Wednesday, January 31, 2007

new guilt!

So, I packaged up and mailed off the wristwarmers this morning... however, I have another guilt-ridden project to work on: the Red Cross Army Vest for my o-so-cute bf. The pattern can be found here. I hate to say it but it is one of the most boring patterns I've worked on in a while. I've modified it a bit, because he didn't want it to be as long as the original, and the neck-hole was WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too small. The pattern calls for 8 rows on both sides, which I did, and then was about an 1/8 of the way down the back and realized that it wouldn't even fit over MY head, let alone the OSCBF's. So I ripped back and added another 12 rows (20 in total) on each side. He also wants it to have a hood, which means I'm going to have to order more yarn because I don't know if I even have enough for the actual vest (I bought what was required as per the pattern, but I think I might run out...). Fortunately, it's available online (really really fortunately, since I bought the yarn while at home in Canada) so I guess I'll be ordering a few more skeins of that soon.

I'm actually more than 1/2 way done the body and I'm hoping to have it all finished up in time to get it to him for his birthday (Feb. 24), which I think is a fairly realistic goal... it will be my mindless knitting to work on while reading at night.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


I just finished the last wrist warmer a few minutes ago and uploaded photos to flickr so that the ebayer can see what she's purchasing.

And so, here it is, the big reveal!

From left to right: Ribbed Wristwarmers in Berroco's Touché
Cable Ribbed wristwarmers in Berroco's Ultra Alpaca
Spiral Ribbed wristwarmers in Cascade's Pima Silk
Ribbed wristwarmers in Cascade's Pima Silk
Basketweave wristwarmers in Cascade's Pima Silk

And here they are, all neatly packaged up:

Man, am I relieved to be done with those!!

I love surprises!

Especially when they're the surprises on Knitty! They just put up the "surprises" (aka four new patterns) for the winter issue. Go check it out! NOW! GO!

P.S. I'm about a quarter of the way through the LAST wrist warmer for my ebayer! Hopefully by tonight they'll be done and I'll be able to post pics!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Wristwarmers Update: The Saga Continues

I have 4 of the 5 pairs of wristwarmers fully completed and the fifth pair cast on. Phew! I'm hoping to have them done tonight, although we told one of the girls in the Italian section that we would come over and cook tonight, since she recently had a baby (the one I made the baby booties for) and is need of a decent homecooked meal (something that isn't easy to find the time to do when one has a fussy infant apparently...) and some adult contact. If / when they get done, I'll post pictures tonight or tomorrow.

In other news, my roommate has taken to knitting like a fish to water. He did really well when I took him to the yarn shop on Saturday, learning how to knit and purl like a pro. He played around with it for a while, pretty much teaching himself how to use knits and purls to create patterns such as ribbing and basketweave. It was quite impressive really and all the ladies in the LYS thought so too. He has now cast on his first "real" project - to make himself wrist warmers (what else?!) to match the scarf I made him for Christmas. He's doing them in a simple rib, and while it's a bit slow going, I think they're going to look great... look for the FO update in a week or so!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Knitting Goddess ;)

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Goddess. You are constantly giving and are unconcerned with reward, you simply want others to love knitting as much as you do. If someone wants to knit miles of novelty yarns, you are there for them. If someone wants to learn short row shaping, you can help. There are no taboos in knitting, only opportunities to grow. Everyone should have friend like you around if they want to learn to knit, and there's a good chance that your passion has rubbed off on a few others.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Progress Report: Spiderweb Capelet

Ribbed Malabrigo Scarf
Originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.
This isn't technically a progress report on the Spiderweb Capelet that I was making in Malabrigo Solis since I actually ended up frogging it last night... the Malabrigo was just too chunky for the pattern and it wasn't looking right... plus it was so huge that I had it on about 3 different circular needles and I didn't really have the right size. In any case, I had gotten about half-way through and I realized it wasn't going to look very good and it had been sitting in my closet for a few days and I probably wasn't going to tackle it again any time soon. So I ripped it out, because the Solis colour is just too beautiful to leave sitting in my dusty closet forever. And so I whipped up this extra long chunky ribbed scarf last night / this morning. It took basically no time at all, because the Malabrigo is so thick and I used size 17 (12.75mm) needles! Size 17!! I don't think I've ever used needles that big before... it felt like I was knitting with rolling pins!

