Chartreuse Knits

Where a college student learns--and struggles with--the zen of knitting. It's the process, not the product, though the product is much more fun to wear!


Uh-Oh! Spaghetti-O's!

True to form, in my non-committal, lazy, and yet seriously overwhelmed way, I quit the HK knitalong for the time being. In all truth, I have WAAAY too much on my plate at the moment to complete adorable little projects within a specific time frame. I am still knitting, but am limiting myself rather severely until my homework's done.

Indeed, I must reprimand myself as parents do to elementary-school children ("No TV till the homework's done) by reminding myself that once the reading/writing/analyzing is complete and I am caught up, then and only then can I resume my knitting. What a nice delusion :)

In other news, today I was rather saddened in my Nutrition class. My professor was telling us about American "Portion Distortion" with food, indicating that when the FDA says 2 servings of meat a day, a serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards. For bread servings, a single slice of bread counts as a serving, 1/2 of a 2 oz (not the 4 oz ones found in bakeries) bagel is another serving. I have a profound and spiritual connection to eating and preparing food. I love trying new ingredients and making savory, tasty, and all-around yummy dishes. My professor may actually convince some people to begin eating disorders to follow the FDA food pyramid!

In all seriousness, however, I do agree that portion size is distorted, and that being wary of what one consumes is essential. Being an educated consumer is very important, but meticulous and fastidious approaches to serving sizes may actually cause more harm than good, in my opinion. I've known girls who followed the "calorie counting" routine, only allowing themselves 1600 calories a day. Even though they would eat a relative variety of foods, several of them became anemic and another became so obsessed with counting calories that apart from verging on anorexic, the girl had to undergo psychological treatment in order to undo the extreme obsession she had with counting.

In knitting news, I have only 2 projects on the needles, and hope to bring it down to 1 soon, so that my studies don't suffer that much anymore. These projects are a Slytherin scarf and a pair of socks (pattern from the December 2004 issue of Martha Stewart Living). The socks are for me, and I'm currently on sock number 2, and the scarf is for a good friend of mine, Laura. Well, I have class in about 20 minutes, and I don't want to be late! Have a great day everyone!


Back in the Saddle

I'm back in Austin for the start of my spring semester here at the University of Texas. Back to the land of Yarn Stores, crafty people, and a sense that knitting is something creative and fun as opposed to something only poor people do to further their income (like how it's seen in my hometown). And also back to the cold country (comparatively).

2005 is truly the year of the sock. What with Sockapalooza and other knitbloggers going wild with socks socks socks. I have joined the bandwagon. I am knitting my bona-fide first pair of socks. My yarn is Moda Dea's Sassy Stripes in color 6250 on US size 3 DPNs. They're going to be a wee bit wide and thick, but I don't mind, because heavy socks make me happy and I have large calves anyway. I may invest in some Koigu or Regia at my LYS soon, but I have promised myself and my mom that I won't purchase any more yarn until the stash I have has been considerably depleted. Considering that I've deconstructed a few sweaters over Christmas break, it would appear I have a few months ahead of me to reduce the stash. However, I really want to make that Coocoon and Glam shawl from Crystal Palace and a Clapotis. Yet I'm thinking I may use a mohair/cotton/wool blend from a sweater for the Clapotis and perhaps a pair of legwarmers for my sister. The color is a fabulous turqoise, and the deconstructed sweater was a wretched 80's style design (complete with shoulder pads) from L.L. Bean. Lovely yarn, though. I guess I'll make the legwarmers for my sister first, then try the Clapotis. Wait, perhaps 2005 is Annemarie's year of joining the knitting bandwagons! Perhaps I'll try my first sweater this year as well?

In other to-do projects, my sister asked me for a Poster Boy bag from Stitch N' Bitch nation. (It's one of the patterns provided by Debbie Stoller). Except she wants Orlando Bloom on it. I promised her I'd learn intarsia so I could make the bag for her for her birthday. Alrighty then.

Right now I'm off to see my academic advisor (if she's in, considering today is MLK day) to beg/plead/whine my way into an English class I need for my major (which, by the way, is English). I followed her instructions during registration in November, I got on the waitlist for the class, but I haven't made it in. So now I have to go and tell her to put me in it. Pressure? The class starts at 9:30 AM tomorrow, so if she's not in today, I'm gonna have to get myself up bright and early to bang on her door before class begins. Luckily, class and the advisor are in the same building, and not across campus.


So the New Year's Resolution is broken, eh?

Yup. I have no discipline. *hangs head in shame* But I figure as I wait for a huge file to download (it says it has 11 minutes left, so I'm not going to hit the sack before it's done) I might as well blog. In news, my mommy came home from Spain on Thursday night... and she brought me the loveliest Spanish yarn. Not Katia (that's what I'll be searchin' for this summer in Madrid) but a brand of yarn called "Stop Lanas." Stop yarns... no! Actually, it has a little picture of a traffic light on it, so that's what's implied by the name. Two skeins of a bulky chunky purple/pink yarn called "New York" (do I sense a hat in there somewhere? or a Hello Kitty Something?) Two skeins of a blue tweed-ish yarn called "Country" and three softsoftsoft skeins of a non-angora (ah well) yet equally soft yellow green polyamide stuff which I forget the name of at the moment. Pictures to come, I promise.

