Friday, May 30, 2008

still alive

"It's summer!" she said. "No more classes!" she said. "I'm going to knit ALL THE TIME and update my little blog every day!" she said. Yeah. About that. In the past three weeks here is what I have done:

1) Made a movie. It's hard to explain really except to say that my chances at running for public office are pretty much destroyed. Oh well. It's not like anyone would elect me anyway.
2) Saw Paul McCartney!!!!!! Wheee!
3) Played some music
4) Dropped a timpani on my foot (this is not actually relevant, but it hurt a LOT)
5) Knitted about about eighteen inches on my Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk scarf. My own pattern, lace pattern ripped off from here. I knit most of this during the season finale of Desperate Housewives, stopping my knitting only to yell at people who dared to talk during the show.
6) Knitted about three inches of the body on my Gathered Pullover (slowly chug-chug-chugging along, that one...slowly). Knit this while hell. Don't judge me. I love that show. It's HORRIBLE. But I love it. Help.
7) Oh yeah, moved to Washington D.C. for the summer and started a new job!

So busy busy. Also, camera battery dead and charger buried in the bottom of one of several suitcases, so no pictures today. But I am knitting! Pictures to come soon.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The spoils of a lovely day

Yesterday was an excellent day. Finished with my finals and putting off packing for now, I talked my friend Chris into driving me to The Yarn Barn in Woodbridge, CT, just about fifteen minutes away from where I live. The store was awesome! They had a HUGE selection, with lots of brands I'd heard of but never actually touched, like Artyarns, Koigu (I know, I know), Jo Sharp, and Malabrigo (mmmmmm soft). My friends were remarkably patient for nonknitters forced to spend time in a yarn store (I bribe them with handknitted gifts), and I got to fondle the yarn to my heart's content. And they were having a sale! Best day ever.

Then on the way back we discovered it was the annual Westville ArtWalk, so we spent time wandering around, looking at crafts, and eating kettle corn. We also forced Chris, age 20, to take part the "Featured Entertainment for Kids of All Ages" with the "Middle-Earth Storytellers" and a cast whose average age (other than Chris and some parents) was approximately six. He had to wear a costume with horns and prance around waving his tail in the air. I cannot BELIEVE I forgot my camera.

And of course, there was yarn! Ohhhh was there yarn.

Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK, 80% baby alpace and 20% silk (the smaller ball is the same yardage, it was just rewound because it fell apart. That alpaca/silk is slippery stuff). My favorite aunt took a fall last week and was hurt pretty badly, so I think she is in need of a new scarf to cheer her up. I don't totally know what I'm doing yet, but I'm thinking of stealing the lace pattern from here and making a large-ish scarf/small-ish shawl thing. We'll see.

This yarn is SO SOFT. Every time I touch it I want to bury my face in it and make incoherent noises. Nom nom nom.

Adrienne Vittadini "Trina," 55% merino wool, 35% microfiber, 10% cashmere. I spent a long time looking for the perfect yarn to make Trellis, for the same pregnant friend who recieved the strawberry hat. The pattern calls for Rowan All Seasons Cotton, but I really wanted wool or a wool blend--the baby is due in October, and I loved the idea of a tiny baby snuggled in a beautiful wool sweater. But I wanted a superwash yarn, too (I like my friend too much to give her beautiful precious baby clothes that will get barfed on once and never worn again because they are a pain to wash) and the Trina fit the bill! Plus, it was discontinued and therefore on sale. Also, please note that the fact that the yarn is discontinued means that despite having bought TWO more balls than I thought I needed I will run out with two rows left on the second sleeve. I know it.

Colinette Jitterbug, 100% superwash merino, in "Blue Parrot." I eyed (and stroked) the Koigu PPPM for a long time, but I just feel like I'm not a good enough sock knitter yet, you know? Not that the yarn I've been working with (Regia, Lorna's Laces) is too shabby, but the Koigu is just so nice and I have this feeling that I have to earn it. If all goes well (i.e. if these socks turn out OK) they will be socks for my mother! If they look goofy they will be socks for me.

