Monday, June 29, 2009

A little knitting, and life

I don't have any new knitting pictures (mostly because the light is on the wrong side of the street by the time I get home these days) but there's nothing much new to share at any rate.
  • I'm one and a half socks down on this project, and pretty excited about finishing these up and....casting on another pair of socks?! Crazy, but I kinda think so.
  • I did cast on for the honeybee stole, but I got about 2 repeats in before I got sick, and my arms are still tired at the thought of working on that shawl.
  • I thought I was nearing the end of another project that I've purposely taken no pictures of yet, but then I did some measuring, and it turns out that I'm maaaaaaybe halfway done. Whoops! Better get to knitting.
The good news is that I have a nice 15 minute bus ride (seriously, shorted commute ever) in which knitting happens.

To make up for the lack of knitting pictures, here are a few from a recent trip I took into King's Canyon with my brother and sister.
John Muir called this meadow the jewel of the Sierra. It was pretty amazing.

As was the brown bear my siblings and I saw on the way TO the meadow. BEAR!!!

But nothing was better than the bear cubs. Wild baby animals that could kill me! YAY!

Under the cut, some random iPod whining:
I updated my iPod with new music last night (Regina Spektor! old/new M. Ward!) and created a few new play lists for work. Very exciting! But then today, while at work, I find that the device won't recognize any of my music. This is pretty disheartening, but after some extended Googling when I got home, I found I could open up some hidden folders and copy the music to my hard drive, and then could do scary "restore" things to the iPod. Rock! But then more confusing technical things happen, and that doesn't work. The files I could once see disappear, or claim to be missing. They're still on the iPod. An iPod music copying software thingy can see it, but the act of copying just doesn't work.

Le sigh.

It's my own fault, I know, for not backing up my music, but oh lord, the thought of digging up my CDs from the basement and then putting them all back on this computer fills me with dread. And I'll still be missing some key emo tunes. Tragedy! Ok, thanks for letting me vent, knitters and crafters. I'm going to go knit out my sorrows now!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Is this lace?

I've blogged lots of pictures of this project, just because I love it so. But, I finally blocked my Fathoms Below, and have to share the finished product with you all.

Designed by grumperina as the Mother of Pearl scarf, and knit with my birthday Hear Me Now pluckyknitter yarn, I really wanted to keep knitting this scarf forever.

The yarn was so soft, and every stitch brought a new color, and as winter melted into spring and spring into summer, the changing light changed the elements of color in the yarn and seeing them come together in this pattern made me incredibly happy.

Mine isn't as long as grumperina's, but I love it muchly nonetheless. (But, is it lace? I need outside advice!)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Baby's dress

Continuing my sewing, thought I would catch you up on a project I did a few months ago. This was my first little dress I made, for my niece. I forgot to take pictures before I sent it and had these emailed, so they don't have closeups of all the details I would like to show off, unfortunately.

From the front

And the back. One of my proudest things was the zipper down the back that you can hardly see here. I was very happy with how it turned out given it was my first zipper.

I continue to love to sew, but I also plan on doing some more knitting, so perhaps my posts will be more on topic. I'm making a re-make of the baby blanket I posted a few months ago. The sex of the baby is undetermined, and I'm trying to choose colors now. Suggestions? I love most colors, so choosing two is always difficult.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

These may look familiar...

I think one of the reasons that knitting continues to be something that I enjoy and want to continue with is that the craft is a constant source of learning. And it's a learning process that very much has to take place as a learn-as-you-go, which is also very satisfying.

It's not just that you learn new techniques (I <3 Magic Loop!) as you go along, or that you figure out how to correct mistakes (being able to unknit a few stitches still makes me really happy), but the community of knitting, and how we as people function within it is so interesting and (at times) satisfyingly methodical. Maybe this is stuff that other people get more immediately than I, but I still find it rather fascinating.

These mittens are a perfect example of that. Before "publishing" a pattern, one (of course!) must get it test knit by other knitters. It's the editor job of the knitting world, and so so fun!

