"Ему не нужна американская жена"

I have no new knitting news to share, thus the lack of posting. I got quite far on the foot of the Euni sock and discovered that it was quite small. Too small for the foot of anyone over five feet tall. I don't think this is a pattern thing, I think it's a yarn thing. I did kick myself for not thinking about the fact that the pretty patterning works like cabling in that it tightens up stitches, thus creating a *lightbulb moment* tighter fit. It broke my heart to tell my mom that I had to frog her sock yet again, but as it is still extremely hot for the foreseeable future, she won't be needing pink striped socks anyway. I am going to make them for her, but I've resigned myself to another pair of "dumb blond" socks. Toe-up, mindless stockinette that shows off the striping of the yarn. I'll be going to DC for a research trip in a few weeks so that would be the perfect time to work on them.

I want to reiterate that the Euni pattern itself is great. Liz has done an amazing job making up this pattern and the instructions are great for both beginners and more advanced sock knitters. I will someday make these socks, I'm just a little tired of them after knitting enough for a complete pair.

In the meantime, I did finish the knitting of my Kino Wednesday headband. This is just a plain-old stockinette strip, no pattern. Normally I'd knit something with a bit more interest, but since our films are subtitled, and I'm supposed to be trying to pick up dialogue, I needed something that did not require I look at it. And since today was the final film, it was perfect that I finished all but the grafting of the two ends.

Today's film was the best of any that we have watched (and we've watched some excellent ones). We watched Стиляги (Hipsters), a 2008 musical about the 1950s underground jazz culture of all things. And it was excellent! I've been singing the songs, or at least humming, all day. It's not available on dvd for US region 1 dvd players yet, but I'm forever hopeful that this will change. Until then, here's the music video for one of the songs (I'd post the trailer, but it's all in Russian anyway).

Oh, and then you should watch this somehow related video. Just because it is awesome. I mean horrible.


A Surprising Lack of Awkwardness

Today we started classes with our new instructors. The four of us from my class who did not go to Moscow were combined with the remaining students from the other intermediate class. They have had these instructors all summer, so it could have been a setup that made us feel very awkward. However, I don't know about everyone else, but it was a much smoother transition than I was expecting. Probably because I was rocking the new hat.

We actually had class in one of the nationality rooms, a major attraction of the cathedral.

See? It's the Austrian room. Doesn't it just make you want to waltz? Or join a convent?

Because I finished my Ishbel beret over the weekend, I am determined not to cast on anything new till I finish at least one of the Euni socks. The outlook is good as I have turned the heel and am now plowing down the gusset to the foot.

My ankle appears to be healing nicely. I ran two repeats of what I think is a one mile loop with only a few hundred meters of walking when the pain kicked in for a bit. But it's impossible not to run when listening to Rob Zombie. Anyone who's seen Angel 1.18 knows what I'm talking about.

Now if I could only fit in a hair cut. The mop is getting long enough that I can almost pin it back with my knitting needles.


Of Ripping and Reknitting

One of the best feelings in academia is when you finally finish a project or accomplish a goal that then leaves you with this amazing high. It's kind of like running. You're exhausted, but you're filled with adrenaline at the same time. On Friday we took our midterm, but since half the class left the next day for Moscow and we start with new instructors tomorrow for the final three weeks it felt more like a final. To celebrate and cope with the mental exhaustion I, of course, went yarn shopping (in, it turns out, a major thunderstorm). I actually cannot share any of my purchases because I managed to stick to my new plan of only buying gift yarn. But it sure hit that retail therapy spot.

I've spent the majority of my weekend watching Torchwood and knitting away on this beautiful hat! A few weeks ago Ysolda Teague put all of her patterns on sale in celebration of her 25th birthday. One of my purchases was the Whimsical Little Knits collection. Along with a few patterns I have planned for gifts, this collection includes the Ishbel beret, a cute slouchy hat using the same lace pattern as the very popular Ishbel shawl.

