Thursday, June 30, 2011

who knits sweaters in the summer?

husband sleeve by gradschoolknitter
husband sleeve, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

Me, apparently.

I've been promising DH a sweater for a while now (since we got engaged, at least) so I guess it's high-time I got started. I'm starting with sleeves though, since those are still small enough to carry around and not make you sweat in the 90+ heat & humidity. We're moving north, however, so I think he'll get a lot of use out of it in the late fall and winter. It's going to be a oh handsome boyfriend sweater, albeit with some modifications for worsted weight yarn.

But we all know why you're really here... you want to know who won the giveaway... well, look no further: Dara, you're it! I guess your subtle approach really paid off, if any kind of approach can be applied to random number generators! Send me an email at with your deets and I'll send off your package just as soon as I can get to the post office!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

it's almost July?

June SIAC by gradschoolknitter
June SIAC, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

How is that possible? It took some serious knitting time between packing boxes this past weekend, but I got the June SIAC socks done, with plenty of time to spare!

Pattern is: Milo by Cookie A, from sock innovation.
Yarn is: Patons Australia Patonyle (approx. .8 of a skein)
Needles are: US 1 dpns by Hiya Hiya. I looooove these and am so sad that I lost one on the plane ride over to Iceland.

Don't forget to leave a comment on the previous post if you want to help me clean out my stash win a prize!

P.S. The socks are a lot darker BLACK than that, but I had to majorly bump up the contrast for the cables to be at all visible.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

do you know where your towel is?

packed up stash by gradschoolknitter
packed up stash, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

A little while ago I might have alluded to an announcement... so here it is: we're moving! Things at chez gradschoolknitter have been a little hectic lately, we got the news that DH got a new job in a new state right before we left for Iceland, and since we've been back it's been pack pack packing time. Above is the entirety of my stash, in 2 pillow-sized bags. The only things missing are things that I'm working on and/or about to cast on for: my stripe study shawl and a pair of milo's for DH as well as enough yarn for this sweater, requested by DH.

I'm shocked, honestly, that this is all there is. And you might notice that in the lefthand bag there is also an almost-full bag of fiber fill and a tote from my time with the MadridKnits girls. In the righthand bag there is the leftover sock yarn blanket (which has moved as a UFO with me more times than I care to admit) and a crocheted bag full of the leftovers still to be used for said project.

As we all know, moving time means decluttering time and I have decided to hold a little giveaway to clean out my knitting related goodies. Just leave a comment on this post—you can just say hi! or tell me how impressed you are with how small my stash is or... whatever you like, really—and on June 30th I'll close the comments and pick a person at random. What will said random person get? Good question.

give away

The package will consist of a knitty gritty tote bag, a ton of beads—some enameled, some rose quartz—and a culinary colors kit by Knit One, Crochet Too. What is a culinary colors kit, you ask? Well, it's to dye your own shawl or scarf, so it comes with 450 yards of lace weight "Douceur et Soie" (70% baby mohair/30% silk) 3 bottles of dye and instructions for a shawl and a scarf. The dye colors are "Fruit Sorbet", which translates to pink orange and yellow.

OK, comment away!

Friday, June 24, 2011

the b.f.g.

leaf detail by gradschoolknitter
leaf detail, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

No, not the Roald Dahl book—although it was a fave growing up—but the blanket that freakin' grew. I couldn't even get the whole thing on camera:

wedding blanket

Not even on an angle:

wedding blanket

I had no idea how big it was going to be while it was still on the needles, although I was hoping for a decent size, and even when it was bound off and un-blocked, it was impossible to tell. I probably could have stretched it even bigger, but it would have been very difficult to pin to the [double-sized] bed.

I *think* it might be the biggest thing I've ever made... the only thing that might compare is this blanket, but it only had 10 stitches to bind off... I have no idea how many this latest one had, but it took 3 almost-consecutive hours of EZ's sewn bind-off to get it all done!

Pattern is: Undercover from Hedgehog Fibres.
Yarn is: Cascade 220 Heathers in 9451 7.25 skeins.
Needles: US 8 circs (2, to hold all the stitches!)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Iceland Redux

Thank you so much to everyone who has commented on my Iceland posts. We had so much fun and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a different experience than the normal Europe or beach type trip.

I have a few more images that I wanted to share but just couldn't fit into my other posts. Above, for example, is a carving of a woman knitting. At the museum it was labelled as "naïve art," since the artist was an amateur, probably just whittling things for fun at home. You can see the yarn being cradled under her arm and the needles in her hands.

And there were. of course, tons of animals:



miniature horses
And miniature horses!

And tons of other fiber (and other) arts:

horsehair rug
horsehair rug

weaving loom

embroidered chair
embroidered chair


embroidered handkercheif
embroidered handkerchief

wood carved animals
carved wooden creatures

embroidered saga
Embroidered scene from an Icelandic Saga

map of iceland

Iceland was fabulous and so different from any trip I had ever taken before! I would definitely recommend it, but make sure you get out of Reykjavik and see some of the amazing and alien-like landscape of the sparsely populated countryside. You won't regret it!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled knitting...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

thing bought: in Iceland

Aside from the slightly ridiculous amount of unspun wool (ok, it's not that much, but I've never actually spun before...) I got on my first day in Iceland, there were a few more purchases made on our way around the island. Like the Léttlopi, above. DH wants some traditional scandinavian mittens, and this will do the trick.

