31 December, 2009

Obligatory Yearly Round-Up, v. 2009

WELL. It has been quite the year, y'all. I graduated from my undergrad and moved into a grad program more quickly than I intended. Despite the alacrity with which I dove back into school, I'm pretty sure that going for a teaching credential is the right decision for me and that it will allow me to put together a long-term plan that I'm happy with. Also I get to eff with the minds of high school kids, which is always fun.

So let's see. I am nearly done with the first part of the knitting for Salina. I have to finish the right front, then block the pieces before I seam it and pick up the collar, sew on the buttons, and then I'm DONE DONE DONE. Except not really because one sleeve is about 2" longer than the other, and both are too short. Chimpanzee arms, that's me. My plan is to pick up from the cast-on edge and just add another couple of inches, probably in seed stitch to match the hem and collar detail. However, I'm debating whether I should rip back the sleeve cap of the shorter sleeve and at least make them even before I seam up the sweater. I SO don't want to, but I'm pretty sure it'll make me crazy if I don't. So maybe the blocking won't happen tonight. ARGH.

Remember my list of things I wanted to finish up from a few weeks ago? I actually finished something!

Red Vanilla Socks
Brown Sheep Wildfoote, "Ragtime"
293 yds.

And now, because it's nearly 2010 and all sins are forgotten when the clock strikes 12, I will confess to having started a new project:

Citron from Winter Knitty '09
Malabrigo Sock yarn, "Lettuce"

I've got 57g left in the ball, so I'm almost 1/2 done. And now that I look at the pattern, it calls for Malabrigo LACE yarn, not SOCK yarn... so my little slice of lime might be a bit bigger than the original. Ah, well! It makes for great mindless knitting and I'm totally charmed by the whole thing.

In terms of the 12-Mile Quest, I didn't make it this year either. However, in standard quest storylines, the heroine must encounter three setbacks before she can attain her goal, so maybe 2010 will be the Year of the Quest. My total completed yardage for the year is 8 miles and 185 yards, which is about 800 yards fewer than last year. Given that I have knitted almost nothing in the last 3 months, that's not terrible! I completed 35 projects over the course of 70 posts and renewed my commitment to 101 in 1001. I also started a podcast (currently languishing, but with plans to rise up off of its' Victorian fainting couch soon)!

In keeping with last year's statement of goals, I am hereby pledging to do the following in 2010:

1) Rediscover my voice. Life is short and I intend to enjoy however much of it I have left. I will never be super-famous, which means that my immortality will end somewhere around 50 years after my own death. Do I want to be remembered during those 50 years as the quiet, mousy aunt who never did anything, or do I want to be the one who was always down, always ready for trouble? I think you know which one I'm choosing.

2) Experiment more. I tried to do this to some extent last year, but certain aspects of my life held me back. I am discovering little bits and pieces of myself that I've let fall by the wayside over the last 6 years, and I'm keeping the bits I liked. I know why I let them slip away, but I don't intend to do so again.

3) Find That Guy. My roommate and I are onboard with a new quest to find the guy I kissed on my birthday. We have decided that regardless of whether we find him or not, the chance to have adventures in new places is worth attempting the journey. Also, he was hot and mysterious.

4) Resurrect The Whim Game. This covers all three of the above pledges. There are super seekrit things in the works for this, and I'm excited to bring them to fruition. Plus, it'll get me three points, which is really what it's all about.

Happy New Year, everyone! I leave you with a picture of THB next to the tree, sipping on a Hendrick's Gin Martini in his bathrobe. He would kill me if he knew I posted this on my blog, but what are big sisters for, after all?

Twelve in 2010

Here are my self-imposed and somewhat flexible rules for my 2010 12-Mile Quest:

1) Knit and/or spin through 12 miles of completed items in 2010.
a) Handspun yarn can be counted twice - once for the spinning and once for the knitting.
b)The yardage of completed items is based on weight, using the weight/yardage ratios printed on the ball band.
c) If yardage is not available, reasonable estimation is allowed.

2) Works in progress as of 1/1/10 can be counted, except the Infernal Ribbi Cardi, which has its knitting completed and is only waiting on a matching Infernal Zipper.

