Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thursday. Word.

Still playing catch-up.

greedy; voracious
~Free Online Dictionary

A medicine taken by licking with the tongue; a lincture.

scanty; meager; small; slender: exiguous income.

Exiguous is one of those words I am sure I've looked up in the dictionary and learned a dozen times, but I keep forgetting what it means. Maybe I'll remember it next to Esurient: an esurient appetite on exiguous means.

Monday, January 25, 2010

numbering the queue

In a fit of organization yesterday, I went through my ravelry queue obsessively tagging, deleting, and rearranging. I'm a librarian - it's in my nature. Did you know Ravelry's queue-searching function does not support boolean operators? You can search for things tagged with multiple tags by putting each tag in the search box, but as far as I can tell you can't search for items with a particular tag and WITHOUT another tag. If I'm wrong about this, someone please let me know.

Here are the results, mostly for my own reference.

176 total items

80 items with free patterns
41 items whose patterns I have already bought in books, magazines, pdfs, etc.

31 scarves/shawls/shawlettes: 20 free, 5 already acquired
31 socks: 18 free, 9 already acquired
20 cardigans: 5 free, 6 already acquired
19 pullovers: 4 free, 6 already acquired
19 hats: 9 free, 5 already acquired
15 mittens and wrist/armwarmers: 3 free, 7 already acquired

Holy crap, I queue a lot of socks compared to the number I actually make. Maybe knitting more socks should be a priority. Note: socks are tied with scarves/shawls, but I have the scarf/shawl situation neatly in hand since I plan on making several as my next few projects.

Sensing a theme


Ishbel is in the foreground, the second Snail Mitten is in the background, and one of my favourite comfy hoodies is nearby. I swear this was not staged: I've been alternating work on both projects today, and I happened to throw the hoodie on my bed instead of putting it away.

You think maybe I like purple / aubergine? Oy. Time to branch out, I think! (To be fair, the Ishbel yarn is definitely more brown than the Snail Mitten yarn, but they are both dark and purple-y)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's still Thursday, right?: Word

Here's word #28.


1. having a rough surface because of minute points or projections.
2. indecent or scandalous; risqué; obscene
3. full of difficulties.

In my head I heard this in a pirate-voice. Arrr.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

About that pattern-buying-freeze

Turns out I declared my freeze at an inopportune time. This is a great and ethical time for pattern buying from many designers through Ravelry, what with many pledging percentages of their sales to MSF and other charities for relief in Haiti. I've come away with a bunch of things I knew I would buy eventually... so why not now? Namely, Laura Chau's Flora and Fauna e-book, as well as the rather uninspirationally-named Top-down shoulder warmer, and of course Ysolda Teague's Whimsical Little Knits 2 booklet. So far...

(I'm stopping now. Really.)

Plus, the scrunched up beginnings of Ishbel. I know, I am likely the last one on this particular bandwagon, but it's exciting nonetheless! I can tell I'm going to have a hard time photographing this yarn. It's Dream in Color Smooshy, in the Gothic Rose colourway.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


January is the time for resolutions, and although I've been using my 101 in 1001 list over the past year and a bit instead of making resolutions, I still have informal resolution-type thoughts bouncing around in my head. Some of these have to do with specific 101 in 1001 goals, but others are more generic.

I want to continue challenging myself in my knitting, and try some new techniques. I'm thinking maybe it's time to try double-knitting and/or intarsia, if I can manage it. My 101 in 1001 list has lots of knitting related goals that I'll be happy to work through, but I might update it to include a double-knitting goal. We'll see.

The first 5 items of my Ravelry queue are things that I possess yarn and patterns for: I'm declaring a pattern-buying and yarn-buying freeze for the next while to see if I can work with what I've got. After Vivian I only feel drawn to small accessory projects, so I think a break from long-haul projects is in order.

I want to get more exercise (obviously. Most unoriginal resolution ever). Since I no longer have a broken toe, I can actually do that this semester, so I'm going to hold myself to it. Maybe take a yoga class (#70) like I've been meaning to.

I want to tackle some of the forgotten items on my 101 in 1001 list, and maybe replace some of the ones that I no longer have any desire to accomplish.

Specifically, I would like to spend more time trying new recipes (#92), since that kind of fell by the wayside last year.

There are a few items on my list that I definitely expect to cross off in the next 6 or 7 months, as a matter of course. These include #101 - Get a Masters degree, #48 - Get appropriate visa to work abroad in England, and it's mate #49 - Move to England semi-permanently. Perhaps #47 - Get a steady job won't be far behind? Ha. Exciting times, my friends.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Words words words

I've fallen behind on my word-learning. To be honest, I'm having a hard time remembering most of the words I've learned as part of this project of mine. But I'll press on, since I like words.


1. of or pertaining to a lake.
2. living or growing in lakes, as various organisms.
3. formed at the bottom or along the shore of lakes, as geological strata.

Just a scarf in progress to add colour. Kind of lake-coloured maybe? Okay that's a stretch.


1. a violent, turbulent, or brawling woman.
2. (initial capital letter) a mythical deity popularly believed in the Middle Ages to be worshiped by the Muslims and introduced into the morality play as a violent, overbearing personage in long robes.
3. violent; turbulent; brawling; shrewish.


1. commotion; uproar.
2. a heated discussion, debate, or argument; fuss; to-do.
3. a choking or suffocating cloud, as of smoke or dust.
4. to worry; bother.


