garter love

this weekend

This is how much knitting I accomplished this weekend.  Not even out of the bag.  To be fair, I was at a wedding in Virginia where it was approximately one billion degrees Fahrenheit.  Then there was all that driving.  Let’s just say I wouldn’t recommend undertaking an 11-hour drive in one day, then repeating the whole journey a day later in reverse.  The good news: my first trip to a Cracker Barrel!  And, you know, I got to take part in a friend’s very happy day.

Considering the trip, I guess it’s not surprise that when I got back home I was in the mood for an old friend and some garter stitch.

 

 

chunky!

My love for this yarn is well documented, so I won’t go into raptures again.  I think it always wanted to be garter stitch; I just had to stop and listen.  So far, I’m in love.  Sweet, woolly love.

 

chunky!

When I’m not freaking out about my dissertation, that is.  I really hate freaking out about my dissertation — it’s so predictable and unhelpful — but I’m having a hard time getting my schedule established and feeling productive.  Which leads to a lot of garter stitch.

chunky!

Sigh.  Garter stitch is the best.  This is going to become my outlandish woolly cape of fortitude and determination come fall …

 

plugging, knitting away

almost. there.

Well, what do we have here?  That’s right: I’ve finally made it to the border of my latest stripe study.  Phew.  Unlike different lines, I had just enough yarn to get through the recommended number of stripes — I guess knitting lace-weight yarn on size US8/5.0mm vs. US9/5.5mm really doesn make a difference — though it does seem like I have tons of frank ochre left for a nice, wide border.  Sure, the knitting is a bit tedious, but I’m okay with that.  And I can’t wait to have a new super-light, super-soft shawl for fall.

Besides, it gives me time to think about all of the baby knits I need to get on the needles: there’s (at last count) one fall baby and one winter baby that will need something woolly.  That’s one thing I didn’t consider when I took up knitting, but geez, I got close to 30 (or now above) … and boom! baby town for all of my friends.  It’s great and I’m happy because they’re so happy, but … man, I’m just glad I have a reasonably large and varied stash.  Right now, I’m thinking some kind of vest-y easy-on, easy-off situtation: Pebble, maybe (which I think I first saw on the Rooster‘s blog in some very lovely handspun.) or else I’ll just stick with my standby: the EZ February baby sweater.  It’s a no-fail, always cute, and pretty straightforward.

(Apologies for the crap picture and weird light.  This was the best of a bad lot.)

Alice enjoying the sunshine.

In other news, here’s where Alice has been spending all of her time.  Ah, sunshine — a kitty’s best friend.

boring sock progress

Sozialismus socks

Yep, more boring sock progress to share.  This is a long-long Hunterwasser sock that spent many, many months in the bottom of knitting basket: half-finished, hibernating in a project bag.  No doubt feeling lost and maybe a little bored.  In any case, in need of some soothing stockinette I picked it up again.

It started life as some kind of ribbed sock — madder ribbed, I believe — but that didn’t fit quite right.  So before abandoning the poor thing to craft purgatory, I’d started over in my favorite basic pattern: the Gentleman’s Plain Winter Sock.  It’s not the most thrilling of patterns, but I like the deep ribbing at the top and find it helps the socks to stay up quite well.  I am thinking that some more adventurous patterns might be just the ticket eventually — my sock drawer could certainly use some reinforcements, after all …

In a fit of almost knitting in public, I’d decided to take the sock with me to a goofy Elizabeth Taylor double feature happening at the local cinema.  Yet somehow, I managed to get out the door with no knitting and no time to turn around.  So it was a knitting-free couple of hours in the theater.  All in all, kind of a strange experience on a Saturday afternoon: it felt like I’d taken a rather long nap with rather strange dreams when, 4 hours later, I wandered back out into the sunshine and heat.  Perhaps the knitting would have helped?

Sozialismus socks

However … last night, I decided to start something completely different.  I’m working on the first sleeve right now — and am cautiously optimistic about this particular bulky sweater.  We shall see.  And then we shall post some photos.

In the meantime, the stripe study has not been forgotten.  Merely tidied away.

stripes

And now, it’s time to get to work.  I’m finding, predictably, this dissertation process a little difficult to grapple with — so much to do, but where to start?  At the end, of course; at least, that’s where I’m starting.

winners! and more stripes!

