New Pretties

Hi! Remember how I blogged every single day in January and siad how it was challenging but fun and I wanted to blog more often if not every day… well turns out if I don’t have some sort of deadline or mental challenge kicking me in the butt every day, I can get a bit… let’s say “distracted.”  Partially, it’s just that my knitting has been really boring.  All I’ve really done is finished these:

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I’ve showed them to you several times at various in-progress stages and until I finished them I was basically putting in 10-15 rows a night and not working on anything else (damn school taking all my knitting time.)  I didn’t really want to show you a picture every day of my next 10 rows.
These are Winter Twilight Mitts by Laura Rintala which is a free download through Interweave’s Knitting Daily.  They are supposed to look like trees (that have lost their leaves) in twilight, but I have had several people tell me that they can’t see the trees.  The lighter color is the trees and the darker color is the night sky as seen through the trees.  I think the problem is that some people are looking for the trees in the negative space.
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I had a bit of a problem because the pattern assumes that you will use a very dark color for the trees (like black) and a sunset type color for the background (like reddish-purple.)  Because of this, the cart for the pattern charts the trees in black and the background in white.  Since I was using a light color for my trees and a darker color for my background I had some trouble reading the chart and inverting the color associations in my head.  Something to keep in mind if you want to make a version with light trees.
The yarn I used is Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light.  I used this yarn for the first time on my shawl from the Westknits Shawl Club Sharktooth.  I loved it and ran out and bought some for these mittens so that I would have a chance to knit with it again.  The lighter color is Antique Lace and the darker color is Clematis.  The colors are so deep and the yarn is so soft.  And it’s a single-ply and I love working with single-ply yarn.  It’s jockeying neck and neck with String Theory Caper Sock for the title of “Melanie’s Favorite Yarn.”

Hurry!

Sadly, I will not be working at Yarnia much longer.  For almost a year I’ve been there on the weekends winding yarn, chatting with customers, and being inspired by the endless possibilities that a shop like Yarnia presents.  On the up-side, the reason I’m leaving is because I managed to score a full-time legal clerk job for the summer.  Considering that I’m putting myself in an entirely foolish amount of debt to attend this law school thing, it seems like a good idea to start setting myself up for the possibility of a legal career.  I’ll be in the shop this weekend, then a weekend off while the new person is shown around, then one last weekend as sort of a buffer while the new person transitions to running the show.  That means three weeks until I say my final goodbye.  It also means three weeks until my employee discount runs out.  Not good.  I have a project on the go that I’m fairly certain I’m going to run out of yarn on.  That project is my Gamine Tank.

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The pattern is by Cathy Carron and can be found in the Summer 2010 Interweave Knits (miracle that I’m knitting a pattern from a magazine that’s less than a year old… usually patterns have to stew in my queue for quite a while before I make them.  I tell myself that this is to ensure that they are not just fashion fads and are actually something I will still want to wear after the current season.  This is a lie.  I’m just a slow knitter.)

Note to self: learn more words!  “Gamine,” as it turns out, basically means “girl with a boyish body.”  That is so not me.  Not at all.  I have the boob/hip thing in abundance and would call myself a slightly bottom-heavy hourglass.  This might end disastrously.  As of the picture, the top reached my thinnest part and I have since continued to knit down.  I’m hoping to avoid drawing attention to my belly by continuing in plain rib rather than the lace pattern called for in the instructions.  I’ll add the lace the the last inch or two rather than across the whole belly.  I’m hoping this will allow the flattering vertical nature of the ribbing to continue to shine.

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I’m not a fan of the whole “take a picture in the mirror” thing but it was well past midnight when I decided my progress needed documentation and I figured neither Ryan nor my brother Adam would like to be pestered into coming over to my place for a photo shoot.  I would drive across town at midnight for a knitting photo shoot, but I know not everyone would. 

I only have about one ounce of yarn left.  I’m certain this is not enough.  I’m hoping to finish off what I have before I have to stop working that way I can buy just enough to finish.  We shall see.  I have a terrible time predicting how much yarn is left on a Yarnia cone.  Some times I feel certain that I’m going to run out, that the cone will start to peek through the yarn at any minute, and yet I keep knitting and knitting, and finish my project with yarn to spare.  Other times I think I have tons and start wondering what I’ll do with all the leftover only to see the cone and get that sudden sinking “ran out of yarn feeling.”  I’m hoping I will just need 2-3 ounces more to get through the last couple of inches.  Who knows.

