Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bring it on!!!




Yay, winter! I'm SO excited for it to start snowing so I can try out my new skis that I bought at the end of last season : ) And yes, apparently I am crazy...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

More baby cuteness!

Second pair of Saartje Booties complete! These are a gift for Marlene's baby granddaughter, and they'll be winging their way to the East Coast tomorrow. Aren't they adorable? These are larger than the first pair I knit, at just over 4". They also seem a bit tall, but I think they'll be okay. I don't have much experience with baby feet, so I hope it works out.
I really almost ran out of yarn. I used the same skein of Koigu as for the first pair of booties, but since I wanted these to be larger I doubled it throughout and used size 4 needles (instead of size 2). Before I started I whipped out my handy scale and determined I had 35.7 grams of yarn, from a starting amount of (theoretically) 50 grams, which should have left me plenty of extra. Shouldn't it have? Apparently it did not, as I had less than 2 feet of yarn left even with my modifications. As the yarn wound down and I was kicking myself for sewing the first bootie together and weaving in the ends (fearing that I'd have to rip it out), I started to desperately consider my options. I ended up leaving out one row at the top of the foot, which is not noticable, and then knitting the second strap with the yarn single instead of double, which is a tad noticable but only if you're really looking and most babies aren't that picky! Overall I'm happy with these - this is a great pattern and each bootie only takes about an hour to knit (for me). The finishing is a bit fiddly but it was faster this second time around. I like these buttons better than the first ones I used as well, and they were easier to sew on as they had a loop in the back instead of holes. These can also count for Project Spectrum, being purple! Great success...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Making progress!

Back and left front complete!
Oliver pitched in for the pinning out of my Drops cardigan pieces - isn't he helpful? He loves circular needles. Sorry that the photo is so dark. As I have previously lamented, it's difficult to get good lighting in our apartment, and I wanted to take the photos without the flash because otherwise it's impossible to see the stitch definition. Speaking of stitch definition, my moss stitch (Double seed stitch? Whatever.) isn't as 'bubbly' as the other sweaters I've seen, and I think I can attribute that to my row gauge, which is way off, on the too-many-rows-per-inch side, and I think that is compressing the moss stitch. But, it's clearly not stockinette, so I'm carrying on. Will be casting on the right front tomorrow, and hopefully remembering to add in the buttonholes...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Just in time for fall

Knitting in Purl Scarf
Originally uploaded by Emily E.M.

I've finished my first Purl Scarf! I say first because I can see myself making several more of these scarves. So easy, yet so satisfying, and, most importantly, so me. I love a good long fluffy scarf that can be wrapped around the neck four times with length to spare! I started this back in August as my easy work project, and it got finished quite quickly. I took it to the Yarn Harlot's talk last week, where I knit a couple of feet, and then I finished it up on Saturday morning.

Project Stats: Purl Scarf

Pattern: Purl Scarf, from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts

Yarn: Manos del Uruguay (color 115 - 2 skeins) and Knit One Crochet Too Douceur et Soie (Deep Garnet - 1 skein)

Needles: Size 11 Clover Bamboo straights

Finished Size: About 5x92" - that is a long scarf!

Time on the Needles: Mid-August- September 22, 2007. Just over a month, which is not bad for something 92" long, especially with all the other knitting that's been competing for my attention.

Impressions: Love it! My love of Manos has been well-documented here on the blog, so I'll not bore you with it again; suffice to say, I love me some Manos. Enough that it interferes with my sense of good grammar...I think it's pretty difficult to go wrong with a ribbed scarf in beautiful yarn though, don't you? Including the mohair adds an additional color depth and a pop of fuzziness, even though I only used one mohair instead of the recommended two. I'd really like to make some more of these scarves, one in every semi-solid shade of Manos, but I will have to restrain myself at least until after the Christmas gifts are knitted...

