31 December, 2007

Like a Kid at Christmas

This is my mother's cat, Waffles.

He is built like a boxer and has more personality than most people I know. If he were a human, I think he'd be a Hell's Angel with a Heart of Gold - the kind of guy who scares away the baddies and passes out presents at Christmas to poor orphans. Speaking of Christmas, you may have noticed that he's sitting on an open present. It's a box. Here's a picture for scale:

That's a big, honkin' box, as my mom would (did) say. And what's inside? Spinning batts from the sheep who live next door! My mom asked our neighbor for their fleeces (they're usually just thrown away [Gah!]) and sent them off to be processed. There's still a bit of VM in the batts, but nothing a pair of hand carders can't fix. It's two fleeces-worth of creamy, beautiful wool, and it's aaaaallllll mine! Hurrah!

The batts have made me even more anxious for my wheel to arrive. I ordered it on Christmas Day and have been slightly twitchy ever since. I hoped for Friday, but settled for today when the UPS man didn't knock on my door. I know, I know, the delivery date is set for the second, but wouldn't it be nice of UPS to deliver early? Just this once? No dice. So I've been watching my "track this" link in agony, waiting for an update. In vain.
Stupid UPS! Argh! Please don't lose my wheel or I will cry. Do you want me to cry? I didn't think so.

As far as knitting, I'm down to the foot of my brother's (second) first Charade sock. Yes, I'm re-knitting these as well since apparently I have a talent for losing my pattern notes in addition to losing my half-finished knitting (mom's Faina Shawl has gone AWOL). So I tried something different: a crochet cast-on, 2" of k2p2 ribbing, then I took off the crochet chain and used a sewn bind-off for the cuff. Very tidy and even though it's more work initially, I like it a whole big much-a-lot. There will be more cuffs like this in my future. And more notes.

In other news, I am a bad dieter. Lord help me if I ever need to lose serious weight! I completely lost my head this weekend with my mom at the yarn store because I found A Yarn I Love. It's another one of those "if I couldn't use anything else ever" yarns, and I forsee it holding a secondary place in my heart next to Interlacements Tokyo. It's Elsabeth Lavold's Silky Wool in a colorway that apparently doesn't exist on any shade card. It's a lovely rusty cranberry red, and I got enough to make a sweater:

And a bunch of Mission Falls 1824 in a true cranberry for a pair of Fetching mitts, a hat and a scarf. Woot!

I also picked up some roving from Pigeonroof Studios and Crazy Monkey. Because with the wheel on the way, how could I resist? And speaking of which, since it's not here I think I'll go play with my drop spindle to assuage my agony.

Tonight ManCandy and I are headed to Kate's house for her infamous Salmon Risotto, some BSG:Razor and champagne, followed by bed and brunch in the morning. What a great way to spend New Year's Eve!

Oh, P.S. - my uncle Roger is a wonderful man for many reasons, but one of them is that he got bored at work one day and decided that instead of slogging away, he would go to the St. George Distillery in Alameda and stand in a 3-hour line for some of this:

The first domestic and legal absinthe in the US since 1912. We drank it at Late Christmas Dinner, and even ManCandy liked it. I'm not a fan of strong anise flavors, but poured over a spoon with a sugar cube into a bit of icy water was a treat and a half. Thanks, Uncle Roger! Next time I'll be right there with you in line.

25 December, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all get the things you like and have the guts to re-gift the things you don't! Erick's mom sent each of us a "stocking," which goes in quotes because they came in huge gift bags, as a real stocking would have ripped at the seams. I got some lovely things, but I must admit that my heart is jumping up and down a little mostly because this morning I ordered this little beauty with many thanks and hugs to my mom, papa, ManCandy's parents, and ManCandy himself:

Kromski Sonata Traveling Wheel

Who says combination birthday/Christmas presents are a problem?? Not I! My Sonata will have the walnut finish; the one the the picture is clear. I'm bouncing up and down and praying it arrives before we go to my mother's house on Friday night. I think I'm going to go practice on my drop spindle now - it's not the same, but it's still spinning!

