Monday, December 31, 2007
I have determined I have two useful skills in knitting. First and foremost, I guess I am good with my hands. I used to play both the piano and the violin, and they both require quite a bit of finger/hand dexterity and coordination. I like to knit because it requires me to coordinate my needles to create the “music” of knitting. This may not sound as poetic as saying “I’m an artist”, but I’m good with my hands, and I like to create things with my hands.
Second, I am very logical. Knitting, like music, has strong internal logic. Stitches behave a certain way under certain circumstances, and certain shapes develop when you knit a certain way. My two favorite forms of knitting – lace and fair isle – amplify this internal logic. When I start a knitting project, I like to know exactly where I’m going – it’s the same brain chemistry that drives me to skip ahead to the last chapter of whatever book I’m reading so that I know what’s coming up (and before you complain that I am ruining the fun, there is nothing more fun than trying to figure out the twists and turns that the author will make to arrive at said ending)
So what is your knitting ninja? What special skills do *you* bring to knitting?
See you next year!
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Here's the stats:
Friday, November 30, 2007
Last week DH had some spare time so I decided to have him help me wind the second hank. I unwrapped the hank and much to my displeasure ran into the same issue I had last time: the label was looped in the *middle* of the yarn. Last time I removed the tag by cutting the yarn, resulting in the aforementioned two balls of yarn.
This time, I wrestled with the tag for several minutes, trying to figure out how to get the tag off of the yarn without cutting the yarn. DH stared at me while I was doing it, and while I was taking a short "stress break" (in which I swore I would never buy this yarn again!) he calmly reached over, ripped the corner of the tag off, and freed it from the yarn.
Yes, paper tags do tear. I have learned a lesson. Oh yeah - I ran out of yarn and now need to buy another hank. This time I will let The Studio wind it for me.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I may have posted eariler that I have already made a crocheted cap for DH. He wears it sometimes, but the openness of the double crochet makes it unusable on really cold days and I haven't gotten around to lining it yet. So...hubby has started asking for another hat...here's his request: "a hat like the other one, only with smaller holes and a skier on the side"
"a skier on the side" means he wants a colorwork image of a skier, similar to the Atari-era Indiana Jones I put on Linc's knitted hat last year.
This presents me with 2 problems: 1) I don't know how, nor do I want to know how, to do intarsia in crochet, and 2) I used an online image of Indiana Jones to make Linc's hat (no big deal since he's just 10 pixels)...there is No Way In Heck I could design a skier motif.
What do I do? Do I ... Make a knitted cap and try to find a simple skier design to incorporate? Make a crocheted cap with just a stripe? Or do I chuck the whole thing and buy him a pair of gloves instead? What would you do?
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Yes - The beast is complete. Lincoln loves it (and kept trying to hug him as I was weaving in ends), and Scott says "it's the first bear you've knit that actually looks like a bear)...
Pictures may follow, but you know how bad I am about pictures.
In other knitting - my v-neck vest just needs the armbands picked up, Lincoln's Tomten is 1/2 done, and both have been put on hold as I've cast on for my Secret Christmas Knitting.
Friday, November 02, 2007
"Would you like this wound?"
"No" I replied.
"Are you sure? It won't take long"
"No - I don't need it right away. I'll do it myself".
Fast forward two weeks. I head to our new knitting/office room, and dig out the hanks. Hubby takes kiddo to the basement. I unwrap the first hank, wrap it around my knees, and proceed to wind it using my handy ballwinder.
Problem 1: I run into an end. Apparently, what I thought was a yarn end was actually where I had accidentally snipped the yarn when undoing the hank. I start over.
Problem 2: As usually, the yarn comes loose off my knees, and proceeds to become a yarn vomit mess. After over an hour, I have un-vomited the yarn and wound the ball.
Problem 3: I still have one hank left. Haven't gotten to it yet.
After I was done, I walked downstairs and hubby notes: "You really need one of those ball-winder-helping things like they have at the knitting store."
Uh, duh. Good thinkg Christmas is around the corner.