In other news, the wrist warmers for the ebayer are coming along, and driving me crazy in the process. I have 2 full pairs done, one glove of a 3rd pair done, and a new glove of a different pair started. I'm happy to do it, it's just getting a little tedious to do the same project over and over and over and over again... I am hoping to be done by Tuesday at the latest though. I hope.

P.S. Bonus points for anyone who can tell me the name of the band whose t-shirt I'm wearing!!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Knitting in the academic world

I've recently discovered just how popular knitting is for academics. And I've actually thought of several reasons why (probably because they're the reasons why I do it...). One reason is because it's the perfect procrastination: you're not doing work, but you do have a finished project to show for your time... maybe I didn't read that article, but LOOK! I knit a sock!

In any case, by bringing my knitting with me everywhere (and I do mean everywhere) I've heard from all kinds of other grad students that either a. they knit, or b. they want to learn how. So today I'm going to bring my roomie to the sit n' knit at my LYS and teach him, or, if I can't, pass the buck to one of the many other experienced knitters who is there every Saturday.

In other geeked-out academic / knitting news, I finally picked up a tool that I've been coveting for months because it will make knitting while reading about a billion times easier: a book stand. I know, I'm a total geek, but I've seriously been looking for the perfect book stand for about 2 or 3 months now. And I finally found one yesterday while buying my books for this semester!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Finishing objects like nobody's business!

Originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

The whole "new yarn guilt" thing is totally working for me... I got the sample scarf for one of the classes I'll be teaching at Lovelyarns done this morning. I'll even have time to take it in before I go to class this afternoon! GO ME!

In other news I actually ended up picking up a couple more yarns for me yesterday... tee hee. I've promised myself that I won't be using any of them until I get more already promised projects for other people out of the way. I picked up a bamboo yarn in turquoise to go with a handpainted yarn that I got for Christmas and wound them together (as shown above, left) which I eventually want to make into the Camisole in "Last minute gifts" (one of the best knitting books I've ever owned...) and Berroco's Bonsai in a beautiful green (above, right) which I will be using for another scarf class I'm teaching. Fortunately she already has a sample, so I'll be keeping this one for myself!!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Alieviating my catholic conscience...

Apparently the "receiving of the yarn guilt" paid off. I finished up the second cable/ribbed wrist warmer last night while watching the new BattleStar with the o-so-cute-boyfriend and wove in the ends this morning. Now I can cast on a new pair in the Pima Silk which feels like it's going to be a dream to work with. I think I'm going to start with the pinky-colour as a reward to myself. Can anyone believe that I haven't knit anything in pink (for myself or anyone else) since I started getting back into knitting last year?! I mean, pink is MY COLOUR!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

knitting guilt

I had a package delivered in the mail today... at first I thought it was the stitch n' bitch daily calendar that I ordered for myself on ebay (it's been like 2 weeks already...) but instead it was the yarn I ordered for my next ebay project, 5 pairs of wrist warmers custom ordered by an ebayer. It's Cascade Yarn's new Pima Silk and its very very soft and silky. The colours are not quite what I was expecting from the website, so hopefully the ebayer who picked them out will actually like the finished product. I think they're quite nice in any case.

So, of course, I felt incredibly guilty about the fact that I've been working on projects for myself for the last couple of days, so I started on the second wrist warmer of the alpaca/wool blend about an hour ago. I also realized that the circular needles that I was using are a LOT smaller than I thought they were.... they're supposed to be US size 6 (4mm for the Canadians out there) according to the pattern, I thought they were 5's (3.75mm) but they're actually 3's (3.25mm). I used the same ones to make my own wrist warmers and they fit fine, but the alpaca/wool seems to be a bit thinner... so a bit tighter. They're still ok, at least on me, so I'm hoping they'll be good for the ebayer 'cause I really, really don't want to frog them. (Frog = rip out).

