Sunday, December 30, 2007

I really wish I didn't have so much on my mind, like, all the time.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It's all over but the shouting.

I'm slowly but surely getting things set up on my laptop the way I want them. I'm up a little late, letting the fabulous dinner and dessert I had digest. My mom's outdone herself, although there was of course a bit of help from yours truly. I'm also trying to squeeze the last little bit of this three-day weekend. It's the first one I've had since.... gosh, September of '06, I think? Maybe that's a sign I need to work a little bit less and take a little more time off.
My mom loved the socks I knit for her, in spite of all the poo-pooing she's previously done about my knitting socks (it involves a whole lot of "what's the point of knitting socks? They're just socks after all.") The tea cozy I'm finishing up was quite a hit as well. I finished everything but the weaving in during the break between dinner and dessert. Other than that, all that's needed is a ribbon to (pardon the pun) tie it all together. She was a rather excited mom indeed.
While sitting in front of the fireplace, knitting the last bit of the tea cozy, my friend Tim started to take an interest in what/how I was knitting, especially the part where I can knit while holding conversations and paying attention to other things. It was kind of fun to give a sort of mini-lesson to one who's barely ever even seen anyone knit before.

For now, I should probably head to bed. The workday waits for no woman.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

So far Christmas has been pretty rockin'. We held to our usual Christmas Eve tradition of watching Christmas specials and eating pizza, then I came home and finished wrapping and sewing up loose ends, both literally and figuratively.

As for now, I'm currently updating on my new laptop, courtesy of Eric, while we watch a shit ton of Metalocalypse, one of Eric's presents. A lot of the knitting has been accomplished, but I decided to take a break, so everybody else gets things a tad late. Gus ripped open his presents like any kid on Christmas, and has been happily playing with his new toys. (Truth be told, he played a little too hard and had to have them confiscated briefly, but otherwise things have been pretty smooth.)

In about an hour, we're heading to my mom's for dinner. All in all, with one awkward and odd occurence on Saturday, I've had a pretty enjoyable holiday. Hope all of y'all are having the same!

Friday, December 21, 2007

It's here.

The day I'd not at all looking forward to....... Finishing Day. Tonight and tomorrow will be spent weaving in ends and sewing stuff up. (and trying to finish another small present. Did I mention I have a really screwed up sense of time?)

There will also be more baking. The cookies, brownies, and cheese ball were all accomplished, but that leaves the cupcakes and another attempt at blondies (the last ones were WAY underdone, a problem I didn't notice until it was much too late to do anything about it.)
So why the heck am I still sitting here? Gotta go!

Monday, December 17, 2007

She's pretty damn wierd.

I'm pretty sure that no one other than my mother would ask for a meat thermometer for Christmas. I shouldn't be suprised, as this is the same woman who once asked for a rack of ribs for Mother's Day. It was amusing, if only because I got to tell people I gave my mom raw meat as a gift.

I finished another One-Row Scarf for my dad last night. I have to start another project so that everybody (Dad, his wife Pang, and Wyatt, the new kidlet) gets something handmade, but all in all it's working out pretty well. The way I see it, if I can knock out a second scarf and a child-size hat (for another family), I'm going to consider this holiday season a success with more than 50% of goals completed. All that leaves is the other half.

The sort-of birthday outing of this weekend was a rousing success. I had an awesome time seeing the Red Elvises, and afterwards we popped over to the dive bar across the street and caught the Hot Roddin' Romeos. I lost one of my favorite scarves, but I'm going to check back and see if maybe it turned up. That makes three handmade scarves lost over the last couple of years-- one in the Baltimore airport security check, one at the (no longer open) 3B Tavern, and now this one at another bar. While none have been particularly fancy--heck, the 3B scarf was thrown together in two hours while watching a movie-- it still irks me that I have such trouble holding onto things. I'm going to start pinning things to my clothes, like they do in elementary school. This will go well with my plan to put locators on everything I own.*

For now, I'm on the move. I've got to get myself a shower before I go have a birthday lunch with the lovely Stephanie. After that, I have a full afternoon of Christmas tree hauling, knitting, and eventually dinner with my super-awesome boyfriend.
*I find I have a really hard time keeping track of things, but I thought of a way to remedy this. Know how you can call your cell phone when you lose it and it will ring to tell you where it is? Well, my plan is to put beepers and bells on everything, then create a big board of buttons that I can push to find things. The buttons will have labels like "keys" and "purse" and "left shoe".

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I have (once again) given up on the idea that everything is going to get finished by Christmas and started telling my family and friends to expect things around the end of the month or so. I'd probably be a lot farther along if I didn't keep adding stuff to my list, but the way I see it, if I'm going to go crazy with knitting gifts I might as well go all the way crazy. It's no fun if you only go half-assed crazy.

Nonetheless, I've been quite busy, so busy I have absolutely no time to write about it because we're going to see the Red Elvises tonight as a kind-of-sort-of-not-really birthday outing (my birthday's on Monday) and Tim's already here and I still have to change clothes and put on makeup and I've got to do it quick because the boys are starving., how's that for a run-on sentence?

Also, my mom and I got into an argument about the internet, specifically blogs like this one here. This will also be discussed.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

At long last, I finally got to update my ravelry and flickr accounts. I've been meaning to add pictures to my projects for some time now. It sounds silly, but it helps me feel like I've actually accomplished something recently to see it in list/thumbnail format.

I took a break from Christmas project knitting by doing some other knitting last night. I swatched for The Spencer Jacket from Fitted Knits, but still haven't quite gotten gauge yet. I also started in on the Little Sky Sock, and so far it seems to be making sense!
For now, it's back to the Christmas grind-- time to recast on the Pirate Mittens (my gauge got way too tight and they had to be frogged) , start the tea cozy, dye some sock yarn and make some rice! (I made curry.)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I might actually make it this year!

I have to say I'm a little proud of myself. So far I've gotten quite a few Christmas presents 97% done. The final 3%, the weaving in of ends and use of kitchener stitch, I'm saving up for last so I can take one day and finish everything at once. I'm not sure if this is a good plan, as I'm probably going to avoid "The day of stupid fucking end-weaving and seaming" until the last possible minute, but it seems like it won't be so bad if I know I'm getting it all out of the way at the same time.

Barring that, nearly half of my gift list has now been crossed off, including a super-secret gift for a friend that I can't even tell Eric about. (Actually, I just mostly can't tell Eric, even though it isn't for him. Don't ask me to explain that, it might give something away.)

All that's left is to knit a pair of mittens, socks, a hat (or possibly two) and a tea cozy..... in three weeks. And figure out gifts for four other folks, the most difficult being my 16-year-old sister. For starters, knitting doesn't exactly get used much in central Florida. Also, I'm a bit nervous that she wouldn't really like anything I made for her, just like I was last year. And did I mention that she's sixteen?*

I'm also contemplating throwing another holiday party, Festivus '07, into the works as well. I wasn't going to, but I wouldn't mind an excuse to drink things out of the martini glasses I haven't used since last year.

...on second thought, maybe I shouldn't be jumping for joy just yet.

*I think I may spend some time tonight perusing Etsy. If I can't make her something she'd like, maybe I can find something made by someone else.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Maybe Carmen wouldn't have gone home if her horseshoe necklace had been turned the right way.....

Man, I love knitting socks. Wait, I've probably already mentioned that, haven't I? Well, I found reason number 364289347 to like knitting socks: Retro Rib socks are the perfect pattern for knitting while watching Project Runway. I barely even had to look at my stitches. (Luckily, we have a DVR for those few occasions when I look down and miss something. Like that wierd pectoral spasm Jack had while sewing.)

I have yet to come up with a PR favorite, although I like the things that Kit and Jack have been making. There's a few other hit-and-miss people, and some I downright dislike* (both clothing and personality) but it's too early to make real judgements. Ultimately, by next week I'll find the designer I love, the one that will inevitably get killed off by the judges two-thirds of the way the the competition--- Allison, anyone?

These will probably be the last easy tv-watching socks for a little bit. I picked up Cat Bordhi's New Pathways into Sock Knitting the other day, and although I don't entirely understand the whole crazy-arch-increase every three rows-gussets-in-wierd-places thing, I'm definitely going to give one of the first pathways a go once I finish the socks I'm working on now. Maybe instead of going the easy route of Monkey socks for my Aunt Tena, I'll expirement with a pair from the book. Being a fairly adventurous woman, she might appreciate that.

*We generally make up discriptive and sometimes unflattering names for people on this show. I'm keeping this season's nicknames to myself for the time being, but know that a certain contestant from last season was called "Baconchest" 'round these parts.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pluses and Minuses

Reason I don't like always like my job:

I worked eleven hours today, including the almost four hours I spent in rush hour traffic driving to North Seattle and back (From this day forth, I'm going to start lobbying for a cd player in the delivery rig.) I got home at nearly ten o'clock, just in time to eat a quick meal with Eric before he went to bed.

