Inner Directed Shawl

The snow earlier this week was bad, but not as bad as I thought it would be. It’s all white out now, but it is pretty I guess. It’s cold, a pain in the ass, gets the floor all wet, makes it impossible to go out to the mail box or the porch on a whim, but it is pretty. Well, so is the sight of green grass. We won’t be having that for a while though, so like the majority of Knit bloggers I am determined to make the best of it. How so you ask? With things like knitting, tea, Netflix, you know those things, the trifecta of human existence, at least if you’re a knitter.

What am I knitting these days? Well, I should be finishing my Christmas knitting. But I won’t see the person for a while, and I have no intention of sending a package. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know. Anyway, I am not working on that. What I’m doing instead is knitting a sleeve. (One down, part of one to go.) The sleeve is for the Hybrid sweater, one of those sweaters where you knit everything up to the underarm, and then knit some kind of a yoke shaping. It’s going faster than the body, for two reasons. One, it’s got like twenty-five percent of the stitches. (Duh) Two, I am actually working on it. The body was sort of my get-up-and-go project. It was the project I shoved into my backpack when I went places, just in case I could find knitting time. I worked on it at the bookshop, at the coffeehouse while reading, at my desk while reading. Stockingette in the round is wonderful for knitting while you’re doing other things, and that’s how the body made progress.

Here’s the way I spend a lot of my time.

.Image

(That took a while.)

This is the Inner Directed Shawl from Knitting Workshop. It’s similar to the Spoke shawl, and is blocked into a circle as opposed to the Heptagon (I think) that it’s finished as.(The polygon with seven sides.) It is increased one stitch every other row, and the increases spiral to the left.

The stats for this thing.

Diameter = 36 inches or 3 feet

Circumference (measurement around perimeter) = 113 inches or about 9 feet.

Area = about 1017 inches or 84 square feet.

Yarn = The first green is a mohair, ball band less, a gift from Cindy. The Blue, same thing as green, only you know, blue. The green is a personally handspun yarn. (Not very well either, I can say.)

By my estimation is that I’m about one third of the way done. This is going to be a big shawl. It might not be that big, but I will go as large as I can, using the leftover blue Shetland from the Fishtrap Aran. I love this thing, and the fact that I pulled out that high school education to figure out its circumference and area should be evidence of that. This will probably be more of  lap robe, hanging off the back of my desk and keeping my lap warm when needed. The lace pattern is made using erratic yarn overs and compensating decreases. It is tons of fun.

Really, I think I’m a little too amused by this.

But I don’t care.

I’m going to go knit now, have a good weekend!

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The morning after

Did you all have a nice Christmas? I did, at least for the most part. These things, no matter how well I think they’ll be, are never quite what I thought they’d be. (I’m not talking in materialistic terms here, just over all feeling and happiness.) This is true for all things, birthdays, New Years day, Valentines day, that sort of thing. There is always something that I feel is missing, and I never know what it is. But it was still a good day, a very good day.

Well, I got a new computer. A fancy-shmancy one too — the kind that I would never buy myself, despite how highly I think of me. I still haven’t quite got all the bugs worked out, let alone load up all my old files and favorites. (I haven’t even loaded my ’97 version of Microsoft office onto this space age thing. I don’t know if they’ll work together, despite both being Microsoft.) So I might not be much in blog world for a while, till I get everything straighted around on this computer.

But I must say that I type a lot faster on this thing. I think I’m in the neighborhood of 60 words a minute. And I can actually get on Facebook. (Garret Waugh, Friend me!) And I can comment on WordPress blogs again, and I can check my e-mail in less than ten minutes. (Ye olde computer didn’t like getting on the internet. I did.) And it makes me feel fancy, which is all I really care about. So everybody give a big shout out to my dad for working out this whole deal.

(It’s funny though, I know have three computers on my desk, this one, my old one, and this HP a friend was giving me, but the 2 didn’t work and then Windows crashed. I still haven’t given it back.)

