Demi is finished!

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Demi is finished.

Pattern: Demi, from Rowan’s “Vintage Style”
Size: 34
Yarn: Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool (1 full skein, plus probably about half of two other skeins)
Buttons: Wooden Buttons from Peace Fleece
Needles Denise Circulars, size 6 and 8

I finally found the time to wash, block, and seam up Demi. Goodness gracious, the finishing took a lot out of me yesterday, but it was so worth it. I think this is the prettiest thing I have ever made. I love it! I love how classic it looks in cream, and I really love the way the wooden buttons look at the neckline.

I got my husband to take some pictures of me wearing it just a bit ago, using our pretty (but crazily overgrown) backyard garden as backdrop. Full disclosure: I adjusted the colors a bit in these pictures to make me look a little less like death, but not too much. And now, I shower you with photo goodness:

Me, wearing Demi

The obligatory front-facing picture, with me doing that awful thing where I stick my tongue out when I smile.

 

Side shot, without the bottom cut off this time

A side shot. I feel pretty, oh so pretty…

 

Back shot of Demi

Back shot, in which you can see how messy my pinned-up braids look by the end of the day.

 

Closeup of buttons

Closeup of buttons and my über-pale neck.

 

Hi, I have a gigantic forehead.

Hi, I have a giant forehead! But I’m wearing a pretty sweater, so who cares?

 

I love this sweater so much! And I honestly had a blast knitting it, too. All those twisted stitches and cables kept my hands very happy. I was very pleasantly surprised by the Fisherman’s Wool, too. It’s actually pretty soft against the skin, and it shows the fancy stitchwork like a dream. And of course, it’s so very affordable, which is also a huge plus!  The sweater fits quite nicely, too, but also will still fit if I manage to put a little bit of weight back on, because the twisted rib is quite stretchy. I don’t think I could be much happier with the final result. Hooray for successful projects!

It came!

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The yarn for the Modified Cobblestone yoke, that is:

It came!

I love how bright and happy that green is. It didn’t take long for me to start knitting the yoke:

The Yoke Grows

I love it. The decrease round doesn’t look quite so messy in real life as it does in that photo, I’m not sure what’s up with that. But I’m sure it’ll look even cleaner after it gets a bath once I’m done, anyway. The striping does make things a bit more complicated that it would be otherwise, though:

Inside of Yoke

Stripes + Shortrows = lots of ends on the shortrow rounds. I just couldn’t come up with a way around it. There are similar stacks of ends where the shortrows turn around on each side. I’ll just have lots of careful end-weaving to do when I’m done. Such is life. To keep things neat at the switch between knit rounds and purl rounds, I’ve been knitting/purling both colors together on the first stitch of each round. It makes that nice looking “seam” that you see above the stack of ends in the above picture. I did one less pair of shortrows, and have skipped the second decrease round (since I have a fair amount fewer stitches than called for in the pattern, and fairly broad shoulders for being such a petite person…I’m sort of flying by the seat of my pants with these downsizing-type mods!). It shouldn’t take too much longer to finish up the knitting, and then I’ll be spending some quality time with my yarn needle.

In the meantime, look what’s getting its traditional pre-seaming bath:

Something's getting finished soon...

final stretch

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Just a quick, “show-off” post: I finished Demi’s sleeves yesterday afternoon, and plan to block the pieces tonight so that seaming and finishing can commence tomorrow. I had a little fun with our camera, taking artsy-fartsy pictures of the finished pieces, like this:

Demi mosaic

In a couple of hours, I have my CT scan. The Waiting Room Sock will be coming with me and possibly having its heel turned (I’m almost done with the flap). Wish me luck!

oh, so close!

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Slowly but surely, I’m working towards turning a few of these “works in progress” into actual finished pieces. I’m oh-so-close to finishing Demi, just a couple of centimeters away from starting the shoulder shaping on the sleeves:

So close!

