I did manage to create something when I wasn't working on schoolwork. I've always wanted a long warm hoodie that would hide a multitude of sins (aka my backside). Since I had all of this lovely Noro yarn from a birthday gift (thanks Ellie!), I decided to jump in and get started.
I used the drop shoulder cardigan pattern from Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns and I just fudged the hood. But I'm happy with the way it came out, especially since I had my doubts that stripes across a wide expanse could be flattering:
I'm sure the knitting elite would poo-poo my wonky seams, huge hood and sad sewing (I sewed the zipper in backwards, so I'm going to have to take it out and do it over--feh!), but it serves the purpose, something lightweight yet warm to wear on those weird New England afternoons when you aren't sure if it's just cool or really cold outside.
Well, for better or worse, the thesis has been written and handed in. In a few weeks time, I'll either be walking across a platform in a ridiculous outfit or just wandering around muttering, "screw it."
So now that I'm not reading, writing or obsessing over citations, I can give you the update on my mundane life. I will try to make it more exciting. In fact, the Husband and I are attempting to find ways to make our lives more "colorful," not in "May you live in interesting times" disaster-colorful, but more like "golly, that sure was swell," colorful.
One of those swell things was going to Rhode Island to see my friend Chris' chicken coop. Chris is an amazing designer and a wizard of color. Along with creating those beautiful things, she is also a mother of two twin boys and works on a community garden co-op that raises fresh produce for a local food pantry. Oh, and she has chickens and bunnies.
A few weeks back, there was a tour of the chicken coops in South County, Rhode Island. We have no intention of getting chickens (two cats in a tiny apartment is enough, thank you), but I wanted to go meet Miss Jennie, for the silly reason that Chris once held her up to the phone so she could coo at me (well, I haven't been getting out much), and I fear I have developed a wee crush on this chicken.
There are seven birds in the coop all together. Chris and her husband Andrew will let them out and they run right under the porch in the backyard, since they have learned through unfortunate circumstances that that is the best way to avoid being a hawk-snack.
To anyone considering raising chickens, I'd say go for it! It's easy to get started, you can even get everything you need from a catalog, including the chicks. they provide hours of entertainment and nothing beats fresh eggs right from the source.
The coverage of Haiti has reminded me that I am a fat American. I really have nothing to complain about and excuses, no matter how worthy, seem trivial. Unfortunately, other than donating money, I feel like there is little I can do to help fix the situation on that troubled island.
However, I can fix things in my own home. One step at a time.
I have been missing a button on a coat now for over two years. It's right where my pocketbook strap crosses across my chest (probably the reason I popped the button in the first place) and I can usually cover it with a scarf. Every time I think of doing it, I would come up with some whiny reason to avoid doing it.
Two years demonstrates I'm really good at avoidance.
Anyway, I finally did it last night. It took less than 5 minutes.
Another project was to take a scarf that was way too long--knit during a severe Noro fetish and a need to have the colors match up just so--and make it into two practical scarves, instead of the unseemly long one that would get caught between my legs, bunching up the aforementioned coat, a well-loved berber-fleecy thing I've had for more than 10 years that builds up static on cold, dry days and clings to my butt like butter on toast.
Attractive image, I know. But I use this coat as a blanket or pillow on the bus and it's not too wrinkly after. I can spill coffee on this coat and no one notices. I'm not making it anymore attractive, am I?
It's a tiny feeling of accomplishment, but I'm hoping every bit helps. Like a tiny donation.
We live in a teeny two-bedroom apartment with two cats. We don't have room in the bathroom for a litter box, so I'd had to deal with them right there in the office where I try to do my homework.
I tried to find a screen for them, but I couldn't find anything I liked that wasn't too tall, ugly, or under $100. Then I went to a yard sale last Spring and had a brainstorm.
I found this fireplace screen for $2. I figured I would cover it with fabric and Ta-Da! Answer solved.
I finally got around to doing it this weekend.
I had some old matboard laying around taking up space, bought some bookbinding tape (conveniently chartreuse) and just taped fabric around the board.
Since it was mostly for my benefit, I decided to use fabric I really liked, not worrying about getting it done for real cheap. I picked Amy Butler's "Sunspots" from her Love series. It coordinates well with the storage box I covered with another design of hers.
I used black grommets for the holes (luck was with me that I had the exact number I needed) and tied the boards to the screen using some black rubber cord I had stuffed in my stash.
