Thursday, January 26, 2006

Koigu socks in progress


Here's a close up of the latest sock in progress. The color is a bit off, since the light today isn't all that great. I'm about an inch from the toe, so once I'm actually done with the entire sock I'll try to get a better photo.

I regret that due to digital camera problems, I haven't taken any photos of anything I've managed to complete over the last 7 months or so and the various projects have all been given away. Maybe I'll have to stalk these people with my new camera and force them to put on their knitted gifts so I can have some photo documentation. Or maybe that would be obnoxious.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

She's baaaaack....

Yes, after an extremely long hiatus from the blogging world, I'm back.

Lately I've been into socks. A brief history: I never imagined myself with a sock knitting obsession considering how much I loathe using DPNs. However, after a bit of research I discovered the two circular method, and forged on, determined to actually complete two of the same socks-- a whole pair-- for the first time ever. Unfortunately at the time when I was raring to go with the two circular method, my LYS had let their inventory of sock yarn get so totally depleted that all that was left were some really horrid solid colors and some really obnoxious stripes that even a clown would turn their nose up at. I was undaunted though. Instead of just waiting until they replenished their stock, my first completed pair of socks were orange, hot pink and bright yellow stripes. Totally awful, I must say. But perfect at the same time, too.

Moving along... after repeated trips to the LYS hoping to find a better selection of sock yarns and constantly being disappointed (invariably they'd have a huge display of really barf worthy selections with one lone ball of something good---enough for just one sock), I started ordering sock yarns online. Many sock gifts later, I'm down to my last two hanks of Koigu (KPPPM, actually) and I'm keeping these puppies for myself. While certain people did indeed oooh and ahhh when receiving their Xmas socks, I'm pretty sure most of the recipients had no real concept of just how long I labored on each pair (not to mention how damn expensive the yarn was) and therefore did not appreciate them nearly as much as I hoped they would. I know how that must sound, and I don't care if I'm a horrible person for saying it. I've just decided that I'm simply going to selfishly make socks just for me now unless someone begs me to make them a pair.

For anyone thinking of taking up sock knitting, or even if you've already got a full blown sock obsession, I wholeheartedly recommend Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks. The book has instructions for 10 basic designs, with loads and loads of stitch patterns to incorporate into the 10 basic designs. You can literally make thousands of different variations. Also, one of the best features of this book is that directions for 4 DPNs, 5 DPNs or two circular needles are included for each design. The instructions are clear, consise and very easy to follow. I love the size/gauge charts too, that allow you to use pretty much any yarn with any of the patterns. My only complaint about the book is that it's not spiral bound.

Tomorrow if the light is good I'll take a photo of the current sock in progress. It's a simple top down slip stitch rib sock in the aforementioned KPPPM and the thick ribs make it so soft and squashy. I need a pair of socks that'll make my slightly too big Docs not slide around on my feet so much and I thought this pattern would be perfect for that.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Duh.

So I was being not so bright when I decided something was wrong with my battery. After further investigation I determined it was a USB problem instead. Now it's fixed.

Here's a photo I took earlier, before I started the bottom of the bag. I'm about 5 rows into the bottom now. I'm not doing a stripe every other row. I will do wider stripes instead because I'm just a goddammed rebel.



I plan to work on this as much as I can this weekend, because I can't wait to felt the thing. It's pretty weird how hopped up I can get over making something really giant and then shrinking it purposely. I guess it's almost like more sophisticated adult Shrinky Dinks.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Dead Batteries

I wished to post a picture of my current progress on the infamous skull bag, but it would appear as if my camera battery has finally died. No amount of charging seems to add any charge to it, so I guess now I have to order a new one and wait for it to come. My apologies to the self-proclaimed anxious Leah, who's bag is coming along swimmingly.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Ignorance Is Not Exactly Blissful

I've mailed off all my Craftster swaps so I can go back to focusing on finishing all my works in progress as soon as I can knit painlessly again. Even though I have some lovely Plymouth Royal Cashmere I'm just itchin' to do something with, I promised myself that I wouldn't cast anything else on until I completed at least one of the other projects.

I hope I don't have the beginnings of carpal tunnel syndrome. I started considering this possibility when it suddenly occured to me earlier that for the most part I do spend my days typing and well, gee...people that type all day do tend to get CTS. I did some googling, of course, and my symptoms are seeming pretty freakin' classic. Then I got scared and stopped reading and decided I'll instead just really really hope it's just my old broken bone and when the weather dries up I'll go back to normal.

And on a somewhat related note...

I like quotations and I have a collection that I keep and add to when I find one that strikes my fancy.

I read this one yesterday:
It is wrong to think that love comes from long companionship and persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created for years or even generations. --Kahlil Gibran


In my 35 years, I've been in love three times. (I wonder if that's a lot? Or not enough?) And it has always been exactly like that for me--a connection I felt instantly and intensely that didn't evaporate at all when I learned who that person truly was. I haven't seen the first two in many years, and I wonder quite a lot if they're well and happy and whether or not I impacted them the way they've impacted me. I prefer to believe I have, rather than hunt them down and ask them and perhaps find out otherwise. Sometimes the not knowing is so much safer.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Stormy Weather....

