Archive for January, 2009|Monthly archive page

‘Rithmetic for travelling knitters

(warning! the following post has not been approved for those who are easily angered by bad math!)

i + y(w) = h

the formula for determining happiness as a knitter, where i (inches of snow that fall during a New England snowstorm) plus y (yards of yarn) times the amount of said yarn that is w (wool) equals h (how happy you are to be a able to swaddle yourself and your loved ones in wool)

exhibit A: The Burlington gloves: completed in time for walking through fourteen inches of snow dumped on beautiful Vermont


M < a = ($) + 15

where M (mass of a yarn for a project) must be less than a (air) to equal avoiding $ (an additional fine for heavy luggage) in addition to 15 (the airlines’ charge to check bags)

note: also related is M < a = P, where M (mass of a yarn for a project) must be less than a (air) to equal avoiding P (shoulder pain from carrying everything in carry-on instead)

note: see also c α e^-1, where c (complexity of a pattern) is  inversely proportional to the amount of e (elbow room) you have to view the pattern and execute the stitches in coach seating

exhibit b, the New Haven Mohair Cowl Pullover (rav link). Squishy yarn to fit in any  suitcase crevice, miles of St st, only one set of circular needles: this one was a perfect travel knit! It saw me through eight airplanes, two trains, and four automobiles.



x +1s

The formula for determining how many knitting projects to pack, where x = the amount of knitting that could optimistically be completed if a major storm should hit and the entirety of the trip ends up being spent at the airport and you have to knit to stay awake the entire time to guard your possessions, and 1s = enough yarn for an extra pair of socks.

exhibit c: the Boston Selbu Modern–a great pattern for all you slouch- and semi-slouch lovers out there! Oh, and because DH will want me to tell you this part even though I haven’t figured out how to add this to the equation: add to this one the number of times you’ll be hit on by a straight woman in front of your husband (after she asks  him that you’re his wife) because of this hat! Hey, lady outside the Pub at the Hub in Boston, don’t get me wrong I was  flattered but I’ll give up the hat before I give up the man!! 🙂

selbu 2


(Oh, and for Jodi I threw on my SIL’s Green Gable one more time to show you all I fixed the collar!! Contrary to the view from this fresh-off-the-needles shot, it does lay much better now.)

and finally,

0C= b-(10/s)

zero! equals how much control (C) you have in the face of b (beautiful hand-dyed yarn) for a ridiculously low price (10 dollars / skein) as you accidentally forget that you weren’t going to buy any souvenir yarn and blow 30 bucks on this gorgeous laceweight from Tess yarns in Maine.

I had to laugh at how many of you commented that souvenir yarn was more your speed than souvenir projects. Looks like we are all of the same mind in that regard! But what should I make? Maybe I’ll save it as theinspiration for my next travel knitting, wherever that may be.

Maine yarn

Maine yarn


Sula of Green Gables

I haven’t thought about Anne of Green Gables in a long time. I never watched the TV show or whatever it was, but I did love the books. Anne was such a lovable heroine, so earnest and passionate. I know I certainly felt myself to be a kindred spirit with her. Anyone else?

Speaking of people I love (precipitous segue alert!), it was a happy circumstance to run across the Green Gables (rav link) pattern near about the same time I decided to knit my SIL a sweater for her birthday. She married my brother a year ago tomorrow (Jan. 28), and I love her more every time I see her. Her birthday is in early February, and she and my bro will be in Florida visiting my grandparents from Ireland so I will be able to send them a package for much cheaper than the $95 we paid for their Christmas presents! I should remind her to leave some empty space in her suitcase.

I knew I wouldn’t be making the hood — those cables are too good to cover up — so I thought it might be a good idea to experiment with the pattern before I made the real one. I had almost enough yarn for a red one, thanks to leftovers from Mom’s Christmas sweater of two years ago and a chance encounter on Ravelry. So one week I accidentally made a Green Gable for me, too.

I wore it once at the beginning of November, then it sat until late December when I redid the neck on the way to my parents’ house and wore it to Christmas Eve services. It gave me some fits, but I really enjoy wearing this sweater. I’m praying no one on Ravelry asks me for my mods because true to form I decreased like crazy, closed my eyes, bound off and decided to be happy with whatever I got!

From knits
From knits
From knits

Now, on to the real show: A dear friend was kind enough to share her measurements with me so I could come closer to my SIL’s size (that’s why the pics look a bit messed up, the sweater’s a bit too small sorry!). I did her neck a little bit different so it can be a shawl collar. And after seeing these pics I think I’ll add a few more rows so it has a bit more weight and stays down better. Finished knitting–who knew??

ETA: I just realized that I made matching scarlet and gray sweaters! Help!

From knits
From knits
From knits

Excuse me, but have you seen my December?

I seem to have misplaced it. It is just a big blur of white.

New Hampshire:



Connecticut (it snowed twice):

tree at the New Haven green (Kara, I really was just like Rory!)

New York:

Rockefeller center

Combined with a small-scale Christmas of warmth and laughter with family and friends (and Wii Music handbell performances), it was an incredible end to 2008. And hey, at this point I’m only four days late in declaring myself ready for the New Year as far as the calendar is concerned!

Now it is time for the New Year pensive. DH always tells me I speak only in abstractions, but changing that is not one of my resolutions so feel free to skim on:

I’ve really enjoyed the year-end reviews splashing across various blogs these past few weeks. (An an especial congrats to those making big changes, like Nashville’s newest homeowner!) And as always, I was delighted to find peeps who expressed exactly what I’d been feeling. Erin (who tends to do this quite a bit) pretty much summed up my view of New Year’s a few days ago, writing that she loved the process of reevaluating her life and making changes for the better–even if the changes themselves can be an extended process (Erin, is that an apt paraphrase? Oh, and I dislike New Year’s Eve, too!).

2008 was the first year of my life that I’ve felt old (I’m 26, so I guess it is about time). I suppose that feeling came with the realization that my options are not as plentiful as they once were. That statement is not nearly as pessimistic as it might read–rather, I feel like I have explored lots of options, which requires accepting some things into my life and excluding others. Sometimes this process is a choice, sometimes not. I have always found it hard to live with the realization that I can’t be everything, so the exclusion is the trying part.

Yet it is intensely freeing to know that I have chosen to be this person, and, upon arrival at a rather arbitrary calendric marker that still somehow feels entirely right, to evaluate and lay out steps to be a better one. Nearly all of my resolutions fall into the category of increasing my sense of purpose–how I eat, how I move (note I did NOT say exercise! I haven’t changed that much!), how I talk to and about other people, how I prioritize my time. Most of all I want to get over this grad-school-induced isolation and talk to people again. I miss people, and having conversations that don’t rely on a display of intelligence but rather compassion (hint: one I have, the other not so much!!).

I don’t know where you are, but I hope you have had one of those humbling moments of clarity sometime in your life when you realize how important certain decisions in your past were in the creation of who you are today. And I also hope that however hard those decisions were to make, and however difficult the repercussions of those choices were to live out, you are happy to be the person that resulted from them.

Oh, and I want to make a decent pair of pants. But more about that later…