Dispatches from the Dorm

Well, I just stood in line for a half hour to buy a 120 dollar book. This may be related to the vomiting. (This also might be related to the fact that I have been not just all around this campus today, but all around Kent itself.)

Then I came home and spend about 5.00 for some other books online. (Smaller books, earlier editions. The bookstore wanted about 50 dollars for a book, I bought one edition earlier online for a penny, plus shipping.) I think that this will bring my book total for the year to . . . drumroll . . . 190 dollars. I think that’s all I need too, even if that seems to good to be true.

I had my first classes today. Sociology this morning was really interesting, and I’m looking forward to Wednesday. On my way there I met up with this interior design student who had to move a ton of supplies and a chair to her class. She was really greatful when I helped her, and even more when I pointed her a way to get there much, much faster. So, on to Soc. I went and learned a few very interesting things. (Like did you know that an upper-class person is more likely to commit a crime than a lower class person?)

Then I had 7 Ideas that Changed the Universe. I was in for a rude awakening there. I thought that it was a Philosophy course. No, it is a Physics course. There were all sorts of things in there about Newton and equations and things. My whole little group of friends groaned when I ripped open my packet. You know what the first idea that changed the universe was? We are not the center of the universe. That changed my universe.

The knitting front has been minimal here recently, but at least there has been a knitting front. (What? I’m frying those bigger fish.) I think I am greatly helped by the fact that I will knit anywhere. I mean, I’m toting around a giant lace shawl that I’m knitting a complicated edge on. (I’m just sort of jumping right in) I knit while waiting for Soc. to begin this morning, and while I was waiting to leave for class. (Not actually as far as I thought. I’m still working away on that edging, and I haven’t even started that Gansey. I would do it when I finished writing this, but I promised my mother that I would call her. And Rush (friend down the hall) made me promise to knit him a hat. I said yes because I have spent more time in his room since I came to Kent, than I have in my own room. (What? he made coffee. Granted, he only had one cup, and I still haven’t finished washing those extra I took over yet.)

My standards of cleanliness are going way down here. There is something about washing dishes in the bathroom that really will just makes you not care if they are dried properly. I’ve been using the same water glass for about four days. I sweated so much today that my shirt (the second time I’ve worn it) is still damp.

Flash posting

Okay, here I am, happily installed at KSU. I have the urge to put either Kent or Flash in everything, hence the title to this. (Kent State’s mascot is the Golden Flash, in case you didn’t know.) The room is small, but do-able. The food is good, and in the 24 hours I’ve been here, I have spent about 13 dollars on food, which isn’t bad. (I have about 14 a day,)

Devin and I get along well, even through it took me ten minutes of knowing him to identify that he is one of those vain prattling gay men, not the sensitive and soulful kind.) He came here with his best friend from high school (which to my mind defeats the purpose of coming to college, but what the hell?) this doesn’t bode well for me because while he knows one person here, I did no one. However, this just means that I have to get out there and make friends, which I’m happy to report is happening. I think the genuine honesty helps, because I know that I’m not  the only person here who knows no one, and with those other people I’m making friends.

Last night was a bit bad. I had a free hour and nothing to do, so I went and just walked around. I felt alone, and scared. But then I saw someone I knew. You know how when you go to some kind of an orientation, they always make you find things that you have in common with other people. Well, I saw the guy that I did that with way back in June. I saw him, and he recognized me, and I started shouting “YES, YES, YES” like that scene in When Harry met Sally. And later I went out to the welcome weekend dance and made a few more, and then today found a few girls I have classes with. I’m getting to know people in my hall, and oh boy, the things to do here. Today I had a meeting I had to be at. I mis-read the schedule, and went to the wrong hall. Then I panicked, and found the hall that I was supposed to be in. (I walked in a giant circle twice, they are right next to each other. ) Then I got in my meeting, and it turns out that I was right the first time, and then had to go back to the first hall. Thankfully I then knew were it was. (And I later realized that the man I once asked for directions is the Dean of the College of the Arts and Sciences.) ( Talk about your helpful administration — he was nice.)

