Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Keeping to the finish five rule

A few posts ago, I came clean about all of my unfinished objects laying around or stuffed in the bottom of a bag. I then gave myself a rule - namely, no starting new projects until five of the unfinished objects were either finished or returned to the yarn state.

Well, I finished the first five objects and started these socks while travelling around in Nebraska. The pattern is from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks. They will be for my husband.

I also posted earlier today about another new project that I started (a secret project with a deadline even). I was "allowed" to start this new project because I had finished five old projects. Most of these did not require any knitting, just finishing (like weaving ends or seaming).

Project 1 - Red Dulaan Scarf

Yarn - from a partial skein, donated by a friend. I think it was a Lion Brand Yarn.
Pattern - I just made it up. A haphazard series of welts on a stockinette stitch background.
Note - Will be donated to the Dulaan project. It just needed the ends woven in.

Project 2 - Handknit Hat
Yarn - My own handspun.
Pattern - Winged it as I went along.
Notes - Another for the Dulaan pile.

The blue yarn at the top of the hat is some of my very first handspun. It has that 'charming' thick-and-thin look to it.
Some regions were underspun

Others were very overspun.

The brown and grey yarns I spun around Christmas time - improvement is encouraging.

Project 3 - Baby Dulaan Hat (modeled by Oscar the snow owl)

Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport
Pattern: It came from Interweave Knits, but I don't remember which one and am too lazy to look it up.
Notes - Here's another picture I really like.

Project 4 - Funky Hat

Yarn - Bits and bobs left over from other projects and no ball bands.
Pattern - Made up by me. This was supposed to be a square hat, but it turned out to be a rectangle.
Notes - I was going to send it to Dulaan, but it is a bit strange. I may just keep it for myself in the Island of Misfit Knits. Though I may wear it from time to time.

Project 5 - Shawl
I should think of a better name for this shawl, but . . .
All of the finished objects above only required seaming or weaving in of ends. This one actually required a bit of knitting. I finished it up while at the Royals game last Saturday.

Pattern - Again, I made it up as I went along.
Yarns - I knit this with two strands of yarn held together.

A cotton yarn bought on the cone at Yarn Barn (in KS) and a fancy ribbon type yarn that Target was selling in their dollar bins about a year or so ago. I really like the plush fabric these yarns make together.

Small Beginnings

I took me about an hour to get the start on my newest project, knit with crochet thread on size one needles. The Inox needles were really slippery. The project is a secret; pictures will be shown when the project is complete.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Nebraska Landscape

Northeast Nebraska is beautiful country, rolling hills and wide open skies. Below are some landscape photos that I took last week. The photos do not do the landscape justice. I will be going back later in June and I am really looking forward to the trip.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

101st post

I did not realize until now, that the last post was the 100th post. Pretty cool!

The past week feels like it has stretched for 3 weeks. I finished and turned in my grades for both classes, went to Nebraska for three days of field work, searched (unsuccessfully) for a new home, and watched the Royals lose to the Seattle Mariners. In terms of knitting, I did make progress on one unfinished object and my new secret knitting project. I will try to get pictures tomorrow.

In the meantime, here are some pictures from my trip to Nebraska.

Or maybe not - I seem to be having problems getting the photos uploaded onto blogger. I will try again tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New Beginnings

This weekend represented the end of one chapter of my life and beginning of the next.

(sorry for the blurry pictures)

Though I officially graduated with my Ph.D. in December, this weekend was my ceremonial hooding. I was pleased to have my advisor "hood" me on Saturday. The academic regalia, including the "hoods" that professors wear during commencement is a tradition that dates back to medieval times.

Yesterday I turned in all of my grades (all 1000+ of them) for my two classes. I still have a few loss ends, but for the most part, I am done with teaching for the semester.

Now on to the new chapters. This summer I will be working as a botanist at the Kansas Biological Survey. In fact, I should be packing right now for a trip to Nebraska (we leave in an hour). I am very much looking forward to this change of pace.

