Last day of Break

Tomorrow I head back to college, back to the world of books, homework, early mornings and late nights. (There’s a few other things in that world, but I won’t go into my personal life to much here.) So of course I’m taking today to do the things that I should have been doing all week but haven’t. (I did just re-write a paper, ugh.)

But even in the midst of all this, I still found time to take a few pictures of the Fair Isle Vest from the end of Knitting Workshop.

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I started knitting this on New Year’s Eve — the last day of 2013. I don’t think I made it past the ribbing. (I’m becoming increasingly fond of long stretches of ribbing at the hems of a sweater. I dutifully did my thirty rows of ribbing, and it was well worth the effort.)

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I took it with me to school, but I wasn’t really able to work more than a few motifs while I was there. I was busy for one, this project wasn’t very portable, I didn’t have large chunks of time to work on it, and I didn’t feel like fussing with the tangling threads everywhere I went. It didn’t really see much action there for a while and sort of lived under my bed.  But thankfully I’d flown on the body of it while I was at home, so it was mostly done when I left last week.

I did the steeking — which due to my own stupidity I did wrong and had to sew most of it down to keep it from unraveling. (If you haven’t ever steeked don’t let that scare you off; I was just over confident.) But should be all fine now. You can’t really even tell all my blunders.

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A close chest shot.

This project challenged me at times — you had to stay awake during it; there wasn’t any nodding of while I knit this. I couldn’t do this on autopilot. And there were times were you just had to accept the fact that things were going to go wrong from time to time, and that very often it was required a nice purifying rip.  (That’s the way I said it to myself.) But I think that the fact that this caused me a bit of trouble makes it all that much more dear in my eyes.  I wouldn’t have gone through all that trouble if I wasn’t going to be happy with the finished object. I am pleased to say that I am, very much so too.

It looks well with collared shirts and provides me with a bit of additional warmth while wearing them — something I feel is often needed. I also like the fact that this is professional “work wear” whereas, if this were a cardigan or something it  wouldn’t achieve that status.

The yarns that I used in this were varied and complex. There is a little bit of everything in there. The background color is a recycled yarn that I pulled out a while ago. One of the browns was a gift from Cindy, the other was from an old sweater. Both of the greens were from Cindy. One of the blues was a recycled yarn, and the other was something picked up at Goodwill forever ago. The white was a free yarn that was picked up at Barnes and Noble, and the blue green was something I bought at the LYS a couple of years ago. They come from all over.

That is all for now I suppose. It’s amazing the amount of things I can finish if you lift the burden of going to classes for me for a few days. That and if I don’t finish anything for at least a month before hand.

I knit a lot

I do a lot of things while I visit my parents. (Schoolwork is not one of them, ahem.) Downloading music is one of them. Getting sacked is another, running into ex’s that you’d really hoped not to see again (always a delight after aforementioned sacking).  But the thing that I spend the most time doing here, it would seem, is knit. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had this much free time to knit. (Mostly due to aforementioned neglect of schoolwork. I was going to write it tonight. It’s almost one in the morning. You see my problem.)

But I am thrilled with the knitting output! Thrilled I tell you, thrilled. It’s like I’ve been holding my breath for so long that I’m finally able to release it. I’ve got one thing that’s all finished, another thing that’s drying right now, and another thing that I started yesterday and have a few inches on. Holy Knitting Batman! The two recent finished things mean that I’ve got 5 projects left in KW. It’ll be two years in June that I’ve been working on this. (I don’t know if I can finish by then what with crazy finals week and finding employment right after school ends.) Five! I remember when it seemed like being under twenty was an accomplishment. I’ve gotten a lot out of this — aside from a large pile of sweaters, but we can talk about that later. (I’m planning a big, moody, introspective, and probably over dramatic post for when this is all done. You don’t have to read it, but I have to wright it. (And yes, it will contain many cliches similar to that.)

The post today though, or tonight really, or this morning, will concentrate on The Stonington Shetland Shawl. (We will call it TSSS.)

Let me show you what it looks like.

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From the side.

