Thursday, March 30, 2006

Yarn For Breakfast

Lately, I've been waking up about half an hour before I need to get up, and I treasure that little bit of time before Tee and I need to get ready for our day in earnest. I can read knitting blogs, write emails, have a full breakfast, or knit a few rows on my latest project in early morning sunlight. It's lovely.

Our apartment is in the basement of our landlords' home. We get an enormous amount of sunlight for where we live, but I've discovered that I can take my best pictures of my projects in that half hour before Tee gets up and I have to get ready for school. So, a new series begins: Yarn For Breakfast!

Today's main course: Grumperina's Jaywalker socks, served up fresh and tasty.

Jaywalker, Part the First


I've become quite devoted to the Magic Loop technique. It wasn't very fluid at first, and I had a hard time getting used to not pulling my stitches tight to close up any gaps at the joins, but now I find it just as convenient and useful as using 5 DPNS (my usual number). I'm using Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Tropical Storm -- my mom will eventually be the recipient of these beauties.

I think it also bears mentioning that after my midterm (American Identities in Literature...ugh, Melville and Thoreau!), I skipped class to play disc out by the campus pond. It's so, so gorgeous out! I love New England.

EDIT: I'll be taking part in the April 1st Flash Your Stash fun. I couldn't decide what button to here are my two favorites.

This one is appropriate, considering that my college is better known as "ZooMass".

Bea Arthur, I love you.

Who else is taking part in Flash Your Stash? I know Cathy is, but there has to be more of you!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Stash-Enhancing Joys

Friday was such a successful excursion! I love A Good Yarn more every time I visit. Tee is visiting BU for grad school this Saturday, so I might take another trip out there to visit again.

...not like I need to, after the orgy of stash-enhancing that occured on Friday. After walking about 800 miles, Mom and I were exhausted, happy, and more than a little amazed that we had spent an entire day in each other's company and not come to blows.

I know that sounds more than a little extreme, but back when I was trying to survive puberty, I was a monster. My mother and I fought constantly, get the picture. We fought for the sake of fighting. Finally, I graduated, I went to college and I started to grow up. I've always loved my mom, but for a long time, I was too cool to like her. I cringe to think about it now.

I guess I have knitting to thank, in part, for letting us get so close. She taught me how to knit during my sophomore year of college and I've never looked back. Now, it's a tradition that, whenever I go home to visit, we rent BBC miniseries (Jane Austen adaptations are always popular) and knit for hours. I mean hours. We talk now, instead of yelling, and we have inside jokes about British actors and bad accents. I just came back to Amherst yesterday, and I wish I was back upstairs, knitting with Mom. For once, I'm glad I'm homesick.

Handcrafts are uniquely fulfilling; they bring groups of such dissimilar people together, but the crafts also serve to connect the crafter with everyone who's knit a sweater, sewn a quilt, or cooked a meal. When you craft, you are both making progress and living in history.

I saved all of my babysitting money since January, so I wouldn't feel guilty about splurging. And splurge I did, without shame!


From Windsor Button, I got Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn -- this fiber feels like melted butter in the skein. I can't wait to see how it knits up!

Cherry Tree Hill

The blue yarn is for my mom -- I think I'll make Craftaholic's Mata Hari socks with it. The other skeins? For me, of course!

As I've said before (and will probably say a million times again), A Good Yarn is a lovely, lovely store. I indulged my craving for Koigu there.

Koigu again.

I could have spent more; in fact, I spent much less than I was planning to, but I'm content. I have patterns in mind for all the sock yarns I bought, but with the money I didn't spend, I'm going to buy my dream knitting bag from Della Q.

Progress pictures tonight! I hope everyone's enjoying the Spring weather!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Know Your Onion!

I'm more than a little embarrassed at how long it's been since I updated. I had originally planned to make this blog an almost-daily update on my crafty endeavors, but I've rather gloriously failed. Life took over in a big way.

Thankfully, everything has been worked out with my financial situation. I work an IT position, so I know that I'm more aware than most about how insidious this type of damage can be. It was still terrifying to watch my personal information snatched away.

I haven't been idle, though. I've been dragging myself through an insanely boring course on American literature (bane of my existence), an honors writing course, and two French classes. I'm so glad that this week is Spring Break...even if I'm working eight hour days the whole time! On Friday, my mom and I are taking a girls' trip to Boston -- we'll go to the MFA, Windsor Button, A Good Yarn, the Pourhouse...I can't wait!

I finished Lady Eleanor from
Scarf Style
last week.

Lady Eleanor
The Lady herself, after three balls.

Lady Eleanor
In what can only be called a knitting frenzy, I knit up six balls in one weekend.

Lady Eleanor
She looked so lovely reclining that I couldn't bring myself to take any pictures of me wearing her -- not yet, at least!

Lady Eleanor
She's big beyond all sense.

Project Stats:
Project: Lady Eleanor Stole from
Scarf Style

Yarn Used: Noro Kureyon in #124, ten skeins.
Needles: Addi Turbos, size 7, 32" circular.
Modifications/notes: Instead of casting on 56 stitches, I only cast on 49. Believe me, if I hadn't, this lady would have turned into a blanket. I really advise using at least a 29" circular needle to knit this project, otherwise the sheer weight will have your hands and wrists aching after the first three balls. I also substituted my preferred increase (k1fb) for the M1 from the pattern. Sometimes there is a visible difference, but luckily I didn't run into that and I avoided some really unslightly holes in the fabric.

Honestly? I adore this project. It was soothing to knit, especially on Addi Turbos, and I loved watching the color subtly change from one block to another. Tres Chic Veronique made Lady E in the exact same Noro colorway...I can't say that I blame her. It's gorgeous, with bright jewel tones standing out against cool, muted grey-blues. I have four more skeins of #124 coming to me soon -- I'm planning on making a felted knitting bag with them.

As for current WIPs, I've restarted the Norwegian stockings, have a seemingly unending parade of socks in my knitting bag, and am still hammering out the designs for my vest and hat patterns. It's going to be a productive Spring Break!