Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Quick Update with a New FO

In what may have been a personal record, I knit this scarf in the time it took me to watch one episode of Walking Dead with my roommate.

Using US size 50 needles probably helped.

Ravelry pattern link: here
Project page link: here
Yarn link: here

The pattern by Ravelry user Pollyfoofoo is based off a knit seen in the show Outlander:

(Honestly, every knit from this show is amazing)

If you have not watched the show, I highly recommend it (as well as the books). For more convincing, see this piece from buzzfeed here.

A real post with real project photos coming soon!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer Works-In-Progress

Seven months later I am finally giving this blog some much-needed attention. After completing my senior thesis and graduating this past May, I now have much more time to knit (yay!) even while working a normal adult schedule.

One WIP is something you have all seen before as it has been on the needles for months now: Walpole.

While I love the look of this sweater and the yarn is super soft and I'm sure the end product will be amazing, I may be officially turned off fingering or laceweight knits for a while now. Just straight stockinette for rows and rows on end leaves me feeling pretty bored. With any luck maybe I'll start knocking off two or three inches week and get it done before the fall.


The other WIP is a newer one. My friend's boyfriend's mom gave me a bag full of yarn she wasn't using and I am so grateful! In it there was a bunch of skeins of a great cotton/silk blend perfect for a summer top. I chose Berroco's free Espenson pattern.

This one is going a lot faster is much nicer to knit than wool on a hot summer day. The color is a very nice purple-blue.

I now have an instagram dedicated specifically to this blog! Please follow at: http://www.instagram.com/wiseknits

Friday, January 10, 2014

FO Friday: Modified Aidez

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great holiday season! I'm on the last few days of my winter break from school and am getting ready to head back to Boston.

Below is my last FO from December, but I didn't get around to taking pictures until very recently. I have finally finished my Aidez cardigan! I followed MariaOlson's mods to the T and I love it. While I love the cables of the original (and will probably make another using the original pattern before too long), I wanted to try the collar cables and center back cable of MariaOlson's version.

I had a lot of fun knitting this, and it really only took me two months (which is pretty good for me when I'm in school). I used Cascade Ecological Wool as many others have, but unfortunately needed a little over 2 skeins. My cardigan is a little too long for my taste, and I wish I had made it a bit shorter as it also would have saved me from having to buy a whole other skein just for a little bit of yarn.

This is my first raglan-style sweater and it is the style I definitely prefer. I learned a lot from knitting this and I am looking forward to knitting another one. This is also a sweater I know I'll wear (which doesn't often happen). Though it's not perfect, its coziness makes up for it. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Two Sweaters

School has been pretty hectic this semester and I am not getting nearly as much knitting done as I had hoped. I have been slowly knitting away at two sweaters. The first I've already talked about: my Walpole:

This sweater I knit purely when I'm on the bus or while watching a movie. It's repetitive stockinette is perfect for those situations. It is incredibly slow-moving, though, so I started another project so I would not get too bored.

This is the first sleeve of my Aidez cardigan which I've talked about the most on this blog. I've finally started knitting one of my very own and it is very gratifying to knit. It is also going much more quickly than the Walpole.

Do you have and WIPs?

Friday, October 18, 2013

FO Friday: Cozy Scarf (also a free pattern!)

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was able to knit myself (and others) a few things while in Spain. One of my most favorite scarves while I was there was a dreamy silk/wool-blend cozy infinity. I didn't cheap out on the yarn this time as I really wanted to make this to not only stay warm during their unusually cool winter, but to remember my time in Granada.

This is a VERY simply scarf using only twisted rib and kitchener's stitch.

In case any of you out there wanted to make something like this, here are some simple instructions to get you started:

The scarf is twisted rib.

Size 10 (6mm) straight needles
Any bulky weight yarn of your choice. 300-400yds
(I recommend a soft, single-ply yarn. I chose a super-soft silk blend)

Cast on 35 stitches (or provisionally cast on 35 stitches - tutorial here)
Row 1: K1tbl, P1tbl
Row 2: P1tbl, K1tbl

(Don't know how to knit or purl through the back loop? Check out this video)

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until scarf measures 54 inches long.

Graft two ends together.

(If you provisionally cast on, use the 3-needle bind-off)

Happy Friday!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Back in Boston

I'm all moved back in for my final year of undergrad. I cannot believe how quickly these last three years have flown by. It's going to be a busy year and I'm already well aware of how little knitting and crafting time I have now. One thing I am very proud of: my tiny windowsill garden:

After a failed crop of green beans when I was 12, I never developed an interest in flowers/plants/growing things in general. This little windowsill, however, is making me so happy:

I did learn of some unfortunate news when I got back. Two of my go-to yarn stores in Boston had closed while I was away in Spain. A Good Yarn (the latter for me was more about the tiny dog that greeted you at the door than the yarn collection) and the Windsor Button both closed last year and now I am on a search for a yarn store in Boston. I'm looking to get some skeins of Cascade Ecological Wool to finally tackle the Aidez sweater. I hate the idea of all these LYS closing up, and I'd rather walk into a store than order on-line in certain cases.

My current work in progress is my Walpole. I'm am one to almost NEVER purchase a pattern or nice yarn (which is super cheap of me), but I've decided to step it up in the knitting world. If I'm going to spend a bunch of time knitting something, I want to love it and wear it. I also always love Hannah Fettig's patterns, so Walpole was an easy choice. I am using Berroco Ultra Alpaca.

