Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Holiday Knitting (and Stashing!)

Well, here I am. Jennifer graciously postponed the Holiday Knitalong update, and I thought I'd take advantage of it to tell y'all what I've been up to.

Thanksgiving was wonderful; I got a whole week off from school and work, so I went to Louisville to visit Heather and, for the first time, actually cook a whole Thanksgiving dinner (sans turkey). Also, I went yarn shopping. I visited Knit Nook and Sophie's Fine Yarn Shop. Wow. Double wow. Both were great stores with friendly staff members and delicious yarn. If I could only go back to one, though, it'd be Sophie's. That store was awesome; it was almost like a yarn overload, plus they had all sorts of patterns, buttons, and knitting supplies. And everyone was just so nice. They even invited Heather to come to their knitting night for 20-30 somethings. Check it out if you're ever in Louisville, although it is kind of out of the way (but so worth it!).

So what did I buy? Yarn for Christmas gifts! I got some great colors of Cascade 220 for a felted bag for my stepmom, and some Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk for a scarflet for a friend. I also managed to finish a scarflet for another good friend. Of course, I have no pictures, because I left the cable that connects my camera to my computer in Kentucky.

What else? I've got one mitten done, only three to go. And my dear mother, bless her, made a request last night. See, I was going to make her a nice lace scarf out of chocolately brown alpaca. Nice, pretty quick, but iffy as a good gift for her because of the care it requires. Well, last year I crocheted her a hooded scarf out of Wool-Ease Sportweight. That thing was massive, and it took quite a while. She told me that she loves it, but she thinks it's got too many holes. She wants another, "closer knit." So now I know I've got to change tactics, the hooded scarf will definitely be appreciated more than the lace. Fortunately, I got a big bag of KP Andean Silk in the mail on Monday; that just may become a giant hooded scarf.

So, that's one and a half more gifts down, and plenty of yarn purchased for the rest (as if I really needed more). And now, back to my regularly scheduled homework (only two and a half weeks left).

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Another FO!

I know, I can't believe it either. I attribute it to two things: Thanksgiving Break=a complete lack of desire on my part to do anything resembling homework, and knitted toys=fast projects. Of course, I will do some homework over break, since it's a whole week off, but that doesn't mean I have to start yet.

Anyway, here's Spherey (with limbs)!

Spherey with Limbs

Since I'm not the world's best sew-er on-er of limbs, some are at jaunty angles. I think it adds character :)

Also, Julie posted a meme awhile ago, tagging anyone who wanted tagged, and I thought it sounded fun. So, here's what's on my desktop:

On My Desktop

If you click, it'll take you to a bigger version. That's because I don't know how readable the little plaque is in the small version; it says, "This may have been a stair turret." It was at what used to be a castle in St. Andrew's, Scotland, and it amused me endlessly at the time. I was there after having been in Rome for five and a half months, and in Rome, you look at some hole in the ground and are told, "That was the very first sewer built in Rome." I always wanted to ask, "How sure are you about these things?" and at least in Scotland, they were honest.

It may have been a stair turret. But maybe not.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Neckwarmer Haiku

so cozy and warm
alpaca and cashmere wrap
necks in luxury

I always promise myself I'll post something short, and I managed it.

Aaaah, sweet relief!

Woo hoo! Okay, so it took a lot more time than it should have, but I managed to get my presentation and handout finished! My presentation went fairly well; I got good feedback from my professor, and I'm feeling pretty positive about my chances of successfully completing the final project. One thing that confuses me, though, is the fact that I get so nervous presenting something in front of my class of eight people, all of whom I talk to regularly, and yet I never feel nervous when I'm teaching. I don't think I'll ever understand....

In other news, because I was so happy to have finished a major assignment, and because it's getting really cold and I couldn't find a warm scarf in my closet this morning, I knit myself a scarflette/collar thingy this evening!

Me and My Collar

It was semi-inspired by the Alpaca Warmer pattern at Knitpixie, but I can't find the pattern right now for linking. My other inspiration was Jennifer's awesome version with cables.

I started a warmer awhile back, but when I was reading blogs at work this morning, that photo reminded me that I never finished! So I decided to try something new for me, and just make a pattern myself. I knit this in garter stitch on the bias, which made a neat texture.

Texture Up Close

The yarn is Knit Picks Panache in Dusk, and I used US 11 needles, so it worked up super quickly. It was a fun project, because not only did I get to figure out knitting on the bias, but I got to learn how to make a buttonhole! There was no button on the inspiration, but I thought it would be handy.