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From the back.

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The whole square.

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The uber-French way.

And because I couldn’t get a decent picture of the edge — look at this one from a little while ago.

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The pattern was TSSS from Knitting Workshop.

The yarn was a Shetland wool that I pulled out of a sweater a while ago. I had just enough of it to do a shawl of a decent size with minimal leftovers. I don’t know how I was able to manage that, and I don’t know if I can repeat it, but I’ll do what I can. I started this on January Thirteenth (I remember this because it was the first day of spring classes.) So not too bad as far as finishing goes, but still hardly my best. (Consider that most of it was garter stitch.) But it is a good sized shawl and I’m pretty happy about it.

I also would like to take a minute to say a few words on shawls. To me, the word itself has a different meaning. To many it means that thing that little old ladies wear while they drink their tea in winter. To me, it’s a piece of fabric that you drape any part of your body when it’s cold. That can be shoulders, neck, lap, feet, anything.

There was a funny blocking story with this one too. (Every time I block and pin something the process is a bit different. I need a system. Who am I kidding, I can’t get a system for my life, let alone for my knitting.) All right, the weather has been nice recently. The house is crowded with all of us, and all of our stuff, taking up space. I didn’t feel like stripping my bed of it’s pillows and comforters, so I decided to block it outside. It wasn’t too cold out that day — the shawl wouldn’t have frozen. So I asked Brianna if she thought it was a good idea. (I was thinking that it might help to have another opinion on the idea.) She didn’t seem to think anything was the matter with it. So I pull out the foam tiles (of which I don’t own a full set) some towels and set to blocking. I finish it with few hitches and it looks like I did a fairly decent job.

I had a few things I also needed to do that day. I head into downtown, do what needs to be done, then visit my old friends at the bookshop. (The non-profit that didn’t fire me.) While I’m there, the weather turns nasty and it starts snow. I head home, not thinking at all about the shawl. (I didn’t even notice it when I walked past it on the way into the house. ) Brianna says, “I’m sorry I didn’t know what to do with your thing out there.” I suddenly remembered.

My shawl had blown off the table and onto a chair, all the tiles still pinned to it, and covered with snow. I had alternate fits of utter charm and frustration removing all the pins and tiles. But the parts that were not snowy were still dry and I didn’t have to re-block it.

Tomorrow, we will continue our tour of Scottish knitwear with a lovely (if I do say so myself) Fair Isle vest, knit mostly with Shetland wool, and sweet, sweet love.

Another late night, Break post

Here I am, back at my parent’s house for the next week. (I am thinking very happy thoughts about the fact that I am childless and will most likely remain so.) Here’s a quick list of how I spend most of my time here.

1. Childcare, see above. (They’re like puppies. They’re cute for a little while, but I quickly bore of chasing them around. Only you can’t drop kids off at the pound.

2. Housework. I am guilted into this one. I’ll be sitting there, reading a book or something, and then Pop will be doing housework or something, and I suddenly feel that I should be doing something too. And he has this way  of being cranky and making you feel bad for not doing something. Not that I mind cleaning and laundry, I really don’t care, but I like to procrastinate that sort of thing until the last second, and then do a half-assed job because I do it in half the time.

3. Watch TV/Movies. I started watching Doctor Who in order to cope with the Tedium of being here on Winter Break. (I don’t know how I made it through that. Probably Doctor Who.) I have only watched it while here. I’m in the fourth season — I started on Christmas Day. That’s a lot of David Tennant — not that that is a bad thing. I also am enjoying the chance to get caught up on Downton Abbey. I also am very glad that Rent arrived, I’ve watched about three times since it’s got here. I love Rent, I feel that it is my life at times. (And the sad part is that other people think that it is my life.)

As an aside, I would also like to point out to you how much I love David Tennant. You don’t think I mean it. I would like to show you exhibit A.

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I own this. This was taken back in my dorm room. You think I’m really odd don’t you? Don’t lie.

