Monday, July 30, 2007


Dr. BF and I have been invited to go to a friend's cottage for the week, so I'll be away from civilization (aka an internet connection) for a few days. Keep your fingers crossed that I'll find plenty of quiet knitting time by the lake in order to get the 2nd BMP sock done by Friday for my bro & sis-in-law's going away party!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

"it's not easy being green"

But Kermit was always one of my favourite muppets. And, in fact, I think the following actually fits me fairly well! The Muppet Show was one of my favourite shows as a kid, and maybe the world would be a better place if we all acted a bit more like them...

Your Score: Kermit the Frog

You scored 43% Organization, 56% abstract, and 74% extroverted!

This test measured 3 variables.

First, this test measured how organized you are. Some muppets like Cookie Monster make big messes, while others like Bert are quite anal about things being clean.

Second, this test measured if you prefer a concrete or an abstract viewpoint. For the purposes of this test, concrete people are considered to gravitate more to mathematical and logical approaches, whereas abstract people are more the dreamers and artistic type.

Third, this test measured if you are more of an introvert or an extrovert. By definition, an introvert concentrates more on herself and an extrovert focuses more on others. In this test an introvert was somebody that either tends to spend more time alone or thinks more about herself.

You are mostly organized, both concrete and abstract, and more extroverted.

Here is why are you Kermit the Frog.

You are both somewhat organized. You have a good idea where you put things and you probably keep your place reasonably clean. You aren't totally obsessed with neatness though. Kermit is also reasonably tidy. He'll even dress up for interviews.

You both are sometimes concrete and sometimes abstract thinkers. Kermit spends a lot of his time as a reporter collecting facts, but he is also the author of the dreamy song "The Rainbow Connection." You have a good balance in your life. You know when to be logical at times, but you also aren't afraid to explore your dreams and desires... within limits of course.

You are both extroverts. Kermit gets along with everyone. Sure a few folks annoy him, but that's just because they are annoying. Kermit likes to meet new people when he does his job as a street reporter. You definitely enjoy the company of others, and you don't have problems meeting new people... in fact you probably look forward to it. You are willing to take charge when necessary or work as part of a team.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Kermit starred on Sesame Street years before The Muppet Show.

The other possible characters are

Oscar the Grouch

Big Bird




Cookie Monster


The Count

Guy Smiley


Hey, don't be a grouch! If you liked the test, let others know by rating it below. Feel free to vote for your favorite character too.

Link: The Your SESAME STREET Persona Test written by greencowsgomoo on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Relief and a new project!

So I finished that last paper yesterday and I felt such relief! Thanks to everyone who commented and emailed support. In celebration I cast on this using the yarn I got as a prize from Knititude. I should really cast on the 2nd BMP sock since I'm trying to finish it before next Friday, but I couldn't wait to try out the Classic Silk...

I also found out last night that I won the super cute teapot from Knitty K8. I'm super excited, especially since I don't have a teapot (at least, not at my State-side apartment!). Unfortunately, since I'm only in the Great White North for another month I'm going to have her send it to my roommate and I'll enjoy a cup of tea in it as soon as I'm back down south.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Done - for really real this time!

I just had to share that I finally, just handed in my last paper of my first year of the PhD program. PHEW. Seriously, what a weight off. For those of you who don't know, I just (literally 5 minutes ago, I guess) finished my first year of a PhD program in Spanish Literature. I also spent the year before in Spain, doing research for my MA thesis. So, I've decided to showcase some of the pictures that I took while in Spain by making them the background for the blog title. I'll switch 'em up every couple of weeks or so. I've also put another one of those cool flickr do-hickey's (technical term, you know) on the sidebar - one to showcase my knitting and one to showcase my pictures from Spain. You can also check out the slideshow here.

done and [almost] done

BMP Sock #1 is done!

Here it is sitting up in the Ugly Green Chair (is it just me or does every guy have to have an Ugly Chair?!):

And on the sock blocker to give it some shape:

If it looks huge, well, that's because it is! It has a circumference of 10.5" around the cuff, a cuff length of 6.75" and a foot length of 11". And I'm actually a bit worried that it still won't fit. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Technically I still have to work the shooter motif in duplicate stitch before this sock is considered completely complete, but I'm waiting to make sure I have enough CC for the second sock. Once those are done, if I have any white yarn left, I'll add the shooter. Obviously I decided to go with an all-black toe, mostly because I'm really concerned about yardage, but also 'cause it was just easier.

