Rhinebeck 2009

I finally got to go!

Okay, first apologies for my extralong unplanned hiatus. This year has been outrageously busy; I barely have time to knit, let alone talk about it. Unf.

So, Rhinebeck. Last spring I missed the Maryland S&W for the spring festival here at school, so this year when fall break and Rhinebeck lined up, I was determined to go!

The Highlights
I finished my FLS in the car at a rest stop in New York on my way down from Vermont from visiting a friend. Sewed on the buttons in a parking lot!

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Classy, no?

Animals!
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Meeting up with old friends and making new friends!
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The Ravelry party, no doubt.
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So many knitters taking over!
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(LOL)

Went back the second day for more animals and to purchase the yarn I’d fondled the day before.
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Then I ran into Jody, go figure!
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Too much fun.

So there’s my finished February Lady, as well as my Quincy and Esperanza hat and scarf set. Malabrigo. Awesome. I really love the Quincy (by Jared Flood) construction; it makes me feel incredibly intelligent as a knitter.

I’ve got my Christmas gifts in the works now… hopefully I can get them finished in time. Most of my knitting these days takes place in class because I don’t have time outside of class (!!!). Also, starting November 1st I’ll be working on another novel for NaNoWriMo, so that’ll be a giant time suck. I need to invent more hours in the day. Eep!

Happy 2009!

My sister graduates from high school this year, you know. She’s so clever. She’s also finished her first pair of socks, without any help at all from me except that I told her she could start the heel anywhere she wanted to. Which she was pleased with. She didn’t even need help with kitchenering the toe, which gains her extra knitter points in my book.

But yes! I know it’s already 2 weeks into January, but there’s 50 more weeks of the year! So here’s what I’m up to right now.

Baudelaire socks
Baudelaire socks for the SKA Sockdown! January theme of a pattern from an online magazine. I’m knitting them in Dream in Color Smooshy in “Lunar Zazzle” from Lovelyarns, and they’re very nice. I think the first one is a little too tall, so I may rip and reknit the cuff after I finish sock number 2, but I’m very content working on these. They knit up pretty quickly.

I seem to be in a mitten phase right now, even though I don’t much care about mittens. I finished a pair of charity mittens for the Lovelyarns school charity project, whereupon the knitters are trying to knit mittens for each of the 250some kids at a local elementary school.

school charity mittens

I knit these in a day, January 7th to the 8th, and gave them back to Sue on the 8th. I used some unidentified blue and gray/black/blue yarn, using the jogless striping technique that made it look all streamlined and sexy. They’re very cute mittens, and I hope “M.S.” enjoys them.

In my hands at this moment is the mate to a mitten that my mom knit a long (unidentified) time ago. Her birthday is in a few days, and when I found this mitten I wanted it to have a mate! The mitten fits me almost perfectly, but it fits her better except for its length. So the plan is to knit the second mitten to length, and then pick up, snip, and reknit the second mitten top to match.

The mitten saga

The problem with the first mitten is that it was knit flat and seamed from the top to the cuff, so I can’t just take out the top and rip back and knit it up again. I actually do have to cut it off and knit up again. I can’t decide yet whether I’m going to reknit mitten #1 flat or in the round. Knitting it flat would be in keeping with the rest of the mitten, but knitting it round would be easier. I’ll see once I get there what works better.

First Silk Mitten

It’s such a pretty mitten! It’s soft too: the yarn is a wool/silk blend, Schachenmayr Nomota “Saskia”. Shiny and pretty!

The last thing in the works at the moment is mom’s sweater. Remember how we knit it too large?

Princess Sweater remnants

Well I frogged it, measured my mum, and cast on for a smaller size. Here’s hoping my sister gets in on this too, and that it fits this time.