Reason I still mostly like my job:
The customer that caused me to work so late spent five minutes apologizing after I proceeded to read him the riot act. Only in my line of work can I look at my customers and ask, "what the fuck?"

In other news, I am eight stitches away from finishing another sock! Two socks in the last week alone, woohoo! Too bad they are socks for two different pairs! I'm almost done with one of the matches though. Hopefully my mom will like them, but even if she doesn't she's kind enough to fake it.

It's been kind of neat trying out different fibers of sock yarn. My mom's are in corn-fiber based Maizy, specifically the hibiscus colorway. They almost have a cotton sort of feel to them, which would kind of bug me in a sock, but should please my wool-sensitive mother. The other pair (that I think I might actually keep for myself this time) are in Panda Wool, a bamboo/wool blend that has a gorgeous sheen and really soft feel. I threw in some leftover Shibui Sock from the Mermaid socks for the heel and toe. The colorways are just different enough to contrast each other while still being semi-blended colors.

Once I finish these, it's back to the still-lingering Uzume socks and a knee-high number that I'm kind of making up as I go along. For now, I think I'm going to head to bed without binding off my new sock. I'm still not great at kitchener stitch, and it would probably best to attempt it when I'm no longer slightly stoned from wood stain fumes.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

You listen to it twice, cause the dj is asleep....

I'm having a Regina Spektor lyric moment. Just bear with me and I promise it will pass.

Although my week started off fairly badly-- I had an allergic reaction to something that has had me looking like an itchy lobster for the last two days-- I'm feeling rather good about the rest of the week.

On the radio, you hear November Rain
The solo's really long, but it's got a good refrain

Tomorrow will be filled with after-work prep cooking, where my mom and I will be making bread and black raspberry ice cream, followed by the second annual pre-thanksgiving bar hop (minus last year's ER visit) and hanging out with Dominic, (I've missed him so.) I'm also going to have to throw in a trip to the store so I can buy the correct batteries for my camera (I got the wrong ones last time.)

There are quite a few WIPs that need documenting-- the revitalized cardigan, the one-row scarf, the Uzume socks, the frogged and restarted Pirate Mittens, and the Embossed Leaf socks I started the other night. I am loving that pattern-- simple, pretty, and a pretty darn quick knit. Then again, that could just be because I stayed up way too late the last couple of nights wanting to knit just one more repeat.

As for Thanksgiving, we always tend to have a spectacular time, so I expect things to be about the same this year. The rest of the weekend will be filled with house guests in the form of visiting friends...which means I should probably be cleaning my house right about now.

Meh, too late now.

You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath

In other news, I seem to have developed a freakishly introverted streak of late and I'm not sure how to feel about it. Having always been an outgoing sort of person, the fact that I now get anxious when walking into a room of people I don't know, or barely know at best, is a little disconcerting. It's even starting to happen in places full of people I know well, which really freaks me out. I know I'm being ridiculous when I do this, and even tell myself so as it's happening, but that doesn't seem to start my breathing from getting shorter when faced with groups. At least I did pretty well at knit night tonight. I managed sit in a room with people I don't know and make conversation without hyperventilating! That's progress, right?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Easy Equation.

wifi at home + new laptop = PURE AWESOMENESS.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I gotta say, I'm actually pretty okay with giving up on NaPloBloMo. The only posts that would have been made over the last week or so would have read something like this:

Look at me. I'm posting today. Just like I did yesterday, and everyday this month.

While it complies with the rules, it doesn't seem to reflect the spirit, now does it? And really, I didn't much feel like writing anything at all lately. Not in any depressed, there's nothing worth talking about, woe is me way. More in a I-feel-like-holing-up-in-house-and-knitting-without-having-to-interact way. Work's been nuts, the weather's been crappy, and I've been trying like heck to avoid the cold that Eric came home with recently. All the outside factors made it perfect timing for a week of cozying up under my super-furry throw blanket with a pot of tea (or some evenings a glass of wine) and one of the eleventy-billion projects currently piling up in my little house.

The new version of my cardigan seems to be coming along, even with the (very small) breaks I've been taking to work on the baby blanket. I went for top-down raglan this time, and already I'm much happier with it. Being able to try things on in the process makes working on them a lot more enticing!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Man, it's only the first week and a half and I've already slipped off the wagon. I'm such a bad blogger. Nonetheless I will press on anyway with an actual post tomorrow.

Also, I am frogging the cardigan I've been working on. I got halfway through and decided I didn't like it anymore. Atleast I've made progress on the baby blanket.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I've been sitting here trying to write about the stuff that has been going on at my job lately, but since I feel like I have to leave a lot of things out, what's left doesn't really make much sense. You know, that whole lack of context thing.
Basically, being the Girl Friday has put me in some awkward situations lately

Monday, November 05, 2007

I have officially gone over to the dark side.

I tried, I really did. I have never wanted to be one, but it seems I have become an anti-acrylic natural-or-nothing yarn snob, all without my even noticing. Not only that, I seem to be training others to be yarn snobs as well!

After a lot of yarn perusal, I resigned myself to using Caron's Simply Soft for my impending sibling's baby blanket. I couldn't seem to find a anything else that I really liked (or enough of it in any one place), it was washable, and felt the nicest out of any of the acrylics I'd been looking at. But after about a foot and a half worth of swatching*, the doubt set in. It really didn't feel as nice once it was knitted up, in fact I'm starting to think it's a little rough now, and do I really want to use this?

I turned to Eric and asked him to feel it, cause sometimes you really do need the opinion of a non-knitter, and it could be that this has more to do with me not liking acrylic than the actual yarn itself. He rubbed my swatch between his hands and said, "It kind has that squeaky acrylic feel, don't you think? It seems like it would start to wear on your hands with a big project like this. And really, wouldn't it be better to do something in a nice cotton? It is for your brother after all."

I think I actually made the shock-and-awe face. Squeaky? Cotton? Where did that come from?

After two and a half years of being surrounded by knitting, it looks like some of my chatter about yarn and fiber may have actually been absorbed. I can just see him a year from now telling his work buddies about all the benefits of alpaca.

I did some more searching and managed to find enough Lion Brand Cotton Ease in the same dye lot to make a blanket. Being a 50-50 cotton acrylic, it may save me from the dreaded yarn snob title, atleast for a little while. Now to go do another 18 inches of swatching.

*I have trouble making decisions sometimes.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Love letter to Sunday.

I remember way back when Sunday had become just another workday in a long stretch of endless retail weekends. Then I changed jobs to a new wonderful place where I only worked Sundays if I felt like it, which mostly I didn't. Since then, I've come to appreciate having that day completely to myself.

Sundays around here are generally dedicated to football, knitting, and sometimes a big cooking or baking project. Last time it was chili and lasagna, but I might try and throw together some whatchagot casserole today. I'm on a mission to use what's left in my cupboards until I go grocery shopping next week, but it's starting to become quite the challenge now that I'm running out of both fresh and canned vegetables. But I'm too determined to go out to eat now, so I'll be coming up with something awesome out of the odds and ends.

Then again, I might bag all of that in favor of the pizza in the freezer. That's my favorite part about Sunday-- doing exactly whatever I please.

As freeform as my Sunday afternoons tend to be, I have set myself to a sort of knitting schedule. A couple of the projects I'm working on are time-sensitive and won't get done unless I hunker down to do them. So I've set a schedule for the next week of not-so-much when to knit, but what my project(s) of the day are. (I like having more than one option, so I listed two to three projects each day to give me a choice.) Next week I'll review and make a schedule for the next week.

It probably sounds a bit crazy, stringently scheduling what is essentially a hobby. But there are certain things I've promised myself I will accomplish, and it seems that won't happen unless I start getting disciplined with myself.

So for the rest of my Sunday, it will be a highly anticipated football game, laundry, and working Project A, E, or D.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The secret is making sure to add in the leap year days.

Today was quite possibly the slowest workday I've ever had in my life. One would think that I would use all that free time to catch up on work things, but alas, I lacked the motivation to accomplish much. I took care of a couple of things, then sat and perused the 2004 World Almanac someone left there.

Almanac's are fascinating things to read, even three year old ones. How else would I have found out that I'm going to be 10,000 days old on May 4th 2009, or that Nancy Reagan's real name isn't Nancy, or that the next solar eclipse will occur on August 1, 2008, but will only be visible from a small area in the middle of the Arctic Ocean?

All terribly useful things to know, if you ask me.

As for tonight, I'm eschewing a house show in favor of staying home, watching movies, and making bread. I've been wanting to try the Rustic Loaf recipe from America's Test Kitchen, but wasn't able to do it until today due to lack of a baking stone (my mom had mine). The only variation I think I'm going to make is changing it to cheese bread by adding the tiniest bit of cheddar to the dough, then more cheddar on top to get all bubbly and yummy while it bakes. Then again, I've never made bread before, only cookies and biscuits and the occasional muffin. Maybe I shouldn't go off-book just yet.

