24 August, 2011

UFO Files: Shetland Shorty

Last spring I started making the Shetland Shorty pattern from Knitty Summer '08. I used some black Panda Silk that I've had in my stash forever - I think I bought it in San Jose when Commuknity went out of business.

I made it through the garter stitch ties, the honeycomb lace body, and the 3-needle bind-off before the ends began to unravel from under the sleeves. It turns out that a yarn made of bamboo and silk doesn't stick to itself as well as a yarn made of wool; go figure. It's been in Time Out ever since with a vague impression of "UGH re-work ends..." attached to it.

Today I pulled it out along with a bottle of Fray-Check, that incredibly useful sewing glue, and set to work.

Dear Reader, you may imagine my amusement and irritation when I tell you that it took literally fifteen minutes to finish the garment. A spot of glue here and there, a re-knitting of 3 rows of sleeve, and a bind-off were all that was left. After fourteen months of avoidance, a mere fifteen minutes sufficed to take the (admittedly tiny) weight of this project off of my mind.

Better pictures to follow, but for now it's blocking:

Crystal Palace Panda Silk, Black, 380 yds.
Instinct tells me that it will grow a bit, which is fine since I made it a little snug in the first place. The yardage gives me a bit of breathing room on the 11-Mile Quest, as I'm finding it difficult to knit 126 yards of lace per day even though I started a Pi Shawl for relatively easy, low-pattern knitting.

Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud, "Tidepool" 1760 yds in stash.
I may have to branch out and start some sock-weight projects!

19 August, 2011

For Those Who...

The Rosebud Shawl is an "audiobook knit." That is to say, I can't knit on it and watch TV - no matter how cerebral (or not ::coughBuffycough::) that television may be - but I can listen to an audiobook and make fairly regular progress.

So for TV watching and mileage-increasing purposes, I pulled out the Moderne Baby Blanket (pdf link!) that I started back in 2009 when Evelyn was the size of a can of beans in her mother's womb. In true knitterly fashion, the blanket is finally finished in plenty of time for her second birthday!

Knit Picks Comfy yarn in Blackberry, Planetarium, Honeydew, and Cashew. 1603 yards.
I really liked not needing to block this or wash it or ANYTHING before it was considered finished! I'm toying with the idea of knitting another one; I've got 5 skeins each of off-white and chocolate brown Comfy in my stash, so it would only require two more colors (or 1.5 more colors since I have almost 2 skeins left of both the Blackberry and Planetarium). For those who care, I followed Kelly Petkun's advice of doing an applied i-cord edging instead of a garter stitch one. I like the finished look much better, although if (ok, when) I end up doing this again I'll probably do both a garter stitch border and an i-cord edging for extra contrast around the block pattern.

Alas, my Knitting Schedule has reared its ugly head and I don't have time before my deadlines to knit any more simple garter stitch projects. Or maybe I do... ::looks at the list of babies due in the next 6 months::

For those keeping track (me), there are 44 days left until October 1st, when I would like to have finished knitting and/or spinning 7 miles-worth of yarn. There are 5,558 yards left to complete, so that makes 126 yards per day. YIKES! I gotta go...

13 August, 2011

My Favorite Baby

I went to visit Jer and Eliz in San Francisco last week and took full advantage of the time to huff my favorite niece:

Now with more yogurt!
She's now just over 22 months old.

And obviously cute as a button. What does that even mean, anyway?
She's definitely still a tiny little thing.

But that little package holds a whole lot of hilarity.

And also teeth. 
Plus, I've finally graduated from being "N-T Kaka" to being TIKA!

Consolidation not Consolation

My Knitting Deadlines list is getting out of hand. There are upcoming babies, weddings, celebrations of various kinds, and all between now and January. Yikes! Last week I was looking through my stash on Ravelry - because why would I look at the ACTUAL stash when I can just browse through pictures?!? - and realized that a lot of what I know I have wasn't listed. This prompted a 2-day Stash Toss that involved my laptop, a camera set-up, and two huge uploads to Flickr of yarn that I knew on some level that I had but didn't know where it was.

