Alright alright alright.

So I enabled the 2-step authentication for the blog a couple weeks ago, then got annoyed every time I came to do a quick post & couldn’t just log in with one step. Ridiculous, I know, but that’s one reason I’ve not been posting.

The other reason is that things have been crazy busy. Work has been project after project – seems like as soon as I send one thing out for review, there are 3 more to take it’s place. It’s good to be busy, I just come home more tired than I would if it wasn’t quite so busy. And school has been, well, crazy. I took on too much this semester (I fully admit this) and spend most of my evenings in front of the computer doing homework or reading or, thanks to also being a TA this semester, grading. I thought it was going to be easier after my exams, but it turns out it’s just a different kind of work.

Knitting has been slow lately, even. I have finished all of 2 projects so far this year & they were both small (I am nearly done with a third, but it’s also small).

On the plus side, Spring Break is next week and even though I’m not taking time off work, I do get a break from going to classes AND I finally get to see the Yarn Harlot when she makes a stop in St. Louis. So yay.

Now that you’ve read to the end, enjoy this photo of Ziggy stealing all the warm from my space heater. Tonight I actually had to move the space heater because he had smooshed himself up against it.
Ziggy gets so close to the space heater that I think he's going to singe his fur.

Just a quick note

Today was the earliest we would hear if we passed the big hairy written exams.

At 5:01pm we got the email. EVERYBODY LIVES! Er, I mean passes.

WOOOO! Now I need to focus on finishing up all the loose ends before I take the last of my written exams (this one in my concentration) in October.

Blogiversary Giveaway Winners!

If you follow me on twitter, you know that I drew winners earlier today & tagged nearly all the winners. Yay! I also discovered in this process that my wordpress theme does not number the comments, so I’m glad I didn’t have to count very high when I was scrolling through to identify the winners. :)

I also decided at the last minute to add a special bonus prize, which is this great skein of Dyeabolical Strong Arm in Serenity:

Dyeabolical

The skein of Yarntini in Concord Grape & stitch markers goes to comment #3, written by Bibliogrrl.

The skein of Dyeabolical in Seymour Krelborn & stitch markers goes to comment #7, written by TempestTea.

The skein of STR in Rooky & stitch markers goes to comment #14, written by Donna.

The monster notions bag & stitch markers goes to comment #4, written by Monica.

The wee owls go to comment #2, written by Selena.

And the bonus prize, the previously mentioned Dyeabolical goes to comment #5, written by TheBon.

Congrats to all the winners! Yay! (And don’t be surprised if your prize shows up with a little extra something in the package.) :)

If you are a winner, you should hear from me via email soon.

Thanks to everyone who participated! TEN YEARS!!!

TENTH BLOGIVERSARY!!!

Thursday (January 23) marks 10 years since I started blogging. I would love to do some wrap up of the last 10 years, but I don’t have time right now with my exams coming up on February 5th. (Short version – 2nd Masters degree, started a PhD program, started knitting, life, friends, family, and birthdays.)

So, let’s do a little 10 years of blogging giveaway instead – this is mostly for the yarny folks, but there’s a little something for the non-crafters, too.

These prizes all come from my personal stash of yarn and stuff, so let’s take a gander at them below.

Yarntini Concord
1 skein Yarntini Merino/Nylon Fingering in Concord (2009 Summer Sock Club) + random selection of 5 (or more) stitch markers from my collection

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1 skein Dyeabolical Strong Arm Skinny – Seymour Krelborn (Showtunes Sock Club 2011) + random selection of 5 (or more) stitch markers from my collection

PC120558
1 skein Socks That Rock Mediumweight in Rooky + random selection of 5 (or more) stitch markers from my collection (there are 2 skeins pictured, but only one of them is part of the giveaway).

Untitled
Monster Notions case & stitch markers with British curse words

Owls
Your choice of 2 of these 4 little owl guys I crocheted last year.

Comment below and I will use a random number generator to pick a winner for each prize. Make sure you mention if you are NOT a knitter or crocheter – don’t want to send you yarn if you can’t use it, but you’ll be in the running for the notions case (can also be used as a pencil case) & owls.

You have until Midnight Central Time on Thursday, January 23 to get your entries in. I’ll choose the winners on Friday sometime. Be sure to leave your email address in the comment field so I can contact you if you are a winner. Good luck!

FO: Dyeabolical Skew Socks!

People, I do not know where the time has gone. The holidays have come & gone, Christmas break is over, and the spring semester started this week. I have so much to talk about (cake! frosting! knitting!), but my written exams for grad school are in 3 weeks, so I’m a little stressed out.

Let’s talk ever so briefly about my semester: I’m taking 2 of the 3 written exams for my PhD program on Feb 5, still working full time (though using much vacation to get through the semester), TAing a research class, taking 2 classes, and writing a manuscript with my mentor that’s due early April. It sounds insane when you write it all out and I’ve had it on my mind during the school break – I should study, I should work on this, I should do that. So, naturally I knit a lot instead. In fact, I spent so much time on the second sock one day that my arm and hands were sore.*

IMG_0293

Speaking of the socks, there is something magical about the Skew pattern. I had it in my queue (with this yarn earmarked for it) for a few years, but I was convinced that I would work on this sock & then it wouldn’t fit. I was afraid that I would need to somehow compensate for my size 10 feet. The reality is that I just had to knit a few extra rows on the foot (which is easy to do) and not worry about the width of the sock – they fit great!

IMG_0296

The magic part is the heel – you increase for it at the center of the round and then do a bit of origami (the designer’s term) to get the heel formed, kitchener a few stitches and BAM – sock heel. I LOVED IT.

For me, one of the best things about these socks was that they were simple enough to knit while watching tv or chatting with friends, but not so simple that I was bored. You have to pay just enough attention to what you’re doing for them to be interesting. And how great is this yarn? It’s Dyeabolical Strong Arm in Wicked Garden (both base & color are sadly discontinued, but allow me to pimp out Rachel’s other yarns – any of her variegated colors would be a great match for this pattern). This was one of the first colors (maybe THE first color) that I helped name, so naturally it had to be mine. I just can’t believe it took me so long to knit it up. There are more details on the ravelry project page.

And, in what may be a record for me in sock knitting, I finished these (and another pair to be discussed later) both in the same year I cast on for them. I know this doesn’t sound like a big deal for most folks, but socks are generally my “I don’t know what to knit” projects, so they wind up being WIPs a lot longer than other projects do.

Yay new socks! My first few pair are slowly felting themselves to death, so I definitely need to be getting more of them knit to keep my feet toasty.

*These socks. Once you get past the heel, it’s just a bit to decrease your mini-gusset. Then once you start the short rows, you don’t want to stop in the middle of them. Then it’s just like 10 rows of ribbing at the top and you’re done! I knit half the second sock in a day. It’s no wonder my arm was sore.