Yet more radio silence…

Almost a year between posting is, perhaps, a new low, and one that I have a somewhat evasive remedy for:

http://whoisdashriprock.tumblr.com/

You can find me at the above, talking about more than ‘just knitting’, though there will be some of that, too. Basically, the mental weight I placed on “sitting down to post” had grown to such a level that I never tried to post, because I would need so much time to do it, etc. The Tumblr account is cool because, as plenty of other switchers appear to agree, its interface allows both long rambly/deep things as well as easy ways to post pictures of my cat getting stuck behind a picture on the top of a book shelf. And since my free time thoughts have wandered, increasingly, away from ‘art of living well’ types of things (like knitting and cooking … hmm) and back into the work that I do (and love) in economics and other social ‘stuff’, probably in lockstep with my finishing coursework (knock on wood, etc etc), I feel better posting stuff that is not about knitting in a medium that does not say that I’m knitting. Etc.

In other news, I’m doing well — working on research, enjoying the sunshine, and grousing when it snows (but not too loudly) as April rapidly approaches. I’m also living in Vermont, playing with cats, and teaching myself German when I have a spare moment or two. And, believe it or not, I’m also knitting. I’ve got two sweaters that are almost done, and one that’s at the yoke, as well as a wack of smaller projects that I’ve completed, and some even have the ends woven in. Imagine!

WordPress, it’s been real. It’s also not you, it’s all me, and I wish I could be the better person you deserve, but, well, know thyself and all of that.

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Howdy, Folks

Though I’ve finished one of the projects I posted about last time, and though I’m nearly done with another (totally not blogged about! for no good reason!) laceweight project, I’ve got no pictures.

Well, that’s not strictly accurate — the few pictures that I have are on my cameras memory card, and I can’t find my durn card reader. So no pictures yet, but rest assured (if you were losing sleep, I guess) that I continue to knit, finish stuff, and start projects willy nilly.

In other news, tonight I went on an epic inventory mission of all my knitting stuff in my “office area” … I shunted organized my stash into a few categories, and loaded it (mostly) into two large plastic tubs. I need to get a third tub, since I underestimated my stashing abilities, to finish the job, but I enjoy the prospect. I was also ruthless about ripping out projects I was ambivalent or worse about, as well as dividing on-going projects into some semblance of an organization system (gifts for people in one bag, mittens and gloves for me in another, old sweater projects in different bags, all sock stuff confined — heh — to three separate bags, and so on). As much as I hate cleaning (I do, and I understand that “hate” is a strong word) I am beginning to see how people that love to clean can get into a zone. The sign that the four horsemen of the apocalypse are about to ride through Northampton came when I started imagining a clear drawer system for different categories of projects, so that I can recognize easily which projects need work, which should receive priority, etc.

Anyways — it’s late and I’m tired, so you’ll have to wait a while longer for pictures. Hopefully they’ll be worth it!

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On the subject of spring (or something)

In my first year of grad school, I “celebrated” Easter by going to the nearby CVS, only to find out that they were sold out of fun Easter candy (peeps and cadbury anything). It was a low-point of what was already a somewhat difficult year. Last year, I got to be in Long Island on Easter morning with my family, but the morning of followed a night in which I had something like a nervous breakdown about how I had no idea what I was doing with my life.

This year beat both of those Sundays by leaps and bounds — to wit, I even remembered to boil some eggs the night before so that I could dye them like so:

Bowls are plastic work horses from World Market, a purchase I was smart to think to make before coming to grad school.

Colors are more muted (and more my style) because of dying brown eggs, I believe.

I am particularly proud of that bright coral one…

All three imagery aside, any allusions to the trinity or anything vaguely christian is completely unintended — I’m a little bit high on spring, is all.

What I’m knitting right now may reflect this — I find myself, for the first time in ever (or at least since I began knitting everywhere) going for a day here and there without knitting a stitch, and not having a huge problem with that… This ain’t me.

Here’s what I am excited to work on:

Two utterly spring colored laceweight projects that are just tricky enough that I can’t work on them just anywhere.

Item A you’ve seen already –

Fleece Artist Suri Blue in the colorway Dandelion on size 3 needles in a basic ribbon eyelet pattern.