Then there’s just blocking, seaming, and doing the bit of finishing around the neck/shoulder area. I’m thinking of recruiting my husband to help me block the front and back either tonight or tomorrow, because we currently lack a flat surface large enough to block all four pieces of this sweater, were I to wait until the sleeves were done. I just don’t have the energy to deal with washing and pinning sweater pieces on my own right now.

There’s another project that’s nearing completion, too, but it’s one I’ve not shown here. The other day, I was trying to organize the knitting patterns I currently have stored on my computer, and came across Ysolda’s “Stuffie” pattern (there’s a link to the free .pdf on her “patterns” page). I decided that I had just the yarn for it, and set off to make myself a little snuggly buddy to keep me company while I wait to find out what is really going on with my kidney. So, meet Mr. Kidney:

Mr. Kidney needs a face

He’s made from Berroco Plush (which, I must say, is sort of a pain to knit with, but results in such a super soft cuddly fabric that I can almost forgive it!). Obviously, he still needs a face. I haven’t decided exactly how I want to go about giving him one (any suggestions?), so for now my snuggly little friend is faceless. But he’s still soft and fuzzy! I like stuffed animals a whole lot. Especially slightly weird or “ugly” ones (like these “Ugly Dolls” that I came across while doing a bit of blog-hopping the other day). Sometimes I feel a little silly about this, seeing as I am a grownup now and all, but it’s very nice to have a soft little thing to cuddle when things aren’t going so well. Like, say, right now, when I’m stuck at home, very sick, barely feeling up to even standing, waiting to find out what is going on inside my kidney, getting nervous about my upcoming CAT scan (think happy non-claustrophobic thoughts for me Thursday afternoon!), and just generally feeling not-so-good about things. It’s so hard to keep the spirits up, but I’m trying, with the help of laptops, the internet, some good books, and of course, knitting.

knitting through the pain

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So, I have finally gotten an answer relating to at least part of the health problems I’ve been dealing with for months now. After doing an ultrasound of my entire abdomen (because one of the primary things going on has been abdominal pain, in addition to: fatigue, weakness, fever, anemia, nausea, weight loss, and other digestive issues…doesn’t that sound like FUN?), they discovered that I have a mighty large kidney stone. Like, LARGE. How on earth I acquired this thing is still a mystery, because nothing in my diet nor water intake or anything like that would lead to any risk of kidney problems, and I’ve still got a bunch of tests to undergo to figure out if/how this relates to the other problems I’ve been having. But, at least I know why my right side has been HURTING like crazy for quite awhile now. Of course, the health system here being what it is, I have to wait over 2 weeks for an appointment with the people who might help get this big old stone out of me. So, in a mostly unsuccessful attempt to ignore the pain and nausea, I’ve been knitting as much as my exhausted, weakened self can manage. And seeing as how this is a knitting blog, how about I shut up about the health stuff and move on to lots and lots of pretty knitting pictures? Yes, that sounds good.

First up, I finally managed to walk downtown to the yarn shop. The other day, we had some men come to fix our gutters, and they were so loud that I decided that despite not exactly feeling up to it, I’d take that opportunity to get away from the noise and walk to go pet yarn. I picked up the needles I needed, as well as a yellow skein of yarn to knit another square for a Secret Project:

Yellow Square

Yep, just like the earlier green square, I stole the stitch pattern from Demi. I’m getting really fast with knitting these! I also picked up a couple more goodies:

Goodies from my LYS trip

I saw this pair of orphaned skeins of Reynold’s Whiskey in the discount bin, and thought they would make a perfect pairing for a set of mittens (Anemoi, perhaps?). And I’ve been hoping to find a nice set of wooden buttons for Demi, and these ones from Peace Fleece seemed like they would fit the bill very nicely.

Speaking of Demi, as promised, I did in fact finish the front. The pattern, by the way, seems like a whole lot of nonsense, and I hope I followed it correctly, and that this business with knitting a separate little chunk for the left shoulder makes sense when it comes time to sew it all together:

Front of Demi, completed!

