30 May, 2008

Another one bites the dust

Another ball of stash yarn, gone. Another hat for the Xmas pile; check.

Pattern: Loop d'Loop by Chris Bylsma (scroll down for pattern link)
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay worsted weight wool, 1 skein exactly
Needles: size 9
Mods: no dropping of the edge loops. I like it better, but I still could have casted on fewer stitches. It's a wee bit tall.

(it's after midnight. what am I doing? why was it so important to finish this hat?)

28 May, 2008

A Finished Object to share!

Pattern: Cozy Cable Socks by Terry Morris
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy, Chinatown Apple colorway
Needles: US Size 1; 40" circ (two at once with no cable needle!)
Knit while: on airplanes; at work; in bed.

Inspired by these by the Knitting Philistine (I still want that Jitterbug colorway...)

Also on the sock needles right now: another pair of cabled two-at-a-time socks in Dream in Color. I was in Arizona, I had finished the socks above on the plane, and I was in a yarn store with good friends. And they had Smooshy. Plus I had a whole 'nother day of lectures & presentations to listen to. I mean, what else was I supposed to do? Not start a new pair of socks? Ha.

Pattern: my own, since I was impatient and wanted to be knitting socks right now

They look a little big (and indeed, they are 80 sts around) but the yarn, I found, tightens up quite a bit after machine washing. It also pills like crazy, but I forgot to tell Kenny that "machine washable wool" doesn't go in the dryer. So, my fault. Pills and all, I'm extremely happy with both of these pairs.

I think that the Chinatown pair might have been the first time I did a heel flap correctly:
See how it's long enough? See how the actual "turn" doesn't come until it's curving under my heel? I think this is the way it's supposed to be. Or maybe I have freakishly long achilles tendons. But the other two pairs of socks that I've made cuff-down have definitely been ill-fitting in that particularly petty little piece of my anatomy. These fit like a glove. Er, sock. A real good fitting sock.

26 May, 2008

Instant gratification

I really missed that feeling on casting on, knitting away for a few hours, and then holding up a finished object, crying "Ta da!"

So I made this:

Ta da!
Pattern: Loop d'Loop by Chris Bylsma Designs
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden
Needle: Size 9 KnitPicks Options circ.
Mods: added extra bits of Kureyon at the end, since I ran out of the Silk Garden before the hat reached an adult-head-sized width. If I had cast on fewer (like the 40 sts reccomended for the Adult Small size, rather than the longer 46 for the Medium-Large), I feel certain this would have been a one-skein project.

And now back to my slow progress on the Silky Wool cardigan that I started the week before my birthday and still somehow is not done... I'm setting a goal for myself that it will at least be done before I leave for camp. In 3 weeks. I can do this!

25 May, 2008

House sitting

A family that we know and love went out of town for Memorial Day weekend, and I am house sitting in their perfect, cozy, woodsy home. This weekend has been like a vacation so far, primarily because I'm not surrounded by my own stuff. But also because:

1.The Knitting Sisters had their big Memorial Day Sale, in which everything in the store is at least 20% off, and I had fun buying yarn for several secret projects and some not-so-secret but still exciting ones that I hope to get to at some point this summer. For example, for the Lace Ribbon Scarf from this season's Knitty, I bought this Soft Sea Wool:

2. Today Shodo and I went for a long walk through Colonial Williamsburg. I am not a dog owner, so I really enjoyed getting to show off this super sweet doggy to all the passersby. Also, I got her a cup of water from Subway and it was very cute when she drank it.

3. Yesterday morning Julie and I ran the Girls On The Run/ Chik-fil-A* 5k, which in theory I have been training for for about 15 weeks now. Julie and I run a 5k every Monday evening and usually get around 33 minutes for 3.1 miles. I know this is sllllooow for the running world, but the fact that I can run 3 miles is sort of enough for me right now. I was hoping to beat that time in the official 5k (the one we paid for), but the course was hilly and I started off fast and I ended up finishing at 36 minutes. But with all the weaving around people, I ended up running 3.48 miles, so that helps my ego. Plus that fast first mile was 9:45, which is the fastest mile I've run yet. Sometimes running seems to be all about numbers. [Kind of like knitting. How funny that I am so attracted to these hobbies yet grew up "hating" math?] Anyway, I'm sort of still disappointed in myself about the 36 minutes, but mainly because I got a stitch in my side and cramps in my right calf and I was very whiny about them as we finished our last half a mile. Julie, sorry. Good thing you're a 2nd grade teacher.

*Speaking of disappointment, and being whiny: you'd think a race sponsored by Chik-fil-A would have some chicken afterwards, right?? Wrong. We got almost nothing: a bottle of water and our choice of a dry bagel or a tiny fruit cup. Oh, and we got to spin a wheel to see what kind of coupon we would receive. Come on, MegachickenCorp., what gives? I paid $27 for the race and I know my t-shirt didn't cost that much.