PS - There's a big thread on Ravelry about this - apparently there are lots of LYSs that won't wind hanks for you, and a lot of LYS employees that are bitter about people even asking for it. Next time you're at the Studio, make sure you tell them how much you appreciate their great customer service!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Fear not, though! The real reason I bought these books - other than to impress everyone with my knowledge of Japanese - was to see the Japanese method of charted knitting. The beauty of Japanese knitting patterns is that you don't actually need to know Japanese (other than a few key characters) because the patterns are completely charted. Amazing!! I feel I really could knit something from this book. Plus, the patterns are simply gorgeous - just check out the cover of the Fair Isle book.
Now I can combine my love of all things complicated with my love of knitting, and maybe even knit something!! Also - if you are interested in buying your own Japanese knitting books, the website I link to above has great (fast!) service and reasonable shipping.
Friday, October 12, 2007
What's next? Fair Isle gloves for myself, and some super-secret gifts.
So lolcats are the Hamsterdance of the post 9/11 era. Plus, it's really cute. So of course I took the quiz:
Your Score: Longcat
68% Affectionate, 40% Excitable, 42% Hungry
Protector of truth.
Slayer of darkness.
Longcat may seem like just a regular lengthy cat, but he is, in fact, looong. For proof, observe the longpic.
It is prophesized that Longcat and his archnemesis Tacgnol will battle for supremacy on Caturday. The outcome will change the face of the world, and indeed the very fabric of lolcatdom, forever.
Be grateful that the test has chosen you, and only you, to have this title.
To see all possible results, checka dis.
|Link: The Which Lolcat Are You? Test written by GumOtaku on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test|
Oh yeah - I've also been tagged. More on that coming up (I'm a busy gal after all!)
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
My vest is 3/4 done, and I'm on a new quest to find a perfect men's hat pattern. Hubby has requested a hat and I can't refuse. He's already visited the LYS with me (what a nice guy!) and picked out some Nashua Creative Focus Superwash** that is a nce worsted weight. He'd like a beanie-type hat that he can wear around town. Now I'm on a search for a decent man-looking hat pattern or stitch pattern...he already has a basic hat that I've made, and now he wants something more "trendy". Help me, please!
**Note: Hubby actually chose some delicious Berroco Pure Merino, but I did not realize that it's superwash and steered him towards the Nashua instead. I'm tempted to go back to the Studio and surprise him with a hat made with the Berroco...
Sunday, September 16, 2007
I've been promising photos forever - and finally I have one! Last week I finished Sahara and am pretty happy with the results. Picking up the stitches was just as unfun as I thought it would be, but I slogged through.
Pattern: Sahara - sleeveless version
Yarn: Valley Yarns Goshen (cotton/modal/silk blend)
Modifications: 1 extra set of waist decreases
What would I change in the future? I was between sizes, so I did the larger size with more waist decreases. If I did this pattern again, I would do the smaller size with less waist decreases - as it is, it is a bit large in the shoulders.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
This accomplishment means that I can get started on my vest soon. I purchased the aforementioned Knitters magazine on Saturday, and found this little gem at Michaels. It is a modular patternbook that can be used to make different types of sweaters and vests. Very versatile! When I found it, I almost did a little dance because it's so awesome. It's like Ann Bud's sweater book only smaller and a little less intimidating. AND it has a v-neck vest! Depending on how much knitting I get done, I may just do two vests this season. And maybe get them done before next summer.
Bobbi Beast is still languishing in his own personal UFO bag. Poor, armless Bobbi - I will get to you soon.
Friday, August 24, 2007
It's picking up stitches. Like when you're doing a sweater and you have to pick up stitches around the neckline. Like what I'm doing right now with Sahara (and no, I'm not done with Sahara yet!) I spent an hour picking up stitches up one side of the neckline and *I'm* *only* *halfway* *done*. It's so fiddly - getting your needle in the right place, getting the tension just right so you can pull the yarn through without splitting it (usually requiring several tries), making sure I pick up two stitches for every three rows....UGH!!