And, just for good measure, here’s a shot of the front and back together:

Demi, back and front

But oh, that’s not all I’ve been knitting! I’ve also got two feather-and-fan projects in the works. I’ve almost finished the back of Tailored Scallops, but am going to have to ball up a new pair of skeins just to finish up the last couple repeats at the shoulders:

Back of Tailored Scallops, almost completed

It looks slightly blobby in that picture, so here’s a nice closeup of the pretty patterning:

Closeup of feather-and-fan on Tailored Scallops

And finally, there’s the ubiquitous Chevron Scarf. I started it the day I got the needles:

Chevron Scarf begins

And I’ve already completed several inches:

Chevron Scarf keeps growing

I love the way the colors are coming out like I spilled a rainbow on my scarf or something! Just because I can, here are a couple more “artsy-fartsy” shots of the Chevron-in-Progress:

Artsy-fartsy closeup shot

(Huge Closeup!)

Cascading Chevron Scarf

(Cascading Chevrons!)

Wow, that was a long post. I think I need to take a nap. I hope y’all enjoy the pictures! Happy knitting, everyone!

doing my best to keep things going

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As could probably be surmised from my 10-day hiatus, I’m still not doing so well on the health front. In fact, I’ve been feeling worse since I made my last post (and never did get to take that walk to the knitting shop, alas). Add to that finishing up my paper, and a visit from my brother and his fiancee (they just got engaged, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for them!), and, well, I’m pretty wiped out. I don’t feel too great. I feel awful, in fact. Just typing up this post is wearing me out, to be honest. But I have managed to make a little bit of knitting progress, and have taken a few pictures in the past week and a half that I felt like sharing, so just for all y’all, dear readers, I’m putting together this post.

First off, we have Demi. Because I’ve started the new skein of Fisherman’s Wool, it no longer can be stuffed into my purse to come with me to doctor’s visits, but it has still been getting a little bit of love here at home. I’m now partway through the armhole shaping:

Progress on Demi

I still can’t get enough of these twisted stitches and cables. This is going to be one fantastic sweater, if I can ever muster up the energy to finish it.

I haven’t made a ton of progress on anything else. The Golden Dragon socks have stalled, mostly because I don’t yet have the stitch pattern memorized and don’t want to shove my pattern into my purse, and thus haven’t been bringing it along with me to doctor’s visits, either. Not-So-Aprikot remains sleeveless until I feel up to knitting with the cotton again. There will be no more miters until then, either. I have started a plain stockinette sock in the pink and green Vesper sock yarn that I showed a picture of last month, but it’s not very far along and hasn’t had its first picture taken yet.

What I do have pictures of, though, is yarn. Remember how I said I was going to let myself make one “frivolous” purchase with the extra money I made by grading this summer before putting the rest into savings? Well, that purchase has been made. Here are the lovely treats:

Pretty pretty yarn

Some delicious Socks that Rock Mediumweight, in Jade, Obsidian, Watermelon Tourmaline, and Farmhouse.

Jade and Obsidian

The first two are intended for a Syncopated Cap for me, because I think really dark brown and that shade of green are very flattering colors on me, I really like the pattern, and I could use a slightly lighter-weight hat for those days when it’s not quite cold enough for my double-thick worsted-weight wool hat.

Watermelon Tourmaline and Farmhouse

The second two are intended for a Chevron Scarf, which I think will make for a very nice “roll up and stuff in the purse” project to take with me to doctor’s appointments and the like, provided I can find myself a set of not-too-long size 5 straight needles to knit it with (my current collection contains 6’s, 8’s and 10.5’s, but no 5’s. In fact, those needles were my primary reason for wanting to take that walk to the knitting shop the last time I posted, because I feel silly ordering and paying shipping on a single set of needles, but I just might have to if I don’t feel up to getting out to the LYS).

Well, that’s all I’ve got. Here’s hoping things turn around soon, and that I feel up to doing more than a few minutes of knitting every day.

nearing the end

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As I mentioned in my last post, we’re nearing the end of the semester here, which means that in less than a week, I will have completed the first year of my Ph.D. Wow, that sounds weird! I feel sort of old…I can remember when my dad was working on his Ph.D, and now here I am working on mine! If it weren’t for the health problems I’m still dealing with (yes, if you’ve been reading along all this time, I really have been sick since February and still don’t really have any good answers from my docs), this end-of-semester would be relatively low-key; I’ve only got one paper left to finish, and then I’m done, coursework-wise. It’s due Wednesday, and I’m already 1/3 done, so I’m feeling pretty good about it, so long as I can find the energy to finish it up.

