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.

Snowman Says “Hello 2017!”

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  Time just runs away from me during the holidays but now that it’s finally over I can actually take a minute to sit down and write.

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The snowman above isn’t mine unfortunately.  I found him on campus a few weeks ago after our first big snow, so snowman credits go to whoever built him.  He’s got plastic forks for arms, paper napkins for his scarf, craisin eyes, and a french fry nose.  No one ever said college students weren’t resourceful!  I thought he was just too cute not to share.

I had a lovely Christmas with my family.  We had my stepsisters and brother-in-law over for Christmas Eve dinner but Christmas Day was just the four of us (my mom, my stepdad, my brother, and me).  We went to church in the morning, opened gifts in the afternoon, and demolished a canard à l’orange for dinner!  My stepdad has a fascinating cookbook of obscure Sicilian recipes so we also had a pasta dish with a cocoa powder, cinnamon, and pork tomato sauce.  It sounds strange but it’s delicious, very warm and flavorful.  A few days later, my brother and I had dinner and exchanged gifts with our dad, who had gone on vacation over Christmas itself.

Shockingly, I only got one skein of yarn this year.  I’m actually really glad I didn’t get more since I’m still working through last year’s yarn gifts (more on that further down the post).   My aunt, uncle, and cousin got me the yarn for the Maya Hat and Mitts from the Fall 2016 issue of Knitscene, as well as a copy of the magazine.  It looks like it’ll be an interesting knit since it’s done as stranded knitting working from either side of a ball of gradient yarn.

I also *drumroll please* won a skein of yarn as well as a free pattern from Allison O’Mahoney in a giveaway by Of Grace and Stitches here on WordPress!  I have yet to decide what to make with it, so into the stash it goes.  Please excuse the blurry and strange photo!  I haven’t had any good light for photography in weeks, since I’m at work during all daylight hours.

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Mostly, I’ve been working on a pair of socks that I’ve dubbed my “Finals Socks,” which I started during final exams.  The pattern is Cadence Socks on Ravelry!  I’m really enjoying how they’ve worked up and the pattern is quite intuitive and easy to memorize.  I’m well into the foot of the second sock, so those will be an FO sooner rather than later.  The fabric is great, stretchy but firm, which I like around my legs and feet.  The yarn is KnitPicks Hawthorne in Compass.

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I cast on a Rudbeckia hat by Andrea Mowry earlier this week and I’ve been getting through it like a fiend.  I’m almost at the crown decreases already.  I’ve modified the pattern to use fingering weight yarn and size 4 needles by simply increasing the number of stitches and the number of repeats of each section.  The main color (purple and blue) is Hawthorne in Fremont, while the brown contrasting color is Hawthorne in St. Johns that I had left over from a pair of socks I knit my brother for his birthday this summer.

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Clearly, I enjoy KP Hawthorne fingering yarn.  I actually got a ton of it for Christmas last year (my mom bought one of the samplers and some singles) and I purchased a few skeins myself.  It’s got a nice tight twist and a nylon blend, which makes it very sturdy for socks, and it comes in a ton of colors with good yardage.

I’m realizing that this is kind of a long rambling post but I’m still trying to get my head screwed on straight post-holidays.  I hope everyone had a good holiday season and let’s wish for a successful 2017!  Does anyone have any New Year’s Resolutions?

Sock Frenzy

I’ve been sock knitting like a crazy all weekend!  I actually managed to finish a single sock in a day and a half.  Wild, right?  I’ve been spending the days from 10 to 4 studying with a friend for our final exam, and every other minute I’ve been knitting to try and stay calm.

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These are the socks I mentioned in my last post:

I wore them today and they’re so nice and warm!  Finally getting them off the needles has reignited my love for sock knitting.  It helps that I have small feet so I can get through a pair pretty quickly.  My brother is a men’s size 13.5 wide, so knitting him a pair of socks this summer took almost twice as long as usual (and almost two whole skeins of sock yarn!).

After I finish the pair I’m working on (it should only take me a few days since I finished the first sock in two days!), I have a ton more socks I want to make.  I have a pretty big collection of sock yarn, since last year for Christmas my mom bought me two of those KnitPicks samplers of Hawthorne, and I’ve accumulated a bunch of single skeins.

I’m also still working on my red cowl, but I think I’ve almost finished that!  I want to try to use up the whole ball of yarn on it, but I’m not sure.

What have you guys been working on?  I see everyone doing a ton of holiday gifts (as well as a lot of gifts year-round) which is so nice!  I decided not to knit Christmas gifts this year (minus a hat for my dad), just because last year I didn’t finish on time.

