MIT Stitch & Bitch

Monday, February 27, 2006

Gold medal

Ladies, in commemoration of your hard work ... here is a CD on a ribbon 2006 Olympic gold medal for you!!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Thank goodness for small favors

Now that our relay is complete, let me point out the obvious. We are lucky that we did not have to make relay transitions like short track speed skaters ...

"Hey! Get your hands off my arse!"

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The blanket, she is complete!

I missed today's SnB due to a lunch time conference call. On a side note, one of the parties was conducting her end of the call while wearing a swimsuit and sitting on her balcony in Florida. Oh, how I wish I was part of that world!

But, since neither The Mafia or I were able to make it at noon, we held an impromptu SnB of our own at 1:00 p.m. We had some the good conversation. We started with discussions about the woman who tried to use plastic surgery to look like a cat, which led to a discussion about the equally scary plastic surgery adventures of Helen Gurley Brown. Followed, with no particularly graceful segue, by a discussion of why you might not want to attach your laptop to a live internet connection and a projector and enter a single set of quotation marks into a Google search. (Apparently, typing in just the opening quote brings up a list of recent search strings that you've entered in quotes. Just think about some of the search strings you've run ... would you want a room full of people to know about them??)

But, back to the knitting content ... and thanks to this stimulating lunchtime conversation ...
THE BLANKET IS DONE! Well, I have 2 ends left to weave in, but I can do that tonight :)

Here is the whole thing.

And here are some glamour shots of individual sections...

Don't forget FRIDAY FROLICS at lunch tomorrow. See the last post (below) for more details!

Invitation to a Friday Frolic

I have 3 1/2 blanket borders complete!! Unfortunately, I will have to miss lunchtime knitting today due to a conference call. I will post a photo as soon as it is complete. In the meantime, here is a reposting of the "Friday Frolic" event, along with a partial listing of places that our blanket should visit. Email me to add more, or leave your ideas in the comments.

In order to celebrate the completion of our relay event, The Mafia and I have hatched a crazy idea. Yeah, us, go figure.

We formally invite you to the
Official Knitting Olympics' Friday Frolic
Subtitle: Whack Knitters Run Around Campus with a Hand Knit Blanket
ETA: By "run", we do NOT refer to running as in exercising or moving quickly. Rather, we mean ... ummm ... "galivant" or "traipse" or something equally clever and descriptive. Yeah, that's it :)

Date: Friday, February 24
Time: Noon until ???
Place: Meet at the Women's Lounge. Exact itinerary to follow.
Purpose: As stated above, we will run galivant around campus with a hand-knit blanket, taking pictures of it doing, ummm .... things. Lots of things. And that's where we need your help!! What should the blanket do on its tour of campus?

Send me an email with your ideas, and I will do my best to create a circuit of campus. If you can't join us for all of lunch hour, come for what you can. Wear something hand knit, if possible. I'll bring my cell phone (I'll send the number with the final itinerary) and you can connect with us along the way. Even if you can't join us, suggest some photo ops.

Here's an idea to get you started:
A victory lap for the gold medalists: Photo taken at the track, with the blanket used as a flag -- like in this photo -- (umm, except without the buff abs... unless one of you has been hiding away an unbelievable six-pack stomach that you've never mentioned.)

Victory lap on the track
Go to Killian Court, with a photo angled to appear as if it's laying over the dome
Hike to Stata, with photo accentuating a weird angle in the architecture
Get a hug from Armando, one of Susan Hockfield's assistants (or by SH herself???? shall we dare to dream?)
Go through the Kendall T turnstile (ala Christine's class project)
Pose in front of the Coop
'Climb' the steps to Bldg 7 from Mass Ave.
Order food at the trucks
Gaze onto the Charles, perhaps looking toward the salt and pepper bridge
Go visit Christine at the Media Lab (and meet some wacky hip cool grad students/robots)
Fall asleep in the student center after an exhausting trip around campus.
Pose with the biohazard signs in the bio building
Make friends with a robot in the Stata Center
Spend some quality time with the books in the library

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

She shoots, she scores, and the crowd goes wild!!!

