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.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

A Bird in the Hand

Done! Finally!
Well, actually, they were done a week or so ago, but time makes fools of us all.

Pattern: Bird in Hand Mittens, by the incomparable Kate Gilbert
Yarn: Harrisville Highland in Hemlock and Aster
Size: Size in the pattern - I guess mine are large-hand size
Needles: Knitpicks size 2 metal dpns (love these things)
Mods: If by "mods" you mean "mistakes", I left out one row of the body chart on the right mitten
Verdict: I love them. The embroidery didn't come out perfectly, but the picot hem and the prefect fit make up for it. I haven't blocked these yet, and I might not until I don't need them anymore. If I actually get around to it I'll post pictures. As always, the birds are one of the best parts, along with the flowers.

Other knitting is still being done, but I've been a little noncommittal lately because I'm going to Hawaii for three days (yes, I know only three days) for a conference soon, and so my brain has been split between knitting for the snow here and knitting for Hawaii. There is also the planning for flight knitting and such. But fear not, the next post will have pictures of all of these things, and lots of them. I suppose that I should apologize for not posting more frequently, but the posts would most likely have been whiny and full of stockinette (I have a scarf project that refuses to be finished), so it is probably in everyone's best interest that there has been some blog silence. In any case, the banana slugs say hi, despite the fact that they don't exist in Wisconsin.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

In Defense of Yarn

Yeah, I don't know why I'm going with the college humanities class titles today either. I just had to show this though.

Until February 20, The Sanguine Gryphon Shop is donating half of its yarn sales to an unfortunate family in its area who recently lost almost everything due to a fire. Go to the website to check it out, and if you were planning on buying some of her stuff, this is the time to do it. However, what you really want to know is "how is the yarn?"

Well, it is gorgeous. I got a skein of Gaia, which is a silk/cashmere blend and is amazing and soft, just as anyone would expect from a silk/cashmere blend. The colour, poppy, is a bright, happy, one-day-I-will-be-able-to-go-outside-and-not-be-wet red.

Plus that Gryphon is a little cheeky. We like that here at Limulus headquarters.

On Winter

I was born and raised in a place which got winter. I went to college in a place where they got more winter. I like cold. I like snow.

I'm not sure that what is going on can be classified as winter anymore. More like blizzard season, or tundra-tastic, or something else in that vein. The boy aptly described the capitol as a "bus graveyard" when he got home. When I took the bus the driver pointed to one of the sorry group and said "See? Thats why I'm not pulling up to the curb."

That my friends, is the majestic lake Monona. Can't see it? I couldn't either. Let's be honest, oh favorite season of mine: if you have done something to make a pretty solidly midwestern town think that it is not an act of cowardice to shut down the public university and bus system, maybe you've gone a bit overboard.

However, I don't have to take Lucy the limulus-mobile out for a while (well, I won't, but who is counting, really?), and so I can kick back and enjoy the snow, since after all...

it is rather pretty.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

For Ivan

You know how some things just make your hormones go out of whack, just from looking at them?

Yeah, me too.

Pattern: Placket-Neck Pullover, by Joelle Hoverson from LMKG
Yarn: Cotton-Ease in Light Blue (2 Skeins) and Lime (1 Skein)
Needles: size 7 bamboo 24" circs and dpns

One of my mother's college roommates just adopted a 2 year old from Russia, named Ivan. I thought that the boy should have at least one handknit sweater, since I'm sure otherwise he would have to take guff from the uppity NYC babies. I also was entranced by the idea of a baby sweater. A sweater? A small one? Genius! I am yet too young for my friends (or me, for that matter) to be popping out kids, so welcoming Ivan to our crazy if loving extended family with a sweater seemed appropriate.
The pattern is wonderful - the only changes I made were to give it stripes and to not fasten the placket all the way. My brothers and I all had huge heads, so while I wish the best for the boy, I wanted to plan for all contingencies. I hope Ivan has a wonderful and warm first year here (and the rest of his life, for that matter.)

And me?

I recommend knitting baby sweaters. It really takes the edge off.

In other news, do these pictures look better? They were taken by our excellent Nikon D50, which I am in love with and will one day actually know how to use. And its not just great for handknits...

The noble California burrowing owl says hi.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Of Course

When I am at work, I am perfectly capable of focusing on one thing at a time. For example, I am currently working on two experiments, giving each its due consideration each day and never ignoring one for the other. I definitely don't sit around all day thinking about how I am bored with my experiments and that there are all of these other experiments that are not only more interesting, but may actually bring more light and joy into my life and I have to start them RIGHT NOW.

However, that is how I seem to feel about my knitting.

With a considerable number of WIPs, (hint: I'm embarassed to put them all on ravelry) including the one that I cast on last night because I have to go to the dentist this morning and I hate that dentist and I should have whatever I want when I have to go get poked my metal things, I still somehow can't be happy with them. Some of them are beautiful, almost all are warm, and I would be proud to finish any of them and wear them with the happiness that they are due. However, even with all of that, all I can think of is this:

Damn you knitty. Damn you and your beautiful extra projects that would look amazing on me and probably be great to knit.

I want that sweater. I may even have yarn in my stash for it...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

No sleep makes limulus go crazy

So after an overnight experiment in lab (the squid aren't on the same day/night schedule as I am) I am a little crazier and probably coming down with a cold. I would whine more, but I a) got data and b) am in lab right now, so I can't complain because I'm obviously a glutton for pain and am doing this to myself. Right now I'm washing specimens, so I have time to post about some things that I haven't posted about yet.

