Wednesday, June 30, 2010

pas de tricoter...

There is not much opportunity to knit here, with two cats who are unaccustomed to knitters, but there is lots of beautiful things to see, like St. Jean de Luz's port, above and the sunset off the beach at Hossegor:

This afternoon I will take the train back to Madrid, where there is a full-out strike on the metro (previously unheard of, I believe, since they are supposed to have a 50% minimum service no matter what), so it'll be like baptism by fire back into the big city life...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

FOs from France!

Leire's reading mitts, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

How's that for alliteration? I'm visiting my uncle and cousin in the south of France for a few days and took the train up yesterday from Madrid. Train time makes for great knitting time and I finished up the second mitten for my roommate's birthday. The only problem is that I think that the bumpy movement on the train made for a looser gauge and the top part of the second mitt is a bit larger than the first. I may decide to fix it up later on, but for now we're counting these as DONE.

Pattern: Susie's Reading Mitts Direct Link or Rav link.
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted
Needes: US 7
Mods: Bigger needles + size M instructions = size XL; no picot edges - instead used the open aka provisional cast on and a purl turn row on the cuff, later going back and sewing the provisional stitches to the inside. I personally feel like this makes for a nicer inside, less of a seam against your wrist. Finally, I used a stretchy bind-off of K2, *slip 2 sts back to left needle, k2tog, k1* (repeat * to *).

And since it is FOs (plural) in the title, I suppose I should also show off these:

04.- collage erin
(Original photos by Sionaland)

I finally and REALLY finished up the twisted socks.The right one now has a purple toe (as seen by the middle photo) because I had to go back and add more length (again). I'm not even going to talk about all the complications / modifications I had with these socks, because I already have. But they're done, so thank goodness for that!

By the way: Whoever said you couldn't make two identical noro socks clearly does not have the same size feet as me! Aside from a tiny bit at the top of the cuff, and the re-done toe, these are identical stripe by stripe!

If the weather clears up (it's a little cloudy this morning) I'll be sure to take pictures of France... and of cats, who are all over me (including crawling under my covers last night) and I'm loving it!

Friday, June 25, 2010

done and undone

done?, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

It would appear that my twisted socks are done, right? WRONG. While I am wearing two completed socks, the first one (which would be the left one) is too short. I added another pattern repeat to the right and it fits much better, as illustrated by the photo* below:

this one is too small

If you look closely, the right sock seems to fit much better to the contours of my foot, while the left sort of bulges as it attempts to stretch to fit. So while they look done, I'll be taking the toe apart today and redoing it - AGAIN, mind you.

If you haven't been following the Midsummer Day's Dream series over on Lighting Little Fires, you should go check it out. My entry is up today, on traveling and knitting, along with another crafter's entry on tatting and backpacking.

*How many times more will you have to listen to me apologize for crappy pictures taken in Spain? Not that many, actually, since I will be headed back across the pond in 17 days! Don't get me wrong, it's been great, but I'm definitely looking forward to being "home" too. Anyway, it's raining this morning, so sorry for the bad photos.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Midsummer Day's Dream

Over at Lighting Little Fires is the first day of a guest-posting craft series she has called "A Midsummer Day's Dream". Click here to check out day one. It'll be going on for 14 days and yes, I sent in an entry, so stay tuned for that!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

WWKIP take 2

S1051062, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Yesterday I "Knit in Public" (you know, 'cause I never do otherwise...) with the lovely ladies of MadridKnits in the gardens of the "Templo de Debod", which-as you can see in the background of the above picture-overlook most of Madrid.

Ayer tejé en público (cosa que nunca haría de otra manera, jajaja) con las mujeres fantásticas de MadridKnits, en los jardines del Templo de Debod, los cuales tienen unas vistas de casi todo Madrid, como puedes ver en la foto de arriba.

I also attempted to take "artistic" photos of the glove I finished up:

También intenté sacar unas fotos "artísticas" del guante que acabé mientras tanto:

reading mitts

But it mostly looks like my hand is attempting to fly away from me.

Pero a lo mejor aparece que mi mano quiere intentar volar.

In any case, if you want to read my report on our knit in public breakfast, check out the post here (in Spanish only, sorry!)

De todos modos, si quieres leer la crónica del día internacional de tejer en público, haz clic aquí (en español, por supuesto).

Saturday, June 19, 2010

only slightly fickle

untwisted #2, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Just so you don't think that all the problems I had with the first twisted sock killed my desire to knit the second, you can see that I did, in fact, cast it on.

