Movable Type 3.2
April 25, 2006
I just drove home on my lunch break to get knitting, because I somehow managed to forget it this morning, and the thought of sitting through a three-hour discussion about libraries and the homeless in class tonight without any yarn was making me a wee bit anxious. But now I have my Irish Hiking Scarf, so it will all be okay.
And in other news, I just got a raise! Whee!!
March 06, 2006
Why didn't I figure this out before?
My job isn't so big on the motivation to actually work bit, so this week I decided to try some internal motivation - or really just out-and-out self-bribery - to spice things up a bit. If I get to my self-imposed goal for the week, I can get the pattern for Rogue.
I was past Monday's portion of said goal by 1:00. Huh. This system just might work.
Let's back up a little and have a bit of an update on the sweater lust from last week. Lovely Salina is still coming along nicely, if slowly - I've been concentrating on the baby hat the past few days because I got something very exciting yesterday that I want to start. (More on that tomorrow.) And I'm still planning to order the yarn for Starsky when I finish a sweater. But. The whole hourglass-like sweater in some sort of cotton something issue? It's not going so well. I haven't been able to find a yarn I like in the right gauge at the right price. And then, well, I was flipping through the L.L. Bean catalog and saw this. Which is almost what I wanted. So I might just order that for now, and wait until the perfect yarn/pattern combination for the ideal spring sweater in my head jumps out at me.
So. I crossed that sweater off my "To be done very soon" mental list, and then Tracy came into the bookstore and we started talking knitting (I'm sure you're shocked! Shocked!) and she mentioned Rogue. And I had one of those "Oh, I meant to knit that three years ago. What happened?" moments. And I looked it up when I got home to refresh my memory and fell in love with it all over again. Yesterday I made my first trip up to the Elegant Ewe and got the yarn (as well as other exciting things you'll see tomorrow). I ended up with Cascade 220 in a lovely Celtic green with a bit of blue in it - color 9451, maybe?
And THEN I came home and saw that Cate is starting Rogue too, and Kristen just pulled hers out and Juno is talking about it and so is vm and then of course there's Tracy, who got me back into this mess in the first place and hey! We practically have a knitalong going here! Actually, I'll host if anyone wants to make it official. The Really Late Rogues. Let me know if you're interested.
December 18, 2005
Christmas Knitting Dos and Don'ts
It's... going. Not quite as well as I'd wanted, but I figured that would happen. So to distract you from my lack of pretty pictures or actual content, here are a few pointers for you based one what I've picked up over the past few days.
* DO just keep knitting, and avoid thinking about any of it too much.
* DON'T use yarn or needles you hate. Metal 15s? Ribbon? Eyelash? The end results are pretty, but what was I thinking?
* DO take advantage of the lovely technique that involves doing some extra wraps before each stitch one row and dropping them the next and stretching it out. (I'm sure it has a name but I don't have time to look it up.) My God, does that make a scarf go quickly.
* DON'T take a break to argue with your mother. Or at least put her on speakerphone or something so you can keep knitting. (At least I won.)
* DO "carpool," i.e. get people to drive you places so you can knit in the car.
* DON'T just keep adding things to your list. My list went from 12 to 14 before it got down to, um, 13 at the moment, but two of those are almost done, I swear.
* DO cut back on sleep and housework. 5 hours a night. Laundry and dishes. Everything else can wait.
* DON'T watch anything too enthralling or complicated while knitting. I'm finding that Simon Schama's History of Britain works well - it keeps me interested but, well, I know the plot, so it's okay if I don't give it my full attention.
* If you are making anything that comes in pairs like socks or mittens, DO knit one of each pair first. It will keep things interesting, and it's better to give each recipient one mitten and some yarn instead of two mittens to half of them and just yarn to the rest.
* DON'T let yourself get dehydrated. Dehydration does not increase knitting speed. I've been going with mostly Tab and various kinds of tea.
* DO keep the house stocked with easy-to-make, non-messy food. You don't have time to cook or to take food breaks. Knitting while eating is possible. I've been concentrating on canned soup, chips and dip, baby carrots, Twizzlers, and chocolate.
