Category Archives: venezia

Venezia takes Manhattan

Venezia - Finished!

I’m in New York, loving it, and loving the photos my knitting pal Rebecca took of Venezia. Here I am with Venezia at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on a beautiful clear day.

And a fun hi and hello to all the great knitters I met at the New York Yarn Harlot book launch! I don’t take my top off for just anyone, you know. Just people who appreciate steeks. (I had a t-shirt on underneath, tsk, get yer minds out of the gutter).

[Edit – April 6th for more details]


Pattern: Venezia Pullover by Eunny Jang, Winter 2006
Size: 37.75 ins bust
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette. Foreground (light): Cream, tan, twig, golden heather.
Background (dark): Garnet heather (also for the hems), autumn heather, merlot heather, iris heather, clematis heather.
Needles: 3.0mm (colour work) and 2.75mm (for hems and neckline).
When I looked on Ravelry I saw others had done a v-neck version, I knew I had to follow the lead on this one. I much prefer the versatility of v-necks and it’s a very practical style. Thank you very much to Maud’s modification notes, which I used as a guideline. I placed the beginning of the v-neck about an inch below the beginning of the armhole decreases.

I also modified for length, adding 1 inch evenly before the waist shaping decreases (I did this by starting the chart sooner than the pattern instructions), and 1 inch even after the shaping decreases. I did similar modifications to the sleeves in order to add an inch in length there. These paid off big time – the waist sits where my waist is and I couldn’t be happier!


I’m very pleased with this sweater – it fits, it’s comfortable, and damn is it pretty! It’s sort of surreal to actually wear it and think that I made it from balls of yarn. On the 2nd day I wore it I had to sort of stop in front of mirrors and look at it and think, WHOA. I made this sweater!


Yo, for serious. If you’re thinking about making one of these, go for it. I won’t say it’s easy, I won’t say it’s hard. But I will say that it’s worth it.

When I’d cut the steeks and sewn up the seams on the sleeves, I slipped it on unblocked to make sure it fit OK and to reassure myself. And it was reassuring to know that it did indeed fit just like I wanted. But at the same time it was an odd moment, because I realized that it was no longer my knitting. It had become a piece of clothing, and that meant I didn’t get to knit it anymore. And that made me kind of sad.

The bar’s been set, my friends. More fair isle, more.


Filed under venezia

Yarn saves

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the crazy 4.75 years I’ve been working on this stinking miserable anxiety-inducing PhD, it’s that knitting has helped me out a lot. It gives me a sense of accomplishment at times when almost nothing else seems to, and that’s sure as heck worth something.

And then there are some times when the knitting part doesn’t seem to even be necessary, and I go directly to the yarn itself. Mmm.

Yesterday when I was in Toronto I marched right on down to Lettuce Knit at lunch hour to see what Socks that Rock was left from their delivery last week. It’s been a long week, tiring and stressful along with the renewed efforts of the cold that I thought I’d gotten rid of last week (I hadn’t), and despite the fact that I know I’ll be in New York next week, and I know full well I’ll be visiting new and bountiful yarn stores, I wanted yarn NOW. I walked out with a few skeins, including this one:


It’s so pretty I love it to pieces. It makes me think of impressionist paintings and tropical lagoons and everything that PhD turmoil is not. I don’t even know for sure what sock pattern I’ll make with it yet. In fact, I may just carry it around with me like a security blanket for the next week. That’s OK, right?

Also, I’d like to thank the weather report for looking like this:


I can deal with the rain. Sure, the rain isn’t ideal, but check out those temperatures. We haven’t had this many consecutive above-freezing days in I don’t know how long. Bring on the snow-melting.


Also, bring on the Venezia. She’s gettin’ there. Two sleeve-cap tops, cutting, seaming, and v-neck edging is all that remains. (Um. I sure hope it fits properly when it’s finished. That would sure suck if it didn’t.)

What are your spring knitting ambitions, my friends? Distract me with your colourful plans. ;)



Filed under fair isle, stash, sweaters, venezia, weather

Getting through it

I’m afraid there’s not much knitting news to be had ’round these parts this week…I’ve got these stupid revisions that need finishing and need finishing right about now-ish, a couple more lectures to write, two blog book reviews to get on top of, not to mention the sudden experience of waking up this morning with a sandpaper throat, a chill that won’t go away, and the balloon-headed feeling that comes with the onset of congestion and sniffles. (We could play a game: it’s called, ‘Guess How Many Blankets I’m Wearing’…)
[EDIT: Answer – Two. Over a hooded fleece bathrobe. With knitted socks.]

And since last I blogged, I also have half of a sleeve.


But a few of my knitting friends do have exciting posts, though, which I must share…

Steph reports on the bag that almost ate her friend;
her friend CanaryKnits has a super stylish angora argyle pullover;
and Kate demonstrates how to decorate a really awesome tiered layer cake.

Knitters are the best.


Filed under real life miscellaney, venezia

One more thing


Just a heads up for anyone who’s planning a Venezia in their future using Knit Picks Palette yarnMystery alerted me on Ravelry that two of the colours I’m using here (Tan and Twig, both in the very pale brown area and highly covetable for a variety of Venezia colour schemes), are now on clearance and therefore likely on the chopping block to be discontinued.

Of course, one never knows what they’ll be replaced with, perhaps other pale browns will follow in their place…But they’re on now for $1.79 a ball and surely that’s not a bad deal to stick a couple in your stash if you think you might need them!

