Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Wrap-Up

socks! by gradschoolknitter
socks!, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

No, I did not knit all of those in January.

I purposefully did not pick a January SIAC project, as I needed some time to work on some UFOs, as well as a few other things I had going on.

In terms of knitting UFOs I did finish a sweater for me and a pair of socks for DH (and yes, I did go back and rip out the first toe and re-knit it). I did not finish DH's colourwork mittens, in part because they're too complex to work on during thesis time, but the extra yarn did arrive.

And: the biggest UFO of all: my dissertation. I sent a revised draft of all of my chapters to my thesis advisor and second reader on Saturday night. Now I just need to whip up an introduction and conclusion and I should be set to defend—soon. It's exciting and scary and everything all at once!

Other January news: I had my 5 year blogiversary. I'm a little sad because I just found out this morning that the first prize winner received her prize package last night and it was empty. The card was there but the yarn was gone. Way to go USPS. I'm so disappointed and angry and I'm going to call them later and give them a real earful. I'm also going to try and call the distributing centers near to us both and see if they can't locate it. The silly thing is that the package was sealed back up, so it makes me wonder if someone noticed it was open. Or opened it. In any case, I'm once again disappointed in USPS. This is not the first time something in a package I've sent went missing, or took WAY TOO LONG to get to it's destination (disqualifying me from a job in Canada I would have died for)... the list goes on and on. I guess one of these times I'll learn my lesson and switch to fed ex or ups.

But let's end this on a happy note, and the reason for the many many socks pictured above: the international sock swap starts tomorrow!!! Which means you still have until tonight at midnight to sign up. (Probably really until tomorrow morning... I most likely won't be up at midnight to shut down the sign ups.) So if you're still on the fence COME JOIN US! It's a fun group and I have several pairs now of awesome socks that I love to wear all the more because they were made FOR me, instead of by me. I love my own socks too, of course (and really need to make a few more pairs soon as some of the older ones are getting threadbare), but there's something special about wearing socks that someone made especially for you.

Hope your January was just as good, and here's to an even better February!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

WIPs on a weekend

The rainbow baby blanket is well over half way finished, in part thanks to the ease with which garter stitch can be accomplished even when reading complex passages of psychoanalysis!
Pattern is the Super Easy Baby Blanket, which clearly lives up to its name.

Another new WIP I'm working on is Argo:

contiguous beginnings

Obviously I've only just started, and so far I am loving it (and especially the yarn, which is Cascade Indulgence (70% alpaca, 30% angora... what's not to love?) that I got on a a craftsy deal for a great price). I'm a little worried, though, since I'm using a worsted weight (and a light one at that), while the original pattern calls for aran... I did get gauge on 8s but the fabric was very hole-y and I didn't like it at all... so I went down a needle size and up a pattern size and am crossing my fingers that it'll all work out for the best... also worrying is the reports of pilling for this yarn... alpaca and angora, two of the hairiest yarns out there... of course there will be pilling... let's just hope I can control it with a sweater shaver!

Monday, January 23, 2012

the post you actually wanted to read this morning

Drum roll please.......

The winner for best answer (because it involved yaks and the phrase "hot knitting" which probably will generate me lots of google hits) goes to: Kate!

And the 2 random draws go to: Kim and Elinor! (Yes, the random number generator really chose 1 and 2. I guess that's why they call it random!)

I'll contact you guys shortly on ravelry, unless you see this first and then feel free to send me a message with the name of the pattern you want me to gift to you!

really finished this time

I finally sewed on a button and made a loop for my garter stitch swingy sweater last night. Don't mind my hair.... or my face... it's still early, ok?

So now it's really, really finished and I'm going to wear it out of the house this morning! I'm still thinking about adding another button or two, I have three of these that I bought ages ago without any plan, I just thought they were kind of awesome. Anyway, we'll try one this morning and see how that goes.

