Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Baudelaire arrives

Heather/Jr. Mints has received her socks, so I can reveal them at last:

It's the Baudelaire pattern from Knitty!

This pattern is beautiful. Complicated, but totally worth it.

The first picture is probably truer to the color than this one, but you gotta show off the details!

At some point I hope to have pics of the socks on Heather's feet, which are slightly larger than mine (but only just, which helps when you're trying to size stuff). I added some calf shaping to the socks, adding a total of eight stitches into the purl sections bordering each cable. This is a good pattern for sneaking stuff like that in, but I don't think you could do more than two increase rounds.

In other news, I have cast on for Roza's Socks from the Spring IK using the yarn Heather sent me.

Again the color is off, these are much darker and bluer. The Roza's pattern has a brioche stitch, though I'm not 100% clear on what that means. There's a subtle something going on in the purl parts of the ribbing. It's not even clear what's going on in IK's picture, but if you like ribbed socks with a little interest you should try this pattern. It adds a nice texture but doesn't distract from the really subtle variegation of the gorgeous Bearfoot.

And we mustn't forget Venezia:

It's probably about an inch longer than it looks here, thanks to that curling at the top. I am now exactly one pattern repeat from the armpits. I am still so in love with this sweater. Every time I leave it somewhere and then glance at it, I'm just amazed that something like that came out of my hands. Makes me feel giddy.

In other news, there have been yarn acquisitions. I'll post about it later.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Need some restraint

I finished my swap socks last night. Hurray! I won't be mailing them off until tomorrow or so, because I decided to wash and block them and they still aren't quite dry.

I really, really, really want to start a new project. And y'all, I am not that kind of knitter. Not that there's anything wrong with having five or ten things on the needles, but personally I prefer to have one WIP, *maybe* two if one isn't portable. Right now I have Venezia and that little mohair scarf on the needles. That ought to be enough for me, but I really want something new!

Namely, this:

Shoulder Shawl in Cherry Leaf Pattern from Victorian Lace Today.

As soon as Jr. Mints has received her package I'll post a picture of the yarn I'm sending her. It's been in my apartment for a month, infecting me with its beauty. I think it would be perfect for this. I really want to go to the LYS where I bought it, which had a whole lot of it at the time, and buy three skeins. Mmmm.

But! I already have a lace item on the needles, AND it's using up my good US 7s. I already have something complicated on the needles, and it's using up my complicated knitting concentration time. I don't usually buy yarn too much ahead of time, but I'm so worried that all this gorgeous stuff will be gone if I wait any longer.

I've made a deal with myself. I have to finish all this week's homework and do it well, and send Jr. Mints' package off tomorrow. Then I can go buy the yarn. But I can't cast on until I get to the armpits of Venezia, provided I have finished this:

Remember my Moebius? I didn't think so. Most of the time I don't either.

I started this last spring. The colors are a little washed out in this picture, but you get the idea. It's all seed stitch, except for a stockinette/reverse stockinette (depending on your angle) stripe in the middle. I got to the bindoff the week before I was supposed to leave for Italy, screwed up the bindoff, and couldn't fix it before I left. And I haven't touched it since, except to commandeer its needle and put the unbound stitches on a straight needle (that's what's giving it that exceptionally weird shape). It is, at most, an hour away from being done. And now that it's finally getting warm, I have some motivation to finish it.

So, those are all the measly things that stand in the way of me and this shawl. Better get back to work on the school stuff!

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Thursday, February 15, 2007


I got a package! Jr. Mints (blogless) is a freakin' awesome swap buddy!

The loot: bar of Lindt milk chocolate (mmmmm) and eight Lindor truffles... no wait, seven... no, wait six... where are they all going and why are all these wrappers in my trash can?

Plus a very pretty card, a nifty little item for keeping track of my needles (thank goodness, as I have been tiring of the old system of "rummage around in the needle bag"), and some Bee Bar lotion... hang on, let me test it... ooh, very nice for my grody cuticles. And YARN! It's Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Purple Mountain. Sadly I couldn't get a very good picture of the color, but I'll experiment some more once I start knitting with it. It's really gorgeous and sooo soft. A friend of mine was knitting up some bearfoot recently, and now I can't wait to get it on my feet.

But the best part?

The socks! I'm not sure what yarn she used, but it appears to be a 2-ply, very similar in its base to Koigu or Cherry Tree Hill. Again, the color isn't perfect here, I'd say it's less pink and more red. Is it just me, or are socks warmer the first time you wear them? Maybe I'm just so excited that all the blood is rushing to my feet?

While we're having an actual knitting post, wanna see my Venezia progress? I knew you did.

It isn't much, as I've been knitting on the swap socks for the lovely and talented Jr. Mints, but I think it has been a while since I posted a picture.

It looks like a lot less when you can see how much I'm missing. Sigh. At least I have the sleeves done, though, right?

Bouquet update: There were two lilies that hadn't opened yet when the flowers first arrived. Two days later, the bouquet looks even better now! Dave gets even more boyfriend points!