But in between finishing the first and starting the second I also cast-on this:

reading mitts

And as you can see, bound-off too. (Only the one... it's only been a day and a half after all!) After so many socks as of late, I forgot how fast worsted weight can work up! And compared with the noro, this yarn (Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted) is sooooo soft.

Pattern: Susie's Reading Mitts
Needles: US 7 / 4.5mm
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in Mineshaft
For: Leire, one of my roommates here in Spain who will have a birthday in July.
Mods: Used bigger needles and size M instructions for an XL-ish size, omitted the picot edges, using a provisional cast-on, a purl row to hem the bottom, and a stretchy bind-off after the last purl row over the fingers (k2, *sl2 to left needle, knit two previously knit stitches together, k1* until only one remains).

an awful thought

striken, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

This morning, while drinking my coffee, I had an awful thought... What if I just frogged this sock? Slipped the needles out and pulled it all apart, put the yarn aside for another project? Maybe a project that could actually be SEEN and appreciated, like a pair of mittens or gloves? At least then all my hard work will be seen and not stepped on...

But can I really undo 5.5 months worth of hard work??

Esta mañana mientras tomaba mi cafe, se me ocurrió una idea terrible... ¿Y si deshago este calcetín? A lo mejor puedo usar la lana para un proyecto que la gente verán, en vez de pisar tanto trabajo, por ejemplo unos mitones o estos guantes, ¿a que sí?

Pero no sé si puedo deshacer el trabajo de 5.5 meses...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

too stubborn for my own good

Yeah, sure noro, you make a pretty sock. I mean, just check you out:
Sí, noro, te pareces muy bonito como un calcetín. Pues, mirate:

maldito calcetín

Pretty, but I've probably had more problems with this (relatively simple) pattern than any other.
Muy bonito, pero he tenido más problemas con este (bastante simple) patrón que nunca.

Problems, more or less in chronological order:

1) Hubris. I started these at knit night, without the pattern in hand, partly because I knew that someone else would have it on them (we're working these together as a KAL) and partly (mostly) because I figured it was simple enough that I could figure it out myself. (HA)

2) Over-yet-under-written pattern. Go take a look at the pattern. It has 6 different sizes. Which is great... but it makes for a REALLY long pattern, with a lot of different numbers being thrown at you. It also has 6 stitch definitions and 8 pattern notes, before you even begin. Now, considering that I glanced very quickly at the pattern when starting I read the stitch definitions and thought "huh, that's odd, where does the twist come in?" Because if you glance at them quickly this:

Twisted-slip rib (worked in the round)
Round 1: [K1, p3]. Rep across.
Round 2: [Sl1, p3]. Rep across.
Rep Rounds 1 and 2.
See Pattern Note 4 below about working decreases in this pattern.

Yfwd: Bring yarn to the front, as if to purl.

Slp: Slip st purlwise. If working right side row yarn is held in back. If working wrong side row yarn is held in front. See Pattern Note 1.

Might make you think that all slip stitches are done purlwise. But if you look very carefully, you will see that the abbreviation for a slip stitch in the twisted-slip rib notes is marked as "Sl1" NOT "Slp"... indicating a knit-wise slip, NOT a purl-wise one...

3) The yarn... oh the yarn. Pretty? Without doubt. See above. But as I mentioned before it is a thick and thin yarn, which to me really isn't great for socks. And it's a single ply!!! Like the mini mochi that felted in the washing machine... I don't have high hopes for the washability of this yarn. How many times do I have to learn the same lessons?!

4) Heel /Gusset decreases: Heel first: the purl stitches at the end of the RS rows? does not compute. I feel like it would just make it harder to pick up the stitches, although I've heard other people say they loved it... maybe I'm just not getting it. But the gusset decreases: every third row?! Maybe if I wore men's size 13 shoes and had a super high arch... but since I have ridiculously small feet this would probably end with me decreasing the gusset into the toe.

5) The toe construction. OK, I admit that I was probably rushing it last night, after a while all this purling and slipping gets pretty boring. So I might have stopped a teeny bit before I normally would for a toe... but the way this toe is constructed (and yes, I get that it helps keep the shape) is way too fast / short for my liking. So I had to rip back and add some more to the foot before re-doing the toe. But again - my own hard-headedness prevails: I did the toe as per the instructions a SECOND time. And it's still a bit short, but there was no way that I was going to rip it out again.

