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Happy early birthday to me

April 5, 2014

My birthday is a week away, and since I was in the vicinity of one of the few local yarn stores still doing business in my area, I decided to pop in and treat myself to some happy birthday yarn:

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I decided on my way down that this year I would treat myself to some Malabrigo lace yarn, if there were a few hanks in stock. After circling the store a few times, I finally spotted the lace and sock weight yarn in the corner to the left of the register. Then I discovered the gorgeous blues pictured above. Unsure exactly of what I would make with this yarn, I decided the three hanks would be enough. It’s not going to be enough for a massive lace shawl, but I’ve made more than enough of those to last me a while, so these hanks will probably be used to make either a rectangular or half-circle shawl. Something that I might actually use, since the large circular shawls don’t seem to get that much love in my wardrobe. Now I just need to find the right pattern, although trolling Ravelry has given me a few leads (including one option in a magazine I already own).

The other hank, a Heritage Silk Paints, I just had to buy because it’s in Ohio State colors. That will probably find its way into a scarf for my sister.

Not quite what I had in mind, but it works

March 8, 2014

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When I bought my tablet, my hope was that I would be able to use it for work purposes and maybe not have to drag my computer around so much. That has sort of been the case. But another use that I’ve found for it is that it enables me to access my knitting patterns much more easily, especially if I’m taking my knitting on the go. This is especially convenient if I’m using pdfs or knitty patterns that I don’t want to have to print out. Or if I’m just being lazy. It’s also very useful when I travel, because it keeps everything in place. I must say, it has proven to be an unexpected upside of splurging on my tablet.

Well, that went surprisingly quickly…

December 26, 2013

Over Thanksgiving weekend (during the OSU-Michigan game, to be precise), I cast on a shawl that I’d bought as a kit from Knit Picks a few months ago. The Tuscan Sunflower Shawl was a surprisingly quick knit, at least as far as shawls go for me. It took me less than four weeks to get it done. Of course, it was almost the only project that I worked on in those four weeks, which is a little unusual for me.

Here it is, just off the needles:

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Weaving in the ends on twenty-four little petal points was annoying, not to mention a bit hard on my back. I had the shawl resting on my exercise ball while I picked up each petal to weave in the ends. Right now, it’s soaking in the tub. The yellow yarn seems to be bleeding a bit, so I’ll have to see how many rinses it takes to get it clear. Then I’ll have to block it out. Considering I don’t have many lace blocking tools “block aggressively” could be an interesting direction to follow.

Why Saturday Morning is Like a Hank of New Yarn

November 23, 2013

I love Saturday mornings, perhaps more than any other morning of the week. Mondays actually aren’t so bad, at least not this semester. Mondays are a chance for me get a fresh start on the week, to tackle with enthusiasm all the things I need to get done to feel like a productive teacher and scholar. But Saturdays… Saturdays are better, because they’re a chance to feed my creative side.

Saturday mornings are like a hank of new yarn, especially yarn that I haven’t wound yet. It’s all potential. It’s the start of the weekend, when I’ve finally had enough sleep and wake up feeling refreshed, instead of with the knowledge that not only do I need to do everything on today’s agenda, there’s probably still one or two things left over from yesterday. Not on Saturdays. Saturdays I try to carve out time for me, to indulge in whatever whim takes me. Not unlike the potential of a hank of yarn. New yarn, with no project attachments, represents all the promise of knitting. It could be a scarf, or socks, or my next overwhelmingly large lace shawl. It could be a present, or it could be for me. New yarn can be anything, just like Saturday. It could be an adventure, or I could spend my time lounging on the couch mainlining Sherlock.

Of course this feeling of promise is ultimately limited, just like the yarn promise. Once we get to about two o’clock, it’s clear what my weekend will be. Once I’ve wound the yarn, I usually have a project or two in mind. And heaven forbid I have to try two or three (or more) times to get the right project for the yarn – that completely spoils the promise. But for that brief amount of time, when Saturday is all promise, before I settle in to whatever I’m doing… well that feeling is just wonderful. And it comes back every week.

Mystery Knitting No More!

October 13, 2013

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Baby leg warmers!!

I’ve been having great fun this past week posting close ups on Instagram of my mystery project. (For those of you on Instagram – @playingwithfiber) But yesterday afternoon, I finished the leg warmers for my friend’s baby, and was able to present them to her in the evening when we had a girls’ night in with delicious Chinese food and Hocus Pocus. Now I still need to make the coordinating hat, but that’s not really a mystery project since I showed her the pattern.

The project details: Knit Picks Andean Treasure in Royal Heather (MC) and Meringue Heather (CC), knit on size 3 (3.25mm) double pointed needles. They took me just over a week, with many distractions in between. Leg warmer #2 took less than about 8-10 hours of actual knitting time. Still, they are adorable, and I’m now considering making a pair for my niece. At almost three, I’m sure she’d look adorable in a pair of her own.

Mystery Knitting

October 5, 2013

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My knitting mojo has been a bit lacking recently, which I’m pretty sure can be directly related to the amount of work I need to get done. Fortunately, Wednesday nights I usually go sit in on a Humanities lecture with a friend, so that’s fifty minutes of dedicated knitting time. Unless I do something silly, like send a ball of yarn rolling to the front of the lecture hall, preventing me from getting much knitting done. That was a fun night. Even more entertaining was live-tweeting it.

Today my yarn arrived for a mystery knitting project, so that’s fun. I haven’t knit with Knit Picks Andean Treasure before, but I’m looking forward to using it. It’s wonderfully soft, as one would expect from alpaca yarn. I’m making a gift, so until it’s done and given to the recipient, all you get are hints of what is coming.

In the meantime, here’s a picture of a scarf I’m making using Wollmeise Sockenwolle:

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A Moment of Peace

August 31, 2013

One of the qualities I’ve come to accept about being an intelligent person is having an unquiet mind. I’m almost always thinking about something. It isn’t always important, but very rarely do I ever sit and not think. I’m turning things over, sometimes trivial things, sometimes remembering something stupid that I did back in high school, and occasionally having important thoughts that I should really write down (but probably won’t).

This morning, I was sitting on my couch, drinking my coffee, and my mind felt a peace. It took me a moment to realize it for what it was, especially since the semester just started, so this is prime time for racing thoughts and stress overload. But I felt very zen, and it was a wonderful feeling. Now I’m trying to channel it into productive energy, with some success. But mainly, I’m just enjoying the feeling of quiet and well-being, because by week 10, it will be long gone.

 

(Disclaimer: this is cross-posted from my history blog, because I feel like sharing it everywhere.)

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