4. I would say that I read, but I’m in between books and don’t feel like something epic and life changing any time soon. I only want to re-read, and feel nostalgic about all the old feelings that reading that same old book can cause. Jane Austen and The Brontes are really bad to do that, but don’t think it’s limited to stuffy English women, Nora Ephron can do that to me too.

5. Speaking of nostalgia, I indulge in that frequently.  I re-read my old journals that I’ve kept since I was thirteen; I look at all the little pieces of memorabilia that I’ve saved over the years,  a knife from a friends birthday party, a few old business cards, some little trifles from work, that sort of thing. I guess part of it is being here in this old house. Four generations of my family has lived here, and I was raised here. My bed has been in the same place since I was ten. I remember the view out side of each window, and the neighbors that I have known my entire life, the spot where the garden was planted every spring, the carpet that I faintly remember being put in. I love to see and feel knew things, and I wouldn’t trade my life in Kent for much, but I do still like being in a house. I real house. If I’m sitting in my room and get tired of it, then guess what? I can go to another room and sit there. What an idea!

6. I knit. I knit a lot here. I’ve finished something, and am near to being done with something else. See, knit a lot. Big things too. Do you remember the shawl from the last post? (Scroll down if not.) Here it is in all its unblocked glory. (I left my pins in Kent, who knows when this thing will get blocked. I’m setting a lose goal for June — the key to always succeeding is to have low hopes. Here’s a night shot of the shawl.

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Here it is, you know, done. It doesn’t look like much. I assure you that some better shots will follow. To make sure that you are aware that this is halfway-decent looking, not a square of Burlap, have this picture from last week.

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(God my hair.)

And, a very exciting development has happened. I seem to have mostly finished my Fair Isle Vest. All I have left to do is an armhole and deal with all those ends. But the body of the thing is done, and there is very little left to do. Here’s a shot from earlier today, once the shoulders had been grafted, but the steeks were not done. (I call this the “Shetland Pillowcase Stage.”

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It has since met it’s fate with steeks, here’s a post steeking picture of the neck, which is the only one that I’ve made neat and really, it’s the exciting one. (I love a V-neck done in the round with steek. You have a blister in you knitting, then you open it up and you have a wondrous, elegant V-neck. Knitting Magic.)

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A little washed out, but not bad for a tablet picture taken at one in the morning.

I’ve tried this on and I love it. It’s a near perfect length and looks fantastic. I know that I probably shouldn’t say this before I’m all the way done, but I am looking forward to this finished object.

Also, due to the fact that I’m really loving this one, and will wear it all the time as a vest, I’ve made the choice not to change the pattern and make it a cardigan with sleeves. I am sure that I would love and wear it like that, but I will also love it and wear it like this, and this way is a lot less work, and would also serve the purpose of changing up my clothes a bit. I might, might break out of the pattern of cardigan and T-shirt every day. Maybe wear something with a collar. Who knows? I said maybe. Maybe.

So there you have my way of passing the time on break, and the two things that I’ve finished without really finishing. (Sort of like a metaphor for life, or at least mine.) Have a good week! May you find at least two good desserts.

 

What? Me? Knit?

The lack of blogging does not mean that I haven’t been knitting. This time it means almost the opposite, I’ve actually been knitting a great deal — more than I have this semester at least. Of course I’ve barely knit anything, so busy have I been.

This has taken some doing. It is not that I’ve found time to knit, I’ve made time. A while back I was having some kind of an existential crisis, wondering about everything from my major, my dating choices, who I am as a person, and what I do. Long story, one of the answers to the “who am I” question was knitter.

I felt the need to return to being a little bit more of myself, so maybe knitting a bit more would be good for my mental health. (This is because I have been wound up so tight this semester it isn’t even funny.) I’ve started making at least a half-hour a day to work on my knitting — it’s been like a regimen too, I think about how much I knit during the day. And, with a minimal amount of time, I’ve found that I can get quite a bit done if I try hard.

I hate to say this, but I’d forgotten how relaxing it is to sit and knit for a little bit, with a beloved TV show on, and a cup of tea by your side. The stitches briskly moving back and forth, following a chart, and moving right along. The wind rages outside but you are cozy and warm . . . See what I mean. I bet your blood-pressure went down just reading that.

