very cold weather = very warm hat

I realized it’s been a while since I actually posted … unfortunately, I don’t have much in the way of updates.  I now have a cold (darn undergraduates) after recovering from a sinus infection (stupid genes), so obviously I have managed to piss off some kind of celestial deity.  Chamomile tea sales, however, are sky-rocketing.  I am going to get some kind of prize from Celestial Seasonings when this is all over.  At least I got a spiffy new mug at Target.   And a microwave kettle from my mom for Christmas.  It was a kitchen-themed year.

But to get back to the knitting.  It’s spring break (despite the inches of sleet on the ground) and I plan on getting some projects underway and/or finished.  Well, and some work too.  Obviously.

First on the list:

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The EZ very warm hat + Alice very curious cat.  The malabrigo is knitting up wonderfully; my adventures in fair isle / stranded knitting / color work went quite well.  I did my own little experiment on color dominance (note the bottom row of yellow lines).  And yep, it’s true; Nona was right.   

I’d also like to make some progress on the buttony raglan … it’s stalled at "started".  Oh well.

So … big things to report around here.  Well, technically, the "big things" is perhaps an exaggeration.  But things, definitely.

I finished a hat for Mr. B (I got it back for photos because it was deemed "not warm enough"):

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This is the feeling fuzzy basic hat from the Yarn Girls’ Guide to Simple Knits knit up with two colors of Manos del Uruguay: brown and green (sorry for lack of specifics).  N. B. tripling the yarn as directed might be the solution to cold-head complaints.

I also re-dyed some yarn:

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To end up with some lovely grape and cherry confections:

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In the mean time, I had the best mail day ever:

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And took the first steps towards fixing the cold-head problem:

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These Malabrigo beauties (marine + sunset) are destined for the EZ very warm hat.  Which will hopefully live up to its name.  The Malabrigo is *so* dreamy soft.

And finally …

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Bejeweled!  Two skeins of Manos on size 15 needles makes for a very lacy scarf indeed.  It’s so light and wonderful …

I am now developing further cunning plans.

this will hurt me …

… a lot more than it will you.  But I think it is time to bid farewell to the buttony raglan.  At least in its current incarnation on #9 needles.

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The fabric is just too tight and stiff; not to mention that I’ve already used a bazillion balls of merino chunky and I don’t even have a respectable shrug out of the deal.  This was really what broke the camel’s back, though:

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One, lonely forgotten increase (right side).  A mere straw, yes, but the one-too-many for this camel.  I decided that if I was going to rip back to fix the increase (because this will bother my latent obsessive tendencies) then I might as well just keep on going.  Because at this rate, I don’t think Debbie Bliss makes enough merino chunky for this sweater to ever see the light of day as a wearable object, not just a process-oriented piece of meditative knitting.  So I shall be ripping.  And beginning again on #10 1/2 needles.  Or trying my hand at something different …

Remember this lovely?

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Or maybe I should just write those pesky papers ….  Did someone say dissertation proposal?

whinge.

I guess I’ve taken up whinging as my new hobby.  And what with the whinging to keep up with, my knitting has been a bit neglected.

However …

Do I spy a teensy bit of progress on the buttony raglan?

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It has grown a few rows since we last checked in.  So far, so buttony.

I’ve also got my ever-avaricious eye on this little number from the latest, ever-so-updated Interweave Knits:

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A lot of the designs were quite pretty, but not really anything I would wear.  This, however, is just the ticket, I think.  We’ll see if the planets align and I get it knitted.

The last item on my show-and-tell list:

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Pretty snazzy, eh?

first day of school.

It’s always hard going back to school.  But the semester waits for no one.  Teaching went well — I’m always nervous for the first few days, until I get to know the students and stop feeling like such an incredible dork muttering to myself in German up in front of the class.  It doesn’t  help when someone shows up in leather pants.  At ten o’clock in the morning.  I was proudly wearing my first sweater (because it makes me happy) … but let’s be honest, wool is on a whole different level than Leather Pants.  Even if it *is* Rowan. 

Anyway.  I don’t have to think about German conjugations, conjunctions, and calamities until Wednesday.  In the meantime …

Here’s the finished bulky alpaca scarf:

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Apologies for the atrocious color.  It’s dark and late.  And I take very bad photos.

