Friday, August 31, 2007

All the pretty things...

While it may appear that all I did this summer was travel, hike, and work, I did actually accomplish some knitting. While I was in Santa Fe I decided that I would only knit for myself. You may remember from an earlier summer post that I completed the Bonsai Tunic from the Spring Issue of IK. I also knit Coachella from Knitty. I think the yarn called for in the pattern is something like Berroco Suede. This sounded way to warm for Texas. I swatched Euroflax Linen, wet-spun, worsted weight, and got the correct stitch gauge. I did have to keep an eye on my row gauge, but otherwise this was an enjoyable knit. I haven't had a chance to wear it yet, mainly because I didn't have an appropriate bra.

Just the other night I purchased one that should work though. I really like the drape on the linen, and I am looking forward to how it will soften up in future launderings.

On the sock front are these autumn inspired socks. My basic sock pattern in Koigu KPPPM, long forgotten colorway. I remember purchasing this yarn last spring in Houston at Yarns 2 Ewe. I convinced the classmates I was daytripping there with to please please please give me 20 minutes just so I could buy some Koigu! Hill Country Weavers does carry it, but unfortunately they do not get as many colorways.

For some time I didn't fully understand the vast differences in sock yarn weights and qualities. For example, Lorna's Laces and Koigu are so different from one another in their properties. Koigu has a lot of sproinginess to it as well as fantastic color palettes. Lorna's Laces is slicker and has more drape to it, and it is soft in its own way. I know some people do not prefer the lightning bolt pooling effect of the LL colorways - I myself am quite fond of it. I like both of these yarns for different reasons. I've also knit with Trekking, Nature's Palette, Claudia's Handpaints, and various others. I have two beautiful skeins of Schaffer Anne - which I hesitate to knit only because they are so luscious I cannot imagine either or the two possible scenarios upon completion. 1) Wearing such lovely creations on my feet, or 2) gifting them to someone else so they can wear them on their feet! I may have to knit a stole or shawl or something that will receive less wear and tear.

I have to apologize for the bad indoor lighting/flash of the previous two pictures. Although the rain has been greatly reduced since I returned to Austin, we are still getting more of it than usual for this time of year. Thus, crappy indoor lighting. Today was a lovely sunny afternoon however, so I was able to snap a picture of this pair of socks in a bush outside the costume shop at school. I warned the friend that I was with before I behaved so ridiculously. These socks are for my friend and colleague Christina. She got into the sock queue for a recent favor, and because she has tiny feet. The more solid purple is a single skein of Nature's Palette, and the blue/purple colorway is some leftover Claudia handpaints from my Charlotte's Web shawl. I haven't ever done a sock with two yarns before. These were fun and Christina was very happy with them. I have already cast on my next pair as Christina has commissioned me to make them for her mother's birthday.

In other projects, I am back onto the Adamas shawl that I am knitting out of Jaeger Alpaca 4-ply for my big sis's Christmas/birthday/Christmas present. I have determined that if I knit 10 rows each week until Christmas I can finish it. That is if I do all 10 repeats of the body chart. If I decide to make it slightly smaller than I suppose we are talking about 8 rows per week. The sad thing is I don't know if I can finish it even at that rate! Why? Here is my schedule each week this fall for grad school.

Drawing Lab: 4 hours
Costume Shop TA Appointment: 12 hours
Textile/Apparel TA Positon: 10 hours
Class Hours: 9
Production Assignment: average 10 hours
Homework: ???

I could make a fun pun hear along the Mastercard slogan, as in, "An MFA from a top ten university: Priceless." However priceless it may be though, it has come at the cost of said university tuition and fees, my sanity at times, the stability of my relationship, and so much more. Don't get me wrong, this is right where I want to be. Also, I'm much more prepared for this second year. I'm much more at ease and don't feel nearly as overwhelmed. For anyone that had an intense undergrad program, or has attended at demanding grad program, you know what I'm talking about. You just have to really want it in order to pull through.

With that said, I am going to enjoy the Labor Day weekend, and I hope you do too!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wisconsin and Chicago fun

Here's the news from Wisconsin and the Windy City! I started out by flying into O'Hare and then took the eLtrain, a bus, and the Metra to get to Elburn, IL. My mom is not a fan of Chicago traffic, and since she was going to be the driver on this trip, I was happy to oblidge. I arrived in Elburn about noon and we then made our way up to central Wisconsin where my sister and her family live. There I finally got to meet my niece, Elsa, who is already six months old! Isn't she a doll? I think so. People tell my second sis all the time that she looks like the Gerber baby.

On these Wisconsin trips we always spend at least one evening at the farm. My sis's mother-in-law owns and runs a beautiful bed and breakfast in LaValle, WI called September Farms. If you, your friends, or family are ever in central Wisconsin I definitely recommend it to you. There is usually some livestock about along with some horses, rabbits, and a friendly dog and cat named Lucky and Mindy. It is not far from the Wisconsin Dells and sits right on the 400 Trail and a river, so there is access to hiking, biking, canoeing and kayaking. Lynn is also a good cook so you will eat well while you are there. All of the jellies, jams, and most of the veggies you would eat there also came right out of the garden, and kids are welcome. Now that I'm done with my plug (not kidding though, it is a really great place) we can get on to this picture of my precocious two year old nephew AJ. It kills me how aware kids are of cameras nowadays. Whenever he sees that little light come on he screws his face up into his version of a smile. It's sort of devilish. He's getting so big! He is talking so much, some of which you can understand and some of it is his own language. Regardless, he can say speak 3-5 word sentences, which I think is pretty good for his age. He also gets the concept of who his relatives are now. Since I don't see them very often, usually two times a year, he used to always look at me like, "Hmmm. You kind of look like my mom, and you kind of sound like my mom, but you are definitely not my mom." Now I am Aunt Sarah. Awesome.
My brother drove up to Chicago on Sunday to meet my mom and I at the IKEA. They have been renovating my granny's old house and needed to pick out a sink. It was nice to get a chance to visit with him, although it was all to brief. Just when he needed to take off, my friend Renee arrived with her younger daughter, Eva. You have often seen the older daughter, Lauryn, on my blog, although I know Eva has made a few appearances. Lauryn was busy camping with her uncle. That girl is ten years old and I swear she has a busier social life than I do! Anyway, us girls ran around downtown after my mom departed for Indiana. It was also an all to brief visit, but fun nonetheless. I'm lucky (and thankful!) that my friends and family liked me enough to travel the three to four hours (double that round trip) to Chicago to see me this go around. Around the Christmas holiday I will make all their lives easier by flying directly home to Indiana instead. My oldest sister is crazy busy with a recent job promotion, so I'll have to wait to see her until the holidays.

I also got to see my great friends Heath and Rebekah, again, all to briefly. They generously make space in their lives when I need a place to crash in Chicago, as I did Sunday night. They are both theatre friends and I love to hear about their lives in the Chicago scene. I did it for only two years and they do it all the time. Rebekah had an audition the next morning. Cross your fingers for her! I didn't take any pics of them, but as it was late evening I am sure they probably didn't want me to take one anyway! Rebekah is also a fiber friend though, so she appeared last August on the blog.

There was knitting. There was even spinning! But there are, as of this moment, no pictures of said knitting or spinning. The camera battery needs to recharge first. Then I will share some of what I have accomplished lately.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Back home in Austin!

Going to visit my sis in Wisconsin tomorrow, but I'm looking forward to catching up with my friends and entering my stash on Ravelry when I get back. Tschuss!