Monday, December 31, 2007
Knits of 2007
1. Woven Knit Scarf - for Heidi
2. Felted Clogs - for Mom
3. Embossed Leaves Socks - for Gram
4. So-called Scarf - for me
5. Rio de la Plata Hat - for me
6. Sari silk scarf - for me
7. Fluffy yellow scarf - we'll see
8. Peekaboo Mittens - gift
9. Austermann Step socks - for me
10. Traveling Rib Armwarmers - gift
11. Asymmetrical V-neck Tank - for me, will be ripped
12. Lotus Blossom Tank - for me
13. Short-sleeved Cardigan with Ribbing - for me
14. Endpaper Mitts - for me
15. Striped Baby Blanket - for Kristin
16. Purdy Plum socks - for Susan
17. Chevron Scarf - for me
18. Felted Clogs - for Gram
19. Saartje Booties - for Pau's daugher Olivia
20. Purl Scarf - for me
21. Saartje Booties - for Marlene's granddaughter
22. Moss Grid Towels - for Andrea and Dave
23. Stockinette Socks - for Dad
24. Selbuvotter Mittens (NHM #7) - for me
25. Felted Clogs - for John
26. Woven Knit Scarf - for Anne-Marie
27. Drop-Stitch Scarf - for Andie
28. Ana Hat - for me
29. Earflap Hat - for David
30. Carpathia Scarf - gift yet ungifted
That is a lot of knitting! And, it seems I never posted about my Lotus Blossom Tank?!? Dave and I did a photoshoot - I wonder what happened there? I guess I'll have to post about it soon!
Books I Devoured - 2007 Edition
1. Cell - Stephen King (bought at the Cleveland airport on route back to Seattle last Christmas)
2. Touching the Void - Joe Simpson (owned)
3. Gods in Alabama - Joshilyn Jackson (borrowed from my mother)
4. Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress - Susan Gilman (borrowed from Daisy)*
5. Nature Girl - Carl Hiaasen (Christmas gift from Dave)
6. Knitting under the Influence - Claire LaZebnik (Christmas gift)
7. A Painted House - John Grisham (found in apartment building lobby)
8. Coal: A Human History - Barbara Freese (bought at used book store)
9. Casts Off - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (bought)
10. Buried Alive - Jan Bondeson (library)
11. Washington Disasters - Rob and Natalie McNair (birthday gift from Dave)
12. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver (borrowed from Vivian)*
13. Sister Carrie - Theodore Dreiser (owned since high school)*
14. Corpse: Nature, Forensics, and the Struggle to Pinpoint Time of Death - Jessica Snyder (borrowed from my mother)
15. The Angel of Darkness - Caleb Carr (bought at used book store)
16. The White Cascade: The Great Northern Railway Disaster and America's Deadliest Avalanche - Gary Krist (library)*
17. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling (owned)*
18. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling (bought on day of release)*
19. The Father of Forensics: The Groundbreaking Cases of Sir Bernard Spilsbury, and the Beginnings of Modern CSI - Colin Evans (library)*
20. The Jury Master - Robert Dugoni (found in apartment building lobby)
21. Persuasion - Jane Austen (Daily Lit)*
22. The Dawn of Human Culture - Richard Klein (library)
23. The World Without Us - Alan Weinberg (library)*
24. Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair - Laurie Perry (gift from Rachel)*
25. Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle over Global Warming - Chris Mooney (library)
26. Beyond the Body Farm: A Legendary Bone Detective Explores Murders, Mysteries, and the Revolution in Forensic Science - Bill Bass (library)
27. Tobacco: A Cultural History of How an Exotic Plant Seduced Civilization - Iain Gately (bought at used book store)
28. Bitter is the New Black - Jen Lancaster (borrowed from my mother)*
29. Emma - Jane Austen (Daily Lit)*
30. A Long Way Gone - Ishmael Beah (borrowed from my mother)*
31. Tea: Addiction, Exploitation, and Empire - Roy Moxham (bought)
32. Uncommon Carriers - John McPhee (library)*
33. Bright Lights, Big Ass - Jen Lancaster (bought at Powells)*
34. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress - Dai Sijie (borrowed from my mother)*
35. The Gatecrasher - Madeleine Wickham (borrowed from my mother)
36. Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer (owned)
36 strikes me as quite a lot of books, especially considering I also finished 30 knitted objects! I'll be listing those shortly just to keep track. I used to read more before I started knitting, but even so I'd like to read even more books in 2008. I'm already about halfway through The Pillars of the Earth, which was a Christmas present from my dad. It gets its * even at the midway point...
