Thursday, September 28, 2006

More Dulaaning

Tonight I went and visited Ryan to gather up more super bulky avalanche yarn. Her garage is still pretty overrun with boxes, and I hauled home another trash bag full of yarn (which didn't really make an appreciable dent in the supply).

I took all my current Dulaan items over to visit Ryan, hoping to reassure her that the 12,086 goal isn't totally impossible. Look, I've got 6 things, so that's really only 12,080 items left to go!

And then I came home, graded a few papers, and watched the 9:00 showing of the new episode of Project Runway. I continued work on my latest avalanche project, a sideways knit garter stitch jacket in assorted yellows. What you see here is a front and most of the back, with an opening where a sleeve is going to go.

In non-knitting news
Well, there really isn't a lot. Work has been irritating, and I'm trying not to endlessly bitch about it. Everyone there is extra-cranky this week, so there's just kind of a cloud of bitchiness floating around. Hence, I'm trying to get my work done as fast as possible and spend more time knitting, which doesn't make me bitchy or cranky.

Chloe, by the way, has made a full recovery from whatever was distressing her a couple of weeks ago.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Rationalizations R Us

I keep telling myself that I'm going to finish some of the WIPs before I start anything new. Really. Or, at the very least, concentrate on Christmas presents.

But I'm sure that things for charity don't count, right? I mean, it's not a project, it's a good deed. So, Friday night I used some of the cute widdle skeins of embroidery wool I got from Ryan's Dulaan wool-fest, and a skein of Galway I had in the stash, and started a corrugated rib hat. I spliced several widdle skeins together so I could knit uninterrupted. I finished it up last night. This is about 16" around, but very stretchy. If I do another one (and I think I will), I'll decrease for the top more gradually. This one is a little puckery.

The wrong side is pretty damn cool looking too.

Speaking of Dulaan, I was winding some more super-bulky yarn this morning (see above rationalization), and I realized that the yarn I used for the avalanche sweater is thicker than the yarn that came in the tidy skeins. If I can mooch another sweater's worth of yarn out of Ryan's garage, I'll refigure the pattern for 2.5 sts/inch.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Weekly update

Oops, time certainly flies on by, doesn't it?

I'm at work, so this is a pictureless update.

I'm still working on Trent's sweater and Black Roses. I'm thrilled that I'm finally ready to start the interesting charts on Black Roses, but I haven't had the time to sit down and concentrate on it since last Monday. I finished a pair of socks for Trent (sorry, no pics - they went pretty directly onto his feet), and I'm working on a pair that's designated as a Christmas gift.

I had a very knitty week. Monday night was Feral Knitters, where Janine kindly advised me on how to redo Black Roses for steeks. Tuesday night I went and knit with Avril. Wednesday I went to the Seattle Knitters Guild meeting, where Karen of Two Swans was giving a talk. I picked up June's super-cute tea cozy pattern, hot off the presses.

has sucked. I had to get some course materials approved by a person at headquarters. The person likes to exercise her authority. It turns out that I react badly to being asked to do pointless work just because someone else said so. Eventually, I caved in just to get done with it. Specifically, I caved on the issue of whether or not the play Romeo and Juliet is narrative literature. To me, narrative = story. To evil overseer, narrative = narrator, I guess. Anyway, I feel like I lost a little bit of my soul when I gave up instead of continuing to argue.

I got my schedule for next term. Starting in November, I'll be teaching 18 credit hours (that's 5 courses). Yee-haw.

Be Nice to Others

Ryan has officially kicked off Dulaan 2007. Start your needles, knitters. She has a long post with all the details.

Meanwhile, a very good friend (Perkster, from the comments) is a youth librarian in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She writes,

New teen knitting group with a zero budget needs your extras! send
any quantity of supplies to:

Teen Knitting Group
Fayetteville Public Library
401 W. Mountain St.
Fayetteville, AR 72701

They'd appreciate yarn any yarn or needles. If you have something in your stash that you think a teenager would dig, send it her way. If you have questions, or want to pass something to me to send to those knittin' library teens, you can email me at mkmorrow at yahoo dot com.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Avalanche sweater

I finished my first super-bulky Dulaan project, a 30" chest sweater.

This sweater took EXACTLY 6 skeins of yarn. Here's what I had left from those 6 skeins.

Sweater guidelines

(note: the following instructions were composed after I finished, and I hope you'll use them cautiously and exercise common sense.)

