Tuesday, January 31, 2006  

Recovery from the Weekend

Well, the 48 hour editing exercise sucked, as expected. I actually enjoyed the challenge of editing the text, especially since it was almost unreadable originally, but it was very frustrating to spend hours making something readable that will only be read by judges for this competition. Plus, all of that time stuck in front of the computer really cut into my knitting time - I haven't touched the Ireland Cardi since it dried, and I'd really like to get it finished in the next week or so.

And yes, y'all were right - I'm totally cannabalizing those cashmere turtlenecks for the yarn. Here are 2 of the 3 sweaters, all ripped up - I'll have enough of the cream to make whatever I want (I bought 2 t-necks), and I hope I'll have enough of the blue to make a scoopneck, shaped sweater with short or 3/4 sleeves... I'll have a lot less yardage since I'll hold it doubled, so I'm not sure how far it'll stretch. It'll be an interesting experiment, I guess! :)

And speaking of cashmere, the cashmere sock yarn decided that it didn't really want to be the Baltic Sea Stole after all. So instead, it's trying out life as a multi-directional scarf, and I think we have a winner. I'm planning on basically knitting until I run out of yarn, so I think this will be an extremely long scarf... but since it's so skinny, I think it'll be fine.

Here's a close-up of the stitch pattern - I'm debating on whether/how I'll block this. I guess part of it will depend on how long it turns out to be - but I'm thinking it would be really stunning if i stretched it out and increased the "drapy-ness" of the whole thing. After all, this IS cashmere, and even with a size 5 needle for sockweight yarn, it has a lot of stretch thanks to the extended garter stitch.

Speaking (sort of) of sock yarn - look what I discovered when I took off my shoes the other day!!!

A HOLE!!!! Now, if the socks were on their last legs (hee hee), I probably would have just tossed them. But except for this small hole, they're perfectly fine, so I couldn't justify relegating them to the trash.

Luckily, a bout of extreme boredom during class had resulted in the ordering of a perfect tool from ebay - a vintange sock darning egg. So, with my darning egg and some convenient instructions....

All better! Sure, it won't win any "best sock darning job ever' awards. But (a) it's on the TOE, people, and (b) it's a SOCK.

Abby reminds you that, regardless of how exciting a sock may be, it can't compare with a new squeeky-toy bunny. Especially one that is clearly filled with stuffing, and if she could just figure out how to get at it, she could rip it all out and scatter it around the floor. And then she could rip apart the larger clumps of stuffing into smaller clumps. I swear, if I spun, she's be SO helpful in the fiber-preparation process... assuming copious amounts of doggy-slobber don't negatively affect the spinning process!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006  

Update, the Sequel

Since I'm going to be spending 48 hours this weekend competing for an editor position on my law review, I felt entirely justified in only being minorly productive this past weekend. After all, there really should be a limit to how much law school work one can be expected to do!

Exhibit A: Challah

It came out of the oven on Sunday afternoon, and DAMN was it good. In my (not-so) humble opinion, there are few things in this world as good as fresh baked bread, hot from the oven.

Exhibit B: A New Project?

Cindy gifted me with some beautiful cashmere sock yarn from Ally Pally in October. And while I love pampering my feet with handknit socks, socks seem like a waste of some amazingly lush yarn... especially since I actually do not own a hand-knit scarf. So I'm giving the Baltic Sea Stole a try. I'm making mine MUCH narrower since I want a scarf, not a stole, but otherwise I'm trying to go with "as-written." I'm not 100% convinced that this is the pattern for this yarn, but I need a few more inches before I can tell what it'll look like. But I LOVE the yarn, and the colors are totally perfect for me.

Exhibit C: New Finished Object Galleries

2006 is up, and I'm working on 2005 and 2004. I'm still tweaking all of the templates, but I'm (generally) liking how it's turning out.

Exhibit D: Ireland Cardi

All pieces are completed, and the whole thing took a nice, long soak in some eucalan. Now they're drying, and waiting for the far-off time when I have enough energy and an opportunity to break out the needle, yarn, and some mattress-stitching. Those very visible raglan seams are going to take some concentration!

So there was quite a lot of non-law-schooling going on last weekend, and it worked out so well, I've been carrying it into this week. I try to keep a sock going during classes so that when I'm not taking notes, I have a chance to, you know, pay attention, instead of checking my email or something equally destructive to my attention span. Between classes and choir yesterday, my current sock went from this:

to this:

And on a completely random note - anyone care to guess what's going on in this picture? hint - the blue and white you see in the bags on the right are also turtleneck sweaters.

and another hint? yes, that's cashmere.