The best part about this (aside from not wanting to kill either someone or myself) is that I’m actually knitting. There are things that are being close to finished! I can’t remember the last thing that I finished. (That might be because all the things in KW take so long to knit.) I’m almost three quarters of the way done with the border of my Stonington Shetland Shawl! I’m so happy to be near done with this, not that it was unpleasant knit. I loved knitting this thing.

The  center square of it is in garter stitch, knit on the bias, and then the four trapezoids that come off of it (connected trapezoids) are also in garter stitch. And then border is lace, but based in garter stitch! It is an orgy in garter stitch, which is a lot of fun, knitting every stitch. Perfect for doing while reading, waiting for classes to start, and watching TV in the dark. Now that’s all past and I’m onto the border, and while I will be happy to see this thing finished I’ll also be happy to see it done. The border is a lace pattern that I found on the internet and thought was pretty. I was in class when I looked this up, and I copied it down right then and there and started.

Now, here’s a few shots of it. I couldn’t quite get the whole thing in there, but you get the gist.

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The shawl itself, or a corner of it. I haven’t knit a giant shawl once more, but a normal sized one, the size that the giant one was intended to be before I got all carried away. That poofy thing in the middle is the center square, and the other trapezoid ends just on the other side of my body.

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Here’s a close up of the border. And my awful hair cut. I wear a hat almost everywhere now, and this picture is after a week of letting it grow. Oh, how I miss my long, brown, straight hair. (The hair dye killed the curl of my hair for a little bit, till it had a chance to grow out, which means for about three weeks, I had wonderous, long, brown hair.)

There you’ve got my knitting. I originally wanted to finish this shawl during spring break, but now my goal is to have it finished by spring break (Next week). I’m not sure if that will work out, as I’ve got a paper due Thursday, as well as an exam, but I’ll try. I’ve been watching a lot of Doctor Who recently, I’m in season four,  as well as trying to get caught up on Downton Abbey. (I kind of like not watching a show while it’s on then you can binge watch it later. This only works if none of your friends watch it.)

Time for bed for me. Class at ten tomorrow. It’s only swing dancing by I’ve got a test. A dancing test. I have to dance in front of the entire class. I hate those dancing tests.

To bed!

 

Ohio Weather!

Almost three weeks since my last post! This behavior is  not acceptable. I wouldn’t blame my few, dear, readers if they all scattered to the wind due to my negligence.

And the worst part is that I don’t have a whole lot of knitting to show you. I’m not working on it daily, I’m not working on it every other day. I’m just doing it when I get a minute. The crazy stupid busy has subsided into a usual, crazy busy, which I’m handling with the grace and dignity that I handle all situations (except spiders and Republicans). I  have a paper due in a few days, which I really should be working on now, but I’m not so, HA! But I won’t bitch about that anymore. We’re all busy people and I am no different than anyone else. (Well, I’m very different, but that is beside the point.)

The weather today was very Ohio. Anyone who lives here will know what I mean. I left this morning around ten, and headed off to class. It was kind of cold, but not to bad. The past few days have been wonderful, and I thought that today would be the same so I headed off with just a sweatshirt on. I was a little cold, but running late and I didn’t want to run all the way back upstairs grab something because I wasn’t really that cold. I figured that it would get warmer too. Boy was I wrong.

While I was in that class, a fifty minute one too, the temperature dropped about ten degrees. I froze as I went all the way across campus to my next class. During that one, the University decided to cancel all classes after noon. (Yes, you read that right.) I thought that was nuts, but I wasn’t about to contradict it if it gave me some time off. I was looking forward to having a nice long nap. I left that hall (which is in a really strange/annoying part of campus because I have to cross actual streets and stuff to get there) and it is snowing like there’s no tomorrow. Buckets of the stuff was coming down. It was all white out. I set out for home. Most of campus was underwater, with a layer of sludge on top. You’d step and it would go spurting out both sides. It was nasty and I was soaking wet as well as cold. I came home, read for a little bit and then slept for the next few hours, it was wonderful.

