Sunday, September 30, 2007

Deep Breaths

The past two weeks have just flown by. School is very very busy and taking up a lot of my time. I'm having fun with it, but it's not good for blogging! Thankfully, since I'm teaching art, at least part of my day is making something and helping the kids make things (even if it's not of the yarn variety).

This week was unusually tough because of a bad cold I picked up somewhere, plus it was Homecoming week at school, meaning lots of activities were planned to keep me busy. Anyway, I spent most of this weekend resting, catching up on grading, and knitting a little something:

This is my Easy Flame Lace Scarf from Wendy Bernard, and it looks suspiciously just like hers, but I was gifted the Malabrigo Lace for my birthday and I didn't intend to copy her shamelessly. The pattern is great and easy to memorize, making this a great on the go project. I might be about half way right now and I'm hoping to finish it before it gets much colder. I might save this for a Christmas present too.

I hope you all had a good weekend, it's almost Monday! I'm going to try to post every day this week to get myself out of this posting slump I've found myself in. Some days I look around and wonder, why would anyone care about this? But I've learned that when I look for beauty and interesting things in my life, I usually find them. I'll put that to the test in the next few days. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Recovering, or, At Least Trying To

I had a beautiful weekend, after a somewhat trying week. I took over teaching some classes and I'm liking the kids and the projects a lot, but they're all taking a lot out of me and it's all I can do not to fall into bed right after getting home (hence the lack of pictures, sorry. I'll try harder tomorrow). But the kids are good and I'm excited about what they're learning and making, so it's all worth it.

Anyway, the weekend. I went out of town to visit some friends after school on Friday, where I had dinner with Guy and saw the apartment I will move into in January. On Saturday we all slept in (and inadvertently missed the Farmer's Market), but then I went to a barbecue, where the weather was perfect, and then went to a party later that night. Sunday I traveled home and took a nap after all the excitement. And now it's back to school again! It's funny how fast time is moving these days.

As for knitting, I have startitis. Ravelry and the new Knitty aren't helping. I absolutely love Henry and Totally Autumn, and Urchin and Mr. Greenjeans have definite possibilities. I love the neck detail on Neiman, but I'd change the fit of the whole thing. I could've passed on the constipated baby with an ill-fitting hat, but the toys are unbelievably cute.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

An FO of a Different Flavor

As fall continues (or, I guess, as summer comes to a real close), the days seem to be going by faster and faster. Student teaching is taking a lot out of me, and there hasn't been much knitting to speak of in the last few days. I'm at school all day and then my nights are full of writing lessons, doing assignments for my professor, and The Office. Is anyone else super excited to have season 3 on DVD?

Anyway, I finished something else recently:

It's the easy beach quilt from Denyse Schmidt's Quilts and it was so fast that I didn't have time to blog about it! It's pretty much two large rectangles put together with a small strip in the middle, but I absolutely love it. I especially like the wave quilting: if it's a beach quilt might as well go all out right?

Nothing too fancy with the fabric or anything, just some plain Jane solids with a couple of cool prints for the strip. It's definitely coming in handy now that the weather is getting cooler. Happy fall!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Mitten Swap Questionnaire

I've decided to take part in the No More Humdrum Mitten Swap (my first swap ever), and I'm super excited about it! Hopefully I'll get to create something great and make a new friend in the process.

Anyway, here's the questionnaire I have to fill out:

1. How long have you been knitting and how did you learn? I've been knitting for about 10 years, though when I first learned and through middle and high school I would knit only in spurts. Now I knit all the time. I first learned from my mother, a bit from my grandmother, then I took a beginner class, and the rest I've learned from books.
2. Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate, or advanced? I would consider myself pretty advanced because I understand the knitting process, but there are some things I haven't tried yet.
3. What are your favorite colors? Any you dislike? I love pretty much all colors, but I especially like reds, oranges, blues, greens, and purples. Bright and rich colors are best.
4. Do you like Latvian type patterns? If so, what are your favorite patterns? I do like the Latvian mittens I have seen, and I think Lisbeth Upitis' book of Latvian patterns is great, but I can't link to any specific favorites.
5. Do you desire mittens yourself, your "special someone else" or your child? I definitely want mittens for myself.
6. What other things do you enjoy knitting? I'm in a sweater kick right now, but I also like making blankets and smaller accessories.
7. What sort of needles do you enjoy working with? (straights vs. circs, bamboo vs. aluminum) I definitely prefer circs over straights, but it depends on what I'm making if I prefer bamboo or aluminum. Since getting my Denise set though, most of my knitting has been with them, and they are plastic.
8. What's one project you've not yet tried but are dying to make? First, I really want to make a sweater with a short row shawl collar, but I'm also really interested in making more fair isle or equally complex mittens and hats.
9. What's one yarn you've not yet tried but are dying to work with? I've never tried any Rowan or any kind of cashmere and I would really like to.
10. What other hobbies do you have? Do you spin? Sew? Garden? Cook? I also paint and lately I've gotten into a bit of quilting. I also dabble in sewing and would like to learn to cook.
11. Besides yarn, do you collect anything? I have a little collection of postcards, but I'm also a big fan of magnets and maps.
12. What kind of goodies do you enjoy? Sweets? Salty? Anything you ate or are allergic to? I love love love dark chocolate and anything sweet. I'm not a huge fan of almonds or other nuts in cookies or chocolate, but I like them peanuts and cashews by themselves.
13. Do you have any kids? Pets? No kids, but my family has a Golden Retriever.
14. What is your favorite part of Winter?
Christmas, especially Christmas lights, sledding, and getting to wear more sweaters.
15. What is your least favorite part of Winter? Driving in the snow and the shorter days.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Rusted Root on a Long Weekend

My first week of school went well, and though I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed, I think it will be a rewarding experience. I will definitely learn a lot in the next few weeks, and lucky you guys will get to hear about it!

On the knitting front though, I finally wore my Rusted Root today.

Pattern: Rusted Root
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, 3 skeins, Butter Cream colorway
Needles: Denise size 5 circs
Modifications: I just love how the top down construction of this sweater allowed for some very easy mods, like adding some increases under the arms after the sleeve stitches were set aside, creating some bust darts to accommodate, well, the bust, and then increasing at the waist so the cop would sit nicely around my hips.

Adding these increases put me very close to running out of yarn as I explained here, but I think it was worth it to have a better fitting top. My only real complaint is in my worrying about actually finishing with the yarn I had, I bound off a little too tightly on the sleeves. I'm not sure if that comes through on the picture or not.

And to be honest, the lace panel gave me a little problem at the beginning, but it was my fault for not following the directions closely enough. I think this was mostly due to not having a chart to follow, but as I went along I became more comfortable with it, and I really like how the leaves came out.

I need an honest opinion though: is this color just not for me? My mom insists it's fine, but I just don't know. And looking at the picture, I'm not sure the fit is even the best. What do you guys think?

Have a great rest of the long weekend! I know I'll definitely be making the most of my day off.