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!)

New Year. Happy? Maybe . . .

I, like a lot of people — or at least people on the internet, am not one for New Years Resolutions. I feel that if you are going to do something that you should just do it while you have the gumption, because that will always fade quickly. However, if you are like me and enjoy procrastination, then I find that spring or fall is the best time to start something new. The weather outside is changing right? Why not change yourself. With this in mind, New Year’s eve has pretty much become a ritual for me. Like watching the Oscars, or The Sound of Music at Easter.

However, it does provide an excellent time for a little bit of late-night introspection. I am a hopelessly narcissistic person, so I look for any chance at all to think about myself. And you, my lucky readers, get to hear it. Last year I spent New Year’s Eve with a bunch of people who I thought were my friends, but who haven’t called me in since I left for college. (To be fair, I haven’t called them either, but there are a lot more of them then there are of me.) This year I was with my family, but they all went to bed early, so really after ten it was just me, sipping Champagne all by myself. I thought about who I was last year, and I know that I would have been bawling my eyes out about being alone and all that nonsense. But this year I wasn’t. I was concentrating on all the happy times that I’ve had this year, instead of the moody brooding about what a shitty year it was. (And it was shitty in the way that a year seldom is. In six months twice I had to hold my screaming family members off of each other. And that’s just the tippy-top of that iceberg. But this is a knitting blog, and I try not to go into that here.) It had a lot of good moments. Moving out was a big one. Holding down my first real job was another. (I’m defining “real job” as a job with a dress code.) Starting college was another, as well as meeting everybody at college. (I’m homesick for college, isn’t that crazy. I miss  my friends, oddly in a way that I never missed my family.) That exam worth 40% of my grade that I got 100% on. (I finished that class with 101%.) And what’s more important I looked, and still do, to the New Year with hope. I greeted it by laughing at how loudly I was burping. (Damn Champagne!)

It makes me think of that EZ interview at the end of A Knitting Glossary (That’s a video, in case you thought you were missing a book or something.) It was taped on New Year’s Day, and to quote EZ, “Let us all make good resolutions. . .  Not to follow knitting directions.”

I can’t think of a better way to start off the new year.

 

 

Knitting.

I’ve been knitting a lot, not that you would ever know it to look at my blogging schedule. And my pictures! Oy vey! A recent present has a camera on it, though not a very good one, and with the overhead light on, I can get a decent picture after dark.

I’ll do a quick run through now, with some more detailed and/or modeled shots coming up later.

First up, the newest sweater off the needles. (The one where I turned into Silvia.)

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This is the seamless, set-in-sleeve sweater, with a V-neck. (EZ said that doing both together would gum up the directions for your first seamless, set-in-sleeve sweater to an intolerable degree. Ah, what does she know?) A fast run down: The yarn was a birthday present from Sil, the pattern was from KW, I think that leaves me with seven left — the master list is at Kent. (Seven! I will talk about how freaking thrilling that is at a later date. Probably at six.) I knit it over a few month, with many forays into other projects. I am in love with this sweater. Even before the blocking it was smooth and soft, and now it’s really smooth and soft. It fits me perfect, right width, right length, correct angle on the sleeves, correct everything. It took a bit of ripping, but as I wear it, it’s just perfect.

I also knit a hat for Thai. I don’t think that it warrants a picture because it isn’t technically done. (It needs blocking and for me to finish off the top.) This is the sixth hat that I’ve knit for friends this year, and I still have a few more that I should do. (I may not, but I should.) It is green and white, with “THAI” written on it. More to follow. Use your imagination.

The hat for Thai though was really just to procrastinate on this, my next KW project. All I have at the moment is a paltry two inches of ribbing, so pic either. But it’ll be something when I’m done with it — or at least it better be. I’ve hunted up about two dozen shades of yarn (or ten, it felt like a lot), made a list, swatched, washed the swatch and started The Fair-Isle V-neck vest. (She shows you several sweaters like this in the back of KW, but only provides the pattern for this one, and I’ll tell you now, I’m not knitting the others. I draw my line there. (And I kind of want to be done.)  I’ve got a basket full of yarn next to my bed as I write this, all planned for this sweater. I may end up heavily altering this pattern, to the point where it is a cardigan with sleeves, but I’ll still try to stay as true to the original pattern as I can.

I’m nervous. This will require me to think. I don’t like to do that. And really, I don’t have the mental capacity, given that break has taken away my minimal powers to think. And this probably won’t change when I return to the world of classes, note-taking, writing papers at four a.m. because I cannot find any other time of the day to do them, and that hardy perennial, job applications. I remember when I first started this madness, this was one of the things that I was worried about. I’ve done color work before, loads of it, but never the constant changing, little patterns, no-rhyme, no-rhythm patterns that make up those sweaters from Northern Scotland. I don’t live in a moldy cottage. I live on the ninth floor of a dorm room. I have internet for crying out loud!

But yet, here I am on break, right at the jumping off point.

Send a sheep dog.

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

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.

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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.

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.

 

Sadie’s Sweater

Okay, since coming off of that college high, I’ve been able to get something done. It  goes without saying that I define “something” as something besides pacing the house and spontaneously starting to skip while singing show tunes. What this something is, well, it would happen to be of the knitterly variety. Here is a picture of the Sadie’s sweater taken in the shitty light because it is really cloudy now, and rainy, and towards the evening time.

