i have been remiss

in posting for months and months, and I am sorry! Life’s been absurdly busy, and while I’ve kept knitting I haven’t done a good job at all documenting and taking pictures since my last post.

I spent the summer taking an Anatomy class at JHU and working as a lifeguard at the YMCA. My aunt had a baby and I knit her a perfectly splendid BSJ.

Chloe in the BSJ

I knit some other things to, but again with the picture fail.

At the end of the summer I flew off to Ireland for my Junior semester abroad, which is where I am at the moment. Here I am, September 1st, just off the plane in Dublin and seriously jetlagged. That around my neck is the Gail (Nightsongs) shawl, miniaturized.

I went to the Aran Islands before classes began and knit my dad a truly Aran hat for his birthday.

The academics are not terribly challenging here, so I’ve been doing a lot of writing and a modicum of knitting. Several of the projects I brought stalled out when I realized I’d managed to come to Ireland without enough yarn (shocking!) to finish them.

But, that’s my life. I’m not really up on knitting blogs, either, having dropped behind tremendously when I stopped reading my Google reader every day, but I am still reading, slowly, about a month behind.

I hope you’re all well! <3

OH! Also yesterday I was walking about Dublin and I spotted a woman wearing a Clapotis. It was tremendously exciting, but she was gone before I could say something. /o\ Knitting secret handshake! Why must you fail me?!

JFC

It’s been six and a half million years since I was here. Dinosaurs literally walked the earth last time I posted. Okay.

Last time you saw me, I was at Rhinebeck in October. What.

November
I wrote a novel: ongoing! Original goal of National Novel Writing Month is 50,000 words in 30 days. I have 90,000 now, after 3 months. It’s almost done. Sort of.

I finished Juno for my grandmother for Christmas.
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10/21/09-11/13/09, Juno Regina in JL Yarn Vinca. Pink! Lauretta loved it. Blocked it on my shiny new blocking wires which were a fabulous birthday gift from my mum. <3

I finished my Clover socks.
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Clover by Kate Blackburn, fun to knit, in my handdyed in a “gradient” that was actually just kind of mostly purple. Brand! New! Picture! I blame my lightless dorm room partly for why I don’t blog. Pictures are crap. Blah.

December
Socks for granddaddy:
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“No one has ever paid such attention to my feet!” Dec 10-20, 2009. Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in “China Blue.”

Clapotis for mom:
no picture! Sadpants.
Clapotis by Kate Gilbert, in BMFA Mediumweight “Tanzanite”: October 26-December 21, 2009. Purple! Shiny. Excellent.

Also in December was Finals Week and a personal ass-kicking, as well as winter break. I went home and promptly spent every day sleeping, writing, internetting, eating at weird hours, running occasionally in the mornings, and knitting. I ignored Daegmund the whole time and felt bad. Oh well. Made many plans. Spent time with friends. Enjoyed myself!

In January, I finished some Christmas presents, such as Dad’s gloves and Disco the hedgehog:
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gloves by DROPS, 12/22/09-1/14/10, KnitPicks Gloss.

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Hello terrible dorm picture! This was for Sarah. Smith by Ysolda Teague, with Cascade 220 and Berocco alpaca and fluff. 12/24/09-1/21/10.

The Whirlpool socks from my personal sock club got started and finished…
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December 2, 2009 – January 3, 2010. Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in “Lakeview,” plus beads!!!!!!!!

ALSO, my pride and joy of the month:
DNA hat
The motherfucking DNA hat.

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LOL. omg. So excellent. I had to knit it three times because it was too small EVERY TIME. Fuck you colorwork. Whatever.

Anyway. In the end, successful. January 1-19, 2010, Cascade 220, no pattern, just the chart on my Ravelry page (above).

Finished winter break with a whole lot more of the same, and came back to school. Had an impromptu “airing of the stash” all over my bed.
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Not bad, eh? Still not buying more yarn. I just need to not.

Oh, also forgot, new fun incarnation of the sock yarn blanket!
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This one is the Ten Stitch Blanket that I saw Erin knitting and waaaaaaaaannntteddd. So I ripped out the squares and went to town.

