Monday, November 25, 2013

Hello, hello!

Oh my god, so much has happened since my last post! Where do I even begin.... Oh, right:

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I GRADUATED!

And I wasn't content with that. I also got a new job and a new apartment, both in new neighborhoods. And you know what a new apartment (with a wood floor!) means?


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Say hello to my little friend.

So everything's been coming up Marlena, AND THEN!


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I got my first full-length story published! This story isn't online, though you can buy a copy of the (very good) magazine here. I also had another flash piece picked up.

AND THAT DOES NOT EVEN INCLUDE THE KNITTING, PEOPLE!

So let's talk about that. I finished that baby sweater I was working on and it turned out so cute I could hardly stand it.


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Pretty cute, right? Wait'll you see who gets to wear it:

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Not the cutest picture of me, but I'm banking on little Mia here to steal the spotlight. To review, this is the Eyelet Baby Cardigan by Looking Glass Knits. I used Berroco Comfort fingering weight for the ease of care and because of that beautiful, perfect lilac color. I looked at other purples and kept coming back to that one. I was a little hesitant to knit with a purely synthetic yarn but let me tell you, I loved every minute of it! It's soft, springy, and holds eyelets beautifully. I would not hesitate to pick this yarn up again.

Obviously with all of the graduating and new job getting and moving etc., it was awhile until I cast on my next project. While shopping my stash, I came across some Nezinscot Farm yarn I picked up a hundred Fryeburg Fairs ago. I believe the fiber is corriedale, no idea what the colorway might have been named. This yarn was amazing to knit! So squishy! And I didn't even block my mittens when they were done because I loooooove that sheepy smell!

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Oh yeah... I dyed my hair red too.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Wee Enhancement

Like the socialite who has just a bit of Restalyn in her laugh lines, or the photographer who puts a single layer of filter over a photo, I engaged in just a smidge of stash enhancement.

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I learned the sad news that my replacement LYS (Windsor Button after A Good Yarn... any recs for LYSes in the Boston metro area?) is closing. When I first entered Windsor Button, I was reminded of a time capsule. There were discontinued yarns, rug hooking supplies, and Red Heart. Lots of Red Heart. But there were also gems, and a whole wall of buttons. I was reminded of Central Yarn in Portland, ME. A store I went to when it was nearby, but generally only as a last resort. When A Good Yarn closed though, I was at a loss. Enter Windsor Button. Acrylic splendor aside, the staff was wonderful, they had a student discount, and the aforementioned button wall. Plus, I fell down in there one day and left with like twenty skeins of embroidery floss to make friendship bracelets. I'm just now realizing I don't think I ever let you in on the friendship bracelet thing... forthcoming.
I bought the ArtYarns Supermerino in the lovely cloudy sky colorway and the Teal Malabrigo Silky Merino at Windsor Button. The rest I bought at WEBS. I can't resist a sunny sock yarn in the dead of winter, and I got the dull brown yarn for make some thick wool socks for myself. I had a pair from L.L. Bean years ago that I loved and wore out, and while I have lots of pairs of wool socks, I don't have any thick, wonderful, cozy socks. So. The Malabrigo is for a hat requested by a friend. This one. Work continues on the baby cardigan. Okay. Not really. SVU, thesis, and now AWP have stolen my focus. My focus is sure to return though! I want to knit everything!
PS: Are you watching Girls? Because I just started and I love it!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Littler = cuter

Isn't it a little unfair how true it is that the smaller a thing is, the cuter? Pygmy animals, cars, mini pastries.... And of course, baby clothes.

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I wish everyone I knew had babies on a regular basis! The projects are quick, the results are (to borrow the title of my nephews' favorite show) too cute, and babies are amazing models. Plus, there's wiggle room when it comes to size. A baby won't be offended if you hand-craft a sweater that's a bit too big. In fact, their parents will probably welcome it!
I'm probably just a few days away from finishing this little charmer, even though the baby isn't coming until June. This, my friends, may be a first. Of course, the sweater's not done yet and my typical m.o. is to get a great head start and then fall into complacency until the last minute. (Let's not talk of my thesis right now, okay?)
I've been enjoying a bit more free time as of late. I should be reading. My current book, The End of Men is overdue from the library and I'm doing my first book club in a couple weeks! We're reading The Alchemist, which has been on my list for a long time. Speaking of books! Have you pre-ordered your copy of Fit to Flatter yet? I've had a couple of quick peeks while the book was in progress and let me tell you, you want it! Great patterns, great instruction... it's no wonder Amy's classes have been so popular; she's a great teacher.
Here's hoping I at least have the body done of this little beauty this weekend. And then to make the hard choice: which booties? I usually go with Saartje's Bootees, which are fun to make and always very well received. But I've already made them a few times, and I'd sorta like to try something new. Maybe these with the sweet lace detail to echo the sweater? Or what about these? I need to stop trawling my Rav queue for booties. I WANT TO KNIT EVERYTHING!

Monday, February 04, 2013

Dobby's Sock

Every time I picked these socks up to work on them, I'd hear the line in my head: "Master has given Dobby a sock!" I just re-watched all seven Harry Potter movies over the course of six days, and now I'm hankering to re-read the books. I'm not typically into YA (I scoffed when these books were suggested way back when the first one came out, and the next YA I read was The Hunger Games series just last year), but I just love the world created in this book. I think that's the most heart-breaking thing about reading sci-fi/fantasy novels; you can never visit the world you just inhabited within the pages. All there is for you is to read the words again and again.
Anyway. We were talking about socks, weren't we?

Purty green....

