Wednesday, November 2, 2011

WIP Wednesday ~November 2nd~

I have been knitting up a storm these past few weeks, and I have a lot to share this Wednesday.

First off, I'm about halfway finished with Wendy Johnson's Summer Mystery Shawl in Knitpicks Stroll in the colorway Rouge. I'm calling this my WAY TOO PINK shawl.  It's a gift for my grandmother, and one of her favorite colors. And, wow, is it pink!

Next, are my Fury Armwarmers.  These are being knit in FlockSock Sock Yarn in the colorway Night Fury, based on the Dragon from How to Train Your Dragon. (Aside, a very cute movie).  My jury's still out about how I feel about the yarn.  I purchased it online during the Dizzy Spin-Off and I had been under the impression that it was self-striping.  Not really striping, but still very pretty.  I tried for a while to get the colors accurate, but its a difficult yarn to photograph. Its actually a pale green and dark grey.
Vivian is coming along nicely as well. I've attached both arms and I'm about two rows from starting the saddle. It actually looks like a sweater! My goal was to have Vivian, my green beastie, in time to take it along to my Society of Neuroscience Conference.  I can't take her along with my anymore, because she's just too big.  I'm not sure I'm going to get her done in time, since I really want the hood.  Maybe if I forgo the zipper for just that week.....

Happy Wednesday! And make sure to check out Tamis Amis for more WIP Wednesday. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm a Winner!

I got a package today. I love getting things in the mail!

A bit ago, I won a great drawing from Sam on Knitting Adventures and the prize came today! These very cute sticky labels and pen. I know how I'm labelling all my Christmas gifts this year.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Meeting a Celebrity!

If you've been wondering what has happened to me for the last ten days...  Well, my experiment ended and I've been sleeping, knitting, and sleeping, cleaning my house, and sleeping, taking Kera to the dog park, and sleeping. Oh, did I mention that I slept alot?

Last Monday, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee was in Dallas. You can see her blog post here. See the goofy girl with glasses and PINK yarn in the front row? That's me! (In my self-defense, its a Christmas gift. I look terrible in pink.)

It was super exciting to meet a celebrity. She read a bit from her new book. (You can find it here if you haven't seen it yet.) I even got mine signed, I was way to shy to ask for a picture with her though...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WIP Wednesday ~October 19th, 2011~

Vivian, my green beast of a sweater, is quickly growing two arms. I love how fast the arms knit up in bulky yarn. (I'm using Knitpick Wool of the Andes Bulky - Love it.)

Despite how fast of a knit this arms are. I really don't have as much to show as I would like.  Why, you ask?  Because I mutilated the left sleeve about 80 rows in.  Yeah, I know ... 80 rows.  Not paying close attention, I didn't realize that I was creating a seam of 2 knits and 2 purls where my needles met. Which is definitely NOT seed stitch.  So I pulled out a whole needle and reknit it. I feel like a knitting champion!

For more WIP Wednesday Maddness, Don't forget to check out Tami's Amis!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Resonance Cowl

As promised, here are the first sneak peek photos of my latest design: the Resonance Cowl.

The inspiration behind this design was vibration, the lace panel that moves from straight to zigzag to straight to zigzag resembles the lace resonating in concert with my own energy.

For this sample, I used madelinetosh Pashmine in the colorway Tart. By the way, this yarn is amazingly soft and squishy - love it!

The draft pattern is almost finished. I just need to add the photos. These wonderful photos where taken by my SO at about 11 pm last night. They're great, but I want to get some in the sunlight as well.

If you're interested in testing knitting the Resonance Cowl, keep a look out for me in the Free Pattern Testers group this weekend.

For more FOs, make sure to check out Tami's Amis today!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WIP Wednesday ~October 12th, 2011~

I'm still working ridiculous hours in the lab for the third week in a row.  Everything that's not labwork in my life is taking a huge hit. (You have to give my SO credit for being a very patient man.)