Friday, November 02, 2007

How quickly we forget.

It just dawned on me that once again NaBloPoMo is upon us. A lot of friends are starting NaNoWriMo around me, but quite frankly I just don't have the energy. Lord knows I can definetely find crap to write about in my blog everyday though. (I think.)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Most of y'all will think I'm crazy.

I am purple today, especially on my knees, where a couple of individual bruises banded together to form the SUPERBRUISE. The back of my cell phone is missing from getting accidentally kicked across the floor, but since it's been on it's deathbed anyway it's not much of a loss. My wig got lost somewhere in the crowd after I got sick of wearing it and threw it, then mysteriously turned up on the stage.

In other words, it was another successful Halloween.

I know I'm starting to get too old for it, but part of me misses before. Back when coming home covered in bruises and beer meant that we had had a good time. Things like that seem to be only reserved for special occasions anymore. Eric and I agreed that we had to grow up sometime, but I do still miss being able to go out for a beer on a Tuesday night without feeling like I'm getting away with something.

The Jem costume came out pretty darn well. I had to do some last minute add-ons, and I forgot my microphone at home, but it was definetely 80's-rific. Oddly enough, almost the entire thing came from stuff I already have in my closet. I'm not sure whether to be amused or concerned.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

How long do you think you can go before you lose it all, before they call your bluff and watch you fall....

I've been having a hard time keeping the faith lately. Things seemed to have been getting more and more difficult with not much end in sight. Work stuff, home stuff, dog stuff, life stuff, being stuck in one spot on pretty much every project I'm working on, including the non-craft ones..... it drags me under the surface sometimes. I felt myself starting to avoid people, mentally cancelling plans I've already made with friends, sleeping all the time or not at all-- all the warning signs of a bout of depression setting in, the kind where I become a melancholy recluse and no one hears from me for a month.

Moments like that I start to wonder how it's so damn easy for everyone else.

...but a friend's situation and a conversation with my mom reminded me that there are problems bigger than my own and no one really has it figured out as much as I think they do.

It's funny how a little thing like that may have just pulled me back from the edge.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Oh my god, she did what?

As one might expect, there's not a lot of info online about felting cashmere, because how often does one really do it? Heck, I was expecting the gods of fiber, or atleast my local yarn store, to strike me down when I stuck it in the washer and set the dial.

As it turns out, cashmere doesn't felt quite the same as other fibers. In fact, it turns more fuzzy than felt-y. After two go-rounds in the washer, it seems to have felted enough to hold a shape when I cut it, but I can still see a bit of stitch definition when I stretch it slightly. I think I may throw it in the washer again, but save a scrap as a sample of the two-cycle felt.

The plan? I'm starting with a simple snap-closure cuff with some needle-felted details (and maybe button embellishments!) and then we'll see where it goes.

...though it might go nowhere if I can't figure out how to make these stupid snaps fit in properly. Dammit.

Atleast I found the right wig for my Halloween costume, along with this tutorial for a tutu. Let's just say I'm going to be totally outrageous.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hey, gotta keep trying. Gotta keep holding on to whatchagot (which sure ain't a lot)

Why does it seem like when you want things to stay the same, they up and change on you, but when a little change might be nice, you start living life like it's Groundhog Day?

Life has been in a sort of doldrums. To the point where even working up the energy to think about anything (like working on one of the 2493762 UFOs I have) more work than it's worth. In the last two weeks, I have finished a sock. That's it, just one sock. The same Uzume sock I'd been working on for over a month. While I should herald that as progress, I can't seem to get myself started on the other one and, really, what the hell good is just on sock?

Consequently, I've been avoiding ravelry for a week or two as well, and skimming through all of the fabulous knitting blogs I read. I'm terribly happy for all the folks who went to Rhinebeck and enjoyed the hell out of themselves, but reading too much about it might just make me stab myself in the eye.

(See how morose I've become? It's just pitiful.)

But when I woke up this morning on my day off, the rain and clouds had blown away to reveal a beautiful, rather balmy fall day. It seems like a sign that today is the day to kick myself out of my funk.

I started by just thinking about good things, like the spinning wheel I'm saving up for, and whether I should take some of that spinning wheel money and put it towards a spinning class. It would set me back a month or two from buying one, but then again I'd have a better idea of how to use it then. As far as problems go, it's a pretty good one to have.

Now, it's time to shower and get some stuff done.

The to do list for today:
-felt a sweater Gus got ahold of last night*
-Work out some Halloween costume details
-make trips to the following places:
  • craft store
  • hardware store
  • Goodwill
  • possibly Old Navy
-find some star earrings, or make them myself
-make soup
-dye my hair
-return the batteries I bought and get the right ones
-take mucho pictures of all WIPs, FOs, and whatever the heck else

*And of course, it just had to be my favorite cardigan that he chewed holes through. My oh-so-wonderful purple 100% cashmere cardigan that I found at Goodwill for $8.00. I atleast have to give it to him-- Gus has got good taste.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

This is a transitioning week, and it's not going well.

Now that Eric's working graveyard shifts for turnaround, I pretty much haven't seen him since Sunday. Sure, I've managed to wake up just long enough to have a brief, incoherent conversation with him when he comes home around 5:30, and I make sure to kiss him on the cheek when I leave for work a few hours later, but that's about it.

It's really wierd to be living in the same house but opposite hours as someone. Kind of feels like he's out of town, and the two hours we spend sleeping in the same bed aren't real. I can't even imagine what it's like for people who's schedules are always like this, as six weeks is going to be more than enough for me.

Gus seems to be having the hardest time adjusting. He's started howling when I leave the house again. Apparently he's been howling loudly enough to make one of my neighbors think he's being beaten or something. It breaks my heart, but I can't take him to work with me, yanno? Now I'm scared to ever leave him alone, out of fear my neighbors will look at me like the next Micheal Vick.

On the bright side, atleast I'll have lots of knitting time while I'm cooped up in my house with just my nuerotic dog for company.

Monday, October 01, 2007

And so my first KALs begin!

Tonight I will be putting aside the cardigan and starting my Pirate Mittens, with a little time out for sock knitting. Time to actually hunker down and rip out that sad looking toe shaping on the Uzume sock!

For some reason, it seems that much more exciting to be knitting something knowing others are doing kind of the same thing.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

You spin me right round, baby.

I have come to the conclusion that Di.Ve Teseo is my favorite scarf yarn. It has to be, or I wouldn't keep going back to it. I might have to do another one before the season's out.

As mentioned, I finished John's One-Row Scarf the other day, and am starting to swatch for the convertable mittens I'm planning. You know-- the kind where the part that covers your fingers folds up so you can do stuff without taking them off. Once I've figure out how to make this pair, I might do a pair for myself. I lost mine ages ago and miss them. They're pretty wonderful-- all the warmth of mittens without that pesky "muppet hands" problem. A word of warning however; they are awful in a snow fight.

Beyond that, I'm having some issues with project monogamy lately. I started Uzume, then set them down right at the toe of the first one and haven't picked them up again, mainly because I think I started shaping the toe incorrectly and don't want to sit down and fix it. Then I cast on and knit about seven inches of my Orbit Lace thingywhatsit, but began to suspect that it was a stupid idea to knit something that's rather summer-y when we're heading into fall. Now I've swatched (yet again), cast on, and knit the first couple of inches of the Currently Un-named Cardigan. What is wrong with me!?

I think I may force myself to sit down and rip back the Uzume socks so I can get back to working on them. I'm knitting them for a friend, and although she isn't aware that I'm knitting socks for her, I can't help but feel like I'm blowing her off by setting them aside.
I only have my mother to thank. She's gotten so good at giving guilt trips she's trained me to give them to myself!

Monday, September 24, 2007

There will soon be more projects thrown into my little knitting queue, since I found out today that my new sibling is going to be a boy!* I had been waiting to find out, mainly because I'm not the biggest fan of baby gifts in yellow. In fact, is there any other color people use for the non-gender specific? Cause yellow kind of makes me want to yack.

So now I have this overly ambitious plan to make a baby blanket, booties, and possibly a tiny sweater of some sort (in addition to all the other planned projects) by the time the baby is born, sometime around early December. It's a good thing I have no life these days!

I don't plan to give any of these to my father and his wife for a little while, however. There's been complications pretty much all along the way, some so bad my dad's wife had to be hospitalized for days at a time, so we're all taking a rather cautious approach for the time being. Nonetheless, I can't help but get stoked when I see all the cute baby patterns and now have a reason to make them.

