Monday, January 30, 2012

FO: Miette; Update on life

Hello world.

It's late on a Sunday night, and I think I'm coming down with something. If that is the case, it must go before the week is up because I have exams next week! Ahhh! (Freak out moment pause.) I popped some zinc tablets (to shorten the lifetime of the common cold; it's worked for me every time I've tried it early enough) and some Sudafed (a.k.a. pseudoephedrine, a.k.a. indirect sympathomimetic). I feel much better after taking several 20 minute naps throughout the day.

All this studying is so nerve-wracking, but so gratifying at the same time! I really enjoy all of the learning, but hate the fact that I am going to be tested on everything to basically rank me amongst my classmates. THAT, my 2 readers, takes the joy out of studying.

Anyway, I've been knitting away diligently at a few things. My Alexandria Cardigan may be just too big. Stupid lying swatches. I am glad, though, that the rampage to find my US 6 dpns forced me to clean up all of my WIPs. I must finish up some of these instead of letting them languish. 

My Baby Chalice blanket is coming along, and I picked up my Idlewood sweater again, too! 

I have a 4th project that I've kinda been working on, and it is so tedious!!! I am knitting the cutest Horace the Horse from Vintage Baby Knits by Kristen Rengren. I love this book and almost every pattern in it! I want to knit them all. I have so much fingering weight yarn in my stash, so it's perfect, but I never really have enough, especially for this gorgeous blanket. (Wow--that would take a lot of time to knit!) 

My friend is taking the USMLE Step 1 on Tuesday and Horace is kind of a good-luck charm for her. Unfortunately, I don't think I will finish it on time, but I keep praying for her while knitting it.

Oh, and what sweater are these pictures of? The sweater requested by my aunt! She wanted a 3/4 length sleeved-sweater to wear under her saris for the cooler months. I think this fit the bill.

Miette by Andi Satterlund (Ravelled here.)
Yarn: Plymouth Yarns Indiecita Alpaca 4-ply (discontinued), 5.74 skeins (585.5 yds), Color 4479. I bought this muted mustard color a long time ago from Windsor Button (good ole Boston). The yarn was already discontinued at the time so I grabbed all that was in their sale bin and dashed. I never really liked the color though, so I never wanted to knit with it. When my aunt requested a "mature" color for her sweater (one that will still be acceptable if she is ever widowed and must wear white/colorless clothing according to Hindu traditions.) I thought this was kind of perverse, but at the end, she was kind of disappointed with the color choice, too. I suggested dyeing the sweater, but she said the color worked well enough for it to not be a trouble. She wore it quite a bit while I was around, too!
Made for: Pishi
Size: 42"--I swatched, and I was so nervous when I finished the sweater--it fit me perfectly! I'm like a 38" bust! But I kept holding it up to a blouse she lent me to get her measurements right and it matched those measurements (42"). I was worried. I forgot about how much give can really be in these things--the cardigan ended up fitting her perfectly (minus the bottom button.)
Needle: US 6 (4.0 mm), US 7 (4.5 mm)
Notions: Buttons! I found these at JoAnn's, and they turned out to be a perfect match even though I didn't bring the swatch with me when I went shopping.
Mods: Added one repeat to lengthen the sweater a tiny bit.
Dates: 11.16.11-11.20.11 (Surprisingly fast knit!)
Cost: $43.05 for yarn; ~$3 for buttons = $46.05 USD

I still have a few more FO's that I want to document on the blog, so bear with me as I keep chugging through them. I may even have MORE FO's once those are done!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

FO: Thermis

Another FO! I gave this to my mother for Christmas.

She decided that she liked it better folded than when lying straight up. I agree. It looked too tall and tight for a cowl that just stays straight up and down.

... And I got to use yarn from the deep stash. I was definitely pleased about that. I remember buying this yarn on a whim when I was tired walking home from school one day. It was a pick-me-up then, but it had been languishing in my stash for a long time with no ideal project in mind.

