Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Knitt'llin' Along

I hate summer for only one reason: I can never remember what day of the week it is. It's Wednesday, I think, so here are my works-in-progress!

I shouldn't really show you this one because it will be Friday's finished object, but it's all crumpled up and globular, so no harm, right? It's a shawl. It could be a bit bigger, but I had no idea until I was too far from being able to make it bigger to do so. If that makes sense (it's okay, I know it doesn't). I might have enough yarn leftover to make another. That could be fun. Lord knows I have more than enough beads to do so.

I'm also still truckin' away on my Rams & Ewes blanket. It's gorgeous. I'm in love with it. I haven't been working on it a lot, though, what with all the knitting that must be done tomorrow for Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup points (go Slytherin!) and that 4-hour comp I'm taking Friday. I'm surprisingly unstressed, however, so let's hope that I stay that way. :)

What are you working on? To see what everyone else is working on, go to Tami's blog.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Trip of a Lifetime

I got caught up in the laziness of Memorial Day and forgot to post, but I'm here today! I wanted to tell you a bit about our trip! It was amazing! I think we knew it would be, but we had no idea just how utterly inspiring it would be. We stayed in Forks, WA (yes, that Forks. We should have counted all the Twilight references scattered around) for about a week and had short drive-times to all the spots we wanted to see on the Olympic Peninsula. We visited Lake Crescent (which we've decided is our spot), La Push (a.k.a. First Beach), Second and Third Beaches, Ruby Beach (pictured at left), Hoh Rain Forest, Ozette Lake, Cape Alava, Rialto Beach (pictured below), Tailor Point, and Shi Shi Beach.

The weather was miraculously perfect for all but one day. We hiked a lot, saw a lot, weren't bothered by many people at all (in fact, we were alone for chunks of time everywhere we went), and spent a lot of time just sitting and looking, taking it all in. We took almost 1400 pictures and haven't had time to look through more than Day 2 of 6, but the camera investment just prior to the trip was probably the best idea John ever had. :) We took probably a collective 5000 photos last summer on our road trip and got a handful of good ones. This time, we have the reverse problem. We are looking forward to going through them all and choosing which ones to frame and hang up in the house.

Isn't that starfish cute?! We saw loads of them! We saw crabs, hermit crabs, snails, mussels, clam bubbles, a sea otter(!), elk, deer, a bunny, seals, eagles, cool birds...I think the only animal we didn't see (that I've been dying to see!) is a whale. Next time. :)
It was a great trip! And to top it off, on the last day, we hit up Churchmouse Yarns & Teas on Bainbridge Island. I spent too much money because I found the Madtosh cabinet holding Prairie, which I had never desired until I touched it. I fondled all the colors of Brooklyn Tweed LOFT and SHELTER (which I should have bought instead...not that I have remorse!). I saw yarns of which I've only ever heard tale. I saw the women writing patterns at a conference table, delighted an employee by announcing we were from the same town in Iowa where she had gone to school, saw kits for the Koigu Linen Stitch Scarf (which I promptly set back down, remembering my own go at it), and got lots of compliments on my Lucky Rikke, which saved my head a lot on the trip.
If we had actually done a day-by-day itinerary for the trip, I don't think it would have turned out half as great as it did. We were extremely lucky and I think we've even been changed a bit by the whole experience. I can't wait to do it again!

What is your dream vacation? Where have you gone that has absolutely taken your breath away? Are there any yarn shops nearby? :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

I'm a Very Neat Monster

We're back! I intended a WIP Wednesday post, but we vegged after getting home late and completely lost the whole day. It was nice. :) I'll tell you all about it Monday! I got some souvenirs at Churchmouse Yarns & Teas, too, so I'll have to share those as well.

I did finish a project to share with you!

