, thinking it would create a nice vertical line. Well, it looked like a really crappy vertical line. See? Ugh. All that puckering...


I took my scisoors to it. (Scissors courtesy of Ms Gleek, who brought them back from Japan!).
I cut the yarn (ouch!) and unraveled 4 st. I put the top 4 st on a fancy stitch holder (aka bobby pin).


Then, I unraveled these 4 st all the way down to the 2nd row.

I then used a crochet hook and a cable needle to create a cable.
Ta da!!
(And now, I have to go back to the lab, to do more surgeries. Well, dissections really).

By Veronique
On Sunday, March 26, 2006
At 3/26/2006 03:11:00 PM


 
 

new scarf name!

I showed my ever-growing (and almost done!) Brooklyn Pods scarf to my friend Rebekah last night and told her how difficult it is to find a good name for knitted items. Of course, she immediately found a much better name: Cherry Bomb!

Then she had to explain to me what a cherry bomb is. I've never seen or heard of these things. Sadly, I have many holes in my american cultural education: I don't quite get the point of Gumby -what is he made of anyway?-, and I can't sing any Allman Brothers songs. I bring this band up in particular because I was once taken to see a solo show of one of the Allman Brothers and had no idea who they were. Anyway, it's obviously impossible to make a list of things I don't know, so let's just say that I am vastly deficient in american TV and radio music knowledge. And firecrackers knowledge.

Anyway. Instead of another progress shot, here is the back of Cherry Bomb:

Ooh! Pretty!

By Veronique
On Thursday, March 23, 2006
At 3/23/2006 04:44:00 PM


 
 

dirty robot!

I've been seeing these irreverent robots everywhere (everywhere = Chris, Jenn, Jillian...)



Ooh, my acronym sounds kind of dirty... I mean, "optimized for nocturnal infiltration"? "ultimate exploration"?! Hee!

Anyway. I have been knitting.
I cannot name my scarf "tadpole", as I used to work in a frog lab. I see frogs and tadpoles in a completely different way now. The scarf name "Raised Dots" is out of the running (a little too meh), so "Pods" wins! Brooklyn Pods, to be exact. I've knitted 2 (out of 3) balls on Brooklyn Pods, gotta love those size 10 needles! I hope I can finish it between tonight and thursday night, and wear it proudly at the Point on friday.

By the way, you'll have to take my word for it, but the back of the scarf looks really interesting.

By Veronique
On Wednesday, March 22, 2006
At 3/22/2006 12:20:00 PM


 
 

Raised Dots vs. Pods

I was *very* hung over on sunday (the Red Bamboo Brooklyn is the place to party!). I absolutely did not have the focus required to work on Rapunzel... My other project, Crumpets (which I just realize I haven't blogged about, oops), has reached the non-ending stockinette part. Not only is it boring, but I also hate Cotton Ease: it's hard, tightly spun, heavy and hurts my hands. Yuck. It's good drunk knitting but bad hung-over knitting.

Anyway. I had to do it: I cast on for a new project. I *had* to, I tell you.
Lisa and I walked around the lovely neighborhood of Fort Greene, Brooklyn on saturday and made it all the way to Knit A Way, where I picked up 3 skeins of Teseo yarn. It's self-striping, just like Noro yarns, but all in shades of red. (Hey, just like my tattoos! Thanks for all the nice comments by the way!). It took me most of the afternoon of staring at stitch patterns from Nicky Epstein's Knitting on the Edge, and then I found the perfect stitch. Aaaah. I felt better instantly.
Here's a shot of the scarf so far, with this lovely single ply, 55% wool, 45% microfiber yarn.
Raised Dots Scarf: a new project!
See the stripes?
And I know you want a closeup:
Raised Dots Scarf- Closeup
I'm tentatively calling it Raised Dots. Descriptive, yes; poetic, no.
Oh, wait! It reminds me of a necklace that I've been dying to get, by Small Things Designs, called Pods. It's the one at the bottom.
small thingsdesigns
Ah ha! Pods Scarf. Is that a better name? Hmm, maybe not...

By Veronique
On Monday, March 20, 2006
At 3/20/2006 05:50:00 PM


 
 

Ouch!

