Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A vignette

I work at a public secondary school here in New Orleans that is almost entirely black. I help out in an 8th grade English class, working one-on-one or just generically helping kids with questions.

I went in today and the kids were just so happy and in that moment it didn't matter that I had missed out on the victory party with the local staff because these 8th grade kids are going to grow up in an America that has closed Guantánamo and maybe they will see that they (and me and all of us) are the ones to do what needs doing.

(They asked me if I voted & who I voted for & I showed them my bag with an Obama sticker and Obama buttons and they all cheered. Except for the two Vietnamese kids. If we end up with a Republican congressman he will be Vietnamese.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A post a day keeps the doctor away?


Anyhow, I spent most of today at the Obama office making calls.

Yes we can!

If the polls in your state have not closed, and you have not voted, please vote. That's what makes democracy work. If you are in line before the polls close, you will be able to vote. Do not leave without voting. Consider programming an election protection number into your phone.

Yes, I know this should have been last night's post.

Anyhow, I'm off to the land of election coverage. Haven't been paying attention to the news all day . . . Actually I think Morning Edition this morning was my only news exposure since Sunday. I'm so ready for this thing to be over . . .

Monday, November 3, 2008

This one's just about me

and contains absolutely no knitting content whatsoever.

. . . So last night I overheard my roommate talking to one of her friends over, like, video chat or something that she wanted to transfer from Tulane to Indiana, because she doesn't like that the party scene is too bar-centered and not enough party-based. Or something.

And here's me, thinking about transferring either home, which has myriad disadvantages but is where one of my best friends going to school and would be in-state public school tuition, or else to Santa Cruz because I am a grown-up now and can start thinking about decisions that will affect my entire future, and there is this boy in Santa Cruz.

I guess it's that I've always been a little emotionally fragile, and don't make new friends (and I mean true forever friends, not oh-hey-how's-it-going-I-don't-see-you-enough friends) very easily, and basically I'm such a mess right now and I know that you're not supposed to make this sort of decision lightly, and I do love New Orleans and I do have some friends, but the thing is the bar scene is also hurting me--almost every friend I've made here drinks enough that I don't bother hanging out with them, and I'm just such a fucking mess. And if I don't get out of bed I might be dropped from Italian but I can't make myself care. Also I can't get a psychiatrist appointment to save my life because apparently everyone here is as fucked up as me.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

meandering vines

What I've been knitting . . . the yarn, by the way, is an alpaca/linen/silk blend. It is the best. Thing. Ever. For reals.

And now I must away.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween drive-by post

I would have liked to make this longer but, well, it's NaBloPoMo and I'm spending the afternoon in the Obama office and the night in Baton Rouge so I really don't have time to linger. Just a little Halloween teaser:

Halloween costume

I was supposed to be the fairy of Hope and Change, but it's kind of hard to tell.

Halloween costume

But I did end the night with a lot of beads . . .

Halloween costume

As well as a cute little kitty cat!

If you can correctly guess anything about my Halloween, you win . . . well, my lasting admiration. Or something. If you want to see a full post of what I did, with a few pictures by me & not of me, say that in the comments too!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Can I post every day? Do I want to?

OK, first off, I just realized that I was really stupid to not realize that the reply-to for my comment e-mails would go to the commenter. So it's totally possible for me to have little conversations with my readers and actually, you know, make friends. So if you want to make friends, and not just be absorbed by my wit, please comment! For reals. Because making friends is totally awesome.

Also, in a fit of crazy, I have signed up for NaBloPoMo. What I'm going to try to do is build up a "cushion" of posts and set them to post in the future. So this is like an experiment post, to see if I know how to get that feature to work.

Also, expect my posts to become more pithy in future. If you ask me a question in the comments about my projects/etc, there is a good probability the answer will turn into a post.

Anyhow, I need to get back to my homework, so this post will not be a long one.

Obama cowl

You all may remember my Obama t-shirt--it's been a pretty frequent subject of my blog posts. Well, it was kind of dying. As I posted on its Ravelry description:
10/27: Oh, my god. Absolutely everything about this sweater is wrong. Everything. I might salvage the intarsia and make a “HOPE” cowl, or something, but … yeah. This is not going to be a sweater. Cockiness is not a good thing in garment-making, apparently. Who know? :P

So I have decided to remove the intarsia from the sweater back, and make a cowl. Since I took that picture, with its odd gaping maw, I have completely removed the top of the sweater back from the intarsia's bottom, and done an I-cord bind-off in the dark blue yarn. I plan to make something resembling a wearable cowl out of this thing on Friday, and wear it for the remainder of my phonebanking shifts.

Speaking of intarisa, look at this close-up:

Obama cowl

Do you see the loose stitches at the "corners" of the letters? (They didn't show up any better in any of the pictures I got taken before sunset; you can see bigger versions if you click through to Flickr.) And do you see how there are a lot more in the "P", and relatively few in the "O"? Those stitches generally are right near a tail of yarn.

And as you can see, I've woven in most of the ends on the "O" . . .

