Is This Thing On?

*taps mike*

Is this thing on?

Hello, is anyone still reading? Probably not, though that certainly my fault, for the lack of content. Things are brewing around here, and there have been big changes happening in my life since the last post.

For starters, I’ve moved into my first apartment, which I feel is pretty nice as far as apartments go. I’ve got heat (so much heat), running water, and electricity, which I even pay for when I remember to. And while I do kind of miss the days when my parents paid for everything, I really enjoy being out on my own, you know, my own man, a lone wolf . . .

*stares off at the moon*

And since moving out I’ve discovered several things — that money is harder to mange than I thought. I will pretty much live off of pasta and peanut butter and jelly when left to my own devices. And lack of “adult” supervision will pretty much cause me to sink into my natural sloth-like tendencies (what, sloths are at least cute). It’s also startling for me to realize I AM THE ADULT SUPERVISION!! Who let this happen? I was not ready for this.

Also, in keeping with this tone, I was promoted at my work this fall. (For those of you who don’t remember — which is probably most of you — I work for a market research firm, which is just fancy language for a survey-based call center. You know those NBC/WSJ polls that you can see on CNN, I conducted those polls. And still am really). And I went from Interviewer to Supervisor, which means I listen to people conduct these calls, instead of conducting them myself. (I also do still have to make the calls sometimes.) This also entailed about a doubling of my work hours, which is probably one of the reasons that I haven’t written on here in forever.

So, all this is going down, in addition to my still being in school (I’m a junior), I now find myself with a full-time job. You can probably guess how this has effected my knitting. I still do knit. I even finish things every now and then — but of course my level of productivity has gone way down. (In class all day, work all night, all I want to do is come home and sleep — days off I sleep. It seems like I sleep whenever I have free time, which is typically not enough, so I’m running on nothing most of the time). But I did do a pair of socks this fall. And most of a sweater, and have even started another pair of socks. So, not so bad, at least not really.

I also speak pretty good German now for the record. I’m in my second (last) year of it. I recently learned the plural form of the word “Harbor” you know, because I was really worried about being able to talk about all the Harbors.

So that’s pretty much all I have for right now. Pictures to follow when my phone isn’t trying to recover from a brutal death. (I forgot to turn it on airplane mode before work.)

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A Long Finished Object — More Than One

Greetings all! Here I am, back at college, holed up in my little room, really not wanting to leave for any reason at all. It is cold outside.

But good news in regards to that though. I’ve finished my coat! Well, I finished it a while ago, but I am just now getting around to writing about it, which means that it is actually done, instead of the nearly done stage that I’ve been wearing it around in for months.

Also, this means that I am done with the Zimmermann Project — the thing where I knit all the patterns in Knitting Workshop, which took (past tense people!), a little over two years, a great deal of my sanity, and miles of yarn. There will be a blog post to follow about that, something so big that I think it deserves its own post because, really, how often do you knit 32 different things all in one book, and live to tell the tale?

So the coat. We will start with a few pictures because it has probably been a long time since you all saw this coat, for which I am sorry, it is a great coat.

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There is something about dreaming, designing, plotting, and knitting a knee-length (or about) coat that smacks of madness. And really, that is not untrue. It is a mad, mad, undertaking, which you realize as you are wrestling with a coat in late July, very thankful for air-conditioning, but still sweating up a storm as your realize your cables are slightly off, but you really could not care less.

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It makes sense though — in a strange way, to end something big, with something big. Both are insane, and very satisfying though, in the way that finishing just anything isn’t — this is special because it took time and effort. I worked hard, on both this sweater, and the Zimmermann Project, and I am proud to put my name on both of them.

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(I call the one above this “Reaching for the Stars”.) I am proud of this sweater, with its cables and its pockets, and the saddle shoulders. I love the buttons and the toggle closures. It is warm and woolly. I wore it all over the place this fall, and people were constantly admiring it, then I got the pleasure of telling them that I had made it, and then enjoying the look of astonishment on their faces.

