elle melle all the time!

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Elle Melle!

Unsurprisingly (to me), despite casting on for a billion (more like 3) new projects at once, I pretty much instantly reverted to my monogamous ways. It’s been Elle Melle all the time, here! I’m almost up to the underarm split:

Elle Melle

I just can’t get enough of these awesome striped ridges:

purple ridges

And the Beaverslide 2-ply Sport/Sock yarn is just so delightfully wooly I want to snuggle it all day:

Beaverslide Sport/Sock is so delightfully wooly!

As I’m knitting this, I’m even more convinced that I want to make myself a grown-up Elle Melle. We’ll see if I ever get around to it! For now, I’m still glad I’ve got those other projects on the needles, because getting started is always the hardest part for me (you try finding the right yarn and then counting cast on stitches while a toddler climbs you!) and I’ve got that part out of the way, so I’m ready to go-go-go whenever the time is right.

i DO have affection for Lopi, it turns out!

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this is how much sleeve I can get...

This, dear readers, is how much sleeve I can knit from a single skein of Lett Lopi. Gosh, I enjoy knitting with Lopi. It’s just so delightfully wooly. And I’m pretty darned excited to be creating a Lopi Affection cardigan for myself, because gosh, garter stitch + stripes + yokes = perfect, as far as I’m concerned.

This will probably end up being my “Rhinebeck Sweater”, since the odds of me finishing any OTHER sweater in addition to it before mid-October are pretty much nil. I have this weird hangup about not wearing something I designed myself, though. Even if it’s going to be an awesome sweater. There’s just this…sense in which I don’t feel anywhere near as proud of the sweaters I knit from patterns (there aren’t many of these, actually), and feel very awkward accepting compliments about them and whatnot. Even when I think the sweaters turned out great. I mean, all I did was KNIT them. (Well, I also chose colors, and often did make modifications, but still.) But…way to discount the effort put into knitting and doing quality finishing work, eh?

I guess it comes of knowing how much goes into actually DESIGNING a sweater, and also of feeling a real ownership over the design, when it’s one that came from my head. That’s just very different from what I feel about the sweaters I knit from other people’s designs. I know the work they put into creating the pattern, and so when someone compliments me on a sweater that someone else designed, I feel like the compliment is really owed to them. It’s a little silly, I know. Anyway, I’ll probably be wearing my Lopi Affection cardigan at Rhinebeck, and M will probably be wearing Elle Melle, and I’ll still be the same knitter and sometimes-designer I’ve always been even if I’m not wearing direct evidence of my design efforts on my body. (I had hoped to knit M and I matching Stripes! cardigans, and/or to reknit my Vahtralehed and knit M a toddler-sized one, but alas, there’s only one of me!)

another set of mitered crosses?

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As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been casting-on like crazy (for me, at least – I tend to be fairly monogamous in my knitting projects…I just don’t know how to make progress on projects if I’m working on a bunch of them at once). The other new project since defending my dissertation:

i appear to have contracted start-itis

Another set of Mitered Crosses. This time, in Brown Sheep Naturespun Sport, from a ZigZag Mitten Kit that’s been sitting around in my stash, stubbornly not turning into mittens. See, I’ve got this long, skinny window in my office door at work, and I’ve been wanting to make something to cover it, and a chain of rainbow-colored mitered crosses seemed like a good idea. Except maybe crazy because seriously, when am I going to have time to knit them? But whatever – they can be my “at the office” project that I knit a few rows on here and there, and if I don’t finish it until the end of the semester, whatever!

nature spun sport

I love the colors of Naturespun Sport (I mean, of course I do, or I wouldn’t have bought the mitten kit to begin with). I’m using a random neutral color dk/sportweight yarn from my stash for the edgings. We’ll see how this all turns out. I do love knitting these squares ever so much.

making an elle melle!

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I appear to have contracted a powerful case of start-itis (and, um, also a nasty respiratory bug, alas) since defending my dissertation. First up, an Elle Melle for M:

Elle Melle

I cast on for this on Wednesday while M was at her Montessori morning-camp, and even at the fairly small gauge (6sts/inch) I feel like I’m flying! Stripes do that to me. I’m knitting this in size 4, which will be big on M, but that way it will fit her for a long time. She’s been asking repeatedly for a “purple cardigan” (and yes, she’s VERY particular about the distinction between “cardigan” and “pullover”!) and I’m hoping this fits the bill! She saw me knitting it yesterday and told me she wanted it to be done “RIGHT NOW!” so that she could wear it, so I’ll take that as a good sign. (And sorry, sweetie, but a sport-weight sweater’s gonna take some time to finish!)

