Monday, December 31, 2007

The Holidays, Part 2

Before the new year is out, I had to tell you guys about my time in NYC.

There was lots of family:

Mind you, my family is large, many more cousins, uncles, aunts, and other people who are like family that aren't shown here.

There was food:

I had to show you guys my family's Christmas tradition as I ate it, Pepper Pot (scroll down for a recipe to try out). EVERY Guyaneese family has this dish EVERY Christmas in the morning time with some bread to soak in the sauce. It can also be eaten later on in the day with rice (but the Pepper Pot is done way before lunch time anyway!) And it's not a cheap dish. Lots of oxtail, cow heel, turkey, and chunks of beef (you can also add pig feet if you like, but we've never done that in my family). I think the cost and the time it takes to make it is the main reason why it is a holiday treat!

And of course there was lots of knitting:

My mom loved the hat and my grandmother really liked the cardigan. When my aunts and uncle and cousins saw it, they said I should really knit for pay. Don't you hate when people do that to you? I keep telling people I knit for fun and there is no way I would knit for money because I'm not as efficient and fast as a machine to make real money. I'd prefer to design or make the yarn at the mill, or something that makes more sense. Even if you charged $500 for a handknit adult sweater (which by the way is way higher than what I saw was going for handknit sweaters online) it still would not be worth my knitting time. I'd rather keep my hair in my head, thank you.

I even let my dorky side come out of me this year:

I had to take a picture of the E train, the train that I practically grew up on. As the artery of Queens, it got me to anywhere I needed to be in New York. This and the annual Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center are very iconic to New York and seeing that New York City shall forever be in my blood, I had to take a couple shots of them.

So, as you can see I had a pretty good holiday. Tomorrow will be the new year (how cool is that). More blogging on the way. Feliz Navidad, Prospero Ano Nuevo y felicidad a todos! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and happiness to everyone!

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Holidays

I returned from home this past Wednesday. Needless to say it was wonderful to spend time with my family (I hope the same happened for the rest of you guys).

Of course I got pictures, but I still am in holiday mode. My boyfriend's family is coming up to spend the New Year with us this weekend. Therefore I will be cooking like a fiend, entertaining, and possibly knitting. However, here are a few pics of knitting to make this post less boring.

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Knitting: DONE!

I am happy to report that all of my holiday knitting is done, with time to spare. All the presents are wrapped and ready to be packed and transported with me to New York this Christmas. I'm just glad I finally finished this thing:

Bristow, from Knitty for my grandmother. What do you think? I hope she likes it. When she opens the present, I'll try and make her try it on and take a picture of her wearing it for you guys (but I'm not making any promises).

I also made some hats. The dark blue is the same yarn I used for the Cablelicious pattern (for my boyfriend's younger brother) and the light blue hat is for my mother (remember I punked out? on the shawl) Anyway, I decided to beef up her gift with a framed picture of me receiving my college degree this past May. I believe she'll like the hat and the picture. The yarn I used for my mom's hat is this gorgeous merino/cashmere/silk blend from Sublime in an aran weight.

The only unfortunate thing about finishing a long term project is that you feel lost for deciding on the next project. I also got to plan my travel knitting. I'm thinking socks but what I really want to work on is a top down raglan sweater. I've been fishing around online for patterns, but I can only plan for now. That sweater would have to wait till I come back from New York.

So yeah, with that, I'll end this post. I'm flying home Thursday night and I'll be in New York till Boxing Day (Dec. 26). Maybe I'll see some of you guys that are out there on the subway or on the street, but in a city of 8 million, I doubt it. Plus I'm spending the majority of the holiday at home with my family, so I won't be doing a lot of knitting related activities.

So whatever holiday you celebrate at this time of year, I hope it is a fulfilling and happy one! And most importantly, Happy Knitting till then!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


This baby hat pattern is quick, easy, and fun. I started and finished this one in about 6 hours (but that's only because I was making the pattern as I go). If you knit faster than that, then every baby in your life will have a hat this Christmas. I used a lovely bamboo wool blend yarn that is machine washable, so the mother has one less thing to worry about. I hope you guys enjoy it!


Size: Infant (14 inches in circumference)

Gauge: 24 stitches x 26 rows= 4 inches (in pattern on larger needles)

A set of Size 5 US (DPN)
A set of Size 6 US (DPN)

Yarn: 1 50 gram ball of Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo (80% Bamboo, 20% Wool, 104 yards)

Notions: Darning needle or crochet hook for weaving in ends


Seed Stitch

Even number of stitches
Row 1: Knit 1, purl 1.
Row 2: Purl 1, knit 1.
Repeat both rows till desired length is met.

