Taa Daa!

Special thanks to Sam for being my photographer.

Close to take off...

Unlike the Atlantis, my sweater is clear for take off! Skies are cloudy (thus no reason to be outside which means more time for knitting), technical checks are good (sure, I've officially started classes but I don't have anything due tomorrow), and the astronauts (well, singular spaced out grad student who maybe could have been an astronaut if she'd studied science instead of...well, you know) are fed and healthy.
That photo was taken this morning, shortly after blocking. Now, the sleeves are sewn on and about 1/8 of the ends are woven in. Oh! The most important thing! I finally found BUTTONS!!!!

Of course, photos will be posted once it's finished.

Blanket soul-searching

Last night we went to Denver's giant independent bookstore and I knitted on the blanket a little. I tried to figure out why I am tired of working on it. I mean, it can't be the stitch or the yarn. I love the stitch. I love the yarn. For gosh sakes, when I made Magnus's I really liked working on it the whole time. And this blanket is for MY baby. But nonetheless I am ready to be finished with it. I want to move on. I want to do the matching hat. And Christmas gifts (my mom and Caleb's mom both want ipod covers). And I realize that time is running out for getting those things done because unless I can learn to knit and breastfeed at the same time, my knitting hours will probably be limited for a while after the baby arrives.

So back to the original question: why am I bored with the blanket? I decided it's not the blanket. It's me. There are only two times when I knit on the blanket:

1. My hands are hurting but I knit anyway because I want to. But then it just makes the hands worse and I give up in frustration.
2. I don't particularly feel like knitting (don't 'tsk' me Jen -- it happens to some of us) but my hands DON'T hurt, so I feel obligated to knit while I can.

So you see, either way I end up resenting the blanket a little. I'm not sure what the solution is. Well, Caleb suggested that the blanket does not have to be finished before the baby is born. I'm not sure what he's smoking. It must be the paint fumes from the dresser we (okay he) are doing for the baby's room.

You might be feeling sorry for me. Sorry that I have been separated from a love in my life. But there is one thing I love almost as much as yarn, in fact probably just as much. And that thing is....cheese. And I am happy to report that the cheese situation in my life is fabulous. It's glorious. Thanks to this place. Go ahead, click on the link. This post will be here when you get back. I'll wait....

Okay, did you look? Is that not amazing? A place that SPECIALIZES in grilled cheeses. More than thirty choices of cheese. Plus all kinds of bread and toppings. We've been. And I'm here to report that it is as heavenly as you would imagine. And guess what else. No guess. It's about 3 blocks from the hospital where we will deliver. This means it is also three blocks from the place that we take like a jillion prenatal classes. These classes tend to have times like 6-9 pm, so that you practically HAVE to eat dinner on the way.

Oh yes ladies. Put it on your list of places to visit when you come to Denver.

Belated Apartment Update!

So, it's been over one month since I moved and I'm just now getting around to this. Our apartment is 2 bedrooms, one bath, full kitchen, and we have a porch! The apartment is in a community of buildings owned by the same management company. Each bulding has 4 apartments in it, ours is pretty close to the gate but very far from the pool. That's ok though, it's nice to get a little bit of walking before you jump in the water. Here are some pics of the place - some of them are from when we moved in and some are more recent (please excuse the messiness).

Oh, I found the LYS (Well, it's in Newark so not all that local, but it's the closest one I know of) and it was...ok. The had Debbie Bliss, Wool in the Woods, Lamb's Pride...no Manos though. The needles I almost bought were waaay overpriced (thank you AC Moore for having affordable needles!) and I don't recall seeing any Lantern Moon items for sale there. The staff was nice, they offered to help when we walked in, and they did have a TREMENDOUS amount of sock yarn in stock. So, not amazing but not bad either.

The object study! You know, after I posted that, I completely forgot that I even mentioned anything about it. Well, for the next semester, I'm going to be researching an 18th century spinning wheel! Here's a pic:

It was owned by a family in New York and is now at the museum. We have to learn everything we can about the object's provenance, use, construction, etc. and then present it at the end of the semester. This project has a good and a bad side. Good side is that I'm learning a lot about spinning and fibres in general, also about the history of textile making in America. The bad side is that after I read about wool for a few minutes, I get this incredible urge to touch wool which can only be satisfied by picking up a project and knitting for a while. Ohhh I've started 3 new projects since I started my research! They are (in order): a mobius strip scarf, a shawl made from an 19th century (I think) pattern (for my roommate...it's been renamed the "boob toaster" pictures forthcoming), and a pair of fingerless gloves or wristwarmers. The yarn shop had the pattern tacked up by Debbie Bliss Cashmerino with a neon orange sign that said "Uses only one skein of yarn!" and I just couldn't resist. One skein? What's the harm? The pattern is from knitty.com and well, seriously, ONE SKEIN and a free pattern? This grad student just realized that she has to buy books for 4 classes in a few weeks. Cheap is good.

Ok, one last thing before I go. There are a LOT of knitters in my program. We met the conservation students (our science-based counterparts) and there are a LOT of knitters in their program. We talked and a regular knit night is in the planning stages. It's very exciting.

