Wednesday, November 23, 2005

nerd quiz

I am nerdier than 90% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Thanks for the link Shetha, this one was fun (though you still have me beat!). The best part was the message it gave me:

"Your nerdiness is:
Supreme Nerd. Apply for a professorship at MIT now!!!"

HAH!! Perhaps they'd want me to finish my Masters here first? ;)

(I promise I actually have been knitting... 2 scarves and one mitten finished to be exact! And I get to spend this weekend working on stuff for ME because all my gift-recipients-to-be will be in the same house and I'd rather not have to hide what I'm doing. I'll be home in a few hours! :D)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

more time wasters

Make an avatar of yourself!

Here's mine:

my avatar from yahoo

The avatars "blink" on the site, and the only way I could figure to save the picture was to take a screen capture - would you believe I managed to take a screen capture when her eyes were closed?? Sigh, I guess my avatar really has a lot in common with me. (Though the ugly flaps on the side of the jeans and the pointy-toed shoes do not count.)

is it Thanksgiving weekend yet??

... how about now?


Maybe now?

ARRGHHH I know this is a short week - and I'm taking tomorrow off so I can drive home, which makes it even shorter - but it feels like it is NEVER GOING TO END. It was pouring rain this morning when I walked over to my lab and my socks and shoes are still wet, 6 hours later. I have a meeting with my adviser at 3:30 and I don't know what we're going to talk about because my research has been not-so-productive as of late. (I've been working on it a lot, but I just haven't gotten anywhere.) But after that meeting, I think I'm going to declare this week OVER. Or maybe I should save that proclamation for a little later, after I make the long walk back home in the rain.

Ugh. I am so looking forward to this (albeit brief) vacation... I'm just complaining, don't mind me. And at least I have this link (courtesy of a friend) to keep me amused. "Chuck Norris likes to knit sweaters in his free time. And by 'knit', I mean 'kick', and by 'sweaters', I mean 'babies'."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

third time's the charm, i hope?

After over 3 balls of Andean Silk, crossing 6 cables every 4 rows, I finally reached my cabling limit while at knitting group on Monday. So I pulled out the ball of Suri Dream I was saving for my mom's scarf, a copy of the pattern for seafoam stitch, and went to work on size 13 Denise's.

Less than one row in, I couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't see any of the stitches, couldn't figure out which to keep and which to drop, and wanted to scream. Instead, I carefully frogged (and frogging this yarn was no easy matter either), and then I went back to square one. Seafoam stitch was obviously not going to work in such a fuzzy yarn. Since the group is in a library, I went upstairs to the knitting section in search of a stitch pattern book, but had no luck. Back downstairs, I noticed that someone had a copy of Weekend Knitting out, so I flipped through it and came across the Lopi Lace Scarf.

"Perfect!" I thought. So I cast on using 11s (the 13s felt a little large) and went to work. About 3 or 4" in, I stopped and spread it out. The stupid thing was over 11" wide!

Since I only had 143 yards of yarn and wanted something with a decent length, the 11" would not work. At all. So when I got home, I slowly and carefully frogged for a SECOND time. Not fun.

I really liked the slight wavy-ness of the lopi lace scarf pattern, so I decided to try it with one full repeat less (over 19 stitches). I also switched to 10.5 Inox dpns, because while the Denise's were nice and pointy, the taper was so long that it made keeping the stitches on the "fat" part of the needle really difficult.

And now?

start of my mom's scarf

Looks like we have a winner!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Branching Out

Okay... I may officially be a lace addict.

stitch detail of branching out

The specs:
pattern: Branching Out from Knitty
yarn: 2 skeins KnitPicks Andean Treasure (100% baby alpaca / 110 yds per 50g) in Granite
needles: Denise size 8s
gauge: it's a lace scarf, I don't even know how to measure gauge on lace!
date finished: November 9, 2005

Yep, I had a feeling this would happen. Here I thought I was just innocently knitting away on another gift, and next thing I know I've fallen in love. I'd read enough about lace to know that blocking would produce some sort of magical transformation - and it did - but I had to see it for myself to truly appreciate it. Remember what it looked like before?

branching out... sort of

Not anymore - now I have a beautiful, delicate, non-lumpy scarf. I washed and blocked it according to the Yarn Harlot's fabulous instructions, threading a piece of crochet cotton through each of the 4 sides. The finished scarf is 56" by 7", and I could have stretched it a little more in length but I wanted to keep it on my snazzy ocean towel instead of hanging off onto my bed, because I don't really enjoy wet sheets.

branching out, blocking

The scarf was wet when I left this morning, but completely dry by the time I came home 6 hours later. I finished it in just enough time to get to Lauren by her birthday (November 14th), though I haven't decided yet if I should get anything else to send with it. Or maybe instead of it, cause you know, I could use a lace scarf myself. ;)

Ohhh, and the yarn! I must discuss this yarn! Because you see, I am possibly more in love with the yarn than I am with lace. It is just so soft, and so heathery. I do like tweedy colors but the more subtle heathered variations of this are right up my alley. I'm already planning ways to make a sweater out of it... thinking that maybe I can double-strand with a laceweight merino to give it the memory that alpaca lacks. I think I'll post on the knittyboard to get opinions. For now I have a strand a few yards long leftover from the scarf that I can fondle...

