Heart Hat

Okay, if all goes as it should for the next few weeks, I’ll be starting classes in one month.

Oh, And I finished a hat!

And I would just like to say that, this hat has not, nor has ever been intended for me to wear. You’ll see what  mean in a minute.

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picture039Yes, there it is, the Heart Hat from the ever present KW. It’s supposed to look like a heart, but to me it’ll always be either the boob hat, or the chest hair pattern hat. Especially because, due to the nature of the pattern, it sort of humps up right in the wrong places. However, this isn’t noticeable when it’s on, so I guess we’re fine.

The heart was probably one of the hardest things that I’ve come across in this book, and that’s saying something. I didn’t think that it would really be that hard. The thing is, the directions are very stitch for stitch-y, so you’ve got to watch yourself like a hawk. There comes one point where she changes one number in the pattern and if you don’t catch it you end up with a mess. The main thing with this pattern is that you can’t assume that you know what’s going on.  It’s made from leftovers and took about two days to finish, and that’s with having to rip the heart back about four or five times.

This leaves me with twelve projects left to do. Two of them are pretty close to being done, which means I’ll be at less than ten in no time.

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So . . . . . . . . . . .

So, I’ve got something to tell you. This pretty big news, and it’ll certainly effect my life, and I hope that it will yours as well.

So, does anyone want to take a guess on what this big news is?

No, I haven’t been offered a book deal based on the content of this blog.

No, I haven’t been offered a free ride to UC Berkley, which was my first choice college, and I actually got in, but couldn’t afford to go. (One year there would be about as much as all four at Kent. So I went with the other school synomounous with anti-Vietman protestations.)

Geez, after the foregoing, my real news will seem rather small. I’ve finished The Traditional Shetland Lace Shawl.

The fact that this thing is done, really hasn’t sunk in for me either. I fixed the edge on Monday night, Wet blocked it on Tuesday, wove in the ends on Wednesday, and here I am with it done. And it’s done.

Here’s the pic of the pictures. I swear, my camera couldn’t wait till after this thing was finished to break.

Blocking picture

Blocking picture

The Corner

The Corner

The other corner shot

The other corner shot

A bit big -- even for me.

A bit big — even for me.

Specs:

Yarn: The brown and burgundy are both Shetland wool that I ripped out of some old sweaters. The white, also came out of an old sweater, but it’s half angora, and half wool, so it’s tons softer.

Pattern: The Traditional Shetland Lace Shawl, from Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitting Workshop. I invented the sawtooth edging, though it’s been done many times and is in most edging dictionaries — I didn’t follow any pattern. The border is a feather and fan stitch, which is now firmly imbedded in my brain. The center is all garter stitch with a few eyelet rows added for interest, mostly because I was about ready to die of boredom. (It’s amazing how a few yarn overs can really improve your outlook on life.) I put the whole thing together with a  three needle bind off, which now that’s it’s been blocked, you can’t even tell.

The shawl took about six months to knit. Yes, you read that right. I say about. Remember, there was one point I had three jobs while knitting this. (Relax, they were all part time, and only for a few weeks.) And this is the second take of this pattern — if you count the first take on this shawl, it’s been on the needles for about 15 months. I watched a lot of Downton Abbey while I knit this thing.

Blocking it was — well a work out. I haven’t done that much hard work on a bed since I ended my last relationship. I put  down a thick blanket first, so it wouldn’t get the bed all wet. I had to fold it in half, and it was still all the way at the edges on the bed. Of course, while I was pinning it, it dried out. I had to mist it, which was odd. I was raised to believe that you keep all liquids possible out of the bed. Any liquids. And here I am, irrigating the bed.

When I die, I want this thing to be my shroud.

My opus is done. It’s supposed to be a square, but I ran out of yarn on the center square, so it’s more of a rectangle. The long side is taller than I am, and the shorter side comes up to about my nose. So this thing is pretty large. (I’m six feet tall for a point of reference.)

I still can’t believe that this thing is done. Oh, I’m such a different person than when I started. I was in unrequited love, my family life was a mess, I had a shitty job, and everything was uncertain. Wait, all of those things are still true (except the job part, but the only thing worse than a shitty job is none at all). Damn. But I feel different at least. I’m a lot more of a sunny person.

But it’s done. I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life now.

(13 left to go! Two of which are close to being done, which means that I’m really close to being at less than ten. Funny, seems like yesterday I was at less than 20.)

Now it’s time for the non-knitting (mostly) other stuff. Still fun though.

I’ve become an adult. I bought a suitcase yesterday. Having my own luggage makes me feel like such an adult. Granted it’s a little suitcase and I can’t fit all my clothes in it, but it’s a start.

