Thursday, December 30, 2010

things unseen

sweet potato pi, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

I couldn't post these before yesterday because they hadn't been received yet.

Above are a pair of Cauchy socks from Cookie A's Sock innovation. Yarn is Knit Picks Comfy Fingering Yarn in Sweet Potato, about 1.5 skeins.

Mods: 1x1 ribbing on the cuff rather than a picot edge; 70 sts (down to 68 for the foot) rather than 60 (this meant messing with the chart a bit for the extra sts on the foot, but it worked out well).

Also for the boy and gifted yesterday:

warm cuppa

A mug cozy to keep his coffee warm for longer in the slow-moving mornings. At least, that's the idea. Pattern is the Quick and easy mug cosy, made using the left-overs of the Lorna's Shepherd Worsted used on my dad's turn-a-square hat. There's something nice about using up every last yard of a skein, rather than throwing it away.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

a merry whatever, everyone

slightly mishappen star, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

speaking of whatevers... whatever is that?!

I hope that wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, you are happy, healthy and surrounded by family.

I tried to make some knitted stars but instead of cute and rustic, like the original, mine just looks mishappen and sad. Maybe a really good blocking would fix it, but somehow I doubt that to be the case.

In happier knitting news, one of my gifts was this:

manos maxima

Some lovely manos maxima, from my sister. Not the best picture, but it is beautiful yarn, trust me.

Hope your day is filled with peace, joy and some quiet knitting time!

Monday, December 20, 2010

all the things are knit

turn a square again, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

I can't believe it, but all the things that I planned to have knit as Christmas gifts are DONE! OK, all the things that have to be done before the 25th, that is.

Above is yet another Turn a Square hat, and now that it is done I can safely say that I will be trading the recipients on this and the previous hat. Turn a square is definitely on the larger size. If I were making it for a woman I would stick with the mods I made previously.

Yarn was extra Cascade Soft Spun and Lorna's Lace's Shepherd Worsted I had from previous projects (and I must say I like them together); needles were US 6 (4mm) for ribbing and US 7 (4.5mm) for the rest.

Raveled here.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

hat! and snow!

hat! and snow!, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

As you may be able to tell from my background, I have moved NORTH. Severely north. But it's kind of great! I got a new winter coat and boots, both with faux fur trim and they're keeping me quite cozy.

I started the hat yesterday, waiting in the airport for my flight around 9:30. I finished it up around 9:30 this morning. 24 hours (including plenty of time for sleep and even a nap yesterday on the bus!) is pretty good for a hat, right?!

I'm just a bit worried that it'll be short for the recipient but I'm working on another hat and will make a final decision as to who gets what when that is done.

Pattern is A Hat Fit for a Boyfriend.
Yarn is Cascade Eco Duo (approx. .75 of a ball)
Needles = US 7 / 4.5mm

Raveled here.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

from naught...

damask, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

to a bounty to share!

I blocked out the Damask shawl I was working on for my nana. Here's the thing about blocking... it can make all the difference in the final project. If you look at the original, you'll see that it has rounded edges. I, however, have very few blocking pins (I know, for shame!), so I just pulled out the points and thus mine is much more, well, pointed. I still like it though.

Here's a close-up of some detail:


So, if I have a bounty, this can't be the only thing I have to show you, right?

stripey christmas stocking

A stocking! What could be more Christmas than that?! This is for my partner in crime... er... life. Soon to be filled with more goodies, both knitted and not!

I also received my card from Susie's card swap last night and it's quite something! I don't have pictures of it yet, but I have to save something for later, right?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

emergency mitts

emergency mitts, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Even though I'm swamped with Christmas knitting and prepping to go home (which includes trying to read all the things before I leave on Friday so that I don't have to carry an extra suitcase full of books with me) I agreed to knit an emergency pair of mittens for the charity drive at lovelyarns.

They're still down a few pairs and the school really wants to hand them out on Friday. If you are local and can get over there today to pick a kid (they were very colour specific!) and knit a pair up in a night (go bulky yarns!) I'm sure Sue and Hampden Elementary would GREATLY appreciate it. I'm actually going to call her today and see if there is anyone that would appreciate a pair in any of the bulky yarn I have at home so I can knit another pair tonight.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

almost something

almost something, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

So it's been a bit of a marathon knitting day, but I got the Damask shawl finished for my nana. Or, at least, almost finished. It needs a very good blocking... it doesn't look like much (as you can see above) yet.

