One beige project is done!
It fits perfectly. I’m not completely happy with the seaming at the very top of the sleeve, but I think it will be ok with a little wet-blocking (otherwise known as the first time I wash it — I’m feeling lazy). I made the sleeves quite a bit shorter than called for by the pattern — I started the cap shaping after 3”, not 6”. I’m glad I did, since I prefer the short sleeves. Here’s a picture of the top lying flat, and a closeup of the sleeve. Now we just have to see how long it lasts as a white top — any bets?
To answer Lydia’s question in the comments about our garden, the front is decorative, but only because we haven’t done anything to it since we moved in, except trim the rose bushes and try not to kill them — in addition to the climbing roses there are daffodils, tulips, some white star-flowers that I don’t know the name of, lily-of-the-valley, and day-lilies. All of the flowers have more greenery than buds now, since they’re so old, but we have some flowers in almost every season, so I don’t feel like digging it all up and replanting.
Really, we’re both more interested in things we can eat, so the back garden, which we rescued from an over-grown jungle when we moved in, has a small bit of grass but is otherwise devoted to herbs, strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, sorrel, and hops. If the sun ever comes out again I’ll take a picture of it’s pre-spring explosion state, though it isn’t particularly exciting yet.
I’ve started a baby blanket for some friends who are expecting their first baby, but I’ve only done 3 rows so I won’t post a picture. It’s in plain acrylic, since I don’t think they’d appreciate something they’d have to hand-wash.
That’s all for now — updates as events warrant.
I really, really want to start new projects. But I don’t want to give up on the ones I’m working on now — I just want them magically finished. Except that I want to have finished them myself, because what’s the point of knitting something if you don’t knit it all yourself? So, as usual, I want the impossible.
But I’m being good and continuing along with my rows and rows of beige. One sleeve of the aran is done, as is the back of the Shapely Tee (sorry, nothing suggestive about this picture — my shoulder blades don’t need very much ease!). I’m now just beginning the front of the aran and the sleeves of the Tee, working both sleeves at once. I’m optimistic that the Tee will be done soon, but the aran’s going to be a while yet. Mark certainly won’t be wearing it until next fall, since we seem to be pretty firmly into spring.
I’ve been spending the weekend alternating between cleaning the house and knitting, with progress on both fronts; only the kitchen left to tackle, and then the first “tidy and clean the obvious disgustingness” phase will be over. We’ll see if I get past that — usually it takes the impetus of visitors to make me actually clean as opposed to tidy.
Soon, I’ll be gardening. Things are definitely stirring out there … little daffodil buds are visible, so it won’t be long now.
And finally, because I feel I haven’t posted a picture of him very recently, and I must keep up my obligation to the “KnittingKitty” webring, I leave you with a picture of Tigger in one of his favourite places, the linen cupboard:
Look what arrived at the door yesterday!
Thanks mom and dad! These made me very happy — and there are tulips! I love tulips, especially right now, when the flowers are still not up but the world is definitely turning towards spring.
I’m getting close to finishing the first aran sleeve, so maybe I’ll have a picture tomorrow. Instead, today, I thought I’d show you a project I knit a year or two ago — a vest for Mark. I’ve just got around to taking a picture of it for my FO’s gallery, so here it is:
And a close-up of the colour pattern is here. As the weather gets warmer we’re getting into vest weather, at least for Mark. I enjoy knitting vests, since they eliminate the dreaded sleeve boredom!
Thanks for all the congratulations and kind words, everyone! This is just such a happy, supportive community! I’m privileged to be a part of it.
It’s done! I passed! Only the dissertation left to go!
Thanks so much to everyone who wished me luck and left supportive comments! Every warm wish was much appreciated. It was nervewracking, and difficult questions were asked, but in the end everything was fine, and my supervisor said I did splendidly. Which is a rare effusion of praise from him — not that he’s not encouraging, but he isn’t given to extravagant praise.
The relief is tremendous. I plan on confining myself to physically difficult but intellectually negligible tasks for the next few days — no more brain-usin’ for me!
Now I just want to sleep! Goodnight, all!
