Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lazy Snow Weekend

So the snow we were slated to get on Friday and Saturday wasn't quite as apocalyptic as I had expected. In fact we only got about another inch and it didn't even really stick to the roads. But I had already done a bunch of food shopping and gotten new needles to try a mobius cast on so I was not going to let myself have a day without knitting beautiful handspun and watching hours of Grey's Anatomy.

Did you know there were only 9 episodes in Season 1?

So some thoughts about mobius. For those who haven't caught the mobius bug yet  it's essentially knitting in the round with a twist in it. Think about it as taking a strip of paper and twisting it once then taping the ends together.

If an ant walked along its length, it would be able to walk over every inch of paper without crossing an edge. Cool huh?

I've read a lot about it on Ravelry and a little internet detective work and when it's written out it just sounds like complete rubbish to me. You cast on and then knit into the row below your cast on to produce the twist somehow. I know I'm not really one who learns by reading so found this amazing video...

One word to the wise however... when they say "have a needle that's at least 40" long and longer is better" they really mean it. I attempted this with 32" circulars because that's why my lys had and I didn't even make it through a full row before throwing down my needles in frustration.

But there was still beautiful handspun to knit so I opted for a more traditional infinity scarf. Now I just hope I have enough yardage to make it wide enough to wear. Pictures to come soon of my first FO for the blog!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Oh snow

So the snow on top of snow on top of more snow has closed the college for the morning and gives me a little time to actually update again! Hooray!

I'll start off by saying I hate snow. It's great and beautiful and awesome while its coming down and then it turns into that houseguest that doesn't leave for weeks. Then it's cold, and wet, and slick. (I'm prone to fall without ice, I don't need the extra slip and slide!) Then, just when you're excited to be rid of it because temperatures are rising, those 12 inches of snow have to melt. And that much snow means a lot of melting water coming out all at once...

Yeah, I'm not a fan of snow.

In brighter news it has given me the opportunity to do some good knitting! I am a huge fan of Crystal Palace Yarns. They're known for their fantastic bamboo needles, but they actually make wonderfully bright yarns in mini, plus, and chunky. I'm currently working on their Fair Isle Hat. This is my first time doing a real traditional type fair isle pattern so it's pretty exciting for me. The only downside is working with their mini yarn on size 5 needles so it takes a good 2 hours to get an inch since I'm not exactly the fastest knitter. (This could have something to do with that fact that I always knit while watching good tv) One thing that is exciting to me is that they do their crown shaping while still continuing the pattern repeat. That feels like it'll be a little bit of rubbing your stomach and patting your head, but I love a good challenge! Pictures will hopefully be posted soon.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

2011: The Year of the Swatch

Despite knitting for about 7 years I have yet to knit a single swatch. Thus far I've mostly done scarfs and blankets with the occasional hat thrown in recently and who does swatches for glorified rectangles?

This year I am bound and determined to stretch myself as a knitter and work my way toward mastering two things I've never dared try before: socks and sweaters. These are both four letter words to those of us who prefer to just go with the flow and don't worry about gauge and occasionally treat needle sizes as suggestions. You can play it by ear with a scarf and I've had many a scarf turn out to be what I've deemed "coat scarves" (they're short so they don't add bulk under your coat, not because that's where I ran out of yarn!) despite using the recommended yarns and needles.

This year I will overcome my swatch phobia! I will find a friendly sock/sweater pattern and knit a swatch so I end up with something I can wear rather than something that gets shoved into the back of the drawer. Then one day I'll be able to not only knit all those beautiful cardigans, pull overs and unbelievably detailed socks, but maybe even dare to dream of starting my own designs?

All in good time I suppose. Look out for posts containing sock and sweater adventure updates and possibly even some talk of Christmas projects. Christmas in January? Why not? I didn't do much Christmas knitting this year as I did quite a bit of birthday knitting so my internal knitting clock must be all messed up.

Also, I feel that there should be a clinical name for the fear of knitting swatches. I'm quite sure there are enough out there who share this fear.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Here Goes Nothing

So how does anyone ever know how to start the very first entry of a blog? Do I introduce myself? Do I try to prove how witty I am? Do I pitch to my lack of readers what my shtick is?

Well, wit is in the eye of the beholder and I have no shtick other than dry humor and a sense of adventure (unique qualities, I know), so I guess I should get to who I am.

You can call me Alexis. I am a 21 year old conservation biology student, volunteer, knitter, indie music lover, vegetarian, and so much more that I'm sure will come out sooner or later. I am human and I deal with a lot of struggles and more than my fair share of mood swings, but never doubt that I love my life.

The reason I've started this blog is because this is going to be a big year of change for me...

Just before Thanksgiving Dear Boyfriend suddenly became Dear Fiance (DF) and I couldn't have been more surprised or more excited.
Then before Christmas I got accepted into what I consider a rather prestigious internship program at Georgetown University this summer.
Then literally the day I'm set to drive back up to school DF and I found a fantastic place that we would love to call our first home together.

So expect a lot of this, that, and some of the other. I'll share things I think are awesome, talk about exciting things that happen in my life, post pictures of projects I'm working on, and anything else that comes to mind.

Let's both hope this is the start of a beautiful thing.