Anyway, I mostly just wanted to show off what I’ve been able to accomplish on Demi this week whilst waiting in doctor’s offices and the like. I’m already into the 3rd repeat of the center pattern!

Progress on Front of Demi

I’m still in love with the pattern and just everything in general about this sweater. I’ve shifted over to Demi, instead of continuing on Not-So-Aprikot, because despite the fact that Not-So-Aprikot would be a more seasonal knit, the cotton is heavier and harder on my hands than the wool, and I’m trying not to push myself more than I should given the craptastic current state of my physical health. I’m really liking the wool I’m using for Demi, Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool. It has some crazy excellent yardage, and it’s sturdy but light, with a good amount of lanolin still in it. To demonstrate what I mean by “crazy excellent yardage”, here is what is still left of my first skein after knitting the entire back and what’s shown above of the front:

What remains of skein #1

I bet I will make it to at least the armhole shaping before I need to bust into skein #2!

That’s pretty much all I’ve been knitting lately. I’m knitting it on my Denise circulars, so it squishes into my purse really nicely and comes along with me to all of my appointments…but it leaves no room to carry my usual sock along. So poor Golden Dragon has to wait its turn now.

Well, today I will be writing and writing on that one last paper. If I’m good, I’m going to treat myself to a walk with my husband downtown to my favorite knitting shop later today. It’s a long walk, but the weather is gorgeous, and everything is blooming, and I think a bit of sunshine and some yarn petting would make for a very nice break from the monotony of paper writing. I also have the new Summer Interweave to look through when I need a break. It arrived in my mailbox yesterday, and I’ve already added several of the projects therein to my collection of photos of “Future Projects and Inspirations” on flickr. Oh, so many temptations…but I must be good and finish my paper before I can let myself daydream too much about knitterly things!

Wish me luck!

I have been knitting (and I have proof!)

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First, as promised in my previous post, photographic evidence of the completion of Not-So-Aprikot’s fronts:

Fronts of Not-so-Aprikot

I put the remaining live stitches on scrap yarn instead of binding off, so that I can extend/shorten the bits that wrap around the neck as needed, and so that I can kitchener them together for a nice clean seam. Finishing up these fronts freed up my needles for another task:

Green Squares

Squares. For a secret project. I’m sure y’all recognize the cable pattern on the one on the left…I stole it from Demi! Speaking of which, I did in fact give Demi some love this weekend, and knit all of this (well, the part that’s on top…the back was knit quite awhile ago at this point!) on Saturday:

front of Demi begins!

It’s actually even further along now than it was in that picture, because I knit on it a bit more last night (it’s at a little past one full repeat of the center pattern, now). It’s such an addictive pattern, with those lovely twisted stitches and cables and bobbles.

I’m not sure how much knitting I will be able to muster up in the next week or so. It’s the end of the semester here, and while I don’t have quite as many exams as some of my classmates, I do have papers to write, and the busy meeting/research schedule never stops, anyway. So the knitting (and thus the posting) might be a bit thin between now and the 9th (when my last paper is due). Of course, if I feel the need to procrastinate and distract myself, all bets are off…but I’m hoping I can be reasonably well-focused for the next week.

plotting and scheming

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That’s what I’m up to these days. I’m pretty busy with the end-of-semester crunch, plus the research stuff that never ends (not that I mind, I enjoy it quite a lot, which is a good thing seeing as I’ll be doing it for the rest of my life, most likely!), so I don’t have a ton of time where I can just sit down and knit. Instead, I’m filling my free moments between running subjects or making presentations by scheming about future projects. Like I need any more of those, right? But I just can’t help myself.