Obama cowl

It's like a puzzle, figuring out where all those fiddly little ends should go.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Some more knitting

Unfortunately, I did not think to take pictures before sunset, so I won't have any pictures in this post. However, if there is anything I mention you'd specifically like to see a picture of, I'll totally take one tomorrow if I have time.

Speaking of responses to comments, I'm thinking about migrating my blog over to a platform like Wordpress where instead of a "web identity" an e-mail address is required--I really like it when people respond to my comments on their blogs, but with this setup, I can't just reply to the comment e-mails and start having a conversation, and I feel a little awkward commenting on someone else's blog just to have a little conversation about finishing socks, or whatever. I generally do click through to commenters' blogs, I don't always have anything to say about their more recent posts, especially if (say) they've posted twice in the past two weeks and their posts are about church and school. I'm such a lurker . . .

Speaking of finishing socks, though, that purple pair I posted about a while ago is 100% finished, ends woven in, gone through the wash. I think they shrank up a bit in the wash, but unfortunately they still bunch up pretty severely in my silver pumps. :( I'm definitely bringing them along next time I go shoe shopping, so I can get something really nice to show them off with. (The only shoes they fit under now are brown ballet flats of an overly similar value, and sneakers, which defeats the purpose and in this climate could possibly lead to overheating. Also it'll munch up the heels. I don't really like the short-row heels; it might be due to the fact that they don't really fit so well, but the corner migrates all over the place. I think I may do a flap heel next time around. Also, the toe is really hard to modify--it was obvious maybe an inch from the toe that the circumference would be a problem, but I had already had had to restart the toes twice. So I think next time I do toe-ups I will not use this pattern.

A break from knitting:

My new favorite singer, Time Minchin--I actually got linked to one of his songs from an atheist blog I frequent last night. And, well, he is my new favorite. I really like this song, a lot--it reminds me of this guy. We talked on Skype last night, and we both really like this song. We have an on-again-off-again romantic entanglement, and, well, if we lived in the same state we'd be dating but as it is we just have long-distance drama. But we totally talk about what if we hadn't met and what if we'd met under different circumstances and in some ways we work but in others we don't and we're eighteen and we live thousands of miles apart, we don't talk about what could make a future. for all sorts of reasons. I was going to send him a warshrag (in coordinating colors to one I've been using) for his birthday in September, but then we had some weirdness and I never sent it. But now we are waxing more positive, and I have a great desire to send him the thing. (He wants to be a farmer when he grows up. I want to convince him to grow sheep on it. I could make value-added products of the wool.)

As far as the Obama shirt--it's not going to fit well, which I thought was due to the gauge, but I suspect I may have made a mistake in the shaping somewhere. So I'm just going to have to make the front identical to the back. I'm well into the armscyes for the back--I had to buy more yarn, and it took me a bit to get to the store. I suppose I could have started the front last night--I did have the yarn for that--but instead I did some weaving-in of ends and worked a few inches on Versatility--I'm going to have to go to the other LYS to get the extra yarn I had them set aside for me in case I'll need it. Which I will. Because they don't accept returns of wound yarn . . .

I'm really worried about these set-in sleeves, though. Wishing I'd gone with a raglan pattern. But it's intarsia, I've got to do it in pieces, and a raglan in pieces could still have serious shoulder alignment problems. Goddammit. I should have paid better attention. Used row counters. Taken notes. Printed out the pattern. But no, I was in too much of a hurry . . .

Also I'm not sure I'll be able to block it before election day--I ended up just sticking a wool wash in a recent Knit Picks order (needle tips to replace ones I sat on, yarn for two pairs of socks and a sweater, and an EZ book because books are on sale in the month of October.

. . . A lot of my friends here don't hesitate to drop a couple hundred bucks on tickets for concerts. I haven't been to a non-free show yet, and I rarely eat off-meal plan, so my job supports my knitting. Good stuff, good stuff . . .

Monday, October 20, 2008

Barack Obama

So I found this really amazing pattern, and really wanted to make it. I totally went to the LYS and bought some yarn and everything. Then I got back to my room and I realized that I had bought bright blue yarn instead of the navy blue required. At first I was really upset. Then I realized I had done exactly one (1) intarsia project before--a vertically striped scarf--and that doing a portrait of the man who I believe will be the next president of the United States (if you haven't clicked through that link, you really ought to), no matter how stylized it may be, was quite possibly clinically insane. So I decided to do some generic sweater or other, but Obama-ified--specifically, I'm doing Nothin' but a T-shirt. So far, I've knit the bottom of the back (several times):

Obama T-Shirt

I learned many valuable lessons, including that it is better to cut the lengths of yarn long than short (I did not, by the way, use bobbins; that would truly have been clinically insane), and that if you notice a mistake in your intarsia you need to either use your powers of Zen to let the mistake slide or rip all the way back to the mistake--dropping down sets of stitches will just cause you grief later on. I used the Obama-rama chart for the word hope--the piece in progress is the back; the reason the word is so low is so I could practice my intarsia right away, and also because my hair is really long. Like, really long. At this point it would probably obscure the "HOPE", but I really need a haircut.

