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Tres Chic Veronique


Pink and Green: good news!

I'm so happy today: it's warm and sunny and my late afternoon/early evening meeting has been cancelled! Yay!
Hopefully my good mood will rub off on you.

Here is: ------drumroll-----

Peanut's EZ Baby Surprise Jacket (I got the pattern from Knitting Workshop). It is indeed a surprise: as I was knitting it, I tried to fold various edges in all sorts of ways and could *not* figure it out. Huh. In fact, I cast on for it saturday (because I was feeling guilty for having ripped it out previously and because I knew that the Gleek family was on its way home from the hospital at about the same time), and I could not put it down. Curiosity kept me going! I finished sunday evening.
Here it is, all unfolded. As EZ mentions in the pattern: it's going to look odd, but press on! And so I did.
But then, you lift up the upper corner and fold it up...
... you lift up another corner...
... you do the same on the other side...
Voila! A baby sweater!
And the back (of which I am particularly proud of, since I could not get those decreases to line up properly):

Now Peanut has 2 Baby Surprise Jackets, the first one, which inspired me, was knitted by Sarah.

Pattern Specs:
Yarn: 1 and a smidge balls of Noro Lily in variegated pink/blue/green (which has been dubbed "Easter Colors" by the Spiders), gifted by Jacqueline, and one and a bigger smidge balls of Noro Lily in Lime Green (actually, what is called "Vert Anis" in France: not quite as neon as Lime, and not as acidic as Chartreuse).
Needles: US 6 Addis, 24" length.
Striping pattern: 5 ridges color A, 5 ridges color B, 2 ridges color A, 2 ridges color B.
Buttons: TBD...
Started: March 24, 2007
Finished: March 25, 2007 (well, except for a teeny bit a seaming, but come on, I consider it done!).

PS: I would totally buy Vesper sock yarn again. I'm a sucker for self striping yarn. And she picks the most amazing colors! In fact, in my stash right now, I have Strange Little Mama, which was kindly purchased for me by my fantastic roommate, Lisa, who knew that I could not be near a computer at the time of the Etsy shop update and therefore hit the re-load button many times until she got the colorway I wanted. And she didn't even buy anything for herself! Anyway, I have to check if I have the new 80% superwash wool/ 20% nylon. But even if it's the "old" 100% merino, I still love it! (Just not with cute little flats).

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By Veronique
On Tuesday, March 27, 2007
At 3/27/2007 09:39:00 AM


Pink and Green: bad news

I have worn my Vesper Watermelon socks exactly 3 times. *sigh*
I bought this yarn a while ago, and I believe that Ms. Vesper is now using a different base yarn. It's hard to tell from her shop, because she is perpetually sold out!

Tomorrow, you will have GOOD pink and green news!

**Edited to add: I could have avoided this problem if I'd worn open back clogs, I suppose. But no, I wore these cute flats. Lesson learned**


By Veronique
On Monday, March 26, 2007
At 3/26/2007 03:46:00 PM



Remember all the secret knitting I've been talking about? Well, here is my big secret: I have 2 designs in Yahaira's book, Sensual Knits!
Here's how it went down: Yahaira asked for design submissions back in November. I gave her 2 sketches and pictures of one completed project (which was originally destined for an online knitting mag, one that you all know, it starts with a K and ends with a Y, but although the editor told me she would publish my design, she inexplicably bailed. I've since heard that this is not uncommon with her).
I can prove that this book actually exists: the Amazon page is up!

One other contributor is Mim (designer of the Icarus and Seraphim shawls). There plenty of others, most of whom you've heard about, but I will wait (impatiently) until they announce it themselves. (I somehow feel that I'm not allowed to "out" anyone). OK, fine, I'll give you a few hints: one of them takes "Fiber Fix" photographs, one lives in San Francisco, one has a line of alpaca yarn, one made a gorgeous Weekender bag, one is becoming as obsessed as I am about Habu yarn, one makes cool knitting pouches that sell out the day they are posted, one makes self-striping yarn that sells out just as fast if not faster, and one is british.
I'm so excited!!


By Veronique
On Wednesday, March 21, 2007
At 3/21/2007 09:24:00 AM


Bloom, take 2

I have good news, and I have bad news.

