Mom’s Rogue is DONE!

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Oh my goodness, seaming weaving in the ends on this sweater took forever. I got the first sleeve set in and seamed yesterday, but that was it…I had to spend a lot of time fighting with the programming language we program our eyetracking experiments in yesterday at the office, and was too tired by the time I got home to bother with the second one, or with weaving in any ends. I literally spent all day today doing that (with breaks, of course, but still!). But I’m so, so thrilled with the result. It looks very polished and nice, and the color is going to look fantastic on my mom.

I actually tried it on when I was finished (I just had to), and it seems appropriately roomy on me, so I think it will fit my mother beautifully. It feels really lovely, too…I almost want to steal it! (But I promise I won’t. That would be evil.) I think if I knit myself a second Rogue, I will make it in the size I made for my mom, in a slightly less rustic wool than the Bartlett, because I really liked the way the drapier, slightly roomy version felt. I love the Bartlett yarn that I used to make my Rogue, but I think I might use something like Cascade 220 if I knit myself another, to get a little bit of that drapey effect. I didn’t take any pictures of it on me (because that just felt wrong), so here is a picture of it on our table:

All done!

And getting to that point took a lot of work. Here’s the pile ‘o ends that resulted from trimming the leftover bits after I wove them in (I swear, there must have been 100 ends…that’s what you get when you use a non-spliceable yarn that comes in balls with very little yardage):

The pile 'o ends

Here are the stats, for anyone who’s interested:

Pattern: Rogue
Yarn: Laines du Nord, Dolly Maxi. 14 balls in a very dark green.
Needles: Size 5 (for hem-facing) and 7 (for everything else), Denise Circulars
Time to knit: November 18th, 2006 through February 25th, 2007 (3 months, not bad given how much else I had going on while this was being knit).

even cats love Nancie Wiseman

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Yesterday we wound up having to get our car towed to the shop for repairs that wound up costing more money than I actually had in my bank account (a HUGE thank-you to my mother, for giving us a hand with the costs!). Basically, our car is 12 years old and still had quite a few original parts, which were really past due to crap out on us…and I think the yucky up-and-down swing the weather has taken the past few days was enough to push them over the edge, so that the car wouldn’t go anywhere until we had them fixed. Luckily, I remembered to bring my knitting bag with me when we hopped on the tow-truck, because we wound up sitting around for several hours in the front room of the shop (unfortunately, neither I nor my husband remembered to bring our cell phones, which made getting in touch with my mother quite the adventure). I’d thought I had the yarn/needles to start my husband’s second sock, but apparently I’d put them in a drawer, so the only thing in the bag was Demi. I made a fair amount of progress, considering how tired I was. I’m almost up to the armhole shaping:

Demi keeps growing

I am still madly in love with this sweater. I am so, so glad that I decided to ditch Retro Prep and knit Demi instead. Sometimes ripping is totally worth it (oh, speaking of ripping, Erin, I’ll get the Rowanspun DK sent out to you on Monday…this week was just such a mess what with the car and being sick and everything).

I actually did make it into the office yesterday despite the car debacle, and had a really good research meeting (which was interrupted partway through, during which time I inadvertently took a nap at my desk…this exhaustion thing is just killing me!). I’m going to have to go in sometime this weekend to actually do some of the stuff we talked about, though, because I was just too tired to even think about it by the time we were done. Instead, I had my husband come bring me home, where he helped me to wash, block, and pin the parts of mom’s Rogue before I totally crashed for the night around 8:30pm. I don’t have a picture of this process…just picture the one I showed of my own Rogue blocking, with a slightly bigger, dark-green Rogue, and maybe you’ll realize why there’s no picture: a dark green sweater blocking on dark green towels doesn’t really look like much.

My husband had the absolutely brilliant idea of putting the box fan in the room where the pieces were blocking, and I think that plus the fact that the air in our apartment is really dry from running the heat worked wonders. The pieces were actually dry when I went to check on them this morning! So I brought them downstairs, where I took a couple of pictures. Here’s the one with flash:

Mom's Rogue parts, blocked

The yarn has such a sheen to it that it just winds up reflecting the flash and looking really washed out. So I tried taking one without the flash:

Mom's Rogue parts, blocked

Blurry, but much closer in color (though it’s still too light. It’s a very, very dark green). I really wish I could learn more about photography, so that my pictures could be better, but I simply don’t have the time right now. One of these days, I will.