My plan for the front is to knit the piece in white, with the Obama logo as charted by C Jane Knit as the center chest logo. The sleeves will possibly be all bright blue, unless I need to buy more skeins of light blue. Because I don't really have a good yardage instinct.

If you want to see the back, by the way:

Obama T-Shirt

Don't worry, I don't mind weaving in ends. For intarsia, it's kind of like a puzzle. I do plan to do them a few at a time, though, in order to not go insane.

That's what I've been knitting on most recently, although of course there are scads of things to Ravel and/or blog about. Trine, sorry I didn't get to Urchin--I did do some updating of the Ravelry page, but mostly I just added photos, I didn't do a complete update. I was totally going to put that in this post too, but I really need to do my homework.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Knitting update

So this week I've been plugging along on the second sock. No pictures, but I'm around the heel and steadily traveling up the cuff--hopefully I'll be able to convince someone to take some pictures of me modeling them? Otherwise I'll just take some awkward pictures of myself with my legs in the air and things. I've also been working on Versatility--but I'm far too lazy to take pictures.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


First ever finished sock!

Taken with flash.

First ever finished sock!

Blurry but artsy & the colors are so so close.

First ever finished sock!

Do you honestly think I care about blurry? I MADE A SOCK.

First ever finished sock!

This is most what it actually looks like . . .

You guys! I totally knit a sock.

I'm going to eat breakfast and then I'm going to work on homework for at least an hour and then I'll cast on sock #2! Oh my goodness I cannot wait to wear these. (Because I totally do need to wear wool in New Orleans. Shut up.)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

So I know I 've been a bad blogger, buuuut . . .

I finally got a package from my family of stuff I'd forgotten & stuff they wanted to give me, like my favorite kind of tea! (Although I don't have a mug . . .) and some pens! and so on.

The main things that I wanted from them were my camera cord & a bunch of my political t-shirts--I don't know why I thought I wouldn't want to wear my political shirts at school? FOR SERIOUS.

But now that I have my camera cord, I can share some pictures of knitting with you guys! Hooray?

Although frankly I haven't taken that many. But I had a few on my camera, from my Hurricane Gustav evacuation, and I took a couple today of something beautiful I'm going to have to frog.

Hurrication dishcloths

Two dishcloths on the floor of the Jackson State gym, where most of the knitting took place . . . I bought the yarn at the Jackson Wal-Mart, and cast on in the parking lot while we were waiting for the shuttle back to the gym. (I had the needle I pretty much only use for dishcloths--the bamboo's a little splintered, I'm afraid to use it for anything softer than dishcloth cotton; and I like the gauge I get.) There is a very complicated story involving some boys which I could tell, which is tied up with these dishcloths; however I would rather share some close-ups with you. the story with the boys is mildly interesting, except when you consider that this was a month ago and I've hardly talked to any of those guys since.

Hurricaiton dishcloth

I knit this one first. (For the record, this is Peaches & Cream; the variegated yarn is Fiesta Colors, and the solid color is Camel.) Normally I'm not a variegated kind of a girl, but this was a lot of fun. If you look closer (clicking the photo will take you to the Flickr page, where you can see a bigger version), you will notice that in the bottom stripe (the first stripe I knit), the repeats in the variegation line up very well. I was really excited by this--I imagined a similar effect occurring but with slightly different start points--but then my gauge loosened up after we left the parking lot. (By the way--one of those boys realized how fascinating, how serendipitous, that variegation lineup was. But I apparently fail at sociability and am good at manufacturing awkward. I . . . I really don't feel like elaborating.)

Hurrication dishcloth

I knit this one second. In terms of which "variegated effect" I like more, this dishcloth definitely wins; however the first one was a little bit more fun to watch the colors as I was knitting. I guess I now have a little more sympathy for knitters who knit with truly ugly yarns--it's so much fun to see what happens!

By the way, the colors are not exactly true-to-life, and the ends have since been woven in. I just didn't really feel like weaving in ends while living in a gym with all sorts of other people absolutely everywhere . . . Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of just, you know, the living circumstances, so I can't convey to you the utter oddness of that time.

. . . You know, I had been planning on blogging the dishcloths as well as my Versatility, then attacking some homework, then getting to bed early. However it is well past getting to bed early time, and obviously I haven't blogged my Versatility yet. Or in fact anything at all recent . . . I'll try to blog an average of 1 photo a day with a minimum of 3 posts a week, although homework does need to come first. So. We shall see.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Sock Saga

So remember how I messed up my math on a sock calculator pattern & therefore frogged it? But I was going to re-check the gauge first? Yeah, I forgot to check the gauge when I frogged, and re-cast-on, and in the meantime the gauge has loosened. Goddammit. I want to finish these plain ordinary socks so I can make Yes We Can socks. I mean, I want to know things like my actual foot circumference before I attack some knee socks that are full of things I only know about in theory, like stranded colorwork and duplicate stitch. And I really really want to have those socks to wear by election day. Because they're kind of amazing like that.

Anyhow, I'm trying to decide whether or not to soldier on with these purple socks, but in the meantime I really ought to do my schoolwork.

As always, more later!

