Saturday, October 29, 2005


Oh. my. god. Could I love this sweater any more? Dear Joelle Hoverson, you are a genius, and Last Minute Knitted Gifts is my favorite book ever, errata notwithstanding. I feel like someone should tell all the Future Search participants over at Mason-Dixon to throw in the towel, because the perfect sweater? It already exists. And its name is Hourglass.

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I mean really. How flattering! How comfortable! How perfect in its simplicity! How completely devoid of fiddly sewing-together! It's not really any sort of technical accomplishment, I know--but didn't I just earn my chops with Rogue? I deserve an easy knit. And did I mention the comfortable? And the flattering? And the lack of finishing? J'adore.

: Hourglass Sweater, by Joelle Hoverson. From Last Minute Knitted Gifts.
Yarn: Rowanspun Aran in Autumn, all of 5 skeins plus (grr) ten rows' worth from a 6th. Bought on sale from Jimmy Beans Wool. Enjoyable yarn, although very full of nature--lots of bramble bits to be picked out. Sort of a felt-y quality to the yarn. Did not take well to spit-splicing; Russian join was better, although slightly bulkier.
Needles Addi Turbos, size 7, 32" (body) and 12" (sleeves). The 12" took some geting used to but was ever so much quicker than DPNs would hav been.
Mods Replaced folded-over hems with slip-stitch edging to reduce bulk (and finishing). Also, I knit only 8 rows between increase and decrease rounds on the body and increased/decreased 2 more times than called for, making the body 2" longer and a bit more fitted. Added 2" to sleeves as well.
StartedTuesday, October 18
Finished Saturday, October 29.

I leave you with the obligatory just-like-the-book shot.
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Oh Hourglass. I will knit you again, oh yes I will.

P.S. No snow yet. The latest guess I have in Nov. 3. Perhaps we were all too eager? Keep guessing. And if you want to guess again? I believe in do-overs.

Monday, October 24, 2005

49 degrees, clear skies

Nary a snowflake in sight. Keep guessing!

I made decent progress on Hourglass over the weekend: I finished the body (a second time) and one sleeve:

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The folded-over hems on Rogue made me realize that I didn't want the bulk of two layers of aran-weight yarn around my middle, so I went looking for an edging that would lie flat but not be too obtrusive--I really like the clean simplicity of Hourglass and didn't want to do anything too fiddly on the edges--even seed stitch seemed disruptive. Luckily Anna posted the other day about Annie Modesitt's slip-stitch edging on the Backyard Leaves scarf from Scarf Style, so I adapted that for working in the round, and it looks pretty good, I think.

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The working-in-the-round adaptations are
Row 1: *K1, slip 1 yif* to last st, K1
Row 2: slip 1 yib, *P1, slip 1 yib* to end.

It's not quite as elegant as it would be in a finer yarn (see Anna's silk Trudie edging), but it's stockinette-y enough that it blends naturally into the body of the sweater, and it does lie flat. Hurrah!

I made Bailey model the beginning of the second sleeve for you. Disregard the still-unpacked boxes of books in the background.

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

SnowWatch 2005

The It displays this icon for my Monday forecast:
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Can you see? It is petite, I know. But it is an image of a cloud with SNOW falling out of it. SNOW. In October. I mentioned this to one of my colleagues and she said "oh, I know--it's so late this year." GAH!

Now, here's the thing. I heart snow, I really do, and one of the things I found most consoling about moving to Michigan was the prospect of living in a winter wonderland. You know--no friends, no boyfriend, no tacos, but at least I would have nice snowy romps with my dog. But now that it appears that winter here starts in the fall (and lasts right on through spring), I find I'm just not ready. I'm really not. I do find it hard to believe that it actually will snow on Monday, given that the forecasted low is 38, but it will be here soon, so to prepare myself with cheerfulness, I announce: A Contest.


To enter, leave your guess in the comments by Oct 25. Winner will receive nice yarny prizes, (if they are a yarny friend) or something nice and not yarny (if they are a not-yarny friend). The first snowfall, by the way, is to be construed as the first snowfall that is actually seen by me, i.e. the first time I personally witness snow falling, or the first time there is indisputable visual evidence that snow has fallen overnight.

Whenever it is, I hope I have Hourglass done by then.

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There's actually less of it now than there is in that picture, since I frogged back to add more decrease rounds--it was just too big. It's also a darker orange than it appears in the picture. It's Rowanspun Aran in Autumn: burnt orange with nice tweedy flecks.