But the biggest change will come this August - we will be moving to Liberty MO as I have gotten what is just about my ideal job. I will be teaching ecology/botany/biology at a small liberal arts college in Liberty. I am so excited about this position, though at this time it is a visiting professor position for two years. Lots of changes in the air, and this is a good thing.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Finished Objects 1 - 5

The First Item - Country Socks

Pattern: Country Socks in Folk Socks by Nancy Bush

Yarn: The grey is Garnstudio Karisma Superwash, the blue is Nature Spun Sport by Brown Sheep Co.

Modifications: I knit both the heel flap and the heel in the contrasting color, as opposed to just the heel.

Notes: These are nice, thick, coushy socks. And I was actually able to wearing them - the day after I finished sewing the ends in, the night-time temperatures dropped into the 40's. Talk about good timing!

A good thing: The ribbed pattern on the instep and cuff, I love it.

A bad thing: The Karisma yarn is already starting to pill, though I was warned of this.

The Second Item - The snowball scarf

Pattern - My own

Yarn - something with mohair and acrylic I bought from elann.com many years ago.

Notes - I don't know what I am going to do with this scarf. I had to finish knitting the last snowball and weave in all the ends.

A good thing - I like the blue and white colors together. I also love how lightweight this scarf is.

A bad thing - I ran out of yarn.

The third item - Handspun Hat

Pattern: My own

Yarn: My handspun, all from samples I received while at S.O.A.R. 2006.

Notes: At the bottom of the hat you may be able to see little nubs that are spun into the yarn. This was a trick I learned at S.O.A.R - I can't remember what they are called. But they are basically made during the plying, but wrapping one ply around the other for a few turns of the wheel.

A good thing: How the colors ended up working well together.

A bad thing: I can't think of any - I love everything about this hat. I just need to decide if it will be sent to Mongolia, it is a fairly thin hat.

The Fourth Item - Handspun scarf

Pattern - My own, inspired by Kathryn Alexander, but without the colors.

Yarn - Handspun, most created in my SOAR 2006 class. Made from several various breeds of sheep.

Notes - I first knit the long stripy-sections in garter stitch. At one end of each long section, I picked up stitches to create the white squares. Then I sewed the sections together.

A good thing - a thick warm scarf that I feel does a good job of utilizing the small bits of handspun yarns.

A bad thing - My joins between the sections could be neater, both the picking up of the stitches and the sewing. Some of this uneveness is due to the lumpiness of the yarn.

The Fifth Item
No new picture - but I decided to finish this off as a head band rather than a hat. I will be keeping the headband for my self.

So - Five items done means a new project can be started. And I have started a new project, but it is a secret project. Shhhh!!!

Now to work through some more of those old projects!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

One down, one to go

I find giving exams as a teacher much more nerve-racking than I ever found taking them as a student. But, the first final is in the books and the second will be given tomorrow. Once grades are turned, I will have made it through the semester!!!

Then I will start my summer job - basically doing botanical surveys of various prairies in the region. This job will involve a lot of travel - so I am hoping for an increase in knitting time.

Update of finished objects coming soon.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Full Disclosure

A small bout of spring cleaning this weekend inspired me to take a look at all of my unfinished projects I had laying around. I was shocked to realize how many I had. 31.
31 unfinished projects, many of which just need the ends woven in. Several that may need to be frogged. Some I just don't know what to do with.

So before I start any new projects - I must finish off a least 5 of my UFO's. I have divided my UFO's into 4 categories below and provided a brief description. The photos are not very good, but I just wanted a snap-shot. Finished objects will get proper photographic treatment.

Those that require knitting
1. Socks for my niece - since she lives in another state, I decided to knit a tube sock and add in an afterthought heel. I finished the first one and measured it on her last time we were visiting. But of course I have forgotten important things like needle size and how many stitches I cast on. And where the heel should be. If I can remember the needle size, I may cast on for the other sock soon.

2. Country Socks - From Folk Socks. I am past the heel on the second sock and then just need to sew in the ends. These are rather thick socks and with the warmer weather, I have not been as interested in finishing them.

Now Finished

3. Green Alpaca Vest - I started this in January and it sat on the needles since my classes started. The back is done and one side is over halfway complete. Need to determine where I am in the pattern, but once I do so it should be good for knitting in the car.