As much as I really don’t want to leave me friends and everything here for a week, I still will be glad to have a little bit of time off. Granted time off, and being home are two different things. A small house with two young babies in it is anything but restful, but it is at least different. I can get some sleep, do some cooking, that kind of thing. And I’ll have my evenings free — which is prime knitting time.

And the thing is, I’ll be glad to escape residence life for a little while. I still love it here, don’t get me wrong, and I wouldn’t want to leave for anything (that might be a possibility if I don’t get them some money soon.) But I am becoming, well, disenchanted with it. I’m tired of not having my own room (this is probably because my roommate is one of the muscled meatheads. It also has been put to a vote around the floor, 4 out of 5 people think that he is an asshole. I am one of those four). I’m sick of not having my own space, or having to carry my things to the bathroom, or even having to share a bathroom with 59 other 18-21 year old men. I miss having a house, with multiple rooms. I miss being able to sit on my bed and think, “I’m tired of this room, let’s go to another one,” and then going to another room. (I could go to a lounge or something, but they don’t have windows, and all the furniture is this in-hospitable pleather stuff.) You know. I miss real food. If I look at another wrap square in the face, I think I might just throw up.

Since I don’t have anything else to say, and feel the lack of a picture in this post, have this funny image that is actually my desktop image.

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Hope that cheered you up. It never fails to make me smile.

 

List Format because I am to frazzled to think of anything else

1. I am n I have ever been in my entire life. I don’t even really think that is much of an exageration either. This week I’ve got three tests, a paper due Monday, one due Tuesday, and to be honest things are starting to get to me. There are peroids where I just lie face down on the bed for five minutes. But then I’m getting  And I must apologize for my lack of blogging lately, I really I can do.

2. I have been knitting . . . not that much really. I don’t think I’ve done this little knitting in a week for years. (Another reason for the lack of blog content.) I’m still working away on the Stonington Shetland Shawl. I’m on the border right now, but I haven’t even finished a full repeat of it. I started that either Monday or Wednesday — I can’t remember which. (I know I was in History, that was it. I Googled lace edgings and started knitting one right in the middle of class. I was bored, and I was sitting near the back.) But I still haven’t even done a full repet of the pattern, so I’m not sure if it is a keeper. Let me show you a pic.

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Not much to look at, I know, but It mean a lot to me. It was mostly knit while waiting for classes to start and while reading text books. Someday it’ll be great. (Sort of like a college education.)

3. I am working tiwce as hard this semester as I did last one, but yet I’m getting worse grades. I don’t know how this is happening, but I don’t like it. My father will most likely freak out if I bring home anything less than an A, and I’m not sure that I will be able to manage that. Another reason I’ve jsut been so heartsore recently.

4. My roommate and I aren’t really getting along. My old one moved out, and this one moved over break, and while we co-exist, things are often awkward and cold between us. He isn’t very friendly. He’s one of one word answer type guys, who simply want to go to the gym, get a girl, and get drunk. then you’ve got me, on the other half of the room, with my books, and yarn, cozy to the extreme, old movie posters and James Taylor. Different people entirely. Not like the old one and I were much better, but we still conversed and go along. I’m just hoping this one will just feel awkward and move out soon.

5. Another reason for the radio silence would be the lack of computer in my life. Last time I visited home I forgot my charger, so the thing has been a big black waste of space since then. Of course, I has to have the kind of computer that no one else has, so I can’t borrow a friend’s charger. Also, I can’t find my flash drive Either, so you can imagine how fun it was to write all those papers. (Which are pretty much done by the way.) This entry is being written on my tablet, witha  keyboard hooked up. And I complained about the lack of S. (Which also explains some of the grammar oddities in this entry. I am the world’s worst English major.)

