FO: Oceanfront Daybreak

I know, two FO posts in two days.  The world will certainly end now.

I swear until last month I did not see the appeal of Daybreak.  It was a pretty pattern, but it was yet another shawl and totally not worth the insane obsession that has spawned quite a fan base.  But then Miss Kalendar of the Brass Needles podcast hosted a knitalong and there was a coupon code and I was really frustrated with the socks I was trying to knit and well . . .

I totally fell in love with the construction of this shawl.  I was a little confused about the placement of increases, but the further along I got the more I saw the magic.  None of the segments are the same size, which is not obvious when glancing at photos, but really is the unique and fun part of this pattern.  Give me one more project and I'll be a card-carrying member of the cult of Stephen West.

We took these pictures out in the neighborhood by my apartment complex.  I'm in love with the area.  There are a ton of hills and families, but right across the street is the city.  Despite the name of this project, I'm not missing the coast at all.

This sign really confused me because it faced the pond in front of my apartment.  I guess we are well protected from a duck invasion.


FO: Goodale

It seems every time I finish a sweater it is my favorite thing I have ever knit.  Goodale and I have finally worked through her assertive issues, and the results are spectacular.

This was my first Cecily Glowik MacDonald pattern, and it was so much fun to knit.  The increases completely threw me but once I started knitting them they made perfect sense.  And the edging!  I know I'm not the first one to rave about the i-cord edging.  It's pretty ingenious.

In this pattern, like most, I fell between sizes, but I went ahead and knit the 34 because it does not have to close in the front.  I did add an extra repeat of the body increases to add a little length, but I still blocked it to the prescribed measurements.  I would have finished it much sooner but I put it down for about a week during the move because I did not want to mess up the finishing.  Oh, yeah, the finishing?  It's a lot but it is totally worth it.

Despite my love for the pattern and the yarn (Cascade 220 sport -- yum!), what makes this sweater is the amazing vintage buttons.  I bought these at the Carolina Fiber Fest and they are my new one true love. They came in a pack of four, so I'll have to use my leftover skein to make something else that uses the remaining two buttons.


The Fiber, It Speaks

It has been a week since the move and we're still buried in the craziness of unpacking and organizing.  The nice thing about moving in with your best friend is that you often have some of the same priorities.  So while the kitchen has yet to be found beneath the boxes of pots and pans, the living room has almost reached the level of perfection that our television obsession demands.

Despite the fact that I've been trolling for jobs all over town and Andrea has been working crazy early shifts, we managed to take time off on Friday to go to the North Carolina Agricultural Festival here in Raleigh.

In addition to fair rides and crazy expensive, unhealthy, and addictive fried food, the festival is home to the Carolina Fiber Fest!  Long-time readers of this blog might remember that I've never been to a fiber festival, so I was very excited to go.  This was a much much smaller event, but it was a lot of fun.  We wandered through all the booths, touching absolutely everything.

I wish I had taken more pictures, especially of Andrea as she transitioned from bored to knitting convert.  We will be making a trek to a nearby lys soon, and not to buy yarn for myself.

I did make a few purchases, including this obscenely low priced wool hand-dyed sock yarn.  It spoke to me. And really, can you leave behind yarn once it asserts itself in such a vocal fashion?  I thought not.

I also picked up these lovely vintage buttons.

More on that later.

I'm now determined to go to a large-scale fiber festival in the near future.  Though I'm fairly certain I will have to save up at least as much as is needed for a successful Dragon Con trip.  Which makes the job situation just a little more dire.


Yet Another Ending

Yesterday was my last day at school.  It's weird to think about not being a full time student any longer.  Even weirder still is the fact that I am no longer a TA (well, technically I am through the end of the month, but my classes are finished).  When I started this job two years ago it was just a way to pay the bills and learn the skills I would need if I chose to pursue a PhD in the future.  There was no way I wanted to teach.  Now the idea that I will be out of the classroom for more than six months feels absurd.  I've grown to love my job and my students. Freshmen get a bad rap because they are so inexperienced and often riding on a parent-free high that makes them come off as arrogant.  But they are in college.  Even if they think your class is stupid (let's face it, a good fifty percent or so think history is utterly boring), they are on some level there to learn (well, maybe most of them).  I don't want to wax poetic, but the opportunity to work with these students has been one of the most rewarding parts of my post-graduate career.  I had so much fun sharing my passion with them, learning the unique personality of each group, and reveling in that true genuine laugh that means they "get it." 

 Hopefully by January I'll have found a way to get back in the classroom.  But for now, moving!

Last night Chris and I went out for a farewell-to-this-experience-hello-to-new-adventures dinner at my favorite restaurant.

I have been going to this restaurant for as long as I can remember when we came down to the beach for family vacation.  They have the best calzones ever.  Or at least in the South.  They're pretty much my standard for any restaurant.

For dessert we got a cannoli to go and split it out on the beach.  Not your typical beach food, but it was super good.

The highlight of the evening was when we climbed up the lifeguard tower just in time to see a trio of dolphins swim past.

Trust me, there are dolphins, just too far for my camera's zoom to make them really clear.  I do love the guy in the orange screaming and running away (yes, he was screaming "dolphins!" not "shark").

Farewell, Wilmington.  Thanks for all the crazy adventures.

And the knitting.


WIP Wednesday: Spoiled

Please take the time to check out other, more productive WIP Wednesday posts over at Tami's blog.  She's so nice to run this every week.  And May the Fourth be with you!

It's the last week of school!  Well, almost.  I'm a TA, so the last week of school lasts until the grading is complete.  But as I'm moving in a mere seven days I feel pretty confident in calling this the last week of school.

Part of finishing up a semester is that last mad dash to complete lagging projects and assignments, as any caffeine-driven, under-rested student can attest.  I give my first exam today, so my mad dash starts this afternoon.  Fortunately I've had a brief lull in the semester due to the fact I passed comps last semester and will not be defending my thesis until next.  Aside from packing I have been using this time to finish one of my lingering projects that is crucial to the successful formation of my thesis -- scanning.

Meet Goodale.  A little top down stockinette cardi that has been my constant companion this week during the untold hours I have spent at the scanner with my bag full of primary documents.  (Side note: If you hear about that bounty the library has out on me, please note that Goodale and I are armed and dangerous.  We have returned all of the books now but the scary ladies in the back seem to have taken no interest and are out for blood.  Many a Bothan died to bring this laptop to our super secret police box hideout).  I counted yesterday and determined that I can pick up my knitting and purl five stitches or knit eight before I have to turn the page and start the next scan.  I look spazzy crazy during all of this, but it was the only thing keeping me sane.  (There was an incident with a 336 page book that did not save and a temper tantrum and a tangled ball of yarn, but I'd rather not talk about it if you please)

Despite all the scanning, Goodale already has a lot of good memories knit into her.  I knit the gauge swatch the night my dad and I introduced my brother to Dirty Harry (again, sorry Mom).  The first several rows were knit while shopping with my mom and sister during Easter break.  The yoke was knit during one too many Top Model reruns while I stayed a few days with Mom at the beach.  Overall, Goodale is a very happy cardi.  Even the yarn (Cascade 220 Sport) is deliciously squishy.

I am a little concerned that Goodale is turning into a bit of an attention whore.  She has spent most of her formative rows out in public and now she's so big she takes over her own seat in public spaces.  Last night one of the girls told her boyfriend "See, my friends are cool.  They knit in bars."  But I swear the subtext was "I can't believe she's allowed that cardi to get such an inflated ego.  Whatever happened to bringing socks out for a nice evening with friends?"

I blame the packing.