I've had a little kitchen accident... I stupidly cut my left index finger with the largest kitchen knife I own. I'm all right, but this means that I cannot bend my finger (or the wounds re-opens, ugh) and therefore makes knitting tricky. And my left shoulder, site of my brand new tattoos, is painful too. I naively thought that tattoos hurt just *while* you were getting them done, I never imagined that they would hurt afterwards. It's not too bad --it feels like a sunburn-- but still: Grr...

Right. Instead of complaining, I will show you pics of Rapunzel. In macro mode.
Here are the diagonal ribs. Isn't it cool how the K2s pop up from the P3s?
And here is the very subtle Fair Isle, done in moss stitch. I love that the sparkly GGH Velour Lame stitch pokes out every 4th row.

Finally, a full back view. You can see the central vertical 4 stitch stripe on the left. At the very top, although it's blurry, you can see where the diagonal ribs meet the moss stitch. That means I'm more than half-way done on the back! Yay!



On a completely different note, have you been following the DaVinci Code trial? The authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail claim that Dan Brown, author of the DaVinci Code, copied the "architecture" of their book. Now, I read the DaVinci code when it came out and bought Holy Blood, Holy Grail recently. Here's my 2c: as far as I can tell, the DaVinci Code is an exact copy of Holy Blood, Holy Grail. (Except that the DaVinci Code is a poorly written adventure novel whereas Holy Blood, Holy Grail is a well-written, well-documented history book). Will I get in trouble for writing this? I'm not very subtle or restrained.

By Veronique
On Tuesday, March 14, 2006
At 3/14/2006 12:52:00 PM


 
 

FOs! Who wants some FOs?

It's Spring! This winter is confusing the hell out of me... But I don't care, it's 70 degrees out!
Anyway. I'm still working on the finishing touches of all sorts of forgotten projects. Here's 2:

1. the Teddy Bear sweater and hat (ta da!)
I went all over town to find toggle buttons. And I found them at the place I should've gone to first: M&J Trimmings. Ms. Sassy recently described the euphoria induced by going to this amazing store. I had never been, and all I can say is: whoa Nelly is right! .
(Can you see I snuck in the 2 fronts of Rapunzel? I've started the back too.)

2. my step-mother's Christmas '04 gift!
Pattern specs:
Pattern by Phildar (purchased by my step-mother, she put post-its on the pages she liked. This was her #1 choice). No link, this was a magazine from 4-5 years ago, and I can't find it online.
Yarn: 2 skeins of black Manos del Uruguay, 7 (?) skeins of burgundy Koigu, purchased at Purl. Ball bands long lost.
Needles: 10 (or maybe 10.5, I can't remember) for the Manos, and 3 for the Koigu. (Now do you understand why it took me forever to knit those sleeves?!)
Zipper: Zipperstop. Only the best for my step-mother.

Now excuse me, I am want to get away from this computer and go outside! Or to the Point, which is the next best thing.

By Veronique
On Thursday, March 09, 2006
At 3/09/2006 04:35:00 PM


 
 

update

More great stuff from my Secret Pal, Special Mittens!
My March gift contains a (handmade?) needle case. You can't really tell in my crappy picture, but she sewed it with *glitter* rainbow thread. Ooh, glitter, how I love thee... Open it up, and there's size 6 Lantern Moon needles! I've been drooling after these needles for some time now. How did she know that I'm knitting Rapunzel on size 6 needles?!

Speaking of Rapunzel, I'm chugging along on. As you know, there was some drama originally: Sarah assured me that Rowan patterns are huge and that I had to make the XS, but then Montreal Marie from the Rapunzel KAL assured me that the reverse was true and that I should make size M. I hate drama. So I compromised and made the size I originally wanted to make: S. Because of all these hesitations, I've only completed the right front and half of the left front. On the plus side, I've memorized the pattern.

Soon, I will have a big reveal. I'm almost done with a cardigan made with Koigu and Manos... Just weaving in ends. (I started this one pre-blog, about 2 years ago, and all it needed was a zipper and weaving in of the many many ends. It's a gift, and the giftee periodically reminds me that she's been waiting oh so patiently).

By Veronique
On Monday, March 06, 2006
At 3/06/2006 04:20:00 PM