I had intended to start weaving in the ends (as you can see, there are lots of them, but I wanted to wait until after blocking because I knew the pieces would grow) and setting in the sleeves. However, a certain someone decided that they liked “The Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques” even more than I do. And I wouldn’t want to disturb my sleeping beauty:

Ren loves Nancie Wiseman

That’s Ren, one of our two orange-tabby brothers. See, even cats love Nancie Wiseman! So I guess I will have to just wait until later to get those sleeves set in. Hopefully by the end of the weekend, I will be able to count this Rogue amongst my finished projects. Maybe I’ll even be able to get my mom to pose for a photo while she’s here visiting (they arrive next Friday). Wish me luck!

look, mom!

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Your sleeves are done! I’m a bit sleepy, so this isn’t going to be much of a blog post, but I just bound off the sleeves after a little marathon of knitting this evening, and took some (very bad) pictures just to show you:

Finished Rogue Sleeves!

Ren (one of our two orange tabby brothers (the other being Stimpy, obviously!)) decided he needed to be in on the action in the first picture. Silly boy.  I took a second photo, sans cat, because the crooked angle in the first one almost made the sleeve appear to be different lengths, which they aren’t:

Finished Rogue Sleeves, sans cat

The color in these is terrible (things always look awful when I try to take pictures on the coffee table, but I’m too sleepy right now to bother dragging them upstairs to take a picture against the white sweater trunk). And yeah, I know that this color has absolutely nothing to do with the current Project Spectrum color triad. But, lucky for you, I’ve got another picture that fits the bill for that:

Huge icicles!

Ain’t that pretty?  That’s a picture my husband took of the giant icicles (you can’t tell very well in the pictures, but those icicles are at least 3 or 4 feet long and very very thick) that have been growing off our roof during the very cold weather we’ve been having. I love the look of the clear ice with the white snow, and especially that lovely blue sky…I work in a windowless office, so I don’t get to see that very often!

Anyway, I’m hoping to get the sweater pieces washed (I like to give my knits a bath once I’m finished because they pick up a lot of cat hair, dust, and goodness knows what else whilst being carried along with me as I work on them) and blocked in the next couple of days, so that I can seam it up and mail it off to mom by the end of the week. Here’s hoping my second pair of set-in sleeves goes as smoothly as my first pair did!

And now we have sleeves…

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…or at least, parts of them. My mom asked me the other day whether she had sleeves yet, so I figured I ought to post a picture of my progress on them so she can see where they stand. I’ve knit 59 rows so far (recording this number here, given my notoreity for forgetting where I am in this sweater), and am not quite to elbow-height yet. Here’s a picture:

Mom's Rogue: Sleeves

As you can see, I’m knitting them both at the same time, just like I did for my own Rogue. I figure this should help me stave off “second X syndrome”, for X = “sleeve” (sorry about the math-dorkiness, it can’t be helped). It’s not a huge problem for me…I don’t have piles of unfinished second socks, mittens, or gloves laying around, but I do tend to take my time on item number two of a pair (except in the case of the Candy Corn Socks, that is!), and I want my mom to have her sweaters as soon as possible. It also makes it easier when I make slight alterations to the pattern (which I will be doing a bit of, since while my mom does not quite have my “gorilla arms”, the sleeves as written would be a touch short on her), because that way I can make sure both sleeves are identical. Here’s a closeup of one of the sleeves:

Sleeve, closeup

I knit in the hem as I went just like I did for my own Rogue (this only works because I do not do the twisted-stich hem as directed, but simply knit it normally on needles two sizes smaller). This involves a little bit of math, since the stich count changes between cast-on and the point where the hem is knit-in, but I really like the way it turns out, and it gives me less finishing work to do when I’m done, which is always a plus.

I probably won’t be working on the sleeves today, as I’ve got 65 tiny-fonted pages of reading on the visual system (which I neither care particularly about, nor know much about, but for some reason language students are required to take vision classes, while vision students never have to learn a lick about language in my department) to do by tonight, so that I can write up my answers to the thought questions by 5pm tomorrow (who has homework due on a Sunday??). Which really means I need to write them up by 3pm or so tomorrow, since 5pm will be during our little departmental knitting/crafting group. I still hope to have these sleeves done very soon, so that I can start on some Project Spectrum projects for me! (And speaking of which, nobody’s helping me decide what to knit next! Seriously, I’d love to hear what project(s) you really like (or not, as the case may be) of the ones I posted last time as possible contenders for the “Next Project” title.)

