off the wagon

Okay, so, i’ve been in India now for a month. It is really great here, guys, no joke. And as I said, I didn’t bring my knitting. I’m in another country! For only five months! Surely I can find better things to do than make sweaters. I will fill the time with adventures and rickshaw rides!

This is mostly true, except for a few things that I didn’t count on. 1. Someone else here did in fact bring their knitting; she’s working on Stephanie Japel’s Fitted Puff-Sleeve Cardigan. It’s pretty cute. I have literally been sitting next to her watching her knit this, and helpfully offering to do a few rows now and then. She hasn’t fallen for it. 2. It’s monsoon season here, which means it rains a lot. Specifically, Andhra Pradesh has gotten more rain in the last few days than it has in four years; a lot of areas have flooded. I’m fine, but it means that it’s pretty difficult to go out into the city. Essentially, I’ve been sitting inside for five hours, trying to watch Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog over my shoddy internet connection. I could have like four inches of a sweater done!

Shamelessly, I spent pretty much my entire morning on Knitpicks and Ravelry. Here’s what I’ve come up with; remember my Thermal? Yeah, that was probably the most beautiful thing I’ve ever knit. Unfortunately, it no longer looks like it did when I finished it. It’s been semi-felted a few times, and while it looks fine, to someone who knows how stretchy and sheen-y and perfectly fitted it was originally (like me) it’s never going to be the same. I’ve considered re-knitting it before, but always decided against it. It seems too disheartening to go through all that blood and sweat and tears again to end up with the same sweater. But today I had a thought – what if I made the DK weight version? It’s still beautiful (have you seen all the ones on Ravelry? So nice!), and a much faster knit. The only question is color – the burgundy I originally made it in looks fantastic, if I do say so myself. Should I go for that again? Or is it a waste to have two burgundy sweaters lying around? All of my problems were solved when I found this shade of Cinnamon in Knitpicks’ Swish DK Yarn:

It is warm and reddish and autumnal, all of the attractive qualities of burgundy Gloss, and I think the color would look good on me. But it’s different enough that I don’t feel like I’m churning out the same sweater; I can still get that sense of giddy excitement that accompanies a new FO.

The only problem with all of this is that Knitpicks doesn’t ship to India. I could ship it home, and have my mother forward the package, but that would take probably at least two months, total. Is it worth it? Alternatively, my Stephanie-Japel-knitting friend has heard rumors of a yarn store somewhere in Hyderabad. It’s a long shot, but I have my fingers crossed. It’s about 75-80 degrees here every day, but when I go home in December I’ll be returning to below-zero temperatures. It would be nice to have a little cardi to wear home on the plane. Wish me luck! And if you do happen to know of any fiber opportunities in or around Hyderabad, let me know!

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leavin’ on a jet plane

Hello internet! There has not been much action around here lately, mostly because there has been absolutely no knitting. To be honest, there have been other things on my mind. On Wednesday, I’m leaving for five, five-and-a-half months to study abroad for a semester. I’ll be in Hyderabad, India, until mid-December. Pretty cool, but not really conducive to knitting. I don’t have plans to work on anything while I’m there, unless I break down and order something from knitpicks. You won’t hear from me until a little before Christmas; if you’d like you can read my India blog in the meantime: abroadinindia.wordpress.com . Thanks for being patient, and have a nice fall!

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summertiiiiiiime, and the livin’ is easy

Do you guys know that song? It is pretty catchy. Also, I haven’t posted in forever! Sorry! I would feel worse, but no one reads this.

Also on the list of things to feel bad about: I have totally not finished the other Endpaper Mitt. To be perfectly frank, I haven’t even started the other Endpaper Mitt. Whatever! It’s summer, and I probably wouldn’t wear them anyways! Instead, let’s talk about some stuff I did knit.

I got invited to a baby shower on Sunday, which prompted my first foray into baby knitting. I used the DK weight Lion’s Brand that my mother got me for Easter, remember that?

Featured is a run-of-the-mill crocheted beanie, and a pair of Saartje’s Booties. Or, as I was referring to it at 2 am Sunday morning, “stupid fucking baby stuff.” Guys, I don’t really like babies. Knitting for them is not that satisfying. Although, as everyone knows, the bootie construction is pretty sweet; if I hadn’t been under the wire I might have enjoyed them more. As it is, I have already received a thank-you card from the mom-to-be (so punctual! I’m envious) that assures me she is both impressed and delighted. Mission accomplished.

More interestingly, and less baby-focused, is the shrug I finished last night:

Cute, right? It’s my own design, knit in one piece with worsted-weight mercerized cotton. (I wish I knew the brand – it was all in Greek, of all things, and I’ve lost the ball band.) You may recognize the lace pattern from ohmystars’ Razor Cami. There’s crochet edging on the sleeves, and plenty of lace mistakes in the body. The lower picture captures that very well. If I could do it over, I would do it a little less on the fly, and plan out a way to make the body of the thing wider. Right now, it’s more or less a pair of sleeves with a flap for my upper back. Next time!