I have a small confession to make. In spite of the fact that I already have various projects lined up, and have planned to purchase some yarn for two more, I somehow slipped last week and ended up purchasing this:
See, I meant to get the Interweave Knits spring issue (because I want to make the No-Sweat Pants — there, I’ve admitted it. Let’s just move on) and Elann had it available, discounted. I put that in my shopping cart, and then the demons of rationalisation started — did it make sense to pay shipping for just one item? Wasn’t there anything else I needed from Elann, since I was buying something already? (This is a particularly silly demon, since Elann’s shipping prices go up when you buy more, to a point, anyway) It then occurred to me that they had some self-patterning sock yarn; I’ve never knitted with any of these types of yarn before; in fact, I’ve only made one pair of socks before in my life. But I’ve been wanting to try some…
Anyway, I ended up buying two balls each of two types. Now I need to buy the right, tiny, needles — and then find time to knit the socks!
Not right now, though. Tomorrow is my Major Field oral — so no more posting until Thursday, I think. By which time I should be, with luck, a much happier person!
I complain, but really both my projects are going at completely respectable rates. The real problem, as usual, is that I have a hundred and one other projects that I want to start NOW! But I won’t let myself start another until I finish one of my current ones. It makes me anxious to have too many things on the go at once. I’m one of those people who likes making lists and gets great satisfaction every time I can cross an item off. (This leads, of course, to me subdividing activities into ridiculously tiny increments so that I can cross things off more often).
Anyway, the real purpose of this post is to show off the completed back of the Honeycomb Aran:
It’s a more artistic shot than I intended it to be, but the sun was shining and it seemed churlish not to use it. Nothing suggestive this time, though — somehow, my husband’s back just doesn’t need much ease added. Now that I think about it, that’s probably a very good thing!
I’ve started a sleeve, and the back of the Shapely Tee. Nothing worth photographing, though.
And, finally, I’ve added a link to my sidebar — to my father’s Jazz band, Verona Katz. If you’re in Ottawa, check out their schedule — maybe you’ll feel like dropping by a show!
The trouble with working on two projects at once is that neither seems to go very quickly. However, I have finished the front of the Shapely Tee — here it is, blocking:
Please excuse the somewhat, er, suggestive nature of the picture; after carefully adding ease to the bust with short rows, it seems counter-productive to block the front flat, so I tried to preserve the curve created by the short-row shaping. It looks rather silly, though.
That’s all I have to show you today — and now I have to get back to work. At least the weather is yucky enough that I don’t feel deprived because I have to stay indoors; with luck, by the time the garden is crying out for attention and the air is warm and inviting I’ll be finished my exams and able to put a little time into other things.
Hsve a great weekend!
A belated happy St. Patrick’s day! It’s times like this that posting late at night doesn’t work as well… but we did celebrate the day, if rather quietly. Mark has an interesting entry about the history of St. Patrick as found in Anglo-Saxon sources over on his blog, and we had a lovely Irish-inspired dinner, though it was less elaborate than our Sunday feast. And, finally, my knitting update is in keeping with the theme as well — I’m up to the armholes on the Honeycomb aran:
When I’ve finished the decreases it should go pretty quickly, so I think I’ll be done the back by the end of the weekend at the latest. Then I’ll do a sleeve, to prevent the boredom caused by working two sleeves in a row.
One week until my oral exam for my major field. Then I’ll be free! (Briefly). Maybe I’ll actually (gasp!) spend some time bringing our house up to slum conditions — there are pigs that would turn their noses up at this place right now, I’m sure.
Oh, speaking of pigs, a while back there was a conversation in the comments to this entry on Yarn Harlot’s blog about “wool pigs”, which led me to this picture. Is it more or less disturbing that those aren’t the product of modern genetic engineering but of natural evolution? Let’s just not think about the yarn they’d produce…
May the road rise to meet you; may the wind be always at your back.
