(v.tr.) To raise the shoulders

31 December, 2007 at 9:39 pm (caturday, FO)

finishedshrugback

Six days feels like a very long time when I can manage to complete an entire shrug in it.

shrugcrumpled

But there were no gauge issues, no fit issues, not really any issues at all, for which I am grateful, because I got it done.

shrugbeadcloseup

Then, of course, I was stupid enough to try to wash and block it the night before the wedding to which it was supposed to be worn. This thing is cotton. Guess how long cotton takes to dry? (just a hint: two days later and it’s still a little damp.) I ended up wearing my frost flowers and leaves instead, which looked lovely, I am told.

shrugmodelled

Oh well. At least I did it.

Yarn: Elann Endless Summer Luna in black, 5 balls
Pattern: Come Cover Me by Solveig Engevold
Needles: US6/4mm Knitpicks Options
Mods: I messed with the stitch count a bit to fit my 14″ arms and my slightly off stitch gauge; I ended up casting on 72 stitches. I also added size 6/0 seed beads to the first increased purl stitch in each cuff.
(here on Rav. 🙂 )

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Hello from Ohio!

27 December, 2007 at 9:06 pm (knitting, travel)

Halfway through the trip home, and I think, to be technical, we’re actually in West Virginia, but I’m not sure, so I’m calling it Ohio. We’ve been on the road for 13 hours and the internet here is crappy, so I don’t think I can manage eloquence, here. I’ll try to aim for coherency, at least.

First, I’d like you to meet my grandpa, the grinch:

He and I are so alike. Same preference of quiet rather than idle chatter, same sense of humor, same fidgety habits. And despite the stories people tell, he is one of the sweetest, mellowest people I’ve ever met. Best grandpa ever.

The shrug continues. Not as fast as I’d like, but then I haven’t much more to do.

I’ve just got to finish the ribbing around the body and bind off, which shouldn’t take too long, I hope. Although binding off each sleeve took me about half an hour, so maybe it will take a while. But it fits splendidly.
shrugday5

And then once I get that polished off I can do… uh. Everything else I meant to knit this trip. I’ve got a fridge full of root beer and plenty of movies on this here computer to watch, so I might stay up most of the night and see what I can get done. You know what though? It’s okay if I don’t finish everything. People will wait for their gifts. It’s not the end of the world.


Happy holidays, everyone. (and now I’ve got to post this quick before the internet cuts out again!)

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Hello from Illinois!

25 December, 2007 at 12:52 am (knitting, travel)

Just got back from dinner with my grandpa, stepgrandmother, stepaunt and stepuncle, complete with present opening and a wrappingpaperball fight (think snowball fight with wrapping paper, here.) I don’t think I’ve ever had quite that much fun.

Our hotel room is fine, it has excellent internet access and a Steak n Shake across the parking lot, not twenty yards away:

Unfortunately they’re closed tonight, or I’d be over there munching on some cheese fries.

I’m knitting up a storm, but unfortunately I don’t think it’ll be a big enough one–I’m not getting enough done, here.

This was the wedding shrug after the first day:
shrug1stday

After the second:
shrug1stsleeve

shrug2ndday

And today, I’ve got the first sleeve finished:
shrugfinished1stsleeve

Complete with beads nestled into the cuffs:
shrugbeads

I’m liking it so far, I just need to work faster. I have to finish this, and I still haven’t even started on work for the seekrit project–I have six 11″x11″ squares to knit for that. And I need to finish a squirrel (which I’ve just barely started.) I don’t know if I can do it, guys. I’m starting to get nervous. But I feel ever so grateful that I didn’t decide to knit my other gifts this year. Send me some knitting fairies, or something, please.

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A week without cat.

21 December, 2007 at 6:06 pm (caturday, food, knitting, life)

I left my dearest Kitty Carlisle at the kennel this morning.


it was impossibly difficult–she was freaked and I just wanted to bring her home and cuddle her and never let her out of my sight. But off she went, and I hope she doesn’t stay freaked out for too long, since she has to stay for a whole week. At the moment I’m just trying not to think about it, for fear that I’ll burst into tears. So let’s move on!

I seem to be packing quite a few handknitted things for the trip: I’ve got my endpaper mitts, some mittens, two pairs of socks, a shawl, my laptop case, and two scarves. I feel like I’ve finally reached the point in being a knitter where my knitting is both good looking and usable in a real, every day kind of way. It’s a good feeling. It makes me feel like a knitter, rather than someone who just happens to kit.

Also being packed? These:

courtesy of my favorite owl and squirrel. Now I won’t be treat-less when everyone else eats cake and cookies and whathaveyou at various gatherings.

