Movable Type 3.2
February 28, 2006
Since the Olympics ended, I've been basically wanting to knit everything in sight. Boy, did I start my Rule of Ten at the right time. I think it's a combination of suddenly having the freedom to knit things other than the socks and of the Olympics getting me even more excited about knitting and, oh, finishing things.
So far I've managed to stick with the lovely Salina, but that doesn't mean I haven't been looking. First of all, have you seen the Knitty surprises? I love Starsky. Love love love. I think the yarn for it will be my prize for finishing my first sweater - probably Salina, or maybe the baby Aran, or maybe, um, the other one I'm about to talk about. In any case, as soon as I have a sweater, any sweater, totally done, seamed, blocked, everything, I am allowed to order the yarn for Starsky.
The other one is something I've been thinking about for a while - a light cotton sweater, oversized, with a wide neck (to be taken on and off easily), for use on cool spring and summer Sunday mornings when driving around going to yard sales and parks and stuff. (Well, that's what I do on such mornings, at least.) I was almost ready to start designing this sweater myself when I found it - the Hourglass Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, except in sturdier cotton. Probably Knitpicks Crayon. And that would only be about $16, so I'll probably be ordering it soon, along with a few other smaller things I've been wanting from Knitpicks to get up to the free shipping limit. I'd like to have that sweater done by, say, April. Eeek. I'd better start clearing some things off of my list...
P.S. This just in - my gold medal!
February 27, 2006
And now the fallout.
My normal schedule of two jobs and school tends to put me about at the limit of what my body can deal with and still stay healthy. So when I added a trip (and recovering from it) and the Knitting Olympics, my body's response was something like "Um, no. Stop." At least it let me finish the Olympics before I crashed. But last night/this morning I developed some sort of sneezing, coughing, sore throat, swollen glands, general horrid-feeling yuckiness. So I came home from work early and have been watching movies, catching up on blogs, knitting Salina, doing homework, drinking Cold Season herbal tea, and trying to convince myself that my neck hurts because I slept on the floor at my friend's house the other night, not because I have, say, meningitis. Yeah. Fun times.
February 26, 2006
It was a bit close, but I finished! Here's a rather awful picture - my apartment is the darkest in the world, I think. I promise they're not so ugly in real life.
Yes, they're posed on my pillowcase, but at least it's appropriately winter-themed. I'll get a photo of them on my feet ASAP - I think they'll look less deformed then.
I am now celebrating by watching the Closing Ceremonies, eating ice cream, and casting on for Salina. She's going to be a feisty one, I can tell: her yarn kept jumping onto my lap this evening while I was finishing the sock.
Congratulations to all the Olympians! We did it!
February 25, 2006
No time to write. Must knit.
So how about a kitten picture? We haven't had one of those in a while.
(For anyone new: this is Tesseract. I don't talk about her all that much because she lives with her daddy, but I love her lots.)
February 24, 2006
So far beyond random that it's not even funny.
I think we're past random now, closing in on stream-of-consciousness inane drivel. Sorry. It's the Friday evening of a very long week, and there is so much I need to do and I just can't deal with any of it right now. So I'm giving myself these few hours left in the evening off. (Well, knitting. But off from homework or housework.)
Steph wrote about her "Aw...Crap" Knitting Olympics moment earlier today. I think I had one this evening, although it took a slightly different form. Mine came when I walked in from the laundromat, already behind on my knitting schedule, and smelled that my roommate was cooking dinner. And I, alas, did not have the willpower to resist a homecooked dinner complete with champagne and plenty of venting about work. So I got even less done tonight. I'm knitting now, but I think I'm going to have go to bed before I even finish the cuff of this second sock. Ack.
On the way home from the laundromat, I saw a sign that I was sure said "WOOL BLENDS." And I was so excited that the hardware store was now carrying wool. Alas, it was in fact "WOOD BLINDS." Yeah. You know you knit too much when... Oh, you also know you knit too much when you have nightmares about moths in your socks. Just saying.
I am getting so excited about my new ten-at-a-time system. I'm glad you all did not think that ten was too ridiculously huge of a number. Honestly, I think that I wouldn't be able to stick to the system with a smaller number. Yeah, I'm just that fickle. The other good thing about having that many projects on the list is that there's always bound to be one reasonably close to completion (I hope!), so if there's something I really want to start, it shouldn't be a problem to finish something else fairly quickly so I have an open slot. OH, you want to know what my current list is? I thought you might!
