Saturday, June 27, 2009

First Socks!

About three years ago, I cast on a pair of socks. Since that time I have cast on six pairs of socks, until today I have never finished a pair. I am a process knitter and the idea of knitting two of the same thing makes me tremble. This month though I decided to try something new. I decided to finish something I started even if every fiber of my being makes me want to run in the opposite direction screaming. Wow, that is a bit dramatic, huh? Let me explain. As I have discussed in previous posts, I am in the Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup. This month for the Defense of the Dark Arts class, I needed to finish a WIP and not just any WIP but one that is quite painful and uncomfortable. After reviewing all of my projects, I decided my Heelless Sleeping Socks would be the perfect, painful project. It was amazing that the more I knit, the more painful the project became. It was almost like I didn't want to finish the project. I guess that is the process knitter in me; I don't want to finish a project because that means that the knitting is over for it. Don't feel too bad for me though, I have 14 other projects on the needles. ;)

Now without any further ado, let me give you my very first pair of COMPLETED socks!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Why Are We Whispering?

My, I didn't realize how quiet this blog has been until a friend made a comment on a post and I realized that the last post was ages ago. Now before you think that I have been just sitting around watching episodes of Doctor Who (okay I have been doing this) and trying to keep my ahead above water at school (okay I have been doing this too), I have ALSO been knitting. Really. No, really. Really. I am not kidding. Truly!

Anyway, I have fallen in love with the lost art of washcloths. Washcloths are the most amazing projects ever. 1) You can knit one in a day. 2) You can knit almost anything on a washcloth (anything, seriously). 3). They are cheap! You can knit one for less than $1. 4) They are super useful! You can use them in the kitchen, you can use them in the bathroom, you can use them with a fox, and you can use them in a box.

So here are some of my recent favorites (in no particular order): Hedwig Illusion (you need to try illusion knitting, if you haven't tried it before, it will blow your mind), TARDIS, and Exfoliate! (I TOLD you I have been watching a ton of Doctor Who).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another FO!

I can't believe I finished another project! Check out my Spiral Hat (101 Designer One-Skein Wonders)! It was fun to knit plus the yarn was super dreamy. If you haven't knit with Dream in Color. I highly recommend it. The colors are gorgeous! The worsted weight is called Classy. I should note, however, that I haven't washed my hat yet, so you will have to wait and see how well the color holds.

This hat brings my total FOs of the months to SEVEN! This is all thanks to the Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup on Ravelry. I was hoping to knit 52 projects in 2009, and it now looks like that might actually happen! I think I will definitely pull through since my OWL consists of 20 Mason-Dixon Washcloths. If I only knit 1 project in June (real life might get in the way of House Cup knitting) and six projects again in July (for my 6 classes), I will have knit 34 items for the House Cup! Wow. I guess I need to go buy more yarn! ;)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Color Stranding Here I Come

I just knit my very first color stranding project! This this little baby hat turned out well, I am inspired to knit the Knit Picks Andean Chullo hat kit I purchased a few months ago.

I started knitting this hat at the perfect time too. I found out recently that my friend's wife is pregnant! I foresee myself knitting more baby stuff in the near future. I do feel limited by knitting only lightweight non-wool items though, since the family lives in Florida though. Hmmm.

Look At That Girl Go!

Wow, I can't believe how much the Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup is keeping me motivated to knit! I have made 4 projects this month and I am planning on finishing 3 more projects before the end of the month! I am really loving seeing the finished products. Here is a little Gryffindor Bookmark I knit from Charmed Knits. I left off the fringe, because I detest making fringe. I always seem to make a mess and the product always seems bunched and sloppy. I knit the bookmark in worsted weight, so it is too bulky for most of my (fiction) books, but it is perfect for textbooks and other books, which I am not concerned about putting force on the binding.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Felting Is Fun!