Honestly, this is the reason Bobbi Bear is not done yet. I have to pick up stitches for his arms and I hate picking up stitches so much that The Bobbi Beast sits lanquishing in a bag in my bedroom.
Monday, August 20, 2007
I found this online this morning after having spent an hour at The Studio yesterday looking at all of their patterns and not finding anything perfect. I ended up buying a copy of "Folk Vests" because it had a pattern I *thought* would work with a bit of fiddling, but I wasn't completely happy.
Now I just have to find the time to get to Joann's or BN to buy the magazine.
Friday, August 10, 2007
My next post will have photos!
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
This package had lots of goodies. Two skeins of Knitpicks Shine Sport - which I've been wanting to try for a while. A lovely pair of knitting needles, and a cute sweater-keychain. Plus a patternbook for knitted snowflakes (although I'm not ready for winter quite yet!!) There was also a very cute sheep measuring tape. Some delicious tea, glycerin soap, and a journal. Thanks for much Kate!
Thursday, June 21, 2007
On the knitting front, I cast on for Sahara this weekend. Since we were doing a lot of travelling I didn't want to take along a big project, so Ribs and Lace stayed home. I'm using Valley Yarns Goshen is a pretty blue color, and so far I'm really liking it. It's easy to knit with and has a pretty sheen. I'm a bit concerned that it might pill a bit, but we'll see as we go along.
For those of you keeping track, that adds up to four "real" WIP and one "surprise" WIP. Looks like I need to finish some stuff!!
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Sunday, June 03, 2007
I am truly frightened at the prospect of such a large bear...
Friday, June 01, 2007
As I knit, I kept thinking to myself that the tank was going to turn totally lame because the ribbing was very holy and didn't look like it would be fitted at all. In a fit of desperation this morning, I decided to check my gauge. The first gauge was for the lace - no problem there (the final measurements are almost perfect). Then I took a closer look at the second gauge - for the ribbing: 20 stitches per inch *using smaller needles*. Smaller needles? Who said anything about smaller needles? Sure enough, buried in the instructions to increase a couple of stitches and place a new side marker was the dreaded "switch to smaller needle". How much smaller? From a size 10 to a size 4. Yes, a *lot* smaller. I'd been using a size 9, but since I don't have a size 3 circular (Knitpicks interchangeables only go down to a 4), I decided a 4 would be fine.
I had already done about 1 1/2 inches of ribbing, so I had to decide how to frog back to the start of the rib pattern. Option 1 - Knit Backwards - was not considered because it would drive me insane. Option 2 - put in a lifeline - was also not a great option because I find it difficult enough to thread a lifeline in stockinette, much less ribbing. So that left Option 3 - take the needles out, rip out until I get to the proper row, and carefully put the needles back through the live stitches. ... so I did it and it worked without one dropped stitch!! I had a coupld of twisted stitches, but those are no problem.
Lesson learned: play closer attention to instructions.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Here's the picture to show just how big Bobbi Bear is. The pattern does give the final dimensions of the bear as over a foot tall, so to be fair I knew what I was getting into. Knowing in theory and seeing the reality are two different things, though. Here you can see Bobbi with Lincoln. Notice that Lincoln's arm is blurry - every time we tried to get him to sit next to Bobbi he knocked it over.
Next I'll be picking up stitches for Bobbi's arms, knitting some ears, and giving Bobbi a face.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Here are the tag rules (as modified by Terri)
Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves.
Those tagged need to write on their blog the 7 facts as well as the rules of the game.
People who feel that they are tagged after reading this post can feel free to tag themselves and leave a note in my comments section.
Seven Random Facts:
1. I am left-handed, but I golf, knit, crochet, use scissors, cut my food, and do most everything else right-handed.
2. My favorite book of all time is "Emma" by Jane Austin. I've read it several times.
3. When I was little (okay, not so little - even now) I dreamed of becoming a writer
4. I love popcorn and eat it almost every day
5. I had all of my fingers crushed in a shopping-cart accident when I was 3. No permanent damage except my hands get very cold very easily.
