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!


And now, your regularly scheduled program

I'm back in Austin once again, my roommate and I both settled into our room. We've shifted the room arrangement around a bit from last year, and our room is on a completely different side of the building than last year. We get to see the UT football field from our room! No need to even attend a football game, since we'll see touchdowns from our window! Heh. Well, I met up with my friend Laura today, we sat around for a few hours at Chipotle, knitting. I finished the actual knitting on the Hourglass sweater, while she started her third Irish Hiking Scarf. It's sort of become her "trademark" item.

I have actually begun hemming the Hourglass sweater, and did the kitchener stitch on the underarms. Now I know why people dislike it so much... it's so complicated to remember all the steps (Purlwise, pass needle through second loop, then off the needle. Knitwise, pass needle through first loop of first needle, but leave loop on. AAACK!) But it's nearly done, so that's what counts. Once the hemming is finished, I'll block the life outta her. She looks so pretty!

Before classes begin the day after tomorrow, I'm going to see if I can pay a visit to the LYS and pick up some Koigu. I'm intrigued by this Canadian wonder, and would love to have a pair of socks knit up in something this fabulous. I also want some Blue Sky Cotton to make a pretty cabled scarf for these cool nights before fall and winter bring jacket temperatures.

Well, I'm off for some free chicken wings (some of which I'll bring home in tupperware), since I haven't eaten all that much today. That's my goal for this year: no eating in the dorms, because the Freshman fifteen were very very real last year. I can't afford even the Sophomore seven. Huzzah!


Let's Get Packin'

Well folks, I'm packing all my stuff for another year at the Big School. I should be back online and posting (with finished objects, I might add) on Sunday, since tomorrow is moving day.
Hook 'Em Horns!


Busy Days

Today was an amazingly busy day (for me) in the pre-college calm before the storm. I went with my dad to the University of Texas Brownsville campus to check out the new buildings they've just finished for the Education and Business Schools. Since my dad's a professor there, I also got to check out his new office, since Liberal Arts had to share a building with the Business school, and now that they're gone, he gets a pretty new office with a window. (Nevermind that it's not any bigger than his old office and he outranks everyone in the department, but, *ahem*)

Afterwards, I shopped around downtown Brownsville, picked up three pretty silk scarves and a handkerchief for a dollar. I also got some blank T-shirts for the same price I could've gotten about 5 at Wal-Mart. I'm planning to embroider them by hand with some Harry Potter-themed words. I have a navy-blue shirt I want to embroider with the word "Ravenclaw" and the Ravenclaw crest. I then have a white shirt which I want to say "Gryffindors for Potter - Triwizard Champion" with a little Goblet of fire on the sleeve, as well as house-colored stripes along the sleeves and neckline. If all turns out well, I may make more.

Speaking of Harry Potter, alison posted MA's Weasley Sweater Pattern. It looks so cool! However, since I'm *really* worried about having enough yarn for this project, I've decided to test it out with the "He'll-wear-it-everyday" pattern from The Yarn Girls' Guide to Simple Knits. It's a man's sweater, but hopefully it'll turn out alright. I don't know if I'll alter it to make the roll bottom work a little better. I swatched already, and the knit is loose enough so the fabric isn't super stiff and scratchy. The yarn, however, is itchy itchy wool. If this version of the sweater fails, (if I run out of yarn, for example) I'll just break down and buy some Wool-Ease and follow MA's pattern. One thing that's for certain: I'm putting the golden Snitch on the sweater instead of my initial. Although Gred and Forge *ahem* Fred and George are my favorite characters, an F&G design might confuse too many people. Plus, the Snitch is too cool!

I'll see if I can manage a finished object sometime soon!


Marathoning through the WIP pile

I finally bit the bullet and fixed the sleeves. I measured, I counted, and now I can actually say they're the same length. Or at least the same number of rows. When I knit my garter-stitch shawl last year, that ended up being quite a few stitches to bind off. With this pattern at least, the stitches become fewer as you go round, and all I'll have to do is bind off, hem, block and wear!