We haven't had a sunny weekend in 5 weeks. And now the forecast is for it to rain all week. Some Spring. Being that I am not generally an outdoorsy sort (although there are certain activities that I adore that require being outside), rain doesn't usually bother me all that much. But my wrists are aching so badly right now that I can't knit without considerable amounts of pain--pain that is currently traveling in a scary stabbing way into my hands so this is going to be a short post. You see, when I was in 6th grade I broke both of my wrists simultaneously during a game involving a ball and running around to evade that ball. Coordination and grace are not my key features, and the game ended when I slipped and instead of just landing on my fat ass, I stupidly put out my arms to catch myself. (I am proud, however, that I did not cry in front of the entire 6th grade.) Since then, when the weather is damp for any length of time, I know it all right. So I'm fearing that Leah is going to beat me on the skull bag!* And I was doing so well! Drat!

I think I'm in love. OK, I'm exaggerating, but she makes me laugh so hard and that's such a good thing. I'm not going to tell her though, since I never tell the people I'm in love with that I'm in love, just in case they don't love me back and then I'd have to spend all my spare time flinging myself onto divans and sighing with my hand dramatically draped over my forehead.


*Yes, I am aware we're not racing; I just have to pretend we are to keep my motivation up. It's amazing how I can conveniently convince myself of anything if I try hard enough.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Pants on fire....

Ring, ring....

Me: What, what, what?!

My sister: That bag on your web site is SO0000 for me, isn't it?

Me: What bag?

My sister: Shut up!!! You know what I'm talking about. It's for me, isn't it?

Me: No. I'm making it for myself.

My sister: Oh shut up. You're SUCH a liar.

Me: I'm trying to watch Finding Neverland, and I'm a little choked up right now, so I've gotta go....

My sister: Yeah, right. You never get choked up. And you're a liar! Remember all the crap you used to tell me when I was like 5 and you were 20? Like, "Hey, we're going to run out of gas on this dark road and you can wait at the car while I find gas, probably no one will bother you or anything..." and I used to believe you? Well, it doesn't work on me anymore. Go watch your dorky movie. I love you. Talk to you tomorrow after my court date...

*click*

Doh. I didn't think she actually would ever visit my site when I told her about it. I'm rather stunned, actually.

Anyway, I seriously *was* all vaklempt. It's weird, in real life situations I'm calm and collected, a rock. It's incredibly rare for me to shed a tear. But give me a sad book or film, and my throat's all tight and my eyes are all welled up and I'm trying to look normal so my companions don't harrass me later. It's so embarassing. (Despite all the humilating covert weeping, I did come to the conclusion that perhaps having a child wouldn't be so awful if it had a British accent and a big vocabulary.)

Another evening of no knitting. I had to finish off my super duper flip flops for the crafster.org swap since the mailing deadline is tomorrow. I'll be crushed if my partner doesn't love them. Crushed, I say.

Eye candy (for no good reason):

Thursday, May 19, 2005

I keep this in my wallet...

Here's a little card I made and keep in my wallet to keep track of what size knitting needles I already have, so I'm not buying duplicates. I printed it on card stock and it's the size of a business card.



If you'd like one too, just click here. This one is actually sized correctly, vs. the one above which is sized to fit this page and not break my layout.

I stitched and bitched!

I did it. I actually went to my very first SNB. I've been lurking in the SNB Yahoo Groups for the Boston area for...oh, forever. But most of the meetings seem to happen in really inconvenient for me places at inconvenient for me times, so I haven't actually worked up the necessary motivation to attend. Being that I'm tired of talking to myself about knitting and slightly concerned that the people around me are probably really sick and tired of hearing about my knitting, I knew I had to muster up the energy to go. I'm glad I did. It wasn't even remotely scary. At first I thought I was at the wrong Starbucks since no one else was there, but as I was ordering my coffee with my giant bag 'o implements and yarn and projects over my shoulder, the perceptive girl behind the counter said, "Oh, you're one of the knitters."

And then they came! Other knitters! The other ladies are all very nice! There were only 5 of us, total...but that's the biggest number of people knitting in the same place I've ever seen! (Actually, for historical accuracy, one of the nice ladies was trying to teach two of the other nice ladies how to crochet.) It was very pleasant. (I hope they didn't notice my socks, and secretly think I'm not very nice. Oh well, if they did, they at were nice enough not to act as if they thought I'm not very nice.)

I called David on the way home, and he informed me that he was STARVING and had been dreaming of filet mignon since I last made it and had picked some up. (David gets on these food kicks where he likes to eat the same thing over and over and over again until I want to strangle him for having no imagination. However, if he's going to be on a kick, I guess I'd rather have it be filet than say, cherry jello.) Being out of merlot, I made an imitation of Chris's Cognac cream sauce. I'm going to have to ask him about the part where he says you're supposed to add the cream to the stock/cognac reduction and let it simmer for 15 minutes, because after about 8 minutes it was looking as if I let it cook for any longer I would have no sauce left in the pan. So, at 10 pm we were finally eating and it was marvelous.

