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Ball and Biscuit

koigublue.jpg
Dear Kay,
As I sat in the kitchen eating my biscuit this morning, I realized I have a problem. I need something to knit. It’s just a fact. I find myself in the awful, awkward position of knitting all day, yet not really in a position to blawg it, because it’s all stuff for our next tome, Mason-Dixon Knitting 2: The Shining. Believe me, it’s going to be chockablock with earth-shattering innovation, this new book. I weep at my own brilliance. How could that index finger, I think as I gaze at my hand, be so loaded with talent? But if I show off my idea for a fun-fur-lined bustier with intarsia lips on the bosoms, well, there goes THAT surprise.
The trouble is, I like writing about what I’m knitting. This is a knitting blog, fer heaven’s sake. So I need a project, a palate cleanser, something easy and compelling. One discovery made during the recent Months of Knitting Incessantly is that I really do like to knit. It’s fun, you know? What a hobby! I like it so much that I don’t much care what it is that I’m knitting. To that end, I could use advice on what I ought to knit next. Here are the options which come to mind.
1. A beautiful shrug I saw someplace which uses Blue Sky Alpaca Silk yarn. Oh–here it is. Is it a shrug or a sweater? It’s BOTH! Isn’t it pretty?
2. Something using a yarn I have never used before. In that category are bamboo, cashmere, silk, 100% polyamide, hemp, camel, rabbit, dog, cat (intentional cat, that is).
3. My Jack White Tribute Sweater. The White Stripes are coming to Bonnaroo in June, and I need to GIT READY FOR THAT. A portable shrine. What more could a person want?
4. Anything, anything at all. What are you guys knitting that’s fun? I’m, like, totally in. Girl needs a project.
Love,
Ann
PS Yes, that’s Koigu up there, waiting patiently for its destiny.

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76 Comments

76 Comments

  1. White Stripes are, hands-down, my favorite knitting music…or anything music…!

  2. I think a Jack White tribute sweater would rock! Do that.

  3. I know where the white stripes are recording today.

  4. Speaking of Jack, can you believe that the Raconteurs got beat out by the Red Hot Chili Peppers for the grammy? I thought that the Pepper’s performance that night was incredibly lame. I am so jealous that the Stripes are coming to your neck of the woods. If you pass Jack on the street please tell him there is a girl in Chicago who desparately needs a live fix.

  5. I personally love the sweater/shrug. Gorgeous – and what a way to lose your knitting virginity to silk!

  6. That shrug is dreamy (And silky! Two birds, one project). So is the Koigu. Yum.

  7. You should totally go for a new fiber. That’s always fun!

  8. Well, I’m still working on my second Perfect Handknit Sweater. But, what’s grabbing my attention more is figuring out what to do with some yarn I bought for a different project. The swatch is now in the wash (gentle cycle, of course). I was getting carried away with different eyelet configurations, and am really looking forward to pulling out my Knitting Visualizer software (http://www.knitfoundry.com/software.html) to work out how these eyelets are going to fit in.

  9. Ya’ll never knit with silk before? Me neither. Not much call for it when you’re a boy, I guess. But you got no such excuse! Don’t you know that silk increases your skin’s youthful luster?!
    Or, at least, it makes you so damn happy that you get that “I Just Knitted With Silk” glow. Not to be confused with the “I’m Going To Have Quadruplets” glow.

  10. That shrug is nice! Have you had a look at Knitting Nature by Norah Gaughan? There’s a cool hexagonal shrug/shawl/poncho/sweater thing in there too.

  11. I’m currently kind of obsessed with the idea of knitting some daisy dukes in honor the much anticipated and talked about 40-degree heat wave heading toward the Boston-metro area this week. Plus, well…daisy dukes, y’all! I missed that fashion trainwreck back when it was actually “popular,” but I feel the time is ripe for a come-back. Oh, how to knit those interior pockets hanging so deliciously below the hem-line? My fingers do tingleth with joy…

  12. Two words for you: Manos mittens.
    or anything with Manos for that matter. it has the comfort of wool with the complexity of color and handspun-ness.
    OR!
    socks. socks solve EVERYTHING.

