Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Beware the blob!

happily ever after, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Actually, it's a wedding blanket...

It doesn't look like much of anything, maybe an oversized tam, but eventually it will be an adult sized undercover, for some friends who got married in January. It's a bit late, but it's been a hectic few months... who knew wedding planning + dissertation writing would be so complex!?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

a sock and a stretchy bind-off

, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Tah-daaaah! A sock! Ignore the long stretch of time since my last post...

I'm actually "home" visiting in Canada, to put the final touches on the wedding preparations. Fortunately we're not too fussy about things being just so, so everything is working out wonderfully.

This morning I finished up the first of a pair of very rainbow-ish socks for the boy who thinks grey is a colour... so hopefully he'll like them.

I didn't have a tapestry needle handy but really wanted to use EZ's stretchy bind-off (a good demo of which can be found towards the bottom of this page), so I just used what I had on-hand... my knitting needles.

If you aren't familiar with EZ's version, you might want to take a look first... or not, maybe it would get confusing?

Anywho, here it is:

First of all, cut your yarn, leaving a decent length (enough to work all stitches twice... I find if I wrap it around my hand about 4 times, I have plenty left over).

Insert your needle into the first two stitches, as if to knit them together. Wrap the yarn around the needle and pull the needle back out (just like a knit stitch)... but instead of slipping them off the left-hand needle, just keep pulling your right hand needle until the yarn comes all the way through.

Now go back to the first stitch and insert your needle as if to purl. Wrap your yarn around and pull it out the back, all the way, just as for the first step. Slip this first stitch off the needle.

Repeat both steps until one stitch remains. Work it as a knit stitch and then (if you do have a tapestry needle or crochet hook lying around) weave in your ends. Or be lazy like me and just start the next sock, leaving your ends loose! (Ok, eventually I will weave them in... just not today.)

P.S. The blanket keeping me warm in the demo shots is a never-before-photographed knit of mine from... maybe 2002? Before I really got back into knitting, but needed something to keep me busy over a Christmas break, I made that blanket, a feather and fan pattern in Lion's Brand HomeSpun.

P.P.S. In case anyone was wonder, the yarn for the socks is much more exciting... it's Zitron Unisono, which I also used for a shawl for my mom last year. It's lovely, soft stuff, with aloe vera and jojoba mixed in. Needles are US 2s and pattern is just cast-on, increase, heel, cuff from my head.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

an inheritance, of sorts

inheritance #1, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

For the most part, I didn't knit these socks.

Or these ones, for that matter:

inheritance #2

But now they're mine, I guess. I won't go into too many details about how they came into my possession, out of respect for the people involved, but these belonged to a knitter I never knew... although I wish I could have. This knitter that I would never know was very special to someone who is very special to me. Her other unfinished projects have since been finished and given to family members who would treasure them and keep them as memories. No one, however, knew how to finish socks. So these socks have sat, for a few years, only to finally find their way into my hands, and, perhaps, eventually onto my feet.

We knit a little differently, this knitter and I... you might be able to tell, if you look closely on the first picture, that the sock that is almost done and the sock that is still in progress are resting on different needles. She used a size 3... to mimic her stitches I had to go down a size. (I tried to finish them using her needles... but the difference was too stark.)

The visible differences, however, stop there. The colours (green and purple on the first and that teal in the second) are exactly what I would have chosen, given the chance.

But this... this was perhaps the most shocking discovery to me:

perfect fit

They're a perfect fit.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

caving to convention

alice socks #2, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

It's Wednesday, right? Let there be wips!

So I almost never do a wips update, and probably even less so on a Wednesday... but hey, stranger things, right?

Above is the 2nd sock in my down the rabbit hole set. After the first one these got cast aside for a while for other, more pressing things (read: chapter 1 of my thesis got handed in, didn't it?) and then forgotten about (feb SIAC had to get done too).

I have to admit, I wasn't thrilled with the pooling on the first sock (raveled here), and clearly the second will be no different. But I've come to terms with it. It's a sock after all, and hardly anyone will actually see it.

But this... this is a much more important WIP:

wrapped up in clover

It is my March entry in the Self Imposed Accessory Club, but more importantly, it is the shawl/shawlette/capelette/whatever you want to call it, that I will be wearing on my wedding day.

The pattern is Emily by Ysolda Teague, and I love, love love it. I love most of her stuff, and I'm slowly realizing that it is her incorporation of garter stitch into most everything that I really can't resist. The yarn is the Araucania Ranco Solid that I received in a swap package last fall. As soon as I saw the yarn I knew I wanted to make myself a shawl for the wedding out of it. I just hope I have enough!