I found the "perfect" buttons in my button stash, too! I would have preferred not such a candied, shiny look, but they matched and this then became a truly stash-busting project (except for the pattern I bought. :-\ )

Pattern: Thermis by Kris Knits (Ravelled here.) 
Yarn: Louisa Harding Grace Silk & Wool, 1.74 skeins (191.4 yds)
Made for: Mom!
Size: Large/Extra-Large
Needle: US 5 (3.75 mm)
Mods: None.
Dates: 11.07.11-11.08.11
Cost: $22.00 USD

Thursday, January 26, 2012

FO: Sorbetto

Ahh, another FO to show off! Unfortunately, I think the best picture of it is a little image taken during the boy's birthday. Please excuse the hair.

Fabric: 1 yard ($9.50 + ~$1 shipping if you factor in the other stuff I bought, eep!) of Robert Kauffman Organic Voile in bleach white from Sew, Mama Sew!
Notions: white bias tape from JoAnn's, $2
Time to complete: 4 hrs or so?: 1 hour to cut the pattern, 1 hour to cut the top, probably 1 hour to sew, and 1 hour for bias tape
Made for: Me
Size: 8
Mods: I printed the pattern too small, so I only gave 0.5" seams, which made the fitting just right.
Cost: $12.50 (I'd buy this top for $12.50)
Would you make this again? Yes! I'd like to try a different colorful/patterned fabric. I think it's a great top for a beginner like me to try different alterations/variations on.

Here's a sloppy image of the top before I finished placing the bias tape. If I were to make it again, I would probably make a full-bust adjustment of about 0.5"-1", and definitely add to the length. I added bias tape to the bottom to extend the length a bit. I may even nip it in a bit at my natural waist.

As for the only good picture I have of this top, it comes from the boy's birthday.

I surprised him with a cake during our med school class's Christmas party. It's already been over a month since then--that's how late I am with all of these planned posts.

And I got him in the face with some cake!


Proud of my work.

He was trying to get me while he was washing it off.

But he failed, and I got a picture instead. My only good Sorbetto picture is from after his surprise cake-in-the-face birthday song. :)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WIP Wednesdays: Alexandriaaa!

Well, hello there. We meet again! School is ramping itself up slowly, so a good stockinette stitch project was required. I want to try this WIP Wednesday thing, too. So you two lovely readers that I have thus far get to see what I've been working on!

I've started the Alexandria Cardigan with yarn in my stash that was purchased specifically to become this. This has been in my queue for a very long time, and I'm glad I've finally started it! It's been a quick knit thus far. Knitting for 4 days while studying produces this:

I'm using madelinetosh pashmina in the rose colorway, and my mods can be seen here. I had to alternate between two skeins because of the 4 skeins I have, only 2 look like they're the same colorway, and the other two are completely different. One is a light warm pink, 2 are medium light purples, and the other is a deep blue purple. All are technically the same color way, though, so it's really hard to describe the differences when you look at them. I should have shot a before picture. The striping seems to be progressing well, I think.

I've also been working on the Baby Chalice blanket using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted Multi in the Huron colorway. (Yes, that's the yarn on the cover of the pattern. I'm so creative.) A quote from my Ravelry page about this project:
"Ever since I saw this blanket, I was in love. I have been wanting to make it for quite a while now, but my personal yarn ban prevented me from getting the appropriate yarn. After looking at many other people’s projects, I realized what I really fell in love with was the combination of that particular colorway in that particular blanket. Something about Huron and the Baby Chalice blanket was perfect. So I needed to have it--despite the fact that this baby blanket was going to cost me $60 or so, and I did not even have a baby in mind!
Then, I saw a friend of mine [Tamara] knitting with some Berroco Comfort in Antipasto Mix. The colorway was gorgeous, and I was surprisingly pleased with how Comfort felt when knitting my Aran blanket. I needed to have that yarn, even though I had no project in mind. After oogling it quite a bit, I realized the colorway was very close to Lorna Lace’s Huron, with a touch of tan. The total for a Baby Chalice in Berroco Comfort will cost me about $18.
This is an experiment to see if the $60 blanket is worth it."

So, let's see if it is worth it. Not so sure...

Since I'm finally slowly catching up on uploading pictures from the past few months, I actually have pictures from some current doings in my life. Last weekend (well, err, the one before that), two friends from undergrad flew from Boston & Baton Rouge to come visit me (and each other)! How sweet was that? We spent Saturday and Monday of the long weekend in Chicago, where we ate good food and saw the Second City (not as great as we had expected) and the Museum of Science and Industry. We just relaxed in Indianapolis on Sunday.