The oven broke down, last Saturday right after I posted here. Or at least that’s when I discovered it. I was tempted to put something on here to inspire pity, but I didn’t want to. It didn’t seem classy, which is what I aspire to above all other things. Ask me how I found this out. (A whole batch of cookies, all on the sheets, rolled in egg white and nuts, thumbprint made, ready to bake. They are now in the freezer, and I probably won’t really be able to bake them till President’s day or something.) So there were no more cookies, we’d already done a few, no pies, and for Christmas dinner, we ordered a pizza. It was delicious.

I knit a sleeve, or most of one, over the past few days. I actually got to watch two musicals, in two days. This is rare. (I owned one, and the other was on Netflix, as are many others, but it still means more when you catch them on the TV. You know what I mean?)

I also knit more on the Inner Directed Shawl. This thing needs, among other things, a new name. It’s fun though, and if I could figure out how to do so, I’d put in a picture of it. We’ll try tomorrow, because there are only so many thing that I can learn in one day. The points on it spiral to the left, don’t ask me why I chose the left, it’s lucky I guess, and the lace pattern is made using erratic yarn overs, always followed by a compensating decrease. It’s sort of fun to say, “This spot is a little solid . . . not any more.” It’s fun to chose between making this spot a solid one, or a holey one, or something in between. It’s very liberating, and can free your inner knitter, if you want that too happen.

It’s snowing now. I think the local area is under a blizzard watch today, but I could be wrong. The driveway, road and yard are all a mass of white. It isn’t showing any signs of stopping. (But I’ve got some corn for popping. I had to say it.) With every flake I can feel my anxiety start to rise. There is nothing worse than having that “I must get out” feeling during a snowstorm. I desperately wanted to go running this morning, not having done so since before I got the flu. The initial recovery was over long ago, but I’ve still had a runny nose and sore throat, as well as being pretty tired, for a while now. I’m not sick, I’m not even under the weather. Just a little off. Take a pill, I feel fine all day.

So that’s where I am. I’m a little upset, my new computer doesn’t count the words in these blog posts, so I’ve got no way of knowing how long they are. I hope that this is of sufficient length.

We Thought you were a Murder

I would just like to point out to you that the world didn’t end yesterday, but you probably already know about this. It proved to be a pretty good day, but any day where the world doesn’t end is simply a good day. I feel good though, having lived through the potential end of the world. (And the real potential end of the world, not some fake religious rapture.) So, take a moment, and be glad that we didn’t die. (We also were missed by a pretty big metor a few days before.)

Something else funny happened yesterday too. I work at a consignment clothing store, a local, independent store. And for the past few weeks this younger Italian man has been coming at least once a week, always bringing  two or three bags of very nice, near new women’s clothing. Some of it still had the tags. There were all sorts of jewelery, belts and shoes and purses. Of course we all started to speculate where it came from. We said it was probably that his girlfriend had run off with some other guy and he was pissed.

But we also started joking about how he’d murdered her and dumped her in a ditch somewhere. We were all prepared to give a police description and testify in court. My friend and I were waiting for weeks to hear the news that a body had been found. We kept talking about this for a while, and yesterday, I said that if he came, I would ask him where the clothes came from. Nobody thought that I would either.

We closed at two yesterday, and around one thirty we were starting to think that he wasn’t going to show up. We actually were telling someone else about him, all of our speculations and to be wary if you see a man of this description. We finish talking about him, and I turn around and guess who just then opens the door.

That man.

He was just going to drop the bag inside the door, as people do, and then leave. I go flying across the room as he’s leaving.  I’m already riding off of the adrenalin. I said something like, ” Excuse me sir, I have a question for you, and please feel free to tell me to mind my own business. You always bring such nice, near new clothing, and so much of it too, that we can’t help but wonder where it comes from. Could you clear this up for us?”

“Oh,” he says, “My girlfriend and I are moving to California, well, tomorrow. She’s been cleaning out her stuff because we’re going by car, visiting her family in Nevada and then going on to LA.”
 

I was so relived. I replied, “Oh, good. We were all so curious and were think about all sorts of reasons you could be getting rid of it. We thought you were a murderer or something. ”

When I said that someone just swooped in over my shoulder and said, “We didn’t think that you were a murder.” And then did all sorts of apologizing things that I didn’t listen too. You could tell that the man just wanted to get away from those crazy people by this time.

I laughed for the next five minutes. I’m still chuckling while thinking about it.