And for myself...

stripe study

The grey is Kambgarn, which I am mixing with the wullenstudio sock yarn that was given to me a while back. I am loving this shawl and having a hard time putting it down to work on more pressing things. You know, like that whole pesky dissertation thing...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

things knit: in Iceland

Iceland had no small share of knitted items, and in a folk museum in Skogar (the same one in which we saw the turf-roof houses, as pictured yesterday) we came upon an impressive number of knitting machinery. This is only half of one room of fiber arts tools. There were spinning wheels and knitting machines and spools and a weaving loom... the list goes on and on.

lamb bone spools
Old spools, made of lamb leg-bones.

There were also some beautiful examples of Icelandic knitting:

mittens in traditional patterns
Traditional Scandinavian Mittens.

knitted insoles
Replaceable insoles for shoes and slippers.

As well as practical, every day items:

knitted riding socks
Knitted riding socks. To go over the boots, without a heel, to fit around the spurs.

knitted stirrups
Knitted straps for stirrups.

And perhaps my favorite:

Fisherman's gear
Fisherman's gear.

Perhaps you'll understand why on the close-up:

double-thumbed mittens

They made the mittens with 2 thumbs each, one on each side of the mitt. That way, if the thumb wore out during a long days work (rowing, pulling on ropes, climbing things, etc), the sailor could flip it around and worry about darning the other one later. Ingenious!

Finally, back in modern day Reykjavik, people are still knitting:

knit tagging in Reykjavik

And myself? Well, of course I knit! Most of the driving time I knit on a long overdue blanket (which I made quite a bit of progress on, but still looks much like a blob when photographed), and occasionally (when the need for something more compact was felt, say, on a plane) I worked on these:

(I bumped up the contrast and exposure on this so that you could actually see the cabling... black + cables = not very capturable on film...)

Pattern is Milo from Cookie A's Sock Innovation.
Yarn is Paton's Australia Patonyle (in black, of course).
Needles are Hiya Hiya US 1s. I'm so sad, I lost one on the way to Iceland somehow... but 4 will suffice.

Tune in next time for the 3rd and final installment of "Things in Iceland", where I talk about things bought in Iceland... you knew it was coming, didn't ya?

Monday, June 13, 2011

things seen: in Iceland

(Above: Water falling over lava formations near Reykholt.)

Without going into too much detail I have chose a few (ok, like 20) of the best pictures (of a possible 400 +) I took in Iceland to share with you all. I'll try to keep my descriptions brief, because it'll be long just in terms of photography.

First off, there is not one thing, one geography, one mindset that can describe Iceland. Sure, a lot of it is still pure, wild (cold) nature, but it is so vastly different from one moment to the next, it's hard to believe you're still in the same country, let alone such a small one. We drove the circumference (on the "Ring Road" or Road 1) and saw so many amazing, varying sights.

icelandic graffiti
I took so many pictures of interesting street art, it was hard to pick one.

boiling mud pits
Boiling mud pits. Sulphuric (aka STINKY) boiling mud pits. The land around this area was covered in red sand. It seriously looked like we had landed on Mars.

krafla crater
Volcanic crater/lake.

glacial ice
Glacial Ice. Apparently only blue because water can't absorb blue out of all the colours in the spectrum, and thus when hit by light, blue is the colour that reflects. We got to eat a piece of this 2000 year old glacier. Surprisingly refreshing and not at all stale, given it's age.

black sand plains
Black Sand Plains. Which quickly turned into...

sand storm
A sand storm. Through which we (ok, DH) had to drive.

volcanic ash
Volcanic ash covering a field, from the most recent eruption.

turf roof houses
Turf Roof Houses. Surprisingly roomy.

thingvellir national park
Thingvellir national park. Where the two plates meet and where Iceland held it's first parliament in the 10th century.

helpful hints for gentlemen
More street art, I suppose. But a fun (and perhaps helpful?) reminder for guys (and any ladies who like to rock the tie)!

And of course, there was knitting... knitted goods, knitted artifacts, even some knit-tagging. But that'll have to wait for next time!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

sock, meet glacier

sock, meet glacier.

This was the view from our window last night/this morning. We then went and took a cruise on the glacial lagoon, which, while frigid, was well worth it:

Monday, June 6, 2011

Velkomin til Íslands

Welcome to Iceland!

So we've been in Iceland for two days now, and since it is light out approximately 20 hours a day, I woke up at 5am, saw light peaking behind the curtains in full force and freaked out, thinking we had slept until 5pm. Then I fully woke up and realized my mistake, but it was difficult to get back to sleep. So here it is, a little after 7am, and I figured I'd share some pictures of our adventures so far.

First off, there is wool, of course, everywhere. But mostly in already-knitted form. For example, the traditional Icelandic patterns, usually on sweaters and in this case, cowls:

Icelandic sweaters and cowls

But my favourite thus far:

Icelandic snuggy!!

The Icelandic Snuggy!!!!!

There is also, of course, lots of wool in it's pre-use form:

icelandic sheep!

And in this pre-use form as well:

Unspun lopi, backlit at 7am

What's that you say? You can't see it since it's backlit at seven am?

Ok, how about this:

Unspun Lopi

Yup, I fell down again and bought a bunch of unspun lopi wool. It was ridiculously cheap. A little over 400 grams for 710kr... which is about $6.20 US. So yeah, it was basically impossible to resist.

Anyway, that's a quick fix of Iceland in two days. If we get internet access again in a few days, perhaps I'll have some more woolly news for you!