Friday, September 19, 2008

So I have my own computer now

Hopefully this means I will be able to become a better blogger! However, I do not have the cable for my camera here (or if I do I don't know where it is, which amounts to the same thing, except worse, because I can't e.g. nag on my brother to mail me it), although probably I have a friend with a card reader if I look a little harder.

I know that photos really "make" a blog something special; especially if loverly yarns are being used to create awe-inspiring patterns. (There, I said "loverly". I talked like a pirate. Arr & avast.)

And I shall include some knitting-related content so that you all do not whither away and die of boredom. Specifically, I shall tell you the tale of my Quest to Knit a Sock.

Back in June, when I posted but had no readers, I discussed at length a sock knit with purple yarn. That got frogged. But I still really really wanted to make a sock! I tried again with that yarn. But it got stupid. I decided to try a different pattern, so I attacked Dobby's socks with a vengeance. (Ravelry link to pattern.) Except I was knitting really really loosely, so I decided to be lazy and go down a size. Then my knitting tightened up. I wasn't concerned at first, but once I had finished all the knitting and was about to embark on the grafting, I tried the thing on. And it didn't fit. At all. So the thing is hibernating. (By the say, this was the stripy sock, not one of the colorwork socks. So the inevitable frogging will not be *that* painful.)

But the purple yarn has returned--I decided to go with a plug-in-your-numbers sock pattern, namely the Universal toe-up sock pattern from Knitty. However I misread the math, and so my toe is too big. However! I tried it on and caught the problem early, and so will be re-casting-on, maytbe after double-checking my guage. For luck.

Oh, and I also have no social life in college. I'm not quite sure how that happened. And today I skipped a class and called in sick for my job for no good reason. But more on that later--I must needs head to the dining hall, for it closes at 8.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Just a quick update

So, I'm back on campus after my week-long evacuation to Jackson State (which was so much fun -- we got to sleep on the floor, and there was no privacy in the showers! whoo!). The evacuation could have been worse -- I attacked my schoolwork with great good will, met a cute guy, and got some knitting done! Specifically, 3.5 ballband dishcloths (two with yarn purchased at the Jackson Wal-Mart, 1.5 with yarn bought all the way back home). There are some pictures, but due to my computerless situation and lack of camera cable or card reader, the pictures aren't on Ravelry, and likely won't be blogged. But! The dishcloths themselves are super amazing. Stay tuned for Fiesta Colors and Camel, among other colors. (Also I had an almost 100% finished ballband dishcloth which turned out to be useful due to I hadn't packed a washcloth . . .)

Anyhow, I am determined to make it to at least one NOLA area knitting shop before Ike hits. I'm thinking the Quarter Stitch, as it's about 1 block from Jackson Square, so it will be pretty easy to get to. I hope. I'm gonna ride my bike to the Quarter? Whoo!

Friday, August 29, 2008

An Update

So I know nobody reads this blog. Especially when there aren't any pictures. But I still feel the need to give an update on my life -- I totally will end up connecting it to knitting, too!

As some of you know, I am going to school at Tulane, in New Orleans. As probably many of you know, New Orleans is a hurricane-antsy city. And as those of you who pay enough attention to the news know, Hurricane Gustav is headed, slowly but surely, into the gulf, and at this point the projection is that it will veer slightly to the west of us but we will be hit by the edge. Anyhow, the university has ordered an evacuation, and I (not having the sort of family tat can afford to drop $699 on a plane ticket on the drop of a hat, especially considering that I want to come home for Thanksgiving) am getting on a university bus and heading up to Jackson State university to stay in a gym. I have packed essentials, really random shit, and too much knitting and too many books. Including my schoolbooks. I'm going to remove the random shit. Because really, it's not going to be that bad. Really, it's not. I put my bike up in the room, though. And in the event of an extension of the evacuation, I am 100% flying home out of Jackson. Because really I do not want to sleep in a gym.

More later,

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's been a while . . .

And I do mean, wow! It's been a while. Last I wrote, I was recovering from being out of town. Well, now I'm permanently out of town--I'm away at college. I have been doing some knitting, and I received the futuregirl purse from this giveaway (technically, the purse was given away by Sister Diane . . .) I would show a picture of this darling handbag in its new dorm room habitat, but I don't have a computer of my own, and I think my camera connector cable is at home, anyhow. But if you want to know what it looks like, just follow the link to the contest page--it's the orange one.

I would love to stay and chat, but I have a 10:00 class, & it's already 9:40--more later!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Just a meme . . .

Meme mosaic

1. "Baby Eleanor", 2. fruit salad, 3. 1st away football game, 4. The Grotto, 5. Leaves, 6. Darth Vader and a Storm Trooper Cooling off in a Glass of Diet Pepsi, 7. So Tender, 8. 14th August 2007 / Day 226, 9. llibreria - bookstore - Amsterdam - HDR, 10. grand grand canal, 11., 12. Eagle Falls

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

1. What is your first name? Eleanor
2. What is your favorite food? Blueberries
3. What high school did you go to? Madison West High
4. What is your favorite color? Green
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Brandon Bark (president of the National Junior Classical League. Yes he counts as a celebrity, in my world anyhow.)
6. Favorite drink? Diet Pepsi
7. Dream vacation? Latin convention (at the moment, at least . . .)
8. Favorite dessert? Chocolate
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? In love
10. What do you love most in life? Movement & expectation
11. One word to describe you. Smart
12. Your Flickr name. undeadgoat (Searched undead goat for results . . .)