And for those keeping track?

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"ARRRR! I'm a scary pirate now, mateys!"

amandamonkey noted that Bailey seems to be bearing up cheerfully despite the injury. It's the drugs, people, the drugs. And the fact that she is a total ham for the camera, which might be due to the fact that she usually gets a biscuit for posing.

Finally, speaking of amandamonkey and contests, check out "What Would You Do For Your Knits?". Would you fish your mitten out of a toilet? I sure as hell would not, and that is why I will not win Amanda's contest.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

In which my dog is treated like a piece of knitting.

At the vet's office on Saturday morning:

Vet: So, her paw is looking much much better--the incision is starting to heal really well.
Me: Wow, that's great. Why do you think the stitches took this time? Luck? Time?
Vet: Well, we used a different type of stitch to hold the pad closed this time. It's called mattress suturing? It holds things together really tightly, and tucks the edges of the cut under.
Me: Oh, mattress stitch. I was just doing that last night.
Vet: ???

Go figure. I actually feel reassured by this, since if I am ever in a situation where somebody needs emergency stitches, and I am the only person around, I can just mattress-stitch them up and call it a day. Knitters: good to have around in a crisis.

Also at the vet's office on Saturday, Bailey got some seasonal decorations:

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And this is why I love my vet: When the techs brought Bailey out, she was like, "a spooky boo monster! you made her a spooky boo monster!"

Not at the vet's office, but also on Saturday, I finished the Rogue.

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At least the knitting part. But in a few days I will be able to sew it up (with mattress stitch!) and send it off, after which there will be proper photos. Wasn't I so totally secretive about my secret gift project? Luckily, the recipient is not a computer-y person.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Two good things, and one bad thing

Good Thing #1: A while ago I donated a basket to the Give a Little prize pool, and sent it off to Sara in Oregon, who appears, sadly, to be blogless. When I got home from work today there was a wee envelope in my mailbox, and I thought to myself "oh, a thank-you note. How nice!" And indeed it was, but Sara also included these gorgeous stitch markers, which literally made me catch my breath they're so pretty.

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Thank you Sara! These are going to be right up there with my hands-down favorite stitch markers, which I got in trade from Gaile. (Gaile sells hers on Etsy--go see!)

Good Thing #2: There are three yarn shops in my relatively immediate area--one is right in my neighborhood, and the other two are each about 15 minutes away, in opposite directions. I've been to the neighborhood one, and one of the far away ones, and decided, because it is grey and crappy, that I should stop at the third one on my way home from school, you know, just to see. And pet. (There was a funny sign on the loom in the store that said "Student work in progress! Please do not pet!" Becuase they know how we are.) Of course I meandered over to the sale bin right away, stuck my hand in, encountered extreme softness, and pulled out this:

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Mountain Colors 100% Superfine Cashmere. For 30 percent off! When is cashmere 30 percent off? So I bought it. There's only 96 yards, but I think that should be enough to do some little fingerless gloves with, or maybe a tiny kerchief a la Last Minute Knitted Gifts. Or I might never knit it at all, and instead just pet it and pet it. I heart you cashmere!

Bad Thing: Bailey has to have a THIRD surgery! Her little pad is cut right in half, and it just won't heal--so on Thursday they are going to put her under and stitch it up AGAIN and then put her in some kind of compression mitt that hopefully will keep her foot immobile. Sigh. But in the meantime, she is sporting a new stylish wrap over her cast:

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Purple and stars is ever so much better than neon pink and hearts, if you ask me.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Weekend Knitting

In between bouts of grading, exam writing, and keeping-up-with-the-syllabus reading this weekend, I've been quite the tricoteuse. First, I started my Rogue sleeves. In the end I decided not to do them in the round, but only because it turns out that I only have one size 7 circ, and I was too lazy to go buy another one. Sad but true. Instead I decided to knit both sleeves at one time. Since I'm going to be tinkering with length (I need to add about 2 inches) I thought it would be a good idea to make sure I tinker at the same time and in the same places on both, and there is no guarantee that I will do that if I knit the sleeves separately, because y'all know that I am challenged with the maths. I'm at row 35 of the chart, which doesn't look like much, I have to confess. I console myself with remembering that if I were only knitting one sleeve I would have gotten twice as far.