*Don't worry, I'm very well aware of how odd it is, getting a new sibling at 25 years old. Luckily, I've had a bit of time to come to terms with the fact that my family is kind of odd.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bound off the Orange You Glad scarf tonight. Didn't do a whole hell of a lot else, because....

You see, the Boy snores. Most of the time I'm used to it (hell, we've been together a couple of years, according to most we're psuedo-married, I should be used to it by now.) But last night, E was atomic-snoring. I'm suprised he didn't wake up El and J, our friends/next-door neighbors. To be fair, I was also having a hard time quieting down my brain (which makes it doubly hard to sleep), but every time I would come close to falling asleep-- you know, that odd space between sleep and awake, just before you fall asleep for real-- E would launch one of his buzz-saw snores and jar me awake again.

So all I did today was work, then nap until it was time to go to my friend Dale's birthday outing.
But I fixed the Orbit Lace project last night. Apparently I casted on 56 stitches too many. Thats right, 56 stitches. I don't do math nearly as well as I thought I did, which is sad because it's one of my favorite parts of knitting. The whole mathematically-figuring-out-how-to-create-three-dimentional-objects-with-pieces-of-string-and-a-couple-of-sticks is what started me knittting in the first place. I blame it on my physics teacher.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Plans and progress

I figured out what E did with the camera batteries. He lost them in Alaska. No camera for me until I buy new ones!

I had planned to go into work to do some things yesterday, but when I woke up I promptly decided that work could go to hell and spent the rest of the day knitting and watching football.

I decided to take a break from Uzume in favor of the orange scarf I'm working on for my friend John. I had ripped the whole thing out after deciding that I didn't like my stitch pattern I had come up with-- despite my efforts, it still tended to roll just the tiniest bit, ie. just enough to annoy me. Instead, I'm using Stephanie McPhee's One-Row Scarf pattern, alternating skeins for a bigger stretch between color changes. (I wanted gradual color as opposed to stripes. It seems to be working.)

I also set to work planning my first cardigan. After what felt like a mile of swatching using different needle sizes, I think I've hit on the right gauge for my currently untitled project.* Knit on 7's, the fabric was rather thick and would have made an awesome jacket type thing, but I lack enough yarn to do that. Size 8's were neither here nor there, but 9's seemed to create the perfect fabric for the warm-but-not-heavy feel I'm trying to acheive. When I finished and announced that the swatch was done, E asked, looking mildly shocked, "That's a swatch?" (by this point it was about 11 inches long. I think he thought I was knitting a sleeve or something.) "Why would you spend so much time knitting something you're just going to take apart later?" he got the "importance of swatching" speech. He took it better than most knitters do.

*I should create a symbol for it and call it the Sweater Formerly Known As a Cardigan. Or SweFKAC for short.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

If I could only figure out where E put the rechargeable batteries, I'd be able to document my progress. Sometimes he has this habit of just putting things in random places that don't make a whole lot of sense, atleast to me.

As if I wasn't already busy with work, I made myself a little busier by adding in another project.

We've been wanting to install a desk in one of the closets ever since we bought the condo, which happened to be six months ago yesterday. Fast forward six months and one day, and our second bedroom is still full of boxes and barely useable. We had the desktop, we had the wood to install it, we just needed to cut everything down to size and put it in.

We kept talking about borrowing a saw from one of our friends that has one, but I started to realize that at this rate it would be another six months before we got it done. So I went out and bought my very own circular saw, a stud finder, and a couple of sawhorses and set to work.

I cut three 1x2's to attach to the wall inside the closet. Then I cut down a little off the sides of my desktop, as it was just a hair too big. After lots of measuring, lots of checking with my level and lots of using my handy dandy studfinder, I screwed the braces into the wall and rested my desktop on top. My cuts are a little wobbly (I blame it on not having used a circular saw in six years. ), and it seems like it's probably going to need a center crossbrace underneath before I start putting heavy things like books and my sewing machine on it, but otherwise I was pretty proud of having done it pretty much by myself. (E did take the closet doors off while I was busy cutting the top, but everything else was done by me.)

So there I stood, basking in my own handy-ness, when it started to occur to me that the whole thing looked a little bit.... tall. E and I had figured out exactly how tall we wanted this desk to be-- 28 inches high seemed like it would accomodate both him and I comfortably-- and I had measured EXACTLY 28 inches. But it still seemed to be a little bit higher up than I had thought.

I sat there scratching my head and being confused for a second until E walked up and asked, "Why is it 32-inches high instead of 28?". Then it dawned on me---

All that meticulous measuring and remeasuring and leveling and checking had been done 28 inches from the top of our 4-inch baseboards.

It's starting to grow on me however. I might just leave it that way and get a taller chair.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Note to self: Dead camera makes for boring, picture-less posts.

I think I've found my pattern for the Strikke-Along -- Hello Yarn's Pirate Mittens. While not at all traditional, they would be my first major stranded project*, so I think that will do. And they're probably going to be rather warm, so atleast I'll meet the criteria!

I made some pretty good progress on the Uzume socks, then hit a no-knit zone. Work has been kicking my butt-- twelve hour days, twice the business we normally do, and all of it physically and mentally taxing--- so thinking about anything when I got home was pretty much out of the question. Mostly I just laid around until I could work up the energy to climb the stairs to bed.

To make up for it, I've been reading and planning. I had been trying to come up with a cute (and complicated) cardigan design once I figured out the the Tangled Yoke was going to be a no-go without buying more yarn, but I decided instead to go with something pretty simple. Since I plan to do complicated (for me) things with other projects, I like the idea of a simple cardigan. I'm taking some ideas from my favorite store-bought cardigan, the one that is very rapidly falling apart from too much wear. I'm thinking a very deep 1x1 rib bottom, stockinette bodice, with maybe a little bit of fun detailing here and there.

As for reading material, I stopped by Barnes and Noble, originally searching for Poems of Color (no luck) and noticed that the Vogue Stitchionary books were 50% off! I spent yesterday evening perusing volumes 1 and 2. Some of the cables are giving me ideas for future projects, but for now the current line up looks like this:

-Uzume socks
-Pirate Mittens for Strikke-Along
-Scarf/mitten set-- I originally was just making up a stitch pattern, but I think I might just frog it and go with Yarn Harlot's One-Row Scarf pattern
-Cotton socks for my mommy
-Charade socks, possibly. Gotta keep up with the Summer of Socks!
-Orbit Lace project (maybe. I might back-burner this until spring)
- a lace scarf from some of the mohair I've been aquiring recently. I'm starting to really like lace.
-simple cardigan using the Stahl Big I picked up not too long ago.

That should keep me busy atleast until December!

*The more I think about it, this will proably be my first stranded project EVER. Yay for firsts!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

I've always found that drunk posts are okay on livejournal, but is it wrong to drunk post on your knit blog?

Especially when all you have to say is, "I started the Uzume socks!"?

P.S.-- The friend I gave the Monkey socks to absolutely adores them. Tells me how much she loves them without me even asking. Not bad for my first pair of socks. :)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Cooking up some yarn.

I made another dyeing attempt this week on my (much-needed) day off. I've been kind of obsessed with dip dyeing lately, but wanted to find a set up that was easy to clean up and easy to keep the dog away from. When the solution popped into my head, it was so simple I couldn't believe I didn't think of it sooner.

Enter the grill.

Using the gas grill on my patio gave me an option that let me keep Gus inside and avoid potentially ruining my kitchen. During the process I put a tray on the main grill surface to keep the burners from getting spilled on and give me an additional place to set things. I probably could have just as easily left the main part closed, but I kept bumping the side of the cover so I had to get it out of my way.

Here's where I felt pretty cool. I screwed in a plant hook I picked up at Home Depot and added a 36" extender chain that can be taken off when not in use. I think the two together cost a whopping $4.00.
Hanging the yarn from a clothes hanger, I was able to move it up the chain to change the dye strength.

I grabbed my dyes (Louet Indigo and Saltbush, in the interest of full disclosure) a couple of skeins of white/natural stuff out of the yarn stash, two of Naturally Yarns Harmony and one of Araucania Nature Wool Chunky, and did a test run.

I need to work on getting my dye ratios worked out, because I didn't get the brightness of color I was looking for, but otherwise the endeavor was successful. After dropping the hank into the dye bath and very gently stirring with a wooden spoon, I hooked one end around the hanger and hung it up, raising it a couple of links every few minutes.

The result is a very subtle variegation that shifts almost imperceptibly from very light to a medium tone, leaving me with two skeins almost the color of faded denim and one muted lavendery-but-not sort of purple.
I think the lack of serious color saturation has more to do with the fact that I'm using yarn that's been previously treated for this little test project. I threw in a small sample from a different type of yarn and it turned SUPER dark. So we'll see how it goes with some dye-your-own product the next time around. Either way, I'm incredibly happy with how easy everything was to set up/take down. I was able to clean everything up in ten minutes flat!
Alrighty, off to swatch and see how my newly colored fibers knit up!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I think I can safely say I've earned the "MacGuyver Level II" badge from Cast On, having used my knitting needles as hair accessories, drain uncloggers and skewers for roasting marshmellows.

