Un altro viaggio

I think I completely neglected to mention that I am going back to Italy! And I leave today!

My research group has been invited to study an ancient mosaic in the Herculaneum, and we’ll be conducting additional research in Pompeii. From there, I travel to Venice for art history thesis research in manuscript collections and libraries. I will be spending a total of 20 days in Italy, the rest of March. I am ridiculously excited.

I finished two projects this past week, which I am dying to show you. I am close to finishing my pink socks, and I do hope to find some time to knit on planes, trains, and in what little downtime I may have while I am in Italy.

I hope you have a lovely March, and I will see you with FOs in April. Arrivederci!

How the time flies

I realize, with much chagrin, that I am becoming one of those once-a-month-or-so bloggers around here. I have never been busier with work or school, and it’s all coming to a head as I finish my second thesis (and with it, two master’s degrees) this semester. I haven’t had much time to knit, let alone think or breathe, and as such, my projects languish.

I discovered a huge error that I made in my Sunshine sweater, which necessitated frogging the entire thing and starting over. I’d just split off for the sleeves and was working my way down the body when the math wasn’t really adding up. I was supposed to have fewer stitches on the front than the back, yet I had many more. I asked the Obscuriosity KAL group on Ravelry for help, and the designer figured out that instead of increasing at the beginning and end of a RS row just two times (as is clearly indicated in the pattern), I kept doing so on every RS row, all the way along. Obviously this created many additional stitches and the wrong shape to my neckline, whoops.

I also just plain ran out of February to finish the January Sockdown challenge socks I was knitting (my pink ones). I have not yet turned the heel on the second sock, though I do love the way the first finished sock looks. I expect to have those done sometime soon.

And no, I have not touched the pile of my now long, long overdue Christmas knits, nor did I write down the modifications I made to one item that is part of what must be a matching pair.

I am very much looking forward to organizing my projects and having a big finishing party, but I fear that day is much further away than I’d like. Ah well, one stitch at a time!

2008 Knits in Review

I didn’t mean to come off so negative in my last post. Once I finally found a few minutes to make these mosaics, I realized I’ve actually been quite involved in knitting this year.

I think most of my knitting attention went to socks, and I finished nine pairs, all for myself.

1. Komet Socks, 2. Shock the Monkey Socks, 3. Bella Catena Italiana, 4. Eleanor Socks, 5. Spring Twists, 6. Kaaffe Fassett Socks, 7. Seduction Socks, 8. Toe-Up Eye of Partridge Heel Socks, 9. Hedera Socks

Created with fd’s Flickr Toys.

With the exception of the Hedera socks, all were knit toe-up and with a short-row heel. I think I’ve found a formula that really works for me. Sock Knitters Anonymous definitely played a huge part in my sock obsession (or is it the other way around?), though I may ease up on my participation a touch to focus on other projects.

In non-sock knitting, I did a bit more than I realized.

1. Flower Basket Shawl, 2. Green Jellyfish Shrug, 3. Cropped Raglan Sweater for Elise, 4. Molly Ringwald, 5. Bella Paquita, 6. Tempting, 7. Butterfly Hat, 8. Sun Ray Shawl, 9. Naturally-Dyed Yarns

Created with fd’s Flickr Toys.

(I haven’t even posted about that green shrug, yikes.)

Still, it felt like I was knitting so much more. I may have gotten carried away with the mosaic maker, but I compiled one final collection: Knits That Might Have Been. All the things I started and didn’t finish, the projects to which I devoted several days and then frogged, things I got 80% through and then put aside… there’s a lot of these.

1. Odessa Hat (IP), 2. Billy’s Birthday Hat (IP), 3. Cobblestone Pullover for Dad (IP), 4. Dad’s Slip-Stitch Socks (IP), 5. Calorimetry (IP), 6. Springtide Socks (IP), 7. Scrolls Socks (IP), 8. Lace Ribbon Scarf (IP), 9. One-Tone Shrug (IP), 10. Spiral Boot Socks (IP), 11. Holly Jacket (IP), 12. A Knitted Gnome (IP), 13. Kolenya Mitts (IP), 14. Lelah Top (IP), 15. Esther Socks (F), 16. July Mystery Socks (F), 17. Aleita Shell (F), 18. Brigit Socks (F), 19. Pretty Petals Socks (F), 20. Entrelac Socks (F), 21. Pomatomus Socks (F)

Created with fd’s Flickr Toys.