Mom’s Rogue: Now, with hood!

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After finishing my Ganomy hat, I made a little promise to myself, to finish the hood of my mother’s Rogue sweater before starting any other projects. I made good on my promise, but goodness gracious, I’d forgotten about how that hood goes on for-freaking-ever! When I knit my own, I’d done over 1/3 of it, and then set it aside for several months when I got really busy with all of the work on my MA last year, so it didn’t seem like quite so much when I picked it back up again. I’d hoped to get a good picture to show my mom, but the lighting in this place just doesn’t allow for it, so this is the best I could do:

Mom's Rogue, now with Hood!

It looks kind of washed out, and the color is way off, but without the flash, it was one giant blur. C’est la vie. So now, there’s just the sleeves. Of course, the sleeves are a fair amount of knitting themselves, and given that classes have started (I had my first one today, Mathematical Foundations of Artificial Intelligence), I’ll be a bit busier and it might take awhile longer yet. I still hope to have it done within a month or so.

(Side note: the remainder of this post is being typed using only my left hand because Ren has decided that my right arm is a great place to nap. Please forgive any missed typos) As much as I love being able to knit a sweater for someone I love, I’m really eager to have it done and off the needles so that I can move on to other things, because it’s getting to where I feel really guilty if I knit anything else, but that’s no good! The only problem is that I have so many options forWhat To Knit Next. I’m trying to some extent to use the Project Spectrum color triad for the next two months to guide my choices, but even then, I have too many options! (Hardly shocking, given that two favorite colors of mine, blue and grey, are in the grouping, as is the neutral white!)

(Side note: Ah, thank goodness, the cat has moved!) I know for sure that I’ll be knitting socks using the mainly-blue Koigu yarn, but I don’t want that to be my only project. Here are some of the other projects I’m considering: Retro Prep, in grey Rowanspun DK; Aprikot Jacke, in a pale blue-green shade of GGH Java (but I need to get it under good light one of these days and decide whether it’s more blue or green!); Fledermaus Pullover, in blue and white Plymouth Encore (I started this one a long time ago and ripped it out, having done the increases very poorly); Lace Blousson, in a silver-grey hemp; Fiery Bolero, in a non-firey, but absolutely gorgeous cobalt blue; or Demi, in undyed Lion Brand Fisherman’s wool. See my problem…if you look in that “Things I have the Yarn to Make” photoset, almost all of them are going to be blue, grey, or white (my own fault, of course, for never buying anything other than blue, grey, white, or green yarn!) Help! Does anyone want to put in a vote for a particular project?

Happy New Year!

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Ok, so I’m a few days late with that one. But I’ve been taking a bit of a blog-break (both here and elsewhere) while I’m on vacation, mostly because I feel a bit rude taking time out of what little I have for visiting family to sit and write blog posts. But, speaking of family, remember that sweater I was knitting for my mom?

Mom's Rogue (body finished)

That’s right, I finished the body. And in time for her to try it on, even! It’s a little bit snugger than I’d intended (due mostly to the fact that, unnoticed by me until now, my gauge has tightened up a bit since I swatched awhile ago), but I’m 99% that it will grow enough when I block it that it will be fine. It’s ok as is, but it’s definitely form-fitting (which looks good on my lovely mother, but I’m not sure if it’s what she wants). Just for good measure, here’s a shot of the beautiful side cable:

Rogue, Side Cable closeup

I’m quite happy with the amount of progress I’ve made so far. I hope to get the rest of it done before classes start, but that’s probably a bit unlikely. We’ll see. I’ll do my best.

In the car during the various stages of our trip (we visted my husband’s family first, on the way to visit mine, which is far enough away from where we live that it takes two days to drive it comfortably), I also made some progress on my Red Scarf Project scarf. Some, as in, a lot:

Red Scarf Project Progress

Remember how it wasn’t even as long as the knitting needle, in my last post about it? Yeah, well, as you can see, 12 hours in a car gives you a lot of knitting time. I hope to have it finished after we drive home, at which time it’ll be sent off to be wrapped around some very deserving college student’s neck.