Things I loved about this shawl: for one, the yarn. I mean, how can you go wrong with malabrigo? for two, the fact that you start at the longest row and slowly decrease your way down to 1 final stitch. One of my least favorite things about shawls (and probably the reason that I don't do them often) is that it seems to take so. much. longer. when you start with 2 or 3 stitches and end up with 3 billion to bind off at the end.

Things not so loved: 7st nubs, purled together. Don't even try it. Instead, I slipped 4 sts, p3tog and slipped the 4 back over. It looks the same and it is much less frustrating. Also, use pointier needles than I did. Round-tipped needles = frustration.

Hopefully will be blocked over the next day or two (especially since I leave this coming Friday to head home and visit!) and you can bet you'll get a look at that too (since, again, can't show you much else in the ways of Christmas knits...)!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

medio damasco, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

which is why it's been so quiet around here lately. So many projects that I can't share for fear that the recipient will be reading!

This one, however, is for my nana, whom I know won't be checking out my blog (having never owned a computer), so I think it's safe to say that the surprise will not be ruined.

Unfortunately, lace shawls still on the needles aren't very photogenic. Here's a close up (but still not the best representation):

damasco detalle

It will, however, eventually look something like this, one hopes. You know, only red instead of yellow.

Pattern is damask by Kitman Figueroa, yarn is malabrigo sock in tiziano red and needles are US7 / 4.5mm. How is it possible that I didn't have a US6 circ??

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Long time coming

Socks on Fire, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

For about six months now I've been meaning to update the pattern for one of my first sock patterns, Socks on Fire. I finally uploaded a new pdf yesterday with much clearer instructions.

direct download

Rav link for queuing

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

card swap

card swap, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

When Susie of useless beauty designs suggested a card swap I wavered. I don't think of myself as crafty.

I mean, I knit. I knit a LOT. But that's about it for my level of craftiness. However, I had an idea for how I could incorporate yarn into a relatively simple-although it sounds better if we call it "minimalist, right?-card that would (probably) be within my crafting abilities.

So above is my entry. I might even make a few more and send them to family members... when I find the time between now and Christmas, of course. There is, however, quite a bit of gift-knitting to be done between now and then as well...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Matching Mitts

Matching Mitts, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Finished up these mitts to match the hat from a few days ago.

I really used up every last scrap of yarn with these (probably about 1/2 the skein of Mirasol Miski and less than a 1/4 skein of the Malabrigo).

If you like them and think they're cute and want a pair for yourself, you're in luck! I wrote up the pattern and added a few sizes (these are probably an XS, and I added S, M, L) and have it ready for download (for FREE!) on ravelry:

Direct PDF download
Ravelry Page for queuing and faving

Things you will need to make these: worsted weight yarn scraps (approx. 100 (125, 150, 200) yards), size US 7 / 4.5mm needles (pick your fancy of 2 circs/5 dpns/magic loop), scrap yarn or a stitch holder and a tapestry needle.
And about 2 nights of tv watching time.

Originals raveled here.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

NaKniSweMo Complete & Early!

folded, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Even with the surgery required to fix the bottom from rolling up, my NaKniSweMo sweater is finished early!

Here's a picture of the whole thing:

folded closeup


Pattern: Folded by Veera Välimäki, size S
Yarn: Davidson Domy Heather in Sylvan Green, approx. 1.8 skeins (~850 yds)
Needles: US 2 & 3 (instead of 4 & 6)
Mods: Aside from using totally different needles (but on gauge... thus proving once again the necessity of gauge swatching, no matter how much one might hate it), I had to cut off the original waist hem ribbing (only 5 rows) and add some extra length in stockinette and 10 rows total of ribbing. The 10 rows vs 5 makes all the difference in the rolling problems. I wish I had added a little more length, but it'll suffice and not look like a belly top, so all's well that ends well, right?

Raveled here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

a quick pick-me-up

a christmas hat, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

After picking up all 224 stitches (let's hope!) around the bottom of my sweater last night, I couldn't face cutting up my sweater right away. So instead, I cast on for a quick holiday gift. Using some left over malabrigo worsted and a skein of mirasol miski (actually only used about 1/2 a skein) and knit up this hat from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

Now to cut that ribbing off...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

rollin', rollin', rollin'

rollin', originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

you think that's finished? Ha! Just you wait and see...