Here we are before a delicious Indian buffet. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but seriously--this buffet was delicious! Their mango kulfi was sooooo good. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. We all took seconds of that kulfi! (I wanted thirds.)

The boy came with us to Chicago on Monday. To prove that the boy isn't some sort of alien, here's a picture of his veins in this cool machine at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Okay, enough chattering--back to learning about methylphenidate, a.k.a. ritalin!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Christmas Presents

For Christmas, I tried to have handmade gifts for most everyone. I succeeded except for my brother. Dad got a fixed Dr. G's Vest; Mom got a cowl, scarf, socks, and a blouse; Pishi got a sweater; and both cousins got hats. 

I love the look of sheer joy on my cousin while opening presents ... at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. (Little kids are required to really get the party started Christmas morning; otherwise, 4:00pm it is.)

My brother passed out everyone's gifts. He had a hard time trying to read the tags that were written in Bengali.

You can bet my mom loved collecting all of her presents.

My cousin enjoying the festivities, and his new massaging neck rest.


My favorite picture of them all. How cute. I love that I randomly captured this moment.

I'll leave you with quick pictures of the hats I improvised for Shauvik and Sujayda, my cousins. 

Sujay da's hat ended up being a bit on the short side, so I picked up stitches and lengthened the ribbing. 

I made Shauvik's hat (modeled on Sujay da) with all of the same dimensions, but did a lot longer ribbing .

I was really pleased with how they turned out, and they were perfect last-minute Christmas presents. I may formally write up the pattern in a PDF to post on ravelry.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Wrapping Up 2011; Onwards 2012!

It's still January. Not too late to do an end-of-the-year post, right?

Wow! 2011 was a lot more productive than I had imagined.

Final verdict:
28 Knitted FOs!
3 pairs of socks
3 sets of mitts/mittens
5 neck warmers
12 (!) baby things
3 hats
2 adult sweaters

I was kind of expecting to knit a lot more adult items, but I'm kind of surprised at how much I did end up knitting because of all of the baby things. Looking back at my goals for 2011, I didn't do so shabby.

Overarching 2011 Knitting goals:
  1. Continue cold-sheeping until October 16, 2011 (one year of cold-sheeping). --> Almost made it! I lasted until September 8, on my birthday. I was proud of how far I went though.
  2. Knit 12 pairs of socks a la Personal Sock Club. --> Not even close.
  3. Knit 4 laceweight(ish) shawls. --> Only made 2; I thought 4 was going to be an easy target, but I guess I was wrong.
  4. Knit > 20 skeins of fingering/lace weight yarn. --> Didn't happen. I actually made it to around 12, mostly because of the baby projects. I'm actually impressed at that dent, considering how little I actually knit this year.
  5. Knit 20,110 yards in 2011. -->  I haven't really kept a tally, but I don't think I made it.

More specific 2011 blogging-related goals:

  1. Tally my yardage totals each month (starting, ending, yards/project).
    Starting Yardage (10.16.10): 82,379.5
    Current Yardage (01.20.12): 78,298.9 (4,080.6 yd decrease)
    It's fun to see this number go up and down. It's on the downward trend now!
  2. Tally my skein total each month (I just like having this number).
    Starting Number of Skeins (01.07.11): 388.99
    Current Number of Skeins (01.20.12): 356.06
    (32.93 skein decrease)
    Again, heeey--it went down!
  3. Document my knitting progress in pictures weekly. Every Friday, I'll take a picture of the current status of the WIPs I worked on that week. --> Yeap, didn't happen. This would be fun to try and continue, though. Maybe a WIP Wednesdays.
  4. Have decent blog posts about my FOs. They deserve it.--> This wasn't too shabby!
  5. Maybe take a picture of my leftover stash every month. Here's the stash beginning in 2011. The white Wal-Mart bags in the front are my Personal Sock Club bags. I want to get rid of everything outside of those bins by the end of 2011. --> Um, nope. I should probably clean everything up and take a current-stash-state picture. Maybe for Flash Your Stash on April Fool's.
Overall, considering how little knitting I did this year compared to years past, I'm really impressed with what knitting did happen. I should try and reduce the stash a bit, but I'm finding that I have odd quantities mostly (except for sock yarn). This dampens my mood about knitting, sometimes. I should just churn out a ton of hats/scarves/shawls/mitts/baby things. Well, I should hold off on the baby things.

