it sure doesn’t feel like November

It is really warm here.  Kind of weird coming from a rather frigid New Jersey.
In true vacation mode, I’m sitting in a pleasant coffee shop knitting up some scrumptious yarny goodness:
Just a basic toe-up sock in the loveliest of lovely Sock Hop yarn.  It’s the “Lucky in the Sky” colorway and it is just gorgeous (despite the craptastic Photo Booth photo).  I’ve been waiting a long time to finally catch one of their updates … the wait was totally worth it.  And it’s always nice to support fellow Washingtonians.
I’m also going to working on pairing up some of my single socks on this trip.  Because wildfire season is the time for wool socks, right?

almost done …

mystery!, originally uploaded by katie:m.

An evening spent on the couch resulted in quite a bit of progress on my mystery sock — closing in on the toe. Which is good because there are a thousand other things I’d like to get started …

I’ll be heading out to California for the next couple of weeks, so it’ll probably be pretty quiet around here until I’m back in December.

Happy fall knitting!  (Something I will be missing in the desert.)

note to self



Farmhouse Yarns, originally uploaded by katie:m.

Not only is this yarn awesome. But: I would like to mark today as truly wonderful. For the first time in a very long time I was happy. Simply happy. Too long have I been satisfied with a mealymouthed contentment, a resigned acceptance of my lot, a muddle-headed trudge through the doldrums of the day.

I think Fleetwood Mac has something to do with it. (We will not even evaluate the dorkiness of that statement.)

yes, i am that lame.

I started another kitty pi blanket for my sister’s cat.
And why?  Because that way I can knit and watch MST3k episodes on youtube.  (Thanks Specs, whom I don’t even know but yet am compelled to use as my inspiration for movie-watching dorkiness.)  And maybe just drink a fruity beer while I do it.  (N.B. that Sam Adams’ Cranberry Lambic ain’t half bad.)

Friday cat blogging

Or, another kitty pi blanket.  This one for my sister’s cat, as requested.
Again, a straightforward knit, not too exciting, but very soothing.  Holding the Multicolor together with the Cascade 220 adds a nice bit of variegated color and a lovely fuzzy mohair halo to the blanket.
pattern: Pi Shawl by Elizabeth Zimmermann [ravel it]
yarn: 2 skeins each of Cascade 220 Heathers in purple (9345) and Filatura di Crosa Multicolor (21)
needles: US10.5/6.5mm dpns and circs
started: November 8, 2008
finished: November 12, 2008
As the downside of transferring presents itself (gah! GREs again) I might just have to cast on for another Pi shawl to help me through the reviewing.  (Hello there Mr. Math, long time no see.)

11.11

I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day.  When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another.I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute.  They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God.  So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.
Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day.  Armistice Day was sacred.  Veterans’ Day is not.
So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder.  Armistice Day I will keep.  I don’t want to throw away any sacred things.
What else is sacred?  Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.
And all music is.

– Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (11.11.1922 – 04.11.2007), Breakfast of Champions (1973)

a perfect new hat

Not only perfect, but fast!  This one-day wonder, it turns out, is perfect for the chilly-but-not-cold fall weather we’ve been having here in central NJ — and Malabrigo is never wrong.
pattern: Stella’s Hat [here] or {ravel it} by Melissa, the knitting school dropout
yarn: Malabrigo in mineral red (605) about half a skein
needles: US10.5/6.5mm
started: November 7, 2008
finished: November 8, 2008
I used extra-big needles so the finished hat is a bit floppy and a bit loose … but I love it lots.  It’s not nearly as heavy as my favorite winter hat [here], which makes it perfect for fall.  And hopefully Nashville — because that’s where I’ll be next winter.
Sorry about all of the silly (and unintentional) coyness, but I was afraid to jinx my happy news: a new graduate program!  Starting next fall, I will be studying German in Nashville.  I couldn’t be more thrilled.
Until then, I’m just knitting cat blankets.

pi r boz

As soon as my sister heard about my newly-completed Pi r kitty blanket, she requested one for her cat.  Another trip into the stash produced the perfect yarn, a quiet weekend the knitting time.

so organized.

I love my squirrely cube and my very pink sock.
I had lots of deep stuff to say about second chances and how they’re kind of great and kind of scary and how I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to be given one and how happy I am about maybe probably moving to Tennessee in pursuit of said second chance, but really, wow.  I just love my sock and my cube and I think everything might work out okay in the end.
I even kind of love my work again.

blah.

And that hasn’t happened in forever.  Usually I just break out in hives and go hide somewhere.

finished!

I bound off the Pi Shawl last night while watching “The Black Cat” — an evil genius throwdown not too concerned with making sense.  But full of Awesome.
I used up every last bit of three skeins of Kureyon.  My packrat tendencies paid off, as I had to forrage in the depths of the stash for some Lizard Ridge left-overs to finish the bind-off.  I had only hoped to find the same colorway, but managed to exceed my wildest dreams by finding a bit with the required color sequence.  Kismet!
So now the kitty has a blanket:

pi shawl

And, contrary to usual kitty behavior, she seems to like it.

The Pi Shawl was a perfect project: easy to follow, pleasant to knit, useful and stash-busting.  As you can see, the finish piece is quite small — definitely not a shawl and really only a lap blanket by human standards.  I didn’t worry about blocking out the wrinkles or the rolled edges (no lace edging, just bound off when I was almost out of yarn) — I kind of like the ridges and the rustic look of it as is.

pattern: Pi Shawl by Elizabeth Zimmermann [ravel it] from Knitter’s Almanac, among other sources

yarn: Noro Kureyon (no. 185), 3 skeins (each 50g/100m)

needles: US10.5/6.5mm circs

started: November 3, 2008

finished: November 5, 2008

After I bound-off, the evening was still comparatively young, so I took another stab at the Socktoberfest mystery sock [here] {ravel it}.  This time, in some Rancho Multi (PT755/Multi Pop) newly arrived as part of my order of financial doomy doom from the Loopy Ewe.

ttl mystery sock v.3

Why two yarn cakes, you ask.  The answer: I have not yet figured out how Araucania knots their skeins.  So an extra snip here and voilà!, two yarn cakes.

We’ll see how this iteration (no. 3) goes … I’m hoping that the combination of ever so slightly thicker Rancho Multi plus US2/2.75mm needles will result in a 64-stitch sock that fits.  Because I just wasn’t liking the look of the 72-stitch cable pattern.

Only time will tell.  Until then, I get to carry the sock around in my nifty cube:
ttl mystery sock v.3

Squirrels!  So much better than my usual Ziploc.

any guesses?

Seeing that my Socktoberfest plans went bust and I completed zero socks; recognizing that I was in the throws of a very unproductive fit of startitis; acknowledging my rather frazzled nerves and knitting attention span; knowing that I had some awesome B-movies ready for viewing …
… Elizabeth Zimmermann and Noro were really the only answers.  Nothing soothes the fevered knitter’s brow quite like EZ.
This is the genius Pi Shawl [ravel it] in its simplest incarnation: only the yarn-over increases with the yarn doing the decorative work.  This Kureyon (no. 185) was originally intended for this, but as that possibility seemed ever more remote, I salvaged it from the stash.  (Man, did I forget how much yarn I had.)  (It’s kind of embarrassing.)
In other news:

squirrels!

Look at my awesome sock cube from Schrodinger Originals!  It’s adorable and I can’t wait to fill it up with wooly socky goodness.  Which brings me to my next point … I made a (couple) of orders with The Loopy Ewe during the Halloween sale.  Oops.  Let’s just say that my yarn budget is blown well into 2009.  But I’ll have some truly awesome sock yarn to show off soon.

Unless I am consumed by shame and attempt to hide it all in my closet as if this most recent lapse in financial responsibility never occurred.  (As if one can buy anything on a grad student stipend without feeling the doom of impending financial collapse and a lifetime living in one’s parents’ basement looming.)

But looking on the bright side, at least there are some exciting sock knitting opportunities coming up.

p.s. I did notice that the election happened, even sent in my absentee vote on time (I missed my very first presidential election in 2000 because of postal delay to Germany; luckily not the case with NJ), and am pleased with the result.  But, really, let’s just focus on the knitting, as I am much more qualified to speak on that subject without making an utter ass of myself.  (Anymore than it is possible to talk about knitting without seeming somewhat unhinged to the uninitiated.)