There are a few other things that are waiting for my attention again. The Swirly Mittens from the previous post are on hold. The fabulous champer from Ravelry is sending me a full skein of Silky Wool in the black I need. I’m so grateful! She rocks. The Monkey socks are waiting until I’ve freed up a US2 again. I was going to start the second one when I’d finished the first Baudelaire sock, but I finished B when I was in a place without the yarn for the Monkeys, so I just moved on with the Baudelaires. Once they’re done, though, the Monkeys are going to be back in action. And of course the long ignored but never forgotten Sock Yarn Blanket is waiting for me at school, for when I need both simple knitting and to get rid of remnants. It’ll always be there; no hurry.

I don’t have a lot of goals for 2009. I want to knit up my sock yarn stash, to the extreme. I don’t want to buy a lot of yarn for now, so I’m going to try to only knit from the stash unless disaster strikes and I absolutely have to buy yarn. =P No but really, I want to knit up some of those socks I have planned. The Playwright wants a pair, for example, and I have just the thing. Also I have a sweater I want to design and knit, and enough laceweight for two shawls. My objective is to stash dive!

Oh and Rowan thinks he’s a person.

Rowan = people

I’m going to miss these boys so much!

Ravelympics!

I admit, I have not really been watching the Olympics. I’ve spent most of my evenings out with friends instead, stocking up on friend-time before I leave for college on the 27th. I think I saw men’s synchronized diving.

But god forbid I be left out on something fun and huge like the Ravelympics!

So I also decided it would be a “good idea” to knit for Christmas this year– something I’ve sworn not to do before. But since I’ve started now, and I have a plan, etc, it should work out with minimal embarrassment.

Aspen Cowl

Start: August 8th, 2008
Finish: August 13th, 2008 It really only took two days to knit, but I made it too big the first time. Boo.
Pattern: Aspen Cowl by Andrea Tung
Yarn: Malabrigo Sily Merino in “Nocturnal,” which I bought at Yarn Paradise in Asheville, NC. Exciting!
Needles: US 8.

I cast on 130 stitches at first, and knit all the way to the end of the yarn, but that ended up very wide and short and outrageous, so I frogged it and started again with 110, which was perfect. It’s very cozy, and exactly why I prefer cowls over scarves. Plus they take 1/27th the time to knit, practically. I love them.

So that was finished, and then I cast on a pair of gloves for the Glove Decathalon. The Playwright asked for a pair of gloves, and so these will be for him (he’s already seen them, not to worry).

Gloves for the Playwright

I love them. I love gloves! I even love fingers. I don’t love knitting fingers (I don’t mind it), but I love the way they look and how pretty the yarn is in the narrow tube. They are beautiful. I want a pair for myself.

The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Sport in “Jeans,” and while the PW asked for gray, I found blue/gray, and he was content. I love this yarn. And these gloves. I will have new gloves this winter too, let me tell you.

And then there I was yesterday in Lovelyarns, and I was there for a whole hour or more, knitting contentedly, when I got up to get different 4s for the gloves. And walked right by the new Dream in Color Smooshy that Sue had. At eye level. Damn!

So since I’d worked before I left and had some hours stored up, I might have come home with some.
Smooshy "GoGo Grassy"Smooshy "Flamingo Pie"Smooshy "Lunar Zazzle"

I am a Smooshy whore. I’m pathetic.

From left to right: GoGo Grassy, Flamingo Pie, and Lunar Zazzle. They are beautiful, and exactly why I love this yarn. *flail*

Anyway, next in line after the Ravelympics are over: potentially a gift for my dad, although I’m thinking it would be okay to like, save that for later. I might get him something else. Whatever.

And then! More holiday knitting: socks for my cousins.

Last time I saw them they were little, and now they are 11 and 14 or something outrageous, and have normal-sized feet of normal-sized people, and not, say, children’s feet. But I’m knitting them socks, and I’ll start soon. My self-imposed deadline is September 31st, and then it’s on to presents for my other set of cousins (who are toddler sized).

Socks for West Coast cousins
Blue for Joel, yellow/green for Anna. I’m excited, actually. Anna’s socks will be Hedera socks, in conjunction with the Sock Knitters Anonymous Sockdown! 2008-09.