* DON'T develop a new addiction to an online game. (I'll give you the link after Christmas. I promise. It's for your own good.)
* DO remember the twelve days of Christmas. Nothing is technically late until January 6. Especially if you're Catholic.
* DON'T let yourself feel too much envy or resentment when you walk by your roommate's open door and notice the neat stack of books and CDs that he's giving people for Christmas. So what if they come already assembled? You're putting in way more effort.
* DO resolve to drag him into the madness next year. It's not like you forced him to start knitting.
December 15, 2005
Okay. Trying not to panic. Plans solve everything, right? I'm a good planner. I like to make lists. So. I just need some lists and a plan.
First, knitting hours as calculated last night:
Coworker scarves (2): 5 hours each
Total: 75 hours. KHPD: 7.5. Um, right. That's another full time job. I have one of those already. Huh. This might be a little difficult, you think? So.
1. This weekend will be the big marathon knitting. Friday night: finish at least one cousin scarf. Saturday night (since I'm working all day): finish at least one coworker scarf. Sunday: Knit all day. Finish other coworker scarf and nosewarmer (and hopefully something else, but let's let that be a pleasant surprise). Those three scarves are the things I really need done before Christmas, so I will breathe a bit easier then.
2. The next focus will be the mittlets, since those are harder to knit while out and about. Monday and Tuesday I will work on the mittlets at home and scarves while out (in line, on lunch break, etc.).
3. The three cousin scarves? I'm going to go with these. Two hours each. Steph promised. And did you see how I budgeted three hours for each above, since I know I can't possibly knit as fast as she does?
4. I am leaving work early tomorrow to go to the yarn store to get the yarn for the cousin scarves, mittlets, and nosewarmer. Oh, but there's supposed to be an ice storm. Please God, don't let the yarn store close. That would totally mess up the plan.
5. Basic schedule for next week: work 8-5 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Probably other work Monday and Thursday evenings. Wednesday I'm taking the day off to go Christmas shopping with my cousin in Boston. I'll carry a scarf around to knit while we shop. I'm sure she'll love that. Wednesday night I need to make something for the work potluck on Thursday, but I can knit while I make meatballs, right? Wednesday night is probably around when I'll cut down on sleep, as well. Don't want to do that too early, or the adrenaline will run out.
6. Tuesday evening I have agreed to see a friend. The conversation went something like this:
7. Friday evening is free. Thank goodness. Oh, except for packing for CT. Saturday (Christmas Eve) I'll be working and leaving for CT right from work. Sunday is Christmas and there will be lots of people at my parents' house. Nevertheless, I seem to think I will have a fair amount of knitting time both days.
8. On Christmas, I will be knitting my roommate's scarf, since Christmas Day is one of the very few days on which we won't see each other (as we'll be with our respective families). And he's okay with it being a Boxing Day or New Year's or Epiphany present if necessary.
9. And really, I'm not above giving a few things on the needles and having them done when I see everyone again at New Year's.
10. But. That's only an extra week. This is still quite a lot of knitting, even with the extra week.
Progress reports will appear when possible. Let's hope I can get lots done over the weekend so I don't get too discouraged. Send caffeine and chocolate.
P.S. I was vaguely thinking of a few more nosewarmers for other relatives, "if I have some extra time." The delusion runs deep.
December 14, 2005
Random Wednesday ('cause I can)
Yeah, I know, twice in one day. But I had stuff I felt like saying and liked the idea of posting Random Wednesday on Wednesday for once. (It is Wednesday, right? I think?)
1. First, because Lauren asked for it:
The five scarves-in-progress, albeit a bit blurry. The stray needle and brown yarn coming in from the left belong to another scarf-in-progress, but that one is my roommate's, not mine (thank goodness).
2. Tonight was my last class of the semester. We had pizza and wine and cookies and then left early. Really, all classes should be like that.
3. During class, my professor asked me: "Could you make your life any more difficult?" Hah. He doesn't know the half of it.
4. I also discovered that when I e-mailed my final paper to my professor yesterday, I didn't actually, you know, attach the paper. I am so smart.