  13. Oooh, love that sweater shrug, and the alpaca/silk yarn is wonderful!

  14. I’m so sorry for this, the need to pun has just taken over my brain and I can’t… can’t resist… will there be white stripes on your Jack White Tribute Sweater? Oh, thats a bad pun, and Im sure Im not the first to make it….

  15. The shrug looks beautiful, but a bit of advice: TRY ONE ON. I made what I thought was a lovely shrug, picked up over 300 stitches all around the edges and when I finished it and tried it on, I screamed like I was trying on the first bathing suit of the season. I then had a good laugh and said: “This is not working for you, honey!”.
    I have been on a hand warmers kick lately. I used the very simple pattern in the book ONE SKEIN WONDERS. It uses chunky yarn and knits up in one evening. It also does not go over the thumb, so I can knit with them on.
    Then I got hooked on these BALLBAND WASHCLOTHS, which were in this book written by two crazy knitting bloggers. :) Who knew washcloths could be so much fun?? (and colorful)
    Rosemary in sunny San Jose, Ca.

  16. Last year I knit a shrug very similar to the Blue Sky one using Habu bamboo. Babmoo is lovely to work with, and it’s a great garment to wear over a little tank in warm weather.
    But then again — a Jack White Tribute Sweater would pretty much just kick butt.

  17. I love the shrug. But if you want a quick fix Here is what I am knitting. Just finished Flora from Knitty.com Fall 05 -quick neckwarmer – so cute – On the needles – Argosy from Knitty only in a shawl/beach cover up thingy in mercerized cotton. Need to block a sweater from Debbie Bliss – and waiting patiently is a camisole in silk – a felted market tote in ultra alpaca – leg warmers in cascade something or other for daughter’s ballet class with satin ribbons – Beaded v – neck tunic from Tilli Tomas – Should I go on??????
    I just realized that I need an intervention.

  18. Beret.
    I’m collecting links here:
    http://del.icio.us/AmberCake/beret
    The Purl pattern is great and uses:
    One Skein of Koigu!
    If you don’t care what you’re knitting, just do it. And then move on to that shrug/cardigan/ma-jigger. It’s looking very niiiiice.

  19. Well, the shrug is very pretty. But spring is coming (isn’t it?). I say you knit a classic short-sleeved pullover that will go with everything and look great with a blazer when you’re on your second book tour. Which means it has to be so fabulous that no one would dream of asking you if you got it at Wal-Mart.

  20. A handbag. I love knitting handbags. Super simple and relatively little seaming.

  21. that silky shruggy thing just sets on the shoulders so softly, doesn’t it? i like its feminine mermaid-y touch. but would it look as great on moi as it does on that model? i think a batch of biscuits would be more satisfying… xoxo

  22. I think your Jack White tribute sweater is a great idea! I vote for that.
    But,
    I gotta say,
    try cashmere,
    but be prepared, it is so soft, sooo soft, it can make you never want to knit with anything else ever again…if it were affordable. Dreamy. I got a gift-scarf request from someone who knew what he was asking and would appreciate it and is someone I would love to knit for. So, I went out and bought Lane Borgosesia Bollicina 65% cashmere 35% silk and started knitting and soon started singing “It’s like but-tah”. Repeatedly. It’s like that first bite of steak in a fancy schmancy restaurant, it’s like a $3 chocolate truffle, it costs too much but it’s so good you want to cry.

  23. When I don’t know what to knit, I knit dishcloths, and socks. Sometimes I knit your dishcloths, sometimes I knit mine. But I’m not nearly as advanced as you, so maybe this doesn’t help!

  24. Silk. You should knit something from silk, or at least from a silk/something blend. I love the soft smooth, shiny-ness of silk, and the way the sheen transfers into blends – silk/mohair, silk/alpaca, silk/sea cell…

  25. Eunny Jang’s Entrelac knee-hi socks from the current IK?

  26. I love the shrugger.

  27. Fun for me is the Coronet hat from Knitty. My first cables. Who knew it could be so easy and make me look so smart?

  28. Two nights in a row I have dreamt about knitting Eunny’s Anemoi Mittens. I saw some Drops Alpaca in our LYS that would be divine. I think I have to try them.

