Good Fortune

Psst! Scroll down to the end for a contest! Yarn! Books! For you!

I’ve been the recipient of excellent fortune lately, having won not one blog contest, but two actually. A few weeks ago or so, Red Knits held a contest for her 100th blog post, and I was drawn a winner! So I wanted to share two things with you today.

First, Red’s generosity! I got the loveliest package from her the other day, full of yarn and goodies.

prize goodies from Cheryl @ Red Knits

She sent me a yummy skein of Knit Me Now Yarn Sock Love in the colorway “Lady Slipper,” which is the state flower of Minnesota. It’s gorgeous. Pink and green and tight twist and squishy! I love it. And me not buying sock yarn lately… this was an excellent treat.

Knit Me Now sock yarn in "Lady Slipper"

It’s so spring and festive!

Also in the package was a delightful bookmark needle gauge, which is currently tucked into my copy of The Friday Night Knitting Club from the Yarn Pirate, and a little tin of knitter’s hand cream. It smells good, and feels so nice on my hands!

knitter's hand cream

Thank you, Red!

So, in return for my good fortune, I’m going to run a contest of my own. The bookstore on campus was having their end of year sale, so I picked up a copy of the first Knit Lit book. Leave a comment, telling me what kind of good fortune or generosity you’ve come across lately (can be knitting related, but doesn’t have to be!) and I’ll put your name into a hat. At 4pm (EST) on Sunday, May 3rd, I’ll draw one and send the winner this book, along with some other things (ahem, yarn) I’ll find to tuck in with it. =)

P.S. I’m almost done the PW’s socks AND my cami, so stay tuned!

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socks for a manly man

among other things! I’m posting my WIPs separately, so you can appreciate them best. =D

I’m knitting a pair of socks for the Playwright. He has big feet. Probably even bigger than my dad’s feet. Size 13. I’m going to be knitting forever.

Flamingo Pie Thuja socks

Fortunately, they are entertaining enough. They’re simple, but that’s nice, especially since I’m approaching exams right now.

The socks are Thuja socks, and I’m knitting them in Dream in Color Smooshy in “Flamingo Pie.” The cuffs went quickly enough, but they’re a mere 6″ high, and the sock/shoe size converter said that size 13 feet are 11.87″ long. Wtf. So big.

Flamingo Pie Thuja socks

But they sure are pretty, aren’t they?

I’m also still working on my Ballet Camisole and my Aeolian shawl.

Ballet Camisole

The cami is pretty uninteresting to look at. I got through the body decreases, and am working on the increases now. It’s plain stockinette, so again, good for studying.

Beach Fog Aeolian

The Aeolian is coming along nicely. I’m already working on the second to last chart, but that makes me nervous because it doesn’t look like I’ve used even half the yarn, and that it’ll turn out really small. I’ve seen how lace grows in blocking, but if I haven’t even used that much yarn…? Don’t know. if I get to the end and find it’s tiny, I am happy to rip it out and knit the “shawl” size rather than the “shoulderette” size. Such is knitting life. I’ve gotten a lot better at being willing to rip out and restart things.

The socks are getting the most action at the moment. I want to finish them by June so I can give them to the PW for an anniversary present. Yeah.

FO: Herringbone Rib Socks

For Christmas, my sister gave me a copy of Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn by Carol J. Sulcoski. It was perfect. It was everything I wanted in a sock pattern book. Comprehensive, fun, with great patterns, and designed specifically for all the handpainted yarn I had in my stash (duh).

When I got back to school, I headed into Philly one Sunday afternoon to get my book signed (!!!) and came away with this gem of a skein…

Black Bunny Fibers: The Deep
Black Bunny Fibers sock yarn in “The Deep.”

Finally, on March 26th, I cast on for a pair of socks in this yarn. I chose the Herringbone Rib socks by Kristi Schueler.

The Deep Herringbones

They took a long time. The pattern is simple, but not easy. Or, easy, but not simple? There is patterning on both of the two rows that make up the pattern, and it has yarn overs and stitches passed over other stitches, and complicated details everywhere. It is beautiful. The fabric was fabulous, and the yarn felt so good in my hands. I loved knitting them.

So they came along slowly, row by row, and soon I was turning the heel. After the heel turn one half of each sock was plain stockinette, so I could go a little faster, but the instep side still required attention.

April 19th, I finished them.

Herringbone Rib socks

I love them.

Herringbone Rib socks

They fit perfectly, the pattern is gorgeous, the yarn is the best color ever. They’re my favorites.

Herringbone Rib socks

Thanks, Sarah. =D If I didn’t love these so much, I might give them to you. But you’re out of luck, because these are the best socks in the world.