It's slow going as it's fingering weight (even that is an understatement), but it's definitely a relaxing knit. I've started watching Lost (about five years too late) and it's perfect for knitting during a mini-marathon.

P.S. As you may have noticed, wiseknits has a new look. I have (hopefully for the last time) switched to free blogger hosting. As such, I have lost all email subscribers (again). If you'd like to continue receiving email alerts about new posts, please subscribe using the button at the top of the lefthand sidebar!! :)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Long Time, No Blog

Well..... it's been a while, hasn't it? This past winter/spring was one of the most exciting/fun/important learning experiences I've had, and that meant that the time I usually set aside for blogging was a bit harder to find. I did knit while I was in Spain, and I will take (proper) pictures of those projects once it stops being 90 degrees out and the thought of wearing a silk-wool blend infinity scarf doesn't make me want to pass out. But I saved the labels for the yarn AND wrote down the patterns I came up with so this fall expect an update/free patterns.

Here are some (unofficial) project photos for the hat and scarf I made for myself while abroad:

This one is in Rome at the Colosseum  where it was VERY windy and VERY rainy and my umbrella just couldn't take it anymore. The hat, however, at least kept my head warm.

And this one is in London in March (I was very adamant about taking the super-touristy telephone booth picture), which I think may have been the coldest I have ever felt (and a windy Boston in the winter is pretty cold). The scarf was my 'present to myself' scarf because I knit it in a kind of expensive but so soft silk blend. It's super cozy.

(I also managed to knit my host mom a scarf as a gift before I left)


Granada is a beautiful city. I was there for four months and lived with a host family. Living with them and sharing meals not only exponentially improved my Spanish but also really forced me to step out of my comfort zone. Over the past four months I got to visit Madrid, Morocco (specifically Chefchaouen, Assilah, and Tangiers), Rome, London, Paris, Lagos, Portugal and Barcelona. I also did some travelling in the immediate vincity of Granada. As typical study abroad students will say, it was one of the best experiences of my life. If any of you are reading this and have the opportunity to study abroad, I urge you to do it.

Coming home I've been looking for ways to take the souvenirs and photos from the last four months and turn them into something that I can look at or hang up or something. My first project was to use my map of Spain, cut it up, and paste it to canvases but I'll explain that in it's own post later. More recently, I forced myself to pick only one or two of my favorite photos from each place I visited or that meant something to me. I ended up with 16 so I went and bought 16 of those flat magnet frames and developed the photos. Once I get back to school, I plan on attaching them to the wall in a grid, that way I can look at all my favorite places at once.

I'd also like to share those photos here:


I took this photo on my walk back to my host family's apartment after class. One thing I loved about Granada is you had snow-capped mountains in one view, then palm trees in another.

This is the Alhambra and it is the main attraction to Granada. It's an old Muslim palace and is not only beautiful on the inside but it is surrounded by beautiful gardens. I took this from the Mirador which is a look-out point in the district of Granada knows as the Albaycín.

The closest beach was about a 40 minute bus ride away. My friends and I went a little bit further to a beach town called Almuñecar. This was my favorite beach that we found. I even travelled back there in the rain before I left so I could get a jar of black sand.

This is El Torcal which my study abroad program had us stop at on our way to Cadíz. Everyone kept talking about how they were 'dinosaur' rocks, which is basically true because they have been here since the dinosaurs. They are limestone and years of erosion have caused them to look this way.

This is the sunset in the beach city of Cadíz. It was one of the best sunsets I've seen.

To say I freaked out when I saw the Trevi fountain in Rome would be pretty accurate. One thing that happend to me multiple times is we would be kind of lost trying to find something, would turn a corner (and in this case hear the running water) and BOOM historical monument. We went at night (and by night I mean around 1AM) which meant we had plenty of room to make wishes. We went to the Spanish Steps during that time as well and basically were the only ones there.

This is in Chefchaouen, Morocco where all the buildings are painted blue to keep the bugs away. There were so many beautiful alleyways where you'd look down and it would be like a tunnel of blue.

This is the Cave of Hercules in Morocco.

I literally shed a few tears when I got to the Harry Potter Studio in Leavesden, just outside of London. This is the set of Diagon Alley.

Big Ben and Parliament were just as cool as thought they were going to be. I loved London and I hope to go back there soon.

The Eiffel Tower and the Trevi Fountain were the two big-time historical monuments that exceeded any expectations I had. It was absolutely beautiful. My friends and I bought wine, bread and cheese for dinner and sat for while just watching it. Something that was a surprise to me (and I probably should have known this) is that it sparkles every 10 minutes after 8PM.

Lagos, Portugal was a much-needed relaxing trip after so many let's-see-as-much-as-we-can trips. I spent most of my time napping on the beach.

The program I went to Lagos with took us to what was once considered the 'end of the world' in Cape Bojador to watch the sunset.

My friends and I often debated at which attractions it was worth it to pay to go inside. With the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, it was ABSOLUTELY necessary. I saw a lot of Cathedrals while in Europe, but the Sagrada Familia is something else entirely. It's not even finished yet but I just found myself looking up with my mouth hanging open. The stained glass makes it so colorful inside and the columns (matching the intent of Gaudi, the architect) look like trees.

This is on the plane as we flew out of Barcelona. Clouds!

It's been an adjustment being back home, but I was happy to see my family and friends again and I will be happy to return to Boston in about a month. In the meantime, I'll keep knitting. Keep an eye out for more craft tutorials, too!