Attention Deficit

Well, a week into lazy summer break (okay, two, but the first was senior week and doesn’t count), I’m having a fairly bad case of knitter’s attention deficit. I have lots of works in progress. Perhaps too many, and at times I feel guilty that I’m abandoning things, but I’m trying to keep in the mindset that I can knit what I want, when I want. This more or less works, unless I’m on a deadline.

For example, just this week I finished up another pair of Fingerless Mitts for a friend’s mum’s birthday. I knit them on US size 5s, in Frog Tree Alpaca (sport), and they are very cute. I’m hoping her mum is pleased.
Ellen's fingerless mitts

I haven’t finished my Mad Sapphire Weave socks, because I had to sacrifice the needles to using them for my two-socks-on-two-circs class at Lovelyarns. So they are tucked away at the moment in a bag on my bookshelf, waiting for their turn again. They are medium priority at the moment.

Instead, I am working on these simple stockinette socks (is there an echo in here?), in birthday-gift-yarn: Regia 4-ply sock yarn in a crazy Kaffe Fasset colorway. I wouldn’t normally pick it for myself, but they’re growing on me.
Kaffe Stripe Socks

Also getting some attention is the new arrival: the Elinor tunic.
Elinor tunic
I love how this is made. It’s a top down, sleeveless tunic. You knit the back, and then pick up the provisional cast-on and knit the front, and then you join under the armholes. I’m into the decrease section, which seems a bit early, but I’m trusting it so far. I’m excited about getting to wear this one.

But I may put it down for these other, more pressing, not-for-me projects.

I owe my dad a scarf. I promised to knit him a new scarf for Christmas, but never started it. As a graduation present, my aunt and uncle brought me 100% Baby Alpaca yarn from Australia, which is the perfect amount/color/shade/fiber for a scarf for my dad! Hooray!
100% Baby Alpaca
I love that blue. Yum. I think it’s going to become the Palindrome scarf, which is a reversible cabled scarf. Very cool.

Also, I need to knit my sister (who is currently painting the Tuscan landscape in Italy, thankyouverymuch) a hat. When I asked her what yarn she wanted, and offered her some handspun, etc, she chose some merino/silk roving that I hadn’t spun yet. I got the roving from Aija at sockpr0n as an add-on gift when I won the drawing for her alpaca rovingfiber, and it is really something. It’s beautiful and shiny and drafts wonderfully. And it’s fluffy.
Handspun
See the shine! I love it. Pretty.

And finally, the new boy, henceforth referred to as The Playwright, requested a hat as well. I shall knit him one in the orange O-Wool which I am using for the Elinor tunic as an accent color. I think it’s CC3, and is only used a very little amount. So I think I’ll knit the hat and hope for the best in terms of leftovers. =D
Orange O-Wool

Soon we will be leaving on our big cross country trip. I have been charged with blogging the whole thing, so I guess I’ll make a new blog for that at some point. I want to take the three projects above with me to work on so I can finish them before I’m off to college. Yikes. I might start dad’s scarf today, or The Playwright’s hat. I can’t start my sister’s hat until I’m done spinning. Here’s hoping I have enough spun. If not, I’ll use the handspun for the ribbing, or the body, and I’ll supplement something (maybe the same Baby Alpaca) for the rest. I love planning knitting.

Sorry for the spam earlier! Love.

drive-by WIP post

So, I don’t have any pictures to show you today because I think my mum took the camera to work and didn’t bring it back, so instead I’ll just bore you with chatter.

My first WIP priority (still) is the Icarus shawl for my graduation. I’m 2 rows into the last 24 row chart, and each row must have over 400 stitches on it, because they take almost half an hour each. I have 10 days to finish the shawl. I want to be blocking it at the latest next Saturday, so I’ve got to push through and get this done! It’s beautiful, though, and I’ve gotten to the beads too early, so I keep shoving them down the yarn wondering if I got too ambitious and put them on way early. At any rate, I need to do two more rows today to keep on track and at a reasonable pace.