5. While walking to the train after class I started calculating my Knitting Hours Per Day for the next ten days or so. Let's just say that it's looking rather appalling. Details, and hopefully a Plan, will be forthcoming. Tomorrow. When I'm bored at work.
6. I have decided that Green Day's "Holiday" is what I wanted Franz Ferdinand's second album to be. Not necessarily politically (because Franz Ferdinand is/are British [Scottish?], for one thing), but musically.
7. Today is the thirteenth anniversary of the fatal shooting incident that occurred at my alma mater. Although I was there long afterward and didn't know anyone involved, the reverberations are still felt throughout the tiny community, and I felt I should mention it and that everyone affected is in my thoughts today.
8. On a happier note, it is also my dad's birthday.
9. New Dunkin' Donuts favorite: Vanilla Spice coffee. Yum.
10. I'm dreaming, not of a white Christmas (well that too), but of all the things I will have time to knit after Christmas: the baby Aran, Birch (which was going along swimmingly until I finally had to admit that I should stop on it until after Christmas), Trekking XXL socks, and some sort of freaking head covering, already. I am in New Hampshire. It is cold. I do not seem to own a hat. What I really want is a hooded scarf, but I'm not letting myself think about it yet.
11. It sounds weird, but I have discovered that sleeping in hoodies (yes, with the hood on) is SO cozy. Another thing for which I can blame my roommate. Caffeine, Auden, alcohol, Michael Nava, Six Feet Under, cilantro, sleeping in hoods... what will be next?
12. Since I am home in time to go to bed on time, I should really do so, huh? 'night.
Ack ack ack ack ack
See? Told you I'd be panicking soon enough. Christmas is in 11 days. ELEVEN. How did that happen? How? I have several presents started, at least. The majority of them are some variation of "red scarf." I am sick of red. And scarves. And I've thought of several more people for whom I need gifts. And decided that no, if I'm knitting for my dad and brother, I need to knit for my mom too. Especially since she doesn't much like scarves. So. How about a new list?
Projects in Progress
Now, you'd think I'd be able to say "enough already" and just concentrate on getting those things done. But, um, apparently not. I am taking 1/4 of a vacation day on Friday to get to the yarn store before it closes to get yarn for the following:
Projects I Have Not Even Started
And, um, yeah, if you look at my creative numbering scheme up there, you will see that I have More. Projects. Than. Days. I just figured that out as I was typing it. And there's no chance I will finish anything today or tomorrow because I won't be home until midnight-ish either night. So. Um. Basically, I need to barricade myself in my apartment this weekend (except that I'm working Saturday 8:45-5) and drink lots of tea and watch lots of DVDs and knit. Oh, except if my roommate wants to go see Brokeback Mountain. That's worth leaving the apartment for. But otherwise... not so much, I'm thinking.
And, of course, I am stuck here at my desk and cannot knit. Torture. If I think about knitting enough, eventually something will start knitting itself, right?
December 08, 2005
I've been making a good show of the "oh, there's plenty of time until Christmas" thing. But I can't do it anymore. Because look what has taken up residence in my living room?
Oh. What's that on the top, you ask? Well. I had no tree topper, and it was looking a little bare. Plus, it's COLD in my apartment. So what do you do when you have someone bareheaded and cold in your house? Think about it for a minute.
Yeah. I thought so. You knit it a hat. It's really only logical.
November 21, 2005
Things I Have Learned in the Past Few Days
1. Six Feet Under + Birch = up until almost two am. Yeah. Bad combination. By which I mean "extremely fun and wonderful." At least I didn't have to be up early the next morning.
2. When my apartment is 49 degrees, it is pretty difficult to get out of bed.
3. Knit.1 seems to have a gift for writing simple patterns in the Most Confusing Way Possible.
4. On Friday afternoon, my roommate had to go to a meeting that might have coincided with our free snacks here at work, so I was to grab a snack for him. I realized that I'd be more confident in ordering for him at a decent restaurant than I was picking out a candy bar for him. Does this make us snobs, or just adults? I'm not sure.
5. It is, in fact, possible to talk on the phone while rolling very hot cookies in powdered sugar. Just in case you were wondering.
