September 5, 2008

note 4 U

Hey there! I was going to post some pictures of vest innards today, but when I opened up the laptop, I found a series of 12 heart-shaped, perfumed, sticky-notes on my screen. Now that I've opened up the windows and aired out the place, I think I'll share the message with you:

Dear knitters,

It is with an overflowing heart that I address you today. The last two weeks have been a roller coaster ride of positive emotions as I checked the blog hourly for new comments from you, my loving public. As I read each new morsel of positive feedback my eyes glistened with emotion. Can it be that I, a lowly knitwear model, have been able to bring this much joy into the hum-drum lives of common knitters? It seems so.

However, I have some sad news for you. After many sleepless nights and much mental wrestling, I have decided that my real calling is that of an academic. True, being a heart-throb vest model has it's perks (the congratulatory phone calls from heads of state, the fainting women, and those free cases of pomegranate-flavored mineral water, to name a few)...still I feel I owe it to all academics, and historians in particular, to share my overwhelming handsomeness in a classrom setting. The next generation needs to know that you can be fabulously good-looking and firecracker smart too. Therefore, it is with humble gratitude that I, and my chiseled good looks, turn this blog back over to Elli and her knitting.

xoxo, Thunkie

Oh, what the's a picture of the inside of the vest:

toes for scale

EDIT: This is the real Thunk writing ... the above is a common forgery. Pay it no heed. I will, of course, in addition to my career as a historian, still be available for photo-shoots and private wool parties (for a small fee).

August 21, 2008

Finished: Ross' Argyll V-Neck

This is not Ross; it's Thunk.

The Specs:
-Pattern: Argyll V-Neck, by Martin Storey from Knitting for Him
-Yarn: Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4 ply (discontinued), subbed for the Rowan Scottish Tweed 4ply the pattern calls for.
-Skeins: 6.25 skeins of 283 (whiskers); 2.5 skeins each 269 (blessed) and 270 (stainless).
-Needles: size 3 for the ribbing, size 4 for the rest.
-Start to finish: November 2007 – August 17, 2008
-For: my brother-in-law Ross for Christmas (as in LAST Christmas. He gets extra points for being very patient).

Notes: It might seem a little tedious to knit an entire man-sized garment in fingering yarn, but the finished vest is such a practical weight (so very light and layerable) that it makes it more than worth the effort. And the argyle? It’s pretty fun to knit.

Thunk selflessly volunteered to model this vest because he secretly wants to keep it.

Mods (a.k.a. tips for happier argyle vesting):

I knitted the vest without the diagonal lines, and then went back later and used duplicate stitch to fill them in. This significantly cut down on the number of bobbins I had to work with, and (as we all know) fewer bobbins = a happier knitting experience. Besides, duplicate stitch is kind of like cross stitch and makes a nice break from bobbin wrangling.

I worked short rows instead of binding off at the shoulders and then attached the front and back with a three-needle bind off. This is one of my favorite finishing tricks and I find it makes a neater, less bulky shoulder.

I sewed up the side seams first before picking up and knitting the armhole borders in the round (if you're doing this, make sure you pick up a multiple of four stitches so that the ribbing comes out correctly).

Argyll_2.jpg Argyll_7.1.jpg
I don't know if you noticed, but Thunk is a hunk.

The Pattern (this is a bit ranty, so if you aren’t planning on making this pattern you might skip this part):
The biggest frustration I had with this pattern was the sizing. An existing Ross vest was secretly measured in order to figure out what size to make and I was surprised to find that I would have to knit 2 sizes (4 inches) narrower than the smallest listed and 2” longer.

Our lovely model, Thunk, declared the finished vest to be a perfect fit and (you may not be able to tell this from the photos) he’s not a tiny dude. It’s pretty crazy that the pattern doesn't include a size to fit an averagely-sized taller-than-six-foot guy who generally wears a medium, don’tcha think?