Before anyone goes around patting me on the back, that sweater is not finished. And no, I'm not referring to the ends dangling from the sleeves. Look closely at the waistband. Even thought I just gave it a good pat down (although not nearly so well as the TSA might...) seconds before this picture was taken, the ribbing is flipped up the wrong way. I should have known that 5 rows of ribbing would not cut it... but I went against my best instincts and blindly followed the pattern anyway.

So, what's a girl to do? Well, remember the afterthought heel experiment? I'm going to pick up the stitches in a row or two above the ribbing and *gulp* cut off the ribbing. It needs a couple more inches of length, anyway, so... here's hoping it will all work out! Wish me luck and I'll be sure to be back with the results (or disasters)!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


nakniswemo, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

I feel like November has completely slipped away. I've been meaning to take a progress pictures since the 15th so I could give a half-way point update on my NaKniSweMo sweater, but I've also been trying to leave the house by 8am daily to make some of my NaSchoWriMo goals.

In any case, as you can see above, I have one sleeve and the body completed to the yoke. I'm about 2 inches away from having another complete sleeve and then I can join them all together. So I'd say I'm in every danger of actually finishing this on time!

What about you guys? Are you participating? I'd love to see your complete or almost-complete (or not-so-almost complete!) sweaters too! Leave a link in the comments!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

we interrupt your regularly scheduled sweater update...

hideous or happy?, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

for this scarf. Not sure if I love it yet... it's a little outside of my comfort zone so far as colour goes, but it's squishy and portable, both of which I find to be important factors in knitting-love. It started as a length-wise garter-stitch scarf but it just looked too crazy, so I went with the tried-and-true Noro Striped Scarf, even though, once again, neither of my yarns are noro. Instead I'm using Malabrigo Worsted Merino in Lettuce (that's the limey-green) and a locally handspun merino from Gnome Garden. (I bought mine through my fave yarn pusher, I don't know if/when she will update her etsy shop again.)

I got to the armholes on my NaKniSweMo sweater on Monday:

folded body

and just wasn't in the mood for sleeves. Plus sleeves require instruction-reading/paying attention and that gets in the way of NaSchoWriMo reading/writing.

Don't worry, I'll be back on the sweater-in-a-month track, just as soon as I get this scarf-interruption out of the way...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

NaKniSweMo Day 6

NaKniSweMo Day 6, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Six days into NaKniSweMo and I'm rolling along! 7.5 inches of body and I'm aiming for 1 inch per day.

NaSchoWriMo is going fairly well too. I've revised an article that I hope will get published and sent it to my advisors for them to review. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

betcha you thought you weren't going to ever see this...

abalone on, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Finally, a picture of the abalone sweater ON ME! I don't really like the picture (of me, the sweater looks fine), but I had such a hard time getting one that I am just going to go with it.

As you might be able to tell, it is still open, much like the original, even though I attempted to do some gauge math and make it big enough to close in front of me... but I like how it looks, so I guess it all worked out! In any case, if I hadn't done the math and added extra stitches it would be waaaay too small.


Pattern: Abalone
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Olive, 2.5 skeins (now I have to find something to do with the other 2.5 still sitting in the stash...)
Needles: US 8 / 5mm
Mods: Many: Cast-on 62, increased to 112. Hoped this would fit all the way around me, perhaps clasped together with a shawl pin, but alas, it was not meant to be. I'm happy with how it turned out, though. Also, nixed the icord bind off on the band as it turned out way too tight. Used Jenny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off (knitting all stitches) instead.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

NaKniSweMo day 3

NaKniSweMo day 3, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

I'm actually progressing much quicker than I worried anticipated! I have 4 inches of body so far and am about to start waist decreases.

There's only one problem... it appears to be rolling (as you can see in the above pic) quite a bit. There are only 5 rows of ribbing and I don't know that it's enough. My hope is that a good blocking will smooth it out, but if not I might take more drastic steps... either hem the ribbing under OR pick up stitches, cut off the ribbing and knit downwards, adding some length and some more rows of ribbing...

