Re-entry

Well, I am now back in the land of the living. Back in the land of real people. (College Students don’t count as real people; I don’t know why.) I’ve actually been back since Thursday, but this is the first chance that I’ve had to write anything since being back. (Its been . . . a lot.) I’ve spent the whole day applying for jobs, and figured that while I was getting things done, I should probably write here.

Finals week went off, well, I’m alive. I think I slept maybe eighteen hours in five or six days. But I really don’t remember. History was rough, I had to write three essays for it, in addition to a couple of other things. But I made it through. And now that grades are out I can see that I did fairly well, considering that I was taking a lot of really hard classes.

Being home now, I think I knit more, though I haven’t seen any positive results from it yet. I’ve got a few things in the works now though, so lets take a look at them.

We’ll start with the thing that is the closest to being finished. Cousin Naglar

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This is a sweater that is going to appear sort of like my sister’s latest pregnancy. It starts with a big hubbub, but by the time it arrives we’ve pretty much gotten over it. Due to it’s being done at four stitches to the inch it has flown by, despite the long amount of time that it was on the needles. (I left it at my parent’s house. This was on purpose, because I didn’t feel like carting it back to Kent for a few weeks. It needed very little work.)

I still need to sew buttons on it too. I may put pockets on it too, but I am not sure about that. I love pockets, I think they are great and clever as can be. However, I feel like this sweater is complete without them, and, this being a bit short for a sweater that they might look odd, or not be long enough. Any thoughts on this?

Up next is a little number that I started in Kent. The last thing that I started in Kent.

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This photo fails to do justice to the wonderful “Garnet” colored yarn in the picture.  This is the Hybrid Sweater, from KW (as is everything in this post), and it is knit out of a coned yarn that I picked up a while ago because it was pretty and on sale. (That is a dangerous combination by the way.) I’m enjoying the knitting of it; perfect to pick up and put down as needed. It has been sitting next to me all day while I was applying for jobs, and saw a bit of action while I was waiting for a page to load. It helped me keep what little sanity I posessed during finals week and to keep me from killing my former roommate. (Something funny happened to day with him that I got wind of (facebook does have its advantages). My friend Jackson is transfering to OSU next year and he met my former roommate at the orientation. Jackson asked him if he was the same guy who used to be Garret’s roommate. What did Brad say, “don’t remind me.”  The fact that Brad thinks he can keep talking about me behind my back, this is just the latest, to my friends and have it not get back to me just shows how little he thought of me.  I so happy that he is gone — even though I am not relishing the thought of spending the summer in Wadsworth.)

Up next is a little something that is new on the needles, but hasn’t seen a lot of action. I bring you the seven-pointed shawl.

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This has only been on the needles for a few days, but it still hasn’t seen more than an evening’s knitting done on it. It’s the spoke shawl from KW, and I’m not really loving it. I mean, it’ll be beautiful once it’s done, but the knitting is a pain. You have to increase every fourth row at seven points, which makes it cumbersome to remember where you are. I’ve solved this mostly by making the second row an eyelet row, so you have an increase round, a plain round, an eyelet round, a plain round, and then start from the beginning. Still though, it is a tad annoying, and this isn’t helped by the needles I’m using  — an old set with snaggy joins, and the yarn, a slippery rayon. But when it is finally finished it’ll really be something. I’ll probably use it more like a window drape than a shawl. (I actually have two of those now and I love it. It makes my bedroom look all mysterious. Oh, it’s a mystery alright.)

That about covers it all for now. I’ve got a few letters to write tonight, and I hope to finish all of them.

 

 

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A few interesting developments . . .

Sorry about that last post. I was feeling all moody and introspective, and next time I get to feeling like that I want someone to come along and keep me away from the internet while giving me hard candies. About once every month or so, I’ll have a night like that. I don’t know what triggers it, or what brings it on, but I do know that it happens. I was due for one. That having been said, I’m fine now. It was a glorious day today — and I actually did get to see some of it. I also finished (mostly) a paper — which took about six hours instead of the twelve that I was planning on, which was nice. I also studied a little. (Or I may have just thought about it, I can’t remember.)