I have been such a bad blogger of late, and I apologize. I've been up to all sorts of blogworthy stuff, and yet my laziness with the camera means there's nothing to feast your eyes on whilst I ramble about departmental retreats and dusty bike races, and so on. But, for the interested or those with nothing more interesting to read about, Thursday and Friday I was in lovely Port Townsend, WA for our annual microbiology departmental retreat, where we blather on about science and acquaint ourselves with the incoming first-year graduate students. During the break Dave and I headed into town where he accompanied me to (brace yourselves) two yarn shops, Diva Yarn and The Twisted Ewe. I much preferred the second shop, although they were both nice. At The Twisted Ewe I might have accidently bought some Socks that Rock (very well-priced, should you be in the market/neighborhood), as well as some yarn for a Christmas gift that shall remain secret in case the recipient is reading.

I spent Saturday night and all day Sunday standing around watching bike racing, which is one of my favorite pasttimes (yes, seriously). This weekend was the real start to the local cyclocross season, with two big races in the area. Big as in several national champions were racing in our backyard, including two from Europe. It's always exciting when the Euro pros grace us with their presence! Dave had good races both days, and a good time was had by all. If I had any dramatic pictures, you'd be seeing them, but all I have are podium pictures, and they're not really that exciting unless you're into it and know who they are...

Monday, September 17, 2007


When Anne-Marie and I saw Stephanie, aka the Yarn Harlot, last Friday, a woman was there with a gigantic sweater: It's difficult to get the full scale of the sweater (you should've seen the contorting that went into the photos Stephanie took), but this was clearly much larger than intended. Yet she had perservered and finished it up, all the way down to the sewing. Stephanie blogged about this today actually, so you can go over there for more details if you'd like. I'll wait. Anyway, I'm a bit concerned that I'm doing the same thing with my Drops Swing Cardigan, knitting blindly away whilst ignoring the fact that it seems way too big. Before you ask, yes, I checked my gauge, and yes, I've been comparing my piece to the schematic, and yes, it's the right size, pretty much. Mine is a tad wider in the armpits because my row gauge was off so it's wider a bit higher up than it should be, but I've added extra decreases in the armholes to compensate. Hopefully. Yet, it's just, well, large! The bottom of the back is 24" wide! That means the whole sweater will be 48" in circumference! It's meant to be swingy (hence the name), and it's hard to tell how much ease there is in the model photo, but still. However, as I suggested above, I am charging ahead blindly. Swingy cardigans are all the rage this fall (hell, I wore one today - nowhere near as wide (I compared), but within range), and I don't think I'll really be able to get a handle on whether this is working or not until I have the fronts and the back done so I can pin them together and determine the level of ridiculousness that is ensuing. Speaking of sewing up, can anyone think of a reason not to kitchener the shoulder seams?
Edited to add: I finished the back tonight - here's a shot, although it doesn't really show the sheer size of it:
By the way, the Yarn Harlot was hilarious as usual on Friday. Many others have blogged about it, so I'll not really go into it here. I didn't get any good photos of her speaking because the lighting was tough, and, as Jessica pointed out, she's not very tall behind the podium.
Sorry if this post is rambling, but I had a committee meeting today so I'm a bit loopy this evening. The meeting went very well but I was quite stressed about it beforehand and now I'm in relaxed babbling mode. That said, I'm off to watch the rest of the Hitchcock marathon on AMC. First we had Rear Window, now The Birds, and finally Rope. I doubt we'll make it through all three, but it's worth a shot!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Yarn for Hanami (finally!)