I started two new pairs of socks, also. My shitty shitty photography does not do these two justice, because they are both SUPER AWESOME.

The first (started at home) is York and Lancaster by the Lisa Grossman (the Tsock Tsarina). I bought the kit at Rhinebeck, and I adore it. Except that it has colorwork and pattern and is WAY TOO HARD to work on while also taking notes in Organic Chem and Biology of Macromolecules. FUCK. I love these. They are not getting worked on. ;_;
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Also, Viper Pilots, still super awesome, still too hard to work on and take notes. Wah! I want them. Yarn is Neota Designs Zephyr in “Mountain Majesty” or something. Estes Park.
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AAAAAANNNDDDD finally, what I actually HAVE been working on because it was easy enough:
One Row Scarf and Fetchings for Mary in Malabrigo “Amoroso.” No picture because I can’t get my camera to acknowledge a) light or b) saturation, so fuck it. Whatever. It’s very red.

and technically I’m still working on my Bayerische socks, but remember when we talked about things being too hard to work on while note-taking? These are too brain-consuming to even work on while doing fuck-all else. What.

THE END

Welcome to February. See you guys in May, probably.

Or for Ravelympics, which at this point I’m participating in with my goal being KNIT ANYTHING EVER.

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!

Finishing up 2008

My Christmas knitting was successful on all counts. I finished my dad’s socks a few days before Christmas and wrapped them up neatly. They took an amazingly long time, and I’m so glad to be finished them. They were tolerably amusing, but by the time I was knitting the toes I was excited to be finishing them. Dad wears a size 11. Now the Playwright wants socks too, and he wears a 13, making my women’s size 11 (men’s 9) feet look positively tiny.

completed Retro Rib socks
Retro Rib Socks
Start: November 5, 2008
Finish: December 21, 2008
Pattern: Retro Rib Socks by Evelyn A. Clark, in IK’s Favorite Socks.
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, in “Mineshaft,” 2 skeins. I thought it was going to take 3, but LL has a lot of yardage on it. Score!
Needles: US 2 for leg and instep, US 1 for sole and toes.

My sister and I also finished the sweater we were knitting for mum. That was the secret gifty project that I was working on: I knit the front and both sleeves, and Sarah knit the back. We did well! The pieces were the same sizes (I knit on 8s, Sarah on 9s), and the blocking and sewing-up went well. We sat on my bed on the morning of my birthday and seamed, and wrapped the sweater up for Christmas right in time.
Sewing up the sweater.

The downside is that the sweater is too large; having not measured mom ahead of time because it was supposed to be a secret, we made it one (or two?) sizes too big, and will have to take it apart and reknit it. I am not terrifically excited about this, but I’m glad we need to knit smaller, and not larger. Mom loves it though.
Princess sweater

Princess Sweater
Start: November 23, 2008
Finish: December 23, 2008
Pattern: Sidelines Top by Lou Schiela, from IK’s Fall 2008 magazine
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash, in a royal purple; 6ish skeins.
Needles: US 8 (me), US 9 (Sarah)

Christmas day, I also finished this scarf for the Playwright. It made me so pleased to finish it on Christmas and be able to give it to him the next day, but he’s Jewish so he doesn’t really care about the 25th for anything.
One-Row Malabrigo Scarf

One Row Marine scarf
Start: December 21, 2008
Finish: December 25, 2008
Pattern: One Row Handspun Scarf by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Yarn: Malabrigo merino worsted, in “Marine”; 2 skeins
Needles: US 8

I used every inch of those 2 skeins. It was amazing. Here’s how much yarn I had left at the end of binding off:
End after binding off!

The pattern, the One Row Handspun Scarf, was so freaking fantastic in the Malabrigo, and my lovely grandparents got me two more skeins of Malabrigo in the colorway “Mariposa,” that I knit another scarf right away for myself.
mariposa scarf

One Row Mariposa scarf
Start: December 27, 2008
Finish: December 30, 2008
Pattern: One Row Handspun Scarf by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Yarn: Malabrigo merino worsted, in “Mariposa”; 2 skeins
Needles: US 8

Those two scarves were the last finished objects of 2008. I have a few more things on the needles, but I’ll get into them in my upcoming welcome-to-09 post. The cat is walking off with the yarn for my mittens, and I’m going to have to untangle her.

