Posted by: ariella24 | May 4, 2011

Summer Knitting

Before I left school last week I did a major clean out of my big yarn box. A lot of the yarn in it was stuff I bought when Knit Night was going strong and I wanted yarn to give away to new knitters. However, since Knit Night kind of died off this past semester, none of the yarn was being used. It was mostly acrylic–Caron stuff, I think. I’m not a yarn snob by any means. I love acrylic yarn when it’s really nice. Lion Brand Jiffy is great, and you all know that the Lion Brand wool/acrylic Wool-Ease Thick and Quick yarn is my favorite in the world. But this yarn was also a rather shocking shade of pink or a dull shade of maroon. I am not a pink kind of gal usually. I’ll sometimes use nice shades for really girly stuff, and I have maybe two pink shirts, but in general I go for the cool purple/blue/green/turquoise type colors. I didn’t want this stuff. I also didn’t want the Wool-Ease Thick and Quick in similar shades of pink and magenta. It’s pretty, and it’s my favorite yarn, but I had not purpose for it. The dishcloth cotton that I bought in the fall was also in the box, and I’ve discovered that dishcloths do very little for me. Therefore, I decided to clear out most of the yarn in the box that wasn’t already attached to a project of some kind (even if it was only a project I’d thought about briefly and never actually started.) I filled a large bag.

My friend Melissa, who is also a knitter and a crocheter, did me a huge favor for one of my finals. To say thank you (and to get rid of the yarn I didn’t want), I gave her the giant bag of yarn when I saw her. She was grateful. (She’d wanted to take a trip to the yarn store but didn’t have time between finals, and every knitter can always use more yarn.) My yarn box was still pretty full when I left IWU, but most of the volume was taken up by the giant rainbow blankie sections, which were quite bulky.

Last night I finally brought the box in from the car. I realized after I opened it that it was a big mess. The yarn and needles had gotten all tangled up. I couldn’t find the ends of some yarns. I found projects connected to yarn trapped in the box. I made three crucial decisions then. One was to cut the yarn attached to all the projects I’d discovered in the box. This allowed me to find the balls the yarn was originally attached to, sort it out of the tangle, and reattach it to the projects once the box was in better order.

The second decision was to pull apart the two incomplete sections of the Rainbow Blankie and repurpose the yarn. One of the sections was falling off the needles. I don’t have enough for all the colors to complete the two sections, and I don’t have enough money to go out and buy more at the moment. Therefore, I decided that the completed square of the blankie will be a gift for Nicole’s newborn daughter, Jerusha Rena. (A kid can never have too many blankies, and this one is so bright and soft and snuggly, I figured it was just right for her. Plus the other blankie I made her wasn’t as good as it could have been.) I frogged the other two sections and wound the yarn back into its respective colors.

Finally, in light of the birth of little Jerusha Rena (whom I’m thinking of as Blueberry Girl), I decided to leave the blue baby sweater I started unfinished. The pink one is not as cute as I wanted it to be (a picot edging only makes it kind of girly; it’s still a rather boxy pattern) but I told Nicole I would make it for Jerusha and I intend to. I’ve repurposed the blue sweater yarn for another blanket project.

That brings me to my summer knitting project plans. Looking through the yarn box, I realized that I am mainly a sock and blanket knitter, with occasional baby stuff thrown in. (I made a really cute ruffly hat for Jerusha yesterday. If I get batteries for my camera, I’ll take a picture of it.) Therefore, my summer knitting plan is as follows:

1) Continue the Rainbow Socks initiative. This is kind of a given. I have a bunch of socks at various stages of completion hanging around. I also have four balls of the Knit Picks Felici in Rainbow sitting in the yarn box, waiting to be used. Another pair of Skittles socks may be in order (though I don’t know if I’ll do knee socks again.)

2) The Rainbow Blankie Project (take 2)–Rather than knitting one big log cabin square, I’ll knit small one color log cabin squares and then sew them together. The advantages of this are that I won’t have a giant knitting project on my lap, I’ll still get to knit log cabin (which I love), and I’ll still end up with a rainbow blankie (unless Nicole has another baby before I finish it and I decided to give this one away too).

