Monday, September 29, 2008

Random Bullets of Monday

  • I bought a plane ticket to Poland. I'm going to have to let my last class out a few minutes early to get to the airport, but--I'm going to Poland for Thanksgiving!
  • I have been knitting, but it's secret test knitting, so no pictures. But I'm making excellent progress and should finish soon, so I will start knitting other things that I can take pictures of.
  • I turned 35 today. It feels really strange. Not really different than 34, but intellectually hard to wrap my head around. Anything that ends in a 5 or a 0 feels that way to me.
  • I moved into a new office. There are two of us, but only one chair. And no phone. Fortunately we're not there at the same time, and I train my students to email me instead of trying to call.
  • I'm swapping classes with a colleague tomorrow. We do this every semester, but this time--due to the fact that we have classes that don't overlap--we're actually going to get to see what the other does during class. I think it will be very interesting, as we swap b/c I don't feel like I do a good job w/what she's doing, and she doesn't feel like she does a good job w/what I'm doing.
  • I need to reswatch for the Husband sweater.
  • I also need to reswatch for the new hat for him. I should know better than to swatch and then put the project away for several months.
  • I can't decide if I want to take a lace class at Webs next month. If it was only a one-day class, I'd be there. But it's a two-day class, which means I either need to drive all the way out two days running, or stay at a hotel by myself. Which could be fun, I guess.
  • I need to figure out how to knit a green T-Rex for nephew the elder. I made an elefante for nephew the younger (never photographed as I knit it in fly as we were going down to NJ), and nephew the elder thought that maybe he could share. We decided that nephew the younger could have it, and I would make nephew the elder a T-Rex. A green T-Rex.
  • I asked my mom to help me with the ears for the elefante, and in doing so learned that I've been crocheting completely wrong. Which probably explains why I think it's so hard--as it turns out, when you do it the right way? Much easier. And it looks much better, as well.
  • I also need to make nephew the elder green socks. To match the above-mentioned T-Rex.
  • I just watched last Friday's Stargate Atlantis. Holy crow, and I can't wait until the next one to see what happens. (It was a "To be continued . . . " one.)
  • I need to mail the hot pink Swallowtail to a friend for her 35 birthday in a couple of weeks. We don't usually do presents (half the time we don't even do real cards--just emails) but I think she'll really like it. And it's just random enough to be very cool.
  • I am trying to be better about posting more regularly. I sometimes think about things to post, but decide that I need a photo, or to be more interesting, or something. I read Phoeknit's post on posting the other day, and decided that she was right, and I was being too . . . something. Critical? Perfectionistic? Whatever it is, I'm trying to post more.
  • I am running out of randomness, which is odd for me. Generally I'm full of the randomness.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Christmas knitting

The first Christmas knit, done:

Hemlock Ring Blanket, Eco-Wool (1.25 skeins), size 10 needles. I really like it, and it was a fast knit--about 10 days from cast-on to blocking. I'm thinking about making a few more as Christmas presents for other people, as well.

Not too much knitting around here. My semester started 2 weeks ago--crazy in the beginning, but it's settling down nicely. I really like my classes--I've got a nice bunch of kids. About half of them are international, which has been making for interesting conversations.

I was down in NJ this weekend, visiting family--I gave T his latest pair of socks, which he was willing to take off for bath time, but insisted on sleeping in. He's so much fun to knit for--I love his response to hand-knit socks. (My brother said that it's good he's now got several pairs; initially it was tough to get them off him long enough to wash. You've got to love that in a recipient!) T & I also had a most excellent water fight. There's nothing like a four-year old to cheer you up.

And I needed cheering up, because the reason we were down in NJ was to put G on a plane to Poland, where he'll be for the next three months. doing research. in Poland. 6 time zones ahead. 4084 miles away. I've put up countdown clocks--one until I go there for Thanksgiving, and one until he comes home for Christmas. (The clocks are too big, though--the seconds don't show up. Eventually either figure out how to fix it, or find new ones that actually fit.)

So it will be a long semester, and I will be knitting up a storm, I think. First up is a new hat for G (it's cold in Poland!)--I managed to shrink his We Call Them Pirates hat (I was in fact trying to shrink it just a little bit, since it had stretched, but managed to go a bit overboard) and he wants a new one.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

WIP Wednesday

WIP #1:

Lacy Ribbon Scarf from the Spring 2008 Knitty, in Green Mt. Spinnery Sock-Art Forest yarn. It's a sort of raspberry color--I think this will make a great fall scarf. The yarn is a little stiff, but I think once it's blocked it will loosen up and drape really nicely. The yarn has some tencel in it (the "forest" part) which makes it sort of silky and shiny.

I'm about 2/3 of the way done--this is a good travel project, but I've been home a lot lately, and working on . . .

WIP #2

The ubiquitous Hemlock Ring Blanket, in the equally ubiquitous Cascade Eco-Wool. I love, love, love this project--I started it on Monday, and I'm already 2 repeats into the feather-and-fan section. (And now, for the ubiquitous comment, I will say that BrooklynTweed is a frickin' GENIUS. Love, love, love him, too.)

I'm thinking of making several of these, and giving them for Christmas presents. 'Cause I'm not sure I can stop with just one!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Non-lace knitting

Finished: One pair of knee socks for my four-year-old nephew (with one of my socks, for scale):

Plymouth yarn Happy Feet sock yarn, in color #10--blues and greens and a little maroon, magic looped on size 1.5 needles. The colors are very J-Crew/Gap, which my SIL will love. The yarn is very squishy, which T will love--good for sliding around the kitchen floor, his standard test for new socks. I put one of my size 9 socks in for scale--T likes long socks ("up to my knees!" he says). I cast on 48 stitches and use a 2x2 ribbing all down the leg and on the top of the foot, which is pretty much what I've done with all his socks so they stay up. The yarn, which I bought on sale a while ago, is nice to knit with, and I like the way the colors came out. No pooling; the color repeats are very short, which I think helps. I have enough left over from the skeins that I'm going to see if I can find a nice fat-legged baby sock for T's six-month-old brother, so they can have matching brother socks. (I feel like I've ignored G in favor of knitting socks for T, since G is, at not-quite six months, a bit less enthusiastic about hand-knits than T is. And I have this sneaking suspicion that, in a few years, G will love the hand knits and T will start be be very blase' about the whole thing, so I'm getting the knitting-auntie love while I can.)

I've also started (and almost finished) another Elefante, this time in blue:

All that's left is some sewing up--I was too tired last night, and afraid of getting a crooked elephant. I'm planning on making another one as soon as I'm finished--one for G (the aunt guilt is getting to me!), and one for the son of a family friend, who's expecting his first baby soon. My mom is going to the shower in a few weeks; I thought I would stick it in with her package.

I still need to frog and re-start Cleo; I really like the pattern & yarn, so I think I'm going to try going down a few needle sizes and see what that gets me.

Beyond that, I've been a little blah--my inability to start a big project in knitting seems to be par for the course, lately. My summer class is done, and has been for a couple of weeks; my fall syllabus are done (and have been for a couple of months--I like to be prepared!), and I'm working on some course proposals for next year. G's going to be gone for a lot of the school year, though--he's off to do some major dissertation research--and while I'm glad he's getting the chance to go (and that he's got grants that will pay for it!), I'm miserable at the thought of him being gone. He leaves in a little less than three weeks; we're trying to make the most of the time we have, but he needs to get ready to go, too, so--blah. And blah, and blah, and blah. I'll be better once my classes start next week, and I'm busy. I'll also be better once he's actually gone--then I'll start counting the days until I see him again, instead of counting the days until he leaves.