Posted by: mick | May 6, 2007

A lonely weekend (and an FO to show for it)

This weekend has been really quiet, which has actually quite suited me. Jason left on Friday while I was at work, taking the bus to Albany, then driving five hours to Potsdam for his brother’s bachelor party. I was invited at the last minute, as it was a sort of Jack and Jill, playing the Wii and drinking weekend more than an organized all dudes fiesta, but since I had work (and it would mean three weekends in a row leaving the mows unattended), I opted to stay here by my lonesome. Friday night I did a bit of knitting on Branching Out, which I completed yesterday, wove in the ends this afternoon and is now blocking. And now, I give you, another FO: Branching Out

branching out blocking

Pattern: Branching Out, by Susan Pierce Lawrence

Yarn: Jojoland Melody, Color Y22, one skein (220 yds.)

Needles: Denise 8s

Notes: The patterns says that it’s a great beginner’s lace project, and I’d have to agree. I got some practice with new techniques like knitting three together, and I used the chart which was great practice for more complicated lace projects later on in my knitting adventures. I was very happy with the yarn, and it was a huge bargain at $5 a ball. That was the regular, non-sale price! I picked up two balls, but chose to do just the one for two reasons: one, I thought the length was pretty good and might grow (and boy was I right! Look at that sucker blocking all over my living room); two, I thought I might be able to make some ankle socks or something out of the second ball; and three, the main reason, I was bored to tears. I don’t know if I learn quickly or if I’m just easily bored, but after a few repeats I wanted this thing out of my lap. It was a relatively quick knit, but the repetition really got to me after a while. The pattern was well-written and very easy to follow, and I think the results are lovely. The yarn’s plies each have different colors, and the variegation produces these little nubs of maroon in the blue or blue in the maroon, which I think is quite striking. The color is not my own personal favorite (they had this green/turquoisy colorway I was nuts over), but the professor this is for wears a lot of dark, rich navies and maroons. These colors should be perfect for her.

In other news, now that I’ve presented my FO triumph, I couldn’t bring myself to cast-on for yet another scarf. These darned rectangles are killing me. So last night and today I’ve been working on Honeymoon a bit, and I’m almost done the back right portion. I’m struggling a bit as it turns out my purl gauge is significantly more loose than my knit gauge (does anyone else have this problem?), which means I have to pay extra attention when knitting a wrong-side row. I’m anxious to get this off the needles to wear it, as I adore the salmony color. I’ll work on it more today and post pics soon.

My weekend has been a success in the non-knitting arena as well. Friday was my last day at my dreaded office job, and it was really great. Some professors took me out to lunch this week, as did my bosses, which was really nice and more than I expected. At lunch, I mentioned to a co-worker (who I’m not really that close to; she’s very sweet, but we work in different offices and don’t know each other very well) how I was anxious to move to a place with a garden and grow some herb plants. I had a basil plant two summers ago and made mozzarella, tomato, and basil every day for lunch, until a house-sitter forgot to water it. I still mourn it to this day. So when I came in on Friday, I saw this waiting for me on my desk.

basil plant

The card behind it was a gift from my immediate boss, and it contained a $50 gift card to Barnes and Noble. How sweet! Both gifts were so thoughtful and a total surprise. Sometimes people can be so thoughtful and genuinely kind. It really made my day.

So on Saturday, after a lovely breakfast and a little cleaning, I went with a friend out to lunch at Athan’s bakery. I’ve seen this place on Phantom Gourmet all the time, and Erin swears by it. The lunch selection was a little sparse, with just a few panini, but the atmosphere was cute. And the baked goods looked so amazing; I’ll definitely have to wander there for a special treat with Jason sometime soon. Then Erin and I went downtown for some top secret shopping for Jason and my two-year anniversary in June (unbloggable, as Jason reads this. Stop your guessing right now, nosey parker!), and then went to Barnes and Noble to spend that gift card. It’s sad how excited I get to buy books, but come on, a lit student and obsessed knitter + bookstore gift card = instant book carnage. I had several ideas about knitting books to buy, and after much deliberation I bought Cables Untangled and More Sensational Knitted Socks. I have been eyeing Stefanie Japel’s Fitted Knits for a while, as well as Greetings from Knit Cafe and Mason-Dixon Knitting, but these two won out in the end because of functionality. As much as I like the Fitted patterns, some are a little trendy for me, as is the case with Knit Cafe. Also, Knit Cafe and MDK have a breezy, conversational style, which I find lovely and relaxing, but might not be the best spending of money at this juncture in my knitting career. I’m still learning a lot with each new pattern; I bought Norah Gaughan’s Knitting Nature a few months ago, and quickly realized that I lack the know-how to tackle such complicated, exquisite projects. Cables Untangled, I’m hoping, will help me feel better about textured knitting. I’ve realized that, in sweaters and larger pieces, I am definitely drawn to highly textured pieces in one color or heathered yarns, rather than variegated pieces. I love the classics, I really do. Also, I’ve got two skeins of sock yarn and some teeny winsy dpn’s waiting to be used, and I just can’t seem to tackle socks. This sock book is really incredible, with lots of patterns organized by ease, and size charts for gauge as well as several heel and toe options for each sock. I will knit socks, oh yes, I will knit socks. And these socks shall be variegated beyond your wildest dreams! I’ve got some Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Champlain Sunset (a gift from my love for Christmas, aptly chosen because of the many Champlain sunsets we’ve shared at his mom and stepdad’s house on the lake each summer), and I cannot wait to make an extra special, beautiful pair of socks. So the other books are still in the wings for purchase, but I’ll have to wait until I’ve gotten some more experience and confidence under my belt.

Speaking of all of these books, the new Interweave Summer edition came this weekend, and I’m really loving so many of the patterns (as well as the sock article!). I splurged and treated myself to a subscription about a month ago, and I’m so glad I did. I really love so many of the patterns; it seems most are classic but still really stylish, nothing too trendy. I find myself genuinely wanting to knit and wear most of them. I have noticed, interestingly, that every pattern I love, I mean really love, want to run out and buy the yarn and cast on immediately love, is designed by Veronik Avery. Weird, huh? I guess I’ve found myself a favorite designer. I have arrived! In particular, I really want to knit her Notre Dame de Grace sweater (scroll down for it). I can just picture myself throwing that on to grab the mail or just lounge pretty much every day in Michigan. I love the color too, that oatmeal is so lovely.

Talking about all of the things I want to knit is making me feel rather unorganized. I’m going to compose a need to/want to/gotta have to knit list. I’ll post it shortly. Hopefully, that will help keep my crazy yarn and book-buying butt in line.

Other than the shopping and knitting, I also vacuumed and dusted the entire apartment, spent q.t. with the mows and relaxed, and worked on my paper for my presentation next week. It’s been a really productive weekend. It’s funny, though: it’s been only about 48 hours since Jason left, and I miss him so much. It occurred to me the other night that Friday was my first night alone in this apartment since we moved in together back in September, and it felt really strange. When you spend so much time with someone and they’re suddenly far away, it feels like you’re missing a leg. Le sigh. Distance is good, however; I think it really makes you appreciate someone. I can’t wait for his bus to get in in a few hours, and start our exciting summer of teaching. Yay for four day, one hour a day, weeks! Yay!


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