As for the [almost] done bit... I worked like a mad-woman yesterday on my final paper and if I could just force myself to do another hour or two today I should be able to finish it up. Which is basically the goal... and once that is done, then I can cast on for BMP Sock #2! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I < 3 knit bloggers!

Holy geez, knit bloggers are the best! I know I said I was going to get back down to work, but not even an hour later there was a buzz at our door and it was the postman with this for me:

Four beautiful skeins of Classic Elite Classic Silk. SOOOOOOOO soft and gorgeous. I spent at least 5 minutes just rubbing this against my face. I luv it!

And the close up:

I won these from Knititude. I love that knit bloggers have contests and are so friendly with each other. My 100th post is coming up (I believe that this is #91) and I'm thinking that I might have to have a contest to reciprocate all the good yarny karma I've been receiving lately! Now I just have to find something gorgeous to make with all this wonderful yarn. But first I have a paper to finish. *Siiiiiigh*

Space Invaders!

As you can see, there has been much progress on the BMP socks. Not so much progress has been made on the final paper, however, so after this post I'm going to have to get back down to the business of writing. Ugh. (You know, even when you love the stuff, sometimes you just don't want to write.) I've made some modifications to the socks, such as the heel. I decided that the striped heel would probably be too busy for my brother, so I did it all in black. This was also, in part, a yardage issue. I also decided not to bother with the colour change for the final row of invaders - this was somewhat a money issue. The yarn for these was not cheap (for a grad student - but I think worth it because they will be very strong socks) so I didn't really want to buy a skein of green simply for maybe 4 or 5 yards worth. And I didn't want to be bothered with the messiness of dying it with Kool Aid.

Also, if you look very closely you will notice that the last two rows of Space Invaders in my socks are flipped from what you will see in the original pictures on knitty (check out the first picture at the top especially). This was not done on purpose; rather the charts are actually wrong - or right and she knit her own sample incorrectly! In any case, I didn't notice until I was about to start the last row of them and I wasn't going to frog back all that colourwork, so I left them as is. I don't think it makes that much of a difference, especially not to the recipient!

So now I'm working on the miles and miles and miles of black stockinette on size 0s. My bro has feet that are US shoe size 11 or 12... I can never remember. Or rather, his feet are probably like mine, in that every brand of shoe fits slightly differently. I can wear anything from a woman's 6.5 to 8, depending on who/where/what/when, etc. So I'm going to make them 11 inches long from heel to toe and hope that they'll stretch a wee bit. Which means that I have 8.25" from the back of the heel until the white stripy bit. I'm trying to decide in this time whether or not to make an all black toe, all white or the same as in the original which is striped. Due to yardage concerns, I may choose to do all black again. Plus, I'm not a huge fan of this version of short rows, which consists of yos and SSK3togs in order to accomadate for the colour changes.

Since everyone seems to be doing it, why not me too... I'm going to take a poll: what do you think? Black, White or Original Stripes?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Float Weaving Tutorial

Well, here it is, the video tutorial on how to weave your floats into the back of your BMP socks. You might want to check out the pattern, specifically row 42 of the Repeating Space Invaders chart, before watching. You can also check out the designer's version found here but she holds one string in one hand and one in the other... mine is a strictly right handed operation.

Enjoy and let me know if there's anything left unclear!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

WIPs report

Since I have been grievously injured by my US 0 needles (for the BMP socks), knitting has been slow going. I'm meeting with a couple of local knitters tonight, though and will most likely work on the honeymoon cami... it's the most portable and is on a size 6 circ... big enough for me to manipulate without causing much further damage! Anywho, since I don't have any new FO's to share, I thought I'd share a progress report.

The BMP socks:
Up until the point of injury these were progressing nicely... I've completed 4 space invader dudes.