When I was in college, my friend Liz would refer to her menses as Bob. She'd say "Bob is in town" and we'd all know what that meant. I think Bob is a huge contributing factor to my recent over-emotionalism. (It's fun inventing words.) I don't know how I always manage to not notice the date when I'm an emotional wreck. Duh. I'm feeling relief that what was going on with me is probably not an extention of my winter depression cycle, but just an overload of female hormones. Phew.

Oh, and I've made no progress on the skulll bag and actually made NEGATIVE progress on Devan, since in the bright light of the Starbucks last night I decided I hated the way the back was coming out and frogged the whole thing. Ribbit.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Yeah, I'm a freak.

I'm way too old to be tickled about the pink Happy Bunny socks David brought home for me last night. They say, "Hi. Cram it." I actually stomped my feet in excitement and laughed my ass off. I'm totally amused by them despite the fact that they are pink, and I rarely adorn myself in colors, let alone pink. I'm pleased to own a pair of grumpy ass socks.

I just got back from having lunch with Chris, and as usual, we had Thai. I let him decide what I was having for lunch. Being the control freak that I am, it's very unusual for me to allow anyone to pick my food, but I trust him. It's very relaxing for me to spend time with someone who I feel perfectly comfortable allowing to make even minor decisions that impact me in some way. Usually when I loosen up and allow others to be in charge, I'm disappointed with the outcome. While I generally don't make a big deal out of it, inside my head I'm irritated I just didn't do whatever it was myself since I could have done it better (or so I generally think). Silly, I'm sure, but true nonetheless. However, since I'm usually more concerned with peacekeeping measures, I can't be bossing everyone around ALL the time. I try to restrain myself as much as I can without losing my mind. As a result of this combination of internal control freak and external peacekeeper, I spend a whole lot of time feeling vaguely (and sometimes very) frustrated and disappointed.

What the hell does this have to do with knitting? Just one of the reasons I enjoy knitting so much is because I am completely in charge of my knitting. I don't have to live with mistakes made by others. I don't have to compromise to be nice. I can be as anal retentively perfectionsistic as I want (or not), and no one stops me or gets in my way or makes me feel guilty and bitchy. I don't have to listen to any moaning or "just leave it, it's fine" crap. I don't have to live with disappointment and that's just damn grand.

Oh, yeah. I'm planning to attend my very first Stitch N' Bitch this evening. It's in the next town over, which is kind of a snotty locale. I'm rather nervous. What if they hate me? What if I hate them? What if no one talks to me? Logically I'm sure it'll be just fine since I'm not socially retarded and it will be nice to meet some people that share at least one of my interests. And if they're all vile, I can just never go back, I s'pose. Wish me luck.

Random Thought

I want to talk about disappointment and suffering and control and how these issues, believe it or not, relate to knitting. But I'm exhausted and need to sleep. I knew though if I didn't come in here and post this before I lay me down to rest, I'd forget my train of thought and it would just be another one of those random bits of understanding myself that just fades into the ether if I don't articulate it to someone. So now I'll have to come back when I'm more awake and write it all down. There.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

In Blue, or Black.

I brought some FOs over to David's mother's house last night to show her. She knits and can therefore appreciate. (Most everyone else I know just thinks it's quirky that I make things, but she quilts and paints and knits and crochets, so going to her house with my knitting bag is perfectly natural.) She brought out this book of knitting patterns to show me, and I pretended to like the book. I didn't. I don't recall the title, but it was from the 80s and had lots of scary sweaters with dolman sleeves. I was glad she didn't try to foist off any more Red Heart on me, since I feel like I have to take whatever she gives me since she so wants me to have it, but I'm not going to use it and it just takes up valuable real estate in my office.

She loved the Airy Scarf I'd made in Rowan Kidsilk Haze. She kept touching it. Oddly, she was more impressed with that than Branching Out. Before we left she said, smiling sweetly, "I really like that light scarf. In blue, or black." I believe that is supposed to be a directive and I'll have to order some more Kidsilk Haze.

Shortly after yesterday's whiny post, I chatted online with Chris. Inexplicably whenever I'm feeling most awful, he suggests lunch. The suggestion always occurs before I even mention I'm down. (I'm sure it's mere coincidence, but I enjoy thinking it's telepathy.) And then he lets me go on and on about my issues and I always feel much better even though nothing is different. I guess my angst just winds up feeling acceptable, vs. merely pathetic. We'll be lunching tomorrow, since this morning I woke up with a sinus headache. Goddamned pollen.

Monday, May 16, 2005

I do not wish to be pale pink

I'm supposed to be making a mix of summery songs for a CD swap and it's proving much more difficult than I ever expected. I was enthusiastic when I started (I'm the one who organized the swap in the first place) but the music that's resonating with me right now is more "Pain in My Heart" than "Good Day Sunshine." I pray that putting it off for a bit will help, and that my current funk will pass before the swap deadline. It's Spring and that's supposed to mean that my sadness should just mysteriously evaporate like it usually does at this time of year. I'm waiting and waiting, but it isn't happening. Knowing that this particular despair is normal for me should help some, but it isn't, really.

