Monday, March 03, 2008

The blog returneth!

Wow. I guess that was some kind of hiatus, eh? I was in a bit of a life slump and just couldn't bring myself to post anything. Not much knitting got done either, especially not with classes (human physiology and anatomy) getting in the way. But now I'm back, knitting with a vengeance.

Experimental Viking Cable Vest What all have I been up to? I've got who knows how many projects on the needles, but I finally got my Ravelry account off to a good start today. (You can find me there as Kamigaeru. Surprise.) I recently finished an experimental vest using Viking inspired cables from one of Lavold's books. It also gave me a chance to use some very nice, old buttons that a friend of mine gave me some time ago. (Thanks, Wookali!) The pattern called for seven buttons, but I managed to squeeze in the six I had without too much puckering along the button band.

Persephone Scarf: in progressStill on the needles is Persephone, a scarf worked up with yarn I got when I was in Victoria, BC. Initially, this yarn was destined for another scarf, but I didn't like the way it was turning out since there just wasn't enough drape in the wool yarn. The cables are so much better and overall this is much more suited as a traveling project. Speaking of cables, Shedir is still on the needles, and I'll probably wait until I finish something else before I get around to it again. Also still on the needles are the Lopi mittens made with scraps from my gradient grays sweater.

Erica Sweater: in progressAnd of course I couldn't resist starting a new project since I finished one. My rule was going to be finish two, start one, but that didn't last long. Behold the start of my Erica sweater! Yes, my very own sweater, with a big double-thick hood, in Lopi, named after me. How kind of those Reynold's folks, don't you think? The main color is the dark blue, with the green and orange being the accents. I had to go to two or three different sites to find the latter two colors because they are discontinued. The sweater isn't much to look at right now, but on big needles it should work up quickly. I'm going to have to go back to books and CDs on tape as I've watched all the DVD episodes of Lost and have nothing else to keep me company while I knit. My work day is done, so I'm going to run home and make some progress!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Friendship hats

As of late, I am sensing a trend in the projects I've been working on. A number of my friends have been asking me for hats and other knitwear, and I am more than happy to oblige provided that they buy the yarn (and sometimes the pattern if I don't already have one). For me there is no joy like seeing a handmade item well-received and gladly worn by the recipient. The first one started with Scott and his request for an Antarctic beanie. I made a similar one for a friend of a friend at VIMS. Next came the hat I made for Chris, and in short order there were commissions from Joel and Chiho as well.

Chiho's Turkish ToqueI met Chiho while I was in Victoria as we shared a hostel room, and we quickly became friends. Right before I left, I started the Turkish patterned hat. When Chiho came to visit me here in the States, she asked to see it. It was a classic case of love at first sight, and since I hadn't made the hat for anyone in particular, it found a home with her. That's her on the left, madly working a Su Doku puzzle and wearing her new hat. She was also quite taken with my DaveSpun (TM) tasseled hat and my Lopi earflap hat and commissioned me to make her one of each. I took her to the Chiho's Tassled HatKnitting Sisters and let her pick out some yarn for a tasseled hat, and she found some lovely shades of Foliage in the 25% off bargain bin. Amazingly enough, I had my size 10 16" circulars available, so I cast on and got to knitting right away. I knew there was no way that I would have time to finish it before she left, but since I plan to visit her in Japan sometime in the foreseeable future, I'll just bring all the finished hats along with me then. Time to get knitting on all these projects... too many WIPs is a dangerous thing!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Recent acquisition

This past weekend I went up to Chicago to celebrate the fact that my friend Joel finally graduated! While I was there, we did the usual tourist stuff like hit the Field Museum and eat deep dish pizza. But he also posed the question, in a slightly offended tone, why hadn't I knit him anything yet? Well, I just hadn't gotten around to it, frankly. (You really were on my list, Joel!) And I'm kind of glad I didn't try to start a project for him because I knew I'd never be able to pick the colors he would have wanted, me with my chromatophobia and all.

So after our visit to the Field Museum, we went to a little shop called Loopy and browsed around for a while. I think they live up to their goal of being one of the friendliest yarn shops, and they had quite a decent selection of yarns, some of which I've only seen before in Canada. Nice to know there's a place that offers stuff I can't get here in VA. Joel's assignment was to pick a pattern for whatever items he wanted, those being a hat and scarf. He picked one of Lily Chin's reversible cable patterns and we then went in search of a sufficient quantity of appropriate yarn. Or rather, I made a fool of myself while Joel had a good laugh at my expense because I haven't been in a yarn store in ages. We finally decided on a sportweight yarn with an eye-gouging palette by Lorna's Laces. The hat will be a straightforward stocking cap, but I'm curious to see how cables and color will mix. However, I'm not allowed to start Joel's stuff until I finish my lace scarf, as I've run out of needles in the appropriate size. Soon...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

More new projects

I have no discipline. I have bags and baskets of leftover yarn from completed projects filling my living room, but instead of filing it away for a later date, I had to start another new project! On Monday (14May2007) I cast on for Shedir, a cabled hat from a Knitty special issue, using the remaining yarn from my Viking cables scarf. This will be a companion to the scarf, albeit a slightly mismatched one as the cable patterns are completely different. But at least I won't have leftover yarn sitting around!

I still haven't gotten past the cast on row for my Cinnabar scarf, despite the fact that I finally remembered to bring home the chart. There's just not enough time in the day to work three simultaneous projects any longer. I just need to make sure to start something easy in the near future so I can have a handy travel project when I go to Montreal.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Viking cable scarf hath been conquered!