The yarn for my Hanami stole finally arrived on Wednesday! It was packed in this little sausage roll of a container, which is really just paper wrapped tightly around the yarn. Paper. Good thing it didn't rain on the yarn during the month in transit from Uruguay, or I'd have had 950 yards of felted laceweight merino! Anyway, even though it was long in coming, I'm really happy with the yarn. The color is perfect and the yarn is very soft. I was a bit worried about fragility because it's single-ply, but I gave it a good tug and it held up okay. I had hoped to have a couple of weeks ago so I could start the Hanami Knitalong with everyone else, but alas. Now I'm behind and I have loads of other things to knit, but hopefully I'll get this on the needles soon. My experience with the Mystery Stole, which I doubt I'll finish because I really didn't like the slant (as it were) that the design took in the end, has inspired me to believe that I can actually knit lace and that it's enjoyable, so I'm excited about Hanami.
I'm 11" in on the Drops cardigan. I've been knitting it so much my hands are sore! Tonight Anne-Marie and I are going to see the Yarn Harlot. The Seattle Times says she'll be doing a 60-minute stand-up routine about knitting. I guess that's accurate, because she is truly hilarious, but I wouldn't really have called it stand-up comedy. This will be my second Harlot viewing (first was pre-blog), and I'm sure it'll make for a fun evening!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Just when I thought I had the knitting queue a bit under control, and I was charging towards the finish line with the linen towels, fate reached over and smacked me with this pattern. Actually, it's Lolly's fault, since I first sighted this beauty in her Ravelry queue last night. I loved it so much I went to bed contemplating whether I should abandon everything else and cast it on. This morning I was still obsessed with it so I hunted down the free pattern and contemplated the stash options. Now, part of the reason that I have so much yarn is that I find many projects I want to make, and I'm so disillusioned with my knitting speed that I buy the yarn for a lot of these projects, thinking that somehow they'll all get made, all the while finding newer and more exciting projects. The queue is endless. And I really think about the yarn choices, such that each project and yarn go together so strongly in my head that I can't fathom using the assigned yarn for a different project. However, this project, well, I love it so much that I'm using the Rowanspun Aran that was meant to be a Rogue sweater. Granted, I have enough of the yarn for both, so maybe it's not that much of a sacrifice, but still, I am using yarn from the stash. Anyway, I'm loving this project so far. The pattern is written for two weights of yarn, and I'm doing the aran weight version. My gauge is slightly off, on the too many stitches/inch side, but I think that will be okay because the size I'm making is a bit larger than ideal for me and I can always block it a tad bigger if necessary. The yarn is actually a lovely light dusky blue, but this was the best photo I could conjure up at 10:30pm.

Monday, September 10, 2007

More than you wanted to know...

I found this on my friend Kristen's blog, and thought it might be fun:

1. First and Middle Name: Emily Elizabeth
2. Birthday: May 11
3. Married: Nope
4. Kids: None
5. Name of High School Team: The Lakers (what is a Laker, exactly?)
6. Favorite TV show: The Office (UK), Columbo episodes from back in the day
7. Favorite band or singer: There are too many. Let's say R.E.M. And Pulp. And Suede, who I shall never refer to as "The London Suede"
8. Celebrity you have the hots for: Damiano Cunego
9. Last movie you saw in the theater: Superbad
10. Movie that you cried your eyes out to: Almost anything, really. Including commercials. It's genetic.
11. What did you do last night? Watched Season One of Extras. Hilarious.
12. Favorite Perfume/Cologne: Clinique Happy
13. Last Thing You Ate: Whole wheat pasta and marinara. How dull...
14. Favorite Holiday: Halloween
15. Something you dressed up for at Halloween: A giant die (as in dice).
16. Last concert you went to: Patterson Hood (of the Drive-By Truckers), solo at the Tractor Tavern last Thursday
17. Siblings? Do you get along? None, but I've always been fond of myself.
18. Person you miss the most: Aside from family, my friend Sarah. It's a shame we've lost touch.
19. Dream job: Science writer for the London Times
20. Toothpaste you use: Colgate
21. Dream Vacation: Everest base camp
22. What color is your car: Red
23. What are you listening to right now: Drunk people stumbling around the alley
24. If you could look like a celebrity, who? I'm stealing Kristen's Sienna Miller answer.
25. Hobbies: Knitting, reading, hiking, skiing, running, laziness