Monday, November 1, 2010


i heart garter, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

It's November 1st, which means that NaKniSweMo, along with NaNoWriMo are on their way. In fact, I found a group on ravelry called NaSchoWriMo for scholarly writing, which is perfect for my purposes.

Of course, instead of preparing for the advent of either of these things, I made a partner to the first garter stitch mitt. Seriously love these SO MUCH. I will be busting more stash later for a couple more pairs.

OK, off to finish casting on my sweater and get ready for a long day at the library!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

lots to share

toasty toes, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Weekends seem to be my productive time for knitting lately and this one was no different. I finished up the swap socks for my partner as seen above AND wrote up a 3 sized pattern for them, now available on ravelry!

To check this pattern out, you can go to the toasty toes worsted weight toe-up sock ravelry page or buy the pdf now. I'm charging $1.50 for my math skillz: the three sizes range from a 7.25" circumference to 9.5".

Also on the needles this weekend:

garter love

Ysolda's Garter Stitch Mitts. These are getting a holiday gift out of the way AND stash busting! Both things I desperately need to do.

Yarn is Knitpicks Telemark (1 skein) and Classic Elite Inca Print (1/2 skein) on size 5 US (3.75mm) needles.

I also went down to DC this weekend to see the Rally to Restore Sanity... and due to some CRAZY metro line ups ended up missing most of it. But! it was still nice to get out and see a different city and to see so many people just enjoying their day. No one got upset waiting in line 45+ mins for metro tickets, everyone joked about being sardines on the train, no one was pushy or angry or anything negative. That alone was enough to restore my sanity.

But if you need a little something extra, check out Jon Stewart's final speech.

Friday, October 29, 2010


S1050210.JPG, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

November is NaNoWriMo, and in conjunction NaKniSweMo, all of which means that some crazy writers are going to write a 50,000 word novel in a month and some crazy knitters are going to knit a sweater (approx. 50,000 stitches) in a month.

So which am I? Well, sort of both. I'm going to take the above yarn (in the stash since Maryland Sheep and Wool of '08) and turn it into a folded sweater.

I'm also in major need of stepping up my thesis writing game, so I'm going to work my hardest to get a polished chapter written by the end of November. It probably won't be 50,000 words (which is about 175 pages and WAY too long for a chapter), but it won't be easy. I figure the extra time I spend reading other things and doing research will add up.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Look who's blocking...

textured shawl blocking, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.


Finally getting around to some much needed blocking on the textured shawl I knit back in early September. It looks like it grew quite a bit in the bath which is exactly what I wanted.


abalone blocking
look who's blocking too!*

I finished up the abalone sweater this morning and it's now blocking as well. We're having some damp weather, so it may take a while for them both to dry but hopefully some FO pics will happen over the next few days! I have a few mods (ok, quite a few), but I'll save them for the FO post!

*Yes, I am a big dork and yes, I am referencing '90s movies about talking babies. Just in case you were wondering.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

abalone progress

abalone progress, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Wow, this is SUCH a quick knit. I started on the 19th and as of right now all that is left is the edging! Of course, my house also needs cleaning before we have friends over for dinner tonight...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesdays are for what?

abalone beginnings, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

oh yeah, WIPs

The last project I completed for myself was July 27, according to ravelry, which is sort of a sad state of affairs, if I do say so myself. So I decided to take matters into my own knitting hands and last night I cast on for the abalone sweater. The MadridKnits Group is doing this sweater as a KAL for Oct/Nov, and I've wanted to make it for a while (and, as previously mentioned, have had this yarn in my stash for quite some time.

I've made some mods so that it will fit more around the body, with the possibility of adding a button or shawl pin. More on that as it progresses.

In other news, I finished up* the other heel and now have a completed pair of afterthought heels:

afterthought heels

*I'm not counting this as a finished project for me by me as I did about 5% of the actual knitting.

Monday, October 18, 2010

one more thing I did this weekend....

was knit an entire sock. Granted, it was worsted weight, but it was also for a foot a lot bigger than my usual fare. This is the first (shown just prior to bind-off) sock for my partner from the second sock swap. This time around we're using worsted (washable) weight yarn and they're due out by the end of December. Given that I knocked one out in a weekend's worth of knitting, I'm not too worried about the second right now.

Right now I'd really like to knit something for myself!

