Thursday, February 24, 2011

CMS/Colloquium knitting

I gave one of the CMS talks today, so I didn't get in quite as much knitting as I usually do on Thursday afternoons. I still managed to finish the gusset and get halfway through turning the heel, though! It's so exciting when a sock (or any handmade item, really) starts to be recognizable as what it is going to be.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spinning Wheel!!!!!!!!!!!

My spinning wheel has arrived! I was expecting it yesterday, and I was heartbroken when it didn't get here. But today when I got home it was sitting outside my door! (I really wish the UPS deliveryperson had put it in the apartment office, but that's not what this post is about.)

The wheel arrived in a large box:

It's a Ladybug!

I took it out of the box. There was some assembly required...
Putting it together didn't take very long.

Here's a closeup.
My wheel is a Schacht Ladybug. One of the special things about it is that the people at Schacht put a little ladybug somewhere on each individual wheel. Not unlike the Snuggle Piggy book! It took me a few minutes to find mine:
Here's a larger view: it's behind the flywheel:
I started spinning a bit of some blue roving I've been spindle-spinning. It's so much easier spinning on the wheel than with a spindle! I love it!

Thank you Mom and Daddy!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

First brown skirt

Here is the first brown skirt I made a few weeks ago. I bought the fabric and pattern during the JoAnn labor day sale last September, but I didn't get around to cutting out the pieces until January. A few weeks ago, my friend Evelyn kindly helped me put in the zipper (something I'd never done before). I really like the fabric, and I think it fits me well. I'm already thinking of adaptations of the pattern for future skirts - including a reproduction of my favorite skirt, which is unfortunately dying. My two favorite things about this pattern are the pockets and the pleats - both of which I had difficulty photographing well. The directions for putting together the pockets were somewhat confusing, but I'm really pleased with how they turned out.
You can kind of see the back pleats in this picture of the zipper. There are similar pleats in the front, too.

Friday, February 18, 2011

CMS/Colloquium knitting

I made some good progress on the socks yesterday. Here they were before CMS yesterday:
This is where I was at the end of colloquium. It's hard to see in this picture, but I started the gusset!
Yesterday's colloquium was the best one I've been to so far! The talk was about which groups can and can't be knot groups for knots of various dimensions, which is in some cases an unsolvable problem. I can't say I understood the whole thing, but I was following the entire time (which is REALLY unusual). The speaker was funny, he told entertaining historical anecdotes, and he gave the talk using adorable handwritten PowerPoint slides. It was a winner!

I have been joined in my CMS (but not colloquium) knitting by my friend Aru. Maybe we'll spread the trend further! Aru is making a lovely scarf for her boyfriend. Here she is knitting in our office in after colloquium:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Second brown skirt

About two weeks ago I finished two brown skirts in one weekend. I'll post the first one as soon as I get someone to take a picture of me wearing it. This one, unlike the other one, was very quick to make up - it only took me an hour and a half, including cutting the pieces!

I followed this tutorial, and it worked pretty well. A few comments:
  1. I'd never worked with knit fabric before. It doesn't feed through my machine in the same way as the woven fabrics I'm used to. This resulted in a certain sloppiness in some of my seams (including the hem). But in this skirt, I don't think it matters.
  2. The fabric I chose is a 100% cotton jersey knit, and it's not quite as stretchy as it probably should be. The waistband relies on negative ease for fit, since there is no elastic involved, but my waistband is not stretchy enough to fit over my hips. I have to put it on over my shoulders. But this doesn't bother me.
  3. I really like the yoga-style waistband. It's very comfortable and I think it looks pretty good.
  4. I like that there were no pattern pieces to cut out. That's usually my least favorite part of a sewing project. Since these pieces were all rectangles, I just cut cut them out with my rotary cutter, quilting-style.
Overall, I'm happy with this skirt. I've been wanting a simple brown skirt like this for a while now, and I'm glad I finally got around to making it(and it only cost $7.50 for the fabric!)
I'd like to learn how to sew nice things with knits, but it's a little intimidating. I know a lot of people use a serger, but I'm certainly not going to buy a second sewing machine. I'm going to experiment more on my ordinary sewing machine.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Vegan Dinner Party

Last night Robert and I made dinner for our friends Evelyn and Jon. Robert made homemade mushroom ravioli, and I made mock tomato sauce (from the Vegan Delights cookbook) and vegan banana-chocolate chip bread pudding (from Veganomicon) with caramel sauce. All of the food was delicious, and we had a lovely time.

Here's Robert making the ravioli:
Rolling out the dough

Arranging the filling

After adding the second layer of dough, cutting the ravioli apart

And the finished product!

Here's the bread pudding. I forgot to take a picture before we served it up, but you can see how much we enjoyed it:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

CMS knitting

Even though we didn't have colloquium today (see yesterday's post) we still had CMS. Today's talk was both engaging and firstie-friendly - a winning combination! And I made some good progress on the second sock.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Baby blanket

It's been a while since I used my camera. When I dug it out today to take pictures of my socks-in-progress, I discovered that I never uploaded the photos of the baby blanket I knitted for my cousin's baby last year. It's an adorable retro design and I'm happy with the way it turned out (and so were the baby's parents), but I can say that I'll never make this pattern again.

Here's a close-up of some of the animals - the reason the blanket wasn't finished until baby E was four months old, a year after I started knitting:

Colloquium knitting

This is an odd week - colloquium was rescheduled to Wednesday. Now we'll all be confused about what day it is tomorrow! Last November I donated a pair of custom handknit socks to my church's auction, and I worked on those socks today. The order was for dressy navy blue men's size 11 socks. They are certainly taking longer than the womens/kids-size socks I usually knit!

This is what they looked like before I started working on them today. The first one is done except for the cast-off, and the second one was just barely started:

Welcome to Will Knit for Math!

Welcome to my new blog! I'm a first year math graduate student, and when I'm not studying, I love to knit, sew, spin, embroider, and make tatted lace. The name of the blog comes from my Thursday afternoons - every week, the grad students in my department gather for a talk by one of our own, followed by departmental colloquium, when all of the grad students and professors get together for a talk by a guest speaker. I almost always bring my knitting. It helps keep my hands busy and my brain awake to focus on the talk. My intention is to take a photo at the end of each colloquium so I can see my projects grow. I'm sure my other crafty projects will get posted, too, as well as some vegan food.

I don't have a knitting picture yet, but here are Huck and Molly.