Last night I finished my very first felted project! I made a Royal Crown for my Ancient Runes class for the Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup. I was super nervous about the whole felting process. I was concerned that (1) the project wouldn't felt too well and I would have to wash the project a couple of times (which would have been expensive since I pay by the load at my complex), (2) I would break the washer with excess lint (yes, the project was in a zippered bag that had a safety pin holding the zipper and a rubber band tying the bag tight, but I was still concerned), and (3) the tennis balls I put in the washer would go crazy and bounce out of the washer. Yeah, none of my worries came true. Maybe I should stop worrying about zombies taking over the world.

Anyway, felting is so much fun! I highly recommend it! I am now inspired to finish my Christmas Rainbow Surprise stocking (all I need to do is the stupid i-cord, I hate i-cord, it is so boring). I want to see the project shrink and be super cute like my crown.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Keeping Up with Class

As I blogged about previously, I have been quite busy with classwork for the Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup on Ravelry. This group has really lit that fire beneath me to not only start projects but to finish them! I have been working on a few exciting numbers including the Hurry Up Spring! Armwarmers. I am loving this project. I remember when I first saw this pattern in Stitch 'n Bitch Nation, I thought I would never be able to knit them. A year or so later, I bought the Noro yarn for the project, but I still only looked at the pattern in awe. This pattern had several intimidating factors to it including having to knit 2 similar objects and having to knit thumb gussets (what in the world is a thumb gusset? I kept asking myself). Well, it has been about 4 years since I first looked at the pattern, I knit one armwarmer. Parts of the pattern are challenging (I do need to doublecheck the pattern chart with every cable, so I make sure if I am supposed to have the cable needle in front or behind), but it is doable. I must admit that I keep putting on the one armwarmer and admiring my handiwork. I can't wait to see what "impossible project" I decide to knit next!

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Times They Are A Changin'

If you asked me two weeks ago how I felt about KALs, I would have said they are good for some people, but not for me. Normally, I can't keep up with them (if there is a deadline) or I immediately tire of the project at hand (nothing is more aversive for me than everyone knitting the same thing). Well, I must admit that my tune has changed thanks to the Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup on Ravelry. I think a healthy dose of competition is encouraging me to knit like the wind. I finished my Bella's Fingerless Mittens yesterday and am now starting the Hurry Up It's Spring Armwarmers. I just keep thinking about how I can earn my house (Gryffindor) more house points.

Okay, enough chitchat! Back to knitting!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Thank Goodness It's Friday!

Phew! This has been a ridiculously long week. I returned to Gainesville at 3AM on Monday and proceeded to have a clinic assessment on Monday, my tbi (traumatic brain injury) final exam on Tuesday, and my multivariate statistics final exam on Wednesday. Oh yeah, and I had a stack of therapy patients throughout the week too. Anyway, now that the weekend is here I can focus on what is important, namely knitting. :) A few months ago, I joined the Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup on Ravelry. Today was the first day of the (summer) semester. I joined the Muggle Studies class and am now working on Bella's Fingerless Mittens. The assignment is to knit/crochet a project based on a muggle television or movie. For the five of you who don't know, Bella is a character in the Twilight book (and now movie) series. As someone who spends an obscene amount of time in heavily air conditioned buildings, these fingerless mittens will be a godsend this summer. The hotter it is outside, the colder it is inside.

Also, I promised some pictures from my latest Wool Girl Sock Club kit. Here is a picture of all the goodies! Ain't it awesome! The yarn is Curious Creek Fibers and there is a whopping 493 yards in that skein. I am excited to knit the kit's sock pattern, but I also want to buy some more and make other projects, since the color is gorgeous and has amazing yardage.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Super Fabulous

Busy Busy

Last night I got distracted by my huge multivariate stats exam I have tonight, so I didn't have time to post. I am still trucking along with my Branching Out scarf. I didn't bring it with me to Montreal, since I am using aluminum needles and didn't want to chance TSA. It is just as well, because I really didn't have any time to knit with going to the conference and climbing mountains (well, one mountain at least). When I came home, my WoolGirl Sock Club kit was there. I haven't uploaded the pictures for the latest kit, but in an effort to have SOME eye candy in this post, take a peek at my first kit. Ain't it gorgeous? It is like Christmas morning when I get a WoolGirl package. The yarn is Zen Garden and it is the most luscious stuff you have ever felt!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Everyone Should Move to Montreal

