Breaking the Code and brief knitting

Just a few minutes ago, I violated the receptionists code. To those of you who haven’t answered phones for a living, there is an unwritten code within all receptionists that you will be as calm and polite as possible when dealing with people on the phone. I truly believe that everybody should have to work the phones at some point in their life, because they then learn that the person at the other end of the line is a real person with real feelings and that they don’t have this magic wand that they wave to make everything better. Often times they are drones who are paid minimum wage and often don’t receive the information that they need to properly do their job, especially if they work at a Tax preparation firm. Anyway, I’ve been working on work-study for a while now, just to fill in the 18,000 dollar gap that I’ll need to fill this fall. And I’ve been getting pulled around for a while by the FA office. Today, after twenty minutes on hold (relax, I knit) I finally talked to a person, and one who knew what she was doing. I told her what I was looking for, and then she proceeded to give the e-mail address of the work-study guy. Then something snapped. I said something mean, something about wanting a phone number, something that may, MAY have involved some four letter words. Anyway, all I got was the e-mail address. (And I’d like to apologize to the poor student worker. It was not her fault.)

The main reason I wanted the phone number is because I really need that money (I don’t know why, but money I have to work for, instead of borrow, seems more like free money — don’t ask me why) and it is much easier to ignore and email then a phone call. And, having been a receptionist, and a Waugh to boot, I am wonderful on the phones — provided that I’m making the outbound call.

Anyway.  Last night I folded the TSLS on its center square to see how close it is to being square. Pretty close. At least I think, if you can fold a square on the diagonal then it’s a perfect triangle, (and I think I’m college material) right? I think so. However, I was going my the Zimmermann thing where, in garter stitch the same number of stitches is equal to the same number of ridges. Going by that definition, I still have a lot to go. But a square is a square, right? That’s what I think, probably just because it means less knitting. Judges, can I get a ruling on this one? The thing is already big enough, and I certainly am ready to see the tail end of this one.

However, for all of its bigness, it still is very light, and very warm. This thing would be perfect for reading on the porch in the fall. However, this fall I won’t have a porch. Ah well, it will still be warm and beautiful. I’ve started the edging for the other edge, just three to go. Maybe I’ll see this one done before my birthday.

There’s some wishful thinking if I ever saw it. My birthday is in 11 days, so unless I suddenly grow two more hands, that isn’t going to happen, unless it’s my birthday next year.

Some knitting and a Spring Afternoon in the sun

I’ve spent the morning and most of the afternoon at the yard sales in a nearby village, in sort of Amish Country, but not really. I didn’t buy a lot — I usually don’t buy anything at these sorts of things — what with me working in a consignment store, and also being a pretty picky person. But I love, love to look at other people’s things, and to see what the dollar value that they put on them are –either way to much or never enough. I know, it’s such a cheap thing, to want to see the prices, but I can’t help myself, I just love it.

Oh, but it was the perfect day. The sun was shining, it was warm but not hot, there was a breeze and it seemed like all the flowers were in bloom. I ended up going with my mother, my aunt, my cousin, and the baby and we had such a great time. Christi bought Oliver a pinwheel that moved when you pushed the stroller, which he loved. We lost my mother there for a while, just temporarily, she had to pee and couldn’t find her way back to the rest of us. But we did find her and I went running when I finally found her. She’s alive! And I can stop looking for her.

We bought that Fair Lemonade, the kind where they squeeze the lemons and shake it in front of you. I love that stuff. I ate a smoked chicken that the fire department was selling (and I just realized the cuteness of that, smoked chicken, fire department, get it?) It wouldn’t yield to the pithy plastic knife and fork that they gave me, so I pulled it apart with my fingers and ate it like that — much to my chagrin. Oh, but it was so delicious. My mother bought those French Waffles, the fried dough that’s mostly air and powered sugar. They were so goooood, but messy. My cousin had never had one, so my mother handed her one, and as she went in to bite it, Snap! The thing broke into about a hundred pieces and she had powdered sugar all over her. I laughed so hard, I couldn’t stop. She was covered — I didn’t know that there was that much powered sugar in one of those things — and the funniest part was when my mother promptly did the same thing. Mine was fine.

. . . .