I’m not going to do a wrapping-up-everthing-I-did post, because I’m not very interested, but I’m going to spend part of today working on my blog and getting it ready for ’09, most importantly in the area of rounding up my FOs for their own page, and setting up the sidebars for new stuff! Hooray!

Happy New Year, everyone.

Knits across America

Well, just my knits.

So when we left (July 8th, over a month ago) I almost packed more knitting than clothes. I packed a week’s worth of clothing, and shoved it all in my duffel bag under the back seat in the RV, but I hid my knitting like, all over in pockets and bags, under seats and stuff, all over the RV. I took my Elinor tunic and all its yarn, a pair of Koigu KPPPM skeins for a pair of socks (Froot Loops!), my Clapotis, my Hemlock Ring Blanket, and the Palindrome scarf for my dad.

I worked on all of these, and even bought yarn to start two more projects (Nanners and the Aspen Cowl)!

I sort of finished the Elinor tunic. When I first finished it, back around July 10th, it felt a little short.
Elinor tunic

But now that I look at in comparison to what it is now (about 5 inches longer), I like it better short. It looks weird on me now, and I am disappointed, because I did all kinds of crazy cutting open and re-knitting and sewing back together, which might have been in vain.

Elinor tunic

I don’t know. So it’s in time out right now so I can consider what to do. I might undo the graft I did and rip back and re-graft it where it was and leave it at that. Anyway, now the band falls at a rather unflattering spot, whereas before it was just sort of iffy.

I’m not pleased. Oh well.

FOs

Also on the trip, as you may have seen, I started and finished my Froot Loop socks:
Froot Loops

Also I started and finished a new pair:
Nanners
Nanners!

Start: July 21, 2008
Finish: August 7, 2008
Pattern: Nanners by Wendy Johnson
Yarn Nature’s Palette Fingering in “Autumn Leaf”
Needles: US 2s, 2 circs (one at a time)

Cute! The pattern was fun, but at first I didn’t like the heel. It felt too shallow. But now that I’ve worn them both, it feels fine, so I will forgive. ^_^

Nanners

WIPs

I worked on the Deep Space Clapotis, which you may be able to tell is long-ish in this picture, but I was getting bitten my mosquitoes at the time so I rushed it.
Clapotis

I started the decreases, too, and got most of the way through section 4 before I decided I could do two extra repeats of the middle section, so I ripped back, and I am very content. I love working on it, when I’m working on it, but it gets boring, so sometimes I put it down. But it will be simply beautiful when it is finished.

I partially frogged and reknit the outer feather-and-fan section of the Hemlock Ring Blanket, and it is coming along swimmingly, although the rounds do tend to get longer as I add stitches.
Hemlock Ring

It also will be beautiful, but I am content to let it grow slowly.

And finally, I started the Aspen Cowl for Ravelympics 2008. I cast on August 8th in the morning, almost bound off August 10th, and decided it was both too wide and too short (and I had run out of yarn). So that too was frogged entirely and I’m reknitting it with 20 fewer stitches, and I am greatly pleased. It should be done by tomorrow, at which point I will start a pair of gloves, also for Ravelympics!

Aspen cowl

Yarn Aquisition

I hit four yarn stores on my trip. Hooray!

The first was Yarn Paradise in Asheville, North Carolina.

Malabrigo Silky Merino
Malabrigo Silky Merino in “Nocturnal”

Koigu KPM, Turquoise
Koigu KPM in a Turquoise

This was where my mom asked me how I could honestly take so many different pictures of one skein of yarn. Clearly she does not understand. =P

The second shop was Hill Country Weavers in Austin, Texas, which I loved. I loved it there. It was room after room packed full of yarn, and I was thrilled. Have I shown you the picture of the sock yarn corner? It was awesome. I even went back a few days later when we were in Austin again (blahh) just to calm myself with the yarn fumes and look for spinning fiber (which I did not purchase, as I would want to spin right away, and I had no means to).