And as soon as I'm healed I'm going to try and make a tutorial on how to weave your floats into the back so instead of long strings of yarn across the back (and, if you're me, big gaping holes between colours), it will look like this:
Pretty cool, eh? The designer has her own tutorial here but she does something crazy with one string in the left hand which I couldn't figure out. I'm ambidextrous in lots of ways but knitting isn't really one of them... except that I can teach left handed people to knit english style left handed. Weird, no?

The Honeymoon Cami:
I'm striping this using the phildar cotton my SP sent me from France. I've decided to try 16 rows red to 4 rows blue... although that could change after I'm done 4 rows of blue and see what it actually looks like! My other major modification is 12 rows of seed stitch rather than the lace rib.

And the Red Cross Army Vest:
As you can see I'm adding a hood (as per Dr. OSCBF's request) which is the part that is taking the longest. I'd already worked it once, in full but the hood was too "short"... not in shoulder to top of head length, but in back of head to front of face... it wouldn't even stay on me. Hard to explain, but in any case I'm hoping that this second time will be the charm. I may run out of yarn again, though.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Kniterations Contest

Kniterations is having a contest, in which you can win the world's cutest teapot! (Ok, well it is if you're a knitter and think sheep are cute anyway! So get over there and check it out... and tell her I sent you!!!

P.S. I'm working on the idea for the tutorial, possibly in video form, on how to weave floats into the back of your knitting. However, I have split my left index finger on the size 0 needles and may need some healing time before I can get to it. :(

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It's not startitis...

OK, maybe a little, but I needed a simple project that wasn't 100% Icelandic wool. I'm meeting with a new SnB group on Thursday night (yay!) and the BMP socks are too complicated and the Red Cross Army Vest would be too hot to work on in the park in the middle of July. So I started the Honeymoon Cami. I'm going to stripe the Phildar Cotton from my secret pal in red and blue. More red than blue I'm thinking... and I've changed the waistline. I'm going to do seed stitch (or moss stitch depending on who you ask) instead of the lace rib.

The BMP socks are coming along, slowly but surely. There are 3 different space invaders on the first sock.

And my ravelry invite is still far away:

* You signed up on June 25, 2007
* You are #11046 on the list.
* 5013 people are ahead of you in line.
* 6975 people are behind you in line.
* 32% of the list has been invited so far

I heard about it months ago but never got around to signing up, until more recently. That's ok though, 'cause I have a lot of work to do before I should get too deeply involved in something like that... from what I hear in the blogosphere, it's sort of all-consuming. I started writing my last paper today (got a page & a 1/2 in an hour or so and then shut down) and I'm hoping to get it done in the next week or so. I have until the end of the month, but I'd like to have it done sooner rather than later.

Pictures of the BMP sock and Honeymoon cami to come... when there's some better lighting out.

P.S. I added some stuff in the side bar... a couple of patterns that I've worked on and a technique. I'm possibly going to work up a post on the way I work my floats into the back of the colour work too.

Monday, July 16, 2007

I'm not a sock knitter

Seriously. I'm not. (Me thinks the lady doth protest too much!) Somehow, though, that's all I've knit for the last week or so... and now I have this:

A pair of monkeys! (Only 1 pair, I just took two different shots...) I'm pretty pleased with how these turned out... they fit well, they're very warm (I'm wearing them currently, because even though it's 25C / 77F outside right now, my feet are always cold and we have the air conditioner on in the apartment...) and the yarn and pattern compliment each other well. I'll have to practice a bit more to get a nicer grafted toe, but all in all a good result for the first try, I think!

And, from last night and this mornings hard work:

The beginnings of the BMP sock. I think that the monkeys allowed me to believe in the top-down knit sock and now it's just the stranded colour work that I have to get over. I've never done any colour work (striping doesn't count) so that's probably the most challenging thing about this pattern. I've sort of figured out my own way to work the extra strand into the back, instead of just letting it hang loose back there.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Swallowtail Shawl

Managed to finally get a couple of pictures of the Shawl I did for my mom's birthday on lighter backgrounds. Unfortunately it was getting dark out so there was no natural light and I had to use the flash. True colour is somewhat darker - royal blue bordering on navy. In other news, I'm past the heel on the second Monkey sock... no SSS here!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Monkey off my back

Well, I did it. I got Cookie A's Monkey off my back. At least, one of them. I have another to cast on and knit up to have a completed pair, but I feel good having gotten at least one of them done! Now maybe I can focus some of my attention on things that have been languishing... like dishes and laundry and *gulp* school work! I'm not going to let them fall into SSS though... I plan to cast on for the second tonight when I finish cleaning the place up a bit.

