rip.

Standard

I’d hoped to have a very exciting post for y’all today. I spent 4 hours yesterday knitting the second sleeve of my husband’s sweater, and was excited to be so close to finishing…until he tried it on. And now this is what I have to share:

fail. [365.173]

Those balls of yarn are what used to be the Cambridge Jacket. Crap. It was just terribly unflattering, we both agreed. The body of the sweater was snug, and the sleeves were huge; even though I’d tried to mitigate that problem (which I’d heard about from others who knit the pattern) by putting the pattern’s directions aside and knitting sleeves down from the top, the fact is that the armhole in that pattern, at least in the smaller sizes, is just too big. The only way I could have fixed things would have been to rip all the way back to before the armholes on both the fronts and back, and knit them to be shorter, and we decided that if I was going to do all that work, it made more sense to just start from scratch.

So, I’m going to be designing a sweater to fit my husband perfectly. It’ll probably be somewhat similar in silhouette to what the magazine photos of the Cambridge Jacket led me to believe it would be. I’m confident I can do this. I have far more knowledge about sweater design than I did over a year ago, when I first cast-on for this sweater (no, the knitting did not take over a year…it languished in the bottom of my knitting bag for extended periods), and better skills, too. And the beautiful thing about yarn is that you can knit something up, decide it’s crap, rip it out, and be back to where you started. The yarn is still there. It’s just time that’s been lost, which is frustrating, but not the end of the world. I’d much rather spend the time to make a sweater he’d actually want to wear, than to finish up one that has no chance of ever being worn.

Our Thanksgiving Feast

Standard
Thankful

We had a quiet Thanksgiving here at casa whitknits; just my husband and I. With my parents out of the country (my dad is teaching in Jamaica over the break), and my brother spending the holiday with his wife’s family, and with travel being so expensive in the first place, we decided to keep things small here at home. I’m so thankful that we have a lovely little home in which to spend our Thanksgiving together, and for our adorable kitties, for my friends, for President-Elect Obama, and of course, for my wonderful family, even if I’m not getting to see them.

As y’all might already know, my husband and I are both vegetarians. As such, much of the traditional Thanksgiving fare is not our sort of food. I thought it might be fun to share the recipes (or links to the recipes, for the ones we’ve found online) for the delicious vegetarian feast we prepared for ourselves this year. So, with no further ado, here you go!

our Thanksgiving Table
The Entire Feast


Continue reading

Wiggle Mitts!

Standard

I finished my second Wiggle Mitt this morning, and could not help but take a picture doing jazz-hands, because I am, in fact, a dork:

jazz hands! [365.170]

I love them. They’re so soft and snuggly and warm, and I haven’t taken them off since I put them on, the second after I wove in the last end.

Here are the details:
Ravelry Project Page
Pattern: Wiggle Mitts, from knitspot.
Yarn: Bunny Patch (80% merino, 20% angora handspun), from New Hue Handspuns, in “Calm Waters”.
Needles: Size 3 Knitpicks Harmony dpns.
Time to knit: I knit these over the course of 6 days, but they really took just a few hours, all together.

And a few more pictures for y’all to enjoy:

pretty pretty stockinettePretty handspun stockinette
against the window
Against the Window

I had forgotten how much fun these smaller projects can be…instant (well, almost instant) gratification!

a little something.

Standard

I’m holed up in the bedroom today, in the dark, with my laptop dimmed, nursing an awful migraine. I can’t seem to get any real work done, so I thought I’d update the blog.

Hey, remember how I was not going to buy any new yarn for a very long time? Well, I sort of fell off the wagon already:

yarnhugger [365.164]

Just one skein. One skein of utterly delightful 80% merino, 20% angora handspun yarn from New Hue Handspuns. It came in the mail last week, and I could not stop hugging it, it was just so soft and cuddly. I think I needed a little pick-me-up, too.

Isn’t it pretty? It’s so my colors!

Bunny Patch Yarn

I couldn’t resist, and cast-on for a Wiggle Mitt the very next day. I finished it up on Saturday, before the migraine hit:

it's cold outside [365.167]

I love it. It is soft, and surprisingly warm, considering how lightweight the yarn is (it’s the angora, I know!). It’s the perfect little something to cheer me up and keep me warm. Now, if I could just finish its partner, that would be perfect.

(to my darling husband: I promise I will finish your sweater soon. I just needed a wee break from the big pile of stockinette!)

i got nothin’

Standard

My apologies for the blog-silence recently; I’ve not been getting much knitting done, and have been having a bit of a stressful time of things as far as academic stuff is concerned (trying to get a coherent set of research projects started back up after a year in which nothing moved forward thanks to illness is very, very difficult, and often demoralizing). Add to that the time change, which means I now barely see any daylight at all (I’m someone who’s very sensitive to that sort of thing), and I’ve just not been in the mood for much of anything.

Anyway, I’m still here. I thought it might be fun to do the little meme posted over at the Berroco Design Studio Blog. It’s a rather appropriately named one for me; we won’t be going anywhere for Thanksgiving, nor for Solstice, so it’s “staycations” all the way for awhile!

Favorite escapist movie: I fail at favorites, so I’m giving two: Fantasia and Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain.

