Yes, the semester is FINALLY over. I spent most of last week working feverishly on final projects and driving to and from LA (it can take up to 2 hours each way) because one of my projects had to be done on some very specific software at school. But it's over now! They even took all of us lowly, broke grad students (and our husbands/boyfriends/sisters/whatever) out to a very fancy dinner on Saturday night.
After a couple of recovery days and a couple of days running errands, I officially don't know what to do with myself for the next month, until my FINAL SEMESTER OF GRAD SCHOOL starts up. (You don't know how excited I am to have a real job again.) I know, not a bad problem to have, right? I'm just running into the same problem I had over the summer: with nothing to do, I feel like a privileged loser. Thank god for Netflix! Carolyn (a very sweet and fast knitter) did suggest in the comments to my last posting that I could come to the local knitting group that I managed to make it to once. I just don't know that KIP is my thing. Plus I'm a really solitary person so knitting alone just kind of feels right to me. But who knows? After another week of sitting at home I might be ready to break loose. ;-)
I have managed to get some knitting done since my last post, however. (This IS a knitting blog after all, right?) After spending an entire weekend knitting and ripping and re-designing and ripping ad nauseum, I finally settled on a simple neck warmer for my niece to go along with her hat:
No pattern. I just made it up as I went along and I ended up with yarn to spare. Whew! I packed them up with the green hat and scarf I made for my sister and sent them off to Minneapolis. Mission accomplished.
I would have liked to go back to knitting my Dollar and a Half Cardigan, but I had to finish up a pair of fingerless gloves The Brain thought his mother would like. She's a very avid curler (Yes, my husband is Canadian. Why do you ask?) so fingerless is the way to go. I was barely halfway through the first one though, so I thought it was going to be a pain to finish the pair. But I was able to do it in only a couple of days. (Again, Netflix rocks.)
Pattern: Jacoby, free from Berroco.com
Yarn: Knit Picks Memories sock yarn
Needles: Size 3 DPNs
Notes: I love this pattern! It's a simple K2, P2 rib with a clever little thumb gusset. Because there are no fingers, you don't have to deal with all those annoying little tubes. Plus, they're really stretchy so they really will fit sizes S-XXL as the pattern says.
This is a great way for me to use up all the sock yarn I bought from Knit Picks but never plan on using since I hate knitting socks. Whenever I'm between projects I can always whip up a pair and by next fall, hopefully all that sock yarn will be gone. I can send the whole lot to my family in Minneapolis--with a mom and 6 sisters, I'm sure they will get use. Plus, I can probably get 3 gloves to one skein of yarn so we're talking...wow. A lot of fingerless gloves. The pattern would work well for men too, but I only have kind of girly colors to choose from.
I was also able to churn out a scarf with the sad remains from my first pair of wristwarmers:
Pattern: One-Row Handspun Scarf from the Yarn Harlot blog
Yarn: Plymouth Boku
Needles: Size 8
Notes: This yarn works much better in a scarf. You can see all the color changes (which made it only a little less boring to knit) and I like the fall color blend. The final result is a squooshy, springy, reversible scarf. I only had 2 skeins of yarn, which made the scarf only about 45 inches long, but it's long enough to wear under a coat, maybe casually hanging around the neck.
I originally made the scarf for me, and even wore it out shopping yesterday, but as I finished up my mother-in-law's fingerless gloves last night, The Brain and I were lamenting the fact that we didn't have anything to send to his dad too. So...the scarf got sent off to Montreal along with the gloves. :( I was happy to give it to a good home, and The Brain even said he would buy me more yarn for a replacement scarf, but let's face it: here in southern California, I doubt I will ever have a need for a wool scarf. Plus it was scratching my sensitive neck while I was wearing it yesterday so I doubt it would get much use here.
I ran those to the post office this morning and when I returned, there was a package waiting outside my door. I must vent for a moment here. (And I must do it rather cryptically, since The Brain reads this blog.) My parents told me they were getting a particular gift for The Brain for Christmas and having it sent directly to me. This is something I told them he would like. In fact, I researched this particular item extensively online and found a style that would fit his particular tastes and needs. I sent my parents the link to this product with very specific instructions about my reasons behind recommending this exact product. My dad responded a few days later by saying that he had ordered a different style of product, but that he had this exact one himself and liked it very much. Hmmm...60 year-old conservative Republican vs. 30 year-old trendy liberal. What could possibly go wrong here?
As I feared, I opened the box and found this particular item to be exactly not what I told them The Brain would want or need. And since it is a week before Christmas and they live halfway across the country, there is nothing I can do about it now except to wrap it up and have The Brain open it. But...since we live halfway across the country from my parents, they will never know whether or not he uses it so I guess there is a silver lining.
So...sorry, sweetie. I'll do better next time.