Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Weavers Wear Holiday Handknits

Here it is... the fruit of much secretive labor over the past two months:

A two-tone ribbed shrug for Beth from Fitted Knits, Neiman for my mom (it came out perfectly when I followed my own directions for size C, which is encouraging!) and a Cobblestone Pullover for the Dud made from Aracunia Nature Wool.

I'm still in Michigan, but am shipping up to Boston later this afternoon so I can return to work tomorrow. Details and closeups of the projects to come when I get back. Hope everyone is relaxed and knitting things for personal use!

Beth is so photogenic.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I See Copyright Infringement.

And I miss my subway station Dunkin' Donuts and the really pretty, sweet, Russian women who worked there and had my coffee ready for me as soon as I got through the turnstile. They lost their lease on December 1. The other day, the sign above appeared. Here's a closeup.

Seriously, have you ever seen such a thing?

Not much else is going on. Must knit a lot over the next four days. Many, many photos to come later. Oh, and here's my winter look... so, so warm. I saw it in a window on Newbury Street after getting back a security deposit from an apartment I just left. Five minutes later...

Happy holidays and great knitting success to all!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Some daylight; thus, a photo

I finished my Spitcurl Scarf, pattern available at Red Lipstick! It's a Christmas gift, but I'm fairly certain the recipient isn't reading right now. And I have new hair to brighten the winter days. I'm on my way to platinum; this is just a pit stop along the way.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Impressed, humbled, and cold

First of all, it's been so much fun to read everyone's comments about knitting; I found a bit of myself and my own motivations in each voice. I'm constantly impressed by knitters, in general.

The photo to the right is the "Scarf with Striped Border" from Victorian Lace Today. Yes, it is Christmas knitting, but the recipient does not do the interwebs, so it's safe. I started off with the notion of doing a more complex project from the book, began said project twice, seriously fouled it up twice, got cross and snappy with Chris for about an hour, had a beer, and realized that I should just start something easier, something that will be fast and enjoyable. Aside from the big round "Janet" shawl (a Knitpicks pattern) I haven't knit lace. And that one was round and knit with two strands on big, big needles.

Humility. Let me learn to knit lace and enjoy the learning. This is make with Misti Alpaca laceweight (cheap! soft!) on #6 Addi Turbo Lace Needles (hey, if I'm going to learn to knit lace, I'm not going to put myself through the added torture that comes with not having the best tools!). So far, so good.

And I've been WEAVING! It's almost done... Finnish Bird's Eye pattern! Habu! I look forward to much, much more in the new year.

Oh, and I've been cold for days on end. Drafty apartment and classic ectomorph body type. I just ordered one of these. Photos to come? You bet.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Why We Do It

Why knit?

I find that I knit a whole lot more for others than I do for myself. Yes, it's great to go into a Job and say, "Oh, this sweater? Yes, I designed and made it last week." Looking fabulous and demonstrating quantifiable Skill are very, very satisfying. "LOOK AT ME!!! Not only am I gorgeous and fashion-forward, but I also have SKILL! Observe the Skill!"

But not as satisfying as watching someone else unwrap something I've made. In order to give myself and these other people this type of satisfaction this holiday season, we'll see if I can finish up all the stuff in various stages pictured here... some is done and blocked, some is well underway, some is yarn.

Reading blogs and talking to other knitters, I know that many other knitters' family members do not wear handknits. I think this would make me sad. There's nothing like a rabid Dud talking about how often he wears the sweaters I've made him and how there's just no time to wash them. He just can't go without for the time it takes the thing to dry. Or Chris asking me nicely for a "series of short socks" that he can wear with shorts in the summer and while bicycling and getting moderately upset whenever he sees me knitting a sock not intended for him. Or friends flipping through knitting pattern books when they come over and putting Post-Its on the pages of designs they particularly like.

On the other hand, I would have time to make myself some socks. Or get those two submissions out that are due this month. Perhaps I would complete a commissioned thing or two. Or write down some more patterns from the things I designed and knit up years ago.

Nah, I like Doing It for other people. I have the rest of my life to write up patterns.

Why do you Do It?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Christmas Knitting: A Tale of Stockinette Stitch

Thanksgiving was an excellent spread, and, for the first time in the history of my jobjobs, I have the day after Thanksgiving off and PAID. I took the Thanksgiving table opportunity for some Christmas knitting, around and around and around. Goal: two sweaters' worth by Christmas, plus a the smaller stuff, you know.

