Tuesday, July 31, 2007

FO: Grrr!

Pattern: Knitty's Grrr, by Alice Bell.

Needles: Size 6 bamboo straights and DPNs for the i-cord.

Yarn: Frog Tree Pima Cotton bought at The Yarn Tree, and DMC embroidery thread for the face.

Mods: None.

For: Liam Richard, a friend's first child (born last week)!

Time: About a week.

Thoughts: Lots of fun, and quick to knit. I think I'll knit up one for me with the leftover yarn, and a few for holiday gifts...

I did some knitting in public today, on the Baltic socks as I waited (for two hours) to get my car inspected. Two MVC guys asked if I was making them all sweaters. It's a funny little world -- there's doesn't seem to be much else I do that gets such attention in public.

It'll be slow for a few weeks, as I make my move across the country. I've got a week here until the trailer shows up, and then three more days before I head west. I'll keep you posted as I go.

Most recent podcast: Lime and Violet.
Currently listening to: Brandi Carlile's The Story (my new favorite).
What I should be doing: Cleaning and packing as ever.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

"I do like knitting patterns." A. P. W. B. Dumbledore.

I've done little knitting because, of course, my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows finally arrived on Monday. I'm trying to draw it out -- usually I read them through in about 24 hours, but I wanted to really savor this one, since it's the last. Speaking of Harry Potter, I saw Order of the Phoenix the other day, and got all excited about one of Hermione's sweaters. This one, in fact.

Picture edited from MuggleNet.

Pretty simple. I'm not sure yet if I'll knit it, but it piqued my interest. Although I love to see the amazing products inspired by the HP movies that so many imaginative knitters have created, I hadn't yet been inspired to knit one until this one (and the one below -- gorgeous). I think I like this one because it's subtle Harry Potter fan wear -- Gryffindor colors, worn by my favorite character, in a style I'd normally wear. Maybe use my first EZ "pattern" -- I think I'll skip the hood, though.

Picture edited from MuggleNet.

(By the way, Nicomara is working on this sweater, and the charted pattern is available on Ravelry.)

It was actually the first time I watched an HP movie and noticed all of the crazy knitting in it. Ginny had a great vest in one of the final scenes (about which all I can remember is that it looked like a great vest). I'll have to watch the movie in slow motion when it comes out on DVD.

Most recent podcast: Quirky Nomads.
Currently listening to: NPR's Radio Lab.
What I should be doing: Finishing my job applications.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

They really like me!

My copy of Harry Potter did not arrive today, contrary to UPS and Amazon's tracking systems. And so I'm blogging.

So yesterday, a lovely surprise showed up in my inbox: my Ravelry invite! (You can find me at WildThingsRun. Fast wouldn't fit.) I feel loved. I've spent the better part of the last 24-hours playing around, and I have to agree with the general buzz -- it's wonderful. No more Googling and Technorati-ing to find details about projects I'd like to attempt, or to see how a certain yarn works up. (Image edited from Ravelry.com.)

I also enjoyed Ravelry's feature to let you check on your invite status (of course, I only noticed this after I'd been invited). I requested an invite on May 31st, and was 6062nd in line. As of yesterday, 12,693 people behind me! I can't wait until Ravelry gets up and running at full speed, I really think it's going to be a great resource.

Of course, this means that I haven't gotten to finish my mini-review of my NYC-area yarn binging; but I have just started two new projects. Since finishing the monkeys, I've been searching for another sock pattern. I had a few in mind -- the Spiral Boot Socks; Clessidra; Pomatomus; Sweetpea -- but the sock yarn I had wasn't really speaking to any of them. I'd had some gauge problems with the Jaywalkers that I didn't want to revisit. I'll reveal my inner geekiness here and admit to creating a spreadsheet to track my sock stash and patterns. While doing some research I came across the Knitting Philistine's review of Clementine's Baltic Socks [PDF] won me over, and worked well with the Fearless Fibers superwash merino sock yarn I had in my stash and have been antsy to use. There's so much of it (550 yards per skein!) that I had knee socks in mind, and the Baltic Socks' stocking stitch allowed for a simple modification for this first-time-knee-sock-knitter. Here's a picture of the beginning:

And a larger project: Norah Gaughan's Bella Blouse [PDF] from Interweave. I was looking for a good summer knit, and this one caught my eye back when it was called Pomegranate-something-or-other. I think maybe Orangina would have been a better pick, but I can put that in the queue. Although I really liked the colors shown in the Bella pattern, I don't think they would flatter me. So I went with a very saturated navy blue in the Berroco Cotton Twist and Tahki Cotton Classic to stand in for the Touche. Here's the bottom band:

Whew. Hope y'all are enjoying your weekends, and thanks for reading until the end!

Monday, July 16, 2007

FO: Nautie

Pattern: Knitty's Nautie, by Beth Skwarkecki.