I love it as much now as I did when I started, and I’m also really ready to be done with it. It’s almost 6 feet long, but it quickly dips into black hole phases in which it appears to have shrunk…

Neither of those photos gives any good sense of the whole piece, but hopefully this:

begins to approximate what it’s like in length. I’m a superfan.

But not, evidently, enough of a superfan to not be seduced by something new and shiny:

The new is the pattern — the springtime bandana from Whit’s Knits on the Purl Bee. The yarn, actually, is a year and a half old stuff from my stash. (Habu silk mohair kusa in Madder, and Rowan Kidsilk Haze in Jelly, if you wanted to know.) So it felt right virtuous to start this.

The colors remind my of apple blossoms, but also of preppy girls from high school. My parents use the term “pink and green” to refer to that kind of person, and I absolutely internalized a certain distrust of people into wearing those two colors together BUT but but but… I somehow always justify the combination to myself by the fact that I’m different. Anyways, it’s not, like, kelly green and bubble gum pink together, right? Right?

However I justify it, I’m making some good progress on it for having started it on Tuesday, when I really should have been doing other work. Ahem. I think I’m close to a quarter done with it.

I realize that this doesn’t necessarily represent a break away from my color binges in February and March but whatever. I can knit something blue whenever I want. Yeah. (Speaking of blue knitting, I actually have two sweaters in progress. But they’re both in time out for different reasons.)

Hope the rest of your day is as lovely as mine is!

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Would you like some purple with that?

Kneesocks in the making since October, 2008:

First sock in full…

The building blocks of the second sock.

Noro Kureyon Sock — two skeins in two different colorways, that never seemed to have enough of the colors that I liked in them while knitting from just the one. You know how it goes:

“Woo love these colors, it’s so pretty, it’s crazy, it’s … Dang it! Knots!”

And then you break the yarn, rejoin it, and find that the color order is not how it’s ‘sposed to be, and then you throw your knitting in the corner.

Ahem.

So I went with the crazy by just picking and choosing the colors that I liked:

and…

Stay tuned.

Since I’m unable to do anything in moderation, here’s another purple thing I knit:

Classic Elite Duchess Yarn in this kickass plum color in the pattern Quincy by BrooklynTweed (or Jared Flood … whichever. It’s from the Brooklyn booklet).

I’ve loved the look of the pattern since I could see the preview, but had nightmarish visions of the pilling awaiting the recommended yarn (Classic Elite Ariosa. Super pretty, super soft, but holy jeez), a very lofty single. (Also, yes, nightmarish. I pick my battles.)

Enter Duchess — this yarn is pretty tightly spun and still super soft, and it seemed like the natural substitute, until I blocked the durn hat and it ballooned out.

Which was a shame, after all the precious detail involved in making it.

So, fast forward three weeks, when I finally gave it a spin through a dryer, which shrank it a bit:

And I think I can finally send it off to my mom, whose birthday was almost two months ago.

D’oh.

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In hindsight…

Before the big green binge (and a lovely image that, right?), there was the big pink binge. I should note that I’m not a huge pink person. Er. Hang on. I’m not a huge pink person, but I also don’t wear a lot of pink, though I do like the color a lot, when applied judiciously. But my love of commodifying holiday spirit my own DIY way has a way of prevailing over other aspects of my personality. Maybe I’ll learn, but I foresee a lot of Christmas colored, Valentines Day colored, and St. Patrick’s Day colored projects in the coming years — it’s one of those know thyself things, and I think I know myself well enough that I won’t stop, even if I know (especially in hindsight) that I end the color jags with that feeling you get when you watch a DVD of TV episodes all the way through, especially with a box of cookies that you also work your way through.

Or maybe that’s just me.

So it is in hindsight that I say I should have known, in January, when I began the epic project of pink knitting, that I probably would not have the set of knee socks, cowl, hat, and mittens that I hoped to have by February 14th. But hey — 3.9 out of 4 ain’t bad, even if it’s more than a month late, especially when you consider that the cowl was totally unplanned. A surprise, if you will.

