Monday, December 29, 2008
I don't have too much to say today, except that I have become overly obsessed with lists. This past weekend, I managed to not only sort through all my yarn, but actually create my own mini inventory of every ball or skein of yarn that I own, including its color name, dye lot, weight, and any extra information I could find on the labels. Literally any information.
(Yes, I admit I am a weeeeee bit OCD, but what if I lose the label after starting a project and not continuing it? How on Earth will I find the label within all that clutter, aka the one folder I have containing all my yarn labels? But... seriously, who am I kidding? I don't think I could lose the label to a ball of yarn if I tried. (still OCD though))
Anyway, doing this brought me to the realization that...(drumroll please).....its time to stop buying sock yarn! I have now told myself that I will not buy ANY more sock yarn, no matter how fancy the stripes are, until I have finished the 13 balls of sock yarn that I listed in my inventory (in addition to 6 balls of Noro Silk Garden and some lace yarn that I don't count since it resides in the basement). Basically, I have my work cut out for me.
13 pairs of socks. No big deal, right? That is only 130 hours of knitting socks. I could knit straight through for 5.4 days, finish all my sock yarn, and still have time to buy myself some sock yarn before heading back to school.
Now that I have my priorities straightened out, and have been solely making socks since mid July (with some hats and scarves thrown in there).....instead of knitting socks right now, I am working on a brickwork scarf pattern, given to me along with gorgeous hand dyed yarn by my aunt. Shreya is working on the same pattern, but started a couple days before me, so she has a head start.
Obviously, even though I started later, this is quickly developing into quite the race. Since we are using the same yarn, the same size needles, and the same pattern, the competition is perfect. (Now all I have to do is catch up to her....) My mother is doing the shawl version of the same pattern, but since she started late last night and is working simultaneously on a cabled sweater, I will cut her some slack.
I am currently resisting the urge to stay up until some ridiculous hour in the morning while Shreya peacefully sleeps, until I not only catch up to her, but get one repeat past where she is.
I will probably have to hide my needles from myself...otherwise I might just do this.
In fact, I should probably go upstairs now.
Happy New Year and Happy Knitting!
<3 peace <3
Saturday, December 13, 2008
This is only the second week since July that I have not made a single pair of socks.
Nope, not one.
I finished my knitpicks essential carbon twist sock number one over Thanksgiving break, have not progressed beyond ribbing on the second one. I seem to be progressing at a pace similar to Shreya....by the way dearest elder sister, hows that pair you started in September going?
Well, I guess that means I am studying hard, right ? (makin' my mother proud)
Factory will re-open starting one week from today. :)
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Disclaimer: This picture is not meant to hurt Shreya's feelings. However, the owner of this photo is not responsible for any emotional damage following its viewing.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I got throught the ribbing and thumb shaping wondering why Shreya didnt just quickly knit up the second mitten...I mean, a couple of hours is a small price to pay for warm hands all winter. By the time I got through the thumb shaping, I was already deciding what color to make my next pair in.
Then I thought that since I have never had second sock syndrome, I won't get second mitten syndrome either.
And then I hit the fingers....and realized that knitting 14 stitches in the round is rather obnoxious, and wondering why anyone in their right mind would knit gloves.
I now give my sister all the credit in the world for not wanting to make the second mitten in that set. I just thought I would announce to everyone that I will now cut her slack when it comes to finishing certain projects. She is absolutely correct. Frozen fingers are definitely not enough motivation to make those mittens.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
halfway. two hands. one mitten. it's pretty intuitive.
you'd think something like frozen fingers would be good enough motivation but i seem to have more than a mild case of second mitten syndrome. i finished the first mitten last march.
(they're really cool mittens - that kind where you can fold back the flap and have the half-gloved fingers. they're made with yarn (50/50 wool/silk) that em dyed for me last year, blue and white stripes. i'll post a picture later, but like i said, really cool mittens.)
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I also know it's not nice to talk about politics (or religion) the first time you meet someone, and I feel like I'm still getting to know this blog. What I am about to show you is inappropriate, but adorably cute.
Hurrah! Let's hope tomorrow's last debate goes well.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
As I get more and more into knitting (and less and less into technological research), I've discovered new skills I want to acquire:
- Always having a pair of socks on needles (and hopefully not the same pair over a long long [year?] period of time).
- Lacework! I want to knit scarves, shawls, and then..... tablecloths for our big dining table to match the newly painted walls and china.
- Truly get good at fairisle knitting--I'm talking like 20 sthg colors going on.
- Get finishing down to an art! I've discovered that I hate (almost with a passion) ribbing (it's worse than stockinette stitch!) and weaving in ends. Argggh! I try so hard to match my stitches but it's so obviously glaringly a weaved-in end right there at the doughnut that hugs my hips and doesn't need the bulging weaved-in end! Okay--maybe not that bad, but my goal is to get good at it. I don't have to like it, I just want to get good at it.