In sewing news, my master instructor put together the skirt we were working on while I watched, and tomorrow (actually, today... it's that late, isn't it?) I get to piece together another one (which I cut out the patterns for tonight) under her supervision. I may be making skirts non stop out of that pattern! It's so dang easy once you know what to do.

Knit-wise, I ended the Booga Bag hiatus, and am now nearing the end of skein number 2. It says knit 64 rows, but I'm planning on just finishing the second skein and binding off with that, and then doing the i-cord out of the third skein, and letting it be as long as the skein allows because I don't want remnants. The reason I'm doing this is not laziness... it's just that at the very end of the Kureyon skein (Color #147, if you're wondering)is a bit of my favorite color: chartreuse. I can't very well relegate it to the mere beginning of an i-cord. Besides, I like my bags big.

I have plans to create this Bias Knit Cocoon & Glam Wrap when I've exhausted my current yarn resources (Actually, probably when I get to my LYS in Austin next week). I got the pattern for it in the Knitting Pattern A Day Calendar my sister got me for Christmas. I also want to create a Manos Del Uruguay ribbed scarf in a green colourway like I saw on a certain blog. Despite the fact the yarn's bloody expensive, I want to make one... the colors! The colors!

Tonight my mom and I had a discussion of needs vs. wants. Yarn is a want, and according to her I have way more than I need. So she said no more yarn purchases for awhile... (because I am still under their financial jurisdiction) but I figure if I use some of the cash I withdraw for lunch, socializing,movies, etc. and instead spend it on yarn, she'll never know... mwahaha! So I'm trying to figure out how much I need to save up for the Crystal Palace and the Manos yarn. So far those are the only projects that've caught my eye, but you never know what new projects that calendar may just throw my way!

Until I can aquire more of the delicious yarn I fantasize about: I will learn to knit socks and I will knit 4 Harry potter scarves for friends O_O (what have I brought upon myself?).


Please Be Advised This Post Contains Many, Many Pictures!

Alright. I promised pictures, so here they are!
Several things happened today. First of all, I woke up and went to sewing class with Señora Florencia. There, I learned how to measure and make the pattern for a bit of lining for the waist of the skirt, I traced and cut out the pattern, and learned to sew a zipper. Zippers are complicated, and need to be sewn first before the rest of the garment is assembled. Well, the skirt I chose to make requires one of those "invisible" zippers, the ones that once you zip you don't even know exist? Well, Señora Florencia didn't have any on hand, so I learned how to sew an ordinary zipper (which is just as useful, because eventually I'm going to need to sew regular zippers as well). Here is my teacher's version:
Notice how you don't even see the zipper itself? All you see is a little flap of fabric and the thread that holds it in place.
This, my friends, is what happens when you attempt to duplicate a master's work at home: 8 seams ripped later, I have that mess. Wrinkled? Yup. Zipper Visible? You Bet. Crooked seam? Yessiree. That is an hour after battling with my sewing machine. I figured out how to change the "head" to one that allows zippers, but then with the pins, the sewing... it made matters very difficult. I tried, I measured, but I still wound up with that.I may try tomorrow if the world sees fit to let me wake up around 7 in the morning.

After I left class, I went driving around Brownsville to see if I could find an invisible zipper. I forgot about the errand when I got to Super Wal-Mart and began looking at yarn. I wanted to make my sister a better Harry Potter scarf, so I was looking for some softer yarn than this:. For those two skeins of yarn I made several trips around town: First to the Super Wal-Mart where I found some Caron's Simply Soft in a really nice shade of red that woulr have worked very well in the scarf. Since that Wal-Mart has incredibly bad yarn selection, I drove over to the other Wal-Mart to see if they had some Simply Soft in the gold color I needed. Nope. I tried Michael's. Nothing either. So I'm at Michael's and I figure that I'm just going to have to make it Red Heart again. So I buy the burgundy. But at Michael's there's no gold. So I return to the regular Wal-Mart to exchange the Simply Soft for some Red Heart, but the exchange line is 20 people long! No way I'm going to wait in that line! So I drive back across town to the Super Wal-Mart, exchange the Simply Soft for the gold and make it home two hours after class. And no invisible zipper. And now that I'm comparing the scarf I made before with the yarn I bought today, I notice that the burgundy is much darker and deeper than the one I used before. I don't know if I want to go to Michael's, return the yarn, go to Wal-Mart and buy it in a shade lighter. Not this week I don't. Why the run-around for some cheap-o acrylic yarn? First of all, there's no LYS in a radius of 120 miles of my hometown. Second, remember the "Mitch Scarf" I made way back when? I decided to make another because I feel guilty that a) it's quite a bit (2 feet) smaller than my sister's, and b) that it doesn't look as nice.