Eleanor and the Pretty Pirate

I promised myself I would blog today, and I will! Today was all kinds of fabulous out: I spent a few hours outside today, working on the Green like a college student ought to. =P It was beautiful. I got some done, even, which was double good. On the other hand, I am a bit sickish, which makes me a bit slow.

I wanted to blog a few finished things!

Eleanor socks

First up are the Eleanor socks, which I actually finished before the Leyburns. I gave them to my friend ML on her birthday the other day, and she loved them!

Started February 19, 2009, finished March 15, 2009. Yarn is Mind’s Eye Yarns Merino/Tencel, and the pattern is Eleanor by Monkey Toes.

After those (April 7-9, 2009) I finished these Pretty Pirate mittens on US 10s out of “Pretty Pirate” handspun, spun by Georgia of Yarn Pirate as a gift for me!

Pretty Pirate mittens

They are beautiful and soft, and now of course it’s 85 degrees out. Like you do. They’ll be ready for next winter. Hooray!

Pretty Pirate mittens

Two and a Half Weeks

I have two and a half (ish) weeks left in school, then a week or so of exams, and then I can go home for the summer. Hooray! This first year at the ‘Ford has been AMAZING, but I’m ready to be home with my family and my cats and my boy and my lucrative summer job. =P

I frogged the Henley. It wasn’t right. I ripped back to the arm join, knit the whole body again, put it on, looked at it in the mirror, and said, “Nope.” So I frogged the whole thing with my roommate’s help, and the yarn is back in the stash. I think if anything I need to wash it to give it a shiny new face. But I do have a plan for it.

So instead I started a camisole!

Ballet Camisole

If I had the lighting for a pretty artsy shot, I’d take it, but it’s raining again and it’s been gray all day. Bleh.

The yarn for this is Valley Yarns Southwick, and the pattern is the Ballet Camisole originally published in MagKnits. The yarn is cotton/bamboo, so it’s hard on my hands, but it’s very smooth and pretty and pink.

Plus with all the reading and stuff I’m doing right now, the stockinette is soothing and easy. The other things I’m working on (Herringbone Rib, Bayersiche, Aeolian) are not simple projects, though all of them are beautiful. The Herringbones are actually past the heel, so half the knitting is stockinette, but the other half is pay-attention-to-me and hard to do in the dark/while reading/etc.

I have another project in mind, in the beginning stages of planning, but it’s a little more secret. Sort of.

Mossy Rock Cascade 220

Aww yeah. Cascade 220 to the max. So excited. I need some more measurements taken, but I’m ready to jump in and start this any day.

An update on the Princess Sweater for mum, you ask? Why no, it’s not finished. My sister is taking her sweet time knitting that other sleeve, and my mum doesn’t really mind. I only mind because it makes my Ravelry page look like I have way too many WIPs, when really it’s only four. Or five. Or so.

I should be reading. Critical essays on the meanings of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. I do not love my Writing Seminar (although I do love Dorian Gray).

Yarn Pirate rocks

So a few weeks ago or so, Georgia of Yarn Pirate had a wee blog contest, asking for suggestions of good etsy.com sites. I shared the one I like to go and stare at when I’m sad/bored/procrastinating/wanting in a little inspiration, Rosasharn Designs (I apparently visit it often enough that I started to type in etsy.com to find the shop and it was my second option in the address bar…).

Rosasharn Designs is a not an indie dyer, but an indie book maker. She makes these fabulously cool notebooks out of found and recycled paper! They’re so awesome. I bought one a few years ago for a swap and sent it to my partner, but have coveted these notebooks ever since. I think they’re great. They’re just the prettiest journals and notebooks, in all sizes and dimensions and paper counts. She uses envelopes and drawing paper and music sheets and coloring book pages and blueprints. Agh! They’re so awesome.

Anyway, Georgia picked my name from her contest, and sent me the yummiest and most generous package ever!

Prize goodies!

Included in the package was some handspun yarn (!!!), a book, and some candy. I shook the box before I opened it and was very excited about the candy noise. =P The handspun is 130 yards of her superwash merino (available in roving!) in the colorway “Pretty Pirate,” and it is all kinds of soft and delicious. I have already rubbed it all over myself a little bit.

Handspun Pretty Pirate

It’s raining today, so the light is weird, and I got a whole bunch of shitty photos and only a few good ones.

Pretty Pirate

I don’t know what I’m going to do with this yet, but it seems to be saying “mittens.”

Thank you Georgia! You rock!