Merry Christmas!

24 December, 2007

The Nature of Forgiveness

A long time ago, there was a Girl who met a Matchstick Man. Their love was as turbulent as the class 5 rapids in the nearby river and pulled them down to the depths of despair only slightly more often than it sent them to the heights of delight. The Matchstick Man had a Matchstick Heart that had been splintered before, and although the Girl could not see the real reason for his pain, for the Matchstick Man hid his truths behind glassy blue eyes, she bore the brunt of his anger and hurt. The Girl was trusting and allowed her naive heart to blind her sense of Self. In the process, her own heart shattered, and soon she was just as fragile as the Matchstick Man. She thought things would work - after all, were they not now the same? But Matchstick People cannot be together; all the slivers work their way under the skin and cause festering pain that leads only to more pain and no love. The Matchstick Pair went up in the flames of passion and anger, and the Matchstick Girl ran away to try to salve her heart.

The Matchstick Man tried to apologize, but the Matchstick Girl did not believe him. Although she was no good at holding grudges, this one time she had bound her heart together with iron bands of anger and pride. Time after time, way after way, the Matchstick Man tried to make his apology felt, but it was no good. Eventually he gave up, but the Matchstick Girl did not care. Years slipped by and the Matchstick People (for they were a pair no longer) saw each other occasionally, but were very careful not to speak beyond the pleasantries required by Regular Folk. Seven years passed, and the Matchstick Girl looked at her heart one day, only to realize that the bands of iron she had so carefully wrapped her heart in had dissipated into the ether. She couldn't put her finger on the moment they had evaporated, but in their place was a simple silk ribbon the color of the sky before the morning has truly arrived.

Forgiveness is a slate grey blue. A color that is undefinable, uplifting and sad. I don't know when I stopped being furious, and I know even less when I stopped being hurt. It happened as slowly as scars begin an angry red and fade to a nearly-indiscernible tone; that is, one day you look and realize you can't see it anymore. By then, it becomes trite to say "I forgive you," just as it was redundant to say "I hate you" before the fading. So instead, I'll say this: our Matchstick Year helped me become the person I am. The water under our bridge may have once been tinted the blue of tears, but it's just water now, and I forgave you without even knowing it, long ago.

23 December, 2007

Creaking Leather is the Sound of the Season

I don't carry a wallet, but if I did it would be groaning right now. There was a sale at Webs, and one on Schaefer at Little Knits. Schaefer is the bane of my Yarn Diet existence. I don't know what it is about their color sense, but I want desperately to bathe in the colors of every skein I see. It's completely inspiring and more than a little disturbing, especially because Schaefer is not cheap.

Oh well. One of my 101 in 1001 goals is to knit from my stash for an entire year. With the 5000 yards of sweater-weight yarn I bought at Webs (neutral colored sweater yarn for $7.50/lb helped), the Anne and Trenna from Little Knits, and the 4200 yards of light gray Brown Sheep fingering weight yarn my mom bought at a garage sale for $5, I think maybe this year is my year. But I'm only cautiously optimistic; Stitches West is in February, after all.

Speaking of my 101 in 1001, I went through it and updated the things I finished. Not really surprisingly, most of the things I completed are knitting-related. Some of them don't even really factor in anymore and I'll have to re-work them in the next week or two. But overall, it's a nice reminder that even after not looking for an entire year (there's goal #1 to re-start!) I'm still accomplishing some things on the list.

Christmas Eve is tomorrow. Jer, Elizabeth and I are going to two parties tonight: one at Meredith's and one at the Van Over's. ManCandy's flight got cancelled this morning - conveniently before he had to haul himself to the airport - so he's coming home tomorrow morning instead. He'll miss the parties, but since he's not so much down with the planned events I don't think he's too broken up about it. There's a tension between us on this point, because he feels that planned events are tiring and boring and he tends to be very quiet and sit alone during them, while I enjoy being social and meeting the occasional new person. When I invited him to the Van Over's party tonight, his first reaction was "Hell no. I don't know any of those people. There's no way I'd go to that party." It hurt that he refused to even entertain the idea of meeting people I've known for nearly 10 years now, who are only around once or twice per year, and who - in the case of a couple of them - have had major impact on my life. Today, it feels like he doesn't care to meet people who are important to me. Tomorrow, I will have mellowed and probably won't be as upset. Or at least I hope so, but I'd like to think that if our situation was reversed, I'd be willing to at least stop in and meet people for a few minutes before going home to crash.