First off, we have the gorgeous chevron scarves I keep seeing around blogland. I’ve fallen in love with the popular STR Farmhouse and Watermelon Tourmaline color-combo, and I think I may make a skein of each of those colors my one “frivolous” purchase when I get the paycheck for the extra grading I did this semester. I just love the colors oh so much…bright, happy, rainbow colors just make my day.

Lately I’ve also been thinking a lot about a sweater for which there is apparently soon to be a pattern, the tan sweater-coat that Stephanie of Glampyre Knits has been wearing in many of her photos relating to her book. When I saw the most recent photo of her wearing it pop up in my bloglines, I went to her site and perused the archives, hoping I’d just missed a mention of a pattern for it somewhere. Apparently she’s going to be putting it out this summer, which is excellent news. If I were to knit that pattern some day, I think I would use a deep purple yarn. So I’m noting that here, for posterity.

Other projects I’m scheming about include: a sweater for my husband, in a deep slightly greenish blue shade of Cascade 220 purchased on sale at WEBS, the aforementioned Escher project for my dad, possible mitten patterns for gifts during the Winter Holiday season, even more color combinations for my Mitered Square Blanket, a few pairs of socks, the sweater I hope to make in my gorgeous green Araucania yarn, a few stash-busting sweaters inspired by ones I’ve seen in magazine ads lately, and some baby items. How’s that for a list?

With the money I got from my grandparents and in-laws for my birthday, I decided to further my goal of becoming a proficient, self-sufficient knitter who can turn what’s in her head into a beautiful project in the real world. Which is not to say that I don’t like knitting from other people’s patterns, because I really do, but I also want to be able to design wearable things for myself, and as in all other endeavors in my life (language, computer science, running, violin, cooking/baking, etc), I like to have a good grounding in the “theory” before I do much else. So with that in mind, I expanded my Elizabeth Zimmermann collection (if there ever were a knitter more adamant about not needing to rely on patterns, I don’t know who it would be!), purchasing a few “Spun-Out” pamphlets, as well as “Knitting Workshop” and “Knitting Around”. I also got a set of yarn samples from Schoolhouse Press. My final birthday-purchase was Maggie Righetti’s “Sweater Design in Plain English”, since I’ve heard such good things about it on several people’s blogs lately. Here’s the loot:

Birthday Money Goodies!

The particular Spun-Outs include the “Bavarian Jacket” (which I really like the look of, so I was curious about its construction), the “Bohus-Yoked Pullover” (I have a sweater’s worth of natural Patons Classic Merino, plus a skein each of a couple of blues, creams, and browns that would make a gorgeous scaled-up Bohus), and, of course, the “Saddle-Shouldered Aran”. How could I not want to start working out the details of my own version of that sweater, after seeing Jared’s absolutely gorgeous finished one a few weeks ago?

Finally, I also have a practical question for everyone who’s managed to read this far. In addition to all of these projects I’m plotting for myself and my loved ones, I’ve been asked by a friend to knit a commissioned project. It having been ages since anyone’s commissioned something from me, I have no idea what a fair amount of money to ask for is. Without revealing what the project is, let’s just say that it’s a project from a designer whose patterns I’ve always wanted to knit, but which I’ll probably never get to make for myself due to my, ahem, “lack of voluptuousness”. I don’t have the pattern yet, so I can only guess from the picture of the finished object, but I’m thinking it would take somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-30 hours of knitting. Have any of y’all ever accepted payment for a knitted project? What would be reasonable?

Oh, and for anyone worried about the fate of my current projects, since my mind seems to have wandered off into the future without them, worry not.  I’m actually itching to finish them, and might make a bit more of an effort on that front this weekend.  In particular, I want to give Demi some love, since Not-So-Aprikot’s gone off and gotten  both fronts while I’ve not even started the front of Demi, which is quite a shame since I’m very much in love with the twisted stitches and cables.

(by the way, as promised in my previous post, I did in fact finish the fronts of Not-So-Aprikot, and knit a couple of squares for the super-secret project with the freed-up needles, but I’ve not bothered to get the camera out to take pictures yet, so y’all will just have to wait for photographic evidence!)

