Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Knitting in Bethesda

So tomorrow I fly off to Bethesda, Maryland for a few days of conferencing.

I've made my knitting plans and am ready for uninterrupted hours of knitting time during flight.

So I have a question for you. I'd like to do a little yarn tourism. I've looked around online and it looks like the only store in Bethesda is Knit and Stitch = Bliss (which is only a short distance from my hotel). Any locals out there who could tell me if there are other stores in the general area (but out of Bethesda) that might be worth the cab fare to get to? I don't really want to pay and arm and a leg to get there, but don't want to miss any good stuff either.

Expect an update when I get back!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

One down, one to go

The first trekking sock... she is done!

Yesterday in between interview appointments, I managed to catch sneaks at other peoples' blogs. There seems to be a rash of finished socks this week. I'm pleased to say that I'm half way finished with my trekking socks at this point.

I've been sneaking in little bits on these here and there. Thursday I had my hair done and took them to the salon. Between that and some knitting time Thursday night I managed to polish them off. There was nothing like the joy of kitchener stitching that toe off Friday morning!

Now, half the job left to go!

Charlene Schurch's four stitch ribbing pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks and using a rotating rib pattern (ala the Harlot): regular 2x2 ribbing, but moving the ribbing over one stitch every 10 rounds.
Trekking XXL (75% wool, 25% nylon)
a variegated blue color, Color 77, lot 2672
US 1 dpns
72 stitch cast on
started (for real) January 22, 2008
first sock finished February 22, 2008

Monday, February 18, 2008

Mulch, mulch, mulch

Wow, how a week flies! It's hard to believe that my last blog post was a whole week ago. Sadly, I don't have lots of knitting progress to show you either (although I won't end the post without at least one knitting related photo).

So what's a girl been up to? Well mostly work. We're in the process of interviewing both job candidates for two faculty positions and applicants for our doctoral program. For the last two weeks, we've had all day interviews monday, wednesday, and friday. That certainly uses up the week fast.

For this lovely 3 day weekend, you'd think that there was time for relaxing -- recup from work. Well only depending on how you define "relax."

Back in the beginning of November, S and I ordered some bare root fruit trees. Low and behold, months later our trees arrived this week. Saturday we popped these babies in the ground and this morning we finished up the bed with mulch and a stone edging.

Yes, we know they are tiny right now, but you can see the new-growth buds on them and we're very excited. We'll have 4 types of apples (dorsett, pink lady, gala, and fuji) and 4 types of peaches (I'd have to go read the tag to remember those varieties and quite honestly that seems like too far a walk right now).

A bonus, one of the peaches has already started to bloom. Pretty hmm?

Once we had mulch ordered (we had a truckload -- 4 cubic yards -- delivered this morning) we went ahead and worked on putting weed-prevention fabric and mulch into all the beds in the front yard. Even if you think this isn't impressive, trust me... we think it's phenomenal!! That represents hours on our hands and knees spreading mulch after wheeling it, barrow-full at a time, from the other side of the yard. I love that rich brown color. I love even more knowing it will be that much harder for the weeds to grow in those beds. (Weeds love to jump from that narrow green strip of the neighbor's yard into our bed to grow).

And at the end of the work day, this is what we have to show for it. Not impressed? Here's what the pile looked like before we started.

Yes, you do have to use your imagination a bit! [laugh]. We estimate that we used just over half the pile which should be about right. The beds in the back yard should use up what's left quite well. Of course, neither S or I are very excited about spending another day moving mulch next weekend, but good things come to those who labor right?!

So are you garden-bored yet? Well if you stuck around I will share what I have knitting related to show for the past week.

One side of the doctor's bag finished (the front let's call it --that's the roll on top) and the back cast on and two repeats in. I'm still very pleased with the herringbone pattern that shows in the fabric and am finding it easy to stay motivated with this project (in the little free time I have). I anticipate that this bag will be a good, large size when finished. Yeah for big bags!

Hopefully you'll hear from me again before too long, although we do have more interviews all day wedneday and friday again. I wonder if the candidates would find it odd if I knit through their interviews?