Rib and Cable Socks (Knitting Olympics)
The last two aren't actually started yet, but I am planning to cast on for them as soon as the Olympics are over. Ack ack ack. Not finishing wasn't ever really an option, but now it really isn't, because I'm talking to NHPR on Monday. I simply cannot go on Morning Edition and say "No, actually, Lisa Peakes, I didn't finish." No. No self-respecting NPR junkie could do that. Not an option. So... it'll be an exciting few days.
Oh, and it will be especially exciting if the snow they're predicting actually materializes. I go to work at the bookstore at 8:45 tomorrow. It's supposed to start snowing at noon. I leave at five, and I actually have evening plans. Hmm. We'll see. My evening plans might become "sitting on the couch at my friend's apartment, watching DVDs and knitting." Because, you know, I'd mind that so much.
February 23, 2006
Time for a Plan
As I mentioned last night, my Olympic knitting has sort of... stalled. It went along wonderfully while I was on vacation, but since I've been back home I've barely managed to knit a few rounds. This is Very Bad. And as the Closing Ceremonies are sneaking up on us rather soon, I think it calls for a Plan. With a capital P. (And maybe it will be in list form! We all know how I feel about Plans and Lists!)
(I must mention that I was forced to face up to the extent of the Very Bad-ness by Steph's similar post today. I wonder how S.Kate, Emma, and Ken are doing? Wouldn't it be, um, funny if none of us organizer/helper people finished? Hah. Funny. Yeah, that's the word.)
Unfortunately, in trying to create a Plan, I've realized that I... can't really think of one. This may be a side effect of the lack of sleep I've had recently, or maybe the "almost end of first work week after vacation" thing. But... hmm. I have done the ribbing (30 rows) and part of the first of six 8-row cable repeats for the leg of the sock. So let's say I have left, um, two hours of the leg, two hours for the heel/gusset, three hours for the foot, two hours for the toe. Nine hours. And let's throw an extra hour in there just in case. Okay. Ten hours of knitting. Where can we fit in ten hours of knitting between now and Sunday?
Thursday: 1/2 hour during my dinner break at work, and... that's about it.
Now matching the schedule up with the hours per sock part above, I have the following goals:
Thursday: Get through at least the second repeat
Huh. That's actually not that bad, now that I look at it. Whether I'll be able to stick to it is another question. But at least I feel better now that I have a Plan.
February 22, 2006
1. This is really the first down time I've had since my trip, and... I'm tired. Really tired. Even the combination of caffeine and Franz Ferdinand was barely keeping me awake at work this afternoon. But tonight I did not have work or class. So I came home, took a quick nap, went to a nice dinner with friends, and am now home, in my pajamas, watching the Olympics and drinking chai. Yay.
2. Meet my cute little avatar:
3. Have you seen BlogShares yet? I haven't had time to totally figure it out, but it seems to be a fantasy stock market game - with blogs as the companies! Don't you want to know how much your blog is worth, and even who "owns" shares of your blog? Yeah, I thought you did. Click on the link and get sucked in like I have. :-)
4. Olympic knitting is... going, I guess. I'm a bit stalled, still on the cuff of the second sock. I just haven't had any time. But I'm determined to finish.
5. Speaking of which, I have a few media links to add to the KO links list. I'll get them on there soon. I promise.
6. I used to laugh at my mother and her "power naps." I insisted that the idea of just closing your eyes for 5 or 15 minutes was preposterous. Couldn't actually help. Um, apparently I just wasn't tired enough then. Because now I get it. Totally. It's a lifesaver. And man, does the "not quite asleep" state produce some funky dreams. (Including those involving kissing people about whom I generally do not think in that manner. Weird.) But yeah, I'm totally behind this concept now. Thanks Mom!
7. Like many knitters, I'm often torn between knitting/starting whatever I want and trying to actually finish things. I recognize that I'm a process knitter, and that knitting is supposed to be fun and there are enough deadlines and stressors in the rest of my life. But on the other hand, finishing is kind of fun. And my unfinished projects are numbering, well, in the dozens by now. And just knowing that they're there adds to my general guilt level.
So I'm going to try a compromise. A new system, of a sort. It's pretty simple: ten projects are allowed to be on the "actively knitting" list at a time. If I want to knit something not on the list - either something new or an unfinished item - then I have to finish one of the list items first. I think this actually has a chance of working. Ten is a reasonable number, I think, to keep track of, but it is large enough to allow for plenty of variation. And maybe by the end of the year, all my projects will fit on that list of ten. (But don't hold your breath.)
