Sunday, January 27, 2008

Seven things, and then some more things

Sorry for the long delay in posting. School started and then things got a little crazy. I've got four classes, and four sets of reading, plus I'm working on the grad student symposium committee, and I'm also trying to set up a part-time job (which is a whole set of frustrations in itself). Also, I had friends come and visit, and lots of other stuff. In the few moments I've had where there wasn't any work to be done, I've been knitting instead of blogging, and I can't say I've really felt bad about that choice :) But here I am, on Sunday night, trying to get my mind and my work organized for next week, and I thought, hey, why do that when I could procrastinate on my blog?

A while ago, I got tagged by Costumechick, to list seven things about myself, so here they are, in no particular order.

1. I hate cucumbers, but I love pickles. Even the scent of cucumbers makes me blanch, although oddly, I don't mind things like cucumber-scented bath products.
2. All the guys I have ever dated have been Eagle Scouts. I don't seek them out or anything, it just happens that way. I wonder what that says about my taste in guys?
3. I don't have a fear of heights so much as a fear of falling off of high spaces. Going up in a skyscraper? No problem. Standing at the edge of a 2nd story balcony? No thank you.
4. I have never been ice skating. I don't blame my parents for much (they did a great job overall), but I do blame them for never taking me, especially since I was obsessed by figure skating as a kid. What gives? Now I'm too old and scared (of falling and breaking things) to go.
5. I love Dolly Parton.
6. I taught myself to read as a kid, and polished off Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol when I was four. According to my mom, I then went around asking people if they liked to read novels, too.
7. The first time I saw something that I wrote in print I almost cried. Now I get a secret thrill from looking up my name in our school's library catalog.

So what else?
Well, I knit two Calorimetry (Calorimetries?), sewed their buttons on, and managed to get pictures before I gave one of them away to a friend.
Here they are:
The blue one was for my friend, the noro version was for me, to match my mitts. Details on both are on my ravelry page.

The monkeys are coming along nicely. I've gotten to the foot of sock 2, so it's only a matter of time now. Normally these are my travelling project, but I've been working on them at home too, trying to hurry them along. Also, more progress on the granny square afghan - 4 squares done, 92 to go. Sigh.

I need to get moving on my WIPs. I want to finish the socks and get a handle on my Tomato sweater, then I can think about my 2 lace projects that are currently on hold. I have all the yarn I need for a clapotis, so I'm going to use that as a lure to finish up some of the things I have lying around. I also found the lost button for my plaid bag, so I might try to knock that one off the list soon, too. Ah, the bravado of youth!*

* One of my very favorite college professors said that once after listening to one of my classmates make a series of very grand pronouncements about life. I think of it now and then whenever my mouth (or in this case, my fingers) starts writing checks that I can't cash (I love that saying too).

Well, I should get back to my preparations for Monday. I don't have class, but need to spend a good chunk of time in the library reading. I also need to mail some packages, drop off a bunch of papers to get copied for a meeting, and hit the grocery store. And it would be nice to get some laundry done. My to-do list is too long already, and I haven't even started the week yet. Boo.

Oh well, at least there's another weekend coming up.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Good times!

I have had such a good week! I cleaned my apartment, I bought some yarn (Patons SWS in Natural Denim and Sheep Shop Yarn Co. Sheep 3 in the most amazing pink purple green and white colorway). I bought some really good chocolate (Ritter Rum and Raisin with Milk Chocolate). I went on a great hike on Saturday. I have friends coming to visit this week. And best of all, I got to go to Stitch n' Bitch again! It was so great to see everyone. I didn't get to chat with everybody as much as I would have liked, but it was so good to get to catch up with everyone. I can't tell you how much I've missed hanging out with all my friends. Knitting with pals is so much better than knitting alone. I really need to find a group to knit with here. It won't be the same, but it might be fun.

Also, Knelly, I got my buttons sewn on. Pictures after they're done blocking.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Works in Progress

Well, I already went to bed with dirty dishes in the sink, and it's only January 8. I reufse to feel too bad about it, though. They're just dishes. :)

In keeping with one of my other resolutions, I'm going to list all my works in progress. There are several here that I could knock off pretty quickly if I just sat down and worked on them, but there are also some that will require a good amount of work to finish.

