Tag Archives: ravelry bait

Vanilla Latte Socks

31 May

I am on a knitting roll. I finished not one, but TWO projects this week. I’m shocked. The first is a pair of socks that I started in April. The second is a gift, so y’all don’t get to see it until the thing gets mailed to the US. Anyways, I’ve had this skein of bright pink/orange/red yarn for about a year now and I figured it was about time to do something with it. I feel all good inside when I make a dent in my yarn stash, you know?

socks

The Vanilla Latte socks are super simple, which is what I was looking for. After the tadpole socks, I wanted something a little mindless to knit. And voila! I feel like the color makes up for the relatively plain pattern, don’t you?

socks 2

Tadpole Socks

8 Apr

I’m still on a knitting roll. I managed to finish a pair of socks in under a month (one sock in a week!) due to the March vacation. This time around I tried this tadpole pattern off Ravelry. It’s a fairly simple pattern to memorize and I like how you only work the pattern on two sides, not all four.

socks

Continue reading

Newcastle Hipster Hat

11 Mar

I recently finished another knitting project with some yarn that I bought in Newcastle, way back in November. It’s a lovely Rowan Tweed Aran in a cool turquoise/blue/purple colorway. (Nidd 781, for those who are curious.) I still miss my brown rasta hat, which I lost in Chengdu last winter, so I figured I should try to make something similar. The gods of Ravelry suggested this pattern by Amy Thiessen. Yes, it’s a replica of some hat that Kristen Stewart wore in one of the Twilight movies, but I liked the slouchiness. Let it slide, people.

 kevin in the hipster hatMy hipster hat, as modeled by my cousin Kevin.

In retrospect, I should have made the band a little tighter and stopped at 35 rows instead of going to 40 before the decrease. Since the tweed is a little heavy, the hat has a bad habit of sliding off when I’m not careful or I don’t bobby-pin it in place. I love it though. It’s so warm and I like how I can hide 95% of my frizz on a bad hair day. I’d definitely recommend this pattern.

London Cowl

25 Jan

Whenever I go someplace new, I like to buy a ball or two of yarn. It’s a more tangible reminder of my travels than some crappy little trinket that I’ll have to dust and then get rid of. Last November, I went to a cute little yarn shop in London on one of my afternoons and picked up two balls of Colinettte Point 5 Chunky Pure Wool yarn in “Pharaoh”. Dorky name, but cool colorway. I do recommend hitting up I Knit London if you’re ever in town; they were really nice and helpful.  Continue reading

Voltaire

10 Dec

Surprisingly, I’ve kept up my knitting despite all the fascinating things going on in my life. Well, it’s not that surprising: I didn’t have regular internet access in my room for a long time, so I usually ended up listening to Radiolab podcasts and knitting at night. After two months, I finally finished my project: a nice blue scarf.voltaire in blue

I’d like to say I’m above petty things like picking a pattern because of the name, but I’d be lying. The Voltaire scarf is a reference to Zadig and Voltaire, the French clothing line, and not the satirist. I don’t mind. It’s a fairly simple pattern and it’s got a really cool texture on both sides. I decided against turning it into a cowl of some kind – that’s my next project. I’m glad I finally finished the dang thing – Paris has gotten cold in the past week.

Baktus Scarf

11 May

My last knitting project was an incredibly intricate pair of socks (see Nutkin). My normal routine after finishing a long project is pretty predictable. First, there are a few days of blessed freedom, before the knitting bug starts getting to me. I start two or three projects in a row before frogging them in favor of something else. And then I stumble on my next pattern.

I picked out the baktus scarf pattern specifically for the yarn in question. I had bought a skein of Noro Silk Garden sock yarn at my favorite shop, the Knitting Cove, last Christmas. It was sitting in my stash just waiting for some free time. And so, I searched Ravelry for a pattern that would compliment the color pattern but wouldn’t use up too much yarn – I only had the single ball.

Enter Baktus. It’s dead easy and mindless enough that I can actually read on the computer and knit at the same time, albeit slower than normal. It showed off the colorway nicely, and it was blessedly uncomplicated in comparison to my previous sock projects.