Socks are: Pattern: none, but possibly coming soon. Yarn: Knitpicks Swish Worsted in Amethyst Heather. Needles: US 5 / 3.75mm.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

in which I mutilate a perfectly good sock

the pick-up, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

yes, two posts in one day. this is just too good to pass up.

So, months ago I had an idea for people to knit tube socks and send them to partners from anywhere in the world with some extra yarn for them to make afterthought heels (best described by the yarn harlot). And it happened. And is still happening.

I finally got my package (due to some flakey swappers - yes, there are always one or two) as an "angel package" from my fellow mod, Gekko, with some funky blue socks. Here's the thing: I've never made an afterthought heel before. Ever. In fact, I've never CUT yarn that has been knit before. No steeking, no nothing. Of course, that didn't stop me from starting an entire group/swap based on the idea.

So this afternoon I sat down with the socks and the appropriate materials: yarn, needles, scissors, glass of wine, and got to it.

Above you can see the initial pick up. Then, probably the worst part of all:

the cut
the cut.

After that there was no turning back, so I started picking up stitches on the other side and gently removing the middle row:

the removal

Finally ending up with:

open for business

So, did it all work out? Drum roll please.............

moment of truth!
ta da!

I'm quite please with the results if I do say so myself! It's not that I doubted the Yarn Harlot (although she herself admits to doubting EZ in the above referenced post, which has to be way higher on the knitting sacrilege scale), it's just that I worried about my own abilities for such risky knitted business. I mean, who takes scissors to perfectly knit stitches? Madness, that is.

In any case, it worked out, and I'm thrilled with the result. Although I think I'll wait a day or two to do the other one.

Note: for anyone who wants to attempt an afterthought heel on their own there is one key point missing from the yarn harlot's guide. Rule of thumb for placement of heel: approx. 2 inches before the end of the foot. I.E. my foot is 9 inches long, therefore I placed the heel 7 inches away from the toe of the sock.

in which another FO and a fun photo shoot are featured

faceoff, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

I convinced the boy to go for a photo-shoot/walk with me last night with his new scarf! Near where we live there is an art festival every year and the artists put up sculptures that stay for the year and get changed the following summer for the next festival.

The above photo is probably my fave, but there were a couple other good ones too:


the scarf stands alone


Pattern: none. Inspired by the stitch pattern in the barcelona socks (which is called "Ribs and Welt" in the Vogue Stitchionary, I believe).
Yarn: Woolarina's "lux sock", which is more of a dk weight, made up of merino, a little nylon and CASHMERE. I can't say enough about the deliciousness of this yarn. It's amazing to work with. In any case, I alternated two different skeins, every other row and have approx. 1.8oz leftover. Which by my calculations is 225yds... enough for perhaps a hat or pair of mitts to match?
Needles: US 5 / 3.75mm.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

stash: enhanced!

knitpicks stroll, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Aside from the great new yarn I got in my swap package the other day (of which I have MUCH better pictures coming up), there has been some other stash enhancement which I haven't yet divulged.

Above is a skein of Knitpicks Stroll Sock Yarn... I got the same colour to put in one of the angel packages but somehow ended up with two... wonder how that happend...

In the same order I got this:

knitpicks swish worsted

Knitpicks Shine Worsted in Amethyst Heather to make worsted weight (but washable!) socks for the next swap. In fact, I'm sure I'll have a picture of them up shortly, as I'm already to the heel flap of the first one (toe up for a change). Worsted weight is just soooooooooo much faster, even though my partner has much bigger feet than those I normally knit.

And now, some better pictures of my swap yarn:

gekko's handspun

The handspun, which I'm guessing is maybe a bulky weight? I'll have to ask to see if she knows how much yardage there is. But it definitely looks like enough for a hat... and I looooove the colour.

araucania ranco solid

And finally, the Araucania Ranco Solid. As you can see, if you compare to the maccam's picture, it's actually what I would call a spring green, not so neon as it appeared before. I really like it and I have potential plans for it... plans that will include it on a very special up-coming day.

Speaking of which, many thanks to all the people who commented on my announcement post, we really appreciate all the kind words.

Friday, October 15, 2010

increase techniques

baby sweater sample, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

I made up this baby sweater for a class I'm teaching. I decided to use it to show the increases and how different increases look:

variety of increases

If you click through to the flickr page you can see the notes (hover over the picture) that explain the different looks.