Summertime

12 June 2012 § Leave a comment

Wow, it’s been a long time since I posted!

I’ve been keeping busy with schoolwork for lo these past months, but it is summer at long last! I made the decision not to go to school during the summer this year. I was just too burnt out after going last summer. I generally feel ennui toward the end of the quarter, but it bled into the whole quarter this time around and it started to get to where I was just barely keeping my GPA in the “A” range for my classes and not even particularly caring about that. Unfortunately, if you aspire to be a doctor, you have to care about it. It’s just the way it is.

Add to that the fact that I will be moving to my school’s main campus this year, so I really need some R&R before I tackle the final leg of my college journey.

I haven’t had time to knit for months, which is something I’m very glad to remedy this summer! Several of my wonderful friends are having babies this year, so it’s time to kick the knitting in gear and make some items for tiny humans.

First up, as well as my first FO for 2012, is a pair of baby mittens without thumbs for a lovely woman who is having her first girl and very excited about it!

 Mittens for Babby II

Mittens for Babby

They are the Basic Baby Mittens pattern in Vanna’s Choice “Taupe.” I’m currently knitting the icord to attach them together. I started them before we knew what she was having, so I chose a neutral color. I’m not a huge fan of Vanna’s Choice, but it is inexpensive, washable, and comes in a variety of colors. They’re pretty stiff, which I always tend to feel about anything made in this yarn and probably wasn’t helpful that I made them on size 5 needles. She’s already got 2 other children though, so she has enough on her plate that I didn’t want to add having to handwash mittens to.

The yarn was very splitty. I originally bought this color & another to make an afghan, then I changed it to Christmas decorations, and finally pulled it out for some baby items. I soaked them in Eucalan tonight and threw them in the dryer and they’ve softened slightly, but not too much. I liked the pattern. I tend to have a hard time judging the size of babies, so I will always need a pattern for anything baby-related. After I knit the first one, it seemed large to me, but oh well. They’re babies. They grow. Word from the mom is that since the dad found out they were having a girl, he has been buying ALL THE PINK THINGS! So I’m glad I made them in a neutral color that will go with pink well.

Dandelion

I’m really excited to enjoy my summer & keep knitting!

Finally, Part Two

2 January 2012 § Leave a comment

I am positively chuffed to report that the snow faeries read this blog and answered my plea. Finally, snow II

It’s not much, but it’s enough to raise my spirits and justify spending the whole day before school starts drinking tea and knitting on the socks. Perhaps a hat, as well. 
Finally, Snow 
Merry Winter to all!

Finally

1 January 2012 § Leave a comment

The holidays are over. I do love Christmas, usually I start getting excited on the first day of November. I know that this is what others think is wrong with Christmas, that it unnecessarily drags on for two whole months, but it’s a source of excitement for me.  I love Christmas lights and giving presents and baking. The glow of Christmas even makes unpleasant chores like a floor-to-ceiling housecleaning job seem festive. Then somewhere around the solstice the shiny glow tends to leave.  The pressure of being unable to do it all perfectly wears on me, everyone seems grumpy with the same plight, and the traffic is bad enough to make you a hermit.  So now, finally, on January 1st, the holiday is over!  

Peeking

I hope yours was good. I hope you weren’t filled with longing for regular days when a 5 minute commute didn’t take 30 minutes, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you were. We all get a little frayed around the edges this time of year, I think.   

Merry&Bright

One of the things I was really hoping for was a white Christmas and I have been disappointed once again. In fact, there hasn’t been much winter to speak of at all. We’ve been in a perpetual state of late fall/early spring weather. Chilly air, occasional warm sun, lots of wind, lots of rain. This would have never been disappointing to me before, but it is now. My knitter’s soul has felt the need for the warm objects I make to be used and loved.

Silver and Gold
The only knitted object I finished for Christmas was a pair of socks for my mom. They were mae of Patons Classic Wool in Light Grey Mix and Dark Grey Mix and were extremely quick. My mom’s good about taking care of delicate objects but even still I felt bad when I told her they were handwash only socks. I think I’m going to have to make her another pair in superwash.  Right now I’ve started on a pair of 2×2 rib socks in Stroll, “Agate Heather” for my boyfriend. It’s a lovely color. It makes me think of bunnies.

Fingering weight socks take forever.  Especially when the last pair you made were worsted.

Imminent Doom

15 November 2011 § Leave a comment

It’s a lovely dreary November day outside. I’m sitting with a cup of coffee and some notes. Tomorrow will kick off my finals, so I have quite a bit of last-minute studying and procrastination damage-control ahead. Every finals week of every quarter I think next time I’ll get it together and actually begin studying ahead of time and yet that has not happened in the six many years I’ve gone to school. The only subject in which I am in absolute peril if I don’t study is my math class, but, frankly, I’ve been in school for 19 years and I’m well aware by now that any math class means certain doom for my grades.

Sunbathing

I took a mini-trip with my boyfriend over the weekend and had a lovely time. It was much-needed stress relief. I had intended to write a paper and knit the rest of my left Chevalier mitten while I was away, but I only knit 2 rows and didn’t write a single word of the paper.  Something within me snapped this quarter; I can’t focus on anything. I’ve been going to school and working for so long that I can’t find it in me to care about either anymore.  But after Thursday I have a month and a half break and it already has me dreaming of all the things I’m going to knit and all the sleep I’m going to enjoy. (Actual sleep amount may vary.)  I’m queuing up quite a few Christmas projects that I want to try. As silly as I think it is that places have Christmas trees out to buy in August (I’m looking at you, Hobby Lobby), I don’t mind the subtle hints of the Christmas season that pop up in November. I usually get really excited about Christmas at this time and then by the time it actually rolls around I’m so sick to death of it that I think a full year calendar between this one and the next isn’t enough. This year I’m keeping it low-key. Yes, I’ll admit that I’ve already listened to my holiday Pandora station, but I still have my pumpkins on the mantle which really means that it’s still Decorative Gourd Season, mofos.