Sorry. Wrong sports metaphor. Wrong season too. Umm, how about this instead ...

"And the baton is passed without incident. Our fearless anchor races to complete the last leg of the relay. Nothing can stop her -- not fatigue, not dehydration, not even the splitty single ply Lopi yarn she used for seaming!"

(Yeah, that's me, receiving the blanket from Gurukarm, and rushing off to go add some borders. Because, as Katie says "I didn't think it was that small"!)


And, while we're at it ... here is another fearless Knitting Olympian, looking a bit fatigued.

Jim: "We return to the Women's Lounge, where top athlete Rhonda is looking a bit fatigued."

Bob: "No, Jim, I'm not sure that she's wearing a look of fatigue...."

Jim: "Not fatigue? What is it then? There is certainly something not quite right with Rhonda. By the way, did you know that she has 48 grandchildren? And one great grandchild on the way? And she learned to crochet at the age of 19?"

[Segue into cheesy human interest segment. Use your imagination ... although, there is definitely an interview with DH, who naively admits that he has no idea how much he has spent on Rhonda's training equipment since she joined up with The Knitters. He thinks it might be a couple of hundred dollars, though. Ha ha ha ha ha .... ]

Bob: "Now, back to the action in the fair isle event of the Knitting Olympics. Jim, we were discussing Rhonda and her entry in this competition. Look closely ... the vast expanse of fair isle that she has traversed. The hand to the brow. The wild look in her eyes..."

Jim: "Oh yes, now I can tell. And Bob, let me tell you ... I've seen this before. Many a great athlete has succumbed to the demands of the fair isle event, and Rhonda is no different. Although, she's making a valient attempt to hide her symptoms and push on, on behalf of team MIT, we can tell."

Bob : "Yes, Jim, Rhonda is suffering from Post Traumatic STEEK Disorder."

Jim: "Well, Bob, I hope she can recover quickly, as she has a bit of finishing yet to go."

Bob: "Let's go down to the floor and talk to her trainers."

[Bob tentatively knocks on the door to the Women's Lounge, wondering if he needs to dress in drag to get in. Lucky for him, the friendly knitters of MIT open the door for him. Gosh darn, nobody else knows the code, why should we expect him to?]

Jess: "Well, Bob. We think Rhonda can make a speedy recovery. She plans on resting up, drinking some nice merlot, and eating several high-quality chocolates tonight. She should be back in shape tomorrow."

Mafia: "Yes, red wine and chocolate should do the trick. This afternoon, Rhonda has headed back home to her office where she can send several non-work-related emails and flog Paula with a braided i-cord. I expect that will help her perk up significantly. We should see a stellar performance from Rhonda over the last few days of the event."

Bob: "Well, there you have it, Jim. A case of Post Traumatic Steek Disorder, but our athlete is on the mend."

Jim: "Tune in tomorrow night at 8 to see if the wine and chocolate worked. We will continue our coverage of the Knitting Olympics, fair isle and relay events, tomorrow night at 8pm."

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Sunday, 12 PM. Codename: "Carla"

Disguised by her new haircut and armed with her yogurt tub and noise-cancelling headphones, Susan made her way to the safe house and added her squares to the blankie. A problem - she did not have Claudia's address. Susan contacted Control (aka the SnB list) and received the necessary info. The exchange was made on Sunday. To safeguard against any Plamegate-style issues, Susan wisely gave her contact a codename. Care is being taken to decrease the blankie's resemblance to a Scandinavian flag. Although to be fair if there were a country with a Noro-based flag, well, I'd have to question my fealty.

I know, this is supposed to be an Olympics knitalong and I'm making it into a Le Carre novel. I must've taken one too many spills when ice dancing.

Blankie handoff, 2/18/06. 12:30 PM.