Doing this meme was a lot of fun. It's pretty awesome one, not going to lie. It's really lovely seeing so many photographer's creative work, and a little disarming to realize the extent to which the Beatles and a knitting pattern have internet-taken over my name. Also, um, I know those cheerleaders. Not every single one by name, but seriously. I know them. Over half are in my graduating class. And they were on the first page. o.0

I've been out of town for a while--I was at Latin Convention, AKA Nationals, AKA JCL (Junior Classical Leauge), AKA amazing, AKA the very last hurrah of my high school career. I'm headed down to Tulane in less than two weeks, and I'm struggling to catch up in terms of finalizing paperwork, cleaning my room, packing, etc. I'm hoping to do the Ravelympics, but honestly I don't have time right now to pick out patterns/buy yarn/etc. So we'll see. I have a few knitting pictures from convention, which I'll hopefully post later

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A post that has no pictures, because I am lazy

So I don't think I ever told the story of why, exactly, I learned to knit. A big part of it is that my friend Henry (not to be confused with my brother Henry) is, like, the king of knitting in public. And I've always been one of those girls who's happiest with some string, or yarn, or embroidery floss to mess with. I'm, like, the queen of friendship bracelets, the half-hitch kind, the braided kind, the macramé kind . . . Also I'm a big fan of gimp keychains.

When I was about 12 or 13 (I think), I bought myself a spindle at a silent auction (it came with some good-for-beginners roving), and a braid of roving in very pretty colors from the people (Mielke's Farm) who donated the spindle kit to the silent auction.

Time goes by. I occasionally make yarn, but don't have anything to do with it, don't ever set it, etc. It tends to bounce away on the floor of my room and get nasty. At some point in this time period, the roving braid bounces away on my floor and gets all nasty, but there is still good-quality roving around.

Fast-forward to this past April: I'm poking around in my unorganized boxes of vaguely-defined "craft stuff" and come across my spindle and some roving, and I'm having a struggle with unhealthy eating and so need something to do with my hands, so I start spinning instead of munching as I watch The West Wing on DVD. (I'm two episodes into the 6th season . . . and Josh/Donna is my OTP!!) And I realized that clearly I needed to learn how to do something with all this yarn.

So I went to the bookstore and baught a Klutz knitting kit, which completely sucks and I do not recommend it. And then I got totally sucked in. Very very fast. Not in that I've knit a lot of things, but I have read a ridiculous number of books from the library on the topic and I'm totally absorbed by the internet part of things. And I knit. Also.

I was going to talk about my Continued Adventures in Spinning, but I don't really fel like it . . . I'm going to makes some deviled eggs! Hooray!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Look at me, ma! No hands!

That was a lie. I totally use my hands to type.

Moving on: When I read fibery parents' blogs, I get so jealous of all those talented children of fibery people . . . soooooo jealous . . . I mean, I did teach myself to spin when I was 12, but I didn’t know how to do anything with yarn except weave, and I didn’t have a loom, and it wasn’t like there was a person in my house who, you know, encouraged me . . . (Prompted by this post. Fun blog, go click.)

But! I am going to catch up with my photos. Especialy since instead of blogging yesterday, I *totally* knit some more. I even finished a project! Wove in the ends! Completed all necessary sewing!

[break to go take a shower 'cause I feel groaty]

And, of course, that "shower break" grew to include lunch, dance class, biking in the heat, close-to-collapsing, knitting, listening to NPR, deciding not to go to SNB, making plans to go to Milwaukee, so on and so forth etc. But! I have returned at long last. And I do need to go to bed early, because I have to leave so early for going to Milwaukee, but first I thought I would honor a request and talk about my alpaca hat. (Also I am Raveling it . . . the Raveling of my projects is woefully--woefully, I say--behind. But, eh.)

So, while I was on vacation, I thought I might prop up the local economy (& so on & so forth etc) and also partake of some retail therapy by finding an LYS. So I asked around on the Western Michigan Ravelry group and was referred to Sit & Knit: A Yarn Café. So one Sunday, I decided I didn't want a long beach day due to the fact that I was still recovering from a sunburn received on Friday. And so I got in the minivan and drove down to New Buffalo, and after accidentally driving to the New Buffalo public beach (why would I want that, when I have semiprivate beach access just a few miles up the lake?), I found the store.