Knittiversary come and gone

3 November 2011 § Leave a comment

Last month was my third knittiversary. Sometime in mid-October 2008, I began my first Red Heart garter stitch scarf. I wanted to be sure I knew the knit stitches really well before I did anything else. Then halfway through I got bored and bound off. Not that I probably would’ve worn it anyway. The color that I loved so much looked like some kind of mangled camo and I ended up hating the thing. It was my first experience with pooling and the letdown that variegated yarns sometimes are. Regardless, I was smitten with the experience of knitting from the first stitch.

Sometimes, when I look at my Ravelry page I get really disappointed. I don’t have all the time I would like to to knit all the things I want, and pesky schoolwork and trying to keep a roof over my head get in the way. I look at other people’s Rav pages who have completed enough sweaters to clothe a small country and when they have been knitting only a slightly longer time than I have, it gets me down a little bit. My project page is full of plain scarves and hats. Not that it’s a bad thing, but I still long for those intricate, beautiful shawls and sweaters. I would have them if it weren’t for my lack of attention span. I start those beautiful projects and because I become distracted I inevitably mess up in a big way and have to frog. After a couple of projects where this happens, it becomes soul-crushing, so I revert to my comfort knitting, hats. 

This time I decided to make myself something special for my knittiversary, so I’m making Chevalier mittens. Wish me luck.

Goodbye, Summer

3 September 2011 § Leave a comment

Here we are in September; I’ve been waiting for this since the 6th of July (after the 4th & my birthday I could just fast-forward through summer, the same goes for winter: as soon as the Christmas lights come down I’m finished with the whole affair). Fall is my favorite time of year. Later this month Steve & I will have been together for 6 years, and when we first started dating we talked quite extensively of how fall was the perfect time of year to fall in love. I still think it is. Fall is for snuggling and bonfires and being able to use your oven again. You can’t have a bad fall day: if it’s brisk, you think about how you love the crisp fall air, and if it’s warm you think about how you’ll miss days like this when it’s winter.

 
bonfire

So why the hell has it been 95° for the past two days? I woke up to take my run today and it was already 78° and muggy as can be. It’s been hotter in the first two days of September than it was in the last two weeks of August. I just want my lovely fall weather back.  

The picture is from a bonfire we had on Monday for my friend Nichole’s 24th birthday. As a birthday gift, she received this from me:

lilac howie hat

It’s a Slouchy Copycat Hat, but not really very slouchy, because I consulted her and she said she wanted a more fitted hat. This pattern is really easy and comes out quite beautifully. I only had to frog it once, because I realized I’d picked it up and started knitting the ribbing in the wrong direction. I used some of the mods listed on Ravelry, mainly yarn overs as increases for the first increase row, and decreases that kept with the pattern.

 howie hat

The yarn is KnitPicks Swish in Sugar Plum. This was my first time working with Swish and I really enjoyed it. It was a little splitty, but very soft, and it was important to me that my friend be able to wash her hat without felting it. I used wooden needles so the splittiness didn’t drive me too crazy. The ribbing was done on size 5’s and the body of the hat on size 7s and it worked quite well for making a close-fitting hat that also covers the ears.   She seemed quite happy with it, which makes me happy, and I’m thinking of knitting another one, slouchy this time, for myself.   

School begins Tuesday, but hopefully I still have knitting time. Happy Labor Day!

FO: Have a Toasty Christmas

17 August 2011 § 2 Comments

So yesterday I actually finished something. Impressive, I know. To add to the pure impressiveness of the feat, it was a Christmas gift (finished in August!) One down, tonnes to go.

 
Toasty pairIt’s Toasty!
 

This particular gift is for my friend, Sarah. Last year I was wary of knitting things out of full-blown wool blends for my friends. I mean, I love them all to death, but we’re all a little absentminded. I didn’t know how handwashing would go, necessarily. But I started the Taffy Pull Scarf in Bamboo Ewe. Even though the yarn is more bamboo than ewe, it still has a reputation for felting like a mofo.

However, she has kept it unfelted and worn it several times since I gave it to her. Now I’m just sad she won’t get the matching gloves until smack in the middle of winter. I briefly considered giving these to her early and then knitting her the hat I promised 2 years ago, but probably not. There are many other Xmas knits to be knitted.

Toasty walnuts

I knit 4 gloves for this particular project. I wanted them to be striped in the colors of the scarf. Rather unfortunately, I am incapable of jogless stripes. I’ve tried TechKnitting and I’ve tried the Meg Swanson method and neither of them seem to work for me. So after knitting a whole striped glove and hoping it would “block out” (it didn’t) I decided to accept my fate and just knit them in one color.  If they were for me, it would’ve been fine, but my worst nightmare is that someone will look at the flaws in something I’ve made for someone and comment on it.

For the last inch I did a twisted 1×1 rib. I love the look of the original toasty, but I think a glove that lays flat is more practical. I used Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off, which is fabulous to have learned. It is indeed very stretchy.

I love the sheen of the Bamboo Ewe, and as you knit it has a lovely halo, but it loses some of it in the blocking.

 

Eucalan bath

Blocking.

 This is only 7/12 in 2011. So I need to knit fast and accrue some more FO’s.

 Unfortunately, now it’s time for homework.

 

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