- I want to dye my own yarn! Dude-I want to make my own self-patterning yarns for the sock that will be on my needles. How awesome would that be?
- If I'm going to be this involved in the process of making a garment, I might as well learn how to go through the whole process of collecting fibers, combing them, dying them, spinning them, balling the resulting yarn (WITH my Amazing ball-winder that everyone is welcome to come by and admire...oh, and ball up some yarn, too, I guess), knitting it, weaving-in ends (argh!), finishing it, and wearing it (granted, it's a fitted piece.) Was that the correct order of how to create a garment? Something else to learn.
- I should learn how to get fit right, too, though I've gotten progressively better at it.
- Learn weaving and quilting. That's not quite knitting, but it's got to do with textiles, so they're in the family. I'm a broke college student who spends her last scrapes of money at knitpicks.com. I don't need to get invested into weaving and quilting (or spinning for that matter) quite yet. I'll save that for my more tranquil, have-money-laying-around years. ;)
So all of this has nothing to do with research, but as I have been trying to acquire skills and techniques to improve my above list, I have been learning a ton. In fact, I am fascinated by the knits of other cultures. Latvian or Estonian mittens/socks are popular. Ukranian cross-stitch is popular. (I'm compiling a bunch of Ukranian cross-stitch patterns from the internet into a color-coded booklet for my god-grandmother. She hasn't discovered the joys of Google yet, but she loves the joys of her grandchildren. Hey--I get amazing brownies out of it.) So my new obsession-ish is Japanese lace:
I have thoroughly researched (googled) and found this amazing Japanese artist, Naoko Ichida. Her works are absolutely gorgeous. Her books, of course, are nearly out of print and cost $67 and $42. Too bad it's not on knitpicks.com--40% off until the end of October. Christmas present, perhaps?
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Boston -- Wednesday, October 15th, 7 pm , Hosted by Porter Square Books (With Common Cod Fiber Guild)
Event will be held at St. James' Episcopal Church 1991 Mass Ave. Cambridge, MA Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Seating will be first come first serve. Portersquarebooks.com Tel: (617) 491-2220
Does anyone want to join me to go see her? I'll try and make part of a sock for the event!
Friday, September 12, 2008
The Importance of Knitting and Why You Should Knit
a. The repetitive motion is soothing to the mind
b. Studies show knitting produces the same calming brainwaves whether you're a beginner or an expert
2. Isn't limited to the Stereotypes--My mother teaches montessori school to 3-6 year olds. Montessori is a program heavily based on teaching children life skills using tactile activities. Knitting is a great activity, and the little boys in her class love it! They all made little coasters for their parents last Christmas. So it's NOT an "old granny" hobby.
3. Allows you to Multi-task
a. during movies/tv
b. during lectures
c. on the subway
4. Can get only more and more complex
a. always a challenge but can always keep it simple, too
b. I brought out my knitting at this point and compared my sweater's simple stockinette stich to a cabled legwarmer--showing them the patterns and how you can use multiple needles for knitting in the round.
c. like a video game but better---there are unlimited levels of advancing in knitting.
So I think I was too enthusiastic about my presentation. See y'all Sunday!
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Yes, you did see correctly! That IS a boy knitting (and talking on the phone to his girlfriend back home)--he was actually REALLY good! And yes, we had two crocheters amidst our group. We had another impromptu meeting in my room.
Lining, courtesy of my mother who was watching some Bengali soap opera at the time:
Me: Mom, dearest, what are you doing?
Mom: I'm busy. Don't bother me. Find something to eat in the pantry.
Me: Uh-huh. (Run to my room, grab all of the pieces necessary. Thread a needle. Run back to my mother and hand her everything.)
Mom: Wait, what's this?
Me: Oh, I don't know.
18 minutes later, after her soap opera is done, she comes to my room, and hands me my buttoned, completely lined bag. :D I love mothers.
Here, I was out with some friends with the top I was knitting during the semester (it's actually kinda cute), and another knitted bag. Details below.
And now, I'm off to do something more productive with my life. I just finished up Hey, Teach. It fits quite nicely.
Monday, July 14, 2008
I'm definitely suffering from unfinished project syndrome, but oh well. I may have to take Em's advice of having only three unfinished projects at a time. I must finish like 7 projects then to only have 3 left. I decided I wanted to have a quick in-between project. (I was working on too many sweaters.) I picked up a book on knit bag patterns (Vogue Knitting Bags Two). The knitting part was super fast and easy. The hard part is the lining. This is my first project involving lining, so that was interesting. I just need to make several more bags or such to get a hang of this lining (pain in the neck) business.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Anyway, I figured I would tell everyone how I finished the "simple seed stitch" baby dress that I was working on....and I recommend that no one ever attempts to make one....this dress is made up of a knit seed stitch bodice and a fabric attached skirt, which made it seem super simple and a quick project....Actually, every time I attempt to combine sewing and knitting (cough cough, lining purses, cough cough), it ends in dissatisfaction. But if you know me, you know I will keep on sewing...cause thats what I do.
