Thursday, July 29, 2010

knitters are awesome

package!, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Just in case you forgot (although I don't know how you could) knitters are the awesomest, most generous people you can know. Today I was at my soon-to-be-ex-residence, cleaning up and putting things in the car to be taken to goodwill / the post office when our postal carrier walked up and handed me a package. I had completely forgotten that Susan, who won a prize in the 300th blog post contest last year, asked me for my address so she could send me a little something back... I really wasn't expecting such a great package!! So THANK YOU, Susan!

There is a skein of Zitron Unisono (100% washable merino with Aloe Vera and Jojoba!), a package of paper / book clips shaped like flowers, birds and butterflies and a great art magnet of the St. Paul's Market.

Speaking of blog contests, this is post 384... maybe I should start thinking about a 400th post contest soon...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

one foot on either side of the Atlantic

One of these socks was knit entirely in Spain and the other entirely in the US... and yes I do know which is which! The one of the left foot is the Spanish sock and the one on the right is the American. How can I tell? Well, somehow the first one ended up with 3 pattern repeats on the top of the foot and the second with 2. It's like I cast on an entirely different number of stitches that just happened to correspond with the pattern repeats. I have no idea how it happened but they both fit (although the right one is slightly more stretched out than the left) so I'm just going to leave it alone. I know that is less-than-perfectionist of me but I would probably have to pull out and re-do the entire right sock and I just don't have it in me.

Pattern: Lindsay by Cookie A from Sock Innovation.
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Natural
Needles: US 1 dpns
Mods: Moved the seam stitches to the back of the leg, somewhat visible in this picture, as detailed on my project page.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

delicious, delicious yarn

woolarina lux sock, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

I went to my fave LYS yesterday after a long morning of trying to sell off most of my worldly possessions (yard sales are GREAT, by the way... you put out things you want to get rid of and people bring you money and then take away the things you don't even want anymore!) and saw this Woolarina Lux Sock. It's a sport weight, 80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon "sock" yarn, but I think I'm going to use it for a super soft, super warm (and potentially washable? the merino is superwash but I worry about the cashmere...) scarf for the bf for our 1 year anniversary. The anniversary is not until Nov, but I couldn't pass up this yarn... and I'm trying to think about things like Christmas gifts, etc, earlier than December this year...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

still not socks

not socks, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Back on the other side of the Atlantic, I'm still working on my "not socks" leg warmers. I'm about 1/2 way through the first one, mostly due to a few hours of knitting on the trans-atlantic flight. I had heard that British Airways would not allow knitting on their flights but I decided to give it a go anyway and no one said a peep, even when they brought by food or drink services.

It's crazy hot and humid here... so unless there is air conditioning in your house or favorite stitch 'n bitch there isn't a whole lot of knitting going on!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

needled prizes

manu2, originally uploaded by wazzag.

This is a picture of the pattern, Manu, that Kim picked as her prize for naming my socks. I am actually really thrilled that she picked this pattern because it is by a designer that I have great amounts of respect for, Kate Davies, who writes the blog needled, in which she not only chronicles the story of her knitting and designs, but also talks about her recovery from a stroke (yes, she's only in her 30s) this past February. I have days when my (as far as I know) perfectly intact brain has a hard time doing the math for my designs, and she is churning out far more complex patterns than I... check out owls or paper dolls or the adorable get off my cloud.

Thanks again Kim, for the name and for picking a design that let me talk about someone who deserves the props!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

And the winner is...

Original image from MadridKnits.

"La Penúltima" by Kim (aka beanershnump on ravelry). I think it is a very appropriate name given the reference to it not being the last time I will be (or knit) in Spain. I really loved all the suggestions but this one tugged the appropriate heart-strings! ;)

I'll be sending you a message on ravelry, Kim, to find out what pattern you would like sent over!

Monday, July 12, 2010

recuerdos de españa

I set this to post later, so by the time this shows up on the blog I will be in the air, heading back across the Atlantic...

As a child, my family traveled a lot... I didn't realize it at the time, but by a lot I mean A LOT... way more than the average family. By the time I was 12 I had seen most of Europe and quite a bit of the US and Canada. I used to love the little souvenir shops, and would often come home with those spoons that have a picture of the town or the flag of the country... and for a while it was dolls. I had dolls from all over the world, dressed in traditional outfits.

As I got older I was less and less interested in the material souvenirs, but once in a while I can't help myself. Aside from the wonderful memories that I have of the great people I have met here, I am also bringing home a few small things to remind me of my time here in Spain:

A thimble with a working windmill from Almagro (not really useful for actual sewing, but cute and reminds me of Don Quijote!)

and, in honor of the Spanish Soccer team:

YO SOY DE LA ROJA! (Hopefully by the time this posts they will have won the world cup!)

Next time I post I'll be back on the other side of the Atlantic! Check out this post to enter my sock naming contest before the 14th of July... I didn't put any limits on it, so feel free to leave as many comments / names as you like!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Not a Sock

me, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

In the time I've been in Spain I've dedicated probably 90% of my knitting time to socks. Considering that, once upon a very long time ago, I declared myself not a sock knitter (something I think we can all agree upon as being completely false now) you might be wondering why... well, in part because sock yarn is small - you only need one skein generally for a pair of socks - and therefore easy to pack.

And while this new project might look like a sock... it might even be made out of sock yarn (Dream in Color Starry in black pearl and grey tabby) and on sock size (US 1) needles... but it is not a duck... I mean, sock!