February 21, 2006
Knitting Book Essentials
Thanks for all the input! It was interesting to see what everyone said. I decided that the most interesting list to compile, for me, would be the "What ten knitting-related books would I keep if I knew I could only have those ten for the rest of my life?" list. And, to make it more difficult, I assumed I would not have access to ANY knitting patterns other than the books and what I made up. Patterns aren't enough, though: some knitting books are mainly for inspiration, and that is essential too. (Sorry for the lack of links; I'll try to go back and add them later.) So. In no particular order:
Stitch 'n Bitch by Debbie Stoller
February 20, 2006
Vroom vroom vroom
I think Danica is going to be my official knitting-while-watching project for the upcoming race (IRL, CART, F1) season. Would doing it in black and white with pink accents be too blatant? Hmm. And yes, I am excited about the racing season already and it doesn't start for 19 days. Oh well.
In other news, a question from a librarian friend has led me to compile (well, work on compiling) a list of "essential" knitting books - I think it will end up being my top ten. What are your top ten (or two or five or twenty)?
February 19, 2006
These have been going around, and it looks kind of interesting. Help fill mine out. Thanks!
February 18, 2006
Vacation is tiring.
I know, I know, poor me. But really, I'm starting to question the wisdom of taking a flight that lands approximately twelve hours before I have to be back at work. Ah well. Let's just hope that the flight is on time and all - apparently they close things for a little bit of ice here! For real! I thought they were kidding at first with the whole "If there's really freezing rain, we're not going out" thing, but they mean it! Who knew?
February 17, 2006
And even a bit ahead of schedule! (My goal was to have sock 1 done by Saturday night.)
I am loving the yarn, and the cables, but I'm not so sure about the actual pattern. The heel was kind of weird, and the toe was really strange. I'm reserving judgment until they're both done and I'm wearing them.
This accomplishment did not come without a casualty, however:
It was a good needle, and it served well. I'm sure I won't be able to throw it away (I'm weird like that), so it will go into a happy retirement. And yes, I brought extras.
February 16, 2006
Time for Random
1. Texas is big. I mean, I knew this, but sheesh. That was all I could think of as the plane descended above the DFW area. I even said it to my seatmate: "It's huge!" She was amused. But this concept really hit me when I walked into a QT and saw the fountain drink/slushy/coffee area. Oh. My. Goodness.
2. And Dr. Pepper? It's everywhere down here. Marvelous. And more places seem to have vanilla to put in it too. Really, it would be almost worth moving here just for that.
4. The sock is a few rows from the toe, which is good, because I went yarn shopping yesterday. Which means I sort of want to
February 15, 2006
Remember the Boring Baby Blanket?
Not so boring anymore:
It even fits well over her carseat to block the sun:
The pattern is Sam's Blanket and I think the yarn was Patons Grace, but don't quote me on that. Something soft and cotton. Because I am bad at mailing things, I gave it to Princess Aaralyn when I finally met her in person on her four-month birthday. Isn't she adorable?
And around the first bend!
We successfully got through the weird heel while watching Shaun White win his gold, and finally finished picking up stitches for the gusset yesterday. Thanks to some TV watching last night, the gusset decreases are now done and we're off and running for the foot, which means I don't have to carry the pattern around anymore for a while, thank goodness.
(I am aware of the spam comments, by the way, and deleting them as I can. If anyone knows of a more permanent solution, let me know.)
February 14, 2006
Another quick update
My trip is proceeding as planned - I'm now in Texas, and on the foot of the sock. Pictures soon. There are rumors of yarn shopping tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have a full report for you.
February 13, 2006
I'm about to leave for Texas. Just wanted to mention that I have some teams that have not been added yet, but they'll be up there soon. (Tomorrow at the latest.) So if you've e-mailed me but not gotten a response, don't worry; I've been busy with family stuff in Florida, and now with panicking about having 43 minutes to get my connection in Houston in a different terminal, but once I get to Texas things will be a bit more relaxed. I hope. Well, really, they'd have to be.
February 12, 2006
What a difference a day makes
I have to meet my family for breakfast in about fifteen minutes, but I thought you'd like a quick shot of the sock lounging on the lovely king size bed in our hotel room in Florida:
The sock and I are both feeling much more relaxed after a fun party (well, for me; the sock was not invited), a full night's sleep, and a change of climate. Alas, the rest of the family is not so relaxed, as they're all supposed to be flying back north today, and there's some sort of blizzard thing going on. I'm so glad I cleverly opted to fly to Texas instead.
More soon! Keep knitting!
February 11, 2006
Passion lives here.