And, well, this store is totally made of awesome. It turns out that on Sundays there is a knitting group (which I didn't go to the next Sunday because I wanted one last beach day), and so there were all these wonderful ladies ranging in age from young mother to retiree, and the owner was really nice, and her husband makes free lattes. And I knew I wanted to make a hat, because the night before some of my friends had had a sleepover on the beach, but being out-of-the-loop as I am, I was unprepared for sleeping and unprepared for how cold that night was going to get, and ended up going up about 2:15. And I was like, in case of any more cold, late nights, I want a hat! (As it turned out, the rest of my late nights that week were fairly balmy. But still, I now have a handknit hat, which is not to be sneezed at.

my cabled alpaca hat

Project: Purple squooshy hat [Ravelry link]
Pattern: Chunky Cabled Beanie
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Chunky, color 2030

me in my cabled alpaca hat

I tried to take pictures of myself in this hat in my backyard. It took a while. I have many pictures that weren't good enough but that I liked enough to put on flikr anyhow. Onward, ever onward . . .

me in my cabled alpaca hat

This hat, by the way, is the first thing I ever knit with cables--I had a pretty good idea how to do it in theory, but it was nice to have the LYS's owner show me how.

me in my cabled alpaca hat

Anyhow, to continue the Saga of the Hat: I at long last settled on the absolutely amazing purple chunky baby alpaca, but being on vacation, I had no patterns with me, and no internet--so the owner (Kim) very nicely used her Magical Powers of Google to find me a pattern. And then I sat down and started to knit! I had several inches done before it was time to leave--I now totally understand the hipster obsession with fat yarns! You finish so quickly! Even if this was just, you know, size-10 needles, and not fatter than my thumb. (I wonder what needle size my thumb is? I could use a caliper to find the diameter in millimeters . . .) Not that this is in any way interfering with my current love affair with sport-weight hemp . . . a topic for a later post or five.

me in my cabled alpaca hat


I wear a large hat size, & so had to knit a few extra inches at the top so I didn't look like an idiot. Actually, I did all the decreases, broke the yarn, wore the hat, realized I looked like a fool, and had to rip out all the decreases. Have you ever tried to rip out decreases in bulky alpaca? Bulky alpaca likes to stay decreased. The fibers all intermingle from the different loops and so on. But I persevered, and now have an awesome warm hat. (Disadvantage: I have an awesome hat that for some reason smells strongly of meat. I really have no idea how this happened. The yarn smelled amazing when I bought it, but I think I'm going to wash it before next time I head to the beach.)

By the way, the reason I rushed to finish was so that it would have taken me only 1 day--which would have been cool, in some way. But then all that ripping-back and redoing of the crown meant it took, um, 3? I think. I never know what day it is when it's a beach day . . .

Also, I changed the k2togs on the cable panels to ssk, & if I were to do the pattern again, I would use ssks for all knit decreases.

Also, due to my inability to count the fact that I like closely-crossed cables, I crossed them every four rows instead of every five. And, ok, I can count. In fact, I'm so good at counting (and knitting-reading) that I get cocky & underemploy stitch markers & row counters & so on--a habit that will get me in trouble once I conquer, you know, knitted garments . . . But I didn't know which row was the cable row. And now I know that the cable row is not in the twist--it is the flat row beyond the twist.

I leave you with a note of caution--when you put your things in the grass, sometimes they get gross things on them.

a gross thing on my hat!

So always remember to check your alpaca for gross things!

me in my cabled alpaca hat

(I can't believe I didn't put makeup on before taking pictures of myself . . .)

Up next: Hemp! (probably)

Monday, July 14, 2008

I'm back from my vaycaaaaaaaaaayshun!

So I have a confession to make. I just got back from a week-and-a-half-long beach vacation, which involved copious amounts of knitting. I didn't really have access to blogging facilities while I was there (in Michigan, by the way), by which I mean internet. But my Big Blogging Sin? I didn't bring my camera. I didn't forget it; I deliberately didn't bring it. See, last year, I broke my camera by dropping it in the sand. The brokenness of the camera is clearly demonstrated by this picture of a cute guy I hooked up with:

So this year, when I was packing, I thought, "I won't bring my camera, I'll just break it." As I was knitting in the car, I realized my terrible mistake--how in the world would I document my travels? Revelation! I would borrow my dad's camera! However, none of the pictures I took are of my knitting. I got no pictures of me knitting on the beach. No pictures of me knitting in this super awesome knitting shop. No pictures of my friend Alexis (well, my friend Justin's girlfriend Alexis) crocheting at the beach. That girl, by the way, is highly impressive; she taught herself to crochet while on vacation, then showed no compunction about bringing fuzzy yarn to the beach (I get sand in everything; I brought 100% hemp & dishcloth cotton). She even brought it to a bonfire! Also she was crocheting while we were playing Monopoly, but that was at her (her boyfriend's family's, but whatever) cottage, so it wasn't like she had brought it with her.

The main point is this: I have no pictures of me knitting in a bikini while ideally positioned to deepen my tan. No pictures of white sand and turquoise waves and clicking needles. No pictures of knitting that coincidentally happen to include shirtless attractive men between the ages of 16 and 21 in the background. (Although I did take a few pictures of said men on my dad's camera . .. I'll post them when he gets home, as penance. Also as eye candy.)

But! I got home yesterday, to some three-week-old pictures on my camera:

my knitting bag

My knitting bag all ready to head out to SnB.

my knitting bag

Note especially the Australia wallet being used as a DPN holder.

an unfinished sock

And this, my friends, is an unfinished sock. It is a Sock with a Saga . . . but the saga must wait, for I have manymany pictures to blog!

