Saturday, June 27, 2009

Like a Vacation, but Not at All

Hello from hot, humid Tucson, Arizona!

I am currently entrenched in the middle of a week-long intensive--all libraries, all the time. The mountains are what I see when I look out the window at my dorm...

Here's what's underneath my window. Every day starts at 5:30...

Thank goodness I brought my sock...

And for some unfathomable reason, all of the fire hydrants are painted silver.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

On a Roll

Shoulder-Warmer update: I gave it its first washing, and although a bit of the color bled onto my drying towel, the sweater itself is none the worse. Le amo.

Now in focus is a Swallowtail Shawl, the occasion Mum's birthday.

I'm really enjoying the pattern--it's the same basic body+fancy border as the Icarus. Any of you who have delved into lace before know that half the fun is watching the pattern take shape. It's both math and art at the same time. Unfortunately, I just can't get that into pictures of lace. I think part of the problem, particularly for shawls, is that the pattern is designed to be seen 1. blocked 2. as a whole, worn across the shoulders. On the needles, it's both unblocked and bunched up. I have tried a variety of shots, but none seem to convey the excitement that is a shawl-to-be.

There's the classic flat-on-the-bed shot:

Or the lace-stretching-to-the-horizon shot:

And then, it's-a-nupp!:

None of which I find particularly scintillating. Alack. I'll blame my camera and instruct everyone to follow the link above to Jared Flood's amazing rendition. Just picture mine like that, except pink. And possibly a shade less perfect.

But just a shade ; )

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Alive and Knittin'

Wow--I am sorry for the dead silence that has prevailed here for the past three weeks. I have been distracted from all bloggy pursuits by the demise of my freedom. In short (as Mr. Micawber would exclaim) I have begun graduate school.

I don't know whether to be thrilled to dickens that I've entered the final stage of my academic career (end point: Master's in Library Science) or utterly incensed that all my knitting time has gone the way of the continential glaciers.

Either way, I will not be one of those librarians famed for her ugly, unflattering sweaters; I finally finished the Top-Down Shoulder Warmer!

Mahvelous, dahling. I don't know how many times I had to frog this silly thing--three?--but in the end, it all came right.

Pattern: Top-Down Shoulder Warmer, by Laura Chau
Size: Large back with modifications for effigy-pot arms (see below)
Yarn: 3.5-ish skeins O-Wool Balance
Needles: U.S. 8 (5 mm)
Modifications: I had to sub out the sleeves as written for sleeves that would fit me. To do this, I kept the number of sts cast on for the back, cast on fewer sts for the sleeves, and worked the same number of increase rows.

This was the first time I'd worked with the O-Wool, and it receives an A+ on two counts: holding up to a lot of ripping out and being soft and comfy in the finished product. Hurray for organics!

Now I'm off on two different projects at once (one for me, one as a gift), and my biggest job over this next week will be figuring out how to balance school and knitting.