Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Whittling away at the stash... now with more socks!

Last week was fall break, which was a welcome respite from early mornings, exams, cafeteria food, and Oberlin late fall/early winter. Well... everything except for the last one. I stayed on campus for the week, watched movies, did organic chemistry, and knitted. I've never knitted hats. I made one for my brother once, but that was more because he needed a purple and green hat with a ducky on it than because he needed a hat in general.

So, although hats are fast and cute, I've always had a hard time committing to them because I have this idea that I don't look good in hats. Which may be true. But after it started snowing here last year, my friend Graham mentioned that I had no hats, which in Ohio in the winter can be the difference between toasty and frostbitten ears. I had some peach-colored Classic Silk in my stash that I thought might look cute as a Porom. It's a cotton blend, so it's not the most useful for warmth... but cut me some slack, I'm just warming up (hahah) to the idea of wearing hats at all!

Something is on my head!

I've knit my works in progress from 14 last spring down to 1 last week, so I decided to cast on for a pair of plain stockinette socks in Panda Silk that my mom gave me for my birthday this last year. I apologize for the terrible dorm room messiness in the background. But I do think it's funny that my legwarmers are the same color as Porom... except I bought them somewhere in Osaka a couple of years ago (in the middle of summer, no less...), because for some reason I though that legwarmers were sooooo cuuuute! I still have a certain fondness for them, except now that fondness is mostly based on the fact that they keep my legs from freezing off.

Anyhow. I wasn't sure how to feel about this yarn. All of the reviews on ravelry said how soft it was, but I really didn't like the pooling that I saw every time I tried to cast on. So, since my magical US 1.5s worked so well for my alpaca socks, I tried them out with a basic 64-stitch pattern and short-row heel to minimize pooling around the instep. And hey... it totally worked! No kidding about the softness, either - sliding this baby on is like tromping on a blanket made of kitten fluff. If these socks hold up well, I'll definitely be using this yarn again.

Magically striped Paca Peds that made people stare at my socks-in-progress. 'Cause I guess I didn't blog about those, either. They are toasty and wonderful in many ways.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Even more socks.

Here at Oberlin College, we are (apparently and according to some marketing guy who said so) Fearless. Well! Just to show how Fearless I am, I finished another pair of socks. And may or may not have another finished pair say, tomorrow. These ones are orange - which seems entirely fitting to me. 'Cause hey:

....it's kind of fall outside.

I've been swatching for a mandarin-collared jacket with some dark purple Silky Wool, set to be edged by some light olive piping. I've also been studying for midterms in a strangely zen fashion. This afternoon, I was reviewing vocabulary for my language midterm when a boy walking past me started talking to me... in Japanese. I babbled something back about how I was a first-year Japanese student (which isn't exactly true; I studied it over about 5 years in middle- and high-school, and went to Japan when I was 16) as a lame "I don't even know what that conjugated verb tense means, kid!" sort of excuse as to why I can't speak correctly. It sounds like I'm gnawing marbles à la Eliza Doolittle when I actually try to speak in complete sentences. Meh!

In happier news, Bethany and I had our midterms in knitting class today. Did I mention that we're teaching an Exco called Fearless Knitting? Oh yeah, because we are. We're teaching socks right now, which has been a long process - but it was so awesome to see their finished midterm socks all piled on the table. My little knitters... growing up so fast.... sob.

Bethany is making Blaze (ravelink) in a lovely shade of reddish brown. We are currently trying to introduce our knitters to the joys (and collegiate time-suck) of Ravelry. Seriously, it's worse than facebook.

In conclusion, I have decided that I am going to run away from Ohio to get a degree in underwater basketweaving, move somewhere that is cold in the winter, and wile away my life knitting socks. Cheers!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Oh hey, I'm alive!

A lot has been happening here in Ohio since I last wrote. First off, the fact that it's Ohio and not Seattle. Surprise!

But moving on. We're about halfway through the semester, with fall break sweeping in on Friday afternoon and taking most of us to New York, Chicago, New Orleans, or some other exciting place. I'm staying here, knitting, watching movies, tinkering with some Silky Wool for a jacket, and doing organic chemistry... and I'm actually looking forward to it quite a bit. I will definitely appreciate some quality Oberlin squirrel-bonding time, if nothing else. For some reason, the roly-poly red squirrels that start going nut-crazy this time of year are charming to me. Sometimes I'll be walking along Tappan Square and happen to see a squirrel perched halfway up the trunk of a tree, glaring and chattering at me as if I greatly offend its squirrelly sensibilities.

There has been a lot happening on the knitting front, but very little photographing of said knitting. I finished the Fair Isle cardigan about a month ago, and have finished two pairs of socks in the last three weeks. I also cast off a simple basketweave scarf for the man friend in some squishy Malabrigo. He is still from California, I reasoned, and has but one scarf. Even if it is one that I made him. Cough.

Malabrigo Delicious Scarf

I knitted up both skeins of Colinette Jitterbug in my stash, which made two gorgeous pairs of socks. I love the colors, and I found out that the skimpy yardage is actually just enough for a pair of my plain 3x1 ribbed socks. Perfect for raising some swing partners' eyebrows.

Doin' the Charleston, in Jitterbug (how fitting!)

Some friends and I are planning an FO party soon, where we will photograph our finished objects, chat about yarn, and maybe watch some X-Files. In the meantime, I'm working on a cowl pattern from some handspun wool/tencel yarn from a local studio, a kicky red vest a la Father Dougal McGuire from Father Ted, and a match to the cabled gauntlet I finished back in July. It doesn't want to knit itself, dammit.