The left sleeve of Vivian has grown about three inches, but that isn't very exciting.  I've finished the sample of design I sneak peaked during a WIP Wednesday a few weeks ago. However, I haven't been home during daylight hours, so no pretty pictures of it. I hope to have a few to show by Friday, and hopefully send it out for test knitting not long after that.

So, what do I have to show my few, but faithful, readers? A swatch! Yes, a swatch.  I'm not happy with it quite yet. I'll probably prepare a larger one with a few more repeats. I'm preparing a proposal for a new design to Knitpick's Independent Design Program.  It'll be my first submission, and right now just for yarn support.

I know this sounds a bit odd, but I feel like my background in Academia will really help with this proposal. After all the grants and fellowships I've prepared, or helped prepare, I have a lot of experience in giving concise 1 page proposals.  These grants and fellowships have also prepared me to receive a lot of rejection.  It's all part of the game.

Come back Friday for the big reveal! ...if I can escape the lab...

And if you want more WIP Wednesday fun, remember to check out Tami's Amis.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Have Sleeves, Will Travel

In my last post, I was complaining that Vivian had become to big to travel with me anymore. I had forgotten one thing: SLEEVES!!!  After I had finished the main body, I cast on the left sleeve. I have no idea why I didn't do this before, I would have been way more productive on Vivian if the sleeves had been growing in my travel tote the last two weeks.  It looks great so far. The cuff of the sleeve really reminds of a "Swampthing" hand, which I'm adoring more than I should. (And I'll be having great fun with it later when I'm wearing it.)

Additionally, when you're knitting in public, you never know whose attention you'll attract.  At my institution, students are required to park in the outdoor parking. This parking lot is a couple of hundred yards from the main building.  We're allowed to park in the underground parking under the building after 5:00.  I'm typically move my car about five because, well, the neighbor isn't that great and I don't want to walk out there by myself after dark.

Anyways, I was knitting along as I walked out to my car.  A dark blue convertible Volkswagen bug was pulling out of the garage. I stopped, but the driver waved me on.  So, I walked by, concentrating on my sleeve again when I hear the driver behind. "Heeeeeelllllllooooo, fellow knitter!!!" By the time I turned around, the car was pulling out.

Whoever she was, she definitely made my day.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

WIP Wednesday ~October 5th, 2011~

Not much to report this week. Vivian has gotten too big to go on outings anymore, so progress has slowed tremendously.  I've only finished about twelve rows in the past week. I wasn't able to take any nice daylight pictures again this week. I haven't been home before sunset for a while, so I apologize for the photos.


My other project that I'm working on I can't share yet. I'm SO excited about my new design. I'm also having dramatic mood swings about the whole thing. I love it, I hate it, I love it again.  I'm making great progress, and I'm simply ADORING the yarn that I chose for the project.

For more WIP Wednesday Madness, check out Tamis Amis.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

DiC Everlasting Sock - Review

Dream In Color Everlasting Sock
Dic Everlasting Sock in Wineberry
Fiber Content: 100% Merino
Weight: Fingering
Yardage: 420 yards/384 meters
Skein Size: 100 grams
Gauge: 7-9 stitches per inch on a 0-2 US needle
Website: (Sadly, under construction at the time of this post)

About this yarn
Everlasting sock is a machine washable 100% merino fingering weight yarn. My first impression was under the name "Everlasting" that the yardage would be more, but its about a standard 420 yards.  I believe the reason for the name is the more unusual construction of the yarn. Everlasting is an 8-ply yarn, consisting of eight strands that are plied together.  It also brags that it is spun and hand dyed in the United States.

My Impressions
When I first received the skein I purchased in the mail I noticed two things. One, the deep saturated colors in the skein were absolutely gorgeous. Two, it wasn't as soft as I was expecting. While I've yet to try it's sister yarn "Smooshy", I had heard that it was an extremely soft yarn and was expecting the same of Everlasting.

My knowledge of yarn construction is still lacking, but I assume that having more plys in a yarn will allow for it to hold up better to continuous wear, even without adding nylon content. Thus the name "Everlasting"?

