Worldwide Knit in Public Day

What did you guys do for the holiday?  I had planned on sitting out in the sun and knitting, but I hate the heat and the 85-degree temps were too much for me, so I ended up in one of the university’s dining halls.

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Oh, and rewatching some episodes of That 70’s Show!  I tried putting a ruffle hem on my increasingly-poorly-named March Socks, but I think this yarn/pattern/needle size just doesn’t suit it, so I’ll have to rip out (again).  I think I’ll put in a picot hem, so fingers crossed that third time’s the charm!

I hope you guys all have a good weekend!

I’m a New Year’s Fail, and I Don’t Feel Bad About It

It’s been a long, long, long, long time since I last posted!  A little over two months!  A lot has happened in my life since then, but not a lot of knitting has happened.  I’ve totally fallen off of the bandwagon in regards to my New Year’s resolution.  If you’re new to my blog, my resolution this year was to knit a pair of socks a month for all of 2017.  I still only have one sock done of my April socks, and while I technically did finish my March socks, I had a bunch of leftover yarn so I ripped out the top ribbing and decided to knit the calf up higher, which I haven’t finished!  I didn’t even cast on a May pair, let alone a June.  I’ve decided I’m not going to feel bad about it, though.  It wasn’t a resolution to improve my health or finances, or anything important like that.  It was more of a challenge to myself.

I think I’m just naturally a fickle knitter and I don’t like sticking to one type of garment or technique.  I like sweaters, socks, shawls, and hats, and I like cables, colorwork, lace, and knit-purl texture.  Forcing myself to stick to one thing never works out in the long run!  That’s also why it takes me so long to finish projects (except for socks), because I like to have several things going at once and rotate between them.  I used to feel so bad for abandoning projects for a few months and then coming back to them, which is so weird.  Why should I feel bad about that?  It’s not like I just keep casting on new things and never finishing them.  I’m going to embrace my natural tendencies from here on out!

Is anyone else like this?  I always see people on Ravelry and Instagram who are able to just work on a single big project like a blanket or sweater from start to finish, and not touch anything else and I get so jealous sometimes!

The reason I haven’t been knitting very much at all is that a few weeks ago, I finished up the busiest semester of my life.  I signed up for 16 credits, which doesn’t sound like much, but three of those credits were laboratory sections (which only offer one credit per three class hours, as opposed to one credit per one class hour like lecture classes), three of the credits were being a teacher’s assistant (why is it that students always wait until 12 hours before the essay is due to ask the TA for help with fundamental problems?  I had a student ask me the day before an essay was due if I thought he had a good topic!), plus I was doing non-credited research in my free time for about ten hours a week.  Plus, I am the president of the knitting, crocheting, and sewing club on campus.  Huge mistake.  Oh, and did I mention I went about a month without a computer when mine died right before finals?  I just got a new laptop yesterday!  My goal for next year is to not overwhelm myself, so I’m only enrolled in 13 credits next semester.  I really only have three classes left to take before I graduate, but one of them is only offered in the spring, so I have to stay a full year anyway.

Back to the interesting stuff, because I doubt anyone cares too much about my academic stress.

I have been knitting some, though.  I cast on and have made serious headway on an Ebba pullover sweater!  I changed the colors from white, blue, and red to camel, olive, and cream, inspired by a field trip I took to some famous local dunes here on Long Island.  Also, I realized that I have very little “natural” colors in my wardrobe, so I had to fix that!  I’m about halfway through the waist shaping increases, so right now it’s just a big swath of camel wool.  Not too cute for pictures!  I do have a picture of the beach near the dunes though:

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There’s just something so soothing about the beach in the wintertime.  I do love being able to swim in the summer, but I love the way the water looks when it’s cold and gloomy, and the salt air feels so bracing when it’s chilly.  Most of my friends think I’m bananas for that, though!

I’m sorry for this long and rambly post, but I wanted to get my feelings about my resolution down on “paper.”

Socks, a Cat, and Nerding Out

Hey, everyone!  How’s your March been?  I got back this past Friday from Washington D.C., where I was visiting family and touring with my roommate.  I’ve been to D.C. a ton of times, but this was the first time as an “adult” (does 21 count as adult?).  We decided to cram in as much as absolutely possible, so in four and a half days we went to the National Zoo, the National Portrait Gallery, the International Spy Museum, the Newseum, the National Museum of the American Indian, the United States Botanical Garden, the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of American History, and the National Air and Space Museum.

Yeah, we were busy.

We basically spent the entire time being huge dorks, especially at the Natural History and Air and Space museums.  We’re both STEM majors, so that was pretty cool.  I’ve been to all of these museums before, but it’d been a few years, and my roommate hadn’t been at all.