For you see, my camera was not the only thing I came home to. I also came home to some lovely orders I'd been expecting.

Harmony options

My Harmony options, for one thing.

pretty roving

Also this lovely roving from nerdclub2000, colorway Ravenclaw with silver and bronze (customized). It's maybe not quite as "bronze-y" as I'd expected, based on pictures of other rovings she's done, and the longer I look at it, the less it reminds me of Harry Potter and the more I look at it the more it reminds me of my high school's colors.

But I wasn't sure I wanted something super Ravenclaw-y in any case, I just like the idea of blue & silver & bronze. Anyhow, we'll see how this spins up . . . I think I may have to dig right in!

I do have more pictures to blog, but I have been on the computer far too long & my mom is now home from work. So you will see some FO pics & a few WIP pics of things I knitted on vacation someday soon--but not quite yet.

If you comment, I will love you forever, and probably post again sooner . . .

Friday, June 27, 2008

I'm so silly . . .

I was going to go to the library tonight, but I'd gone on a bike ride with my brother, & so needed to take a shower first, because it's all nasty out. I was being a bit lazy about getting ready, but I put on clean clothes, put on makeup, etc. Then I looked at the clock and realized--by the time I got to the library, it would be closed. So I am wearing clean clothes, recently make-upped, etc. for a night in. I'm probably even going to bed early . . . I seriously thought it was like 7:30 or 8:00, not 9:00. Silly "being light out late" . . . I had the next disc of The West Wing in, too! I really wanted to watch that.

I'd talk about knitting, or something, but I'm too tired to write something long, & don't have anything quick to say. Sorry. :\

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Catching up

This is seriously what it is like inside my head! Except, you know, I've never seen Firefly . . .

Anyhow! I'm in the midst of cleaning my room, which makes my life take on a rather odd tone . . . and as a "pseudo-cleaning" activity, I'm "cleaning" the pictures off my camera! Hopefully I'll get all the way through the pictures I took around 11:30 last night . . . But equally I can't spend the whole day sitting in front of the computer; my room's a nightmare!

So we'll start about a week ago:

trying on sock #1

This is me trying on my sock, nearing gusset completion.

trying on sock #1

By the way, I should mention that, at this point, something (I'm really not sure what) had happened to the gusset, so that there were 18 stitches on one needle and 16 on the other, and the decreases had migrated from being on the same round starting that at the back of the heel to being on alternating rounds. Add that to the mis-turned heel, and my sock frustration levels reached an all-time high.

I took a break, to take a picture of my dumb baby sweater:

The Dumb Sweater

And a picture of my messy, messy, not-at-all-appropriate-for-the-fiber-arts room:

My room!

But back to The Sock:

What remains of the sock . . .

See? All wound up . . .

And I should be a good blogger, and tell you all about yesterday, but there is so much to say, so little time, and I ought to get something done instead of just reading with a little writing thrown in . . . I must needs become a Woman of Action!

Plus I don't think I have enough readers to necessitate "good blogger" habits. OR DO I?? Speshul extra commenting bonus: If you read this post and comment ABOUT THE POST, or if you do a real comment about any of my posts before I go on vacation (disclaimer: I don't know when we're leaving yet, just sometime over the weekend), and leave any variety of contact info, I will: (1) e-mail you a response to your comment; (2) comment on YOUR blog; and (3) friend you on Ravelry. Obviously, if you leave no info I can do none of these things; but then, such is life.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A few thoughts

I kept having all these diverse thoughts about what to write. So I'll do them quickly and all-in-a-row, sans photos.

1. The gusset (I know! the gusset!) on The Sock is turning out swimmingly; however, the heel is mis-turned and so there is a HOLE where there should have been a p2tog.

(OK, remember where I said no pictures? I LIED. There are sock pictures.)

Some sock progess shots:

I had just turned the heel and picked up stitches. This was a very happy occasion, as the first heel flap had to be completely frogged and also I had to go buy smaller needles for the mystical Picking Up itself.

a heel turned

However, later all my joy was turned to woe when I discovered this hole . . . Oh no! (I was going to take a picture of myself making an "oh no" face but I haven't done my hair or washed my face or put on makeup and I want to spare you all the horror.)

a hole! oh noes!

But look how much sock I have!

vague progess shot

Look how much gusset!

LOOK at that gusset!

So I think any frogging decisions will have to be made after I have made the whole pair. And then if this one looks pitiful and pathetic I'l redo it? Maybe.

2. I need to vacuum my room. Madly desperately. You know how much stuff there is in that one picture on my bed? Okay, imagine an entire floor like that. Except that's the only skein of handpainted yarn and it is now safely in a bin, waiting for me to take it to the shop to get it wound, which I totally forgot when I bought it due to my handpainted yarn daze. Also my I-need-to-get-home-to-get-ready-for-graduation daze. But ANYHOW the point is that (1) my lack of organization is seriously getting to my ability to do things and (2) although I can stand living in a room with too much hair all over and dust in odd places, it makes fiber arts A Living Hell.

