Saturday, February 24, 2007

Urban Aran update -- it grows!

Just an update on the Urban Aran progress, as I'm particularly proud of both the unfinished product (all of those cables make me beam) and my diligence. This sweater continues to be what I want to work on when I'm knitting -- so much so that recent class trips have been frustrating because the sweater is a little too big to travel conveniently. I think this diligence is due, in part, to how quickly the sweater is knitting up, given the bulky yarn. It's just fast enough to see definite progress each time I pick up the needles, which does wonders for the ego.

In preparation for the coming end (although I do still have to figure out how to knit the front in two pieces, which will probably take considerably longer), I bought Nancie M. Wiseman's The Knitter's Guide to Finishing Techniques*. As the end nears, the more I fear this "finishing" I hear so much of.

*Normally, I'd link this at Powells, but their page had significantly less information on this book. -- but you should go check them out anyway.

Most recent podcast: NPR's All Songs Considered.
Currently listening to: The Arcade Fire, live at Judson Memorial Church.
What I should be doing: Writing the first draft of my master's project, due in 48 hours.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

FO: Knitty's Fetching

Knitty's fetching, by Cheryl Naimath.
Yarn: 97 yards (1 ball, less 3 feet) Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, 003.
Needles: US #6 DPNs.
Cast On: December?
Finished: February 3rd, 2007.

I actually knit three -- the first followed the pattern exactly. The second two, well...

Mods: I cast on 40 stitches, 5 stitches less than called for, to make the gloves slimmer. I shortened the distance to the thumb (from 18 to 14 rounds), used 5 stitches (instead of 7) for the thumb, and lengthened the distance to the top of the glove (8 rounds of the rib, and 8 rounds for two cable twists). I've always thought of my hands as on the shorter side, but there was just no way that nine rows were going to make it from my thumb joint past my knuckles. No picot edge (I just couldn't make them work), and I made the thumbs much longer.

They are perfect for the walk to school with iPod, field classes, and the computer lab on days when the thermostat is set at 52 degrees Fahrenheit/11 degrees Celsius. I'm trying to train myself so that I can one day speak the measurement language of the rest of the world. Particularly Canada.

Most recent podcast: Sticks and String.
Currently listening to: Cloud Cult's The Meaning of 8. Highly recommended. Learn about their eco- and social-responsibility
What I should be doing: Writing my Land Conservation in Practice paper/sleeping.

An illustration of my perfectionist side.

First there was this:
And then there was this:

And now there's -- well, picture 84 stitches cast on (casted on? cast-on?), and joined in the round.

This is the third incarnation of my first Jaywalker sock. The first one I knit -- and I made it past the heel -- was in the smaller size, and didn't fit. It was nice though -- with nice, deliberate stripey-ness.

So I frogged it, and started over, in the bigger size. I got several inches into it before noticing, as you can see in the picture above, the funky pooling. So I knit a few more inches, hoping I wouldn't care. It became abundantly clear to me, with each additional row, that I'd never wear the resulting socks.

So I frogged that one too. Luckily, my ball-winder arrived in the mail yesterday -- at least it was a good excuse to use it. More pretty pictures of yarn cakes than anyone can stand to look at will be posted soon.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Finally, a finished object to share: Calorimetry.

Knitty's calorimetry, by
Malabrigo, worsted weight, in the Verde Adriana colorway.
Needles: size 9

Mods: I cast on 104 stitches instead of 120, and created a honeycomb stitch border. Being without my massive button collection at the moment, I braided some leftover yarn to tie the thing on -- pictures coming.

If I knit it again (and I might) I think I'd switch to smaller needles, size 7 maybe, to make the fabric tighter, and warmer. And I'd make the holes created by the short-rows a little neater. I'm enjoying it -- it's certainly practical given the recent cold spells here, and my ever-present grad-student ponytail.

Listening to: KEXP live.
Most recent podcast: NPR's Story of the Day.

What I should be doing: Land Conservation in Practice readings.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Penance should always be this painful.

My first Malabrigo, worsted weight, in the Verde Adriana colorway. It was a penance purchase for me, for committing a little LYS faux pas (not to worry; I have atoned, and been forgiven -- I think).

It's already been knit and frogged once, into and out of Knitty's calorimetry. Too big, too boring, and too -- green, which is nearly blasphemy for me. So I'm playing around with a smaller version with some stitch excitement. It's bitterly cold here, so I think I'll actually finish this rather quickly. Stay tuned to find out if my predictions are well-founded.

Most recent podcast: This American Life.
What I should be doing: Forest Vegetation Sampling lab.