I'm going to give you the bad news first, ok?
I'd been working merrily along on Blumengruss (which, by the way, is such a harsh name that I'm going to rename it Bloom. Ah, much better).
Bloom is made of 3 parts:
1. You start with a triangle, knit from the bottom up. So the rows get longer and longer and lonnnnnnnger. I decided I'll keep the stitches live at the top.
2. Then, you pick up stitches along the 2 sides and you knit a V shape. (Yay for Vs!) Again, I will leave the stitches live at the end.
3. Finally, you knit a border all the way around, and pick up one live stitch every other row.
Here's a schematic, a la Grumperina:
Here's how far I got after about 3 days:
Cute, right? Well, what you might not be able to tell from this picture is that the yarn is an eye-searing, traffic-cone orange. In order to squelch this overly bright color, I decided to purchase new (neutral colored) yarn for the stripes. Don't look at me like that, buying new yarn is allowed if it's to complete a project! I immediately found this lovely Habu lace weight merino at my LYS:
The colors are called Brick and Whiskey.
So there, I was, chugging along, and then, one person said, in the kindest tone possible, "hm, those colors are very... 70s?". See for yourself.
And that's when it hit me. Those colors are hideous together. Want to see a close up?
I then spent the weekend asking anyone I knew whether these colors were not atrocious together. One friend said to me "I love you, but yes, those colors do not go together". Well then.

On to the good news!
I'm using the yarn I dyed with Marie last week!
And finally, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Gleek will have a first-day-of-Spring baby!

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By Veronique
On Thursday, March 15, 2007
At 3/15/2007 02:05:00 PM


Behind the Scenes: Brooklyn Handpsun

There are times when it's really nice to know a lot of knitters in the city... Marie, of Brooklyn Handspun fame, is always generous about sharing her dyeing expertise. I emailed her last monday about the 1,500 yds of Habu single ply laceweight that I wanted to dye, and she invited me over to her place on wednesday! First, we wound my center pull ball into a big hank. How big? This big!
Dyeing with Brooklyn Handspun: the "Before" Pic

Then, we dyed a little swatch that I'd knitted with the yarn.
Dyeing with Brooklyn Handspun:
Here are my top 3 contenders:
Blue Spruce, upper right corner. Meh, too soft. I want a color with more pop. Next: Moss, bottom. Ooh, I like this one! And finally, Mallard Green, upper right. It's a green with a lot of blue in it, very unusual.
And the winner is......
Dyeing with Brooklyn Handspun:
Mallard Green!
I let it dry overnight, and here is my yarn all wound up. My Paper Crane donut included for scale. This ball is huge!
Dyeing with Brooklyn Handspun:
Oooh, nice. Much lighter than I anticipated, but nice!
Now, it hurt my arms to wind 1,500 yds of yarn, but Marie doesn't have that problem... She has an electric skein winder!
Brooklyn Handspun's electric winder!
She puts the hank on the umbrella swift (in front), and hooks it up to the electric winder (in back). And then she just lets it go!!
Why this additional step of turning a hank into another hank? Well, the final hank is a slightly different size than the original hank, and therefore the colors mix up, giving you a glimpse of what it will look like knitted up. See?
Brooklyn Handspun

Lest you think that everything is going perfect over here, here is proof that I make mistakes. I've been trucking along on EZ's Baby Surprise Jacket. That is, until I decided to count my stitches between markers.
EZ's baby surprise jacket
Oops, looks like the 2 "sides" are not at all the same shape! Start over.
Although baby Gleek will be born soon, I don't think she'll need a jacket this big right away, phew! And when I say soon, I mean Gleek is already on maternity leave, and probably sitting on her couch knitting as I type! She can't possibly be in labor as she *promised* to text me the minute she goes to the hospital. I've had a few scares already where she hasn't responded to emails with her usual promptness and I assume that she's had her baby without telling me... I know, how dare she! :)

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By Veronique
On Sunday, March 11, 2007
At 3/11/2007 02:15:00 PM


For me??

Oooh, I could not believe it when I saw a package in front of all the mailboxes . Every time I see a package left out in the hallway (ie which could not fit into the mailboxes), I hope against all hope that it's for me. And this time, it was! (By the way, for those wondering about the christmas gift that my dad sent me from France, it got returned to sender! Grrr).
Whatever could it be?
Yarn? Yarn?! For me? A book? Chocolate?!! I'm in heaven!