I'm excited to have a new warm alpacay/cashmerey scarfy thing to wear now that we keep dipping below freezing! Of course, the downside to a fun pretty soft useful project is that now I have to add this to my list of gifts to make people for Christmas! The upside, of course, is that I have something nice and quick to make for people.

Hope you all have a great Friday! I'm planning on finishing up Spherey. And in response to a comment I got on my last post, the reason I manage to get all of this done is that I simply don't clean my apartment! I'm not sure it's a good idea, but I enjoy myself....

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Christmas Gifts Abound

Golly, I feel like I haven't posted in ages... probably because I haven't, really. School's gotten waaaaay to busy, but of course, I still make time to knit, since I don't actually enjoy homework (okay, I like the homework, just not the *doing* homework bit). Anyway, not this previous weekend but the one before that, I went to a conference in Ann Arbor, and of course, what else would I do with 16 hours in a Dodge Durango than knit? Here's eight hours worth of progress, and a glimpse of the Michigan Union.

Socks in Michigan

Yes, I finally got around to trying my hand at socks. I'm using one of Knit Picks' free sock patterns, and it's super easy. The yarn is Sock Garden in Pansy. Since that picture was taken, I've worked about half of the ribbing up the ankle, and then I put in the heels, 'cause I wanted to see how they looked, and now I'm back to the ribbing. And because she knows I always tell people what I'm giving them for Christmas, these are a gift in the works for Heather. When I finish, I'll put up a new picture.

In the meantime, I've started on a cute little toy from Jess Hutchison's AWESOME booklet of knitted toys. I'm working on "Spherey," who is essentially a sphere with arms and legs. Except that right now, he doesn't have arms and legs....

Spherey in Progress

I'm using Caron Simply Soft Brites, because I had some left over, but also because I prefer neon to pastel when it comes to babies. The arms and legs are going to be neon orange. The yarn's leftover from my Halloween legwarmer knitting adventure, photos of which will probably not be posted, as the 80's were a little bit scary.

And for anyone who likes Spherey, check out that booklet, seriously. There are some fantastic little toys in there, and the patterns are really well written.

In other news, I think I'm going to knit mittens for Daddy, my stepdad, and my sister's fiance for Christmas. I think my sister will get a OSW, and we'll see what I manage for Mom and my stepmom. The clock's ticking away, and I don't know how I'll make time to get everything done, especially when I think about schoolwork. There are only four weeks(!) left in the semester, not counting Thanksgiving Break, and tonight I've got a ton of papers to grade (the downside of teaching writing...) and I have to finish background reading so I can formulate a research project so that I can write an abstract of it by Thursday. Of course, I also have to make a handout and prepare a 20 minute presentation on said research... have I mentioned that I only have a vague idea of what I'll actually be doing my experiment on? Of course, I'm not panicking or anything; I would just rather make another Spherey arm, or, well, just about anything else.

Oh, yeah, and knit, mama! KNIT! is hosting a Holiday Countdown Knitalong! I'm going to join right now, and it'll be my first KAL! Hope all of you other holiday knitters think about joining; I can't wait to see what everyone else is up to!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Thank you, Secret Pal!

I got my reveal package from Laura at Crochetville yesterday! There was tons of stuff packed into that box, so here's a picture....

Secret Pal Swag

I got all sorts of yarny goodies, some candles, and little pattern books, which have some great little knitting patterns in them. I'm really excited about the TLC Amore, and it's in such great colors! I might try to knit a little baby blanket with it, but we'll see. I might just go with scarves, because you can never have too many.... Thanks so much, Laura!

Yesterday was a huge mail day for me; in addition to my reveal package, I got these....

Fun Mail

Yes, you see correctly; that's three sets of Addi Turbos (two size 3, one size 8) and a really cool pattern booklet! I got the needles on eBay from the seller woolaholic. Great prices and fast shipping, and the customer service was great. Now I can think about starting some socks, just in time for a very long drive to and from Michigan this weekend.

And that pattern booklet? It's Jess Hutch's book of unusual knit toys! I can't wait to try some of them, although I probably won't get around to it for while.

Golly, it's been so long since I've posted that I've got all sorts of things I'm leaving out. Later this week, I'll post about all of the delicious yarn I got two weekends ago in Des Moines.... Thanks for all of your comments!