Aside from those few pitfalls, I am doing fine. My room smells clean.

Off to go do something — not sure what.

 

The Clap

Well, I’m more or less packed at the moment. There are a few things left to go, things I use daily. (Like this computer for instance.) But I could be done be ready in a few hours. Wooo Whooo!

When things get crazy busy, and there’s tons going on, and a lot to do, my personality will cause me to react in one of two ways.

1) I will transform into an incredibly efficient and neat person who manages time well. I work quickly but thoroughly, getting everything done right on schedule. I keep a cool head and calmly do everything that needs to be done. I essentially remind myself of a line in a Cake. “She is fast, through, and sharp as a tact. She is touring the facility and picking up the slack.” (And yes, I realize what that song is about, and what that line means, however, I think of it just the same, and believe me, I have no problem picking up that kind of slack.) This option usually happens if someone around me is reacting like option number 2.

2) I freak the frack out. (Technical wording.) I just lose it, and work with a blind ferocity, not really putting much thought into anything. The animal instinct kicks in, and I become nearly useless. I do about a million things at once, and get nothing done, all the while screeching at people who are trying to “help” me for being useless idiots. That isn’t a good thing, but I do it just the same.

Oddly enough, both of these have the same outcome, only one means that I don’t look like a drunken wombat.

Moving on to the knitting.

I would show you the Pi shawl right now, but I don’t think that you would really care to see another picture of the edging. It really doesn’t look much different, and the to-be cast off stitches doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller. Maybe this is because I’m not really working on it. Only about a half hour before bed, and even finding that time is proving to be fleeting. (I’m reading a good book, and working up against a writing deadline, in addition to packing and dealing with the sis moving back in.) I’m working about a repeat a day on it, so progress is being made. I’ll get some time to work on it today, at the bookshop. It’s my last day, and what are they going to do if I don’t do my work?  Fire me?

Let me show you the project that I’m using to temper it with. This little scarf isn’t in KW. It isn’t seeing much action at all, because I’m not really working on it. I mean hardly ever. It’s my going about project, but a really bad one. I sort of have a pattern that I have to follow. (Not a hard one, but I do have to pay attention till I get a little more familiar with it.) And I don’t really need a travel project because the Pi shawl is really easy to carry around, even this late in the game. So it sees very little action, but I love it just the same.

picture050

Claptois! Yes, that Claptois. As in the one that everyone made there a while back. I’ve actually never made one. (Are you shocked — I don’t even think I knew how to knit when that pattern was so popular.) Anyway, Cindy gave me some yarn a few weeks ago that she didn’t want anymore. Now, ordinarily, I am perfectly content to let a yarn languish till I can find something to use it in. I have no problem with stashing. But this one, it just wanted to be knit right away.

I settled on this one because, first of all, it’ll be nice to knit a project that is not the product of my brain. And it will also be nice to work on something I know doesn’t have errors in it, and I’ve never made one either. The yarn, I’m not really sure what it is. It is green, you can tell that, and it has sequins in it. It doesn’t feel wool-y to be, to slippery. Maybe a wool/cotton/silk blend. I’ll ask Cindy the next time I see her. (Could be a while if she isn’t at knitting tomorrow.)

And yes, that is a paper clip I’m using as a stitch marker.

I can see myself knitting this during lectures. Just saying.

Packing and Pi

Well, less than a week to go.

For some reason I keep walking around the house singing that Peter, Paul, and Mary song, “I’m leaving on a jet plane.” Despite the fact that I’m am not getting on a plane or saying goodbye to someone I love. (Family doesn’t count –it’s like a first kiss.) There are people I love that I would like to say goodbye to, but I’ll just have to content myself with drifting out of their lives the same way that I drifted into them. I’ve had a good run here, but it’s time to move on.