4. Tonight I get to go have a knit night with friends M & E. Hooray for no school tomorrow!

18 May, 2008

Outta town and back again

In the past two weeks, I've spent 5 days in other states. Last weekend I was in Arizona for my graduate school colloquium, and I just returned from this weekend's sojourn to Boston about an hour ago. I'm tired, I've got an enormous deadline looming tomorrow (but to be honest, I think it will take till Tuesday), and all I want to do is be done with this semester! All the other college kids around me are celebrating the ending of their years... but me and the school-aged kids, we have weeks to go before we're done. Then again, we don't start back up until late August. Then again, the college kids don't start until September... hey, Prescott, what gives?

In Arizona, I gave my Qualifying Presentation which, um, qualifies me to enter my Thesis semester. After meeting with my advisor and my Core faculty, I realized 1) I hadn't really decided what that meant and 2) I was pretty scared about trying to do my thesis in one term. So I made two decisions: I decided what I am going to write my thesis on and that I am going to take two part-time semesters to write it instead of the pointless mad dash that would have been trying to finish in January. I mean, I'm going to be teaching until June, so why rush and be stressed just to get done a few months earlier? It helped that my lovely peers Caroline and Gina also decided to go the part-time route. So, I guess I can't blow the martyr horn and announce woefully to all who pass by that "I'm in grad school full time and I'm teaching full time!" anymore. Ah well, small sacrifice (I just misspelled that as scarface. Heh.)

We flew up to Boston this weekend to see K's little sister graduate from Emerson College. It was a whirlwind of a perfect weekend in Boston, staying in Cambridge, and eating as much Vietnamese food as I physically could. The joy of my May so far was finding a bahn mi hut-- almost authentic tasting (the bread wasn't exactly right, and there were less pickled vegetables) and for $2.50, close enough to the real deal that I gladly shelled out for one, packed it into my bag, and ate it smugly in the Logan airport. Mmm, bahn mi. Crumbly, squishy goodness.

In other news, and since I decided it's lame to have such a great new Macbook and still post photoless entries, here be proof that my hair does indeed grow. I haven't cut it in months, and the ends look all vagabondy, but by god that is a ponytail. Huzzah!

Try to ignore the airport zits and tired eyes. I told you, I've been flying a lot. At least you all can't smell the picture...

13 May, 2008

Oh, man... (or: a badly needed update)

You guys, this blog is suffering! I hate that it's gotten so lame around here. Let me try to make it better. First I need to do a stash update, since I went to the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. We'll call this the knitting update, so if you don't care about the yarny stuff, feel free to skip ahead to the next entry.

Ok, this was my 1st time going to the sheep & wool fest and I was prepared to be very, very overwhelmed. It was certainly crowded, and there certainly were more yarn choices than I had ever seen before, but I did my research on the Ravelry forums and I went with veterans of many festivals (see above; not the alpaca). I packed light. I brought water. I remembered to rest. I splurged on yarn but not as much as I could have. Here be my haul.

Laceweight from Tess' Designer Yarns:

(two of these)

(and three of these)

My 1st yarn from Brooks Farms: two skeins of Acero (yes, those are my pale, pale knees).

Then, the find of the year:

I found this gigantic hank of what looks like handspun wool, in beautiful springy greens, and there was more than a pound of yarn on the hank, which smelled really nice and wooly, but it wasn't scratchy at all... It was priced at $18.95! I love it, and I want to make a simple garter-yoke cardigan inspired by this one by Knitting School Drop Out, which I can't stop looking at. I used my friend's ball winder and check out how many cakes that pound of yarn made:

I also found a steal in one of the barns: there were some mini skeins of alpaca in a box for $1 an ounce. After stopping to squish the more expensive put-ups of alpaca every few minutes on Saturday, I was really pleased to find a very affordable chance to sample the fiber. I bought three ounces in various autumnal shades. I'm thinking a cowl, maybe... I haven't photographed those skeins yet, but I needed to blog them to make them real.

Oh yeah, and I think that the festival inspired me to organize my stash, because a few days after I got back I decided to do a May Airing and to organize and catalogue everything I have. It was actually kinda fun! For my own sake, I think I'll skip posting a picture of the full monty here, but I will share with you the Sock Yarn Stash:

Click here to see it bigger, and with notes! Um, that variegated blue/purple at the top was also from the Festival. But that's it, really. Plus some food (lamb gyros and soft serve) and some soap (handmade). Plus some all natural lip balm; always a must. But that's all I bought. I think. And now, back to your regularly scheduled recession.

06 May, 2008


As soon as I get this paper finished, I need to tell you all about:
1. my new laptop (!)
2. the Sheep & Wool Festival (!!)
3. going to Arizona this weekend
4. the light at the end of the school year tunnel (looks mysteriously like summer camp) (!!!)

Back to ye olde grindstone. More very soon.

I'm on Flickr a lot.

Jessica K.. Get yours at bighugelabs.com/flickr