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I have to admit that it does look sightly like something an old lady would wear, but I don’t really care. Thankfully “funky” (however you want to interpret that) is sort of the new fashion. Wear whatever you want, but own it, be confident.

I guess that confidence is really what all this Zimmermann is all about. She preached to confidence in knitting, and as is often said, you can take her knitting “philosophy” of confidence, hope and enjoyment into your day to day life. Don’t worry and relax because you are doing the best you can, and that, despite how you often feel the opposite, is good enough.

List Format because I am to frazzled to think of anything else

1. I am n I have ever been in my entire life. I don’t even really think that is much of an exageration either. This week I’ve got three tests, a paper due Monday, one due Tuesday, and to be honest things are starting to get to me. There are peroids where I just lie face down on the bed for five minutes. But then I’m getting  And I must apologize for my lack of blogging lately, I really I can do.

2. I have been knitting . . . not that much really. I don’t think I’ve done this little knitting in a week for years. (Another reason for the lack of blog content.) I’m still working away on the Stonington Shetland Shawl. I’m on the border right now, but I haven’t even finished a full repeat of it. I started that either Monday or Wednesday — I can’t remember which. (I know I was in History, that was it. I Googled lace edgings and started knitting one right in the middle of class. I was bored, and I was sitting near the back.) But I still haven’t even done a full repet of the pattern, so I’m not sure if it is a keeper. Let me show you a pic.

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Not much to look at, I know, but It mean a lot to me. It was mostly knit while waiting for classes to start and while reading text books. Someday it’ll be great. (Sort of like a college education.)

3. I am working tiwce as hard this semester as I did last one, but yet I’m getting worse grades. I don’t know how this is happening, but I don’t like it. My father will most likely freak out if I bring home anything less than an A, and I’m not sure that I will be able to manage that. Another reason I’ve jsut been so heartsore recently.

4. My roommate and I aren’t really getting along. My old one moved out, and this one moved over break, and while we co-exist, things are often awkward and cold between us. He isn’t very friendly. He’s one of one word answer type guys, who simply want to go to the gym, get a girl, and get drunk. then you’ve got me, on the other half of the room, with my books, and yarn, cozy to the extreme, old movie posters and James Taylor. Different people entirely. Not like the old one and I were much better, but we still conversed and go along. I’m just hoping this one will just feel awkward and move out soon.

5. Another reason for the radio silence would be the lack of computer in my life. Last time I visited home I forgot my charger, so the thing has been a big black waste of space since then. Of course, I has to have the kind of computer that no one else has, so I can’t borrow a friend’s charger. Also, I can’t find my flash drive Either, so you can imagine how fun it was to write all those papers. (Which are pretty much done by the way.) This entry is being written on my tablet, witha  keyboard hooked up. And I complained about the lack of S. (Which also explains some of the grammar oddities in this entry. I am the world’s worst English major.)

6. On a brighter note, I did have a wonderful complement paid to me the other day. I was working on a paper in College Writing, for the same class , and I asked her if she would read it. (She’d already done that for the entire class — she knows that I am an Englsih major and I feel like I’ve got higher expectations beacuse of this.) She read it and said that she really liked my writing style, and then told me that I should apply for a few internships in New York publishing houses over the summer. I was flabbergasted, but also very flattered. I probably wouldn’t be able to take any of them (can’t afford it), but I still would like to try for it.

7. I think that’s about it for now. Funny, I thought I had so much to write, but it turns out that I didn’t have that much to say. Most of my stuff now is pretty personal, and that isn’t something that I’d care to plaster all over the internet. (Hint, it involves my life as an adult, and all those adult things.) I will try to keep you all better posted though. .

In which I become Silvia

Okay, this is going to be a really odd post about that whole knitting telepathy thing that Meg firmly believes in.