Dexter Socks

Pattern: Improvised
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Solids in Real Black and Rainy Days & Wooly Dogs Laudanum-GothSock Self-Striping in "I'm a Very Neat Monster"
Needles: US 1
Project Page

I got the GothSock in a swap I did with the Dexter Lovers group I'm in on Ravelry. It was a fun swap and this Dexter-colored sock yarn is so delicious! It's 80/10/10 Merino/Cashmire/Nylon and it is sooooooo soft and squishy! I've been eyeing Madelinetosh's 80/10/10 in a neutral colorway for a cowl and this sock yarn has only made me look harder for it because it's so nice. I could live in 80/10/10!

I just made up the sock pattern as I went. It was my first time doing contrasting toes and heels. I don't know why I was so apprehensive about it. It worked out perfectly! I think I cast on 12 stitches, increased to 60 and did a short-row heel. There are 12 stripes between the toe and heel and the heel and cuff. The toe, heel, and cuff are done in the Heritage.

The colors in the orange stripes are awesome. There's bright orange, bright pink, light purple and other complimentary colors. The black stripes aren't wholly black, either. The color is very dynamic. It was a pleasure to knit and watch change!

Head over to Tami's Blog if you want to read more FO Friday posts! I'll tell you a little about the trip on Monday!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Scarf of Doom

Linen Stitch Scarf

Yarn: Mirasol Yarn Hacho in Paradise Sunset, Thunder Skies, and Winter Forest
Needles: US 6

Okay, so it wasn't that bad, but it was a long and tedious project. I do really like the results of linen stitch, however. In fact, this is a great way to use up scraps of yarn! I just recommend you use something heavier than fingering. Unless you like endless, mindless repetition. Actually, I grew to appreciate the mindlessness and endlessness of it after a while. Complaints aside, linen stitch is super cool on the right and the wrong sides!

I was iffy about one colorway in particular as I began. It has orange in it, which doesn't go very well with pink or the blues in the other colorways, but now that the scarf is done, it looks gorgeous! There's just a little punch of orange here and there that breaks up the shifts from pink to blue to brown. It's a fun scarf!

I knit it as a shop sample, so hopefully it will draw people to the pattern and the yarn. They both really are great, I'm just a complainer, especially when I can't finish a project in a snap! :) I didn't make it to 5" wide. It's probably more like 3.5-4" and even though I measured the first few fringe ends and measured all the rest based on those, the fringe isn't the called-for 8". It's probably about 5".

NOTE: if you knit this pattern, read the whole thing once or twice. I made some really stupid mistakes or got confused about things because I made assumptions and then found the solution had already been written into the pattern. I felt pretty dumb. Churchmouse Yarns patterns are really great.

Hopefully, by this point in the week I will have visited Churchmouse and drooled on all their yarn (especially the Brooklyn Tweed LOFT and SHELTER!) and tucked a few skeins into my hiking gear to pet as I look over the  ocean....Ahhh....Washington's great. :) I'm sure I'm also getting really tired of hiking and kind of wanting to come home. How much trouble do you think the buns have caused for Grandma?

We'll be back next week, but I probably won't post until Wednesday. For more FO Friday posts, go see Tami!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lots of Sheep

We're probably in the middle of our very first day of hiking the coast today, but that won't stop me from sharing my work-in-progress with you! This will be my work-in-progress for several Wednesdays. These sheep take a lot of time! Here's my progress so far:

A row of black sheep and a row of brown sheep (even though the fabric folded up so you can't see the brown sheep's faces). I'm so in love with it right now that I can't believe it! I've always had trouble with fair isle puckering, but I can see now it's because fair isle doesn't like dpns. No puckering on the circulars!

I'm still working on a few other things like a shawl and a second sock (which should be done by the time I get back from Washington), but no photos this time. Next week. :)

Come back Friday and check out the Scarf of Doom! For more WIP Wednesday posts, head over to Tami's Amis!

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Trip!

Today we are off to Omaha to leave the buns with Gma while we're away for a whole week on the Olympic Peninsula! We are so excited! John bought a new camera that I've been trying to learn how to use super fast. It's actually been pretty easy! Turns out all that fiddling with my sub-par camera for so long make using an awesome camera just that much easier and more amazing! Here are some annoyed bunny pics to prove it. :)

Anyway, we'll be gone until next Tuesday, but I've scheduled posts for Wednesday and Friday of this week to make up for my absence here last week. We'll bring back amazing photos and I'll tell you about Churchmouse Yarns & Teas. I'm really, really excited about that. Almost as much as spending a week hiking the coast with my boy! Have a fantastic week!

