Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Monkey Business

Can you see why I am getting sick of socks?

Monkey from the Winter '06 Knitty
Yarn: Claudia Handpaints Fingering weight merino, 2 skeins Toast
Source: kpixie (one of my Christmas presents)
Needles: US Size 2 Swallowtail casein dpns (also from kpixie)
Modifications: None

Besides the Jaywalkers I already have on the needles and the Sockotta yarn I'm taking on the cruise, this is my last pair of socks till the Summer of Socks begins. Speaking of the cruise, I have some handmade items to show you next time, made especially for my trip to Bermuda next week.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rock Your Socks Off

When I commute to work and school I need a project that is small, portable, and will take me a long time to complete. The best project that fits these needs are socks.

On Your Toes Socks (Basic Toe-Up Sock Pattern), Ann Budd for Interweave Knits, Summer 2007
Yarn: Brown Sheep Wildfoote Sock Yarn Handpaints, 2 skeins Lilac Desert
Source: Pearl's Yarn Shop
Needles: US Size 1 and 2 Crystal Palace Bamboo dpns
Modifications: Lots. This was my first toe-up sock, and I wanted to use every last bit of the handpainted yarn. My yardage was in between what the crew sock and knee sock each needed, so I followed the directions for the crew sock and then just continued in 2x2 rib, increasing one stitch every four rows at the center of the back of the leg until I didn't have much yarn left, then I worked 1x1 rib until I ran out. I tried to make the second one to match the first, which was not as easy as it sounds since I did the first one in December and the second one a few weeks ago. I worked on the first one during a really horrible commute during a snowstorm on my last day of classes that involved being stuck on a bus on I-93 for five hours, and I think I associated some bad feelings with the sock and just needed to put it down for awhile. The socks go higher than most that I knit but aren't quite knee socks.

Dragon Breath Socks (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Mama Llama Merino/Tencel, one skein Arcana (I think)
Source: kpixie (part of my big kpixie Christmas shopping spree)
Needles: US size 1 Addi Turbo 24" circular needles (2)
Modifications: None

Closeup of the stitch pattern and yarn:

A friend pointed out that they look just like the Monkeys I made (and apparently forgot to show you--I'll post them soon) but I didn't notice until she said something--the knitting must have seemed different to me.
I love socks but I've had enough of them for awhile. I'm on the second sock of a pair of Jaywalkers as my commuting project (school is done but there's still work), but after that I'm not doing any until the Summer of Socks starts on June 21st.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

March/April Charity Project

So far I'm keeping good on my promise to complete a charity project every two months, even if this one was a little bit of a copout. I was planning to knit blankets for animals in shelters waiting to be adopted (the patterns are in Knitting for Peace, but they're just garter stitch rectangles), thinking it was a great reading-while-knitting project, especially reading-deathly-boring-articles-for-school-and-the-only-way-to-stay-awake-is-to-knit-while-reading project, only they tend to take longer than I thought and I am about halfway through the first one. It was also the last week of April.

Desperate times call for premature baby knits. It doesn't get any smaller than this, folks:

Preemie Baby Jester Hats from Knitting for Peace
Yarn: The greenish-blue is Sirdar Snuggly DK, the pink and brown are Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino Aran. All neglible amounts of sport/fingering machine-washable yarn from the stash. This is great for cleaning out your leftovers.
Needles: US Size 5 aluminum dpns
Modifications: At the end I turned the hats inside out and did a three-needle bind-off instead of grafting the right side with Kitchener stitch.

These were so quick and easy (I did one in the half-dark of the Calvin Theater at the Harlot event). I also managed to get three done in a week without bringing them to school or work, which is impressive. I'm looking through Knitting for Peace for ideas for May/June but I'm not committing myself to any one project yet.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

NH Sheep and Wool Festival

I love the NH Sheep and Wool Festival. It was the first fiber event I went to after I learned to knit, and even though it was a little bittersweet because I only had $15 to spend, I loved it and have been going ever since. Last night was the last class of the semester, so now I can relax and get back to the important things, like blogging and knitting.

