Sunday, November 18, 2007

Need I Say More?

Clearly unbeknownst to many of you, the Pilgrim recently celebrated...once again...the anniversary of his birth. And, while marking time before the much anticipated reveal of his most recent finished object (to come), he thought he would share a birthday card he received from Lady Suzanne...

An apt likeness, if I do say so myself.

Need I say more?


Sunday, November 11, 2007

EZ not so Easy

So, for the first time ever, the Pilgrim finds himself following the somewhat haphazard instructions of the legendary genius of knitology, Elizabeth Zimmerman. Now, it must be said that the Pilgrim holds Madam Z in the highest esteem imaginable. But surely one must allow that her patterns are not the clearest in the known world. Indeed, she seems to rely on a rather advanced skill level plus a bit of knitterly intuition to follow along.

For example, the seamless pullover one currently finds oneself blogging about here and there - the Pilgrim read through the shoulder shaping several times before it made any sense at all. That said, however, once the actual shaping commenced, it "clicked" and made total sense. It was, it seems, a matter of visualization. The Pilgrim couldn't see the construction clearly in his head. But now it is coming along, and, well, he remains positively overjoyed at the prospect of this finished garment.

More postings to follow in the coming days.
My best to you for the week ahead.....

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Round and round

Round and round we go, knitting on with the Prada-inspired mohair pullover, loosely based on the Zimmerman seamless method. The sleeves have now been joined. What an adventure!

Dear me - the Pilgrim must ask Santa for a nice new digital camera...n'est-ce pas? (Trust me, it's gorgeous!)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A First

I have a first to report, Gentle Reader, something which has never happened before in the history of man. The Pilgrim ventured into a yarn shop today - one with lots of nice specimens to peruse, one might add - and walked out empy-handed. I was moved by much of what I saw, to be sure; just not quite enough to proceed to purchase.

Could it be that the enormity of the unused stash has finally found its way past the Pilgrim Hat and actually into his brain?

Perhaps the recently-reported neighborly construction debacle has had at least one positive outcome. The holes are as yet unpatched, and so the stash skeins are stuffed hither and thither around the apartment. It would have to be a decidedly delicious fiber to prompt a Pilgrim to add to the disarray. Decidedly delicious indeed.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

On my sleeve...

The pullover progresses. Currently one finds one's self completely enamored with the sleeve which, like the rest of the sweater, is knit entirely in the round. Yea, the very thought of no sleeve seeming thrills the Pilgrim to the very core! And - don't know if you can tell - but I am completely in love with the way in which the increases appear. Note also the turned under and knitted together contrast hem - again, no finishing required other than weaving in a few strands.

Indeed, how do I love this project? Let me count the ways....(one merely hope it fits - they don't always, you know...)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Soiled Stash

One of the joys of New York cooperative apartment ("co-op") living is abiding and enduring the neighbors' renovations. The building which the Pilgrim calls his home is generally terrific, a fantastic place to be. However, recently the new neighbors have undertaken a complete gut renovation on the rooms adjacent to ours, and, well, a bit more than adjacent. You see, their renovation work has now resulted in gaping holes into one of the Pilgrim's storage closets, resulting in a most unwelcome coating of plaster dust (along with a general feeling of invasion of personal space).

The new neighbors - let's call them David and Hillary - have apologized profusely, even offering to cover cleaning for any articles of clothing that might have suffered in the incident. However, as I tried most diplomatically to explain to them, this particular closet is not home to ordinary items of clothing. Oh no indeed. This closet houses electronic equipment, hundreds of CD's, the Long-Suffering Other's collection of archival materials...I shan't go on. They were mortified.

What I neglected to include is that this particular closet - the one now coated with plaster dust - is also home to the Pilgrim's KNITTING STASH.

HONESTLY! It's a good thing they're British, and that the Pilgrim possesses a torrid case of Anglophilia. Depending on what happens next, however, there may actually be a cure for that.....

Sunday, October 7, 2007

A Pilgrim's Progress

One is pleased to report slow but steady progress on the Prada-inspired seamless mohair pullover. As has been posted previously, the Pilgrim is not pressuring himself to finish this project on any particular timetable. While he works, consolation comes from the recent completion of the stripey socks ("Jaywalker") for the L-SO which were met with high regard and worn once already despite these bizarre subtropical climes in the great Northeast.

