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.