1. Monkey socks -- no problem here, they travel around with me and get taken out pretty frequently
2. Tomato sweater -- I'm on the colorwork band. This stalled out because I didn't take it home with me for the holidays, but I'm working on it again now.
3. Mystery Stole 3 -- This needs dedicated knitting time and space. I need to get everything set up for the charts and beading before I work on it, so it tends to stay in hiding. But I was inspired by my progress over Christmas, so hopefully I can keep plugging along
4. Icarus shawl -- on hiatus. I want to finish the MS3 first, so this one might be a while. But I finally got through with all the tedious repeats on chart 1, so at least I'm on to something different now.
5. The afghan of doom -- due to my ignorance about crochet hook size and gauge when I made this, I'm rapidly approaching the size I want, even though I'm apparently only about 1/2 way there according to the pattern. I just need to finish one more repeat and then I'm calling it a day and putting on the border. I've only been working on this one for 6-7 years.
6. That 70s afghan -- It came from the basement!! (Cue horror movie music) This is a granny square afghan kit that I got from my aunt.
I thought this would be a fun and mindless project for watching tv and such. It would be, too, if I ever got it out. I need 96 squares, and I currently have 2 1/2. I should get a counter for this. (Edited to add: I did it! I used the instructions here and it couldn't have been easier!!)
7. The world's tiniest sweater vest -- this was done on 00 and 000 needles for one of my dolls. I struggled through knitting the pieces, but stalled out on sewing them together and doing the neckbands and arm bands. Have you ever tried to pick up stitches at that scale? Crazy-making.
****I think I might have a finishing problem****
8. Chinese Charm Bag (from Stitch n' Bitch book). It is knit. The lining is sewn. The handles are purchased. I even found a cute little charm-y thing to go on it. I just need to put it all together.
9. Plaid felted bag. Needs a button. Has needed a button for over a year and a half. I had a button for it, but now have no idea where it is. Oops.
10. Crocheted market bag. Needs the ends woven in. Why I didn't do this as I made it I'll never know.
11. Calorimetry -- needs a button. Just whipped this up this weekend for a birthday gift. Need to finish by Sunday.
***Not started, but need to do soonish***
12. Socks for my mom -- these will be up next after the monkeys are done.
13. Birthday knitting for 2 more friends. I'm thinking another Calorimetry, and maybe a fetching or some other kind of mitt.

The round-up. Projects 8-11 will take mere minutes, if I can make myself do them. Projects 1-3 will get done soonish, with 12 and 13 in there somewhere, and projects 4-7 will hopefully follow one day, but I wouldn't advise anyone to hold their breath or anything. It doesn't seem like much written down, but some of these are pretty intimidating, like finishing the two lace projects. Plus, now that I've written them down, I have incentive to finish them and show y'all the pictures. :)

P.S. If all goes well, I'll see you at S&B on Thursday! Yay!!!!!

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Happy (belated) New Year! I hope 2008 is getting off to a good start for everybody.

I had a wonderful vacation in Texas. It was so nice to be home again. My dad is doing really well, and is in good spirits as he starts what we're hoping will be his last round of chemo. It was weird to go home without Wilma. I kept looking for her everytime I came in the door, or at night, when she used to sneak into my room and hide under the desk. Often I wouldn't know she was there until the snoring started.
Christmas was great, and Santa was very good to me. He didn't bring me any yarn, but I did get a book on crochet techniques, which is great since I want to start doing more of that this year. I did buy myself some yarn though, and I'm justifiying it because it's for my mom and I'm going to make her a pair of socks with it. It's Colinette Jitterbug in Marble, and while it's a little more subdued than what I'd choose for myself, I think my mom will really like it.


One of the nicest things about being home was that I had lots of time on my hands and no school work to do. So I knit. And I crafted. And there was glitter glue.
A few months ago, I came across this book in Barnes and Noble (on the left, seen here with my new crochet book). It's The Cute Book by Aranzi Aronzo, a Japanese company.

I fell for the cute little mascots, and last month I finally got the chance to make a few. Here's a selection (I also made a super cute panda, but gave it away before I got a picture):

I especially like the monkey. He reminds me a little of our current president, but I love him anyways.

I also finished my first monkey sock, and got a good start on number two.

Oh, and best of all, I finally got back to work on my mystery stole. I hadn't picked it up since August, and thought that this vacation would be a good chance to get going again. I set up all my stuff in the corner of my parents' living room and knit like a mad woman. I'm mostly done with clue 4 now (I was stuck in clue 3 before), and think I am going to do the repeat that will make it longer. I hate the thought of doing this section again, but I hate the thought of having a stole that isn't long enough even more. I know it will stretch a lot in blocking, but I'm a broad broad, and I want there to be plenty of stole to go around.

I've been reading all the blogs of my fellow SnB'ers, and I want to put my New Year's Resolutions out there too. If other people know about them, I'm more likely to stick to them, right.
First, the non-knitting stuff:
1. I want to get organized. My apartment, my life, myself. I'm tired of living in chaos and I want to be more relaxed and have more fun in 2008. That will be easier if I have a serene and organized home to come back to each day. I'm actually pretty good at cleaning, but not so good at staying clean. I have a real problem putting things back when I'm done with them.
2. I'd like to blog more. Sort of knitting related, I guess, since that's what I mostly blog about.
3. I want to go to bed each night with no dirty dishes in my sink. Very Flylady of me, I know, but she has a point. It makes the whole kitchen seem cleaner.

Now for the knitting. I think Yankee Lagninappe started this:
My knitting accomplishments for 2007 included lace with laceweight yarn (even if I haven't finished a project with it, I'm still counting it), a baby sweater, starting a sweater for myself, colorwork, lace socks, toe up socks, and sharing my blog with my friends (this was a big one for me).

Here's what I'd like to tackle for 2008:
1. Knit every day, even if it's just a few stitches. It's a good way to relax, and I've always been a big believer that "slow and steady wins the race."
2. Speaking of slow and steady, I resolve to finish my UF0s and WIPs before I start any new projects, excepting socks. I've already sort of broken this one, since I've got emergency birthday knitting coming up, but I still think it's pretty doable. Socks don't count because they're my portable project and I like to always have a pair going. I'll list all of my projects in my next post since this one is already long.
3. Fix up my ravelry page so it's got more projects and more photos. Pretty self-explanatory, I think.

If you've made it all the way to the end, thanks for your perseverance. And once again, happy new year!