A ver... me cansa mucho pensar en escribir todos mis problemas con este calcetín otra vez, en otra lengua... y las de MadridKnits ya los conocen bien. Pero si tienes alguna pregunta sobre mis problemas, no dudas en dejarme un comentario.

ETA: did I mention that this is only the first one?
no creo que haya mencionado que este es sólo el primero, ¿no?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

holiday sock swap?

OK, so we're only a couple of weeks into the first swap, but I have to say that the swappers are a pretty awesome bunch. And I'm procrastinating... so I started a thread about a potential future swap, one that would start in October (sign-ups in Sept.) and packages would be due out by Dec. 31. If you missed the sign-ups for the first swap but want to join in the fun for the next one, head over to the group page on ravelry and check out the future swaps discussion.

Bueno, sólo hemos empezado el primer intercambio hace un par de semanas, pero las tejedoras son muy amables. Y estoy aplazando la tesis así que ya he empezado una discusión sobre posibles intercambios en el futuro, uno que empezará en Octubre (con la inscripción en setiembre) con los paquetes mandados antes del 31 de diciembre. Si perdiste el primero pero quieres juntarte con nosotr@s para el próximo, vete a la pagina de ravelry y haz clic sobre la discusión "future swaps".

Sunday, June 13, 2010

noro thick and thin

noro thick and thin, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

I realize that the poor ambient light made for not-very-great pictures of the noro yarn yesterday... so this morning when the sun was actually shining, I took the above photo. If you *still* can't see the thick and thin blobs, I have noted a few of them on the original picture. (Click the picture to go to the flickr page and scroll over the picture to see notes.)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

happy WWKIP day!

mojo sock 1, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Happy Knit in Public day! Last night at knit group I finished up the above sock, mojo destined for my swap partner. It is still missing it's after-thought heel but it doesn't really even need one.

We were joined by la sexta noticias who interviewed us about our projects and how knitting was becoming popular amongst younger people. It's in Spanish, but it's less than 2 mins long if you want to check it out.

Siona, one of the madrid knits founders, sent me this picture of me being interviewed!

To avoid Second Sock Syndrome I cast on another sock:

noro side 1

No one said it had to be of the same pair, right? These will be the twisted socks in Noro Kureyon Sock... which I'm not really convinced by. We've had some bad weather here so it's hard to get decent pictures, but in this one:

noro side 2

You might be able to see the thick and thin nature of the yarn, which to me is not really great for socks.

Friday, June 11, 2010

An Internet Manifesto

A week or so ago I was invited to join a new social network that is currently still in beta and by invitation only. They had stumbled across this here humble knitting blog and liked (or so the email said) what they saw. The concept behind this new social network (which, for now, I am going to leave anonymous) is this: people who are really into fashion / designing create profiles and put up pictures of their "looks" for the other users to comment on. At first I thought "hey, this might be a great way to show off my designs to people outside of the knitting community". And in principle, it could be. But in practice I feel like it was a complete and udder disaster. Most of the people on the site are not designers or, as far as I could tell, attempting to get into the fashion world in any way. They put up pictures of outfits they have put together with clothes they bought at american apparel and H&M... which is fine, to each their own.

But when I put up pictures of things that I had designed and knit myself - this sweater for example - I was told that it was hideous and that I should throw it in the trash / burn it. OK, it might not be everyone's style, but really... REALLY? I didn't realize that anyone past the age of 13 could be so hideously cruel.

So I sent the person (one of the creators I assume) that had invited me to try out the site an email, basically saying "Thanks, but no thanks - I don't need so much negativity in my life", but have not received a response.

The whole thing left me feeling pretty down about the state of things on the Internet. Sure, I have friends that I keep in contact via facebook, and there are fantastic online communities - Ravelry being a big one for me, I have never had a negative experience with anyone on rav, ever - but it seems like outside of these small communities that I have chosen to be a part of there is a lot of anger and rage that we direct at our fellow human beings. And it also seems like the internet gives some people license to say whatever they want, to whomever they want. I can't imagine anyone in their right mind walking up to someone on the street that they have never met and spitting rage at them simply because they don't like their clothes... so why is it ok to do it to someone online?

Fortunately the internet is not without hope. I was sent a link to Maureen Johnson's manifesto today, and I think it is well worth reading. If you don't have time for the whole thing, just skip to the bottom and read the blocked in paragraph. It's worth it - and it just might make the internet a nicer place for all of us.

