Saturday, December 31, 2011


Roy G Biv by gradschoolknitter
Roy G Biv, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

For 2012 I have a few knitting-related resolutions that I'm hoping to keep.

For starters: I want to finish some long languishing projects before starting anything new. This includes the sweater that only needs one more (3/4 length) sleeve, a sock to match it's already finished partner, and a pair of possibly insanity inducing mittens. The only other UFO I have lying around that can't be included in this resolution is the never ending blanket. This is mostly due to the fact that I have used up all of the bits of left-over sock yarn that I have for the moment, and therefore it will actually have to wait until there are more bits available to add to it.

My second knitterly resolution is to stash down. As you can see from the above photo, as well as this recent post, the stash has been on the rise as of late... and you haven't even seen this:

Drops Alpaca

or this:

Cascade Indulgence

yet... and there's enough of each for a sweater, at least. Damn you, internets.

So, knitting from the stash, and, if possible, keeping up the SIAC (self-imposed-accessory-club) for 2012. 12 projects, direct from stash yarn and ravelry queued patterns. As for that top picture (which is knit picks' stroll tonal in ROYGBIV) I have plans... oh, do I have rainbowy, beautiful plans. But you'll just have to wait to see those!

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 in review

feb siac by gradschoolknitter
feb siac, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

Earlier this year I decided to try and use up some of my stash by making sure that at least one project a month was knit only using stash yarn. To this end I completed 10 projects starting in February and ending in November. (Technically I made lots of projects in December and some of them even fit the criteria, but the whole Christmas rush thing was more important than picking a particular project to feature as the SIAC project du jour.)

Above are the first socks I made for the Self-Imposed-Accessory-Club in February. Their simplicity (but cute picot detail) was very satisfying at that point, and I still wear them often.

wedding day

March was dedicated to the shawl I would wear on my wedding day. I don't count it technically finished until April 2, according to ravelry, but the knitting portion was finished long before that... I just waited around forever to block it.

may flowers

April was a busy month (see previous project...) and I had fought with this yarn on previous occasions, trying to find a way to make it into something that looked good and was usable. Finally, in the last few days of the month (and possibly running into the next), this cowl came to light.


Can I just say that I looooooove the socks that May brought about? The yarn (knit picks stroll tonal) is so soft but strong, and the pattern was just the right amount of mindless and interest. I really need to make more socks with paneled patterns as opposed to pattern all over.


June took us to Iceland for our honeymoon (of which there are many, many pictures both on this blog and in my flickr stream), where I worked on these socks for DH as we drove around the island.

view of the 'hood

July was moving time, and I'm shocked that I actually finished a project in that time. It was a strange time for us, we moved to a temporary place with most of our stuff in storage, and then again a week or two later... most of it is a blur to me now, so I barely remember how or when I actually had the time to knit, but I did. I ended up gifting this shawl to my grandmother this Christmas. I'm just not a shawl person, but I'm more than happy to knit them for others!

big brimmed hat

It was so hot I don't know what possessed me to make this hat in August.... but it was quick and small, so I guess it was easier than a blanket? In any case, I love the hat (and the mitts I made to match for a later SIAC) and wore both for most of the late fall with a leather jacket that matched the tones perfectly.

monkeys and cupcakes

Oh, monkey, how you torture me. I've made so many pairs of monkey socks and so many of them have come to ruin. I only got to wear these a few times before one accidentally made it into the dryer and felted beyond repair. Sigh.

smitten mittens

Matching mittens! Sadly the manos is fuzzing a lot, especially on the palms, where they come into contact with things like steering wheels, but the hat is in great condition, and I think the mitts will be again soon, whenever I take the time to locate my sweater shaver...

November SIAC #1

November had me madly dashing to finish some socks for a friend, long promised. And I did it! I even was able to leave them for her in her mailbox while visiting so that I didn't have to risk mailing them. (The PO and I have been in disagreement lately as to how efficiently they should send my packages.)

And that was 2011. Obviously that was not everything that I made this year, but it was a good representation and funnily enough, many of the projects are connected deeply to the major events of my year. I plan to continue the SIAC/stash down (which has grown in spite of my valiant efforts) in 2012, but more on that later...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

a very yarny christmas

You've seen most of what I've knit for Christmas, but I wanted to share some yarny things that I received, as well as a few things I made that haven't yet debuted here.