Like everyone else, I’ve made a few New Year’s Resolutions. Most of them involve taking better care of myself, as I don’t do the best job of that generally. A big goal of mine is to get back into running competitively again. For those of you who don’t know me in real life, the “again” might be a bit confusing. So, some background: until the last three years or so, I was a very good runner. I was especially good when I started trying the longer distances after graduating from high school. For a period of over a year, starting at age 19, I won my age group in every race I entered from 5k through marathon. Here’s a picture of me crossing the finish line at my first marathon, the ’02 Columbus marathon, at which I won my age group handily, qualifying for Boston with 20 minutes to spare:

columbus02.jpg

And here’s me showing off my medal (and a nasty sunburn!) after running that Boston:

Me, very sunburnt, after Boston '03

I “ran” Boston a second time the next year, with my dad who had also qualified (how many people can say that?!). I say “ran”, because I was very, very sick that day, and after a sub-2 hour first half, wound up taking longer than the entire Columbus marathon had taken me to finish the rest of the race. It was hellish. I ran one more race after that one, 2.5 years ago.

Since then (and even slightly before), I’ve been struggling with a constant series of respiratory infections, mostly due to living in a horribly moldy apartment in my old city. It’s very hard to train regularly when you’re interrupted on a near-monthly basis by respiratory infections like the ones I was having, and as such, I’ve not run “regularly” in 2 years. Having now moved to a place where I seemed to have my health back, at least for the most part, I really want to get back in the game. I want to run another marathon, I want to race again, and to replace that memory of the awful, awful second Boston marathon with a race run well, with a healthy mind and body. So when I saw Rachael’s post about her idea for a “runalong”, I was pretty excited. So, I’ve joined Runagogo:

100 miles

As I mentioned in my introductory post on the blog, I’m setting my goal a bit higher than 100 miles by April 1st. Back when I was running marathons, I ran over 75 miles a week consistently, so even being what I consider to be “out of shape” for me, 100 miles seems like a bit low for a goal. So my plan is to start running as soon as I get back from vacation (so, in 3 days or so), and to try to run 100 miles in 4 consecutive weeks before April 1st (and to keep building up my mileage after that, of course!). I think this will be manageable, and maybe even a little too easy…if so, I’ll make it more challenging for myself. While I intend for this blog to stay a knitting blog, I will probably post updates about my progress on the running front from time to time, but I’ll try to do most of my Runagogo-related posting on the group blog.

So anyway, I’ve had a nice holiday, and I hope you all have, too. I’ll be back to posting a bit more regularly once we get home.

thankful

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had a quiet one, with one of my friends from my graduate program coming over for a vegetarian thanksgiving with my husband and me. The food was all lovely, except for my somewhat-failed attempt at a lentil loaf. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good, either. Just bland. Oh well. But given the holiday, I thought I’d start out this post with a little list of things I’m thankful for:

  • my husband
  • my family
  • our kitties
  • being in a fantastic graduate program
  • having a superstar duo of advisors
  • good food
  • yarn
  • pretty things (yeah, that’s general, but I like pretty!)
  • beautiful music, especially when I’m participating in making it
  • language
  • science
  • Keith Olberman
  • Richard Dawkins
  • having health insurance (but I wish everyone could)
  • having a great support system here
  • all of the great people I’ve met this year, online and off

And of course, plenty of other things that I surely forgot. But now, on to the knitting content. I’ve made more progress on my mom’s Rogue, and have finished the pocket and made it through chart A on the body:

Mom's Rogue

It’s looking really good. I’m really enjoying knitting with this yarn, it’s nice and soft and glides through my fingers like butter. It doesn’t seem to be pilling, either, so hopefully that won’t ruin the lovely softness of the sweater. The color is a gorgeous dark hunter green, which will look really lovely on my mom. We have very different coloring (she has dark hair and more olive-toned skin, while I’m a ridiculously pale blonde), but this is one of the colors that suits both of us very well.

I also started another sock, with the STR lightweight that just did not work for Pomatomus. I tried a few stitch patterns, but found that only straight stockinette really looked good. So, stockinette socks it is! The picture below doesn’t reflect all of the progress I’ve made…I’m actually almost done with the heel-flap, but don’t really want to go get the camera just to take and upload a single picture:

Lemongrass Sock

I like the way the colors are coming out in stockinette. Sort of stripy, but nicely variegated, too. The colors remind me of the maple trees outside our apartment when they were first changing colors this fall…they all turned gold, but along the way there were stages where they were a blend of bright green, yellow, and gold, just like these socks. But I’m calling these socks “Lemongrass Socks”, since that’s what the colorway of the yarn is called. I don’t actually know what Lemongrass looks like, so I have no idea whether that’s a good name for the color or not.