I also have actually been knitting a little bit. (Go a month without blogging, the knitting will pile up.) I’ll start with the big thing.

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Here I am wearing part of the Cousin Naglar. So called because it is “cousin” to all of the other, standard yoke treatments. Instead of knitting the body and the sleeves, then joining and increasing for the yoke, you knit the body only, then increase out for the sleeves. When you’ve got 40% for the sleeves, you then put the body stitches on a piece of wool, to be grafted later, and then knit the sleeves down. I have done one sleeve when this was taken. (I took it with me for a visit home and there it stayed because I didn’t want to transport it back and forth and then have another thick sweater to pack up before I leave. Yes, that means that I’ll have to wait till fall next year to wear it, but I’ll live with that.) I’d managed to knit the other sleeve by the time I left it at my parent’s house.

The body is knit out of an old (older than me, and probably my mother), butternut wool, and the yoke is knit out of this wonderful Noro stuff that Cindy gave to me a while back. I didn’t have enough for a full sweater or a vest, but I wanted to use it in a way that would highlight it’s color changes. I feel like this yoke did just the trick.  I started this toward the end of March, and was able to make decent progress on it, due to its being knit at four stitches to the inch. As a matter of fact, the only knitting that remains to be done on it is the button bands and pockets. (I plan to steek it for a cardigan — you can see that belly a mile away.)

I also finished these.

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They were started way back when in the pre-college days. (Back when I still did things like knit socks.) I knit all but a toe on them (one toe), and then for some reason put them away. Who does things like that? Me I guess. I found them when I was rummaging through some old baskets in my room over spring break, and decided to bring them back here and finish them. It wouldn’t take long, to just knit a toe.

Well, it did take me the better part of a month to knit them. I let them languish for a while longer. But I knit finished them up in the odd moments of this past week.

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They were knit out of some German sock yarn that I bought at the Great Lakes Fiber Festival a few years ago. I think it might have been the first year that I went, maybe the second. So I’ve had this yarn for a few years — languishing seems to be a theme here.

They are a bit big, but I like them just the same. I wore them to a concert the day that they were finished so with all that standing and sweating they have already started to shape to my feet nicely.

And I enjoyed the idea of having more socks that I started these . . .

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But that was only about an hour ago . . .

If you think I’m forgetting my Zimmermann knitting, fear not! I swatched for my next sweater today. (I almost wrote last sweater. There is only one left after this. Yikes!)

I knit a lot

I do a lot of things while I visit my parents. (Schoolwork is not one of them, ahem.) Downloading music is one of them. Getting sacked is another, running into ex’s that you’d really hoped not to see again (always a delight after aforementioned sacking).  But the thing that I spend the most time doing here, it would seem, is knit. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had this much free time to knit. (Mostly due to aforementioned neglect of schoolwork. I was going to write it tonight. It’s almost one in the morning. You see my problem.)

But I am thrilled with the knitting output! Thrilled I tell you, thrilled. It’s like I’ve been holding my breath for so long that I’m finally able to release it. I’ve got one thing that’s all finished, another thing that’s drying right now, and another thing that I started yesterday and have a few inches on. Holy Knitting Batman! The two recent finished things mean that I’ve got 5 projects left in KW. It’ll be two years in June that I’ve been working on this. (I don’t know if I can finish by then what with crazy finals week and finding employment right after school ends.) Five! I remember when it seemed like being under twenty was an accomplishment. I’ve gotten a lot out of this — aside from a large pile of sweaters, but we can talk about that later. (I’m planning a big, moody, introspective, and probably over dramatic post for when this is all done. You don’t have to read it, but I have to wright it. (And yes, it will contain many cliches similar to that.)

The post today though, or tonight really, or this morning, will concentrate on The Stonington Shetland Shawl. (We will call it TSSS.)

Let me show you what it looks like.

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From the side.

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From the back.

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The whole square.

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The uber-French way.

And because I couldn’t get a decent picture of the edge — look at this one from a little while ago.

