Saturday, August 28, 2010


I promised that I would have prizes posted today and I meant to take a picture while at my fave yarn store but completely forgot while I was there. So... I'm borrowing the following picture from lovelyarns site to tempt you all:

Prize #1 (for the most creative suggestion) is a skein of locally dyed sock yarn in the colour family of the winners choice! (You win, I email you, you tell me your favorite color and I pick you out a skein of beautiful yarn!)

Prize #2 (for directing the most people to comment) is a paid-for gifted pattern of your choice from ravelry. (You win, I email you, you give me your ravelry name and the link / name of a pattern you want!)

There is still lots of time to enter (this is post 393 and the winners will be announced in post 400... at least a week or two!) so enter here and send your friends!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sock Swap Take 2!

**Note: For those of you waiting patiently for prize info for the contest, I need to take some pictures, but I'll try to get it up tomorrow!**

The International Sock Swap is coming to a close (final day to send out packages is Aug 31, 2010) and it has gone so well and there has been interest both from current participants AND new members to do another swap... so the second swap will take place starting Sept 1!

Questionnaires will be due by Sept 30, 2010 and partners will go out shortly thereafter, with knitting and package sending happening between Oct 1 and Dec 31. This time we are making "bed/boot socks" out of worsted (preferably superwash!) weight yarn. There are tons (222 free patterns on ravelry) of worsted weight sock patterns, ranging from complex to the most basic. We decided on worsted weight by vote, but I think it is a great, quick swap project for the period leading up to the holiday season.

If you want to join in the fun you have from now until the end of Sept. Right now, head on over to the ravelry group and join us. Sept 1 I will send out reminders to those who are already members to fill in the questionnaire. Hope to see you there!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


OK all, I seem to have misplaced my knitting mojo. I'm just not feeling it right now. And since we're coming up on 400 posts (this being post 391), I figured I'd ask a question: What do you do when you feel out of the knitting grove?

Prizes will be given for the most creative / interesting answer (as judged by moi) and to the person who entices the most people to answer (details to follow).

To enter, leave a comment on this post with your ideas for jump-starting my knitting engines. For multiple entries, post a link to this contest on your own blog (or anywhere else you might think it useful) and come back and tell me about it. If people also mention that you sent them along in their comment, that's another entry.

And the big question: what are the prizes?! Well, for that you will have to stay tuned!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Doctors without Borders

fish scarf, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Much like when Haiti was in crisis, I have decided to donate 50% of my pattern sales from now until the end of Sept to Doctors without Borders to help their relief efforts in Pakistan. Of course, Doctors without Borders can use the money for whatever relief effort they see necessary, but it is the situation in Pakistan that is pushing myself and other ravelers to pitch in our part, no matter how big, or small, it may be.

So, if you've ever liked any of my patterns, including the Fish Scarf, 3/4 Jacket, convertible cabled mittens or heroes scarf, now would be a great time to buy them! Or go check out the other ravelers donating proceeds to charitable causes!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

this post is brought to you by the letters I and R and the number 4

That would be Insomnia, Robots and 4am... the time I realized that whole sleep thing just wasn't working out for me.

Why Robots, you ask? (I mean, the rest is pretty self-explanatory, right?) Well, for one thing I'm working on Mr. Roboto from Knit Picks right now as a gift (actually there will be two robots in the end) for the boys of a friend that I'll be visiting short(ish)ly.

And, sometimes in the infinite wisdom of insomnia, I surf etsy for new fun things, like Sleepy Robot 13. I first saw Robot and Toaster are Friends and instantly fell in love:

Really, how could you not?!

Another personal fave: Robot in a Dragon Suit:

And one that I know will be popular (even if not my fave):

Super Mario Robot!

Enough with my late night / early morning rantings... have you found any unsung etsy gems lately?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

time for change

barthelona!, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

I never would have thought that I would enjoy knitting a pair of cotton socks... but I loved this yarn. It's a knitpicks yarn called comfy fingering, 75% cotton, 25% acrylic and while I was worried about it being rough and inelastic, it was neither. I don't normally use cotton, especially for socks since I tend to wear socks more in the fall - early spring, rather than in the summer. But the boy needs to wear socks and shoes for work year round, so he requested a pair of cotton ones.

So we have another finished pair of socks... and I think I need a break from all things sock related. I even left the leg warmers - not technically socks but not different enough - at home. Fortunately I did bring a project that is something quite a bit different but I actually need to get some conference papers written, so maybe the knitting will be backburnered for a little while.

Pattern: Barcelona Socks by Helen Waittes
Needles: US 1 dpns
Yarn: Knitpicks Comfy Fingering, 1.5 skeins.
For: the boy

Mods: I started on US 2s (as per the pattern) and ended up with a giant cuff. So I ripped it out and started over on size 1s and it turned out much better. I also added a repeat to the cuff to make it slightly longer.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

groundhog day

guess where I am..., originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Remember yesterday? Yesterday when I said I was about to run out the door and head to Canada to visit family for the first time in 8 months? You can probably guess from my expression - and the background - in the above picture (taken approx 2 mins ago) that that didn't happen.

Once again (check this 2 year old post out) I'm stuck in the airport, knittin' a sock. Our flight was delayed for weather and then mechanical problems last night, and eventually (after a hope raising taxi around the runway) canceled. I decided it wasn't worth trying to fight with the other 100 or so passengers for the standby positions on the late night flights last night, so I went home, had a decent night's sleep and came back this morning. Unfortunately there is MORE weather today and we're running almost 2 hours behind. Fortunately they did give me a first class ticket for this flight and a voucher because I refused hotel accommodations.

I really hope we get going soon... in the mean time, I'm sure to have a decent amount of knitting done by the time I get home!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

running out the door...

one down..., originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

going home today to see family for the first time since Christmas... which seems ridiculous and unbelievable... but that's what a semester overseas will get you.

Just wanted to show off that one of these is done as of last night! Hopefully there will be a matching pair by the time I'm back here in 10 days... and possibly a few other small things in the back of my mind that I want to have done in the next few weeks... nothing like leaving people in suspense, right?!

Friday, August 6, 2010

not making fun*

barthelona, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

You know how sometimes you really dread having to do something and then when you actually do it you realize it's not so bad after all? That's how I felt about these socks. The boy asked for some cotton socks, because he really likes the socks I've made him so far, but the ridiculous heat and humidity of summer here means that wool socks are completely out of the question. I haven't done much knitting with cotton because I normally don't like the feel of it... so I figured I would order some cotton sock yarn from knitpicks so that I wouldn't be too put out if it was totally hating it. (Knitpicks = ridiculously cheap, yo.)

Here's the kicker: I actually really like this yarn! It's soft and smooth and has great stitch definition! And this pattern (Barcelona socks) is super easy and memorizable (unless you continuously knit in public and talk to people rather than pay attention to what row you are on.... not that we know anyone who does that...) but gets even the most advanced knitters ooh-ing and aaaah-ing over how complex it looks.

*I am calling these "barthelona socks" because of the boy's love of this hipster pup. And yes, the "ce" sound really does sound lispy in Castilian Spanish.