Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Oh, the horror!

There's a crime scene is my living room!

Luckily Mike cleaned this up before I got home, so my tender little eyes didn't have to see the bloodshed our little kitty caused.

That is the remaining nearly-full skein of Cascade 220 from the Minimalist Cardigan. I haven't ventured into the yellow bag where the yarn awaits its final fate to see how much can be salvaged.

I had it in the bag to work on my first end-of-finals / surviving law school / holiday present. We went to a town hall meeting about a $54mn spending package to improve the streets of Portland for pedestrians and bikes (3 people have been hit and killed while riding their bikes here, in the last three weeks alone). First of all, it was lovely to go to a town hall meeting and feel like a part of the community. I've been so transient since high school, and it is nice to feel like I'm settling down to one place.

Second of all, it was lovely to sit at the back of the room, listening to the presentations, getting all the inside gossip from the woman who's lived here for 39 years, and knitting away.

The result is this: A Mug and French Press Jacket for my friend Katie (who I hope does not read my blog - look away Katie!)

Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers in Garnet
Needles: my go to some kind of metal, size 7 or 8 dpns from my mom's stash
Notes: Since I don't have five needles of a dpn set large enough for this pattern, I attempted to use four and still follow the directions. I came up with a very large disc, much too large for the bottom of any coffee cup I know. So I frogged.

I tried again, but still, it came out all wrong. So I frogged.

Then I gave up on the idea of a mug jacket with a cute little button to go around the handle, and settled on a simple coffee cup sleeve. In the end, all I used from the pattern was the stitch pattern. I really love the smocking, and it's a lot easier than I thought it would be.

Katie drinks a ton of coffee- at least a latte a day- and while she usually uses a real mug, sometime I see her with a paper cup. This sleeve helps her cut down on at least a little of the paper usage, subbing in for those cardboard sleeves to help keep your fingers from burning on the cup.

Apologies for the terrible picture. It's 8 am and the sun hasn't risen yet. Also, the camera screen is broken (still).

As for the wonkiness of the sleeve... I can only direct you to the carnage witnessed above.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Look Ma! I finished my sweater!

Yaaaay, sweater!

I'm clearly very excited to be wearing my new sweater. One would think that being outside, in the cold drizzle, would make me this happy. However, I LOVE this sweater. It came out just perfectly.

Pattern: Minimalist Cardigan, from Interweave Knits Fall 07
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers in Garnet
Needles: Rosewood US 7s

Notes: I thought I might be taking on more than I could chew by picking a sweater to knit during my first month of law school, but it turns out I was wrong. This sweater was the perfect thing to take my mind off school and case books and memos. I could pick up my knitting and an hour or two later, have a finished sleeve!

The pattern was easy to follow and progress was quick. I'd never seamed for real before, so I looked up some tricks online and decided to use the back-stitch method, since the fabric is pretty thick. I think I did it right- let's talk again after I've worn the sweater a few times.

I made the 34" size, and I probably could have made the next size up for the front panels to drape as they do in the Interweave photo, but the shoulders and sleeves and back all fit perfectly.

I love cardigans, and I usually wear them open, or maybe with just the center button buttoned. I might put a clasp on this, but for now I really like it the way it is.

Look for this sweater worn exactly the way I've got it on now- over jeans and a regular shirt, or perhaps looking a little profesh for a trip to the downtown community development law firm where I just started doing some pro bono work.

I have something else on my needles now, but it's holiday knitting for one of my most dedicated readers, so check it out on Ravelry if you're curious.

I've got other holiday ideas for people who don't read the blog (I think) so I'll try and get those projects going so I have something interesting to write about.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Hard Life of a Sweater

Dear Diary,

Monday, I was just a bunch of parts, waiting to be made whole.

Tuesday, I came together and took a field trip to the spa! Aaah, it's wonderful to just...

The today, I took a nice long bath.

Maybe tomorrow I'll make my public debut...

The Minimalist Sweater

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

On Finishing

The knitting is done, but now I have to finish it.

I've never learned how to properly sew up knitting.

This will be an adventure.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Kitty Luuuuvs Cupcakes!

Over the course of this week, we've discovered that our kitty absolutely loves cupcakes.

First, on Tuesday, a law school friend came over to study. She offhandedly commented that she wanted a cupcake. We convinced Mike to make us cupcakes, which he agreed to if I would make the frosting. Deal!

While we were enjoying our cupcakes (a little on the disappointing side- not so flavorful cupcakes with not so flavorful frosting), Arlo decided she wanted in on the action, too. (Apologies for the green-devil eyes in this shot. The red-eye fixer on iPhoto doesn't fix green eyes... go figure)

Then, last night we were sewing up some pillow covers for the giant couch cushions we got to remedy the incredible uncomfortableness that is our futon couch. I keep my straight pins in a cupcake that I knit up last winter. Mike had mentioned once that Kitty got a hold of the pincushion and went crazy, but I had yet to see if with my own eyes. It's intense. There's hissing and spitting and feverish running about the house.

Do you see the fierceness in her eyes? We think she might be incredibly mad at the cupcake because all the pins in it prick her as she attacks it, which make her think it's attacking her back. I'm going to knit her a pin-free cupcake to test our theory.

In non-kitty news, we had brunch at a friend's house on Saturday. Her condo has an incredible kitchen, but unfortunately she's more of a take-out kind of girl. Mike and I have been promising her that we'd come over a cook for her, and Saturday was the day. We brought all the ingredients over (except salt and oil), plus a waffle iron. Turns out, she doesn't have any bowls or measuring cups! We used drinking glasses and an ice cream scoop to measure, and some large cereal bowls for mixing. It was hilarious.

Luckily, brunch turned out fantastically, complete with excellent company. We went all vegan, since one friend doesn't eat eggs and the other is lactose intolerant. I found an excellent recipe for Lemon-Corn Waffles, and vegan sticky buns (I can't find the link right now... sorry!) All was delicious, and adequately measured.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Taking a Deep Breath

This was that week they warn you about before you start law school. Among other things, I had a quiz today in Constitutional Law. Just 10% of the grade, but with all the stress flying around, you'd have thought it was an enormous midterm!

So, this chilly, gray afternoon, I'm taking it easy, listening to the radio, and knitting, finally knitting.