Almost a year in the making

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I figured out how to set in sleeves (it wasn’t as hard as I thought, but it was very time consuming, and not nearly so fun as knitting!), and finished the first sleeve yesterday, and the second one today. So now, here’s some photographic evidence that this lovely sweater is now a Finished Object!

Completed Rogue!

Here’s the ordinary front-view. As you can see, even with almost 2 inches added to each sleeve, my gorilla arms are still a bit too long for them. They’re not too too short, but I’d prefer them at least a centimeter longer. I’m still really happy with them, though, don’t get me wrong! I love my sweater! So much, that I’m going to give y’all a bunch more pictures of me hamming it up for the camera wearing it:

Completed Rogue, side view

 (Side view, where I was trying to make sure the lovely cabled hood was visible)

Completed Rogue, side cable view

 (Here, I was trying to show off the side cable, but look more like I was trying to grab my bum. Oh well.)

Completed Rogue, hood up

 (I have on a really cheesy smile in this one, but at least you can see what the hood looks like when it’s up!)

Completed Rogue, back view

 (And finally, a back view!)

You can’t tell in the pictures, because the lighting in our apartment is terrible and the flash washes everything out, but the cables really pop now that the sweater’s had a bath. They look incredible! And also (I’m really proud of this), my hood graft is practically invisible. I love grafting!

Here are the final stats:

Pattern: Rogue
Yarn: Bartlett Yarns 2-ply in Lovat, less than 6 skeins
Needles: Denise Interchangeables, sizes 5, 6, and 7
Time to knit: Almost a year! I don’t actually remember when I cast on last year, but I’m pretty sure it was in November or December.

I love this sweater. I’m excited to get to knit it again for my mom. The pattern was fantastic, very well written and clear, and I learned a lot from it. Now I just have to figure out what to do with the leftover yarn!

look, mom!

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I started your sweater! Back when I was first knitting Rogue, almost a year ago at this point, I took it up with me to MN when I went home for a holiday visit. She really liked the pattern, and I told her I’d knit her one, as long as she bought the yarn. I soon found a really soft (she thought my Bartlett yarn was a bit scratchy) yarn, Laines du Nord’s Dolly Maxi, on sale at Elann no less! So she bought it, and I’ve had it sitting around for a very long time now, nagging at me to knit it into a sweater for meine Mutti. One of the main reasons I was in such a rush to finish my own Rogue (aside from the fact that I wanted to, you know, wear it) was that I needed to clear it off the needles to start mom’s version. I cast on last night, making it through the point where I knit in the hem facing, and even started the pouch! Here’s a picture of what I’ve done so far:

Beginning of Mom's Rogue

And just for good measure, here’s a shot of the side cable:

Side cable on Mom's Rogue

I’m slightly worried about running out of yarn, but I think I’ll be ok. I really am loving knitting in the round again after the marathon of flat stockinette for the sleeves of my own Rogue.

This morning I started yet another knit. I’ve had some red merino tape yarn hanging out in my stash for ages that I knew I’d never use to knit anything for myself (bright red on a pale strawberry blond is just not a good combo). I first heard about the Orphan Foundation of America’s Red Scarf Project through Norma‘s blog last year, but didn’t have any time at all to knit a scarf. This year, I do, and I’m determined to turn all of this yarn into scarves for the program. If any of you dear readers (yep, all 6 of you!) are interested in doing so, as well, please do! There’s even a knitalong for it:

Red Scarf Project Button

Here’s the beginning of my contribution, a brioche-stitch (my favorite for plain scarves!) scarf knit over 15 stitches on size 10.5 needles in Schoeller Esslinger’s Sascha yarn:

Red Scarf, beginning

The yarn doesn’t yield the best stitch definition, but the brioche combined with the tape yarn makes the softest, squishiest scarf you can imagine.

block party!