This treasure comes to me courtesy of Jacqueline at Serendipity. I think I mentioned already that she was giving away prizes for her 2 year blogiversary. Yes, you read that right, she's giving yarn away. Just in case you can't tell from the picture, I'm going to spell it out for you: that's 2 skeins if KSH in Blushes, 2 skeins of Noro Lily (70% cotton, 30% silk --hmmmm), one ball of Opal, one chocolate koala filled with caramel, and one cute notebook.
I already have plans for all of the yarn. I think we can safely say that my knitting blahs are over!
1. I've been dying to make the Retro Rib socks (here's what Sarah's look like). Hot pink is a good color, don't you think?
2. The Noro screams baby girl to me, so Gleek is getting another baby knit. Maybe EZ's Baby Surprise Jacket... Gleek just posted a picture of the Baby Surprise Jacket that Sarah made for her, so it was the first thing that popped in my mind. I know, I should probably make something else, but the Baby Surprise Jacket has such an unusual construction that I have to try it. Thanks for the inspiration Sarah!
3. I have to make myself a bridesmaid shawl for my mother's wedding. It's at the end of April in Boston and my dress is short sleeved, so I know I'm going to freeze. And wouldn't you know it, I've had my eye on this japanese shawl pattern! It's from "New Style of Heirloom Knitting" aka the book that Am Kamin (the cardigan that's the subject of the Crossed in Translation KAL) and the Mountainash shawl that Grumperina is making are in. (Note: I bought the book at Kinokuniya, but you could order it from Yes Asia).

I'm going to use the pink KSH, orange Lacy Lamb (from the stash), and purple cashmere (also from the stash). I could also use the 1,500 yds of Habu single ply laceweight that's in the stash. In fact, I'm going to dye it at Marie's this week! See how good I'm getting at this Knit From the Stash thing?
This shawl is called Blumengruss, after the lied by Hugo Wolf. Every design in this book is music-inspired: there's a Debussy sweater (l'Isle Joyeuse), a Ravel sweater (Ondine), Mountain Ash is named after a piece by Jean Sibelius, and Am Kamin after a Tchaikovsky piece. Fancy!

Thank you Jacqueline!

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By Veronique
On Monday, March 05, 2007
At 3/05/2007 06:47:00 PM


Yarn Purchase Withdrawal Symptoms

I think I'm experiencing yarn-purchase withdrawal symptoms: I have a headache. I want to sleep all day. I'm cranky. I WANT TO BUY YARN!

Normally, when all my projects bore me (Rowan's Pam aran cardie, Hanne Falkenberg's half completed Mermaid, Gentlemen's Lozenge sock -one more to go!-, one third of Birch that I'd forgotten about, a stalled Goth right at the start, Panache which I'm somewhat bored with, etc etc), I solve my existential ennui and irritation by buying yarn for a new project. You know what I mean: it's the lure of the new! This project will not have gauge issues! This project is going to have the perfect yarn that does not make your hands ache like that other yarn did! This project is going to have an error-free pattern! This project is going to fit me perfectly!
Oh, in that moment, you just *know* that it will be the best project ever...

Well. As you know, I cannot buy yarn. This is making me very irritable. I try to avoid going straight home from work. Instead, I go out with friends. (What a new concept!). If I am home, none of my half-completed projects thrown about on the couch appeal to me. Each project has something wrong with it, some aspect that I dread: Now that I've knit the 2 fronts of the aran cardie, I realize what long rows lay ahead of me for the back. Ugh. I have to rip out about half of Mermaid, and wash the yarn. My arms are sore just thinking about it! I cannot memorize the Lozenge pattern. I put Birch on scrap yarn, and it will take a long time to get it back on the needles. My st count is off for Goth. Where did I put Panache? Oh, just listing everything that is wrong with these projects is giving me a headache... Of course, the fact that I stayed out late last night and saw these ladies perform might be contributing.

Even the prospect of making a lace shawl does not tempt me. (Now you know it's serious!). I need a shawl for a wedding at the end of April, otherwise I will freeze in my bridesmaid dress. I have some laceweight yarn. (How much is "some"? Oh, about 8 shawls' worth). I have a few patterns I've been thinking about... But I'm just not excited about it. *sigh*

Any known cures for the knitting blahs?


By Veronique
On Thursday, March 01, 2007
At 3/01/2007 03:02:00 PM