After marinating in my stash for about six months, I finally cast on a pair of lace socks using my Everlasting. First thing I noticed, it makes a beautiful fabric, and I had no problems with funny pooling for the variations of purple it the yarn. You can see the finished socks here. Second thing, being 8-ply makes the yarn a bit splitty. However, a good sharp pair of needles, and a little extra attention on those k2togs, and it wasn't a problem.

When I reached the lace panel of my project, one thing became very apparent that is probably the very best thing about this yarn. Its stitch definition is amazing! I would definitely purchase this yarn again for my more intricate sock projects.

I've yet to see how "everlasting" this yarn is, but I wear my socks very regularly. I'll keep yall posted my socks' durability.

Gorgeous Colorways
Great Stitch Definition
Creates great fabric with little to no pooling


Want some Dream In Color Everlasting Sock of your very own? Here are a couple websites I found that sell this yarn:
The Loopy Ewe
Simply Socks Yarn Company

Friday, September 30, 2011

Wineberry Socks

The wineberry socks are complete. The pattern is Susan Avin's Blackrose from Knittyspin Winter 2008, with a few modifications.

I cast on the sock a size higher than I needed. Then, after two repeats of the lace pattern, I did two sets of decreases in the stockinette on either side of the panel. This let the sock fit higher up on my leg since I was planning on doing additional leg repeats than what the pattern called for.

I also framed the lace panel with two purl stitches on either side to give the socks a bit more stretch.  I find if I don't add ribbing, the sock that fits over my heel tends to actually be too big around the ankle.


I used Dream in Color Everlasting Sock in the Color Wineberry.  (Look for a later review on this yarn for a full synopsis of my feelings towards it.) The stitch definition with this yarn is just wonderful. Now, on to what my SO calls "The Sock Pron"!

I also want to give a special shout out to the very patient man on the other side of the camera who agreed to take these pictures at 7 a.m. before I went to work. Didn't the SO do an AMAZING job? He recently started blogging, and if you're interested in firearms or bladesmithing, check him out.

For more FOs, make sure to check out Tamis Amis.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WIP Wednesday ~September, 28th 2011~

I was a bad, bad, bad blogger last week and was unable to find the time to post my Wednesday WIP.  I mentioned in my last post that I had very little to report for the week, but I was a very busy bee in the evenings once I escaped the lab.  Sadly, my late evening escapes left me few options on natural light for my knitting photos.

Vivian is slowly growing on the needles. I'm about 20 rows from starting the yoke. Or, what I think is the yoke... My sweater lingo needs a bit of work.  Anyway, I'm about 20 rows from where I would start attaching the sleeves. Speaking of which, I need to start those.

Lastly, I've finally started knitting up my latest design. After a lot of sketches, few swatches, and a lot of notes, I was so excited to cast on!  This is probably all I'll show until its complete. (Don't want to give away the surprise!) Can you guess what it is?

Make sure to stop back by Friday to see the finished Wineberry Socks and check out Tami's Amis to stalk more blogger WIP Wednesdays.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Little to Report

Whew, what a week!

In the lab, I'm working on a very long-term experiment that technically started about 2 months ago now. However, this week was the beginning of the most labor intense portion of the study. This portion results in an eleven to twelve hour workday, seven days a week, and lasts between three to four weeks. (Woo....)  Needless to say, this is going to seriously cut into my knitting time.

So this post could be about several things...

I could show you my little progress on my knitting since I missed WIP Wednesday this week. (the Wineberry Socks or the Vivian Sweater)  But the socks haven't grown, and I'm stuck in the lab with no Viv.

I could tell you about how awesome my research is...but I kind of want to keep my science and my knitting at least somewhat separate. And I find a lot of people's eyes start to glaze over when I go down that road. Lets just say the brain is cool. 

So, I leave you with my favorite Brain video. Enjoy.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Its an FO Friday!

And finally, the Patchwork Baby Blankie is finished. 