My mom comes back from Spain tomorrow night! Yay! I missed my Mommy. However, Mommy isn't going to be very pleased with Annemarie. Because instead of making home videos into DVD's, I made these:. Four lovely tote bags made from the pattern provided in Stitch and Bitch. Here are close ups on the individual ones from left to right: 1, 2, 3, 4.
If you look closely at the left edge of number 1, you'll see that part of the fabric popped free from the seam. I need to fix that soon. And yes, tote nubmer 3 is one I featured before, because I made it during Thanksgiving. However, I did make four bags total. I made a scaled-down version of number 1 for my sister. And now some tidbits about each bag.
1 was made from an old tablecloth
2 was made out of a few scraps that were once intended for a doll dress... 8 years ago. Now that my dolls are in storage, a tote is much more useful
3 is by far my favorite simply because of the Toile de Jouy design
4 was madeout of more scraps, so if you look closely, you can see that the apples on the tote are horizontal whereas the apples on the pocket are right-side up. With scraps, one can't be choosy.

Oh. Look what I picked up to possibly make myself another tote and perhaps a knitting notions bag. Or maybe my own rendition of an Organized Knitter Knitting Needle Case:
I also picked up this BEAUTIFUL Toile de Jouy fabric at Wal-Mart. Synthetic as all get-out, but it has got to be my favorite sort of fabric design ever. It's so pretty!

When I got home from my escapades, I noticed a Christmas package had arrived from my grandma: In it were presents for me and my bro and sis. I didn't have a chance to snap pics of what they got, but I got Irish-themed gifts in remembrance of my trip to Ireland with my grandma and older sister this past summer. Counter-clockwise, starting at left:
Exhibit A:Irish Aran sweater, walking stick and hat ornament. Cute, Cute, Cute!

Exhibit B: Sheepsie magnet. If only the sheepsies had black faces, then it would be true to life. The cute little sheep with black faces and white bodies are so adorable! And they're EVERYWHERE in Ireland.

Exhibit C:A little plate with a map of Ireland on it. Cute little pictures correspond with Counties and major cities. It's precious!

Exhibit D:Silver "Trinity Knot" pendant to match earrings I bought this summer. Very very lovely!

Exhibit E (Centre): A lovely calendar of Irish scenes. Maybe I'll scan a few (when I get a better scanner) of the places we visited. It's a gorgeous country!

Now on to Knitting topics, for this is, after all, Chartreuse Knits:

1. I got into the Hello Kitty Knit Along! Yay!

2. I never posted a picture of the Gaby Scarf. It was the drop-stitch scarf in the pastel colourway.

3. I began this scarf a week ago, but I had to frog it a few times when I didn't like how certain numbers of stitches looked. Here it is at its beginning:. It's made out of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Super Chunky. It's super quick and soft! Here's the scarf which I finished today:Warm, pretty, and sherbet-y. I like.

Finally, I got inspired today by a few of my favorite things:
The latest issue of MS Living and the new Pottery Barn catalog. Theme of both? Organization. They're sending their message to me loud and clear, and I'm hearing it.

Wow, there went an hour of my life. Tomorrow I think I'm going to explore the old graveyard downtown and take a few pictures, and I'm also going to take pictures of these cute little houses I like and if I eventually move back to Brownsville, I'd like to remodel them. More tomorrow.


Happy New Year!

That's right folks, Happy New Year! And to celebrate the wondrousness of the year that is 2005, I have undertaken several new projects/challenges to make myself a better (or craftier/cleaner/less procrastinatory) person. Drumroll please...

Project/Challenge #1: I am learning how to sew clothing. I know how to sew small things, like mending holes, making tote bags, and maybe hemming a thing or two, but as of today, I learned how to make the pattern for a basic skirt, in my own measurements! I'm learning from a fabulous lady who is a MASTER seamstress, I tell you. She made my sister's Cotillion dress and it looks genuinely haute couture, or at the very least that it was bought in an upscale boutique. And this woman is teaching humble little me how to sew! It's really fantastic. Tomorrow is the day I cut the fabric for my very first skirt. I'm going to use an old curtain for the practice run, so that if I screw up on anything, it's a curtain that suffers and not $10.00/yard fabric that does.

Project/Challenge #2: I have sent in my application (email explaining my desire) to be in the Hello Kitty KnitAlong. Hopefully I'll know soon if I've been accepted. I am going to teach myself intarsia for this, my first knit-along ever. They have patterns for a handbag, a hat, legwarmers, a sweater, and mittens. I'm not quite that adventurous, so I'm probably going to try the first three projects and see how that goes. It looks so cute, though, that I may give in and request more patterns... Readers, please stay my hand! My second semester of College is about to start! I don't need any more big distractions!

Project/Challenge #3: I am endeavoring to complete a monthly checklist of things that must be done by the end of each month, including but not limited to: a completed knitted item, a non-academically-required book under my belt, a certain number of pounds lost, and between 29 and 31 blog posts per month. These are my goals as of today, and although New Year's Resolutions were cast four whole days ago, I'm not going to wait 361 more before I resolve to become a person I will be proud to be.

I do need to learn how to place items in the sidebar, especially if I make the Hello Kitty Knit-Along.

May you all have a magnificent year!
I promised pictures, and I shall deliver them once they leave the digital realm within my camera and are unleashed into the world of my computer. A promise is a promise, and I intend to keep mine. :)