Monday, May 11, 2009

I'm Old!

How old? Check out these custom M&Ms my mom sent me last week:How cool are they? In case you can't read them, they say, "Emily's 30 WOW." And they're my favorite colors as well :)

I know I've vanished - I'll try to be back soon. Here's a brief update! I went to Florida. It was fun. I've been knitting. But nothing complicated. I think I'm going to abandon the Petal Halter. I finished my second Clapotis. It's great. I'm trying to schedule my thesis defense. Scary. Therefore, I have to write my thesis. Scarier. And find a job. Scariest...

But today is my birthday, so I'm keeping a positive attitude!!!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

I'm out of here,,,

I'm leaving this misery:
And this chaos:
And spontaneously running off to Florida for the weekend. It's going to be tough to leave, don't you think?

I'll just have to endure it...

(Bonus points if you recognize that last line)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Transition Mitts

Finished! Now if we could just transition into spring that would be great!
Project Stats: Transition Mitts
Pattern: Transition Gloves by Kerin Dimeler from ShibuiKnits. Raveled here.
Yarn: ShibuiKnits Sock in Pagoda and Ivory, one skein each with some to spare. Yarn purchased from Knit Purl (Portland) at the Madrona Fiber Festival.
Needles: Size 1 (2.25mm) and 2.5 (3mm) DPNs.
Time to knit: February 13 - March 28, 2009.
Modifications: None, aside from using slightly smaller needles for the colorwork section because they were seeming a bit big.
Impressions: OMG! These are great - I love them! I had a really tough time choosing colors, and it was actually good that I bought the yarn at a festival and they didn't have the full range of options - otherwise I'd have been completely stymied. Originally I wanted brown and turquoise, like these by TelmahQ, which I faved on Ravelry for inspiration months ago. And then I saw some turquoise and ivory ones, which I also loved. But in the end the orange won me over (and to be frank I have a lot of teal and turquoise already). As per usual any time I do colorwork, I was reminded how much I enjoy it. It's just so satisfying to see the pattern unfolding so rapidly - good motivation.
All that said, I'm not sure how useful these will be. As you can see, they're quite long, almost to the elbow, and even though it's thin yarn it would still be tough to get them under most of my sweater sleeves. Plus, you really only see the orange bit unless a 3/4-sleeve shirt is involved, and I don't have that many of those. I do have a 3/4-sleeve grey jacket that they work well with, so at least I have something to wear with them. I had considered this problem before making them, but I really wanted to make them so I pushed it aside and figured it would work itself out, so I'm sure it will! Thanks to Katrina for taking the photos!
It's not all FOs around here - I have a new project as well! This isn't actually new, I've been working on it for a few weeks now, but it's my work project so I haven't taken any photos of it. This is another Clapotis:
I'm hoping I'll actually get some use out of this one - my other one is really too bulky to wear comfortably, so I haven't worn it much. This one is knit with sockweight yarn, and it's very drapey, so I think it'll be more useful. Don't expect it to be finished very quickly - I'm only knitting it at lunch and I get a little less than one repeat done per day, so it'll be awhile...Here's a close-up of the yarn - it's Araucania Ranco Multi:

Lovely, yes? So many colors :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A vest for David

Thank you all for the comments on the evil cast-on for the Petal Halter. As you can see here, I've finished the first petal, and I must admit that, despite being one of the worst knitting experiences I can remember, the cast-on works pretty well. It's a bit looser than the rest of the knitting though, so I'm thinking about using smaller needles on the next one to tighten it up a bit. The shaping on this is really cool, and the pieces go pretty quickly once you get past the beginning. We'll see how long it takes me to summon the courage/energy/alcohol to start the second (of six) piece... In other news, I have a secret project that can now be revealed! This is the vest I knit for Jennifer's baby, David, who was born on February 13th. It was just gifted this past weekend, so it can finally be shown off on the blog.
Project Stats: Vest for Jennifer's David
Pattern: Design F (seriously): Pullover Sweater and Vest/Tank Top by Sirdar. Raveled here.
Yarn: Knit Picks Cotlin, Kolhrabi - less than 2 skeins.
Needles: Size 3 (ribbing) and 5 (everything else) Clover Bamboo.
Time to knit: March 4-15, 2009.
Modifications: I don't think I made any - if I did I've already forgotten them...
Impressions: This is a cute little item! The v-neck ended up being a little smaller than I was going for, and I'm not sure if that's something I did or the pattern, as the project photo in the book makes it difficult to tell how deep it should be. I love Cotlin - it's great to knit with, blocks nicely, and I assume wears well, although I haven't kept anything I've knit with it. This is the same yarn as the Petal Halter, so I'll find out about the wear soon enough. The color is more accurate in the second photo, but the flash obliterated the texture. Hard to get both texture and color these days, since the sun doesn't shine...I used much less yarn than I expected - the pattern had me ordering three skeins and I used about 1.5 to make the 6-12 month size. I think that was a good size choice, since this is a cotton/linen blend and will be good for summer. I met little David this weekend and there's no way this will be fitting him for awhile! So, congratulations to Jennifer and Aaron, and I hope David likes (or at least tolerates) his vest!

