Monday, December 31, 2007

Sweater Speedster

I am racing along on this sweater! It's amazing the different between knitting socks on US 0s and knitting a sweater on US 8s! So much faster.

I measured the body of the sweater against a comfy old sweater I have, and it still turned out a bit short. I don't really want to pick out the cast off edge and the ribbing, so I'll try to block it out. The fabric is stretchy like woah, so it should work out.

We skiied all day yesterday, in a fantastic blizzard. On our last two runs at 3:30, we were skiing in fresh, knee deep powder. It was amazing.

The view this morning after the blizzard.

Happy New Year, all!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Vacation's All I Ever Wanted

Mike's mom and my mom both came up to Oregon for a Christmas / New Year's vacation, and we celebrated Christmas with a nice meal and presents on the 28th. In knitting related gifts, I got a swift from my brother, and two ball winders, one of which I will return. I also got a gift certificate for a cute downtown LYS, which I am very excited to use!

In non-knitting presents, I got two vegan cook books and a hamburger cookbook, from Mike's grandparents. It was a strange juxtaposition, especially since I don't eat hamburger! Two other exciting presents were a stove top popcorn popper and a cake decorating kit.

For Christmas dinner we had wonderful brussel sprouts, a beer and almond braised fish, and I made a delicious fudge pecan pie, with homemade whipped cream. (I'll post the recipe links later, when we have a better internet signal.)

I've been diligently working on the Tree Jacket, to meet my goal of finishing by January 14, when classes start. It's going really well. I made a few mistakes on the garter stitch section - the garter stitch section- but hopefully I'll forget and it won't be a problem when I finish.

I used the lace pattern as written for the neck, and it twisted a little, so I'm using the alternate lace pattern for the body. K2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk.

The yarn is a more cranberry-colored than this picture shows, but this is as close as I could get.

We also (as promised) got a new camera, and these are the debut photos! I hope the photography actually gets better around here...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, from our little family, and our little tree! It's a little late, but still Christmas here on the West Coast. We're keeping the spirit alive for a few more days, and opening presents when Mike's mom gets here, on the 27th.

And my lil' bro, enjoying his Christmas socks! Look at that beard!

Sweater progress: I'm just about to finish the second ball of yarn, and am almost to the point of putting the sleeve stitches on holders! I felt very Christmassy today, wearing a bright green sweater and knitting a bright red one. Pictures tomorrow, maybe.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Early Christmas

A package came in the mail today.

Many packages have been coming in the mail recently, actually. Our little tree is sitting atop a rather large pile of presents and boxes, which we were instructed not to open until the moms come and wrap whatever goodies are inside. This box, today's box, however, did not come with such instructions. So of course, I opened it!

Boy, am I glad I did! Thanks to my most wonderful of brothers, I now have a gorgeous swift. He opened my present last night, so it's all fair. (The socks fit, thank goodness, and I impressed into his mind how important it is that the socks are not for skiing and they must be handwashed.)

Mike didn't get how the swift worked so I wound up a skein of Malabrigo I got last week (Indigo dyed, and fabulous). I loved it. And so did the cat. Winding yarn is going to be a family affair, I think. Me to wind, kitty to get in the way, and Mike to keep the kitty out of the way!
Don't even think about it, Kitty!

I got myself a Christmas present too. In addition to the Malabrigo.

I haven't had hair this short since high school! I got about three inches cut off last week, and decided it was too boring to have gone to the stylist for the first time in at least a year, for the same haircut I already had! So I went back and told him to take it all off. I love it. And so does Mike ;-)

I love this vacation thing. Yesterday, I spent the entire day working on the last remaining Christmas gift, which was also the first one I started. It's amazing how much knitting I get done when I can actually sit and just knit, all day. Delicious. I'll post about this wonderful project next week, after it gets delivered.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Hat and the Holly

Pattern: Camo Earflap Hat
Yarn: Classic Elite Alaska in Apres Ski, 2 1/2 skeins
Needles: US 13 circulars
Notes: I used a much bulkier yarn and higher stitch count than the pattern called for, so I largely made it up as I went along. Two earflaps, cast on to connect with twice as many stitches in the front as in the back, knit for six inches or so, decrease evenly and cinch shut!
As soon as I finished sewing in the ends and braiding the tassels, this hat went straight onto my head. It has pretty much been there since! I've been coveting Mike's hat, and seriously needing a hat that would actually cover my whole head (Ravelry links, sorry).

I love that it took just 3 hours to knit this up. Or would have, if I had ordered enough yarn the first time. Luckily Webs is amazing and got my second order to me within a week, and even still had the right dye lot!

I love the tassels, the thickness, the color, the earflaps, the fact that even without a crochet edge, nothing rolls! The next picture shows the color fairly well- blue with threads of varying shades of purple throughout.

Just as I said it would be, this is the perfect hat.

I wore it to the Farmer's Market today, which ended up being perfect, as there is a large and lovely holly hedge right there! I don't think I've ever seen this much holly- it's really lovely!

The house keeps getting more and more Christmasy- we've got the tree, and presents, and even a cat in a festive bowl! Oh, that's not a tradition in your house?