I finished this one relatively quickly. It helped that I had a trip to Hong Kong and needed something to kill time in transit. I met a fellow knitter in Hong Kong, which was pretty cool.

This ended up being a gift for a friend’s birthday. For whatever reason, I almost always end up gifting away most of my knitting projects. (Except for the tragic mistakes, of course. Those hide in the bin of shame, aka my sock drawer.) Hope you enjoy the scarf, Kate!

Nutkin

18 Apr

My current knitting best is finishing a pair of socks in under three weeks. No, the Apocalypse is not nigh. Mostly, it just means that I get hella productive in other endeavors when I don’t have the internet at my disposal 24-7.

For two weeks, depressed because of my move to a new dorm and annoyed at my lack of internet, I watched lots of movies and knit. And knit and knit and knit and I had gotten to the saturation point where I was dreaming of knitting. I also managed to burn through all of Planet Earth, three seasons of Supernatural, and a couple of forgettable movies. The end result? This.

 This is the Nutkin pattern, made by Beth LaPensee. I rather like it. It’s simple. Easy to follow, simple to memorize, practically idiot-proof, and it looks super impressive. It’s not lacy, despite the yarn-overs, and a top-down sock, which I prefer. I used Meilenweit Merino Lana Grosa (2143), which I got from the lovely ladies at the Knitting Cove in Port Jefferson when I was home for Christmas.

I think I’m going to leave the sock knitting alone for now. It’s been my default project for the past six months, and I’ve worn my poor DPNs to shreds. Right now, I’m working on a nice, simple baktus scarf and using my Noro Silk Garden yarn. I think there’s a little too much wool in the yarn to make them into socks, anyways. And then there’s the lovely silk yarn that I picked up in Sydney at the Rocks Street Fair last January. It might become a shawl, or maybe a scarf or two. Not that I need any more scarves, but it would make a pretty gift.

As for these socks, they’ve been bundled up and sent off to a friend. Hope you enjoy the socks, Sophie!

Observations from Bangkok

10 Mar

I don’t really have another full post, and I’ve already uploaded all my good pictures, but here are some random thoughts to close up my trip to Thailand.

THE MAP IS A LIE. That place you want to go to might look like it’s nearby, but it is an hour’s walk. And it is hot out. Suck it up and get a cab.

Do not over-pay the cabs. I had a guy try to cheat me for 200 baht for a 1km drive. The starting price for cabs is 35 baht. (Asshole.) DO not listen to them if they tell you a number, and insist on a meter.

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi is nice, but the food there is super expensive. There’s a 7-11 on the arrivals floor. Their banana bread is delicious and cheap. You will not regret it.

I never saw any street food that looked good enough to risk dysentery. After six months of readily available shao kao in Chengdu, Thai street food seems distinctly unimpressive.

There are a lot of foreigners in Thailand. In Chengdu, it’s kind of a shock to see white people in an abundance on the street. I don’t think I ever went more than twenty minutes outside without seeing another Westerner there. Maybe since I was favoring tourist-friendly areas? I don’t know, it still seemed like a lot of white people running around.

Bangkok has some serious malls. Like, Hong Kong-level seriousness. I was impressed and terrified.

I was the most retarded candidate for a Thai massage ever. Clearly, my ESP is non-existent and I should pass on any future games of charades. Also, I’m pretty sure the place I went to was also a brothel, given all the foreign guys heading upstairs to another floor, following the hot young things. (Oops, my bad.) FYI, my masseuse was an older woman, maybe in her later forties/early fifties. It was pretty funny for the both of us.

—-

I liked Thailand, but I don’t think I ever got over the whole “Asian people speaking and I haven’t the foggiest idea what’s going on” thing. I more or less get along just fine in China, so this threw me for a loop and then some.

Basically, the part I will never, ever forget about Bangkok was at the airport on my last day. I was waiting for my flight out and the plane to Guangzhou had been delayed. Seated at the gate, I was working on my knitting when a family of four sat down opposite of me. The daughter and son were about my age and engrossed in their cell phones, but the mother was staring at me. I smiled blandly. The woman took it as an invitation. She got up and came over, looking curiously at my progress. She grabbed it out of my hand and inspected the stitches, proclaimed loudly in Chinese “You’re doing it wrong,” before starting to knit a few rounds.