Monday, February 11, 2008

I see reds everywhere

It's interesting. When I first saw Lolly's post about Project Spectrum for 2008, I didn't really think much about it. I don't know how many of you have noticed, but I tend to be mostly a green girl. I wasn't sure that I'd have anything to post for several of the quarters of the year -- especially this first quarter which is Fire (pinks, reds, and oranges).

I've been fighting off a bug for the past week and knew I'd probably be at home, on the couch all weekend, with time to knit. I worked on my blue trekking sock some on Friday but by Saturday I realized I needed a knitting break -- a knitting change of scenery.

What called to me? A red ... specificially, the red yarn I purchased a couple of months ago for the Doctor's Bag from Knit Two Together. Red from a stash that is mostly greens, browns, and other earth tones (or so I thought). So I cast on and off I went, knitting happily away.

Yesterday I took out my trusty camera to take a photo for the blog and I realized "wow ... a red! And I didn't think I'd have any reds for project spectrum." Then I started looking around and saw some lovely oranges and reds just right there in the yard. Cactus in bloom; oranges ready to be eaten; annuals reblooming early.

I thought to myself ... well maybe I wouldn't be so "Fire" deficient after all.

I am a silly girl. Today as I posted I realized that, in fact, the majority of my finished projects over the last three months fit into the Fire theme of pinks, reds, and oranges.

Maybe the elements drive my life even more than I realize. Am I called to the warmer color tones when the weather gets colder?

So with the goal of paying more attention, I've decided to play along. So here I sit, drinking tea out of my fire red thermos, looking out of my window at a hot pink camellia, waiting for my next appointment that I can see scheduled in my fushia colored day planner.

Hope everyone has a fire-filled day today. Appreciate the colors around you. Who knows what you might see.

updated.... LOL ... you know, I really do need to open my eyes. I just looked at my blog post and happened to see the photos from my last post too. Notice the red streaks currently in my hair? Geez... I really do need to catch a clue and get some insight into myself. I think I really do NEED project spectrum!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Neckwarmer V 3.0

Knitting has been slow for the last few weeks. I did, though, manage to finish up another requested knit.

Kim's Neckwarmer Version 3.0

This is a really nice gift item. The pattern knits up to a very nice texture and it works well in a variety of yarns. Twilla this one's on the way to you!

Neckwarmer by Kim
Manos del Uruguay Handcrafted Kettle Dyed Pure Wool
(less than 1 skein -- leftover's from S's scarf)
Black (Color 08)
started and finished mid January, 2008
US 10.5 circulars

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Fashion show -- Jane style

Some time ago, I promised to post some additional shots of my Elizabeth Bennet cabled cartigan.

S was a dear this morning and helped me to take a few photos of Elizabeth Bennet in action. I'm really pleased with how the photos came out (and will admit that we took alot of really, really bad photos to get these good ones). Take a look.

Sterling was very patient with us and allowed us a few "girl with her dog" shots.

Forget the sweater... look at that face!

I wore this sweater to work earlier this week (and to knitty group) and got lots of compliments. It really is a soft, fluffy sweater.

Final thoughts about this sweater... if you decide to take it on, don't worry about the complexity. It's mostly just acres of stockinette stitch. For me, it turns out that the sweater is a tiny bit loose on the top but a bit tight across the hips. To deal with this I added a number of snaps between the buttons to prevent gapping.

I'd also encourage you to think about fitting the sweater not only to your bust size but also your waist and hip size. While the initial sweater instructions don't talk about this, the schematic later in the pattern does provide waist sizes. Be aware that (as the schematic picture fairly accurately shows), the hips aren't much wider than the waist (maybe a couple of inches?). If you don't want to switch between sizes from the top to the waist and below area, the other alternative (if you're like me and have fairly normal sized hips but a small bust) would be to not put buttons below the waist. I've noticed a few pictures on Ravelry where others are wearing those lower buttons unbuttoned (I think for this very reason).

More details on this knit can be found on my earlier post.