Of course, I can only wish that all my bags were packed. I’ve got the big stuff out of the way, but I still need to do supplies and technology, oh, and clothes. (I have the suitcase let me tell you.) (I’m waiting till the day before I leave to do clothes, so I’ll have as little as possible. I’m taking time away from that to write this.

Well, whenever you leave a place, you find out who your real friends are I guess. Just sharing that thought over the past few days. I found out (I wasn’t supposed to, but I over heard something.) that the clothing store people are doing something for me before I go, which is sweet of them. The knitters bought me a ball winder — which was one of those things that I’d wanted for a while, but never enough to actually buy one.

In one week, I’ll wake up to my first day, living on the ninth floor with Devin, and experience that I was once dreading, but now that I’ve talked to Devin I think that I’ll enjoy it emensly.

I didn’t intend for this post to be more narcisstic ramblings, but that was what was on my mind, so that’s what you get. Lets move on to some knitting and a subject that isn’t making me cry. (It doesn’t help that I’m listening to that song from above as I write this.

I’m working on the edging to the Pi Shawl right now. I had hoped for this to be finished before I’d left for college, but I guess that’s just going to be one of those thing that won’t happen. (If I do nothing but knit between now and then I might be able to make it, but really even that is up in the air. It’ll be a while before you see a finished shawl, because I really don’t want to wet block a large lace shawl in a dorm room. ) Let’s have a picture.

picture049

What you have here is the border that I was complaining about in the last post. It turns out that I was missing one simple thing, and Elizabeth didn’t really deserve all those thing that I was saying about her. I’ve just about got the edging memorized which is nice because that really makes this a lot more portable knitting. I knit a lot on the go. It seems like I have been working on this forever, but really, it’s only been a few days. I don’t think that I’m even halfway done yet. Maybe a third, but I’m probably just being optimistic.

I’m also looking to start my next Gansey soon too. I want to do it. I’ve even made the swatch, but finding the time to settle down and cast on 200 stitches is hard, but trying to find the motivation to do so — next to impossible. Besides, I need to go pack.

No, really I need to go pack.

 

 

Pi for one

Well, the invasion of Normandy was successful, and I’ll be moving onto a college campus in two weeks. (Two fucking weeks!) Granted, unless I get my act together and get my loan stuff done, I’ll only be there for a few weeks, however, I’m trying not to dwell on that. (Aside from, you know, doing loan stuff.) However, I still have about a month, so we are okay, for now at least.

So, the event that I’ve worked towards for about a year and a half has finally come to fruition and I’m going. I am actually going to college.

I took a hat with me, despite the fact that it was 80 degrees. It was the swatch cap from the Gansey. And after I paid my bill, I stepped out of the building and tossed it into the air. I caught it, barely, but I didn’t. There was only this old lady there, and she looked at me funny. But Yes!

My friend wanted to go out afterwards for lunch. I was starving so I agreed. (I’ve been so nervous the few days before hand that I wasn’t able to eat much.) He wanted to go to a Chinese buffet, and I agreed because I love Chinese, and never get to eat it. Anyway, I went and ate myself sick and guess what my fortune cookie said. “You are transforming yourself into a person who is certain to succeed.”

Did you just get chills too? I swear, it was like that moment in a movie when the heroine realizes that she’d going to be just fine and that everything will work out okay.

And there also was the strange feeling of walking around a college campus with 1500 dollars in my back pocket. I finally know how a pimp feels. That money represented hours and hours of making coffee and answering phones and signing my former bosses name to everything from client letters to delivery slips. That, and, um . . . whatever my father does for a living. You should have seen the face of the cashier when I stuck that money under the plastic.

Anyway, you can imagine how great this feels.

Devin and I are talking pretty regularly and we are going to get along great I think.

I have been knitting a bit recently, despite, you know, being pretty busy. Since I finished off the Epaulet sweater I’ve been pretty much working only on the pi shawl. It hit me the other day that this is the only KW project that I have on the needles. That’s the first time that I think that has happened in a while. I’ve knit the entire body and am motoring away on the little border.

picture047

I did concentric rings of holes for most of the shawl and then did some lace up at the top in a darker color, and I’m now knitting a border. The border is garter stitch, with it certainly wasn’t intended to be. That was another one of those “Fucking Elizabeth” moments.