First, thank you to everyone who wished Tigger well. He woke up the next morning with all of his usual bounciness, and was most annoyed when we refused to let him out; we wanted to make sure the cut had healed well enough that he wouldn’t re-open it as soon as he went outside and frolicked. By today we couldn’t resist his entreaties any longer, so he’s been in and out all day and none the worse for it. Now that it’s dark he’s inside, as always (he’s not allowed out at night or in the early morning), and all is back to normal. Until the next time…
Second, Lydia asked a good question in the comments: what sweaters am I intending to make with the new yarn? This is a good question because the answer is “I don’t know”. You see, Mark and I have been having real problems finding sweater patterns he likes that aren’t arans. It’s not that he’s terribly picky — though he certainly does have well-defined, and somewhat conservative, tastes — but that there don’t seem to be many plain, appealing men’s patterns out there for worsted weight yarn. We want something with simple knit/purl patterns, in solid colours; no cabling, since Mark feels that makes the fabric warmer, and we’re trying to do lighter-weight sweaters. Something like this:
which I made for him from a Paton’s pattern a while ago; this particular sweater is 100% wool, however, so it doesn’t qualify as light-weight. (A fuzzy picture of Mark wearing it is here, but it doesn’t show the texture very well). So unless we can find something soon, perhaps in Men in Knits: Sweaters He Will Wear, which I’ve just ordered, I think I’ll try my hand at a modest bit of design, something like what I’m planning with the Tintin sweater. I’ve also ordered 450 Knitting Stitches, and I think I might just try pulling out a couple of nice knit/purl stitch patterns from it and applying them to a basic sweater shape. I don’t really know what pitfalls I might run into along the way, other than needing to keep the continuity of the pattern while shaping, but my naive assumption is that it probably won’t be too difficult, as long as I choose patterns that don’t affect the gauge. Any advice or warnings would be much appreciated!
And, finally, even though it doesn’t feel like it here right now, I can tell that spring’s approaching. Two separate blogs I read have been talking about bees: Anne (the Mar. 14th entry) and Lord of the Squirrels. Both people, perhaps not coincidentally, are medievalists; but the topic of bees definitely feels pretty spring-like to me, and leads to thoughts of flowers and frolicking through meadows and the rebirth of the world. Doesn’t it? Maybe I’m just starting to feel restless…
Or maybe it’s the yummy lamb we had last night for dinner, as an early celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Since this entry is already rather long, I’ll just say that it involved marmalade and Irish whiskey, and urge you to go on over to Mark’s blog for the recipe and a detailed description of the dinner, complete with many photos. We like to go to excess in our cooking, and now we can document it all!
Just a quick note to mention that we had a very yummy homemade chicken noodle soup last night for dinner; a full description of the recipe, with pictures, is here. Mark’s been writing up our more interesting meals; tomorrow I’ll post a link to his description of the early St. Patrick’s Day feast we had tonight.
No knitting pictures because nothing looks much different than it did in the last photo; but I’ve been working on both projects, I promise!
More on my plans for Mark’s next few sweaters tomorrow, as well.
First, the good. On Friday I received a big package of yarn from Wool-Tyme, the on-line store I usually use for basic yarn purchases. In it were eleven balls of each of these yarns:
These are for the next three sweaters for my husband. Perhaps now would be a good time to explain our arrangement about knitting. Mark is extremely supportive of my knitting — I mentioned to him just yesterday that he’s the only husband-of-a-knitter I know of who actively encourages stash enhancement. But this is, at least in part, because we’ve somehow agreed (I say somehow because I’m not completely certain that we ever actually discussed this) that for every project I knit for myself, I knit one for him. In general I don’t mind this, because I like the projects I’ve knit for him; I find it hard to wear Lopi, for instance, because it’s too warm, so it’s nice to have a reason to knit with it, which I do enjoy. However, this has occasionally produced some differences of opinion, when I’ve been knitting entire sweaters for him and supposedly alternating them with small cotton tank tops for myself. The “rules” were bent pretty far in those cases, and it was fine in the end. And I don’t really want to complain, since Mark is very appreciative of the things I knit for him, and is always willing to point out proudly to others that I made his sweaters/hats/scarves. And that’s a fairly good reward!