6. Sometimes those "Oh yeah, this IS my real life" moments actually help. Yesterday I was trying to simultaneously bake cookies and write my novel, and feeling vaguely annoyed at the situation. And then I realized that, if all goes according to plan, I will be writing novels while baking cookies for the rest of my life. (Well, eventually it would be nice if I didn't also have two jobs and school to keep up with while writing novels and baking cookies, and then maybe I could have enough time to give the writing a break and concentrate on baking for a few hours. But really, no guarantees.) And, somehow, once I realized that this was it, the writing got much easier.
7. A radio station that replaces its DJs with recorded messages about how they no longer have DJs to talk too much is, in fact, more annoying than the stations that actually do have DJs that talk too much.
8. I want to be Meg Cabot when I grow up.
Posted by Kat at 01:41 PM
November 14, 2005
Welcome to the fold...
Let's have a round of applause! The roommate has finished his first knitting project:
Adorable, no? I have concluded that my bear needs a scarf too.
(By the way, Aloysius is the name of the roommate's bear, not the roommate himself. And my bear, nee Snowflake, has become Watson. It seems to fit him better.)
So really, I think someone should sell learn to knit kits that include this bear. (With, perhaps, a storybook involving the bear himself knitting? Oh, the possibilities for cuteness are overwhelming...) Because the roommate had been working on a scarf for himself (that will, by the way, match the bear's scarf) on and off for a month now with interest but no particular enthusiasm. And then he got Aloysius and needed to knit him a scarf RIGHT NOW. And he's already talking about his next project. I'm telling you, it's a surefire method.
November 09, 2005
(Yes, we had Random Kat Facts just last night, but that's a different kind of randomness. This is the "Here are twenty things I've been meaning to tell you but didn't have the time/energy/inspiration to write a whole post on" sort of randomness.)
2. I'm feeling cautiously optimistic about the election results. Yay New Jersey and Virginia and Maine. Boo Texas.
3. Whoever decided to play "Saturday in the Park" (you know, the "every day's the fourth of July" one) right when the majority of listeners would be headed to work on one of the coldest days yet this autumn really should not be a DJ. (Or computers shouldn't be picking out music. Whatever.) That said, it did make me smile and it's a good one to sing along with. Can you dig it? Yes I can! (Of course, listening to "My Immortal" next didn't exactly do wonders for my mood, but who can resist the line "Your voice, it chased away all the sanity in me"? Yeah, I'll be listening to that the rest of the day...)
4. I finally finished the school assignment that had been hanging over my head being impossible for two weeks. Turns out I was making it far harder than it actually should have been. (What, you, Kat? Making something hard for yourself? Really? Shut up.) I'm ridiculously excited about it being done.
5. I'm also ridiculously excited about the fact that I'm wearing my "skinny jeans" that haven't fit in about a year. Whee!
6. Novel? What novel? No, really, it's... coming. I'm a bit behind but not irreparably so. As I said to my roommate this morning, I have nothing planned this weekend other than working all day Saturday (yes, he laughed), so I'm hoping to get a few good sessions in and get ahead.
7. Meg Cabot blogs! I somehow just learned this last night. Happiness ensued. (I know what I'll be doing during my down time at work today...)
8. I took a vacation day yesterday and Erica and I headed out for a day of excitement involving Harrisville, the Woolery, and crazy fundamentalist pizza. I'll let her tell you her big news herself, but let's just say that she picked me up at nine and by noon we'd managed to spend about $500 between us. And that was before the Woolery.
9. At Harrisville, I found a copy of Knitting Fair Isle Mittens & Gloves: 40 Great-Looking Designs by Carole Rasmussen Noble. A friend, with whom I had never before discussed porn of any sort (I don't think), recently told me that this was one of his "favorite books of knitting porn." It's out of print, and I didn't want to order an expensive used copy sight unseen, but there it was in the bookcase at Harrisville! And - yes. My friend was absolutely right. (And yes, I have started a glove.)
10. I may have also started the Irish Diamond Shawl from Folk Shawls: 25 Knitting Patterns and Tales from Around the World1 in Harrisville Shetland in Evergreen2. I bought the "weaving" version of the yarn, on the cone, because it was a fraction of the price (and it's what the pattern called for, technically). I'll let you know how it goes.
