Tuesday, October 30, 2012

rock me like a hurricane....

hurricane hat by gradschoolknitter
hurricane hat, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

too soon?

We did not get the hurricane (at least not yet) in any way as strongly as some of my friends down the eastern seaboard did... but I decided to knit up a (very quick) hurricane hat to send off to the lovelyarns' 500 hat project. I would have finished it yesterday (aka the day I started it) but I was falling asleep while casting off, so I decided to just finish it up this morning. (The picture, by the way, is in my on-campus office... hence the halo of florescent light surrounding my head.)

Pattern: none. If you care to know: Cast-on 4 stitches. BEFORE joining in the round, increase to 8 by knitting f&b into each stitch. Join in the round, knit 1 row. Continue increasing 2 sts per dpn (assuming you have 4 dpns with sts on them and 1 to knit with) until you have 48 sts. Knit until you [almost] run out of yarn. Bind-off using EZ's sewn bind-off.
Yarn: Berroco Sundae, less than one skein (I had used about 2 yards of it to finish off a previous hat)
Needles: US 13 dpns

Instantaneous gratification, indeed!

Friday, October 26, 2012

a (very) small detour

cubba hat by gradschoolknitter
cubba hat, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

Although I in the midst of all kinds of deadlines, both knitting and academic, I couldn't resist casting on when I found out my niece is currently without a hat that fits. It took less than 2 days, so I think I can justify it.

This is the cubba hat from Wooly Wormhead. I used most of a skein of mirasol tupa and size 4 needles. No real mods to speak of, although I think I made the body of the hat slightly longer than called for.

No offense to dr. honeydew, but I think this will look even cuter on my niece!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

talk about last minute gifts...

modified veylas by gradschoolknitter
modified veylas, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

Nothing like sewing the buttons on the morning of.... (knitting has been done for a few days, but they desperately needed blocking, especially for the cuffs.)

For a friend's birthday... today. Good thing it's going to be 73 degrees out... something tells me she won't need these quite yet.

Pattern is veyla, heavily modified.
Yarn is longmeadow farm fingering weight in grape, less than 1 skein.
Needles: US3s
Mods: Many... for starters, the original pattern is for fingerless mitts, obviously I extended to full mittens. I also removed the leaf motif from beside the thumb. For the thumb increases I used m1r/m1l instead of yarnovers.
Buttons are from Bumbershoot Supplies on Etsy.

I tried to take a picture of them blocking so the cuffs would be more visible, but the lighting was so bad (we had so many storms this week) and my camera is dead so I'm relying on ipad pics... but here it is anyway in all it's un-glory:

veyla blocking

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

will work for yarn...

wwfy take 2 by gradschoolknitter
wwfy take 2, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

In these tough economic times, a knitter's gotta do what a knitter's gotta do....

But seriously, I found the will work for yarn swap group on ravelry almost a year ago, and have checked in from time to time to see what it was all about... and finally a couple of weeks ago signed up for my first swap. And then a second. But more on that in a minute.

The premise is simple. Someone who can't/doesn't want to make a project posts about it in the group. So, for example, if you are a crocheter but really want a pair of knitted socks, then you would ask for someone to volunteer to do this for you. You (or me in this case) would then metaphorically raise your hand and reply to the post. The requester usually states the pattern and yarn to be used in the original request. You knit/crochet/sew/spin the project in question and send it on to the requester. They then send you payment-in-kind. So, depending on what yarn you use to make the project, the requester will send the maker an equivalent amount of yarn/fleece/sewing material of your choosing. Sometimes from their personal stash, sometimes something else you agree upon.

So: I'm knitting hermione socks out of angora yarn's cotton rayon for someone who is a) a crocheter and b) allergic to animal fibres. I have requested some spinning fibre in return.

And then, as the bug bit me, I couldn't resist signing up for a second one... (fortunately the group limits you to two swaps at a time!) so I just received this:

cascade handpaints

to make a sweater for someone who has been afflicted with carpal tunnel. In return she also sent along this:

Lorna's laces shepherd sock
(4 50g skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in "Blackwatch")

and this:

imagination and bearfoot

Knit Pick's Imagination in Mermaid Lagoon on the left; Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Pheasant on the right.

So far, so good, and hopefully my requesters will feel the same!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Productivity-to-Busy Ratio

I know, from various conversations with colleagues as well as various articles on academic websites such as the chronicle, that many academics find that the busier they are, the more productive they are as well. I am not immune from this conundrum. If I have very little to do, I tend to stagnate. Instead of working on that article that needs to be revised for the 100th time, I'd rather sit on the couch and stare at the TV. BUT... if I also have to teach tomorrow and have a couple of knitting deadlines, somehow I'll be more motivated to do it all.

Hence the above... I'll be participating in NaKniSweMo (ravelry group link) as well as the NaSchoWriMo (also on ravelry as a group). For the Sweater Side, I'll be re-tackling my elfe sweater which has been frogged and major changes have been brewing in my head in order to make it work just so for me. I'm pretty sure I'll hit 50,000 stitches, especially if there is enough yarn left at the end to lengthen the sleeves beyond what is required of the original.

On the Scholarly Side, I'm going to tackle a brand-spankin' new article idea that's been brewing since a recent conference presentation brought up some new questions. I don't know if I'll write 50,000 words, but I'm going to count the fact that I'm going to have to read a whole bunch of new scholarship before I can get down to any actual writing of my own.

And then, of course, I'll be reading/prepping for the class I'm teaching, applying for jobs for next semester/year, and, of course, freaking out about Christmas-gift-knitting. November's going to be awesome, right?!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Too loose?