Comments have been (or at least will be momentarily) closed for the 5 year blogiversary contest. Winners will be announced later when I'm not about to run out the door for yoga.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

one of these things is not quite like the other

not quite by gradschoolknitter
not quite, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

As you may be able to tell, upon not-so-close inspection, one of these socks is longer than the other. I made the first one some time ago and did not really pay attention to the length (something about boredom and not loving the yarn might have been involved) and so it really wasn't long enough for DH. The second one fits better (truth be told it is still snug, but Cascade Fixation is nothing if not stretchy) so all that's left to call these finished is cutting out the toe of the first and knitting a little more length. I also decreased more on the second which makes for a pointier (and therefore also longer) toe.

I should probably go do that right now before I remember how much I dislike the yarn and cast them off for something newer and shinier...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

5 years

I thought about not posting today, in solidarity with other sites that have gone dark against sopa (see wikipedia today for info and how you can speak out against it, and the oatmeal for an amusing but informative explanation) but since I generally only post my own images, I'm most likely exempt. And... blogiversary! So... SOPA bad, knitting good.

5 years ago today, I started this blog. Looking back on it is a bit strange... it's like a timeline of my life... in yarn. Sure, lots of other stuff has happened to me, but much like last year's SIAC projects, I can pick out the different phases of my life in the last 5 years and many of the projects bring back memories tied to them and the people for whom they were intended.

5 years is both a long time and a short time. I'm still in grad school (but not for long, suckas!) but yet I also met, and married, the love of my life in that period. I have more than 200 projects (211 to be exact) in my Ravelry notebook, and I'm sure there are a few that didn't make it on there, especially since I actually joined Ravelry a few months after starting this blog. This will be post 550 on the blog (just a coincidence, that).

I like blogging. I'm not sure how relevant my little knit-blog is to the world, but it's fun and affords more space for me to talk about my projects in a way I somehow don't see as appropriate in the ravelry notebook space. I like blogging so much that I recently started a new blog: Bikram, begin again to document my progress in yoga. Last October I decided that I was putting off feeling healthy and happy to work on the thesis, but that if I wasn't healthy and happy my work was suffering for it. It's one of the vicious cycles of grad school: you don't think you should do things that make you feel good because you think you should be solely focusing on work... but solely focusing on work is not healthy or happy and eventually the whole thing just falls apart on you. So taking the time out of my day a few times a week to do something I a) love and b) makes me feel better mentally, emotionally and physically is actually helping my work, not hindering it. Sort of like knitting while I read, I guess!

Anyway, if you've gotten this far, here's the deal: to celebrate my 5 year blogiversary there will be prizes! To enter, comment on this post with answers to the following 2 questions:

1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? (Knitting, life, love, whatever)

2. If you could suggest a rename for this blog, what would it be and why?

As for me, in 5 years I'm pretty sure I'll still be knitting, I really hope I'll still be practicing yoga, and with any luck, holding down the elusive tenure-track job. As for the rename, well, as I mentioned before, the grad school thing won't last forever... in fact, I'm getting close to the point where I can confidently say it should be over much sooner, rather than later. So I think that it's time to start considering a graduation of sorts for my blog and my ravelry persona. Something that encompasses not just my love of knitting but perhaps a mishmash of the other aspects of my life as well. One day, perhaps I'll incorporate Bikram, begin again and a knitting blog into one... we shall see.

But really, let's face it. You're still here because you want to know what the prizes are:

neighborhood fiber co - studio sock "thomas circle"

First place (for best answers, as deemed by myself and perhaps DH, if I need some help deciding) will get one skein of Neighborhood Fiber Co's studio sock in "Thomas Circle". I bought two with the idea that I would make some kind of striped sweater but I don't really think I have enough. I do have enough for socks though, even out of one, or perhaps a small shawl? In any case, I think the other will be put to good use by one of you good people.

Two more commenters will be chosen at random and I'll gift them the paid-for ravelry pattern of their choice.

Comments will be open on this post from now (Jan 18, 7:30-ish AM) until the end of the weekend (Jan 22nd, midnight-ish). Please make sure you leave your ravelry name in your comment so I can contact you!

OK, that's it, commence commenting!

Monday, January 16, 2012

things to do with sock yarn

2/7 of a rainbow by gradschoolknitter
2/7 of a rainbow, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

Since I "finished" my sweater the other day (buttons notwithstanding), I figured it would be ok to cast-on for another project. Also, colourwork mittens are not exactly great a great project for knitting-while-reading/watching tv. They are dedicated concentration knitting and I needed something a little more simple.