Today I give thanks for the Law & Order Marathons by the glow of which I have been knitting, and dear New Job and its Paid Day Off. What are you thankful for?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Top Secret

It's Christmas knitting time, people. Unfortunately, the people for whom I'm knitting read this blog, so I'll be creating content from other side projects and past knits. Take, for example, The Chris here, ready to bike to the gym yesterday.

Filey from Alice Starmore's Fishermen's Sweaters, a completed Shackleton Hat (my own design) from my handspun, fingerless gloves of my own design, and even handknit socks from some Socks that Rock in Lagoon. I didn't have to dress him up, either... I just caught him all dressed up before we left!

It's appreciation like this from Weaver-Bergh family members that has made me undertake the massive Christmas push that I have. Yep. Sat around all day today and watched an entire season of America's Next Top Model while knitting and weaving madly and feeling neurons shrivel.

Here's a closeup of the hat from the back:

In other news, we saw No Country for Old Men last night. If you like nihilism with your nihilism, head out and see it! Personally, I'm a huge fan of Cormac McCarthy and the Cohen brothers, so this was one of the best movies I've seen... ever? Maybe ever.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Everything is coming up Weaver

Leaving this was pretty tough. It was equally pleasant to hike around each day (despite the fact that all the Biergartens were closed... here I am in front of one located in the Zauberwald (Magic Forest) near the Hintersee):
and to watch the weather out the window of my Gasthaus.

Comfort is found in the fact that I returned to New Job, even though I have been rather inept and slow these past few days due to jetlag (22 hours of travel on Sunday via cab, train, larger train, flight to Philadelphia, flight to Boston, retuning at 9:30 pm. Hmmm). So far, New Job is Good Job. Hooray!!!

Oh, and here's a closeup of the knitting on the table in the picture above. I was mad to think I would finish this by Christmas. But the beauty... oh, the beauty.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


bis Sonntag!

Check this out on Thursday at 9 am and Saturday at 10 am.

Friday, November 2, 2007

This Week in Knitting

Yes, I finished the crazy project from my previous post. The inspiration was here. Click on the thumbnails. That's what I'm talkin' about. My sister Beth wanted in on this action, so the SCARF will go in the mail to her next week.

Last weekend I completed a new sweater, the details of which I could not photograph in daylight until today. Behold, the World Series Sweater, which, aside from the very top portion, was all knit during Red Sox/Indians and Red Sox/Rockies games.

It's made from two cakes of Evilla Vorgarn, in colors A 01 and A 75a, purchased from Wollsucht. I held the wool double throughout, at times knitting with both ends of the same round, at other times knitting from one end of each round. It's a simple raglan, with the A-line shaping attained by increasing the needle size twice on both the body and sleeves. If you're interested in knitting with unspun yarn, here are some tips:

1. Knit slowly. Relax. The Red Sox will do just fine without all your worrying.
2. Keep the rounds right on the floor by your feet, so you're pulling the ends pretty much straight up toward the knitting. Too much of a diagonal and they will split every few feet.
3. Be sure to swatch first and wash and block your swatch. This will reassure you about the softness and durability of your final product as well as give you correct gauge.
4. Really, knit slowly. Big motions. Relax.
5. Spit splice when you're yarn falls apart. This is a sign that you are not sufficiently relaxed.

The positive of this yarn? Well, it has a great halo, and is exceptionally warm and light. SUPER warm and light as a feather. And it has this awesome floatiness. I highly recommend it.

Oh, and this is a faux cardigan; the buttons in front are tacked into place. Do not think you can make buttonholes in unspun yarn, since they will shred apart after just a little in-and-out button action.
I made a back pleat to match the front button detail. The buttons are antique mother of pearl, gotten from the same estate sale at which I purchased my Loom to End All Looms.

A row of single-crochet around the neck (done in Evila 2/8 in the color of the unspun; yes, I do have a lot of stuff from Wollsucht) gave some much-needed stability. I LOVE IT!

Friday's knitting was swatching: this is Dream in Color Worsted in Black Parade. Oh baby. It's going to become a Classic sweater for a Christmas recipient, which means not too much detail here until after the new year. Oh well. Go buy some of this yarn. I mean, look at it, all deep purple and bottle green and deep grey in the sunshine, how could you say no?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


It goes without saying that this is how I've been feeling since Monday. A Red Sox World Series win (yes, Kevin Youklis is one of my favorite players, and has a blog here) and New Job news first thing the next morning. With jobjob ending this Friday and New Job beginning November 12, I decided to go somewhere during my precious, precious week off.

I'm going here. My Gastehaus will look out over this very view. I'll be there from Tuesday, November 6, to Sunday, November 12.

