Archive for November, 2008|Monthly archive page

It’s been an odd day

Today was a day that kindled equal amounts of dread and delight. I am grateful that some of the delight came in the midst of the dread, in the form of ridiculously endearing well-wishes from the person whose well-wishes mean the most.

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PS Notice my reply in the bottom right hand corner. I is not so eloquent.

And just in case you were wondering, I did do good. And then I came home.*

Other delights of the day:

1) A Scr*bble board that I would like to suggest is the finest I’ve ever seen. There was only one instance of cheating, and really, if you could share an “i” with the arranger of the above message so he could spell “niece,” “dice,” and “id” at the same time and shamelessly defeat you at Scr*bble, wouldn’t you do it too?

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2) Socks that made me feel immensely clever. After seeing Grumperina‘s post this summer about using leftover sock yarns I knew it would be easy and fun to do the same. So one evening in October I sorted sock yarns, and didn’t even need to refer to her directions the concept is so ridiculously simple. This is my first pair, of many. So easy! So fun! You should try it!

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Yarns: Patons Kroy and Regia Silk (from Grandma socks) and Knitpicks Gloss (from my Thermal)

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Toe ups, so I could just knit until I ran out of one yarn, then another. Then I quit.

3) Some real snow! In November! And then I put on this sweater I made last year and realized I never showed it to you guys, pardonez-moi! It’s Patons SWS, designed after I made that baby poncho sweater thing for my friend. As I was knitting that sweater I realized that the shape would be cool in a fitted sweater: add some waist shaping and a funnel neck and BOOM! a sweater with no babies required. What it does require is the Pythagorean theorem, or at least I convinced myself that it did in order to arrive at the proper amount of stitches to divide for body and sleeves. You can use the width of the stripes to get a closer look at my top-down construction, if you wish: notice how the sleeves suddenly switch to wide stripes after I divided. I love this sweater (even if neither of the s’s in SWS stands for soft) and its angled sleeves.

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*Ok, the all-dread and partially delightful part, because one of my dearest friends and readers (Hello, Madame Librarian!) sent me an email just today asking about it. Today, friends, I took that small leap for me-kind and became a Ph.D. candidate. It only required a month of writing and a nerve-wracking oral defense, but I did it. I’ve been up and down about it all day, because of course you nearly always want to have done better than you actually did, but right now I think I’ve settled on being happy that I did it. About 3/4 of the credit goes to DH, who has picked up the slack around these parts for a long time. So I didn’t tell you all during the event, but preparing, executing, and panicking (I love that there is a “k” in that word. Makes it much more anxious) about this exam have been largely responsible for keeping me away from this warm and fuzzy blog world. Now I will have to blame my dissertation instead!

sort of Sylph

It’s a story so cliche, only the late Don LaFontaine could make it exciting: Girl falls for yarn, girl weds yarn to pattern, girl modifies pattern, girl almost runs out of yarn but manages to squeak by. The end.

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yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool
pattern: Sylph Cardigan by Robin Melanson. Modified with a custom-made and strange mix of measurements, top-down sleeves (to accommodate my amount of yarn), adjusted body st. pattern (to account for textured yarn), and no ruffles (do I need to tell you what I’m accommodating here?).

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I’m happy with this one. I started knitting it in May or June and finished in October. Not bad, the way things are going around here! But I do love the color of this yarn (see top pictures for closest representation). It is subtle and almost neutral, but with a surprising depth.

And ah, doesn’t it reflect orange so nicely?

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(Oh, and girl uses earrings to close cardigan when she doesn’t have the recommended closures. That could be the thrilling plot twist!)

Shocking! (a long story, long overdue)

Once upon a time, in March of aught six, I started a skirt. I started Ms. Avery’s Shocking! skirt (my Rav link), with Mission Falls wool. It quickly became apparent, however, that I would never have enough yarn to finish it, and Mission Falls being rather dear, I started another version with leftover cheapo yarn.

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(cheapo version. Also disturbingly Americana.)

And, as projects that are made from inappropriate, hand-hurting yarn often do, it sat for a while. I picked it up once but it still went no where. So it sat. Finally the light came on and I got some Cascade 220. At that point, my hands said yessssssssss.

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The tease shot…

shocking skirt

The colors! A little wild, eh?

shocking skirt

shocking skirt

shocking skirt

The finished skirt in action!

An admittedly awkward pose, but the skirt is very comfortable and wearable. This initial wearing was at my piano studio recital in the spring (everyone played great, by the way!).  With happy-hand yarn, the skirt was finished quickly and easily, albeit with some of my typical changes that result from intuiting the pattern instead of actually reading it. Although there was a little pattern weirdness on the color changes, and I just did a three-needle bind off instead of grafting at the end. And I changed the hem. And the waistband.

And anyway, I love it. What do you think?

Re-entry

Hello, and thank you for coming back! I am humbled by your patience, and please do accept my apologies if my absence somehow upset the equilibrium that is your world.

I decided that really, the only way I could make any kind of half-graceful re-entry into the ‘sphere was to finally write up a pattern I’d been sitting on for a while.

Grandma's blanket

Actually, it is my grandma who has been sitting on this one, because the pattern is for a blanket I made for her. (Now that I think about it, my grandma probably hasn’t been sitting on it either, because she loves to get handmade things from me but then squirrels them away as if they are too precious for use. Or maybe she hates them, I don’t rightly know! But I continue to produce, and she continues to squirrel).

I liked about this blanket enough to write it up for you all because it is very simple in execution–most of you have probably already figured it out just by looking at the pictures–but it can be graphic and striking. I chose sweet Grandma colors in Homespun, but I am really hoping that someone will do some cool Noro combinations, or some other long repeat color changes, or some wildly wonderful solids.

The pictures are not great. As it happens around these parts, the finishing and the gifting took place with uncomfortably close proximity, which means that yet again I did not get a decent picture of the thing. Combined with Grandma’s FO-squirreling (see above), this is probably the only exposure to the world the poor blanket will ever get.

In that regard, one of the reasons I haven’t been blogging for the past several months is that I didn’t take the time to get good pictures of my knits (and I haven’t been knitting a whole lot, but we’ll pretend it is the picture thing). I know some of you are talented photographers, and can’t understand how it might not be worth the time I was trying to put into my not-great photos before, but I have come to the realization that if I’m going to post, the pictures will have to be whatever I snap on the way out the door. I feel a little bit bad about it, but then I just pop over to the next blog (you know who you are, yarnzombieTeamKnitPeacockChicWestCoastCreative) and realize that there are plenty of good pictures out there for those who desire them. You come here for…hmm, I’ll have to get back to you on that one! But it is good to see you around these parts again (and to be almost done with the life-eating exam that kept me away!).

Diamond blanket pattern for you! (pdf)

Grandma's blanket

Grandma's blanket