I'm really ready for this entire holiday season to be over. Next week we've got a gathering on Thursday and we're heading to my mom's on Friday; and I expect I'll have to smooth things over for at least Thursday night as well. *sigh* Relationships are hard; I suppose if they were easy, they wouldn't be worth much. Aaaaand I'm going to stop venting now.

Look! Pretty yarn! (Pictures from Little Knits)

Schaefer Anne - Cranberry Liquor

Schaefer Trenna - Blue Cruise at Sunset

Schaefer Trenna - Plum Golden Harvest

Honestly, how could I have been expected to resist those?! The Anne will become a Bee Fields Shawl and the other two I'll have to think about for a bit. Please excuse me - I'm off to finish my bloody Christmas knitting while watching Angel. Something about ordering eight thousand yards of yarn (that's 4.5 MILES! Oh my god.) makes me feel like finishing things; I can't put my finger on why.

19 December, 2007

What Was New is New Again

Let's make one thing quite clear: I am a shambles at Christmas knitting. Worse, I may be the knitting equivalent of the random detritus found on the floor after cleaning up a shambles. It's that bad, people.

I began my new job as a nanny on Monday afternoon. My little girl picked out a nickname for herself among several choices; she is now and forever more Little Bella. Her father has a touch of the harmlessly crazy due to consistent alcohol consumption and her mother works out of town for a month or two on end; I feel like I'm in The Nanny Diaries a little bit. Bella is a precocious child (I can spell 'phenomenal!') and has a Schedule. It's not completely packed like some of my kids at The Tutor Place used to be - third grade children who have "activities" from 6am until they fall into bed at midnight, only to rinse and repeat 5 days/week - and it's manageable. Or it will be once I get my new car and am not freaked about highway driving in the poor Saturn. I feel like a coach at a hospital's Terminal Ward: "Three more weeks, baby. Just stay with me for three more weeks, you know you can do it!" So far, the last two days have been fun. Her dad gave us permission to blow off Tae Kwon Do last evening, so we went to downtown Los Altos where we met up with Nadia and Cat and drank hot chocolate and coffee. Then we skipped - literally - over to Uncommon Threads and plopped down at their table, where Bella asked me to teach her to knit. Whether I had an ulterior motive for taking her to the yarn shop, I shall never divulge. Cashmere/alpaca couldn't drag it out of me.

So we sat down after oooing and aaaahing over all the lovely colors. And in less time than it takes me to write this, the little imp had mastered and was repeating "in through the front, around the tip, under the front, and off!" Within another 3 minutes, the only part I still had in the process is wrapping the yarn around the needle (Tomorrow will you teach me to do it myself? I like to be self-sufficient.) Then we bought her some Plymouth Worsted and some size 8 needles (The numbers must be how big they are. See, the 5's are smaller than the 8's!) and headed home, where her dad made us omelettes and told her there are "more useful things in the world than knitting!" I countered that knitting would be good for her math skills and her dexterity, so we'll see how that little battle turns out. Friday she's promised to help me pick out a Christmas tree since ManCandy is leaving for an early home Christmas tomorrow morning.

And back to the Christmas knitting shambles detritus that is my knitting basket. I have about 95% of one Dashing done, one Charade sock that according to the recipient needs more ribbing at the cuff of a cuff-down sock - dammit! - so will soon be zero Charade socks, and almost half of a Faina shawl. That's two boys and Mother Ship down; I think the rest will have to wait. I'm working with a lack of knitting mojo right now because school ended yesterday and I'm pretty spent in terms of Things I'd Like To Do. Maybe I'll drive up and meet Nadia in Tahoe tomorrow instead of work. A couple of days with nothing to do but knit by a fire sounds just about like heaven.