  29. Yesterday I was in the same boat and started a linen hand towel (from book 1). I also have some Koigu that hasn’t told me yet what it wants to be. I think the shrug would be wonderful in cashmere. Good luck with getting out of the knitting doldrums.

  30. I cast a vote for that shrug. Usually I just hear the word shrug and thing ugh! This is different from others I have seen. I really like it.

  31. I would love to see a project in a new fiber— maybe bamboo. I am knitting all charitable projects: a prayer shawl, chemo caps AND… this one is so much fun… fuzzy caps for women who shave their heads to raise $$$ for kids with cancer. The event is called St. Baldrick’s Day (right around St. Pat’s day of course)and I am knitting the hats out of fun fur that I bought for $1 ea. and cap takes a skein or less!! How’s that for fun?! I’ll bet that you could come up with a post-shaving hat that would be even better!

  32. The White Stripes tribute intrigues me (I’d love to see where it takes you!), but I think I must vote the shrug/sweater. It’s lov-er-ly.

  33. So glad two here there is going to be a Mason Dixon 2: Electric Boogaloo. I just gave the handtowel to my mother-in-law for Valentine’s Day and I think it won me favorite daughter-in-law status for at least the next 6 months. As for projects, I vote for something in honor of Jack White, but I am stumped as to what. Maybe a White Stripes water bottle cozy, ’cause it’s going to be HOT in June at Bonnaroo?

  34. Handmaiden Camel Silk

  35. There’s a two-way cardigan designed by Yasuyuki Machida for sale on the MoMa online shop. I’d love to find a pattern similar to that one and knit it up in Blue Sky Alpaca silk. Is it a shrug or a cardigan? Call it what you will, I have to have it, and not in the offered “Polly and her sister Esther”!
    http://www.momastore.org/museum/moma/ProductDisplay_Two-Way%20Cardigan_10451_10001_24553

  36. Now THAT’s a horrible tease. I go to check out when the White Stripes are coming to the greater NY area, only to see that the only date listed is in Tennessee. I had visions of audiences filled with Tribute Sweater-wearing fans across the United States. But alas, it is not to happen any time soon.
    Have a great time. I haven’t seen them live in over 3 years. I was pregnant at the time, and it was a challenge trying not to inhale for several hours . . .

  37. seems like you need a “quick hit” as Eunny referred to in her blog. So, I suggest the EndPaper Mitts. So lovely, so useful and heck, you could even do them in a wool/silk blend to get your silk on.
    ps – that’s a lovely and tasteful shade of Koigu, so unlike my own preference: http://valleygrrl.typepad.com/knitting/2007/01/remember_rainbr.html

  38. Hi guys–I’m in the process of doing some massive ring maintenance for the FiberArts Bloggers ring and I am contacting you because there’s a problem with your code. The code you have up is actually alright, except that the ring’s home page on the urbanspinner site is long gone. The new home page is:
    http://unioncenterknits.typepad.com/fiber_arts_bloggers/
    You’re welcome to either switch out just that one part of the code, or ask me for the basic default ring code instead.
    Please feel free to contact me with any related questions/concerns. Once you have your code fixed up, if you want to send me a note I’d appreciate it, so I can check it out. Thanks!
    Joni

  39. the Koigu took my breath away….soooo pretty

  40. I love the shrug. And you could so pull it off!!!!

  41. How about a linen skirt? I really like the one in the Tracey Ullman/Mel Harris knitting book…

  42. Ooo..nice shrug.
    I’m still neck deep in log-cabin knitting fascination, and my hubster got me some Jojoland Rhythm for Valentine’s day. I’m log cabin knitting a jumper for my 7 year old girlie. It’s delicious!

  43. Yarn: Debbie Bliss alpaca silk
    Pattern: Lara (Debbie Bliss)–short cardigan with shawl collar and deep ribbing at cuffs, front edges, and collar; fastens with a pin
    Gorgeous, wonderful-to-knit yarn. Interesting, fun-to-knit pattern (start at the cuff and just keep on going). Mega-gratifying finished product.

