Another Late Night Post

It would appear that I am still on College time. That is the only explanation that I can think of at least. The only way to explain staying up till two a.m, and then sleeping the day away. (More sleep than an adult really needs to function.) Oddly enough, I am still tired all the time. I can only conclude that my body is just used to being tired all of the time. I sleep whenever I get the chance, and yet still it doesn’t seem to be enough.

Break life is odd. It’s dull in the respect that I really have nothing interesting to do. (Well, there is knitting and watching movies, which is its own form of entertaining.) But I really have a lot to do. But it’s all that family together mushy stuff that I loathe. I can’t use the word “fuck” around my nephew who is that tender and impressionable age, and really, after living in a dorm for a semester, “fuck” is about 60% of my vocabulary. And the other 40% is pretty much limited to me, so that’s out the window and I’m just saying nothing.

So here I am, silent, sleepy and bored. The new SSB. (Those who know me from college will get this. Ask me and I’ll share the joke with the rest of you. It’s like a picture of me in my underwear — I don’t really care who sees it, just not something that I would care to share on the internet.)

But I’m still knitting a ton, even if I rarely remember to take a picture of it during the daylight. (I sleep so late that there really isn’t much daylight left. ) Most of it is for other people. I’ve got one pair of slippers left to do then I can hop on the me train once again. (There’s a really funny post about that, also related to how I am becoming Silvia — link on sidebar. Also because I am far to lazy to link.)

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Here we’ve got a scarf — the first that I’ve knit in years I think. (The last one was an entrelac one that I finished about two years ago.) I like knitting this one. After so many big sweaters and things for KW, it was nice to knit something little and quickly finished. (Don’t ask about the V-neck, that’s in the future post about how I’m becoming Silvia.)

I knit it in some mistake rib that I can’t really remember the name of. It’s the one with garter stitch instead of reverse stockingette. Broken rib maybe? Anyway, I know this stitch has been written down many times, but I think that this one was one that just came out of my head — I can’t place it. Anyway, it’s a nice departure from the standard for most of my scarves — garter stitch.

The yarn was the first blog present that I got a while back from Joe. (Link on sidebar, again I’m still lazy.) The same Joe who has vanished from blog world. Oh, Joe, where have you gone? (I’m trying to get a rise from him and prove that he’s still alive.) I made myself a sweater out of it. (The saddle-shouldered sweater.)

Next up!

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If you can’t already tell, this was a night photo.

I don’t really have that much to say on this one. It was quickly knit, out of a stashed wool that didn’t have a label. (I knew it was a wool though, I can just tell. And I lit it on fire. It was a wool.) I think it was knit at about 4 stitches to the inch, but didn’t check it. I also was working with larger needles on this one, which means all bets are off as to what gauge this loose knitter will get. I played fast and loose with the knitting rules and I won! Ha ha! ( I feel nervous now. Something bad is about to happen. I just mocked fate.)

Next, and the last:

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What we have here is a pair of socks, another night picture, and another gift. (This is me cutting back the presents I swear.)

I knit them at about 6 stitches to the inch. They are ribbed, as all gifted socks should be. (I can never be 100% sure if they are the right size and ribbing is a bit more forgiving than stockingette when it comes to ease.) I knit them out of Sirdar Denim Tweed DK, which I bought at Goodwill, but it had a tag on it from the store that it was originally from, and as it turns out I knew the owner! I knit them in about five days. They were knit toe-up, which is something that I usually don’t do. I just don’t like the feel of it. I get the practical value of it, being able to use all your yarn, fitting, etc, but I just don’t like to do it. But as I was casting these on I didn’t feel like casting on 56 stitches, so I cast-on 12 instead. (Once again, laziness. I swear before college I used to do stuff. Oh, those were the days.)

Don’t ask about the Zimmerman project. It’s kinder not to ask. Let’s just say that I intend to hit it hard after the break and during all the time that I’ll have next semester.



The Clap #Two

Well, good news people, today, as a matter of fact just a few minutes ago, I finished Sadie’s sweater. No, I forgot to weave in an end, hold on . . . .

Okay, now I’m done. Really done this time. I mean it now. I’ve finished the body, the edging, I’ve sewn the buttons on, wove in the ends and washed it. I’ve even put on a pocket. (A weird, inside pocket that I just kind of made up as I went. It involved short rows, tons of picking up stitches and a bit of sewing.)