Unfortunately, the pattern for this particular dress was vague; it didnt tell you how to make the skirt or how to attach it, except to give approximate measurements and a make-do picture...
Moral of the story: simple projects are a lot more complicated than they seem...which makes me wonder....does this mean that complicated projects are simpler than they seem? I mean, knitters always say that once you know how to knit and purl you can approach any project, so my plan is to test that theory.
I am going to attempt a project that is much too difficult for my knitting level (not hard to do) and hope that since its so complicated, it has explicit instructions, rather than "heres a picture, figure it out..." On my next project, my creativity is going right out the window, and I plan on following every detail of the pattern obsessively. I will let everyone know how that goes.
Thanks for listening to my frustration with that dress, I will upload recent project pictures soon.
In conclusion, I would like to share with you the 10 principles of knitting (from Finely, a knitting party, a knitting store in PA):
ps. I'm still open to using everyone's scrap wool for one skein projects :)
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
on that note, when i was in high school, a friend of mine wrote a blog he was pretty sure nobody read. in it, he happened to mention his dislike for a certain girl in our grade. unfortunately she was secretly reading the blog...and he named names. definitely an oops! so maybe we'll get lucky and someone will be secretly reading this. it is, afterall, on the internet.
anyway, i don't know anything really about blog life, swaps, prizes, giveaways, or stash reduction (i like my stash thank you very much) so i'll leave all that to em. i also don't know much about horses, mercury, viktoria mulliva, or solidworks but that's not really the point.
what i do know, however, is that i really liked neha's idea of calling all scrap wool. if you don't already know her, neha is the type of person who can't bear to throw anything away, from wrappers to her favorite candy to parts of long-forgotten broken toys, she puts it all away neatly in plastic bins and stores them away for safekeeping. when it comes to scrap wool though, she's the worst. anything longer than about an inch goes into the pile, the pile grows, and then out of the blue, we wake up one morning with a fantastically multicolored pompom sitting on the kitchen table. it's almost like christmas where she's the santa claus.
so you can imagine her inherent inability to waste even the smallest bit of leftover bits of yarn from different projects. last week, she made a lace hat out of the leftover bit from a merino sweater that my mum completed about two years ago. so listen to her call and dump those scraps you don't want onto her!
another idea for using up scraps is a friendship blanket (which i think em mentioned but in an entirely different form). after our high school graduation, my best friend and i decided that we were going to knit patchwork blankets so that when we went away to our separate colleges, we'd each have one of these blankets on our bed. we used up as many of our mothers' scraps as we could, knitting two of every square. we finished all the squares, then began to crochet the squares together into a patchwork blanket. she finished hers (and mine is on my list of unfinished projects). nothing matches, the squares are all different sizes, but the blankets still remind us of our friendship and that's what we love about them.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
So in efforts to pick up the pace of this blog, as well as get new ideas for projects....we would like to know what is everyone working on? What wool are people using? and who has the most unfinished projects? I'm gonna take a wild guess and go with Em or Shreya, but I'm sure someone can beat them :P If you read this blog and dont post a comment about something, you should feel guilty. I need project ideas! I am almost done with mine!
I am currently making a baby sundress, with the top part knitted and the bottom part a fabric skirt, it is adorable and I hope to post pictures soon! However, after using this pattern, I have come to appreciate patterns that are clear as to what you are supposed to do...isnt that the point of a pattern? I wasnt even sure whether to knit the pattern in the round or not....and only after completing it in the round did I figure out that the pattern meant knit it straight....even though it said clearly to use round needles...
I have also been making lace edged hats from projects that had leftover wool. They have come out excellent, and are super easy to make, as well as a nice change from the normal hats we have been all making for the sale. Also they don't use much wool....which is nice. Anyone who wants the pattern just let me know. (Also, anyone who isnt sure what to do with scrap yarn, just send it along, I will happily turn it into something and send it back to you or donate it to Dana Farber...)
And, in conclusion, GO FEDERER!
the men's final of wimbledon is currently playing and has been since 9am. my sister and i sat down to knit around 10 this morning. we were merrily knitting and watching until the dreaded rain delay. the ball boys and girls are trained to cover the court in 10 seconds, and that's about how long it took me to rip out a total of about 15 inches of armhole shaping. i tried it again, then realized the lengths BEFORE the armhole shaping didn't match on both sides. and off came the stitches once more. by the time play resumed, i'd ripped out another three inches. twice. now, halfway through the fourth set (and four hours later), i'm nine inches of knitting behind where i started this morning.
in other words, a net loss.
meanwhile rafael nadal is fighting a much tougher battle - looking for his first wimbledon title (but four time french open champion) against roger federer, defending wimbledon champion five times over. c'mon nadal!!