Day by day, stitch by stitch, slowly but surely, it grows.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Still More Inspiration

Strike the pose....


For your consideration, two offerings from Giles, September 2007, Vogue.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Miuccia Prada, I Presume

Try as he might, the Pilgrim simply no longer can resist the call of the mohair sweater project, partly inspired by madam Miuccia, as noted in previous posts. Prada's collection for Fall was hypnotic to a Pilgrim. Ravishing and inspired. One loves her simplicity of line, her palette which - in her menswear - normally does not stray very far afield. Until now.

The Prada men's collection for Fall '07 was chock full of color and whimsy: the dazzling ombre treatment to all sorts of fabrics and items ranging from hats to sweaters to pants, even shoes! One hardly knows how to respond, except to say...I must have this!

One wonders: Could this be the breakthrough the Pilgrim has long resisted? Could this be his irreversible plunge into the land of Technicolor titillation? Is he, like Dorothy, not in Kansas anymore? Time will tell.

At any rate, he has finally begun the colorful mohair sweater that had been percolating in the back of his mind for quite some time - ever since that first Prada preview some months back. It will be simple in design, but with surprising bits of color in the faux ombre effect he has been devising: a seamless raglan crew neck, knit entirely in the round. The bottom hem is turned under in contrast color and knitted together to minimize the dreaded finishing. Likewise the sleeves.

Herewith, a rather inferior collection of photos showing my beloved in its most humble beginnings. Resolved, am I, to take my time with this one. I had, after all, proclaimed myself not so long ago done with sweaters forever. This one I will not rush. I just hope I am finished in time to actually give it some wear before the spring.

Rowan Kidsilk Haze, Shades 577 and 578. Double stranded on US #6 circular needles.
Don't let the drabness fool you...there will be surprises to come...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Let us greet the Fall

With the weather turning ever so lovely here in the Northeast, one turns one's thoughts to a fall filled with new knits. And to serve as additional inspiration - as if we needed any more than this delicious drop in temperatures - I include a page from the current New York Times Style Magazine, Men's Fashion Fall 2007:

All hail Fall!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

My So-Called (Pilgrim) Scarf

As the title suggests, I did jump in and join the knit-along. The object in question is the ubiquitous "My So-Called Scarf" using Manos del Uruguay on US size 11's. Because I already had two skeins of Manos in the stash (in a most suitable, dour, gray-brown scheme) I found this idea somewhat hard to resist. Currently I find myself half-way through this impromptu project. The photo below was from a few stitches ago...

The L-SO will just have to wait a while for his newest stripey socks! (Fortunately, thus far, not a headshake nor sigh in sight....)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Unfinished Busy-ness

As with many, if not most, of you, the Pilgrim has developed this unfortunate attention deficit thingamabob. Barely into the latest project, he finds himself totally obsessed with starting another. At this moment alone, the Pilgrim finds himself alternately immersed in the following:

- Piggyback Throw
- Stripey socks (Jaywalker) for the LS-O
- Other stripey socks for the LS-O (I believe I have hinted at the Long-Suffering Other's stripey sock obsession)
- Noro stripe scarf (with affectionate nod to Jared of BrooklynTweed)
(The Diamond Vee, thankfully, is finally complete.)

That may not sound like much to some of you, but it doesn't even begin to scratch the multitude of projects sitting untouched in my formidable stash, beckoning to me - not least of which, the mohair sweater project inspired by madam Miuccia, as foreshadowed in a previous post.

And now comes a proposed knit-along on the Men Who Knit site - a scarf project for which - lo - I just happen to have the exact yarn suggested sitting in my stash, awaiting a project of its own. Much as I would love to jump in and join the parade.....dare I? Dare I tempt fate with yet another unfinished project? Dare I provoke the headshaking sighs of the Long-Suffering Other as he eyes the bits and scraps of sticks and wool scattered hither and yon in the least small cranny of our comfortable home?

What, I ask, is a Pilgrim to do?
[...a sigh, a roll of the eye, a tentative reach for another new skein...]

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Divine Inspiration

Also known as Miuccia Prada...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Slowly but surely.....

The pilgrim plods along....