Back to back

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After an extremely busy week that wound up pouring into the first half of the weekend, I decided I deserved to take yesterday afternoon completely OFF (it is Spring Break, after all, as little as that means for graduate students), and just relax on the couch and knit. This move payed off (well, not so much on the health front, as I still feel pretty cruddy today), and I finished the backs of both Demi and Not-So-Aprikot, one right after another. Here they are, arranged as artistically as my stuffed-up, still-confused-by-the-time-change self could manage this morning:

Back to Back

Hooray! Now there’s just the fronts (in Not-So-Aprikot’s case, two of them, which I intend to knit at the same time), and the sleeves (which I again intend to knit at the same time)…actually, that’s still quite a lot of work to go! But, progress is progress, and I’m pretty happy with mine. Just so they can each get the love they deserve, here’s each sweater back on it’s own:

Demi, completed back

There’s Demi.

Not-So-Aprikot, finished back

And there’s Not-So-Aprikot. Don’t they make a lovely pair of Project Spectrum knits? Oh, and in case anyone is wondering about the fate of my other Project Spectrum WIP, the RPM socks, no worries, they’re getting some love, too. I’ve been taking them with me when we run errands and such, and am making a bit of progress. But I’m not planning to take another picture of them until I reach the heel turn or so, just because, well, how many times do you need to see a knitted tube? It’s a very, very lovely tube, but still…it’s a tube. They’ll definitely be getting lots of love in a couple of weeks, when I fly off to a conference in San Diego, since I don’t think I’ll be too keen on taking large sweater pieces with me, but socks should do the trick nicely.

I’m beginning to plot my projects for the next two-month period of Project Spectrum (where the color triad is Green-Yellow-Pink). I have some sock yarn that I was given a long time ago that is two shades of bright pink with a bright green stripe that I think would be pretty perfect, and there’s also the green Sundara Sock yarn that I finally found after it went missing for a few months after the move. As for larger projects, I’d like to knit Forecast in some dark jade green Bartlett yarn (the same yarn I used for Rogue, just a different color), and to knit a modified BPM sweater (as I think I’ve mentioned before, I plan to lose the hood, and to make it a bit longer and more fitted) in the lovely Araucania Nature Wool I picked up on mega-clearance awhile back. Yes, I’ll be focused on greens, but I can’t help it…I’m even leaving out several options on the green front, that’s how big a proportion of my stash is taken up by the color green. I love green! In any case, I’ve got a few weeks to decide how I want to approach the next set of colors, so we’ll just see what I wind up doing. (Oh, and since I just looked at the date right now to see exactly how long I have left in March, I’ll just note: my birthday is in exactly a month! I hadn’t realized quite how close it was getting).

I’m back, with backs

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Sorry for the little hiatus; I’d hoped to be posting more regularly, but my parents’ visit (which was wonderful) plus the resulting catch-up at work has kept me a bit too busy to be doing the whole blog thing. My mom loved her Rogue, and it fits her very, very nicely, but I don’t have a picture, because I didn’t want to pressure her into letting me post her photo here on the blog for the whole Internet (or, you know, all 15 or so of you who read here) to see. But it was definitely a success. Now I’m plotting what I could knit for my dad (not a sweater, though!). I think they enjoyed their visit, even though the weather (and our furnace, which crapped out and stopped producing heat right after they got here, which was the day the weather went back to being cold!) didn’t cooperate. We took them on a little tour of our town, and I got to see some things that I actually hadn’t had a chance to see yet despite living here for over 7 months. Like High Falls:

more High Falls plus Downtown

Isn’t that nice? We have a beautiful waterfall, right downtown. When it gets warmer, I’m going to try to see whether there are any good running paths near there, because I think it would be really nice to get to run past a pretty waterfall on a regular basis.

As for my own knitting, I’ve made a bit of progress. It was a little easier, while my parents were here, to work on the not-so-Aprikot Jacke than to work on Demi (no cables = easier to converse while knitting), so they are now caught up to the exact same spot: right at the armholes. Here’s Demi:

Demi (almost to armhole shaping)

And here’s not-so-Aprikot:

Aprikot Jacke (almost to armhole shaping)

(Actually, this photo is a bit behind. I just started the armholes on Aprikot this morning, but I haven’t taken a picture of that, yet).