Monkey socks are finished! All that's left is to block them and give them to their intended recipient. Then it's onto my mom's Christmas socks. Since she hates anything wool, I've been scouring my yarn shops for a suitable replacement. I found lots of alternatives, but none in colors I thought she would like, until I hit upon a cotton number from Karabella.

I went home with a couple of rosy pink skeins (her favorite color), feeling oh so proud of myself. Which is why I could have killed her when she oohed and aahed over the Monkey socks, gushing about how nice they felt. Hates everything wool, my ass.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm at it again.

Got a yarn shop that's going out of business? Want to get rid of ones and twos?
Just call 1-800-JILL-BUYS-YARN.

I just couldn't stop myself! Give me a sixty percent off yarn sale and I start drooling at the mouth. That's even good enough to get me to go into a yarn store I had been avoiding (which is kind of a long story, but basically boils down to really disliking their staff.)

I did manage to get enough Stahl Big to make a sweater, but not enough to make the Tangled Yolk Cardigan, that I (along with quite a few others, according to Ravelry) have now become obsessed over. I cut myself off after that, but am allowing myself to buy other things only after, going home and deciding whether I really want it and what I would make with it. If at that point it hasn't already been snapped up, then I'm meant to have it. So far I've only been back once.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Friday, August 03, 2007

Gotta say, I'm a little dumbfounded.

This is my dog:

Gus 005

This is the most recent thing he managed to get a hold of and chew up:

bitter yuck


In other news, the first Monkey sock is done! Woohoo!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Now with parentheticals AND footnotes!

This week I've been....

reading: a Rex Stout anthology my mom lent me. I just finished it, though, so I'm now probably going to go out and buy Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I know, I know-- I'm about a week behind the rest of the country. A friend recently brought up the irony of how it almost feels un-American to have not read this book yet, despite the fact that it's written by a British author.

knitting: Mainly on the Monkey Sock in (as I failed to mention previously) Shibui Sock, color "Anime".

Everything else kind of took a backseat once I started. I can completely see why someone would do this sock pattern multiple times, it's a very addictive knit!

However, I think I'm going to put this one on the back burner and start alternating projects just to keep my brain busy.

The plan today is to finish fixing, seaming, and blocking Ridiculously Pink, complete my first Monkey Sock*, then work on either the Orbit Lace (which means more of my god-awful crocheting) or start another fun summer knit I've been thinking about.

buying: Madils Eden Bamboo for the Orbit Lace project

sipping:Wild Bunch White. I bought it for use in my stroganoff, but it's not a bad wine for drinking either.**

eating:Turkey Stroganoff (yay for lots and lots of leftovers) and Chicken /Shrimp Fajitas. E and I are big fajita fans. Fajitas seem to be a dish that we can make together without stepping on eachothers toes. Maybe it's because we make it so often, but our routine works pretty smoothly-- He takes care of grilling/cooking meat while I make spanish rice and saute the peppers.

needing:Microsoft Excel (can you believe I don't have any sort of spreadsheet program on my computer? The horror!)

*not only is this my first Monkey Sock, it will be my first finished sock ever! I'm so terribly excited! I also feel like kind of a nube for not making a sock sooner, so I'm keeping my exitement a little quieter than one might expect.

**- The above comment was made by a girl who is not necessarily all that big a fan of white wine, and therefore doesn't really know what the hell she's talking about. It tastes good for a white wine.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I love me some links, don't I?

To sum up:

Finished a tiny bit of fixin' on the Ridiculously Pink sweater. Still kind of avoiding it until I can figure out how to make the last dropped stitch disappear once it hits the ribbed collar.

Making my first pair of Monkey Socks with some gorgeous yarn I picked up at Hilltop Yarn Shop, where knitter extraordinaire Kat works! The ethiopian food was pretty darn good too.

Also starting another project, an altered version of Orbit Lace from Knitscene:

I'm pretty much cannibalizing the pattern and taking what I want from it, but I probably should have stayed away from the crochet waistband. Being someone who can't crochet a straight line to save her life, this will probably be the longest and hardest part.

Time to go snuggle up to my boy. He just got home tonight!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Frustration is binding off the collar of a sweater, leaving only the sleeve seaming before it's finished, only to find that you dropped two stitches down near the bottom.

Complete irritation is starting to fix the dropped stitches and dropping five more stitches on the collar in the process.


I'm giving up tonight, I'll try again tomorrow.

(Even so, I'm stoked that I might be able to wear "Ridiculously Pink" by this weekend. Then it's onto either Coachella from Knitty or the bamboo creation whose details are currently being worked out.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The boy flew to Alaska today, part of that whole "one weekend a month, two weeks a year" the Navy still requires of him. He'll be gone till the 27th, and although I had the brief urge to sit around being a lazy sad bastard, I've decided to kick my own ass in gear. To that effect, I plan to do a lot of knitting, but also a lot of organizing, a little laundry, some yarn dying, and a whole lot of swimming.

It was nearly a three-digit temperature in the 'Ham today, atleast in terms of farenheit. It got up to around 36 degrees celcius, so the trip to the lake was very welcome. After my long hot dizziness-inducing day at work, Steph and Barbara and I gathered our things and went up to one of my favorite lakes in the area. Though we are blessed to have more than one-- there's Lake Padden, Lake Samish, and Lake Whatcom--- Toad Lake is by far my favorite. It's pretty secluded, so it's less busy, and surrounded by lots of trees and few houses. On a sunny day, it's the warmest water you can find this far north. We swam around until the sun went down and I got to loosen up my tense and sore muscles and let go of the stress and heat of my day.

I plan to spend the rest of the evening with my stripey pink sweater, a movie, a glass of wine, and Gus, if I can get him to chill out for the evening.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I'm glad this week is almost over. Every time I think to myself, well today was kinda meh, but I'll just put it behind me and wake up ready to start another one, the Universe gets all butt-hurt and decides to throw some more random crap my way.

So far my week has including drunk bum temper tantrums, power "half--outages" (where not everything goes off, just the important stuff), being accidentally headbutted in my sleep, prying a slug out of my dog's mouth, and getting a paycheck that was smaller than usual when it's supposed to be the opposite. There's more, but I prefer not to dwell, especially since I've only got so much time to get myself fed and clothed and Gus walked before I go down to the Buffalo.

Huey Lewis, is it true? Is everybody really working for the weekend?

Monday, May 21, 2007

I just got off work. I've had to be nice to people all day, lift a lot of heavy objects, tint a lot of paint, and do all of these things while also helping to oversee the training of two other people, which can sometimes be a full-time job in and of itself.

So my question to E this evening was:

Why the hell would I want to go car shopping right now?!?!

This was not a plan we had for the evening, this is something E decided he wanted to do on our way home from work, so it's not like I'm procrastinating or pushing off something we already had set in place. Nonetheless, I'm apparently evil for wanting to avoid a car lot until tomorrow.

As much as I was looking forward to the opportunity to deal with pushy sales people, a rather opinionated (and now rather snippy) boyfriend, and the idea of having to spend money I may or may not have, I think I might have other things to do. Like that root canal I've been meaning to get.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Not gonna sing a sad song tonight. Gonna dust myself off, gonna do alright


...I will finally get my craft room in order.

....I will find the time to knit and spin and maybe even sew and bead.

...I will come home without paint in my hair.

...I will set up that Etsy shop.

....those plants that are waiting to be repotted will get there. Or they'll die first, thereby eliminating the problem.

...I will learn how everyone else manages to juggle their lives, because the more I think about it, the more I doubt that I am any busier or more stressed than anyone else.

"Someday" seems closer than it used to be, but still not quite close enough. I'm grateful for small victories-- every hard-won inch of knitting (even the gauge swatch) and every little bit of roving that manages to find it's way onto a spindle. I'm grateful for summer, because although the busy season at work is starting and won't let up until October, the days are sunny and warm and give me a renewed sense of life. And I'm grateful for Google Reader, because some days being able to read other people's crafty accomplishments is the only thing that gives me hope for myself!

Someday, the phrase "someday I'll do that" will give way to the phrase "yesterday I did that." I'm looking forward to it (and working forward to it even harder.)

Monday, May 14, 2007

I really wish I knew where our camera was. The whole thing is starting to bug me.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

don't know what to say about the last week or so. I kind of feel like I'm all over the map emotionally.

I had a wonderful time during Saturday's housewarming bbq. With the help of the wonderful Shelby, I got to make all the foods I love to eat but never have the motivation to make for just myself-- tortellini bites and pita chips (my first attempt!), veggies and deviled eggs and hummus and arthichoke dip. Eric manned the grill while different friends from different parts of our lives talked and laughed and had big glasses of wine. Gus got just about all the petting one dog can handle in an evening, and even got a chance to investigate our friends' new golden retriever puppy.

