Monthly Archives: March 2007

New pastures

So, I was knitting a sock with some Apple Laine Apple Pie yarn, which is gorgeous and silky and lovely, and was even well into the 2nd sock before I decided to just rip the sucker. I was trying a stranded colourwork pattern and while the Apple Pie stuff is beautiful, it’s a wee bit plump and has a bit of a halo on it, so I don’t think it’s ideal for stranded work. I considered just casting right on for a simple stockinette basic sock, but have decided just to let it sit and think for a bit – along with some pink Knit Picks Essential that is recovering from a past rip.

(Sock yarn – It’s sort of like coffee table art, right?)

And in any case, letting that sock project go means that I have a spot free on my still-only-2-projects-long WIP list, which was just fine with me. Since the beginning of January I’ve had oodles of new project and design ideas and hadn’t allowed myself to indulge them due to the lengthy WIP list, etc. Well, the time for indulging has finally come.

(A pile of purple Andean Silk)

Right now it looks like a bunch of weird purple tubes, but I dearly hope and pray promise it will turn into something fantabulous.

All of this is to distract you from the fact that I have no EBTKS progress shot because it would be laughable. I’m still not quite done the ribbing on the second sleeve. But with the internet as my witness, I will not make another blog post until I have finished that darned second sleeve. Now, if only I could do something about this whole, “it’s Monday again” thing, that’d be awesome…

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Some is better than none

This is the current progress shot of my EBTKS:

(Sleeve #2.)

I’m very excited about it.
Well all right, I admit I’m hitting that wall of project ennui – it’s 80% done, can’t it just finish itself? But I shall persevere, and I’ll be able to devote more knitting time in the next couple of days, and then the weekend will help. And I do still have the Poppy sweater to think about while there’s still a shred of hope of being able to knit more sweaters while the weather is cold. (I think I heard tell of a late spring following our late winter weather arrival, so perhaps there is still hope.) Also, I need a new project to liven up this blog – I see now that this is the downside of limiting my projects! Less blog fodder.

In other news, (for the two people who haven’t seen it yet) the new Knitty is up, and I am drooling over the Clessidra pattern! There are some other fun sock patterns – give it up for BMP, would ya? Come on, space invaders socks. That’s pretty frikkin’ brilliant. I give this issue two thumbs up.

I’m not looking forward to my work, but at least the weekend will be here soon, so that is a win. Happy Thursday!

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Beware the bar codes

In my quest to get my head together I’ve been trying to schedule a good amount of work time in my carrell at the main library here on campus. This works really well if I have knitting or other things to bait myself – If I get in [x amount of time/work] before lunch I can read while I eat, If I get in [x amount of time/work] after lunch then I can have a knitting break at mid-to-late afternoon, that sort of thing. Also, the cafeteria and accompanying common space was recently outfitted with a lot of new dining tables and a few clusters of armchairs, so overall it’s a more pleasant space to sit in that it was a few months ago.

Now, in order to get to this space and exit the stacks, or to exit the building from the main floor, you have to go through the library equivalent of metal detectors, designed to stop you from leaving the library with uncharged materials. Yesterday, I got stopped by these contraptions three times – and I do mean stopped; if the sensors go off, the little hinged barrier you would normally push aside and walk through immediately locks down, so instead you slam into it and end up with a nasty bruise on your hip and suddenly start mentally cataloguing all the contents of your bag and wonder what the frak you could possibly be carrying that is so horrible.

At lunch and at my break time, I had my handbag which was filled with the exact same items I’ve been carrying around with me for the last 2 weeks or so, without being stopped by library sensors. After being stopped 3 times without any conclusive ideas (the library staff immediately guessed either my cell phone, my novel that did have a bar code, or my metallic granola bar wrapper that also had a bar code on it – but then, I ate that and then the sensors still went off.

Later, it finally dawned on me. The innocuous items no one ever suspects: yarn and knitting needles.

(These balls of yarn and needle cases sure look innocent enough. Hah.)

It finally occurred to me that over the course of the weekend, I had tossed in a new ball of yarn and set of needles into my bag for miscellaneous playing, and just left them in there even though they weren’t involved in my lunchtime sock knitting. And lookie there – bar codes. It also occurred to me that the needles had probably been purchased at one of my LYSs that doesn’t use an electronic scanning system, unlike the big-ass craft stores, and so it’s entirely possible that the bar code is still active and ready and eager to set off library sensors and frustrate the hell out of me three times in one day. Ah, nobody ever suspects the knitters.

While I’m here talking about break-time knitting, let me say one more thing – what the HECK is up with students in every single library on campus doing this:

(Hello! I’m someone’s laptop, cell phone, and mp3 player, ready for you to swipe from under their noses!)

Most likely, the owner of these belongings is either a) off getting his/her coffee/food/something else and will return in an undefined amount of time, b) 15-20 feet away chatting with his/her buddies and will return in an undefined amount of time, or (my favourite) c) just about to leave his/her belongings behind and is right now asking me if I will look after them for him/her.

After spending X years on university campuses, I’ve lost patience with all of these scenarios. I don’t understand people who would risk losing what are probably their most expensive personal belongings like this, I don’t understand people who disrespect common space by allowing their belongings to take up space for them and prevent other people from using those tables and chairs, and I sure as heck don’t feel like it’s my job to take responsibility for someone else’s things merely because I happen to be knitting a sock in close proximity. Argh.