I went down to the beach behind the VIMS library and put on the last few rows of my Viking cable scarf. I can't believe that it's actually done, minus weaving in the final end. Honestly, I have no idea how long I've been working on it... maybe a year?! More??? It seems like eons ago when I purchased the yarn from Gayle at the Fuzzy Farm. I promised her I'd show her what became of it when I finished, so I guess a drive out there sometime soon will be in order. I still have several skeins of white laceweight stuff I got from her to work up into a shawl, and since I'm too broke to be buying more yarn in the near future, I may actually get around to it sooner than I think.

Finishing a project always feels good, and so does starting one. Unfortunately for me, I have a ton of homework to do tonight. But if I finish at a reasonable hour, I will have to decide: Lopi mittens or Cinnabar scarf? 1% is a pitiful number.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I don't think putting a gun to my head would make me decide on a final project for my birthday yarn any faster. I very carefully ripped out the Branching Out II beginnings as I think I have found a pattern that will allow me to consolidate both skeins of yarn into a single project. I really don't want to split them up! I already own too many scarves as it is, so why in the world would I need two in the same color?

Speaking of scarves, I've been motivated to finish up my Viking Cables scarf, as I've only got about 1.5 repeats to go before it's done. I can't wait to block it and see how that llama-paca turns out. As long as I don't need an emergency gift for anyone, I'll finally be able to keep a nice piece for myself. The learning curve for Viking cables was a bit steep in the beginning, so this scarf is definitely a milestone of sorts for me. After I finish another project or two, I'm sure I won't be able to resist starting a companion hat for it. Something that should be done just in time for winter!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Birthday Yarn

I went to the Knitting Sisters this weekend in search of some birthday yarn for myself. It took me ages to settle on a color, but I finally decided on something very un-me: 2 skeins of a hot pink/fuchsia ombre kidsilk laceweight. My wardrobe desperately needs brightening up and so does my mood, hence the radical color choice. I was going to go back to basics and make a very boring, idiot-proof windsock, but when I started working it up, the colors started coming out as candy cane stripes. I was not pleased. So I ripped it out.

The only lace pattern I had handy was the one for Branching Out, so I started on that instead, and the candy cane stripes have been transformed into random mottlings, which are much more appealing to my eye. This will only use one of the two skeins I got, so the fate of the second will be decided when I have finished with the first. I have three new lace patterns at my disposal... so we shall see.

Spiral Hat for ChrisOther good news: I have finally finished the swirl hat for Chris. All ends are woven in, it is blocked and dry. I even got pictures this time, while it was still on the blocking towel. I'm very pleased with the way it came out, and I'm glad I got a chance to work it up. It's a very fun pattern, and I'll definitely make one for myself as soon as I can pick a color scheme. That should only take me two or three years to decide on...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Swirl hat is done

WTF, a FO? I can't believe I actually finished something: last night I completed the knitting for the swirl hat Chris commissioned. It's not finished finished as I still have to weave in the ends from all the color changes, figure out what sort of silly adornments are to be put on and finally block the whole thing. But the bulk of it is done. Whew. That feels good.

Next, I need to conquer that Viking scarf. I feel like I've been regressing lately with all these small projects, but I guess I'm only doing what I can. Yeah, I'm still working on the pictures, too. (See my warning label: it reads "procrastinator")

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Meaningless stitches

Lately, life has been pretty rough. And that's putting it mildly. Since I came back from my trip to Victoria, I started taking classes at William and Mary. Human physiology and the lab, to be precise. The class isn't so hard, but it certainly takes up a lot of time driving back and forth to Williamsburg from Gloucester Point. Juggling that with a full time job has taken some adjustment. Not too long ago I got through my first test and realize that I'll have to learn to study at an undergraduate level despite my Master's degree. I've been stressing myself out unnecessarily. And because of all this extra activity, knitting has been almost nonexistant in my life. I finally managed to get to my first knit group meeting in about a month last night, and I even squeezed in a post to my blog, which has been sorely neglected.

In terms of actual knitting done, I've been able to put a few rows on my Viking cable scarf most Fridays at lunch, and progress on Chris' hat has been glacial at best. All my other projects have been languishing, collecting a fine layer of dust. Sadly, knitting isn't the solace for me that it once was. I'm not motivated to finish anything. I've even considered selling off some of my stash on eBay so I can stop being broke. No Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival this year either. Partly because I don't need to spend money I don't have on yarn I won't work up for years, and partly because the Festival is during finals week for me. Grr.

Here's to hoping a few positive things come my way in the very near future. I could really use a pick me up.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Turkish patterned hat finished

Turkish patterned hatThe day I left Victoria for Seattle (31Dec2006) I started this hat. I finished it last night (17Jan2007) at my knitting group! One project down, too many to go.

I've also been commissioned to do a hat for Chris, my friend from Couchsurfing. This coming Saturday, he volunteered to go yarn shopping in VA Beach at Ewe Knits, a store I've never been to. (Muhahahaha....) It's great when I can have other people buy the yarn for me to work with, so I'm basically getting my fix for free. I won't have any time between now and then to finish anything else I've got going, so I'll still have a running total of at least 6 WIPs. It will be a miracle if I do finish anything before summer, as I'll be starting class (human physiology) in one week. I've got to see if I can fit the upcoming Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival into my schedule... anyone got a carpool going?