I’ve recently started looking around at all the stuff I have on the needles and it has occurred to me, for the first time in a while, that I’ve got to many things on the needles. They all seem to be jockeying for my attention and I really don’t have a lot of attention to give to any of them. Let’s do a little list of what’s going on. (And  I need to take a few pictures)

1. The Traditional Shetland Lace Shawl or TSLS — This thing has been on the needles for months. I can’t remember what the actual date was, but I remember I was working tons, so that was probably early February. Yup, so this thing has been on the needles for almost three months. (Which is funny because I started the original one at the end of May — certainly giving this pattern the longest taking one.) This picture doesn’t really convey how very large it is. It is fucking huge. (And my grandmother reads this, but I truly believe that my use of profanity is perfectly justified considering how HUGE this thing is.) Let me give you a little perspective, I am a little over six feet tall, and this thing comes up to my nipples. (I couldn’t think up a better word. What, my man breasts?) And I’m not done either. I pretty much plan to keep knitting until I run out of white — the math won’t quite add up, but I can fudge the numbers and it’s not that bad if a shawl’s edge has a bit of a ruffle. And there will be another appx. one foot brown stripe at the other end, so this thing will probably will be taller than I am. That thing is big. Just plain big.

2. The Epaulet Sweater, the one that was originally designed for EZ’s grandson Cully. I started this about two weeks ago, really just in the heat of the moment — I am not sure why I started it to be perfectly honest. I guess I just wanted to start something new — I’m sure you understand that. It’s knit out of a recycled wool that I pulled out of a sweater last spring and have been waiting for something just right to use it for. I think that I’ve found it. I’m pretty happy with the way that it is shaping up. For the most part the daunting shaping is pretty straightforward, just one little point where Elizabeth tells you to measure from a certain point and the way she words it, you have no idea what the hell she’s talking about — but that isn’t that unusual for Elizabeth. I’ve finished the increasing for the shoulders (it’s top down) and am now slugging through the miles and miles of garter stitch that make up the body. I love me some garter stitch though. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

3. A pair of socks that I’ve been kicking around (no pun intended) for a little while.  The yarn is Sockima Colori that I picked up at Wooster 2 (?) years ago. I love this color way, it being one of those cool self striping ones. The pattern is the one that I was born with in my head. (I’ve actually refined it over the past few years.) I need to get a move on with these — sock weather is almost over, that, and I want to get started on my Christmas Socks. The yarn is a joy to knit with as always, and the colors are some of my favorite. (No grey though.) I’m about four rows off with my stripes, so these won’t be either identical, nor fraternal.

That brings me to another sidebar that I meant to mention. There is this woman who occasionally comes to knitting, and she insists, insists that if your stripes are not matching that you have knit them wrong, they will never be wearable, and that you should rip them out this second and fix them, least their non-matching burn your corneas. I gave her That look. (I’m sure you know that look.)

It doesn’t seem like much, but when I thought that I still had my Icelandic/ Raglan Sweater on the needles, and on Thursday I was wheedled into knitting a sweater for Sadie, a Rorschach sweater, (or a Gonorrhea sweater if you will). She wants it to be in Reggae colors, so she can “Smoke pot in it when I go to California.” Those were her exact words, I kid you not. I swear I just meet these people — I don’t know why. She’s a nice girl and I like her, as a friend, and I do have issues with saying no, you all know this. (I hope it will make me very popular in college, okay?)

Pocket? I forgot? No problem.

Hello everybody, and how is your day going? Mine has been pretty good and hopefully will continue to be so. I’ve got a kitchen to clean, a dinner to cook, a book shop to run, a reception to attend and a blog post to write. (I’m doing the favorite first.)

I did my entrance loan counseling yesterday, all stuff that I knew, mostly because I am navigating all these college loop holes by myself as a first-generation with no high school guidance counselor. I have to tell you that it was a very upsetting experience. They have you put in your college’s estimated expense and then all the aid that you’ve gathered, and then, if there is a difference between the two they tell you, in red and all capitol letters “YOU DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY!!!!”

You think I don’t know that! I did have enough intelligence to get into college! I would notice a difference of about 18,000 dollars in the two columns. What did you think, that I was going to pull that money out of my asshole!