When a pattern calls for dpn's (double pointed needles) I tend to prefer to use 2 circulars instead... however, I don't have any circulars in 5 or 6's, but I do have dpns, so I guess that's what I'll be using for the other pairs...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New Project!

I decided last night that I really needed to start a new project for myself during knitting group... I would have worked on the spiderweb capelet, but it's so big it's kind of hard to move around... I'm afraid that I would drop stitches if I threw it in a bag and carried it around with me. I hadn't done anything with any of the yarn I bought when we went to the Stitches East convention and I really wanted to try out a modular* pattern ever since I saw the argosy scarf in the new issue of knitty. I knew I had the perfect yarn for it too, a super soft rayon metallic blend from Blue Heron Yarns here in Maryland. So I printed off the pattern, grabbed some needles and my new yarn and went to knitting group last night. After several frustrating starts and restarts I decided that the pattern on knitty is either a little too difficult for me (or rather for the impatient mood I was in last night) or there's something off in it, because the yo (yarn over) and k2tog (knit 2 together) repeats were not working for me at all. And it just wasn't looking right... in fact, I thought it looked kind of icky, to be honest.

So I modified the pattern by taking out the yo's, k2tog's and ssk's (basically there's no lacy bits between the squares) and I am actually liking the pattern even more now that I've done a few more squares. I tried to take a couple of pictures, but the lighting is very dark in our apartment and my flash is very bright so the colours are a bit off... the Blue Heron named it "blueberry" and it's a self-striping yarn that goes from a dark violet colour to a dark purple with gold flecks of metallic string throughout. The first picture shows off the pattern better, but the second picture is a more accurate portrayal of the colour.

*Modular knitting, for those of you non-knitters, is a technique that makes it look like you have knitted a bunch of individual squares together, which, is sort of true. I started with only 9 stitches to make the first square and then added on... it is sort of knit on the diagonal. It's hard to explain, but it's a neat technique and this is my first go at it.

Monday, January 22, 2007

oh. my. gawd.

One of my fav morning rituals (when I actually get up early enough to do anything more than run through the shower) is going over to cute overload to get that warm and fuzzy feeling, and then I usually run right over to go fug yourself to harden up the edges again.

But today, on cute overload, I think I may have seen something that has melted my heart forever:

(I know, this is totally, totally geeky and wrong of me to put up... I don't usually go in for THIS MUCH cutesiness, but seriously?! A kitten in a tiny knitted outfit?! BAAAAAAAH!)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

another day, another skein

I went to the yarn store today (yes, AGAIN) and ended up working for her! It's my last weekend of freedom and I decided all I really wanted to do was knit. So I went in, with a new project, a sample basketweave scarf for one of the classes I'm going to teach - yes, I've done them before but at least it was a break from the wrist warmers! The owner, Sue, usually has her daughter in to help out on the weekends 'cause it gets really crazy in there what with the Stitch 'n Bitchers, and usually at least one or two classes going on. Today, however, she had given her daughter the day off but forgotten that she was going to teach a two hour class. So I offered to help out. I've helped some people before, figuring out a pattern or picking out some yarns that will blend nicely, stuff like that. But she was so busy with her class that she just showed me how to use the till and left me with the run of the store! And it was so much fun. I really like helping people choose a pattern, or blend some yarns to make a unique gift. And the best part is she promised to pay me in NEW YARN! I can feed my addiction without spending money!!

I also helped some women fix their knitting and they asked me if I would teach them a more difficult pattern based on a sample Sue has in the shop. So we'll be learning how to knit a chevron patterned scarf on the 10th of February!

Maybe I should just drop out of grad school and go into the yarn world full time!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Previous Projects

I thought I'd do a quick post to show what I've knitted over the last few months, just to catch the blog up.