I realized how generous my friends are-- not knowing that I come from a long line of small army feeders, our fridge was packed with food people brought, and the bar currently holds more booze than when we started. Steph and John, even though they weren't feeling up to attending, still stopped by with tulips and wine. The flowers are still holding strong and I can't help but admire them every time I pass through our dining room.

I looked around my warm little house on Saturday night and felt lucky.

This week, on the other hand, has been one of frustration and fights and changes and uncertainty. Some of the frustration and fights have been resolved, or are atleast on their way towards a resolution. The changes are just beginning. We're hiring a new guy (assuming all of his background checks come out okay), who we're going to be training up from scratch. There's also another big change happening and it was kind of confirmed today, but I still don't know how everything is going to play out, so I'm reserving most of my judgement until I have more information. Either way, it looks like I'm going to be working longer hours and packing more into them. I started to worry about what's going to come, because it seems a lot of important things are up in the air right now where work is involved, but then I decided to stop making myself crazy and just deal with things as they come-- play the hand I'm dealt, as it were. What other choice do I have, really?

...I still wish life would get less complicated for a change though.

My goal for this week is to break out my spindle and roving and get a little bit more accomplished on the "Maple Fire" I'm currently spinning. The last time I picked up was before we got the keys to the condo!

Monday, April 30, 2007

I'm thinking about buying into a CSA farm this year. I've been wanting to for the last few years, but I think I might finally be in a position to do so. There's about a half dozen local farms that participate in programs like this. The idea is awesome-- support a local farm while getting super-fresh veggies every week.

The only drawback is not being able to completely choose what I want or, more importantly, don't want. Some CSA farms give you a list of what they grow and you can specify what you don't really want to see in your share, but not all of them do and some of the customizable ones are way more expensive. Then again, even if I went with one that didn't, I wouldn't mind the challenge of finding new ways to cook and enjoy veggies I don't particularly like and in the worst case scenario, I could give them to our friends. After all, E and I seem to be the only people on the planet who think that mushrooms and onions are gross, and celery and I decided to see other people a while ago.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I want to write about today/tonight, but I feel so crappy that everything I write makes me angry.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The dog is home.

Gus is here, and has been for about a week. He's absolutely adorable, and if I could figure out which box we packed the camera in my blog would be flooded with pictures of him. However, it's been a bit of a roller coaster-- first he was afraid of absolutely everything, like stairs and inside the house and then outside the house and other dogs and sometimes people. He spent his first 7 months on a farm where he was not exposed to any other dogs or for that matter people so he's got a bit of a learning curve.

The first day, it took us half an hour to coax him out from under our truck. Then it took another couple hours to get him to really leave the corner of the living room that he had barricaded himself in. It took us two days to get him to use stairs. We're still working on the leash issue (he's never had one before, and he's constantly testing the boundaries.)

Currently, Gus has been tearing around the house because he can't go outside. He was just neutered on Tuesday and they want him to stay in the house for 10 days. He's like a kid with chicken pox-- he feels fine other than a little discomfort and has all this energy with nowhere to put it. I can't wait to take him outside and let him run, cause he's being a bit crazy.

...and shit, I have to go clean up...well, shit again. I'll finish this later...

...okay, the poop has been cleaned up and thrown out. Such is my life lately.

I managed to get a small bit of crafting in. The day before we got Gus, I sat down and made some of the stitch markers I've been meaning to finish. I made a set for my friend Steph, and a set for either myself or another friend. I originally bought the beads to make a set for me, but I think my friend could use them more. We've all been having some stressful times and I think she would appreciate a gift. The cool thing is, even though I'm a knitter and she's a crocheter (as most of my friends are), the stitch markers will work for both. Instead of jump rings for the tops, I used earring findings that hinge open. Knitters can use them like normal by just slipping them on the needle, and crocheters can use them by openeing the clasp and putting them where they need to go. I love things that multi-task!

This has been an uber-stressful week, the latest in a stressful two months. Most of it has been good stress, but stress nonetheless. Tomorrow will be more of the same, as my schedule is packed to the gills with the multiple sclurosis benefit walk, work (it's inventory day), and a big seder dinner. I often think lately about how nice it would be to actually sleep more than 7 hours. But I made a pact with E that I'll hang in there as long as he does. We even pinkie swore on it. So I guess it will all work out in the end.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

We're home.... kinda.

We have survived the move, the furntiture assembly, atleast most of it, and the figuring out of where to put things (there was almost some bloodshed there. At one point we got so escalated E threatened to throw my beloved ugly chair away, the one I've had since the days when I lived in the Blue House, but we compromised and put it in the bedroom until I carry out my plan of eventually getting it reupholstered. ) Everything else should be smoother sailing from there.

Currently, I've got about three hours to get this house slightly more put together before the lady from the Alternative Humane Society comes over. She's meeting us here to fill out the adoption paperwork on our (hopefully) soon-to-be dog, Gus. While the boxes aren't as high as our heads anymore, I' m still a little worried that she's going to take one look at all the moving chaos, brand us as unfit dog parents, and not let us adopt him. It's a silly thought, as they are aware we just moved, but one I'm having nonetheless.

Alright, enough dawdling. My living room and craft room aren't going to unpack themselves!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Spring is finally starting to show up around here! We're actually seeing a few things growing, and even a break in the rain every once in a while. I'm hoping the good weather stays for the next couple of days while we move, it's no fun to move all your worldly possesions in the rain.

We put off packing and took a much needed break tonight. I started to look through a cookbook I borrowed from my mom (the amazing America's Test Kitchen) but started to nod off, so I decided to take a power nap. I woke up six hours later. Guess I needed the sleep.

I'm really sad to be leaving our old place, but I'm excited to be in the new one. It's two sides of the same coin really-- everything is changing and I'm feeling both the good and bad all at once. Overall, I guess I'm just excited about everything-- the new house that we've been working so hard on, spring, and in the slightly distant future-- Victoria Fibre Fest!

We live a pretty short drive from the US/Canadian border, so Victoria isn't that far to travel, and I've been itching to go to some sort of yarn/fiber/knitting festival. I just have to make sure to start applying for my passport very soon, now that the rules have changed. I'm hoping that, despite the fact that I hang out with mostly crocheters, I might be able to get a friend to join me on the excursion. Lord knows E doesn't want to go (and be surrounded by more crazy knitters? Frankly, I think just one is enough for him), and I definetely wouldn't make him.

Either way, there's time to flesh out plans. Right now I'm too busy staring down a living room full of boxes.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I got a much-needed respite tonight. I went and touched up the paint in the kitchen, but after that we went and had some beers (or double rum and cokes as it were) with some friends.

For what it's worth, I finished the kitchen tonight (but only after OCD E went through it. He is

(And by that I mean obsessive. He finally started to admit his crazy behavior last night. I think it's progress.)

Tomorrow, I start packing. We have one week to move. And my mantra remains-- "whatever shit happens, it's all worth it."

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I'm so full of it.

I vowed to sit down and work out the two patterns I'm working on, but no dice. I have managed to squeeze in about one hour of knitting in the last two weeks. Most of the time that I'm not working lately I've been spending at my second job-- our new house.

So far we've redone the floors, repainted the entire downstairs and the stairwell, made a trip to Ikea for a dining table and other odds and ends, built our new barbeque, and wired outlets so that we can wall-mount our TV. Still on the to do list is finishing painting the kitchen, repainting the entire upstairs, installing some new kitchen fixtures (shelves and racks and such) and closet rods*, building our new Ikea dining table and chairs, cutting our desk down so it can fit into the closet in the 2nd bedroom, and oh yeah, moving into the damn place!

One of the main ways I've been getting through all of it without checking myself into the sanitarium is to look at it as my biggest craft project ever. That seems to help....sorta. Either way, I keep telling myself it will all be worth it when it's done and E and I can plop down on our couch, look around and say, "look at what we did!". Heck, some of it has even been fun, but I'm not sure how much more fun I can take without doing myself or someone else an injury.

"It will all be worth it." The six words that get my through the sixteen-hour day.

*the guys that did the remodel for the seller stupidly textured over every closet rod in our condo. They also install a half a dozen doors and about a mile of trim without sealing any of it. We see them working across the way, and by working I mean "chain-smoking and getting into arguments every 10 minutes."

Sunday, March 11, 2007

My summer girl....

We just came back from the monthly AHS adopt-a-thon, and although the dogs we want to adopt weren't there, I'm still pretty stoked that we're getting the ball rolling. We've talked with the humane society folks and are probably going to wait until we've finished working on the condo and are fully moved before going any further, but I can't wait. I'm already envisioning trips to the dog park, summer camping, and afternoons at Toad Lake!

