Back to the Land of the Living

The only reason that I have the time to sit down and write this today is because they canceled school due to the cold. Really, I should be doing something else right now. (Cover letter anyone?) But really, anything knitting related is essentially something you do when you’re supposed to be doing anything else, so really, it fits.

As far as knitting is concerned, which is the real reason you all come here, I have actually been knitting a great deal — mostly on the go — and am making determinable progress. I started a shawl when I first got back to Kent, because I didn’t want to have to carry around a dozen balls of yarn to knit between classes. Of course though, this plan backfired a bit, and I’ve now knit almost half a shawl without even picking up the fair isle sweater. (It doesn’t help that I made a mistake on it the last night I was at home and don’t want to fix it. And it also doesn’t help that I realize that while I was making good progress on it, that I still had a lot of knitting left to do. So that’s that.)

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So, I started knitting and the next thing I knew I have half a shawl. I’m knitting the Stonington Shetland Shawl from KW. It’s essentially a square with trapezoids coming off of each sides, connected trapezoids, and then a border around the edge. I’m making this one a bit on the smaller side, because while I love the Traditional Shetland Shawl — I don’t want to end up with another blanket. (I actually use it as a blanket.) I hope to wear this one as a scarf, because Lord knows I need one. (It is negative ten degrees outside right now. I haven’t left the building today. Say what you will about Wright Hall, say it’s full of druggies, say that the RA’s don’t do their job, say that the bathroom has graffiti, but we don’t have to go outside to get food. Granted, it’s not very good food, but at least I don’t have to go outside AND they are open all night. So ha! What was I talking about.

Oh right! Knitting. Anyway, I’m making this shawl in all garter stitch with a lace border, something with scallops. But we can think about that one later, right now I’m just knitting along on the garter stitch. It is simplicity personified, and that’s nice because I need simplicity at the moment. When I looked at my class list for this semester I thought that I might have gotten in over my head a little bit. Now that I am in all of these classes, I know I’ve gotten in over my head. College Writing has me writing two small papers a week (like one or two pages that require little to no research), Micro Econ has a longish homework a week, as does math. I have to read about two chapters in three books a week for history, as well as write a response to that, math has one or two homeworks a week, and I always have reading to do for Great Books to 1700. (Gilgamesh, a page turner, who knew?) So this is a lot, in addition to finding work, which has proven to be just as difficult as I thought it would be.

But I’m glad to have something do once again. After the boredom of break, I like the idea of having something to do, something to learn. It is nice that I don’t have to get up before eight am. And now I have to write a cover letter for a job as a secretary. I have a vague feeling I will be applying for more secretarial work in about four years . . . .

 

Not Dead

Just a quick note to let you all know, that despite a few ideas to the contrary, I am not dead. More so than that, I’m not only not dead, but I’ve also been knitting too. I’ve managed to knit about a third af a smallish shawl — The Stonington Shetland shawl, knit while waiting in between classes and watching movies. I am making a bit on the small side, simply because the last one that I made was large in the way a shawl shouldn’t be large. I haven’t really touched the fair isle sweater since I got here. Like I said, fair isle and college do not mix. That having been said, I probably should go work on one of the zillion books I have to read. By which I mean look at funny pictures on the internet for a few hours.

 

Modeled Shots!!

I meant to start writing this about an hour ago. But then I got sidetracked when a few professors made their book requirements. All but one have made their assignments. All told, it comes to around 450.00 dollars. I’ve already bought a few of them, taking me down to around 300.00 dollars. I’m getting even closer having been shopping around for a while, and found a few that I could get for a lot cheaper. This may, MAY, be another semester with the book bill below 200.00 dollars, which is really my goal in all of this. (Aside from you know, graduating.) Wish me luck.

But you don’t come here for the tales and trials of a college student, you come here for the knitting. And that is what I shall give you. Today, during a reasonably light hour. I had the forethought to finally take pictures.

Let me share with you.

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(I call this picture “I’m so much better than you.”)

