Category: musings

Senioritis

I have a case of senioritis. A bad one. With only a week and a half of classes left, I’m ready to be done. As a result, I’ve been doing more knitting than I probably should. 

My first project comes from the book Mini Knitted Woodland by Sachiyo Ishii. It’s a dangerous book. The projects are all tiny and adorable and woo you with the thought of “Well, it’ll only take me an hour to finish.”  NO! Put the book down. Yes, each project only takes a couple hours, but once you start you will not want to stop because you are so close to a finished project. It’ll be a great book once I’m done with classes and finals but for now I think I need to hide it somewhere so I’m not tempted to make anything from it until I’m done with school. Here is the product of my afternoon yesterday (please ignore the mess in the background. I’m going through my stuff in preparation to move):  

 

Like I said, the projects are adorable, but addicting. 

In another chapter of the senioritis saga, I have learned that crocheting is not as terrible as I once thought. I always found it very confusing, but once you figure out the basic stitches, it isn’t so bad. I decided to learn how to crochet for real this time (I’d previously only crocheted a lopsided mini pig) and this teacup was the result.  

It was all single crochet so pretty straightforward, but the end result is pretty cute for a first project if I do say so myself. 

Ok, enough crafting. I need to get back to work.  

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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?

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!

I made yarn!

Today was a dreary rainy day in St Louis so what better way to brighten it up than by dyeing and spinning some yarn! I bought some natural cream roving on Etsy a few months ago but I’d never found the time to do anything with it. After spinning about 1/2 of it, I got kind of bored so I decided that Id try dyeing it! I found this handy tutorial on Knitty.com
I bought three packets of Koolaide and prepared the roving.

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Then I mixed the Koolaide and water making sure not to add any sugar to the mix. The roving went into the pot and I heated it for about 10 minutes. I then let it sit and absorb the dye for about 25 minutes when the water was mostly clear.

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I rinsed the roving in warm water (making sure not to felt it) and hung it up to dry. I turned out to be a beautiful purple color. The color isn’t even but I think it gives the wool some character.

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After separating out the roving and laying it out so it could finish drying I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I just had to try spinning it today. I used a top whorl drop spindle that I got on Etsy for pretty cheap. It takes a long time to spin any decent amount of yarn but for the amount of spinning I do I can’t justify buying a spinning wheel. They’re so expensive! I spun about 1/3 of the roving this afternoon. I’m still deciding whether I want to ply it. The yarn I made is a DK/ thin worsted weight so plying might make a bulky weight yarn. I haven’t quite decided what I’m going to make yet so I think I’ll hold off on making that decision for a bit.

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After spinning, I wrapped the yarn around a chair back, spritzed it with water, and now I’m letting it dry under tension to help smooth it out.
It was really fun to take the yarn through the entire process of dyeing and spinning- I really want to work on my spinning skills in the future. My yarn today actually wasnt too thick and thin which was a bit surprising as I need to work on my roving handling skills while spinning. All in all, I’m really excited to use this yarn and to make more in the future.
So what do you guys think? Do you spin as well as knit? Do you have any helpful tips or resources for beginners like me?

Circular needle case

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Over break, the plastic case that my Knit Picks circular needles came in fell apart so I asked my mom, who’s an amazing sewer, to make me one. I spent some time on Etsy getting ideas for a design and we figured out a combination of features that would be best for the case. After that, we made a trip to JoAnn’s fabrics to pick out a quilted fabric for the body of the case and a pattern in a corresponding color for the lining. My mom wrote out her own pattern using paper bags and sewed it together. Im so impressed by the results! There are pockets for the needles and for four different sizes of cables. There’s also a little zipper pocket for miscellaneous things. The case folds up in thirds and is held together with a button.
I love how it turned out. Its very practical and helps keep all of my needles in one place. I love the colors in the fabric too! Maybe someday I’ll learn to sew too but for now, I’ll just stick to knitting (sewing looks really hard). Thanks again mom!

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Embrace Octopus Sweater Update

Hey everyone! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks since classes started and I haven’t had much time to knit. Add the fact that this is a really complicated pattern and I haven’t had much free time and you’ll understand why I haven’t posted for a while. The octopus sweater is coming along slowly but surely. It’s really cool to see the tentacles take shape as I knit more rows. I love all of the suction cups!
Here’s how far I’ve gotten on the front:

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And here’s the back:

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This is a really difficult project so my goal is just to finish it this semester. One of my New Years resolutions was to watch less Netflix so unfortunately I have a bit less time to knit. Hopefully once I get back in the swing of things I figure out when I have time to just relax and knit.
Here’s a reminder of how awesome the sweater should look when I’m done with it:

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Afmaeli Sweater Update

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I love winter break. Three and a half weeks of doing nothing but sleeping, knitting, and watching Netflix is wonderful. That, combined with the fact that I’m using bulky yarn, means that I’m almost done with the Afmaeli sweater. Unfortunately, I’m stuck at this point since I ran out of black yarn and am waiting on my Knit Picks order to get here so I have more. I’ve had to be a bit creative with this sweater. I also ran out of green yarn and it’s out of stock online so I decided to incorporate some yellow Donegal Tweed (the same type of yarn but a different brand) into the design. For a last minute fix, I think it looks pretty good. I’ve definitely learned my lesson though- I’ll be buying extra yarn for all of my projects in the future!
In the mean time, I bought yarn and started swatching for my next project: the Embrace Octopus Sweater. I’m so excited for this project!! The link on ravelry can be found here. This is what it looks like:

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Another one of my goals this year is to tackle some lace knitting. To start, I want to knit this beautiful scarf called Song of the Sea. You can find it here.:

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As you can see, I’m planning to challenge myself and expand my knitting repertoire this year. I’m excited for what 2014 holds!