I got the Nature’s Palette, which turned into the Nanners above.
Nature's Palette Fingering Weight in "Autumn Leaf"

And also Lorna’s Laces Sport in “Jeans” that will become my Ravelympics gloves.
LL Sport in "Jeans"

The third store was the Red Rock Knit Shop in Sedona, Arizona, which frankly was unimpressive, and I didn’t buy anything.

The fourth shop was completely unexpected: Spin A Yarn in Dubois, WY, where we almost didn’t stop until my mom off-handedly mentioned the yarn store I’d drive right past.

So I basically pulled over right there and jumped out.

It was really cute, and they had a whole section of local wool, and/or locally spun/dyed/etc stuff, so I bought a big hank of Wyoming wool that had been dyed by the owner that I chatted with.

WY wool

That is a stupid picture, but it has my hand for scale, and the inside of the cargo van for context. It will become probably lots of Christmas hats this year. It’s very nice.

And then! The Playwright came over today and brought me a present, which was unexpected and very sweet. He spent the time I was away at a Dramatic Writing program at NYU, and so stopped into Purl soho and asked for “nice sock yarn.” What he brought me is very nice and squishy and beautiful, and I am highly impressed with him. He is very clever. ^_^

Fannie's Fingering Weight
Fannie’s Fingering Weight, colorway “Rhythm N Blues.” Apparently this is their brand, or close enough to it, and I love it.

In sad news, when we got home from vacation we discovered one of our kitties missing. The neighbour said he’d seen The Admiral about the middle of the week, but the cat sitter said she hadn’t seen him since Sunday and hadn’t assumed anything amiss.

Please send good vibes for my Nelson to come home safely! We’ve put out fliers and talked to the neighbours and the SPCA and BARCS and everyone, but the little bugger wasn’t wearing his collar because he takes it off, and he likes adventures. I’m rather worried, but there’s not much else we can do. Send him come-home thoughts!

Beautiful kitties

Thanks. I’ll go into more Ravelympics detail later. For now, goodnight.

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.

Knit/spin/dye update

We don’t celebrate Easter here, but I do wish everyone who does a happy Easter! My mum used to hide eggs for me and my sister, and sometimes we had Easter at the beach, but this year we’re just cleaning a bit and having people over for an early dinner/meal/thing.

Icarus
Icarus is appropriately spring-colored. I’m working on the fifth repeat of the first chart, and I think it’s going to have to be a lot, lot bigger, if I’m going to get out of it what I want (ie. giant graduation shawl). I think my plan is to finish the first ball in the main chart (the branches), and then use the second ball for the leaf/feathers.

Deep Space Clapotis
Clapotis is also coming along: it’s about two feet long, and I’m just going to knit the whole ball of Blue Heron Rayon Metallic. The colorway is “Deep Space,” which I felt was appropriate. I bought the yarn at the Blue Heron trunk show at Lovelyarns last fall. It’s very pretty.

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Also my Drunken Bees socks, which are just sort of amusing. Knit in Claudia Handpainted yarn, and the color is “Teal.” Squishy!

The other day, I went to Terry’s and she taught me a little about dyeing techniques, that I’m going to use in my Senior Project. I dyed two skeins of yarn:
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(Lilacs on the water)

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(Firebrand)

And the OTHER thing that’s fun, is spinning. I love spinning. I borrowed a wheel from a friend’s mother, and it is awesome.
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I spun up one bobbin of Lisa Souza BFL roving, and one bobbin of Lisa Souza superwash merino roving, and plied them together to what ends up being a bulky weight yarn. It’s not shitty! It’s awesome! I can actually knit with it, and it’s beautiful. I spun roughly 280 yards, which is way enough for a hat. I’m thrilled. It’s so beautiful.¬† I will show it to you when it’s dry, because it deserves some morning sunlight.