It took five skeins of Vanna's Choice yarn, with lots of the cream left over.  I'm not to sure about my yarn choice. I chose Vanna's Choice for washability and durability, and it seemed soft enough in the skein and while I was knitting, but after I pulled it out of the dryer it seemed rougher than before I washed it. I'm hoping as it gets used it'll become a little softer.  Does anyone have advice on softening up acrylic?

Harley likes it too!

I'm shipping it out this weekend. Hopefully, it'll get lots of use in its new home. Happy Birthday, Little One!

If you wanna see more Finished Object Friday, check out Tami's Amis.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dizzy Strikes Again

More yarn snuck into my house tonight! Of course, it was welcomed happily.

Okay, I'll be honest.  I was unable to pull myself away from Dizzy's Labor Day Spin Off.  Typically, they offer one deal a day of discounted yarn, but for Labor Day and several other holidays they have special events where a new yarn is posted for sale for a limited amount of time.  I think trying to purchase something before it's sold out definitely brings out the competitiveness in me!

I got some great stuff this time. And each yarn is something I haven't tried before. I never get tired of trying out new yarn.

Dream in Color Starry in Raspberry Blaze. This yarn is screaming "I must become a shawl. NOW!"

Holiday Yarns FlockSock in Night Fury - I was hoping that this yarn was black and green. I was imaging Wicked Witch of the East socks. In person, it looks more like a dark bluish-gray. It's still very pretty, just wasn't what I was expecting.

Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Malachite - its just beautiful - I didn't know yarn could become that green.

And lastly, Classic Elite Inca Alpaca in a lovely neutral tone (The colorway doesn't have a name) I was especially excited because this was my mystery Bag of Knit. I didn't know what I was gonna get until it was on my doorstep. I just love suprises.
If you haven't been to, take a look. You can also get 10% off your first order using the Coupon Code REFU244C3DK9.

Happy Knitting Everyone!

WIP Wednesday ~ September 14th, 2011~

Another week, another WIP Wednesday.  I've been very thankful for participating in WIP Wednesdays, it is keeping me posting as the week just flies by!

So whats up this week?

Vivian is coming along nicely.  Its doubled in size since last week, and I've started the waist shaping.  I'm really liking this project so far. The pattern is easy to memorize but has plenty in the different cables to keep me interested. 

Likewise, I'm liking the yarn for the project. It's the first time I'm used Knitpicks' Wool of the Andes Bulky, and its very different from my experience I've had with the worsted weight version. The Bulky weight seems much softer and the stitch definition so far is just awesome. Look at those cables pop!

I'm also still chugging along on my Wineberry Socks, which have become my designated On-the-go project. The heel turn is now complete and I'm almost finished with the gusset. This yarn was also a first-timer with me. (When it comes to yarn, I have to try 'em all.) I'm using Dream in Color Everlasting Sock. The color is gorgeous, and I really wish I could get a truer hue with my camera of the rich purples of this yarn. Another component about DiC Everlasting is that it's the first 8 ply yarn I've used, and the first socks I'll be making without any nylon content.  I'm really curious to see how they hold up.  The name does have me asking "How everlasting are they?"

There is one small detail about these socks that are bothering me. You can't tell in the picture, but it bright light one sock is definitely darker than the other one.  Curious, considering I'm knitting them 2 at a time from both ends of the same cake. I'm hoping as I knit they'll merge into the same hue as I reach the middle of the cake.

If you want more WIP Wednesday Awesomeness, check out all my fellow crafters over at Tami's Amis.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

WIP Wednesday ~September 7th, 2011~

I know, I know! I promised to show a finished blankie last friday.  I still have about 12 inches of i-cord left on it.  I have a confession...

I got distracted. I was distracted by cables and seed stitch and charts. How can applied I-cord compete? Vivian is so much fun to work on, and I feel so clever after each cable.  Another great thing about this new project is its just flying off the needles. Bulky yarn is awesome!