Not only do you get a first run at a new pattern, but you can to participate in the art of creation. (And sometimes you don't even have to provide the yarn!)

Ms. HEB designed these mittens as a gift for a friend, and after several requests on ravelry, decided to publish an official pattern for them. I was lucky enough to win one of the test knitter positions.

As this picture shows, these mittens are awesome. They're perfect for surprise chilliness in relatively warm weather, and fit perfectly under light sweaters or jackets.*

Furthermore, they use up hardly any yarn. Two whole pairs can be knit up with one skein of plucky fingering, and it goes fast, and can be accomplished while writing a thesis!

So, test knitting. One more box on the "now I get it" knitting check list. If you're still on the cusp of the knitting life, come on in. The weather is perfect for fingerless mittens.

*In fact, I finally sewed the ends in on these when I was house sitting and suddenly there was all-day-long foggy, chilly weather and I had only packed summer clothes. Thank you, HEB mittens, for preventing pneumonia!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

gettin' organized

This morning, I celebrated the almost-end of the HPS school year, with its accompanying light at the end of the tunnel, by taking stock of what I want to knit this summer. Or, more precisely, what I want to finish knitting this summer. Since I always work better on deadlines, here are my self-imposed summer knit goals:

End of June:This knit has lingered for at least a year. But if I don't finish it soon, I will no longer have enough yarn to make it the appropriate size for the recipient. I finished the back last year, and you can see above how much progress I made on the front, so the end of June is a reasonable goal. As long as packing up my apartment doesn't get in the way.

End of July:
This is a design project that I'm working on. There's not much left to go, but it's at a point where it requires brain power to figure out what to do next. I'm hopeful that by the start of July, I'll be de-frazzled enough to do so. Since EW is helping me test knit it, if I can finish the design by the end of July, it will give her time to finish the test knit by the end of the summer.

Mid-August:The droplet hat for my KAL with CH. I think I could actually finish this one sooner, now that I've found my copy of Knitting Nature, but am going with a conservative estimate since I currently can't find my 8s and need them to knit the rest of the hat. They'll turn up in the move, I'm sure. But that means that there's still plenty of time for others to join in the KAL fun. CH, can you post some inspirational progress shots? (Or finished shots?)

End of August:I've picked my theme for Christmas gifts, and even decided what a few of those gifts will be, so it's time to get a head start on them. I'm aiming to knit two this summer, and one of those two will be with the yarn above.

Ongoing:Taking on this project was a perfect example of my knit hubris. (Along the lines of the I-can-knit-a-baby-sweater-in-a-week hubris. Except, oh, 10,000 times worse.) In retrospect, I should have done the math first. But, now I have done the math, and have a plan for finishing it. If I knit 3531 stitches every month for the next 12 months, I will only have the edging left to do. Luckily, I'm at a point in the pattern where that works out to about one row every other day. Which, come on, I can do *that*, right?

And my save-my-sanity cowl will, I'm sure, grow a little bit this summer.

What's going to wait until the fall:
1/ Two baby sweaters for co-workers who just gave birth. Both are sized to wear in the winter, and I already gave them other gifts. I hit a rough patch with one of the sweaters, so I'm just going to let them wait until the fall.
2/ A February Lady Sweater that just needs the sleeves. I pushed through the body of this sweater in early April, but haven't worked on it since. I'll bring it back when it's sweater weather again.
3/ My Lace Shawl KAL with EW. We decided that we'd do a KAL of different patterns after I accidentally peer pressured her into buying yarn that I already had. (Option #1) Sorry, kid. It's not that I don't want to work on our KAL; it's just that I think I can only pull off knitting one thing for myself this summer and my KAL with CH started first.

Alright, since school isn't actually out yet, it's time for me to return to the non-knitting world. What goals do you all have for this summer?

PS: Oh, and check this out. Who's submitting what? I'm thinking Bourbon Slush.