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.