The easy-peasy garter stitch scarf is coming along quite nicely, since I got a good chunk of knitting time while watching "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" on Sunday. That's ball number 2, with 2 to go before the bind-off. It's deliciously soft, and
the colors are yummy and cheery. The movie wasn't quite as good as knitting the scarf was, since my scarf doesn't curse up a storm, use offensive terms towards women, or completely overdo sexual jokes, innuendos and commentary.

Here's my progress thus far on the Wyvern sock. I have to re-frog the heel again, and I think I'll make it less "deep" by making fewer short rows. This will eliminate the need to cut into a pattern repeat, and still make the sock fit. My sock pal doesn't want it tight, and my aim at the moment is to make it fit, all the while making it comfortable.

In addition, the gloriously soft mercerized crochet cotton is for a lacy scarf for my grandma for Christmas and for a pair of Wyverns for me. The purple is for her, since that's her favorite color, and the green for me, since that's mine. If the lace fails, I may make her a pair of Wyverns as well, since grandmas deserve to be pampered and knit for by their grandchildren!

Have a great Evening everyone!


Monday Fix-its!

Lots of fixin' going on down here! I finally worked up the courage to unravel and fix my messed up Hourglass sweater, as well as re-work the heel for my sock-pal socks. Unfortunately, the latter is still a little big. I measured my sister's foot, and she has the exact measurements my sock pal has. So I may have to re-do that short-row heel yet again, but I'll be sure to note the changes so that sock #2 goes smoothly. What with all the ripping and re-knitting, there are no pictures of yet, but I have a few sewing projects I'm contemplating doing tomorrow, and hopefully there'll be some pictures then. Good night everyone!

I Think It's Settled...

I prefer "Chartreuse Knits" as my title.

What can I say? It's descriptive of me and I like it.


Title Change

I decided to run a little test on the blog, to see if it works. I was looking around at blogs, and realizing that my title was a little blah and mundane. So I decided to change it to something I'm struggling with at the moment: the process of knitting. Here goes, and if this title already belongs to someone else, please let me know!!!

A stalled project is like a stalled car

Well, for the record, I have two stalled projects due to mistakes that I've had to rip back. The projects in question are the Hourglass sweater (which I haven't gotten around to fixing, since the possibility of missing one of the 400 stitches I need to pick up again is quite high) and the Wyvern Sock. I knit one repeat too many for the foot, and, after finishing the heel, I realized that it was waay too big for my sock-pal's foot. So now to remake the heel.

Let me explain why I don't like meddling and frogging projects: I don't like unraveling because I think to myself, "I spent an hour and a half knitting that section, and now it's gone to waste!" (Which isn't true, since the mistake, if left, will taunt and haunt me till the end of my days and I will rue the day I was too lazy to pick up each and every one of the 400 stitches). But, as always, I remind myself that it's the process.

But a quick and easy garter stitch scarf to boost my spirits made out of this glorious cotton candy yarn won't hurt, either.



Look what arrived on my front porch yesterday.


I hadn't been able to find Interweave Knits Summer when I looked before the end of school, and since there are no yarn shops or stores in Brownsville or Spain that carry Knits, I had to order it from Royal Yarns, along with the latest Vogue Knitting and Fall Knits. It's truly glorious!


Sock-A-Pal- Repeat

As I mentioned previously, I decided to re-knit my Sockapal-2-za socks, since the pattern I originally chose was a little difficult to work with, especially since the instructions for the heel increases and shaping were a little--ahem--difficult. So with a little searching and a little help from other bloggers, I settled upon this lovely pattern from Marnie MacLean. I love the "dragon scale" effect the chart produces. Although the pooling of the yarn isn't quite my favorite, I adore the colors. Plus, I can't wait to knit more to see how the pattern repeats turn a ball of cotton into a glorious sock!