FO: Seneca!

S1051044, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Just in time for the good weather...

Justo para el verano...

Forgive me the goofy looks on my face... timer + running to pose = not enough time to figure out how to smile.

Pattern: Seneca by Jared Flood (aka brooklyn tweed
Yarn: Crystal Palace Yarns Aran Solid, 10.5 balls = 1071 yards (I bought 15 total, according to pattern requirements...)
Needles: US 7 to get stitch gauge - but not row gauge (see below)

I made a lot of mods to this sweater, not least of which is the neckline:


If you check out the original here on rav you might be able to see the difference. Mine is missing the cable closest to the neckline. My row gauge was so much bigger than that called for in the pattern that I had to eliminate it entirely in order to get the yoke to fit properly.

Other mods: sleeve increases were spaced as if for the XS sleeve (mine is a S), all the way up the sleeve, with one knit row between the last 2 increases. This also gave me an extra inch or so of sleeve, which I generally need (but always forget) anyway.

I have one somewhat serious complaint about this pattern... and that is that it was edited far beyond the normal / necessary. I have tons (and I mean TONS) of respect for Mr. Tweed and his ability to fashion some of the most gorgeous garments I have ever seen... but if I were a less experienced knitter I would have been at a loss when it came to the end of the pattern. There were NO finishing instructions. Sure, he tells you to use a sewn bind-off for the collar, but there is no mention of what to do with the under-arm stitches that have been left on holders!! I personally turned the sweater inside out and worked a three-needle bind-off - and I'm sure a graft would have much the same effect - but I'm surprised that with how meticulous he is to other details that this would have been forgotten by him. (AKA I think it is over editing rather than him forgetting.)

In any case, it needs a much better blocking than I can give it here, as can be seen especially around the sleeve cuffs. But in general I am just THRILLED with this sweater and cannot wait for autumn weather when I can actually wear it!

One more goofy picture, for the road:


Thursday, June 10, 2010

While you were blocking

Dear Sweater: You are FINISHED! I'm so proud of you and you fit PERFECTLY, albeit with some major modifications (we'll talk about those later). Right now you are being lightly blocked in a very make-shift kind of way, for which I apologize, but we have to make do with what we have in foreign countries... a good lesson to learn even at such a young age.

Querido Jersey: ¡Estás terminado! Estoy tan orgullosa de ti y me quedas PERFECTAMENTE, aunque tenía que cambiar mucho el patrón (de eso hablaremos más tarde). Pero ahora estás bloqueándote, y aunque no es de las maneras normales, tenemos que usar lo que está disponible en países extranjeros - una buena lección aun para alguien tan joven como tú.

I don't want you to get the idea that I'm a fickle knitter, I have a feeling that you will be a staple in my life and wardrobe for years to come... but a knitter has to knit. So yeah, you were still waiting to have your neckline bound off and you underarms closed up but I ran off to a yarn store yesterday afternoon. I could give you excuses, like really it was a friend's idea (which it was) and that she needed the comfort due to a sick family member (which she did), but really, we both know I wanted to be there.

No quiero que pienses que soy una persona inconstante, creo que estarás parte de mi vida y mi sayo durante muchos años... pero una tejedora tiene que tejer. Entonces sí, mientras esperabas que te terminara el cuello y las auxilias yo fui a una tienda de lanas ayer. Tengo excusas... por ejemplo que fue la idea de otra (que lo era) y que necesitaba un poco de consolación por causa de tener un familiar en el hospital (que lo tenía), pero en fin, los dos sabemos que yo quería irme.

So yeah, I bought some yarn, OK? I admit it!

Entonces sí, compre lana, ¿vale? Lo admito!

Noro Kureyon Sock

Noro Kureyon Sock, to make the twisted socks as part of the June KAL with the MadridKnits group.

Noro Kureyon Sock, para tejer los twisted socks con las chicas de MadridKnits.

and / y

lorna's laces shepherd worsted

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted, to make some wrist warmers for one of my roommate's birthday next month.

Shepherd Worsted de Lorna's Laces, para tejer unos guantes para el cumples de mi compañera de piso en julio.

So sue me... you're all bound-off and have had a nice bath. It's too warm for me to wear you now anyway.

Mándame una multa si quieres... pero ahora estás terminado y te he bañado. De todos modos hace demasiado calor para ponermete.

