Saturday, November 28, 2009

christmas gloves

christmas gloves, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

These gloves are one of the few presents I'm knitting this year. It's just going to be my immediate family at home (as far as I know) this year, as opposed to last year when we had cousins, and cousins' fiances, and an uncle... you get the picture.

So, the gloves. I love mittens, and had never attempted full gloves before, because fingers seem fiddly. But I know not a lot of guys wear mittens, unless they're dogsled racers in the frozen tundra who have seen the light of having your fingers all together. But I digress...

The details:
Pattern: Drops 85-20 Gloves size L/XL (about 1/2 way down the page... the sweater pattern is first), and rav link.
Yarn: Cascade heritage, held doubled, one skein + a little tiny bit of Davidson Domy Heather from the stash to finish up the second thumb. (That's why the thumb at the bottom of the picture looks slightly different). The Heritage *should* have been enough, according to the pattern, but for the L/XL size, apparently not.
Needles: US 3s for the cuff and 6s for the hand.

Mods: I only knit 5" cuffs, instead of 6". (Pattern calls for 15cms, which in inches is 6.) That alone should have afforded me TONS of extra yardage.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

socks for teaching

S1050745, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

A new student at my fave LYS asked for private tutoring in how to make toe-up socks. I haven't made a pair toe-up in ages, but thought it might be fun to do a pair along with her. So these are toe-up with a heel-flap, and then I decided to add some lace to the cuff.

I'm a confirmed top-down sock knitter after these... I way overshot the heel placement the first time around and it was about 2 inches too long. I understand where to place a toe (especially on my own foot) but the heel was harder to gauge since I wasn't sure exactly how big it would be.

But I'll make the second one anyway, since I've decided that these will be someone's Christmas gift this year (someone with a very similar to my foot size, that is).

Yarn: J Knits Superwash Sock Light in colour Pueblo
Needles: Size 1
Pattern: in my head... possibly to be written up at some point.
For: Christmas gift / teaching

Friday, November 20, 2009

a cautionary tale of woe...

Wednesday morning I taught class, closed my macbook with word still open to my lesson plan, went to lunch with a friend and then headed down to the library to work. I got to my desk, took my computer out and opened it back up. I hit firefox to open it up and quit Word. And then the world STOPPED. My computer froze, trying to quit Word and I had to manually restart it. Only it didn't restart. It made funny clicky noises and a big question mark showed up in the middle of the screen. I might not be a big science / math / programmer type, but I know enough about computers (and macs in particular) to know that that is BAD. SUPER BAD. I ran to my friend's office and told her what had happened and she (being an amazing, awesome person and friend) dropped everything and drove me to the nearest apple store.

I spent 4.5 hours in the apple store, waiting for someone to see me. They are appointment-only so I had to wait to see if they could either get ahead of schedule or if someone would miss their appointment. By the time I saw someone I had befriended most of the people in the store and knew (ok, I was about 85% sure before I even walked in there that it was probably worst case scenario) that it was dead and gone. Sure enough the harddrive is dead, and the likelyhood that data will be recovered is practically zilch. (Although a friend's husband, who does that sort of thing for a living is looking at it... he's my last hope, and I have little of that left.)

So, here's the really bad part. The sheer-idiocy that a relatively bright person, working on their PhD can display is sometimes mind-boggling: I have NO back ups. 3 years of graduate school, poof. Fortunately I have some things, but not the most recent things, because of emails that I sent either myself or professors on occasion. But it's definitely NOT everything and NOT the article I've been revamping for the past month. And of course, photos, music, etc. Most of the photos of knitting related stuff is on flickr, and a lot of photos with friends are on facebook. But it's the ridiculous amount of work lost that absolutely kills me. If it had been another year or two, and I were 1/2 way through my dissertation or something, that would have pretty much ended my career I think.

Oh, and did I mention it was 9 days past warranty? Back up, people, learn from my mistakes! I did end up with a shiny new computer (mostly thanks to my amazingly generous parents) and I decided that investing in "mobileme" which automatically backs up to an online server so that I can access my harddrive from pretty much anywhere in the world was well worth the extra $$. 'Cause you can be SURE that I won't lose that much info ever again.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I want it!

10 stitch blanket, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Can I just say that this is one of those projects that I've put so much time and effort into that I sort of just want it for myself? Is that SO WRONG? Also, it doesn't hurt that I think it's super pretty too. But alas, the goal was to make this for someone close to me who recently purchased their first house. And I care enough about them to give them something that I'd really rather pretend was for me all along!

Pattern: Ten Stitch Blanket (rav link) by Frankie Brown
Yarn: Several skeins in several colours of several yarns (Paintbox, Mochi Plus, Jojoland Rhythm)
Needles: US9
Mods: Added a single stitch crochet border to make it look more "finished" along the edges as seen in this picture:

10 stitch blanket

Friday, November 13, 2009

turn a spiral

WARNING: Worst FO pictures ever. I think my camera might be dead. Or the new batteries are duds. Let's hope for scenario #2. So I used the maccam, to the best of it's abilities.

I decided Wednesday night to make a hat for a friend whose birthday is today. This knit up so quickly and (trust me, it's better in person) so beautifully. It's sort of Jared Flood's Turn a Square but sans square and with a bunch of mods.

Here you can (sort of) see the spiraling decreases (as opposed to the original raglan decreases):

Mods: only cast on 88, did not increase, kept same needles throughout. Decided to do spiral / regular decreases, 8 times across a round.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

one more etsy post

I almost forgot about the awesome present I got for my brother (at least, I think it's awesome, I hope he did too...)

