Sunday, January 27, 2008

Time to graft

Methinks that it's about time that I take out my darning needle and get grafting. In the last week while avoiding school work from a motivational slump, I managed to get to the end of two socks. And then promptly didn't bother to graft the toe. But that should be done soon.
The first sock to get to that point is my father's sock. Though perhaps I'm avoiding the grafting there because it'll mean that I'll have to cast on the second one which I'm not exactly dying to do. It's 70 stitches around on 2.25 needles (US 1) and the ribbing goes on forever. He really likes how they're turning out but they just aren't that fun to knit. I must tell myself that the quicker I finish, the quicker I never have to have anything to do with them again...
The second sock is one that's been hiding a bit. My Salt Water Taffy socks that I cast on for in Cuba. I'm doing these in plain stockinette and not following any sort of pattern or recipe. Just using the common sense from all the other socks I've knit. It's really nice to be at that point where I can just knit socks and not be tied to any sort of pattern. I'm also amazed at how fast the stockinette goes. The yarn has a BFL base and I don't know how I feel about it. I generally have very even stitches and they seem to being going funky all over the place on this yarn. And it's not the best feeling ever to knit with. I am hoping that blocking will even out the stitches, BUT despite all of that, the socks feel heavenly on my feet. So I will love the yarn base anyways because nothing tops that!
In the last week I've also cast on for my Sock It To Me Twice socks. These need to be done by the end of March so hopefully I will have the first one done by reading week (mid February) and I'll get most of the second one done durring reading week. The pattern is from Favorite Socks by Interweave Knits (best sock book ever!) and is mainly a 2x1 ribbing with cables going down either side. If you recall it's made out of Dream In Color Smooshy and boy is it smooshy :)
I'm now bringing my socks to my calc lab to knit on while they do their quizzes. It provides entertainment for them and an extra hour of knitting in a week. And, in the fit more knitting time in quest, it is now light enough durring the drive home to knit again (when I'm the passenger, not the driver ofcourse!). So even more knitting time. I love when it's finally somewhat light out on the return as for several months I rarely see daylight durring the week as I get to the university in the morning in the pitch black and return home late in the pitch black. Hooray for natural sunlight!
But perhaps I should stop avoiding work and get those assignments done and tests marked :( sigh. Hope you had a great weekend!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Tonight I was out with my community band playing a concert for Robbie Burns Day (officially tomorrow) but before that I received a happy letter in the mail :
I am officially accepted into the University of Manitoba and going to grad school in the fall, hooray! And only two weeks after putting in my application too so very little waiting. Though truth be told, I wasn't exactly concerned about getting accepted as I've had an intended supervisor and the department's been aware of the project he'd like to do with me for half a year already but still. I'm going to be a grad student! Where in the world has the time gone? There's only a few short months left of my undergrad and it's all going by so fast. I'm trying really hard to hold onto and enjoy this last little bit of time but it seems an impossible feat. I've had a wonderful time where I am and wouldn't trade it for anything but I guess life is telling me that it's time for a new adventure...
In the "in the mail" department, I finally received the change purse that I ordered. As I said, the only real problem with my new wristlet system was the money all loose about inside but all those problems have been solved and it's the perfect solution:
Ain't it cute? And bright red lining on the inside :)
In commentary on knitterly life, I sometimes wonder if the knitting makes us forgot non-knitter etiquette. For example, around knitters it's almost expected that if someone is knitting something new for people to walk up and start petting and examining it. However, it's not exactly something that's encouraged by the non-knitters. See, today after class I was having a conversation with two of my classmates in the hallway as we were getting ready to leave for the day. One of the guys was talking and gesturing with his hands when I was completely distracted by the mitts on his hands that looked hand knit. Without thinking about it, I walked right up and starting starring at his mitts, mostly to his utmost confusion and surprise. Totally derailed his train of thought :P I realized the strange behaviour and asked if they were handknit which as it turns out they were, by his mother, awww... Warms my heart. But I really have to find less socially awkward ways of examining handknits in the wild...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I've been saving this for a day when I just can't bring myself to write something interesting to post, so after much waiting, here are some of my favourite pics from Cuba:














Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Taking count

Perhaps my last post made it seem like I had relatively few things on the needles and it was nothing to worry about. I understand your pish posh there Susan. But those are the works that I'm actively knitting on on a mostly daily basis. If we want a true and honest account of what's on my needles it would (as far as i can remember casting things on):
  1. Father Socks
  2. Baby bunting
  3. Salt Water Taffy Socks
  4. Laguna Waves Socks
  5. Eiffel
  6. SITMT Sock Swap Socks
  7. Baby Alpaca Mitts
  8. Sweet Pea Socks
  9. Lemonade Stand Socks
  10. Black knee high socks
  11. Mystery Stole
  12. Snowdrop Shawl
  13. Buried Sweater from before I realized there was actual yarn made of things other than acrylic that came from Walmart
  14. Some Regia Socks on a long circs
  15. Granny Squares with intentions of a blanket
  16. Technically still on the needles but earmarked for frogging, the socks that shall not be named from Sockapalooza
Without being at home to actually check, I think that about exhausts everything that is currently on needles but it seems there's high chances that at this point I could've forgotten something. Hmmm 7/15 are socks. Perhaps I have a sock problem?
What I really wanted to share with you today is my latest aquisition. You might remember my wristlet that was purchased a while back out of jealousy of the one I bought my secret pal (oops!). Well I have since abandoned my huge honking purse and down sized to just using the wristlet which can stay stuck to my wrist and I never have to worry about it. I tell you, it is truly liberating. I can't fit more than necessities in, the are no non-broken purses in my house so I have to carry just the basics around. For anyone who feels their life is too cluttered, I recommend this move. The rest of my life is a huge mess of junk strewn about, but this one little piece of peace is making all the difference. So ofcourse I bought another one from Midnight Creations . Now I'm just waiting for the change purse I ordered as my only complaint is it's hard to find the loose change milling about inside. Here it is:
Isn't it cute? The service is great and she does custom orders too!
And in the realm of strange random stories, I had an odd knitting moment the other day. I was in the office of one of my professors for absolutely non-crafting related reasons when they mentioned that they saw my knit blog. Apparently he was googling some totally unrelated to knitting subject and by chance, out of all the websites in the world it could have taken him, he wound up on my blog. He never even knew I knit (don't know how any one could not know that, but I digress) but the post on the page had my picture on it. As it turns out his wife is a big knitter and by osmosis he's learned lots about styles, colours, materials, yarn contents, etc... And I ended up having an hour long conversation about knitting with him. And he promised me a book about alpacas. Who knew?
Well, that's all for today. Tonight is knit night, woo hoo!

Sunday, January 13, 2008


The knitting post. I fear that this might turn out to be almost embarassing. I have developed the worst case of project polygamy that I have ever had in my knitting career. I can not knit on the same thing more than two days in a row. In the last three days I have knit on four different projects. And it is taking every ounce of strength I have to not cast on about half a dozen new projects. Perhaps it's all the knitting deadlines that have suddenly appeared before me when I promised myself to cut back on the deadline knitting and knit more for myself. I do feel excessively guilty looking at all the WIPs that surround me. And I think that's why I can't bear to keep picking them up, trying to ignore their pleas. But, like a good knit blogger, I will fess up.
The first is the project that I feel most guilty about. My father's Christmas socks. Though, in my defense I had to stop knitting on them after like the first day of my vacation because I had serious doubts whether they'd fit and had no circular needles to test them out on my father. They still aren't done because I keep knitting on other things. As predicted, I ripped out the heel. It was a bit too snug and he didn't like the ridge on the bottom of the heel. So I just improvised a traditional short row heel and all is well. I mean, it was a very cool technique the dutch heel, just not very practical. They are now long enough to display properly on the sock blockers so here's a better look at them:
The next item on the list (with a little less guilt) is a UFO that's been sitting on my dresser and haunting me since the summer. You may or may not remember that I was making some Laguna Wave toe-up socks out of Duet Sock Yarn back in like June/July. I finished one sock and got about 1/3 of the way through the second. There's really no excuse for this as they're made out of DK weight yarn and the knitting it ridiculously fast. I re-learned how to do the toe-up short row heel and am now traveling up the leg of the sock. Hopefully there will be a pair by the end of the week. I'm not too happy with how the short rows look but it's an improvement over the first sock. We'll do a compare and contrast once they're done. But to jog your memory, here it is so far:
What fun bright colours she dyes up for Duets huh?
Next is the "Hooded Baby Carrying Sack" for my supervisor's child to be. Or as I call it, the baby bunting (seriously, who came up with that really overly utilitarian name 'carrying sack'?). The body at the moment is 22.5 inches long and I'm into the sleeves. The entire thing, front, back, sleeves, hood and all is knitted in one big piece so it's interesting to see how the shape is going to develop.
I was really a bit concerned when I got to the directions for starting the arms. Just CO 36 stitches at the beginning of the next two rows. Seriously? I was just befuddled wondering how that could possibly look good. Seeing as how I usually do all my cast ons long tail, I wasn't too sure what might work best. I suspected a knitted cast on but messaged a lady on ravelry who'd knitted the same pattern and asked her what she used. As it turns out, a knitted cast on is what she used so I plowed on. And I must say, I am truly amazed at how nice it looks. Practically seamless. I guess we all need to learn to have a bit more faith sometimes in our projects don't we?
The other project I was knitting was... well I cast on for Eiffel. But only did about 3 repeats of the lace on the sleeve which isn't saying much as it's a 4 row repeat. I just couldn't help myself. The yarn is too soft and I'm desperate to get working on a new sweater. But at the same time I am fighting off the urge. There is no picture yet as there isn't much progress. And if I can help myself, there won't be any progress until I finish other things. I'm hoping that giving in to casting on will satisfy my sweater urge, even if only for a bit.
There's other things to say but I fear I've let too much build and I've said too much already for one post. So I'll just have to do another one on Tuesday perhaps :) Blog more often right? Right! Have a great week.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A New Year