And finally, in the realm of the bizarre, Cricket discovered two new snacks this weekend - edamame and pudding.

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Saturday, January 21, 2006  

An Update, Part I

I have FOs to photograph, but it's dark. So that'll be on the agenda for tomorrow - in between reading for class and watching football. :)

So until I have a FO-shoot to share, I'll distract you with an almost-sweater. That's right - Ireland Cardi is close to earning its "completed" badge.

Last weekend, I blocked all of the finished-to-the-armholes pieces. Cricket helped by periodically checking to see if they were dry enough to sleep on.

While I waited for the pieces to dry, I assembled the small arsenal of tools and references I felt I would need to successfully tackle the raglan seams and the neck shaping.

After only a few minor false-starts, I succeeded - I started with the back since it had the least complicated non-raglan parts (just the back neck, which I did with no shaping.) Then I moved on to the fronts - and I had another inspiration during the design process. See, I have a HUGE problem with the words "pick up stitches." I don't know why, but I really hate doing it. So much so that for a recent sweater I conned Beth from Lorna's Laces into picking up the neck stitches for me. So I was not looking forward to picking up the stitches for the neckband on the Ireland Cardi.

I was smart enough to avoid binding off, and all the back neck stitches were sitting obediently on a holder waiting for their chance to be turned into a collar. But what to do with those pesky shaped front necklines?

Two words - short rows.

That's right - instead of decreasing 1 at the neck edge, I shortrowed it and put it on a holder.

See? All short-rowed and waiting for the neckband. I may have to pick up a few gap-filling stitches here and there to even everything out, but this makes me extremely happy.

After finishing the back and both fronts, I was ready to tackle the short-row shaping of the sleeves. I've finished one, and think I've nailed it, but before I can finish the other one, we've hit a bit of a snag.

If you're sensitive, you may want to look away. But be assured - no cormo was seriously harmed.

Thanks, Cricket. That hour I spent untangling this was really fun bonding time.

Speaking of bonding time, last weekend S and I went over to the online store to help fill the 2 gazillion orders that resulted from the pre-inventory sale. We only had a few hours, so we could only fill about 25 of the 100+ orders. But DAMN do you people order a lot of yarn!

Luckily, since S hasn't been a yarn-packer for very long, he thought it was "really fun." He got to put everything in boxes and print out the UPS labels, while I rummaged through piles of yarn saying things like "all right, color 402 - come down here right now."

but 3 hours later, the boxes were packed. By the end of the day on Monday, after what can only be described as "frenzied packing" by Kristine, Courtney, and myself, we had so many boxes stacked up that we couldn't actually reach the door. Oscar, our UPS man, actually was in shock.

Right. So I still have to take pictures of 2 sweaters and a pair of socks. And the pieces of the Ireland Cardi.

And maybe another project (or two) that have somehow found their way onto the needles....

why yes, that IS cashmere. ;)


Friday, January 13, 2006  


I know, it's been forever since I last posted. But I have a really good excuse. See?

Yeah. Those are my books for this semester... all $602 worth of them. Gotta love law school.

But there has been knitting! I've managed to "finish" all of the pieces of the Ireland Cardi - (another sleeve is hiding because it wouldn't fit in the picture. But it's there.) Now, all I have to do is figure out all the shaping and decreases and everything. I'm thinking that I may want to, you know, block the pieces first, so I can check the measurements before I make myself crazy with graph paper, a calculator, and a pencil. But first the two sweaters that are currently taking up all possible blocking surfaces in the apartment need to dry.

But that's ok, because I have other things on the needles (of course!) The last week of classes enabled me to finish my jaywalkers... I made them short (just the way I like them!) and only used 1 skein of Lorna's Laces in Icehouse. I had to play with the numbers for the foot because my foot is, apparently, MUCH narrower than the foot for which these socks were designed. But with a few minor modifications, all worked out, and I *love* the stripes.

Jaywalker Socks


Lorna's Laces SS in Icehouse
Much fun to knit. I had to make the socks smaller, but that was easily accomplished by reducing the knit sts to 5 instead of the 7 called for between the "interesting stuff." I increased back to 7 for the ankles. Also, (of course), these were knit toe-up with my standard short-row toes and heels. Did I mention that I LOVE the stripes?

