Monday, September 29, 2008

HipKnits in Scotland

Wheee! I'm trolling the web, looking for internships next summer, right now thinking of the UK, and what do I find but knitting on at the National Library of Scotland:
On until the end of October, wish I could see it!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

new WIPs: Minimalist Cardi / Lace Ribbon Scarf


So I moved north to Nova Scotia at the end of August. Grad school, that sort of thing. There was some damaged part of my brain that thought I'd have more time to knit as a grad student but that is DEFINITELY not the case. my schedule is currently pretty insane. Mostly great, but crazy, and there has been little time to knit.

In happier news, as I packed up my stuff and carefully selected what yarn would be joining me on my new adventure, I set aside a very special skein of Lucy Neatby Celestial Merino in Bittersweet Chocolate along with the pattern for a lace ribbon scarf. I bought this skein last November in Nova Scotia, and have been taking it out occasionally to gaze upon its magnificence, without knowing what the heck to do with it.

It seemed fitting to cast on for something while on the road back to where I bought it. Which is where I am. I also knew it needed to be something that would be very visible, because I love love love this yarn. So:


We experienced some totally crazy weather as we got closer to the west coast of NS, and at several points couldn't even see the road or the traffic around us - it was crazy. torrential downpour, lightning in the middle of the day. lucky for us, just as we approached our final destination the sun came out and it was a great afternoon to carry boxes into a new habitation!! so lucky.

The scarf has now grown a little:


But like I said, there is almost no time for knitting. I did have one great moment during a break from an evening class lecture when I went off to a comfy chair in the atrium of our faculty building to just spend a few minutes with my needles. Normally the whole group of new classmates are quite social, and I enjoy chatting with them. A new friend walked over eventually (I should mention, a male) and said, 'do you take requests?' I looked him straight in the eye and said, 'no. I give lessons.' He laughed, and agreed: 'right, you can teach a man to fish, no?' I love smart people who get it right away. it's so nice to be back in school, to be back in an academic setting. this gent then proceeded to tell me how much he loves wool. loves wool, loves knitted things. and he's the type to pull if off, too - to wear a handknitted vest or sweater and be happy to be warm. I wonder if his gf is a knitter? I didn't ask.

In other WIP news, subliminalrabbit and I are doing a KAL for the minimalist cardigan (ravelry link) from IK 2007 fall issue, but right now she is probably nearly half finished and I am barely 9 inches up the back, and that's because I ditched my work Tuesday night and brought it to the halifax knitters knit night and busted away on it for a bit. There just hasn't been the daily knitting time in my schedule since the start of the month, and it's terrible!! I am using ella rae heathered wool in a bricky burgundy. here is the progress so far, chronologically:




I swatched on 7s and 6s, and decided on the latter though the former size is called for. It just had better drape and was closer to the gauge.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

fab FO: teahouse sling

remember this?


I have been using it A LOT in very recent days. As much as possible, in fact. It is small and handy for just going around the corner to the pub. Because I now have a pub practically around the corner! Hooray for walkable urban areas and living in them for the next two years. Yes, I have relocated to the fabulous coastal city of Halifax and yes there is much crafting and yarn here. Let me back up and illustrate approximately how I was able to get that bag, above, unfinished, in usable condition.

Firstly, my thanks to ladysaphira for the use of her incredibly sturdy sewing machine:


You can feel the history of this thing when you try to pick it up (hint: it's not really a one-handed job).

After a great deal of thought (my notes tell me the knitting and embellishment was finished in April!) I decided to sacrifice this pair of cords to the lining effort, since I wanted to incorporate the pockets on them into the lining of the bag - presto! instant pockets without actually sewing them myself. The cords were too big for me anymore anyway and I'd gotten some good use out of them in the past.


I cut out a sort of helpful shape from an envelope and tried to approximate the shape of the bag while making good use of the pockets.


It didn't take nearly as long to sew the thing as it did to figure how to get the pocket placement to work. The sewing and all once I got the rough draft pinned together only took about an hour. I had a bit of trouble getting the machine threaded properly at first so ladysaphira was good enough to stop by and get me back on track!!


I tried taking a picture of the inside but it was too tough to photograph because of the actual size of the bag. Maybe I'll have another go. Anyway, there's a slash pocket and a buttoned pocket on the inside, and I even stitched in a strip of fabric along the inside of the handle, which makes the knitting lay flat and not curl, which makes it even more useful.

Instead of some cotton that is likely to stretch and become annoying I now have a very sturdy and cute bag!! This was a great project, even if it took me half a year to do the final touches.