The second thing I’m working on is The Project Sweater, which I have tried on and decided looks ridiculous, but I’ll keep going for the sake of the project. I’m very tempted, however, once I’ve shown it off and gone “ooer sweater” to rip it out and fix the outrageous short rows and stupidly huge stripes. It’s a bit silly. Anyway, it’s not as if the knitting part is the hard part, but it is a learning part. It’s all good.

Thirdly I am working on a pair of Mad Color Weave socks in the Socks that Rock in “Sapphire”, and they’re lovely. Sue at Lovelyarns was pondering trying to start an account with BMFA at TNNA next weekend, and so I pulled out the socks and showed her the yarn. She wasn’t impressed at the way it pooled, but I’m enjoying the colors and the way they get mixed up nicely by this pattern. I really like knitting with the STR. Yum. I’ve got to do a few more rows to get them to the heels for my class on Saturday, and I’m hoping both students come back. Aileen was pretty chill about the whole 2-socks-2-circs thing, but the other woman was quite frustrated with it. I don’t know. I love knitting my socks this way, but sometimes I think I forget that my brain handles engineering very well, and not everyone thinks the way I do.

Other projects are stalled out or put away for a while. I need to work primarily on Icarus before I can really pick anything back up or start anything new (like the Elinor tunic, which I am super excited for). But I will finish it! And I promise to post finished pictures-myself-included, in my dress, after graduation.

And, of course, don’t forget to check out the drawing for my 20th pair of socks, Uzume! It’s open till Friday night, then I’ll close the comments for a bit.

The Carnage

I’m amused by myself and the references to Sheep and Wool being somewhat akin to lions eating an antelope. Maybe that was just me, but that’s a bit what it felt like, maybe. Really lovely, peaceful lions, eating a wonderfully sunny, breezy, fiber-filled and wholesome antelope.

Friday:

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The stalls were half-up and empty of people, but they were beautiful. I spent the day with the Skein and Garment competition and learned more about yarn and spinning yarn than I literally thought there was to know. Insane. And amazing. I got some incredible critiques on my yarn and know what to do next time. My spinning has already improved.

Saturday:

I arrived…
the time...parking
… to a parking lot full already, and made a bee-line for The Fold’s booth, which was full of Socks that Rock, and also full of knitters. Being bound for a 9:00 start time selling t-shirts for the festival, I stood in line with my two happily acquired skeins until about 9:30. No guilt.

I visited my socks.
socks.  hah.

And bought some yarn.
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At lunch I met up with Molly, and we watched the sheep dogs for a bit (but I had to go back and sell more shirts).
M + Elinor

There were emus. And alpacas. And llamas.
baby emus (wtf?!)Alpacasllamas

I saw lots of people I knew, and took pictures of none of them. I saw Jessica, Erin and Michelle of The Sweet Sheep, and Coleen. I also saw my Spanish teacher and her daughter/my friend who is coming with me to Haverford. I saw Lolly at the Ravelry meet up, and I saw Jacey admiring her yarn at the skein and garment (she won first place for her hand spun yarn with eyeballs).

Did I mention I LOVE this festival?

After I got off selling shirts at 6, I went to (got lost en route to) the Ravelry party!
Ravelry party

I met the lovely Jess and Casey, and coerced the adorable and fashionable Mary-Heather into a photograph:
Ravelry party
(she’s way cuter than I am).

I met Pam (right) and Julsey,
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and won some yarn in the raffle(!).
Webs Prize from the Ravelry party
(thank you Webs/Ravelry!)

I didn’t expect to stay until 11PM, but I was having such a good time that I did. It was lovely. Everyone was so fun and interesting and wonderful. Then I went home and crashed.