I have a couple of very close friends who are expecting this year and so it's time for the invasion of the baby knits! Above is the beginnings of a Super Easy Baby Blanket from Purl Soho. The original calls for sport weight but since most of the babies I'm about to meet are due in the summer, I though finger weight would be more appropriate. I also wanted something fun, gender neutral and happy so I'm going with ROYGBIV: all the colours of the rainbow. I just started on yellow, right after this picture was taken, and I'm loving this blanket. Squishy garter stitch in soft knit picks stroll tonal (looks like I ordered at just the right time as several of the colours I chose are no longer available) make for a yummy knit. And, of course, washable. I have no romantic notions that my baby knits will not get spit up on at some point in their lives.

And hey, if you want to keep your sock yarn for socks and socks alone, you should totally come join us over at the international sock swap! Sign-ups are still open and will be until the end of January! Knit a pair of socks for someone else and get a pair in return. You get the joy of knitting and gifting to someone who will really understand and appreciate the work you put into it AND receive a handknit gift yourself (something that I don't get very often... although I do love to gift my knits too).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

maybe now it'll snow?

I started this in late September, hoping that I'd finish it in time for fall... but now it's January and we've barely had a winter. It is supposed to snow quite a bit this weekend though, so maybe I'll get some buttons on by then and I'll get some use out of it after all!

When I get buttons on I'll take pictures in some better light. Raveled here.

Friday, January 6, 2012

this is not the stash you're looking for

space cadet lucina by gradschoolknitter
space cadet lucina, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

I swear, I'm knitting from stash. And finishing up old UFOs. And I didn't buy that yarn.

Ok, I did. But it was months ago, as part of the SpaceCadet Creations' Interstellar Yarn Alliance Yarn Club. I had almost completely forgotten about it, until it showed up on my doorstep last night! So no, just like the mittens, this doesn't count.

In other news: I love this yarn! LOVE! I love the semi-strange mix of colours and the subtle sparkle. The base is Lucina and the colour name is "Selfish". Which is the perfect name, because this is MINE! ALL MINE!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Does it count as stash enhancement if you run out of yarn?

so close by gradschoolknitter
so close, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

In my attempt to finish up some UFOs, as per my knitterly resolutions, I have come across an issue pertaining to yet another of said resolutions. See that picture of yarn up there? That's the yarn I'm using to make DH some mittens. I have one complete (minus the thumb) and there is a total of 48g of yarn left. (I know you can't really see it, but I promise, that's what it says on the scale.)

As for the mitten itself:

morko mitten

Yep, you guessed it, 48 grams. And no thumb. Which means that if I were to add the thumb, the mitten would have to weigh more than 48 grams and the yarn would therefore weigh less. Science? (Actually, math, but you get my point.)

So, I found out that webs sells the same icelandic wool and ordered another two skeins of the same yarn. I think what I'm going to do is knit the second mitten out of the yarn I already have and then use the new yarn for the thumbs, just in case it's not a total dyelot match.

So, what do you think? Does buying yarn to complete a project count as stash enhancement? Have I already broken my resolutions? Or am I in the clear?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

owl heels! by gradschoolknitter
owl heels!, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

Happy New Year! I hope everyone out there got to spend it with the people they love. DH and I mostly just spent it at home, drinking a little champers and watching the ball drop from the comfort of our couch. We thought about going out to see some fireworks but it was kind of a dreary day, so home seemed like the best option.

So, what does a sock have to do with the New Year, you might ask... well, it's also time for another International Sock Swap! That is one of the socks I made for my last partner, back in the summer swap. (I sat out the Christmas swap so that I could focus on school work and such... but I just missed the group so much that I'm back for the 2012 swaps!) If you want to join up, check out the group (linked above but here it is again for good measure!) and fill in the questionnaire. These socks went all the way to Italy, and my own package came to me from Texas.

I hope everyone has a happy and healthy 2012... and that you have lots of time for crafting this year!!