Sunday, March 30, 2008

Take a "breather."

There are a lot of things I regret in life. One of them is reading too fast through the "classics" in high school. I plan to reread The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Giver, and maybe one day read The Scarlett Letter (since our class read The Crucible instead).

I've been really stressed out lately, and found some rejuvenation from reading my own books. I started and finished For One More Day by Mitch Albom last night...which I recommend to anyone who needs a little reminder that you should appreciate (and show your appreciation to) your loved ones, because you won't be with them forever. This story is a tale of a man who gets one more day with his loved one, and how he makes the most of it.
I didn't get senioritis in high school. Don't get me wrong, I was happy to get out, because quite frankly...their heavily enforced hall bathroom and hall "passes" contradicts the whole "college preparation" and "you're an adult, so act like one" school mentality.

But now...6 weeks left. I'm on the final last-stretch. I'm excited. I'm scared (what am I really going to be?...quick, quick, decide! Here comes the loan bills!). I'm just so darn worn out. Even the smallest paper is a "waste of my time" now. I don't want to read their assignments. I don't want to study their courses. I don't want to sit in their class for 50-150 minutes. I don't want to take their exams. But I do it. All I want right now is to take a vacation-no school, no "real life" job searching (or not searching)-and grab a pile of "my books" and my knitting bag, and relax by a damn waterfall or something pleasant. Throw in a pina colada, will ya?

I started a new pattern using my wonderful alpaca silk yarn I just got. However, it croaked. It was going to have a seed stitch edge that buttons (inspired by Ysolda), and an "entwined leaf" pattern I created on whim on excel. But, I can't do larger than a size 6 without making the stockinette look icky. I felt like I needed to add another 14 more stitches to the body to give it a more noticeable width than the seed stitch. After it was out of the needles, I tried it on...and it wasn't as tight as I imagined. But, my intuition was right...I should make it more slouchy to enjoy it more. I just hope when I do it again, I don't run out of yarn. It was up to 130 stitches before...when it was tighter that I wished.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The happiness is overwhelming.

Blue Sky AlpacasBlue Sky Alpacas
Update! I just got back from the brand-new LYS! Can you believe that it's only 3-4 blocks away!! Now, if that isn't dangerous...I don't know what is!

The "Blue Sky Apacas" Skein is actually turquois, and the fiber content is 50% alpaca & 50% silk, which in my book is 100% pure joy to knit with. It will turn into a light spring hat or beret. I even got a free pin and a coupon for a free cookie upon the completion of my WIP. Whoot Whoot.

Well, once in a while we learn to do something new. I fully completed one sock using a short-row heel method. That might have been on my resolutions list.

Pattern: mod's of my"LT Rib Socks"
Yarn: striping in black & gold
Neeldes: size 3 US (next time, just #2's)

I just also finished Albom's Five People you Meet in Heaven just a moment ago. The book was interesting...unique in idea and construction. It was "different" for me to read about his various birthdays as a "intermission" to some of the chapters. It's a short book, and you should read it sometime in the future if you haven't already. It was on my "must read before I die" list. The next book, For One More Day is also on the list...and I'm reading it next. I'm still trying to compile a worthy list of other books. Any suggestions?

Did you know that Lion brand is coming out with "Sock-ease" in the future? The Yarn Halot got some free samples, and it looks great! It's the standard wool & nylon blend, as well as a aloe vera finish. Sounds pretty sweet...and good for a budget like mine!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring cleaning.

So, I'd rather like to believe that it's truely Spring now...regardless of the new snow last night, and the chilly weather that likes to linger in the air still. You know what that means: Spring cleaning.
Photobucket I decided to jump into the black hole that is my walk-in-closest (if you can really call it that), and take out all of my "school yarn," and only select those that could possibly be knit in 7 weeks, plus several extra for the looks and/or leeway for more choices. Some made the cut-off, some didn't. Some were taken home just for Spring Break and will return once more...(da-da-daaaaaa.....)
Here's after the weeding out:
Photobucket Books, yarn, clothes, and what-nots are now missing. The shelf looks rather baren now... but it's definitly neat & skinny. Who really needs more sock yarn for only 7 weeks anyways?

I was a dummy, and realized only 2 days before the holiday that I had the perfect skein of greens & white for St. Patricks' Day. Oh well. Maybe I'll save it for Earth Day...

I've been exercising a lot lately, and am enjoying the luxury of going to the health club in my hometown, while I'm on Spring Break. I'll miss it greatly when I go back to Iowa. Their elipticals are amazing, as well as being able to swim without having to take a bus to the campus fieldhouse. It was a great graduation present. Now, I just have to "graduate." (hee-hee.)

The Harry Potter knit along on flickr is going great. Look what Squib-Stitcher whipped up in a couple of days? Look familiar? She knit up my "Simply Ginny" socks in honor of good 'ol MollyGinny Weasley!(yeah, I need to read the 7th book again...) Actually, she's been whipping up pairs of socks faster than lightening. She already finished 3 HP socks for the knit-along, while I only did one so far. (*sigh*) I have to start working on my Hufflepuff/Hawkeye socks soon, before they become Alumini socks.