16 December, 2007

A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes

Picture heavy today. I'm finally catching up from the Thanksgiving trip to Mexico and the birthday trip to Disneyland. First, Mexico! It was warm and beautiful and relaxing and I'm stoked to go again next year. Here's the view, mostly from my balcony:

The fam at a *fabulous* dinner of shrimp, ceviche and more shrimp, with some aguacates and gambas:

Gabe and I found some Tasty Diabetics at Wal-Mart:

And here is the Grand Mayan at night. Totally worth the trip.

Aaaaand Disneyland. Well, it's Disneyland. I get tired and irritated and I hurt my knees walking so I had to get one of those electric stroller things, but it was a blast.
We had fun on the way there:

Called some 'Toons:

Found my sister's dressing room (she's officially cooler than I am now and I hate her a lot):
And generally had a great time. It was really bright in the morning:

But quite pretty at night:
Alexander met Merlin from The Sword in the Stone:

And got a very fine hat (geekflag):

He posed with some losers:

and saw Santa:

Gabe and I had a fanTAStic time at Disney on Sunday night. We rode Indy twice in a row, hit Space Mountain a bunch of times and did the Matterhorn and Mr. Toad. Oh, and took this:

All in all? I'd do it again to see this face:

Totally worth it.

04 December, 2007

Oh, dear...

It's the last week of classes for Fall '07. This semester hasn't been the be-all-end-all of crappy semesters, but it hasn't been a picnic either. However, up until about 2 minutes ago, I still Cared. Those of you still in college, or who have ever attended college, probably know the feeling. There I was, trucking along on everything that needed to get done by finals, and then, BAM! No Caring. That doesn't mean I won't get things done. On the contrary, I'm more likely to work quicker and churn out papers like meat in my mom's nifty new grinder when I Don't Care. The meat quality, to overuse the analogy, will simply be less filet mignon and more sirloin steak. But if sirloin will help me pass, bring it on - I gave up on Pristine Grades back in middle school.

I am nearly done casting off the Victorian Lace Shawl, but I have yet to write the accompanying 1200-word paper (due Thursday).

In other news, I have pictures of Mexico that I'll put up when I have a Break From Finals. And this weekend I'll be jetting off to Disneyland to take Brother Number 6 for the first time - should be fun! More pictures there, of course.

Oh, and I turn 29 this week. TWENTY-NINE. Next year, I'll be thirty. Or maybe I'll just be 29 again - I haven't decided yet.

10 November, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know it's 2 weeks early, but here in My World, it's Thanksgiving. See, the Fam is all going to Me-hi-ko for a week starting next Saturday to take advantage of several advantageous circumstances that involved 6 free tickets on Alaska Airlines and only 8 family members who needed to be at this little reunion of sorts. Since I am leaving ManCandy and his lack of vacation days behind to serve the cats, we've decided with some other friends to have Thanksgiving so that everyone who wants it can have turkey and mashed potatoes and punkin pie and my mother's (or is it my father's? they argue about who owns the) broccoli casserole.

In other news, I've discovered something. I can write little bits of blog posts and save them and finish them later. Color me shocked - it never occured to me, so I've been sitting down and trying to get All The News into every post. Ridiculous, when you think about it. Which I clearly never did. *ahem*

So here are some things on my plate right now that will come up in future blog posts. I know I promise that, and then I fail to deliver, but just be secure in the fact that it's 'cause I'm living a fabulously elegant life full of rock stars and Chanel no. 5 and turkey and mashed potatoes and and and... right. Did I mention it's Thanksgiving? This might be my favorite holiday, and this year I get two!! Anyway, the stuff on the plate:

1) The nature of forgiveness
2) Graduating from college (no really this time, I swear!)
3) Moving out of The Bay to an as-yet undisclosed location
4) Learning to spin and how roving doesn't count as stash (or falling off the yarn-diet wagon)
5) The sending off of sundry packages that are WAY TOO LATE for my comfort
6) The requisite Yarn Pr0n that's been building up until the last time I sinned (Oct. 27, for those who are counting)