I'll be on the bridge waving at several points during my time there; I'll let all of you know when. Not that I expect normal people to look at me, but my mom will. Hi mom!

Meanwhile, I have some "all hands on deck!" Sara present knitting I have to complete by Friday. Here's where it stood at lunch today:

I can do it!!!! The yarn is sportweight from Mama Llama, purchase from Woolgirl. The color shifts are subtle, like a Lorna's Laces or Koigu semi-solid, but with almost luminescent sheen. I'm also making something nutty. Check it. It's made from 1.5 pounds of Semi-Solid Blue Faced Leicester Roving from Amy at Spunky Eclectic. Does anyone have a guess?

Thanks for the congrats and support about New Job, everyone!

Monday, October 29, 2007


A million miles away from here,
and I ain't gonna be treated this way.

Some sunny day
I've been waiting so long
Gonna walk right on out of here
And I ain't gonna work here no more.

David Byrne, A Million Miles Away

Bye bye, jobjojb. Hello New Job.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

But I, I work in his factory

First up, beautiful knitting. I've made a sack hat modeled after the one Shackleton wore often during his adventure with the Endurance knit from the yarn I spun from my Spunky Eclectic fiber club May (MAY????) offering, Nightshade. Here it is, almost complete, basking in the natural light at jobjob:

I also finished my Waterfall socks; more details can be found here on the Woolgirl Sock Club blog.

Work under Dr. Richard Cory at the Neurosurgery Factory continues. If it weren't for the health insurance, I would run screaming. Does a jobjob have to be so humiliating and abusive?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I Meet Norah Gaughan and Look Ridiculous

Look how cute she is! She was at Windsor Button in downtown Boston yesterday. Brilliant, yet understated and friendly and smart. And seeing her new pieces knit up, well, I'm very motivated to make MOST of them now.

The cropped sweater, called aamu, is one of the sample knits from Berroco volume 1. Looking at these photos today makes me feel as if it is a part of my wardrobe already; it was a struggle to postpone the purchase of the yarn, Berroco Pure Wool Nuance, but I had a special order waiting for me to work on a design I've been thinking about for months. I couldn't leave without the Ultra Alpaca Light for anais, though. Just couldn't.

In other news, I've finished up the Entrelac-n-Stripes scarf for unnamed Christmas recipient. I was in no rush to finish this one, it was so much magical fun to make. Entrelac and stripes! Entrelac and stripes!
Oh, and yay Red Sox!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

NYC Report, Part I: The yarn and knitting

The cats were glad to see me when I returned from a trip to NYC with my mom this weekend. They were so relaxed that they allowed me to pose them with my new yarn and knitting projects. Above is my haul from Habu: some of their soft wool in the approximately 12 epi gauge, some nubbly fine brown wool that they kindly wound double for me, and that golden yellow skein is 2 ounces, approximately 250 yards, of handspun Curricula silk. That is its natural color; it's enchanting.
Here is a new jacket design that I began on the bus ride down. It's made of 2 strands of Evilla Vorgarn held together. Yes, I did order from Wollsucht... I made a BIG order to make shipping worthwhile. I know German, so I didn't have any trouble, but I've heard from others that it is also easy to order in English. If anyone in the Boston area wants to order anything, let me know and perhaps we can make one big order. I'm working from both ends of the round, so the varregation of color is subtle. The pattern will be very simple and clean, since the yarn itself is the focus.

Finally, I began the Waterfall Socks from my Woolgirl Sock Club membership. The yarn and design are from Miss Babs, and WOW, is this yarn squooshy. I've used many, many hand-dyed sock yarns, and this one is a standout.
Tomorrow: NYC Report, Part II: What Mom and I did for fun.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I Run! I'm a Runner!

Here I am after the Tufts 10K for Women yesterday: a finish in under 55 minutes! I haven't run a road race since 2001, when I ripped some calf muscles apart training for a marathon, but setting up challenges like this for myself keeps my fitness, and my life in general, interesting. No one is allowed to get too complacent around here!

An equally exciting event from this past weekend: A finished Neiman from Gitte! She substituted DK weight wool yarn for both the silk and the wool cotton suggested in the pattern, and is already planning to make another in red and black. If anyone else makes this pattern, please send me photos or links to photos! I'm so impressed with her version, and she told me that it fits perfectly. Even though her blog is in Danish, check it out for her lovely knit creations and adorable family.