Gauge: 2 sts/in and 2.5 rows/in
Size 13 needles (a 24" circular and a set of DPNs)

CO 56 stitches and join.
K1P1 ribbing for 3 rows.
Switch to stockinette, and inc. 4 evenly around the sweater (60 sts).
Continue in st st until sweater meaures 12"
Divide for front and back by placing 30 stitches on a holder (I use yarn).
On remaining 30 sts, k1, ssk, knit to last 3, k2tog, k (28 stitches)
Continue in st st (k a row, p a row) until total length is 19.5".
Break yarn, leaving a sizable tail. Place these 28 stitches on holder.
Move the other 30 sts from holder to needle. Join new yarn so the first row will be a right side row.
k1, ssk, knit to last 3, k2tog, k (28 stitches)
Continue in st st until total length is 17"
Knit the first 9 sts, and place the remaining 19 sts on a holder.
Turn and purl back.
Knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k (8 sts)
P next row
Knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k (7 sts)
Continue over these 7 sts in st st until piece measures 19.5" from bottom edge (or same as back).
Break yarn, leaving a tail, and place these stitches on a holder.
Leaving the center 10 sts on the holder, place the 9 sts on the other side of the neck onto your needle. Join yarn at neck edge (so first row is a RS row), knit across and purl back.
K1, ssk, k to end (8 sts)
P next row
K1, ssk, k to end (7 sts)
Continue in st st over these 7 sts in st st until piece measures 19.5" from bottom edge (or same as back).
Break yarn, leaving a tail, and place these stitches on a holder.
Avoiding seams
Join the shoulders with a 3 needle BO. This should leave you with 14 center back sts still on a holder.
With a circular needle, pick up and knit 2 out of every 3 stitches along one of the armhole openings. (For me, this resulted in 30 stitches to start the arm, but your mileage may vary.)
Mark the center bottom of the armhole.
Knit around once.
(You're now going to do a single short row to help with the shape of the arm)
On next round, knit until you are within 3 sts of the center of armhole. Wrap and turn.
Purl back until there are 3 sts before the center marker. Wrap and turn.
Resume regular circular knitting. Decrease 2 sts every 6 rounds until 18 sts remain.
(I did this by knitting to 3 sts before marker, k2tog, k, slip marker, k, ssk)
When sleeve measures 13", begin k1p1 ribbing.
Rib for 1.5". BO loosely in rib.
Repeat for the other sleeve.
Neck edge
Transfer back neck stitches to a circular needle. Knit them off. Pick up and knit 5 stitches between shoulder and front stitches on holder.
Transfer front stitches to a needle and knit them off.
PU 5 more stitches.
Rib for 2 rows.
BO loosely in rib.

Notes: I hate sewing in ends, so I spit-spliced the yarn whenever possible. You MUST unravel the plies of the avalanche yarn and trim down at least one of them to accomplish this.
I even spliced new yarn to the tails left from the shoulder joining to pick up the armhole stitches. If you're not quite so fanatic about tails, you may need slightly more than 6 skeins. I really only had a yard total of yarn scraps left.

In other news
We went to the Teacup today to stock up on our breakfast tea. We got some Bombay Market while we were there. It's a black tea with apricot and passionfruit. Mmm, fruity.

Also, to clarify something in my last post: I wasn't implying anything about my dear mom. (C'mon, folks, she reads the blog.) She really, literally had squirrels living in her attic. I think the nice pest control folks had to relocate 19 or so of them.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hit and run blogging

Oy. It's been busy (but strangely, not the sort of busy that generates good blog stories).

The scene in my house last night:

That big pile of aqua by Stella is a nearly completed Dulaan sweater. I just have the neckband to go.

I'm participating in the Knitter's Tea Swap. I took pictures of our tea set up to post on the KTS blog. I think we may have a little tea problem.

Almost all of this is 2-deep. The white bags come from the Teacup, source of all goodness.

Our much loved tea pot.

The other stuff. This is a very deep cabinet, so there are boxes of bagged tea behind the visible boxes. The sheep canister houses the Kenya Mountain black tea that we drink for breakfast.