6. I don't eat fish, or any creature that spends a majority of it's life submerged in water (eg crab, lobster)
7. I do eat meat. Yum!
Okay, now that that's out of the way I can move on to explaining the somewhat menancing title of this post. I have completed the Bobbi Bear legs, torso, and head, and have commenced stuffing him before I knit up the arms. From the photo on BB's pattern, I assumed he would be a petite bear, even though I had nothing at all on which to base that assumption. Well, BB is *huge*. He is full-teddy-bear sized, and stands at over a foot tall. I knew he was tall, but the full impact of his size did not strike me until he was stuffed. As soon as I have the opportunity, I'll take a photo so that you can see the giant that is Bobbi.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
First of all, I received the pattern and supplues for this really cute Hedgehog. I did not take a photo of the pattern, so you must click on the link to see how adorable these guys are.
I did take photos of everything else, though! There's two balls of Lambs Pride Worsted (which I've been wanting to try) and a ball of Funny, which will become the hedgehog's back. You can also see in the basket (which is my attempt at doing artful photography) a postcard for the Oriole's stadium. My secret pal is an Orioles fan, which is fine with me since our poor Royals can never seem to win a game.
There was also a dishcloth with an airplane motif (my secret pal promises to tell me where she's getting these patterns when she does her "reveal"). Finally, there was a set of four gorgeous stitch markers. I apologize for the blurry photo, but I seem to be having camera issues today.
Thanks secret pal!
Monday, May 21, 2007
I finished the knitting on this baby jumper a couple of weeks ago, and took my sweet time doing the finishing work. It's for my sister's baby that is due in June. I actually had the side seams completely done using mattress stitch, but I ripped out the entire seam this weekend. The arms were a bit small, so I added a couple of rows to make them wider (that's the blue squares in the armpits), and I just wasn't happy with the way the mattress stitch looked - it made it too "rounded". I decided instead to do a backstitch. It gives it a more "rustic" look, but I think it looks better with the yarn and pattern. The whole outfit is basically knit in one piece from front legs to back legs, so it's really simple.
Here's the details:
Pattern: Baby knit from the Spring Knit Simple
Yarn: Bernat Denimstyle (cotton/acrylic blend)
Modifications: None, except for the yarn sub. I must have made a mistake around the neck, since the arms ended up so narrow.
Time: About two weeks to knit, and a day to do the finishing work.
Friday, May 18, 2007
The color I ordered (in laceweight) was *exactly* the same color of Knitpicks merino lace-weight that I'm using for my Icarus shawl. Ouch!
I have no one to blame but myself, since I used a color card and knew exactly what color I was ordering. I guess I like the color blue. So I think a shawl is out of the question...so what should I make with my blue laceweight wool-silk?
I'd also like to note that for a limited time Sarah's Yarns is offering extra-large samples for swatching of many (if not most) of their lines for just the cost of shipping. I have a sample of the Sarah's Yarns Cashmere DK-Weight and it is heavenly!!
Monday, May 14, 2007
I am done with the first lace pattern (basically just a feather and fan pattern) and there's one more lace pattern before the "ribs". I want to get this complete because: 1) I want to wear it! and 2) I have my next pattern picked out, and I'm itchin' to start! (More on that later!)
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Enough of the psychoanalyzing, here's what I have on the needles:
1) A tank (Ribs and Lace) from the Spring Interweave Knits in Cotton-Ease. Yes, I once again frogged my Cotton-Ease to start a new project. Turns out the cotton/acrylic blend wasn't "sticky" enough and the dropped-stitch design on the Fitted Knits tank looked sloppy. I *will* find a good project for this yarn!
2) The "Icarus" shawl from last year's Interweave knit in Knitpicks Shadow. It's my first shawl project worked in laceweight, and I've allowed myself all summer to finish the thing.
3) "Bobbi Bear" from Blue Sky Alpacas, knit in Organic Cotton. Scott bought me this pattern while he was in Seattle (what a Sweetie!) and of course I had to cast on right away. It's a fun knit, and I would be done by now if I didn't stop every so often to work on my other projects.