I'm just so...dissatisfied. Mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. So I knit, and cook, and doodle, and rehearse conversations in my head that I should be having out loud.

It's raining. I'm out of coffee. My kitchen is a mess, and my vaccuum cleaner is broken.

Even if I'm shouting, even if I'm shouting here inside.
Even if I'm shouting, do you see that I'm wanting,
that I want to be so
bright, bright, bright as yellow,
warm as yellow.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Lazy Sunday

What we anticipate seldom occurs, what we least expected generally happens. -- Benjamin Disraeli


Gratuituous Progress Shot:



This looks absolutely nothing like what I envisioned in the first place, and oddly enough, I'm actually happy about that. Oh, and there really will be 4 skulls on each side of the bag, I just had to scrunch it up a bit to fit it in the picture. It's enormous.

Dissident

I'm 17 inches into the skully bag. I'm starting to wonder now just how many inches I should go before starting the mitered bottom. The pattern doesn't indicate. I think I'm at least halfway there, if not more. Instead of knitting only an inch of background color under the skull pattern, I did two inches before starting the stripes.

Upon further examination of Glampyre's photo of her bag, I think I'd like to make some modifications to the bag's bottom. I prefer bags that sit flat and stand up on their own when you set them down. I can't really tell if that's what the end result will be like with this bag, and I'd rather not take the chance that it's a 'fall over bag.' Does anyone know? Or maybe I'm just being a moron and of course it's going to sit flat since I'll be shaping it to do that when it's wet.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Oh the injustice...

I don't mind if my skull ends up on a shelf as long as it's got my name on it. --Debbie Harry


Last night was certainly a productive one for knitting. I'm now 3 rows into the skull pattern portion of my bag. Acid green skulls, no less. I'm not really digging the very long floats between the skulls. The inside of this bag is going to be very messy indeed. If I like the finished bag enough, I might just wind up lining the thing.

As I was knitting along I felt that the blues and greens needed a bit of punch. David made a grimacy face when I fearlessly grabbed the orange. I'm trusting my own instincts with this one though. After all, it's a bag for me so no one else has to love it. I think the Cascade Quattro is going to look pretty nifty when it's felted.



Rob and Amber were indeed robbed on the Amazing Race. I'm convinced that when they were on the final plane to the final pit stop all by themselves and were about to handily just win the thing outright the producers realized it wouldn't be very exciting if that happened, so they had their sponsers American Airlines hold the plane for Uchenna and Joyce. The damn walkway was already moved away from the plane! Since when does a pilot decide at that point to just linger around and let a couple more people on? Never ever. Such bullshit.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Truckin'

I'm delighted to report that I'm now 2 inches into the non-twisted version of the bag. (One good thing about slow work days is that I knit so much better in natural light. Knitting during the day makes me feel slightly naughty, too.)

I think what I'm going to do with my version of this bag is to make the knitting behind the entire skull pattern definitely solid, vs. having the crossbones blending in with some of the stripes like Glampyre does with hers.

The geek in me wants to do the stripes underneath the skulls in a Fibonacci sequence. The lazy bitch in me is arguing with the geek. We'll see who wins.

It's Amazing Race finale night. Go Rob and Amber. When this most recent Amazing Race started I wanted Rob and Amber to go down, and quick-like. But I must say I've come to admire Rob's sneaky resourcefulness combined with his sense of humor and even though those two already have a million dollars, I hope they win. I like it that the two of them seem to cooperate so well, and aren't screeching at each other during times of stress like so many other teams. I'd also be happy for Uchenna and Joyce if they win, too. They're such nice people. I'll be totally pissed if Ron and Kelly win, though. I cannot stand Kelly. Any person that would argue something like (paraphrased here) "You can't commit to anything...not even the army, you became a POW to get out of that commitment" is just out of her mind.

Denial

The yarn I am about to use (I'm going to pretend that last night's error was just a nightmare and didn't actually happen) for my Skull Bag is 2 different Cascade 220s (sort of a cobalt-y blue and another multi of that same blue with green and lightish blue), an acid greenish Reynold's Lite Lopi, and from my stash some perfectly coordinating Kool Aid dyed Fisherman's Wool in shades very similar to the multicolored Cascade.



Since it's going to be felted anyway, I think I'm going to cheat a tiny bit and knit a little bit flat before joining in the round and then just seam it up. No, screw that. One moebius strip isn't going to turn me into a fraidy cat. Sheesh.

I have a weird little crush on Alton Brown who does the Food Network's show Good Eats. He's a total genius. There's nothing sexier than a man with a knife/whisk/spatula in his hand, who knows how to use it. (Well, except maybe a man with a guitar in his hand, who knows how to use it.) Last night I used his rice making technique to make some jasmine rice, and it was divine. Who knew cooking rice in the oven with a damp dishcloth on top was the way to go? Other chefs that get me all excited are Jamie Oliver (he's just adorable) and Tyler Florence. Honarable mention goes to Ming Tsai....I WILL eat at his Blue Ginger restaurant (which is just a couple towns over from me) if it's the last thing I do.