3. And I'm graduated from high school. Possibly the scariest thing that's ever happened to me . . . I mean, high school wasn't all that great. I've got a lot of regrets. But, well, school has always been easier for me than not-school. I've been too distraught to move at the end of two-week breaks before. So . . . we'll see. I probably should get a therapist. My guidance counselor offered to recommend some . . . oops.

4. There is too much stuff I need to do. I am supposed to clean the kitchen, and figure out what's what in terms of Stuff To Do to get ready to go off to college. Plus also I have 71 items out from the library? I should Deal With This . . . TOo many knitting books, I never ever want to return them. But I shall Have To Be Tough.

So what am I doing? I'm sitting in front of the computer eating cold noodles and reading knitting blogs, of course. I kind of need to stop . . .

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Life stages . . .

So today was my very last day of high school. And I have to say, I'm gonna miss it a lot. No, really. I am. (I do have to go in to the building tomorrow, to return my astrophysics textbook and pick up my honor cords which I didn't even know existed due to being out of town for the honors convocation . . .)

And so this is like a new chapter in my life--not just soon-to-be-high-school-graduate, but a first-time sock knitter!


(The color's not great . . . this girl's flikr photo is much better.)

Some backstory: On Monday, I biked out to an LYS near my old elementary school. It had been ages since I'd been in that part of town . . . it's a K-2 school, and I don't think I've been there since my brother graduated there, 8 years ago. I wanted to get some circular needles for The Dumb Baby Sweater, and I like browsing and the walking-distance LYS is too small to not be awkward. And I bought some dpns and sock yarn, which took FOREVER to pick out, because I needed something that (1) was not ugly, (2) did not feel gross, and (3) did not cost 12 million dollars for a pair's worth. But I did find some I liked a lot. (Cascade Heritage, for the curious, in a lovely plum.)

And there is more to say about this little cuff, but I would like to get to SNB tonight and my mother has decreed that it is Necessary to Clean Up A Bit.

More later,

Friday, June 6, 2008

I'm setting some GOALS!

So due to the magic that is surfin' the internet instead of successfully asking someone out on a Friday night, I have discovered a goal-setting contest. And I figure -- hey. I can have goals. So here is my list:

1) Make some sort of comprehensive sampler project by which I of course mean the Dumb Baby Sweater.
2) Make myself at least one sweater-type garment suitable for college in New Orleans.
3) Knit a skirt.
4) Knit something to wear at home in Wisconsin for winter break.
5) Knit a SOCK. Well, preferably two . . .
6) Knit something off my Ravelry queue.
7) Assemble a (relatively) complete knitting supply to take to Tulane.
9) Be good to this blog.

OK, maybe #8 is not really a knitting goal. And I know the other goals are all vague BUT I am a beginner. What do you want me to do, have this whole long list of specific projects?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The awful horror that has become of my bag

I felted my Butternut Squash Marsupial Tote today. It was not what you might call a "success".

So the pouch, which was the main reason I liked this project? TOTALLY FAILED. I don't know where my camera is, and I have already gotten rid of some of the horror that was I-Cord felted with a piece of my hair (I ought to declutter my room and vacuum before I do any more knitting . . . I really ought . . .) but the larger point is that the pouch got weirdly stretched because the I-cord got sort of twirled around the agitator because um I am a beginning knitter, I thought if I put the pouch inside the purse it might felt to it, or something, and I didn't think of everything that could go wrong from doing it my way. So I have a lovely felted tote, a lovely piece of felted I-cord, and a RUINED little pouch thing. Maybe when I am less mad and they are dried I will sew them together in such a way that the absolute MADNESS that is my miniature pouch (I wish I had pictures, they're really quite insane) is somehow structurally sound.

But um if I had only wanted the tote and not the tote-with-pouch combo I would totally have an awesomely kick-ass tote bag drying dripping in my basement . . .

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Butternut Squash Marsupial Tote WIP

Well someday I am going to become more adept at flikr pictures. But in the meantime: Here is my awesome bag!

Looklooklook! I'm knitting!

So in order to have a non-eating thing to do with my hands, and because I'd like to be the sort of a person who makes things, I have recently taken up knitting. Well, actually, I picked up my drop spindle and some roving, and made some yarn, and then realized that in all the years I have been an on-and-off spinner, I have never actually set my yarn, let alone made anything out of it. So I bought the (surprisingly crappy) Klutz learn-to-knit book, then watched some videos of people casting on until I got it. Being the sort of a person who I am, I have bought a few knitting books and checked an ungodly number of them out of the library . . . oh yeah! And I knitted some stuff!

If I could successfully post my flikr pictures, you would see Meema's Felted Marsupial Tote from Stitch n' Bitch, and it is going to be fulled/felted in the washing machine after I knit the baby pouch that goes inside. And then it is going to be my beach bag this summer! By the by, when I picked out the colorways at the store, I was thinking, "Sunshine! Spring! Yay!" but the choice to make the body out of yellow and the top out of green sort of created a vegetablish effect. But I have embraced the vegetablosity by christening mine the Butternut Squash Marsupial Tote. Of course.

Anyhow, I'm going to go poke Ravelry some more instead of, you know, doing homework, or cleaning my room . . .