Elle Melle

The yarn is Beaverslide’s 2 ply Sport/Sock weight, in Mountain Lupine (the darker blue/purple) and Wild Geranium. I adore this yarn! It’s working SO well in this pattern, too…it’s so perfectly wooly. And the colors are lovely together.

Elle Melle

I can’t get enough of this two-color ridged texture! So great. Right now I’m in the middle of ridge number 7 (I did some more knitting after snapping these photos)…11 more of these to go before I separate fronts and back!

I kinda want to knit myself one of these after I finish this one, in blues or greens or something. I’d actually fit in the largest size of the pattern (which is a 35″ chest measurement – I’m more like 34″), but raglan sleeves are kind of the worst for me (I’m broad-shouldered for my size). So if I did make myself a grown-up Elle Melle, I’d modify it to have set-in sleeves, and probably a scoopier neckline, but the handy thing about being a sometimes-designer is that I actually have the skills to do that. So…who knows!

squares number five and six

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I’ve actually got TWO new Mitered Crosses Squares to share with y’all! I bound off and then wove in the ends of Square Number Five in the car on the way to Ohio a couple of weeks ago and finally took a photo of it this morning:

square number 5

Love those little pops of hot pink! M saw me weaving in the ends (I was her backseat companion for the trip, which meant being scrunched up next to her carseat since that’s in the center seat – not the most comfy spot in the world for 7+ hours of driving!), and she asked what I was knitting. I told her it was part of a blanket. She asked, “A blanket for Maddy?” and I said, “Would you like it to be?”, and she said “Oh, YES!”. So…I think I know who the recipient of the Mitered Crosses Blanket will be :) (I’d always been open to giving it to her but would’ve been fine with her not wanting it, too.)

I cast on for and knit most of square number 6 in the car and around and about in Columbus during our visit, finishing it this past weekend. M is learning to use scissors, and she thought it was the BEST THING EVER that I let her use the little scissors from my Knit Kit to cut the yarn at each color change. She did a really good job! It drove her crazy once I got to the log cabin section, though, since you don’t break the yarn at all there. She kept asking “Maddy’s turn to cut?”. Aw. Nope.

square number 6

Square Number Six is probably the most subdued square so far. And with it, I’m now halfway done knitting squares for the blanket! I already cast on for Square Number Seven:

knitting!

Maybe the blanket can be one of M’s birthday presents :)

strawberry-picking!

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My parents came to visit for my defense, and on Sunday, we all went strawberry-picking at Burch Farms.

Strawberry picking!

It was a rainy day, so we got a little wet, but the berries were very good, as our official Taster could attest :)

Yum!

M *loves* strawberries! And she’s fascinated by eating food she picked herself.

Strawberry-face.

We picked a little over 4 pints (my parents took some with them) and despite the rain, had a great time.

Strawberries on a rainy day.

It was great to get out and do something fun (and productive) like this now that the pressure of dissertating/defending is off!

Me and my strawberries. #latergram

Now, to figure out what to do with our strawberries. We may pick more with some friends next week, too :)

oh, hey, I have a Ph.D now!

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I defended this Thursday, and it was great.

I did it!! #phd

For the first part of my introduction before my talk, my advisor read the opening paragraph of my personal statement from when I applied to grad school here, which was embarrassing but in a good way – I was such an earnest little language-dork! Then he proceeded to damn near make me cry, in telling everyone that he’d never been prouder of or more impressed by a student than he was of me, and saying a little bit about some of the health difficulties and other obstacles I’d had to overcome to get where I was. It was just huge to me to hear him say that in front of the whole department, to have my very hard (but not always visible) work acknowledged in that way.

Then I gave my talk. It went well – my “I’ve given a million lectures/workshops/etc” experience kicked in and I was very comfortable. And then, with 7 slides to go, Keynote crashed. HARD. Like, “forcibly restarted my computer and then wouldn’t come back” hard. So I gave the last bit of my talk sans slides and notes, which was actually kind of fun! I think I actually did really well. Even pantomimed a graph. Ha!

The oral exam was also pretty fun, if a little nervewracking. I buttered them up with homemade apple cake (my great-grandma Alice’s recipe, which my advisor loves), and then they each took turns asking me 10 minutes worth of questions (which weren’t exactly easy, but also not “gotcha” questions – they were interesting to think about and it was more like, “hey, we’d like to hear what you think about this”, not “hey, we’re making sure you’re not actually stupid”), and then we chatted a bit, and then I was DONE! Every single one of them told me how beautiful my dissertation was, how much they appreciated the clear and engaging writing, and I don’t actually have to do any revisions except fixing a handful of typos, and then I can submit it to ProQuest and be truly finished.

My advisor had a party for me at his house in the afternoon/early evening, and it was just a really mellow event, which is what I wanted (sometimes post-defense parties in my department can get a bit raucous and that just doesn’t suit me at all). Such a good day.