Since the holidays are happily over, I’m jumping back on the me train, and have gleefully commenced with my own knitting plans. (It’s strange though, everything that I’d had immediate plans for is locked up at Kent. I just have the core stash here.) What that means is that I’m picking up my own V-neck, set-in-sleeve sweater. I finished it a while back at Kent, and I’ve been procrastinating on working on it ever since. Mostly because I have to do that thing where you snip a stitch and unravel it all the way around. So, you know, I wasn’t about to get right on that.

But let me start this story from the beginning. A while back Silvia was knitting a V-neck, seamless set-in-sleeve sweater. I encouraged her, as I always do, and I felt the bitter pangs when she had to rip back because she didn’t have enough yarn. Not because she didn’t order enough, but because she had lost a ball of yarn. I left her sympathetic comments, and more of them after she found the ball of yarn. (Post rip of course.) But I also thought “Who the hell looses a ball of yarn?” Oh, how easy it is.

Fast forward a few months and yours truly celebrates a birthday. In the spirit of kindness the same Silvia sent me a really lovely and thoughtful present. Yarn. I ordered up some beautiful wool from Knit-picks, in the same blue/grey that causes my eyes to appear to be different colors. (I like to appear mysterious, even though I don’t have a mysterious bone in my body. I am the openest of open books.) I order 11 balls so I’ll have plenty. It comes in two days (love me some Knit-picks) and I camp on it, waiting for the right project. (And I need to tell you this because it becomes important to the story later, I had one bag with 10 balls in it, and one bag with a single ball in it. I didn’t think that this would  be that important.)

In the meantime, I go to college! I originally packed up all my yarn into a Rubbermaid tote, but then I looked at it and thought. “I’m doing that thing where knitters overestimate how much they’re going to knit, and do I really need this much, and aren’t I being a tab obsessive and weird and shouldn’t I just think about how much I really am going to knit.” So I went through the tote and weeded a few things out and ended up with it all in a tote bag. A large tote bag, I won’t lie to you, but still in a single tote bag.

I go to college and I start the sweater. I thought that it would be fitting if I were to knit the yarn that my friend bought me into the pattern that they didn’t knit. With that, I start knitting the Birthday yarn into the seamless, V-neck set-in-sleeve sweater. (I think this thing needs a better name.) I knit the whole thing, but have to cut the body short because I felt that I was running out of yarn. I finished with about half a ball extra.  But it was too short for me to wear comfortably, so I put it aside. My original plan was to (eventually) take out the collar, cuffs, and the border, add those to the bottom to hopefully give me enough length, and then re-knit them in a contrasting color. Thankfully my laziness stopped me from getting right on that.

I go home for break. (So flipping dull I can hardly stand it.)I bring the sweater with me. I start knitting gifts. I went to the Rubbermaid tote that I’d originally set aside for moving looking for some yarn for some hat or something. In it, guess what I found? The extra ball of yarn!! I’d taken the 10 pack with me to Kent, but I’d left the single ball behind! I’m happily knitting it into my sweater at the moment and I think I might actually get enough length out of it to actually wear it.

Moral of the story, don’t knit the seamless, V-neck, set-in-sleeve sweater. I think that the patterns cursed. I would give anything to know if Elizabeth misplace a ball of Wool when she first came up with the design. She probably didn’t, because she’s Elizabeth and she’s all perfect and British.

But I’m also checking the mirror periodically to see if my hair is starting to turn red. It’s showing hints, but that’s just where the dye reflects the light funny. (By the way, becoming a brunette was one of the best choices that I’ve made since going to college. I feel so much more pretty.)

No Time

No time left for much of anything. This is true. I’m knitting mostly in between classes, thankfully my schedule gives me several periods of about 15 minutes of waiting. I think that I’ll be able to pull of the same next semester, and I register for that in a few hours. My friends and I are all waiting up till midnight and schedule together. And I’m also so proud of myself that I know how to spell schedule. That was one of my “hard words” during my years of homschooling. See, college education paying off.