And somehow, without trying, I just about nailed it with the yarn amounts. This is what I had leftover from that 1 skein - so now I have an entire skein (and a smidge more) to play with for a future pair of socks.

So that's a finished pair of socks. But since naked sock-needles are unhappy sock-needles, I immediately cast on for the next pair. These are made out of Koigu KPPPM (color P852). And so I don't forget next time, 52 stitches (at least in this slip-stitch pattern). The photograph doesn't do the colors justice - these socks make me so happy that I'm almost giddy when I'm knitting on them. (either that, or Holly left the 'happy gas' on in the shop!)

And yes, that IS lawschool reading keeping the sock company. And a new project name is born - I dub these the Dismissal With Prejudice socks.

Yes, I'm fully aware that I'm completely nuts. But I'm in good company - see? Here we have Holly demonstrating the great lengths we go to for customer service - two phones, two phone calls, one Holly. She's good.

Abby wants to point out that she's good at her job too - all of the shrubs in Old Town are now certified "bird-free." Or at least they were at about 4:00 this afternoon.

Cricket, on the other hand, continues her important work of "holding down this book with her butt." (It's a tough job, but...)


Wednesday, January 04, 2006  

So Tired!!

Excuse me if this post makes no sense (or rather, even less sense than usual). You see, this morning, one of the final mornings of my winter break, I woke up voluntarily at 4:30. What could tempt me out at such an ungodly hour? There was knitting involved (if only tangentially) -

That's right - Tai Shan and I had a breakfast date. I drank *$'s, he chewed on some bamboo. Good times.

More cute baby panda pictures? Well, if you twist my arm...

On my way out of the zoo (at the oh-so-late hour of 9 am), I stopped in and said hi to the cheetah "cubs" - they're looking mighty big now!

Speaking of wild animals - there's one last 2005 FO to introduce - meet Mr. Penguin. (S, extremely creative as always, supplied the name.)

Mr. Penguin

Karabella Aurora 8
fantastic pattern! I will definitely be making another one of these - the pattern was a joy to follow, and the result is so cute. only mods? I stuffed the wings (because Mr. Penguin is EXTRA fat), and I added a scarf (he was cold!)

Mr. Penguin is now a happy resident at S's - although he's a bit scared of Abby. Perhaps it is because of her habit of ripping out every last ounce of stuffing from any toys she gets. Mr. Penguin has noticed, after all, that he's full of stuffing too!

Speaking of "full of it" - more from the crazy lady formerly known as Phyl-Phyl - I think Wendy's look sums it up nicely.

In other knitting news, meet the Ireland Cardigan - I just plunked down a $400 deposit on a 10 day hiking tour of Ireland. A bit of research led me to discover that Ireland, even in August, is not that warm. And a girl can't go to Ireland without a proper sweater, now can she? Plus, with almost 2000 yards of the softest, smoothest, most buttery cormo yarn in my stash...

That's about half of the back. And when I say "half," I actually mean "halfway to the armholes" since I'm not sure what the top of the cardi wants to be - set in sleeves? raglans? and until I figure it out, i can't exactly keep going. So each piece is getting knitted to the armholes to postpone the next great decision.

I've already "finished" the fronts -

Here, let me try a close-up of the patterns -

Yeah. Not only is this yarn so soft you want to pile a bunch of skeins of it together and roll in it, but it's also a nice, natural creamy sheepy color. Cricket is in love.


Sunday, January 01, 2006  

2005 Round-Up

2005 Finished Objects:
  • 2 pairs fingerless mittens
  • 1 ipod cozy
  • 1 pair latvian mittens
  • 1 hermione hat
  • 10 pairs of socks
  • 3 pairs of baby socks
  • 1 baby sweater
  • 3 felted bags
  • 1 lace scarf
  • 2 multidirectional scarves
  • 1 fair isle vest
  • 9 sweaters
not a bad haul! Better update to come...


patterns for sale:

ireland cardigan

yarn for sale:


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Alpine Lace
Astrakan Cardigan
Baby Gifts
Dad's Vest
Denim Skirt
Elizabeth I
Gathering Intentions
Grandma's Blanket
Henry VIII
Ireland Cardigan
Ireland Scarf
Lily of the Valley
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