First we have the baby booties I made for our friend Val, whose baby Sam was born Christmas eve, made out of "Ice" Yarn (which I can't seem to find online...):

Next up is a close up of the basketweave pattern I used to make scarves for my o-so-cute boyfriend and my roommate. I'm going to be teaching this pattern at Lovelyarns next month! This one is my roommates, which I made using berroco's pure merino, an amazingly soft and wonderful yarn:

This is me in the first scarf and project I did after I started my PhD last semester. It is also the scarf that made me realize that knitting would actually help me stay sane throughout this whole gradschool thing. It's made out of Trendsetter's Dune:

And finally we have my first ever sock! I did it using the toe-up magic cast-on method that you can find if you search the archives of Knitty. I really recommend it for making socks... no seams or anything, it's just a straight up sock! I made this using Cascade's Fixation a great cotton yarn with a bit of stretch to it... I really liked it, but make sure you get 1 ball / sock... even with anklet socks you can't quite get two socks out of 1 ball... almost, but not quite.

Also: I found out today what yarn I used for the wristwarmers shown on the right (my personal pair): Trendsetter's Tonalita. I really like this yarn, it's very soft and the colours are very very pretty. It comes in a very WIDE variety of colours too, so I might have to find something else to do with it... whenever I actually find time for projects for myself! Which means that Jackie's gloves, below, were a mix of Trendsetter's Tonalita and Dune (from the scarf I'm wearing above).


Don't worry, I'm not being rude, you just gotta know the lingo. UFOs (in knitting speak anyways...) are "UnFinished Objects", so in this case, I'm talking about some Finished Objects.

First up we have the pair of wrist warmers I made for the winner of my ebay auction:

And, yet another pair of wrist warmers, these ones from some leftovers in my stash for my friend Jackie:

I'm going to be completely SICK TO DEATH of wrist warmers by the time this winter is over, but they seem to be quite the popular little item. I made the first pair for myself (see the picture in the column along the right side of the screen) out of some self-striping yarn (aka multi-colored... I didn't have to change yarns to get the stripes) and my friend Jackie liked them so much she wanted a pair too. I didn't have quite enough self-striping yarn to make another whole pair, so I mixed it with some other leftovers to make her pair. I also made a pair for my o-so-cute bf with a matching scarf for Christmas, but, since I am the dork that I am, I forgot my digital camera and I don't have ANY pics from xmas, let alone pics of people and their homemade gifts. :(

The ones from the ebay auction are made of a 50/50 angora/wool blend from Berroco. Sorry I can't give a name for the self-striping or the other leftover that I used for mine and Jackie's gloves... I've been really bad at keeping track of those things and that's part of the reason I've started this blog. This way I can go back in six months and remind myself what I used and why.

So that is... let's see... four pairs so far. My roommate has already expressed interest in a pair and I actually have a real-life order for 5 pairs. Another woman who saw my ebay auction emailed me and asked if I would do a custom order, so I said sure! She wants 1 pair in the same material as the 1st ebay auction (same colour too, but i think I'm going to do a different pattern), 1 in black cotton, and 3 in Pima Silk by Cascade. I'm going to make them the same size as all the rest, but I'm going to try slight variation on the stitching to make different patterns, basically to keep myself from getting totally bored. I'll update as I find out how they turn out!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Current Projects

Grad school knitter is currently knitting:

1 pair of wrist warmers (as pictured on the right) for ebay winner

a red cross army vest for her o-so-cute boyfriend


the spiderweb capelet from Stitch n' Bitch Nation:

in Malabrigo Solis:

for me!

New blog!

I've decided to open up a blog dedicated solely to my knitting efforts. Knitting has (so far) kept me sane through my first semester as a PhD student here in Baltimore. I meet with a group of girls every Monday for two hours of knitting and chatting, I'm going to be teaching knitting to children (ages 12-16) at my LYS* next month, and I've recently started experimenting on ebay, selling my knitting. I knit while I read and it actually lets me sit still longer! (I'm not ADD or anything, I just like to multitask...)

*LYS = Local Yarn Shop