This post sounds weird, I know.

I have been knitting during everything here recently — that is the only reason that I’m getting anything done. I’ve got about half of a sleeve left on my gansey — plus a bit of finishing. I would put a pic of it up here now, but I’m in front of people, and while they wouldn’t think me that weird, I still do have standards, instead I will show you this picture of Grant and Karen wearing their matching denim shirts, and doing the prom picture pose. It’s a little blurry, but cute. (They are both my cute little babes.)

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Sew What?

Okay, some things just don’t mix. Oil and water, bleach and ammonia, Garret and sewing.

Until today that is.

I fully intended to spend today working on the Lucifer Shawl, maybe watch a few episodes of Mary Tyler Moore, and probably write a little. Well, that was the plan, till I started reading my blogs this morning and had the sudden urge to sew a messenger bag.

You read that right.

I don’t sew. I hate sewing. I hate cutting out the pieces, and having to make sure that it’s centered right, I hate that you have iron and pin things, and ease things places. This is why I knit seamless. There is too much room for error in sewing, and too much actual to do besides actual sewing.

I come from a long line of sewers. My mother and my grandmother both did it, and I did too. When I was five and my sister was nine, my mother read us the Little House on the Prairie series. When she got to the part at Christmas when Laura found Charlotte in her stocking on Christmas morning, both my sister and I started adgitating for rag dolls.

Well, my wonderful mother sewed and sewed and sewed. And one day I had my own Charlotte, whom I called Charlotte too. And I would just like to point out to you that I can still find mine to this day, in under five minutes, and Brianna’s is locked away in the basement or attic. I always played with mine. I actually even have one of her shoes too. I played with her so much, with my sister and the girl across the street that my mother actually had to re-sew her face.

What was I talking about? Right sewing. Anyway, this morning I felt a sudden, undeniable urge to sew a messenger bag. The only problem, I didn’t have any fabric. (This will sound shocking to some of you, I know. I have some somewhere, but it’s put away, and I did want to hunt for it. Most of it is my mother’s and the one thing that I did use, I’m sure, would be the one thing that I shouldn’t have. Plus, those are mostly calico prints which really wouldn’t have been suitable for me.) Anyway, I am not one to be daunted. So I go to my closet and pull out a shirt. Well, there isn’t enough fabric in that for what I need to do, so I guess that’s out.

Then I came up with my idea. Bed sheets. Yes, I did chop up an old bed sheet to sew a messenger bag. (Relax, it was a really old one that didn’t have a matching set.) The lining fabric was one that I did steal from my mother, which, when I showed her the bag she said. “Oh, I’m glad you found a use for that.” (Tomorrow I’m going to hack up some curtains for clothes. I can’t decide if I should make play clothes, or something to entice Rhett Butler with.)

I went online to look for a pattern, but I grew frustrated with myself and just decided to take what little I knew about sewing and what I knew about bags, and just go from there.

I always remember my mother cutting out paper to make Charlotte clothes. So, I took the dimensions that I wanted, and cut and pasted paper to make a pattern. Then I saw how big that ended up, so I cut some more. I ended up with a mostly pleasing shape, a small bag, but big enough to fit a file or folder in if I needed to. Then I cut and I cut and I cut, and sewed and sewed and sewed. This is what I ended up with. (Only I’m thinner in real life. I couldn’t get an angle that would show off the bag, and not make me look like a tub of goo.)

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I love the plaid lining. (Thanks Gonna!) And I love the shoulder strap that’s the perfect length and the front flap that’s the perfect length to. I love the fact that it’s totally reversible and that’s it went from an idea, to actuality, without spending a single penny and with only a few hours. (Like six, but who’s counting.)

I also love that I’m thinking about one in black and white, and then one in Kent colors. This may be an issue.

But dudes, it’s freaking awesome.

(And, my computer mouse started working today again. Now if only I could get my S, Q and X again.)