Last weekend I packed my yarn. I decided to do the really important things first. It was a little odd, trying to plan out my knitting months in advance, but I think I did a good job, and I didn’t even have to sit on the tote to get it closed. I’m also pretty pleased that I got it down to one tote. (I think I’ve got about five sweaters worth in there, plus a bunch of bits and bobs. )

This weekend I might pack up the books. I’m only taking a few, some really important ones that I regard as identity forming. And if I need any of the ones I didn’t take with me, I have to remember, my parents live less than an hour away.

Yesterday at the store, I found a 1oo% Merino pullover to take out (women’s XL, so I may have enough to make myself a sweater) and a man’s XL vest, half silk, half wool.  Score!

I now know exactly how much money I still need. Not as bad as I thought, but we’re talking about the difference between 8,000 and 6,000 dollars. No matter which way you slice it, it’s still a lot of money. (I still say, I am young enough and pretty enough for a prostitute.)

I had something else I wanted to say, but I can’t remember what it is. Now, off to go enjoy some of this lovely 70 degree weather. It’s not hot. It’s not cold. Ohio may have finally figured out what it’s doing.

Worst picture yet?

No, I haven’t fixed the shawl edging yet. I would tonight, but I’ve got a bunch of things to do. I need to edit a piece, I need to read some more on my boring college book (I didn’t last night because I was out having fun, and I didn’t do any today because, once again I was out having fun. Ever feel like life gets in the way of life?) I had something else I needed to do, but I can’t remember what it was. (It might be this.)

Ma and I took the baby to the Italian Festival. It was mostly food, but it was really good food. There is nothing wrong with it all being food. I had pasta. I had a Stromboli, and I had an ice cream. Yes, I am going running in the morning, why do you ask? I heard people speak Italian in public too. It at least verifies to me that I am doing something right. (My conversational skill are pretty much limited to telling people to either “fuck off” to “get out of my kitchen” or “don’t worry about it” Granted, that is about 80% of the Italian language, once you factor out the mushy stuff.)

It’s impossible to take a good picture, with the evening light and me not wanting to get out of my chair. But, here, for better or for worse, is what my Epaulet sweater looks like.

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I think this certainly is the worse picture to date. It’s impossible to make it not look like a shapeless blob. And it really is too. The stitches are in a think wool, a little to thick for this gauge in hindsight, but it’s too late to fix that now. It’s slow going and I need about an inch more. However, I may not have enough yarn for that. (Shut. It.) But I can get close enough, and I’ll block it on a coat hanger, so it’ll stretch. It’s a little too wide anyway. It’ll be a great sweater to wear over another sweater, as a sort of coat. But not a coat, because it’s a sweater. So you have that.

I’ve been working on my pi shawl a little bit here and there when I get the time. I did a little bit at the Italian Festival today for example. Some at the book shop, some at the coffeehouse — you get the idea. So I’m making progress, however slow. But, when a round consists of 500+ stitches, one row really is a feat. Possibly a feat of mental insanity, but a feat nonetheless. I think, because I really don’t have another increase round that I’ll just call it a day, change to the darker color and do some lace work. I’m looking at lace patterns, but haven’t really made up my mind. Does any one have any ideas? I’m open to suggestions, but I’ll really just do what I want. (Not really that unusual.)

Well, off to go write about the Feminist Subtexts of the Charlotte Bronte. (Yes, it’s supposed to be done Tuesday and I’m still writing it. Yes, I may have procrastinated a little bit. No, I’m not ashamed. I’ve got few plans for tomorrow, I can work on it then.)

 

Stumped by Stupidty

Well, on Wednesday evening, I finished the knitting for the Traditional Shetland Lace Shawl. I thumped my needle down on the table and I was done.

Well, I was done in spirit, but not in actuality. I really had to attach it to the body of the shawl. So I pulled out my extra needle and went to work. It was, as was the other one, a pain to do. So I went and attached it Well, sort of.

I attached it to the wrong side. Can you believe that? I’ve been knitting for six years and yet I still make boneheaded mistakes like that? I can’t look at it for a few days. I’ll fix it, sooner or later, but it just kills me.

I forewent my resolution not to work on anything else till this is finished. For starters I was at knitting, and I didn’t really want to lug this entire shawl with me. (That’s sort of like lugging around a king sized comforter and matching sham set. If it can’t fit in my bag, it isn’t going.) I took the pi shawl to knitting, I worked on it yesterday. Sitting next to me as I write this is the Epaulet sweater, which has seen a little bit of action in the past day.

I’ll fix the shawl in a few days. Besides it’s too hot to sit around with a pile of angora and Shetland wool in my lap. (So I’ve now a pile of cashmere and non-Shetland wool.) Ah, warm weather knitting.

