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 :)