I've been knitting away on the Spiders Web Shawl for my Eng 56B class. I'm a row away from the second chart, but I've stopped for the last couple of days due to a rampaging headache on Thursday that kept me home from class. It's knitting up beautifully, and now the only decision is whether I want one more repeat of the center bit. I've got 1300 yards instead of the 900 called-for, so I think I'd be good on that front. I'm just not sure about finishing the darn thing in time if I make it bigger. Of course, "catching up" on all my knitting blogs doesn't help me get my shawl finished. *ahem*

Off to make turkey! Happy Turkey Day, and may you not be able to remember all the reasons you're thankful. I know I can't, and I'm thankful that my life is blessed in so many ways, I can't count them all.

24 October, 2007

Think Pink!

There's a contest for a pink Dyson going on, but I don't think you should join. Keeps the odds in my favor. :D

Pink Dyson Vaccuum Giveaway by the Domestic Diva

22 October, 2007

More Than One Can Chew

Ahhh, fall. It's probably my favorite time of year, especially in California. Summer is hot hot hot with none of the rain my Alaskan-raised soul began to crave once I had been out of the rainforest for about 6 years. I rouse slowly from my heat-induced lethargy and begin to long for productivity, soup, and warm mugs of tea. Which is why, when my Brit-Lit from 1800-Present professor announced that garment construction could be a viable term project, I fired off an email rationalizing why knitting something from Victorian Lace Today would be a good idea. I figured, I'm only 2.5 seasons in with Buffy, there're 5 seasons of Angel, and untold seasons of good HBO shows in my Netflix queue, so why not?

Then reality hit me on the head. A lace shawl by the 6th of December? Yikes. So last night I threw the atrocious Perlas Rojas into the dye pot with some vermilion and fire red, let it simmer and then cool in the pot overnight. This morning, it is drying in the fall sunlight on the porch. If I get the go-ahead from the prof tomorrow, I'll be ready to go, and if she thinks it's a weak idea, I still have 1600 yards of claret red lace that I didn't have before.

Since the last time I updated this thing, some stuff has happened! Nothing really major, I grant you. But stuff, nonetheless. First up, I finished the Gryffindor Socks for my pal! They knit up surprisingly quickly with only one skein of Lorna's Laces plus some Skacel yellow for the peasant heels and toes. I just need to block them - maybe I'll add them to the fall sunshine on the porch before ManCandy and I head to brunch on the hill this morning.

They make me wish I were a Gryffindor, but only for a minute.

I've turned the heel and begun gusset decreases for the Hedera's I'm knitting to be a Sock Savior for Sockapalooza. I feel a bit guilty that it took me awhile to begin them, but the pattern is a relatively quick one and the lady's feet are a teeny US size 5, so I'm hoping to have them in the mail by the end of October. This pair sort of makes me wish I'd learned to do 2 socks at once, but it wouldn't actually go any faster; I would simply not have the second sock hanging over my head.

I also swatched for the Secret of the Stole, which may be on hold pending teacher approval for the Handsome Triangle. I'm going to use the Clivia I got from Handpaintedyarns.com with some pearl-colored beads originally purchased for Mystery Stole 3. I was completely disgusted with that color when I got it, but it's grown on me a lot since then. I'm looking forward to working with it. I had a nightmare of a time printing the damn pattern - the printers at work hatehatehate me and refused point-blank to print, so I had to wait and do it at the school lab. But now the first hints are in my hot little hands.

Why are the top 3 rows of garter stitch so huge and the bottom 3 rows so tiny? ARGH!

Lastly, I mentioned the KP 45 in my last post. This little feature will have to wait awhile since I'm broke-ass for reasons I'll go into in a non-yarn related post (gasp and alack!). But here is at least one KP45 to tide you over, 'cause I know my yarny antics just get people goin' in the morning. Har.