4. Made-up shawl pattern. This is an old, old project. Started over a year ago. One Christmas, Target had some novelty yarn in their $1 section. My niece got me several skeins, including a weird ribbon-like yarn (see close-up). I decided to use it as a carry-along with some coned, multi-colored Cotton yarn I purchased at the Yarn Barn several summers ago. I really like the resulting fabric, but is it knit on size 10 needles so the knitting is not smooth. I just never get in the rhythm of the knitting. But I want to finish it. Maybe if I work on it just a row each day.
Now finished!!

5. Hatband - This will become a hat Dulaan.
Now finished!!
6. Snowball scarf - This is something I came up with fooling around with some leftovers. Just need to finish off one remaining "snowball".

Now Finished!!!

31. (this one is out of order, because I almost forgot it). Dulaan sweater
Those that need the finishing touches

7. Dulaan Hat made from my handspun. Just needs ends woven in.
Now finished!!!
8. Dulaan Scarf from my handspun - need to sew pieces together and weave in ends.
Now Finished!!
9. Purple sweater - This is a really old UFO. All I need to do is block it and seam up the pieces.

10. Another Dulaan Hat - needs sides sewn up and ends woven.

Now Finished!!!!

11 and 12 - Two cotton bibs (pattern from the Mason-Dixon Girls). Just need ends woven and buttons sewn on.

13. SOAR Silk Bag - Need to close of the bottom with a three-needle bind-off, sew up sides and weave in ends.

14. Cotton Bag - Kitchner handles together, sew in ends. Add embroidery?

15-19 - Scarves and Hats for Dulaan - just need ends woven in.

Two hats and the red scarf - finished!!

Those that will visit the "frog pond"
20. Hemp hand-towel. This is technically finished but it is not the right size for a hand-towel. I will rip it and make something else from this yarn.
21. Handspun yarn scarf - the scarf is worked in a mistake rib, but I think this yarn really wants to be lace. Or something else. It is not happy as a mistake-rib scarf.

Those I have no idea what to do with

Three "blankets" - or maybe just rather large swatches. In each case, I was just interested in making fabric. No idea about what to do with the fabric when I was done with it. But I rather like all three pieces and don't want to rip them out. Maybe I could make pillows with them. Any other ideas?

22. - Mission Falls Cotton Strips - One of the very first things I knit. I love the colors, love the stripes. All ends are woven in, but I just don't know what to do with it.

23. Naturspun Sport - Playing with color and slipped stitches. I think this was to be a baby blanket for my nephew (who is now almost 1.5 years old). But it was too small. Again, I really like the colors and the fabric, but I just don't know what to do with it. This one still has a lot of ends to be woven in.

24. Log-cabin blanket - this project was started while I was finishing up my dissertation and had ALOT of reading to do. Long stretches of garter stitch is perfect for knitting while reading the ecological literature. But I ran out of the purple yarn and that brown for that matter. I just don't know what to do with it.

25. Socks with the STR Tide Pool Yarn - I'm not crazy about how this sock is turning out. Maybe this yarn wants to be a chevron scarf. Or maybe combined with another yarn.

26. Blue Sweater Vest - The floral motif should be more centered on the back. The knitting is sloppy. I love this yarn (Angora Tweed by Garnstudi0), but my understanding is it is no longer being made. I hate to use a yarn I love so much in something that is not great. This will probably be making a trip to the frog pond.

27. Anatolian Mittens from Folk Mittens. The mitten is too small, the yarn is not the best for colorwork, the book with the pattern has been returned to the library. It is very likely that this will remain an unfinished mitten for a long time. Maybe forever. The yarn is very difficult to pull out. 28. Fortune Cookie Bag from Folk Bags - I thought it would be bigger than it is. I don't want to knit the i-cord handle. Probably another candidate for the frog pond.
29. Half of a small poncho. My own design using a very pretty ribbon yarn and an acrylic/mohair blend yarn. Another piece that I love how the fabric turned out, but the whole thing is smaller than I expected. Plus, I did not write down my pattern and probably would not remember it. Besides, ponchos are so 2005. It might be cute as a little girls capelet if I were to somehow add ties.

30. And finally - the nordic diamonds scarf. I am almost ready to send this one to the frog pond as well. I just think the yarn wants to be something else.

Whew!! I had no idea.