I (Katie) handed off the blankie to Susan on Saturday. To avoid suspicion, we chose a public place - Eastern Lamejun Bakers. To cover our tracks, Susan is holding a tub of yogurt, and I went in just after the exchange and casually bought some lamejun, tabouli, pita bread and string cheese. I think the people in the background of the photo did wonder what we were up to. Hopefully they were not spies from Team Canada.

forecast (for stormy weather)

last SnB i cast-on for forecast, and i got this far over the weekend. (check out other gals doing the hurricane over at the forecast KAL).

however i will be stepping down the crafting for a bit. maybe the SnB hour (on either wed or thurs) will be all i need to get my fix. just pushing forward...

all y'alls who have done the graduate school thing: mad props, because self-deprivation (sleep, time, friends, pleasures) for the sake of advancing knowledge is hard! and even so, i'm doing a less-than-stellar job at it too...

The Knitting Olympic continues ...

Friday, February 17, 2006

the cute almost stopped my heart

i just received an email from my mamallama with the following:


We are gr8 grandparents again

born Friday Feb 17 2006


She almost dropped the baton!

I met Katie at N42 mere moments before an important videoconference with some geeks folks in Tennessee to discuss how to use some video game in educational settings. Katie - on most days I wouldn't say this, but ... Can I Have Your Job? I'm feelin' the gamer vibe.

Anyway ... in OLYMPIC KNITTING content, the baton was officially passed today at 11:54am. In spite of a devastating series of setbacks with a mystery illness, Jess persevered and added her two squares to the blanket on Wednesday night. She's a trooper. The Mafia added her squares on the Friday morning commute, and now it's Katie's turn to work magic.

Once Katie stops laughing at the blanket's stunning resemblance to the Ikea logo/Swedish flag, she'll attached a lovely Noro square and pass it along.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The thrill of victory...

... or the agony of defeat? You be the judge.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Team MIT Relay

The first hand off has been made ...

Monday, February 13, 2006

(excerpted from my blog, apologies, though i really appreciate your advice, dear SnB!)

i finished seaming the last few bits of my james coviello sweater. finally, a new FO to my name!

isn't it cute? all spaghetti + meatballs.

project: james coviello sweater from vogue knitting holiday 2005
yarn: lion brand wool-ease thick + quick in charcoal purchased from windsor button
needles: size 15 wood/bamboo
started: around december 2005, exact date unclear...
finished: 2006.02.12

i love the undulating bobbles, and the mix of cozy playfulness and textured sophistication. so, here's where i need advice from you all on construction, tidying/tucking, styling. the jacket is warm and wearable, but it doesnt seem to visually fit me in the best way. i'll show you what i mean...

i wouldnt call myself necessarily tiny, though i am on the whole somewhat petite. (can you tell? i stand 4'11.5" :) ) there you have some before-jacket, and after-jacket, pictures. i'm just wearing jeans and a tshirt, but once i don the jacket i become football matador femme. a bobbly one, to be sure. does this look totally hideous? i shouldnt be self conscious but i dont want anyone to recoil in horror either.

i think what is mostly bothering me is the lower areas of the jacket, like where it fits under my bust. it's quite roomy under there. any suggestions? i was thinking perhaps to create a ribbon tie (either a closure, or perhaps a belt?) at the bottom of the front, to secure the lower section together. however, i dont want to get SANTINO'd away and go trim-crazy :) or is there an easy fix, a la pin + tuck, to make it drape a little better?

here it is with a dress; not necessarily the best color match, but i wanted to test it out in terms of silhouette. a bit better, yes? though it is still quite billowy under the arms. do you think it would work as well with a top/skirt ensemble?

if you guys have any suggestions on how to best wear this sweater (which includes give it away to a lovely gift recipient) or manage its misgivings, i'd love to hear. i looked back and forth to the photo in the knit magazine, and i think my shaping and all is correct to the pattern; the key is that the model has no bust! ah, details, details. you live and learn. :)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Ready for the Olympics

I've completed the Pink Baby set and the clock is ticking to the opening ceremonies with the "lighting of the torch" ... needles ready ... get set .... on your mark ... now wait!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

MIT Relay Team Hand-off Schedule

Before you read this, check out Christine's post, which I've just bumped after only a couple hours. Sorry about that, Christine!