There you have it. (Also, in the background is the quilt I made and the only one that I will ever make.) It’s made from a sweater that I unraveled about a year ago, some scraps and the red was a present from Cindy. The pattern is the Rorschach Sweater from KW, and it’s for a friend of mine, Sadie, who commissioned this after I wore my own Rorschach Sweater to the coffeehouse. She made me take it off and she went around the shop for about twenty minutes wearing it. I wasn’t really sure that I would get it back. She pestered and pestered and pestered me into knitting this for her, offered to pay me. (Which I took, and glad I did so, considering that yesterday I added up my assets and my liabilities and realized that I am, well, screwed.)

I also didn’t tell her the story of why the Rorschach sweater will forever be in my head the Gonorrhea sweater.

I’ve been writing the newsletter and studying math all day today. Tonight, work. (I have to leave in about 20 minutes) and then I have to deliver the sweater. I will hopefully start something new tomorrow. (I have a feeling that it will be a shawl and that it will be cashmere. That will be my reward.)

I did four buttonholes, the sneaky kind that I love. (They are the ones that you do in applied I-cord, when you just work a few rows un-applied I-cord, and then skip a few rows on the sweater’s edge.)

Still at fourteen projects left to go in KW, because this is the second time that I’ve knit the Gonorrhea sweater in a year. I think I should be finished with the Traditional Shetland Lace Shawl soon. (I said think.) I’ve got two edges left to knit on it. When I’m all said and done with it, that shawl will be about as tall as I am, if not taller. (For reference I am about six feet tall.)

Let’s see, what else. I applied for an on-campus job yesterday. In the fundraising department, essentially making phone calls and the like. (I am fine when I’m making the call, I just get flustered when someone calls me because they never ask me how I am doing.) The pay is good, the hours are minimal, and if it’s where I think it is, then it is near stuff. Considering that I’ve got tons of experience doing PR for non-profits, (well tons is a stretch, but I drummed it up a bit) this should be for me.

And I’m so glad I’ve finally finished that sweater. I think that is about my 20th. My 20th that I would actually wear in public.


Rainy Day Knitting

Well, I’ve got my Destination Kent State in about three and a half days, and dudes, am I ever freaked out. Like I said last night at knitting, “I’m so freaked out about this my testicles are contemplating jumping back into my body.” (Have you noticed you I sort of just say whatever I think? It’s very freeing.) Destination Kent State is what a normal, non-freaky liberal college would call orientation. (Not that I mind a freaky liberal college, I am a freaky liberal. I applied to go to this commune/college in Utah about a year ago. They said no.)

Anyway, I’m sure everything will go fine. (I’m writing all the reassuring comments for myself.) But, that still doesn’t get rid of that floppy feeling in my stomach. I can only imagine the wreck that I’ll be this fall. (I could be a barber. That would be fun.) It’ll be nice to know when exactly I’ll be starting, and more importantly, what I’ll be studying. (I really want to take ballroom dancing for my phys. ed. requirement.) And I’ll have an advisor, and a money person who essentially can tell me how very financially screwed I am.

 . . . .

It’s raining today. The world is a grey mess, damp and dreary. This morning I got up, and my bedroom was filled with damp grey grey-ness, and I wasn’t waking up in a pool of golden sunlight. (I know, I’m so lucky that I don’t have to be up at dark o’clock.) Oh, that was one of the times when I really loved being unemployed, and was able to roll over, and sleep a little more. (I dreamt that I was painting an apartment with this ex-cokehead. It was an odd dream, and he kept making stupid jokes.)

Days like these I don’t really work at my desk, but I prefer to sit on the living room floor and read knitting blogs and write books with the carpet for company. Actually, days like these I really prefer to curl up and knit while drinking coffee and watching many episodes of Sex and the City. Granted, between the rain and the coffee, all it really does is make me want to pee, and to do that really quickly. It’s also, with being cooped up in the house, and all the coffee that my ADD flares up, which means, while I think about curling up and knitting I really don’t do that, but pace around my house and wave my hands around, talking to myself. (Not really myself, imaginary people that I make up to talk to when I’m alone. I swear that isn’t as crazy as it sounds. They don’t tell me to do anything.)

In the knitting field, I have managed to, despite ADD insanity, get on to the sleeve, the last sleeve, of Sadie’s sweater. I really need to knuckle down on this one and finish it off. I am doing my best and may even stay home tonight and work on it then. (I said may.) Sleeve knitting isn’t a lot, so I reasonable should be able to finish this off in a week, but I’ve been saying that for about three weeks now, so we’ll see if it holds water. (The thing is, if I keep saying it, it will sooner or later be true.

She likes the colors, which is all that really matters I suppose because here pretty soon I’ll be saying bye-bye to this sweater. In my mind it looks like Bob Marley joined the Navajo tribe and took up knitting. But, she likes it. So, I’m working this, and I’ve already spent the money that I’ll earn for it. (I’m buying a shit-ton of cheap, but well reviewed knitting needles on Amazon.)