For more WIP Wednesday projects, check out Tami's Amis for all your fiber stalking needs.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WIP Wednesday ~August 31st~

IMAG0833I'm sure everyone this week is excited to see the Patchwork Baby Blanket almosrt completely finished. I'm about a third of the way through finishing the 4 stitch I-cord border that I'm applying to give the blankie a little more structure. It seems the weight of the bottem squares can make the upper squares stretch when up, I'm hoping this will make it a little tougher. Of course, this is a teaser. You wouldn't think I'd give you the almost final reveal, would you? Hopefully, I'll have a beautiful finished blankie to share at FO friday! Feels like forever since I've had a FO..

IMAG0826My Wineberry socks have been coming along nicely too.  They have been making the trek to the lab with me every day and have been steadily growing. I took a chance to stop and smell the roses on the way out today, and found a nice wooden bench for my socks to rest. I think I'm almost ready to start the heel on these puppies.

For more WIP Wednesday maddness, check out Tami's Amis for a complete list of participating blogs.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Yarn in the house

My backordered yarn came in today. 10 beautiful skeins of Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Bulky in Oregano. The pictures I took just don't do the color justice, its an absolute gorgeous olive green. Of course, I should wait until I finish the Patchwork Baby Blanket. Well.... maybe I could knit just the swatch...

In baby blanket news, since I missed WIP Wednesday this week, I am DONE DONE DONE with the sewing. That took much longer than I had estimated, but then again I also estimated that I would only have to sew each seam once. Between my inexperience with sewing knitted items, and being a perfectionist I probably ended up sewing three times as many seams as the blanket actually required.  I also realized that I can't count. I had two extra brown squares when all was said and done. 

This morning, I finished weaving in ends, and this afternoon I started the I-cord edging. I'm so excited to finish this project, especially since I made it without any type of pattern. I'm wondering if I should try to write up the pattern.



Friday, August 26, 2011

Needle Eating House!

Either my house has starting eating knitting needles, or a small black hole has opened up in my living room.

Last night, I was putting up my interchangeable needle set that I had pulled while fiddling with a new design I had been thinking about. I picked it up from the wrong side of the case and all the needles dumped out on the floor. Of course, I panicked, and quickly gathered them up. I came up two needles short. One size 7 was missing, and one size 10.5 was missing.

Now granted, I hardly even use either of these sizes because I typically get gauge with 8s and 11s, but I had to find those needles! It was one thing if they were a set, but now I have two unmatched needles and just looking at them was driving me crazy.

I looked in the couch, under the cushions, under the couch, under the rug, in a couch I wasn't even near, boxes in the next room... I traced the room on my hands and knees looking next to the base boards. Those two needles were absolutely gone. Gone! I think my SO thought I had gone a little mad by the time I was moving the furniture out of the room.

Maybe I should just give up and let them either turn up, or just resolve myself that my two needles have passed through the event horizon never to be seen again.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

How Not to Sew Blocks Together

 More sewing fun....
After about two full evening of fiddling with the horizontal sewing for all these blocks, I was resigned. Every time I tried attaching two blocks, one on top of the other I resulted in having gaps in the garter stitch in between. If I didn't have these gaps, I had terrible bunching on the other side.

Yes, the s isn't capitalized. But there is one person out there laughing about Growth Associated Proteins...
Was I fooling myself? Maybe it was supposed to look like this and the image in my head was impossible. I couldn't find any pictures online of what the back of this seaming was supposed to look like, so maybe its a dirty knitting secret no one mentions?  After retrieving the thrown blocks again, I had resigned myself that this was how it was gonna look.

The next evening, I sewed 14 blocks into the first two vertical strips of my blankie. By the third strip, I wasn't paying close attention to what I was doing. (Actually, I was too busy yelling at the TV because the historical inaccuracies, and weapon choices, in The Deadliest Warrior reruns.) I looked down at my blocks. This new strip was different!

There were no gaps! I had no idea what I had done! I slowly picked it apart and found that I not chosen the farthest out loop on this one, but had picked one inner loop of the stitch from one block and the outer loop of the stitch on the other block. This resulted in the blocks slightly laying over each other, preventing the gap on the backside!

I feel clever!

