Blog Archives

In Which is that Christmas Morning Creeping?

I’m only doing a few Christmas gifts this year (because oh man did I learn my lesson last year),  and the recipients know not to expect them before Christmas. So while I’ve been putting those gifts off, I’ve been finishing this:

Please forgive this picture. It's late on a Friday night. It's a wonder I'm even awake right now.

The fiance wanted a scarf, and damn if I can resist a chance to bust out some Malabrigo! Irish Hiking Scarf for Irish Dan.

The pattern was super easy, it was a nice change a pace from some of the other stuff I’ve had on the needles recently (more on that on a later date). And after a long, hard week, sometimes Malabrigo scarves are important. I think I’ll keep it on for tonight. It’s so very warm.

Also, can we take a second to talk about this song? I’ve listened to it AT LEAST 50 times since I downloaded it two days ago. I heard it from Jackie over at KIPing it Real, and GOOD GRACIOUS does it make me feel things!

In Which I Limit the Colors Available to Brunettes

I have this idea, that probably stems from reading Seventeen magazine for too many years, that green is a color that looks better on blondes.  I am very much not blond.  And yet, somehow, a recent trip to my yarn lady resulted in my possessing a green skein of Classic Elite Yarns Silky Alpaca Lace. 

Oh.  Okay.

My mother’s best friend, who happens to be blond, came up from Florida this month to visit.  I jumped on the opportunity and made this within a matter of a week:

I am well aware of the awfulness that is this picture.  I finished it with 10 minutes to spare before I gifted it, no one to take a picture, and zero self-timer skills.

I am well aware of the awfulness that is this picture. I finished it with 10 minutes to spare before I gifted it, no one to take a picture, and zero self-timer skills.

Pattern: Flit ‘n Float by Birdy Evans
Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Silky Alpaca Lace
Mods: None
Final Thoughts: The yarn is ridiculously soft.  As for the pattern, it’s nice, but I wouldn’t like it for me personally.  My mother’s friend, however, was very enthusiastic about it, which is really all that counts.

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It went extremely quickly for a lace scarf, but this might have something to do with the fact that my time was limited so I made an effort to fly through it.  Going so fast, though, meant that by the time I was done with it, my wrist was sore and making a pretty impressive popping sound.  I decided to take a week off from knitting.  Um… whoops!

I spent the time that I would have been knitting looking at patterns online, wishing I was making them.  During this time I discovered Craftster.

Here’s the thing about Craftster: I’ve always known that it exists, but I made careful and deliberate efforts to avoid it because I knew that I would pick up about twelve new crafts that I didn’t need.  Yet somehow, there I was, ogling Tree of Life pendants.  Seriously.  Stay away from Craftster unless you’re sufficiently prepared.

By the time I forced myself to quit, I had serious ambitions to start: a) sewing; b) jewelry making; c) mosaic table making (I’m serious.  I can’t stop thinking about them).

Sewing can’t happen right now.  I don’t have the time to learn, and I definitely don’t have the money.  Mosaic tables are, obviously, not going to happen either.  But jewelry making is something I figured I could do.  I read about beading and wire wrapping online, then decided to try it.

It’s seriously overwhelming.  There’s so much stuff to look at and think about.  But maybe that’s how I felt about knitting when I first started, and now I can’t imagine not knitting.  So I waited until Michael’s had a summer madness sale, brought my coupon, and spent a decent amount of time staring at all of the materials, trying to make heads or tails of it all. 

Once I thought I had it figured out, I brought it all home and practiced making simple loops with eye pins.  Not as easy as it looks, as it turns out.  After some pretty sorry looking loops, I finally figured out how to move my wrist, and my loops were of a satisfactory quality.

Then I made this:

Screw this place, I'm bouncing.

Screw this place, I'm bouncing.

SO MUCH GOODNESS!!!

Super fun spirals!

Super fun spirals!

 

The toggle might be my favorite part, even though I didn't make it.

The toggle might be my favorite part, even though I didn't make it.

 It’s based on this bracelet.

The thing I loved the most about it is that I only took me a few hours.  So different from knitting, which is great for a change of pace.  Ultimately though, the lesson I learned is to stay far far away from Craftster.

In Which I Make Up My Own Definition of Polygamy

Once upon a time I was a self-proclaimed monogamous knitter.  As in, research patterns, pick a project, buy the yarn, knit, repeat.  There was no straying.  There was no making more than one project at a time, no buying yarn on a whim that I had no plan for.  One WIP on the needles at a time.  That was how I liked it.  I thought that I would never finish anything if I had more than one thing going.

This is a logical and rational course of action.  Now I don’t know what happened to it.

I think it has something to do with last year being the first year that I knit almost all of my gifts for Christmas.  My current project had to spend some time on the back burner while I made six thousand slouchy hats.  Or maybe it was because I had to switch LYSs when I went to college, and the new one carries Malabrigo, something I had only heard about until then.  Honestly, the first time I touched Malabrigo, I bought it right away and everything else was put on hold until I knit a hat with it.  It was a little pathetic how in love with it I was. 