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Historiography is the history of history

I am halfway done with the second swap pal sock, which I still cannot show you guys because shhh, it's a secret. But trust me when I say they are gorgeous. I'll be sad to see them go.

So! In the absence of knitting news I will talk about something else.

Two years ago today, I was sitting in English class when my phone rang. It was silenced, but you could still hear it vibrating, and I was like, geez dude, somebody needs to make that phone quit buzzi... oh crap is that mine? Oh wait it stopped...

I was meeting a friend for lunch after class on the other side of campus, and it was an absolutely gorgeous day. Sometimes that happens in Texas, it's nice and warm in February. (Not today, sadly) I looked at my phone and saw that the call was from an unfamiliar number, and they'd left a message.

It was a professor at one of the best grad schools I'd applied to, and the only one within driving distance of my beloved sender-of-flowers. This professor was the one I'd wanted to work with, and more importantly he was (at the time) head of the department.

I got in. And they were going to pay me.

Needless to say, I was ecstatic. It was the first school I'd heard back from, so at that point I knew for sure that I would get to go to grad school and could stop worrying about a backup plan. I wouldn't have to take out student loans. And if I accepted, I'd get to see the sender-of-flowers on weekends.

There were other offers, but none of them was nearly as good. Here I am, two years later, working my butt off and almost done with the first phase of my schooling. It hasn't always been as easy or as fun or as glamorous as I wish it could be--hell, yesterday I wrote a paper containing the sentence "Historiography is the history of history." But I do like it. I'm glad I got that call, even if the buzzing disturbed my English class.

p.s. The lilies have opened. The bouquet is actually getting prettier.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Showing off

Look what I got today!

Thanks Dave. You're awesome. They're so pretty!


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Liz, Liz, quite contrary

Ok, that totally doesn't rhyme, but I'm about to do the meme I found over at Indigo Mouse, and I just don't feel like a Mary!

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

Under each category, the first item should be something negative (you dislike something that most others like) and the second item should be something positive (you like something that most others don’t). Obviously there are going to be some people in the world who agree with us, but it is all relative. These are things that make you feel different from others around you in your daily life.

1. I can't abide mayonnaise
2. Unlike most Americans I have met, I prefer milk chocolate to dark

Pop culture:
1. I think Sex and the City is lame
2. I do enjoy the occasional Star Trek episode (mostly NG)

1. I think treadmills are pointless. You never get anywhere!
2. I fence. I play with swords and consider bruises to be trophies

1. Who the hell brought the high waist back!?!
2. I consider flip flops to be perfectly acceptable dress shoes

1. I read for a living, so I haven't read for fun in over a year
2. I like reading Karl Marx

1. I listen to metal, but I hate Metallica
2. When I sing along to my metal or rock or whatever, I do so in my best choir-trained soprano voice

1. I don’t stash
2. I prefer to make up my own patterns rather than follow others' designs

1. I think my couch is ugly, but no one else does.
2. I think toads make good pets

I'm tagging everybody!

And since I hate to leave y'all without a picture, here's my brother "helping" me set up my bookshelf.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bonus: Calorimetry Mods

Yes, I did modify Calorimetry. This pattern has come out much too big for a lot of people, and I definitely didn't want that. I was knitting when I should've been doing other stuff, so I wanted it to come out right the first time. You know, so I didn't waste the time I was already wasting.

I already knew I'd want to resize it anyway, as the pattern is for a 24" head and mine's only 22.5". It turns out that I have no straight or circular US 8s, so I used a US 9. I cast on 108 stitches instead of the pattern's 120, and it's loose but not too loose. I did the same number of repeats, though, because I did want it to be kind of wide. The yarn is Brown Sheep Company Lamb's Pride, in a skein I have used for four small projects now and just can't seem to get rid of.


Calorimetry, and Fair Isle February

A new knitalong for me:

I'm hoping to get some inspiration and commiseration from these folks. I've been thinking about turning Venezia into a v-neck, so once I've formulated the idea a little more clearly maybe I'll hop over there for advice.

I switched patterns on the swap socks. I needed something more fun--I liked the old pattern, but I kept wanting to knit Venezia more. This one is awesome, and much harder to put down. I'm going toe-up this time, and am nearly done with the gusset on a Widdershins-type heel. I figure I have about four weeks left before these need to be in the mail, so this is the plan: Each week I have to knit half a sock--either the foot (with heel) or the cuff. Once I've finished that, I can knit on Venezia until the new week starts. I think poor Venezia won't be seeing much daylight till they're done, but she knows it will be worth the wait.

On Tuesday night, after I'd gotten the socks under way, I was browsing some flikr groups and suddenly could no longer resist-- I HAD to have a calorimetry. How the heck do you say that, anyway?

Short rows are like potato chips: you can't stop until you've finished them all. I had a really, really hard time putting the thing down at bedtime, and finished it early yesterday morning in time to wear to school.

I like it! Notice that I'm wearing my first sweater there.

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