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Project Stats: Dad's Christmas Socks 2007
Pattern: Based on Wendy's Toe-up Sock with Gusset pattern. These are 48 stitches in circumference and I had to do a lot of increases to get the gusset large enough.
Yarn: Järbo Garn Raggi Multi, two skeins with leftovers. Purchased at The Twisted Ewe in Port Townsend, WA.
Needles: Size 4 bamboo DPNs.
Time to knit: 10.2.07-11.2.07.
Impressions: Thick socks are fast! I'm happy with these, and they fit my Dad well. He and Dave have approximately the same size feet, so I had a good model. I didn't have any real issues with these socks aside from the flashing I eluded to earlier. I suspect even slightly varying the number of stitches would have taken care of that, but it's hard to vary that much when you're dealing with such heavy yarn. Couldn't have the socks being an inch too wide!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Before Vivian and Kristen arrived, Anne-Marie and I exchanged presents. You can see what I made her in my previous post, but she made me a neat cup cozy, shown here: I believe it's the first crocheted item I've owned, for a long while at least. It's pretty big - that's a 20 oz. cup inside (Full of tea. It would be way more mocha than I could handle.). I have to say, I took it to work on Wednesday and I think it kept the tea warmer than those little cardboard wrappers they give you, even in a brisk wind, and it's better for the environment! She also gave me The Knitting Answer Book, which I suspect will come in handy. Thanks Anne-Marie!
We had a slight fire incident while opening gifts. Yes, you read that correctly - fire incident. I had wrapped Anne-Marie's scarf in tissue paper inside a gift bag, and there were candles burning on the kitchen counter. She stepped back a bit to try on the scarf, and I was watching her when all of a sudden I saw more brightness than usual in my left eye. The tissue paper, which had been tossed on the counter, had encountered the candle and burst into flame. I blew on it (bad move), Dave ran over and blew on it (still a bad move), and then I grabbed it and flung it in the sink (finally, some sense). Here's the evidence: Should you be planning on trying this yourself, note that tissue paper burns very quickly and without much smoke. Combusts, really. And blowing on it makes it burn even faster. Funny, that whole oxygen feeding the flames thing! However, there was so little smoke that it didn't even set off the smoke detector which was almost directly over it. Good times!
I'm just getting ready to head to the airport to go back to Pennsylvania for eight days. Should be nice. They have snow, I will get to relax (please?), get some knitting accomplished, read a bit, etc. I've been a bit stressed as I was busy at work and I had to give a big talk today (It went well, thank you for asking.), so I haven't really had that much time to contemplate being gone for over a week. Hopefully I packed matching clothing and remembered my underwear...My parents have dial-up, but I don't want to vanish entirely, so I think I'm going to pre-write some blog posts, with photos, of the Christmas gifts that I've knitted but not posted about, so that I'll have something to post quickly while I'm away.
I wish you all happy holidays and lots of knitting surprises under the tree!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I swatched with size 3 needles for some reason that absolutely escapes me. The pattern calls for size 4, and I'm a tight knitter, so why I thought I would need to use smaller needles to get gauge completely baffles me. I'm getting about 7.5 stitches/inch instead of 7, so I think I'm going to just go for it with the size 4s. Live on the edge I say. My row gauge is miraculously close to being correct, and will probably be spot-on (famous last words) with the larger needles. I also suspect that when I go up to a 24" circular my knitting will be slightly looser because I won't be dealing with floats across the DPN junctions like I was in my swatch. So, the swatching is finished and I'll be casting on soon, although I decided I must finish my grandmother's Anastasia Socks first. It would be a shame to have had so much of the Christmas knitting done well in advance and then to fall behind on the very last thing when I had so much time to spare. Shame on me...
Oh, David loved his hat, and was wearing it in lab today! Great success - I love when recipients visibly appreciate the knitting!!!
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Phew, another one! I whipped this hat up so quickly I didn't have time to mention I was making it! It's for David, the graduate student who is just finishing his rotation in my lab. We were at a Christmas gift/craft show at work a couple of weeks ago when he spied some clearly handknit Noro hats, and was really excited about them. I stopped him from an impulsive purchase and told him I'd be thrilled to make him a hat. I love knitting hats. So, we discussed color (He really wanted purple and green - hopefully this won't be too lavender.) and that he liked stripes and pom-poms, and off I went. Anne-Marie and I took a trip to Weaving Works yesterday morning for yarn and then I was off. I started knitting this mid-afternoon on Saturday and finished it tonight, which is probably a hat record for me. I'm really happy with the way it turned out - hopefully he'll like it too!