Finally, I completed my bigass scarf Saturday morning, intended as a Christmas present but more and more unlikely to make it to its recipient. It's made of a few skeins of Big Wool and some leftover bits of my own handspun, and fringed with a skein of Ozark Handspun. I only used a little over half the skein of Ozark, and highly recommend it for finishing touches on your projects. I'll probably be making a hat pompom with the rest of my skein, or fringing another scarf.

Maybe a gift scarf. Maybe.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Cheap Reward

Not much knitting going on that I can share, and a lot of bait-and-switch and more empty promises at Jobjob. However:

Here's a hat I finished for my grandma's Christmas present. The pattern is a modified Odessa, with no beads and a different gauge and with the decreases spaced differently, so, well, I suppose it's just a spiral hat, a la Odessa, or le Odessa, for those of you who may be familiar with the question of Davidic authorship of some of the Psalms in the Bible.

I made it from less than one skein of The Fibre Company's Savannah, purchased at Purl Soho. The softness of the fibers and richness of the colors are stunning.

And now, LONG WEEKEND. Next week: TWO AND A HALF DAY WEEK! RUN AWAY FROM JOBJOB, on this note from Elvis Costello:

Lip service, that's all you'll ever get from me
Well, how could you believe I'd take you seriously?
With your cheap reward, your blackmail and your comical rage
Just remember you'll only be the boss so long as you pay my wage!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Loom teaser and Operation Toto Hood

This is what I did this weekend (aside from working on learning the breaststroke at the YMCA, watching The War on PBS and other crafty pursuits). It's part of a costume for my friend Sara's 4-year-old niece, who has insisted on being Toto for Halloween this year. In her mind, Toto is a vague, amorphous, grey, furry creature (remember, this is the mind of a 4-year-old). I used some grey fur I purchased at Sew-Low Fabrics, lined it with some Dorothy-esque gingham from my Nana's fabric stash, and attached brown velvet ribbon ties.

There was weaving, yes there was. This is a table loom that my weaving teacher has provided for me to use, not my actual loom, which will make an appearance on this blog soon. In progress is a sampler, not meant to be anything at all. I'll begin planning out my first goal-oriented project tomorrow night, and it will involve Habu textiles to be purchased while I'm in NYC with my mom in two weeks.

To round out the Fiber Arts weekend, here's some Spunky Eclectic roving in Chocolate Covered Cherries spun up as a chunky two-ply. Soon it will be in the mail to a knitting friend.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Did you see me? I'm a weaver. I weave. I'm WEAVING!!!

So if you haven't seen the film What About Bob you probably don't think the title is particularly funny, but the point is that I have fully embraced my name and have begun taking weaving lessons in preparation for work on my giant estate sale floor loom.

Now go crazy. Weaver! Weaver weaves! Ann Weaver is a weaver! I'm a Weaver! I WEAVE!

Now that that is out of everyone's system, I'll be able to post about it this weekend. Today, I'll update the knitting content aspect of this site. First up, an entrelac scarf that will be a Christmas present for someone worked in Friendz Blendz two-ply mohair/merino blend that I purchased at New Hampshire Sheep and Wool this year.

Look at that striping! Those angles! I swatched and swatched and played with this yarn, trying to figure out how best to show off the colors and then THIS! I am ENTRANCED! It's Peanut Butter and Chocolate, Wurst und Kraut, Wine and Cheese, Vodka and all the Things That Go With Vodka. Stripes and Entrelac. And the halo that mohair give that royal blue, well, it's hard to convey in the photo.

I'm also almost finished with the most adorable baby hat ever. It's for the child of one of my mom's friends. Here, one of our plaster cats (this is half the pair; my grandpa made this great find years ago at a yard sale and I ended up with it at Christmas) evaluates my work:

It's made from a skein of Spunky Eclectic Super Sport in the color "Bird Face." This was in a sale bin at the Maine Fiber Frolic because it was alone and not quite enough for a pair of socks. I could not be happier with the way the yarn is striping . Okay, I could be happier, see above re: the Stripes and Entrelac, but not about this project.

And, finally, two more pairs of baby shoes, made from scraps of MaxiRingel, now discontinued (if anyone has some I will buy it from you), and Socks that Rock. They're for baby showers that my mom will be attending over the next few months. That is all with the knitting. I am also beginning to search for a new Jobjob in earnest. Hooray! Photos of the weaving soon. Stop chuckling.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

You know you wanna.

Here's the back, and here's a shot of me as I was dressed riding Chris' single-speed to the subway station this morning:Chris has noted that I seem to be taking over this bicycle, but I let him know that I wouldn't consider it "mine" until I had lowered the seat about two inches. Easily done!