In the long list of things I've been meaning to do but haven't, one of them is a post about the New Year. I was even supposed to for the SITM contest, but I've now missed that boat. But there's no time like the present and you're never too late. A knitting update post to follow later this weekend. I'm in a list like mood, so I'm going to make lists :)

Knitting Projects I want to make in 2008:



-German Stockings (by Cookie A)

-Granny Square Afghan

-Begin a Mitered Square Blanket

-Cap Shawl from Victorian Lace Today

Personal Goals:

-Write more letters (used to hand write one letter a week)

-Go to the gym three time a week (up from two in the fall)

-Go to sleep earlier during the week

-Write on my thesis every week

-Blog more often

-Save money for my trip to Montreal

-Spend more time outside in the summer

Things to look forward to:

-Trip to Montreal in June and Toronto in July


-Starting grad school

-Summer Research Job

-Learning to sew with a new sewing machine in the spring

My favourite online finds of 2007:

-The Loopy Ewe

-Midnight Creations


-PhD Comics

-Dinosaur Comics

-Knitters Uncensored


And that's that. Knitting content to follow...

Friday, January 4, 2008

Socks ring in 2008

Hi all! Happy New Year and merry belated Christmas!!!! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I was busy sitting on a beach in Cuba so there wasn't so much in the way of holiday season for me but I was having a well needed break. Ofcourse this is why there's been nada in the way of blogging around here lately. I did get back on Monday but I've been a bit tired running around with the start of school so hopefully you will forgive me. Here is the knitting that went on whilst in Cuba:
My Hula Punch socks are finally finished!!! Well, the knitting is done, the ends need to be woven in. But I can finally have socks to call my own. My last two pairs previous were for other people so it's nice to get a pair for me churned out. And they are in the most fantabulous colourway so what's a girl not to love?
The trip also involved lots and lots of casting on. Firstly there are the socks for my father that I had to abandon as they have a funky heel and I'm dead certain they're now too small but didn't have a circular needle to get my dad to try them on at the time. It's the Men's Elegant Winter Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush made with Patons Kroy:
If you're wondering what kind of funky heel, it's a Dutch heel. And not only is it narrow, I don't know how comfy it would be either :S And to have socks for me on the needles, my Salt Water Taffy Socks:
These are just knit in plain stockinetter on 2.5mm needles. I really hope that if I block these socks it will cure all sins because there's some really ugly bits in my stockinette that are in serious need of smoothing out and I hope that they aren't there to stay :( Maybe this is why I never make plain stockinette socks?
And yes, you know there's another sock coming. It is just the cuff of the sock for my Sock It To Me Twice Pal just to show off the colour:
The yarn is Dream In Color Smooshy and oh my! This must be the best yarn I have ever gotten to knit with. I have never knit with anything that has the sproing of this stuff. The name absolutely says it all. I will sacrifice a good base yarn if the colour's good enough but there is no sacrificing going on here. I bought it for the colour, knitting for the texture. I highly recommend it to anyone out there who's been thinking of jumping on the DIC train.
But ofcourse, I can't let you think that it's only socks now. Today I stopped by the Ram Wools sale to buy yarn for the present for my supervisor's kid to be. But I will save the details for when I get some knitting done on it. Hopefully soon. Until then, happy 2008!