Love, Grad School Knitter

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

decisions, decisions

decisions decisions, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

First off, my apologies for the mac-quality, low-lit photos.... but I just wanted to do a quick try-on to see where this was at.

Primera cosa: disculpa las fotos de mala calidad... sólo quería probármelo rapidamente para ver qué tal está.

So, this sweater is *almost* done! But I have a decision to make now. As you can maybe tell, the sleeves are a bit long... but better long than short! If I follow the pattern to the letter, I should be adding another repeat of the first cable chart (which is 12 rows) + another 5 short-rows + another 12 rows to finish the decreases and collar.

Este jersey está *casi* terminado. Pero ahora tengo que decider: como puedes ver, las mangas son largas, pero prefiero larga más que corta! Si sigo con el patrón tal y cómo está escrito, debo poner otra vez el primer diseño (lo cual acaba con 12 filas) + 5 filas de WT + 12 filas para disminuir el cuello.

From another angle: (Otra foto:)

so close yet...

I can't decide... I think 24 more rounds (+ the short rows) is too much... but I worry that it also won't be enough if I totally eliminate the chart too.

No puedo decidir... creo que 24 filas más (más las 5 de WT) serán demasiado... pero tambíen me preocupa que no sería demasiado si quito el último diseño tampoco.

Monday, June 7, 2010


I bet the first thing you think of is not a sock:
Seguro que lo primero en que piensas no es un calcetín:


but I promise, it looks much better on a foot!
pero ¡os lo juro que parece mejor sobre el pie!

but it's a sock

Sunday, June 6, 2010

finnegan begin-again

take 2, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

starting over for my swap partner...

empezando de nuevo para mi pareja de intercambio...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

back to the drawing board

fracasado, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

As if I didn't know already that colour-work made knitting tighter... I guess these are not the socks that my swap partner will be receiving after all.

There is no way that this:

fracasado total

is going over any normal person's heel.


Bueno: a empezar de nuevo... lo de usar dos colores hace la tela menos elastico y este calcetín no va a caber sobre el talon de cualquier humano.

guest posting

S1051033, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

If you would like to check out my guest post on the madridknits blogs, click here. Even if you don't read Spanish, you can check out the beautiful work of these wonderful ladies.

Si quieres ver el post que hice para madridknits, haz click aquí. Aun si no puedes leer el castellano, podrás ver el buen trabajo de estas mujeres tan maravillosas.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

start your swapping!

swap sock, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Summer 2010 International Sock Swap starts today! I wanted to work within my (somewhat limited) current stash that I have here in Spain and my partner seems to like similar colours to myself (phew) so I decided to use up a bit of jojoland melody (the blue-green) left over from the Fire and Ice Socks I recently finished up (pictures on rav from these socks are much closer to the real colour) along with some undyed malabrigo sock I had to do some simple colourwork.

Yeah, we only started a few hours ago... but I wanted to get to a place where I could just do simple stockinette st for a while. I was lacking a project that was simple enough to knit along on while doing other things. And this week at knit group I will be guest-blogging about the meeting (in Spanish, of course), so I'm going to be needing something very simple to work on! This ought to do the trick... what with the afterthought heel concept it is simple stockinette for quite some time!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

process versus product

process or product, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

The boy just left, which is sad... but aside from being violently ill (both of us) for the first few days we had a great time and in a few short weeks (ok, close to 8) I'll be back State-side permanently and then he won't be able to get rid of me!

These socks (Stricken by Cookie A.) are ones that have been on the needles (according to ravelry) since Dec 28, 2009. Yeah, that's right, just over 5 months. And that's still the FIRST SOCK. A plain stockinette, or simply patterned pair of socks can take me less than 2 weeks to knock out... generally I can knit them while reading, watching tv, riding the metro, etc. But these are the everlasting gobstoppers of socks. Which is ok. I mean, they are GORGEOUS and fiddly and require constant chart checking, so they are almost impossible to work on in any environment that requires my concentration elsewhere.

So... I have a question. Would you consider these to be "process knitting" or "product knitting"? I picked them up again this morning and got through two rounds, all the while thinking "am I in this for the process - because the charts are complex and interesting, there is no racing to finish, etc - or the product - which will be both functional and beautiful?" And I can't decide. The process is definitely one that keeps my interest for a lot longer than a simply constructed pair of socks, but often after just a few rounds I find that my wrists start to hurt. Yet I don't want to give up on them because they will be SO FREAKING BEAUTIFUL when I'm finally done.