3) Some form of Stash Equilibrium should be maintained. Perhaps there will be more on this later, and perhaps there won't. Maybe I'll just try to keep up some Reasonable Habits (TM).

Finished Objects 2009

1/2 - Seeded Rib Scarf #5 - 270 yds.
1/4 - Pistachio Mitts - 160 yds.
1/8 - Seeded Rib Scarf #6 - 331 yds.
1/9 - MIFS Hat - 115 yds.
1/12 - Gauge Hat - 92 yds.
1/29 - No-Purl Monkey Socks - 273 yds.
2/5 - Santa Fe Socks - 315 yds.
2/8 - Seeded Rib Scarf #7 - 313 yds.
2/14 - Gauge Hat #3 - 104 yds.
2/17 - Berries and Cream Socks - 274 yds.
2/18 - Wish You Were Here yarn - 420 yds.
2/26 - Dishcloth #1 - 85 yds.
2/26 - Mismatched R-N socks - 302 yds.
3/9 - Limeade Socks - 247 yds.
3/29 - L/C Yarn - 406 yds.
3/29 - Blackberry Truffle Yarn - 341 yds.
4/15 - Mysterious Mirror Socks - 366 yds.
4/23 - Papa Socks - 361 yds.
4/30 - Scarf #21 - 560 yds.
5/9 - Ivory Coast yarn - 575 yds.
5/17 - Lord of the Mountains yarn - 546 yds.
6/1 - Begonia 1.0 yarn - 353 yds.
6/17 - Spiderman Blanket - 1692 yds.
6/27 - I'm Still. Big. Red. - 1250 yds.
6/29 - Easter Egg 1.0 yarn - 170 yds.
6/30 - Begonia 2.0 yarn - 104 yds.
7/3 - Easter Egg 2.0 yarn - 64 yds.
7/12 - Asti yarn - 313 yds.
7/23 - Harvest yarn - 340 yds.
7/23 - She's Like A Rainbow yarn - 633 yds.
9/23 - Honeydew BSJ - 377 yds.
9/25 - Shield of Bees - 1681 yds.
10/26 - Vanilla Rib Socks - 292 yds.
11/4 - Underwater Trees Scarf - 386 yds.
12/23 - Red Vanilla Rib Socks - 293 yds.

14 December, 2009

Just a Bit of Knitting

For whatever reason, I haven't been knitting lately. Partly because of some fundamental shifts in my space - moving to Roseville, making new friends, grad school, none of said new friends being knitting people, etc. - and partly because I've been trying a new thing: knitting monogamy. I've gotten frustrated with the number of unfinished projects looming over my head, so I've been slowly trying to finish things up. Interestingly, this has caused the sheer volume of knitting to go down, possibly because some of the projects aren't as portable as others.

This means I'm clearly NOT going to finish the 12-Mile Quest this year, despite my best efforts during the first 6 months of 2009. But in the spirit of working through my 101 in 1001 goals, I am going to shift my focus and try to finish at least my Salina sweater before the year is out.

To this end, I give you some sleeves:

Roughly 1.5 sleeves, to be exact. After the second sleeve is complete, I just need to complete the front half of the sweater (already more than 1/2 finished), then knit the collar and set in the sleeves and I'm done.Well, almost done - I am pretty sure that I'm going to have to pick up the bottom edge of the sleeves and add about 2" onto them due to my monkey arms. Sleeve knitting is one of two times I bemoan my long limbs; the other is when my new jeans, which have been deliberately purchased to drag on the floor by 3", shrink up to my ankles. Lest my shorter friends poke fun at me because their jeans are always too long, allow me to remind you that you all can get your pants hemmed to the perfect length for about $9, while I am doomed to look like an afficionado of the 80's highwater pants era.