Icelandic and Reflections from behind the Mower

It occurred to me, while I sat here and looked at a blank screen, thinking about what I should write, that I have yet to tell you about my Icelandic/ Raglan sweater. I don’t know how that happened, but this is me, and my mind really is like the Bermuda Triangle of thoughts. So there you have it.

As opposed to the typical bathroom mirror shot, which let’s be honest, is hardly an art form. I decided to try the camera function on this fancy pants computer. (But not with a self repairing keyboard. Why? I’d rather have that than this thing called “a charms menu.” What the hell does that mean?) Anyway, It worked pretty well, you’ll see in a minute, aside from that point where I got up, got into the pose and then thought “How am I going to take the picture?” I pushed the button with a  yardstick. High tech around these here parts.


Of course, it’s a mirror image because I can’t figure out how to flip it for the life of me. Anyway, please ignore the messy bedroom behind me, and the head of a garden statue of Siddhartha Gautama behind me. (I call him Sid.)

The pattern, a bastardizion of the Raglan yoke shaping (Which is in KW, but you really could figure it out by yourself if you really wanted to) clapped together with the Icelandic yoke pattern. I came up with this idea when I saw a picture of Adam Levine wearing one in some Men’s magazine. (That is sort of embarrassing to admit, when it comes to Adam Levine I am about eight kinds of fan girl, not fan boy, I don’t even have the dignity of that.) I originally meant to do it all in the olive green, but that stuff was a Goodwill find that I, um, you know, “miscalculated.” (We are going to leave it at that.) So, with the off-white yoke, and the primary color patters, it looks a lot like the sweater that I got the idea from.

I sewed and cut the front of it for a steek, and I also did a Kangaroo pouch, but I didn’t do that quite right, because there is one point in the button band where I kind of had to “take a short cut across the body of it, to avoid having a “stair step neck” (It really would have looked like stairs.) So now, there is a flap of pointless knitting in the collar area. I’ll live.

I snipped half a stitch for a pocket and then did a “close enough” mirror image of it on the other side. (I’m sure I’m a few stitches off.) I was so confident that I didn’t even put them on needles as I went, I just let them flap in the breeze till I was ready for them. Contrary to popular belief, a free stitch doesn’t just shoot down to the bottom of your work. I only lost one of them, but he was soon picked pack up. I made big, deep pockets, and bordered them with applied I-cord, so they wouldn’t curl (much, it curls a little, but not to the point where it is annoying.)

There is a difference in gauge between the white and the olive green, the difference between a light worsted and heavy worsted, so not that much, but it is a little bigger in the chest area. When I was knitting the sleeves, I felt like that would bother me much more than it did in the body, so I knit about six inches of 2×2 ribbing, and that seems to hold it in nicely. I hate sleeves that aren’t snug enough.

The neck seemed a bit big, so I put in a little more decreasing to hold it in, and it seems to have worked. However, I don’t quite remember what that ratio was.

It didn’t seem like I had that much going on while knitting it, but it kind of looks like it in retrospect. Anyway, now that this thing is done, I’ve got only 14 projects left to do in Knitting Workshop. Well over halfway done, considering that two of those remaining fourteen are well underway. Boo YA!

 . . . . . . .

I mowed for the first time yesterday. I was putting off, namely because I wanted my father to check the mower and make sure that it wouldn’t blow up and kill me. I know that the chances of if killing me because it had old gas in it are about a million to one, but I really don’t want to take that risk. And changing the oil just always seemed to manly an activity for me. You know, this sort of thing starts with mowers, and the next thing you know, I’m replacing a faulty transmission at two o’clock in the morning in my front yard, and that would really cut into the knitting time.

Once you start mowing, you’re doing it till it’s time to rake leaves, so it’s only natural that this sort of thing would be put off, mowing not being as fun as, say a color work sweater. I consider it exercise too, which I need considering that a 32 is starting to get a little tight on me. (I don’t want to gain that infamous freshman fifteen before I’m a freshman, and that looks like the way I’m heading. I WILL NOT BE FAT AGAIN!!!) But mowing is like, coincidental exercise, I’d still be mowing even if I didn’t burn a calorie at all.

I’m pretty afraid of large machinery, so you can understand what mowing means to me — confronting a fear of something that has the potential to kill me. And that feeling of dread when you run over a rock, or the flower bed edging. And the worst part is, I’m getting so close to the edge of the flower bed because of another fear of large machinery. The closer I get, the less weed-eating needs to be done. I will not weed eat. I will not. The mower is one thing, the weed eating is another thing entirely. That thing really can be dangerous. I will sooner take to the trimming with my good scissors before running that thing.  Period.