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Yesterday we ran a few errands, and one of the items that was picked up during said errands was a bottle of Eucalan. We stopped by a yarn shop that was nearish our errand destinations, and I apparently was the lucky winner, since this was their last bottle of the good stuff. (As a side note, as nice as the ladies were, I don’t think I will ever, ever go there again. Especially not alone. The store was tiny. There was no way I could have looked at things without feeling very claustrophobic, and very watched by the two employees standing in the store that was no bigger than my bedroom. I don’t like being watched while I look at yarn, which is the reason I stopped going to the closer yarn shop in my old city, because they were so nosy. I feel kind of guilty, but I know I find the other yarn shop I’ve been to here far more comfortable, because it is bigger and they left me alone to look at my leisure, so that’s the shop I’ll be frequenting in the future).

Anyway, we proceeded to give the scarf and the Rogue pieces a good bath once we got home. Alas, our apartment is, shall we say, not conducive to washing and blocking a sweater. The bathroom is ridiculously tiny, making for a very cramped place to wash woolens. The only room with a door that latches is the office, and the pieces of foamcore to which Rogue is pinned fill basically all of the open floorspace, but we don’t have much choice about it, because we have to put them in a room where the cats can’t get, since they are, much as I love them, horrible little wool-chewers. But enough babble, y’all want some pictures?

Rogue, Blocking

Here’s Rogue, pinned out onto foam pieces covered with towels. I stuffed the hood with a couple of sweatshirts so that it wouldn’t dry in a crumpled heap. Here’s a closeup of that:

Why yes, that IS a sweatshirt

It’s thrilling to me, to see how the yarn (Bartlett Yarn, in Lovat) blooms after its bath. I’d heard stories of this “blooming” thing, but have never gotten to witness it until now. It’s too bad that the lighting in our apartment is too terrible for any of that loveliness to show up in the picture. Here’s one last shot of Rogue, a close-up of the sleeve-cable:

Closeup of wrist cable

I also gave Wyl’s scarf a bath, so that it would be a bit softer when I send it off to him. Here’s a shot of his scarf, drying, which looks shockingly like of the shot of it before the bath, only with a towel underneath (and with a very strange lighting effect from the camera which makes it look like the blue changes colors, which it doesn’t…it’s a nice solid dark royal blue throughout):

Wyl's scarf, drying

(that jacket in the corner? That’s my 2003 Boston Marathon jacket. I wish I were actually in marathon running shape still, but I’m not. It’s my goal for ’07, though, to run the Rochester marathon)

So now I’ve just got to let them dry. I’m afraid that’s going to take forever, what with how wet it’s been here lately, and the fact that the room they’re drying in doesn’t have very good ventilation (well, to be honest, no room in this apartment does, but this room is the stuffiest). Any tips? I’m somewhat terrified of setting in the sleeves on Rogue, just because I’ve never done it before, and I’m a far better knitter than sewer, so if anyone has any tips for doing that, I’d much appreciate those, too.

Holy crap, I finished stuff!

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Well, the knitting of said stuff, at least…but not the finishing. Since my last post, I’ve completed two projects, both of which have been on the needles a ridiculously long time. The first of these was the scarf I’ve been knitting for my dear friend Wyl (who blogs over at Carriage Return; the first mention of the scarf here on my blog is here). He’s moved back to the chilly midwest from sunny California, and I wanted to get his scarf done as soon as possible so that he had something nice and warm to wrap around his neck. The scarf has been on the needles for over two years, I think, and was actually lost for awhile, but none of that matters, because it’s done! Here’s a picture of the finished scarf:

Wyl's Scarf, finished

And here it is all folded up nicely:

Wyl's scarf, folded up

Now the only thing left to do is to give it a good bath before I send it off to meet Wyl. The only problem being that I can’t find my Eucalan. Anywhere. My husband and I have turned the apartment upside down trying to find the stuff, and we can’t. In the worst-case, I’ll just have to buy a new bottle (since I have several other wooly things that need washed, and I can’t wait forever!), but it’s so annoying because I know we moved it here with us. Oh well. One upside to our massive search was that another thing that had gone missing in the move was found…my Sundara Sock yarn! Here’s the glorious green stuff that has been missing for several months:

My Sundara Sock Yarn has been found!

I’m thinking of knitting the Embossed Leaves Socks with this yarn, though I’m slightly in doubt about whether there’s a little too much variegation for that. I guess I’ll just have to try it and see. Speaking of trying and seeing, I cast on for yet another sock I’ve been dying to knit the other day…Pomatomus, from Knitty. I got through ten rows of the chart before giving up, but not because of the difficulty. No, in fact, I found the pattern to be quite intuitive, and I love how the sock feels, knitted up. But the yarn I was using (STR Lightweight in Lemongrass) was pooling in a very, very ugly way. See?