First off: winners!  Congrats to April and Noas’ Libellule!  Though the competition was not at all stiff, I hope you both enjoy the CD!  And the crazy sweater blueprint that seems to be included.  I’ve sent an email so we can figure out address details.

more stripes

In less exciting news, I’ve been slowly but surely working my way through another stripey project.  As you might notice (or I might have already mentioned), I totally swiped the color scheme from weaverknits’ yellow on yellow scarf.  The lemony yellow (= sauterne) works so well with the kinda avocadoy yellow (= frank ochre) and the Malabrigo is fabulously soft as always.

Now that the rows are getting longer, progress is slowing down … in fact, I might have picked up a long-forgotten half-finished basic stockinette sock the other night.  I’d forgotten just how satisfying the almost instant gratification of the basic sock can be — perhaps I should get back to working on filling my drawer for winter?  Besides, socks make the best gifts.

more stripes

 

Socks aren’t the only new project around here: just last week I picked up a fancy new computer with a really big screen.  It is perhaps my most awesome acquisition in quite a while.  So big.  So shiny.  It required some desk reorganization and I still don’t have everything set up, but so far — I am thrilled.  Now, if only it would write my dissertation for me.

I also picked up a drying rack at Target.  So it’s been all big news all the time lately.

more stripes

And now it’s time to get the day started.  Happy Friday!  (Wait, how did that happen again?  Sheesh.  Summer sure does fly right on by.)

 

finish line!

stripes!

So this blog and I are starting to feel like ships that pass in the night.  I’m going to work on fixing that over the course of the summer.

The good news: I haven’t quit knitting!  See the evidence above: a very large, very finished Different Lines shawl/scarf (scharf, if you will).  I was determined to use up as much of the Malabrigo lace as possible, which meant I added a couple of stipes and more contrast border.  It is gigantic, just the way I like it.  And so airy and light.

It kind of reminds me of Buster and Lucille II: “I know she’s a brown area, with points, and I love her.”

stripes!

My sister and her boyfriend were just here in Nashville visiting and we did the town: Country Music Hall of Fame, Hatch Show Print, hot chicken, honky tonkin’, brewery tour, and all kinds of highjinx.  We also spent a lot of time just hanging out and crafting.  (The boyfriend’s craft happened to be playing Angry Birds, but, well … there was lots of crafting while he played.)

I love seeing my sister because we always have so much fun together.  This time was no exception — and we both ended up much farther along with our respective fiber projects (she crochets).  Pretty win-win.

stripes!

Needless to say, I can’t wait for fall to wear this.  It drapes in a very natural, practical way that I think will mean this shawl might become a favorite.  The colors are awesome — I’m glad I went with the super soft yarn in the super vibrant colors.

stripes!

And now after an early summer of adventure, hometown fun, and meeting up with some great knitters, it’s time to get down to work.   Hello, dissertation.

Happy 4th to those celebrating or just enjoying the holiday weekend!

knitting!

Well, hello there.  Two in a row.  Don’t get used to it, that’s all I’ve got to say.

more stripes

Last week, before the cold set in, I had the chance to celebrate Friday with a lovely walk along the South Bank in the sunshine with the GreenPea.  She was a fabulous guide to a part of town I most likely wouldn’t have visited otherwise: pointing out all the interesting sights across bridges, museums, and the throngs of people out enjoying the weather with us.  We finished up with elderflower cordials (also new to me and very yummy) at a cozy bar with flocked wall paper and cushy seats.  It was a wonderful afternoon out.  Thanks, Pea!

more stripes

As you see, despite the afternoons out and about and the cold, I finally managed to photograph a little knitting progress.  As you might also see, conditions were not ideal: it was later in the evening, light was fading, and this apartment — though safe, quiet, convenient, and comfy — has a pronounced lack of blue IKEA tables.  So I went with dim light and a white background.

The photos are decidedly blurry.

more stripes

more stripes

But sweet relief!  I’m almost there … or very, very close to almost there.  What you see is stripe number 14 in progress.  The rows are long and knitting back across the wrap and turn is — I won’t lie — a little tedious at this point.  But I’m close enough to the end that I’m hanging on.

more stripes

And it does indeed look like I’ll have enough yarn for maybe one or two more stripes.  Maybe?  I went with Malabrigo lace (not sock), but on US9 needles — it’s making a really lovely open fabric that is super light and so, so soft.  I kind of want to only use Malabrigo lace for every project from now on forever.  Or something like that.  I can certainly see on or two of those wispy, breezy, lacey cardigans in my future.

stripes!