In other news, I’ve found another sweater just like one I took out a few months ago. It’s the exact same sweater, only this one is two sizes bigger. The old sweater was a medium, and this one is an XL. I’m about a medium, so, that first sweater would not quite have been enough to make a sweater for me. (I was going to do some kind of a yoke deal.) Now I’ve got enough for almost two sweaters. And the best part is that this yarn is perfect, I mean perfect, for Mrs. Laidlaw’s Gansey. Does this mean that I’ll be starting that sweater soon? Who can tell? I’m sort of all about finishing things now. As you know, this likely isn’t a good thing and in a few days the house will be lousy with stuff newly started — you all know the way that this goes.

I’m feeling weepy today and keep bursting into tears for no apparent reason. I think this means I’m going yarn shopping this afternoon. (Most likely not. I’ve got a project for the closet that I need to finish up –and the house is a wreck.)

Oh, and do you want to see what my legs look like today?

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Skinny jeans and colored jeans. I’m so hip it hurts some days.  Happy Weekend ya’ll!

Foregoing Knitting to be a Good Friend.

Well, the knitting has been a touch minimal here lately. Life seems to be conspiring against me, but what else is new? I feel like a bit of a cheater when I say that sort of thing, because it really isn’t that big of a deal. But, anyways, lets get the awful picture out of the way. picture019

I find it nearly impossible to get a decent picture of this without biting right in. However, I have learned if I turn my desk light on, my face doesn’t look green. Oddly enough, I think this is at the same stage it was when I did a teeth pic last time.

Anyway, what you’re looking at is several episodes of Mary Tyler Moore, a trip to Amish country, and a movie. I’m just starting the fifth repeat out of eighteen. So, I’m almost a third of the way done, not that bad, considering I just started the feather and fan part yesterday.

I would have gotten in more knitting yesterday, but a friend of mine was having girl troubles and need someone to talk to and to make him smile. (I told inappropriate jokes and made sexual innuendos. It worked.) This is one of my best friends and my feelings for him are complex and troubling, so there were a few moments that really fed my masochism. And it was odd because he was obsessing and making a big deal out of nothing. Well, not nothing, but making it much bigger than it was. And he was trying to drink, (did I mention this guy used to have a drinking problem) so I felt like it would really secure my place in Hell if I ditched him to get in a little knitting. Besides, he’s a pretty good friend. Taylor bought him a cookie. I told dick jokes. We made it all good. I told him to leave it alone for four days and then to take a hint, if a hint was given. Taylor agreed. (Granted, I don’t know why he was asking my help. I am to insane to ever have a successful relationship.)

Today I worked all day on a practice paper. Considering I didn’t really have a real high school (I was homeschooled) and graduated with a diploma that it took me 90 days to study for. My ex-tutor (my boss at the bookshop) and I thought that it would be a good idea to do a little practice. My topic, and I got to chose this. “The feminist subtext in the writings of the Bronte sisters.” (See, masochist.) I’m done with the research part and am now just doing the writing up, in between talking my friend off of the ledge.

I’ve made contact with the roommate. He’s a physics major who really likes acting. I think we’ll get along fine.

A friend (This is a friend of my father’s whom I also enjoy.) was doing something, he told me, I can’t remember what, who spins her own wool from the sheep she raises. He asked me if I would like some. My response was something along the lines of, “Do fish swim?” I am now the possessor of about 150 yards of chunky weight handspun wool from a sheep named
“Violet”. Any ideas. (I’m thinking maybe an Elizabethian Mobius scarf or one of those triangle scarves where you cast on two stitches and increase at the sides till it’s as big as you want or you run out.

Now off to go running.

Change is the only Constant in our lives*

Well, having flown by with the third edging, the fourth is kicking and dragging it’s heels. Maybe it’s because I’m still knitting the edging, but not the border, and the rows never get longer than 18 stitches. (Or at least they are not supposed to.) I think I’ll do a lot better with this when I get to the actual border part of it, not the sawtoothed edging. Lets have a picture, just because.

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We are not talking about the clothes in the background that need to be put away. Why? Because I said so. This isn’t the best picture I took, but I like it the best, and it hides the fact that I haven’t shaved in forever. See, you wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t said anything. I’m going for the rugged look — even though my bright red skinny jeans are probably negating that. I have a look, I just haven’t figured out what to call it yet. (Something like, “Urban Adventurer” instead of “Slovenly college student.”)

What was I talking about? Oh, right, knitting. (A what blog?) Well, I think that I’ve said everything that should be said. Last night I got pretty frustrated with my home wound center pull ball. (Not on a ball winder.) I do this because it’s proper, and what we are all always told me to do. However, it soon proved to be a tangled mass. I fixed it sure, but I grumbled about it.