Okay, I wanted to do a nice border on this. You all know that a border can make or break a shawl. I looked around for a little bit and settled on the Cockleshell edging. This edging is from, I think, Barbara Abbey’s Lace Edgings. However, Elizabeth thoughtfully gives you it in Knitting Around as a potential edging for the pi are squared shawl. I liked it and thought that it would look good, so I tried to put in on this shawl. Well, it would help if she would give you the directions so you could put in on the shawl. It essentially has a bit of lace at one end, and the cockleshell part at the other. You want the cockleshell to be  at the end, and the lace part to be the part by the shawl. Did that make sense. However, when you cast on, your yarn is at the end of it, but you knit the lace part first, and the cockleshell part second, which would make it closer to the shawl. Huh.

As I wrote that. I realized that I should just knit a row and call it a day. I think I just might do that. I didn’t think of that last night. No one should knit after ten pm.

Anyway, I thought that it would be a good idea to, um, knit the pattern backwards. Yes, do it backwards. That, wasn’t one of my better ideas, and after a few rows I decided that it was for the freeing birds, and that I should just do some garter stitch. that is what you see up there, and also what I’m going to rip out here in a few minutes.

No knitting but who gives a shit?

Okay peeps, forgive the late post, but this is the first time today I’ve had a minute to write something. (Well, I could have done it like an hour ago, but damn it I wanted to knit.) This morning I worked on a super secret project — which isn’t at all secret, I’ll gladly tell you about it, it’s just really boring and not at all knitting related. Then I worked at the bookshop for a little bit. (I actually found a sex guide book in the vintage books. It was published in 1961! That was back in the days when the preferred method of birth control was shame.  Amanda read it for a lot longer than I thought she would — she learned a thing or two.)

Then I worked at the clothing store for the rest of the evening, where I had to fight the urge to Bitch-smack these community service kids. I got to do typical adult talk too. (The “Don’t you worry about what Heather’s doing, I’ll worry about what Heather’s doing. You worry about what you’re doing.”) So, as if I didn’t already have enough to do, I also had to watch the clock every time they would go on their breaks. And I also had to sign a huge stack of tax-receipts. (I like to do this though, it makes me feel important.) I got so bored in signing — I had about a stack of them two inches high, that I actually signed one, “Alex Smith,” and one, when I was a little bit bolder, “Pheobe Buffay.” (If you watch Friends you’ll get that last one.) And an hour ago, I got to eat real food, instead of the bits and snacks that I’d been munching on all day.

In my head I call tomorrow D-day. That’s the day where I have to make a payment to Kent. No, I’m not paying this semesters full balance, but I’m paying about a third of it, and it’s still a big deal, because if I don’t pay them at least a third by midnight tomorrow, I won’t go to college. (I’m still having freak outs that I read the 7 million things wrong that told me August 9th, and that it’s really do midnight tonight, and then I won’t go to college and will have to be a secretary for the rest of my life.) I’m heading there with some friends, (Amanda from above is one of them) and I know everything will go fine.

In my heart, and I hesitate to say this, I never actually believed it would happen. For so long, it had been the thing that I’d looked to with a gleam in my eye, one that I even took steps toward, but I really never believed that it would actually happen. I always thought that I’d find a job that I couldn’t refuse, or I wouldn’t be able to round up the money (jury’s still out on that one) or that I would put off for some weird reason. I never actually thought that it would happen. I was scared, and I still am, but the thing is, I know that I can do it. I guess that means that since this dream, the dream of actually going, looks like it’s pretty much coming true, that all the other one’s will. Maybe someday I can leave Ohio. (Can’t come soon enough) Maybe someday I’ll publish a novel. Maybe someday I’ll actually be able to comprehend the highways as you drive through Akron. (I just have to say that my father tried to teach me this, and still hasn’t got the message. It doesn’t help that he confuses 77 and 76 and East, West, North and South. He always knows where he is going, he just can’t tell you. And it also doesn’t help that the principle highways in this area have a lot of 7’s , 77, 76, 71, 271, 217, then you’ve also got 80, 8, 261, and 216. And it doesn’t help that I always feel I’m going to die when I ride through Akron. The only time I enjoyed it was when Jack’s mother gave us a ride home at about 1 am. )