But I'd also like to say that if you've never read hyperbole and a half, you really should go check out this is why I'll never be an adult and then sneaky hate spiral. Even if you never come back here, you'll understand how my morning has been. I really do want to clean all the things... but it's contending with my desire to stay wrapped up in a blanket on my couch, death-staring the Christmas presents that haven't found a home yet, as well as the unpacked suitcases of dirty clothes.

OK, back to the yarny bits: above is Claudia Hand Painted Fingering in Bootcamp. I love this colourway. I'm a little concerned about making it into socks, however, since it does say hand wash/machine wash delicate. We shall see. I'm sure it'll become something great, in any case.

Also in the stash-enhancing category:

claudia handpaints deep bluw

More claudia handpainted fingering in Deep Blue. Both are from DH and both are much loved!

Of the things I knit-and-have-not-yet-been-seen:


A Dr. Bunsen Honeydew to hold DH's glasses! He really wanted it, and it's getting good use. The original pattern is crocheted, but I just converted the stitches one-to-one (if it said single crochet x stitches, I knit x stitches... etc).

I also knit yet another Oh, Christmas Tree:

neighbourly tree

And finally, my dad has spent a lot of time traveling for work this year, including some months in Australia. He brought back some little handmade goodies, including the snowman hanging in the background of the above photo and this:


We were all calling it a hedgehog, but it is apparently an "echidna". It (and I believe the ornaments... there is a Santa Claus somewhere too, but he's hiding in the dark depths of a bag I don't feel like unpacking right now) was made and sold by one of the crafters of the little glory gallery.

I hope you had a lovely and yarny Christmas too. Now, back to staring at the things, in the hopes that they will put themselves away.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

dork meter: to the max

I've been trying to get this to work all day, and I think it's finally a go: a new Float-Weaving Tutorial! I put one up years ago: here, and I always wanted to update it for a variety of reasons. So, finally, here it is!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

why didn't I think of this sooner?

pink christmas by gradschoolknitter
pink christmas, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

Ornaments are the perfect quick knit. You don't have to worry if they'll fit... and if the recipient hates it, you've only lost a couple hours knitting time, as opposed to a couple of weeks.

In the case of the above, it's entirely possible that someone could either LOVE it, or HATE it... but I kinda am leaning towards love. Oh, and it's not so much that the picture is blurry, as it is the fun fur. That's right. I used fun fur. And no, it was not fun.

Pattern is same as yesterday, my new Oh, Christmas Tree pattern, available for free on ravelry.

I also whipped up another little guy:


This one took slightly longer, if only to sew on the arms & legs and embroider the details. But still, a super quick knit. Pattern is part of the Merry Knitted Toy Trio. I'm going to add a hook and he'll be perfect ornament sized.

I think I'm done with all my Christmas knitting, except for a pair of mitts that I promised DH. They're colourwork (eep) so it might be pushing it to think that they could be done for the 25th, but I see him a little more often than I do the fam, so I think he'll forgive me the wait...

P.S. Apologies if you're seeing this twice... I accidentally hit post too quickly the first time around.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

my christmas gift to the knitters

oh, christmas tree by gradschoolknitter
oh, christmas tree, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

No, it's not just that I'm posting twice in one day...

I was up rather early this morning (as evidenced by 2 posts pre-9:30am) and whipped up this little tree in less than 2 hours of total knitting time. I decided to write it up as I went and my gift to all the knitters is the pattern, free!

You can either: download now, or head on over to the ravelry pattern page for queuing and such.

Can't see it so well against the tree background?

oh, christmas tree

Et voila. Happy Knitting and Merry Whatever-You-Like!

speaking of quick knits

winealicious by gradschoolknitter
winealicious, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

Started this Thursday evening, knitting was done last night (Friday), just had to make the drawstring this morning.

DH suggested this as a good non-wearable (by humans anyway) knit for someone that I always find it hard to knit or shop for. This kind of kills 2 birds, one stone, right? A nice bottle of wine and a reusable cozy. (I'll replace the used bottle currently propping it up with a new, unopened one, promise!) The cozy is possibly the perfect idea for this person who is almost constantly traveling and likes to bring wines back from faraway lands. This way at least one bottle will be protected from any rough baggage handlers!