The Unoriginal hat:

Name: I was going to make up some pithy name for this project, but let's be honest here. It is called the unoriginal hat, and I'm going to keep the name. My brain isn't built for creativity right now. By Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Yarn: Ravelry tells me that I made this out of Farmhouse Yarns Woodland Spun in Natural. Gotta love that website. The yarn is also great. It is a little itchy for my freak-out skin, but it is wonderful and wooly and I love it and wears like iron.
Size: Big-headed. (23")
Needles: size 11 bamboo dpns.
Verdict: it is stretching out a little bit, but I love it. Everyone should have one - and according to ravelry, that eventuality is progressing apace.

1. Tangled Yoke Cardigan:

This is a perfect case study in why I'm obviously a singularly confusing individual. The yarn (Rowan Felted Tweed) is amazing, as is the colour (Rage). However, I haven't been working on it because...I don't know. By the way, I don't have any clue why this colour is called rage. Because its red? It is this perfect cherry red with light blue and brown flecks. Amazing.

2. Central Park Hoodie:
So this is what I've been working on instead of the tangled yoke, since I obviously have somehow developed a deep and undying need to make the most popular knitting projects around. Obviously after all of those years of not understanding popular culture I have stumbled onto a culture where I do. In any case, this thing is fun to knit, and amazingly enough, easy enough to keep track of that I can knit it on the bus, much to the chagrin to the people standing next to me who stare enviously at me, somehow thinking that the precious space that my knitting occupies could somehow be given to them. Sorry dudes, I don't think physics works that way. Also, you're not getting anywhere near my lap.
I'm knitting this sucker in Peace Fleece, which while not exactly being next-to-the-skin material, is a beautiful, beautiful yarn. It is a deep teal heather/tweed which the old camera can capture worth a damn for some reason. Lame camera, very lame. I finished the back and hopefully I will finish it in time to chase some of the super-cold away.

3. Phiaro Scarf:
Right now this a stockinette tube of soysilk. I hope one day it will be a beautiful, drapey scarf which will make me look like a movie star at the conference in Hawaii in March and will distract everyone from the fact that I haven't done any sort of physical activity in a while that doesn't involve swearing at the snow or broken elevators. Right now though, I just keep looking at the picture in knitscene and hoping that I can keep at it for long enough to see it be come a scarf. It has a really neat construction though. You basically knit a tube, then drop about half the stitches (in an artistic way, of course) to make it long enough, and then cut the last column of dropped stitches and make it into fringe. Pretty neat, eh? That Katie Himmelberg is one smart cookie.

4. Placket-Neck Pullover:
OK, I just figured out that I brought the wrong cable and therefore can not show you the picture of this almost-finished baby sweater. All I have left is the underarm seams. The UNDERARM SEAMS. I'm obviously a lazy shmuck. I hope that I get it sent out before Ivan is old enough to buy a ticket and fly out here to tell me that it is too small.

In other exciting news, The Boy and I have procured a Nikon D50 for ourselves as a Christmas present, which means that soon the pictures on here will get a whole lot better. However, I'm still scared of breaking it, so it may be a while before you get to see the results.

Peace out my lovelies - I'm off to go wash samples. And tonight there will be cosmic bowling. That should help my crazy, right?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

New Year

Well, The Boy and I are in CA for the new year, after having Christmas in CT, so I haven't had much chance to tend to the blog. I do have time for a quick Christmas gift update, however.

Pattern: Misty Garden by Jo Sharp, from Scarf Style
Yarn: Mountain Colors Mohair, 1 skein in Evergreen, I think
Needles: Size 9 bamboo circulars
Verdict: This was for mother-of-The-Boy, and he reports that she loves it especially, since she had just misplaced most of her scarves in the big move of 07-08. One skein nicely gives a decent-sized scarf (about 5' before blocking). I originally was a little miffed that a simple feather and fan scarf would get published in a book, but it worked out beautifully and the purl rows stop it from curling, so I loved it. Went right quick too.

Pattern: Irish Hiking Scarf, by Adrian of Hello Yarn
Yarn: Random bulky Merino
Needles: 10.5 U.S. bambooo circs
Verdict: MY mom liked it. I felt bad since it was a little shorter than my mom likes her scarves, but since it was a little thick, she said that it was perfect. Yay! The yarn was great, but since I can't remember exactly what it was, that statement is useless.

Sorry for the crappy pictures guys - Transferring pictures from the new and fancy camera efficiently hasn't quite been worked out yet. Rest assured, the boy and I will have things up and running once we get back to Wisconsin. (BTW, the boy hat is in 100 queues and has 33 projects in Ravelry! Boy howdy am I excited! P.S. - Yes, I am nerdy enough to say boy howdy)

Political diversion: Can I get a congratulations for Barack in Iowa?! I don't know how the man did it, but am I glad he did. He's kind of my hero and I hope he goes all the way, especially since I'm tired of this 50s era "I'm a woman and lived in the White House so of course I'm fit for the presidency" BS that Hillary is spewing out. If that were the case then Ms. Lewinsky would probably be eligible too. Speaking as a woman I would like the first female president to be a) competent, b) not evil and c)confident. Can Congresswoman Pelosi please stand up? In short, I'm behind you Barack, and I hope most other people are too.

I hope everyone had a great set of holidays, and a further update will be coming soon.

Peace out.