Project Stats: David's Earflap Hat
Pattern: Kim's Hats, from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. Modified for smaller gauge yarn. See below for details.
Yarn: Noro Kureyon, Colorway 188. Purple and army green. The green is darker than the upper photo implies.
Needles: Size 7 circular and DPN.
Impressions: I love it! I modified the pattern to compensate for using smaller yarn than the Manos called for in the pattern. I used 96 stitches at a gauge of ~5 stitches/inch. I also started the decreases at 6.5" instead of 8." Looking at the hat on Dave, I'd say that was a wise move. The pom-pom was a joint project for Dave and I, and was quite fun - it's a bit wonky but I like it and it will suit its recipient well. He asked for purple and green stripes and a giant pom-pom, and that's what I've conjured up for him! I'll try to get a photo of him wearing it, but no guarantees...
And no, the socks for my grandmother still aren't finished...nor have they been worked on. This was more pressing as David is leaving for Christmas this week.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Impressions: I'm pretty happy with this, and Dave assures me that it doesn't look silly, although I have my doubts. It looks better in reality than in the photos - apparently I'm not particularly photogenic today. This was a really quick knit, and ended up being much less confusing than I anticipated. Basically you knit a large rectangle (133 rows of stockinette). When you've finished the rectangle, which is essentially what wraps around your head, you pick up stitches along the cast-on edge and then along one side, which makes a curved rectangle with three sides on the needle. Confused yet? Then you create the puckered back using DPNs to do several short three-needle bind-offs, which pulls the fabric into pleats. I didn't really get it until I did it, if you know what I mean, but in the end it was pretty simple. I think I could've done a better job closing the final hole and getting the puckers even, but the hat is pretty slouchy anyway and I doubt anyone will notice. It can be worn stockinette side out or reverse stockinette side out, and I think I prefer the latter because I like the rolled-up brim. The Woolie Silk was a dream to knit with, and I'm trying to figure out what I can do with the remaining 71 meters. Sadly I doubt it will be enough for mitts, but I might try. And, of course, being turquoise I love the color :)
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
As promised I also started the Ana Hat, from Perl Grey. I should take a photo of the diagram that came with the pattern - it's quite confusing, and just reading through the pattern makes me wish I'd taken some engineering classes. I'll try to take progress shots as I go so I can show you how this thing comes together. So far I'm knitting a giant rectangle. The yarn is quite nice to work with - it's Fleece Artist Woolie Silk, a 65/35 wool/silk blend. I love the colors (teal - go figure!). But what really should be mentioned here is the row counter, which is vital for this project. I'm one of those people who would rather keep track as I go instead of counting later, and I'd rather not have to carry around something to keep track with (pen and paper), and for this (131 rows) a counter is key. I have an identical one somewhere in the ether of my apartment, but I can't find it for the life of me. I even checked in the sweater-that-shall-not-be-named's bag, but it wasn't in there. So, and this is the good part, Dave offered to go buy me another one yesterday. Of his own free will. I should probably keep him.
Speaking of Dave, we're off to Portland for the weekend. The hat is coming along, as is the sock and the sleeves. I suspect the hat will receive the most attention. It looks like it's going to be cold/snowy/windy/rainy/miserable. I'm looking forward to it. Cyclocross is ALL ABOUT the suffering and bad weather!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
I've been neglecting my blog. You might have noticed, but with Thanksgiving impending perhaps everyone is too busy to care that I've not written a peep for two weeks? And I was doing so well there for a bit...Anyway, I have multiple excuses. The main one is that my parents were visiting for a week, but they left last Wednesday night, so that really only explains the first week. And it's not that I haven't been knitting - I have been, and not all on secret unbloggable projects either. In fact, just Sunday I finished the second front of my Drops cardigan and dealt with the shoulder seams. I think I'll talk about that tomorrow though, so I have something else to entertain you with. Plus I haven't taken any pictures yet, so I'd just be blathering on without evidence...I did, however, finish the clogs for my Uncle John, which had to be done while my parents were in Seattle so they could take them back to be gifted over Thanksgiving.