It probably is good for my reputation that I was home alone when I shouted all that at the computer. It is also probably best that the feds don’t know that either, I am asking them for a lot more money. (They aren’t giving any. Come on, wouldn’t it be fun to make Mitt Romney to pay for my education? I bet he carries the money I need around in his back pocket.) (And yes, I’m still riding that election high.) (And I don’t plan to come down.)

I’m listening to A Prairie Home Companion from a few weeks ago as I write this. There was this song on there, sung by the DiGallanardo Sisters that I’ve been walking around and humming for the past week. Please don’t tell me what it means for my mental state that I’m listening to a two hour radio show, just so I can hear a two minute song. I don’t like what that says about me.

Anyway, I’ve been knitting a little, not as much as I would like, but still some. Last night I snipped and unraveled in either direction for a  pocket. I didn’t even put the stitches on the needles as I went — I just let them flap around in the breeze till I was done. I only dropped one of them too! I’ve knitted  all of the actual pocket, but I still have to do something to neaten to right side — weave in the ends, neaten the corners and knit about twenty rows of applied I-cord — so the edges won’t curl.

While unraveling . . .

While unraveling . . .

The finished pocket

The finished pocket

See there! This is one of my favorite techniques and I really want to put pockets on every sweater I’ve ever made and the family cat while I’m at it. that boldness on snipping half a stitch and letting the ends flap in either direction as you un-pick stitches.

Of course, I haven’t neatened the edges yet, you can see my finger there.

I hope to get to this soon, but I don’t foresee having a chance in the next few days. The reception tonight (not orientation, but a presentation for new students) working today and tomorrow, and the day after, not a lot, but enough to through me up. And it doesn’t help that this is the most un-portable knitting that there is. I can’t very well take it with me to knitting — though I’d love to see the look of horror on their faces as I reach down and snip a stitch — I’m sadistic like that.

Getting Icelandic

It turns out that the little warm spell that we had last Thursday was just a fluke and it really is still winter. Don’t get me started on that one. Last Thursday was a wonderful day though. It was nearly eighty degrees. I wore shorts and sandals and linen, and thought about carrying my water bottle, instead of putting it in my backpack. Tom told me at the coffeehouse that it was to hot to knit. (Tom wouldn’t know — he doesn’t knit.) We had the air conditioning on at the store.

Then things took a turn for the worst and Saturday I woke up to snow on my neighbor’s roof. If that doesn’t take the will to go on right out of a person than I don’t know what could. It was cold once again, though I was able to read outside for a little bit in the afternoon sunshine, freezing my ass off the whole time though — and wearing a thick sweater and a shawl. The sun felt good though, and I was perfectly fine with being cold — living here in the north, one gets used to it. (One of the problems with in-state/out-of-state tuition, they are trying, I swear that it is a conspiracy to keep people from cold places in those places. Ask any college bound student where they would rather go to school, Ohio, or say California. What would you say?) (As an aside, I would just like to point out that my dream school was in the Rocky Mountains — even colder, I am a living paradox.)

But, things are shaking around these here parts. Last night as I came home from the coffee-house, I noticed that the cherry trees are in bloom. Oh, that is the prettiest thing that I’ve seen in a long time — a tree, all white and in bloom in the moonlight. I’ll take a picture next week if I think to.

I went running this morning, and I think, that as a direct result of breathing in all that cold air — I have developed a hacking bronchial cough like some Dickensian street urchin. I haven’t exactly been breathing the best this past week but today, just sitting at my desk I feel like I can’t catch my breath. Anyway, I’ll feel better in a little bit. Just needed to complain a little bit.

Okay, now that I’ve through the “Shouts and Murmers” section of this blog post it’s time to move on to the knitting, let’s see where we are at.

Yesterday I did my sewing and cutting for my steeks on my Icelandic yoke/Raglan sweater — which is a sweater that I knit so fast that it just sort of appeared. Especially because it came in the “dark” time here at the blog. It really is probably the least documented sweater that I’ve knit since I started the blog. All I’ve got left to do on it is the putting on of the buttons, and the putting in of the pockets, oh, and block it.

Let’s look at the general feeling for this sweater at this point. I can tell that is will not be one of my favorite sweaters. You just know. It’s a little big on me, and well, I just don’t care for it. However, the feeling may change, because it will surely look different when I put the buttons on it, and when I put the pockets on it, I will certainly like it more — every time that I look down I’ll feel super clever, which, believe me, I need.