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I also would've gotten quite a bit farther if I had not digressed into a new project:

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Ruffles! This was originally intended as a gift, but I am obsessed with it and feel that I might very well keep it for myself.

You might wonder why my radiator features so prominently in these pictures. It is to mark the fact that, much to my shame and disgust, I turned on my heat this weekend. The heat! At the beginning of October! But when you're sitting around the house in wool socks, a fleece jacket and a hat, and you're still cold? The heat must be turned on. But for the record, I only turned it up to 64. Take that, winter.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Can I get a hell yeah?

The hood of the Rogue, she is successfully grafted.

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I would be lying if I said that I had not been fearing this step, but you know what this sweater is teaching me? That if I stop working myself up about things that seem too hard, I can do them perfectly well. This, actually, is one of the things that blogging is not good for--if there is a collective internet freakout (shall we call it an anxiety meme?) about, say, grafting the hood of Rogue, then I think it is somewhat natural for me to also freak out. But there is no need. My tension is a teeny bit wonky in some places, but overall it looks great, if I do say so.

Of course blogging is also good for many things, one of which is seeing how other people dealt with their Rogue-hood-grafting anxieties, and luckily, Lauren kept excellent notes which reassured me a) that the offset stitch at the stockinette/reverse stockinette transitions is inevitable, and b) that I was Kitchenering the rev st st sections the proper way, which is to reverse the directions for st st Kitchener (i.e. if it says "as if to purl," work as if to knit, and vice versa).

Can we take a moment, by the way, to marvel at Kitchener stitch? I don't do it very often, since my socks are toe-up usually, and I like mattress stitch at the shoulders of sweaters for stability, but it is really an amazing thing. Kind of a pain in the ass to do, but an amazing thing.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

It just keeps getting better.

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Please note that the vet techs put that heart on the cast of their own accord, and did not consult me first. If they had, I would have told them to wrap her up in green and put a big fat dollar sign on instead.

All right, already.

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Look, Ma--I can smile nicely and shower!

Glad I took this second round of photos, though, because I caught a goof in Shedir. Can you spot it?

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Another goof, that is--the one I knew about and chose to ignore is in the brim, and the new one is in the hat proper. Still, three days, two goofs, one Shedir--I can live with that.

Project wrapup, since I was too perturbed by the not-smiling yesterday to do a proper one:

Pattern: Shedir, by Jenna Wilson
Yarn: Rowan Calmer in Coffee Bean. I said 1.5 balls yesterday, but I think if it was over 1 ball, it was barely. It's hard to say since this was a stashbusting project--I was using up leftovers from the Regency Shrug. Should've weighed them. Didn't. (Edited: Weigh the hat, Dumbass McDumberson. 60 grams, or 1.2 balls of Calmer)
Needles Size 3 bamboo circs for body of hat and DPNs for top.
Mods: Added 10 brim rows plus a turning row; completed only 2 repeats of the initial cabling. (Edited once more for future ref: this was a mistake. Should've done 3 reps so as not to be continually tugging the hat down around my ears.)
Dates: Started 9/30/05, completed 10/2/05
Notes: I love this project. I felt so accomplished when I finished my first one, and all the more so now, since it was so much easier this time around. (Post-its? We don't need no stinkin' post-its.) I will make it again and again, and will hoard Calmer so I can contine to make it forever. Such a great gift, either as a chemo cap or a cap cap, and the Calmer makes it the perfect transitional hat for fall.

Those of you tuning in for Bailey updates, be advised that my wicked, ungrateful animal cost me further hundreds of dollars this week by actually chewing off her bandage and gnawing out her stitches (GNAWING OUT HER STITCHES! What kind of insane animal does that?), which required more anaesthesia and more surgery and more followup visits. In punishment for her wickedness, she is also decked out in a new hat.

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HA! It's like she's in the stocks! Those Puritans knew what it was all about, man--public humiliation and the inability to scratch your nose if you need to. That'll teach her.

Monday, October 03, 2005

And this is why, in real life, people sometimes perceive me as unfriendly.

In this picture?

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I was making a conscious effort to smile. And yet all I have on is bitchface. Sigh.

Oh. I also have on my new Shedir, made of 1.5 balls of Rowan Calmer in Coffee Bean. I doubled the 1x1 ribbing at the bottom and threw in a turning row to make it less chemo cap and more watch cap. I like it quite a bit. As you can tell from how much I'm smiling.

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