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Tour de France

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Watching the cyclists in the Tour de France as they embark on the mountain climbs of the alps always makes me jittery. I always have a favorite going into the last weekend of the race and I can die a million deaths as I watch a favorite crack on a steep slope or jump out of my chair when a particularly daring attack succeeds. This year’s Tour has been full of chair jumping moments–Thor Hushovd winning a mountain stage (whaaa?) and Thomas Voekler spending ten days in yellow and hanging with the big boys on the Galibier. (His stunt in 2004 remains fresh in my mind. Have you ever seen a rider turn himself inside out like that? Bon Courage, Thomas!)

This morning Dale stayed home (to work form home, natch) with me to watch the live coverage of Stage 19–Telegraphe, Galibier, and Alpe d’Huez all in one nasty, brutish and short stage of monster climbs and epic descents. Last night, while watching Contador crack like an egg on the Galibier, I finished all but the fiddly bits of my current knitting projects and this morning I had nothing–NOTHING–to keep my jittery hands busy while the race was on. So I decided to wind cotton yarn into a center-pull ball with one eye and both hands while my other eye was watching the boys on the hill.

This was the result:

I finished unraveling this mess during the Time Trial the next day. . . . oy.

(Obviously, this post is a bit tardy. Sick kid and sick me this weekend sort of cut things off. For the record, I entered the Tour a total Andy Schleck fan and was impressed by the Leopard-Trek tactics the whole way. But since I’m a Tour fan more than a fan of any particular rider, I switched to the doomed-from-the-start Team Thomas when he garnered yellow. I was a sucker for him in 2004 and remain so today. Cadel grew on me–he seemed so much less pinched this year and really, really fought for it on Galibier. He deserved the win. And, Contador, the Doper, went home empty-handed, which is as it should be.)

Written by Jennifer

July 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Posted in cycling, knitting

Quick and Easy Gratification

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I knit things. Particularly sweaters, sometimes socks, often hats. Hats are a pretty sweet deal, really: they don’t take a whole crapton of yarn (read: they’re inexpensive), their construction is generally simple (read: they’re easy), and the exact size of a hat is generally unimportant–unless you’re my husband (read: hats forgive a multitude of gauge sins). Some knitters always have a sock on the needles, for that contemplative, round-n-round knitting, but socks are so tiny for me that I often find myself hunching over the stitches, which is not ergonomically sound. And then when I come to the heel flap and gusset, I have to stop and look at the pattern, or Charlene Schurch’s book on socks, in order to remember how the hell to do them. This is why I go to hats.

I’ve knit the boyfriend hat pattern a few times. My nephews liked them (at least I hope they did–I wonder if they are as picky as their uncle when it comes to things on their heads?) and I think my uncle wears his. I knit a beret for me in a soft bunny yarn, and another one in SUPER LOUD ORANGE, with a scarf to match. (all flickr links)

So this last month, it’s been hats for the girls and for my friends. I started out knitting the Spring Cap design by Wooly Wormhead THREE times. I only have pictures of Greta’s and Ingrid’s, though. I need to snap a photo of Ainslie in hers. These used mostly yarn leftovers and made super-cute girlie hats. Next I bought a skein of Lion Brand Homespun yarn, which is the go-to yarn for the ladies’ guild knitting crews and generally not my style, what with being made of acrylic monsters and all, and knit TWO Elizabeth Zimmermann snail hats out of that one skein. Greta has snagged one for herself (she wears knitted hats like a funky fashion statement) and the other is for Kim (shhhhhh).

I do have an ancestral Christmas stocking to finish and I’m almost done with that. And funny enough, Ingrid just talked me into some socks.

Written by Jennifer

January 14, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Posted in knitting

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Stranded Knitting

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It’s February, the Olympics are on, I’m swamped with work. But now seems a good time to share some things I like.