12. I finally went to an orchard and got local apples, unpasteurized cider, and cider doughnuts yesterday. Yum.
13. Okay, my computer here at work is freaking out, so I think it's time for some quality time with AdAware.
14. But I don't want to jinx my bad mood by leaving off on number 13, so let me just mention how annoyed I am that my online registration for next semester is at 5 pm on Saturday. Because that is clearly the best time for everyone to be at their computers. (I get out of work at five, so I'll be at least a half hour late and probably not get my first choice of classes. Bah.)
November 07, 2005
Dear readers: Need advice.
So. Humor me for a minute and imagine a hypothetical scenario, okay?
You are a manager at one of a big chain of stores. Someone who works at the sister store up the street stops by to see your new paint job, and you end up talking for a while. (You've met her once before, briefly, at the other store.) Somehow the conversation turns to Christmas shopping and she mentions that she's planning to knit most of the gifts she gives this year. (Shut UP. I said this was hypothetical.) You jokingly describe a scarf you'd been wanting.
If said scarf were to actually appear sometime around Christmas, would this be a fun surprise or just creepy? (Erica? Would interstore mail be a possibility, a la the socks? We could start a trend...)
Yes, I know I'm skewing the sample a bit by asking a group primarily composed of knitters. But I asked a group of non-knitters (yes, I do know a few) and, while they concluded that no, it was not creepy, they also all said things like "So are you trying to hit on this guy?" and "Is he cute?" And no, that hadn't even occurred to me. But yes, I guess he is cute, although I wasn't really paying attention to that at the time. He did seem nice and smart and fun to talk to.
So, basically, the non-knitters said to go for it, but be aware that it could come across as flirtatious. I suppose my question for you, dear readers, is threefold.
(Yes, I realize Erica, who also works at my store, will now undoubtedly proceed to tell me that she knows this guy and he's married or obnoxious or a psychopath or something. But psychopaths need scarves too, right?)
November 05, 2005
Warning: Harder than it looks.
The warning label on the bottle of cider my roommate and I split last night:
Now, would you think that "umbrella swift" would count as "machinery" in this context? It does! Who knew?
Yeah. I was rather impressed with myself, really. "Winding yarn" has been added to the list of things I'm not allowed to do when there's been any alcohol involved in the evening. My roommate, of his own volition, took the pictures for the blog before he sent me to bed. He clearly understands the priorities around here. A few more, because they're actually kind of pretty:
I especially like that last one. (As always, click to make big.) He has potential as a wool porn photographer, don't you think?
For the record, I really didn't drink that much. It was a 750ml bottle (7.5% alcohol; less than wine has) split between two people - the cork wouldn't go back in, so obviously we had to finish it. It's just that my body isn't exactly used to, well, any alcohol at all. My roommate, for whom the cider was "like soda," was rather amused by my reaction. (I was pretty dizzy.)
The culprit, if you're curious:
You can learn about it here. It was very good - the alcoholic beverage I have liked the best, by far, of the half dozen or so that I've tried. It looks like it's only available locally, but I highly recommend it to you NH/MA/ME people. Just not when you have urgent ball-winding to do.
October 09, 2005
Plans are in the works (as of about two minutes ago, honestly) for Kat's First Annual Pre-Holiday Knitting Slumber Party. The idea is that we all (er, most of us) go crazy with the holiday knitting, so why not make a party out of it? If you're going to be pulling knitting all-nighters, wouldn't it be better with friends? The basic idea is to take just a quick break from family and holiday craziness in early to mid-December and have a night of knitting, talking, watching movies, and eating junk food (or healthy food if you prefer).
If you're in the area (southern NH, but there's no reason you couldn't drive here from MA or even the greater New England area), would you be interested? (I can't guarantee a completely open invitation because my apartment isn't huge, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.) If you're not in the area, do you have any suggestions for such a party? And would you be interested in some sort of virtual component (a chat, or all picking a night and blogging about it, or something)? I'm still at the brainstorming stage here, so let me know any thoughts/ideas.