I’m hopeful that despite the crazy busy schedule I’m finding myself with, I’ll be able to finish both backs by the end of the week. I actually don’t mind how busy I am, because it’s all good stuff: research projects are taking off (we got some really beautiful pilot data yesterday on one of them, so here’s hoping it holds!), my independent readings are getting really interesting, and it’s all very rewarding and I’m feeling very happy, if still not quite 100% (the mono-like virus is still making me really tired, but I don’t feel quite so unable to function as I’ve felt the past couple of weeks).

You know what I’m not happy about, though? Last night I heard that the Spring Knitty was up, and I went to go check it out. But alas, something about the way knitty does their photos on the individual pattern pages makes our wireless hub crash. It’s very strange, but knitty’s not the only site where we have that problem. I think our hub got damaged in the move, because it’s been a bit…screwy, especially with images and, for some reason, sitemeter (which is used by several of the political blogs I frequent). So anyway, I can’t look at knitty without killing the Internet, and I’m getting very sick of running downstairs to reset our hub, so I guess I will just have to wait until I get to the office to see what lovely offerings there are this time around. How disappointing!

a bit slowed down

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In the time since my last post, I’ve come down with what is apparently a “mono-like” virus. So basically, I have been too exhausted to do much of anything. Which means rather little progress has been made on the knitting front (or any other front, for that matter), and when I have made progress, I haven’t had the energy to do an update. But I got my husband’s help with the camera last night, so I have a few things to show y’all now.

First of all, I finished the first of his socks (I actually did this on last Thursday, but was too tired to bother with the camera at the time). I was flying by the seat of my pants on the measurements, since I’ve only ever knit for my own foot before, and have never knit a sock at this gauge, but they came out perfect. I couldn’t have done a better job deciding where to start the toe decreases if I tried (well, I mean, it’s not like I didn’t try to make these perfect. I did. But you know what I mean). Here’s a flat shot of the first Andrew-sock:

Andrew's sock #1

Yes, that’s notebook paper underneath it. We needed something white-ish because the colors come out very weird otherwise, and it was the only thing close at hand. The yarn is Paton’s Classic Merino in the “Forest” colorway, and I’m really loving how it worked up on size 3 dpns. Andrew seems to like them, too. Here’s a picture of the sock on his foot:

It fits!

The flash made the colors all weird. And look at what long, skinny, pointy feet my boy has! Completely the opposite from my short, wide, stubby feet. Here’s another shot, a side view:

It fits!  (side view)

The fit is great, and he says it’s warm. So now I just need to knit the second one (which shouldn’t take long, except for the whole being way too tired to do anything thing), and he can have a pair of warm feet. He teased that I’d finish them just in time for it to warm up, so I want to prove him wrong!

I’ve also made progress on Demi. Actually, almost all of the progress you see was done last night, while I kept Andrew company in the kitchen while he made our delicious yellow split pea potato soup (it is seriously my favorite soup ever, and I’d be happy to send along our recipe to anyone who’s interested). I had him take a picture after we ate:

Demi grows

Isn’t it gorgeous? I’ve now completed two sets of bobbles, and I’m still loving it. I am just utterly enamored with this sweater. There’s only one small problem that resulted from doing all that knitting while exhausted…can you see it? How about a close-up?

Oops!