This is an image of the first third or so of my sister’s Christmas stocking. It’s a bit late. But not as late as the two I have still to knit for my nieces 🙂 The original pattern I’m working from (the New Ancestral Christmas Stocking, by Mason-Dixon Knitting) calls for this top portion to be knit in two colors: red and white. The green for the name, birth year, and argyle diamonds is to be duplicate stitched onto the stocking once everything is done. Duplicate stitch, I discovered with my brother-in-law’s stocking, is not my fave. So I’m going to strand the whole damn thing. This means this will be the thickest, warmest stocking ever to receive tubes of mini M&M’s come Christmas Eve. With three strands of yarn a part of or behind every stitch . . . . toasty Andes Mints, Mindy!

A view of the inside shows that my floats are not blue-ribbon, grade-A, super-duper, but they are coming alone nicely and I think the whole stocking will even out when I’m done knitting and it gets a wee soak. The fact that the public side of the stocking doesn’t look like a wrinkly, puckered old man encourages me that I might be able to try something along these lines with a garment intended for wear. Who knew?

Written by Jennifer

February 26, 2010 at 11:44 am

Posted in knitting

Just when things were going swimmingly

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Veste Everest, originally uploaded by jda127.

Isn’t this a lovely chunk of knitting? It’s the cabled back portion of Veste Evereste by Veronik Avery, knit in Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Thyme. The knitting seen here represents about two evenings of work and a skein of wool. It was also knit by someone suffering delusions of her actual girth.
I knit it according to the directions for the 34″ size, thinking that a wee bit of negative ease would be just peachy. But I knit it on size 6 needles, per the pattern which, of course, calls for a totally different yarn. Doh! So, this bad boy might have fit Greta some day but not yours truly, the knitter.

So I ripped it out and cast on for the 41″ size, thinking that positive ease is a good thing in a vest that may yet get worn over a shirt of some kind, and used size 6 needles for the ribbing at the bottom and size 8s for the body. Holy whacking huge, Batman. So I ripped that sucker out after 10 rows or so.
I’m now 5 rows into the cabled back of the Veste Evereste, using size 8 needles and the 34″ directions. With any luck, I’ll finish it by fall. Or the yarn will begin to protest and felt together in my hands after I rip it out the seventeenth time.

Written by Jennifer

March 23, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Posted in knitting

Harlot at the Tower

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Harlot at the Tower, originally uploaded by jda127.

It is true, dear Harlot readers. I was in London (not for the IKnit event, alas) and on my free day roaming the streets, I went to the Tower Hill area to take in the first stage of the Tour of Britain. I found some lovely older English gents to talk to about cycling and American politics. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I see a clearly recognizable figure: the Yarn Harlot! I interrupt my conversation to accost her. I actually said out loud: Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and she swears she thought it was the voice of god talking. (She HAD just been to Westminster after all, perhaps the great spirit was paying attention to her?)

So, we took sock pictures and truly astonished those nice older British gentlemen. In all my fan-girl-ness I cannot tell you who won the stage.

It seems like the entire knitting blog world was in London this past week to see the Harlot and go to the IKnit event. I managed to see the Harlot and go to IKnit while missing the event entirely. Once you have sated yourself on Ysolde and cosmicpluto’s pictures of London, I shall return with some offerings of my own.

Oh–and I bought yarn at IKnit, too.

Written by Jennifer

September 10, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Posted in knitting, sports

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Um, oops

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Another February Baby Sweater, originally uploaded by jda127.

Observe: very cute baby sweater. Pink cotton. Sleeves may or may not be wonky lengths. Generally, however, adorable. I began knitting this when we got a birth announcement from one of D’s cousins in the mail–she has had baby #2 and something must be knit for it.
So, yesterday, upon finishing said sweet something (still needs buttons), I went into the kitchen to look again at the birth announcement and realized SHE HAD A BABY BOY!!! Everyone I know has been having girls lately, so it didn’t even occur to me to read the announcement that closely. His name is Jackson. I’ll knit him something else. Sorry, little man.

Written by Jennifer

August 30, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Posted in knitting, Uncategorized

My Friday

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Coziness, originally uploaded by jda127.

Winter will evidently never end around these parts. I am working from home today and in this picture you can see what I’ll be up to: reading Zizek, drinking tea, and admiring my new tea cozy.
Makes me want to knit a chicken.

Written by Jennifer

March 7, 2008 at 10:21 am

Posted in knitting, Uncategorized