On with the Friday…


Filed under venezia

Knitting is my therapy

It’s only Monday and I’m already having one of those weeks where I want to hide under the covers and whimper and hope some source of stress magically goes away while I’m under there. (Stupid thesis revisions that I stupid still have to finish and stupid course that I stupid still have to write lectures for and stupid snow day we could have had tomorrow until the weather report changed and stupid dishes that won’t stupid wash themselves and and why is it almost March already and and and and and…)

So even though I have already had a late-afternoon bagel (all the cream cheese talk really got into my brain) and then dinner when I came home, I am still contemplating the dessert options. Specifically, the leftovers from Saturday’s cheesecake endeavour:


I decided to do a half-cheesecake recipe with 1 of the cream cheese packages, and saved the 2nd for eating with pepper jelly (I’ve had a jar kicking around since the holidays). But all the recipe suggestions you folks gave me last time nearly had me hurtling to the nearest grocery store for more cream cheese and everything else required to make the recipes. But as it is I went for the things most likely to use up other things in the kitchen, and this Smitten Kitchen recipe fit the bill. Instead of mango slices I mixed some strawberries and chopped mango because that’s what was available at the store. As my friend Trevor said, this cake is dangerous because it tastes like it’s good for you. The lime flavour in the cheesecake and in the fruit syrup sort of infiltrate into the whipped cream and you forget that there is anything in there that has grams of fat. it’s SO GOOD.

You know what else is good? Venezia. She is beautiful. I haven’t knitted on her in a few days but hope to do a few rounds tonight. Here’s where she’s at now:


I’ll be honest. I’m 99% sure I should have switched the garnet heather (dark red) with the merlot heather (brown), but now that it’s taken on a bit of length, I think I’m OK with it. I’m not annoyed enough with it to rip back, and even though the colour values aren’t quite the same as the original Venezia colour scheme, it still looks like a damn gorgeous tapestry and I’m OK with that.

And lo, the knitting calls to me. I’m going to go enjoy the last hour or two of my evening.
Keep the knitting close by!


Filed under baking, venezia

Weekend Report

The best weekends are when knitting friends come to visit. Rebecca (who generously hosted me for Rhinebeck last October) had to come up to Toronto last week for work, and then stuck around a couple of extra days to hang here in Hamilton. She’d even saved up her yarn-buying just for the weekend trip back to the T-Dot on Saturday, and we did pretty well by visiting 3 yarnish stops: Lettuce Knit, Romni, and finishing up at the Purple Purl.

On the way, though, Martha requested a stop at IKEA to take advantage of the Mattress Sale. While she browsed the mattresses, I, um, ‘tested’ an armchair and knitted away on my Rib and Cable Sock (in Mountain Colors Bearfoot, pattern from Interweave Knits, Fall 2005)


And then in the warehouse I found some absolutely knitting-tastic pencil-cases (in a bin with similar cases for CDs and cell phones), which were about 8 inches long and absolutely perfect for knitting notions. I bought 2 and have fully deployed one for portable use:


By the time we made it to the Purple Purl we were thrilled to be able to sit and ponder and knit and look at books. (Oh yes indeed, I bought yarn – more on that later on). We sat…


I brought cupcakes…


Martha looked at a copy of ‘Victorian Lace Today’ which sort of broke her brain…


And I knitted on Venezia.


Good times. Too bad it’s Monday again!


Filed under knitting in public, knitting tourism, socks, venezia, yarn stores

More with the swatching

I’m still totally on the love train for Venezia, but believe me when I say I have twice had to hold myself back from casting on for the Ivy League Vest, just to take the edge off my impatience. After two swatches I had lots of love for all the colours, was extolling the virtures to myself of being able to mix and match different shades according to one’s preference…and then I knitted 2 more swatches and now my brain is all OMG just pick a danged colour combination already.

In the last chapter of this Venezia journey, I did 2 swatches, a blue/green and a red/purple, and disliked 1 shade of the blue/green one so I decided to try a different combo to make sure I was sure whether or not I liked it. Along the way I decided to also pluck out the bright yellow shade in the centre of the motif just to see what that would look like. The only colour I wear less often than brown is yellow, and I was concerned it was getting in the way of me fully committing to either set of options.

Version #1, take 2:


I think the blue/green combination is much better here, and I am actually pretty sold on the removal of the yellow, too. With the new shade of dark green, I think the more balanced combo of the foreground shades is rather soothing. On the other hand, I’m not sure if yellow was actually harming anything in the 2nd one.

Version #2, take 2:


Here I think the centre pale purple shade washes out the light tan (which is indeed different from the two foreground shades before and after – but it is totally lost here), and eliminates that nice sort of glowy vibe I was getting off of the previous red/purple combination. Well y’all, I dunno. I might be back where I started, contemplating the nice rusty red/purple variation I swatched in the first round.

Wanna see them all together?



Oh yeah, and I also switched in an actual ‘white’, in the process of bumping everything in the foreground forward to eliminate the yellow. Somewhere in here, I am convinced, is a lesson on colour theory and the value of…something. This is valuable stuff, don’tcha know, G? Revel in the virtues of shades, be not afraid that thou hast not yet begun thy sweater.

The next time I talk about this sweater, I swear by my stash it will be to report on a hem, or a sleeve cuff in progress, or something that constitutes actual knitting. Gotta be with the moving forward. But in the meanwhile, it’s winter now, and I pulled out my pair of convertible mitts to discover one had been chewed by mice (I am convinced of this, the work was so precise. They went right for my right mitt and left my 8 foot Harry Potter scarf untouched. Surely moths would not be so discriminating). So, I’m making another one, with a skein of yon Briggs & Little Regal that’s waiting patiently to become a Brennan Cardigan one day:


I love the heathery-ness so much I could just plotz. It soothes me.


Filed under fair isle, swatching, venezia