In order to return on Sunday! I came back with my mom and sister on Sunday for the shopping. We saw a lot more of the barns than I’d seen the day(s) before, so that was good. Also we ate funnel cake. Then I picked up my items in the skein and garment competition, and we came home. I forgot to take pictures all day, but pictures of me shopping really aren’t interesting.

Pictures of what I shopped FOR, however, clearly are.

Four Play
Five skeins of Brooks Farm Yarn Four Play (wool/silk) for a sweater (pattern as yet unchosen) for me.

O-Wool
Six skeins of O-Wool for the Elinor tunic from this summer’s IK.

Koigu
Two skeins of Koigu for socks.

Tess's laceweight
Two skeins of superwash merino laceweight from Tess Yarns for a shawl of some sort (I’m loving knitting lace).

SapphireChapman Springs
Two skeins of Socks that Rock mediumweight in “Sapphire” and “Chapman Springs.”

Ashford flyer parts
And finally, parts for my Ashford knockoff spinning wheel.

Now I’m beat. I started a pair of socks with the STR Chapman Springs, but the yarn was too exciting for the pattern. I loved knitting with it, though. Yum.

There are, of course, lots more pictures in the Flickr set, so please click on through to see like 15 more pictures of those alpacas (among other things).

We’ll see about next year. S&W tends to fall right in the time of serious studying for finals in the college world, and I might not make it (sob!).

I loved it.

Oh, also I got a photo with Jess and Casey– my sister pushed me to ask because I was being shy. I’m glad she did!
omg Ravelry

FO: Thelonious

This evening, while watching “A Fistful of Dollars” — which is an exact duplicate of “Yojimbo,” a samurai movie, just FYI — I finished both toes of my Thelonious socks. You can see more pictures (and details, I suppose) at the Ravelry page.

Thelonious

They’re lovely! They’re soft and squishy and beautiful. I wish I’d finished them in time to put them in the show, but I think I’d prefer wearing them.

Thelonious

The pattern got a lot of compliments as I knit them. KD (the ex’s dad, we’re tight) asked if it was a drag to knit the second sock, and I told him about the Second Sock Syndrome. He was highly amused (he’s a doctor). But these are simply lovely.

Thelonious

Another thing done. ^_^ Once I get the two gifts off my plate (Zodiac, Elefante) I can cast on for Icarus. Until then, I will be casting on Bayerische next for the Sockdown! February knit along.

Details
Pattern: Thelonious — I knit the smallest size, because the yarn was heavier.
Yarn: Sundara Yarn Sport Merino, “Denim over Hyacinth”
Cast on: January 28th
Kitchenered: February 8th

I love these socks.

New Year’s Eve, 2007

2008 is going to be a big year for me. I’ll get into college in 2008. I’ll graduate from high school in 2008. I’ll leave the nest in 2008. I’ll live in a dorm in 2008. I’ll vote in 2008.

It feels good so far.

I’m not big on resolutions. I’m not good at keeping them. I’m going to stick to my 101 in 1001 list, because that’s a big list of goals over a longer period. I’m going to start working out more regularly, especially when my senior project starts and I have the extra time in the day.

But right now, my immediate goals are knitting goals. I want to finish my current projects, done, kaput, before starting anything else ambitious. I’m counting three projects I’ve not yet cast-on in this list.

Priority One:
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Molly’s mom’s fingerless mitts. They look finished, but I’m going to undo the bind off and knit them a lot longer. She bought these from me in late November, so I owe it to her to finish them pronto.

Priority Two:
zodiacBEAUTY2
Zodiac sleep sack for Maisie, promised to Kate at Christmas. I will knit this!
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Elefante stuffed toy for Liam. Also promised at Christmas.

Priority Three:
Rogue
The Rogue Cardi. I am in love with this sweater. I’m knitting the sleeves together, and I’m working on the body as well, because I have these grand bizarre plans in which I attach the sleeves right at the start of the sleeve cap and knit the shoulders all as one. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m approaching the critical time. The sleeves reach my elbows, and the body is approaching the armholes. I’m excited.