Too loose? by gradschoolknitter
Too loose?, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

I started these socks yesterday but I'm already worried about them... The yarn was chosen by the recipient and because of an allergy to animal fibre, this is a cotton/rayon blend. It is thinner than what I would call a true fingering so on size 1 needles it looks very open:

A sock on the hand is like two on the foot?

My biggest concern is the bottom of the foot. With too open of a weave I can imagine it would not be the most comfortable to walk on. So I posed the following solutions to the recipient:

- rip back and try on smaller needles, possibly adding stitches to make up for lost space.
- change to smaller needles for bottom half of foot
- rip back and double up the yarn on size 1.5 or 2s

What would you do?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Socks, and a cautionary tale

Or: How Using Hiya Hiyas may have save my life.

OK, not my life, but definitely my foot. First, the socks:

Pattern is by the seine river a great, and very prone to striping properly, sock pattern. Since these are for my swap partner, I'm hoping they fit her as well as they fit me (our measurements are quite similar, so that made it easy).

Needles: US 1dpns (Hiya hiyas, the life-saving needle in question)

Mods: None, except that I finally listened to my instincts and used size 1s even though 1.5s were called for.

Now, my tale (although please stop if you're squeamish... I made the receptionist at the walk-in clinic squirm... which ought to come with a prize of some sort, I would think.)

I was knitting these this morning and put them down beside me on the couch. A few minutes later I heard my phone beep to signal a text message in the other room, so I jumped off the couch, knocking my project to the ground. When I put my foot down to push off, well, the needle was stuck in the carpet sticking straight up... and I'll spare you the rest. It was actually relatively harmless in the end, very little bleeding (absolutely none on my needles or project, but I promise my partner these will go through the wash before they're sent off, just to be safe) and I ended up "updating" my tetanus shot, since it was time to do so in any case.* Anywho... next time you knock a project over, pick it up before you launch yourself off the couch, you know, just to be safe.

*I brought my project with me to the drs office a) so I could show them the needles in question and b) so I had something to work on while I waited... I think I freaked everyone out a little by continuing to work on the project that had impaled me, although the dr was impressed with the stainless steel needles and said I shouldn't have any issues or infections with such a "clean instrument". I might have a little nerve damage which will heal sloooowly... but I can keep knitting since it was to my foot and not a hand, right? I'm perpetuating the idea that knitters are freaks, aren't I? Le sigh. Moral of the story: knit with stainless steel needles so when you inevitably stab yourself (or is it just me that knits enough that it was probably inevitable?) you won't have splinters or infections!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

too big? or just right?

too big? by gradschoolknitter
too big?, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

(requisite apologies for the mac-cam photos... but it was the easiest way)

I'm currently in the midst of a sweater KAL with two dear friends who now live in different time zones. We're working on elfe and I'm trying to decide if I should go on as is, or rip back and do the smaller size. (Currently working on size medium but I thought I was between sizes and this would make a slightly slouchier t... now I'm not so sure.)

With my arms out (like above) I think it looks huge. But since I generally don't walk around like that....

sweater kal

It looks better with my arms down, right? Except the arm-holes, which still look huge... or am I crazy? (I put the stitches for the arms on hold rather than casting off... I think I will want to add some length to them, depending on how much yarn I have left over...)

So do I rip back and start over? Or trudge on and hope for the best? For now this has been cast-aside until I can decide, but I'd really love to have it finished so I can wear it before it's so cold that I'll have to cover it with another sweater...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

look ma, no pools!

no pools! by gradschoolknitter
no pools!, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

If these look familiar, it's probably because they look a whole lot like the socks I recently received from a friend. I'm pretty sure it's the same yarn (Knit Picks Stroll Stripes).

But this yarn + this pattern (by the seine river) is making perfect stripes. So perfect, I was worried that the heel gusset would cause the yarn to start pooling badly, but instead I just got a few rows of shorter stripes:

swap socks #8

I'm really pleased with how these are turning out! Probably the closest to perfect striping I've ever gotten. Now I just need to knit the other one and get some goodies to send off to my swap partner.

Friday, October 5, 2012

fall, and a hat

fall and a hat by gradschoolknitter
fall and a hat, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

It's officially fall! And you can stare at the tree behind me, by all means. So pretty. I'm a little tired, so focus on the tree.

Or, if you prefer, the hat:

old man hat
like I said, tired.

Is that an "old man hat" or what? I actually like it, quite a bit, but it's not for me. DH requested it after I jokingly showed him the pattern. It was a bit tedious, although not an overly long process. You do have to pay attention all. the. time. This is not a simple, watching tv at the same time/having a conversation at knit night kind of project. It's a "count every row/stitch" kind of project. But I like the end result, especially now that it has a peak stabilizer, has been blocked and snaps have been sewn into place.

I hope DH likes it too!

I bought the yarn for him (Sanguine Gryphon Traveller in "experimental love child"*) some time ago. I bought it without a specific purpose in mind, but rather because it matches a scarf his mom knit for him many years ago and I wanted him to have some other accessory that matched well. More than a year later, voila, a hat!

I used the brim of a plastic football hat I found at Michael's as a stabilizer. It was the perfect size and shape for this project! The rest of the hat will not live to see such a glorious use, sadly...

Project raveled here.

* I believe that "experimental love child" is the name that Sanguine Gryphon uses for any sort of mish-mash of dyes they use up as leftovers. I could be wrong... but this base has been discontinued in any case, which is sad because it is nice and springy and machine washable to boot!