1. blood-red; crimson.
2. flesh-colored; pale pink.

I don't really think I'll ever have the occasion to use "termagant," given that accusing women of shrewishness is not an acceptable course of action these days, but I still like the word. Words describing colours are always useful in a knitter's vocabulary, though.

Just 123 words to go!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Half an FO: A formerly secret knit is revealed.


I've finished the first of my Norwegian Snail Mittens by Adrian Bizilia. These were supposed to be a Christmas gift, but since I didn't finish them in time, they are no longer a secret.

This is my second stranded colourwork project ever, so I've been extra-paranoid about my tension. This first mitten is still unblocked, but I'm crossing my fingers that the crumply bits will even out.


It looked like the mitten would turn out too long, and I wanted to make it a bit less pointy, so I modified the chart a bit, and started the decreases more gradually. Not clear if this was a good decision, but it seems okay and I'm sticking with it. Plus, I did a different cuff because I just wasn't feeling those welts that are in the original. And I don't have a third colour for accent, but if I find one by the time I finish the second mitten I'll get on with the duplicate stitch. So far so good. I adore the snails.

The Entomology Mittens are next on my colourwork list. I have so much love for the quirky motifs in helloyarn mittens!

Even though I still have to knit the other mitten, I feel a sense of accomplishment seeing the first one finished. Now to avoid second-mitten-syndrome. Casting on momentarily.

Friday, January 08, 2010

FO: Vivian

A final catch-up post before university resumes. I saved the most exciting for last -I finally finished Vivian! I sewed the zipper on in 2010, but all the knitting was finished in 2009, so I count this as my last 2009 FO. Please excuse the picspam. I love it so much I can't contain my excitement!


Yarn: Cascade Eco+
Mods: Added a full cable repeat on the hood, and it turned out to be a perfect size. I also attempted to shorten the sleeves a little by starting the sleeve on row 7 of the cuff chart. The sleeves still came out quite long, but they are manageable.


Another brilliant Ysolda pattern, although I was inattentive at times, and occasionally couldn't understand the logic of the instructions. This resulted in me unintentionally modifying some bits, or else just misunderstanding, but ultimately it worked out fine. Except don't look too closely at the sleeve joins / yoke decreases, because they are the dog's breakfast. And my hood grafting isn't so great either. Ditto my hand-sewn zipper. But hey. I had reached the point where I needed to finish the sweater at all costs, and any designs on perfection fell away.


The back is a little rumpled in this photo, but I think that's due to my awkward posture. The sweater was a little small before I blocked it, but now it fits perfectly. This is easily my favourite 2009 FO, and possibly one of my favourites ever! I've been wearing it almost constantly since I finished it, and unfortunately, the yarn is already starting to pill. I hope it will stop that nonsense soon enough, but if not Vivian will just look more lived in a little sooner.


Holiday FOs, continued

I knit a few more gifts this winter, and now I can show them off!

Mousie, by Ysolda Teague

Here he is in his natural habitat, surrounded by lemon henchmen. His name is Horatio Nelson, according to my boyfriend.

This is my first project from Ysolda's first Whimsical Little Knits book, since I'm slow. (Ishbel is next, predictably). I adore the result, although I didn't enjoy how fiddly some of the knitting was. The ears, augh! Nonetheless, it's so cute I'll probably make it again at the first opportunity. Errata came out for this pattern after I had completed it, but it seemed to work the way I did it.

Next up is Cowl'd and Frosty Morning by Kelly Herdrich, which I made for my brother.


My first Malabrigo project, in Malabrigo Chunky. Awesome experience, will buy again.

Last gift is another cowl, this one for my dad.

I have been calling it "Camel tease," since the yarn is Debbie Bliss Fez: extra fine merino with a touch of camel. Using the stitch pattern from Norah Gaughan's Asymmetrical Cardigan, I knit a tube until I ran out of yarn. I'm pretty pleased with the result, and I have visions of experimenting with stitch patterns on many more cowls, now.

Ultimately, this year's gift knitting experience wasn't too stressful, though I rushed at my mom's Quincy to get it finished before I jetted off. Will I do it again next year? Maybe!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

FO: Quincy

I'm in that in-between period when the holiday is nearly over and all I can think about is the impending journey to the airport. This is unfortunately making me a rather unexciting person. But what better time to share one of my pre-Christmas finished objects.


Quincy, by Jared Flood

No mods to speak of. I used Cascade Eco+ held with alternating strands of some angora blend that I used for a fuzzy mock-cable scarf for my mom last year. I ran out of angora before I finished the crown of the hat, but I like the effect. I intended to make a hat that sort of matched the scarf, since my mom has recently lost a matching hat.


Many others have gushed about the genius behind this pattern and I'll add my own praise. The construction is really neat, and garter stitch is fun! It was a quick project, and I love the finished product. Now I want one for me :)

Now to hope that the uncharacteristically snowy January morning doesn't hold up my bus or plane...

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy new year!

I'm still in England having a very green holiday season, and Vivian is blocking! I fear it will never ever dry in this wet climate, but I'll try anything.

Here's what I finished in 2009, excluding Vivian which I haven't photographed yet, and another gift knit with no photo yet.


Only 11? hmmm. I'm definitely not prolific. More on specific projects later--I'm off to have adventures!