I’ve got my knitting ready to go; beads prestrung (admittedly I did entertain the thought of ‘accidentally’ spilling them all over my brother while in the car), yarn wound into cakes, needles at the ready, stitch books packed. I can do this. Seekrit project, the shrug, some stockinette socks, and the craftyalien squirrel are all comin’ with. Here’s hoping my hands don’t fall off.

I’ll be checking in irregularly; lappy is traveling with me (new screen and all) and I’ve heard rumors that there will, in fact, be internet access in our hotel rooms. I promise I’ll take lots of interesting trip pictures and share them all from the road! 🙂

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Changes in plans.

18 December, 2007 at 8:54 pm (knitting, life)

Sorry for going MIA. I’ve discovered that sometimes school takes actual effort, and that it takes effort for me to put in that effort, and by the end of it I’m all efforted out.

In the meantime, nearly all of my plans have been changed. Not the big ones, of course; I’m still going on that silly roadtrip, and attending a wedding straight after. But the little stuff has been tossed around and flipped over and twisted up so many times that I can’t even remember what the original plans were.

The new plans include this:
-There is no way I will finish the seekrit project before the road trip. That means it has to come with me, and I have to finish it and the shrug for the wedding.
-Shrug for the wedding? I couldn’t track down the right kind of yarn. But someone on Ravelry kindly pointed out to me (helLOOOO) that I have some perfectly good Elann Luna in my stash:

-With the change in yarn comes a change in pattern, and I’ve now switched to this here shrug, although I’m going to be doing some pattern modifying because not only is my gauge off, so are my measurements. I mean, okay, I’m not the skinniest thing in the world, but 13.6″ around the widest part of the arm ain’t no freakin’ XL unless there is a ton of negative ease in there, and I don’t think there is.
-Then I thought to myself (always a bad sign) ‘ooh! why not add some beads to the ruffles on the sleeves! I am SO BRILLIANT!’ Of course, I quickly realized that I can’t add a lot of beads, because the Luna is a cotton/tencel blend and the weight of the beads would stretch the whole thing out of shape before I even finished knitting it, probably. But, I think I might be able to add just a few beads here or there and have it look good. Which means I’ve got to pick some beads! I like these:

but they unfortunately come in an assortment that looks more like this:

urgh. Which means sorting through and grabbing the ones I want. But it’ll be worth it, right? …Right?

Completely unrelated, but this is the best stuff ever:

(Courtesy of Batty, my knittyboard s’noflake swap pal)

and, some cat, since I missed Caturday:

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Oh, sigh.

13 December, 2007 at 3:05 am (knitting, life)

What a week. What a month.

My university is a bit mad; the last day of classes is the 21st. Fortunately most of my professors have a little thing called common sense, so they’ve scheduled exams for late this week or early next, which means that after Monday I’m free.

Oh wait! Snowstorm comin’ in Sunday night. School might be closed. On the one hand, more time to study is great. On the other, goddamn do I wish this whole thing could just be over. So Friday I have two (short) papers and a take home final due, as well as a ten minute practical exam. Monday (or quite possibly Wednesday) I’ve got another take home due, and both my calc and my computers exam.

But before I even hope to believe that I’ll be free after that, I have to get my haircut and go to knit night next Tuesday, get my room clean (not an easy feat) and everything packed by next Friday, and, oh yeah, I had hoped to be done with my two current big projects before leaving on the 22nd.

fivesquares
This may or may not happen. This is square number five out of twelve. I can only knit so much before my thumbs become very unhappy with me, especially considering the amount of typing and piano playing I’ve been doing lately. I am very nervous that I will have to bring some of it on the trip with me.

unembroideredowl
I have some concerns about this cutie. First of all, she is awfully big for a (cup)cake topper. the pattern says 3.5-4″, but she’s definitely more like 5″, and I don’t think I can get her any smaller without maybe tossing her in the wash. Second of all, I feel like the eye mask is too high. It looked fine when I, per the instructions, sewed it on before felting:

unfeltedowl
But now I’m wishing it were lower. I can’t decide if it’s foolish or not to try to cut it off and resew it in a different spot. Anyone want to cheer me on and/or warn me off of doing so?

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Now with 100% more pictures!

8 December, 2007 at 1:24 pm (caturday, knitting, life)

Got my laptop back, still broken, but they’ve ordered the stupid $100 hinge that needs to be replaced. What I want to know is, why does it cost $100? It can’t be larger than my thumbnail, and it’s undoubtedly made of plastic. And I don’t have $100. But at least now I have my flash card. (and I got an A on that paper.)

