kimberkit: (Default)
Some shots of the shawl of doom that I finished last weekend:

Winging backwards

It's so blue! I heart it so. )
kimberkit: (Default)
Things I failed to take into consideration when I decided I wanted to do a shawl in sock yarn: it takes not a little more knitting with sock yarn, but much more knitting to get things to the same size as with a thicker yarn.

The math )

Having considered the math (way too late...), it appears that I'm doing at least twice the knitting this time around. Oops. Lesson learned: avoid doing shawls in sock yarn unless you enjoy being Taken to Math Skool by your knitting.
kimberkit: (Default)
Things that are good:


  • I am healthy again! I think. I woke up this morning with no burning throat, chest pain, stomach pain, or anything other than a minor runny nose. I WIN.

  • I made chocolate chip cookies to bring in to class, and there are loads left over. They are tasty.

  • Neil comes back home tomorrow.

  • I made [livejournal.com profile] zaofan a pair of socks that he liked.

  • I am having fun shopping for a baby knitting pattern for [livejournal.com profile] drlynch's expecting friends. I am wondering whether I should find an ultra-soft cotton instead of wool because of that whole "baby skin gets irritated" thing. I do have a pretty blue yarn that is machine washable wool, but I wonder about whether it will itch for baby. I am also told that infants cannot see colors other than black or white or red, so maybe I should just give up and knit something in white cotton.

    In any case, I like this kimono pattern (and this one) because wrapping things mean that the garment can be adjusted, which means it's more likely to get some use before the baby grows out of it in an eyeblink.

    The other thought is just being boring and knitting a blanket.

  • There is a bio midterm next week, and that will give me something to concentrate on slaying instead of being stressed out over classmates.
kimberkit: (Default)
Physics today was incredibly frustrating, because we have gone beyond simple stuff like just adding vectors to figuring out tilting our x/y axis in order to solve funky-angled problems, and I'm just poor at that sort of thing. So we came out of lecture, went to recitation (the TA session) and asked the TA, and she said, "It's just Newton's third law" and proceeded to point at a drawing and repeat that it was Newton's third law (without explaining which forces were in action or reiterating what we were looking for). I left the class ready to go punch someone, and the rest of the class looked ready to cry.

I walked towards thus bus and thought, "What will leave me de-stressed and not wanting to punch someone? I know, I'll knit."

I pulled out the second sock I've been working on and worked for another few inches... and discovered that the bottom of the foot, which should be smooth, was ribbed for some reason.

I stared at my sock. It stared at me.

I checked to make sure it was still ribbed. It was.

I have 8 inches of sock to rip out. Recognizing this was the straw that broke the camel's back. I came home, ate a sandwich, and squished my cat so tightly she struggled. Then I punched a pillow. Then I thought about the vector of force from my fist to the pillow and tried to figure out the total force in the system. I got an instant headache.

Maybe something that's not knitting would be a better outlet for my stress.
kimberkit: (Default)
If you're a crocheter, knitter, or sewer and have some extra love to give, (or if you're none of the above but local and want to learn, I'll help), join me in sending a few handmade items to homeless LGBT/queer teenagers in New York. It's summer now, but come winter, things get cold again -- we can whip up a few items to send to Sylvia's Place.

With Ellie's recent demise, I am sitting on a motherload of yarn. If some of it goes to projects for teens that need it, I think Ellie would be happy, and um, if any local friends want to help me use it up, I'd be really happy.

The shelter's mailing address:

Homeless Youth Services
c/o MCCNY
446 W. 36th St.
(between 9th & 10th Ave.)
New York, NY
10018

The Ravelry thread, in case you'd like to post and contribute.

Here are the items the shelter is asking for -- basically anything, according to the list below... )
kimberkit: (Default)
It's April now! So I can officially take some money and walk to the yarn store and try to distract myself from the giant crushing stressed-out sensation in my chest and buy myself yarn for a hat.

But which hat? It seems that hats are either flattering (a pretty beret, patterns with lace or an English driver's cap) or warm (a beanie, hugging the head), but not both. Now, if I were in Williamstown, and temperatures like the one that introduced me to my first "OMG, my hair just froze and broke!" horror came about, I would like a warm hat. So it seems like basically, I should knit a beanie-type hat, minimal lace, and maybe some colors to mix things up a bit.

So, problems: Knitty City had the softest chunky-alpaca had I've ever touched, and it made me want to steal the sample. (But I restrained my klepto tendencies). In design, it looked something like the Yarn Harlot's hat, but it was in sort of boring brown colors. The Yarn Harlot's hat:



Or I could knit a colorful hat, like this:


Pattern here: http://www.intheloopknitting.com/hat-chevron.php

or this:

Ravelry link here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/black-forest-hat

Votes? Chunky cabled alpaca in probably-boring-colors, chevron hat, lace-ish hat?

Edited to add: Okay, as of the time of this edit, I think I'm leaning towards knitting all three, starting with the second one because it's the easiest to knit (I've never knit cables before), and then graduating on to the others.

I mean, you never know when someone will want a hat.
kimberkit: (Default)
Over the years, dear Williams College Registrar, I have applied to a crapload of schools, and you haven't charged me for any of the transcripts you've sent. All this edumacating may have melted my brain, so I apologize for the goofy manner in which I sent you a fax entitled: Transcript request pretty please, and I really appreciate it even though I apply to too many schools.

In any case: Williams, I know I've cost you lots of money in asking for like 30 transcripts (especially those two years when I applied for a bazillion teaching schools and programs), and this year, I was going to actually donate money back to the college when Neil did.

But then I spent that money on sock yarn.

I would make you a pair of socks, Angela-at-the-Registrar's-office, but I don't know your measurements.