Tiny Bamboo (From Vogue Knitting Stitchionary, Volume 1)

Multiple of 2 stitches
Row 1: *YO, K2, pass the YO over the K2; rep from * to end.
Row 2: Knit.
Repeat both rows till desired length is met.


1. With smaller needles, cast on 60 stitches.
2. Do Seed Stich for 1 inch.
3. Change to larger needles and start Bamboo stitch till work measures 4 1/2 inches, ending on row 1 of Bamboo stitch pattern.


1. K4, K2tog for entire row.
2. Work row 1 of Bamboo stitch pattern.
3. K3, K2tog for entire row.
4. Work row 1 of Bamboo stitch pattern.
5. K2, K2tog for entire row.
6. Work row 1 of Bamboo stitch pattern.
7. K1, K2tog for entire row.
8. Work row 1 of Bamboo stitch pattern.
9. K2tog for entire row.
10. Work row 1 of Bamboo stitch pattern.

Cut yarn from ball, leaving a 6 inch tail, thread yarn through last stiches of hat, pull tight, and weave in ends. Block hat for shaping and enjoy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Knitty Winter 2007 Review

The Winter 2007 edition of Knitty has finally arrived. Let me tell you that all last month I would visit the site pretty much every day to see if they had updated. Yesterday I finally saw something new. Since I have been reviewing many of the other popular knit publications like Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits, I thought it would be appropriate to rate this issue.

Overall, this issue is solid. As usual Knitty (like many other knit wear magazines) has a few hot messes that makes you question why you were ever excited for this new issue to come out in the first place. However, as you browse around, there are still a couple great treasures that reaffirm why you love Knitty so much. I definintely had a "What the Hell!" moment when I saw this hand puppet and this ball. However, this could be the practical knitter in me taking over my judgement. I figure hand puppets and balls can very easily (not to mention more cheaply) be bought at a local discount store.

Some items that are just darling to look at but not necessary something I would like to knit is the cover pattern named Ice Queen, Three Tams, and Quant.

For those who love socks, this issue offers 4 sock patterns, my favorite being Azure. Other noteworthy accesories are Jeanie, a gorgeous wrap of cables and lace, Toasty Topper a cute and quick hat and scarf combo to warm your little ones with , and Fair Isle Rapids, a stunning color work scarf that I feel would not only be fun to knit but a great addition to anyones wardrobe. Matrix is another pattern I definetely see myself knitting this winter for myself, most likely in colors I prefer (like green and yellow because I love Brett Favre or blue and white because I'm a dedicated Colts fan).

Though the accesories are strong, many of the wearable garments are rather disappointing. Out of 6 sweaters, only 2 are worth my time. My favorites are Laughing Carrots and Cables & Bits (which technically is a dog sweater but it is a wearable garment for someone).

I did skim through the articles but lets face it, many knitters are looking for patterns, not articles. Still some of you may want to check out a tutorial by Frankenknits about changing a pullover into a cardigan, Cool Stuff, and more about dying yarn with food coloring and Kool-Aid.

Aside from this particular issue, one qualm I have with Knitty in general is the timing in which their issues are uploaded, especially the Winter issue. The focus for these issues tend to be gift giving and quick yet thoughtful are what we knitters need this time of year. Many other knit publications have their holiday issues hit store shelves at the beginning of November, giving you ample time to buy your materials, knit a bit, procrastinate, become overwhelmed with sleep deprivation from staying up and knitting all night for 4 weeks straight, and get the thing done in time for Christmas. The time that Knitty updates (around Dec. 1) I feel is too late for knitters who are serious about their gift knitting to wait for their designs to come out every year. I would suggest that they update the website around the middle of November. That gives you ample time to make several hats or one sweater for someone very special in your life and still be sane by the end of it all.

That's all I have to say. Do leave some feedback about this review and about the new Knitty in the comments section.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, December 10, 2007


A lot of people are deathly afraid of cables. I'm not sure why seeing that cables aren't very difficult at all. They are just twisted stitches, knitting out of order if you will. This hat will not only bust some stash and give you a quick holiday knit, it will also help you get over your fear of cables. And if you love cables, well this is the hat for you. I used a hand dyed yarn from Chile that had enough varigation to keep the hat visually interesting without loosing the beauty of the cables. Of course, a solid colored yarn would work wonderfully with this pattern as well.