Kudos to Squib-stitcher, Dreams in Fiber, Bobilicious, and all other HP knitters who are apparently doing more work than the dang hostess.

Oh, and by the way... I hope you all had a wonderful St. Patrick's day. Don't laugh, but I baked this cake, cut it out into a shamrock, and made a cream-cheese frosting with coconuts inside. The worst part is that my mom was poking fun of the "stem" of the leaf. You can only imagine what she said it looked like. *Oh dear. What am I going to do with her?*
Let's just say I had my fill of St. Patrick's day. I had it THREE days in a row. Yeah. Eh.
Yeah, I know. The cake does look like a peice of crap. It was hard though.

New craft #1 has almost been completed. Pictures are to come (later).

Sunday, March 09, 2008

A fusion of color


The idea of creating a fun and spunky plate-mat has been storming my head for quite some time. I started one yesterday starting from the ends and decreasing to the center, but it was more like a tent than a perfect circle. So, I frogged it and went to bed. Today, I decided to try again, using EZ's "Pi" (Joe has issues with her terminology) technique. So, I guess I'm on a circle fad lately. I'm getting pretty excited about the idea of owning my own apartment with Joe in the near future. This would be a great table piece. I was thinking about a collection of 4 or 6 of them, as well as crocheted squares for bowls. That's still to be determined.


It's really hard to admit it (well, maybe not that hard), but I was really digging the whole crochet edge with this yarn. It actually made me want to create another mat solely out of single crochet stitching. I did only 4 rounds, and should have done 5, because it looked nice...but what are you going to do?

Pattern: my own

Needles: size 10.5 dpns

Fiber: Yarn Treehouse's "Daisy" 100% wool. It's chunky & wonderful

Yards: approx. 90 yds

Diameter: TBD after further felting


Felting this was fun. I was really worried about the middle, because it wouldn't flatten down for some reason. Luckily, water works magic, and gave me enough leeway to felt it flat with piping hot water in my sink. I will end of felting it just a bit more, to be a pinch smaller, and more evenly felted. Until now, it's chilling on my floor...and screaming for a partner.

Maybe tomorrow.
P.S-I also posted yesterday. Sorry about the once-a-week posting thing lately.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Gypsies & such.

Well, that's that. I just finished my "Gypsy" socks & finally caught up to the latest Lost show, which means I will have to patiently wait with you all until next Friday, or the next Friday after that for the next showing.
Stitch count: 64sts
Needles: size 2 dpns, Brittany needles
(a gentle reminder that the Midwest Fiber fair is coming up again in July)
Sock Method: top-down
Fiber: Celtic fingering weight yarn, my colorway: Gypsy
Yards: 300? I have quite a bit left
Skills: mindless knitting for hours

I am also excited to announce that I am getting into making stitch-markers to expand my Etsy shop! 

I am also pleased to announce that I have been working-out hardcore all week. This is the one resolution I am keeping. I can't wait until spring break, so I can go swimming, use their sweet elliptical walkers and steam room...and also start some new hobbies.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Oh, yes... there is a version 2

Valentine's day. Oh right. How did I forget to post about it?
I guess this whole post has a theme now, second versions.
You might recognize this pattern from the first "Candied Love" socks I made. It had purple, red & white stripes, and didn't have bobbles...and the lace didn't run all the way down...and it didn't have cables. Ok. Well, the pattern was REALLY modified, I guess. lol.

The bobbles remind me of that dot candy, that you peel off of wax paper? Am I dating myself (which is sad, because I'm still in my early twenties)?
Joe and I went to an irish pub, had rubens & alcohol, and came back to watch a movie. Nothing fancy, but it was quaint. As for the sweets, he even remembered my new love for those ferro rochers, and gave me a variety pack of them. Yum-o.

You know that old saying, "everything is better in pairs." Sometimes it's true, sometimes it's not. For example, exams, papers, classes and illnesses are not good in pairs. From a knitter's standpoint, socks, mittens, quick top-down raglans, and washcloths are indeed good in pairs...and I think applicable when it comes to a good interesting afghan.
Enter, "Ripples Reading afghan" Version two. I think I might just nickname it "quiet waters, because the purled ripples will not get wider than a couple of rounds.

I'm enjoying the quick nature of this new one, as well as my favorite colors (seagreen & teal) in the afghan. If I were to put this on top of the first one I'm knitting, you would see how many inches I'm going to save by using a more worsted weight yarn, and bigger needles. Ironically, this afghan will probably be twice the size as version one, and only 1/6 the price. (*sigh*)

V.1 is going slowly.
Very slowly.
But, there are several more inches of ripples on this kid. I picture this one being on the couch or reading chair, and the other one on my bed.

Anyways. Enough with the blankies.
I just finished two consecutive weeks of "hell," as of Thursday. If you really knew me, you would be right to place heavy bets on me veggie out with Lost and my knitting for 2 days straight. 2 days, and at about 1 season more down. I'm at the end of season 3 now. Seriously, I wasn't kidding about the therapy. Help!