I was going to do my standard write-up about the clogs, but frankly, I'm bored with that, since this is (I think) my
hundreth seventh pair of these babies. This particular pair is a men's medium (felted size 10.5), knit with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Grass and some leftover yellow Cascade 220. I used size 13 needles and knit these in about a week. I didn't have time to felt them, but I think it's worthwhile to see the expression on the recipient's face when they open a gift that they can't fathom the purpose of. Of course, in this instance I won't be there to see that, but hopefully my parents will enjoy it.
Okay, I'm off. I have to give lab meeting tomorrow and I need a good nine hour sleep to contemplate how I will explain my moderately-uninterpretable-but-potentially-interesting data. I'll try to take some sweater photos and talk about the Drops swing cardigan tomorrow. Hope you're all well, I'll try not to vanish again until Christmas!
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
The organizing process was quite successful. I knew I had a lot of projects that had been cast on and promptly abandoned because the yarn wasn't right, or the pattern confused me, or I just got distracted. They remained on the needles because I didn't have another use for the needles (I also discovered I have four pairs of size 9 straight needles, and three sets of 10.5s. I think they're all from the learning-to-knit-make-many-fun-scarves-at-once phase. I rarely use them, so if you need size 9 needles you know who to call!). Now, for the grand list of what was jettisoned, what was saved for another day, and the projects I'm actually working on regularly enough that they might, some day, be finished...
Sent back to the stash:
1. Twisted Flower socks - Two skeins red Gems Pearl salvaged. This pattern is way too time-consuming for me. I started these for my Sockapalooza Four pal and abandoned them one repeat in. Rest in peace.
2. Print o' the Wave stole - Lovely turquoise/teal kid mohair gets a new life (hopefully soon, I love this yarn). This just wasn't the right pattern for this yarn, or at least not the right needle size. Now that I feel more confident in lace I might try this again, but I think I prefer patterns without patterning on both sides, for both speed and sanity.
3. Random green lace - I'd only knit four rows of this before deciding the yarn and pattern competed too much. RIPPPP!
4. Malabrigo scarf - The pattern I chose was too lacy for this yarn, which would really rather be cozy, not elegant. I think this will be recycled into a Foliage hat.
5. "Large Red Rectangle" from Victorian Lace Today - Yes, one can rip out Kid Silk Haze! I actually intend to restart this project, but I hadn't gotten far enough to make this worth keeping, plus I couldn't remember where I was in the pattern. I think I'd done about 5 rows. Better to start over than to restart in the wrong place! Plus I think I was using needles at least one size too small. No harm no foul.
Salvaged for another day:
1. Mystery Stole 3 (aka Swan Lake) - I was really going to rip this out because I didn't end up being that fond of the pattern, but when I looked at it again tonight I just couldn't do it. It was my first real lace project, and I'd made it almost halfway, and the beads looked so pretty, so I think I'll let it incubate awhile and then make the symmetrical non-winged version.
2. Elfine Socks - I'm on the leg of the first sock and I don't know why I'm not working on these, I still really like them.
3. Toe of pretty sock - Not sure if this should be counted, but to be fair I have cast it on and it's still on the needles, but it's truly in its infancy. Socks that Rock Lightweight, generic toe-up pattern I think, but I could change my mind, since there are only about 20 stitches so far!
Still on the needles, in a somewhat more active fashion:
Ravelry links, sorry if you can't see them - if I was a better blogger I'd have documented this process, but I was on a mission!
1. Drops Swing Cardigan - We've discussed this fairly recently, and I'm still working on it, when I'm not working on #2
2. Selbuvotter Mittens - I'm on the decreases of the second mitten. I intended to finish these tonight but then I got a wild hare to clean the living room, which was probably more productive and not much less entertaining.
3. $1.50 cardigan - I love this sweater. Why am I not working on iy? I think I got confused about when to do the neck and armhole shaping when I tried to make the sweater shorter, so it got put down and it has been sadly neglected. Of course it will now take me much longer to figure out what I was planning to do than had I just done it when I first figured it out, but there you are. Live and learn.
4. Ruffled Tuxedo Tank - Miles of stockinette in the round are usually good for me, so I have no real excuse here aside from distraction to start something else, coupled with cold weather on the horizon.
5. Socks - These are a gift, and you'll not see them here. Just finishing up the ribbing of the second sock. 85% finished I'd say.
6. Drop-stitch scarf - My work project. Also a gift, recipient as-yet-undetermined, so you probably won't see this again either, just in case the giftee is reading! About 50% finished, steady progress made every weekday from about 12:45-1:30.
That my friends is a lot of projects. This list would imply that I had 14 projects on the needles. I guess I like to multi-task : )