Sunday, December 28, 2008

More socks... surprised, anyone?

I just finished a pair of socks out of this yarn, Claudia Handpainted in some unknown colorway (why didn't I keep the tags? Durrrrr.) which has been languishing in my Seattle stash since I bought it over a year and a half ago. Several times while i was in Oberlin, I would paw through my socks yarn stash in frustration, lamenting the fact that I had no good handpainted sock yarn on my half of the country. And, lo and behold, as soon as I got home for the holidays, these gorgeous puppies were waiting for me. Now, less than a week later, they are a pair of socks. (I'm still lazy - pictures will come!)

Now that the year is drawing to a close, I'm wondering which projects will hold over into 2009, and which will be part of the huge FO pile of 2008. I have half of a cabled gauntlet left, so I think I might try to crank that out before New Year's. I figure a sock project is just fine to keep around, though. And my next projects will most likely be out of this:

Claudia Handpainted in Ingrid's Blues...

or this:

Koigu in deliciously bright f%*ing yellow. I'm thinking cables. I actually had a dream about this yarn before I bought it, and I woke up with a hankering for yellow. Thank goodness Weaving Works provided.

Also, as 2008 draws to a close, I start thinking about the good and bad that came from it. But on the happier side, I'll stick with the good. It's way more interesting, anyhow!

Oberlin has definitely, definitely been a good point. Being constantly surrounded by incredibly intelligent, articulate students and professors is pretty kick-ass; my job as a student information desk attendent has made me come out of my shell; keeping up with classes as well as work and personal life has slowly molded me in the direction of responsibility. I've had some rough spots, mostly around exams and finals, mostly because I take my academics too personally; I get physically stressed about grades and performance on exams, often to the point that I live on coffee for a few days before each one. That's to be expected, though (I mean, what student doesn't go through that?) and once it's over, it's so very satisfying to have lived through it. (Plus, I get to be all like, "Man, I kicked that exam's ass! Pay no attention to my gnawed-off nails and the bags under my eyes. I am hardcore!")

I'm also incredibly grateful for my friends, who have eaten lunch with me; listened to my stories; told me theirs; knitted with me for hours on end; commiserated about The Future and Relationships; dreamed of owning a yarn store; swam in waterfalls and lakes; lived in the basement (literally); eaten at Moosewood; gone dancing; driven in the snow; watched Forensic Files until 2 am and spoken in silly accents. I am grateful for the friendships that fade in intensity for a few months or years and then grow again; for friendships that are the same no matter where you left off; for friendships that make me laugh into my cookies and milk at the dining hall after a long afternoon at work.

Basically, I'm just full of love and hugs and all that gross stuff.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I feel silly for always doing this, but I knitted yet another thing for the Curmudgeon. The last one was a pair of socks that I never blogged (until now - hahah!) and that didn't actually end up fitting his feet. But this was a totally successful, super easy project. Behold, the Hat Fit for a Curmudgeon! I mean... Boyfriend!

Oh, did I mention that it's been snowing? It's been snowing. It's been a frustrating experience, especially since Seattle so seldom gets snow or extremely cold weather in the winter. Many people complain about how no one in Seattle knows how to drive in the snow - I know I don't! My car has been the Metro this week, and holy crap, kudos to them for showing up and driving up treacherous streets for us poor, stranded residents. Seattle drivers have to deal with a crapton of hills and an infrastructure that just isn't meant to be snowed upon, so it makes sense that it's hard for us to drive in the snow - and one of the main reasons that I don't. It will be the first white Christmas that I've had (ever, I think?), but I'll be pretty happy when it's gone.

Anyhow, knitting! This hat is the Hat Fit for a Boyfriend by Stephanieknits. It took one skein of Malabrigo worsted in the colorway Cypress. When I first bought it, I thought that it was black, but it's actually a very, very, very, very, very dark green. I made the body of the hat 9 inches instead of 5.5, because a foldover brim is nice in Ohio.

Yay fast and easy Christmas present!

And finally, the socks that were supposed to be for Graham:

I have recently become obsessed with Vintage Socks.

These socks took about 3 weeks on size 0 needles, which was a little longer than usual on a smaller needle. But the yarn is nice (Cascade Heritage) and the pattern is just about perfect. I have found, though, that I need to go up .25-.5 mm in needle size for all of the socks.

They kept my feet toasty in the snow going to Kirkland for shots yesterday. I still need to hit up REI for deet and a life jacket (wheeee!) but other than that, I have my clothes and shoes and holy crap, I'm going to Bali! My arm was sore all night from the typhoid shot, but it was really nice to get it over with. The family is now out in Ocean Shores for Christmas, and I'm busy knitting socks and wrapping presents.

Hope everyone has a merry Christmas, happy Hannukah, and a beautiful New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Raffle scarf!

On the last day in Ohio:

I used 2 balls of Sublime kid mohair for this scarf, which was a pattern from one of the Sublime pattern books. It was a super easy and fast project, and I kinda wish that I could have kept it! But we made about $80 in our raffle for Nusa Penida, and I already had most of the yarn in my stash, so it was worth it. I've finished a couple of things since then, but I've been terrible about taking pictures. Finals make me lazy, hahah!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Addicted and unravelled

So I'm working on another pair of socks.

