Thursday, August 25, 2011

pom poms are more difficult than they appear

slouchy by gradschoolknitter
slouchy, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

as is the taking pictures of things perched on your own head

Last winter I saw a hat, on a girl, on the bus to school. I liked the hat, and filed the pattern away in my brain. I've finally had a chance to sit down and work it up, as my August edition of the SIAC. [Self-Imposed Accessory Club]

I knit the brim extra long so that it could be worn slouchy, as above, or with the brim folded at various lengths:

medium brim
just a little bit

big brim
or a whole lot...

I like it just a little folded, myself.

Yarn is Manos Maxima and I used a size 7 needle.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


slinky socks by gradschoolknitter
slinky socks, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

These socks were originally based on Kebnekaise but I ended up working them in an entirely different way (toe-up instead of top-down, completely different heel construction, and a very different yarn resulted in totally different socks).

This is my 500th post here, and while in the past I have offered up contests and prizes for the big posts (300 and 400), it's the long hard days of summer for a grad student and so instead I decided to offer up my notes on these socks for everyone.

They're available on ravelry, for queuing or, direct download!

Happy knitting!

slinky socks

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

sock swap complete!

owlies by gradschoolknitter
owlies, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

My socks for the sock swap are complete! Shortly I will be packaging them up with a few goodies and they will be winging around the world.

This picture really doesn't do them justice... my partner has slightly bigger feet than I do, and so don't fit my sock blockers as well as one might like. I do hope that she enjoys them and they fit her feet a bit better!

Pattern: Owlie Socks
Yarn: Shalimar Breathless (less than 1 skein) in Oyster. This yarn is ah-maz-ing... a blend of merino, silk and cashmere. Could it get any better than that?
Needles: US 1.5 dpns
Mods: None, except the lack of beading for the owl eyes... I thought about adding some eyes later with duplicate stitch, but I kind of just like them the way they are.

Well, that's it for complex, deadline knitting... for now.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

trains, planes and automobiles

Yes, I've traveled yet again. This time I took the train into Canada, to visit my hometown and see the LAST of the 2011 weddings. You hear that, universe? NO ONE ELSE I KNOW is allowed to get married until 2012. Or at least, I don't want to know about it.

Not that I hate weddings, or anything, there's just been a LOT of them lately (including my own) and I'm a bit weddinged-out. Actually, I'm mostly traveled-out.

Above is the front of the see what love can do pillow that will be presented to the latest bride and groom. The back is slightly less pretty (although I'm not sure you can tell from the pictures...) because this is the first project on which I have used a sewing machine in (at least) 15 years.

But here it is, for posterity's sake:

what love can do... back

The lines aren't 100% straight and the stitches are a little loose (I haven't quite gotten bobbin tension down yet) but there it is. I hope that they will look past it's slight imperfections... and maybe even see it as a symbol for love. Not perfect, but comforting and... cushy? OK, I'll work on that one before I write the card...

Friday, August 5, 2011

no rest for the knitted

knits and purls #1 by gradschoolknitter
knits and purls #1, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

one sock down... and on to more pressing things. I still didn't use the whole skein for this sock, but 239 yards is an awful lot when you have small feet. Even so, this is a long sock (for me) but the elasticity of the Patons Stretch Sock (appropriately named) meant that I didn't have to increase at all for the top of the sock.

As for the more pressing projects at hand: a present for a dear friend who is getting married in just over a week, which I got back to as soon as this sock was off the needles and is thisclose to being done, minus a few minor details which I will be attending to shortly... and the socks for my swap partner, due in the mailbox by the end of the month. I had misplaced the needles needed to start the second of the swap socks during the move, but they have been since located and that will be up next on the agenda.

There's an article on the ravelry main page about how summer is generally slower for knitters... but this summer feels busier than ever for me. Perhaps it's coupled with the move and the impending thesis doom but I feel like I'm making more things too. And picking up more crafty hobbies... I'm trying to start sewing (just waiting for a few more tools that I recently ordered!) and I'd really like to try my hand at spinning that raw wool I picked up in Iceland.

And you, knitterati? Would you say it's been a busier summer for your crafts or do you prefer to put the needles away for cooler temperatures?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

crisis averted

damson drying by gradschoolknitter
damson drying, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

no, I'm not talking about the debt ceiling... and I'd rather not, thankyouverymuch.

So I wanted to wait, even though this was taken yesterday while my damson was blocking, to take some "good" action-style shots of the shawl. Given that 3/4 of the house is still in shambles, I quickly realized this morning that taking a decent picture of it in it's environment was not going to work out as well as planned. So I took a few shots around the house, trying to check out the lighting and such.

One of the better ones was this:

which I find kind of meh.

Then I thought "but I have a balcony! Natural lighting! Perfect!". So I headed outside and looked for a ledge to put my camera on... and saw the back of the window unit as the perfect spot.

Except that I didn't think about fans and cords and well... maybe this will explain best what happened next:

before my DH freaks out, both camera and, surely to him more importantly, air conditioner are just fine.

So I made sure everything was still in working order, removed what remains of that cord from my camera and took my outdoor shots:

view of the 'hood

what's that down there?
... neither of which I'm totally happy with, but I think I should just be grateful I don't have to replace either a brand new air conditioner or my digital camera* for the moment.

*I've had this camera since 2008 and have dropped it more times than I can count. It's virtually indestructible, which is saying a lot from someone who can be as clumsy and, let's face it, absentminded as I am.

Monday, August 1, 2011

since I've been gone

stitch cloth quilt by gradschoolknitter
stitch cloth quilt, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

I took the last week off from moving and unpacking and panicking about how much work I haven't been doing to hang out with my parents for a bit (whom I haven't seen since the wedding) and then head south to see DH's family (along with bits of mine) for a reception put on by his parents and their friends and family.

My parents swung by early last week and checked out our new digs (of which they seemed to approve...) and my mom brought me a house-warming gift. She's a rather talented artist (click here to see more of her work) and I think this will go nicely wherever I set up a crafting/sewing corner... which will happen soon, I swear!

Other things that happened while away... well, I did finish the July SIAC shawl, if you were wondering, last Thursday to be precise, but I will wait to show it off when it has been nicely blocked. Which will happen just as soon as I figure out where I packed the blocking pins...

And, of course, yarn was purchased. Unplanned, but I needed another simple project for travel knitting, and this seems to have done the trick:

knits and purls

Inspired by Kebnekaise, I decided to use the long stretches between colours in Patons Stretch Socks and accentuate the coloured portions by purling whenever holding a contrast colour and knitting with the main. The coloured portions are longer than in the original so I don't think it'll end up looking much like Kebnekaise, but in the end I think I'll have a fun pair of socks. Oh, and toe-up to take advantage of every last drop of each skein (one 239 yard skein/sock).