Nope, not at all... not even though the pattern is named "114-33 Yoga Socks / Leg warmers in fabel". Leg warmers are NOT SOCKS, people, trust me. Even if I make the "yoga sock" version (undecided as of right now) I still say they are not really socks. NO HEEL. NO TOE. = NOT A SOCK.

Or at least that's what I'm going to keep telling myself...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

inspiration, where art thee?

lindsay #1, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

I'm feeling totally uninspired as to what to name these socks, aside from their given name "Lindsay". And Lindsay has never been a favorite name of mine... as a kid I was picked on and there always seemed to be a Lindsay in the group. So I'd love to change the name but I can't think of anything.

How about a contest? Leave a comment with a name (doesn't have to be human, could be anything) that you think is suitable for this sock and I'll pick the name I like the most and send the winner a ravelry pattern (paid for of course) from their queue or wishlist. (Make sure you leave your rav name, of course!) Open until July 14.

In other news, I have also started a new project, one that, in fact, is not technically a sock... but it's not far enough along to show off quite yet... exciting stuff, no?
No sé que nombre debo dar a este calcetín. No me gusta el nombre que le ha puesto Cookie A (la diseñadora) pero no puedo pensar en nada.

Ayúdame! Deja un comentario con un nombre (cualquiera) que te parece adecuado a éste y si elijo el tuyo te mandaré un patrón pagado de tu "queue" en ravelry. (Deja en el comentario tu nombre el ravelry también, por supuesto!) Abierto hasta el día 14.

En otras noticias, he empezado un proyecto nuevo... que no sea calcetín! Pero sólo tengo los puntos montados así que tendrás que volver luego a verlo...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

and back again

back again, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

I'm back in Madrid from the festival in Almagro and, given how hot it was, I got some knitting done in the afternoons while trying to stay inside in the airconditioning.

Fortuitously the Makin' Cookies group on rav happens to be working on Lindsay for the month of July as well and I didn't cast on until the day of July 1, so I can knit along with them!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

knitting, the universe and everything

In case anyone doesn't read Mason Dixon, check out the below video on how knitting relates to the cosmos and life in general.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


About 6 or 7 years ago I came to Almagro, Spain for a week long intensive theatre course with some classmates and my to-be MA thesis advisor. It was the beginning of my love affair with Golden Age Spanish Theatre, probably one of those moments that put me on the path to where I am today, completely unconsciously. And here I am, back in Almagro, many years (and a couple of degrees) later to see some of the plays I spend my days studying.

Almagro is also in the heart of Castilla-La Mancha, where Don Quijote lived and adventured. It has a long tradition of "encaje", aka tatting as pictured (along with Quijote memorabilia of course) above.

The plays take place late at night (they are all outdoors, in patios placed between the houses and during the mid-day it hit 40 C (104F) yesterday, so daytime performances are almost impossible) so I'll spend my morning checking out two museums that encapsulate two of my big interests: the Museo Nacional del Teatro for my scholarly side and the Museo del Encaje for my inner fiber-arts lover.

Monday, July 5, 2010

socks on a train!

S1051094, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Not nearly so alarming as Snakes on a Plane (I'm assuming, I haven't seen the movie, although I would be alarmed to find actually snakes on a plane) but knitting (and taking pictures of said knitting) on a train this morning did get me some odd looks...

Socks are: Lindsay from Cookie A's Sock Innovation in Malabrigo Sock (Natural/Undyed) on size 1 US dpns.

Country side is: desert-ish, somewhere between Madrid and Ciudad Real.

sock swap complete!

sock swap complete!, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

In spite of a couple distractions my socks for the International Sock Swap are now complete! I'll be putting together a package and shipping it off later this week... but first I'll be heading to the Festival de Teatro Clásico to see some plays as part of my "research"... yeah... that's it, "research".

Socks are:
Mojo in Jojoland Melody Superwash #ms12, on size 1 (US) needles. They still lack heels, but that will be up to my partner if she even wants to make them... they feel great even without heels in them... I would definitely recommend this as a pattern to make for someone who's shoe size you are unsure of.

And yes, they are fraternal twins and I think they look trés cool! (Hopefully my partner feels the same way I do about non-matching socks....)

ETA: If anyone wants to join us for the 2nd swap, starting in Sept/Oct, check out the group page. You can still vote by going to post #14 of the "future swaps" discussion... so far "boot/bed socks" (aka worsted weight socks) are in the lead over slippers and regular socks (aka fingering weight).

Sunday, July 4, 2010

for me?

S1051089, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

My time in Spain is almost done, which is both happy and sad at once, and as a going away present, one of the dear friends I have made through knitting here in Madrid, Siona made me a pair of Susie's Reading Mitts (same pattern that I was making for my roommate) which came with a bag with the logo and url of the group, MadridKnits.

Mi epoca española está por terminar, cosa que me hace sentir feliz y triste a la vez, y como regalo de despedida, una de las buenísimas amigas a quien encontré gracias al tejer, Siona me tejó los Susie's Reading Mitts y me regaló uno de los bolsos del grupo, MadridKnits.

Nunca os olvidaré, chicas!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


cascade heritage redux, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

This morning, in an act of frustration (read: lack of internet access) I ended up doing some cleaning and now have a lovely ball of cascade heritage... out of this:


It's a bit sad, but really, I had to admit that I was never going to finish these socks. And because it freed up the needles I dove into the only two books (remember? no internet) I had available (Cookie A's Sock Innovation and Jared Flood's Made in Brooklyn) and cast-on a new project... but it's not far enough along to take pictures yet.