The rest of Knitting for Him, which includes many attractive designs for the menfolk, has similarly gigantor sizing. The sweater designs for the smallest chest size (40") have anywhere from 6” to 9.25” of ease, while the three vest designs (a bit snugger) clock in at 4,” 3,” and, strangely enough, negative 1.5” of ease. Am I living under a rock, or are those numbers not huge?

That said it wasn't that hard to do the math and calculate the size I needed. A vest is a pretty straightforward article of clothing. The neck decreases were the trickiest bit.

My only other complaint about the pattern was with the listed yarn quantities. I had more than enough of the contrasting colors (more than a ball of each remaining) but I ran out of the main color. I might have calculated incorrectly, but I think that my mods (2” longer and 2” narrower on both front and back) would pretty much cancel each other out. If you plan on making this, you’d be wise to consider springing for an extra ball of the MC.

He think's you're pretty hot too.

The Yarn: Yorkshire Tweed…how I love you. Ross picked out the colors himself and, though I was a bid dubious about the mauve (never one of my favorites...I wore it too much in 7th grade), the overall effect is fabulous. And Ross always looks v. fetching in pinks so I imagine it will flatter him nicely.

Final Verdict: It's pink! It's vesty! It’s argylriffic! We won't know for sure until Ross tries it on, but I think we can safely call this one a winner.

August 12, 2008



I like your neck

I am way more excited about that than I have any right to be. Also the observant among you will notice that I have procured more black yarn. Way more than enough (in the same dye lot thankyouverymuch) to finish the job. Are you excited? I'm know I am. When next you catch a glimpse of mauve argyle on this blog, it will be finished and fetchingly modeled by a male of the species.

Excuse me while I go pick up a bazillion arm hole stitches.

May 26, 2008

Global knitter, on land and on sea

So I went to England! I've been back for over a week so it's about time I blogged, eh?

England was fantastic. We saw all sorts of interesting things, my favorites being any and all old churches/cathedrals/minsters/abbeys I could find. What can I say, I'm just a churchy kinda gal. Here I am, having climbed all the way to the top of St. Paul's.

See? Happy as a clam in mud.

Another highlight was finally getting to meet one of my favorite knitters, Philippa!

the inaugural meeting of the Transatlantic Sock Sisterhood

I wanted to take Philippa home with me

Philippa and Deri treated us to a picnic in the park, showed us Philippa's fountain and a nice hill and then we spent the rest of the evening in a pub having a fabulous time. The night culminated in getting a little lost on subway and Philippa giving me presents (an excellent combination...I recommend it). She knitted me this plummy hot water bottle cozy, which makes me fantastically happy every time I look at it.

hello. I am snuggly and lovely

She also gave me some yummy British sock yarn. Pictures of that and the yarn I bought in York to come...

This afternoon's assignment?

hello. I am unseamly. and slightly out of focus...

April 28, 2008

What I did this weekend

I hit the Argyll V-Neck hard. Observe:

all gylls present and accounted for

One back, with all duplicate stitching completed and all 10 million ends woven in. Phew!


One front, with all knitting finished and (since this photo was taken yesterday afternoon) all existing ends woven in. Duplicate stitching has commenced.

I'm still fairly certain that I won't have enough black to do the armhole and neck ribbing but I'm choosing to remain in denial. I'm leaving for vacation in a week so all responsible brain cells are being diverted toward packing, not knitting. Well, except for those required for the packing of the knitting. That comes before all else.

April 21, 2008

knits ahoy!

It's been a while since I've showed you some knitting. Let's do something about that.

who am I? where am I?

I may have been holding out on you. This is my current guilty pleasure knitting. Whenever I start going cross eyed from knitting the Argyll V-Neck (yes, still working on that...) I pick up this little gem of a half-sweater and get happy all over again.

For those of you who will ask, it happens to be the Aran Crossover Top, by Mari Lynn Patrick, from the 2005 Holiday Vogue. Only one other person has some progress shots of this up on Ravelry. Why, you ask, have so few people cast on for this little treasure? Check out the photo from the magazine. Yup. A sad case of overexposed cables. But I will do my darndest to salvage this little gal's reputation.

