Thursday, July 30, 2009

July Round-Up

How is it that my little brother can go on vacation, come back, and still have more blog posts than I do? I'll tell you why, and it's very simple: I'm a sucky blogger this month. There! Alert the presses! :)

Things have still been up and down this month: The Brain is definitely getting a 10% pay cut, and they're saying that the education budget will be even worse next year. Everyone who was eligible has already taken early retirement, they are cutting course offerings and raising class sizes, and now they have a pay cut. What's next? Layoffs. Talk about a brain drain! I'm sure other states will be more than happy to take the high-quality educators that California doesn't want (and the chancellor has made it very clear that lecturers are preferable to PhD-holding, tenured faculty members because they're cheaper). But that's my bitterness talking.

Less bitterness! More knitting!

It has been a busy month as well, with some more top-secret projects making their way into my life. One involves knitting a sample sweater for a designer's pattern and I am really loving it. The yarn (Classic Elite Fresco) is soooo soft and light and just a dream to work with! It's in the perfect shade of silvery gray. I will definitely have to make one of these for myself, too.

My youngest brother was in town last week from MN and we had a blast running all over San Diego doing all the things you can't do up in the Twin Cities: mainly, swim in the ocean, seal-watch, drive into the mountains, walk around at night without mosquito spray, etc. It was a blast! I also took some time to get some FO photos from projects that have been sitting around for a while. Yay!

Pattern: Little Birds, by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Jamiseon's Shetland Spindrift
Size: 34"
Mods: Added one repeat of the pattern to the body of the sweater (lengthwise), and two repeats to the sleeves.
Final Thoughts: This was my first large-scale stranded project, and I really liked the challenge. I feel that my stitches were even (blocking helped!) and the final product looks OK. But, the fit is a bit strange on me. I don't know if it was the added length, but the front pieces are angled funny and tend to hit right outside my boobal area, which gives the sweater the effect of looking too small. Also, the high ribbing at the bottom makes it appear as though I have no waist. I assure you, I do...if only because there is no way my waist could be as wide as my hips. (Thanks, Mom!)

Pattern: Laminaria, by Elizabeth Freeman
Yarn: Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Silk Lace
Mods: None
Final Thoughts: I love this pattern, I love this yarn (thanks, little brothers!), I loved knitting every second of this shawl! It was challenging to block because the star stitches seem to make the lace want to stretch in every direction imaginable. I feel as though it turned out too wide, and not long enough. But I hate blocking just enough to not care enough to do it over. I still love it though and am very pleased with the end result.

Pattern: Wisteria Garden Shawl, by Amy Swenson
Yarn: Zen Yarn Garden Sea Lace
Mods: None
Final Thoughts: This was the second installment in my Year of Lace membership. I really love getting new yarn in the mail that I may never have tried on my own, and this was one of those shipments. I'm not a fan of the color, but that's no big deal. I can donate this to Knit for the Cure. At least it will go to a worthy cause instead of draped from a hanger in my closet with my other lace things!

Pattern: Miss Lambert's Shetland Pattern for a Shawl, by Jane Sowerby
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace in Stonechat
Mods: Added 5 repeats to the body to make it wider
Final Thoughts: This was my mindless TV knitting project for the last few months. It was a very simple pattern in very soooooft yarn, and I'm a little sorry to have finished it. But there is always more Malabrigo to be had, so I don't feel too bad!

Sorry to have foisted these FOs on you all at once. I'll try to have a more entertaining blog post next time! :)


Julie said...

I'm sorry about the pay cut AND the sweater! The stranding looks great and I HATE when you spend so much time on something and it doesn't turn out.

Ah... Malabrigo - love it!

Yarndude said...

...and the lace went marching by. I know why you haven't been blogging - it's because you're spending all your time knitting! :P

Cookie said...

I think maybe if there had been slightly less ribbing. Maybe? Although, I do think you did a wonderful job on the sweater and all that lace!

I'm sorry about the work stuff. I'm starting to wonder if there will be a California left by the time it's all over and done.

Jacey said...

All of your projects are gorgeous! I'm so proud of all your lacy goodness, but of course, I'm partial to your Birdy sweater. I'm sorry to hear the fit isn't what you expected.

Good luck to the Brain. I'm sorry to hear about the paycut.

Michelle said...

I keep getting emails from my branch of CSU and each one is more terrifying than the last with regard to budget cuts. I don't even read them, I simply delete while closing my eyes. I know it's probably going to cost me more in tuition to graduate this semester than I've spent in the past 3 years.

And my word verification today is "butfings" Coincidence? I think not.

soknitpicky said...

That's quite a round-up! The lace is lovely. So is the cardi, but I know how it feels to be disappointed by the fit on a project :-(

Much luck to the Brain

leann said...

Wow! That's a beautiful FO parade if I ever saw one! Everything looks great.

Much luck to The Brain...hopefully things will turn around soon!

(Okay, and I just have to say that I find it hilarious that my comment moderation word is "hookin")

Hilary said...

Wow, you've gotten a LOT of knitting done, and that's not even all of it! I've noticed the sorta funny opening of the Little Birds sweater before (why outside the boobage area?), but still think it's a cute sweater in general. And I do not think it looks bad on you at all! It's really lovely, as are your amazing lace pieces. I'm so sorry to hear about the pay cuts.....the whole thing makes me very angry. Ugh. Boo, California.

KGLO said...

sooooo pritty. I love the sweater. I haven't worked up the courage to knit such a big stranded project yet. I don't quite trust myself.

How's your foreign language-learning coming? (you can knit AND read subtitles??) I have a co-worker who agreed to teach me Farsi (no idea how to spell it) but unfortunately, a lack of sleep has made my brain feel a lot like scrambled jello. I think I actually forgot some things I used to know.


Free Range Chick said...

You Little Birds is beautiful. All of them are beautiful. Definitely no little projects for you. You are quite a talented knitter.