 

 

The pattern is the genius seamless set-in-sleeve sweater from Knitting Workshop. It was designed when a critic of EZ told her that she couldn’t knit a set in sleeve in the round. And EZ, being EZ, took that not as a critisism, but as a challenge, and  produced the following sweater. The pattern in KW doesn’t have the V-neck, because Elizabeth said that it would make the directions too complicated. It probably would have, but I did it flying by the seat of my pants and like most things, it turned out fine.

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(I call this picture “I’m much more stoned than you. Man.”)

 

The yarn was Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, bought with a birthday present, ordered last spring, and I’ve been sitting on it ever since. It took most of 11 balls of yarn. One of which I only lost of a few months. I’ve lost lots of other things for a lot longer, so this isn’t too bad of a track record for this. (And I moved during this time too.)

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(I call this one, “I love my sweater so much more than you.” And “I’m much more cold than you.”)

I can’t really remember how long it took me to knit this sweater, let me look and see if I took a note of it. Nope, I didn’t. My notes on this are pretty cryptic, like most of my notes really. (I always think that I’ll remember this part later and I almost never do.) I have a gift for writing down the most useless stuff. It took me a while, I can tell you that. I think I knit the swatch in early October if that tells you anything.

The sweater was mostly knit while waiting for classes to start, or while reading textbooks. (Which I should be doing now really.) I also am sure that I knit a lot of it while I was with my friends. (I distinctly remember knitting this in the dark, while they all watched a movie and I fell asleep on Rush’s bed.)

I think this means I’ve got seven left in KW. Let me look and count — the list is back at Kent. Yep, seven more to go. And one of those is already well under way. I mean about halfway to the underarms. Who knew that Fair Isle would go so quickly?

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Here I am, after about a weeks progress. Now I know how Wendy did all of these so fast. That Fair Isle Voodoo. Granted, this isn’t my best knitting, but it really feels nice. I am enjoying doing it, and it will get better after blocking and washing.

One of the reasons for a fast progress on this is a little challenge to myself. I know that Fair Isle, with all the colors and charts, while being a lot easier to do than I thought it would be, isn’t college knitting.. (This isn’t my first color pattern knitting, and not even my first Fair Isle knitting, but this is the first time that I’ve done it on a sweater scale — much more room for failure.) I can’t really just chuck this in a bag and go, at least not without a bit of forethought and some space. So I thought to myself “What if I can finish it before I can get back to Kent?” That isn’t likely to happen, but I’m going to get as close as I can, and maybe get close to finishing. When I get to Kent I’ll start something else big and boring with lots of plain knitting and save this for when I’m able to focus on it. Sound like a plan?

Also, I’ve had an idea for this sweater. Could I add sleeves, and possibly make it a cardigan? I mean, I could, and I think that I would wear it more that way. There are knits that you wear, and then there is this, which is more of an art piece, than a part of my wardrobe. I’d like to change that if I can — have it be a part of both. I think that I could if I wanted to. I’ve got enough yarn and whatnot, and it would make me feel like I covered the Fair Isle section a little bit more thoroughly. I think that I just might. Why not? Thoughts on this? The only downside I can think of is that it would be more knitting — but is that really a bad thing when you’re having as much fun as I am?

 

New Year. Happy? Maybe . . .

I, like a lot of people — or at least people on the internet, am not one for New Years Resolutions. I feel that if you are going to do something that you should just do it while you have the gumption, because that will always fade quickly. However, if you are like me and enjoy procrastination, then I find that spring or fall is the best time to start something new. The weather outside is changing right? Why not change yourself. With this in mind, New Year’s eve has pretty much become a ritual for me. Like watching the Oscars, or The Sound of Music at Easter.