Anyway, we’ve been working on filling in his wardrobe gaps, since he’s determined to no longer wear any sweaters that weren’t made for him by me. Hence the acrylic and acrylic/wool yarns; he needs some lighter sweaters that he can wear in spring and fall. I’m not particularly fond of knitting with acrylic, but I’m willing to do it if we both like the end product.
And, it turns out, this order of acrylic yarns gave me the perfect excuse to fulfill one of my own desires. I’ve been hearing about Addi-Turbos since I first entered the blogging world as an observer, and I’ve wanted to find out for myself what all the fuss was about. But they’re expensive, and I already had a pretty full complement of needles. However, when Victoria at Wool-Tyme said that if I was having problems with the acrylic yarn sticking on my needles I should try the Addi-Turbos, I decided it was time to get a set. So they arrived on Friday with the rest of the yarn order, and I immediately tried them out with the aran I was working on:
They may not look like much in this picture, but I can definitely tell the difference. I can’t wait to try them with the acrylic — I think they will improve the knitting experience immensely. I just might have to get some more sets… and here, too, Mark shows his support: earlier in the evening when I was discussing the needles with him, he said “You knit so much, you should definitely have the best tools”. I love that guy, I tell you.
However, today was not devoid of drama and worry. Tigger got into a fight sometime this morning, and is not particularly happy as a result. You can read the details of his adventures here on Mark’s blog, but suffice it to say that he’s sore, stiff, and wounded. He was recovering on the bed and taking some solace in the comforts his Bear could give him:
He looked so cute that I can’t resist showing you more pictures: this and this. We hope he might recover by himself, but if not he has a vet appointment scheduled for Monday. Poor boy, he hates the vet so much; but if he will keep getting into fights, he will keep having to go to the vet!
Sorry for the long entry; I guess I had a lot to say tonight! Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and I hope spring is coming soon, wherever you are!
Thank you for the advice about Tintin charts! The links that Krista Jo gave me were great — good, clear charts of Tintin and Milou. However, they weren’t charted on knitting graph paper, but on square graph paper, so I was worried that the images wouldn’t look as good when they were knitted up, since knitting stitches aren’t square; they’re wider than they are tall. I printed out the chart I wanted to use, as well as a couple of sheets of knitter’s graph paper (which is graphed into rectangles that more closely approximate a normal knitted stitch) from this handy site, and copied
part of the chart over to it exactly (counting squares). This resulted in the Tintin at the top of this image; as I had feared, he looked a little squashed. So I re-drew him, adding length but keeping the width the same, to get approximately correct proportions (the bottom head in the previous image shows the beginnings of this attempt). Finally I recopied that onto a clean sheet of knitter’s graph paper and added Milou in, adjusting the length of the image so that key points still lined up with Tintin. The image was a little wider than my graph paper so I taped the other sheet to the paper and finished Milou. I think it looks pretty good, in the end:
I added the shaded portion for his hair — the original was a line drawing, but I want to do this in colour. I’m currently working on finding a shade of yarn that approximates Tintin’s rather unique hair colour. My plan is to add this chart to a basic sweater pattern, doing the colour blocks in intarsia and duplicate-stitching the black outlines on afterward. Mark says he’ll even consider wearing a brighter shade than usual, since this is a Tintin sweater (and hence hardly likely to be particularly professional no matter how subdued the background colour!), so I think I’ll do the background in a fairly bright blue, to suggest the usual colour of Tintin’s own sweater.
I’ve spent far too long on this today, even though I’m not sure when I’ll even be starting the knitting — I’ve got several projects lined up already, not to mention the ones I’m working on right now! But it’s amusing me, and it should be fun to make. I just hope it’s recognisable as Tintin when I’m done!
And as for Tyla and George’s pleas for Cpt. Haddock, I think that will have to wait. Unless you want to chart it out for me yourselves…
Tonight I have a question to pose to the world at large: do you know where I could find a knitting chart of Tintin? Preferably with his dog Milou (Snowy, in the English version)? Or, failing that, a picture of approximately the right size so that I could chart it myself onto knitting graph paper?