I stared. What. The. Fuck.

Her daughter looked up, shrugged apologetically, and took my picture. Somewhere, there is a Cantonese family with a picture of me sitting confusedly next to an older Chinese woman who had commandeered my project and was knitting my sock*.

She eventually handed it back, two rounds later. She then proceeded to treat me like one of her children, chivying me onto the plane during boarding, and making sure I got my bags at luggage pick up.

It was simultaneously super weird and super sweet.

*I’m almost finished with this pair of socks, btw. Three weeks of no internet at the dorms + no classes = very productive Jane.

All in all, it was a fun trip. Weird, unexpected, and awesome, but fun.

Grumpasaurus Rex

28 Dec

I’ve been coveting the Grumpasaurus pattern on Ravelry for ages and ages, but I put it off until after I finished my socks as I have a firm “one project at a time” rule. To do so otherwise leads to madness and being buried alive in a gigantic pile of yarn. Well, I finished those socks back in October, but I spent November Nano-ing and couldn’t let myself procrastinate through knitting, either. My dearest Grumpasaur languished in the realms of mere conjecture until I crossed the 50,000 word benchmark and I threw down my pen with equal parts disgust and relief.

I bought the yarn ages and ages ago when I was visiting Susan in Boulder, CO. Boulder is an awesome town and I’d move there in a heartbeat if I could afford it. (Also, I have a sneaking suspicion that January is considerably less pleasant than July out there.) The local little yarn shop is Gypsy Wools, a slightly hipper (and hippier) establishment than my local shops, the Knitting Cove in Port Jeff and the Knitting Barn in Gainesville. For one thing, they’re practically on first name terms with the sheep their wool comes from. I’m impressed. They do a lot of their own spinning and dyeing and if I had any desire to jump headfirst into the extremes of knitting, I’d ask them for tips. Cleverly, I did not ask them to roll up my yarn. My haphazard attempts to do so on my own ended up in the most impressive Gordian Knot seen on this side of the Atlantic. I spent the next three days painstakingly unraveling it, to the amusement of various relatives. Thanks for the help unraveling it, Gramma!

Anyways, I made the Grumpasaur in record time (for me, at least), since it was a Christmas gift and I really needed to get the damn thing in the mail if it was going to have any chance of reaching NY before the New Year. Katia can attest to the various iterations the Grumpasaur went through, as I dramatically flounced across the hallway and bemoaned my lack of ability to knit properly. The tail took at least five attempts to gt the damn thing on in an appropriate fashion and location. It also took some trial and error to get the comb to look all right, but a little trial and error with a crochet hook made everything all right. The darker green was a yarn I had picked up at a cool store in the Garment District in NYC during that awful time when I was fighting to get my damn visa and had some time to kill. I don’t remember anything about the shop except that it had a cat, which was adorable and received lots of pets.

I also made a second version of the Grumpasur, the Grumpasaurus Minimus. This grumpasaur is a dwarf variation and smaller than her larger cousin. (Happy Christmas, Katia!) Grumpasaurus Minimus took much less time to craft, seeing as I had already figured out where the trip-wires and bear-traps were located in the pattern. I used my sock needles for the Minimus, which meant I spent half the time bitching about how damn small everything is. Next time, I’m bringing my tapestry needles along. That shit is hard with just a crochet hook.

I like the pattern, but my one beef with the hole thing is basically my lack of ability to embroider proper faces. So mine like mildly retarded, as opposed to the adorable grumpy look on the pattern. I can live with that.

Not Quite Peppermint

7 Nov

So, I finished my first pair of socks this week, the ones I mentioned way back in Charade. They’re sockerrific. Katia thinks I’m insane to actually wear them, after all the time and effort, but dammit, I made me some socks and I’m gonna wear ’em if I wanna.

Charade, by Sandra Park.  Found here on Ravelry.

This project took me about three months, off and on. It was the kind of project where I wouldn’t touch it for two weeks and then the next day get a third of the sock done. I like color pattern of the yarn, but as I mentioned last time, I’d probably choose something a little sturdier for my next pair.  Oh well.

Now, for my next trick, a pair of gloves! If my past experience with knitting winter gear holds true, I should be finished with them around May.