P.S. Don't fret if your comments don't show up. I have to be here to approve them, which I won't be able to do until next Tuesday, but I'll read them, publish them, and reply to them as usual as soon as I get back!

Friday, May 11, 2012


I've been lax in posting this week! Sorry! I have WIPs and an FO, just not the time to post about them. Well, that's not entirely true. I could have posted about my FO today, but the photos are on our spiffy new camera and I'm so enjoying taking pictures that I haven't learned how to take them off the camera yet! I'll figure it out this weekend and schedule a post for next Friday to make up for it. :)

Next week, John and I are going back to Washington (hence the spiffy new camera!), but I will post a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday post before we go so I don't leave you hanging for another week!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Girl Crush

I finished my top for the Tops, Tanks, and Tees KAL! It's pretty much all that I had hoped for. :)

Made for You

Pattern: Francis by Olga Buraya-Kefelian
Yarn: Shibui Knits Heichi in Graffiti
Needles: US 8
Project Page

Slurped from Google
My favorite TV show at the moment is New Girl. It is absolutely hilarious. And I'm not just saying that because my fashion idol and major girl crush, Zooey Deschanel is in it. :) She's got such a cute and quirky style and personality that I feel matches this top quite well! So I named it for one of the songs by her duo She & Him (the full title of the song is "I was Made for You").

There's something about this top! It's cute, fun, bright, and modern but there's also something formal, retro, and serious about it. It's very strange, but interesting.

I tried it on with the back at the front this morning, but I don't think I did the neck right to be able to wear it that way, otherwise it was really cute! The pattern also suggests that it can be worn inside-out. Once I get all the ends properly woven in, I'll have to give that a try too (that's right, there are some loose ends in there ;]).

The pattern itself is pretty good. There's a major portion at the beginning that really can't be done without a video tutorial, but it's totally doable and absolutely clever after that. There is one, by the way! So don't fret. It also says it's worked in one piece. It's not. It's worked in halves and grafted in the middle. I had to fiddle with the graft afterwards to get it to look right. Pull tight when you do it. I think once I block the front (I only blocked the backs so they would lay flat), the graft should be almost imperceptible. The only thing I changed was the bind-off for the back edges. I knit them knitwise instead of purlwise.

I have never knit anything sideways like this or with silk, so I can't say I have much to add about the yarn or the quality of the pattern beyond what I have already. I do like the yarn! The color is so dynamic! It was only a tad splitty (I don't know what most 100% silk yarns are like) and left a little purple debris on me as I knit,  but no complaints otherwise! Well, except for the drape. It's a little weird and bulky, but maybe washing it will help? If any of you have worked with 100% silk, I'd love some pointers.

It's kind of heavy for a summer garment, honestly, but I think it will get some wear while it's not too icky outside. Overall, I'm really happy with it! It was a bit of a struggle to get there, but in the end, it's everything I hoped it would be and more! Sorry about the photos. We had a lack of light today. :/

For more FO Friday posts, go to Tami's Amis!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I've been working really hard this week, just not on knitting. I have started a new sock. I've only been working on it when grading threatens to make my head explode and while we watch Persepolis in the class I teach. Not too shabby for so little time since Tuesday, eh?

I'm also super close to being finished with my Francis for the Tops, Tanks, and Tees KAL! I should have it for you Friday (Greek paper willing)! It needs a name. I'm going to have to dive into my music collection....

Aside from that, I'm plowing through grading final projects and trying to find the time to finally start my Greek paper. I'm hoping tonight is that night, but we'll see! I hope you are having much more knitting time than I! Next week I should have all sorts of fun knitting on the needles. :)

For more WIP Wednesday posts, go see Tami!