KP Gloss in 4 colors, Palette in 2, Jaquard starter set and Options Harmony size 4's

Yep, forty-five bucks can get you a lot of bang if you do it right. HAH! I'm funny. It's actually been since the Purlescence birthday bash that I bought yarn, which was Oct. 13th. I'm going to see if I can make it for a month - depending on what that prof says about the Handsome Triangle, I may not have much of a choice!!

What did I buy at Purlescence, you ask? 1200 yards of BMFA Bambu in Calypso. Go big or go home, baby.

And I shall leave you this fine evening to go work on the Savior socks with this little tidbit I snapped awhile ago:

I call this: Can I Help You?

15 October, 2007

It's Alive!

Short post, busy as hell.

We're gearing up toward the end of the session at my Tutoring Center, the timing of which will coincide nicely with my midterms at school (joy!). I'm trying desperately to find time to restore the cat netting on the porch, do laundry, homework, and still have a life, but day-am.

Coming soon:
*Gryffindor socks!
*Sock Savior socks!
*Printing the Secret of the Stole trauma
*Fighting the startitis virus
*a possible new feature: the bi-weekly KnitPicks $45! (yarn diet? what yarn diet?)
*A review of my newest favoritest show: Pushing Daisies

And last but not least:
*a return from the incessant Buffy obsession that is 7 seasons of Joss-y goodness. Yea, I never watched Buffy before last Sunday, what of it?

I shall leave you, dear reader, with a rhetorical question: How does David Boreanaz manage to go from barely attractive to smokin' hot in just 2 seasons? Could it be the leather pants?

23 September, 2007

I'll See Your Wagon and Raise You a Boxcar

Do you ever feel that it's somewhat useless to blog because your life is passing you by so quickly? That's how I've felt the last few weeks. So much has been going on, it's hard to know where to begin. Sometimes we have to just give ourselves permission to only catalog what we remember and let the rest slip by for another time, which is what I'm doing today. (Doesn't "give yourself permission" sound like such a new-agey thing to do? Harumph!)

First, about 2 weeks ago my Knitpicks Options needles arrived! I hearts them, and I spread the love this weekend when the Mother Ship was here; she will be getting a set, probably of the Harmony needles since she works with more slickery fibers than I do. More on that later. The bummer with the KP set is that the needles don't come smaller than a size 4. Or perhaps that's good for me, since I tend to hover right in the size 1-3 range because I am a *cough*looseknitter*cough*. One of these days I'll knit a sweater (or seven. My Ravelry queue is getting sweater-heavy for fall).
Knitpicks Options needle set, now with toast!

In a fit of excitement, I fell prey to Handpaintedyarn.com and picked up several hundred yards of their laceweight and 10 ounces of roving. For the first time ever when I opened a box of yarn, I thought the company had sent me the wrong order. I was bitterly disappointed. I have a sneaking suspiscion that the photos are doctored, but I'm not sure and wouldn't want to cast aspersions. Here are some comparison shots:

Perlas Rojas from the website: rubies and pearls _____Perlas Rojas in person: rust and smog!

The roving is closer, and the Clivia seems to have mellowed since it arrived and sat in the sun for a day, but I don't know that I'll be ordering from them again. I do like the greys in the Perlas Rojas though, so I might pick up a few skeins of the solid pearl grey - just not any time soon.

To comfort myself, I ordered a pair of the Harmony tips in size 4 from Knitpicks. Of course, I couldn't pass up the free shipping for orders over $45, so I added $38-worth of stuff to my cart. Shut up, my math is excellent! In the package will be a Jaquard starter set (hurrah!) and the Gryffindor yarn for my HP Sock Swap 2 partner, so when it arrives I will be dropping whatever I am doing and cranking out those socks. I found a pattern, thanks to Bella Knitting! Sarah, you're awesome.

Then, up until this weekend, I hardly knitted at all because of school work and projects. The Mother Ship arrived on the train on Friday and we spent a happy evening surfing Ravelry (I signed her up) and helping her transfer her newest project to a set of my new KP Options needles. You see, she had started a sideways Feather and Fan shawl out of mohair, and was trying (poor dear!) to cram 246 stitches onto a 32" Addi size 9. Those puppies were popping off all over the place! So I handed her my KP size 9's with the 60" cord attached (I knew those extra sizes would come in handy!) and helped her transfer and count all the stitches. Within about five minutes, I ordered a set of the Harmony size 9's and had them on their way to her house - clearly wooden needles are best for a mohair shawl. Good lord.