Law school finals are bearing down on me.  My “study” approach so far has been to pretend nothing is wrong and go about my daily routine.  Sadly, this means the next four weeks will be “hell weeks” where I kick my own ass and study till my brain leaks onto the floor to make up for all the nothing’s-wrong-at-all time I was having earlier in the month when everyone was starting their outlines.  This has been my system since the 8th grade.  It works for me.  I always hate myself the last 4 weeks for letting things get so far behind, push myself to the brink of insanity, tell myself I will be more pro-active in coming semesters, then (once the new semester arrives) I tell myself “well I did fine last semester studying at the last minute, everything will be fine this semester as well.”  It’s one of those cycles where early-in-the-semester-Melanie constantly screws-over end-of-semester-Melanie, and this me never gets to take out any revenge on that me, and so she never learns her lesson.  Coincidentally, if you have an outline of Corporate Taxation Law lying around your living room… call me.

A New Goal

Alright, so I’ve realized that I’ve done a terrible job of keeping up with this blog. I’m averaging about one post a month and that’s not very good seeing as I knit quite a bit in a month and then I have to have really long posts. And that makes me not blog very often because, when I do blog the posts have to be really long… So I’m breaking the cycle. I’m going to try to post at least once a week, and I’ve decided that Thursday will be the day that I WILL sit down and post. This will also help with the fact that I never seem to have many photos of WIPs, only finished products. So here’s what’s new since Tuesday…

I was so ecstatic after finishing Andrew’s sweater (he didn’t immediately break-up with me by the way) that I went combing the stash for a new exciting project. I really really want to make a Clapotis after seeing one that someone from my knit night made and I have the perfect lace yarn that I could hold double stranded. However, cross-country move June 2009 is rapidly approaching and I have an embarrassing amount of yarn here at school with me. In order to not shrink red-faced in shame when my mom looks in my closet, I decided that it would be wise to work on projects that will use substantial amounts of yarn, especially bulkier yarns… So I resisted the urge to cast on the Clap and cast on this instead:

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I know you can’t tell yet but it’s the climbing vines pullover from Interweave Knits Winter 2008. I’m knitting it out of a discontinued yarn called Pleasure from Berroco. It’s a blend of Angora, Wool, and Nylon. The name says it all. This is the most fantastic yarn I have ever knit with. The yarn isn’t plied it’s corded and it’s heaven. The balls are marked as $13.50 per ball but Andrew bought it for me over the summer at a big clearance sale so it cost him about $4 a ball. Fantastic deal! So I cast this sweater on, got done with the ribbing, got out the needles I needed for the body, set them on the bed, went to get something from the other room, came back, sat down on the bed, and…

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So I ordered another set of needles but they won’t be here until Monday. And, like The Hulk, That Makes Me ANGRY! I got all excited about a new project and now I have to wait. So I’ve been working on this instead:

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It’s the Burger and a Movie Scarf from Never Knit Your Man A Sweater*. I started this way back in the fall when I first got to school as something that I could work on and read at the same time. It’s made with worsted weight Noro Kureyon even thought the pattern calls for Big Noro so my version is a bit lighter than the original, but since I’m moving to warmer climes it should work nicely.

I also have these socks, which I started way back in November. November 4th to be exact. I cast on on election day and worked the toe while Andrew was in some gymnasium voting.

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This is from Sensational Knitted Socks and the pattern is called Small Capitals. The yarn is Noro Kureyon Sock which is very typically Noro in that the colors are awesome, but there are random knots leading to random colors, it’s full of vegetable matter, it’s single ply, it’s think and thin, and it’s a bit scratchy. I like Noro and I expect these things from Noro so I’m not disappointed, but if you don’t like what Noro does in the bigger weights, don’t buy the sock version. I think I went temporarily insane when I picked this pattern for this yarn because I usually never pair textured patterns with yarn that changes color drastically, but in this case I’m glad of my small aneurysm because I’m very happy with how these look–kinda like scales in rainbow colors.

So this post ended up being quite long anyway, but it’s because I dredged up all my WIPs to showcase. Now that you’ve seen them I can only post about what I’ve worked on each week and hopefully have a better record of my knitting for myself and a more exciting blog… We’ll see.