Preppy? Perhaps.

In the current iPod boom, everyone, it seems, needs something to protect their shiny white gadget.

My Sister and I are No Exception.


New Layout

If you have me on Bloglines, I'm sorry for the gazillion times it says I've updated my feed. I've been testing out a layout in blue, updating pictures and links, and all sorts of stuff. I think the blue looks better with the pictures I'm uploading, and plus, I figure, Hey! Time for a little change!

Please bear with me whilst I tinker and toy with the code and such. Thanks!

Due to a slight miscalculation on our part....


Well, there weren't explosions involved, but the look of horror on my face after discovering I'd knit two extra inches onto one of my Hourglass Sweater sleeves was comparable.

See? I lined the neckline up perfectly with one of the lines on my comforter, and the difference is blatantly obvious. Though I measured after completing the sleeve, thank goodness I thought to measure again when everything seemed to be just a tad bit off. I was seriously tempted to continue merrily chugging along. However, I knew the mistake would sit and glare at me from now until eternity, and I would just toss the sweater into a box with other not-quite-right knits. And since this sweater is beautiful--the design, the color, the texture, everything--it's not-quite-right to relegate it to an unseen box. Though the time to rip it back and then re-knit it might not be just now, as I'm still a bit too peeved to work on it.

Thank goodness I'm not someone who gets loud and aggressive when angry. I just sit and fume and throw nasty looks. Which is what I'm doing to the sweater sleeve in question. But what do mine eyes find? A gorgeous little knitting bag I sewed up two days ago! With knitting needle pockets on the inside and everything!


Now Here's a Visual...

To complement the post from two days ago. (PICTURE HEAVY)

Exhibit A: "Hourglass Sweater" or "Miles and Miles of Faded Aqua Stockinette"

Body of Hourglass Sweater. I've actually finished sleeve #1 and joined it to the body, and sleeve #2 is in the works.

Exhibit B: "Stash Aquisition" or "Many a Euro Spent to the Glory of Yarn"

The rather rosy-pink yarn is for a sweater of some sort that I have yet to discover the pattern for. The beautiful blue hanks of alpaca have the same fate as the dusty pink wool. The balls of green are for a cardigan from Interweave Knits, and the blue balls (*snicker*) of Superwash Merino are for a Clapotis for my younger sister. Finally, the four balls of "Arctico" were a gift from my cousin. She said that they're the "in" yarn for this fall, and gave me enough to make a lush, long scarf, plus a pair of adequate needles!

Exhibit C: "Burberry on a Budget" or "Creative and Cheap ways to get Designer Accessories"

I got these balls of Valeria di Roma's "Prisma" and Oso Negro's "New Merino" in order to replicate the Burberry purse on the right. Except that it will be a scarf. Besides, I'm too cheap to fork over the dough for a *real* Burberry scarf... though not if it was on sale!

Exhibit D: "Sockapal-2-za sock" or "Another Prince for the Frog Pond"

Virtually no progress was made to my sock over the summer. The instructions for the increases for the gusset and instep and heel were opaque to me, and plus, I found a better pattern. I think I can finish this by September 15!

More projects coming up, and with the beginning of school in a few weeks, I hope I can knit the time away sufficiently to be psychologically ready for classes and other activities the school year brings.

Have a great day!


Viva Espana!

Summer looks like it's coming to a close....I just got in from Madrid last night, after a long day of traveling, and although it's great to be back home in the States, sleeping in a bed that's actually my size, I did love my visit to Spain. The summer camp was fabulous, despite the chaos and the ungodly hours (It really is 24-7, since kids will be kids no matter what time of night it is), the fact I got sick with a bad fever and heat exhaustion after camping out under the stars and hiking 22 kilometers, and despite the fact that the day I left, the camp's director underpaid me by 300 Euro. I was a little irritated by this, since I was expecting those 300 Euro, but I remained cheerful and optimistic about my experience.