Anyway. In more news of things going awry, I was knitting happily on my latest piece for the seekrit project,

when all of a sudden (on the train, mind, to make it extra terrifying),

SNAP! goes my Knitpicks needle. eek.

I dabbed a bit of superglue in there and stuck it back together, and there’s just a very small gap there now:

because, while I know that KP will replace it, I need to finish knitting this square and I don’t have time to wait for a new needle. And these are my only nice and pointy size 8s. I’m just going to knit the rest of the square very carefully and hope for the best. And then get it replaced.

Oh, whatever, you all are here for Kitty.

I realized the other day that most of the recent pictures of her have been nap pictures, so I resolved myself to taking some of her while she was awake. Only problem is, she’s generally busy wiggling around when she’s awake, so any pictures I get tend to be of a ghost!Kitty.

And then, of course, she notices me and decides that it’s laptime, and thus climbs into my lap and starts licking my t-shirt.

And she’s still too wiggly for a good picture.

At which point I give up and put her in the light tent, in hopes that better lighting will aid my camera’s shutter speed.

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Nothing to see here.

6 December, 2007 at 4:41 pm (knitting, life)

My laptop is currently being dismantled in an attempt to find the piece that is preventing me from closing it properly without the screen casing cracking. So what do I do but leave my picture card in the card reader on it. Which means I have no pictures for you, so, seriously, there’s nothing to see here.

So the brilliant folk over at knittyboard had an excellent solution for my shrug problem: since I’m going on a week-long road trip right before the wedding, why not, oh, I don’t know, KNIT A SHRUG? heh. Sometimes I am slow to think of the most obvious solution. I have tentatively picked this one, and I’m going to hopefully swap for some yarn for it. Glad to have that problem out of the way!

Now if only I could write this paper that’s due tomorrow, and get my laptop back before next week, and somehow survive finals…

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I’m callin’ this one finished.

4 December, 2007 at 6:56 pm (FO, knitting, life)

heartbubblesinheart
Mostly because I need to stop knitting them. Have I mentioned that they’re addictive? There’s a lot more than just these seven, too, but the cat ran off with a couple, and a couple more were still being felted. Don’t ask me for a total number, because I’m not sure I want to count. (they’re here on Ravelry if you would like to heart bubble the uh… heart bubbles.)

In seekrit project news, I’m just over a quarter of the way done with my part, and collectively the group of us are just over a third of the way done. I need to get knitting.

This is a fun project, even if I alternate between happy with it and freaking out about it.

In other news, I found the PERfect dress for the owl and squirrel’s wedding:


and it looks even better in person, I’m telling you.

The only problem is that I really need a shrug to go with it if I’m going to not freeze to death. And of course, the knitter that I am, my first thought was “I should make one!”

Yeah, not gonna happen. First of all, I do not have the yarn in the right color and quantity for this purpose, and I can’t afford to buy any . Second of all, there are 26 days until the wedding, and not only would I like to have the seekrit project finished before then, I also need to knit the owl and squirrel kits up, and attend to several other things. Third, there is such a high risk factor there of me screwing it up and not having anything that I’d rather just avoid the whole dilemma.

So I figured I’d just buy a shrug–something cheap, probably easy to find. Right? Wrong! Shrugs have apparently gone back out of fashion, and the few that I can find are either A) not the right color (I need black) or B) not the right size (I need a 14/16, usually), which leaves me in a lurch. I’d love something like this, except they don’t have it in black. A dance shrug like this would also be perfectly acceptable, but there is NO way a medium/large would ever fit over my linebacker shoulders.

At this point I’m considering maybe folding up my FFL and buttoning it in some way that would make it vaguely shrug-like. My only worry with that is that it might be too voluminous– I don’t want to hide the body of the dress. But maybe I’ll play around with it tomorrow and work something out.

(day seven of bronchitisville, by the way. the coughing is never ending.)

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It’s Caturday!

1 December, 2007 at 1:53 pm (caturday, knitting)

For those interested, the heart bubbles come from this pattern, which is helping me get over my fear of seaming. no, seriously. I hate seaming. But these are offering plenty of practice (the basic concept is to knit two heart shapes and sew them together) in a context where it’s okay if I make a mistake. The only change I made to the actual pattern was to slip the first stitch of every row where possible, again to aid in seaming. And they’re stuffed with shredded scraps of superwash wool.

Here’s a size reference for the bubbles–one felted and two unfelted.

But I know you’re all here for the kitty. She’s been napping in my room a lot, perhaps because I’m the only person in the house with any concept of the term ‘heat’–everyone else still has their windows open at night.

(I think my flu may actually be bronchitis. Breathing is difficult. Hot tea is fantastic.)

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