Then on Saturday, we went on an impromptu fiber crawl. First we hit Yarn Dogs where I bought enough sport weight to make a scarf I've been looking at and half of the Misti Alpaca laceweight to make the Feather and Fan Shawl from AGoL. Apparently I thought 1200 yards would be fine even though the pattern calls for 2500... wtf, memory? I'll also be taking their 4-session spinning course in October, hurrah!

Frog Tree Alpaca in sage green _______Misti Alpaca lace, but only 1300 yards! Waugh!

Then we dashed to Los Altos and went to Thai Silks, where the cutest little old Thai ladies work and coo over all the choices their customers make. One lady patted my head and told me that she used to knit when she was a bride in her country, but has forgotten in all the hundred years since. So cute! Mother Ship bought silk enough to make a skirt and top, and then we headed back out into the California dew. Our foray into the rain was cut short by the discovery that Uncommon Threads was across the street (how did I not know that?) so we went there and discovered that if I ever want to make a sweater, this would be the shop to which I would turn. The ladies there suggested Purlesence as well; I had planned to skip it in favor of my pocketbook and going on Sunday for Tea and Sympathy, but since it was on the way home... to Purlesence we went.

I need to go more often. The ladies who work there are famous for their hospitality and energy, and their fame is well-deserved. My mother managed (with the help of knitters-by) to con me into making a pair of Clessidras for her by 1) reminding me that she gave birth to me I didn't know Camille at all when I made her such fabulous socks, and 2) buying the yarn. The knitters-by reminded me that she is my mother and I have to do what she says. All of these are salient points. I acquiesced and, as a reward for being nice to my mommy, bought myself a copy of IK winter 2006 and a skein of STR Geisha, and into my Ravelry queue went another set of Clessidras (I might be crazy a little).

Geisha in Carbon, perhaps a sweater?____Maizy in Hibiscus, destined to be (more)Clessidras

Now, dear reader, I have more yarn than I know what to do with. Well - that's not strictly true. I know what to do with it. I just have to find the time! Perhaps I should get a job at a yarn store instead of as a teacher... *sigh*

This whole weekend I have successfully hidden Faina from my mother, but since she doesn't read this blog here's a sneak peek:

Faina: 1.75 of 4 repeats done - that's nearly 1/2 way!

Last night, I started the second half of the Super Secret S---x project, only to find out that since I put it down last time my knitting skillz have improved drastically. So instead of being more than half done, I frogged the first half and have begun afresh. I am 2 repeats away from being 25% finished; it's much quicker going this time around - a slight relief. Perhaps I should start knitting tiny test socks before I attempt new patterns!

The kittehs continue to get along better and better. Both boys sleep on my bed at least at the beginning of the nights; I'm thrilled that Darcy is taking back his spot near my feet. School is becoming a trial and my faithful, trusty Saturn is slowly dying a painful death, but I'm hoping she'll last long enough for me to switch my work schedule so that I can take public transportation to both work and school - about 5 weeks (hopefully - fingers crossed!). And now, I must go plug myself back in to Jane Eyre while I knit. It may be slower going than if I were to just read the book, but it does mean I get to knit at the same time - a fair tradeoff for possibly not getting the book 100% finished by Tuesday's class, I think!

16 September, 2007

KEEL me now.

I discovered Veronik Avery's work today, which gives you two reasons to shoot me in my sleep. One, because I've been knitting for awhile now and never recognized her as a Goddamn Certifiable Genius, and two, because I will never, ever live long enough to knit all the amazingly beautiful things she creates, which will slowly tear at me from the inside out. Damn you, Ravelry!

Is there an acronym for accumulating so much Ravelry queue that you'll never get to it all? Something like SABLE, but PABLE doesn't sound right. AHH! I've got it; we'll call it KEELS: Knitting Exceeds Expected Life Span.