3) The Currently Unnamed Blankie Project–this will take the yarn from the blue baby sweater, along with two other blue yarns and maybe one more if I can find the right shade, as well as several shades of purple (when I get money to buy yarn) and possibly some other colors if I can find the right shades. I plan to knit both multi-colored log cabin squares (with each layer being a different shade) and solid colored log cabin squares. (The log cabin method is so easy, and seems to somehow go so much faster than just knitting one square in one direction. I suspect it’s the constant turning and picking up. It makes it feel like there’s less knitting than there actually is.) I will then somehow put those squares together to make a blanket of some sort for somebody. At the moment, I’m thinking I’ll give it to my student teaching co-op teacher at the end of next fall as a thank you gift. (If the blanket is done, that is. Otherwise maybe the Rainbow blanket will be finished and I’ll give her that one instead.) The advantages of this plan are (again) that it avoids large quantities of wool on my lap during the hot summer months and that it gives me something besides socks to carry around with me. Sock knitting can get boring and there are places I go where socks are too complicated. (I don’t do ribbing, heels, gussets, or toes at the movies, for example.) A nice garter stitch blanket square works very well.

4) Jerusha’s Girly Sweater (take 1)–This is the sweater I started for Jerusha Blueberry Girl before she was born. It’s pretty and pink and soft and I’m going to finish it. However, this is only take one because after realizing how boxy the thing was, I’ve become determined to also make her a more delicate, girly type sweater (maybe in purple). That’ll be a fall project, though. If I feel really ambitious, I’ll throw in a big boy sweater for her older brother Joshie too.

Well, that’s it for me. I’m off to continue knitting on the unnamed blanket and possibly make another hat for Blueberry Girl. Someday soon I will get batteries for my camera and go outside for a nice, naturally lit photo shoot of all these projects. Until then, knit on, my friends. :-)

Posted by: ariella24 | March 18, 2011

Knitting Experiment

I am taking a class this semester called Environment and Society. It’s a lower level science class intended for non-science majors about environmental science with a bit of other basic science thrown in. It’s not my favorite class by any means, but it’s occasionally fun. The thing that really bugs me about this class is all the outside work we have to do. We have online homework, journal article reviews, a weekly lab, online discussion groups, and a 15 day nature journal project. This is all in addition to going to the lecture and taking the exams. It bugs me. Therefore, I have decided to have some fun with this class so I don’t lose my mind from all this homework.

The 15 day nature observation journal is the biggest project in this class, so that’s what I’m going to play with. My professor told us today that we should be creative with this project. She mentioned that people make power points or write poetry or devotionals or postcards to kids. I thought about the postcard idea. Then I changed my mind and decided to make my nature project a knitting project. I am going to take 15 days outside to knit a pair of socks and write a journal recording my experience knitting outside.

I have it all planned out. I have sport weight sock yarn and size 3 needles to use. I will knit the cuff of my first sock today, then take two days to knit the leg, one day for the heel, two more for the foot, and then one day for the toe. Then I’ll repeat the process for another seven days and take the last day of that project to photograph the finished product. At the end of the fifteen days I’ll have made a pair of socks, taken a photo every day to record the process, and spent time out in nature (which is the whole point of the assignment).

I don’t know how my professor is going to feel about this. I don’t know how it’s going to work out. I’m going to post this, gather my materials, and head over to the lawn at Goodman Hall to get started. I’ll post the pictures here and on Facebook. Wish me luck!

Posted by: ariella24 | February 11, 2011

The Giant Rainbow Knitting Plan

I have a lot of knitting projects going at the moment. Regular readers of this blog know that’s not at all unusual, but these projects seems to have a theme. They are all rainbow projects. Even better, I have plans for more rainbow to go into these projects. I have a master plan for this rainbow stuff, and if it works out, it’s going to be awesome!

Here are the parts of my super-awesome rainbow knitting plan:

1) Socks–I love the Stroll Tonal sock yarn from KnitPicks. It’s beautiful and soft and somehow socks I make in it knit up quickly. (I think it’s the subtly changing colors. They stimulate my ADHD brain just enough to keep me fascinated so that I keep going to see how the colors blend together.) In the fall I ordered the pale green (Springtime) and the pink (Queen Anne, which is why I ordered it even though I’m not a big pink person) colorways. I finished one green sock and one pink sock recently and have the matches on the needles. I also recently ordered the light purple (Blue Violet, which looks more like Amethyst in my opinion) and the yellow (Golden Glow) colorways, and have those first socks on the needles. In the same order, I got a Stroll Handpaint colorway called Lullaby that’s a deep blue with light blue and purple in it. That’s turning into a sock too. I have more Tonal yarn in my cart on KnitPicks, waiting to be purchased when the time is right. My plan for all these colored socks? A rainbow of tonal socks for me. That’s right–all for me. I’ve given away every pair of socks I finished before now, and these are all for me.