Beginning of a doomed sock

That’s the first side. But now look at the second side:

Other side of the doomed sock

See how one side is yellow and the other is green? Yeah. Not what I was going for, at all. So, as much as I enjoy the pattern and love the feel of the sock in this yarn, it’s going to be ripped. I would love to knit it in a solid-color of STR Lightweight…maybe I will, one of these days. But for now, I am not going to allow myself to look at getting that yarn, especially since (as I mentioned in my last post) I broke my stash-bust on a (very cheap) sweater’s worth of Araucania Nature Wool. Which arrived in the mail yesterday. Aren’t the greens just gorgeous?

I cheated

I love it. The slight variegation is so lovely. I already know exactly what I’m going to knit with it…this, but without the hood (I plan to make it sort of a turtleneck), and closer-fitting. So basically, I’m just going to take the idea of cables running down all of the places where they do in that sweater, and design a different sweater to put them on. But I’m excited about this, because I really want a nice cardigan. I love pullover sweaters, but cardigans are really practical and handy.

Speaking of pullover sweaters, though (goodness, this is a long post…sorry, y’all!), I finished one other thing. Last night I decided that no matter what, I was finishing the sleeves of Rogue…it took me 3 hours, but I did. So here they are, in all their crumpled up glory:

Rogue is done!

I added 10 rows to them to add almost 2 inches of length, since I have ridiculously long arms for my height. Now I just need to find that stupid Eucalan so that I can give all of the Rogue parts a good bath and block them before I attempt to seam them. I’m rather terrified of the finishing work, because I am not good with the sewing. But I will do my best. I’ll leave y’all with a photo of the complete Rogue, in its unblocked, unconstructed state:

Rogue, waiting to be blocked and seamed

I can’t wait until I can wear it!  This one’s been on the needles for almost a year, now!

progress

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I’ve been away from the blog for awhile again; there were still homeworks and readings backed up from midterms to catch up on, and I’ve been busy since Tuesday doing a mix of celebrating the Democratic successes in this election (hooray for hope! hooray for real oversight!) and mourning the addition of several more states to the list of those which encode bigotry into their Constitutions. But there has been progress outside of the academic and political progress of the last week. That’s right, I’ve been knitting!

I cast on a few days ago for Mr. Estonian Mitten’s partner, and have already made it past the thumb gusset. I’ve been “reading” the first mitten, using it as the pattern for the second mitten. Here’s where it stands, as of election-day (I’ve not worked on it since):

Mr. Estonian Mitten's Partner begins

It really isn’t taking very long, so hopefully I’ll have a new pair of mittens shortly. I kind of failed on my knitting-related goals for last month; the mittens aren’t done, Rogue isn’t done, but I did finish the Candy Corn socks (at the very last minute!). But hopefully I’ll have these mittens done shortly, and Rogue, too (I just have the sleeve caps left, really).

I spent a fair amount of time this weekend taking pictures of the various patterns in the knitting books and magazines that I have and posting them in a flickr set (yeah, I know it’s huge). My husband thinks it’s kind of silly, but I wanted a nice way to keep all of the patterns I’m inspired by in one place, and I figured that if I wanted to have some kind of index, it made sense to use pictures, since I remember patterns by what they look like. I’ve made sure to put which book or magazine the pattern is in on each photo. Hopefully it’ll make a good system.

(Oh, and I was bad and broke my own stashbust already. Yep, I bought yarn. Namely, some gorgeous kelly green Arucania Nature Wool that Webs had on sale for quite cheap. Less than $30 for a sweater’s worth – it helps that I’m pretty small. I know exactly what I want to knit with it, though, so it wasn’t an impulse purchase or anything…I’ve been waiting quite awhile but didn’t want it to get all bought up before I picked up a few skeins. We’ll call it a present for surviving midterms. Or a political victory celebration…I’ve not gotten to have one of those since before I reached voting age!)

Photographic evidence of my knitting progress

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In my last post, I promised I’d take photos of my various projects, and I’ve made good on that promise. First off, we have the Candy Corn Socks, which are almost ready for me to begin toe decreases:

Candy Corn sock, nearing toe-decreases

I’m knitting the sock for my smaller foot first, in part because I want to be able to show the girls at the departmental Stitch ‘n Bitch how toe decreases work tomorrow, and said toe decreases come a bit sooner on the smaller sock.

