before & after

Before:

HipstaPrint

HipstaPrint

After:

HipstaPrint

HipstaPrint

Goodbye contrast edge!  I think the straight bind-off let’s the lovely buttery brown silk really speak for itself.  The contrast was just too much of a mismatched distraction.  This damson knit up super fast with slightly heavier (and entirely heavenly) yarn and slightly larger needles.  In fact, it was so quickly finished that I’m not sure I even posted any photos here.  Details on ravelry.

The finish was a nail-biter, though:

HipstaPrint

Hardly any left over!

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.

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.

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.

mash up

Or, the Inspector Clouseau Trousseau meets Vesna in Paris.

inspector clouseau

I don’t know why I’m so married to the French names at the moment — there is nothing actually French about this project.  It’s all feuled by the insistence on a rather silly Pink Panther reference, very far removed from any kind of intrinsic knitting logic.

But isn’t the yarn pretty?

inspector clouseau

At first, I was afraid it would be too too pink.  But I’m mellowing to it … after all, pink is the color of the heart and what is a wedding (or at least this one) if not a matter for hearts?

Besides, it is most certainly also lilac.  And lilacs are lovely.

inspector clouseau

Onto the modifications.

This is solely personal opinion, but I feel that a wedding shawl should have some flair.  It needs to go out with a bang.  Which, in knitting terms, I translate into some kind of fabulous border pattern.  Now, trousseau is a lovely, flowy shawl … without a great punch line.  It’s an all-rounder, not a show pony.

So, I decided to see if I couldn’t put it together with the fantasticly large and swooping border of vesna.  It took a little fancy footwork (and modification down to a 20-stitch repeat), but I think it might just work.

inspector clouseau

Considering that lately I’ve been in the throes of planning an all too last minute research trip (a whirlwind tour of some very nice libraries in very expensive cities), thinking about stitch counts — and not where in the world I’ll find a place to sleep in London — has been quite relaxing.  And now that the sleeping situation has been taken care of … I just have to get the knitting finished in time.

inspector clouseau

a tale of two sleeves

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

sleeves!

I should really save the title for when I have a pair of sleeves with a story (preferably set during the French Revolution), but sleeves — even when going well — do tend to feel like the best and worst of (knitting) times: close enough for sleeves/ the sleeves still to knit.

sleeves!

So, yes, I’ve reached the sleeves on my latest attempt at OWLS.  They might be dragging.

sleeves!

Here’s yesterday’s progress: I finished up sleeve the first, quickly abandoning — yet again — the extra-long, extra-cozy version I thought I wanted for a three-quarter/ bracelet length.  Really, it’s just so much more pratical in the south.  Especially with spring almost here.  (No, really.)

So I’m rushing to get the sleeves done, move onto the yoke and all of those owls.  If only school work weren’t interfering.  As usual.

A.W.O.L.

A.W.O.L. indeed.  I took the week off — most certainly without leave — and it was glorious.  I passed the oral exam on Monday morning, then quickly proceeded to realize just how much of a relief it was to be finished.  Again.

That “again” was causing a lot of anxiety, but now … I get to write “with distinction” on my C.V. and, well, that feels really good.  Really, really good.

Wool-buying good, in fact.

hoot.

I picked up this lovely EcoWool in the hopes of some kind of wooly, neutral cardigan.  This was my inspiration, but in the end I went with another try at OWLS, this time in my size.  The Mawrtyr in me is very partial to the idea of sporting a parliament of wooly owls.

hoot.

This might all end in disaster, of course, since my gauge is all kinds of off.  And I’m attempting to fashion this as a cardigan … because Nashville and pullovers just don’t seem to work.  Despite the current cold weather and snow, this is a “humid subtropical climate” — with BBQ and fried chicken — so, you know, layers of wool aren’t all that necessary most of the time.

hoot.

It’s a modest start, but today’s schedule of reading just might be the perfect opportunity to make a dent in the waist shaping.  If it turns out even half as flattering and easy-to-wear as twenty eleven, I’ll be a very happy camper.

selbu slow

More to remind myself that anything, here’s selbu two … languishing.  I really need to finish this.

Alice loves EcoWool

The other evening, I made Alice a wooly yarn ball, just to see … and, yep, she’s a cat.  It’s pretty darn adorable watching her bat this around the house.

Alice loves EcoWool