Monday, June 26, 2006

Good morning, fog

Good morning, Krista

It's nice and foggy here (this is normal, it'll burn off by 10am), so you get to enjoy this interesting light in pictures of my Mermaid. (Technically 1/4 of a Mermaid.)

Thanks to some issues people posted on the Hanne Falkenberg knit-along, I changed the directions a bit: instead of knitting an i-cord and picking up stitches from there, I did a provisional cast on, which I'll pick up later and bind-off with a blue i-cord. This should avoid the "my i-cord is too short" issues, especially the ones that appear upon blocking. I'm trying to avoid committing to anything difficult to undo, as the directions are not especially well-written. They're not difficult to follow, just terse. Thus far I haven't cut any yarn; that whole thing is made of continuous threads. The pile of yarn that remains is a bit daunting. Either I'll have enough yarn to make nearly a whole second sweater, I've misread the directions rather badly, or I'm mis-estimating my rate of use. This is why I'm not a fan of kits in general: they're a big source of waste if you're knitting a small size. In this case, I wanted the pattern badly enough to ask for the kit for a holiday present.

And now, a little horror shot for you, Krista:

That's a 2.75mm needle right there. Want to knit a sweater on a 2.75mm needle? (Note to Mermaid knitters who used the reccomended 3mm needle: I prefer to knit a bit loosely on sweaters to save my hands and it wasn't exactly the end of the world if my sweater ended up slightly small.)

Anyway, I'm off to SF on a fabric-shopping trip. I wore a skirt of mine to a family event last weekend and every (XX) one wanted a copy, so we're off to look for silk crepe and something for work-appropriate skirts. Apparently my theory of clothing (if it fits, buy it) isn't considered "work-approppriate" per se.

- Chialea

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The sun says hi

Dear Krista,

Hello from sunny California. My mom may be right about the properties of the sunlight out here, because that nagging cold finally cleared up. There must be some other magic going on, because I managed to find a one-piece bathing suit that fit reasonably well and was reasonably supportive. How did I achieve this miracle? Miraclesuit. Seriously. The whole "girdle in a suit" effect doesn't change what I look like, but it does manage to be reasonably supportive, so I can run around without looking like certain videogame characters. I do look pretty stupid putting it on, though.

I sent off my thesis to my advisor yesterday with several fixes. She was complaining that I made some typoes in the thesis I had to write in just over one week, and refused to read it. It felt like a treasure hunt or something. She'd say "there are typoes", but wouldn't tell me where they were! Ah well, I fixed them, so she doesn't have any more excuses not to read my thesis. I've been taking the tension out on some socks.

Ah, wool socks. Defenders of my poorly-circulated feet, cushioners of sidewalk blows! (This ode to extremely comfy, warm socks brought to you by Artyarns Supermerino in the non-coordinating colours 125 (toes) and 108 and by Woolly Nylon serger thread.) I'm close to my local supermerino yarn-crack dealer here, so I'll try to find you a little supermerino for some warm socks. You'll need them in Chicago!

Kitty's been enjoying the sun and severe lack of furniture in our CA apartment. Here he is lounging on our couch.

Don't forget to eat your veggies while I'm gone!
-- Lea

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Hardly anything to report

Dear Lea,

How is California? Pittsburgh is HOT HOT HOT. We are heading to Chicago tonight to search for an apartment - let's hope for some lake breezes.

I haven't posted in forever and ever and I have very little knitting to show. It's been busy. Nevertheless ...

Here are some socks I started at Christmas. The second sock fell prey to a very deadly case of second sock syndrome and got lost in the bottom of my knitting basket, but finally it's finished! Notice how the two socks are almost identical except for the toes. Yarn repeat weirdness!

I have also been working on the famous Tempting sweater, in merino aran. Ribbing, ribbing, and more ribbing! Here's the body, loosely blocked into something like an hourglass. Fits quite nicely. Now for sleeves - ugh! All that ribbing, on DPNs!And finally a little bit of Branching Out, which I started and promptly forgot about. Since it wasn't remotely finished for the intended recipient's birthday, I am now feeling no deadline pressure, and it'll get finished when it gets finished.

Oh, but I did find time to organize the stash (under the heading of "cleaning up to help with the impending move). Look how everything is neatly bagged and labeled! Fancy.
(note: that is not my whole stash. That is 1/3 of my sock yarn stash.)

Norton sends his love.

-- Krista

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

This is my brain on thesis

I'm sorry for the lack of updates, but this is just getting sad. I did get my thesis done (though not to the satisfaction of my advisor, who is literally screaming because there are typoes in it). However, this and the stress-induced cold I'd acquired have hidden important parts of my brain somewhere inaccessible. I tried the Rogue sleeve again, and misread the directions again. I think I'll try that later. For now, this is what I can handle:

Trekking XXL socks in colour 109. At least I held it together enough to work the short-row heel. My purple "50 grams" Koigu socks are almost done, too. I want some more sock/mitten yarn! Since I'm travelling to CA soon, I made a rule: I will bring no yarn knitted on larger than size 3 needles. I think this would be a prime opportunity to start a new sweater, once I dust my brain off.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Sucking less at: counting

Here is a sleeve for Rogue (sans cap). Somehow I managed to miscount my increases, so I'm starting all over again. I'm hoping to count correctly this time. Then again, I am also planning to write my Ph.D. thesis in two (count em, two!) weeks, so I'm not sure my counting's going to get any better.

Kitty helped me take out my frustrations. Kitty pre-yarn:

It was quite a fight.

The only problem is that I feel bad for the poor yarn now, so I'll give it a little rest. I'm sure it'll be nervous enough to behave after watching my antics with socks for a while.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Solving second sock syndrome

I just wanted to celebrate that I've pretty much completed a sock.

This counts, right?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Fighting the good fight

Apparently, Ants Unlimited has decided that there is something in my bedroom that they want very badly. I don't believe it's food, because there isn't any in there. All I do know is that they're coming through the walls, and that they can be fought with nutmeg and cayenne pepper.

I did, in between emptying my spice cabinet at the ants, start some socks.

(That's the other Koigu sock and one in some Trekking XXL. Perhaps it's because of the heat, but the Trekking is endlessly entertaining.) In the Trekking sock, you see the results of one half of a community theater performance (we escaped at intermission) and the Pittsburgh Folk Festival. Confusingly, we were all asked to sing "God Bless America" at the festival, and there was a lot of "Jesus junk" around. Perhaps that explains why some of the ethnic groups that I see in Pittsburgh did not participate.

I don't have anything really interesting to show on my new design because I've been unsucessfully swatching. The cable patterns are fine, but the yarn is not. Has anyone tried DK-weight Zephyr? I'm looking for anything in a DK-weight with good stitch definition and drape. I am encouraged by quite a few people whose knitting I respect going gaga over the Zephyr.