Pattern is Winecozy (that's a rav link, but it can also be found on knitty).
Yarn is Cascade 220/220 heathers, randomly striped.
Needles are US 3 dpns (4s are in use and that might be the only size I don't have multiples of...)
Mods are many:
- Used instructions to create in the round (found on the comments page on ravelry).

- Did not do any crochet edging.

- Used 2 colours for drawstring.

- Did a purl ridge at bottom rather than the ridge as described.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Last Minute Christmas Knits

Matching Mitts by gradschoolknitter
Matching Mitts, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

I thought I'd post about a few quick knits for which I have patterns on ravelry, just in case anyone out there is, like me, scrambling in the 9 days left til Christmas to find something quick but still cute to knit for everyone on their list. (Usually I'm much more organized, at least in the knitting category, but this year has been super busy between the dissertation and searching the job market...)

Above are my Garter Cuff Mitts available (for free!) on Ravelry. Knit in worsted weight (and great for getting rid of 1/2 balls or leftover scraps if you want to get stripey!) these are super quick and the pattern comes with 4 sizes.

Next up:

Mittens fit for French Cousins

My Mittens Fit for French Cousins. Knit in bulky (even faster than worsted!), these shouldn't take more than a day or two of good knitting time to get under the tree! Also FREE on ravelry!

If you don't want to knit mittens there's always:


My Quicky Cowl pattern! Which is also free, knit in a heavy worsted and super quick. You don't even need to know how to knit in the round, since this is knit flat and then grafted at the end. (You could even cast on and off normally and sew it together if you want, although you'd see more of a seam that way.)

If you'd rather knit socks but think they'd take too long try a worsted weight pattern such as my Toasty Toes Worsted Weight Toe-Up Socks:

toasty toes

These ones are not free, but only $1.50 and I've done the math for 3 different sizes!

I have lots of other patterns, both free and for a small fee, but these are probably the quickest knits. You can see them all on my ravelry designer page.

If you're more organized than I am, what have you knit/are you knitting/will you knit for Christmas?? (I need some ideas too, ok?!)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

another one bites the dust!

Rikke Hat by gradschoolknitter
Rikke Hat, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

*boom*. Hat done. Ready to go under the tree.

Pattern is Rikke.
Yarn is Scarlet Fleece Ewe Silky Thing (formally Silk & Ivory) in Favorite Jeans.
Needles: US 4 for brim and 7 for the rest.
Mods: Knitted cast-on, because I was lazy and didn't feel like youtubing the German Twist-thing, 8" before decreasing instead of 9, because I didn't want a super slouchy hat and because I was slightly (and probably justifiably) worried about running out of yarn.

My version raveled here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

q bert scarf for DH by gradschoolknitter
q bert scarf for DH, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

DH wanted a scarf that looked like the board from Q*bert... so I looked through my stitchionaries and found a pattern that I thought looked as much like 3d blocks as I could.

The pattern is from the first Vogue Stitchionary, #265.

Yarn is Angel's Kiss Alpaca Yarn Bulky Alpaca-Merino in "Peeps"

US 9 (5.5mm) needles.

Raveled here.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

what I did with my weekend...

obsesivo by gradschoolknitter
obsesivo, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

I still need to set the twist, but I'm hoping there's enough there for a project I have in mind. Ended up with 7.5-ish oz (212 g), with a little of the pink left over.

I'm calling the colourway "Go Team Girl"... I think the colours speak for themselves.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

One Christmas gift down... many more to go. Actually, I haven't really decided who all I'm knitting for for Christmas (15 days, what?!), but I know that these will be under the tree for someone. And I decided to gift a shawl I made this summer to someone else since I never actually use shawls and I know the someone else will be far more appreciative of it... and there's a hat and a couple other little things that I'm going to try and get done. In the next 15 days. Yeesh.

In other fiber news:

Spin Span Spun

I learned how to SPIN! I bought all that fiber way back in June on our trip to Iceland and had no idea what to do with it... so when I saw that my old LYS was now offering spinning lessons I decided to try and make it to one during my recent trip back. I couldn't make it to the actual class but the instructor was happy to have a private lesson with me, which was so much fun!! The brown yarn is some merino she gave me to practice with and the greeny-yellow stuff is a mix of merino that she gave me (the darker green) and silk tussah (the variegated green and white, also from the instructor) and the yellow-ish green is part of my icelandic stash! As is the teal currently on the spindle.