One is ready for one's close-up, Mr. DeMille:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The return of the Pilgrim

Gentle Reader, I happily report our safe return from a two-week sojourn on the continent of Europe. This lovely little pilgrimage took us to Rome, Florence and finally a blissful poolside retreat in the incredibly quaint village of Mougins in the South of France. Over the course of the trip, one engaged in lots of sightseeing, shopping, EATING, lounging.....and of course, a modicum of knitting.
"Jaywalking" in Florence

What better project to take along on the road but a lovely little sock - in this case, the famous "Jaywalker" by the divine Grumperina.

Trekking pro natura, 75% superwash, 25% bamboo, color #1602, on US #1 bamboo needles.

Needless to say, this colorway, although beautiful, is a bit wild for a Pilgrim. Indeed, it is one in a series of projects to address my Long-Suffering Other's obsession with stripey socks of any sort. The wilder and stripey-er the better, as far as the L-SO is concerned. (However, I will secretly admit that, based on how well this is shaping up, the Pilgrim will surely try these on for size when done.)

Oh, and by the by, the photos were taken in our delightful hotel room at the Helvetia & Bristol, in the veritable heart of Firenze. Not inexpensive, but everything a Pilgrim would want in a hotel. (The Long-Suffering Other is nothing if not an excellent arranger of things, including the many details of this most recent pilgrimage. Most deserving of a beautiful sock. Most deserving indeed.....)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Swaddling Splendor

'Tis rare indeed that the Pilgrim finds himself at a loss for words, but methinks he will let the picture speak for itself:

Harper's Bazaar, Aug. 2007

Sweet dreams of swaddling splendor...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Pilgrim's Progress: Piggyback Throw

With many thanks to the Ninny for her kind inquiry, I begin.

The Piggyback Throw is quite simple indeed. All one needs to know is Garter Stitch and how to cast on, and pick up to create new stitches. Dear Friend Elizabeth tells me that some people call this concept Domino. I will try to elucidate as best I can. The general instructions are these:

For my blanket, I chose an absolutely delicious fiber: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted hand-dyed 100% superwash wool (#64 Gold Hill); US #8 Turbo circulars. The entire blanket is worked in Garter Stitch.

To form the first block, or domino, cast-on 32 stitches, placing a stitch marker right in the middle (e.g., after the 16th stitch).

*Work in Garter for 2 rows straight.

Row 3 (Wrong Side) and every WS row, decrease by knitting 2 together on EACH side of the center stitch marker.

Row 4 & every RS row, knit straight to end.

When you have only 1 stitch left on the needle, turn and pick up an additional 15 stitches along the Right Side of your now-existing square (so you now have a total of 16), place marker and cast on another 16 stitches, proceed as above, from *. (Note: Decreases are ONLY done from Wrong Side; Pick-ups are ONLY done from Right Side - that makes it so easy for the Pilgrim to keep track!)

Continue in this method, until you have enough squares or tiles or dominoes or whatever you wish to call these darlings, to make a row of your blanket. Cut yarn, leaving enough length to weave in later, and pull tail through the last stitch. Go back to the beginning square and.....

Cast on 16 new stitches, place marker, and pick up (RIGHT SIDE) 16 stitches along the edge of the very first square you knitted. Continue from * above. When you reach the end of this square, you don't cast on anymore, but merely pick up stitches along the current square AND the corresponding square from the previous row of squares (16 along the current square, place marker; 16 along the corresponding square), and continue as from * above -- 2 rows straight, then begin your decreases on Row 3 (WS).

And really, that's it. You do this over and over and over and over and over until you have the fabulous blanket or throw your heart desires. Mine, Gentle Reader, is still a work in progress.....

This image, above, demonstrates (hopefully) how one starts each row of squares back at square one, so to speak.

And this one, below, shows how, if one is careful in picking up consistently from the Right Side each time, the right side squares will look:

This photo, below, shows the Wrong Side, which really isn't so terribly bad either, n'est-ce pas?

One other thought: once you've reached your desired overall size and shape, Dear Friend Elizabeth suggests a crochet edging all around for that perfect final finish.

I do hope this helps - especially the dear Ninny. If further questions persist, please do not hesitate to inquire.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Chunks Ahoy!

It must be stated that, contrary to popular belief, the Pilgrim does not eschew all trends. Indeed, he holds more than a passing interest in the world of fashion. And so, delighted was he to stumble upon this page during his perusal of the current (August 2007) issue of "W" magazine.