Friday, April 27, 2007
I keep my yarn in 4 rubbermaid bins - two large and two small. One of the smaller ones is designated as a "sock" bin, although I really don't have a lot of sock yarn.
Here's a couple of example of what the bins look like on the inside - not very exciting, I know. I have a lot of one/two skeins that I bought "just to try the yarn", then of course I didn't have a decent pattern for them. So they languish.
The only part of my stash that I didn't photograph is the "leftover basket", that has all of my leftover skeins from projects. I'm trying to decide what to do with that yarn...since I have a lot of Cascade 220 I'm thinking I'm going to try some sort of patchwork felting project...I just have to get over my dislike of felting first!
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
I bought the book this weekend when Scott offered to watch Lincoln for a couple of hours while I did some shopping. I spent two glorious hours shopping at the Plaza on my own - which means I didn't feel at all guilty that I spent the whole two hours in *two* stores - Bath and Body Works and Barnes and Noble. I spent a long time in the knitting section of B&N, luckily finding an open chair nearby so I could sit and read. Not only did I find "fitted knits", but I also found a nice reference on how to do mattress stitch in garter stitch (yes I know it's amazingly simple, but I'd never done it before).
Thanks to the mattress stitch help, I also managed to do the finishing work on the "super secret" project I've been working on - and I will post photos this weekend after it is delivered to the lucky recipient!!
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
It doesn't look like much yet, but I've acutally done quite a bit of work measuring, gauging, and swatching. I'm doing a sleeveless sweater, which calls for an invisible cast-on. Barbara provides one cast-on in her book, but I decided to use the fabulous cast-on I learned in my toe-up sock class. You can see in the photo that there is one set of Knitpicks circulars that I am currently using to knit the back, and the other circular needle cable is holding the stitches that will eventually be the front.
I believe that any knitting design should focus on the unique properties of knitted fabric - ie the ability to do lace, cabling, etc. With that in mind, I've been scouring my "Knitting onf the Edge" book to find a nice little pattern insert to do on the front of the vest. I had one all picked out, but when I swatched it I realized that I wouldn't be able to convert the pattern to "in the round" when I finally connect the front and back. So the search continues...
Friday, April 06, 2007
I was like a kid at Christmas and made quick work of opening everything:
Inside were lots of knitting goodies - a Knitpicks Chartkeeper (which I have been drooling over forever), some Soak woolwash in yummy scents, and two hanks of Knitpicks Gloss - it's part silk (yummmmmmmmmmmmmm):
Plus there were lots of other treats: There were some kitty treats for Dr. Zaius and Cheetara - you'd think it was kitty crack the way that Zaius gobbles them up.
There were also cute little sheep cards and some Margarita-flavored Jell-o.
Thank you thank you thank you!!!!
Monday, April 02, 2007
This is the torso and legs of the monkey - aka "the easy part". I've cut out and stuffed the arms and ears, and now need to stitch them on by hand (aka "the hard part"). Unfortunately, I realized after I turned the tail right-side-out that I actually sewed it backwards...so I have to redo that. At the rate I'm going, I just hope I finish Mr. Monkey is done by the time Mr. Lincoln reaches adulthood.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
I decided it was a bit short, so I stretched it lengthwise during blocking, which also made it a bit more form-fitting. Once again, I am amazed at the power of "the block"! Here it is after a wet-block and a couple days of drying:
So here are the stats:
Pattern: Wicked from Zephyr Style - size small
Yarn: Stash Cascade 220
Modifications: I added two short rows across the back to make the back a bit longer than the front
What I'd do differently: If I knitted this again I would do more decreases for the waist shaping. As it is, it's a bit too boxy for my taste, although blocking helped quite a bit.
Final thoughts: A nice quick and easy knit, and it was nice being able to try it on as I went. I liked that the pocket provided some relief from the endless knitting in the round.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Well, last weekend my sister-in-law came home from a visit to MIL, and delivered (courtesy of the in-laws variety store) "official" sock monkey socks. No need to knit sock-monkey wannabees anymore - I have access to the real thing. Given my limited success with knitting toys (witness Frankenhorace), and my limited sewing skills, I am a bit nervuos about attempting to sew a stuffed animal. Luckily MIL was thinking ahead and provided extra socks "just in case". The experiment begins this weekend...