Oops...One last last thing. You may have noticed (or not because it was pretty dark) that my desk chair was wearing a Moebius Scarf:

In other textile news...

Okay this is a stretch, but fabric is a textile and so are knitted garments, so all of this belongs here.

First up is the fabric we are using for the baby's room -- curtains, photo board, diaper stacker, pad for rocking chair, dust ruffle, bumper pads, etc. My mom is making all of it.

The picture doesn't do it justice; it's not quite as dull as it looks here.

And now, a few pictures of our place. They include a RUG, which is a textile.

Slow progress for the narcoleptic hands

Okay, these pictures are more for Abby than Jen, because she's seen the blanket, minus a few rows. Progress still depends on how my hands are feeling these days. And lately, I've had so much to do on the computer there is little left for knitting. But honestly it's gone quicker than I thought.

So far, I'm not as happy with it as I thought I would be. I guess the main issue is that it is hard to weave in the ends with the border. I might actually go back and try tying a knot instead. I'll have to try something because as it is, you can see those parts on the "right side" of the blanket too.

serial killer

Just like a shark...taste a little blood and I become uncontrollable. Emboldened by my sock, my evil eye scanned my knitting basket for other unworthies and it wasn't hard to find the next victim. Remember this skirt...

It was called Shocking! how cute... the only shocking thing was how impossible it was for me to knit it and I emphasize ME. Obviously someone else at some point was able to knit it but certainly not ME

Yes that's a year's worth of work you see there! Who knew I had so much hate for my knitting projects. I've tried and tried to like this project. I like the idea of the finished skirt.
Oh well, you know what comes next...

HOWEVER, ladies and gentlemen, this death has an even happier ending than the sock. I decided to rip the skirt Thursday...today is Saturday...and I have a COMPLETED skirt from the yarn!!!

Two nights, count 'em, TWO nights. Shucks, it took me two months just to get a workable gauge on the shockingly stupid other skirt. The instant gratification is so overwhelming I can hardly stop from running out on the street and stopping people and telling them "I just made a skirt in two nights". And they weren't even difficult nights. They were thoroughly enjoyable nights (well the crochet edge did make me a little cranky for a bit but how could that last when the crochet bit only took about 40 minutes!)

I'd love any skirt that I could finish in just two nights but it just so happens that I'd love this skirt even if it had taken a lifetime. I even like it ON ME which is rarely ever true of anything I put on myself. Please ignore my hair in the pictures. Mark took these and I couldn't convince him to chop off my head. Despite his subject matter, he did a great job, even touched them up in iphoto. He's so great!!

p.s. speaking of babies...

I never did scan those pictures from Loree's shower like I said I would. But my dad did send me a bunch of pictures. You saw everything really except the little dog so that's all I'm posting. I still like him and think he looks like a little terrier but Loree thought he was a sheep (understandable given what she knows of me) and we got various response from the audience. But Jeff likes it and that's all that matters.

Here's the little dog on the table of loot. It's a freaking dog, people!!


NO knits were harmed in the making of this post. All knitwear handling was monitored by the American Society for the Protection of Knitted Articles (ASPKA).

This poor little sweater. I suppose taking a whole year to finish a sweater might be cruel, making it wait around while other projects lured me in, while baby clothes were knit (babies just won't wait you know!), stuffing it in my bag and putting it back in the closet while I succomb to sexy little blue sale yarn. Oh well, it's finally finished!! AND...I love it and have absolutely no desire to rip, none whatsoever!!! The sleeves are a little long but not a problem. I prefer longer sleeves.

I must say there were a few touchy moments in the process of producing this sweater. Because of the ribbing/cable design around the bottom, it looked way too small for my, ahem, polite cough, ample figure. Trusting my intuition that it would be fine with correct finishing I decided to wet block it. The Yarn Harlot is a big proponent of wet blocking and says it lets her "bend the knits to her will"! Exactly what I needed. But when I wetted the darn thing it turned into a saggy, fuzzy, weepy mess...and actually so did I! I was sure I had ruined it beyond repair. It would never take correct shape...ruined ruined ruined. I hadn't bent it to my will; I'd BROKEN it! But thanks to lots of blocking wires (thank you and thank you) and some patience, it actually dried beautifully! I should have had more faith but you do hear horror stories of this sort. It took a really long time to dry though. Actually not that long, but when it's pinned to your bed, time is of the essence!! I thought we might have to sleep on the couch. I've done a lot of crazy things for my knitting but asking my loving patient husband to sleep on the couch because a sweater has taken over his bed seemed just a little too much! I've got to get a better place to block stuff:-)

And now for something completely different! Lorna's Laces sock yarn!! I love this yarn but never wanted to spend that much on myself for socks. But did I mention my two best friends both decided to move out of town the same summer? This was the purchased on the way back from dropping off second of said friends at the airport. I call that sufficiently justified. Plus they were 25% off (of course I didn't know that until I was at the register with my little credit card raring to go but that can't be held against me, I got them on sale and that's all my husband need know).

I just love these colors together. I don't know how they'll knit up but all the socks I've seen on line from this yarn are lovely!