The scarf is perfect for the current cold snap: warm, chunky, soft, and long.  Now if I could just whip up a pair of mittens …

My attempts to make wrist warmers with the left-over ball of aqua Blue Sky bulky were again thwarted by my apparent inability to construct tubes of knitted fabric.  Go figure.

I know I took tantalizing, lascivious Lopi pictures.  I even swatched!  And then washed and blocked said swatch!  Holy carpal tunnel, Batman!

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Can you tell I don’t do this much?  Is it the pushpins that give me away?  Or the tinyness of my swatch?

But after all of that late-night work, I decided that I wanted something a little faster than Lopi + size 7 needles.  (And, really, am I a freak because I don’t think in metric sizes?)  I’m such a lazy needle size queen.  So I switched to the buttony raglan cardigan by Katie Knits (a much more talented knitter than this Katie). 

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Again, it’s dark.  The color is actually quite nice, definitely *not* the regurgitated spinach pictured above.

It’s coming along well — I really like the top-down raglans and I’ve always wanted an asymmetrical cardigan.  Perfect, eh?  Except for one thing.  The pattern calls for nine balls of Debbie Bliss merino chunky.  This is the yarn I’m using, yet the the proto-cardi has already devoured 3 1/2 balls of the aforementioned chunky.  Are the needles too small for me?  Gauge wasn’t specified in the pattern, so I really don’t know.  At only 50m / 50g, nine balls isn’t a lot to work with, right?  Anyway, I’m not too worried because I stockpiled something like 20 balls of the eucalyptus (green) + another 4 balls of cyclamen (hot pink magenta).  So I’m just knitting away to all the Michael Wood public television classics Mr. B and I can get our hands on.

And speaking of how I really spend my evenings: Bringing Up Baby.  Funniest film I’ve seen in a very long time.  Keep singing!

a (silent) poetry reading

Apologies for the lateness of my  contribution.  I saw the silent reading on many, many blogs but was initially introduced by Anna.  It took me a while to decide; I don’t really know what this poem is saying — I thought it might become clearer with the transcribing.  We’ll see. 
First strophe only.

Anrufung des Großen Bären

Großer Bär, komm herab, zottige Nacht,
Wolkenpelztier mit den alten Augen,
Sternenaugen,
durch das Dickicht brechen schimmernd
deine Pfoten mit den Krallen,
Sternenkrallen,
wachsam halten wir die Herden,
doch gebannt von dir, und mißtrauen
deinen müden Flanken und den scharfen halbentblößten Zähnen,
alter Bär.

Ingeborg Bachmann

Ganomy v. 2

I did a little tinkering with Ganomy #2 — I wasn’t happy with the crown.  My decreases weren’t spaced correctly or worked in correctly or something … because the crown turned out very square and strangely pointy.  And strange looking.  So I went back to the pattern and followed it up to the end — no bobble, but a definite point.

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A bit more purple Lamb’s Pride bulky was needed to complete the new and improved pointy top, but I had just enough.  In the end, this turned out to be quite the stash-busting project.  And I’m extremely pleased with the result. 

So pleased, in fact, that I started this to go with it:

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This is the Blue Sky Alpacas bulky hand dyes I bought a while ago … in two colors whose names escape me.  But, as you can see, a lovely aqua and deep purple.  The cable pattern is super-simple and I think it looks quite nice.  At first I tried following the Curly pattern in Rowan’s The Next Big Thing book; I soon found, though, that the 10-stitch cable was just too much for such a bulky yarn.  Much more satisfying to work with your own made-up pattern, anyway.

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The cable (6-stitch to the back) is already quite thick and bulky.  The 10-stitch cable repeat was just kind of puffy and ridiculous in this yard.  Which, by the way, is wonderful.  The colors are ever so slightly variegated and vibrant.  The aqua isn’t usually a color I would go for, but in this form it’s the best kind of pastel, in my opinion — bright and not too nursery-ish or Easter-eggy.  The purple will be a nice contrast (at least I hope it will, it’s too soon to tell with what little I have so far).  A quick and satisfying project; but what isn’t quick and satisfying on size 19 needles?  Even I don’t knit that slowly.

As the scarf will be completed without much ado (please, no more ado), I’ve got my eye on a little something in lopi.  Lopi #24 to be exact:

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Von
is my absolute favorite kind of sweater.  Nice and ribby, roomy and warm … the lopi seems a bit rough to the touch, but I’m hoping it might soften up a bit with washing and wear.  Let the swatching begin!  (And it’s knit in the round!  No seams!)