Pardon the artsiness — the knee socks did become leg warmers. I got to the heel on the first one, and remembered that knee sock weather may soon be past us (I know that spring in New England doesn’t count, but humor me, please) and that I really really want some leg warmers.

Here they are under pants that are tight enough to keep them up and not slouching.

I am a big fan of leg warmers under pants, particularly when I live in a drafty house, and particularly during those transition seasons fall and spring, where it’s just as likely to be sunny as it is to be rainy and COLD.

However, I’m also open to wearing them not under pants, but in more fully visible pairings. What you can’t see (because they’re under pants) is a sequence of eyelets that I cleverly included up top, so that I can run some ribbon through them to keep ‘em up. I still have to get the ribbon, but you know.

I like them a lot! I knit them out of Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome (I think? The ball bands are long departed to the yarn store in the sky), which is soft and has really pretty and subtle color shading. Their pinkness is a bit on the pepto bismol side for me and my skin tone, which means that if I wear them on display in public, it will probably be over leggings, and not on bare legs. Would I knit something like them again? I don’t know. Sock-weight leg warmers are a time commitment, so probably not any time soon.

Here was the “not a huge time commitment” project of February: a cowl knit out of Berrocco Jasper, a yarn that I’ve wanted to knit with since it was released, I think. Super soft and squishy single ply merino in delightfully regular color sequence that pills like you would not believe. But like all pretty things, I forgive it. Again, more on the girly candy side than I usually go for, but February is a hellish month.

And I’m no super hero. (My hair should give that away!)

So there’s also a pair of mittens and a hat in sugar cookie colors that I just don’t have the pictures of right now, but never you fret. I’m sure they’ll come out when March remembers that it’s still March and it gets cold and rainy again. And when they do, you’ll see them!

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The St. Patrick’s Day Binge of 2010

I told you I’d be back soon!!

In keeping with the holiday themed knitting, here’s what I managed to pull out for St. Paddy’s day, 2010, roughly in the order of production –


First, a hat. A humble hat!! In not-so-humble yarn that was an awesome gift from eeevvvvaaaaa (ravelry link!), Johann’s awesome cousin who is also an awesome knitter. The natural light today was on the gray side, and everything (including, ahem, me) looked washed out in the pictures that I took while I was trying to be artistic. Oh well.

The yarn is actually a warm Kelly green, with these awesome teal and gold flecks in it — super warm and dense. It’s a serious hat.

Lest you doubt …(Also, pardon the fact that the pictures that approach capturing the colors better are all taken in the bathroom with zero natural light. Alienation etc.)

Why not segue into the sort of matching cowl? The yarn for this was sort of an impulse buy.

Noro Retro in this dark-ass green with these subtle shifts from glowy green to black-forest soft and stuff. Also, it is wool and silk and angora. Really really nice to hold and to knit — 110 precious yards that I knit up entirely. I want to knit a long scarf out of this yarn; it is just that amazing.

Here it is as modelled by Max, Johann’s younger brother’s cat. He was not super thrilled to help me out with this, but he was a pretty good sport.

This shot is a bit closer to the true colors of this piece — again, sorry that it’s taken in the bathroom!! I wear this one metric ass-ton.

Finally, the mitts –

Oh, the mitts. I started these last year, and could never quite find the rhythm I needed for them. They were too big, they were too loose, they were too tight, and then I quit. I shoved them in my box of yarn and UFOs, and didn’t unearth them until March 5th, when I sat down to do some work and decided that I needed to knit something to keep my hands warm.

One marathon knitting session, and one passive-aggressive attempt to felt them into something not so surly looking resulted in one of my top five finished objects. I love these handwarmers so hard!

They are soft and warm and fuzzy and green…

Their stripes are the most perfectest stripe sequence ever…

And you caught how green they are, right?

Here’s how much I like them: not only did I weave in all of the ends as soon as I finished knitting them, but …

I even figured out how to work the self-timer so that I could create my own photo of them in action:

Now if you’ll excuse me, please, I think I’m going to go knit something blue.

Or at least something that isn’t green.

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On the way…

A spate of hats and cowls, a pair of mittens and fingerless mitts, some hallmark holiday appropriate colors, and almost one full sweater. Also, nearly a full pair of leg warmers. (I know, right?)

Just you wait!

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