Favorite libation or wintery beverage: Oooh, I actually have an answer for this one, for the first time ever! I just discovered, thanks to one of my friends, the wonderfulness that is Chai. Namely, Tazo’s Decaf Chai, made with Silk Vanilla Soymilk. I’ve always had a hard time with hot drinks; though I like the smell and flavor, I’m just not a coffee-drinker, and hot cocoa doesn’t taste good to me when it’s made with soymilk, but I’m lactose-intolerant, so if I have it with milk, I’m signing myself up for an uncomfortable next few hours. Tea seemed like the natural solution, but I’ve never liked it; it always just tasted like I was drinking water that someone boiled some dirty grass in or something. Blech. Apparently, though, the solution is to mix that tea with a bunch of awesome spices, and make it in vanilla soymilk…delicious!

new discovery [365.160]

A guilty pleasure snack or comfort food recipe: A couple of dark chocolates with a handful of almonds. I don’t even feel guilty about it, though, so maybe it shouldn’t count!

Who or what surrounds you on the couch?: If I cover myself in the wool blanket, I get both cats snuggled up with me!

me, in a blanket, topped with cat

How do you unwind and shut out the world at the end of the work week?: I’m not very good at unwinding and shutting out the world, actually. What I should do is stuff like yoga and knitting. What I tend to do is frantically run errands that got ignored during the work week. Which is exactly what I’ll be doing tonight, alas.

Return of the Knitting

Standard

That’s right, I have actual knitting progress to report! I’ve started the second sleeve on my husband’s sweater, and have made it most of the way through the sleeve cap:

sweater progress

There it is, laying on our driveway, in the spot where our old Honda Civic (which we finally sold last month!) used to be. If you’re in the habit of going to flickr and looking at the details for every photo I post here (which…uh, you probably aren’t!), you may have noticed that the above picture was taken with a new camera. I’m really excited about this…I’m so grateful to Adrian for sending me her old P&S so that I could continue to take pictures after I broke our camera earlier this year, but when the battery on that older P&S started to die after only a few minutes in the last couple of weeks, I knew it was time. I bought an Olympus Stylus 1010, which has essentially the same features as the glorified P&S that I broke, in a teensy-tiny package that cost less than fixing the old camera would have. Welcome to the blog, new camera:

new camera!

(It’s blue! And I got a snazzy green Gorillapod to go with it, too.) After having seen everyone else post video of their knitting technique while I couldn’t join in a few months ago, that was the first thing I wanted to do when I got this camera. So I hereby present my techniques for knitting and purling, in video form: how I knit and how I purl.

Well, that’s about all there is to report here from casa whitknits. I’m still an exhausted, busy little bee. Which isn’t stopping me from going wild on the hypothetical knitting front; I realized the other day that I have enough yarn to knit at least 8 (yes, 8) yoked sweaters (and that’s not even counting the yarn I have to knit other types of sweaters), so I’m excitedly planning a “Year of Yokes” for next year, in which I will turn all of that yarn into yoked sweaters. This would be why I’m not buying any new yarn for quite awhile, because really, 8 sweaters in a year, without having to buy any yarn? That’s plenty!

Yes We DID!

Standard
Yes We DID!  [365.149]

Last night wasn’t perfect. For one, Californians seem to have voted to support bigotry, and that breaks my heart.

But.

We just elected Barack Obama to be our next president!

I’m wearing a white shirt today. My family has always had a tradition, after an election, of wearing black if things didn’t go our way, as a way of mourning what could have been. I first remember doing this when Harvey Gantt lost to Jesse Helms down in NC in 1990 (I was 7). I tend to credit Helms with destroying my faith in humanity, during that campaign (though having learned, a couple years earlier, what “trickle down economics” meant, and that Reagan and his followers believed in it, had already done some serious damage to it). To see someone be so awful, and use such blatantly racist advertising during their campaign, and for that person to win…it certainly shattered my little 7-year-old sense of justice.

And now we just elected a man named Barack Obama to be our next president. I almost wish Helms were still alive so that he could see this, see people reject, at least in part, his brand of hate and bigotry. And to see me wearing my celebratory white shirt. Take that, you bastard!

We just gave ourselves a calm, intelligent, compassionate, thoughtful, deliberative, rational, reasonable president…what a change. I have hope, after 8 years (the entirety of my adult life) of watching one awful atrocity after another be committed by my own government and feeling so hopeless and helpless to stop them. I’m so freaking happy today. And I love you all.

I promise, I’ll bring back the knitting soon. I’m not big on hiding my politics (I’m a flaming liberal and I’m not ashamed of it!), but I also don’t intend for this to become a political blog. I’m just too happy for my country right now to think about anything else.

Thank you, and good luck, President-Elect Obama.

vote!

Standard

I’m interrupting the knitting content on this blog (what am I talking about? Has there been serious knitting content lately?) to implore everyone (well, everyone who lives in the US) to please, please, please:

vote!  [365.147]

You’re free to laugh at my sad attempt to render the Obama font/logo in crayon, just so long as you vote! If you haven’t already early/absentee-voted, please go to the polls and vote tomorrow. It’s so important. This site will tell you where your polling place is, in case you don’t already know. Bring your knitting with you; the lines could be long!

slump.

Standard
just a peek [365.144]

As you might’ve noticed, I’m in a bit of a slump these days. I came out of Socktoberfest with not a single new sock to my name (seriously, not even a single one! The sock you see above is from two years ago!). I don’t have anything to show off on the knitting front, really, with almost no progress at all on my poor husband’s sweater, and very little on the small projects I keep at the office, as well. I’m doing a terrible job of keeping up with everyone’s blogs, too. The only new thing I have to show off is a haircut, which I got this morning (taking over half a foot off my hair):

New haircut

(again with an old handknit…even if I can’t get any knitting done right now, I can still enjoy the fruits of my earlier labors). It’s entirely a matter of being too busy, both with research/academic stuff and regular life stuff; October was truly atrocious for me on that front. So many little things added up to a schedule that was entirely unmanageable, and now I’m just plain exhausted. So anyway, I’m not sure when things are going to get more exciting here on this little blog, but I wanted to pop in and say hello.