In any case, Mermaid is fantastic, and I anticipate wearing it all the time, as a jacket now and as a sweater under a jacket when it gets colder. What did I learn from making it?

Even tension in a small gauge in garter stitch will create something that will astonish your coworkers, weaving teacher, and random people at bars. Very few people will believe that you made it, and everyone will look at you differently after you insist that you did and they look more closely... and they realize that they've seen you knitting portions of this at work/in the bar for months.

Also, the sleeves and body both grow several inches in length with a soak and moderate blocking. Really, about 3 inches.

Oh, remember this?I'm teaching a class at Yarns in the Farms during which we'll make this! It's only $45, and includes the pattern and two Saturdays of fun and ice cream from Captain Dusty's right across the street. And let me tell you, Yarns in the Farms is the most comfortable, homey, friendly yarn stores I've ever visited. We're talking couches covered with handknit throws and such. Oh yes. You can see more photos on my right sidebar. Contact Yarns in the Farms to sign up, or just contact them because they're just so fun and have an excellent selection of hard-to-find yarns.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Slap-Happy Friday!

It's been a long, long week for both Chris and me, can you tell?

Mermaid is almost done, lacking only the i-cord edges on the sleeve cuffs and, as you may have noticed, one sleeve set in. And a good soak and wet blocking, since I've heard from everyone who's made it that both body and sleeves grow quite a bit in length, which is good news for me, since right now these sleeves are about 2 inches short, and the waist sits a bit higher than I would like.

And hey, Mom's birthday present is DONE and will be in the mail tomorrow. Some of you knitters out there may know what the blue thing in the photo below is, but Mom doesn't.

Finally, thanks to everyone for all the compliments on my Neiman sweater. I am really, really excited to see what others do with the pattern, so please, send photos! Email questions! I though of a few substitute yarns for the Wool Cotton, and was given some suggestions by others interested in the pattern. Here they are:

1. Jaeger Matchmaker DK: Itchier and warmer than Wool Cotton, but a bit cheaper, very durable, and has a matte finish that would contrast nicely with the silk.
2. Rowan Calmer: oooooh yeah. For all of you out there who don't want wool.
3. Rowan All-Seasons Cotton would also be nice, I think.
4. Elann has a new DK weight superwash wool that looks good, it's called "Peruvian Luxury Superwash," but I haven't tried it yet; love some of the colors, though, and it would be very reasonable.

I think these yarns would maintain the overall look of the sweater very nicely. However, think of how it would look in a tweedy yarn, or something with a bit of color-on-color dye action. Or with Artfibers Regal Silk in a varregated color or something exotic like Alchemy Silken Straw (saw this at Purl and have it on the brain) for the yoke detail! I know I'll be making another one soon, and plan on a little experimentation.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Neiman @ Knitty

I've been waiting to show photos of this sweater since MAY!!! It is now up for public consumption in the Fall issue of Knitty. I feel particularly special because I think this issue of Knitty is AWESOME!

Friday, September 7, 2007

New York City!

This photo captures much of the spirit of our trip. We did a lot of walking about and shopping, the sort of captivating walking/shopping that is only possible in small, isolated pockets in Boston. My friend Amy and I were taken with these Sohung Designs coats and pretty much everything else he had on display at The Market, NYC, a showcase for young designers. The coat I'm wearing came back to Boston with me. Looking at the photo, I may need to order the belt, too! Almost everything else I purchased has to remain secret until after Christmas.

We stayed with Amy and her boyfriend Aaron in the East Village. We enjoyed 241 top-shelf martinis just down the street from their appointment (dirty, of course, with lots of olives, since, as Amy says, that makes them practically a meal).

We went to the Russian Baths, spent a lot of time on the roof (and even had an illegal open-fire picnic with a tiny hibachi grill and sausages), and went to Coney Island. We rode the Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel, Chris and Aaron, particularly Aaron, were talked into playing games like "Bushel Baskets" and "Shoot out the Star," we rode bumper cars at the El Dorado (Motto: "BUMP YOUR ASS OFF!"), and we walked all the way down the boardwalk from Coney Island to Brighton Beach, where in the span of about 200 yards the mixed working-class families seen at the amusement park shift to a group composed entirely of Russian-speakers, primarily old Russian-speakers, gathering in little cliques on the benches to smoke and talk and, yes, even sing songs in Russian.

And I did knit! And I went to Purl a controlled myself with only a few skeins purchased! In fact, here's a photo of me knitting the MERMAID SLEEVE in front of Purl!

A finished Mermaid is in the near future. Hooray!