I just can tell that it won’t be one of those sweaters that I put on when I feel that my T-shirt isn’t warm enough. The sweater that you put on when you get cold in the afternoon — one that always looks good on you, fits you like a dream, the color compliments you, and better yet, you had fun knitting. (For me this sweater is the Fishtrap Aran, which shall be my shroud someday, I swear it will be.) This Icelandic/Raglan sweater will be the one that I have to think to wear — not one that I wear like it’s my uniform.

Here are a few steeking photos, what the hell, it is the weekend.

The Kangaroo Pouch -- I think that this is pre-cutting

The Kangaroo Pouch — I think that this is post-cutting

Cutting the Kangaroo Pouch

Cutting the Kangaroo Pouch

Cutting the front steek

Cutting the front steek

Oh, by the way, I took an online quiz called “What Downton Abbey Character Are You?” And I found out I was John Bates. Huh, kind of fitting, I still walk with a limp some days. And I am a very secretive person.

Thursday

Thanks to a reader gift, who shall remain without a name, I know am able to type an s, a q and an x, but dudes, I really only cared about the s. The other letters are perfectly lovely letters, but they really don’t see the action that the s sees. ( I will admit that there was a brief time where I had a few thoughts of writing this blog like I had a lisp, but I could easily see how that could grow tiresome — because working without an s wasn’t?) Anyway, I now have something to use. I probably pick up another one as funds allow, because this one tends to stick, and I often end up typing 700 f’s in a row. Not that I’m complaining, you’d never catch me doing something like that, I’m just stating what I obvious.

Anyway, because I’ve got so much blab that’s never been blabbed, you get the blog in random form.

1. Due to the recent technology woes, I’ve recently started thinking about the role that the blog plays in my day to day life. I started it a few years ago, simply because I was lonely, and wanted a way to connect with the world. Being a writer is a curious life, and you often feel like you’ve been locked away in an ivory tower — due to things like e-mail, and digital submissions. I guess that it sort of became a way for me to talk to people when there was no body else around.

But now things are different. I mean, just a month or so ago, I was working three job (Tax place, bookstore, clothing store, all part time) in addition to writing (or attempting) to write 1000+ words a day, keep the house clean to a passible degree, have a less than desirable home life, and write the blog, and knit. Not to mention I still had friends that I wanted to see, people I wanted to date, and books I wanted to read. (I must admit, if it hadn’t been for the blog and my friends I never would have gotten through that . . . stressful period. I could have dealt with busy work okay if it hadn’t been compounded by living with my sister and her mate. And I’d like to give a huge shout out to Tom, who really was my saving grace. I laughed so hard one night when I went to the coffeehouse after work in my full “office casual” uniform, and he said, horrified, “You look like some kind of a  . . . BANKER or something.” I still chuckle. )

2. While I’m talking about work, I have to say that as of Monday I am OFFICIALLY unemployed. And people, it feel great! I never thought I would be so happy to be out of work. No more making coffee, no more angry people on the phone. (Nobody ever called to see how I was doing. It was nine times out of ten, “Where’s my money?” or “Get rid of those stupid liberty dancers.”) And I’d just like to say that ANYTHING with the statue of liberty on it is enough to send me into an involuntary spasm.

3. You don’t really get  how thrilled I am with being out of work. It is almost noon today, and I am not wearing pants!!!!! (Granted I’ve got to work at the clothing store tonight, so I will have to make myself somewhat presentable. But who cares?)

4. Okay, let’s take a minute to talk TV. Downton Abbey. I am obsessed with this. Obsessed I tell you. I’m sitting at my desk writing this, but my heart isn’t in it. It couldn’t be. All that I really want to do is go downstairs, make some tea and pop in a video. I’ve only got about seven or so left till I’m all caught up and then will have to wait till fall like everybody else. Oh, this was positively met in the stars that season two came the same fateful day that I spilt water on my keyboard. Through a variety or sources I’ve been able to borrow the DVD’s and am utterly hooked, so much so that my thoughts are being narrated by an English accent. I am not kidding.