2) Giant blanket–I’ve been wavering for a while on this project. I blogged a while ago about the giant rainbow log cabin blanket I was working on. At first I thought it would be all for me. Then I thought I’d just stop with one square and give it to Nicole for the new baby. Now I’m back on the “all for me, all for me” side of the thing. (I’ve already made a lovely blanket for the new baby, and I’ll whip up some booties and a hat at some point, and maybe a sweater eventually.) I’ve started the second and third squares, but am stuck because I ran out of the colors I need next. My plan, once I get more yarn, is to make those two big squares, sew them together, and then pick up and knit a border around the entire blanket. The border will be light purple and dark purple and then one garter ridge of each of the rainbow colors. It will be enormous, I will probably fuss a great deal about it when the time comes to knit the thing, and I am really looking forward to the finished product. It’s going to be enormous. The first finished square right now, without the border on it, covers my lap pretty well, even when I’m sitting cross-legged. My goal is a blanket that will cover all of me when I lay down, the kind of thing I can take along to Cedar as extra warmth. It’s all in Lion Brand Wool-Ease THick and Quick, so it’s just one big squishy blanket of warmth and wonder.

3) Possible leftovers rainbow scarf–there’s quite a bit of the tonal yarn left from the socks, so I may try to turn it into a rainbow scarf, but at the moment I’m not officially including this in the Rainbow Plan.

4) Other–Knit Picks has a new yarn line called Chroma, which has 2 beautiful rainbow colorways that I may buy at some point to make some sort of rainbowy goodness project.

Posted by: ariella24 | December 10, 2010

Oddity

I’ve recently noted an oddity in my own behavior. For the past few weeks, I’ve done very little knitting in public. I have a sock in my purse, but I don’t take it out much. I didn’t knit in the car on the way to or from practicum for at least the past two weeks. I used to knit in public a lot, but the last time I remember doing it recently was in class on Wednesday.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t been knitting. I have. I’ve been knitting like a maniac. I made about 36 little coffee cozies (which deserve a post of their own at some point). I’ve got one sock ready for a toe and one sock (the second in a different pair, by the way) almost ready for a heel. I even worked a bit on the rainbow blanket the other day.

I can’t explain this. It’s just happening. I’m not sure it’s a bad thing (I tend to get odd looks when I walk through the student center knitting, and the compliments from astonished profs and classmates on my ability to knit socks with self striping yarn get a bit old after a while), but it feels like I’m changing, and I’m not sure how I feel about that…

Posted by: ariella24 | November 11, 2010

Christmas Knits

Surprisingly, I do not have a lot of Christmas knitting to do this year. This is mostly due to the fact that I started my Christmas gifts back in, like, May. However, I do have a few things I’m still working on for certain little ones I know.

This sweater (needing only a sleeve now) is for my honorary nephew, little Josh:

I don’t think I’ll much of a problem finishing the sweater by Christmas. The problem with it is that, while it’s meant to be a 2 year old size (and thus wouldn’t fit him yet anyways) I seem to have had a problem with gauge and it may be bigger than even the 2 year old size. I’m thinking of finding a book to send along with the sweater so little Josh gets something he can enjoy this Christmas. Or maybe I’ll make him a hat…

Anyways, onward with the Christmas gifts. This blankie (needing only a border and maybe a good blocking) is for little Josh’s expected sibling.

Again, shouldn’t be a problem. It’s just a matter of picking up the thing and knitting on it. I don’t want a very big border–maybe three rows each side–and it’s just garter stitch. I could get it done in an afternoon if I tried. I suppose it doesn’t really need to be done by Christmas, since this baby (nicknamed Blueberry for now) isn’t due for a while yet. But I’d like to have a present for Blueberry and one for Joshie on Christmas. It feels fair. (And you know those two will argue about fairness in years to come.)