See that outside line of twisted stitches? Yep. I zigged when I should have zagged, or something along those lines. It shouldn’t be too hard to fix, since it’s only a few stitches, and just a couple of rows down…I just didn’t have the energy to even try last night. But here, I’ll do it right now…

…there. All better. Yeah, I know, there’s no picture. You’ll just have to trust me, because that tiny bit of sweater-repair has worn me out and I don’t feel like going to get the camera to document my little fix-up. Here’s hoping this bug goes away soon, and I have my energy back, because I’d like to post more often than weekly! But of course, if there’s no progress to post, there’s no progress to post…and it’s a bit hard to make progress when I’m spending all of my non-school time sleeping. We’ll just have to see.

a new love

Standard

Aw, my title is appropriate for Valentines Day, isn’t that sweet? I don’t actually really get into Valentines Day, and neither does my husband…we’re all about Cheap Chocolate Day tomorrow, though! (I swear, I’m not a total curmudgeon about celebrating things, it’s just that I find birthdays, anniversaries, and Solstices/Equinoxes far more exciting than traditional holidays). I’m spending this Valentines Day at home, because we’re getting dumped on with snow here in Upstate NY. I just have some reading to do for my classes, but other than that, I can just sort of relax today, which I don’t mind at all.

Now back to the title of my post. I do, indeed, have a new love. And I have had a falling out with an old one. And, in fact, have abandoned the latter for the former. And of course, I’m talking about sweaters, and not people…my darling and I are quite happy with one another, even if he’s not going to get his socks in time for Valentines Day! You might’ve noticed that I seemed a little, erm, less than enthusiastic about Retro Prep the last time I posted. I just…didn’t like it. I didn’t like the resultant fabric, when I knit the called-for yarn at the called-for gauge, at least not at the scale of an entire sweater (I wasn’t bothered by it on my swatch, but I should’ve known better). It didn’t feel sturdy. It was impossible to keep my stitches even. I couldn’t knit as firmly as I wanted to, because the yarn was so fragile that it would break. Retro Prep, and the Rowanspun DK (which, had I read that review before trying to use it, I could’ve guessed I wouldn’t like), just wasn’t doing it for me. And I was secretly pining for another sweater. Every time I picked up Retro Prep, all I could think about was…Demi. Here she is:

Demi, lying flat

Not the greatest picture, but isn’t it gorgeous?! I am in love with this sweater. After a few false starts (has anyone else knit this in the small size? Did you find the chart to be very confusing about the edges, what with the cables continuing on past the edge because of the larger sizes in the chart?), I’ve now made it past the first set of bobbles. I adore them. I adore everything about this sweater. The twisted stitches, the cables, the bobbles, the way everything stands out so nicely in the undyed yarn (which is white-ish, so I’m counting it for purposes of Project Spectrum!)…I love it. Here’s another picture, where I was trying to be clever and holding the sweater up so that I could take a (somewhat) vertical picture, which wound up just looking a little bit weird:

Demi begins

The yarn, by the way, is Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool, which I’ve had sitting around ever since the Joanns near my old university had a closeout sale where they were selling these massive (seriously, 465 yards!) skeins for something like $2.50 each. I’ve never knit with it until now, but I really like it. I’m finding that I’m a sucker for basic wools like that. Look at my favorite yarns: Patons Classic Merino, Cascade 220, Bartlett Yarn 2-ply, and now this. I just really like a good sturdy yarn. No frills. In fact, I think I may try Retro Prep again, one of these days, in Patons Merino, since that’s a yarn that I especially like knit to a slightly firmer-than-called-for gauge. Maybe I’ll knit it in green. We’ll just have to see. This is all that remains of Retro Prep, for now:

Remains of Retro Prep

Just a sad little lump, which I intend to unravel and re-ball today. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the yarn. I think I might like it better held double (it seems like the resulting fabric would be more to my liking that way, at least), but I only have 5 skeins (enough to make Retro Prep in the smaller sizes…I picked it up for cheap when it was being cleared out after being discontinued last year), so the most I could do would be a vest or something, and I’m just not too excited about the idea of a solid-colored vest. Do any of you dear readers want it? (I know, I spent most of this post talking about how much I didn’t like it. “I hate this yarn. Here, try it!” seems a little weird, but it’s a matter of personal preference, I’m sure!). Perhaps some sort of swap could be arranged, if any of you have some unloved yarn, or, you know, chocolate or something lying around. Leave me a comment if you think you have a little more love in your heart for Rowanspun DK than I do, and we’ll work something out. First come, first served. Happy Valentines Day to all of you!