Category Archives: knitting

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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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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and the seventh sin was envy; thus said the Lord

actually that’s probably not true. but in all seriousness, have you seen this?

Let’s talk about this for a minute. First of all, this is for sure my new favorite blog. (Gosh, I hope she doesn’t hear that. I’m blushing already.) It is attractive, full of delicious delicious food (also attractive), and some seriously badass knitting. this lady is a class act. also, the name? six one seven? is a shoutout to the home of my heart, Boston. see, we are obsessed with the same things! even besides yarn!

now about this particular FO. it is an hourglass cardigan. a novel concept. normally i am into v-neck cardigans; the thing where you just leave the top unbuttoned and it flops around always seemed kind of dodgy to me. but she makes this look so cute. and the thing is, I have like eight skeins of chestnut brown plymouth encore laying around. it has been destined for a cardigan, some kind of cardigan, since i got it. originally it was going to be some self-designed cabled behemoth; then a Mrs. Darcy, then a Maude Louise. Now I’m thinking maybe this? It is less fancy-shmancy but also pretty nice. let’s be honest, i probably need a universal brown cardigan that goes with everything (fyi: everything i own is brown. this is perfect.) more than i need to knit cables forever. thoughts?

speaking of knitting cables forever, i am nearing the home stretch of the shopping tunic. it is seriously a tube with sleeves, guys. like, i kind of knew that going in, but. i’m not going to put up a picture, because that really is all it is. imagine the last picture, but more of it. i have a break coming up; hopefully i will finish it then. also, on a related note, IT IS SO WARM. that is really great, it’s just sad that i will never wear anything made of wool ever again.

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way back in the day.

okay. nothing exciting is going to happen in this post; i’ve barely even been knitting. i’m just going to talk about yarn, and stuff, for a while. sorry.

I am still in possession of about two pounds, or the same volume as my torso and head, in white acrylic baby-yarn. i have no babies to knit ridiculous things for, (ex. the hooded baby blanket pattern that came on the ball band) nor do i plan on acquiring any. so i’m casting about the internet for some other stuff to do with it. here’s the current plan:

1. Anne Elliot Spencer. Cute, and lacy, and kind of meant for girls with a bust but whatever, knitting is a flexible medium. Planned mods: US 3s or maybe even 5s, and make the whole thing longer. I cannot really pull off shrugs. Possibly longer sleeves also.

 

2. Branching Out. (saccharine, I know. what else can you do with baby yarn?) I tried this once a long time ago when I had only a really fuzzy idea of what lace knitting even was. I think that if I double up the pattern, i.e. two lace repeats across the scarf, it could be thick enough to be functional. Also, fringe. Duh. I am all about fringe.

3. Crazy Vintage Cardigan(s). Okay, bear with me on this one. These are largely untenable as clothing options, unless you are Mary-Kate/Ashley. They seem even more untenable if you know what I normally dress like: somewhere in between “twelve-year-old boy” and “supercilious barista.” There is no room for a lacy wasp-waisted bolero in there. But regardless of my actual fashion choices, I have this intense, animalistic attraction to ridiculous, hyper-femme clothes. Little lacy gloves? Little lacy stockings? I am at their mercy. I can’t tell you how many cute little Goodwill dresses I have that will never get worn, because I never actually pin my hair in waves and go on picnics or whatever. Anyways, there you have it. I’m being totally honest about this.

Other thoughts: dying some of it? Maybe? because i don’t really wear white things that often? that’s a little labor-intensive for me, but we’ll see how it goes. wish me luck, dudes and dudettes.

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happy bunny day

oh hey. how was easter? do you do easter? we do, kind of. i went home for Easter Dinner, and it was pretty nice. i know i usually reserve my knitting blog for, you know, knitting, but we so rarely cook or eat classy food that I just want to brag a little.

ready? that, my friends, is a platter of coq-au-vin served with braised pearl onions, a real honest-to-goodness Julia Child recipe. there’s cognac in it. we set it on fire during the cooking process. note also the buttered parsley potatoes, and the not-from-Costco wine on the table. of course, you can also see the undeniable evidence of our true culinary characters: the all-purpose blue-collar Green Bean Casserole with Campbell’s Mushroom Soup. we make it classy by sauteeing actual mushrooms and putting them in there too. “Everyone thinks it’s all made from scratch,” says my mom. Cough, cough.

back to the yarn, though. this is what that same table looked like a couple hours before:

pictured here are the shopping-tunic-in-progress, and two Lion Brand “Pound Of Love” skeins. (sounds like the title to a bad 70’s porno.) they are a gift from the Easter Bunny/my mother; she says that “You and I never agree on what color yarn you should wear; I thought white was a safe choice.” In actuality, instead of making this universally useful, i have no idea what to make with it. two pounds of DK white acrylic? i wish i were into doilies. i was inspired to plan an Anne Elliot Spencer after this tunic is finished, but there is a lot more than one shrug to be made out of that yarn. thoughts or suggestions would be WELCOME. what’s in your ravelry queue right now?

you would think that schoolwork would be getting in the way of heavy knitting right now, and in a technical sense i suppose you’d be right. in that there is a lot of schoolwork i should probably be doing. but in actuality, it is beautiful out and i am totally incapable of doing anything i am supposed to do. i am about at waist length on the tunic, and am leaning towards the pockets. also, i have a lot of time spent in hospital waiting rooms and at bedsides coming up; nothing serious, but it will be a lot of time spent sitting down. i’m thinking i might be bored and stationary enough to return to my mitts. wish me luck!

love forever and ever,

rachel

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in like a lion, out like a sweater

happy spring! happy purim! happy good friday/easter! happy mawlid al-nabi! happy spring break, maybe! we are all so happy about everything!

here is what the sweater looks like now. it is not super exciting:

yeaaaaahhhh. check out that big-ass cowl-neck thing. this is going to be intense. it’s going fast enough, but i’m having to accept the fact that by the time i finish it, it will be too warm for sweaters. we are approaching that point even now, actually. such are the travails of a knitter. i would also like to point out that my endpaper mitts, the project that could actually possibly have some use this time of year, have had absolutely zero progress made on them. turns out i just fuckin’ love stockinette.

i think i love stockinette because i like to do other things while i knit. i am a compulsive multitasker. this sweater probably has four or five hours on it now; here is an abridged list of things i have done while knitting it.

– attended a local Mortified! reading
– listened to Saul Williams
– listened to Sage Francis
– watched Obama’s State of the Nation address on race in America
– listened to Alix Olson

what do you do while you knit? now is the time to share.

celebrate hard, make safe choices,

rachel

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