Periodic table cuff links! My brother is a high school science teacher (which is, still, to me, the oddest thing ever. He's my little brother, shouldn't he be pestering me and blowing things up as a high school student in a science classroom still?!) so I thought these were awesome. And they're customizable, so I got him PM (his first and middle initials) and CO (the first 2 letters to our last name).


A periodic table NERD birthday card. Both were from ShopGibberish on etsy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

more etsy love

I FINALLY got the tunic I purchased from emilyryan on etsy. I purchased it late Sept but she makes everything to order and apparently got sick in Oct, so it took a while to get here. But I don't care because I LOVE IT. Like, seriously, love. I'm wearing it to sit in the library today / teach / go to meetings. None of which is worthy of this tunic but still, much tunic love.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Totally un-knit-related, but I took a trip to Gettysburg on Saturday with my friend Loralee and her family. Sadly I got NO pictures of the two of us together, and apparently I suck at the picture taking thing (although my camera has been acting weird since the DC trip and sometimes it just refuses to work. Ugh.) and only got a few pictures of Gettysburg itself.

There were 5 of us, so it was cheaper to get a guide to come along in the car with us than to pay individually for the bus tour, so we ended up going with the personal car guide. He was... enthusiastic, to say the least, and clearly loved his Gettysburg history. Which is great, but it ended up being a bit longer (and we hadn't eaten lunch...) than anticipated. He was also way too into the overtly emotional / gory details than I needed... but I also have an active enough imagination.

OK, onto the pictures! (Which, for whatever reason, blogger has opted to place in the opposite order they were taken / inputted....)

Monument dedicated by State of Pennsylvania to all Pennsylvanians who served at Gettysburg.

Hmmm... monument to... (god my memory is bad these days).

Field on which one of the deciding battles was fought. Also where our guide demonstrated on me how they fought hand to hand, which included descriptions of gouging out the eye and then ripping arteries out of the neck with their teeth. Yum.

Loralee's husband, me, Loralee's sister and brother in law. Suspiciously absent, Loralee... long story, but since it was her birthday people were calling, of course, to say Happy Birthday. She got one such call when we stepped out to see this monument and stayed in the van to talk to her friend. We thought we saw her getting out of the van as we were posing for this picture (which she was) but then she never arrived... apparently she had spilled water on my coat on her way out and was blotting it. I would have preferred the picture with her to the dry coat though!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Loralee!

Loralee's mittens, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Yesterday I got to spend time with someone that I've known for a really long time - she was one of the first blogs I discovered, and one that I most admire - but had never met in person before, Loralee. She spent the day before at the Whitehouse, meeting with Valerie Jarrett and playing the with President's puppy, but I was really excited that she and her family let me spend her birthday with them! We went to Gettysburg and went on a car tour of the battlefields (during which those mittens were finished... all the while Loralee saying things like "I love that colour... those are so pretty..." and I was thinking "PHEW!" since you never know (especially when you DON'T KNOW the person in person) if people will appreciate your work). I have a couple pictures - I'm not a huge picture taker, and sadly the above one is the ONLY ONE I have with Loralee in it - but I'll save those to post those another day since I have very little knitting-related stuff to talk about of interest right now.

Except for the mittens on Loralee's hands up there! Those are Grove by Jared Flood (aka Brooklyn Tweed).
Yarn is Malabrigo Worsted in Azul Profundo
Needles were size US 6 (4mm).

Mods... a few: added an extra repeat for length; used a k2tog instead of k2togtbl to make the decreases lean the right way; and grafted the tops instead of 3needle bindoff. ALSO: they forget to tell you to move the BOR marker at the top of the mitten (and thumb) for the decreases to line up properly. I moved the first stitch of the round to the last stitch of the round and it worked out fine. Not sure if this makes sense but I'd be happy to explain in detail if necessary.

Future potential mods ('cause these are SO PRETTY I want some for myself and maybe for other family members...): Not twisting the stitches... I really liked the insides of these mitts when I turned them inside out to weave in the ends and I'm thinking its more or less what they'd look like if the knits weren't twisted. And some kind of change to the decreases at the tops... I don't love the way they are.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

And they're off!

Everyone that won wanted the yarn, which means less knitting for me in this time of pre-holiday knitting crunch, and so it is off, in the mail as of this afternoon! Hope you guys enjoy!

Monday, November 2, 2009


DC was great, the conference was both intimidating and motivating... and I got sick. A head-cold, or so it appears thus far. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's not the flu.

But what do you guys care? You want to know who won, right?! I used a random number generator ( and came up with the following 3 numbers:


There were a total of 67 entries, including those who were re-entered for posting on their blogs and / or directing people my way.

11 - Susan
53 - Kristin
35 - Sylvia (who I don't have contact info for... if you're out there Sylvia, please email me!

Susan will get the Crashintoewe Jewel Edition in Garnet, Kristin the Malabrigo Sock Yarn in Natural and Sylvia the Cascade Heritage in Blue. It's up to them if they want it in yarn form or mittens!

prettiest mitts in the world

I started these yesterday and I LOVE them. LOVE. I'm going to have to make another pair for myself 'cause these are already a designated present.

Even the palm is pretty:

prettiest mitts in the world (palm)

Pattern is Grove by Jared Flood from "Made in Brooklyn". (Why yes, I do want to make EVERYTHING in this book...)
Yarn is Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Azul Profundo (same as the sweater that I'm currently having test-knit)
Needles: US 6.
Mods: using a k2tog instead of k2togtbl on left side of pattern so that they lean in towards the center. Going to add an extra repeat of pattern before decreasing top of mitt. As is I think they'd barely be long enough for me and I have small hands.

Oh, and yeah, this is post #299... so look for contest winners to be announced in the very near future!