What makes this pattern so addicting? Hard to say, really. No doubt it has something to do with the fact that it is so well written, with both charts and written instructions, but for me I think it was the learning process. This was my first cuff-down sock, along with my first non-short row heel and grafted toe. It took some searching to find a good tutorial on how to "graph toe stitches", but I finally realized it was the same as kitchener stitching and followed this great tutorial from Knitty Summer '04.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

2 packages in 2 days!

My Secret Pal was the best. You can find her blog here but it is mostly in French, just so you know. I received two final packages this week, one right after another.

The first package was more yummy French yarn + yummy almond nougat:

So far no set plans for any of this but the brain is in motion. The royal blue yarn is 100% bamboo, 2 skeins of 89 yards - ridiculously soft. The tweedy-looking yarn is 52% cotton, 37% linen and 11% bamboo. 4 skeins @ 87 yards each. Plus the nougat, one bar of which has already been consumed.

And package the second:

Knitpicks Telemark (100% Peruvian Wool) in colour "Aubergine" 3 skeins @ 103 yards and 2 skeins of Knitpicks 100% Merino Gossamer, colour "Red Hat". No plans yet for the red hat, but the Aubergine just might do the trick for a scarf pattern that has been brewing in my head for a while. I thought about using it for this scarf, but I don't have quite enough yardage. Beautiful, eh? Check out her other patterns, they're gorgeous. I also picked up this pattern from her and I'm seriously eyeballing this one as well. But I think my to-knit list is long enough for the time being. That and the yarn budget is stretched thin lately. I'm going to try and get through this amazing stash I've accumulated before I buy anything else! (Yes, I know, the dreaded yarn diet...)

Speaking of de-stashing:

The first Monkey sock. I'm past the heel and I have to say that this is a truly addicting pattern. And that's coming from someone who is a self-proclaimed non-sock knitter. This is, by the by, the destashing of the schaefer anne yarn for anyone who's keeping score.

And the close up on the stitch pattern:

And, finally, a pic of the lacey rib anklets on the sock blockers:

Just in time to force me to continue destashing, there's going to be a Wheat Ear Cable Yoke KAL!

Monday, July 9, 2007

FO, Pattern and Reassessment Part the 2nd

**Edit again Jan 8, 2008** Now available as a downloadable pdf hosted by!

**Edit** This pattern was added to Knitting Sutra's No pool for you list of sock patterns that don't pool. It's in the "Jury's still out" section because there isn't enough photographic evidence of their pool defying ability. If you knit these and take a photo (flickr, blogged or potential to email) let me know! I'd love to see them.

Lacey Rib Anklets, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

So, I finished the Lacey Rib Anklets today, which means I can scratch another thing off my summer to-knit list. However, I complete forgot that I bought the yarn (on sale, yeah!) for the Wheat Ear Cable Yoke Sweater on the cover of the summer '07 Interweave Knits a while back.

So, the Summer To-Knit List now looks like this:

1. Finish the Vest (only reason it's taking so long is that it's too hot to have pure wool sitting on your lap... ugh.)
2. BMP socks
3. Schaefer Anne Destash: potentially Monkey Socks
4. Wheat Ear Cable Yoke Sweater
5. Destash, destash, destash... all of which includes:
5a. Rowan Summer Tweed shrug
5b. Phildar stripy cotton tee
5c. Kidsilk sweater

So, the pattern for the lacey rib, is as follows:

Materials: US Size 2 (2.75mm) needles (either 5 dpns or 2 circs)
1 tapestry needle
1 skein Knit Picks Memories (I used redwood forest)

Notes: I always use K2togtbl instead of SSK. If you are more comfortable with SSK feel free to substitute SSK for K2togtbl, as they look pretty much identical. Also, these socks can be made as short or long as you like. I made anklets because I was unsure as to how much yardage it would actually take up. I have put a picture at the bottom of the post that shows the finished sock and the left overs from the skein.