I started the sleeves for the Hybrid today. The first one here is about three inches long. I’ve finished a pair of slippers, all that remains to do is one pair of mittens. (Those may not get done, but who cares?)

 I may not post again before Christmas, (Because how could I trump this.) so either way, Happy Holidays.

Pretty sounding Spam, and hopefully pretty knitting.

I had some very nice spam, as far as spam goes, left on my blog today, and I though I’d share it with you.

Me and my friend Dan are going to get some beers and then we’re going to go down to the park and drink them there. We’ll bask out in the sun, bring a guitar and play some songs, call up our friends and invite them out to share what might be the last weekend of the summer, because September’s getting colder as it goes. And we haven’t done enough of this simple kind of stuff this year. It’s clear we’re getting older and it shows. Work weeks make us weary now and school’s a distant memory and it’s easy to ask questions of ourselves, like: where it is we’re going now and what we have to show for all the sunny days shut up in the shells of expectations of our ultimate directions, and the stations that we should have reached by now, when we haven’t read the script and our tender wings are clipped, and we’re scared we might be letting someone down. So we listen to these heartbreak songs when nothing’s really wrong, and we smile when we’re asked and say we’re fine. But now it’s time to decide, now it’s time to draw a line in the sand and ask what’s more important than days like today? So grab some beers, call your friends and meet us here, in the summer park with me and my friend Dan.

Cool, Huh? Poetical spam.

(I’m over looking that December and September aren’t really the same thing, and there’s over sixty days between them.)

Moving on. I should copy and paste more spam, might as well make those things write my blog for me. Insta-post!

Good news! We all need good news in these trying times. (I am avoiding talking about the School shootings because it is making me sick. It’s even worse than Chardon, despite the fact that Chardon’s practically in my back yarn compared to Connecticut.)

I’ve finished the body on my version of Elizabeth’s Hybrid sweater. (In my head I call her Elizabeth — we’re very close.) This has taken me quite a while, what with Christmas taking over my life and this six stitches to the inch nonsense. But it shows that even slow progress is still progress. Sleeves to commence, no fair betting on how long that will take. Then it’s up the yoke, as these things go, then puzzling though a new, to me, shaping. I don’t foresee any trouble on this one — I have a pretty good idea of what she’s saying, because it’s like the raglan, (which I’ve done) combined with the saddle shoulder, (which I’ve also done).

It’s funny, six months ago, the shaping for the Hybrid sweater was utter gibberish, and now it sort of makes sense. I guess I’m learning. What I’m learning might be largely useless, but I’m still satisfied with it. (A good use in and of itself.)

There are five days to Christmas. I’ve still got all my wrapping to do, two gifts to knit, cookies to bake, but not anything else. I think it’s do able.

Oh boy, was this a . . . weekend. There really are no words. Lets just say that I hope not to repeat it for quite a while. I’m still not quite out of the woods yet, but I’m getting there — this is the first day since Thursday that I’ve sat at my desk and yesterday I actually took a shower. (I don’t know how I did yesterday. I would sit up and read for ten minutes then it would exhaust me so much that I’d have to lie down for a half hour. Then at four I took a shower, got dressed, and went and prepared fake tax returns.) (I did four returns, two of which were pretty complex, one with Schedule C/ Depreciation and one with various retirement income. I did those four in three hours too.)

But thanks for all your well wishes. I’m certain I’m going to live today, and I’m okay with that too.

I knit a hat.

 

It was hard to get a half decent picture of this thing -- which is what I'm pretending this is.

It was hard to get a half decent picture of this thing — which is what I’m pretending this is.

Pretty dull as far as hats go. It was knit using my plain jane hat recipe, with some stashed (I think) wool. I knit most of this on Friday, because it was simple to knit —  it didn’t rock the boat that much.

I started the inner directed shawl on Saturday. Despite the strain that wanting to die was putting on my knitting, I still was able to make some decent progress on it. Its diameter measures 18 inches, though growth will be pretty slow yet.

Left to do for Christmas:

Slippers,

a pair of mitts.

That’s all at least as far as the knitting is concerned. I still have to do all the wrapping, a lot of the decorating, a lot of the baking. So there’s still a lot left to do yet. I need a nap just thinking about it.