  44. These: http://www.soxie.com/wristers.html take one skein of Koigu KPPPM (or however many P’s there are in there) and are fun to knit and really do help keep you warm. And they look much better on than in the picture.
    Or I can send you one of my 43 WIP’s…
    Astabeth

  45. Go ahead, do a tribute sweater and don’t forget to throw it in the book!

  46. One of the choices for Argosy is hemp! I’m on my second Argosy… it’s very cool. Of course, it has already appeared in these pages.

  47. I vote #2, bamboo! That’s what I’ve been thinking about since seeing this nightie/camisole on Interweave Knits: http://www.interweave.com/signup/knit/nightie.asp

  48. Debbie Bliss has that new decadent 100% silk yarn in some delicious colors. Don’t tell anyone but I think I drooled on it in one of the lys’s. Anyway they are displaying a shrug all made up from the accompanying pattern book, and it is LOVELY. So feminine, light, soft, springy. I’d give it a try myself but the time required is way beyond me, and the guilt of having a UFO in silk would be overwhelming. That plus Lent would be too much.

  49. I finished that shrug in the Blue Sky alpaca silk in time for Christmas – in scarlet – it is lovely, drapes beautifully and is warm too. Three of us did it at our Knitting Group,the two others were purple….
    If you do decide on it, knit the sleeves in the round, it will make life much easier, and do, do, do cast off the border LOOSELY (having done it three times….)

  50. I would go for the Jack White tribute in Bamboo.
    As for yarn in the picture Lord have Mercy that is lovely yarn. what is the colorway?

  51. I’ve seen the shrug in real life and it gets my vote.

  52. I’m all about the Jack White sweater. mostly because I want to see it.

  53. One more vote for the shrug. And “Ball and Biscuit” sounds like a pub. Not plotting another London trip, are you?

  54. I vote bamboo…spring is coming soon (pleeeeeeeease!)and I’m sure it hits Tennessee before Minnesota. You could have a wonderful time imagining spring flowers while the bamboo slips through your fingers. Pick a nice, bright “tulip-y” color and you’ll whip up a shell in no time!

  55. oh yea Koigu! I used a bunch of my Koigu stash on many pairs of ankle socks from the Blue Blog freebies. They are great with my Keen sandals and have short row shaping (which was new to me). Quick project, and since it’s warming up where you knit/live, you could wear them soon. Thanks for your book and blog, I visit often!

  56. I’m with those who voted for the bamboo/soy/latte/exotic-not-silk-but-just-as-cool option. It would be inspiring to see you try out some of these beautiful fibers and report back (with photos!! bring on the pr0n!!). Maybe a pair of shrugs, one in bamboo and one in soy, so that we can compare? A shrug-off? I’d love to know how these fibers look when expertly knitted up, and the shrug would be a great showcase.
    Looking forward to whatever you do!

  57. dear ann make a glitter wrap lousia harding
    has sari ribbon with glitz >we could all use
    use some glamour in our lives>a long wrap?

  58. Does this mean you are GOING to Bonnaroo? I went a few years ago and had a blast. But all of my friends are teachers and school’s not out yet! ….I’m trying to get a trip going for this year.
    So, I vote the tribute sweater!

  59. I hear you on looking for a new project. I told my husband last night this is the year of little things, as I was casting on my fourth pair of socks this winter. He said the year is still young, but I just can’t settle on an idea. I do have my first lace shawl on the needles, but don’t seem to have the time to sit and make progress on it. I love the shrug.

  60. My latest project is to knit 250 pairs of socks and donate them to charity. May I suggest that you join in? :-)

  61. Please include something small & EZ & fun, in MD 2 : The Shining, like the Ballband Warshrags, for those of us who knit on the bus every day…..last week on the way home when we were crammed to the gills like sardines on that darn bus, the woman next to me suddenly said “is that a MasonDixon Ballband Warshcloth you are knitting?”…!!!…..we had a short but excited chat about warshrags, burp cloths, bibs, and calamari rugs (which makes a great car floor mat by the way)…so who was that woman, and what exactly are the 5 knitting projects she currently has going??