In case you were wondering, "hm, I wonder what that scarf would look like draped over a futon back?" well do I have the pictures for you! I had a heck of a time trying to get a picture that showed both accurate color and good stitch definition, so you get one of each.

branching out, modelled by my futon, take 1 branching out, modelled by my futon, take 2

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

very drunk scarf

Hah! I just looked up the meaning of "besotted" - check out the second definition. And so I present 1/4 of the very drunk scarf:

besotted scarf through ball #1

One ball of Andean Silk got me through just under 15", and I have 4 balls, so the finished scarf should be almost 5', which is just about what I wanted. While I'm sure my dad will like the scarf (or at least he'll pretend to, as he would with anything I make), I don't know if he'll actually wear it, because he just doesn't wear scarves very often. But I wanted to make him this for the rare occasion when he does wear one. And if it ends up in a box in the closet all winter, I'll have no qualms asking if I can have it back to keep for myself. ;)

I'm through 2 balls now, but I'm not going to bother with a picture, because it looks pretty similar. Just... um... imagine that it's twice as long, and you'll have an idea of what it looks like now.

I might have to start my mom's scarf soon too, if only to break up the monotony of all these cables. Cablecablecablecablecable... maybe that's how the scarf got its name, the only way to get the motivation to keep going all the way through is to get "besotted" yourself...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

zigzag hat

Holiday season present #1 is finished!

zigzag hat

pattern: Zigzag hat from Knitty (the hat pattern is at the bottom)
yarn: 1 skein LB Wool-Ease (78% acrylic, 19% wool, 3% polyester / 162 yds per 70g) in White / Multi 301
needles: Denise circular and Brittany Birch dpns, both size 7
gauge: erm... no idea... close enough? ;)
date finished: October 26, 2005

This is actually a birthday present, not a Christmas present, but my friend Katie's birthday is November 11 so it got lumped in with the other gifts. The yarn is white with a metallic-y pearly strand wrapped around, which gives it a really fun look, but made the cabling a PITA. I really like this pattern, but I almost like the wrong side more - I'd switch it now if it weren't for the aforementioned cabling. ;) But if I ever make another one, I might turn it inside out and just purl in the sections between the lace zigzags. I also liked the pattern of the top decreases, they were planned out really well:

top of zigzag hat

Katie lives in southern California, so it might seem like a hat is a silly present, but she often complains about being cold. I figured a lacey pattern in a yarn that doesn't have a very high percentage of wool or other animal fibers would provide just the right amount of warmth! Now I just have to find the perfect vegetarian cookbook (the hat doesn't seem like enough of a present on its own) and send it off.

Also, the reason I'm dying to do something colorful... here is brown scarf #1 (which needs its ends woven in and a serious blocking):

branching out... sort of

and brown scarf #2:

start of besotted scarf

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

happy package and lots of brown

Ugh, I have been so busy and stressed recently, it's ridiculous. I barely had a moment to breathe last week, leading up to this past weekend, when I went to Florida. (Okay, so maybe I don't get to complain about that stressing me out.) Through all of this, I didn't get to post about the package I got from my "downstream" SP4 pal, Jennie. I knew this would be special from the moment I took it out of the box.

pretty wrapping

It was wrapped so nicely that I even remembered to take a picture before diving in! And once the paper was in pieces on the floor next to me?

such wonderful goodies!

That would be three skeins of Noro Silk Garden (the colors are even more beautiful than they look in the picture), one hank of bulky yarn from, Starbucks coffee, honeysuckle soap, a lavendar candle, and a cute hair clip! Really, this just floored me. All these gifts were above and beyond what the SP round called for, and they are all amazing! Thank you so much Jen! :D

I'm trying to be a good girl, so I put the yarn in with the rest of my "don't-touch-until-holiday-gifts-are-finished" stash. But if all the scarf-ing drives me crazy, I may just cast on for a pretty pink hat soon. In general the gifts are coming along well - I finished the Zigzag hat, I'm almost done with Branching Out, and I've started my dad's scarf. I think I'll be able to get it all done in time. But one white hat + 2 brown scarves = desperate need for color! Like pink wool or rainbow-y silk garden perhaps? ;)