P.S. - Brie Ellen, this is all your fault. You and your stupid queue! We can transfer the blame to Kai if you like - he's hearty; he can stand it.

P.S.S. - I'm Tikabelle on Ravelry, for any who want to be my friend. Anyone? Bueller?

09 September, 2007

Why is it?

Why is it that I seem to spend all my time looking at knitting, thinking about knitting, but seem to get very little actual knitting done?
I think this has something to do with the overabundance of beautiful yarns and projects available both on Ravelry and the interwebs in general. Knitting Daily's free weekly patterns don't help either, I must say. That Quilt Wrap stole (from Folk Style but available to KD subscribers, go sign up!) looks like my darling Mother Ship, and if two of the Knitpicks Gloss colors I would use in said scarf weren't backordered until the end of October, I would be out some $45 right this moment. I'm the type of person who can get stuck in the toothpaste aisle for half an hour because I am struggling to choose the perfect item. So getting overwhelmed with the plethora of beauty on the 'net, well. Par for the course, my friends.
It's also something to do with a constant feeling that I should be doing something else - regardless of the usefulness or importance of what I'm doing at the time. Very strange, and yet reminiscent of the term I took 3 studio art classes at the same time - two from the same professor. I'm not sure why that is; I'm not overly strapped for time or cash at the moment (although I could stand to re-dedicate myself to the Yarn Diet... *cough cough*). Oh well - these things seem to work themselves out in the end.

In other news, I got my Options needle set yesterday, along with my Starry Night yarn from the Zen Yarn Garden ART Walk Sock Club. It's be-yoo-tiful. I'm on the lookout for a stole of some sort that I can make with 420 yards of fingering weight - this is too pretty to be socks. I'm still waiting on the stuff from Handpaintedyarn.com, but hopefully it will show up in tomorrow's post. Once it gets here, there will be a full photographic update, never fear!

The Senor Sancho Panza, Esquire continues to grow - soon he'll be full grown and we won't be able to call him the Wee One anymore. But in the meantime, his kittenhood is both entertaining and exhausting, especially when he wants to play in the middle of the night. Thank god he'll be grown in a year - what if he was a KID?!?

He has discovered my sock projects

And thinks the monitor is his own personal toy

But he sure is cute when he's sleeping!

Mr. Darcy is still not amused.

25 August, 2007

Scarf Month? What Scarf Month?

ARGH. I got to around row 100/423 on Faina and realized something important. That pain in my right wrist? From working on straight needles. I got tendonitis years ago from dance team, and it acts up every once in awhile. So Scarf Month has been put on hold - again - until I can get myself a set of Knitpicks Options needles. ::sigh:: I was just getting into that lace thing, too! But there will be updated pictures once the camera battery re-charges.

Money will be tight for awhile. I had my 3-month review at work yesterday and discovered that the vacation I took in August - the one I was encouraged to take - will likely not, in fact, be paid. Now, my boss is super-nice and may pay me anyway, but it means that the financial aid I was going to save for next years tuition might be re-purposed to pay rent this month instead. It also means that the previously mentioned Knitpicks Options set will take a little longer to arrive in my hot little hands. Bah! It also means that I won't be getting a spinning wheel for awhile. I'm a bit sad about that, but yesterday I consoled myself by hauling out my drop spindle and spinning up some of the wool that's been sitting in my closet for a year - or is it two? It's addictive, that drop spindling.

In the mean time, I've been working on my brother Gabe's Charade Socks. They're quite lovely (in a manly way, of course) and I'm enjoying them a lot. My friend Sarah IM'ed me last night and wanted to know where HER socks are and why, if I'm not currently making her some, I insisted on tempting her with all that lovely fibery goodness. To which I can only answer: Evil. Pure and simple. ::grin::

But enough about knitting! Yesterday, the kitteh announced that his name is Senor Sancho Panza, Esquire, and he would like you all to know that he is the clever one. And please do not disturb him while he is eating:

Or while he is watching bugs on the wall:

or for the love of God, sleeping: