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Budgie for B.

 

 

Finally!  A finished knit!

Okay, a baby sweater.  But.  It’s finished.  And I knit it.  So it totally counts.

Budgie for B.

 

Also, it is adorable.  If I do say so myself.  This just might be one of my favorite finished baby cardigans: the stripes stripe just perfectly, the colors are bright and perfect for a fall birthday, the truck buttons are awesome for a little boy (or, I imagine, a little girl with an interest in trucks), without being all in-your-face gender normative.

The pattern was fantastic: Budgie by Grumperina.  Obviously, I went with buttons instead of a zipper … because, well, I had to be honest with myself.  Although I really liked the idea of a zippered cardigan, if I waited until I bought and sewed in said zipper, this kid would be about 21 before he got his birthday present.

So buttons it was.

Budgie for B.

 

I did a bit of fiddling around with the button bands and finally decided to reknit using the recommended (and so tidy!) i-cord bind off.  At first, I wasn’t sure about the contrasting bands, but seeing it finished — I love them!  It’s a baby sweater, so what’s the harm in a little mismatch fun?

To avoid all the unsightly bunching I’d been fighting on the fronts, I went up a couple of needles sizes (to a US9/5.5mm) — basically, the only needle even close to the US7/4.5mm I’d used for the body that I could find unoccupied — and made sure to pick up every other stitch.  Then, for extra stretchiness, I knit one row before binding off on the button (green) side.  On the button hole (orange) side, I picked up the same number of stitches and knit two rows in stockinette before binding off.  I added 1-stitch i-cord button holes every so often.

Just enough give and everything lies nicely flat.  Phew.  This is going all the way to Switzerland and it needs to get in the mail soon …

button bands.

The shop ladies at my LYS — where I found the aforementioned awesome buttons — fawned all over this sweater’s cuteness.  I felt very proud, showing of my knitterly handiwork to some proper Southern knitters, discussing buttons options in all seriousness on a busy Saturday afternoon.  One of them recommended these, and they’re perfect.

inside.

 

So neat and tidy!  The i-cord really was worth the extra bit of time and effort.  Now, I just hope it fits.

All the details on ravelry.

Autumn in Nashville.

 

In other news, autumn has finally arrived in Nashville!  As always, I am thrilled by the cooler temperatures and the bright colors.

But with autumn has come a whole slew of job deadlines and dissertation drafts … I’ve got a lot to do before November 1.  Another good reason to get the sweater on its way …

Happy Sunday!

Budgie for B.

autumn adventures

Well, I certainly didn’t mean to disappear there for a while.  Let’s catch up, shall we?

I went to Milwaukee for a conference.  And had a good time — saw some good panels, got some good feedback, caught up with a few friends, rode the polka escalator (at the Milwaukee Convention Center, definitely worth the visit), saw the Bronze Fonz.  You know, the usual.
Bronze Fonz.

And the memorial to letter carriers.  That was a kind of happy accident, as it’s tucked back on a quiet street.  Or, at least, a street quiet late on a Sunday afternoon.

letter carriers

Then, what I’d been waiting for!  My sister was in Milwaukee in the spring — also for a conference — and she told me about Mader’s.  It was fantastic, and so so much fun after a German studies conference. And the perfect way to end my first trip to Milwaukee.

Knight's Bar.

And, surprisingly enough, there’s even been a little time for knitting.  Though not nearly as much as I might hope.

Still, I managed to finish up the i-cord bind off on the body of my Walnuss — now to battle my way through the sleeves.  I really do think this has interview-cardigan potential …

More I-cord.

I also finished up Budgie a week or two ago — it’s a very quick knit.  The seaming, however, is giving me fits: I don’t know what it is, but I simple cannot get the sleeves to seam evenly.  At the time, I thought “maybe i’ll just knit these in the round” … then, decided I’d follow the pattern.  So, really, I brought this upon myself.  Still, I’ve got some time to figure it out.

I used some ancient stash Kureyon for the contrasting stripes, and I really love how the colors worked out on the body and sleeves.  It took a little fancy footwork to make sure everything matched up, but definitely worth it in the end.

However … not so with the i-cord edging.  Looking back, it probably had something to do with picking up too few stitches, resulting in unsightly bunching.  At the time, I decided to just go with garter stitch to finish.  We’ll see, I might go back to the i-cord.  If I ever get the arms seamed, that is.

Now, I just hope it will fit …

Budgie!

budgie

more knitting.

No, really.  I’ve been knitting.  Hard to believe, right?  Somedays, I have trouble believing it myself.

Untitled

The semester has started in its usual whirlwind.  Why this still surprises me, as I begin my ninth year of graduate school … that is a mystery for the ages.  I have a great belief in “this time it will be better,” meaning “this time, I’ll feel like I have it together.”  It never happens that way, but I always try again.  Persistence is key, I find.

Knitting doesn’t hurt, either.  My knitting basket is filled with half-finished projects that I’ve fallen out of love with.  So it goes.  Last night, desperate for a little instant gratification, I cast on for Budgie, an adorable stripy baby sweater.  I thought I could handle a baby sweater.

And, so far — two sleeves later — I’ve not been wrong.  All to the good, since the baby in question will have his first birthday this fall with or without my gift arriving on time.  Though, it would be nice if I could make that deadline, at the very least.

shoulders!

It’s deadline time around here again.  The job list just came out.  It’s a bit like Hollywood movie: breathless anticipation, crushing disappointment, romance, thrills, chills, twists and turns, a roller coaster of emotions.

Needless to say, I don’t think I’m quite ready to face another round of applications.  It’s such a weird space, that I’ve decided is not unlike falling in love: if it happens, it happens and there’s just not a whole lot you can actually do about it.  I mean, applying is like going on a date, you try to put your best foot forward (cover letter, curriculum vitae, etc.) and hope something clicks.  Unfortunately, it’s also every bit as awful as actual dating.  The serenity prayer is really my only hope.

Well, that and knitting.  As you can see, the Walnuss is coming together quite nicely.  I separated the sleeves and joined the body, and even tried it on.  It fits!  Which is very good news, indeed, since it was looking pretty small on the needles.  But cardigans always do, I find.

I’m thinking this has “interview cardigan” potential.

pleats!

Finally, the best part about having a friend in Switzerland?  Chocolate!  That comes in the mail!  That’s right: Schoggi-Mail let’s you send Swiss chocolate like a postcard.  Genius.  Delicious genius.

Schoggi-Mail

Hey world, here I am!

Did anyone else read that book growing up?  It was one of my favorites in sixth grade.  I either wanted to be Kate Bloomfield or have her as my best friend … and it holds up quite well, I’d say.  Or at least it did, the last time I was at home and read it again.

So, hey.  Here I am.  Things are hectic.  I’m applying for jobs.  Real jobs, that require a PhD.  That’s scary stuff.

I miss my knitting time.  I miss you guys.

log cabin

So here I am, taking Philippa’s advice and knitting some log cabin blankets for all the babies arriving later this fall.  It’s very satisfying, meditative  — and squishy — knitting.  The Noro makes it exciting.

And babies need things made with love.

log cabin

Just the ticket for my rather frazzled self.  Which is precisely my feeling about the Alison Krauss station on Pandora.  Why did I not discover Pandora until yesterday afternoon?  Why are Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn and Gillian Welch so good?

Sigh.  Questions for the ages.

log cabin

Right up there with why is Noro so pretty.

socks and shawls

Thanks to a Friday night spent watching movies — The Mummy Returns, Harlem Nights, and Why Did I Get Married if you’re curious — this guy now almost has a mate.

Almost.

toddler socks

I had to reknit the heel at least three times because of funky stitch counts, foggy memories of what I’d engineered the first time around, and margaritas.  But now I’m really, really good at the yarn-over short row.  (Quite a nice method, methinks.  I prefer the join it makes with the instep stitches — very smooth and invisible thanks to that extra yarn over just begging to be k2tog-ed or ssk-ed into oblivion.)

Anyway, as it turns out, toddler socks are quite a bit more knitting than baby socks.  Amazing how much more work 8 extra stitches and a quite a few extra inches adds.  I’m not complaining, just revising strategy: in the future older siblings will receive a book.

In other news, I’m trying to figure out some travel knitting.  I’ll be gone for a bit more than 5 weeks and am trying to pack as lightly as possible.  So lace seems like the right choice: I’ve already got plans to take along Ms. Beauregarde — currently stuck in an especially boring and repetitive section with about 358 gazillion rows to go — but what else?  Since this is a working trip, complex charts (or, boring charts) might not be the best choice for public transportation or tired evenings.

The current frontrunner is Veera’s Stripe Study because it is both awesome and relatively portable, meditative but hopefully not tediously mindless.  Here’s where I’m getting stuck: color choice.  At first, I thought of grey and yellow … it didn’t look quite right.  So I went for less contrast: yellow on yellow.

hmmm ...

What say you, internets?  Is this just going to make me look like I’m wrapped in a traffic cone?

I feel that there is potential for this to look either deeply awesome or deeply horrible.  The orange would be the contrast stripe on the ochre background, I think: would this be the good kind of obnoxious color overload that I love so much?

The more I look at it, the more I think it just might work.  It would certainly be eye catching …

Alice is not convinced.  Or maybe she is.

Alice agrees.

sigh.

Yesterday was one of those days.  Grey, rainy, and cold — I didn’t want to leave the house, let alone venture out to a coffee shop where I’d have a fighting chance of getting some work done.  So yesterday was devoted to internet television and baby knits.  It did kinda feel like giving up, though.

arms

I finished up the body and cast on for the sleeve.  As you might have noticed, I knit this in the round instead of “on two needles” as suggested by the pattern.  It just seemed like simpler way to go, especially since I wanted to avoid all that seaming up and matching stripes.  So far, the yarn has been cooperative, stipes have marched along in their appointed order … with only one more sleeve to go, I’m hoping the luck holds.

[ETA: oops!  I never did mention what pattern I'm knitting (it was obvious enough to me after all): EZ's superlative February baby sweater.  Since the stripes were providing quite enough interest, I went with plain stockinette over the gull pattern.  Modified to knit in the round -- instead of flat, which is more interesting from a construction point of view, but also requires more finishing -- with only 6 buttons (chubby tummies should be available for tickling at all times), it really flies off the needles.]

In other news, I’ve got a wedding shawl to plan.

purple!

Right now, Rock Island is the frontrunner.  At first, I was ready to make the plunge and almost bought some lovely madelinetosh to try out, but then … the cat fountain broke and Alice has been a Somewhat Unhappy Kitty, so … that’s where the yarn budget is going this month.  Luckily, the stash is expansive and varied.

This purple laceweight looks like it might just get the job done.  Cat foundtain included.

purple!

And now, back to work.  The sun is out and it’s time to get busy.