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The pattern was TSSS from Knitting Workshop.

The yarn was a Shetland wool that I pulled out of a sweater a while ago. I had just enough of it to do a shawl of a decent size with minimal leftovers. I don’t know how I was able to manage that, and I don’t know if I can repeat it, but I’ll do what I can. I started this on January Thirteenth (I remember this because it was the first day of spring classes.) So not too bad as far as finishing goes, but still hardly my best. (Consider that most of it was garter stitch.) But it is a good sized shawl and I’m pretty happy about it.

I also would like to take a minute to say a few words on shawls. To me, the word itself has a different meaning. To many it means that thing that little old ladies wear while they drink their tea in winter. To me, it’s a piece of fabric that you drape any part of your body when it’s cold. That can be shoulders, neck, lap, feet, anything.

There was a funny blocking story with this one too. (Every time I block and pin something the process is a bit different. I need a system. Who am I kidding, I can’t get a system for my life, let alone for my knitting.) All right, the weather has been nice recently. The house is crowded with all of us, and all of our stuff, taking up space. I didn’t feel like stripping my bed of it’s pillows and comforters, so I decided to block it outside. It wasn’t too cold out that day — the shawl wouldn’t have frozen. So I asked Brianna if she thought it was a good idea. (I was thinking that it might help to have another opinion on the idea.) She didn’t seem to think anything was the matter with it. So I pull out the foam tiles (of which I don’t own a full set) some towels and set to blocking. I finish it with few hitches and it looks like I did a fairly decent job.

I had a few things I also needed to do that day. I head into downtown, do what needs to be done, then visit my old friends at the bookshop. (The non-profit that didn’t fire me.) While I’m there, the weather turns nasty and it starts snow. I head home, not thinking at all about the shawl. (I didn’t even notice it when I walked past it on the way into the house. ) Brianna says, “I’m sorry I didn’t know what to do with your thing out there.” I suddenly remembered.

My shawl had blown off the table and onto a chair, all the tiles still pinned to it, and covered with snow. I had alternate fits of utter charm and frustration removing all the pins and tiles. But the parts that were not snowy were still dry and I didn’t have to re-block it.

Tomorrow, we will continue our tour of Scottish knitwear with a lovely (if I do say so myself) Fair Isle vest, knit mostly with Shetland wool, and sweet, sweet love.

Another late night, Break post

Here I am, back at my parent’s house for the next week. (I am thinking very happy thoughts about the fact that I am childless and will most likely remain so.) Here’s a quick list of how I spend most of my time here.

1. Childcare, see above. (They’re like puppies. They’re cute for a little while, but I quickly bore of chasing them around. Only you can’t drop kids off at the pound.

2. Housework. I am guilted into this one. I’ll be sitting there, reading a book or something, and then Pop will be doing housework or something, and I suddenly feel that I should be doing something too. And he has this way  of being cranky and making you feel bad for not doing something. Not that I mind cleaning and laundry, I really don’t care, but I like to procrastinate that sort of thing until the last second, and then do a half-assed job because I do it in half the time.

3. Watch TV/Movies. I started watching Doctor Who in order to cope with the Tedium of being here on Winter Break. (I don’t know how I made it through that. Probably Doctor Who.) I have only watched it while here. I’m in the fourth season — I started on Christmas Day. That’s a lot of David Tennant — not that that is a bad thing. I also am enjoying the chance to get caught up on Downton Abbey. I also am very glad that Rent arrived, I’ve watched about three times since it’s got here. I love Rent, I feel that it is my life at times. (And the sad part is that other people think that it is my life.)

As an aside, I would also like to point out to you how much I love David Tennant. You don’t think I mean it. I would like to show you exhibit A.

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I own this. This was taken back in my dorm room. You think I’m really odd don’t you? Don’t lie.

4. I would say that I read, but I’m in between books and don’t feel like something epic and life changing any time soon. I only want to re-read, and feel nostalgic about all the old feelings that reading that same old book can cause. Jane Austen and The Brontes are really bad to do that, but don’t think it’s limited to stuffy English women, Nora Ephron can do that to me too.

