Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

In Which I Figure out my Proportions

FO: Central Park Hoodie

Pattern: CPH, not to be confused with NPH, who is also awesome
Yarn: Peace Fleece Worsted in Kamchatka Sea Moss, about 6 skeins (1200 yards-ish)
Needles: size 7 and 6
Size: 40"
Verdict: Well, let me explain. This is a fine sweater. I love it in fact. However, as you can see in the above picture, it is a bit snug. This would be OK, I mean, I can still fit a shirt underneath it and everything, but there is a problem that you can't see there. Let's see if I can explain it.

So when I look at myself in the mirror I see a normal waist, normal hips, small-ish chest, but there is one thing to which I remain completely voluntarily blind, apparently. See my shoulders? They are particularly large for my proportions. They are the reason that the 40" (a size with 2" of positive ease on me) pulls like crazy in the front, and stretches the cables in the back. Now, I love this sweater, and as such I decided that it should go to someone that it , you know, fits.

Enter: The wonder-postdoc. WP has my proportions, but is shorter and has much narrower shoulders. On top of all of that, she has red hair (perfect!). The sweater looks fabulous on her. When she gives me a picture I'll post it to show exactly how awesome it looks on her. Obviously it had to be hers.

Conclusion: Lovely pattern. Really wonderful. However, if you have anything over average-sized shoulders I would make at least 1.5/2 sizes up - something is up with the sleeves.

In other news, my yarn diet is almost over (be afraid - very afraid). Wisconsin Sheep and Wool is but a week away, and I am squeeing like a schoolgirl over it already. I covet Kimmet Croft yarn with the lust of a thousand nuns.

Berlin was great, althought I would have liked to stay longer (don't you always?). Here are some pictures to tide everyone over - Peace!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Knits Lost in Time

Well, even though I am broiling in my shell and listening to German pop music, it is blog time! It hasn't gotten too bad here heat-wise, which is good because I would be a babbling mess otherwise, but that doesn't mean that I can't complain like a champ. I cut off a good 4-5 inches of my hair today (or rather had it cut off), the verdict is still out on it, but it is cooler.
I finally uploaded pictures of projects I haven't written about yet, so I'll put them up over some period of time. First up:

Pattern: Pleat by Norah Gaughan
Yarn: Thrifted cotton/Linen. I don't know the yardage, but it definitely wasn't as much as the pattern called for.
Size: 38" for my 38" bust
Verdict: I love it. I know people were on the fence about the racer-back, but since I have to wear a tank top under it anyway due to the lightness of the fabric, it doesn't make much of a difference to me. I kind of like it. Also, this project is the first time I have ever successfully added crochet to a knitted garment. I love the result, I started doing it to other sweaters I was afraid to edge before. As always, Norah is a fabulous designer, and I love my shirt, but if you want a pleat as deep as in the photo I would recommend some positive ease, which I didn't really want. However, I think negative ease would have been a problem, since that line you see in the bust? It is the result of a cast-off, so it won't be as stretchy as a lot of other things. All in all I love it - very comfy, especially for these stupid hot days.

Also in the picture:
Pattern: Phiaro Scarf, by Katie Himmelberg
Yarn: Southwest Trading Co. Oasis, 2 skeins and a bit
Color: Natural
Comments: I like it a bunch, but got tired of knitting it, so I stopped early. It is still very nice as a scarf though.

If you were wondering about the German pop music, The Boy and I are going to Berlin for a friend's wedding in August (well, the boy is going on Saturday for "work" - he managed to get sent to a collaboration thing there for the wedding) and we are both trying to brush up on our German, which was never great to begin with. A french teacher that I had once said that the best way to learn a language was through music. While I am not sure that she was correct, I can listen to music while working, so I can always hope that some sort of passive diffusion will occur. Plus it is fun. I have been to Berlin before, but if anyone has any cool things that they love in the city I am more than open to ideas. Peace!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

It isn't the heat...

It really is the humidity.

Playing with our new toy helps though.

In the foreground is Chocolate-tangerine sorbet(I used clementines). It is so chocolatey that it almost tastes alcoholic, with a wonderful fruitiness from the oranges. Recipe from The Perfect Scoop. If you have any qualms about buying a cookbook almost entirely full of ice cream/sorbet/sherbet, lose them. I love this thing. Actual knitting tomorrow.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Wool Limulus

Whooo, well I'm obviously not great at this blogging thing, but no worries, there is no way I'm going to stop. I guess I just have to see it as more of an all-encompassing blog than a knitting blog, since apparently I can't remember to take pictures of what I knit. Don't worry though, most of my leisure time is spent knitting, so I may end up being a knitblogger after all, albeit a lazy one.
The Limulusparents are here with Limulusbrother for the week. I'm glad to have them, work has been getting to me lately (having your advisor hint that the whole lab isn't working hard enough when you work seven-day weeks can be demoralizing). I am taking the 4th off (a federal holiday? Madness, you say!) to have a well-deserved shopping spree with Limulusmother. Just when I think that my life is finally somewhat interesting, Tall Limulusbrother goes to Beijing and blows us all away with his chuzpah - he is staying there until December to become fluent in Mandarin. He'll be famous one day, I just know it, even if none of us know how.
In other news, I submitted my first abstract for a major conference a week or so ago. My project is progressing well for a student who has only been in the lab for six months, apparently, and although there was some drama getting the thing submitted to my advisor's standards (no one's fault, just a confluence of crazy events), it has been submitted and I am most likely going to present my first poster in October.