The best part about this is that I know I will have enough yarn. Sure, I’ve run out of the original color, and that stuff that I used with I realized that that wasn’t going to be enough. But, the point is, that with this, my third color, I’ll have enough. (I keep look anxiously at what I have left.)

In other news, I heard on the radio today that today is the first day in 16 days that we haven’t had rain. Sure, I was starting to joke about “monsoon season” and was working on the call for volunteers to help me build the ark. But 16 days! Oh my. But, I suppose this is better than last year, when the grass was brown by June, and the garden would have been a shriveled up dust bowl if I hadn’t watered it every day. I hear my neighbor running his weed eater, and I feel the urge to go mow, even though you and I both know that I am not going to mow today. Maybe tomorrow. I also should weed the garden, but, again, I’m not. On that one though, I have an excuse, it is under water. There looked to be about an inch all over it last time I checked, and even deeper in some spots.

Yesterday it didn’t just rain, it poured. There was a tornado warning out for a little while.  I was starting to look towards the basement door, but didn’t go down, the windows have to start breaking before I’ll retreat into hell the basement.

By the time that I left with Tracy for knitting, the rain had mostly stopped, but it was then that I learned my little town here is on an island. You couldn’t leave without crossing water. We only had to turn around a few times, but what usually took 20 minutes, it took 40. And we still did have to cross some water, not a lot, but a little. We made it all right, though there was one point were there was this narrow over flown creek. So, instead of going slowly like a normal person (there were people ahead of us who crossed fine) Tracy went pretty fast so it didn’t have a chance to wash us away. At one point I looked at the grim determination on her face and burst out laughing.

Still no contact from the roommate.

* I couldn’t think of a better title, so I just wrote something that was written on a post it over top of my desk.

 

Random Blog On a Tuesday (Alt. title, “Blab, blab, blab”)

1. I found you who my roommate is to be yesterday. His name is Devin Walters. That’s about all I know about him. After I found this out, I went, well, crazy, and wasted about an hour internet stalking him. I think I found the one, but I’m not 100% sure. There are about four Devin Walters that fit the bill, meaning, they are within a few hours of Kent, have the right age, and aren’t in a Federal Prison. (Though, knowing what I know about what my life is like, it’s prison Devin. I just know it.)

2. My room also comes with a fridge and is carpeted.

3. It is also on the ninth floor.

4. This means that either I will have to get over my fear of elevators (not a big fear, like spiders, a little fear, like loud noises. Yes, I’m afraid of everything), or that “Freshman 15” won’t be an issue.

5. This also means that if the building catches on fire, I am screwed.

6. I also am at the very end of that hall too. This is what life is like for us up here in the W’s.

7. I had the Akron Beacon Journal tell me that a piece I sent them was “trite and diminutive.” It was a comedy piece, that was the point! I don’t know if this is better or worse than the “Amusing but lacking journalistic merit.” Still, the fact that I’m getting any feedback from a newspaper is promising, most of the time I hear you get a “no,” and move on. They will rue the day they didn’t publish this genius.

8. In the interest of comedy, I have to tell you my “amusing but lacking journalistic merit” one was about my fear of urinals. Yes, my career literally is in the toilet.

9.Why you all really came here — the knitting. I have reached a landmark in my knitting, namely, finishing another piece of my shawl. picture016

This picture really is the pick of the lot. I took over ten, and this is the only one that looked halfway decent. And the only one where I don’t look completely stoned. The colors are much more pronounced in real life, and I’ve discovered that the burgundy sort of washes out the brown. However, I am getting a lot closer to being done with this one. I have one more edge to go, and then done. Done, done, done. I’m really looking forward to it.

8. When I grafted the second edge to the body, the yarn kept breaking and splitting, I would have to take it out and redo some of it. When you’re grafting 200+ stitches, that is a bit of an issue. So I thought for a minute, would God smite me for doing a three-needle bind-off? Nah, he’s got bigger issues. Would Allah smite me? As long as I use the shawl to keep one of my wives from showing their faces in public. Would Jehovah smite me for this? Maybe, I am mixing the fiber’s of two different beasts, though those rules are probably a little out dated. Would Shiva smite me for this? I don’t think so — there were many zen moments of this shawl.

9. Now that I’ve fulfilled my goal of offending every major world religion, I can tell you that for the two edges, I did do a three needle bind off. Nothing bad happened. You cannot tell the difference from the right side, and to the casual observer of the wrong side, it just looks like that blip of color that comes when on the wrong side when you change colors.

10. I even crocheted the edge pieces together. It looks wonderful.