Hi all. Just a quick note so you know that I am alive. :) I just spend 5 glorious days in Montreal (for a conference). I am in the midst of crazy finals, but I should have a few great pictures of my latest WoolGirl Sock Club kit tomorrow for you. It is the best kit yet!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Clean Knits Are Happy Knits

Not to toot my own horn, but I am quite proud of my current knitting status. I am in the process of washing (and blocking) all of my knitting goods. I just did my fourth load (I wash my goods in a basin for the sink, so these are small loads) and I just have one load of scarves and three store bought sweaters and I shall be done! It is super nice to have my knits clean folded nicely in drawers than dirty and in a canvas bag. As an added bonus, the desire to clean my knits, pushed me to finish up some projects and weave in the ends! I FINALLY finished Argosy and a couple of other projects. Like any annoying project, if I just sit and do it, the project only takes a few minutes. BTW, check out my very pretty and flowy Argosy, now that I have woven in the ends and blocked it within an inch of its life. Now that I see Argosy in all of its glory, I kind of want to knit another one. ::sigh::!

I am still working on Branching Out. I have done 15 pattern repeats (in 1 week no less!), and have (according to the pattern mind you) 12 more repeats to go. I must admit that I am a bit skeptical about this, because the ball of yarn from which I am working is pretty small for 12 more repeats. The scarf is long enough now that I know I will be happy with just a 1 skein scarf (which is good, because I don't have another ball of this yarn), but I am a little surprised about the discrepancy between how much yarn I need and how much yarn the designer needed (yes, it is the same yarn brand and whatnot). Of course, this discrepancy between the knitter and the designer is quite common in the knitting world, but it is the first time it happened to me, so I am still getting over my naivete about patterns. ;)

On a personal note, I am off to Montreal next week for a conference! I am super excited to check out the knitting scene up north.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Look How Far We've Come

Every so often, I think back to how I felt about knitting when I first learned how to knit. I especially remember feeling frustrated when I had to frog an entire project, because I did not know how to rip or tink. For the past three years, I have let my Branching Out scarf sit in No Man's Land, because I got so annoyed at the pattern and my constant errors. I distinctly remember writing a post about how I was going to live with the errors in the scarf and chalk them up to "Design Elements." Ha! I am a perfectionist. What on earth made me think that I would believe my errors were design elements? Of course, as soon as I wrote that post, I stuffed this project in the back of my WIPs drawer.

The scarf stayed dormant until last Friday. I decided I needed to finish it and get on with my life. I figured that I needed to push through some of my current WIPs, so I could move on to other projects. (I recently got into spring cleaning mode and organized all of my planned projects - very daunting let me tell you. Thus, I realized that I need to finish some of my current projects so I have room to store new WIPs.) Anyway, I ripped back the entire project and recast on. I came to grips with my OCD and decided that I could not live with the "serious errors" of the beginning knitter that I was when I first tried this pattern. Oh my goodness. How do I describe this project today? It is easy. Granted, there is a bit of thinking, but it is far easier now that it was three years ago. I just am just plowing through it. Do I make mistakes? Yes, but I am able to tink back a row and fix the error quickly. This project is not frustrating like it was the first time I attempted to knit it. In four days, I finished half of the scarf! Plus, I can see myself knitting this scarf again in different yarns and colors, because it is a fun pattern. Craziness.

Here is hoping that this new love for a hated project vibe continues when I restart Odessa. ::shudder::

Friday, April 10, 2009

Success Is Mine!

I am so excited! I finally finished my Fish Net scarf! I had some friends over last night for a craft night and pushed through the pain and bound off last night. I really love the finished product. It is going to look fabulous with a black dress or another dark, plain color. My one concern is that I think if it not being held taut, the scarf twists on itself. If you ignored all the YOs and decreases, it is a stockinette scarf and therefore subject to twisting and curling. If only I could find a nice opera to which I could bring my scarf...

