Saturday, March 29, 2008

back and burnt out

Well, we're back from Korea (to Canada that is... I still have one more plane ride tomorrow to head back to school in the States) and I'm exhausted. The 13 hour time difference was very hard to adjust to and we were still waking up at 4:30/5:00 most mornings. Now I'm back home, it's 11am and I haven't finished my still-warm morning coffee.

Above is the usual BF-rubbing-Buddha's-belly picture. This was taken at a temple we stayed over-night at during the trip. When I'm a little less tired and I have time to go through and look at all of the pictures (and there are hundreds if you also count the ones on Dr. BF's camera) I will post more. Very little knitting was accomplished past the initial airport wait / plane ride. By the end of the trip I was so tired that I didn't even knit on the way home!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

bus blogging

So this is completely ridiculous and over-the-top but I'm currently on a bus. A bus from the Detroit Airport to East Lansing where I'm going to meet up with my dad and then drive back to Canada. A bus with free wi-fi (ok, not really free, the fare was NOT cheap and I think the free bottled water and wi-fi are built into the price... I plan on taking full advantage of both). Who blogs in the middle of the highway? Musicians? Actors? Me, apparently.

Anyway, this is the first leg of my "spring break" trip. I'm going home for a few days, will spend some time with the fam and a couple of quiet days before heading off to Korea with Dr. BF. That's right, Korea. I can barely believe it myself. Dr. BF was asked to compete in a martial arts tournament (Hapkeido) and invited me along. We leave Thursday.

Of course, this lead to a packing crisis extrordanaire last night. (Hey, it's a miracle I didn't leave the packing until this morning at 5am when I got up.) 'Cause Canada is generally cold at this time of year (although apparently around my parent's the snow has been gradually melting and it's been warming up to a balmy 5C/40F) and in Korea it's supposed to be anywhere between 55-70F the week we're there. So I had no idea what to take. Also, the knitting. I'll be gone for 2 full weeks. How much knitting do you take for 2 weeks?!?

I finished one Jaywalker the other day:

and started the second, so I took that with me.

I also had yarn to make the entrelac socks by Eunny Jang from Interweave Knits Spring 07... so I took enough to make one sock. The directions are 3 full pages long (and there is only a very short list of instructions at the end for making the left different from the right and how to make/attach tassels. Yes, I'm going to make socks with tassels.) so I figure one of them will take at least a couple of weeks. Plus I'm going to be in KOREA! How much knitting time am I *really* going to have?? (Aside from the many, many hours we're going to spend in airports and planes, of course.)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

ATC: Fire Swap

Ok, I'm a bad swap partner. I've had the materials for ages but no artist's glue. I finally sent a call out on ravelry and another local knitter was nice enough to pick me up some podge stuff on a trip to a Utrecht's. I picked it up yesterday and was able to finally put together my cards last night. My apologies to my partners... these WILL be in the mail today. I promise.

The pictures aren't great 'cause it's rainy, grey and foggy here today, and these represent my first EVER attempt at an artistic project outside of knitting... and did I mention that my mom is an artist who frequently uses collage in her painting? Don't take my art as any indication though... my mom is an amazing artist. If I can find some of her pictures later (I think I have a couple saved as jpgs in my gmail) I will post them so you can see that I cannot do her justice as an artist's child.

Enough digression:

"Windy Day"

"Changing Seasons"

Friday, March 7, 2008

FO: Mother Bears

I finally got a picture of "Petunia", the double knit bear. I finished her in a day, but she got hung up at the store before I could get a picture.


And, since I was taking pictures anyway, here is one of her big brother (ignore the face... someone else embroidered it for me and disregarded his given name) "Bernard":


And I'm currently working on another one 'cause they're so quick and gratifying. Plus, the wall is getting very full and she's going to have to ship them off soon, so maybe I'll save this one for the next batch.

Monday, March 3, 2008

double knit mother bear

double knit legs, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

My fav LYS is participating in the mother bear charity which sends knitted teddy bears to kids in Africa affected by HIV/AIDS. I've made a couple so far, but I hate seaming of all kinds, so the pattern (available from knitty gritty for free or by $5 donation from the mother bear organization) kind of annoys me. But I also understand that they don't want all kinds of differently shaped / constructed bears because it means some bears might be seen as different / better than others.

So, instead I decided to slightly modify the pattern to be knit in the round. AKA zero seams. And since some of the other local knitters share my distaste for seams, I promised to write up my modifications. You may need to check the original if you aren't familiar with it already to understand my instructions.

Materials - various machine washable yarns, 2 circs and 5 dpns in appropriate size for yarn (you could do this just using the dpns, but I prefer 2 circs for the parts in the round)

To start I double knit the legs (as see above):

Leg 1: CO 20 stitches onto 1 circ. (double the normal amount) in bear's foot colour.
Row 1: * K1, Sl1 * to end of row
Repeat this row for DOUBLE the amount of rows you would normally work for foot (20 instead of 10)

Switch to pants colour (in my case I stripped the pants, so I was switching every 8 rows) and work DOUBLE the rows, continuing to K1, Sl 1 every row

When you reach where the legs would be joined take 2 dpns and holding them together, slip 1st stitch to back needle, 2nd stitch to front needle. Continue alternating stitches until all stitches are evenly divided onto the dpns. (My other tutorial for double knitting can be found here complete with a picture if you need visual aid.) Now you should be able to flip the leg "right side out".

Repeat for leg 2.

To join legs use circ 1 to knit across one side of one leg, then one side of the other. Now use circ 2 to knit across the remaining side. Continue working in the round using the 2 circular needles until it is time to switch to the sweater colour.
Switch to sweater colour, knit 13 rounds. For the next 7 rows knit back and forth across front of sweater, cut yarn and join to back, repeating back and forth for 7 rows on back of sweater. This will leave an opening for the arms.

Switch to bear's face colour and join to work in the round again. Work 20 rounds for bear's face and cut yarn, leaving enough yarn to later graft/kitchener head together (approximately 4 times the circumference). DO NOT GRAFT YET!

Use dpns to pick up stitches around one arm hole and knit arms in the round. Graft ends of hand together. Repeat for other arm.

Flip bear inside out completely. Sew in any loose ends, making sure to sew up the hole where the legs join. Flip bear back to right side out. Stuff and graft top of head together. Finish up bear (adding face, etc) as normal.

Taa daa!