5. Speaking of nostalgia, I indulge in that frequently.  I re-read my old journals that I’ve kept since I was thirteen; I look at all the little pieces of memorabilia that I’ve saved over the years,  a knife from a friends birthday party, a few old business cards, some little trifles from work, that sort of thing. I guess part of it is being here in this old house. Four generations of my family has lived here, and I was raised here. My bed has been in the same place since I was ten. I remember the view out side of each window, and the neighbors that I have known my entire life, the spot where the garden was planted every spring, the carpet that I faintly remember being put in. I love to see and feel knew things, and I wouldn’t trade my life in Kent for much, but I do still like being in a house. I real house. If I’m sitting in my room and get tired of it, then guess what? I can go to another room and sit there. What an idea!

6. I knit. I knit a lot here. I’ve finished something, and am near to being done with something else. See, knit a lot. Big things too. Do you remember the shawl from the last post? (Scroll down if not.) Here it is in all its unblocked glory. (I left my pins in Kent, who knows when this thing will get blocked. I’m setting a lose goal for June — the key to always succeeding is to have low hopes. Here’s a night shot of the shawl.

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Here it is, you know, done. It doesn’t look like much. I assure you that some better shots will follow. To make sure that you are aware that this is halfway-decent looking, not a square of Burlap, have this picture from last week.

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(God my hair.)

And, a very exciting development has happened. I seem to have mostly finished my Fair Isle Vest. All I have left to do is an armhole and deal with all those ends. But the body of the thing is done, and there is very little left to do. Here’s a shot from earlier today, once the shoulders had been grafted, but the steeks were not done. (I call this the “Shetland Pillowcase Stage.”

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It has since met it’s fate with steeks, here’s a post steeking picture of the neck, which is the only one that I’ve made neat and really, it’s the exciting one. (I love a V-neck done in the round with steek. You have a blister in you knitting, then you open it up and you have a wondrous, elegant V-neck. Knitting Magic.)

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A little washed out, but not bad for a tablet picture taken at one in the morning.

I’ve tried this on and I love it. It’s a near perfect length and looks fantastic. I know that I probably shouldn’t say this before I’m all the way done, but I am looking forward to this finished object.

Also, due to the fact that I’m really loving this one, and will wear it all the time as a vest, I’ve made the choice not to change the pattern and make it a cardigan with sleeves. I am sure that I would love and wear it like that, but I will also love it and wear it like this, and this way is a lot less work, and would also serve the purpose of changing up my clothes a bit. I might, might break out of the pattern of cardigan and T-shirt every day. Maybe wear something with a collar. Who knows? I said maybe. Maybe.

So there you have my way of passing the time on break, and the two things that I’ve finished without really finishing. (Sort of like a metaphor for life, or at least mine.) Have a good week! May you find at least two good desserts.

 

Ohio Weather!

Almost three weeks since my last post! This behavior is  not acceptable. I wouldn’t blame my few, dear, readers if they all scattered to the wind due to my negligence.

And the worst part is that I don’t have a whole lot of knitting to show you. I’m not working on it daily, I’m not working on it every other day. I’m just doing it when I get a minute. The crazy stupid busy has subsided into a usual, crazy busy, which I’m handling with the grace and dignity that I handle all situations (except spiders and Republicans). I  have a paper due in a few days, which I really should be working on now, but I’m not so, HA! But I won’t bitch about that anymore. We’re all busy people and I am no different than anyone else. (Well, I’m very different, but that is beside the point.)

The weather today was very Ohio. Anyone who lives here will know what I mean. I left this morning around ten, and headed off to class. It was kind of cold, but not to bad. The past few days have been wonderful, and I thought that today would be the same so I headed off with just a sweatshirt on. I was a little cold, but running late and I didn’t want to run all the way back upstairs grab something because I wasn’t really that cold. I figured that it would get warmer too. Boy was I wrong.