In short, good friends + sunshine + gorgeous yarn on sale + fun times + kettle corn = the best day! Glorious.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


1) 19 pages about British brass band music in the first half of the 20th century

2) One keyboard fugue in the style of Bach

3) Two final exams

4) My junior year in college (terrifying, let me tell you)

5) My supercute headband!

Yarn: Mirasol "Hacho," handdyed merino. I loved it! Squishy, springy, the colors didn't even pool.
Needles: Susan Bates size 3 straights, inherited from my grandmother. Normally I'm not a fan of metal needles or straight needles, given a chance, but a) they had really nice pointy tips that were helpful, and b) you can't argue with free.
Pattern: Leftover sock yarn headband from Pepperknit. Mine is a little bigger because it's not sock yarn--it's probably a DK weight.

Overall, excellent! Fast, easy, got me through those last hours of studying. Colorful. Good stuff.

Today I celebrated the end of exams by doing a little lot of yarn shopping! I'll post pictures of the haul soon, but it was gooooood.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

(almost) instant gratification

In an attempt to avoid studying for the exams which WILL creep up upon me despite my best efforts to pretend otherwise, yesterday I did the following:

1) Attempted to organize my closet, but actually just made a giant mess

2) Dug out a sock that I started last summer, turned the heel, picked up stitches from the flap, started the gusset. No pictures yet, but coming soon!

3) Ate a rather alarming amount of chocolate.

4) Despite the multitude of projects on the needles, some with deadlines, some that have been hanging around so long it's embarassing...I cast on for a new project: this lace headband. I don't know what came over me--one minute I was innocently procrastinating and reading blogs, and the next I'd grabbed the skein out of my stash and was winding as fast as I could. I love this yarn:

Mirasol Hacho, 100% handdyed merino. I picked up a single skein on my trip to Chicago in March, and it had been percolating in my stash ever since then.

Aren't the colors beautiful? I like the little flashes of blue--they prevent it from being a little too Rasta.

I modified the pattern a little--I wanted a wider headband so I added a stitch on each side. It's curling a lot, though, and I wonder if that's because it's wider. Now I think maybe I should have had a garter stitch border, but it's a little late now. I'll block the hell out of it and if that doesn't work, some kind of crocheted edging? The lace pattern actually doesn't show up particularly well in the colors, but they're so beautiful I don't mind.

Anyway, it's a perfect little project for my finals-week-addled brain!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Well, CRAP.

I'm plugging away in the middle of finals week around here--I've finished one fugue and one paper, and I have one (mostly done) paper and two exams to go. My mother sent me a care package with some snacks, so it's time for a little knitting break! I finally finished both sleeves on my Gathered Pullover--let's see how they're looking.

Yeah. CRAP.

I don't even know what I did wrong--the markers show where I did the increases, (I cut all but the first one off of the first sleeve, which is too bad because they might have been helpful in figuring out what I did). It looks like I started doing the increases at the same place, so it must have been some mistake with counting rounds in between increases...which means I can't just rip back at the cuff...CRAP. Tomorrow I'll get out the schematic and see which one of these is right, or at least approximate. Then it's time to frog it.

I'm too annoyed to deal with this now, though, so I'm just going to sulk and eat chocolate and knit Dashing.

Well, kind of. The astute (or really just vaguely cognizant) among you will notice that this mitt does not, in fact, bear much more than a passing resemblence to Cheryl Niamath's very nice design. In rather typical form, I swatched, liked the fabric, was so far off with my gauge that I would have ended up with fingerless gloves for Chewbacca, and decided to just screw it and make up my own pattern for cabled fingerless mitts. I did use the afterthought thumb from the original pattern, though! But that's about it.

In gratuitous non-knitting news, remember that tiny, precious little puppy from this post? Now he looks like this:

The one on the left, of course. The one on the right is one of the newest additions to the family, courtesty of my parents and their ceaseless quest to replace me. So far he and his sister (because why would you get one cat when you can get two? Just because you have twice as many animals as people...) are fitting in well. When I go home this summer I'll have to see how he feels about yarn.