 

I assure you, it doesn't glow in real life

I assure you, it doesn’t glow in real life

(As an aside, I have to tell you that a friend once told me that the cloudiest place in the United States is Medina County, where I live. I don’t know how much I believe her, but I looked it up online, and Cleveland is pretty high on the list, and it does feel like it’s very cloudy. I blame, as per usual, all the Republicans. This place is lousy with them, with more popping up all the time.)

What I’m doing now is applying I-cord all around the edges of this thing, making buttonholes as I go, and contemplating a pocket. Sadie wanted a pocket on the inside, but do to the construction of the thing, an afterthought pocket is impossible. (Come to think about it, I don’t know how I would do one of those on the inside anyway, without it showing on the outside.) Anyway, I’m starting to think about how to do it. I’m thinking something that involves picking up stitches along one side of it, knitting it together at the bottom, and then sewing it along the other edge, with some short rows to make the bottom wider than the front. (If you don’t knit, don’t worry about all that stuff, it’s not really as complicated as it sounds, at least to me.)

I just saw something on TV that reminded me of something that was written in one of my books, so I think I’m going to go and read that part before I run out of battery life.

A Smattereing of Thoughts that Doesn’t Amount to Much

Today is a beautiful day. It’s warm, but not hot, sunny, but not searing, there’s a breeze, but it doesn’t threaten the well being of the porch cushions. In other words, the sort of weather that we get in Ohio for about fifteen minutes a year. Once I finish writing this (and cleaning the house and doing the laundry) I plan to have a little quality time with ye olde out of doors. I’ve got out the cushions on the deck, and only about half of them are wet. (It’s been a bit rainy in a lovely way.)

I’m sitting on the living room floor as I write this, with all the windows and the front door open. Why do I always end up on the floor? Writing? On the floor. Cleaning? Usually on the floor. Watching Oliver? On the floor. Various sexual acts? On the floor. Running late for work? Well, that was technically a sidewalk, but it was floor-like. (I ran into a tree, I was fine.)

My orientation is in two days, and the thought of this is making me so nervous that my reproductive organs are starting to jump back into my body. (It’ll be fine, as I remind myself for the 1,000th time as I re-read my guide to Destination Kent State.)

Well, I’ve been knuckling down on the knitting front here recently.  I went up to the library yesterday and brought home a movie, an audiobook (a small one) and a CD and have been busily at work ever since. I’ve watched the movie twice, listened to the audiobook and have certainly made progress. I’ve done most of the knitting, and a lot of the finishing for this sweater. I made the first half, and took it in the try on Sadie, and lo and behold, I’d made it two inches short on the sleeve. Damn. I was hoping that, you know, a woman’s arm would be shorter than my, a man’s, arm, but no. It was still too short, so right now, I’m working on making it longer on the first piece. (The second is having it’s first bath right now. I’ll fix it later.)

I was feeling lazy when I set down to knit up the new cuff, so instead of taking out the seam and unraveling the I-cord cast-off, I decided to embody an old technique of mine. Well, sort of. Let me explain. In the great spirit of EZ I come up with things all the time. Little tricks that I use when the situation calls for it, that I just come up with by playing around a little bit. Then, I use the whatever it is, and move on with my life. Then a while later, I’m reading a book on knitting and see the thing that I came up with. This happens to me all the time, and I always swear that I had never seen, or even heard about whatever it was. Then I ponder how much easier my life would be if I had a better memory, and wonder, if I were to write a book, how much of it would be plagiarism.

Well, in a few minutes I’ll finish off the cuff, and then work on something else, till the other end is dry. I can’t wait to be done with this one, and while I’m not going to let myself start anything new, I’ll still be able to work on something else, and more importantly, something for me. Knitting for others is fun, but often a risky business. They might not like it, they might not appreciate it, they might wash it in the machine. It is a risky enterprise. Granted, knitting for yourself is just about as risky, but at least your taking the risk for yourself. I guess it just boils down to it that knitting is a fickle mistress, and, to be perfectly frank, a bitch. But, I guess that I am just a masochist, because, really, I always go running back for more.

(Knitting as masochism? Now there’s one for the Yarn Harlot.)

(Also, I’m hoping that if I write “masochism” enough, then I’ll get some more search refers. Granted, I’m not sure that I want some creepy internet Sadist looking at my blog, but as long as they leave comments, I’ll live with it.)

I am undergoing my yearly debacle with Father’s day. This isn’t your standard battle with Father’s day. I’ve got a great father, and really my problems with him are perfectly normal for the father/son relationship. (Except when he starts spouting the libertarian bullshit.) But the real problem with it is, I can never remember when it is. When is it? I’m still not 100% sure. I always want to say that it is June 14th, but I know that isn’t right. That’s flag day. (I don’t get why I confuse the two. Maybe some founding father childhood misunderstanding? I don’t really care enough to figure it out. ) Anyway, I don’t really remember when it is. I looked at my calendar and that told me that it was the 16th. Well, I thought that it was the second Sunday in June. That makes sense. Mothers get May, fathers get June? Right? Well, no. I knew that tomorrow was the second Sunday, because I did something on the first, and it was a Saturday, so the day after, a Sunday, would have been the first Sunday in June, which would make Father’s day tomorrow. But, the calendar I picked up at a yard sale a month ago (and it’s for this year, I checked) told me that it was the 16th. Well, then I must have been wrong (it pains me to admit that) and it is third Sunday in June.

Or maybe I’ll be that terrible son who forgets Father’s day. (I can remember Mother’s day, because it typically falls near my birthday, and I am far to narcissistic to forget that.)