Sunday, December 31, 2006


It's a hat that needs no introduction. I knit this up in the last few weeks before finals, but only just now got around to taking pictures of it. We finally had some beautiful weather, perfect for taking pictures.

Pattern: Shedir
Yarn: RYC Cashsoft DK, about 1.5 balls
Needles: US3 Addi Turbos, 16" circular, and US 3 Brittany Birch DPNs
Recipient: ???
Modifications: I knit through the back loop for every knit stitch to make the cables stand out a little more. I also cabled without a cable needle.

This is a really beautiful pattern. Although I've knit cables before, with and without a cable needle, this is my first finished cable project, and I'm very pleased with the way it came out. The instructions are super clear, and it's also a great project to try cabling without a cable needle because all the cables usually involve only two stitches, or three stitches at most.

The decreases for the crown are genius:

I'm looking forward to knitting the next one; it's a fun pattern to knit. I think lots of people will be getting these next year for Christmas gifts if I'm sufficiently on the ball.

Family of hats

I made blue and brown hats for GPG's sister's family for Christmas. She has a husband and two boys, 6 months and almost 3 years. I wanted to knit them something, and hats were the easiest and fastest thing. I had lots of Karabella Aurora 8 in the stash, so I set about designing a few impromptu patterns. These are coming with us to Germany tomorrow.

This hat is for the younger son:

And this is for the older:

The older son's hat is based on this hat from Banana Republic. I first saw the hat on Mighty Goods and scoffed at the price. I don't mind buying store-bought knits in general, but I won't buy things that I know I can easily make for a fraction of the price.

This hat is for GPG's brother-in-law. It was the first one I made and set the tone for the rest:

And this beret/tam is for GPG's sister:

Unfortunately, as you may be able to see in the picture, the K1P1 ribbing stretched out quite a bit after I washed the hat. I didn't know how to get it back to its original elasticity, so I ended up going out and buying some thin elastic cord and threading it through stitches on the inside. Since I'm not sure how big GSister's head is, I cut an extra-long piece of cord so GSister can decide how tight she wants it. I sort of hate giving it to her this way, since it looks so unfinished, but it's better than giving her something too small.

I had a devil of a time figuring out the proportions of the tam. This is actually the third or fourth try, so it's especially frustrating that the ribbing stretched out so much. My head is on the small side, and GPG's head is on the large side, so I tried to get something that would fall in between our noggin sizes. I figured something in the middle would work, since although GSister probably has a bigger head than I do, she is also smaller than GPG.

At any rate, you can see how big the adult hats are on me:

Here is the beret, pre-washing:

And, for comparison, you can see that they fit much better on GPG:

He was being very stern when he modeled the beret. It really isn't very floppy on his head at all.

But he did consent to doing it up like he had to when he was in the German military ten years ago:

Maybe I'll be able to get some pictures of the recipients wearing their hats while we're visiting in Germany.

The end of the year

I suppose that, at the end of the year, it's proper to be retrospective and wax philosophical about the past year. Unfortunately, I don't really have time for this, as GPG and I are running around like headless chickens, trying to tie up all our loose ends before we leave to visit his family in Germany for the first 12 days of the New Year.

But, I would like to put down in writing my main New Year's Resolution:

I resolve to knit from my stash and not to buy new yarn at least until after I finish the bar exam in July.

Although this is a resolution for the New Year, I've already made it effective. I haven't bought new yarn since Dec. 18 or so, when I bought some new Louet Gems Pearl to stash up for some Anemoi Mittens. I've been tempted to have a last hurrah or two, especially now that lots of yarn stores are having sales, but I've managed to exercise some self-restraint. I really have a lot of yarn that needs attention; I shouldn't be buying more. When I get back to Austin, I'll take an inventory of what I have and show you just what I have in store for next year. I have tons of sock yarn, plus enough yarn for a Sunrise Circle jacket, a Jemima sweater (I've been coveting this sweater for ages; it looks so comfortable), an Hourglass sweater, and lots more.

I've made the deadline the bar exam because I thought I might want to reward myself after studying, but I actually hope that any splurge after the bar exam will be only an exception to the rule. I really doubt that I will be able to knit through my entire stash by July, especially once summer arrives and I start studying for the bar.

Anyway, I hope to post at least once more to show some of the things that I'm bringing to Germany for the GFamily. (Only a few people probably know that the "G" in "GPG" stands for "German.") Then I'll be back in about two weeks, hopefully with lots of pictures and news.

Have a very Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Ankle socks


I ended up sending some presents late (read: after Christmas), so I've held these pictures back to ensure that the recipients get the gifts before I reveal them. Ironically, part of the reason why I sent these socks so belatedly was because I only got around to taking pictures of them in the evening on Dec. 23. Then I washed them to clean them before sending them off, and it was so damp in Houston over the holidays that it took them a full 24 hours to dry! So I had to wait until Dec. 26 to put them in the mail.

Pattern: Ankle socks, 52 sts in circumference. A variation on Alison's ankle socks from the blue blog.
Yarn: Part of one skein of "Koralle im Meer" ("Coral in the sea") sock yarn from Wollmeise
Needles: Addi Turbos, US2 (socks on 2 circulars)
Recipient: The Anesthesiologist in San Diego, CA

When I first started knitting these socks up, I was afraid the blue and orange would be a little too New York Mets. But there's a really beautiful aqua color thrown in, and at any rate, I think the colors are bright enough and saturated enough that no one would really mistake these for Mets socks. The Anesthesiologist is originally from Hawaii, and she now lives in San Diego, so I've always associated her with beaches, sunshine, and tropical locales. This lovely German "Koralle im Meer" yarn seemed right for her.