Well, enough with the work stuff. I have been realizing lately that while I never thought of it this way before, I have a knitter "type". I used to only be a yarn snob (i.e., only with natural fibers unless it is reenforcing thread or something), but more and more I am figuring out that I am a wool-pig, to couch it in Yarn Harlot terms. I love wool. All kinds of wool. And in a startling discovery, projects (that I will blog about when I find my camera cable) done in cotton take approximately twice as long as those I make out of wool. This is also true of all other fibers I have worked with. Unless there is some wool in the blend, I simply can't deal on some level. Cotton? Slow. Wool/Cotton? Fast. I would like to say that it is some sort of innate character of the fiber, but I think my brain just likes wool better (cotton doesn't hurt or anything).
In any case, this may become a bit of a problem, since it is now summer and well, I hate the heat. HATE it. I'm the biggest baby ever when it comes to temperatures above 82F, and as much as I try not to complain about the weather (force of nature and all), it brings all the whining out of me. Wool, however, is warm. Say what you will about the Wisconsin winters (I sure have), but they love wool. When it is -20 and you're snow blind, wool is your friend, I don't know how I'm going to deal with this in the summer, but it may involve ice packs.

In a desperate effort to insert some sort of knitting content into this post (I like blogs with pictures - I try to be one), here is a project that I finished a while ago, but somehow never blogged.

Pattern: The ever-popular Swallowtail Shawl, by Evelyn A. Clark for IK Fall 2005
Yarn: Cascade 220 in Tibetan Rose (I don't get it either)
Needles: Size 9s, I think
Mods: Thicker yarn, I didn't to the nupps.
For: Sharill
Verdict: She said that she loved it in her thank-you note, so I guess a success! I love making shawls and lace, but I like feeling of little bit more weight on my shoulders, so I almost always make them out of sport/dk/worsted yarn. Not to say that laceweight doesn't have its time and place (I have much of it), but that is just how I roll.

Finally, I realized (with much help from The Boy) that I maybe have a *wee* bit too much yarn. Therefore I am on a yarn hiatus (I don't like the word diet) until the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool festival in September. Hopefully this will actually increase my productivity, and I won't have as much yarn guilt. Peace out!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Squid. Blame the squid.

Well, they're not really a problem, per se. I love the squid. That is why I spend most waking minutes studying them, and why I have been neglecting the poor blog. Which is really too bad, since I have pretty pictures.

Project: Clapotis, by Kate Gilbert, knitta extraordinaire
Yarn: Noro silk garden lite, colour 2010, 6 skeins
Size: one
Mods: I knit until I ran out of yarn instead of following the number of rows on the pattern. Other than that I followed it to a T. Except for the stitch markers.
Verdict: I love it, although I haven't gotten much use out of it yet. Silk garden makes everything better though, I would make stuff out of every colour if I could. What I really want is to get ahold of some of that white/neutral mix though....

Pattern: Uptown Boot Socks, by J. Appleby, from Favorite Socks, from IK
Yarn: The ever-fabulous original sock yarn from pigeonroof knits, in "Nighthawk". The yarn makes me extremely happy, check it out. All of her stuff is fabulous - I've been collecting it like its going out of style, which of course it never will.
Size: sasquatch
Mods: None, although I made the second sock using the first as a template, since I misplaced the book at that point.
Verdict: I love them more than logic would ever let me. Just check the number of pictures of them I have up on ravelry. Here is one of them:

They have many cable twists. Every one was worth it.

In other news, there may have been much yarn added to the household. Passive tense may also have been used. See, I found out that I got an honorable mention for the NSF instead of actually getting the money (sidenote: Hey NSF - there are oh, a gazillion micro grad students out there. Maybe you should fund more than four of them. Just saying.). And I found this out on the same day that the WEBS anniversary sale started. I may have fallen down.


That would be yarn for three sweaters. It was a bad day. Shoes may also have been involved.

On the upswing though, the boy did get the NSF for physics-monkey stuff, so in general the NSF likes us, it just didn't have enough money for me. Which is not its fault. I would rant about whose fault it is, but that is territory that has already been trod, flagged, and claimed by writers more eloquent than I.

Today was fun because April is here, and April means sheep-shearing season here in Wisconsin (and most of the northern hemisphere I guess). Today Bethany the wonder-postdoc and I went to Rainbow Fleece Farm for its annual sheep shearing open house. Bethany spins like a spider and got fleece from a BFL that we were assured is a very fine animal indeed. I, not knowing how to spin, instead got yarn.

It should be enough for a stripey sweater, if I am careful - about 1,000 yards when all is said and done. I just couldn't resist it - it is good, soft, local wool, and any one of those three would leave me weak in the knees on a normal day. All three was too much to resist. Before and after the wool-getting I managed to get us lost, break half of the stuff in Bethany's car, and almost leave my checkbook at the farm. Never let anyone say that an afternoon out with me isn't interesting.

Well, cats and kittens, that is the limulus report for this week. I promise to get more blog action in now that there is natural sunlight (!). I am also looking forward to vegetables and riding my bike to work to get rid of this *ahem* curviness that crept up over the long long winter.
Peace out.