Behold the chunk:

And I quote:

"Size matters - at least when it comes to this season's knitted goods.

"Everyone loves a cozy knit. Now the cold-weather favorite gets bigger, beefier and bolder with amped-up texture and proportions. On the fall runways, designers moved away from refined takes in favor of oversize knits that were chunky and raw. 'It's a less precious look,' says Twinkle's Wenlan Chia. To achieve that rugged sensibility for the colossal offerings in this Giles collection, Giles Deacon commissioned special knitting needles. 'They were basically two enormous broomsticks,' he quips -- Venessa Lau."

Until next time, may the chunks be with you.....

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Blanket Statement

I adore Dear Friend Elizabeth, not least for the fact that she brings such color to life. As readers will have noted, the Pilgrim's natural state is typically of a more somber hue. In fact, confronted, once, with an array of colorful cashmere in a certain fashion emporium in Los Angeles (okay, Armani it was - there, I said it), one felt a certain affinity for - nay, compulsion towards the gray. Indeed, confided, did I, in my dutiful attendant one of my myriad and most abiding fashion mantras: "One can never have too many gray sweaters." Bringing forefinger to chin in thoughtful pose, he carefully considered; then concurred: "I think I would have to agree."

But I digress.

Dear Friend Elizabeth. The Pilgrim delights whenever she journeys into my neck of the woods. Most recently, when she came by for a polite cocktail (yes - the Pilgrim is a Pilgrim, not a prude), she whipped from her bag a yellow alpaca cloud - a butter and sugar confection she called a piggyback blanket that she was industriously, unselfishly whipping up for a friend.

After she had departed again towards self imposed exile to balmier climes (another story for another time), one's mind drifted again and again to her nimble-fingered flight of fancy. One pined for the color and excitement of piggyback glory! And not of gray. Oh no no no. One longed for color in sinful, seductive swirls, crazed and unfettered in exceptional hue!

Thus, the Piggyback Throw:

Sounds suspiciously, one realizes, like some hayseed hoe-down (Spin your partner, do-si-do, all line up for the Piggyback Throw!), but no. 'Tis merely one of my latest obsessions. Check back in, won't you, now and again, to catch up on a Pilgrim's progress.....

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Pilgrim's Progress - Diamond Vee

As much as the Pilgrim endeavors to embrace color now and then, the time comes when he must revert to his natural inclination towards the neutral - one might say drab - palette. Case in point, the Diamond Vee.

The Diamond Vee arose from one's desire for a casual, summer weight pullover for long, languid evenings by the shore. To begin, I chose a virtually weightless Rowan Summer Tweed in a suitably dour charcoal gray (although it tickles the Pilgrim no end to note that, if one were to inspect it truly close up, one could detect the occasional subversive flecking of pink!). Next, a somewhat lacy stitch pattern was chosen for a bit of breezy ventilation along the length of the front - in this case, the Moss Stitch Diamond Panel from my trusty Harmony Guide.

I'm not at all sure this displays very well - in sooth, I fear it does not - but my calculations convinced me that, after a small one-inch ribbing along the bottom hem, approximately three diamond repeats would take me up to the base of the Vee.

I'm still in the sewing and finishing up phase at the moment, but my senses tell me that, once complete, this will be a right suitable garment for a Pilgrim to wear. A right suitable garment indeed.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Needle Sharing

Gentle Reader, 'twas little more than one year ago that I returned from a protracted business trip to discover that, in my absence, my Long-Suffering Other had picked up needles and started to knit! I realize that you are not yet properly acquainted with my Long-Suffering Other, but you may take me at my word when I impart that this was decidedly out of character. Most out of character indeed.

Flummoxed was I.

Then when Dear Friend Elizabeth phoned up trilling tales of madcap adventures at her local knit shop, well, it simply was more than one could sensibly bear. I refused to be excluded from all the fun. I wanted to knit. Nay, I NEEDED to knit, and I needed to knit NOW!

My Long-Suffering Other sighed and showed me the basics. This is how you knit. This is how you purl. I picked up a book or twelve to show me the rest, snatched the needles and yarn right out of his hands, and, well, we were off....

Traveling about from place to place as my work requires me more than occasionally to do, it seemed the perfect occupation for idle fingers and boggled brains. And so, Gentle Reader, the Knitty Pilgrim embarked. And the journey began.