We'll have to see how our new dog(s) get along with Tim and Amber's pets, but I think it will be alright. (Tim and Amber have about a dozen animals, but typically only bring their two dogs, Reno and Vegas, Beaker the duck, and Honeydew the goose when we go camping. They have playpens for them and everything. They're crazy-but-in-the-cool-way pet people.)

All around, I'm really excited by how this spring/summer is shaping up. We are 4 days away from closing on our new house. It's like Christmas, only you make all your presents yourself. In two weeks, I'm going to have more closet space than I can wrap my head around and a whole room in which to put yarn. My job, minus one nagging thing that's been stressing me out, is exactly where I want to be right now. E and I are doing amazingly well, even with all the stress of starting this new chapter in our lives. My friends are wonderful. My family's been great. What more could a girl ask for?

I think I'll go work on the fuzzy sweater and my new pattern project. I'm finally settled enough to sit down and math these things out.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Random Wrap came out a little bigger than expected, so wrapping it doesn't really work. Instead I basically have a scarf with no ends. Since it wwas a random project, with a random cast-on and a random pattern knitted into it, I suppose I could really only expect a random result. On the bright side, I'm finding that looping it twice around my neck makes it all nice and cozy. Frankly, I love the colors so much I probably would have worn it no matter how it came out.

As an added bonus, it seems making the Random Wrap has renewed my waning creative energy. I went back to the fingerless mittens, and as a result am actually writing my first-ever pattern! I finished the first one while at work today, now to do the second one and see if everything jives the way I'm hoping it will. I also thought of a couple of variations on my initial idea, so I may use some of that "stash-busting, what's that?" yarn I bought a while back to work up those. It's a good thing my friends are as big of fans of topless mittens as I am, because I'm going to be up to my neck in these things by the time I'm done.

I feel like I should be slowly moving from cold-weather gear to something more springy, but Spring seems to have not gotten the memo, atleast in the Northwest anyway. We woke up to a snowstorm the other morning-- about four inches downtown, with a little bit more in the surrounding areas. To a lot of places, like Canada and the Northeast, four inches isn't even worth mentioning, but this town practically shuts down when even a few flakes start to fall.The snow eventually started to melt off that afternoon, and most of the roads were dry by the time nightfall hit, but come on.

As previously mentioned, I LOVE snow. I love snow so much I write it letters asking if it wants to go steady, and even I'm pretty sick of it. So although I am trying to gear myself up for spring, I just don't feel it. Hopefully I'll find my spring-time muse and start making springy things.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Don't stop believin', hold onto that feeling.....

This has not been a good month for knitting. Not at all.

After I finished the purse, I put down the needles for almost two weeks. All the projects I have going require thought/math/focus that I just haven't had in me lately. Between changing jobs, buying a condo (!), counseling my best friends through their (possibly temporary?) break-up, finding out my father got married in Vegas last weekend, and everything else, who could think about knitting?

Problem is, knitting is my stress reliever. And, dear god, has there been a lot of stress. So I'm busting out a mindless project this week: a wrap cowl thingie made from Di.Ve' Teseo that I picked up not too long ago. I made the cable keyhole scarf (note to self: you still need to block that) from the same yarn in a different colorway and just love the color transitions. Rather than make something with deliberate, noticable stripes, I decided this to do something in the round that used the colors in more of a space-dyed fashion.

I call it a mindless project because, other than making sure not to drop a stitch, it requires no thinking at all. Like, really. The middle section is a random knit/purl combination that (hopefully) will create a random spacing of purl stripes on the knit background. As I'm going around, I will from time to time look down at my knitting and think I feel like purling now. So I do. I think/hope it will look awesome, but when I tried to write the whole thing down (something I've been trying to do as I knit lately at the request of a friend), it came out kind of like this:

Cast on 200 stitches.
Work in k4, p4 rib for about an inch or so, whatever you fancy.
Row ?: Throw in an eyelet row, just for fun-- k2, yo, k2tog.
Work rounds in double moss stitch until first ball runs out
Join new ball and work in random kp stitch pattern until you run out of yarn again
Join last ball and work in double moss stitch again, making sure to leave enough to do another eyelet row and an inch (or so) of the k4, p4 rib.
Bind off.

Double Moss stitch:
Rows 1 and 2: k2, p2, repeat to end.
Rows 3 and 4: p2, k2, repeat to end.
Repeat rows 1-4.

Random kp stitch pattern:
Knit sometimes, then purl sometimes, in whatever combination you choose.
Maybe k20, then purl 20, or only purl every five minutes for thirty seconds at a time.
Just make each round a little different from the one before and try not to create a repeating pattern.

Um....yeah. The whole thing sounds pretty dumb when I write it down. This is why I don't write patterns.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


*puts on best italian accent*
The purse, she is fini!

I actually finished it about a week ago, but hadn't had a chance to take pictures yet. After using it for a couple of days, I've decided that adding a lining and a closure would be best. Without the lining, it tends to get stretched out by whatever's in it, and since it has a tendency to flop over when set down, it might be good to have a way to keep stuff from falling out. Otherwise, I love it-- just the right size to hold what I need, but not so big I stuff everything but the kitchen sink into it.

Even after knitting with two balls at once, things still came out a bit more solidly striped that I had planned. I'm thinking maybe next time the best bet would be to start one ball from the outer end and one from the inside. Maybe that will help?
I also finished Carly's mittens. They're green and stripey thanks to the Noro Kureyon I used. Now to mail them to her!

Next up is the Straightjacket Sweater from Naughty Needles, minus the whole buckling-in-the-back thing. I'm replacing the original thick-and-thin yarn called for with a similar one I found at Joann. Typically I've been fairly standoffish towards most of their yarns. I'm trying to avoid the term "yarn snobbery", but that's pretty much what it is. However! I found one that feels nice, looks good, has the same fiber content and has so far been getting the right gauge. And all for over $4.00 less a skein! PLUS, it's on sale for an extra $2.00 off right now. Does it get much better? I think not.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Stop the madness!

Okay, that does it-- no more buying yarn until I finish atleast one project. I'm flitting about with so many different things right now, and yet I still bought a skein of a yarn I want to test out for sweater I eventually want to make. It's like I have ADHD or something.

I did however, also manage to pick up some handles for the purse I've been working on, as well as some finishing needles, since I can't seem to figure out where I put the four I bought six months ago. I'm just really hoping they don't turn up in the couch or something. E will not be happy with me.

Right now, the current "on the needles" list is as follows:
-fuzzy sweater
-fingerless mittens (kind of like these but different), cribbed from this pattern by the girls at SpinCycle Yarns.

I also still have the cable scarf waiting to be blocked AND I found a purse I started a couple of years ago that I want to pick back up and finish. (It was my first semi-successful attempt at argyle and could be awesome if I actually got up off my butt and finished making it. )

In other words, I REALLY had no business buying any more yarn.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Motivation, such an aggravation....

Right now I should be making pizza dough, doing dishes, finding places for the dozen-or-so bags of chips that were left over from last night's superbowl shindig, and generally getting things put in order before my friends show up in a couple of hours.

So what am I doing instead? Sitting here reading things on the internet. I'm not sure if it's my completely dysfunctional need to leave things until the last minute, or that I have a had ZERO motivation today. I think it might be a combination of both.

I think it's also some other stuff that I'm just not ready to deal with yet. Right on the heels of one big scary decision, another one came along, and I haven't had enough time to properly mull things over. This seems to be the year for making some pretty big changes I think.

Okay, I've squandered enough time. That pizza dough isn't going to make itself.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Last post of the night:

Anticraft is new! Woohoo!
I envy Crazy Aunt Purl in a way-- she is open in a way that I have never been able to achieve. Which, in it's own sort of way, brings me back to my ideas about the internet and communication and such.

I have a lot of friends that I met through the internet. We were all on the same livejournal "bellingham" community years ago and decided to stage a meet-up. I made some very good friends both on that day and even before, all through this little wonder of the internet.

The thing is, as we all became good everyday friends (one eventually became one of my roommates and best friends), we also started to get more judicious about what we said when we knew certain people were reading. We've come to a point where we hide what we really think now.

Too many people think that what is written online is about them, and they take up and arms to it. And, because we all know eachother and hang out day-to-day, some of these things are about eachother, but they seem so much worse in print. I know that I could say something to 99% of my friends and have them think whatever I said was okay, but if I wrote the exact same thing, only 50% would be okay. The other 50% would be angry. I have yet to understand this phenomenon-- how completely normal people can take such different meanings from things they hear vs. things they read.

I think a lot of it has to do with the lack of context in the written word-- when you say you're mad, there's no way to gauge how mad you are, or if you're even really that mad at all. But I also think a lot of it comes from the mindset of the reader-- the readers who have never met said writer can't place themselves in the writer's subject. Granted, they can in an "I've been there, I understand" sort of way, but they can't actually put themselves in the middle of the writer's actual daily life.