Using the Toe-up formula found in Knitty's summer 06 edition Cast on 24 stitches. Knit one round.
2nd round: *K1, M1, K10, M1, K1* repeat.
Continue these 2 rounds (adding 2 stitches where round 2 says K10 each time to account for new stitches) until there are 60 stitches

Knit one round

Begin Lacey Rib pattern:
Round 1: *K2, P1* 10 times. K30 (underside of foot is simple stockinette)
Round 2: *K2, P1, K2tog, yo P1* 5 times, K30
Round 3: *K2, P1* 10 times. K30
Round 4: *K2, P1, K2togtbl, yo P1* 5 times, K30

Continue in these 4 Rounds until approximately 2 inches less than desired foot length, ending with round 4 before the K30.

Short Row Heel:
(Working on only the 30 st sts on the bottom of the sock)

K 27, Wrap and turn (Work W&T by slipping two stitches as if to purl from left to right needle, bring yarn to front of work, turn work to look at wrong side, slip one st from left to right needle, bring yarn to front of work.
P 27, W&T
K 26, W&T
P 26, W&T

Continue working short row, knitting one less stitch each time. Stop after P12, W&T.

Next: reverse the W&T rows, beginning to add one stitch each time (i.e. K13, W& T / P13, W&T, K14 W&T, P14 W&T, etc) Continue until you have worked P27 W&T.

Knit to end of Round.

Work Round 1 of Lace Rib
Work Lace section of Round 2, K1, K2togtbl, Knit to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1.
Work Round 3 of Lace Rib
Work lace section of Round 4, K1, K2togtbl, Knit to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1.
Work Round 1
Work Lace section of Round 2, K1, K2togtbl, Knit to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1.
(Six stitches decreased)

Begin working lace rib continuously through every stitch of each round

Work for about 1 inch for anklets or the length you desire, end with round 4.

Switch to k1p1 ribbing for 4 rounds.

Stretchy bind off:

Measure a tail of approximately four times the circumference of the sock and cut. Thread through a tapestry needle and work bind off as follows:

Thread needle through first two stitches as if to purl without removing from needle. Thread needle back through first stitch as if to knit and remove from needle. Repeat until there is only one stitch left. Thread needle through last stitch as if to knit and secure ends.

Let me know if there's any problems or if anything needs clarification!

Sunday, July 8, 2007


It's time to reassess my Summer Knitting Goals. I've finished 1, 5 and 6 (gave my mom the shawl yesterday but didn't have the opportunity to take a picture of it on yet), which leaves 2, 3, and 4. I've been working on #2 (Vest for Dr. OSCBF) intermittently, and I attempted to start on #4 (schaefer anne destashing). #3 (BMP Socks) Seems a little too daunting right now. I also still have one more paper to write before the end of the month. #4 didn't go exactly as planned. I cast on for the Silk Cami from LMKG but I ran through almost half my yardage in about 5". Plus the variegated yarn didn't look all that great in the lace pattern - too much going on I think - and I didn't like the way the stockinette was knitting up... the stitches looked too loose. I'm think I might just give in and jump on the Monkey bandwagon. I'm not a huge fan of knitting socks, but maybe I just haven't found the right pattern yet. We'll see... I just don't know what else I can do without more yardage.

I have more new goals, most of which have to do with destashing. I've convinced myself that yarn will be easier to transport (when I move back south of the border for school at the end of August) if already in knitted form. Plus, some of the stuff is staying here as gifts for people, so that will make it easier too... rather than taking the yarn back with me, knitting it there and then shipping it back.

For instance: I have the Rowan Summer Tweed sent by my Secret Pal, which I'm considering making into some kind of short-sleeved summer shrug; and the two different colours of cotton which I'm thinking would make a nice stripy something... t-shirt most likely since I probably don't have enough for a full sweater. And there's the Kidsilk Haze, which I think I will use for Portland Pullover from interweave knits fall '06. Only I want to modify it so it has less of a turtle-ish neck... maybe a boat neck?