I would make you a hat, because Williams is a very cold place and everyone needs hats there (and hats do not require much measurement), but this will have to wait, because now I have no money for anything but socks. And applications.
kimberkit: (Default)
Every time I'm knitting something in public, someone smiles and asks me whether it's a scarf. It's awesome that knitting clearly makes me more approachable (like an old granny?), but the question always makes me boggle a little because when the question is asked it's never a scarf. Sometimes being asked the question makes me wonder about my knitterly ability. I mean... I was knitting a hat (child sized, and I was knitting in the round) and someone asked me whether it was a scarf.

A few days ago I was knitting the diagonal/trapezoidal part of my wrap sweater in Starbucks, which has curves and fairly strong lines and has a wrong side, and someone asked me whether it was a scarf. I almost got defensive, because I really like this wrap so far, and I came close to asking "for the love of wool, how could this POSSIBLY be a scarf?"

But then I considered. A really big scarf, almost wrap-sized, can be pulled into almost any shape. A scarf can have curves and diagonal lines, too. Actually... come to think of it, I've seen tubular cowl-ish hat-like-ish scarves too.

And I realized: whatever I'm knitting, I'm always knitting a very oddly shaped scarf. So yes, folks -- it's a scarf. A really awesome scarf. Your pants? A scarf. For Siamese twins. Also, you appear to be wearing a body-scarf.
kimberkit: (Default)
One of the nice things about knitting is that it keeps you quiet and from turning into an ostrich, even when things feel crappy. Like today, when my throat is on fire because the cold I was fighting off got the better of me, I am still humming a silly song I made up. ("I'm a big girl now...")

The only tricksy thing is that I feel the urge to go buy more yarn.

I am daydreaming of the pretty green alpaca that I would like to match this dark grey-almost-black merino for the inside of Neil's hypothetical cloak. I should just buy it already, because the yardage and price are right, but I feel pretty bad about the alpaca I already bought for the sweater. So instead I just have eyeprints on it.
kimberkit: (Default)
So... apparently, when you relax into the rhythm of knitting, you make bigger, looser stitches... which means that even if you have the same number of stitches on the needle, you end up with more width in the stitches you do cast on. I have 3 more inches of width in this sweater than I'd planned, and I'm almost halfway done with the sweater.

Cry.

Chocolate. I require chocolate, and I am thinking of building up that alcohol tolerance.

Elizabeth Zimmerman says it's not a mistake if you know what you did wrong (i.e. failed to check stitches per inch compulsively, every two inches). It's a learning experience.

I find it more likely that it's a test of patience from the knitting goddess. Are there knitting demons?

Paraphrasing Frank Habit:

So a husband says to his wife, "Why are you knitting?"
The wife, buried under stacks of yarn, knitting unravelled, tearing her hair out, screams back, "BECAUSE IT RELAXES ME!"
kimberkit: (Default)
Last night, I redesigned and knit the kitty ears part of the hat that I'm making (to match the mittens). Mr. Bear agreed to serve as a model. Here he is, against Neil's desk.

Mr. Bear Models My Knitting
kimberkit: (Default)
I've been knitting to try to bleed off some of the crazy levels of anxiety I've had for the past month or so. It works, sort of, or I wouldn't keep it up. But here are some pitfalls for the unwary knitter:

  • Beware quality-of-yarn obsession. You might find yourself stalking ebay for yummy alpaca and cashmere and realizing you're contemplating spending more on yarn than you're actually making right now.

  • As a corollary to the above warning, beware: all of a sudden you'll find yourself talking to a lot of other knitters (who randomly just pop up everywhere, by the way -- the subway, the bus stop, and even if you're just walking down the street with knitting needles sticking out of your pocket!) Those knitters are not only similarly obsessive about the softness and touchability and quality of your yarn, but they point you to new yarn stores (like Schoolhouse Products) and they feed the yarn obsession.

  • Your knitting project may haunt your uneasy, already-anxious sleep.

  • Hanks of yarn -- twisted-pretzel-like shapes of yarn that yarn stores sell to you without even so much as a warning label -- are not possible to knit from without creating a giant tangled mess. That half hour of your life untangling the giant mess you created? You'll never get it back. It is unknown to anyone why they can't sell you the yarn in nice, center-pull balls that you don't have to spend 15 minutes winding (or buy a professional winder and yarn swifter), but I'm convinced of Conspiracy.

  • When knitting a project for a baby, you should ask Mom for the baby's measurements first. Do not simply look at the pattern that assumes an average size for this baby. You might get lucky, and have it fit. Or... it may turn out that the baby may, in fact, actually be a small beanpole, not a baby, and its legs at 6 months are longer and bigger than the sizing for the 18-month old size. Not that I was bitter.

  • Worsted-weight cotton (such as if you are attempting to knit a pair of "denim jeans" for a baby) is very, very unforgiving on the hands. You may break your wrists if you keep attempting to finish it fast. Stop being a monogamous project knitter and concentrate on the half-dozen other lovely woolly projects you're working on and imagining.

  • You can spot the obnoxious yarn-commenters by the aroma of alcohol on their breath. Your yarn never smelled like that, even right off the sheep, so pay attention to your nose. Yes, even if you're looking at your work. But he might have just been jealous of how pretty and soft the merino-cashmere cowl that you're knitting for yourself is.

  • If you attempt to knit blind, while, for example watching a movie in the theatre, be prepared to curse when you discover your mistakes. Other patrons may wonder whether you have Tourette's. Your husband may confiscate your knitting in this case.

  • Ravelry may lead to more time lost than actual knitting does.

I'm sure I'll run into other knitting adventures for your amusement soon. Meanwhile, even if this is ultimately less dramatic than Kim's never-ending TragiComedies In Inappropriate Infatuation, it sure is more fun.

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