Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Grass is Greener ...

Yesterday the sun was shining (something I've learned to really value during my stay so far in London), and I decided that I should take advantage of this rare and possibly brief break in the rain and head into the great outdoors. And by great outdoors I mean, of course, the tamed nature of one of London's many lovely parks. I grabbed the sock I'd started and headed for Hyde Park and was absolutely in awe of it. I found a nice bench with a view of all sorts of tulips and other happy flowers, and spent quite a pleasant hour knitting. This my first sock ever, and so far, I'm loving making socks. Which is a good thing since a) I already have a stockpile of sock yarn and b) I joined Sundara's Seasons Yarn Club, so I will be getting plenty of gorgeous sock yarn over the next year (I already have the Tulip sock yarn .. it got delivered to my house right after I left, and I can't wait to see .. Mom has promised to post some pictures soon ...)

Isn't Hyde Park lovely?

Today I went to my first ever knitting group and met so many lovely women. Knitting with a group was so fun, and they reassured me about my sock and I now have successfully turned the heel! I'm so excited. I'm thinking I will stay up late this evening to pick up gusset stitches (although I should be working on a paper ...) But I'm just so excited about the socks! I will have more pictures (maybe even of a finished sock?) soon!

On a completely different note, I had another first this week .. first celebrity sighting. I saw Jeremy Northam at a production of The Importance of Being Earnest. It was all I could do not to jump out of my seat and go tell him how great I think he is. Just thought I'd share...

Hope everyone's having as exciting a week as me. What I'm most excited about though is Mom's visit in two weeks! Don't you love when things are looking up?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Finally Cobbled.

This post is a long time in coming. A really really long time. It seems as if so many circumstances conspired against this post ever happening. But, without further ado, here is a finished project I'm really proud of ... my first real sweater when it comes down to it... the famous Cobblestone Pullover!

Pattern: Cobblestone Pullover by Jared Flood, Interweave Knits Fall 200
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes
Needles: Knit Picks Options -- to be honest, I forgot to note the size of them
Started: Late December 2007
Finished knitting: Early February 2008
Armholes/Ends woven in: Late March 2008 (shameful, I know)

(check out more pictures on Ravelry)

So making this sweater and then finally getting the chance to blog about it really is quite the saga. I initially cast on around exam time of my fall term -- late November. But I kept getting the gauge all off and had to start over. I put that off until around Christmas time, and before I had to go back to school right after New Years, I had the body and sleeves done and joined, ready for the yoke. It went so quickly! But then going back to school, I could barely work on it. My work load was very heavy and to make matters worse, it was a gift, and the giftee was always around when I had free time, making it hard for me to spend any time on it. I was shooting to give it to him for his birthday at the end of January, and when I realized that it wasn't going to happen, finally revealed the sweater with half the yoke done so I could work on it around him and give it to him for Valentine's Day. Then, I didn't weave in the ends etc. for quite awhile -- til I was home for Spring Break because while at school I don't really have a good way to block things ...

I enjoyed working on this sweater so much -- it was a lot of firsts for me. Most importantly, it was my first "serious" sweater. I've made little cropped cardis and shrugs and the like (ok, there was one full length cardigan, but I never sewed up the seams because I really disliked it ...), but this was my first real sweater. Also my first time doing short row shaping and Kitchner's stitch. I loved the seamless design ... I'm very spoiled ... I've never made a seamed sweater and it's looking like it's not going to happen anytime soon..

So why did it take so long for me to post about it? Well, had to have the photo shoot of course, then I was running around getting everything ready for my term abroad. Once I got to London, I realized I'd forgotten my computer charger at home. Now, after two weeks of limited computer access, I finally have a charger!

I'm still getting used to life in London and have found a knitting group that I'm going to start going to sort of weekly -- my first time is this week, so hopefully it will go well! Mom and I both have finished Juliets that we'll be showing off soon, so stay tuned for those! Happy knitting chaps!