It's confirmed! Here's the final relay roster / hand-off schedule for the Knitting Olympics.

Tues 2/14, Paula, 2 squares
Wed 2/15, Jessica, 2 squares
Thu 2/16, Crystal, 2 squares
Fri 2/17, Katie, 1 square
Sat 2/18 , Susan, 2 squares
Mon 2/20, Claudia , 2 squares
Tues 2/21, Gurukarm, 1 square
Wed 2/22, Danielle, Borders (anchor)

(the date listed next to your name is when you receive the blanket and add your squares)


- You can make and block your squares any time between the lighting of the torch on 2/10 (this Friday), and your seaming date. The opening ceremonies start at 2pm EST, but I'm not sure at what point in the ceremonies the torch will be lit.

- Squares should be 8" x 8". Those dimensions include a garter stitch border that's 3st wide on either side, and 3 purl rows high on the top and bottom.

- Be sure to use animal hair (or mostly-animal hair) yarns, knit to approximately worsted weight. You may also want to read the guidelines on Afghans for Afghans' web site, just to be safe.

- Do your best to balance the squares by color, weight, etc., but don't stress about it too much.

- The blanket will be three squares (horizontally) by four squares (vertically). For example:
Be sure not to break that configuration when you sew on your squares. Also, if your stitch pattern has a specific direction, be sure to orient it appropriately.

- Be sure to weave in (or otherwise neatly secure) your ends.

- If you have any yarn left over, be sure to leave a long scrap of each (2-5 ft. ideally) in the baggie, in case others want to seam with your colors.

- You are responsible for scheduling the hand-off with the knitters you receive the blanket from and pass it to.

Go Team MIT!

Fearless Leader

the elusive james coviello

so here i am, making a sweater that literally no one in cyberspace is, as far as i can tell. would blogsearch lie? it's like a one-woman-KAL!

this is the james coviello from the vogue knitting holiday issue. the model is a size negative small, blonde, and is wearing $200+ of WHITE blue sky alpaca bulky. (aside: someone at the editing desk of vogue knitting is clearly under the influence or getting free yarn swag.) i am clearly not any of these things, and despite that, i think it looks alright. :)

still one more side to act upon, and a good polishing all over, but overall it was a super on-your-toes but quick-knit piece. though, you know when someone's not really thinking knitterly (to borrow deborah's term) when you're instructed to knit bulky sleeves *not* in the round. i'm using embroidery thread to seam, but still, what were they thinking? however, it's no biggie, not everyone has a set of size 15 dpns lying around... except when you borrow them from a small-needle convert... heehee.

Friday, February 03, 2006

knits go chic

photographs above by james patten. see more at his seamless gallery.

i wanted to share with you some knitting-related stuff from the seamless show from wednesday. leave it to adorable diana eng (yep, of project runway) to put her knits into the spotlight! they're beautiful pieces, hand-machine-knit, and the collection she presented were called 'mathematical knits'. the stitches and shapes are inspired by the aesthetics and representations of mathematical patterns.

it's arguable that all knitting is in some form or another is inherently math-based... counting stitches, using old algebraic formulae to ensure correct gauge and estimate shoulder seams, resizing, increasing/decreasing magic, ribbing, etc. knitting is all about dextrously manipulating textile pixels!

i didn't get a chance to look at them closely enough, but i do want to attempt to reverse engineer it for a hand-knit pattern. :) especially the scarf!

the lovely models are nadia katana (scarf) and shawna speltz (coat). the scarf is a yellow/green/brown variegated sock-weight yarn (very bright and fine, reminded me of koigu kpppm), similar to this colorway. the coat is entirely knit in fingering-weight, with a fine lace ruffled edging. so beautiful it makes you want to go and master a knitting machine, doesn't it?

there's runway footage if you want to see it in action. watch here!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Swatching Saga ...

Well the StitchingNut has done her swatching and got the correct gauge. Yippy!

But I am curious ...Does anyone have a trick in finding the yarn end to start a pull-out skein? Why can't they find an easier way to "give us the end" ... if there isn't a trick to finding it?