While I was in that class, a fifty minute one too, the temperature dropped about ten degrees. I froze as I went all the way across campus to my next class. During that one, the University decided to cancel all classes after noon. (Yes, you read that right.) I thought that was nuts, but I wasn’t about to contradict it if it gave me some time off. I was looking forward to having a nice long nap. I left that hall (which is in a really strange/annoying part of campus because I have to cross actual streets and stuff to get there) and it is snowing like there’s no tomorrow. Buckets of the stuff was coming down. It was all white out. I set out for home. Most of campus was underwater, with a layer of sludge on top. You’d step and it would go spurting out both sides. It was nasty and I was soaking wet as well as cold. I came home, read for a little bit and then slept for the next few hours, it was wonderful.

As much as I really don’t want to leave me friends and everything here for a week, I still will be glad to have a little bit of time off. Granted time off, and being home are two different things. A small house with two young babies in it is anything but restful, but it is at least different. I can get some sleep, do some cooking, that kind of thing. And I’ll have my evenings free — which is prime knitting time.

And the thing is, I’ll be glad to escape residence life for a little while. I still love it here, don’t get me wrong, and I wouldn’t want to leave for anything (that might be a possibility if I don’t get them some money soon.) But I am becoming, well, disenchanted with it. I’m tired of not having my own room (this is probably because my roommate is one of the muscled meatheads. It also has been put to a vote around the floor, 4 out of 5 people think that he is an asshole. I am one of those four). I’m sick of not having my own space, or having to carry my things to the bathroom, or even having to share a bathroom with 59 other 18-21 year old men. I miss having a house, with multiple rooms. I miss being able to sit on my bed and think, “I’m tired of this room, let’s go to another one,” and then going to another room. (I could go to a lounge or something, but they don’t have windows, and all the furniture is this in-hospitable pleather stuff.) You know. I miss real food. If I look at another wrap square in the face, I think I might just throw up.

Since I don’t have anything else to say, and feel the lack of a picture in this post, have this funny image that is actually my desktop image.

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Hope that cheered you up. It never fails to make me smile.

 

This Day

I have other things that I should be doing right now, I just feel the need to say that, but I’m not doing them, so ha! Fuck you school! (Just kidding Kent, I love you so much. Don’t fail me and try not to snow to much. I promise I’ll go for more walks soon.) I’d made the plans to write this earlier, but then I had a few professors dare to assign me homework (what do they think I am, some kind of a student! Let them to their own math.) But I’m doing this anyway, just another update with a minimal amount of knitting.

What have I been up to? Well, a lot. The most recent would have to be Bronchitis! Yep, over the weekend I started developing this awful, wet, wheezing, hacking cough. I originally thought that it was just a cold — a combination of the wet and the freezing cold temperatures manifesting themselves into my lungs. But thankfully at the urging of a friend I went to the health center. I was a little worried too, and was hoping it wasn’t more serious, like pneumonia or something. (I had pneumonia once in the fourth grade and I hope to never have it again.) Well, it wasn’t as bad as that — but it still was pretty bad. Yesterday evening I just laid down on my bed and coughed away like a character out of a Charles Dickens novel. I’ve got my anti-botics and I feel a little bit better today, so here’s hoping that tomorrow will be even better. (Also, can I get a cheer for those Z-pack things. I swear, six pills and zap zap, no Bronchitis. I will never stop marveling at the wonders of modern medicine.)

I would also just like to say that I’m proud of myself for not waiting till I couldn’t breath to go running to the doctor. I got in early and kept this from being much more than a mild problem. (Like I didn’t even miss a class though I was sort of “absent” from History and dance class was problematic.)

Other than that things have been moving along. Classes are hard — which I expected, but that still doesn’t mean that they are any less hard. At least I’m done every day but four o’clock. But still, a lot of work is going into this semester and I feel nearly certain that I won’t be able to achieve the same GPA of last semester. (I had a 4.0 till finals week. Freaking Finals week.)