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Project Update

Progress has been made on the gift towels: I finished the first one on Tuesday and I'm about 1/3 of the way through the second. I'm really enjoying knitting these, and I'd quite like to make some for myself some day. Especially if I can find the yarn (Euroflax Linen) on sale...
I mentioned awhile back that my friend Anne-Marie and I had dyed some yarn with blackberries, and I meant to do a post about the process, but she beat me to it on her brand new blog! You can read about our process here, but here's a shot of my finished yarn: Mine came out more purple than hers, and we're not sure why - the only difference was the amount of soaking time. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this - it's 100% wool, I think DK weight. One of the things mentioned in Wild Color is that blackberry dye isn't very colorfast - the alum mordant we used is meant to decrease the odds of fading, but I'm a bit concerned about that, so I need to make something that will look equally good in the current color or in pale pink/grey/whatever it fades into. Thoughts? Overall I had fun with the natural dyeing, but I'm unconvinced that it's worth the effort, especially if it's likely to fade. I think I prefer my Jacquard acid dyes, thank you very much.
In other news, I'm about 4.5" into my Sleeveless Tuxedo Shirt. I'm not going to post any photos because at this point it's really just a navy blue stockinette tube with some occasional decreases, and frankly I doubt any of you will find that very exciting. I would love to be working on it more but gift knitting keeps coming up! I realize that's my own doing, but I really like to knit gifts, so whenever an occasion comes up for which a handknit gift might be appropriate I drop whatever I'm knitting for myself and charge forward with the gift! This is why it seems like I rarely finish anything for myself...
Yesterday Dave and I spent the day in Olympia with our friend Rembrandt - we went canoeing and picked many blackberries, so today I made 4 pints of blackberry jam and froze some for Dave's smoothies. I spent the afternoon at a baby shower for one of my grad school friends, which meant a trip to Baby Gap for cute gifts (Yes, I meant to knit something, but there wasn't time. I might do it for the actual birth, in November. I'm only human.) Now I'm going to go watch the beginning of the VMAs, for the pure spectacle that will be Britney Spears performing the opening act. I'm not proud of this, but I have a strange desire to witness the potential train wreck. Again, I'm only human...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I'm back!

And you thought I was going to talk about knitting now that the Utah posts are finished! Haha - I've got you! Dave and I headed to Chicago last weekend for my friend Andrea's wedding. I was a tad apprehensive about the trip due to my concern that Dave and "big city" Chicago wouldn't mix, but he actually really liked the city, especially the Art Institute. I had no idea the boy was an art fan! We stayed at Heidi's house in the northern suburbs (Morton Grove, if you're from the area). We arrived early Thursday morning and had a relaxing day in Evanston. We also checked out the Baha'i Temple in Wilmette: If you're in the area and have never been, you should really check it out, it's quite an impressive building. On Friday we went to brunch at my favorite breakfast place (including those in Seattle), Bongo Room. This is another place you really should check out. I had spectacular banana pancakes with crushed Oreos on top, slathered in vanilla cream sauce with chocolate drizzle. And fresh banana slices. Divine. Then we cruised around Wicker Park a bit before heading downtown to the Art Institute. Another must see, and one of my favorite things about Chicago. Friday night we went to Second City, which was great. I've been there for several shows and I think this was the best one so far. The show we saw was "Between Barack and a Hard Place," and again, you should check it out if you get a chance.
Andrea's wedding was on Saturday, and I ended up wearing two dresses because I didn't want to wear my fancy dress all day (there was a 5 hour gap between the wedding and reception). The ceremony was really nice, and Andrea's dress was beautiful (I have no photos - the wedding photographer was kneeling in the aisle in front of me the entire time). In between the wedding and reception Dave and I walked around the University of Chicago campus (my alma mater, and where the wedding was held), and then went to the Museum of Science & Industry. Here's dress #1, in front of the giant model train exhibit:Here's dress #2, which I wore for the reception. I had this dress, and the shoes, plus a beautiful beaded shawl that I didn't end up needing in that black purse I'm wearing in the first photo. It was heavy...On Sunday we headed back into the city for the wedding brunch, which was really nice. I finally got to talk to Andrea for more than a few seconds, since she had (of course) been really busy the day before. And we got to talk to Dave, her husband, who is great. I'm looking forward to spending more time with them sometime soon, as it's been a long time since I've really seen Andrea. Sunday afternoon we went on the Wendella Chicago River Architecture Tour, which goes down the Chicago River. I've done this cruise before but it's always enjoyable. There are so many beautiful buildings in Chicago it's really astonishing. Going on the river cruise always reminds me of my days on the UChicago crew team since we rowed in the river every morning. Being on the water is such a different perspective than walking around on foot. Then we went to Grant Park and caught a bit of the Jazz Festival before walking to Buckingham Fountain (top photo). Then, home to Heidi's for delicious risotto (please email that recipe!). Monday we went shopping and to see Superbad, which was a nice relaxing way to end a whirlwind trip. Are you tired just from reading? We sure were!