5. Over the past few days I’ve been stepping out on the current sweater, and the current shawl (and sock). With what you ask? Well, with what else than another new sweater? Look, Winter is pretty much over  s0 I don’t really see much point in warm sweaters, but dorm rooms and noteworthy for being drafty, and Kent is a lot close to the snow belt than I am used to so they will see some use sooner or later. Anyway, the little hussy that I worked on all last night at knitting, (what can I say it’s still quite portable at this point) is none other than the long dreaded Epaulet sweater. This sweater is knit from the top down, with shaping pretty much the same as a saddle shoulder. That isn’t that bad, but it seems much more ominous, at least to me, than it does from the bottom up. I got through the really hard part last night and it didn’t really seem at all bad as I thought that it would be. But that is the way that all of EZ’s patterns seem to me. When you just read over them, they look like they are the most complicated thing that you will ever do, till you’ve got the stitches on the needle, and then it really isn’t that hard at all.

I even messed up and it all came out okay. That old damn left and right thing got to me. (I still have to make the L with my fingers to tell the difference. But it was all alright. If you wish to know what I’m talking about, I knit three, before four, then knit four where three should have been. It worked out, and I am ready to start increasing for the arms and sailing through the yoke. Not to mention I love me some garter stitch.

And that’s all till, well, tomorrow. Have a very good Thursday.

(Did you notice all the s es?!)

Without Certain Letter

Here I am writing on the home computer, I would tell you what I cannot type, but I can’t type them, ergo I can’t tell you them. There could be a chance that my writing here will be a odd piece of literature indeed. (I never thought how much I needed that letter.)

I went into the library to write an entry here in the morning today. (Forgive my grammar, you try and be proper without that letter between a and d.) I get up, drink my morning coffee, run into town (And yeah, I did plan to write an entry in public, all yucky from running.) I get into the library, and realized that then, I had forgotten my library card at home.

I would tell you what word I ejaculated then and there, but I need a certain letter to do it.

I will tell you that I find I get  a lot more done when I am unable to type, write the blog, and you know, work. My home . . .  be cleaner, I knit more, I cook more,  you get the picture.

And let me tell you, I am REALLY ready to have that letter back. However, I don’t think that it’ll be back any time in the near future. In reply to that, I’ll buy a new damn keyboard when I get the chance to do that. My computer . . . be pretty new, meaning, that I don’t have that little round hole that the majority of keyboard need. I need one of the newer keyboard (meant to be plural) that have U*B not the little round hole.

Anyway here  . . . be the new Icelandic  . . . Cardigan. (It  . . . be a pullover now, but I plan to hack it up with . . . cutting implement (plural).)

O Boy!

Here I am typing at the library. To make a long story short, I am having some computer issues at home. My beloved Toshiba isn’t well. And it’s all my fault. I split just a little tea on the keyboard, just a wee little bit, and well, it didn’t like that. AT ALL. I wiped it off as quick as I could, but to no avial. Before you could say “NOOOOOOOOO” the keyboard was in an awful mess. I coudn’t type a D without getting an S, but s by itself still won’t work. An A would work, but only in capitol, because itwould hit the caps look key too. E would type with a 2, as would W. Backspace would take out the last letter, but it would replace it with a W, and X would only type a C with an X, but not on it’s own. Q wouldn’t work at all, and the cursor would only work for a few minutes before freezing up. That’s pretty much the gist.

Anyway, my father suggested a remedy that did soon work. Open up the computer, put a pillowcase over the whole thing, and then pour cat litter overtop of the keyboard and mousepad. Well, that sounded like a good idea to me, so I did just that. And it has worked well . . .  so far. The only probles are no Q, and no S. Oh, and the cursor.

So I ran up to the library today to check email and whatnot. Boy, that stuff sre can pile up. I’ve only got a few minutes left so I’ll be breif. (It is annoying how the library limits computer time, but necessary.)

It’s amazing how much you can get done with no computer, I find my house is a lot cleaner, and I knit a lot more. This isn’t necessarily bad.

Anyway, I’ve been knitting tons. I would show you a picture, but I don’t have my camera, nor the time. A while back I posted about wanting to knit an Icelandic/Raglan yoke sweater, and that one has come to being. I united the body and sleeves about an hour ago, and did about one row on the yoke. Due to the current situation this will probably be the least documented sweater on my blog. And for me, that’s saying something. I may run into town tomorrow and put up a picture of it, but we will see about that. So, see you later!