Size: Small adult, (Large adult); 20 inches, (22 inches) in circumference
Gauge: 22 stitches x 30 rows= 4 inches (in pattern on larger needles)

A set of Size 5 US (DPN)
A set of Size 7 US (DPN)

Yarn: 1 100 gram skein of Araucania Nature Wool Regular (100% Wool, 240 yards)

Cable needle or preferred method of making a cable without a needle (here's one)
Darning needle or crochet hook for weaving in ends


4 Stitch Right Twisting Cable

Rounds 1-5: K4, P2 for entire round.
Round 6: Slip 2 stiches on cable needle, hold them behind the work, knit next 2 stiches, K2 stitches from cable needle, P2; repeat for entire round.
Repeat these 6 rows till work is to desire length.

K4, P2 Rib

Multiple of 6 stitches
Round 1: K4, P2 for entire round
Repeat round to desired length


1. With smaller needles, cast on 90, (96) stitches.
2. Do K4, P2 Rib for 1 inch.
3. Change to larger needles and start 4 Stitch Right Twisting Cable stitch till work measures 6, (7) inches.


Larger hat only: K6, K2tog for entire round. (84 stitches remain)
Smaller hat only: K6, K2tog till last 8 stitches of round. K4, K2tog, K2tog. (77 stitches remain)

2. Knit entire round.
3. K5, K2tog for entire round. 66, (72) stiches remain.
4. Knit entire round.
5. K4, K2tog for entire round. 55, (60) stitches remain.
6. Knit entire round.
7. K3, K2tog for entire round. 44, (48) stitches remain.
8. Knit entire round.
9. K2, K2tog for entire round. 33, (36) stitches remain.
10. Knit entire round.
11. K1, K2tog for entire round. 22, (24) stitches remain.
12. Knit entire round.
13. K2tog for entire row. 11, (12) stitches remain.

Cut yarn from ball, leaving a 6 inch tail, thread yarn through last stiches of hat, pull tight, and weave in ends. Block hat for shaping and voila.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Playing Catch Up!

What does a person do in a month of not blogging? Live, of course! Here are some pictures to help get you guys caught up:

We got a new TV. I had to get my "Price is Right" on for this one! We got it for a steal $999, down from $1999! It would have been foolish of us not to spend our money on this rather useless yet fun electronic device.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving meal. It even snowed! This year I opted to have all-American food. Having a Guyanese background while living in America has allowed me to sample dishes from both countries during this time of year. For example, we'd still have stuffing, turkey, and cranberry sauce but we'd also have all sorts of rice, curry and roti, and of course sweet plantain.

This past holiday was not stressful at all. I cooked some food, a friend cooked the rest, and she, my boyfriend and his brother, and I just sat, watched football and ate ALL DAY. One of the best Thanksgivings I've ever had!

There has also been some knitting going on:

Bristow is coming along well. I'm almost done with the right sleeve and have started sewing the pieces together (because I could not wait to see how everything would look). I still have to buy buttons and make the button and neck bands, sew everything up, weave in the ends, and block the thing. This should not take too long, however I do have a problem. I still have not even started my mom's present, the Swallowtail Shawl from Interweave Fall 2006. I'm flying into New York City Dec. 20, 2007. That means as of this writing I have 11 days to start, finish, block, and wrap a lace shawl for my mother. Maybe I should just start the shawl and give it to her later (like Christmas 2008). I'll find something store bought or make something smaller (maybe some gloves or a quick scarf). It's unfortunate that I procrastinated like this but I'm not trying to have a stressful holiday this year.

I've also made a couple quick hats. The green one is an Odessa (without the beads) for one of my boyfriend's step brothers. I did it in some Cascade 220 stash yarn I had lying around. The blue and white caps are hat patterns I'm working on. They are free and the idea is last minute gifts that are interesting yet quick. I still got some numbers to rework but these patterns will be available soon.

That's all I got for now. I still have a lot of house work to do. Laundry, cleaning, and decorating are just a few of the things on the long list of things to do. Oh yeah, in addition to the hat patterns, I'm working on a review of the new Knitty. I have just gone through the patterns and still have the articles to read. Talk to you guys later! Happy Knitting!