Oh, and I have a story. Yesterday I wore a new shirt to work, and then after work I went to the gym to go swimming. I'd already changed into my bathing suit, and I didn't want my new shirt to get sweaty, so I just wore my bathing suit under my jacket while biking to the gym. When I was finished swimming, it occured to me that I couldn't really ride home in the damp suit under my jacket, but I still didn't want to wear the new shirt, so I just wore my bra under my jacket. And I thought, "Self, this isn't the best plan. What if you crash? Or run into someone you know and they want to have coffee? Or crash?" I ignored all this and proceeded, and I did not crash. I got home, and I waited for the elevator with a nice couple just coming back from the airport, who were thankfully quite involved with each other when I decided I was warm and unzipped my jacket in the elevator. I realized my error quite quickly, and thankfully I have a messenger bag so my jacket stayed mostly closed, but it was entertaining. At least to me - I really don't think they noticed. And to Dave, who almost fell off the couch laughing when I told him about my new career as a flasher...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Driven to drink

Friends, I have encountered the project from hell. I'm not a big drinker, but the cast-on for this baby sent me running for the booze. This is the Petal Halter from the newest Interweave, and I loved it on sight. In fact I still love it, but frankly I'm not sure it's going to be worth the hassle of making it. Each petal is knit separately and then seamed, which is fine. The issue is the Eastern cast-on, which is a morale-sucking experience like none I have encountered knitting. Why? I'll show you: Sorry that the photo is bad - white yarn + evening light + alcohol is a difficult combination for photography. Regardless, what you can see is two needles next to each other with stitches on them, that have to be knit by a third needle. Let me back up: to accomplish this cast-on, you wrap the yarn snugly around two needles held parallel (as above), and then knit across the top needle stitches. I'll wait if you'd like to go try this yourself, but even if you don't, you can probably imagine the physical difficulty that ensues when trying to knit stitches from one needle when the stitch you're knitting into is composed of yarn that is tightly wrapped around another needle parallel to the one you're knitting off of, all without slipping any stitches off of the bottom needle. AND THEN, just when you think you've got it, you turn it around to knit the other side of the stitches (which is also fiddly and difficult), which then results in what you see in the photo above. I admit, and you can see this in the top photo, that the end result of this is pretty cool, and creates a piece of knitting that is knit in both directions without a seam, but still! This cast-on, it's brutal. And I have to do it five more times...

Friday, March 06, 2009

A special dinner

Looks like pasta, right?
Wrong! This is special pasta, with sauce my parents sent me overnight express all the way from my hometown in PA. The sauce is from Serafini's, and it is the best sauce ever. Thanks again - Dave and I very much enjoyed the sauce! And we'll be enjoying it several more times, as we have two quarts and we only used about half of one today!

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Crystal Mountain
Originally uploaded by Emily E.M.
I got to go skiing!!! It finally snowed again this week, so I headed up to Crystal Mountain today. I went by myself since Dave is out of town, but it was fun regardless. I took the express bus from Seattle, which is definitely the way to go. It's super easy (it leaves from Green Lake, about 10 minutes from my house) and saves a lot of time. They give you your lift ticket on the bus, and if the lines are long, as they were today, that's really great - I figure it saved me at least 20 minutes of waiting in line. Plus, no driving hassles and better for the environment. The snow from Wednesday and Thursday was pretty packed down already, but the groomers were really nice. Not much sun, but a very high overcast and really great visibility, both afar and of the snow, which is key. I hate skiing when the light is really flat - today was pretty ideal!