I have also started working on an old WIP that it needs to see the light of day. I frogged Branching Out and restarted the pattern. When I started this project years ago, I didn't read the instructions before I started and my interpretation of the pattern is a bit different. The scarf looked okay, but this time around it looks better. I am really enjoying knitting this scarf, because the pattern repeat is pretty quick (only 10 rows and 30ish live stitches), so I feel like I am accomplishing something. Of course this sense of accomplishment only comes when I pay attention to the pattern and remember which row I am on. I have a hard time reading my stitches, so many times I rip back to a row that I can recognize if I get mixed up with the pattern.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Neverending Scarf

I am nothing if not stubborn! I have been working on this scarf for ten million years. Okay, that may not be exactly true. I think it has been 9,543 days 10 hours 14 minutes and 32 seconds. Don't get me wrong. I love the Fish Net pattern from Ocean Breezes: Scarves Inspired by the Sea. In fact, I love the entire book, and if you love scarf patterns, I highly recommend this book. The issue I am having is that no matter how much time I spend on this scarf, I still have a big old ball of yarn that needs to be knit up. ::sigh:: In all honesty, I would like the scarf to be a bit longer than it is, so I do like the fact I have enough yarn to get a nice long scarf, but, really, how much more time do need to put into this scarf? It is a simple two pattern stitch AND has lots of YOs. I should be using up yarn like crazy! Alas that is not the case. I guess I will continue to knit while waiting for therapy patients, while watching second years do clinic intakes, while waiting for lab meetings to begin, and while doing everything else. As much as I moan though, I do love how the scarf is turning out. Isn't it so pretty? I need to find a nice, neutral dress to make this scarf pop!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

A Finished Object! Finally!

Long time no see. Things have been a bit crazy here, since I haven't had a computer and well my life kinda exploded with work. Note to the wise, do not try to do 2 classes, an advanced practicum, and study for qualifying exams in the same semester. Apparently it is a bad idea.

I am proud to say that I FINALLY finished a project this year. Yeah, it's April, but I have been busy (with my best and whine-iest voice). In my own defense I have started a ton of projects this semester, I just couldn't seem to finish them. What saved me from a world of UFOs? Coach Taylor and Friday Night Lights. OMGoodness. Have you seen this show? I just watched the first season and knit a hat (pattern: Butterfly Hat). The plots are compelling and believable. Plus, several of the male leads are not too hard on the eyes. ;)

Okay, enough tv! Let's see some knitting! Here is the lovely Butterfly Hat!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Magic Loop Is...well...Magical!

Zoinks! It has been a long time since I posted! I do have some very good reasons for the lack of posting though...1) I took my theory OWLs (written qualifying exams) a week ago, 2) I take my practical OWLs (oral qualifying exams) on Tuesday, and 3) my home computer is not playing nicely with others, so I don't have a computer with which to upload photos. I have been knitting a bit though! Last Wednesday, I finally had it with the amount of work I was doing and went over to Hanks to buy some 40in circular needles in 2.25mm. I had ordered some from KnitPicks, but they were taking too long. I had decided last week that my Simplicity socks were going to be too big on the 2.5mm needles I was using and I needed to frog before I went any farther. To be perfectly honest, I think I need to go down another size, but I can't emotionally handle doing that. I decided that if the socks are too big for me, I will FIND someone who can wear these socks or I will wear them as bed socks. I realized that my perfectionist tendencies are preventing me from finishing a pair of socks and this has got to stop. The only way I am going to learn how I like my socks is if I finish a pair or two.

In happier news regarding my Simplicity socks. I love Yarn Love yarn. The yarn is so cheery and holds up well to frogging (yarn: Juliet; colorway: Maiden). I also LOVE knitting socks on one circular needle. The project is far more portable than any DPN project I have ever done. I have also noticed that I am knitting faster and with a more "normal" gauge for me. With one circular needle, I only stop once per round and there are only two possible ladders. With the evil DPNs, I have to stop three times per round, plus I have to worry about four possible ladders. Since I am not as worried about ladders with the one circular needle, I am not knitting so tightly, which is really improving my gauge numbers. Now that I have gone magic loop, I am never going back. Now, what am I going to do with all those DPNs I own???