Technically that’s it for this year, unless I decided to knit a few other things. I may finish up one more dishcloth and see how many I have done. They’re either going to be gifts for my co-op teacher at practicum (along with a few other things) or for my friends from high school (along with a few other things). The family, unless I have no money for some reason, is getting storebought gifts (except Debbie), and my carpool gifts are done. This is going to be a good Christmas, and it’s going to prove that I wasn’t crazy knitting a scarf in the middle of summer. (I don’t think anybody said that, but I bet they were thinking it while they watched me.)

Posted by: ariella24 | October 24, 2010

Rainbow Update

I brought the Squishy Blanket home this weekend and knit on it most of the break. I only put it aside last night because I ran out of the navy blue two rows before the cast off on the final side. (I was only a little disappointed, because I knew I had more navy blue at school and could get to it today.) I knitted on the blanket and watched Mythbusters and Big Bang Theory and the first two Harry Potter movies and Monster House. And now I am back at school and still not tired of the giant rainbow.

Last night, when I ran out of navy yarn, I started the next square for the blanket. I’m thinking I may only need three squares. The first one, which only needs the purple section put on now, is big enough to comfortably cover my lap. With the purple section, it will go a bit further on each side. Adding two more squares will probably make the entire blanket as tall as I am, which is what I want. If I need to, and if I feel up to it when I’m done with three giant squares, I will add a border. I want this thing to cover me pretty completely. I think it’ll do that just fine.

Posted by: ariella24 | October 20, 2010

Soothing Rainbowness

It is midterm week here at school, and between three tests and an observed lesson coming up tomorrow, I’ve been a little stressed out. Add that to the fact that I have a giant box of yarn I’m no longer going to use for carpool blankets, the fact that two of my tests were computer ones I could do in my room, and the fact that I have skipped chapel both days this week for various reasons, and you will understand why I cast on the new project I did on Monday.

My new project is a rainbow log cabin blanket. Actually, technically it’s hopefully going to be four large rainbow log cabin squares sewn together to make a blanket. There may need to be more squares in the end. I’m not sure yet. It’s not all that important right now. What is important is that this is some of the easiest knitting I’ve done for a while. It’s all garter stitch, it’s Wool-Ease Thick and Quick on size 13 needles so it goes fast, and it is squishy. I’ve been carrying the first square around with me today (despite the fact that it’s getting rather large) and people were really impressed. It is not that hard to do. Honest. And that is why it is exactly what I need.

I am setting aside all my socks and my sweater and a beret I started for a Christmas gift. I am only knitting on this blanket. I need the rainbowness and the quickness and the squishifulness of the Thick and Quick yarn. And unless I find a very worthy person to give it to when it’s finished, this blankie is all mine!!! I shall snuggle under it and name it Squishy Blankie and keep it for myself and it shall be my Squishy Blankie!!! *slightly maniacal laugh*

Ahem…

Wow.

Can you tell it’s time for Fall Break? Praise Jesus I am going home tomorrow after practicum. I don’t think I could handle any more school right now. I am going to work very hard to hide the fact that I am going nuts from my 5th graders tomorrow and then I am going to go home and find a kitty and knit on my rainbow blanket until Sunday afternoon. I am beyond ready for this break.

Posted by: ariella24 | September 24, 2010

Super Duper Fall Project Update!!!

I finally got back to taking pictures of my knitting and putting those pictures on my camera. Here they are, for your enjoyment, detailing my new fall projects.

Ten red squares and one orange one--a good start to the carpool gifts.

Giant box of carpool gift yarn

Illusion Cube dishcloth--2 colors of variegated Sugar and Creme cotton. Looks neat, huh?

New purple sock yarn

The variegated pink stuff is KnitPicks Stroll Queen Anne Tonal. I had to buy it, being an Anne and all. It's quite pretty.

New green sock yarn

New blue sock yarn

New cable scarf project

Back of my sweater so far. I work on it in the car on the way to and from practicum.

Froggie sweater for Nicole's little boy. Needs another button band, sleeves, and seaming (to be done over Fall Break).

And that is it so far.  At least, that’s all I’ve taken pictures of.  I have two other dishcloths going, I’m still finishing some socks (please note that the new sock yarn pictured above has not even been rolled into balls yet, and will not be played with until old socks are finished), and I think there’s another orange square on the needles.  There might also be some lace and maybe a plain garter stitch something or other hanging around.  But this is the important stuff right now.  Mostly.