My roommate and I also found time to go to Georgetown and see one of my best friends from high school!  I don’t get to see her nearly enough, so that was fantastic.  The next day we went to Dupont Circle for dinner and passed by a yarn store, Looped Yarnworks, so of course we had to go in (we’re both knitters)!  I got two balls of Schoppel Wolle Ambiente yarn in 1862.

I was also home for the weekends surrounding the week and I got to see my kitty!  I miss her so much when I’m at school.  I was home to help my mom pack up the house.  Unfortunately, we’re selling our house.  We had hoped to sell my stepdad’s house and have him move in here since we’re attached to the community in our town and he’s not in his, but it’s just not possible.  So, we’ll sell our house, move in with him, and then hopefully sell his place in a year or two and get a house back in my hometown.

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I cast on these plain socks last Friday on the bus home using the Ambiente.  It’s been a while since I’ve done two-at-a-time!

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I’m considering these to be my April socks, although I might have them done before my March socks, of which I finished the first but haven’t cast on the second.

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If you’re new to my blog, my 2017 New Year’s resolution is to knit one pair of socks each month of the year.  It’s going pretty well so far!

In non-sock news, I’ve finished most of my midterms and am anxiously awaiting grades.  I have already gotten one grade back in a difficult class, and I did really well!  I got a 95%, and the professor said usually the high grade for this exam is a 75%.  I’m still nervous about the other tests, though.

Oh, and I finally got my learner’s permit to drive!  My roommate says she’ll help me learn.  I know 21 is late to get my permit, but better late than never!  My goal is to have my license before I graduate in a year, but we’ll see.

I hope you all have a great weekend!  Do you have any exciting plans?

A Cozy Hat and Some Tea

I’m really ready for a break, you guys.  This has probably been the most exhausting semester of my life, and we’re only about a third of the way through.  At least I’m enjoying most of my classes!

I’ve still been able to make some time for knitting, thankfully.  I got some KnitPicks Wonderfluff in the mail on Monday and quickly whipped up this hat.

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I really, really like this yarn, although I will say that although it’s marketed as bulky, I’d call it a heavy worsted/Aran.  It’s a thin nylon mesh tube with alpaca and merino fibers blown into it, and as a consequence, it’s incredibly lightweight.  The ball of yarn feels about half as heavy as I’d expect, based on its size!  Plus, air gets trapped inside the yarn and makes it very, very warm for its weight.  I hope they expand the color range, because I’m not a fan of some of the colors but I love the yarn.  I bought another ball in a kind of orchid pink color and I’m going to make another one of these hats for sure!

Other than the hat, I haven’t made a lot of progress on my March Operation Sock Drawer socks (or on my Blizzard shawl, for that matter).  In fact, I’m less than two inches into the leg on the first sock!  I doubt I’ll finish them by the end of the month, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it.  I’m taking 18 upper-division credits and I barely have time to breathe.

In terms of my Laurel cardigan, I’ve just lost motivation.  I cast on so long ago, but since I barely work on it, I’ve made so little progress that the finish line feels miles away.  It’s so hard to get myself to even pick it up anymore.  Besides, it’s so large that I can’t really bring it anywhere to work on a row here and there like I do my smaller projects.  I finished the right top body in 10 days, but it’s taken me since October 20th to just do the left sleeve!

Do any of you have any tips for motivating yourself to just get a project done?  I really want to finish this one, since I think it’s a really cute pattern and it’s taking up so much space.

In other news, I’ve been trying to drink more tea.  I’ve always been a big tea drinker but it’s easy to get too busy for a cup most days.  The last week or so, I’ve set my alarm 15 minutes earlier to make myself some Earl Grey and I feel much calmer and more awake most mornings.  What’s your favorite kind of tea?

 

Update on Operation Sock Drawer 2017 and Other Projects

Hello!  I hope everyone’s had a good February!  I’ve been super busy so far this semester.  I may have over-committed a bit and signed up for too many classes, but I think I’ll be able to balance everything!  I also had a very successful doctor’s appointment on Friday.  All my blood work came out great, and a huge improvement over my levels from the summer.  I’m definitely feeling better too.

I’ve finished my January and February socks already!

I started a pair of Rumpelstiltskin socks that’ll be my March socks, but I haven’t gotten very far in them yet.  I’m doing them in a really pretty bright pink, Knit Picks Hawthorne (do I use anything else?) in Parkrose.

In much more exciting news, I finally finished my Colorblock Sweater!  I started it more than a year ago, got about 85% of it done, and then promptly forgot about it at the bottom of my WIP pile.  I dug it out and finished off the body and final sleeve last week!