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I really meant to model it but I started the second sleeve before I thought to take the picture, and I feel too lazy to put the stitches on waste yarn. Don't worry, though - as soon as this sucker is done I will model it in all of its wicked glory! The pattern is Wicked from Zephyr Girls (of course), and I am using some stash Cascade 220 on it. I like it because it's fast and relatively easy, and because it's for *ME*!
In other news, sock class ended last night and we learned the sewn bind-off and we got to see (although only one of us attempted it) a tubular bind-off. They are both pretty nifty. I also got some hands-on practice on doing two socks at once, and it's definitely something I'll try in the future.
So, pros and cons of taking a class (since this is only my second knitting class ever):
*I learned some techniques I never would have tried otherwise. I don't think I'd go to the effort of learning the magic cast-on, or toe-up socks if it hadn't been for the class.
*I met other knitters and got to share the joy of learning something new
*I got to spend quality time at the yarn shop, and bask in the wonderful-ness of the yarn and patterns
*(Obviously) it's more expensive than learning on my own via library books or internet
*I don't do well with someone else's schedule - sometimes I got done with the "homework" a couple days after class and just had to sit longingly at the sock, while other weeks I didn't have time to finish the homework.
*Sitting in a yarn shop for two hours is awfully tempting when you're on a budget!
Overall, though, I am very happy I took this class. I will definitely be making toe-up magic loop socks in the future!
Monday, March 19, 2007
Here's the most recent photo of my pocket. I took this picture on Thursday, and since then I've finished the pocket, attached it to the body, and finished one sleeve. Whew - Wicked is almost done!!
As you might have guessed, I've been ignoring my poor sock and therefore decided that I won't have time to rip the heel and re-do it before tomorrow's class.
Friday, March 16, 2007
In the list of books below, bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you want to read, cross out the ones you won’t touch with a ten-foot pole*, put a cross (+) in front of the ones on your book shelf, and asterisk (*) the ones you’ve never heard of.
*except I did mine in red because I don't know how to do a strikeout! As you can see, there really aren't any books I don't *want* to read.
1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. +Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. +To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. +The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. +The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. +The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. +Anne of Green Gables (L. M. Montgomery)
9. *Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. *A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. +Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. +Angels and Demons(Dan Brown)
13.+ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. *A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. +Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. +Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. *Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. +Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)
20. +Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. +The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. *The Catcher in the Rye (J. D. Salinger)
23. +Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. +The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. +The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. +Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. +The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. +1984 (Orwell)
35. +The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. *The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. *The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. *I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. *The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. *The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
46. +Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. +The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
WHAT HAPPENED TO 49????
50. *She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. +Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. +Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. +The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. +War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview with the Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. *Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. *One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo) (The abridged version only)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. *Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. *Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. +The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. *The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. *A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. *The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. *The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. *Not Wanted On the Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. +Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. +Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. *Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. +Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. *The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. *Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. *Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. *In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. +Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S. E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)
Thursday, March 15, 2007
I'm having a bit of a conundrum regarding my sock. After finishing the heel a second time, I've tried it on and it's actually a bit too long. Considering that a "perfect fit" is supposedly on the best features of a toe-up sock, I'm a little torn about what to do. I really have two options: 1) Do a bit of the cuff and wait until after my last sock class on Tuesday to rip it back, or 2) Rip it back right now before class. Option 3) - Do nothing and live with a sock that's too big - is not on the table. I'm worried that if I rip it back now, I won't have enough time to finish up the entire cuff before Tuesday - and yes I'm aware that the longer I stall, the less likely I am to have finished by Tuesday!
Anyway, on Tuesday we're going to go over a sewn bind-off, which is an Elizabeth Zimmerman unvention. I'm very excited! After Tuesday, I'll post my thoughts on having taken a class vs. learning techniques via books or internet, which is how I usually learn to knit...
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Last night was my second sock knitting class. We started on the heel, and it's a bit more fiddly than doing a top-down heel (in my opinion). I actually had the heel almost finished last night, but I was unhappy with the way my stitches gapped around the wraps in the short row, so I ripped it out.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
I also attended the first of three sessions on Magic Loop knitting at the Studio. So far it's been a great class - I learned an invisible cast-on that's worth the price of the entire class. Other "firsts" for me in the class are: doing socks toe-up (already it's more fun than top-down), and (of course!) Magic Loop. I ended up using some stash Regia for the class that is pink and red variegated. I'm still not a big fan of variegation, but the pinks seem much more girly, and I'm saving the blue sock yarn for a pair of socks for Scott. Another plus: the Regia is much less "splitty" than the Fortisima Socka I started with.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Here it is! My Elizabeth Zimmermann seamless yoke sweater. We just got back from our annual family ski trip, so these photos are a bit delayed. It turned out really well, especially for a first sweater. I have to post photos of the underarm to prove that it is truly seamless - these sassy 'pits are courtesy of a *lot* of kitchener stitch!
Pattern: Seamless Yoke Sweater from Knitting Around by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash
Modifications: None! EZ's sweater "patterns" are always personalized! I did, however, forgo the stranded (fair isle) pattern in favor of the stripes. I was using stash yarn and didn't have enough of any one color to have a solid background with just a bit of fair isle as EZ shows in the book.
Changes for the future: The yoke is a bit deeper than I would have liked, causing a bit of sagging around the armpits. If I do this sweater again I wouldn't do as much of the 4.5" of plain knitting before the first decrease on the yoke.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Also while I was at the Studio I signed up for a class on Magic Loop socks and bought some sock yarn. I'm taking the class because I want to try magic loop, but also because I want to learn to do toe-up socks. I think there will be a lot of good techniques in the class - maybe I'll also learn a new bind-off. I am *not* a fan of variegated sock yarns (always looks good on the hank, never looks good knitted), so I wanted some solid-color yarn for the class. They seemed to have a lot of "manly" colors - grey, black, taupe, etc., but no exciting girly colors. The colors I found and loved- pink, red, and purple, they only had one skein each (ie one sock), so no luck. I briefly toyed with the idea of just having two different colored socks, but then just sucked it up and bought a nice-ish blue color. Gosh, I would have *killed* for two balls of the pink, though! Oh well...
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
It is *almost* done! I started this a long time ago (around Thanksgiving) and got the body and sleeves done, and then took a break for Christmas knitting. I just got back into it about two weeks ago, and I'm hoping to showcase it as a FO soon! It really is a quick knit, I just wasn't devoting much time to it.
We're going skiing next week so I hope to have it done and ready to go for the trip...
Monday, February 12, 2007
I've finished my swatch for Wicked - I've actually washed and blocked it (a first for me!) My gauge is spot-on, which is surprising since usually I need to go down a needle size to get gauge. Good for me - it means I only have to do one swatch!! Now, as soon as my Elizabeth Zimmermann sweater is done I'll cast on.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I don't like 100% cotton, although I'd like to try some cotton blends. I usually prefer soft wools or wool blends, or some (soft) acrylics. I'd like to try knitting with bamboo or soysilk.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I have the folder for the KP Options, while my straight needles are in a rubbermaid bin.
3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I've been knitting almost three years - I learned from books when I left my corporate job to be a full-time student. I consider myself to be high-intermediate - I'm willing to try anything!
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? I'm working on it and will post a link.
5. What's your favorite scent? I like florals or food scents. Anything except vanilla!
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I'm not really a sweets person.
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I crochet but I don't spin.
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) Yes I can play MP3s. I like classical or 80's music (weird mix, I know!)
9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? I prefer neutrals or purples or oranges, but nothing too bright or neon. I'm not good with colors - I never know what colors look good together.
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I am married with a 7-month old son. I also have two cats.
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I wear scarves, hats, mittens, and shawls, but not ponchos.