My husband would very much like a sweater with Tintin and Milou on it. (Who says you need to be a kid to enjoy Tintin?). I would be perfectly happy to pay for a pattern or a chart, or for a graphic which I could use to design one myself, but I can’t seem to find any. All I have is the books themselves, in which the pictures are far too small even to be properly blown up. If I were a better illustrator I might be able to fudge a large copy myself, but I have no talent in that area. So I thought I would appeal to the knitting community, or at least that small portion of it that reads this! If you can point me towards any resources, I’d be very grateful.
Thanks! Good night!
Both these projects aren’t exactly motoring along, and they produce rather boring pictures, but I’ve still decided to inflict progress shots on you. It really doesn’t help that they’re both cream-coloured and therefore not very visually exciting. Still, here’s the beginning of the back of the aran:
And here’s the first few inches of the Shapely Tee. If you look closely I think you can see the curve in the hem formed by the short rows.
I should have put in a cute picture of Tigger, just to enliven things, but unfortunately I’m writing this entry from school, and though I remembered to upload the pictures of the sweaters before I left home this morning, I didn’t think about adding a Tigger picture. Sorry!
Tonight I give my class its first real test — one which will, unfortunately, be a pain in the behind to mark. I do have teaching assistants, but it’s still not going to be fun. If only I was willing to compromise my principles and go with all mutiple choice, all the time! So much simpler to mark…
Then I get to introduce the Aeneid. Woohoo! The danger here is that I’m going to have way, way more to say than a) I have time for and b) is appropriate for this level. Sigh. Still, very pleasant to be paid to talk about Virgil!
I am currently holding my office hour, and so far the only students who have dropped by were one woman who won’t be writing the test (for a legitimate reason) and another who wanted me to sign a sheet affirming that she has never come to class regularly so that she can drop it (after the official drop date). I feel so fulfilled in my role as educator…
Right. That’s all for now — back to work!
After almost a week of surprisingly beautiful, well above 0C weather, it reverted to normal March temperatures today and snowed. So, of course, I continued my perverse knitting habits and started working on a cotton t-shirt. Specifically, the Shapely Tank pattern from White Lies Design, with the addition of the Shapely Tee Sleeves to turn it into a t-shirt. I’ve already made the Shapely Tank once (sorry, it’s not the best picture), and it’s a very good pattern that fits well and looks good on me (in my humble opinion). This time I’m doing it in “ecru”, however, which may be a big mistake — I’m not good with white clothing. In fact, that’s a profound understatement — there was once a saying in our household that it wasn’t a meal until I’d spilled food onto myself. So I’m not sure what possessed me to order cream-coloured cotton. I’m consoling myself with the thought that I could always dye it, right? Not that I’ve ever dyed clothing before, but I understand it can be done, and cotton can’t be too difficult. If — sorry, when — I spill something staining on it, I’ll try dyeing it a darker colour. That’s my story, anyway, and I’m sticking to it.
The reason I started a second project is that I need something simple and fairly mindless to work on while I read, and the aran is too complicated for that. But it is progressing slowly — pictures tomorrow.
That’s all for now — have a good evening!
Now that I have a bit of a reprieve from exam studying, I’ve been able to start a new project. It’s an aran sweater for Mark, from a Patons pattern - the details are in Works in Progress on the sidebar. I enjoy working with this wool - it shows cables beautifully - and my (fairly) newly learned skill of cabling without a cable needle is increasing my speed quite significantly. Nonetheless, I’ve only managed to get two rows past the ribbing, since last night I messed up the setting of the pattern and had to rip back to the ribbing. In lieu of a photo of the new project, then, I thought I’d share one of my favourite pictures, which shows off the two aran sweaters I’ve previously knitted; the man on the left is my father, wearing the aran I gave him for Christmas this year, while the man on the right is my husband Mark, wearing an Alafoss Lopi aran-style sweater I made him several years ago. The cardigan I’m wearing is also handknit, but I didn’t make it - my grandmother bought it in Donegal, Ireland, and gave it to me for Christmas. The picture was taken on Christmas Day afternoon this year, when we all went out for a walk wearing our aran sweaters (Christmas was unusually warm in Ottawa this year, so we were able to be out without coats - by the end of December temperatures were back to their seasonal -15C norms).