Needles: Size 4 bamboo.

Yarn: White yarn is Red Heart Soft Yarn in White; The blue yarns are a cheap, unidentifiable wool/synthetic blend from my stash.

Mods: I embroidered the eyes to avoid using the recommended (and easily removable) felt eyes for safety and longevity. Oh, and in true treehugger style, I stuffed the thing with scraps of mis-matched cotton socks (put through the wash on the "sanitize" cycle, not to worry).

For: A friend's first baby, due today!

Time: About a week.

Thoughts: Loved it! I was so excited by the pattern, as I'm setting myself up to be the nerdy/science-y/hipster friend who gets their little boy all into science (I fully intend to support any dinosaur/slimy creature habit that may come). I thought the idea of a knitted nautilus stuffie over a more traditional teddy bear completely fulfilled that nerdy/science/hipster aesthetic. It was an easy knit, all in the round, and super fast -- it took me a week.

Most recent podcast: Knitpicks. (Still!)
Currently listening to: Ticking clocks.
What I should be doing: Cleaning and packing as ever.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Nothing to see here.

I'm still getting the hang of Google Analytics newest beta version, but I just noticed that the largest portion of traffic driven to my site by search engines is looking for info on Norah Gaughan's capecho. I'm sorry to disappoint, since it may be frustrating that I haven't posted on it for a bit. It sort of just faded away from the blog. That's because it's somewhere in here*:

My largest projects are in limbo for a bit as I too am in limbo, living with my parents in my childhood home in urban (nearly-Manhattan) New Jersey. I've got a small storage unit and my parents' dining room until I figure out where I'm going next.

But not to worry -- capecho will be back. This is my summer to gain some more knowledge on knitting basics so that I can better beat the large capecho comforter into submission. (Brenda Dayne said this:
The only thing you need to remember when knitting a Nora Gaughan pattern is to follow the directions exactly. Don’t be jumping ahead thinking you know what’s coming next. Unless you want to rip back. And it is essential to pay very close attention to gauge. Unless you want to rip back. And don’t go altering the pattern unless you thoroughly understand what you’re doing. Because if you do, the only circle of fifths you’ll be interested in will be fifths of gin, and it won’t be Nora’s fault. That’s all I’m saying.
which may or may not have scared the crap out of me enough to bone up a little bit on the knitting skills).

Most recent podcast: Knitpicks.
Currently listening to: NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday.
What I should be doing: Cleaning and packing as ever (See above).

*Yarn may not actually be in this picture. Actually, the yarn is definitely not in this picture. It would have been, had I taken the picture when I originally wrote this post. I never got around to posting this, um, post until I had been proactive enough to organize all of my stash and move it to another room -- but the point remains the same!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

FO: Monkey Socks

Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A., at Knitty.
Yarn: Three Waters Farm 50/50 Merino Tencel.
Needles: Size 2 metal, inherited from somewhere.
Mods: None.
Time: About one month.

Thoughts: I understand why these are the socks of the moment. The pattern repeats were simple to memorize, and resulted in a unique design that played well with the variegated yarn. I loved working with the merino-tencel blend. I loved the luster -- it makes the socks look iridescent -- the weight, and the feel of the yarn.

My one frustration is that these socks are a little too big. If I make them again -- and I probably will -- I imagine I'll shorten the heel and use one less pattern repeat. I was afraid that using nine repeats instead of ten would make them too short, but they're just a little too big with ten.

And I have to say, I feel a little bit like that kid everyone hated in class. You know, the one who always messed up the curve and was teacher's pet (I should probably admit that this was actually me. Hermione Granger speaks to me.)? I have just finished my second pair of socks. I finished one pair, then moved on to the next pair. I'm the girl who finishes two matching socks before casting on for another? In my defense, this is very unlike me -- I can't imagine it will last long!

Most recent podcast: Knitpicks.
Currently listening to: my parents' ticking clock.
What I should be doing: Cleaning. Packing. Deciding (more on that later).

Friday, July 06, 2007

Hey hey, it's a monkey!

A pair of them, in fact. No pictures of the pair yet, but here's a taste, before bed.

Most recent podcast: Cast On.
Currently listening to: TreeHugger boyfriend on Skype.
What I should be doing: Sleeping.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Bad excuses are worse than none.

I've been knitting. I've been taking pictures of knitting. I've been re-reading Harry Potter. I've been cleaning. I've been applying for jobs. I've been thinking about moving to Juneau. No seriously, I've been thinking of moving to Juneau for a job.

I have not, as one or two of you may have noticed, been blogging. I've been meaning to blog. I want to blog. I have so much to share! But alas -- not tonight. Unless I can't get to sleep later, and then I'll be back.

I'll leave you with the half-finished Grrr, and blame my lack of blogging on the depression caused by Ravelry's continued insistence on not inviting me to join. Love me, Ravelry!