This baby only used half a skein of Knit Picks Palette, the same yarn I used for my Saroyan. It's soft and light, so perfect for the intense heat we've been having lately. I did manage to screw it up enough that I probably knit it at least twice. The "vine pattern" section consists of two paragraphs. And even though I was very careful to read both I still managed to miss a part about moving markers and realigning charts. For some reason I thought it only applied to the last repeat. But no, it applies to all. Which means I knit half of the hat only to have to rip it all out yesterday and start again. But I love Ysolda's patterns enough to make sure I knit it properly.

And Chris finally went to hockey on Friday!

The gloves seem to have worked out nicely for him.


"I could have been at a barbecue!"

Happy day after the 4th of July! I hope everyone had a very safe and entertaining holiday. I didn't make it to see any fireworks this year. I did not want to deal with downtown Pittsburgh traffic and trying to catch buses in the dark in a big crowd. I was hoping to be able to see some from the apartment but I took a pretty nasty fall on my run and so spent the night with my ankle iced and elevated.

I did get some significant knitting done, however. I blocked the Traveling Taryn Shawl that I finished last weekend, so it is all set and ready to go in the mail tomorrow. I also finished . . . drum roll please . . . the Wendy Socks!

These are my first fully patterned socks from Wendy Johnson's first book, Socks from the Toe-Up, and are knit in Wendy Happy, a sock yarn that incorporates bamboo. The colorways from this line are named after constellations and this particular blue is called Pises. And so the entire time I was knitting them all I could think about was Wendy from Peter Pan, thus the name Wendy Socks (actual pattern is called On-Hold Socks).

My only complaint with the pattern is that she tells you to knit as many "repeats" of the chart as are needed to get three inches before the heel but then you continue knitting the top of the foot as you knit the gusset before the heel increase. Maybe a more experienced knitter would have known that they would continue knitting in pattern as they moved up the sock, but I didn't, so the socks are a tiny bit too big. But other than this I highly recommend the pattern. I knit it with my customary two inch leg. I know most people knit their socks longer, but I can't have a sock go that far up my leg and not roll it down anyway. Maybe that just comes from my years wearing uniforms in school. Like my aversion to any and all polo shirts.

I have a feeling I'll be getting a lot of wear out of these over the next few weeks as I'm confined to sneakers for better ankle support. Guess this means I should start on another pair.


Knit One, Stash Four

Last week was the start of the giant summer sale over at Knit One (coincidentally featured in the new Vogue Knitting Early Fall 2010, which you must read). So I, of course, went on the first day. Cause you want to be sure you see everything, right? The place was pretty full. And while, sadly, there was no sock yarn on sale (let my sadness at this fact be officially on the record), I got some really nice yarn.

All for twenty dollars!

The two smaller skeins are Freedom Spirit from Twilleys of Stamford. It's a 100% wool that comes from England (I seem to have a thing for UK yarns). I haven't used it yet, but supposedly it knits up to look like intarsia without all the crazy juggling of multiple yarns. I can't wait to try it out. Someone's going to be getting a really nice pair of fingerless gloves for Christmas this year.

My big score of the day, however, was this gorgeous cotton from Araucania. It was fifty percent off! I'm hoping to make a sweater vest out of it. Aren't the colors awesome?

And that is the last of the yarn I buy for personal use for a while. I'll be buying for gift knitting, but I have plenty to knit for myself and really don't have the money to buy yarn. I really really want to make another sweater, but I'm going to wait and buy something really nice for myself as a birthday present in October. Plus I just bought several patterns in Ysolda's 25% off sale for her birthday. I love her and her designs and justify the purchase because many of the patterns will be perfect gifts this year. Can't wait to knit them!

Oh, and just to create some fun suspense, here's a peak at what I spend my Saturdays working on.

And remember, knitting needles are for knitting. And for threatening people who want to come talk to you in the coffee shop when clearly, you are working! Gosh!