%$@^%!

Don't you just love it when you go to your LYS and buy a bunch of yarn for a new project and then come home and have your man not argue too much about helping you wind the new yarn into balls, and then you cast on 160 stitches very carefully onto your size 10.5 circular needles (since you didn't feel like buying 11s) ,and then you knit those 160 stitches in the round, for oh, 6 or 7 rows before discovering you're making a mobius strip instead of your Felted Bag with Fair Isle Skulls?

Don't you just love that?

Monday, May 09, 2005

Felted Bag with Fair Isle Skulls

My new friend Leah and I are going to do a 2 person KAL of Glampyre's Felted Bag with Fair Isle Skulls. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have time to trot on down to my LYS and see if they've got any good colors of Cascade 220 in stock. I haven't made anything for myself in eons, and I'm rather looking forward to making this gigantic bag just for me. I'm psyched that Leah is going to undertake it too, since I might need some inspiration to stay motivated to finish it within a reasonable time frame.

Saturday night David and I went to see comedian/activist Margaret Cho at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston. I've been watching her performances on TV for years, and reading her blog for a long time, and so I was really excited to finally get the chance to see her in person. She's an incredibly insightful and hysterically funny outspoken woman. She did not disappoint. About 15 minutes into her show my face started to ache from grinning like an idiot. Her live performances are not for the faint of heart or easily offended, but if you're disgusted with the way this country is being run right now and can handle some dirty talk too, check her out if you ever get the chance.

My one complaint about the show was the drunk male couple that sat behind us. These boys were trying to outdo one another with the extreme volume of their laughter and made it difficult to hear Margaret over their guffaws. Also, they were literally spraying saliva all over David and me. Not only were they totally obnoxious (yeah, Ms. Cho was hilarious, but NO ONE laughs that loud unless they're trying to) but we didn't need another shower. The people next to us in our row apparently complained to an usher about these odious asswipes, because the complainers were suddenly escorted TO EMPTY SEATS IN THE SECOND ROW. (Hmm. Makes me wonder why I never bitch to those in postitions of authority.) When they left, we took the opportunity to move down the row into their seats so at least the bozos were no longer spitting all over us. Some people should not be allowed in public.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Simple Things Bring Me Joy

Like many children of the 70's, I've always secretly wanted a beaded curtain. I have no idea why. I think it might have something to do with the one they had at this chinese restaurant my family would go to once in a blue moon as a special treat when I was a little kid and didn't yet have any taste.

I feel absolutely compelled to do this somewhere in my place. I wonder if it's as cool as I think it is, or if it's actually awful and I'm just completely deluded.



The instructions are here.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Apparently my sister did not actually crack her skull, which is a good thing. And apparently her extreme drunken state actually aided her in the accident, because her body was all floppy and relaxed she didn't break any bones.

How fabulous.

*sigh*

I tried to take a photo of my Devan progress, but since the yarn for the back is so dark (it's charcoal colored) it didn't come out right and I'm not going to bother posting it.

My dinner last night was unbelievably delicious. I implore you, if you're a carnivore, splurge on some filets and make this for yourself (and some other extremely lucky person):

Filet Mignon With Merlot Sauce

I made 3 filets but kept the sauce recipe intact which is a good thing, since you'll want to drown everything in it. It's particularly good on garlicky mashed potatoes.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Cosmic Dope Slap

My mother called me at 6:30 this morning, crying. I knew instantly something was wrong when I picked up my phone, because Mom is bright enough to know I'm not usually voluntarily up for for a chat at such an ungodly hour.

My little sister was in a car accident. She had been life-flighted to the University of Wisconsin's Head Trauma Unit. All Mom knew was that she'd "broke the bone in her forehead, something was wrong with her lungs, and she was missing 4 teeth." Her father was the one who'd called, and that's all the information he had at that point, and was on his way to the hospital.

So while I waited for another call with more information, like was she brain damaged, or worse --- was she going to die, I went through my morning in a state of dumb shock. But at the same time, I wasn't particularly surprised by the call, considering that at the age of 20 she has been arrested for drunk driving twice (within the same month, no less) and just finished a 20 day jail sentence for that. She very obviously has a drinking problem, and even though her license has been revoked, still continues to drive. I've been telling her in every way I know how that she's either got to stop drinking, or stop driving, or preferably both. But this is the very worst kind of 'told you so' and I certainly don't feel any better about seeing more clearly what she was bound for than she did.

I felt guilty, too. She'd been planning to move out to Massachusetts to live with me and try to get her act together, but changed her mind when she was in jail. She'd have been here and safer if she'd come. Maybe if I'd pressed her harder about it? But I didn't press because I was a little bit relieved that I wasn't going to be having to re-arrange my world to accomodate her.

Her father called me after he found out that she was going to be okay. Apparently her CAT scan showed no injury to her brain, but she did have a 4 inch gash on her forehead, bruised lungs, and those pesky missing teeth. (And boy, did she have beautiful teeth that she was very proud of.) I was so relieved to get the news I forgot to ask if her skull was indeed cracked or not.