It also has to do with the finality of the written word versus saying something. We can pass off the things people say, but if they take the time to write them, holy shit.... (/sarcasm)

There's more, but I'm far too tired to go further. Goodnight, wonderful few.
Why is it that Google can save my login for google reader and gmail, but not for blogger? Hmmmph.....

Sick finally caught up with me today. I went into work for the sole reason of helping out a friend. (He is in remission from leukemia, and has a lot of follow-up appointments, one of them being today. I knew that if I called in sick, management would make going to his appointment hard for him. This is one of the reasons I am leaving my job. I feel guilty about it, not out of loyalty to my employer, but out of loyalty to my coworkers.) After that, I went home and stayed on my couch for seven hours.

Good news is, I think I might be finally getting the better of this whole sinus thing-- I was able to knit today. I will probably have pictures of my new purse sans-handles tomorrow. I am up to the point where I need handles in order to go further. I'm thinking of something new to knit with the random yarn I bought, if only to avoid the fuzzy sweater a little longer.

Honestly, there was no reason for this post, except that I really like writing on this blog.

Also, I miss my pink hair. The way I'm going, it's going to be a long time before I can have hair like that again....

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Word of the day is "alternate"

With the new (tiny) merino/silk hank soaked, I might just be able to knit a coin purse from my handspun knits! I think I will knit them with alternate skeins/balls/bundles of yarn, simple because I'm thinking one is thinner than the other and knitting them alternately might make it work.

In other news, I find that I like the super-carded wool a lot better than I like the merino/silk. Shorter fiber length = easier drafting for a newbie like me.

Also, I think I'm going to rip out the new purse. One, I would rather knit two balls in alternate rows to get a more random stripe and Two, I'm not sure about the pattern I'm making up. So I'm ripping it out and starting from the bottom (bottom of the purse, I mean.)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The haze is finally starting to clear....

On top of giving me some non-drowsy Claritin, my mom may have given me a good solution to this little sinus issue I've been having. Since we think it may be because of all the dry air I've been breathing in recently, both indoors and out, my mom had the idea to put a coffee can full of water on top of my radiator. As the radiator heats up, the water will vaporize and humidify the air. I had been trying to figure out a way to do this, but she came up with the best/most simple solution. She's a smart lady, my mom.

In other news, I am loving the new Knitty suprises. I might have to add Dragonfly to the knit list, which seems to be getting longer all the time. Just yesterday I added a wrap sweater that I sketched out, with the plan to make it from one of the recycling sweaters I picked up last week. I think I may use the wrap sweater project as a "how to recycle a sweater" tutorial. From what I've seen, the only things about sweater recycling online involve felting them and using the felt. There's so many more possibilities than that, if one is willing to take the time. And really, who can pass up a handknit sweater that only cost $5.00 to make?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Yesterday and today have had me feeling pretty much like my face was going to fall off. I think it might have something to do with winter-- cold dry air followed by dry heat from our radiators-- but my sinuses are pissed. I've been waking up feeling stuffed up lately, but yesterday I woke up feeling like someone had taken some heavy-grit sandpaper to the back of my throat and up into where my sinuses drain. Then the headache came on, those kind that pretty much put a mask of pain around your eyes.

Today isn't much better. I'm still going to work, but I'm probably going to stop by the drug store and pick up some non-drowsy antihistamines, because the ones I have aren't exactly work-safe.

The worst part? I felt so worn out and crappy, I didn't even have the energy to curl up on the couch and knit, like I normally do when I'm sick. This sucks.

For now, back to bed.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

No time for a real post, but since I only just wanted to post the photos that accompany my last couple of posts, I don't feel too bad.
E modelling the Tube Sock Scarf

Very blurry (it moves fast) and very big ball of roving!
The fruits of my labor-- my handspuns so far. The one on the left was done when I had been spinning for about three days and was trying to ply for the first time. I think things have gotten a lot more consistent since then. The bottom hank is from the Purple Haze ball.

The newest project, a purse. I started on it last night during Whiskey Night with Mike and Jen. It's almost but not completely in the round, since I didn't have a circular short enough. I decided to just make it with one seam up the side. I'm not entirely sure how it's going to play out yet, since I'm just kind of making it up as I go along, but it will atleast be an interesting project!

Warning: If it hasn't been made obvious yet, I write the way I speak. And I speak in parentheticals.

Do you have those friends that you can spend hours with, without ever getting bored or needing some other distraction (ie, a movie or a game or some other form of entertainment)? I do, and I am so grateful for it. I also consider myself lucky in that two of those friends are miraculously dating eachother (which means I get two for the price of one!) and another one of those is my boyfriend.

The four of us (myself, E, and our friends Jen and Mike) spent the night hanging out, having drinks, and basically shooting the shit, and it was quite honestly one of the best nights I've had all week. Sometimes I feel bad and/or neglectful of our other friends, since we hang out with these two so much. At the same time, I don't.

I even got to briefly teach Jen about spinning! I've been (very) slowly teaching her how to knit, but I'm beginning to think spinning might be more her thing.

In other news, I've come to a decision about the things I was mulling over yesterday. Basically, I was offered a really big, but kind of scary, job opportunity. I mix paint for a living, for one of those big-box hardware stores. I have been offered the option to go to a smaller, more local store a couple of times. This time, I was made a really good offer. The manager of this smaller store wants me to come work there and eventually take over his job when he moves on, which is going to happen within the next six months. On one hand, this is an amazing opportunity, and would eventually mean making almost twice as much money as I do now while doing something that I enjoy and am good at. On the other, I'm terrified that I will be biting off more than I can chew. Managing my own store would be the biggest responsibility that I've ever had in my life, and I'm scared shitless that I will fall flat on my face. But after a lot of thought I finally had to ask myself, "what is life without taking risks?"

So I think I'm going to fight my fears and go for it.

To sum up, I am feeling very good about today.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

When did "sit and spin" go from being a crafting phrase to an insult?

I find that after certain events today I suddenly have a lot on my mind, but I'd rather put it aside for awhile to write about crafting. One can only mull over things for so long before people start to wonder what the constipated look on your face is about and whether you are, in fact, constipated. (In the interest of full disclosure, I wasn't.)

Meanwhile, there is so much spinning going on! Now if only I had better light for pictures/time to take pictures during the day!

There's a lady in the next town over who buys up fiber remnants from Brown Sheep Co. and cards them into bee-you-tee-ful balls of roving. My LYS, which if not previously mentioned is NW Handspun Yarns, sells them for $10. $10 for a ball of roving bigger than my head? Why yes, I will take some of that! I picked up a colorway called "Purple Haze", which is a lovely blend of purple and royal blue with bits of lavender tossed in. Because of the way it's been carded, it drafts super-easily. Within about a day, I was able to get a decent sized ball of singles spun, soaked, and wound up into a hank.

I also finally got the merino/silk and New Zealand wool I had spun soaked as well, and it definetely makes all the difference. The silly little tangled balls that were sitting on my coffee table have now morphed into smooth not-so-tangly-twisted hanks, albeit very small ones. One of these days I might actually spin enough yarn to knit something!

The Tube Sock Scarf is, thankfully, also done. There is only so much *k2p2 (repeat from *) I can stand, so I was more than happy to bind off that little number. E is very pleased with it, and spent about two hours surfing the internet Tuesday night with it wound around his neck.

Now it's onto finishing the stupid mittens that I've been putting off (I changed the pattern on the thumbhole, but being slightly addle-minded I forgot to write down how I changed it, so I'm going to have to guess at matching them. I'm not looking forward to this, hence the procrastination. ) And then it's back to the fuzzy sweater! I think I'm also going to make a purse from some of the random yarn I've picked up recently. After that, who knows? The list of future projects is so long, I don't even know where to start!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Now where the heck do I put it all?

So when I say I went to town with the whole stash-building thing, I meant it---

stash building!
Click on picture to see details about what the heck all those yarns are.

Two of this, three of that. Oh, you only have one left? Don't worry, I'll take it!

Bells had it right that I'm a yarn store owner's dream. While everyone else is busting their stash, I'm buying up oddballs like it's going out of style! So now I've got a ton of yarn for a bunch of little things. On the upside, I didn't really have much of a stash too begin with, so now I can atleast relate a little to those gals with yarn closets (or even, dare I say, yarn rooms!)

As mentioned, I also finished the slightly-short-kinda-stripey-cable-keyhole scarf, with the exception of blocking and weaving in ends. I don't know that it really needs to be blocked, but frankly I could use the practice and I think that cable pattern could benefit from it.

Full-size photo when it's all finished. As for now, the goal is to take a shower and go out, with the hopes of procuring lavender, more roving, and something to make for dinner tonight. I'm thinking I might do spinach lasagna....