29 August 2014

Narragansett

I'm currently on my way to Massachusetts for a much needed vacation. I plan on getting some relaxing knitting and spinning finished, visiting my alma mater, going hiking, spending time with my family, and making my yearly pilgrimage to Webs!

I recently finished my Narragansett sweater, it was a very quick knit and super relaxing. Only halfway into this knit, I found myself thinking about which yarn I would knit it in next. I think this will be a repeat project for me, it was simply that nice.

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The pattern is Narragansett by Thea Colman. It is knit top down and features gentle cables from the neckline all the way down the sleeves, as well as down the waist (I decided not to knit that particular detail). The pattern is well-written and straight-forward, just how I prefer them. This is such a pretty design, I'm surprised it hasn't been more popular. 

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The yarn I used has a special story. It was some antique yarn that my mother discovered recently back home in Kansas. The old, decaying labels provided enough information to know that the yarn had originally come from Massachusetts and that it is 100% wool. My mother knew that I would appreciate this and gave me some in black, light blue, and dark blue. In all, probably enough yarn to make six sweaters in my size! 

It was a little scratchier than I generally prefer, but very warm and certainly precious. 


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Have you ever been gifted yarn with a special story?

25 August 2014

Life becomes crazy

Whew, it's been a crazy last few days! It has definitely been one of those periods of time where it feels like every moment has been filled and the days are whirling together into an unintelligible mess.

It was super tough, but I passed my preliminary exam and now officially get to call myself a PhD candidate! Thank you so much for all the well-wishes. I definitely have a lot of people in my life to thank for reaching this little milestone.

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Finally, I am able to return my attentions to what I really, truly enjoy doing, being in lab doing experiments. My workspace has been so lonely!

Kitty has been doing well, despite the fact that she is now on a diet on veterinarian's orders. Maybe that's why she starts daydreaming of escape in the middle of grooming...hmmm.

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I've been knitting, spinning, weaving, and painting as well. I have had so many exciting creative opportunities and challenges lately as well. I promise to report on those in the near future!

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Do you have some exciting new ways in which you are challenging yourself creatively? 

19 August 2014

This Week's Challenges

knit...
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Still working away on my Kennedy sweater.  I finished the body quickly because I love the cabled design so much!  Now I'm slogging through the sleeves, knitting them two-at-a-time definitely helps!

spin...
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Halfway done with the singles for my Black Jacob 3-ply.  My favorite aspects of this fiber are the smell and the natural color of it.  I think I'll be buying more next time I visit New England!

career...
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Thursday I have a graduate school milestone that I have been preparing to face for the last couple of months.  If all goes well and I pass I'll be an official PhD candidate and be able to continue my studies.  I'm nervous and even a little panicky, but stolen moments with fiber and nutritious, homecooked meals prepared by my boyfriend are keeping me sane.

How do you motivate yourself during challenging periods in your life?

15 August 2014

Cinnie Cardigan

A few weeks ago I bound off this little cardigan and as I did so I remembered how throughly enjoyed the process of knitting it.

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The pattern is Cinnie by Bonne Marie Burns, the long version, because I'm not a huge fan of shrugs.  The lace charts were highly addictive and surprisingly easy to memorize.  This pattern just made sense to me, clicked nicely at each step along the way.

You may notice that the bottom front of the cardigan is a little tight and pulls up, this is my curse, I can never get those edges where you have to pick up a certain number of stitches quite right.  It's just something I will have to work on!  I'm certain that some persuasive blocking might help me out here.

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The yarn is Berroco Vintage dk, a yarn that I have always enjoyed working with.  It was great for the stitch definition required to really make this pattern shine.  Although, I think that if I were to knit this cardigan again (and believe me, I do), I would pick a slightly more crisp yarn, maybe a cotton/wool blend to really bring that lace out.

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I'm happy that I'm finishing this cardigan just in time for Fall!