New Projects!

It’s been a very productive week for me, knitting-wise!  I managed to finally finish a pair of socks I’ve had on the needles for months, and I started a new cowl and pair of socks and have made decent headway with both!  I’ve just realized the new cowl matches my header font… Clearly I love these kinds of reds.

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The cowl pattern is my own.  I’ve been looking for a crisper, more sophisticated alternative to a lot of the drapey cowl patterns that I keep seeing (not that I don’t love drapey cowls as well!).  My style has become much more tailored lately and flowy scarves and cowls don’t fit in as well.  Basically, the cowl (or maybe neckwarmer is a better word) is going to be the neck part of a turtleneck sweater, plus a few extra inches in front and back slit up the sides.  There’s nothing I hate more than that gap between my shirt and my cowl.

Today was my last day of classes for the semester, so the finals madness is about to begin!  I have an eight-hour physics review session tomorrow (that’s right, eight hours straight), so here’s to hoping I survive that!

In other knitting news, I’ve put the Laurel Cardigan aside for now.  I’m so easily bored with big projects, unfortunately, and the fact that it’s so big makes it hard to transport (and I do most of my knitting on the go).

Chugging Along

Woo, it’s been a while!  The semester is winding down now and I’ve been so incredibly busy with schoolwork.  I’ve been slowly but surely working on my cardigan, but I’ve definitely slowed down.  I have bible cysts in both wrists and they’ve been acting up lately.  This week, they’ve finally stopped hurting so badly, so I’m trying to get my momentum back up.  I’ve finished the left sleeve and I’m about an inch into the body of the sweater.

In terms of my personal life, I had a great Thanksgiving week!  I spent it with my mom, stepdad, and brother.  We had a nice, low-key dinner.

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On my way home, my mom and I saw the most amazing rainbow.  You can’t see it in the picture, but we were able to see the entire arc, from one end to the other.

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The best part of being home for a few days was reuniting with this nugget:

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That’s Phoebe, my cat.  I can’t take her to school, no pets allowed in dorms, so I miss her so much!  She’s the sweetest little noodle.  Look at her tiny nose and feet!  I’m sorry, I’m such a proud cat mom.

I was also able to get all my holiday shopping done.  I pride myself on being a pretty fantastic sale shopper, and I certainly did well this Black Friday – Cyber Monday weekend, all without stepping foot into a single store!  I did it all online.

How was all of your Thanksgiving weekends?  I hope they were relaxing and peaceful.

Welcome to November!

I hope everyone had a great Halloween!  It’s one of my all-time favorite holidays.  Who doesn’t love getting all dressed up in a costume, hanging out with friends, and eating as much candy as you can shove in your face?  Or maybe that’s just me…

Anyway, last night my knitting and crocheting club had a great Halloween meeting.  We all showed up in our costumes, knitted and crocheted and sewed, and watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  It’s such a great experience to be able to sit with people my age, who have the same interests as me, and just have a great time.  I took a picture of us all, aren’t we cute?

I’ve been working on my Laurel Cardigan, but I’ve just been so caught up in midterms that I’ve barely made any progress.  I did finish the first top section and am mostly done with the second sleeve.

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I’m getting really excited about wearing this piece!  The color is great, a little darker and richer than the photo shows, and the moss stitch is so, so squishy and satisfying.  I have a feeling I’ll end up knitting this again in a few other colors.  Maybe charcoal gray, or a navy tweed?

 

Midterm Madness (but I still make time to knit!)

This week, I’ve been studying, knitting, sleeping, studying, knitting, sleeping…  I think you get the idea!  I’m about halfway through the semester already (it is totally wild that we’re at midterms), and I feel like I’ve been spending all my time studying lately.

I’ve made good progress on my Laurel Cardigan and I’m almost done with the top right portion, so that’s almost a third of the way done!  I’m planning on taking some pictures of the gorgeous cables and moss stitch in the natural light tomorrow.

In other crafterly news, my school’s needlework club (of which I am the president!) is finally getting started for the semester!  Unlike huge clubs, we don’t have a permanent room and need to be assigned a new one every year.  We’ve been held up for a few months in trying to get a room assignment for the semester.  There’s a lot of new people in the student government and things have been moving slooooowly.  Sigh.  Well, late is better than never, I suppose.

Anyway, I’ve been making up some posters for the club and I cannot wait to start hanging them up all over campus.  I really think this is the year we get our club off the ground!  All over campus I meet crafters who had no idea we even existed.  Wish us luck!