But mostly I blame these:

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Two of my friends at college love Dr. Who, and were telling me that people sell Dr. Who scarves for upwards of $100.  I felt that this was a ridiculous amount of money, and told them I could make them for them for just the price of the yarn.

Little did I know…

Having never watched Dr. Who, I didn’t know that he wears scarves that are 12-feet long.  Somehow, I remained oblivious to the fact that I was knitting 12 square feet of garter stitch until I was already a foot in.  Plus, I’m knitting them both at the same time, because I thought it would be nice if they were both done at the same time.  It was a good idea in retrospect because I now know that I would never go back to knit the second one once I realized how long the first one would take.  But they are HEAVY.

And, for the record, I do not knit continental style.

(For my non-knitting readers, there are two ways of knitting: English and Continental.  English is significantly slower than Continental, and is my preferred method.  Of course.)

I don’t mind knitting them, but it makes being a monogamous knitter near-impossible.  Can you imagine knitting nothing but garter stitch for that long?  I would lose my mind.

Here is a list of my current extra-marital strayings:

1. Cable Gloves

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Please excuse the atrocity of a photograph.  It was taken many months ago in my poorly-lit dorm.

This pattern consists of pages and pages of cable charts.  In other words, I LOVE IT.  I worked on it during the winter while I watched Boy Meets World reruns.  My second semester was much busier, though, and I didn’t have either the time to watch Boy Meets World, or the attention span that is needed to work on them.  I still have about three quarters of the second glove left.

2.  Lace Roses Scarf

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I won’t be able to get a good picture of it until it is finished and blocked, but this should give an idea of the great color.  Malabrigo Lace is essentially the best thing in the world. 

I like this scarf a lot.  It is portable, the chart is easy to memorize, and it doesn’t require a lot of attention.  This is, however, also its downfall.  It’s easy to put off because I know I’ll always be able to find the time to finish it.  I believe it is equivalent to the “nice guys always finish last” scenario.

3. Baby Clothes

My boss’s wife is having a baby, and I jump on any opportunity to make baby clothes.

4. Christmas Gifts

I decided on mittens this year.  I’m not ready to think about it yet.

5. Crochet Granny Square Afghan

I really really really do not enjoy crocheting.  But I really really really wanted an afghan to match my bed spread, and I am not about to knit one on top of the Dr. Who scarves.  That would just be poor planning.  Crocheting is much faster.

The good news is that I just finished a lace scarf, which is now crossed off of my overwhelming list.  It seems as though as soon as I gave up my monogamous ways, two simultaneous projects escalated into three thousand.  Jeepers.

In Which I Am Unlike Laura Ingalls Wilder

When I was younger, I tried very very hard to keep a diary.  I was really into Little House on the Prairie, and had the idea that if I ever wanted to write a book about my life, I would probably want a record of my childhood to better remember what happened.

This was, of course, not taking into account the fact that my childhood had no noteworthy events surrounding it that would warrant the need for a book.  Laura Ingalls Wilder, for instance, never wrote installments of her books based on diary entries written by her 10-year-old self that went something like this:

“Dear Diary,
Today I played in the snow with my sister.  It was fun until Mary hit me in the head with a snowball and didn’t even get in trouble.  SHE DRIVES ME CRAZY!!!!!
More tomorrow!
Love,
Laura
P.S. I love Almanzo.  Whyyyyyyy won’t he notice me?????!?!??!????”

Which is basically how my diary entries went, with the substitution of her sister for my brother, and Almanzo for whichever 10-year-old was my soul mate that particular week.

The problem with keeping a diary is that there is no audience.  I found that dreadfully unentertaining, and therefore hardly ever kept up with it.  Enter the invention of blogs.  A diary with an audience (supposedly and hopefully).  What a novel idea.  Except for, oh wait, once I went to college, I didn’t update my blog but once or twice.  Oops.  Time for another change.

People change, and whatever form of record keeping they choose to keep should change with them.  Which is why I started this brand-spankin’-new blog.   I used my old blog for about a year and a half, and I really just needed a fresh start.  I worked really hard to put together this new one, and I’m very excited about it.

As this blog will primarily be a knitting blog, I thought it was only appropriate that I start with pictures of a project I just recently finished:

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Pattern: Fountain Pen Shawl by Susan Lawrence (Rav link only)
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Alpaca Lace in Amethyst Heather
Needles: US 6 circulars
Mods: 7 repeats, and left out the border chart all together.  I wanted more of a scarf than a shawl.
Final Thoughts: Severely awesome!  I’m very into lace lately, and this is a perfect example of how lace opens up when it’s blocked.  I’ve knit many a lace accessory, and I was still shocked by how different it looked post-blocking.

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I would say that I can’t wait until it’s cold enough to wear it, but it’s been so unseasonable here that for all I know it could be cold enough tomorrow.  And I don’t wish for that.  That’s a little too bizarre even for New England.