Now I'm waiting to hear more test results. I've had a lot of trouble concentrating on anything today, so now it's time to clean the kitchen so I can mess it up again making filet mignon. In times of stress, it's always comforting to eat some fabulous food, right?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

I'm Not Worthy

Actually...I am worthy, since I made the thing, I'm just not sure who else is. This scarf was originally intended to go into the ever-increasing-in-size bag of Christmas Gift Scarves, but now I'm not so sure. The last 1/3 of it was a total bitch, which is strange since it's exactly the same as the first 2/3. I must have frogged and reknit the last bit about 15 times. I kept making mistakes and it was absolutely maddening. Maybe I was suffering from over-confidence at that point. I'm very relieved it's done though.

Ever the masochist, now I feel the need to torture myself with more knitted lace. I found this free lace pattern site, which has all kinds of public domain knitted lace from the 1800's, so I'm thinking I'd like to design a scarf using one of these very old lace motifs. We'll see how that goes.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Pins and Needles

After knitting basically all day, Branching Out is finally finished being knit and is now blocking, pinned to a towel on my couch. I will absolutely die if Ed the Monster Cat decides to take up residence on it tonight while I am sleeping. He didn't seem particularly interested in the yarn while I was knitting it (unlike when I knit with angora, for instance), so I'm hoping he isn't suddenly so fascinated with it in it's wet state that he can't resist screwing it all up by draping his fat furry body on it.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Making Stuff For Strangers

In the last couple of months I've discovered the swap forums on craftster.org. Who knew there were a whole bunch of people who are actually willing to make you something if you'll make them something too? I lurked there for a long time, feeling hopelessly inadequate and pathologically terrified to join in a swap for fear that anything I'd make would disappoint the unlucky soul that was unfortunate enough to get paired up with me, and then I'd be unceremoniously ridiculed in a public forum. Oh, the horror.

And then I got over it. I've managed three successful swaps thus far, (10 random things, 50 beads, and a CD swap) and I've signed up for my 4th, which is a flip flop swap. I don't even WEAR flip flops. I prefer the slide version of sandals, so I don't know why I'm so hopped up to do this one, but I am. Oh yes. I'm dying to make beaded ones, and have to figure out how to go about making sure they're still comfortable so the recipient will not be hobbling around in pain when she wears them. I think the key will be to only bead the top of the strap, vs removing the strap entirely and just using beads.

My friend Christine came over last night and we were supposed to knit and watch Survivor, but somehow I only managed about 2 rows of Devan's boring little back, and Survivor was pre-empted by Monkey Bush. I can't bitch about my life and knit at the same time, apparently. It's very difficult to do the necessary elaborate hand gestures when you're tangled up in sock yarn.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

No Rest For The Wicked

Per usual, I can't sleep. And when I can't sleep, I do stuff like think about big life issue things I prefer not to think about. Generally, instead of continuing to think about those unpleasant things, I'll get up and try to bore myself in some way so that by the time I do wander back to bed, I'll be so tired I'll fall asleep instantly. I should knit but when it's dark outside, I don't have a single comfortable place in my entire house to sit and knit that has decent enough lighting to actually be able to see what the hell I am doing. That's just wrong. Unfortunately I've been accused for years of being some sort of vampire because I generally abhor bright light, but lately I think I'm fucking up my eyes with all the peering and squinting I'm doing. I'm probably creating crow's feet at the same time, too. Lovely.

I realized it must seem, from the looks of my projects, that I'm having a baby, or have a baby already. For the record, I am not having one, nor do I have one already. I just happen to know a buttload of pregnant women and I get a kick out of making stuff I can finish before I get insanely bored with the project.

(Tick tick tick.............sssshh....stop that.)

Alas, I think I've decided to make Donna, from Magknits. Maybe I'll use Cascade Fixation instead of the Lana Grossa Point the pattern calls for. I'm a little scared of that pattern though, since I have no shoulders to speak of, but at least it looks like it'll fit my boobs. That's my biggest (ha) issue with making myself a sweater...worrying if I find a pattern that fits the girls, that it'll hang hideously because of my 2 inch shoulders and I'll never want to wear the thing and it'll be a huge waste of time and money. I'm terrified of trying to alter shoulders though. Maybe I should just start lifting weights or something instead of trying to do complex math.


Time to put on Forensic Files and fall asleep to tales of serial killers and scientific breakthroughs. No wonder I have a lot of weird dreams.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I'm Branching Out, Alright...

Being that my life is such a whirlwind of thrills, chills and excitement, I'd completely forgotten that I'd ordered the Silky Wool to do the Branching Out scarf from knitty. Yesterday, the little package of wool came, and it took me a minute or two for it to come to me as to what the hell I'd ordered it for. But once I remembered I was very excited and wanted to cast on right away and try at least one repeat.