Does it make me very, very twisted if one of the ways I’m going to reward myself for finishing the Major Fields written exams is to do our taxes? Yeah, I thought it did. But I’m still going to do it, and probably even enjoy it. I think it’s the satisfaction of getting everything from last year tidied away and organised, and the hope of getting a little money back, too! Which is probably not going to happen, realistically, but I can always dream.
Of course, I can’t take the whole weekend off - I do have to make up a test and the exam for my class, and write my lecture notes for Tuesday. But somehow that seems enjoyable, compared to the last week!
Have a great Saturday!
Well, that’s over with (I hope!). The commentary exam went alright, though I made some minor mistakes in my identifications. It’s always hard to know what the examiners were expecting from my commentary on the passages, and I felt rushed doing the 6 passages in three hours and wasn’t sure I’d written enough for each, but I don’t think I disgraced myself, which is something, anyway. Now I just have to wait to hear whether I will be permitted to go on to the oral examination stage - which won’t be until the 24th or so, if it happens, because my committee won’t all be in the same city until then! For now I’m not going to think about the next stage of the process, and I’ll just enjoy being finished this stage. Yay!
All of which means I can finally turn back to knitting matters. Tonight I’m going to start my husband’s aran sweater - I know, it’s almost spring, what am I do working on such a heavy-duty winter project? I seem to have finished less than I intended to this winter, or become sidetracked along the way (oops - a Rogue made me do it!), so I still have the yarn for one more winter project. Even though Mark certainly won’t get a chance to wear it this year I’m going to work on it now, because if I leave it until next fall I’m sure to get sidetracked by some other new project, and then it will never get done. Anyway I feel like more cabling, since I enjoyed Rogue’s cables so much.
Speaking of Rogue, there are a few details I wanted to record about this project, but I think I’ll use the extended entry to do so (partly just because I’ve never used this feature, and I want to try it!).
This was very fun to knit, and I learned a lot about cables and about sweater construction. I might consider knitting it again, though I have other projects to work on first! If I do, I’ll try a heavier, more “outerwear” yarn. The Peruvian wool is very soft and looks lovely, but I’d like a version that’s more rugged, as I’ve seen on many of the knit-along blogs.
That’s all for now. On to the next!
One down, one to go. The translation test was fine; I toyed with the idea of choosing to translate the one Greek passage, but quickly rejected it and went with my strength, Latin. I think I did fine.
I want to talk a bit more about knitting Rogue and what I learned or would change if I did it again, but I don’t have time right now - I have to go study for tomorrow’s commentary exam. I also haven’t started a new project - that too will have to wait until at least tomorrow afternoon.
Thank you to everyone who left a kind comment about the sweater or wished me good luck on my exams - every bit of encouragement is much appreciated!
I finished the hood last night and sewed it together while watching the Leafs beat the Bruins tonight. (Hey, I may be studying hard, but there are priorities!). This is a slightly doctored photo of the cabling at the side (well, more cropped than doctored - closeup profile torso shots aren’t the most flattering!) The hood is lovely:
I don’t expect to wear it up very often, but to amuse you all here’s a picture of the hood fully deployed, and a (very silly-looking) side view of the same thing. And, finally, a photo of the sweater laying flat, just for completeness of documentation.
It fits a little more closely than some of the other versions I’ve seen, and it’s perhaps not as rugged, but I like it very much. And I really like the hem - I’ve never made a sweater with this sort of hem before, and it gives a certain solidity to the bottom of the sweater that appeals to me, somehow. And the Peruvian Highland wool is very soft and comfortable. I’m very happy with the project, overall. I learned several new techniques, it didn’t take too long to knit, and I have a very comfortable, useful garment at the end of the process. What more could I ask for!
Well, possibly to be done with my exams so that I could start something new. On the bright side, though, I can wear Rogue while writing the exams! Huzzah!
I leave you with a picture of Tigger helping me type this entry: