Ravelry Wants Me!!!

Big excitement: I got my Ravelry invite today! Feels like ages since I put myself on the waitlist. There were 9,270-ish people ahead of me on the waitlist. Can't wait to get Ravelling!

My sister thinks I wussed out on the username. I just couldn't rise to the challenge of coming up with yet another cool, pithy idea. Save it for the knitting!


Needles Needles Needles!

I was in Washington, DC, last weekend being honored with a leadership award from the Association for American Colleges and Universities, and my sister and mom flew out to be with me. It was a great visit. We all had knitting projects with us! Best of all, they brought me presents:

KnitPicks Options Interchangeable Needles in Nickel (from my sister)

KnitPicks Options DPNs in Nickel (from my mom)

Thanks, Mom and B! I love them!

If you haven't checked out the KnitPicks needles, do! They come in gorgeous Harmony wood, too, if you like that. My mom and sister are both using the Harmony wood. I love the sound of the metal, clicking, though!!


Christmas Knitting (or C's Woe Is Me and the Koolhaas Solution)

Just before Christmas, C was feeling left out of the big knit fest — convinced that nobody would ever make anything for her. I had recently made two pairs of socks: one for myself and another pair for my MIL. I had also started the Urban Aran Cardigan for J, which was intended as a Christmas present but then got sidelined while I completed some smaller projects... including 3 Koolhaas hats for gifts. Little did C know, I was working on a pair of legwarmers for her after she went to bed each night.

Pattern: My own.
Started: December 12, 2007
Completed: December 24, 2007
Materials: Moda Dea Sassy Stripes (2 skeins)
Needles: US 1 / 2.25 mm

She loves them, and they keep her legs very warm when she rides the scooter with me.

Of course, because of all C's loud moaning and gnashing of teeth, her dad promised to make her a hat. I had recently taught him how to knit, and he had just finished his very first knitting project. Here is his Vivace Scarf:

Great job, no? It's a basic seed-stitch pattern in Ty Dy cotton.

I had recently finished one of Brooklyntweed's Koolhaas hats for him for Christmas, and I had been urging him to consider tackling one himself. I believe knitters need to be fearless. There are only a limited number of stitches and stitch techniques, so what better pattern to teach him cables on than a hat that's loaded with them? He took the challenge and decided that, for his second knitting project ever, he would make C a Koolhaas. It is with great pride that I present C's Great Poppin' Koolhaas, made by her dad:

What's with the name, you ask? I had modified the pattern for smaller-circumference heads. Before we blocked it, the hat kept popping off C's head! She looked like this a lot:

Blocking took care of the problem, so no more poppin'! I don't know about you, but I'm thoroughly impressed with this hat — doubly so because it's only his second project!

So C landed two hand-knit Christmas presents. And J enjoyed knitting the Koolhaas so much, he made one for me, too!

My husband rocks!


J's Pumpkin Koolhaas

We all know the maxim that you should never knit your boyfriend a sweater... well I never did. In fact, I may hold a record. This year, nearly 20 years after meeting my boyfriend/husband, I finally knuckled down and knit something for him:

Pattern: Koolhaas by Jared Flood [AKA Brooklyntweed]
Started: December 7, 2007
Completed: December 11, 2007
Materials: Tahki Donegal Tweed
Needles: US 6 / 4.0 mm; US 8 / 5.0 mm

Love the stitch definition with this yarn. This was my first try at the Koolhaas. The hat ended up fitting well around but being a bit long, so Joseph folds up the rib. He loves it and, I’m happy to say, wears it all the time... even around the house!

But wait — What's that he's doing? (you ask) He's knitting! Yessiree, there's a lot of good that can come from checking out Brooklyntweed, the remarkable blog by Jared Flood. In my household, that "good" was J's decision to give knitting a whirl. (Thank you, Jared, for your stunning aesthetic!) I started teaching him in November, and by Christmas he had finished his first project (that scarf in the picture) and a second project for C (see the next entry). In the picture, he's working on a tie of his own design. He now has his own Ravelry account, and you can check out his project page to see more of it.

Back to the Koolhaas:

It's a fantastic pattern. I live near the Seattle Public Library where Jared got his inspiration, so I’m partial. As of January, I’ve made three of these – given them all away – received one (knit by Joseph), and modified the pattern for children’s sizes so Joseph could knit one for our daughter. Did I mention we love this pattern?

I finished it well before Christmas and gave it to him to wear right away. Who can really wait when the guy lives with you, watched you knit it for 3 days, and knows it's done? Not me! The problem was, I had told C it would be a Christmas present. Rather than blow the whole Christmas thing for her, we kept it a secret that J was wearing the hat. He'd wait to put it on until she wasn't around. We did have a few scares, but we pulled it off. When he unwrapped it Christmas morning, she was thrilled because he would finally get to wear it!

Unfortunately, I gifted the other two Koolhaas's I made for my mom and sister before taking any pictures. My sister promises to send me some, so I'll post them sometime in the future!

Piled Higher and Deeper

I don't have time for this. I should be working on my dissertation, which has to be finished and defended by August. If I'm true-to-form, though, that means I'm about to embark upon a period of unprecedented creativity: writing, knitting, blogging, composing, producing or performing in a play, maybe even having a second child.

Thanks to all the inspiring and talented knit bloggers out there. I've lurked silently for too long. Time to add my voice to the chorus.