 

What was I talking about? Oh, right, college. I’m anticipating that moment to be one of those toss your hat in the air things. Just call me Garret Tyler Moore.

Until then, I’m packing and making lists, and getting things rounded up and making lists of supplies that things that I’ll need to pick up and tying up lose ends here. You know the moment I knew I was an adult. It was my first day at my first “real job” or when I finished my first book, or when I turned 18 or when I showed the grace and courage to deal with family crises. It was the day that I bought my first suitcase. Never mind that it was a little one, and that I bought it (well, took it — this was at the free clothing store, same one from above) second-hand and that it wasn’t even big enough to put all my clothes in. That always was the adult thing to me — getting a suitcase. That was always the thing that you had when you were a grown up. That was the thing you got when you graduated high school. (Which I did a while ago, with a diploma I got in the mail, and almost tore it in half getting it open.) (They didn’t send a suitcase) But I got another two small ones tonight, so, I’m one step closer to being ready.

I’d intended to write something about knitting here, to maybe show you a picture or something. But it’s late, and it’s dark, which means that I can’t get a good picture, which is hard at the best of times. I am working away at the pi shawl. It’s going with me to Kent tomorrow. I’m getting close to being done — I can feel it. I don’t know how close, but I’ll know it when I get there. I have a feeling this one might come out a bit bigger than planned. Anyway, I wasn’t talking about knitting. Good night all, and I’ll see you later. (Well, not see, but you know.)

FO party.

We are having a finished object party over here! This morning saw the finish of my swatch-cap for the gansey, but we’ll talk about that later. Last night, last night, I finished the Epaulet Sweater!

I know, right! I didn’t think that this one would ever be done. I mean, I started this back in April! April, can you imagine. I was a lot more sane in April — and the knitting of this sweater might be a part with my growing connection to the world of the mentally incapacitated.

picture044

The Pattern is the Epaulet Sweater from Knitting Workshop. What other book would I be knitting from?

picture045

The yarn is a recycled sweater from L.L. Bean. It was a bit big, and I had just enough to make this pretty dense, and a touch big sweater.

picture046

It took me months to knit, on and off. And let me just tell you know, I am very happy to have this thing done. The edging is miles and miles of applied I-cord (I had the knitters vote on which color they liked the best). The pockets are afterthought ones, and I’m pretty sure they are exact mirror images of each other. The sleeves did turn out a bit longer than I’d planed, so I ripped back a few inches. (It didn’t hurt because I didn’t have to re-knit that part.) The buttonholes are looped I-cord, that I strangled with another piece of wool. (This may sound barbaric to you, but I assure you that it was recommended by Elizabeth.)

It’s a bit big, which means that it is a perfect fall coat, and will pair well with a light sweater, or a machine made one. (The best part of finishing any knitting is always the accessories.)

This means that I’ve got 11 projects left to go. 11! Can you believe that. It seemed like just yesterday I had 20. I am knocking these all out of the park.

I’ve also only got one of them on the needles at this point in time — the pi shawl. Sure, I’ve swatched and stuff for the gansey, but I technically haven’t started it. So it’ll be all pi, all the time for a while now. I also plan to start a yoke sweater sometime soon too, but that plan is sort of abstract. I’m thinking maybe a V-neck, set in sleeve, but again, nothing set in stone.

Talk of Gansey tomorrow. I’m going to go enjoy the possibility of knits to come. What are you all planning to start.