(IP) = in progress still
(F) = frogged

And if I’m being honest, there are even more that I haven’t photographed, including 3 or 4 unfinished Christmas gifts.

I expect that many of the projects from this third mosaic will comprise the early FOs of 2009. Otherwise they will join the ever-increasing pile of languishing knits from 2007 and 2006 (have I really been knitting that long already?).

This leads me to my goal for 2009: The Year of Finishing Things I Start.

What this means and how I plan to accomplish it will be fleshed out soon, including a parade of WIPs and discussion of what makes me abandon a project.

I look forward to a more productive and relaxing year of knitting in 2009. This time without the sarcasm, Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Oh dear, I have been so remiss. I really didn’t mean to disappear over the holidays, but things got insane in my personal and academic life, and something had to give. Sadly, it was knitting.

I didn’t finish any of the handmade gifts I was working on this Christmas. I didn’t even start most of them. Since they were mostly for my immediate family, who saw firsthand the stress I was under, there was no issue giving them cards with an image of the pattern and yarn I was planning for them, to be given at some point before next Christmas.

I didn’t finish most of what I planned for this year. Looking at my knitting resolutions, it’s tempting to be discouraged.

I didn’t knit a pair of socks every month, I didn’t dye my own yarn again, I didn’t learn the techniques I planned (though I made some progress with the Christmas gifts I did start), and I let scores of WIPs languish. I didn’t post the mini-pattern I meant to, I didn’t write posts on mordanting and dyeing (those will come soon, though, since I have to write about them for lab reports due next week), and I didn’t even mention the rank horror that was indigo dyeing.

The only area where I succeeded this year was not buying any more yarn (except for gifts), and here I slipped up a touch too. I didn’t even have time to round up all the things I knit in 2008 and make one of those sexy mosaics I keep seeing on all my favorite blogs.

I’ve decided, though, to be okay with that. Knitting isn’t a chore – it’s something I do to relax and unwind. To the extent that I enjoy learning new things, using nice materials, and creating beautiful objects, knitting is a very satisfying diversion. I will work harder to keep this in mind in 2009.

As such, I do have goals for 2009. I have plans, ideas, visions, and dreams. To begin, I will catch up with 2008 knits, and we’ll go from there.

I hope you all had safe and happy holidays, and I look forward to getting back in touch soon!

Knitting Experience (meme)

I saw this over on Gypsy Coins & Peacock Feathers and thought it was an interesting list.

Bold = Have already tried this
Italicized = Plan to try this
Unemphasized = Have no desire to try this

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette Stitch
Socks: Top-down
Socks: Toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip down
Knitting with silk
– Moebius band knitting (I’ve done it accidentally)
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (I had to look this up, but sure)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
– Two end knitting (this one is weird)
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
– Toy/doll clothing (does our dachshund count as a toy?)
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items
– Knitting with your own handspun (I have never spun, and I’m not sure I want to)
– Graffiti knitting
Continental knitting (I’m really happy with English though)
Designing knitted garments (patterns coming soon)
Cable stitch patterns
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting
– Knitting to make money
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors (it was awesome)
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items
Knitting socks on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with dpn’s
Holiday-related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
– Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dyeing yarn (need to do more of this)
Knitting art (seems like I should)
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads (I’m doing this soon!)
Long tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards (will have to if I want to try entrelac again)
– Machine Knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegated yarn
Stuffed toys
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
– Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/armwarmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom (when I was a child)
– Thrummed knitting (honestly, I get irrationally creeped out).
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair (maybe)
Hair accessories
Knitting in public
Double knitting

It turns out I have a lot more experience than I might have thought, and I’m pretty open to trying new things. I’m looking forward to adding more techniques to my repertoire in my next few projects.

How about you?