However, yesterday was my boyfriend's birthday, and I'd decided I was going to make him the very best cake he'd ever had. I'd been poring over Rose Levy Berenbaum's Cake Bible for a month, planning this cake. I wanted to make something totally sinful and amazingly complicated, but he insisted all he really wanted was a chocolate cake with mocha frosting. So, with my grand plans somewhat daunted, I figured that fine, he'll get his boring chocolate cake with mocha frosting, but at least it'll be Rose's Perfect All American Chocolate Buttercake, and I'd make Neoclassical Buttercream in Mocha for the frosting.

Oh, the ingredients I had to find for this thing...cake flour, dutch process cocoa, 1.5 lbs of butter (yes, you read that right), Scharffen berger bittersweet chocolate, almost a dozen eggs... I spent $38 bucks at the fancy grocery store and the only stuff I bought besides cake ingredients were 3 lemons and 3 tiny cans of cat food.

So I get home from the store, measure out everything into bowls, melt the chocolate, yada yada, try to will these ingredients into becoming room temperature faster, etc. etc. etc. The components finally get warm enough to use and I fire up the Kitchenaid and make the cake. My kitchen was a total and utter disaster area, and my stress level was increasing moment by moment, knowing time was running out and I still had to clean up this huge nightmare before I could even think about cooking dinner, too. Little did I know then that I accidentally put the butter I'd measured out for the frosting into the cake. I didn't realize that I'd used TWICE as much butter as I was supposed to in the cake until I was making the frosting and it was still really thin after adding the butter--- 2 minutes before the cake was due to come out of the oven.


Oh my god.

So I had 2 weirdly dry, yet somehow greasy at the same time, half inch high cake layers. I managed to get the buttercream right (thank god I hadn't put the other half pound of butter back in the fridge and it was soft enough to use), and put the cake together anyway, but boy oh boy was I stressed. And to make matters worse, I realized that I had to go back to the store to get one ingredient I needed for the dinner I'd planned to cook.

Thankfully my boyfriend thought the story was hilarious since I rarely make mistakes of such magnitude and his birthday was not ruined, after all. He even tried to choke down a piece of the nastyass cake.

Anyway...I did eventually cast on for Branching Out, but not until about 10 last night. I like the Silky Wool. It's not at all splitty, and it's pretty soft, too. It does have these weird little pieces of straw in it that I have to keep picking out, but it's not that big of a deal.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Microspun Feather and Fan

I kept hearing about how soft Lion Brand Microspun is which made me curious so I started looking for it. Weirdly enough, I can't seem to find the stuff in any of the stores around here that carry Lion Brand yarn. So I turned to trusty Ebay. I found a ball of it for small dollars, and managed to win that auction. Go me.

But what does one do with only 1 skein? I made this Feather and Fan scarf from a free pattern I found here:



Closer:



I didn't love working with the Microspun. I do like the way it feels, but it was very splitty yarn, indeed. It wasn't so bad that I'd refuse to ever use it again, though. It just required a blunter needle than I generally prefer using.

A couple of years ago my landlord planted two small trees in my small front yard. Most of the time I hate them, and think they look really stupid where he put them. At the moment though, they're blooming and they make for a lovely view out the window of my office despite the fact that it's a gray and rainy day.



I'm having one of those devil on one shoulder, angel on the other shoulder debates inside my head. Do I spend a few hours doing Spring Cleaning, or do I blow it off and work on the back of Devan? I'm leaning towards the middle ground which is to get whatever cleaning I can get done in two hours, and then I can guiltlessly knit the rest of the day away.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Angry Bunny Foo Foo

Why is Little Bunny Foo Foo so angry?



Maybe because he can't find any field mice...



...to scoop up and bop on the head?




Foo Foo was made with Kate Gilbert's Bunny pattern in Kool Aid dyed Fisherman's wool, and then I decided to stuff him with catnip and felt him so my cat Ed can chew on him. Maybe that's why he's so angry.

Rabbit Obsession

I never realized before that I apparently have a thing for bunnies. I keep seeing these rabbits all over the place that I feel bizarrely compelled to knit. What's odd is I don't have a whole bunch of stuffed animals on my bed, or anywhere else for that matter. I didn't think I was a stuffed toy sort of person. But now I'm determined to make a damned rabbit. I bought Kate Gilbert's Bunny pattern, and did a test Bunny a month or so ago, but I didn't bother to check my gauge and I knit the thing way too loosely and it looked so awful that I didn't even bother to stuff him. (He's been sitting on my couch in my office gazing fornlornly at me.) And then there's Schmeebot's rabbit, which I find weirdly irresistible. I'm definitely going to try Kate's Bunny again though, and as soon as I get some light colored wool that'll felt, Schmeebot's rabbit too.

Speaking of rabbits, how about some angora booties? (Pattern in Last Minute Knitted Gifts.)




I just ordered some Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool so I can make a Branching Out scarf. I need something slightly complicated to work on alternately with the boring stockinette that is Devan. I did get both of Devan's front sides finished, and while the pattern next calls for knitting the sleeves, I figured I'd do the back instead now since it's solid colored (except for the little patch design near the neck) and that way I can at least look forward to doing the fun stripey sleeves.