Posted by: ariella24 | September 20, 2010

Squares Upon Squares

The yarn for my big semester knitting project arrived today–eighteen balls of Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick in nine colors. It was supposed to be eight colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, plus black for a border) but I couldn’t decide between two shades of yellow so I ordered both. Now that it’s here, I like the darker golden yellow (Butterscotch, I think the colorway is) better than the brighter one. I’ll have to find someone to give that other stuff away to.

Anyways, the yarn came today in a huge box, and I pulled out one of the skeins of red (Cranberry). My intention for this project is to make two blankets, one for each of the girls who is driving me to practicum this semester. Steph and Megan are taking turns driving. Accordingly, I am making them both a blanket, plus giving them gas money at the end of the semester. I was going to make the blankets in strips–one strip for each color of the rainbow per blanket–and then pick up a border in black, but I changed my mind pretty quickly. Knitting squares is always so much easier, and it looks so much more productive. It might take me a few days to make one strip, but in half a day today I’ve made 5 red squares out of one ball of yarn. There’s still a little bit left of it too. I figure I can get maybe half a square out of it. If the other balls have about the same yardage (and I think they should), I’ll be able to get ten squares in each color, which is plenty for two blankets. Then I’ll sew the squares together and pick up for thin borders around each blanket. (Thin because of how many stitches that is to pick up. I find that maybe a half inch to an inch of border is enough to hold the squares together nicely and give the blanket a finished look.

If this all works out–and I really hope it will–Megan and Steph will both get lovely rainbow blankets suitable for snuggling under, throwing on a bed, or draping over a rocking chair in a future classroom. Maybe next semester, if I’m not entirely sick of rainbow making, I’ll get to work on one for my own classroom as well. Right now, though, I’d better get to bed. I have two lessons to teach tomorrow (at least!) and I need to get up to take a shower and such. The squares will just have to wait. Good night!

Posted by: ariella24 | September 19, 2010

Accident

So yesterday, on my other blog, I wrote this big long post about how I wasn’t going to buy any more yarn, because I have plenty and I’ve spent enough money for this month, and I wasn’t going to buy anything else until pay day. Yeah…that went out the window around 9 o’clock last night. See, I was working on a new sock made from some Felici I got this past spring. I was knitting and the stripe pattern wasn’t showing up like I thought it should. I realized that–for one reason or another, probably my own fault–there were knots in the yarn every few repeats. They were messing everything up. I thought, “All right, I messed up part of this ball. I’ll just unwind until I get a regular repeat of all the stripe colors with no knots, and then I’ll cut off the knotted part.” I unwound. And unwound. And unwound. There was a small pile of yarn on the floor at my feet. And still there were knots in the yarn messing up the stripe pattern. I don’t know how I managed it, but somehow there were knots in a great deal of this yarn. Frustrated, I threw it out. I don’t do that often, but last night I felt I had to. I’m not going to knit with yarn that has knots in it, and I’m certainly not going to give it to anyone else to knit with.

I picked up the other new sock I had on the needles, and realized suddenly that it was rather ugly and that that yarn was also kind of knotted. I tossed it out as well. Then I looked in my yarn drawer and made a startling discovery. There were two balls of sock yarn in there. One was the dark navy blue that I’m using as the contrast color for the striped/navy socks I’ve been working on since last year. The other was the sapphire blue heather I got to make socks for someone before I decided the person didn’t deserve them. I had no desire to knit plain blue socks with either of them. I closed the drawer and made a drastic decision.

I went to KnitPicks. I looked at my wish list and added some of the sock yarn to the cart. I found other sock yarn and added that as well. When I thought I had enough, I checked out. In total, I ordered enough sock yarn (main colors and contrast colors for heels and cuffs and toes) to make four pairs of socks. Maybe more, if I don’t knit up all the yarn for one pair.

I am only a little ashamed of this. It made sense at the time. I had no sock yarn to knit up into new socks, only yarn that was turning into socks already (and two of my pairs are nearly done) or yarn that I didn’t want to make into socks at the moment. I needed sock yarn. It made sense. The only guilt I felt was when I realized that I’d put the wrong shipping address again. I sent a book and a skein of yarn for the baby sweater for Nicole’s little boy home by accident. I almost sent this sock yarn home too. I’ve emailed Knit Picks and hopefully they’ll correct it before shipping the package. Otherwise, I guess, I’ll pay for my accident by having to wait a month to get my sock yarn. Either way, I regret very little.

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