So, to break it down:

1. Finish the Vest (only reason it's taking so long is that it's too hot to have pure wool sitting on your lap... ugh.)
2. BMP socks
3. Schaefer Anne Destash: potentially Monkey Socks
4. Get over second sock syndrome with lace-rib socks and write out pattern for those who might be interested
5. Destash, destash, destash... all of which includes:
5a. Rowan Summer Tweed shrug
5b. Phildar stripy cotton tee
5c. Kidsilk sweater

I've been itchy with startitis for about a week now so I'm going to go and cast something, anything, on.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

The Morning After

Dear Yarn,

You've been warned before: Yarn and Beer don't mix well. Oh, sure, Beer tastes good, and it makes you feel invincible: you could become anything in the world. And knitting a few rows after a Beer or Two (Beer always invites friends along you know) isn't so bad, usually it all turns out ok, if not a little looser than usual. But winding... oh, trying to wind yourself into a ball with Beer's help never works out. So stay away from Beer or next time I won't help you out after you've gotten mixed up with a bad brew.

Sincerely, Gradschoolknitter.
P.S. Maybe part of this is my fault. Perhaps I need to find you a good winder and swift to play with.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Almost forgot...

I almost forgot something very important! Interweave Press is having a back issues sale!! On all their magazines. No, I'm not associated with them or anything, I just think this is great and I'm probably going to end up ordering a bunch, even though I really shouldn't... and it's not just Interweave Knits, it's allllll their mags. I just thought I'd share this for those of you who aren't on the email list!

FO: shawl

The swallowtail shawl for my mom has been finished for 2 days now, but I finally got a chance to block it. I'm not a huge fan of blocking - don't get me wrong, I understand the principle behind it and I know that it makes things look better... but I also think that all projects have to be blocked to look good. I'll come clean, but totally deny it if you tell anyone: I never blocked this.

However, with a shawl done almost entirely in lace (i.e. every right side row at least has yo's and other lacey bits) I needed to block. Before blocking the OSCBF (who, by the by, is now officially Dr. OSCBF... he defended his thesis about 3 weeks ago and handed in the final draft to grad studies last week!) asked if I really thought my mom could wear it as a shawl... it looked more like a small triangular doily. So here are two pictures of it blocking... it's still smaller than I would really like to see it but I ran out of pins while blocking and had to run to the tailoring store across the street... so it was a bit dryer and I didn't want to rip anything... I know it can take it, but let's face it, I was getting annoyed and didn't want to go back and re-pin the whole thing. Can I soak and re-block in a day or two??

Apologies about the dark pictures... rainy, grey day + indoors + blocked on top of a garbage bag (I heard it helps it dry quicker plus it keeps the carpet from getting wet and potentially smelling like wet alpaca... which basically just smells like wet dog...) = not very good pictures.

I'll try to get a picture of it on my mom when I give it to her, hopefully this weekend, depending on the number of times I attempt to re-block.

The last few days I've been itching to cast on, and I want to keep within my summer knitting goals so I am using the schafer anne yarn (on the left side of the picture) to make the silk cami from LMKG. It was the original intent for the yarn, although I've hemmed and hawed over it... I mean, it is techincally merino, mohair and nylon, but I've paired it with a strand of bamboo... it's not that summery and the tank is. However, I'm almost always cold so maybe I'll be happy to have a pretty tank to go under v-necks and cardigans in the winter that also keeps me warmish... we'll see. I'm just not really a sock knitter. I don't mind knitting socks once in a while, but they aren't the projects that keep my attention. Remember this sock? Her partner is only about a 1/4 finished and that was APRIL when I posted the first one.

I'm going to reassess my summer goals and add new ones based on the yarns I've acquired more recently in the next day or two. Stay tuned, same bat time, same bat blog.

Monday, July 2, 2007

how to...

I saw this on Wikihow last night and thought some of you might enjoy it: How to sew a knitting needle roll up.


I got the paper done yesterday, now to just finish and block the shawl...

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Happy 140th Canada!

I wanted to write something witty and / or cute in honour of Canada day, but the yarn harlot beat me to it. Go check it out... it's very funny and very Canadiana. Happy Canada Day, eh?!

P.S. I'm going to do some much needed updates to the sidebar and maybe make some colour changes, so don't be too shocked!