Next up, we have the sleeve for Rogue, on which I’ve reached row 75:

Rogue sleeves, at row 75

I’m well into the straight stockinette portion of the sleeve, which means that while I don’t have to pay as much attention while I’m knitting, I’m also less inclined to keep going, because there’s no longer the excitement of seeing how the cable will look when I do “just one more row”. But in any case, I hope to get these finished by the end of the month (I’m giving myself plenty of time, since I’ve got other projects as well as classes to be keeping up with).

And finally, we have a project that has been long neglected. I started knitting a scarf for my dear friend Wyl quite a long time ago, when he was first sent off to Iraq. The yarn is from Peace Fleece, and is in the color Baghdad Blue, the proceeds from the sales of which go towards peace efforts in the Middle East, which is the reason I chose that particular yarn. I figured I could knit him a nice warm scarf and make my own little protest against the war he was being sent off to be a part of at the same time. Anyway, I spent forever trying out different stitch patterns to find one that looked nice on both the front and backside (since “front” and “back” are rather ill-defined, when it comes to scarves), and also didn’t look “girly”. I settled on this basketweave pattern from a Barb Walker Treasury (I think it was from the first one, I borrowed it from the OSU library):

Wyl's scarf-to-be

As you can see, I never made it very far. But I’d really like to have this done in time for it to be useful to him when he moves from San Diego back to the chilly midwest. We’ll see how that turns out.

Socktoberfest (officially) begins; and I join several other knitalongs

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I mentioned in an earlier post that I thought some of Lolly’s knitalong frenzy had worn off on me, right? Well, here’s a little post to gather together the various knitalong-type-things I’m planning to participate in this fall:

socktoberfest

Socktoberfest officially began today, and my Candy Corn sock is nearly ready to begin toe shaping. I decided to take a break from it at the BCS Stitch ‘n Bitch today, since I wasn’t exactly sure where I needed to start the decreases, and didn’t figure it would be particularly appropriate to whip off the socks and shoes to try it on as I went in the middle of the coffee shop. Instead, I worked on the sleeves for Rogue, reaching row 75 (which I’m recording here, since I have a history of forgetting where I left off on that sweater). Which brings me to

Fall Cable Knitalong

which I joined just today. I’m finishing up one Rogue with plans to start the next (for my mother) shortly thereafter, and both sweaters contain a decent amount of cables. I’m also excited to see other people’s cabled goodies; I’m a big fan of the textured knits. But I’m also a sucker for colorwork, like the Estonian-inspired mittens I’ve been “working on” for quite awhile now (I knit the first mitten, except for finishing the thumb, in a few days, but it’s sat in that same thumbless, partnerless state for a couple of months!). I figure this

warmhands

Warm Hands knitalong will give me a good reason to try to finish them. So there we have it, I’ve become a joiner…but hopefully this will mean lots of lovely FOs this fall!

All stockinette from here on out

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Last night I finished the chart for the sleeves on Rogue, so from here on out, it’s all stockinette. I’m not sure whether this will slow down or speed up my progress; cables tend to make me want to keep knitting “just one more row”, so that I can see what it will look like, but they also slow me down a little compared to straight stockinette. But anyway, I am quite enamoured with the way the cable pattern looks at the ends of the sleeves:

more sleeves!

You can click the picture to go through to my flickr page and see a couple of close-ups of the cable pattern.

So much progress (for me) in so little time!  I’m not sure how quickly I’ll be making progress now that classes have started. My course schedule this semester (Stats, Cognition, Natural Language Understanding, and a Prosody seminar) is a little fuller than I get the impression it ought to be, so we’ll see how it all works out.  In any case, I’m enjoying my new Ph.D student life, and at least one of my office-mates is also a knitter!  I brought my Estonian-inspired mittens into my office today, to leave in my desk for times when I want to take a little knit break, and everyone seemed to like them.

I’m already getting a (well-deserved, no doubt) reputation for my fondness of blues and greens (especially bright ones), which you can see in essentially anything I knit for myself (including Rogue and said mittens), as well as in the layout here.  It’s not that I dislike other colors (I have quite a fondness for rainbows, in fact, as well as for certain purples, and also browns), but as a fair-skinned, blue-green eyed, blond-ish person, I do look best in blues and greens, and I’m just…drawn to them.  What colors are y’all especially fond of, dear readers?