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.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

my swap package (finally!)

swap bag from gekko, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

I'm so excited that you're all just going to have to deal with the mac-cam pictures! I had this delivered to my office address since I was dealing with moves and mail problems this summer... so yeah, the camera is at home. I finally got my package from the first sock swap! My partner disappeared into the ether so my fellow moderator gekko stepped up to the angel plate and sent me a great package!!

Aside from this cute bag (stuffed with goodies) there was also:

needle bracelet from gekko
Cute needle bracelets!

swap yarn from gekko
Yarn! (From left to right: Araucania Ranco Sock, Handspun Merino (looooove the colour on this!) and Black Sock yarn (I believe it is Patons Australia Patonyle to match the toes of the socks to the afterthought heels I will be putting in))

And, of course:
swap socks from gekko
swap socks from gekko

I love love LOVE my package. Thanks again, for EVERYTHING, Gekko!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

and done

angel wings, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Angel socks left-over from the first sock swap.

Yarn is mini mochi, violet rainbow (for something with that name there ought to be a bit more purple, no?), US 1 dpns, and pattern is blackrose from knitty.

Monday, October 11, 2010

gratitude + wips

practice sweater, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Today (or yesterday depending on your family traditions) is Canadian Thanksgiving (or until I move to the states 4+ years ago, just "Thanksgiving") and it seems like a good time to do some catching up on what's on the needles and to talk about some things I'm really grateful for.

Above is the practice sweater I'm working on to teach different increases to a baby-sweater class next weekend. Not the knitting I should (or want) to be doing, but knitting none-the-less.

In the knitting I need to be doing, we have up next the "angel socks" that are left from the first sock swap.

angel sock #2

This is sock #2, past the heel as you can see, so should be done and ready to send off shortly. Let's not even talk about the socks for the second swap... actually, they'll be worsted weight and not due until end of Dec, so really, they can wait a minute.

In the knitting I want to be doing:

anniversary scarf

Note: I am well aware of how dorky I look in this picture.

An anniversary scarf for the boy. In part, I want to be knitting something for such a great guy, but really, it's kinda selfish too: the Woolarina cashmere blend yarn is absolutely LUSCIOUS to work with.

Now: Gratitude!

This is the first time I've been able to be back for a Thanksgiving weekend in Canada in at least 5 years. I LOVE fall in Ontario. I miss it more than just about anything else. It's just not the same anywhere else. No, REALLY:

Fall in SW Ontario

So I'm really glad that we could come visit and the boy could see just how beautiful it really is.

And I'm grateful for said boy... it's been a great (almost) year and we decided recently to get engaged!!! The wedding will be next Spring which gives us just about six months to get everything together... so it's been a busy weekend. But I'm very excited and I can't wait to start this new journey together.

fall in SW Ontario

Saturday, October 9, 2010

prize #2

prize, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

This was marked as delivered by USPS as of Thurs (so I really hope that's true!) to Silver, the prize winner from my 400th post contest.

I'm home in Canada for a very busy thanksgiving weekend (and have lots to be thankful for!) so not much knitting going on, but I do plan on doing a thankful post shortly.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

KAL, or the tipping point

this has been in my stash for over 2 years?! how is that even possible??

So the girl's from the knit group in Madrid (MadridKnits) are going to knit Abalone all together and I want to join them from afar... and use up this luscious malabrigo that has been sitting in my stash since April 2008 (how? how is it possible that malabrigo can be unknit for so long?!)

Here's a picture of the original abalone:


I'm thinking of adding sleeves and possibly a button to hold it together in the middle (which would necessitate adding more to the side panels as well...). Considering I have almost double the amount of yarn as called for in the original, I don't think this should be a problem.

Am I crazy to take on yet another project? I currently have 4 on the go (plus one in need of blocking to be considered finished) and the Sock Swap is underway once again...