31 things in 248 days

So it’s been a long time since I talked about my 101 in 1001, but I thought since I’m nearing the end (<1 year) I ought to pull it out publicly and address what’s left. I have 31 more goals to deal with in 248 days before December 10, 2009, when I’m scheduled to be done. Some of these I plan to finish, some of them I plan to ignore or change. I think it’s a good idea to make these long-term goals, but my objectives have also changed in the last 753 days, and so I think I’ll poke some things around.

8. commit to recording 10 episodes of a weekly podcast
I think I’ll try to do this this summer, maybe. I like the idea of having my own podcast, but I wonder if I could get my sister in on it to make it more conversational and silly. Also I don’t want to do it while I’m at school. People would look at me funny.

11. knit Bayerische socks
I’m working on these now! They don’t have a deadline (except 12/10/09?), but they’re in progress.

13. knit a scarf for the Red Scarf Project
I should just do this one. It’s been on the list since the beginning, and I haven’t managed to do it. I will this year. Come October, I will knit a red scarf. One-Row Handspun?

23. refrain from biting skin on fingers for 2 months (0/60 days)
It’s been a long time since I “quit” biting my fingernails. I’m not totally broken of the habit, but my nails are longer and prettier for the most part. I still bite when I’m nervous or stressed. The skin around my fingers gets decent treatment, but I should try to just stay away from my hands in my mouth for 2 months. Let’s do this now! April 5, 2009 – June 4, 2009.

24. run at least 2 miles 4 days a week for 3 months
When I was working out for soccer, this mattered to me. Or, I think it was the “run yourself ugly” run 100 miles in 3 months, that sort of thing. I think I’ll change this to a goal of running at least 4 days a week in the morning while I’m home, before I go to work.

26. dye hair outrageous color
I’ve been thinking recently of cutting it short and dyeing it blue. I said, “you know what would be cool? Me with spiky blue hair.” Then I said, “you know what would be really inappropriate at Hopkins? Me with spiky blue hair.” Shit.

31. get 2 more ear piercings
This could happen this summer. I want them.

33. run in a 5k charity run
Even though I don’t like running, this is something I really do wish I could do. I wonder if I could find one this summer or fall to do.

34. run 5 miles
No longer interesting to me. How can I change this to be still fitness related, but more relevant to my life now?

42. finish all puzzles in Su Doku book
Hahaha! Oh if I had my Sudoku book, I could make this work. But I think it’s at home. Or something.

45. ride a non-upside-down roller coaster again
46. ride an upside-down roller coaster
These two go hand in hand, and require that I go to an amusement park. Maybe? Maybe no?

47. stay up all night
So far I’ve actually avoiding doing this at college, but I wonder if it would ever serve me. I think this is not so much a goal as a I’ll-remember-it-if-it-happens.

48. go skiing
=/ If it snows?

49. record chapters of an audio book (librivox)
CraftLit is having the reading done by the listeners now, I think. Maybe I could record a few chapters for the next book Heather does!

50. get a domain name and use it
If I had a purpose… I’d like to host this blog on my own (or through wordpress). I’m not sure what else I’d put in my website. Maybe a tiny yarn store.

56. win at Scrabble
My dad is too fucking good at Scrabble to make this easy. We’ve been playing on Facebook, but he keeps beating me. Even a Facebook win would be good enough for this goal. =P

60. cook dinner once a month for 6 months
I’m going to change this to twice a month during the summer, when it’s actually feasible.

61. eat vegetarian for 2 weeks
Not hard. My sister and my boyfriend are both vegetarians– I just need to follow in their footsteps for a bit. Or I could start now and just do it at school. I just keep forgetting to.

71. have $5,000 in bank account for “nest egg”
Hopefully this will become a reality this summer when I make some moneys. It’s just a line to hit– it doesn’t have to stay that way– but I want to make it happen.

73. buy nothing (except gas) for 1 month
Since I spend a lot less money now that I’m at school, I’m not sure if this goal makes sense. I’m going to spend money this summer, when I am driving, as opposed to less here when I’m not driving. I should rethink this one.

75. sell old clothes/toys/things in yard/garage sale
Mostly unnecessary now, since our yard is not conducive to yard sales and my old clothes tend to head off to Value Village or Goodwill. Maybe just another purge of old clothes would be good.

79. fund some portion of tuition via scholarships (at least 10%)
This one’s tricky, and I’m not really sure what I’m going to do about it. Hopefully when my sister goes to school, the ‘Ford will be more willing to give us some money. Otherwise we’re not really struggling, and I’ve lost interest in applying for scholarships, especially with all the other things I’ve got going on (ie. school work). Blah.

