what i’ve been doing instead of studying

I knew before applying for my M.A. that, once school started, competition for my time and attention would be fierce. So far, the books have been winning — but only by a hair. Even with the weight of two term paper due dates fast approaching, and me with no outlines nor theses to speak of, I (rather unwisely) banged out this work in progress:

In my defense, not a whole lot of time has been spent on this, as the needles are large (U.S. size 17) and the yarn extra bulky — but enough to have caused me an adequate amount of guilt. Some tough self-love was in order, so after running out of yarn for the project, I am forbidding myself to buy any more of it until these term papers are written — and not just the first drafts, mind you.

I am going to lay some of the blame on Interweave Press for just recently publishing their latest book — French Girl Knits — which features a great number of beautiful, seamless designs. Seamless!!! Of course, I couldn’t wait to try out a pattern, and this one in particular caught my eye:

It’s called “Wrenna,” and being a fan of chunky knits, I decided to give it a go using some Wool Ease Thick and Quick that I already had in my stash. The horseshoe lace pattern is fun to knit, and very pretty as well, which I’m sure will be enhanced after a good blocking. Unlike the pattern, I’m not going to use a leather thong to close the front, as I’m not much a fan of that Renaissance Fair aesthetic, but will sew buttons instead.

Alright. Enough written. Back to the ol’ books I go.

my ravelry “meret”

green-beret-top

I’ve finally put my Ravelry account to good use and made this beret (or “meret,” short for “mystery beret,” as it’s called on the site) from a free pattern. All you knitters who do not have a Ravelry account, get one pronto! I used Berocco Ultra Alpaca yarn in Pea Soup, and I loved working with it. Overall, this beret was a fast and fun knit. I want to make a few more — perhaps with a little more slouch — so I’m crossing my fingers in the hope that we’ll get another month or so more of this invigoratingly cold weather! (I live in L.A., hence the need for crossed fingers.)

green-beret-back

green-beret-side

new dress + craft sabbath

I certainly do live up to my blog title. And being such a homebody, I don’t often get the chance to socialize. Which is why I decided to host something which I’ve dubbed Craft Sabbath — a time for folks to get together to get their craft on. I originally intended for it to be a bi-weekly, every-other-Sunday affair — but this proves difficult as I’m attempting to balance full time employment, grad school, a band, and a host of hobbies. So it looks like Craft Sabbath will turn out to be a once-a-month thing. Still, a group of people showed up for the very first Craft Sabbath on the 4th to knit or to learn how to knit, eat snacks, sip beverages and to chat. (Thanks for the terrific photos, Damien!)

Also, I made a new dress from the same pattern I used for my orange/white striped minidress a little while back. It’s a Built By Wendy (Simplicity 3835) raglan sleeve number that was meant for a woven fabric, but I decided to use a stretch knit so that I didn’t have to put a zipper in the back because I’m lazy that way. I got the fabric on sale and I don’t know what it’s comprised of exactly. Rayon maybe? It’s very smooth and stretchy and reminds me a bit of bathing suit fabric. Anyway, now that I know that this pattern can be used with jersey knits with great success, I’ll have to make a couple more in order to put a dent in the large stash of printed jersey knits that’s piled up in my closet.

happy feet

First off — happy new year fellow crafters! Hope your 2009 brims with joy and inspiration.

I’ve only just recently tackled knitting socks (I’ve been crocheting them up till now) and since learning, I’ve been dying to try out some self-striping yarn. And as I’d been given some Michael’s craft store gift cards for Christmas and said establishment had every skein of yarn on sale (up to 75% off!) this past weekend, I couldn’t resist stocking up on some mega cheap (my apologies, fiber snobs!) but mega fun yarn. For these socks (still in progress) I’m using Red Heart’s Heart and Sole yarn in Razzle Dazzle. I’m not only amazed by the stripes, but by the fair-isle type designs that magically appear as well! I’ve known for a while that such yarn existed, but I still couldn’t helped but get giddy when I saw the designs form before my eyes.

Also completed a pair of chunky cabled leg warmers. I didn’t pay attention to counting the rows between crossing the cables because I wanted a very primitive, almost childlike feel. That and I wanted to be able to watch television at the same time I knitted them. Haha.

I’m a sucker for flecks — especially colorful ones like in this Moda Dea Tweedle Dee yarn (in Sahara).