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Long Week...

Wow, this has been long week. I had my written quals (aka my theory OWLs) on Friday, and I am quite exhausted now. The week hasn't been all work though. I received my very first Rockin' Sock Club kit. The yarn is so pretty, the pattern is fun, and there is beading to be had! Although my first beading/knitting project was a bit temperamental (Odessa), I am pumped to try this one. I also received my welcome to the Wooly WoolGirl club (after making 7 purchases, you become a frequent flyer of sorts and get all sorts of goodies). If you haven't check out WoolGirl's shop. You are seriously missing out. She has some great Indie dyers plus she wraps all your yarn purchases in tissue paper and gives you all sorts of goodies (stitch markers, sample size wool wash, etc).

You are probably wondering where all the pictures are. Well, my computer and I aren't on speaking terms right now, so I can't upload pictures. As soon as everything gets worked out, I promise you some times!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Those Blasted OWLs!

Starting this coming Saturday, I will be more talkative. I have my real life OWLs (quals) coming up and studying is taking up most of my time. I am taking my theoretical OWLs (written quals) this Friday and my practicals (oral quals) in two weeks. To be honest, once I reframed my thinking with Harry-Potter speak, the studying became far more enjoyable.

See ya on the flipside!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Reading, Reading, Reading

Hey all. This has not been the most exciting MLK weekend. The reason for the quietness on the blog is that I have my qualifying exams (eek!) in 10 days. What are qualifying exams? Well, on January 30th, I will sit in a tiny room for 8 hours and answer 6 questions. Two weeks later, I meet with my dissertation committee and talk about my answers for 2 hours. Yeah, it is as awesome as it sounds. I have been doing a little bit of knitting. I was rewarding myself for reading an article with knitting a round of my Heelless Bed Socks. This picture is a bit old, but the progress doesn't make the sock more interesting. Just imagine it longer. These are classic tube socks, so there is no exciting heel or gusset or anything. The yarn is KnitPicks Imagination: Seven Dwarves. I am really enjoying the colors. I heard that this yarn felts a bit, so I was hoping that the heeless-ness and the bed-focusness of the socks will slow the feltyness of the socks. Well, you know what I mean.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Best Day Ever...

I had a pretty good day on Saturday. I woke up at 3AM, froze for 2hrs, ran and walked with a massive crowd for 13.1 miles, and endured a good amount of aches and pains. Oh yeah, it was a good day. It is amazing to see how far (literally and figuratively) we can push ourselves when we have our eyes on the prize.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Skill!

2009 has started off with a knitting boom! All of my yarn and knitting pattern books are now on ravelry! I feel like I can be a much more efficient knitter now. When I am in the mood for a type of yarn or project, I can easily see what is in my yarn and pattern stash.

I have also taught myself a new skill! I now can knit socks (and other small round objects) on 1 long circular needle (aka the magic loop method). I learned the skill with 2-at-a-Time Socks. I haven't learned how to knit 2 socks at a time yet. I thought it was be less stressful to learn how to knit just one sock first. Also I felt that knitting two socks at the same time as my around the town knitting might prove to be disastrous (I can envision balls of yarn rolling all over the psych clinic and research meetings).

I have already two socks with this new technique. I first started with the Heelless Sleeping Socks from Vintage Socks. I thought it would be good to try the magic loop with a very simple pattern. I got a few rows in and decided that I could totally do the magic loop regular sock style. I promptly start Simplicity from The Eclectic Sole. I am really loving the magic loop method for socks. I don't have to worry about tons of ladders (just two, not four). Plus, since I only worry about "two needles" instead of four, I am much faster. There isn't the stop and go that dpns require. Of course I haven't finished a sock with this method yet, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that I continue to like it! BTW, the pic is of Simplicity.

