Sunday, April 27, 2008

Finishing extravanganza!

This week was uch - I had two exams on Friday, which went half-well. I felt pretty good about my chemistry exam, but not so much the calculus one. Damn you, infinite series!! But I did finish two projects, one of which had been in progress for over a year. Behold, pink sweater:

I wasn't really able to get a full picture of it, due to my ridiculous lack of Skills of a Photographer. But you can see the button band, which actually turned out pretty well, and which was the reason I dropped this project last June and never picked it up again. I happened to have the perfect color of thread to attach the buttons, so I wove in the ends and sewed on the buttons on Tuesday and wore it on Wednesday. I saw a couple of my knitting friends around campus, and they all smiled at me knowingly and asked if I had made my sweater, to which I could finally say, "Heck yes I did!"

The boy person approved. We went out for a walk and some whole wheat donuts at the little memorial park right off campus, and while we were sitting on a park bench, he petted my shoulder and made faces at the sweater. Hahah.

The weather in Ohio has gotten absolutely amazing in the last week or so. The magnolias are blooming everywhere, and the apple and cherry blossoms are starting to come out, too. I spent a lot of time outside this week, studying calculus on the porch of the student union, underneath the massive amounts of bee-filled magnolias. And the only reason that the above picture isn't full of hippies is because it was 8 in the morning, way too early for them to be awake!

Oh yeah, and - big surprise! - I finished more socks.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weekend knitting....

Friday, I started My So-Called Scarf with the Malabrigo worsted I bought in Santa Cruz. I'm finding it impossible to photograph the color of this yarn - it's absolutely luminous, so deeply saturated with color that the camera can't figure out to do with the excess. This blue makes all other blues look anemic in comparison. The pattern is perfect for this yarn, and so far it's a fast knit.

I haven't done anything snazzy except to add a slipped stitch at each edge. I was worried that the color wasn't interesting enough for a scarf, since most people tend to use Manos or Malabrigo in handpainted colorways, but no, everything about this scarf - texture, stitch definition, color, softness - is perfect. I love it when that happens!

This yarn makes me tempted to buy enough for a sweater. Mmmmm.

I have been productive on old projects, too. The pink sweater has been languishing on the needles since April of last year, so I figured it was time to sew it up. I forgot how much I enjoy the yarn - it's mostly cotton, but it has a soft halo because of the cashmere. I have some buttons for it already, and all that's left is sewing up the other sleeve and picking up the button band. I know I probably should have done that first. Oh well!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Even more socks!

So, I finished another sock and started on the second. These are the Go With The Flow socks from Favorite Socks (yes, another pair from that book), and the pattern is really simple and relaxing to knit. They're excellent knitting-in-class socks, since they require basically no attention to detail. I really like this yarn - it has a similar twist and sheen to Koigu, but is a completely solid, bright color. I bought it right before I went on vacation with my friend Ben and his family last year... I knitted almost the entire cuff of the Uptown Boot Socks, got scared of yardage issues, and ripped it out. I think I might have actually brought it with me when Ben, his sisters, his stepdad and I went floating down the river on rubber rafts, when my knees got so sunburned that they stung for a week. Although I don't think I would be able to forgive myself if I dropped any of my yarn into a river.

Anyways, I'm slowly chipping away at all of the projects I have left to do. My roommate is out of town until Sunday, so I suspect that I will be knitting in the library a lot this weekend. It only took me 5 days to finish the first sock, so I'm hoping that the second one will go fast, too!

In other news, Calculus is not my friend. We're working on Sequences and Series, which is making my brain hurt with all of the infinite limits and rules, summations and all of that crap. I've started getting my classes lined up for next semester, and I'm really excited because I'm probably going to take Organic Chem, Japanese 101, and one humanities class to be determined. And, if it works out, I will be co-teaching a knitting Exco. Gah... I'm off to knit my socks, write a presentation, and beat my head against some Sequences and Series homework. Woo.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I've Made It To My Second Decade (And By Second, I Mean Third)

Today is my 20th birthday. For some reason, no matter how old I am, I always love my birthday. This is the first time I haven't been home on April 15th for... well, ever. My mom sent me a package that I opened this morning, which was full to the brim with small but wonderful presents.

A whole lot of yarn. The orange skeins are from a spinnery in Bellingham, Washington, a little artsy town near the San Juan Islands. They are unbelievably soft. It's funny, because this yarn isn't the kind that I'd normally pick out for myself, but it's still very much within my yarn personality... sometimes I think that my mom knows me better than I do.

The rundown:
1 skein of Colinette 100% silk in a luminous pink color, colorway Copperbeach, 117 m.
2 skeins Spincycle Yarns Bluefaced Leicester worsted weight, colorway Fallen Leaves, 120 yards each
2 balls Panda Silk, a bamboo/wool/silk blend by Crystal Palace, color 4007, 204 yards each

I'm fairly sure that someone is going to have to mop me up off the floor later tonight. I am absolutely overdosing on fibers, and it feels so good.