I realized today that my sock yarn addiction can now be classified as rampant. Especially for school, socks are the perfect project - useful, portable, and a surprising draw of attention. I work at the student union, where my job is to sell stamps and point nicely when people ask for directions, so there's a lot of down time. Studying doesn't work well with so many short interruptions, but knitting is easy to put down and pick up. And people are constantly leaning over the desk, cooing, "Pretty!" and petting my socks. Who would have thought.

So right now I'm frustrated with the decreases for my friend's hat, totally over the cabled Baby Cashmerino Gauntlets, and in helpless, drooling love with my Schaefer Anne Gentleman's Fancy Sock. I'm not sure if the pattern is absolutely the right one for this yarn, but I like it. It's stretchy in all the right ways, and looks pretty awesome on my foot. I wish I had pictures to show you - maybe tomorrow.

In other news, tomorrow is my last day of finals. I've been running around every day from 9 am until 11 pm for the last two weeks, studying for 6 hours a day, and replacing sleep with coffee, and last night it finally caught up to me. I could not study. Could not. Tried for three hours and didn't learn or retain anything and finally called my mom, exhausted, to vent about my frustration with chemistry and to chat about yarn and the holidays for a bit. I took the exam this morning and probably didn't do very well, but I did remember most of the previous material. I also wrote a poem for extra credit:

This morning I dreamed that I was a resonance structure,
my electrons flitting from oxygen to nitrogen
and back again.

I woke with the thought of double bonds and lone pairs
and wondered
which of my forms is most contributing.

Or something like that.
And, luckily, by the time grades are posted, I'll be in Bali, knitting 3x1 ribbed socks without a care in the world.

Oh yeah, and remember what I said about addiction?

To reward myself for getting through my worst finals alive, I bought myself (surprised, anyone?) some sock yarn.

Monday, December 8, 2008

My feet hurt from dancing.

More specifically, I have blisters from dancing in cotton socks (forgot my swingy shoes - d'oh!) for more than 3 hours this afternoon. I also have a new pair of socks cast on - Schaefer Anne in a screaming magenta colorway bought in Rochester, in the Gentleman's Fancy Sock.

Tomorrow is my swing final, and I still have to write a final for my knitting class.

What an interesting life I lead. (Hahah.)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Fall in Oberlin is gasping its last tattered, golden breath as we speak. It's been snowing off and on, but it's unseasonably warm today. (You know it's bad when 31 Fahrenheit seems warm.) This weather definitely motivates me to stay inside, knit, and daydream about warmer weather. Unfortunately, I have way too much work to do. So instead, I work for a few hours at a time and take breaks to think about knitting.

I finished my one big paper for the semester yesterday afternoon, and turned it in this morning. Actually, it's terrible how much time I spend on papers. Over Thanksgiving, I worked on it about 3-4 hours a day. I would sit down around 10 in the morning thinking that I would just write a little bit... and then I would write and edit furiously until 2 in the afternoon, when the rumble of my stomach would motivate me to venture out into the world.

I also started a hat for a friend. I'm making it up as I go, and so far it's looking pretty good. And hopefully, appropriately manly. Knitting for people is such a mixed bag; on one hand, it's cool because you get to try out new techniques, or knit something that you might not make for yourself because it isn't enough of a challenge. Or, as is sometimes the case for me, it's an excuse to knit something I've always wanted to knit... except I have to give it away at the end. Overall, though, I think I enjoy the process so much that I don't really mind.

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's almost the end of the semester again. I had an uneventful Thanksgiving spent with some new friends, some old friends, and many a bottle of good wine, and then Bethany and I were up until the wee hours of the morning knitting and watching Forensic Files on Friday night. On the way home, we slipped on the ice and laughed and talked in silly accents. Overall, was a very productive weekend - I got some knitting done, but I also wrote a 10-page paper for the class I'm taking on Hiroshima.

On the knitting front, I finished the Gentleman's Sock in Lozenge Pattern. There is a slight gauge difference between the ribbing of the two socks, I think because I started the first on size 0 bamboo needles, then broke one and borrowed a set of (much nicer, much, much faster) metal needles from Bethany. The socks were intended for the boy person, but instead I will be keeping them - silly me didn't bother to do a gauge swatch, so they fit my feet instead of the Curmudgeon's. Ah well.

That being said, these socks are gorgeous. They are very polished, which I tend to like in clothing. The lines of purls almost create an argyle pattern, and although I don't tend to think of the color, a royal blue, as pretty, it is kind of perfect in its own way.

I also did way too much shopping. After finishing my paper, I walked down to the local bead shop/clothing store and bought a black tunic with a diagonal violet pattern, intending to wear it with a sequined belt that my grandmother sent me (which is totally not my style all - I have been struggling to find an outfit that I could possibly wear it with that would not make me feel completely self-conscious and dopey). When I got home, I excitedly snatched the tunic out of my bag, threw it on, looped the belt about my waist.... and then got suddenly very much less excited. The shirt just did not work. With the belt, it clung in all the wrong places and made me look tremendously long-waisted, which I am decidedly not. Without, it looked like I was wearing a sack. Or possibly a mu-mu. Either way: not good.

So today, I returned the cute but terribly unflattering tunic, and exchanged it for a cream-colored sweater with eyelets and puff sleeves that makes me look like my mom, circa 1975. Much, much better.