For 2012, my knitting related goals are to:
  1. Knit myself some sweaters (3-6 sweaters)
  2. Knit my dad/brother a sweater that I've been promising for ages.
  3. Knit more socks! I have too much sock yarn lying around. My mom is actually hinting towards having more, and I'd like to be her hand-knit sock supplier.
  4. Try and make a good dent on my total yardage (<70,000 yards, preferably around 60,000 yards.)
  5. I will try to do a better job of documenting WIPs, FOs, and stash knit (and sew) down! Those are fun.

As for sewing, not too shabby either:

For 2012, my sewing related goals are to:
  1. Practice.
  2. Practice.
  3. Practice.

It'd be nice to have some finished garments/quilts at the end, too.

These are a lot softer goals than I've had in the past, but I realize there will be a lot of changes for me this upcoming year, and I don't want to feel bound to the goals I've set for myself. Previously, these would have been a breeze to meet. Honestly, I have only one real goal this entire 2012 year, and I don't want any other goals to interfere with achieving this one:


Sunday, January 22, 2012

FOs: Endpaper Mitts #1 & #2

After our last exam at the end of the semester, several of us went to enjoy half-off sushi downtown. It was quite fun having such a large group.

The Playboy roll is always a hit. It's hard to see in this picture, but they light it on fire! By the way, I'm wearing my Sorbetto top in this picture, and I'll try and have a better post about it soon. I don't think I will get a chance to take proper FO pictures of it before exams, so I may just take the best pictures I have from the day to show you all.

Oh, and we got to celebrate Tamara's birthday! It must suck having a birthday fall during finals week, but we made the most of it before she jetted off for a nice winter break. The sushi bar gave her free fried ice cream. She was kind enough to let all of us dig in, and yummm. Makes me want some now.

I gave Tamara and Madhavi their Christmas presents at the lunch--a pair of Endpaper mitts and gathered clutches. I love Madh's face. Tamara's hubbie couldn't believe I made them pose for pictures.

And these are Tamara's green + purple pair, blogged here. They ended up blocking out just fine.

I'm too lazy to do a proper FO posting, so check out their ravelry factoids. I should finish my own green + blue pair at some point. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

FO: Pendrell Blouse

I'm back! That was a bit of a longer hiatus than expected. My apologies! I do have several updates to show you guys. Before I get to my winter holidays, I will show you guys an FO I finished. 

This Pendrell Blouse was originally intended for me. I cut a size 14, according to the measurements. I realized that I actually completely got the measurements wrong (I have no idea how. I definitely put a tape measure up to my bust.) The blouse was really nice, but I ended up needing to take in quite a bit from the sides to make the top work for me. Sam called it my "Barbara Bush blouse" because he thought it made me look like an octogenarian, especially the former first lady. The sleeves really looked horrible on me. I definitely had old lady syndrome in this blouse--which I tend to favor anyway, but even I had to admit it when wearing this.

I brought it home in the hopes that I'd have the time to make the blouse fit. I thought it would look spectacular under my white coat when I go to see patients, especially since several of my tops have been giving me trouble lately.

My mom eyed it and said it looked like her size, so she tried it on. Voila! This blouse was totally made for her. The fit is just right on her. The sleeves flatter her shape, and she needed a slightly dressier top for fancier occasions.

I love how my mom styled it. She was in her PJ's, and I insisted she change into the blouse so I could take pictures of her outside. Within 5 minutes, my mom had lipstick on, her hair fixed, and perfectly contrasting jewelry! I wish I could be as put together as my mom. The vibrant red shows of the vibrant blue perfectly. My mom is so smiley in all of the pictures, too! You wouldn't be able to tell it was about 50 degF in these pictures! (She lives in a climate that is 60 degF at its coldest.)


She would also probably want everyone to admire her roses in the background.

Pattern: Pendrell Blouse by Sewaholic, View A
Fabric: 1.75 yds Blue polyester charmeuse from JoAnn's Fabrics.
Notions: none
Time to complete: ?
Made for: Mom!
Size: 14
Mods: none
Cost: ~$9, on sale