Dispatches from the fog

I went running last Monday. That was the day that it snowed, and I had readers say how hearty I was for running in the snow. In my defense, it wasn’t snowing when I left. Well, now I’m paying the price for it.

Well, not really. I probably would have gotten sick with or without running in that. (The “Cold causes a cold” thing is an Old Wives Tale.) But it certainly didn’t help, and that breathing in and out of the cold air really didn’t help.

I’m not entirely sure what I have. I have a headache, dizzy spells, sore throat, stuffy nose, somewhat of a cough, I’m ache-y and exhausted. I may be getting chills, but this is Ohio so one can’t be sure if it’s a symptom, or weather front. My father said it was probably the flu, my mother agreed.

Great.

Thankfully I made a huge pot of spicy vegetable soup last night, so that should help. I’d d0 something to ensure that it said mine, like sneeze in it or something, but I’d have to wait until everyone is gathered around in the kitchen because I honestly don’t think that I have enough energy to do it more than once.

So, it’ll be tons of liquids and soups, and TV for me. That’s one of the few good things about being sick, it gives you an excuse to quite duking it out with out with the world, and give into my natural inclination to sit and knit.

Of course, I’m still not sure that I have the energy to knit. (This is pretty bad.) Writing this post is taking it out of me, and I don’t know what I’m going to do about working tonight. The stairs seem like a big deal. I have to sit down on my way to the kitchen.

Maybe I’m being punished for saying bad things about people behind their back. Who knows?

Of course this had to come now — it couldn’t wait a few weeks. I still have to finish the knitting, the buying, the wrapping, the backing, the decorating, and all I want to do is climb into bed. But I’ll soldier on, somehow. This will provide me with quite a few moments of self-less martyrdom.

I had something else that I want to say, but I don’t remember what it was.

Left to do for Christmas: (at least as far as knitting is concerned.)

A hat. (Easy peasy.)

Something for my Grandfather (I’m thinking slippers. Any better ideas though?)

And some mits, lace, finely knit, and beautiful. I’m saving these for last, as a treat for doing the rest. They’re Cashmere though, and that should help with the recovery.

By the way I’ve felt like this for a few days, but today is the first day that I declared myself to be really sick. I feel worse since doing that. Anybody have any thing to help with this — you know, like some ancient tea recipe that was passed down to you since your relatives came over from Norway, and you now feel the need to share it on the internet.

It Snowed — Not that I’m Thrilled

Today is a Tuesday, and this morning, while I was out running I noticed that it was snowing. It was hard to miss because it was coming down pretty good, and I wasn’t dressed really warmly. It would snow for a minute, completely let up, and then start again. It repeated the cycle several times before I got back to my warm house.  A nice shower and James Taylor thawed me out pretty well.

Christmas party went well last night. The food was wonderful. We have a lot of ESL clients who bring ethnic food, so the variety was wonderful; I do love to try new things. (I call myself a foodie, but I don’t practice it often.) There was a small ceremony honoring me and several others for our achievement on Big Test Number One — they didn’t call it that. I had to give a very small, but still impromptu, speech, and had I not been so moved by some of the nice words said about me than I could have been more eloquent. (Like my tutor and good friend said, ” I could say many things about Garret, not all of them appropriate for a family setting.”)

I think someone else is doing the dishes now. I must keep it down, I don’t want to startle them away.

I knit a hat last week.

A hat.

A hat.

It was a Goodwill find — worsted, and held double, knit into a watchcap in Brioche, or Prime Rib, Stitch. It’s destined for my friend Tom, as a surprise Christmas present. Last week, shortly after I finished the hat I saw him put on a machine made cap. We can’t have that. So, next Saturday, if all goes according to plan, I’ll give this to him.

This photo also serves a double purpose that I didn’t intend to give it. On the left side you can see my overflowing closet. (What, I’ve worked in a consignment clothing store for several years.) On the right you can see the first sweater I ever knit, closest to the hat, that one’s closest to the hat. Then you can see the tangle of circular needles that I have, and on the other side, I think the third sweater I knit. (Neither of them are wearable, but I keep them for posterity.) Underneath that you can vaguely see the Tams, and that white flash is my cat.