20 November, 2008

10-minute blog post!

Oh yes, cheer in exultation, my friends. Today you get TEN minutes worth of information instead of the usual FIVE. I know you're excited. 

Knitting. There has been some - quite a bunch, really. I stopped doing the November Sweater thing when I realized with a panic that I can't make some people in my family handmade gifts and simply buy things for the rest; my family is all craftsy and artsy, and they know the difference in time/thought commitment between handmade and store-bought. 

After several tries, the Buffalo Soldier 3-ply I spun up awhile ago became a scarf in short order - 2 days of knitting and my dad has a Christmas present:

Seeded Rib Scarf, CMF "Buffalo Soldier" 3-ply, 233 yds.

That's a Seeded Rib pattern from Barbara Walker's Second Stitch Dictionary. I have come to the conclusion that I need to knit with more handspun. Jasmin will get all "I told you so!" in the comments, and she's totally right. I need to spin more so I can knit with more handspun, because it's utterly charming. I was more pleased knitting up this little scarf than anything I can think of recently, except for Jessie's hat and scarf... which are also made of handspun. Oh, and my stepmom's shawl - ALSO handspun. Two incidences make a straight line, but three is a trend, as my engineer father is wont to say. Clearly I need to bust out the Sonata more often.

Here's another shot just 'cause I'm so chuffed about the scarf:

Last weekend, I was off on both Friday and Monday as the Relatively Normal's had a bar mitzvah to attend in New York State. I had planned to spend the weekend drinking wine and enjoying the first weekend of the newest World of Warcraft expansion, but I was thwarted when my father called up and asked if he could fly me to LA to spend time with him. I admit freely that I was a little bummed - my dad and I have a rocky relationship, and I had planned my long weekend out to the hour, including time for school projects and going to pick up dinner to eat it in front of the computer screen (can't sit at a restaurant! must level!). But filial duty is a strong part of my nature, and I knew I'd enjoy myself once I got there. 

My dad's college roommate, Sam, was docked in San Diego, so Papa picked me up at the airport and we headed down there to see him and his family. Sam is a character; his family is independently wealthy due to some clever choices in the early part of the 20th century, but he hasn't ever used the money except as a potential safety net. Instead, he buys derelict yachts, fixes them up, then sells them again - but not before sailing them around the world to "make sure they're ship-shape." Needless to say, the man has more stories than Grimm's. I spent an exceedingly pleasant weekend learning about boats, visiting the Maritime Museum and the San Diego Zoo, and learning how to navigate in the world of traveling people. I took a bunch of pictures, and you can see them here; although as of right now not all of them are up on Flickr yet. 

That's the end of my 10 minutes, but I also finished a pair of socks for Gabe's Christmas present - ~400 yards of Regia 4-ply. Pictures to follow!

06 November, 2008

The Harsh Mistress

All together now, let's breathe a sigh of combined relief and just a tinge of sadness. As Mrs. Bennet might have said, "President-Elect Obama! How well that sounds!" Just typing it out gives me a little thrill, and I've been celebrating with champagne. Have you ever noticed how champagne tastes better when you're not guzzling it in a gibbering wreck on the couch, but cheering progress and a new direction for your country with your friends?

On the other hand, it's looking like Prop 8 may have passed in California. I'm consoling myself by guzzling wine on the couch. Champagne and wine do not go together very well, surprisingly. Something to do with the bubbles, I think. I'm also consoling myself with the hope that the Obama Administration ("Mr. Bennet, the White House has been let at last!") will appoint U.S. Supreme Court justices who will find that the gender of married people has no business being a legal issue. I don't see how it's ANY of my business whom other people choose to marry, although you may call me old-fashioned if I state here and now that I'm opposed to inter-species weddings. Other than that, go nuts.

In other news, it's NaKniSweMo. I decided to work on my Salina this month in the lovely Felted Tweed I bought just before the Social Pressure Experiment began. To be honest, it was that particular purchase along with another tumble that prompted the Social Pressure Experiment, at least on my side. And please will someone buy up the 25%-off Felted Tweed at Purlescence this week before I start to make excuses?

Anyway. Salina. In the last 5 days, I have trucked through the bottom-edge decreases and yesterday cruised into the increases:

For those playing at home, it's about 300 yards in and 7.5" long.

I'm contemplating bust darts for this, but I haven't decided yet. And I'm not there yet, not having a torso the size of a pixie's. Anyway. I was teaching the Younger Relatively Normal about multiplication and division last night, and seized upon the brilliant idea of teaching him by way of gauge. Aren't I clever? We measured 4" on the tape measure, counted up the stitches, and divided the number by 4 to get 6.75.

Blink blink.

Let's take this opportunity to teach Younger R-N some more basics of division, shall we?
Number of stitches around: 210.
Number of stitches in an inch: 6.75.
210/6.75 = ~31".

Now, let's measure Tika's true waist: 34".


While I am slimming down pretty quickly from the weight I gained eating tons of delicious Indian food at the Sanatarium, I am unlikely to shed THREE INCHES from my waist in the next three weeks. And let's not forget our friend Positive Ease. Or her cousin, Wearing Shirts Under Potentially Itchy Sweaters.

When I got home, I pulled out my needle gauge with a sense of trepidation. Sure enough, I had blithely ignored the instructions to go up a needle size after finishing the seed stitch border. This morning I woke up, pulled out the ball winder, fixed myself a strong cup of coffee (helpful after an evening of guzzling wine and champagne, see above), and went to work.


And yet, there is a positive note in all of this. Younger R-N learned multiplication, along with several other choice phrases he's never ever under pain of death allowed to repeat to his parents. Or his sister. Or anyone, really.

It's only day 6, and there is time to recover so I can finish the sweater before Dec. 1.

And then there's this:

02 November, 2008


Duckling Dove Socks, Knit Picks Bare "Pink Lemonade"
319 yds.