In real-life news, I am gallivanting off to Montreal for the weekend. Que magnifique! I think it is a pretty good city to wear handknits in; I will let you know how it goes.

love forever,

rachel

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the mothers get whiskey, and the girlfriends get tongue

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone! four days late! don’t worry, though, i was on time on real mother’s day. mostly. i actually would have forgotten it entirely had my friend Heather not been all “Hey, are you knitting something for Mother’s Day?” on Thursday. after which, of course, I was.

my mom is into armwarmers, for reasons that are unclear to me. so thinking quickly, i managed to whip up a pair of Sabrina Thompson’s Urban Weave Wrist Warmers with like a third of a skein of leftover Paton’s Shetland Chunky. I am nothing if not thrifty.

i think they turned out pretty cute. my mother pronounces herself pleased, and describes them as “squishy and warm.” glowing critical acclaim.

Oh, and speaking of armwarmers. Guess who finished an Endpaper Mitt?

(Hint: It’s me.)

Pretty okay, right? I thought so too. Unfortunately the pattern is sort of dark, and isn’t quite as stark as it looks under bright light in these photos. Also, the part where it’s laying flat? See where the thumb looks a little wonky? That’s because it is. Basically, kitchener rib bind-offs are kind of a pain, and on tiny thumb areas they are even worse. The thumb bind-off is weird and I will probably have to redo it. And that’s not all that’s weird:

I am really terrible at joins. I don’t know what my deal is. It’s the same with sweater arms; the best I can do is stitch them up after. this, though, is kind of a delicate project to do that with. Seriously, though, what can I do? That can only be described as a gaping, yawning crevasse in the middle of otherwise dense, warm, woolly, virtually flawless (if I do say so myself) knitting. Advice?

I will leave you with some more photos, now that I’ve actually dug out my camera and uploaded some stuff. I just got home from college, finals are over. When I am home, I am instantly transformed into a spatula-wielding, dish-washing, counter-wiping Domestic Goddess, in much the same way that Halle Berry’s eyes turn weirdly white and suddenly she becomes Storm. I have this preternatural, nearly inhuman need to bake. That said, here are some photos of cranberry-orange scones. They looked a little better than they tasted, but let’s be honest: they look pretty good.

*BONUS: First person to identify the origin of this post’s title will win a small prize of my choosing. (Not scones.) (Also, using Google is cheating.)

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sweet knitblogging manna from heaven

WHAT NOT TO KNIT

I have been waiting for this my entire life. I actually kind of hate “What Not To Wear,” but those feelings do not apply here. Fun Fur berets? You tell it, sister!

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a pair of star-cross’d lovers

okay, guys. before I go into this, I just want to preface by saying: everything right now is really GOOD. my school year is DONE. it is WARM out. i get to wear DRESSES. i am totally embarrassingly in LOVE with someone fantastic. i just got hooked up with a SUPER internship. so, really, i don’t have a lot to complain about.

i’m going to do it anyways, though.

here’s where, in the midst of all that wonderful stuff, we get to the “misadventured piteous overthrow.” (do you see where i’m going with this?) you know how i’ve been trying to figure out what to make with all this brown Encore for forever? okay, fine, maybe you don’t. i have all this encore, and i’ve been trying to figure out what to do with it. i was pretty sure it would be a cardigan; definitely a sweater, at the very least. i thought about a Mrs. Darcy, I thought about a Wicked, and I even cast on for one of those garnstudio things from my last post. But nothing really seemed right. I really like encore, but the flat stockinette of the cardigan was making it look very “plain jane.” and that’s not really what we’re about, here.

And then suddenly last week it was so totally clear to me; I don’t know how I had missed it before. I was reading about StitchyWitch’s gauge troubles, and was suddenly struck with the thunderbolt of insight that I should be knitting a Manon. Emboldened by the spring air, I was completely confident that I would not experience said gauge troubles, despite never having knit a Norah Gaughan pattern before, and furthermore, that is a beautiful sweater. It would showcase the subtle but sprightly character of my encore perfectly, and go with everything I own without being too weird to wear but not too boring either, and so fun to knit. Also, really beautiful. Can I show some pictures here? Is that okay?

See what I mean? God, I want one. But here’s the thing – I can’t get the pattern. I don’t own the book, and I can’t find it on loan anywhere. And when I say anywhere, I mean it – I have been shopping library catalogs literally worldwide. Guys, I really don’t want to break down and buy this. But I really want that cardigan. I don’t know what to do. It’s enough to, from ancient grudge, break to new mutiny…

Oh, also, as far as actual knitting: I finished the shopping tunic like forever ago. It’s cute; sometime I’ll take pictures. Endpaper Mitts are still at a standstill. It’s so NICE out, you know?

love,

rachel

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home stretch

today is the last day of classes of my sophomore year. you know what that means –

it means i won’t actually have any more free time than i do now. and also that it will be too warm to wear any handknits. whatever.

in the meantime, i have this problem where i am obsessed with DROPS design:

the last one in particular has got me giddy as a schoolgirl. i think it would look nice in white, and i am thinking of using my brown encore for the top. god, all i ever think about is cardigans. i must be so embarrassing to know.

also, did you see that sale over at sixoneseven? there was some really beautiful warm-burgundy-brown Cascade 220 for only $45. i am ashamed to tell you how long i spent staring at the screen and thinking “you know, i have $45. how much is that, really? not that much at all. there are people who would pay you $45 to mow their lawn.” long story short, i didn’t buy it, but only after an epic inner struggle on a par with the plot of John Q. i am like a saint.

on the next episode of rachel’s knitting blog: actual knitting. stay tuned.

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