Also included in the package was this adorable necklace, which is two-sided and is just so cute I can barely contain myself.


"I love you so much, I could eat your face!"

My roommate also got me a pair of pink rainboots (so now I can stomp in puddles asjkdfjjjj), and my boyfriend has been conspiring with her to do something for me tonight. I feel so loved!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Unspun Icelandic Crack Cocaine

This weekend, Nancy, Bethany, and I went to the closing sale of a yarn store in Vermilion, Love to Knit. As we were browsing, I saw a few wonderful things - Koigu in a ton of different shades, Jitterbug, Jamieson & Smith jumperweight, and Cascade. But then I came upon big stacks of unspun Icelandic wool... and knew that I had to get some.

I love this yarn so much, aesthetically. It is so delicate, but still rather scratchy, and it is wound into these big yarn cakes that are wonderfully flat and squishable. They only had 600 yards of this color, so I bought just two - also because I'm trying to limit how much yarn I buy before finishing more projects. I almost wish that I had bought 4 wheels in a different color, because I suddenly and irrationally want a wide throw, thick and cozy, to throw over my shoulders during these long Ohio winters. From what I know, Schoolhouse Press carries this yarn and I can always get it from there - or perhaps, if I ever go to Iceland, to pick some up locally! - but for now, I am at a serious loss as to how to treat this yarn. Part of me wants to make it into a simple, lacy stole. But part of me wants to leave it exactly as is...


Friday, April 11, 2008

Spring in Ohio at last!

Today in Modern Jewish Thought, I started thinking about something purple. A short cardigan, with twisted ribbing starting at waist level, that travels into a cascading leaf design (also in twisted ribbing) against a reverse-stockinette background, with short, slightly puffed sleeves. In lavender Hempathy. Mmmmmmmmm. (I have a few designs bouncing around in my head. And by a few, I mean that I sit in chemistry and doodle cute silk-shirt style blouses with frog closures and darts , button-down shirt inspired camisoles, and kicky little striped cotton peasant blouses when I should be paying attention to important things like rate laws. But for some reason, today my lust was for purple hemp.)

As I was walking home, I suddenly wondered why so many of my favorite ideas and projects lately have been various shades of purple. I have a deep purple Tubey on the needles, as well as the purple Waving Lace socks. I'm wearing my purple Meidas today. I'm lusting after cables and lace in crisp, lavender linen yarn.

And then I looked at the flowerbeds next to my dormitory, where crocuses, violets, and daffodils have been exploding into bloom ever since the temperature got above 40 degrees.

Those things must have psychotropic pollen or something, because they are affecting my subconscious yarn desires and making me want to put on a skirt and.... frolic. Who knew my brain was so easily influenced?!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

After a Brief Hiatus...

I'm back?

These socks are my Santa Cruz Waving Lace socks. For some reason, I had a serious jonesing for Lorna's Laces... so while on spring break in California, I picked up two skeins of Grapevine and cast on. I have one finished and half of the cuff of the second. They are my between calculus problems socks; my before lab socks; my "oh I'll just knit a row before dinner" socks. I'm in love, just a little - and they've gone so fast! No second sock syndrome in these parts.

I've been on a sock kick lately. Portable, interesting, and small quantities of (and thus inexpensive) yarn? Sign me up.

I'm also pretty seriously obsessed with Favorite Socks. The last three pairs that I have made have either been directly from or adapted from patterns in FS: I love the simplicity of the Waving Lace sock, and Lorna's slightly variegated solid is perfect for showing it off; the Embossed Leaves socks are delicately floral in a springy green Koigu; the Eesti Hiking Socks, though adapted, had a rustic and definite Manly appeal (must make boyfriend Manly socks to make up for giving him dainty ceramic kitty mug for birthday! Ennnnnggh!).

Most of all, I think I'm just addicted to the feeling of finishing projects. I've only recently become adept at this art; my perfectionism and laziness (who knew the two could coexist?) would cause numerous projects to languish on the needles. For some reason, though, I have begun to find simple pleasure in kitchenering a toe, and remaining monogamous to one project until it is finished. (Dammit.)

Luckily - or unluckily, depending on how you look at it - my yarn buying has slowed, but not stopped. I went on a little bit of a binge over spring break. My roomie and I ended up in California after taking the train down from Seattle. One day, I visited the boyfriend in Santa Cruz and he decided to take me to all the yarn stores he knew of. At one store, I bought two skeins of blue Malabrigo that is almost gemlike in color - deep blue, the color of the cups in my mother's best friend's kitchen when I was a child. I also bought the aforementioned two skeins of Lorna's Laces. A few days later, I bought a skein of laceweight Malabrigo in Capitola, along with some Addi Turbo circular needles to make the Swallowtail Shawl - my first shawl, planned or not. I'm hoping to cast on soon... but only after I burn out on socks! might be a while.