I also made some ankle socks for the Aspiring Ecologist. I've only made her full socks up until now. Strangely enough, the third year of law school is supposed to be the easiest, but it made for the most last-minute Christmas knitting.

Pattern: Ankle socks, 64 sts in circumference.
Yarn: Part of one skein of "Farn" ("Fern") sock yarn from Wollmeise
Needles: Addi Turbos, US1 (socks on 2 circulars). I made these socks a little earlier on in the game, so I had the luxury of using smaller needles and casting on more stitches.
Recipient: The Aspiring Ecologist

I think that the AE actually likes blue, but I can't help sending her green things because, well, she's an aspiring ecologist. She spends lots of time with green things.

Doesn't the short-row heel look totally cool with those greens?

Again, the colorways from Wollmeise are just beautiful. I really recommend looking her up; her prices are very reasonable for the kind of yardage you get, even throwing in overseas shipping. I have a lot more yarn from her and hope to make some more beautiful things out of it next year.

Friday, December 29, 2006

To the owner of the Ford Mustang convertible parked in the apartment complex parking lot. . .

. . . who started blasting maudlin country music SO LOUDLY at FIVE IN THE MORNING that it woke me up from a sound sleep in my second-story apartment:

You seriously suck.

Seedless Grape

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ta da!

GPG gave me something very special for Christmas. I hope it will help me become a better blogger this year.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Felted slippers for the Chairpeople

The Chairpeople have been properly gifted, so I have no more compunctions showing their gifts. In action, no less!

Pattern: Felted slippers. A pattern available through Fiber Trends.
Yarn: Some potluck Cherry Tree Hill worsted wool from the stash. I got it so long ago that I don't have the details any more.
Needles: 29" Clover bamboo, US 13
Recipient: The Chairwoman

Pattern: Felted slippers. Again.
Yarn: Some spruce-y green Cascade 220. Again, I got it so long ago that I don't have the details any more. I did some decent stashbusting this year for some of my Christmas gifts.
Needles: 29" Clover bamboo, US 13
Recipient: The Chairman

It's a good thing I gave these slippers to the Chairpeople, because the heater is broken in the Chairhouse. That's not a catastrophic thing in Houston, where we've had a pretty disgustingly mild winter, but that doesn't mean your feet still don't get cold on a tiled floor.

Next year I'll have to knit them some more socks.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The only snowflakes you'll see in Houston . . .

. . . in the wintertime . . .

. . . are the ones you make.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

It's a bit late in the day, but here's wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Live-blogging my Administrative Law exam, part 2

I've finished. It's a bit sloppy at the end, but it's done and I need to print out two copies of this sucker before I run out of time. Then I need to hightail it home to pack up my car and drive down to Houston, because guess what??? The Chairpeople are in town!

I'm off to start the frenzy. More later!

Live-blogging my Administrative Law exam

Yep, folks, I'm in the middle of taking my 8-hour take-home Administrative Law exam. I'm about two hours into it, and it seems to be going pretty well so far. Although these long exams are grueling, I think I do prefer them to the stressful timed exams. I can let my mind wander a little bit when I need to take a break, but still get the work done at my own pace.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Coming up for air

Two finals down, one to go. Just posting to say that I'm still alive and pictures of various holiday FOs should come later this week or early next week. We'll have:

* Footie/ankle socks (because ankle socks = less knitting)!

* Felted slippers (because slippers knit on US 13 needles = faster knitting)!

* And, eventually, the second Flower Basket shawl (because running out of yarn = tinking back, to take place after the last final)!

See you in a few.

Friday, December 01, 2006

A few more Flower Basket pictures . . .

I read plenty of other people's blogs, and I enjoy seeing lots of big, beautiful pictures, but it never occurred to me (until now) that I should make my own pictures bigger. For some reason, the first photos I posted were a bit small, and after that I kept entering the same pixel specs for pictures when resizing them for the blog. Although the current pictures here were saved from the last visit to GPG's, so there's nothing I can do to size them up now, I resolve to post bigger pictures. (The scary thing is that this resolution will probably be a New Year's resolution, because there won't be too many pictures forthcoming during finals!)

Finished Flower Basket shawl:

Pattern: Flower Basket Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark, now available through Fiber Trends
Yarn: One skein "Rosenrot" sock yarn from Wollmeise
Needles: 24" circular Addi Turbos, US 3
Recipient: The Boll Weaver

Although the shawl is a bit on the small side, you can see that it blocked out a bit and now covers my entire back. (I think the unblocked version hit maybe the small of my back.) I hope that this is big enough for the Boll Weaver . . .

Here's a picture of it laid out on GPG's coffee table:

You can see the color variations in this picture:

"Rosenrot" means "rose red" in German. These two pictures on GPG's coffee table aren't the best, since the day was somewhat cloudy, but they show a glimmer of how vibrant the color of the yarn is. The red of the first picture is pretty close to what the yarn looks like in real life.

No more pictures for a while--I have to study for finals, and can't go off on a frolic and detour to visit GPG. But I'll try to post intermittently during the crunch!