However, it does provide an excellent time for a little bit of late-night introspection. I am a hopelessly narcissistic person, so I look for any chance at all to think about myself. And you, my lucky readers, get to hear it. Last year I spent New Year’s Eve with a bunch of people who I thought were my friends, but who haven’t called me in since I left for college. (To be fair, I haven’t called them either, but there are a lot more of them then there are of me.) This year I was with my family, but they all went to bed early, so really after ten it was just me, sipping Champagne all by myself. I thought about who I was last year, and I know that I would have been bawling my eyes out about being alone and all that nonsense. But this year I wasn’t. I was concentrating on all the happy times that I’ve had this year, instead of the moody brooding about what a shitty year it was. (And it was shitty in the way that a year seldom is. In six months twice I had to hold my screaming family members off of each other. And that’s just the tippy-top of that iceberg. But this is a knitting blog, and I try not to go into that here.) It had a lot of good moments. Moving out was a big one. Holding down my first real job was another. (I’m defining “real job” as a job with a dress code.) Starting college was another, as well as meeting everybody at college. (I’m homesick for college, isn’t that crazy. I miss  my friends, oddly in a way that I never missed my family.) That exam worth 40% of my grade that I got 100% on. (I finished that class with 101%.) And what’s more important I looked, and still do, to the New Year with hope. I greeted it by laughing at how loudly I was burping. (Damn Champagne!)

It makes me think of that EZ interview at the end of A Knitting Glossary (That’s a video, in case you thought you were missing a book or something.) It was taped on New Year’s Day, and to quote EZ, “Let us all make good resolutions. . .  Not to follow knitting directions.”

I can’t think of a better way to start off the new year.

 

 

Knitting.

I’ve been knitting a lot, not that you would ever know it to look at my blogging schedule. And my pictures! Oy vey! A recent present has a camera on it, though not a very good one, and with the overhead light on, I can get a decent picture after dark.

I’ll do a quick run through now, with some more detailed and/or modeled shots coming up later.

First up, the newest sweater off the needles. (The one where I turned into Silvia.)

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This is the seamless, set-in-sleeve sweater, with a V-neck. (EZ said that doing both together would gum up the directions for your first seamless, set-in-sleeve sweater to an intolerable degree. Ah, what does she know?) A fast run down: The yarn was a birthday present from Sil, the pattern was from KW, I think that leaves me with seven left — the master list is at Kent. (Seven! I will talk about how freaking thrilling that is at a later date. Probably at six.) I knit it over a few month, with many forays into other projects. I am in love with this sweater. Even before the blocking it was smooth and soft, and now it’s really smooth and soft. It fits me perfect, right width, right length, correct angle on the sleeves, correct everything. It took a bit of ripping, but as I wear it, it’s just perfect.

I also knit a hat for Thai. I don’t think that it warrants a picture because it isn’t technically done. (It needs blocking and for me to finish off the top.) This is the sixth hat that I’ve knit for friends this year, and I still have a few more that I should do. (I may not, but I should.) It is green and white, with “THAI” written on it. More to follow. Use your imagination.

The hat for Thai though was really just to procrastinate on this, my next KW project. All I have at the moment is a paltry two inches of ribbing, so pic either. But it’ll be something when I’m done with it — or at least it better be. I’ve hunted up about two dozen shades of yarn (or ten, it felt like a lot), made a list, swatched, washed the swatch and started The Fair-Isle V-neck vest. (She shows you several sweaters like this in the back of KW, but only provides the pattern for this one, and I’ll tell you now, I’m not knitting the others. I draw my line there. (And I kind of want to be done.)  I’ve got a basket full of yarn next to my bed as I write this, all planned for this sweater. I may end up heavily altering this pattern, to the point where it is a cardigan with sleeves, but I’ll still try to stay as true to the original pattern as I can.

I’m nervous. This will require me to think. I don’t like to do that. And really, I don’t have the mental capacity, given that break has taken away my minimal powers to think. And this probably won’t change when I return to the world of classes, note-taking, writing papers at four a.m. because I cannot find any other time of the day to do them, and that hardy perennial, job applications. I remember when I first started this madness, this was one of the things that I was worried about. I’ve done color work before, loads of it, but never the constant changing, little patterns, no-rhyme, no-rhythm patterns that make up those sweaters from Northern Scotland. I don’t live in a moldy cottage. I live on the ninth floor of a dorm room. I have internet for crying out loud!

But yet, here I am on break, right at the jumping off point.

Send a sheep dog.