Now to pick out the seaming on the first two strips and start again....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WIP Wednesday ~August 17th, 2011~

So many garter stitch squares... (49 to be exact!) Finally finished!  Kera couldn't help posing with the squares. The final products looks like its going to be about 3 feet by 3 feet before I add the i-cord border.

All my ends have been woven in and all the squares have been washed. Last night I happily sat down to start stitching them together. After about four hours of frustration, and several times of throwing two squares across the room, I remembered something that I'm sure my mother and my seventh grade Home Economics teacher know quite well.  I'm terrible at sewing.  It's gonna take a little long than I anticipated to get these squares sewn together in a way that looks decent. I don't even have two connected squares to show you.

I've also pulled a pair of socks out of hibernation to calm the frustration from sewing. My Berry Rose socks are Knitty's Blackrose Socks by Susie Avin in Dream in Color Everlasting Sock. When I saw this pattern I knew I had to do knit in a wine color. Just loving these, and glad that I have time for them again.  If any knitters out there find a disturbance in the space-time continuum that allows for more knitting time, please let me know!


Want more knitterly goodness and WIP Wednesday maddness? Check out Tami's Amis. Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Enabling and Fate

I'm surrounded by enablers...

Through my latest perusing of Ravelry, I came across a hoodie that I completely fell in love with. Vivian.  Check out the link, its absolutely gorgeous. It was published in the twist collective in the Winter 2008 issue, so I'm a little behind in the game. (Again.) You can see lots of projects of this work of art on Ravelry, which is really what sold me.

I tell myself "Nope, I'm on a yarn diet." Does that work? Not really. So I relied on my friends and family to keep me on course:

Option 1) The SO
I sent him the link for Vivian and asked him into talk me out of buying the yarn. His response "It looks nice. And, winter is coming" (I still can't believe he used A Song of Ice and Fire reference)
Option 2) The Nonknitting Friend
Again, I sent her the link. She also stated she loved the hoodie, and pointed out that I have a whole yarn closet now. (I did commandeer a whole closet in the new house for my knitting, and it IS mostly empty.)
Option 3) The Mother
My last hold out, I knew my mom would help me talk myself out of making the purchase and using the yarn I already had. She also encouraged me to make it, saying that it was beautiful.

Behold the power of the Vivain Sweater!

I went ahead and ordered the yarn. And as fate has it... it's backordered until September. Back to the garter stitch baby blanket...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WIP Wednesday ~August 10th, 2011~

The baby blanket madness continues and I feel sooo close to finishing the squares. I'm missing a few chocolate squares in the picture. Green squares: Complete! Cream squares: Complete! Chocolate squares: only eight more to go! Woohoo! The garter stitch insanity is almost over.

This week, my very fist drop spindle arrived with a small sample of blue fiber. I'm already in love with it.

Sadly, my yarn is still very sad looking. This was the best picture I could get. I really don't spin in this postion. So far, my yarn is thick and thin. I think I need to work more on my drafting. My yarn is very far past bulky.

For more WIP madness, visit Tami's Amis to see other blogs filled with awesome WIPs.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

WIP Wednesday ~August 3rd, 2011~

Still chugging along on the emergency baby blanket, and all other WIPs are on hold still I finish this project.  So far, it's still pretty hip to be a square.

IMAG0754Progress Report:
12 of 12 cream squares finished.
12 of 24 chocolate squares finished.
2 of 13 green squares finished.

26 of 49 total squares done!

However, the loose ends are starting to taunt me...

I'm actually getting excited about stitching these babies together and adding the i-cord. These are both techniques I've done very little. Practicing new things is always fun!

 If you were reading last week, you're probably wondering why so few squares have joined the brigade. My other wip has been taking up a lot of time. With some help from some great friends, and my poor SO's thrown out back, we're officially "moved in" to our new house! Well, our stuff is here... Unpacking to continue.


And the heat around here isn't helping either. But is it too hot to knit? Nah.

Looking for more WIP Wednesday action? Head on over to Tami's Amis to see even more works in progress.
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