Priority Four:
Embossed Leaves
Sockdown socks! The first pair, my Embossed Leaves (Ravelry link) socks are under way. The first sock is approaching the heel, and it is beautiful. I’m knitting it in Crash Into Ewe’s Real Silver sock yarn in the colorway “Topaz.” Sue gave it to me for my birthday. It is stunning. These have to be finished by the end of January to qualify.

The second pair is one I have not started yet, but will cast on in the beginning of January. I’m knitting the Thelonious sock from Cookie A. in Sundara Yarn Sport Merino. Prettyyyy. I have to finish them by the end of February to qualify.

Priority Five:
Seaflower Monkey Sock
Seaflower Monkey socks. They’re almost 75% finished, and I’d like to get them done before it gets too warm to wear them. I started them in August.

Priority Six:
Qiviut Project. They were wrist warmers, but I decided the fabric needed to be fluffier and lacier. I’m thinking a cowl of sorts. With lace. Maybe feather and fan.

Priority Seven:
Mystery Stole
The Mystery Stole. I might rip it. I might keep knitting it. I really don’t know. Votes?

So there you are. That’s what I want to finish up.

Happy New Year! Much love to all.

I’m going to go move firewood.
Rogue + Nelson

Beatrix in a show

I might finish a pair of socks in a weekend.

Okay, fine, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, maybe, but I’ve already knit 75% of one sock in two days. Which is outrageous. My usual “fastest time” is about 2 weeks. Lately socks have been taking months to knit.

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I’m knitting the Beatrix socks (pdf) by Gigi Silva from Socktopia. I’m knitting it in Scout’s Swag Merino Fingering in the colorway “Socktober” that I bought last October (2006). It’s very fun and lovely. I was worried that the striping/swirling of the yarn would obscure the pattern, but it actually looks quite good. The leg went super ridiculously fast, and now I’m just knitting the stockinette foot of the first sock. I’m hoping, at least, that I can finish that one this afternoon during the matinée and cast on the second during the evening show.

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Also, I got just what I needed yesterday evening as a pick-me-up at the end of the week. Yay! Two packages came, the first from the lovely Jessica. Inside were two beautiful skeins of her BFL handspun, that I won as a runner-up in her ‘name my wheel’ contest. It is so lovely.
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In the second box was the skein of Dream in Color “Smooshy” in the colorway “Blue Lagoon,” which I bought from Amanda on Ravelry. It is so pretty! I didn’t expect so much green in it, but I love the green. I’m excited. I love Ravelry.
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Also, new favourite picture of Nelson:
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Isn’t he a cute little bugger? Squee!

Halloween

Hi there! It’s Halloween! I dressed up for school (as a Sim, I’m brilliant), but now I’m home and as a high school student I am both “too old” and “too busy” for this crap.

Seriously, not that I don’t love Halloween, but I’m doing AP Calculus right now, and will be doing Physics later. Plus, no one comes to our house except the one neighbour kid, and I bet the pickings are slim this block at any rate.

And there are no parties, because my high school senior friends are doing the same amount of work I am.

But I’m not sad. I love October, and I love Halloween. November is coming up tomorrow, which means 15 days until my college applications are due. I need to get them finished and submitted before then, I think, but they won’t even look at them until later because they’ll be so so so busy opening mail.

Sundara
Speaking mail, this arrived today! Two skeins of Sundara Yarn Sport Merino in “Denim over Hyacinth.” I love it. It is beautiful. It will be the November Mystery Socks by Mona Schmidt, for Sock Knitters Anonymous (Ravelry link). I’m excited. It’s squishy and lovely, and I’m going to have to knit the smallest size, because apparently gauge is pretty small.

And I love sport weight socks, because I love US 2 needles, and I love squishy fabric.

So pretend these are my pumpkins (they’re not, we didn’t even carve any), and Happy Halloween. ^__^

pumpkin-carve-12-b