I’ve been knitting a little bit, though not as much as I would like. I even pulled out the Fair Isle last night, though only long enough to work on it for a row or two. I’ve been knitting away on the Stonington Shetland Shawl in between classes and in the evenings. I’ve got about one and a half of the trapezoids left to knit, then a border and blocking, and then I’m done with it. When that will be — no one knows. (I’ve discovered that the knitting of a border takes nearly as long as the knitting of the shawl itself, or at least it feels that way.) But I’m excited to have it done with — not that it hasn’t been fun to knit — all that garter stitch is getting a bit tedious to knit — but because it is freaking cold here and I’m liking the idea of having a new scarf to wear under a coat. (The Pi shawl was taken out of this coveted spot due to the fact that I kept tearing it, and then having to fix it.)

And I had a few minutes today when I was idling around my room. I pulled out the list of what was to be knit and lo and behold I discovered that I’ve got 7 things left to knit. 7. Only seven left and I’m nearly done with one of them already, and one of them is halfway done. So that’s close. I mean really close. I mean, I could finish this off in a few months if I wasn’t in school. I still have to knit an Aran, and finish the Fair Isle sweater, as well as knit another lace shawl, but I think that it is pretty manageable list. And considering what I started with (31) I feel like this is good progress. It’ll be two years this June since I started, and in this time I’ve knit 24 things, mostly sweaters and shawls, but a few other things like hats and baby blankets.

This isn’t exactly a landmark, so I won’t be maudlin or introspective for any longer. I’m saving that for the end, when I finish this Zimmermann Project off once and for all. You’ve been warned about that upcoming (long time coming) post.

Back to the Land of the Living

The only reason that I have the time to sit down and write this today is because they canceled school due to the cold. Really, I should be doing something else right now. (Cover letter anyone?) But really, anything knitting related is essentially something you do when you’re supposed to be doing anything else, so really, it fits.

As far as knitting is concerned, which is the real reason you all come here, I have actually been knitting a great deal — mostly on the go — and am making determinable progress. I started a shawl when I first got back to Kent, because I didn’t want to have to carry around a dozen balls of yarn to knit between classes. Of course though, this plan backfired a bit, and I’ve now knit almost half a shawl without even picking up the fair isle sweater. (It doesn’t help that I made a mistake on it the last night I was at home and don’t want to fix it. And it also doesn’t help that I realize that while I was making good progress on it, that I still had a lot of knitting left to do. So that’s that.)

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So, I started knitting and the next thing I knew I have half a shawl. I’m knitting the Stonington Shetland Shawl from KW. It’s essentially a square with trapezoids coming off of each sides, connected trapezoids, and then a border around the edge. I’m making this one a bit on the smaller side, because while I love the Traditional Shetland Shawl — I don’t want to end up with another blanket. (I actually use it as a blanket.) I hope to wear this one as a scarf, because Lord knows I need one. (It is negative ten degrees outside right now. I haven’t left the building today. Say what you will about Wright Hall, say it’s full of druggies, say that the RA’s don’t do their job, say that the bathroom has graffiti, but we don’t have to go outside to get food. Granted, it’s not very good food, but at least I don’t have to go outside AND they are open all night. So ha! What was I talking about.

Oh right! Knitting. Anyway, I’m making this shawl in all garter stitch with a lace border, something with scallops. But we can think about that one later, right now I’m just knitting along on the garter stitch. It is simplicity personified, and that’s nice because I need simplicity at the moment. When I looked at my class list for this semester I thought that I might have gotten in over my head a little bit. Now that I am in all of these classes, I know I’ve gotten in over my head. College Writing has me writing two small papers a week (like one or two pages that require little to no research), Micro Econ has a longish homework a week, as does math. I have to read about two chapters in three books a week for history, as well as write a response to that, math has one or two homeworks a week, and I always have reading to do for Great Books to 1700. (Gilgamesh, a page turner, who knew?) So this is a lot, in addition to finding work, which has proven to be just as difficult as I thought it would be.

But I’m glad to have something do once again. After the boredom of break, I like the idea of having something to do, something to learn. It is nice that I don’t have to get up before eight am. And now I have to write a cover letter for a job as a secretary. I have a vague feeling I will be applying for more secretarial work in about four years . . . .