Oh boy, does it. That's the motto of the other Olympics, but it certainly fits the Knitting Olympics too. We're hovering around 4000 athletes, and new teams are being added just about as quickly as I can keep up. Recent additions include Team Iceland, Team Florida, Team Rainbow, and, get this, Team NYPD. I have added all the teams I currently have, so if your team isn't on there, let me know. I also finally managed to add the buttons of the teams for which I am knitting on the sidebar. (Note: Those are just the teams I'm on. All the teams are listed here.)
I just watched the Opening Ceremonies while updating and knitting a bit, and a few comments:
What was with all the '80s music? How... Italian?
And how's my actual knitting, you ask? Well, last time you saw it there were three complete rounds. Now there are ten. But look! The links and teams page is all organized! With nested indents! I thought you'd all rather I spent my evening that way. Oh, and I packed. For this trip I've sort of vaguely mentioned. I'm flying to Florida in, um, about six hours, actually. (Eek! Maybe I should consider going to bed soon.) Then on Monday I'm flying to Texas. Back home a week from Sunday. My laptop is coming along, so keep sending me team updates. Internet access will be abundant in Texas, at least; Florida might be a bit trickier, but I'll do my best. If the teams page blows up or something, Steph and Erica know how to reach me.
I'll be bringing my sock on the plane, of course. Let's see how many strangers I can scare by babbling about the Knitting Olympics, shall we?
February 10, 2006
And we're off!
I started casting on right at two, and had a bit of a rocky start. The cast on seemed a bit wonky, but I decided to trust Nancy Bush and keep going. Here's the cast on and three rounds:
Unfortunately, any more progress will have to wait until after at least most of the things on my 15-item to do list are done. And after I nap, because the Opening Ceremonies are until midnight and then I need to be at the airport at 5:30 am.
And in a quick break from all-Olympics-all-the-time, here's the game of "One of These Things Is Not Like the Other" I mentioned:
They're actually less similar in person than they are in the picture. The colors never repeat. None of them. Ever. I swear the last thing I knit with Kureyon didn't do this. Are some of the colorways just like this? What's going on?
P.S. To the person who found my site searching for "Evan Lysacek gay," if that's a question, I don't know the answer. But cheer for him either way, will ya?
Newsflash: Knitting Olympics Frappr!
Let's track where all our Olympians are located. Go here and add yourself!
February 09, 2006
My current state of excitement/anxiety (a double-edged sword...) is manifesting itself in an inability to think of many nouns, especially proper nouns, other than those along the lines of knitting, yarn, Olympics, blog, harlot, airplane, Texas, socks, ticket, and babies. Luckily, my roommate and I tend to communicate in half-sentences anyway, and he's doing an admirable job of translating for me here at work. We'll see how I do at the bookstore tonight. As long as people are asking for books about knitting, Texas, or babies, we'll be all set.
Yes, this is basically just a filler entry. I'm trying to enter links, set up blogs, pack/plan for my trip, and, oh yeah, do my job. So. Witty blog content will have to wait. But coming tonight or tomorrow: a game of "One of these things is not like the other!" Complete with pictures! Of knitting! Try not to drop dead of shock.
February 08, 2006
Oh, is it Wednesday again?
The guy on the radio this morning said something like "It's Wednesday, February 8" and my response was "It is?" Yeah. That kind of week. But since it appears to be Wednesday, that means it's time for randoms! Although my randoms might be a little, um, focused this week.
1. I am caught up with all the teams that have been submitted thus far. We have teams from six continents, 22 countries, 23 US states. You guys are amazing. Keep them coming. Can we get to all 50 states?
And with that, I really should be off to bed...
February 07, 2006
Between the Knitting Olympics and the semester starting and my upcoming trip (not to mention the regular two-job insanity), I'm running around like, I don't know, a chicken with its head cut off, I guess. (And apparently too brain-dead to come up with original similes.) So I'm going to try taking a few steps toward stress reduction, because what's the point of going on vacation if it's just stressful, right?
1. I bought a black wrap to match my dress. Therefore, I don't have to worry about finishing the Clove Stitch Shawl.
2. Other things that have been deleted from the "Must Do Before Trip" list: wash sheets and towels (because that requires a trip to the laundromat), finish short story draft, finish other socks before Knitting Olympics, finish father's and brother's Christmas gifts. (Mom was more excited about hers, so that's my priority). Oh, and cleaning my bedroom.
3. I got more than a day's worth of work done at the day job today, and am planning to do the same tomorrow, so I can panic uninterrupted on Thursday and Friday.
4. I will hereby stop worrying about the following things, because I have no control over them: what my mother, grandmother, or other relatives might say about my weight and/or appearance; other family drama; whether the friends I'm visiting in Texas will like me in person (we've only met online/phone); plane crashes; the weather.