Finally– greetings from London!  It’s a bit early here and I’m not quite ready to go, but papers (and letters and documents, oh my!)  await!  The library is very swanky, very centrally located, and has pretty comfy chairs.  Their scanner is amazing.  I haven’t ruined anything yet, which is always my fear when working with old stuff.

London is wonderful, though I have seen very very little of it.  Though I do feel master of the few blocks I wander with regularity.

As for knitting, there hasn’t been much to see.  Just a few more stripes …

more stripes

more stripes

I try to fit in a row here and there, at lunch or whenever.  Makes for slow progress.

Part of last week’s wandering brought me to a very packed used book store where I found some very pretty books.  I didn’t realize I had an interest in gardening (or reading about gardening), but one never knows …

pretty books

i think i might be knitting a lakers jersey

That really says it all.

diff'rent strokes

I was thinking that these two colors (sunset and hollyhock) would make a mighty kicky combo.  Turns out, the Lakers hit upon the same idea in 1967.

Ah well.  These stripes are highly addictive — so addictive, in fact, thatI’ve also started the yellow on yellow study (though the photos have yet to turn out).

diff'rent strokes

diff'rent strokes

Good airplane knitting as well.  I plan to keep going and embrace the wild color scheme, while listening to some form of detective fiction (yet to be determined), all the way to London.  Tomorrow I arrive and head straight to the library (!!).  That’s the best case scenario anyway … somehow, I have a feeling I’ll end up wandering a bit aimlessly, get lost, then collapse at the nearest cafe before until heading out to find my host’s apartment.

But I’m telling myself I’ll be working away at the library.  Now, I have to pack.

Inspector Clouseau trousseau; or, vesna in Paris

“Where is my Surété-Scotland-Yard-type mackintosh?”

mais oui

This is no mackintosh, but let’s take a closer look, shall we? …

mais oui

mais oui

Finally, the Inspector Clouseau trousseau meets vesna in Paris is finished!  And not a moment too soon … this has to go in the mail on Monday, so as not to languish in shawl purgatory (i.e., my apartment) until I return.  After all, Alice has shown no interest in making deliveries in the 5 years I’ve known her.  (Though she does faithfully stand sentry over whatever damp wool happens to be pinned out blocking on the floor.)

The shawl had to come together rather quickly — like everything this summer — and I’m quite pleased with the result.  I did have some moments of doubt when working the vesna border, but in the end I don’t think the pairing looks odd at all.  Just that little bit of added something that I was hoping for.

mais oui

I grabbed a moment of sunshine this morning (oh, stormy Nashville) for a few photos.  The sundara silky merino blocked out wonderfully, so silky and soft and very forgiving of any wonky stitches.  In the end, I kinda fell in love with the color: not too pink, a just-right mellow shade of lilac.  I hope the recipient feels the same way.

Details here.

mais oui

And now onto travel knitting!

nope.

Summer is here.  And I have once again confirmed that I am one of those people who does not deal well with changes to routine.  I’m cranky like a fussy baby with a dissertation to write.  Also, it’s hot here.

Let’s just say I’m glad to be leaving next week.  The trip is nerve-racking — so much to accomplish, so little time! — but someone reminded me yesterday evening that it’s supposed to be exciting! and fantastic!  I’m trying to stay with that enthusiasm.  Because it will be awesome.  And nerve-racking.

So, welcome.

nope.

In knitting news, the sunset/ frank ochre stripe study was a bust.  It’s just not right somehow — too much orange, too much contrast, too much bright … something is off.  As Eileen mentioned, “a lot of look” and that pretty much describes it.  Too much look.  So I ripped.

To remedy the problem, I ordered another shade of Malabrigo: sauterne.  This is the look I was going for: yellow on yellow.  And the pattern really is lovely to knit.  So lovely that I bought different lines as well … perfect travel knitting.  Without a doubt.

nope.

nope.

If the yarn arrives in time, of course.