And finally:

A new project... DH wanted a scarf that "looks like the board from Q*bert. Yeaaaah. This is my best interpretation, which is based on a stitch pattern from the Vogue Stitchionary.

Rav links:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Nothing phobic about it

aquaphobia by gradschoolknitter
aquaphobia, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

I am loving these socks. Loving them. The pattern was just right for this almost out of control yarn... I think the almost constant slip stitches really kept the crazy under wraps.

At least, until we hit the gusset, as can be better seen in this next pic:


Pooling. Of course. But that's what happens when you just suddenly introduce a bunch of new stitches, I guess. Still, I think the leg portion looks awesome and the gusset/foot will generally be inside shoes, right?

I still haven't decided if I can bear to give these away, although the plan is to do so, since, as the harlot so eloquently explained earlier today Christmas knitting is upon us. I'm going to try and get over it and make these a gifted pair.

Pattern is Aquaphobia
Yarn is Knit Picks Stroll Handpainted in Make Believe
Needles are US 1 dpns
Mods: Made the cuff longer (30 repeats instead of 20).

Saturday, November 26, 2011

never get dirty

never get dirty by gradschoolknitter
never get dirty, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

So, I tried to bump up the contrast but you really can't see the pattern at all. Sigh. Oh well, that's what I get for making black socks!

I finished them just in the knick of time—binding off the morning of gift-giving time!

Pattern is Brainless by Yarnissima
Yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts "Sock Candy" (96% cotton, 4% elastic)
On size 1 (2.25mm) dpns.
Mods: None to speak of really...

Raveled here.

Friday, November 18, 2011


long enough? by gradschoolknitter
long enough?, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

I finally had some decent lighting yesterday afternoon, so here is an almost-finished sock. I have 6-ish days to finish the other one (this one did get finished late last night), so I'd better get knitting!!

Raveled here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

2 wrongs

2 wrongs by gradschoolknitter
2 wrongs, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

don't make a good photo.

Sorry for the poor quality but black yarn + using your own foot as a model (x bad lighting, if we want to get picky) = not the best picture. Also, I swear it's not that linty in real life... I'm not even sure what the camera is picking up on.

In any case... brainless is coming along rather well. Not sure why it's called brainless though... because I've certainly had to put mine to work to figure this thing out. It's not that it's particularly hard, you just have to pay extra close attention to certain details... like, not finishing the last row of the chart... or that k2tbl means knit next 2 stitches through back loop individually, not knit 2 together through back loop...

But, once you've got all that sorted, it goes along rather quickly. I have 2 skeins of yarn (and they weight the same... a generous 66 grams as opposed to 50!) so I'll just keep trucking along on the cuff now unti lI run out.

Raveled here.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Christmas Yarn

Blue Moon Sock Candy by gradschoolknitter
Blue Moon Sock Candy, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

I haven't had much time to think about it yet, and I don't know that I'll be able to knit as much for Christmas as I normally would, but I picked up a few things so I could make a few small gifts this year.

Up there is Blue Moon's Sock Candy in Black. It's a 96% Cotton (the rest is "elite" elastic). My father-in-law apparently really likes to get 100% cotton socks, if at all possible, but I was worried that 100% cotton wouldn't have any hold, so I picked this for a pair of socks for him. I need to get moving on these though, since we're seeing them for Thanksgiving and might not get back again before Christmas, so I'd like to have them done by then.

Scarlet Fleece Grassy Wool

Scarlet Fleece Grassy Wool in charcoal grey to line the icelandic mitts for DH. It's a Merino-Bamboo blend, and totally soft and wonderful!

Scarlet Fleece Ewe Silky Thing

Scarlet Fleece "Ewe Silky Thing" in "Favorite Jeans". A 50/50 Silk and Merino blend, so pretty and so soft... but I'll keep to myself for now what it might become!

Friday, November 11, 2011

November SIAC complete!

Nov SIAC complete by gradschoolknitter
Nov SIAC complete, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

And just in time. Not that it's December yet, but because I'm visiting a friend for whom they are destined. So, apologies for the quick iphone photo, but thems the breaks!

Pattern: Pillars
Yarn: Abstract Fibers Mighty Sock (less than 1 skein)
Needles: US 1.5 dpns
Mods: 1x1 twisted rib for the cuff, slip stitch heel, toe decreases spaced with a knit row all the way to the end.