Anyway, sleeves. They're nearly done. And after that, I have a pair of socks that are about 25% finished out of this yarn, which is another colorway of this yarn that made these socks, which I am currently wearing. And then there is the blocking of my Shield of Bees shawl - did I mention that the same day I got my $20-worth of T-pins in the mail from WEBS, I also found my other boxes of T-pins, thus making me the T-pin Queen? Other unfinished projects, according to Ravlery, include:

*Mingus Socks (need to rip and re-start according to original pattern; why the Koigu version was miles too small and the current version is miles too big is beyond me.)
*Norfolk Ramblers (must take picture of Welsh Heel Disaster '09 to send to Emma, then rip and figure out WTF is wrong with my pattern-reading skills)
*Very Happy Scarf (need to rip edging and find another smaller treatment for same. Beginning to recognize a theme here...)
*Honeydew BSJ (sew. on. the. damn. buttons. Will probably take 15 minutes and have been procrastinating for almost 3 months.)
*Great Bebeh Project (perhaps am in the right place for miles upon miles of garter stitch, finally?)

Not being a masochist - at least, not a KNITTING masochist - I don't expect all of this to be done in the next 18 days. But I bet I could finish at least the Salina and the red socks, which would mean I could wear them to my final class of the session in early January. My classmates would get a kick out of seeing me wear stuff I've been working on since October.

And speaking of masochism, I had a great weekend in the East Bay and Menlo Park. Well, a great 24 hours - South Bay friends, don't get out the pitchforks! My step-grandmother was in MP for the weekend and I went down with my Other Brother who lives in Alameda in order to brunch with her. On the way there, I spent Saturday night partying in downtown Alameda with a new friend, Malia, whose name endeared her to me immediately because the only other Malia I know is my beloved soul sister in Oregon (Hi 'Bean!). I didn't run into the kissing stranger from last weekend, but if he's meant to turn up, he will. Like a shiny penny, or something... In the meantime, New Malia knows a LOT of people in Alameda, and has undertaken the amusing mystery.

My life is often like a soap opera, have you noticed?

06 December, 2009

Officially Grown-Up (???)

Today, somewhere in the wee-sma's of the morning, I turned thirty-one.

Since last year this time, I have finished my undergraduate degree, split up with ManCandy and moved in to a little house with my brother, THB. I successfully dodged a bullet in Portland shaped like my friend LB (the last time I let that bullet hit me, it hurt. After 7 years, she can be taught, ladies and gentlemen!). I decided that grad school and teacherhood were not for the nebulous Future, but for Today! And that Portland Shannon-igans are for Tomorrow (which is much closer than the nebulous Future). I moved from a three-bedroom apartment full of 4 years of accumulated stuff to a 9'x9' room, and somewhere along the way I got rid of an entire dumpster-load of stuff. I started going to the gym for real - I know because I'm looking forward to going there tomorrow. I changed my cut-off age for men from THB's birthday (June '84) to MY birthday.

I feel like a grown-up.

And how did I spend the moments between 30 and 31, you ask? Well, at the Sugar Hill Gang concert I went to with friends in Folsom on Saturday night - wait, what? Let me start over. Last night we - THB, his girlfriend K, and some other friends went out to see the Sugar Hill Gang and stick around for 80's night. This is particularly amusing to me because the LAST time I saw SHG was at the Colorado State University Homecoming Week in 1997, also known as my freshman year in college. This is my first year as an undergrad; my life is chock-full of interesting little cycles like that. Anyway, there was an attractive man there whom K said I should go talk to. In keeping with the recently-resurrected Whim Game, I did so, earning myself 3 points. And starting at midnight I earned another 3 by spending the rest of the evening kissing a stranger. Life, my friends, is too short to pass up opportunities to feel that special chill down your spine in the instant before you kiss someone for the first time. Someone who tells you that you have a perfect face and lady's hands. Who doesn't get weird about the goodbyes that mean he's obviously not getting any - even when you frack it up by sending him on his way with no way to get in touch with you, only to see him looking for you moments later as you pull out of the parking lot. The spine-shivers may fade, but the elegant compliments will be treasured for some time to come.

And really, it wasn't bad for a trial run on my (very rusty) charm. I am under strict command by my brother Kai to demand phone numbers and the names of various family-approved punk bands from the next Whim Game Victim I meet.

Someone told me recently that the 30's are when I will really start to understand myself. I think that's already beginning to be the case, and I'm proud of the choices I've been making - even the silly ones.

In the next year, I plan to actually complete the 12-Mile Quest, possibly change my name (don't get all excited, it's not as momentous as it sounds!), work on my 101 in 1001 goals, and most importantly, find my groove, dust it off, and apply it daily.

Happy birthday to me!