Archive for June, 2009

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I dreamed a dream

26 June 2009

Summer has come to Indiana with a vengeance: temperatures in the 90s every day and thunderstorms at night! It’s really too hot to do too much, but somehow we’re getting a lot of work done. Here are a few updates on some of my summer projects:

1. The June Almanac Sweater

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It’s none other than the Tangled Yoke Cardigan, a pattern I’ve been wanting to make since I first laid eyes on it. I am using Felted Tweed, which I’ve never used before but I now love. Last night I got to the most exciting part of a yoked sweater (for me): the moment when you join the sleeves to the body and it starts to look like an actual garment instead of a misshapen afghan!

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As you can (hopefully) see from the blurry photo above, I tried a new technique with this sweater: knitting the sleeves two-at-a-time on one circular needle. I was trying to avoid a few things: first, a repeat of my mistake with the Professor’s sweater (hint for sweater knitters: most people prefer both sleeves to be the same size); second, the terrible monotony of knitting a 17.5″ tube with shaping every 10 rows (somehow a flat, seamed sleeve piece is much more pleasant to knit for me); and third, the possibility that I would hate knitting the first sleeve so much that I would never cast on for the second one (remote, but when you’re using wool/alpaca in the summer, anything is possible). I’m not totally convinced about this technique, though. It’s a little fiddly, since the two skeins are continually a bit tangled and the circular needle I was using was dreadfully twisty. It might be better with a less recalcitrant needle. I won’t publicly shame the needle here by naming it, mostly because I have no idea what it is. Also, I have to admit that I completely cheated on the cast-on by knitting about 2 inches of each sleeve on DPNs and then arranging it on the circular. The sleeves are done, aren’t they? Let’s move on.

The elephant in the room: it’s possible (some might even say likely) that I won’t be able to finish on time. In case this occurs, I pledge to document my failure in excruciating detail. I don’t rule out a dramatic moment where I fling the sweater, still barely on the needles, under the sofa at 11:48 p.m. on June 30 with a cry of despair. If this does occur, I’ll try to get the Professor to document it for my first ever video blog post. Stay tuned!

2. The garden

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OK, technically this is the Professor’s project, but since I intend to eat at least 50% of the tomatoes, I figured it was fair game to blog. There have been a few minor setbacks, mainly from slugs, but we are already enjoying parsley, basil, tarragon, and sage. The peppers and even the beans are doing well, and look at these blueberries!

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3. Socks (or, Why I Might Not Finish the Cardigan On Time)

For my birthday, in addition to chocolate truffles, Prosecco, and a delicious brunch, my wonderful Professor presented me with this:

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That’s Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in the Ravenswood colorway. Upon receipt of this, I immediately channeled Susan Boyle (“I dreamed a dream of Monkey Socks…with picot edge and varigation…like Cara’s, but not Socks that Rock…O, this must be my next creation!”) and ran upstairs to wind it. Now I have this:

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No pooling, no puddling, no funny business. I might not win Britain’s Got Talent, but I’ll have some great socks.

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so much to say

16 June 2009

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Pattern: Clapotis, by Kate Gilbert, from Knitty (Fall 2004)

Yarn: Mondial Le Perle Gold Cashmere, a bit over 3 skeins, in color 953 (orange and hot pink with bits of greeny-grey)

Needles: Tahki “extra smooth” bamboo, US 5

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My father brought me this yarn from Korea, and I really loved working with it. It’s soft, squishy, and a fun colorway. I’m several years late to the Clapotis party, but it still seems to be in full swing, and after knitting this pattern, I can certainly see why. I tried using stitch markers for awhile, but lost patience with them (and ran out of matching ones–am I the only one who worries about matching stitch markers?), so I tried purling the dropped stitch instead. After a few rows, I realized that I wasn’t too keen on that idea either, and that it was just a six-stitch repeat, for heaven’s sake! I ended up keeping track by thinking to myself:

“One, two, three, TWIST & SHOUT!”

Or, in knitting language: k3, k1tbl, k1, k1bl. Make sense? I’m obviously crazy, but this little tag-line somehow made the knitting even more fun. This was the perfect knit for post-UK jet-lag and kitchen remodeling blues. The only problem now is that I’m not knitting a Clapotis anymore. Clearly, that will have to change.

A few more random musings:

1. I’ve cut my hair. This is the shortest it’s ever been. I’m really enjoying it.

2. I’m still working on a massive blog post about our trip (especially the fiber-y aspects). Once we’re done with this renovation project (I should probably post about that too, eh?), I should have more time on the computer and less time calling contractors, cleaning up massive amounts of dust, etc.

3. I’ve begun work on the June sweater. Here’s a hint:DSCN1629

And now I am going to see if I can find some Cheerios. It’s pretty marginal around here, food-wise.

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finished: grant park pullover

5 June 2009

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Pattern: Grant Park Pullover by Salena Lee, from Twist Collective Spring 2009

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, in Mink Heather, about 14 skeins

Needles: Addi Natura US 7 32″ circular, US 7 dpns, US 5 circular, US 5 dpns

Modifications: I knit the collar twice as long and sewed it down to make a double-thick collar, because the professor tends to stretch out his collars a bit.

I’m really happy with this one. Great pattern, great fit, great model! The picture shows the professor in Bath, near the Pulteney Bridge over the river Avon, with St. John’s Church spire in the background.

(this project on Rav)