Raveled here.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

5 days, 1 sock

November SIAC #1 by gradschoolknitter
November SIAC #1, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

Considering I seem to think I have very little knitting time right now, these socks are flying off the needles. Granted, it's the weekend, so while I'm still working a bit, I'm definitely not going as strong as I would on a weekday.

So, sock one is down, another to go. Perhaps if I can get the 2nd done in another 5 days I can give these to their intended recipient when I visit this week.

Pattern: Pillars
Yarn: Abstract Fiber Mighty Sock
Needles: US 1.5/2.5mm

Raveled here.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Never Ending Blanket: the Update

Never Ending Blanket by gradschoolknitter
Never Ending Blanket, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

Started in May 2009, this blanket seems like it may never be fully finished. Even when bound off, there will be days worth of ends to weave in (man do I wish I had known about Russian Joins earlier). But still our intrepid knitter slogs on.

I have, in fact, begun decreasing, which means the end is actually a possibility now. It's hard to tell from the pictures but this will probably fit a double or queen sized bed in the end. Still, I have no immediate desire to be done with it. I pick it up once in a while and then put it down for months on end (because really, who wants to knit on a giant blanket in the middle of summer?), but now it's the perfect thing: keeps me warm while I'm working and my fingers busy when I'm reading.

Aside from the blanket-without-end, I've also been working on the November SIAC socks:

SIAC November Socks

Far more portable than a gigantic blanket and more pressing in terms of end-date. Still, I'm in the final throws of writing a chapter, so there isn't much time for uninterrupted knitting.

Rav links: Blanket & Socks.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


SpaceCadet Izarra by gradschoolknitter
SpaceCadet Izarra, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

I had almost completely forgotten that after the madness of the ply party that I had signed up for SpaceCadet Creations' Yarn Club... whoops! So when I got an email the other day with a tracking number I was super excited!! I had no idea what to expect since this was my first yarn club experience.

Well, I was not disappointed! I mean, check out that yarn! The yarns are exclusive to the club (both colourway and base are new this time round) for a period of time (I can't remember if it is 6 months or a year). Depending on the light this yarn can look almost purple, almost grey and always teal. I love, love, love it.

Now to just figure out what to do with it.... hmmm...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


november siac by gradschoolknitter
november siac, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

I had such high hopes for November... I was going to participate in NaKniSweMo... but I was also going to be DONE with this chapter, and I'm not. So I have to prioritize a little and thesis seems to trump knitting.

I'm also revising my own rules for the Self Imposed Accessory Club... this yarn was not in my stash at the beginning of the year, but I do need to make an accessory out of it, long promised for a friend. Since knitting time looks like it might be few and far between this month, I'm going to have to concentrate on one thing, rather than start this friend's project and a SIAC project too. Two birds, one stone and all that.

Hopefully this chapter will finish itself soon (I'd like to be done with it by the end of the week if at all possible). Then I can move on to, joy of joys, editing. Blech. I have an entire thesis that needs to be re-read and re-edited for re-submission to my advisors. November, you are not holding up your end of the bargain. Sigh.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


smitten mittens by gradschoolknitter
smitten mittens, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

and just in time... for both the end-of-month deadline and the cold weather! It's really starting to settle in for good, so I'm really glad to have a new pair of mittens (and ones that match my new hat and scarf rather well, if I do say so myself!).

Raveled here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

slow moving

oct siac mitten by gradschoolknitter
oct siac mitten, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

Just a quick post to show you all the very small amount of work done so far on my October SIAC mittens. It's been a rough month, at least for knitting production, but I'm hoping to get these done before Nov 1... almost a week still left in this month, right?

Monday, October 24, 2011


iHoneycombs by gradschoolknitter
iHoneycombs, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

Bees and honeycombs seem to be the big thing lately. I blame the beekeeper's quilt (otherwise known as the hexi-puff blanket), of which there are many versions that include a colourworked bee here and there... man I wish I could dedicate the time to this right now.

Instead, I'm trying to favour small projects that can get done in a weekend away at a friend's cottage (for example), since I don't have much time during the week, or at least, I should be dedicating most of my time to dissertating. (Getting to the end, which seems to be the hardest part...)

Anyway, DH mentioned the other day that he wanted a cover for his new iPhone, thus, this was born.

Pattern is: bHive and yarns are left overs from socks (Zitron Trekking XXL and Knit Picks Comfy Sock).

Raveled here.