I met up with Katie, Erica, and Linda and we had a great time (how could we not?) Here's the goods:

1.75 lbs of washed Romney roving from a sheep named "Bavaria"

Start Spinning by Maggie Casey (which I have heard excellent things about and I hope it will improve my spinning skills) and a beautiful handmade Bosworth drop spindle. There was an interview with lace-shawl-designer-extraordinaire Evelyn Clark on The Panopticon's blog, and she said she loves her Bosworth drop spindles and prefers them to her wheel, and I want to be just like her when I grow up so I got one too.

More hand-dyed sock yarn from Ball and Skein. I plan to use it for the Summer of Socks, which I signed up for last week. You might remember that I purchased another ball of hand-dyed sock yarn from Ball and Skein last year, and that I have not posted about it since. It will also be part of the Summer of Socks.

The biggest score of all came when I had been at the festival for ten minutes. I got five balls of one of my favorite yarns, Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted (the sport weight is great too) for only $15!!! It's a discontinued color, and the label is different from the one they have now, and I could not be more thrilled to have 1200 yards (a sweater's worth!) for $15. I'm thinking something from Fitted Knits or Knitting Nature.
Next up: all the knitting I have been doing in between final projects and stressing out about the end of the semester.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Public Service Announcement

I do have lots to show you, but unfortunately I could not find my camera this morning (don't worry, I think I know where it is). In the meantime, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that next weekend is the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival. Yippee! More information can be found here.

This is not an event you want to miss. It may not be the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival (the largest in the country), and it's certainly no Rhinebeck, but it is a rocking good time. There is a lot to see but it's not overwhelming and there is a lot of great wool to be bought. Plus there are sheepdog and shearing demonstrations, great carnival food, and angora rabbits for sale. I am very excited.

I think the best part is that it falls on the weekend that marks the end of my semester (except for one more class on Monday), so I can shop as a reward for making it through and actually have time to spin and knit and crochet.

And now for something completely different: my first meme. I wasn't tagged for it, but I've been reading through Eunny's archives (although I am thrilled with her work at Interweave Knits, I really miss her blog--seeing what she's working on and learning new techniques from her, and even just reading about what's new with her) and I stumbled across this meme, so here goes.

Ten years ago: I was in eighth grade. I spent lots of time making things but I didn't know how to knit yet.

Five years ago: I was just about to graduate from high school and head off to college, to study sustainable agriculture. I learned to knit freshman year of college and whenever I was in class I would think about knitting and be anxious to get back to my project.

One year ago: I was just about to graduate from college and head off to graduate school to be a librarian. I had discovered Eunny's blog (among others) and spent most of my time looking for knitting inspiration and information on the Internet, when I wasn't finishing up my senior research project or working (at a yarn store and the library) or actually knitting. It was this time last year that I started this blog--in the midst of graduate school and work craziness, I missed my blogiversary.

Five snacks: Kettle corn, Goldfish crackers, homemade cookies, homemade bread, pumpkin seeds.

Five songs I know all the words to: "Start Wearing Purple" by Gogol Bordello, "Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Moondance" by Van Morrison, "London Calling" by The Clash, "Tusk" by Fleetwood Mac.

Five things I would do with $100 million: 1.) Pay off my student loans 2.) Take care of my family and friends 3.) Buy a farm and animals 4.) Buy my school and straighten out their library program (or turn it into a rock club) 5.) Donate lots of money to local libraries and charities

Five places to run away to: 1.) Ireland, especially the Aran Islands 2.) Montreal 3.) the White Mountains of New Hampshire 4.) New Zealand 5.) the beach (anywhere really, but preferably a New England beach)

Five things I would never wear: 1.) a muumuu 2.) clothing with logos 3.) anything that reveals my stomach 4.) anything too baggy 5.) something unflattering just because it's stylish

Five favorite TV shows: Gilmore Girls, Northern Exposure, Bill Moyers Journal, Saturday Night Live, Grey's Anatomy

Five biggest joys: 1.) Making things 2.) Spending time with friends and family 3.) finding information I've been looking for 4.) finding inspiration 5.) completing a project

Favorite toys: Malcolm, my mp3 player; Philbert, my trusty (if old and slow) laptop; my swift and ball winder; my car, Betty

Was that fun or what? I bet you learned a little something about me you didn't know ;)