These are Denmark by Nancy Bush, from her book Knitting on the Road. I've made a few patterns in this book, and they are, without exception, perfectly written. The book also includes tips for toes and heels, and instructions for kitchener which, despite having been a knitter for over a decade (how'd that happen?!) I still have to look up every. single. time. I. do. it. Looking for a master knitter? I am not your girl.
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I'm sorry to say I don't know what I used for yarn. There I was, at Amy's, when I bound off a project and hadn't brought anything else to work on! Defining what makes knitting friends the very best friends to have, Amy pulled some sock yarn from her stash and I found a book we had in common and I was off! I don't actually even remember when that was. Man, it's been a long time since I posted.
More babies are on the way around here so I am finally making a sweet little cardigan I've had my eye on for awhile. It's a summer baby and I really don't like knitting with cotton so I'm giving Berroco Comfort a try in the fingering weight. I'll let you know how she handles.
PS: Looking for a good book to read? Try May We Be Forgiven by A. M. Homes. I wrote a review here.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hel-lo!

Why hello there! And how are you? Let me just move some things... there, have a seat. Time sure does fly, doesn't it? I had actually thought when I started school that I would have more time to knit, fewer distractions. Sure, right. The last couple of years have been a whirlwind. I feel like I just got started and now here I am, halfway through the first semester of my final year. It's exciting, overwhelming, scary, and just a taste of what I'm going to feel like when I turn in my thesis.
Anyway, there has been knitting! Very slow knitting. Inexcusably slow knitting. But knitting, nonetheless.


I made a blob! Isn't it pretty? Just like the autumn sky. But seriously,

I made a bag! Ever since I bought this yarn (in what feels like 1947 but was probably more like 2007) I knew I wanted to make a string bag with it. When I go food shopping, I always bring my trusty Boat and Tote, but I've been wanting to have a bag that could fold up even smaller, especially now that I pass so many farmer's markets. It'll be nice not to have to turn down a handsome squash because it won't fit in my backpack and I don't want to carry it like a baby all the way home. The yarn is Plymouth Yarn's Fantasy Naturelle in color 9415. There are approximately one million string bag patterns out there. I used this one by Erin Vaughan (also available on ravelry, bien sur).
Buoyed by this recent accomplishment, I ripped out an entire cuff of a sock I casted on for forever ago, and have settled instead on making Denmark. Here's hoping I finish them before graduation!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hey, Guess What?!

I'm still knitting! I hold out hope that one day I will have a grown up job, read only books I want to read, and will be able to spend hours on the weekend knotting yarn into endless loops, creating things I can actually wear. It's true, I found myself the other day contemplating buying a hat. Yes, friends. It's gotten this bad.

BUT! I did finish something! It was weeks ago, in fact. And, if I a being completely honest... I made the sweater forever ago, just waiting for the right baby to be born to attach the buttons. My pre-requisites?
1. Cool parents. They had to be on board with this crazy colorway.
2. A boy. Yes, yes, it's heteronormative of me, I know. And I am suitably ashamed of myself. But with all these blues, this sweater just called out for a baby boy.
3. Parents who wouldn't feel put upon by (slightly) special washing instructions.

And the winners were Chris and Eva! They won this charming little morsel:

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I've had the hardest time trying to edit the pictures I have of this wee thing to look right. It's Socks That Rock in the Marbles colorway, given to me by Amy one hundred years ago. I tried to make several things out of this yarn. I tried that feather and fan scarf using two shades of Socks That Rock that was all the rage, and Sidewinders. Both gave me tons of pooling, exactly what I was trying to avoid. But I ask you, fellow knitters, has Elizabeth Zimmermann ever led you astray?
Yes! I mean, no, no she hasn't! I mean... the answer to crazy pooling yarn is the amazingly wonderful Baby Surprise Jacket!
I've made this little jacket a couple of times, and it's now my go goto baby sweater. Fun, simple, a great use for fine, variegated yarn... what more can you ask for?! For my money, it doesn't get better than a gift of this little cardi with a pair of Saartje's Booties. Both projects are fun for knitters, yet impressive for the recipients. Win-win! Oh! And did I share with you a photo of Irie Rose enjoying her set?
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So cute! Right?! I highly recommend this pattern, either individually or from the book. (And man, did I have a hard time finding that book online NOT from a huge chain. Buy from your LYS, okay?)
I'm almost done with a very exciting shopping bag! Stay tuned! Ha ha

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Baaaaaabies!

Okay so first of all, whoa! Really? My last post was February 28? I know this semester was crazy, but jeez. Secondly, I finished something!

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I made a Baby Surprise Jacket (my third!) for my friend Ang's new baby Irie Rose. The thing about a BSJ is that you need two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport (in this case, colorway "Bittersweet"), and you end up with a ton leftover. What to do?
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Make booties! These are Saartje's Booties (rav link), which I've also made before, but come on! Look at them! So cute.
I've been dying to use this colorway ever since the first time I saw it, but could never find a way to use it. Irie's parents though are the perfect people for this bright, cheerful hue. And I loved knitting with it!
After I finally sewed on the final button, I tried my hand at crochet and yeah... still terrible. I have a friend who crochets so I'm hoping she can help me out some. This same friend I "taught" to knit, taught in quotations because it felt more like reminding a master of something they once did. I'm sure she's going to be a good teacher. WAY better than the crappy books/online tutorials I've tried. I don't know why I just can't get the hang of crochet, but even my little braid of single crochet (?) never looks right. Sigh. A the end of the program, please let me have a completed short story collection worthy of publication and the gift of crochet. I just want a gd blanket. Is that so much to ask?!
In other bloggy news, I've started a new blog for my writing endeavors. I'm hoping it'll help me land freelancing jobs. Turns out, I really like writing columns and book reviews! Check it out here!