6. On a brighter note, I did have a wonderful complement paid to me the other day. I was working on a paper in College Writing, for the same class , and I asked her if she would read it. (She’d already done that for the entire class — she knows that I am an Englsih major and I feel like I’ve got higher expectations beacuse of this.) She read it and said that she really liked my writing style, and then told me that I should apply for a few internships in New York publishing houses over the summer. I was flabbergasted, but also very flattered. I probably wouldn’t be able to take any of them (can’t afford it), but I still would like to try for it.

7. I think that’s about it for now. Funny, I thought I had so much to write, but it turns out that I didn’t have that much to say. Most of my stuff now is pretty personal, and that isn’t something that I’d care to plaster all over the internet. (Hint, it involves my life as an adult, and all those adult things.) I will try to keep you all better posted though. .

This Day

I have other things that I should be doing right now, I just feel the need to say that, but I’m not doing them, so ha! Fuck you school! (Just kidding Kent, I love you so much. Don’t fail me and try not to snow to much. I promise I’ll go for more walks soon.) I’d made the plans to write this earlier, but then I had a few professors dare to assign me homework (what do they think I am, some kind of a student! Let them to their own math.) But I’m doing this anyway, just another update with a minimal amount of knitting.

What have I been up to? Well, a lot. The most recent would have to be Bronchitis! Yep, over the weekend I started developing this awful, wet, wheezing, hacking cough. I originally thought that it was just a cold — a combination of the wet and the freezing cold temperatures manifesting themselves into my lungs. But thankfully at the urging of a friend I went to the health center. I was a little worried too, and was hoping it wasn’t more serious, like pneumonia or something. (I had pneumonia once in the fourth grade and I hope to never have it again.) Well, it wasn’t as bad as that — but it still was pretty bad. Yesterday evening I just laid down on my bed and coughed away like a character out of a Charles Dickens novel. I’ve got my anti-botics and I feel a little bit better today, so here’s hoping that tomorrow will be even better. (Also, can I get a cheer for those Z-pack things. I swear, six pills and zap zap, no Bronchitis. I will never stop marveling at the wonders of modern medicine.)

I would also just like to say that I’m proud of myself for not waiting till I couldn’t breath to go running to the doctor. I got in early and kept this from being much more than a mild problem. (Like I didn’t even miss a class though I was sort of “absent” from History and dance class was problematic.)

Other than that things have been moving along. Classes are hard — which I expected, but that still doesn’t mean that they are any less hard. At least I’m done every day but four o’clock. But still, a lot of work is going into this semester and I feel nearly certain that I won’t be able to achieve the same GPA of last semester. (I had a 4.0 till finals week. Freaking Finals week.)

I’ve been knitting a little bit, though not as much as I would like. I even pulled out the Fair Isle last night, though only long enough to work on it for a row or two. I’ve been knitting away on the Stonington Shetland Shawl in between classes and in the evenings. I’ve got about one and a half of the trapezoids left to knit, then a border and blocking, and then I’m done with it. When that will be — no one knows. (I’ve discovered that the knitting of a border takes nearly as long as the knitting of the shawl itself, or at least it feels that way.) But I’m excited to have it done with — not that it hasn’t been fun to knit — all that garter stitch is getting a bit tedious to knit — but because it is freaking cold here and I’m liking the idea of having a new scarf to wear under a coat. (The Pi shawl was taken out of this coveted spot due to the fact that I kept tearing it, and then having to fix it.)

And I had a few minutes today when I was idling around my room. I pulled out the list of what was to be knit and lo and behold I discovered that I’ve got 7 things left to knit. 7. Only seven left and I’m nearly done with one of them already, and one of them is halfway done. So that’s close. I mean really close. I mean, I could finish this off in a few months if I wasn’t in school. I still have to knit an Aran, and finish the Fair Isle sweater, as well as knit another lace shawl, but I think that it is pretty manageable list. And considering what I started with (31) I feel like this is good progress. It’ll be two years this June since I started, and in this time I’ve knit 24 things, mostly sweaters and shawls, but a few other things like hats and baby blankets.

This isn’t exactly a landmark, so I won’t be maudlin or introspective for any longer. I’m saving that for the end, when I finish this Zimmermann Project off once and for all. You’ve been warned about that upcoming (long time coming) post.