Thursday, August 30, 2012

disaster (semi)averted

Well, minus a few stray ends, this is pretty much done. I'm not in love with this "blanket". I know that I said I thought it was brilliant, and I still think that the construction is, but I hate the outcome. Actually, I don't still think the construction is brilliant. I think the concept is. But the final result is less than desirable.

For starters, grafting takes time. A lot of time. In fact, I probably spent almost as much time sewing the squares together as I did knitting them. And the little circles in between? So annoying. What's more annoying, though, is the fact that they leave holes on all four corners of each square. I had a hunch that I should pick up some extra stitches for each one, but I went against my better judgement and did not do it. Wrongity-wrong-wrong.

Another annoyance (and this is my own fault) is that this really isn't big enough, even for a baby blanket. It might grow a bit with blocking, but not enough. So, I'm going to go with one of two options:

a) backing the blanket with fabric and adding a bit extra to the border, something like this.
b) making it into a pillow (also with a fabric backing) that can be used in a nursery rocking chair or for decoration.

What do you think? Would you prefer to receive a baby blanket or a decorative pillow?

Friday, August 24, 2012


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

It might not look like much right now, but this is going to be a brilliant baby blanket (yes, another one. Seriously people, enough with the babies! I kid, I kid) with my complements to the brilliant Elizabeth Zimmerman. It seems like every time I read a bit of one of her books or try one of her patterns I'm inspired and a little in awe—sometimes in that "I cannot believe anyone ever thought of that" way and sometimes in a "I can't believe I never thought of that!" way too. This is part of the latter, but I'm going to take squares to new heights soon, just you wait and see!

Pattern is: EZ's Mystery Weaving Blanket
Yarn is: the 7 interminable skeins of knit picks stroll (seriously, I've made 2 baby blankets and a pair of socks from this stuff already and I'll still have enough left over after this project for something else)
Needles: US 1/2.25mm

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

barcelona pair #2

barcelona pair #2 by gradschoolknitter
barcelona pair #2, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

DH finally has a pair of barcelona socks* to replace the ones I made him two years ago. Who knows what happened to those ones... but hopefully these will last a little longer.

I used slightly less than 2 skeins of claudia handpaints (and had 3 originally) for the socks. Now I'll have to find something to use up the rest... matching gloves perhaps?

*The pattern (and the sockwars website) no longer seem to be available. If anyone is interested, I do have a copy, but we should probably message the designer to find out what is going on/if it's ok to pass along...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

love can... baby blanket edition

love can... by gradschoolknitter
love can..., a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

Last year (almost exactly a year ago!) I went to the wedding of a dear friend and took them this. There was some yarn leftover and their new family is growing... and so the "love can... baby blanket" was born! I used up the cotton from the pillow (which is the natural/cream coloured yarn) and Cascade Cherub Aran for the stripes and border.

It's a simple blanket but I love the way it turned out and I hope they will too!

In other knitting news, I am making a pair of socks for DH to replace his favorite pair, which have gone mysteriously missiing:

replacement sock

Same pattern, different yarn.
Pattern is Barcelona (I'm not sure why but there is no option to download from ravelry and the webpage has gone missing... if someone is interested, please message the designer...)
Yarn is Claudia hand-painted fingering which was a Christmas gift from DH last year.
Needles: US 1/2.25mm

Monday, August 6, 2012

wishful thinking

left and right
left and right, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

Man, I wish I could keep these socks. I mean, I could, because every woman in my family apparently has the same sized feet, so they fit perfectly... but alas, that was not their intended purpose.

But don't they look just right, kicked back and relaxing on my feet?

mind the mess

Oh well.

Pattern: Aphrodite
Yarn: Neighborhood FIber Co. Studio Sock (far less than 1 skein, but we have small feet...)
Needles: US 1/2.25 mm
Mods: None, unless you count the fact that I repeated the 2nd chart for a longer leg.
Raveled: here.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Something new...

So what I really should be doing is cleaning. The things are threatening to take over and it's not going to be pretty. And I might have dug up almost the entirety of my stash to look for handspun yarns for my last project and not quite put it all back nice and neat. Maybe.

But as a friend on Facebook pointed out, knitting a new project is like destashing, and destashing is like cleaning, right? Plus all these people (not me, just putting that out there to avoid confusion!) keep getting pregnant, so I really need to step up my baby knitting game.

And so, last night I found myself digging thru the stash and I came up with these two yarns that I thought might go well together. I'm not sure how big it's going to get, or if there is going to be a border added (current thoughts: yes...) so stay tuned.

And eventually I'll knit enough that the stash will just clean itself, right?

Friday, August 3, 2012

objects on the needles may be bigger than they appear

loooong scarf by gradschoolknitter
loooong scarf, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

Have you ever been knitting along on a project, say, a sweater for yourself, and someone else comes along and says something along the lines of: "that isn't for you, is it?" You know they mean well, but it plants that seed of self doubt. You try to answer confidently "Why yes, it's just my size!" and they say again "Are you sure? It just looks... a little small."

Here's the deceptive thing about circular knitting: usually the needles you're working with have a smaller circumference than the actual size of the finished garment. It makes sense, of course: if they were bigger, you wouldn't be able to stretch all your stitches around them, right? So you stuff all those stitches on to a slightly smaller circumference in order to be able to actually make everything work properly.

So, back to our doubting thomas, and that voice in your head. Eventually, maybe after doubting-thomas has left the building so as to not give them the satisfaction, you'll decide to string up all your stitches on some waste yarn so that you can try it on. And before you can even put it over your head (sometimes before you can even get all the stitches off the needle) you realize: it's freakin' huge.

Not just "oh, this will be ok on me" big. We're talking Dr. Frankenstein's monster's baby with a Sasquatch huge.

And so it was with my handspun scarf. I began to cast off and soon realized it was more than double then length I was expecting. BUT: unlike the sweater that you will inevitably stuff into a drawer, never to be seen again (finished or not), this is a scarf/cowl type of thing, and can be worn no matter what. And in a number of ways, I might add:

double wrapped
Double wrapped, round the neck;

Sort of like a shrug (although watch where the twist meets... it might make you look a little ridiculous...);


phone pic
Obligatory phone shot... since that's what we're working with here. Still haven't managed to pick up batteries to test the real camera...

I ran out of the multi-coloured handspun just past the half way point on the scarf. What's a girl to do? Perhaps remember that she knows how to spin yarn (and, if you scroll to the second pic, remember that she has handspun yarn of her own just lying around...). So I used up some of the stuff I spun at Christmas, and when that ran out, I used up the leftovers from this scarf, and when that ran out, I spun up a little bit more of my own! That finally did the trick and by the time I bound off, this is all I had left:

Sadly I forgot to take pictures before knitting it into the scarf...

Anyway, if you run all the way back up to the top of this post (which, I know, is about a mile away now...) you'll find the cast-on edge on the left side. That yarn lasts about 3/4 of the width of the scarf... the first bits of my original handspun can be seen in the bottom part of the picture, sort of a yellow-y green. That stuff is a little... uneven, but my newer handspun was actually fairly even and a lot more like the "commercial" (as in, "I purchased this") handspun.

Anyway, even if it is a lot bigger than expected, I love my new scarf and I expect that it will keep me extra warm this winter!