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Summer update

Wow, it’s already July! Sorry for the lack of posts. Even though it’s summer, things have been crazy busy since I’ve been working full time in a biology research lab. I love it but I’m just exhausted when I get home. Not much has happened knitting-wise this past month but here’s an update on what I’ve been working on:
1. I finished the song of the sea scarf and blocked it with the much-needed help of my cat, Diane. I still haven’t worn it since the heat index yesterday was over 100 degrees F but I will if we get a cooler day.
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2. I also started a pair of Jaywalker socks using some Cascade Heritage silks yarn that I’ve had laying around for about a year. Honestly, I kind of hate knitting socks. They take forever because of how small the yarn is and then once you finish one, you have to turn around and do the same thing all over again. Needless to say, it’s taking me a while to knit them up. I’m trying to motivate myself with thoughts of wearing them but so far that hasn’t helped much.

I really want to start working on another sweater, but right now I’m trying to finish some old projects and use up some of the yarn that I already have. I see many hats and pairs of socks in my future…

What’s your favorite stash-busting project? And do you have any tricks for staying motivated when knitting socks?

Song of the Sea- At the Lake

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The day after my MCAT, I drove the 9 hours from St. Louis to Minneapolis where my family lives. We then headed up to our cabin in northern MN. There isn’t anything that I need to accomplish this week so I started working on the Song of the Sea scarf using my Fyberspates rural charm yarn. It took me a few hours to wind the yarn into a ball since despite my best efforts, it ended up in a tangled mess (I don’t have a swift and ball winder although I want to get one after having to do it by hand). I then had to start over after several rows because my counting was off but after all of that, things have been going pretty smoothly!

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I knit the large waves yesterday and now I’m on to the medium waves. It takes me awhile to knit each row since there are 256 stitches but the scarf is actually knitting up relatively quickly. It’s a really great pattern- easy enough to memorize but not so easy that it’s boring. It’s nice to have something to work on where I don’t have to be staring at the charts the entire time like I had to do for the octopus sweater. Overall, song of the sea is going well! I’ll post more pictures once it’s done!

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FO: Embrace Octopus Sweater!

My MCAT is done! And so is the Embrace Octopus Sweater! I spent my study breaks these last couple weeks working on it so I just had to weave in the ends today (which took forever…). Here’s the finished product:
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I’m driving back to Minnesota tomorrow (a 9 hour drive. Ick) so I’ll post a picture of me wearing the sweater once I’m there and have someone to take a picture of me.
Overall, I enjoyed this sweater but it was definitely the most difficult thing I’ve ever knit. The directions weren’t very descriptive (especially for a $17 pattern…) but the detailed charts were great. I just had some trouble interpreting the directions for the short rows of the neck. I’m not sure if I did it correctly but the sweater fits so I guess it turned out ok. The only part of this sweater that I really disliked was the left sleeve with the tentacle spiraling down it. I had to float the white yarn all the way around the entire way up or else I would have had 500 ends to weave in. It took forever and I just got kind of tired of it. I messed up a bit on the tension towards the bottom so it’s a bit tight but it works.
Just to demonstrate all of the floats I had to do, here’s a picture of the inside of the sweater:

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The only thing I changed was using worsted weight yarn instead of bulky as suggested in some of the comments on the pattern. The sweater is a bit tight but I think that if it had come out too large, the octopus wouldn’t be as visible.
Overall, if you’re up for a challenge, I’d definitely suggest knitting this! It’s pretty fun and it’s probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever made.

It’s here! Fyberspates rural charm sock yarn

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It’s finally here! My awesome skein of yarn for the Song of the Sea scarf was finally delivered today. It’s a beautiful sea foam green and so soft! I can’t wait to start using it! It’s a blend of 70% Blue Leicester, 20% silk, and 10% cashmere and the color is Pale Turquoise. There are a lot of subtle variations in the color which I think will knit up very nicely. Now I just need to wind it into a ball. Right now though, it’s going on my shelf- It’ll be my reward for finishing the MCAT this Saturday!

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A break from the octopus

Ive really been struggling to get the second sleeve on the octopus sweater done. The fact that it’s finals time and I feel guilty for taking time away from studying to knit hasn’t helped so I’ve decided to take a little bit of a break from knitting the Embrace Octopus sweater and find some fun summer knits to make.
First in my queue is the Song of the Sea scarf. It’s a beautiful lace scarf and I think it’ll make a good first lace project for me.

20140430-133902.jpg I just bought a beautiful skein of yarn for it as a birthday present for myself (I turned 21 yesterday!)- Fyberspates Rural charm in pale turquoise. It’s 70% Bluefaced Leicester, 20% silk, and 10% cashmere and I think it’s probably the most expensive single skein of yarn I’ve ever bought.

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After Song of the Sea, I really want to knit something that I can wear this summer in St Louis when it’s going to be 100 degrees and humid. I found this really cool pattern on Ravelry- the #22 Lacy Tee from the spring/summer 2013 issue of Vogue Knitting.

20140430-134441.jpg I haven’t picked out yarn yet but I’m thinking of using something in linen or cotton since I’ve never knit with either of those fibers before. Do you guys have any suggestions?
I’m really excited for this summer. I was awarded a biomedical research fellowship so I’ll be working in a biology lab full time which will leave me lots of time on the evenings and weekends to catch up on my knitting. I can’t wait!

Embrace octopus sweater: Just keep Knitting…

With the semester starting to wrap up and no exams for the next couple weeks, I’ve had a bit more time to continue working on the embrace octopus sweater. I’m knitting the second sleeve now which has a tentacle spiraling up it. It’s extremely difficult to knit since it’s so small in diameter and I have to float the white yarn all the way around while using double pointed needles. Keeping tension equal has been difficult too—there’s one portion that is a bit tight and a few spots where the white stitches are kind of loose. I’m not really enjoying knitting this and I just want it to be done. Unfortunately, that means pushing through it because I really want to wear this sweater! For now I’m just working on it a bit at a time since I get a bit frustrated with it pretty quickly.
Have you guys ever tried colorwork on double points? Do you have any tips on how to make it easier? I considered not doing the floats but then I’d have 800 ends to weave in and that didn’t really appeal to me either…
I just keep reminding myself how awesome this sweater is going to look when it’s done!

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Embrace Octopus Sweater: sleeve number 1 is done!

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Hey everyone! Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. Classes have been kind of crazy and I’m getting ready to take the MCAT on May 17. With all of this going on, I’ve barely had any time to knit. I did however cast on the first sleeve of the octopus sweater a few weeks ago and I finished it today! This sleeve is mostly solid black with just the very top of the octopus’ head showing. It was quick and easy to knit up which was nice (although I still have to weave in a million ends because I didn’t want to float the yarn all around the sleeve). The next sleeve has a tentacle spiraling up the arm though so it will be a bit more complicated. I’m planning to cast on for it tonight but I doubt I’ll finish it before the end of the semester.
As you can see, the sweater is slowly starting to come together!

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