not much.

progress.

Yes, I have one slightly blurry photo for you.  Please don’t let the excitement go to your head.

And you know what?  This isn’t even the ball of yarn I’m using … I wound up a new one a couple of days ago.  But I figure, eh, balls of yarn, they all kind of look the same.

So progress is being made on the Levenwick, slowly but surely  Last night I started on the first sleeve, while worrying that the body might be a smidgen too small — I’ve put my faith in the powers of a good blocking.

In a bit of serendipity, I’ve inherited a box of wool from my advisor.  She’s working on a throw blanket, and a few skeins of Cascade 220 didn’t fit in: a few skeins of heathered jewel tones and neutrals.  We’d been talking about a wool transfer for a while now, but somehow always forgot to make it happen … but kizmet!  Now I have two more skeins of “straw,” the color I’m using right now … the perfect amount to finish up.

The other colors, well, I probably would never have chosen myself, but now can see using for something a little bit stripey.  I’m thinking Hap shawl thoughts.  Once I finish some baby knits, that is.

hello september.

levenwick

So, I don’t know about you guys, but September snuck up on me.  Somehow I was going to have more done by now.

Ah, well … it’s always like that.  Besides, it takes me a while to settle into the new semester, the new routine, all the new faces.  But look!  Levenwick!  I’m through the yoke — in which I messed up the raglan increases ever so slightly — and just divided for the body.  So far, smooth sailing.

Since multiple skeins Shelter (however lovely the colors) is a little out of my budget right now, I went with some Cascade 220 (in straw?)  that might look familiar — it was leftover from Hooray!.  Very matchy-matchy of me.  I don’t think I’ll have quite enough to finish, but definitely enough to make a good start.

Also, I can’t wait to wear the heck out of this.  Maybe with wooden buttons?

summer zinnias with snoozing kitty

 

Look what I found when sorting through photos: happy summer zinnias and a snoozing kitty.  The flowers are long gone, but the kitty is still happily snoozing away.  More to  come soon …

 

this is all i’ve got.

this is all i got.

Yep.  This is it.

The new semester started, and, well … you know how that goes.  Even after only two days.  So I’m waiting for my frozen enchiladas to heat up and maybe the house could some sprucing and … maybe I’m not going to think about that.

Also, it’s still hot here.  And please don’t look at that zit.  Concentrate instead on my awesomely sparkly finger nails.

The good news: I’ve got an awesome cardigan on the needles — in need of some serious tinking because I thought I knew better than the pattern (why do I always think I know better than the pattern?!) — using up some stash yarn.

Life is pretty darn good.  I’ll be back soon.

done!

such a big help

Look!  An almost instant FO … complete with cat.  Because it’s not blocking without Alice.

such a big help

So, hey, this is my bed.  And my new awesome GIANT shawl.  I don’t know if you can get a good sense of scale here, but it’s b-i-g.  That’s because it’s a fingering-weight pattern knit on bulky-weight wool.  Boom!  Baktus, chunky style.  (=4 [??] skeins)

I’m in love.  And I can’t wait for fall so that I can wrap myself colorful woolly garter chunkiness.

such a big help

If I can get it back from Alice, of course.

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.

my desk.

my desk.

So, I organized my desk.  And put up a new shelf.  Obviously, this chapter is just going to write itself now.  Oh lordy, fellow dissertation writers out there, it’s time for a little Anne Lamott methinks.  Bird by Bird makes everything better.

“Your day’s work might turn out to have been a mess.  So what?  Vonnegut said, ‘When I write, I feel like an armless legless man with a crayon in his mouth.’  So go ahead and make big scrawls and mistakes.  Use up lots of paper.  Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend.  What people somehow (inadvertently, I’m sure) forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here–and by extension, what we’re supposed to be writing.”  (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott (New York: Anchor Books, 1994) 32).

Can I get an amen?

Seriously, I’m no evangelist but this book has gotten me through more writing crises than I care to count.  It’s my everything’s-going-to-be-okay talisman. 

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.)

 

free stuff!

I’m definitely tardy to the party on this one, but perhaps my dillydallying is someone else’s gain?

If you read knit blogs, you’ve probably already heard about Pearl and the Beard, their album, and their amazing three-person sweater.  It’s fun and stripey and knit in affordable yarn, so pretty much the perfect project, right?  Especially if you have a lot of arms or very close associates.

Somehow, though, I do not think my cat would be amused if I tried to get her involved.

The album sounds like it might be just about as much fun (if not so stripey): harmonies, clever lyrics, guitars, strings and percussion, maybe a little bit blue grass (there is a mandolin involved somewhere, anyway).  Something about it reminds me of really good dinners filled with friends and cheap red wine.  So the best parts of being a grown up.

Here’s a sneak sample of “Reverend”: Reverend.mp3

Do you want to win a copy?  Perfect — I’ve got one to give away!  In celebration of another tri(couleur), leave a comment on this post up until midnight on Bastille Day, July 14.

Enjoy!