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.

I have a Question

Do these match?

Well do they?

The Knitters at Knitting last night didn’t think so. They thought it was “An assault to the eyes.” “You can wear it, just not on Wednesday.” That sort of thing. And these people are my friends? It was kind of funny, I would ask everybody who showed up, before they were able to get themselves settled, “Do these match.” The only yeses I got were from children under ten, and a person who is colorblind.

Le sigh.

Anyway, I was despairing over what to do, and just starting the other sleeve with the same color because that was the only knitting I had with me, and by good I was not missing out on an evenings knitting. (Especially because Wednesdays are always super busy for me and I don’t get so much as a stitch knit before 6:30.) We (being myself and the knitter,) decided that I might be able to make this sleeve work with some kind of a patchwork thing — you know, make the other sleeve of yet another color, and then do some kind of a shawl collar that would tie them all together. But I didn’t have any other yarn with me, and BY GOD I WAS NOT MISSING AN EVENINGS KNITTING. I may have stressed that point.

Then one of the knitters said to me, “You know, there is a JoAnn’s right over there.”

And there is too. You walk out of the Barnes and Noble, then walk past the smokers huddling in front of a pub, then walk past a grocery store and then you are there.

Now, I know that a lot of you, *ahem* tend to look down on good ole’ JoAnn. I tend to do it too, it’s understandable. The yarn selection there is poor, and the amount of wool is even worse. But I was able to find about a quarter of an isle that was mostly wool and/or wool blends. I bought a lovely purple yarn, made by Caron, (rolls his eyes) that was mostly wool. I’ll take it, at 3.99 a skein. (Before coupon.)

It’s working out pretty well. We’re very happy together. I’ll show you a picture later, once there is a little bit more of the purple in it.

In other news, the second day of spring, and the ground is covered with snow. I woke up this morning, in a pool of sunlight for the first time in days, and I looked out my window and saw the neighbor’s roof bar of snow, and thought, “Oh, good the snow’s all gone.” Then I sat up and saw all the snow, covering the ground, and I had to fight the urge to burst into tears. Is it just me, or do I feel that spring is getting further and further away? Maybe I will actually be able to wear this sweater soon. (I picture it as being a winter-to-spring transitional thing, what with it being very warm, but remarkably thin.)

And that’s the news from the past few days. (Well there’s more, but I must stretch out the blog fodder, you know the drill.)


The Tail End

This morning I got up, got out of bed, made coffee, and sat down with a book and read a little bit while I woke up, as I usually do in the mornings. (I’m pretty much incapable of dealing with the world first thing in the morning, I don’t feel the slightest bit bad about that.) Then I got up, put some clothes on and thought that dreadful thought, “What the hell am I going to blog about today.”

I try, and often fail, to blog about every other day. I think it’s a good ratio, and to be perfectly honest I don’t knit enough to write here every day. (I often don’t knit enough to do it every other day, but that is a separate argument. Well, good thing I hunkered down last night and was seized by a fever to knit the last of the Christmas presents. (You read that right. It’s not a person I see every day, okay, it’s not that bad. I wouldn’t be able to give them to the recipient for a while, so there. It’s not that bad. The three sweaters that just “fell” off the needles while these languished were just amusements.

I started these way back in December, when I was still excited to be entering the exciting world of Tax Preparation. Like the New Job glow, the appeal of these soon drifted from sight. (Why are there so many republicans in the Tax world? I’ve swapped notes with other Tax people who’ve been doing this a lot longer than me, and we agree — there is a good chance that your taxes are being done by someone who voted for Bush — TWICE!)

They are mitts, they are lacey, and they are cashmere. When I first started knitting these, I was attempting to follow a pattern, but I grew to be so pissed off by its less than stellar directions, that I threw it aside and came up with something myself. I have issues doing what others tell me. My knitting, I’m the boss, so fuck you, you insipid designer. (Not naming names so as not to trash the designer, who I’m sure doesn’t read this, and who probably thought that they were just a wonderful pattern. Sure.)

The Cashmere was reclaimed, and it was such a thin yarn that I had to hold four strands of it to get a worsted. Ouch. However, there is still tons of this lace weight left. Shawl anybody?

I can only model one at a time because, well, I have to take the picture. This whole home alone all day thing is nice, but it’s hard to find a good hand model. (I don’t think the cat would work . . . no, it wouldn’t.)

I should totally find work as an arm model.

I’m done with Christmas, just in time to start for next year I guess. Next you all are getting books.