5. Lists, lists, lists. My coping mechanism of choice.
6. I am going to pack as much as possible tomorrow evening, so that Friday evening will be less stressful. Theoretically.
Oh, and a Knitting Olympics note: athlete sign-ups end at midnight tonight. I will keep adding team links, buttons, media coverage, etc. for the duration, though, so keep them coming.
February 06, 2006
Since I have a goal of 100 books this year, I'm going to start numbering them in the monthly lists.
February 05, 2006
Yarn on sale doesn't count.
That's one of the rules of stash reduction, right? That yarn bought at a discount doesn't really count as buying yarn? Well, it should be, anyway. Today my roommate and I headed to not one but two Superbowl sales. We headed to Ewe'll Love It first, because all the yarn was 40% off and I had a feeling it would be busier. It was. We got there about five minutes before it opened, and there was already a big line. Luckily, it wasn't too crazy, and I managed to find a few things for which I was looking.
I also picked up a few more hits of yarn crack, seen below masquerading under its street names of KidSilk Haze and its close cousin Kid Seta. They're both for projects from Wrap Style: the garnet for "Guinevere" and forest green for "Wrapped in Tradition." Except I can't start either until I finish Birch. Or at least that's the idea.
Take special notice of the one on the right. That's our Olympic contender, so you'll be seeing a lot of it in the next few weeks. I also picked up some needles - DPNs for the Olympics, and the needles for Salina, which I'm not starting until I finish a few other things. Nope, I'm not. Right.
February 04, 2006
Sucked into the vortex.
Whooooosh. (Yes, that's the sound of me being sucked into the vortex.)
What vortex, you ask? The Knitting Olympics vortex, of course. Thanks to everyone who has stopped by and e-mailed or commented with information about teams. I'm updating as fast as I can - I'm determined to catch up before I go to bed tonight. And really, there will be some real posts soon.
Things to which to look forward (or something) soon:
A better links page that's easier to navigate
Okay, back into the vortex with me.
February 03, 2006
Attention Team New Hampshire!
Hello! As your, er, self-appointed captain, or secretary, something, I have two brief requests:
1. Come out of the woodwork, will ya? There must be more than three of us.
2. Anyone willing to be interviewed for the Hippo? Let me know.
I think that's the basic problem. I've been having a pretty horrid week, but basically, I'm just tired. Two jobs, school, trying to get ready for my trip, various interpersonal drama... yeah. I may end up decreasing my hours at the bookstore, but I hate that, since that's one of the things I actually enjoy. It seems that everything that could be cut out/compressed to make more time - bookstore, knitting, blogging, reading - are the things that actually make me feel better. The main things that are tiring me out - full time job and school - are the things I have to do. Argh. There's no solution, obviously, but if anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them. Preferably solutions that bend the space-time continuum. Thanks.
That said, welcome to everyone who has found me through Steph's mention of my Knitting Olympics Links. I will have a link to that page up on the sidebar ASAP, and I am adding in all the links you all have been sending me as I can.
February 02, 2006
A Bloggers' (Silent) Poetry Reading
This midwinter poetry celebration is the brainchild of Grace's Poppies. This is probably my favorite winter poem, and it seems particularly apropos these days when I leave the house by eight and don't get home until midnight:
Whose woods these are I think I know.
It's Robert Frost, of course, via the Favorite Poem Project.
February 01, 2006
1. New hair again, in its natural (i.e. not blow-dried straight) state:
2. I'm actually feeling remarkably focused about knitting recently. I'm re-enamoured with my Trekking socks and they're coming along nicely. Tonight I'm making myself work on the Clove Stitch Shawl I want to bring to Florida. Next week. Yeah.
3. One of the reasons for my focus is that the roommate has decided to try a sweater: he's chosen Beau from Vintage Knits. In a show of, um, moral support or something, I've promised I'll start a sweater from the book as well. Contenders at the moment are Fleur, Bridget, Faye, Oriel, and Salina. Opinions?
4. Right before midnight last night, I finished Guns, Germs, and Steel. More about it in the upcoming January Reads post, but I am veyr proud of myself for managing to make it the whole way through this time. My new lunch reading is Elaine Showalter. Yeah, I'm a dork.
5. My semester started last night. My class - Literacy and Service to the Underserved - seems like it will be really interesting, and the professor actually encouraged me to knit in class.
6. I just ordered my luggage for my trip. Which is next week. Yeah. Good thing L.L. Bean delivers so quickly. I should probably start thinking about what I'm putting in said luggage, eh?
7. Ugh. My favorites were voted off of Skating with Celebrities. How can anyone not adore Kurt Browning? Does not compute. qw21?