The yarn is Jaeger Baby Merino in a shade I like to think of as Muted Macaroni. Very tasty.

In other news, I'm still plugging away on the Argyll.

Almost. There.

I'm a bit concerned that I'll run out of the black yarn...which is ridiculous because I have way more than enough of the other colors, but I refuse to buy more until I find myself high and dry.

Thanks for all the advice on the handspun, by the way. You will be pleased to hear that my twist is set.

February 24, 2008

Luv'll never guess what! It turns out that Thunky can fix a camera! This came as some surprise to me since a) the toolbox in our apartment is very definitely mine and b) up until now the only thing I have ever seen him "fix" was that time he removed the u-bend from under the bathroom sink to retrieve a necklace I dropped down the drain. It only goes to show that after 7 years of marriage, your spouse can still have some tricks up his sleeve.

But I digress. Enter the long-lost Argyll V-Neck:

Hi there. I am masculine yet sassy.

I know...long time no argyle. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE knitting this vest, but life happens, whatever, blah, blah blah...and I've gotten sidetracked.

No more. I've hopped back on the argyle wagon and now we are inseparable. Who knew a repetitive geometric intarsia pattern on size 3s in fingering-weight was my knitting soul mate? Not me, that's for sure, but I'm going with it. We have a date tonight with Part 3 of Pride and Prejudice. I'd better go get pretty.

November 29, 2007

hopelessly addicted... argyle. Can't eat. Can't sleep. Just want more delicious polygons of yarny goodness.

Even the bobbin fish are eating it up.

That's the back you're looking at there. I'm just a couple of rows short of the armhole decreases.

It's a good thing I'm enjoying myself now, because the finishing on this one is going to be murder. All those thousands of little ends to sew in. And don't forget the part where I go back and put in the little argyle lines with duplicate stitch. Oye.

Twenty-five days to the big C. Double oye.

November 20, 2007


So far, so good.

greetings. i come in peace.

Last weekend, a swatch was born. I also downloaded a little Christmas countdown thingamajig for my desktop which informs me that I have a mere 34 days to finish my overly-ambitious Christmas crafting. But what's new? I do this to myself every year. Good thing I've got a nice Thanksgiving break coming up. See you on the other side of the turkey!

November 15, 2007

creeping sleeviness

Here's the most recent photo of the Chicago sleeves:


That picture was taken yesterday before I got distracted by Pushing Daisies and inexplicably stopped increasing. So tonight I get to rip back an inch and a half. Bah. Otherwise the sweater is coming along swimmingly...the back, fronts and wee little flowerlettes are all finished. Yay!

Back to the argyle intarsia...there were a few things I forgot to mention yesterday:

1) The vest is the Argyll V-Neck from Knitting for Him, by Martin Storey and Wendy Baker. More on my love-hate relationship with this new book later.
2) My BIL Ross (Mr. Kricket) picked out the colors himself (he requested pink argyle...gotta love that, right?))
3) I HAVE knitted intarsia. I just forgot. Remember the robot?

And in closing, yesterday I discovered (much to my delight) that two pairs of the Herringbone Mittens have already been completed. Go check them out over at Kathryn Ivy and Anny Purls!

Over and out!

November 14, 2007

in which we excavate the crazy

New yarn, peeps:

hello. we are mauvelous.

Things you should know:

1) This yarn is for this vest.
2) It is fingering weight.
3) I have never knitted intarsia before.
4) There is intarsia on the front AND the back.
5) I am going to modify the pattern.
6) It is a Christmas gift.

No problem-o, right?

In other news: Kricket wants me to show you the Corpse Bride costume I made her for Halloween because she craves fame and stardom. Who am I to deprive her? See? The costume is made of Mum's old nightie, an old bra, two of Dad's old undershirts, some lace, gauzey stuff, a bit of stretchy white fabric, and some ribbon. Krick used a dry-erase marker to do the blue details. All thrown together the afternoon before we left Seattle.