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The yarn is Berroco Lustra, which has since been discontinued (that’s how I know I’ve been ignoring it for too long!).  I wouldn’t use this for a sweater again since it sheds.  It also splits a lot and I don’t know how sturdy it will wear.  Despite this, I’m very excited and I’ve been wearing it a ton.

I also have a TON of yarn left over, so I’ll be churning out a bunch of quick hats to get rid of it all.

I’ve also been doing a little work on my Laurel cardigan, just a few rows here and there, but I really need to dig in and make some progress on this project.  I’d really like to get it done before the end of the semester, but I’ve been so slow on it that I don’t know if that’ll happen.  It’s just easier to work on a small, portable sock than a huge, heavy sweater-jacket.

Finally, I’ve been working on an asymmetrical shawl called Chasing Blizzard.  It’s a pretty new pattern and I’m enjoying it a lot!  I’m using two skeins of Artyarns Ensemble Light, which is by leaps and bounds the most expensive yarn I’ve ever bought, but it’s so, so soft and warm.

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This photo definitely isn’t 100% true to color, but it’s close!

What have you guys been working on?  If you’ve had any New Year’s Resolutions, have you been able to keep them?  Do you have any fun plans for the next week or two?

Lobster Point Neckwarmer

Hello, everybody!  This is just a pattern for a simple neckwarmer I knit up late last year.  It’s a bit form-fitting, more like a turtleneck sweater without the sweater, and with slits a few inches up the sides so you don’t get that horrible gap between your collar and the neckwarmer!

Lobster Point Neckwarmer

Yarn: 1 skein of fingering yarn.  I used about half of a skein of Nooch Fiber Morningside Sock yarn (400 yards).
Needle: US 3 (3.25 mm) 16 or 12 inch circular needle

Gauge: 53 stitches x 39 rows = 4×4 inches in 2×2 rib

Cast on 68 stitches with the long tail cast-on or preferred method.  For this section, knit back and forth as if on straight needles.

Row 1: *K2, p2, repeat from * until end of row

Repeat row one until piece measures 3 inches from cast-on edge.  Transfer stitches to stitch holder or spare needle and cut yarn.  Make another piece identical to this one.

Transfer held stitches from the first on to the circular needle with the second piece.  Knit in pattern across the second piece and then across the first piece, connecting the two.  At the end of the row, join to work in the round and place marker.

Continue knitting in the round as established in 2×2 rib until piece measures 9 inches long.

Cast off using the cable cast off or preferred method.  Weave in ends and block gently.

Notes: this pattern is un-tech-read and un-test-knit!  It’s just a quick write-up of what I did to make the neckwarmer I’m wearing in the picture.  I hope you enjoy!

Operation Sock Drawer 2017 – New Year’s Resolutions

Hello!  I hope everyone has had a good first week of 2017.  It’s hard to tell, but I think it won’t be quite as rough of a year as 2016.  In my last post from a few days ago, I mentioned New Year’s Resolutions but forgot to tell you my own.

My knitting resolution is to knit one pair of socks each month, whether they be for myself or for a gift.  I finished my Finals Socks a few days ago and cast on my first sock for this project: a pair of Paper Moon socks in KnitPicks Hawthorne (do I ever knit with something else?) in Happy Valley.  I’m at about the arch of the foot on the first sock, but I don’t have a good photo for you guys.

I also hope to have a few pairs be of my own design, so keep an eye out for those!  If I do design my own socks, I’ll be sure to publish the pattern.  I’m also keen on publishing the pattern for a neckwarmer I made in December, but I think I’ll just put the pattern in a post here instead of creating a PDF for download.

My other resolution for the year is a bit more nebulous.  I want to be less afraid of the future.  There’s no easy task to complete every day for this one, unfortunately.  This time next year, I will be waiting for acceptance or rejection into graduate schools, and I still have a long way to go before I even start applying.  I have to study for and take the GRE, I have to decide where I want to apply, I have to decide what specific subfield or project I want to tackle.  I also have to decide if I even want to pursue my M.S. or Ph.D. right away.  I know I definitely want to go to graduate school, but I am not sure which direction in research I want to go into.  I have been thinking about working for a year after school and then going to get my degree, but of course, I’m not sure what job I would want.  I’ve even considered applying to law school.

Fear of the future has always been very real for me, and it has often stopped me from doing what I want.  When I was applying to college, I wasn’t very invested in the process because of that fear and only through luck did I end up in the place I am now, where I am very happy.  I can’t let that happen again, not now that I’ve found the field I am happy in.