Camping under the stars, sans tent, was breathtaking. When you can see the entire firmament, with the best-known constellations being obscured by the sheer billions of other stars whose light doesn't make it to our eyes on less-clear nights, you can really appreciate a spectacular view many people don't get to see. Hiking was not quite as lovely, but when you have to keep kids energetic whilst climbing up and down a mountain, you get creative, and end up having quite a good time. Despite being underpaid, I was cheerful as I left, and I departed wanting to repeat it next summer. When I got back from Salamanca that night, the director called and said she needed my mom's bank account number, so she could transfer the 300 Euro she had forgotten to pay me! A pleasant end to an equally pleasant month.

The day after I got back from my camp, we had to go to La Manga to pick up my siblings, who were at a windsurfing camp. A 7 hour drive from Talavera to the Mediterranean coast later, my sibs were chatting up a storm about the great time they had. Then we drove to Ronda, a city encircled by mountains in the region of Andalucia. And guess what? They had a yarn store. Not a fabric and sewing notion store with a room in the back that contained a selection of yarn.... an actual yarn store, called "La Casa de Las Lanas" or, "The House of Wool." It was small, run by an elderly woman and her son. They sold lots of acrylic and acrylic blend wools from the brand Lanas Stop, but they also had some merino and yarn from Valeria di Roma. I snagged some of this in colors to knit myself a Burberry style scarf.

While in Andalucia, we went to Granada, where we toured the Alhambra, to Gibraltar, where the British wouldn't let us get to the rock/island, since we'd forgotten our passports (despite all but my dad being Spanish citizens), and other places around the Costa del Sol.

When we got back to Madrid, one of the first orders of business was shopping. El Corte Ingles (Major department store in Spain), and other shops around the Plaza Mayor and Calle Preciados (Preciados Street) were fair game. My sister got a pair of gorgeous heeled slip-on mules, and I got.... yarn. First we went to a shop which sold all sorts of textile/embroidery/knitting goods. There, for 1.50 Euro per skein, I got 27 skeins total of 100% merino in a light blue and forest green. The blue is for a Clapotis for my sister, and the green is for a cardigan I saw in the Spring issue of Interweave Knits. Next, we went to one of Madrid's oldest and most established yarn shops: El Gato Negro (The Black Cat). As I walked in, I could not suppress the gasps of joy and awe as I saw shelves upon shelves of fiber and yarn. Every color under the sun, in every weight of yarn was there. And although they sold some yarns in skeins from large manufacturers, almost everything was in large hanks on shelves that stretched around the store, behind counters where experienced women would weigh out yarn for you. That's right. They sold yarn by the KILO! Everything from silk to alpaca to wool to angora, in dozens of shades, that they dye themselves. I ended up getting 600 grams each of a glorious blue alpaca and a scrumptious pale pink for some yet-to-be-planned sweaters. Over a kilogram of yarn, 100 percent wool and alpaca no less, for just over 50 Euro. I got 200 grams of alpaca at the yarn store in Austin for 30 dollars, and 600 grams of alpaca in Spain for just about the same price! When I go back next year, I'm going to buy loads of angora for a scarf and mittens, since 30 gram balls at El Gato Negro cost 4.50 Euros apiece, whereas 25 gram balls at the LYS cost 10 dollars. A bargain, really. Some of my paycheck from the camp this summer went to the yarn, I must admit.

For any knitter venturing to Madrid in the near future, go to El Gato Negro. You will not be sorry. It's right outside one of the entrances to the Plaza Mayor, and if you ask a non-tourist-looking passerby, "Donde Esta 'El Gato Negro'?" they can probably point you to the right entrance.

Well, I still have to upload the pictures from this summer to my desktop and unpack the suitcases, so I will leave you with promises of pictures of the (greatly-enhanced) yarn stash, as well as the considerable progress I made on the hourglass sweater this summer.