Birds watching
When I stumbled out of bed Wednesday morning, I heard a mysterious clatter on the roof. In my hazy state, I thought maybe burglars had somehow climbed up my 3-story townhouse. Then I thought maybe I had squirrels in my attic, like my poor mom did. Eventually, I looked up at the right moment and saw a crow looking down at me through the skylight in the bathroom. I wonder what they think of us?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Oh frabjous day

A present! My super-cool ex-secret pal Valerie sent me gorgeous yarn. It's three skeins of Sundara Yarn sport weight in the color Berry Stain. I love it. I want to pet it and hug it and call it George.

I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. I have 675 yds, sport weight. I think I'll admire it for awhile, then wind a ball and swatch and see what it looks like knit up.

(By the way, go visit Valerie's blog to see what she's doing with my handspun. Wow!)

In other knitting news, I'm starting the Christmas season. Eek. I bought yarn for socks for a family member (who shall remain nameless until after Christmas), and I've started thinking about what else I want to do.

I spent most of Sunday working on an insanely bulky Dulaan avalanche sweater. It goes very fast at 2 stitches/inch, but damn, it's like wrestling to knit with that stuff. Pictures (and extremely informal pattern) to follow when I finish.

The dog news
We still don't know what's up with Chloe. She still yelps if you try to pat her right hip. Gentle stroking while she's on the couch is acceptable. She's moving just fine, and seems perky and happy (except when yelping in distress).

Thursday, September 07, 2006

In Progress

For your entertainment, here are pictures of those sweaters I mentioned yesterday (so you can see why they seem so eternal).

Carpathian Black Roses. That's a sleeve in progress on the left. I started with the sleeve first (for gauge), then realized I'd need to adjust the increases because it would be too long otherwise. The body is about 10 rows short of the underarm bind off and division (or steek - I still haven't decided). The pattern on the top of the sweater is like the pattern on the bottom of the sleeve. I'm grateful for that, because I'm completely sick of knitting those little crosses.

Trent's sweater. This is the Schoolhouse Shetland Pullover by Meg Swanson from Knitting in America. My fingers are in the picture because otherwise the edge curls up and it looks like I haven't done anything at all. I have to knit 4 more curly pattern repeats before anything else happens.

Oh, and because it was nearby when I was taking pictures, here are two batches of roving that I immersion dyed. They were supposed to come out complementary so I could ply them together, but that didn't work out so well. The pink dispersed rather more than I expected (and was pinker, too).

About dogs
Perkster: Logan did have a special wedding outfit, but he took it off for the reception. Our dogs have too much dignity to get dressed up. (Well, not really, but they do have sharp teeth, so I'll grant them some dignity.)

Chloe and I went to the vet this morning to have some more money extracted. This one actually wasn't too bad, but we still have no idea why Chloe sometimes yelps in pain when you try to touch her. It's possible that she's just being dramatic.

Helplessly exchanging
It was irresistable. I've signed up for the Knitter's Tea Swap.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


My boringness is endless.

The weekend in the Chicago 'burbs for my non-blogging sister's wedding was a lot of fun. The whole family was there. The weather decided to be friendly for the wedding in the park. I, as usual, failed to take very many pictures...but I did get a couple of choice ones of the bride walking her dog., who attended the wedding.

I'm chugging along on big projects. I've just finished the 3rd of 7 body repeats before I start the yoke on the sweater I'm making Trent. I'm also on sock #2 of a pair of Regia socks for him. Meanwhile, I'm almost at the armhole decreases on Carpathian Black Roses (from Norsk Strikkedesign). I have two problems. One, I'm worried about running out of yarn. Two, the pattern tells you to bind off for the armhole and work the yoke back and forth, which seems completely crazy to me since you steek down the front of the sweater anyway. Is there any reason NOT to add steek stitches and knit it in the round? I can fudge the decreases to work out that way.

I may start another Dulaan item out of the insanely bulky yarn, just to be making something that will go fast.

Other news
I busted another plagiarist. She claims to be perfectly astonished by the idea that she needs to cite sources in her paper. I'm skeptical.

Chloe has been very touchy and yelpy about her back, so we have an 8:00 am vet appointment tomorrow. It will probably involve x-rays. It's a good thing I love her.

I'm reading Olympos by Dan Simmons. I bought and read Illium while traveling last weekend. They're nice meaty books that take me a long time to read. (That's good - I normally read very, very fast, which is problematic when you're on the road.) This particular series is a lot of fun because two of the characters are robots having an ongoing discussion about literary criticism, and the plot manages to mash together space travel, wormholes, and the Illiad. Good stuff.