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Small projects like baby sweaters, scarves, mittens, toys, or purses. I like to knit sweaters but they take a long time!
13. What are you knitting right now? I just finished a pair of camo socks for my baby, I (still!) have an Elizabeth Zimmermann sweater on the needles and a pair of fair-isle socks. UPDATE: EZ is done! I've cast on for Wicked. I'm also knitting a pair of fair-isle socks.
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? YES!
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I prefer cirulars for most things. I use KP's metal circulars but I prefer plastic (Bryspun are my favorites).
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? I have a yarn winder but not a swift.
17. How old is your oldest UFO? 2 years. It will soon be frogged (I hope!)
18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas and Halloween.
19. Is there anything that you collect? No.
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I subscribe to Interweave and Vogue Knitting. I wouldn't mind a book on lace knitting - I've been wanting to make a lace shawl but haven't gotten the courage to try it yet. I've also been wanting either volume 1 or volume 3 of the Vogue Stitchionary. Actually, any stitch dictionary would be nice. I've also been craving Knitpicks Chartkeeper - or any chartkeeper!
21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Entrelac or socks on two circs.
22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yes! My size is 7
23. When is your birthday? July 15
In the econ world, before we can talk about whether or not a deficit is a bad thing, we need to discuss the two things a government can do that ordinary people can't. After all, if you or I run up a debt we eventually have to pay it, right? Things aren't so simple for a government. The two things a government can do are: 1) Tax and 2)Print Money. *All* of our money originates from the Central Bank, and when the government taxes us they require that we pay them in the same currency that they've provided to us to begin with...
Shucks, I've given away too much already. Stay tuned for the next exciting chapter of our deficit story...
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Yes, yes, I know you're all worried that this will take precious time away from my dissertation. Don't worry! I *must* read non-economics related books or I will go absolutely insane! Besides, at some point in the (hopefully not-so-distant) future my dissertation will be done, and I hope to have some vestiges of a life left when that happens. So I must maintain what few hobbies I have left. If anyone is interested in my dissertation topic, it is "The World Bank and Poverty - Practices, Policies, and Outcomes". It's really a fascinating read, at least in my opinion.
Since this blog is all my own, I will probably include some interesting Economics-related material from time to time. After all, who doesn't want a bit of Econ mixed with their knitting? Since Bush just submitted his budget proposal to Congress, I'll start off with the difference between "deficit" and "debt". "Deficit" is how much expenditures exceed income (or taxes) for a given year - it's a flow. "Debt" is the acculmulation of all of the deficits and is a stock.
For example: If I make $10 a week (hey, I'm a grad student!), and in week 1 I spend $15 in yarn, my deficit for week one is $5.
If I spend $20 on yarn in week 2, my deficit for week 2 is $10, and my debt is $15 ($10 + $5).
Next time I'll talk about where money comes from, and whether a national deficit is a bad thing.
These are my Fetching mitts pre- and post- blocking. Note how badly they curl at the top before they're blocked. I had read on some forums that people were casting off using itty bitty needles to avoid the curl, and was worried that I would have to rip out my cast-off and re-try. Witness the miracle of blocking! No more curling, and the Cascade 220 softened up quite a bit. The color of the yarn is more purplish like the picture at left.
Even the cat likes them now!!
Pattern: Fetching from Knitty
Yarn: Cascade 220 (don't know the color as I bought it ages ago)
Mods: Changed the yarn, used size 5 needles. If I made them again, I'd use DK-weight and even smaller needles since I have very small hands.
Completed: January 2006
Monday, February 05, 2007
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Pattern: Dimple Shale Scarffrom Knitpicks.
Yarn: 2 balls Andean Treasure in Sunset Heather.
Mods: I only had 2 balls of AT, so I eliminated one repeat of the lace pattern (2 repeats instead of three).
Here's the details:
Pattern: Generic Sock Pattern from Knit Simple Winter 2006/2007
Yarn: Bernat Camouflage (100% acrylic, worsted weight)
Modifications: None - I just used the directions for the worsted weight baby sock
**A very fast and easy knit!!**