(EBTKS, the body and one sleeve)

Annnnd, that’s the closest I’ve gotten to a soapbox on this blog, so I’ll just sign off with a quick shot of the Everything But the Kitchen Sink sweater. Thank you all so much for the lovely comments about it! I’m actually starting to fret that it’s all going to turn out horribly wrong. Despite the fact that the stitches tell me I am getting proper stitch gauge, it’s turning out a little wider than I’d wanted, and I was already erring on the side of “cozy” fit since I have broad shoulders and I wanted a warm comfy sweater. Also, my row gauge appears to be much looser than called for, which means the sleeve openings are turning out more than an inch too long… Fret, fret, fret.

Well, I’m committed now, just one more sleeve to go! And it’s not as though I splurged on a bunch of new yarn for the project, after all ;) My sister reassures me that if I don’t like the way it fits, she’ll happily take it. (“You’ll still have enough yarn to knit yourself one afterwards!” she says.) Such love.

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My feet are wet

And have been since I left the house this morning – albeit I left a little more late and slow than I should have. But can you blame me? The Yarn Harlot’s post today pretty much sums up the state of our fair city today. Slush slush and more slush and puddles the size of Texas. We had an insta-blizzard yesterday, followed by a huge melt this morning, and now there’s ankle-deep water and slush all over the place. In a lot of spots it’s easier to walk on the road – except for where the road is completely covered over by miniature lakes and ice-floes, of course.

On the other hand, I’m glad I brought my camera with me. Some of it was darned near pretty:

(A blue sky reflected)

Where the water was able to reach the sewers, it was running fast in rivulets down the pavement.

(The sun came out for a while, too.)

It’s going to freeze again tonight, so heaven help my walk to the grocery store tomorrow. I’m going to pray REALLY hard for a huge gust of wind to come along and dry up all the wet patches. And for the second Friday night in a row, I have a date with a really addictive sweater:

(EBTKS, completed if crumpled body and the beginning of one sleeve. And my copy of Brideshead Revisited, which I’m now 2 days late on finishing for Knit the Classics – another weekend project.)

Happy weekend! May you not be frozen or in danger of being drowned in slush.

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Other People’s Stuff

Yesterday, I finally gifted my supervisor with her Ribbi Cardi – she loved it and was totally flattered. But hey, I figure a PhD supervisor who signs on for 4+ years deserves something a little more than a wee scarf or hat, right? She did warn me though, that when the rest of my committee sees it, they will start wanting sweaters, too. Hm.

Ribby Cardi


(Finished Ribby Cardi, KnitPicks Swish Superwash in Bordeaux (arms) and Wisteria (body), 4.5mm needles)

As you can see, I made a buttonband instead of using the zipper – given the Swish shrinkage issues, I didn’t want to risk Horrible Bad Shrinkage combined with Zipper Installation Which Could Potentially Go Screwy. And it worked. Buttons matched perfectly. My supervisor kept saying how soft the yarn felt and asked if it was cotton, and I said, “Nope, it’s wool! And you can even put it in the washing machine!” and she said, “NO! Really?” So, metal note. Superwash wool = positive knitted gift experience. I’ll definitely be knitting one of these for myself eventually, since the Fired Brick I originally ordered for the body turned out not so suitable and I still have it sitting around – it didn’t contrast enough with the Bordeaux. I’m thinkin’ red-and-pink Ribbi for me, just to be bright and girly. (My supervisor declined a photo while wearing hers, insisting wrongly that she is not photogenic. I wonder, does anyone actually think themselves photogenic?)

The Swish Superwash does shrink up as predicted – and really, KnitPicks is NOT doing themselves any favours by not advertising this. When I finished knitting and assembling, the length was 23.5″, and after washing and drying, the length was 21″. The sleeves, somehow, did not shrink up as much – I think this might be a property of the ribbed fabric vs. the stockinette fabric. Stockinette seems to dry and shrink up faster, as I noted on the, oh, four times or so I removed it from the dryer to check progress. For this pattern, if I do make it again with Swish, I’ll not only add length to the body, but add more rows in the raglan sleeve cap/armhole shaping to guard against shrinkage there. I think most of the shrinkage did happen in the body, but hey, just to be on the safe side. (I have the feeling that the Swish is also going to pill like a mo’fo’, but hey, so does every other yarn KnitPicks makes, so no real surprises there.)

[Edited to Add]: A pic from knit night last night of Aven and her wee guy. He had no toys and I had sympathy, so I offered my scarf with the waggly tassly ends, and that seemed to suffice for at least two seconds. After last night I started wondering if well-meaning fellow knitters should include a soft baby toy in their knitting bag, for just such emergencies.

(Et voila le cute.)

So yes, I plucked up my courage again and went to Lettuce Knit for knit night for the third time ever – the first chair available that I found was right by the door, so I sat there the whole time as if ready for a clean getaway in case of terminal shyness. But no, it was all fine, and the ladies I chatted with were lovely, and there was one woman next to me who was there for the first time and so that was reassuring to me. And Elizabeth, who I’d met before, started showing me this hand-dyed limited-edition laceweight and sock yarn and almost had me convinced to plunk down $50 on yarn before I left – but I persevered and did not purchase. I’ll see how the perseverance lasts if I go next week!

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Filed under finished object: sweater, ribbi cardi, yarn review