I don't know what I was afraid of when it came to weaving in the Airy Scarf's ends. It was a breeze. (Bahaha.) Here's a feeble attempt at an arty photo of the thing:

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Beaded Knit Cuff Pattern

Being a former avid beader, I have tons of beads lying around that have just been screaming at me to be used in conjunction with knitting. I found this pattern for a Little Beaded Bag, and promptly made this:



It was a very easy fun little project and took no time at all. I used cotton yarn and E beads.


Afterwards, it occured me to that the basic technique could be used for jewelry. So I played around a little bit and came up with this:



In case you're dying to have one of your very own, here's the pattern:



Beaded Knitted Cuff

It's basically beaded stockinette stitch with garter stitch edges to keep it from rolling and give it some extra texture. It fastens with two small snaps.

For this project you'll need some yarn that's fine enough to string beads on, 49 beads with holes large enough for your yarn to fit through, a wide eyed needle (I used a beading needle that opens up to allow the yarn to slide in, but you could probably use some glue to stiffen the end of your yarn into a point (make sure you let it dry, of course), a couple of snaps, and some #2 or #3 knitting needles


To make:

First you must string your beads on the yarn. You have to string them in the order that you'll be knitting them. If you wish to use 2 colors of beads like I did, you would string them on in this order:

4 silver, 1 blue, 7 silver, 1 blue, 7 silver, 1 blue, 7 silver, 1 blue, 7 silver, 1 blue, 7 silver, 1 blue, 4 silver

Push the beads up onto the yarn. You won't need them for a while.

Now cast on 13 stitches.

Rows 1-6
Knit across.

Now follow the charted pattern below until you have 6 bead diamonds completed. The way you work the chart is starting in the lower right corner, from right to left. Remember, each blank square signifies a knit stitch.

After the last diamond is complete, do one row of knit 3, purl 7, knit 3, and then a row of knit across.

Now knit 6 rows in stockinette stitch with no garter stitch selvedges---this makes a flat tab to attach your snaps to that's less bulky than if you continued with the garter stitch on the edges. Bind off, and weave in your ends and then sew on your snaps with some thread that matches the color of your yarn. You're done.





Notes:

*Slipping the beads is easier than it sounds. When you see a snowflake on the chart, just bring your yarn to the front, slip that stitch onto your right needle as if you were going to purl, then slide the bead down the thread and tight up against your work inbetween the previous knitted stich and the stitch you slipped. This makes it so the bead is sort of raised up and shows on the front of your work and not the back. Put your yarn in the back again and proceed. There's always a knit stitch after you add a bead, as it shows on the chart.

*I have little wrists. I'm also a fairly loose knitter. You may want to string on extra beads (following the sequence) in case you do your 6 diamonds and decide you'd like one more before making your end tab.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Airy Scarf

So, I finished the Airy Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, in Rowan Kidsilk Haze. It's even blocked. But the two ends are still hanging out, waving in the breeze, mocking me. I haven't ever made anything laceweight before and I'm hoping for some magical method of hiding the ends. I don't want to attempt something and then have to rip it out if it looks bad because Kidsilk is notoriously difficult to frog.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Photo goodness

I'm all excited because I managed to post a picture. (I'm sure it will become evident soon enough that small things cause me undue joy.)

Below you'll see a piece of Devan, from knitty. I probably should have started with the back, so I could look forward to the fronts, but I didn't, obviously. Please ignore the way I have it pinned to my couch for picture taking purposes.



I finally finished the Cabled Purse from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I took some photos, but had a difficult time getting one that showed the detail of the mock cables. Also, I think I inadvertantly pressed some button or another on my camera and screwed up the autofocus setting, since now every picture I try to take comes out vaguely blurry. Grrrrreat. Of course I have no idea where in my mess of an office hides the manual for my camera.

Monday, April 11, 2005

I know the world doesn't NEED another knit blog

Yes, I'm aware that there are probably 6.43 million knit blogs out there already, and probably no one will read this one. But I'm thinking it would be nice to have a place to babble on about what I'm working on, what I want to make next, etc. Sometimes I feel as if I'm all over the place, and perhaps it would be a good idea to document what I'm thinking so I can keep my projects in progress a little more focused.

I'm currently working on Devan from knitty.com, and the Cabled Purse and the Airy Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

Yesterday I made the left front side of Devan, and I was astonished at how quick my progress was. I really thought it was going to take forever, since it's sock yarn and I'm using size 2 needles. The yarn I'm using is Fortissima Colori Socka Color in #9069. I'm really pleased with the patterning of the jacquard so far.

I also worked a bit on the Cabled Purse. I'm on the lining part, which is just inches and inches of boring stockinette in the round. After using metal needles for Devan, switching back to the 12" plastic Clover circs for the Cabled Purse was kind of tough. The purse is for Mom, who saw it in the book and said she wanted it. I think my row gauge is off a bit, since it seems a bit taller than it's supposed to be, but I'm hoping some good blocking will fix that.

Hopefully my web hosting account I just ordered will be live soon, and I can post some pictures.