  62. Shrugger gets the vote – I’m working on the one in Mel/Tracy Knit 2 Together book (shown in Koigu but I’m in CA where it’s waaaaaaaaaarm (70 degrees yesterday) so I’m using Rowan Luxury Cotton YUMMY) I was going towards the OTHER shrug with the lace panel after that….but now I believe you have sidetracked me to Blue Sky – their silk yarn is heaven!!!
    I like the way the longer shrugs cover up the “places” of my 46 year old body!

  63. Socks. The Koigu wants to be socks. Portable, fun, and bloggable. And, my favorite pair of socks ever are made from Koigu.

  64. Winter is not over yet – how about knitting double-knit mittens (two-layer/reversible)?

  65. I find the Jack White thing intriguing. Mostly because I’d never heard of him until I moved to Rhode Island 3 years ago. People here are still very pissed off about what happened and aren’t really fans of the band.
    Since that’s my only exposure to the whole subject I find it interesting that the attitude in the rest of the country is very different. I wasn’t here when it happened so I’m rather detached from it all. Anyway, I’ll stop rambling now…
    I like the idea of using something you haven’t used in the past, it’s fun to experiment!

  66. And you can just completely ignore my previous comment! I was thinking about someone else entirely. Ack! Must google before posting!

  67. I love that song ball and biscuit.
    perhaps a red, white, and black geometric sweater in honor of every album cover they’ve ever had.

  68. You know, I managed to resist the whole shrug craze. As someone who is always cold, I can see the appeal of having a little extra covering, but I can’t help thinking “it’s not LONG ENOUGH!!!”. But that Blue Sky piece? Perfect. Love it. And the yarn? Alpaca Silk. Love that too. Two thumbs up!

  69. Shrugs are perfect for travel: leave hot humid location wearing tank, step on to freezing cold airplane, pull out shrug (which folds neatly in the carryon with little space, by the way), reverse on destination.
    But why stop at one new project? (Says she of the 20 project pile-up.) The shrug (silky and alpaca-y and good for chilly early spring knitting days) and something in bamboo, too (hope of warm spring). “Butterfly” in the Spring ’07 Knitscene is very fresh and new in feel but seems like it will be kind to those of us who aren’t sporting six pack abs. At least, I hope so. I started casting on for it this morning…(make that 21 projects…)

  70. Go nuts with the new fiber. I have a skein of POSSUM waiting for me. I’m not sure if I should make it up for me or make it up for someone else and then tell them what I made it out of. he he.

  71. The Keyboard Biologist started some fun mitts that look like fish: http://www.keyboardbiologist.net/knitblog/archives/cat_fiber_fish_mittens.html
    They seem like a nice small project to learn entrelac with.

  72. Cat fur, aka fun fur au naturale.

  73. I just started my first EZ seamless raglan sweater for my Boy. But I lust after the shrugs.
    Doesn’t it seem ironic that the very vehicle that allowed you to write about and share your Knittin’ Adven-chures is now off limits because it brought you a Second Book Deal? Not that I’m complaining, because I’m going to buy “Mason-Dixon: This Time It’s Personal” the very firstest day it is available, but I want to know what crazy stuff you’re cooking up. I miss the knitting.

  74. Why don’t you learn to crochet??? Did you see the afghan that Yarnstorm made? Gorgeous. So if you learn to crochet, you can write about the experience.
    sandy

  75. Socks! Socks are fun, portable and there are too many pretty patterns out there not to find one for each mood. I am currently knitting my way through the Nancy Bush books.

  76. I’m making a hat with the Big Dotty stitch pattern from guess what book.
    Circular, a few inches of garter stitch at the bottom. Big Dotty works very well knit in the round. I had to try it to find out.
    I’ve been making a zillion Ball Band dishcloths, so I’m using Sugar ‘n’ Cream for the hat.
    Give it a try for near-mindless knitting fun. Oh, I’m using US size 8 16″ circulars, and cast on 94 stitches. Had to work in 2 more later for the pattern to work, so I don’t know if I figured wrong or miscounted. No biggie.