Altogether, $30. More than I usually spend on my projects, but I think it's worth it.
Now I can get some homework done.
If you felt the earth shake last night, it's because the world's slowest knitter finished a project.
Sorry for the crappy picture. The world's slowest knitter is the world's crappiest photographer, too. Am I repeating myself?
I started this blanket when I saw it in the current issue of Rowan Magazine (current at the time that is). I fell in love with the blanket Comfort and had to make it. Big needles! I'll have it done in no time!
So I hopped on the Internet and ordered some discount yarn from England because the dollar was doing so much better than the Euro (which tells you how long ago that was) and impatiently waited by my door for it's arrival from across the pond.
Then I had to cast on a million stitches.
It was intended as a gift for a friend who got a pair of socks instead. I will confess she got one sock and the other still on the needles, but I did--eventually--finish them. I told her about the blanket and we agreed that it would be a better gift for another friend of ours and I proceeded to work away on it.
That was 4 years ago. She brought it up in October:
"Gee, it would be really nice to give that blanket for Christmas this year."
So I tried to get it done, but then life got in the way and I really, really wanted to make another pair of socks for her (yes, I know I've said I hate making socks, but that's never stopped me from annoying myself time and again) and I missed the deadline. Other gifts were substituted.
Now the intended giftee is about to have a birthday. Other gifts were substituted, but I was determined to get this thing done and out of my life once and for all. Hence, the finished--AT LAST!--product.
Happy damn birthday. No. Really, otherwise that thing would have been in my closet for another six years.
In spite of the fact that I have 40 pages of writing due in 3 weeks (or perhaps because of it), I have produced this sweater. It won't win any oohs and ahhs from the knitting elite, but it won me over because it's exactly what I wanted.
I wanted something warm to wear under my coat this winter that won't produce a ton of bulk. It had to go with everything (in this case, all the long-sleeved cotton t-shirts I get from Target), with no collar so that I could tie a scarf around my neck without any fuss. It had to be long to keep my belly warm when the wind whips up under my coat.
And of course, it had to be easy, mindless knitting so that I could think about school at the same time (see, I'm trying).
I made it with Plymouth Earth Homestead yarn. I can't say enough about this yarn. 100% natural wool and color, 190 yards and $6 a skein. It cost me $36 to make this sweater. And for a natural wool, this is very soft and drapes beautifully. I think Plymouth is one of the most underrated yarn companies out there; I never have any issues with knots, tangled skeins, or wear.
So now I'm off to finishing Christmas presents (to be shown at a later date for obvious reasons) and my school work.
Oh. And that's not a spot on the sweater. Its on my lens. I'm messy.
My friend LeeAnn, the amazing jeweler, hates to throw anything away. So it didn't surprise me at all when she sent me an email requesting covers for her headphones.
She had felted covers in mind when she wrote to me, but with my limited schedule I figured I ought to do something quick and easy for now. There's alway time for experimenting later.
So, putting the power of Ravelry to the test, I entered "covered headphones" in the search engine and ta da! Two entries. I used this one by JoAnn Leonard.
It had been a while since I did any crochet, but these were a snap to do once I got the rhythm of it. And they took up no time to do. I used some leftover merino and silk from Cherry Tree Hill that I've had forever, so they are soft, warm and somewhat durable. But since they are so easy, replacements are hardly a problem. Especially when you are treated so excessively with presents like this. Thanks, LeeLee!
This is a quick baby hat (the only kind I make) for a wee one in Philly. I made it from a skein of Candy by Artful Yarns, using the pattern on the tag with some minor adjustments, as it was written to be knit on straight needles. I'm a double point girl myself; I just don't like a seam on the side. Maybe they write it that way so that new knitters won't be intimidated by the mention of double points or circulars. I hope not. The new knitters I'm meeting these days are pretty adventurous.
This was a welcome diversion from the damn left glove. I've knit about seven fingers on it now--first I had a gaping hole, then I placed my first finger off so that it didn't line up with the cables, then I realized I had dropped a stitch in the cable...it hasn't been pretty. I am struggling so hard to get it done (and done right) so that I can get on to Tahoe. I've been really good about sticking with this, all the while thinking about the sweater--now that I know the yarn I bought is greener than originally planned on--I have to come up with new edging yarn and button ideas. And it's tough to be enthused about gloves in this heat.
Okay, who's gonna start the support group for knitters who have lost the love for their current projects?