Well, as of today, it is in ours!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Three things

No. 1: Has everyone seen these? Knitting stamps! I bought them the other day, and I didn't even realize they were knitted until I got them home. They're not just images made to look like knitting- they're pictures of items knitted especially for the stamps! Too cool for school, USPS. (Image copyright USPS, 2007.)

No. 2: My soon-to-be-finished Best Hat Ever! Squishy and delicious with earflaps and tassels! It's Classic Elite Alaska, knit on huge circular needles. The first two skeins got me this far, and I had to order a third to finish it up. I sped through this, all in about an hour. With a high of 26 degrees today, I certainly wish this hat was complete.

And, No. 3: Mike was on NPR's Talk of the Nation yesterday! The theme was maps, and we love maps. One wall in our bedroom is actually covered in maps. Our friend, who he talked about, also loves maps. Last year, there were a whole bunch of us (maybe ten, total?) who moved to the San Francisco bay area. Five of these friends lived together and when anyone came over, we'd draw a map of "our" San Francisco. Each map was unique to each person's experience of the city. Then, our friends hung the maps up on their wall. It made for some really cool decorations.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

One down, three to go.

I'm talking about both presents and finals.

Yesterday I took my first final and celebrated by going up to Mt Hood and doing some night skiing. It was fantastic. Now, just three more agonizing three-hour finals left to go.

When I got home from skiing, I sat down and finished up the toe on my brother's second sock.
Pattern: My own, 2x2 rib with slipped-stitch flap heel.
Yarn: Alpaca Sox in gray
Needles: Brittany US 2s (2.75mm)

Notes: This yarn is fantastic. Although I've begun to wonder if I picked out something too delicate for my outdoor-leadership, wilderness EMT, ski patroller, hearty, kilt-wearing brother. I'll have to remind him (daily) to handwash these babies.

I hope they'll be big enough. I had Mike try them on, and there's some extra room in the toes. Hopefully enough to accommodate size 10 feet!

Usually I do heels and toes using the short-row method, which I really like. I'm not sure why I decided to do a heel flap, but I'm glad I did- there's a lot more room at the ankle, making these socks easier to put on.

I kitchenered the toes closed, only messing up once on the first pair. I'm not sure why, but I always get lumps on either end of my kitchener seam. Hopefully that will go away with wear.

Now, I'm off to memorize arcane property law and try to find some time to finish up the other gifts I have in my head.

Also, I want to apologize for the pictures on the blog over the past six months. As you may or may not remember, the camera broke on our trip across the country in May. Being essentially unemployed students, we've been muddling along with a digital camera sans screen, but Santa has promised me a new camera! In a couple of weeks, we'll all be able to rejoice in better pictures.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Study Aids

Exhibit A: Pumpkin cheesecake, rosemary Christmas bush & sunshine.

Exhibit B: (L-R) Civil procedure outlines, FRCPs, handknit socks, latte, snacks, caffeinated tea.

This is post #100 on the blog! Celebratory retrospective to come.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Strange Light

I woke up this morning, seeing a glow from underneath the bedroom door. Cautiously, I opened the door and stepped out into the living room. What is this? Did we forget to turn the lights off? Unplug the tree?

No! The sun is out! A rare, strange occurrence. Quick! Where's the camera? Grab the yarn!Here's the Elsebeth Lavold for the Tree Jacket, in Aged Wine.

And some extra bulky yarn for a comfy, cozy earflap hat for me. Classic Elite Alaska in "Apres Ski".

Are finals over yet? Can I knit now?

Friday, December 7, 2007


It's a good thing I don't have my heart set on beating the curve with my grades this semester. I'm not very good at the whole focus-on-nothing-else-for-nine-hours-straight kind of studying. I can do about two hours before I need to take a break with some mindless yarn-surfing.

Classes ended on Wednesday, and my first final is Tuesday. Then it's a final every third day for two weeks. Yuck-tastic.

I'm plugging away at my brother's socks in my self-prescribed downtime. I'm about to turn the heel on the second sock, and then I can send those off to VT.

I decided that as a reward for myself, I'm going to knit a sweater over break. I picked the Tree Jacket, which is a pattern I had to buy, a first for me. I went to Webs and, after a thorough perusal of all the yarn on sale & clearance, decided on some Elsebeth Lavold Classic AL in a cranberry-color. The yarn for it (and a nice chunky earflap hat, also for me) arrived today, and it's taking all my self-control not to cast on immediately.

I've got finals and Christmas presents to finish!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Chill Friday night

There are very few things in life I perfer to an evening of Scrabble and knitting.

The socks are a Christmas present for my little brother. (I hope he's not another closet reader of my blog.) He works winters on ski patrol in northern Vermont, so these are some comfy alpaca socks for him to slip into when he gets from work and his feet need a break from big chunky wool ski socks.

Mike tried them and and says they're comfy. But my little bro has feet two sizes bigger than Mike, so I just have to hope I made the toes long enough!

The Scrabble game was great. I was beating Mike, which doesn't happen often, until the kitten jumped up on the board and scattered tiles everywhere.