Monday, January 05, 2009


The day before I went home for vacation, I hit Michael's for some needles. A ton of the yarn was on sale, and I picked up a ball of Lion Brand Moonlight Mohair, which was on sale for $2. I made a cute little airy scarf that used the entire ball of yarn! I haven't weaved in the ends or blocked it yet, but if you click the picture, you can get a good idea of the final product.

Here is the pattern

Lacy Scarf

1 ball of Lion Brand Moonlight Mohair
US 13; 9.0mm

CO 13

Row 1: K5

Row 2: (K2tog, YO) until the end, k1
Row 3: K 3 rows
Row 4: (K2tog, YO) until the end, k1
Row 5: K 3 rows
Row 6: (K2tog, YO) until the end, k1
Row 7: K 15 rows

Repeat rows 2-7 four more times. Then repeat rows 2-6 one more time.


Bind Off

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Boy Who Lived

For the past couple of weeks, I have been listening to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on my iPod. It is the Jim Dale version. It has been such an experience! When I got the book, I stayed up all night reading it. There was no savoring. The goal of reading the book was simply to find out what happens in the end! My goals for listening to the book were very different: 1. to knit (and do other things) while enjoying Harry's adventures, 2. really understand what the whole Elder wand thing was about (around 4AM, my logic turned off), and 3. really savor the story and enjoy the little details. Up until today, I was enjoying the book like I enjoy any other audio book or podcast. Today, however, was a different story. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy the story, but today I heard all the painful bits like Severus Snape's sad tale and Fred Weasley dying right after Percy tells a joke. It was gut wrenching to listen to it, because I could not speed ahead. I had to stay with Jim Dale's slow (but not too slow) reading. Jim Dale was not horribly upset and didn't need to read faster, he just kept reading at the same pace. Listening to the book affected me much more than reading the book. All the sad bits seemed so much sadder hearing them, because I could not ignore them, I could not read over them. This was a great experience.

I will post some of my exciting FOs from my break tomorrow. The Harry Potter experience was just too much for me today. ;)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Isn't She Lovely?

Unpacking and prepping for the coming semester has been taking up most of my time, since I came back to Florida. This is going to be a very, very, very busy semester. I have my qualifying exams, my current research study will be ending, I will be jumping onto a new (and massive) study, and I will be starting one of my advanced practicums. Oh yeah, I am also supposed to be proposing my dissertation. I am starting to get the idea that grad school is busy.

I haven't been able to work too much on Birch, since I returned. I am probably 1/3 of the way through the shawl. I love that feeling of accomplishment I get with removing a stitch marker every 8 rows. Anyway, here is the shawl. Isn't it pretty? I love the color and how delicate it is.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy 2009 Everyone!

I can't believe another year has come and gone! I swear the years seem to go faster and faster. Of course, it would be nice if grad school time would go as fast as real world time. If I continue with my current dissertation idea, I will be around for another year. Well, we won't think about that right now, I am still on holiday.

Anyway, besides freaking out about the speed of time, I am also thinking about New Year Resolutions. Yea!

Here are my knitting resolutions...

1. Keep my stash, knitting library, and needle collection updated on Ravelry. If I can see what I have, I am less likely to overbuy.
2. Only buy yarn with projects in mind (sock yarn doesn't count here).
3. Do the "finishing" part of a project within 2 months of the knitting. I have an entire bag of FOs that need ends weaved in.
4. Try 4 new techniques, maybe fair isle, intarsia, knitting socks on one/two circular needles, and knitting cables without cable needles.
5. Knit from 4 knitting books I own from which I have yet to knit.
6. Work on Level 1 of the Master's Knitting Program from TKGA, which I bought I at the beginning of LAST year.

I also have a knitting challenge! I decided to take on a challenge from one of the stash groups I am in on Ravelry. I pledged to knit 52 objects in 2009. Now these projects are probably going to be washcloths, but that is okay (I have a lot of cotton yarn). The primary objective is to knit from the stash.

This seems doable, right? ;) Yeah, it is a bit much, but as long as I keep knitting and have fun, I don't care how many resolutions I keep.