84. learn to drive stickshift
I hardly know anyone who drives stick anymore. Not even my granddad.

85. learn basic French/German
Possible, but the intro language classes here are right in the way of my science classes, which have priority. I don’t know what I’m going to do. Maybe just place out of my language requirement (SAT IIs!) and call it a day.

86. Go without swearing for 1 full month
Almost impossible. Wonder if it’s worth it.

87. get rid of 7 things a week for 2 months
I could do this this summer also. Now that I know what I live with happily away from home, I feel like I could get rid of a lot of things I just don’t notice are there.

90. send a postcard to PostSecret
We had a mini-PostSecret event here, but I didn’t get a chance to put a secret in. I don’t really have any secrets that need sent away like that. But maybe I’ll find one.

91. build a sandcastle
I promise to do this when I’m at the beach, June 14-20. Promise.

94. refrain from claiming to hate things for 1 week
I think this was from when I said “I hate my life” or “I hate blah” a lot. I don’t say that as much anymore. I don’t have a lot of things to hate, which is good!

100. Visit Canada
We are so doing this when we take Sarah to school. I’m so excited.

DSCN2096

April Begins

I’m so happy to see Spring coming. I love Winter, it’s true (birthday! Christmas! New Years!), but the snowy season needs to end, and I’m excited for sun and lounging on the green like a college kid.

I thought I’d finished more since I last posted, but it looks like 2 weeks was enough to finish two pairs of socks and start 100 new things. I ripped out my Alaska Mittens and my long-neglected Socktober Stockinette socks, both of which had spent too long in the land of “maybe” and needed to be liberated.

Now, finished things! Two finished pairs of socks! The first pair I’m actually going to wait to show, because they are a birthday present for a friend, and while [friend] probably doesn’t read, I want them to be a surprise. Plus on the feet will make a good picture.

The other pair was my pair of Chapman Springs Leyburn socks. I was inspired by the Socks that Rawk!” Ravelry group, which was having a Leyburn Socks knit along, from January to March. I cast on March 16th, the day after I finished [socks mentioned above], and finished them in 10 days (March 26th). I knit them out of STR Mediumweight in “Chapman Springs” (evident), and I love them. They were such fun to knit (US 2s) and fit fabulously. And they’re squishy and comfy and cozy, like STR socks are wont to be.

Chapman Springs Leyburn socks

I paused in the middle to knit a quick square for the Sock Yarn Blanket, but other than that used almost every inch of yarn. They are awesome. I’m going to go put them on.

Okay so I lied about the two-things-today thing. Thing. I should also post some WIP pictures, for the sake of it, because I always forget to. Today is beautiful out, so hopefully I’ll have good light for pictures (envision me running off to take them now).

Also there is a Cricket game going on outside my window (the ‘Ford has the only Varsity Cricket team in the country), and it has been going on since I woke up at 9 this morning. What the hell. Cricket is weird.

Okay but anyway. The first thing I have on the needles still are my Bayerische socks, which don’t look much different from the last time I mentioned them. I have put them in the bowl on the windowsill beside my bed, so that when I am in the vicinity, I will work on them.

Sitting on the floor by my desk (so that I will work on it if I have Blackboard [online] reading, or am listening to podcasts or watching House), is my Henley. I ripped it out a few weeks ago, and have been working on it not as steadily (crazily) as I did before. That’s okay– it will be fabulous when I finish, and it will fit too. I’m about 8″ down from the arms, and I’ve started the very gradual I-have-hips shaping (once every 11 rounds).

DSCN2977

Mr. Bear is baffled.

Living in my backpack (so I’ll work on them in class) are my Herringbone Rib Socks, from Carol J. Sulcoski of Go Knit in Your Hat‘s book Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarns.

DSCN2991

I love them! They are beautiful, but they are a lot of work. These are not pattern-one-row-knit-the-next socks. There are two rows, and both of them are patternful, one of them is more labor-intensive than the other. So they’re slow-going, but I like working on them. The yarn is Black Bunny Fibers handpainted sock yarn in “The Deep.” I got it at Loop in Philly when I went for the KSWHY book signing there. Fun fun. Beautiful yarn.

DSCN2990

And oh baby, look at that herringbone.

But most on my mind right now is the Aeolian Shawl from the Spring 2009 Knitty. The original is done with beads, but I couldn’t wait to get beads. The yarn is Dream in Color Baby in “Beach Fog,” which I got at Ewe and I in Narberth last fall. Yum yum yum. I missed lace knitting.

DSCN2984

I hope it’ll be done after I get home, so I can block it at home. Dorm rugs are not conducive.

Yay spring!