I managed to catalog everything I could find; now it's a matter of inputting the yarn and images into Ravelry. And then the fiber stash needs to be done, because that's never been put into Ravelry. Lazy Raveler, no cookie!

And at the end of the day, the results appear depressingly minimal:

I emptied out the box on the left and 3/4-filled the box on the right. Argh.

But by heck, I know where all my yarn is and I have pictures of all of it! Now to just work through enough that I don't need overflow bins at all...

03 August, 2011

Nerd Books

I have a lot of books that a layperson would probably dismiss as "nerdy." I did a quick perusal of my shelves and confirmed that they are largely made up of differing categories:

Theater Nerd Books:
The Theater and Its Double - Artaud
Brecht on Theater - Willett
Norton's Complete Shakespeare - Norton and (of course) Shakespeare

Literary Nerd Books:
The Mysteries of Udolpho - Radcliffe
The Annotated Pride and Prejudice and The Annotated Sense and Sensibility - Austen
Aurora Leigh - Browning

Anthology Nerd Books:
17th Century Verse
18th Century Verse
Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry

Classics Nerd Books:
The Essential Plato
The Essential Dante
Antigone - Sophocles
The Nicomachean Ethics - Aristotle

Scholastic Nerd Books:
Major Voices: 18th Century Women Playwrights
A History of Italian Renaissance Art
The Art and Architecture of Islam: 1250-1800
Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries

In my living room alone, there are seven dictionaries, four novels by Dickens, two copies each of Moby Dick and The Essential Koran, and more Barnes & Noble Classics editions than I can easily count.

But despite book spines that proudly announce their contents to be A Dictionary of Fictional Characters or Etruscan Art, and despite that there are authors on my shelves whom most people have probably never heard of (Burney, Trollope, Boccaccio), I'm pretty sure I just opened a box containing the single nerdiest book I have ever owned. Behold:

That's right. It's Harry Potter in Latin. 

02 August, 2011

You Spin Me

Last night instead of going to derby I went to The Ballroom in Sacramento and took the beginning Charleston and intermediate East Coast Swing classes. It. Was. Incredible.

Derby has been frustrating me for awhile; I haven't felt like I'm getting any better, and the bar for passing to the next level has been getting further and further away. I rolled my ankle (on skates!) at the beginning of July and it hasn't been the same since, and while I don't have many issues with crowds, I do get the heebie-jeebies (and occasionally throw a punch) when random people touch me - something that I didn't anticipate being a problem in derby, probably because I didn't know anything about derby when I started. So I'm taking a month off to reassess (it's apparently a theme this summer) and to try out the world of ballroom dance.

It is so nice to be in a world where my Dance Resume, as it were, has some weight. One does not enjoy discovering that 20 years of serious work and dedication can be dismissed by a casual, "yea, but did you do it with wheels on your feet?" Especially if that One is Me. The owner of The Ballroom said that I could potentially be at competition level in 6-9 months.

It's nice to be in a dance world where, at 32, I am not the weird old fat person at the end of the barre. 

It's nice to be in a world with an amusing and intelligent dance instructor who is a good dancer, a good teacher, and has a crinkly smile. Ahem. That little crush clearly didn't take long to develop; I trust that it won't take long for it to dissipate, either. 

I hear some of you thinking, "But Tika, won't ballroom dance also require other people to touch you?" The answer to that is a decided yes, but I figure that working through that challenge in an environment where I feel successful is good. It's been a long time since I strapped shoes on my feet and danced anywhere but at a club. 

I am so excited. This isn't Home, but it is in the same vicinity as Where I Grew Up, and for the moment it feels really, really good. 

01 August, 2011

A Little Night Maths

October first is 61 days away.
October first is also the day I'd like to click over the Mile 7 mark on my 11-Mile Quest.

I am currently 121 yards short of the Mile 4 mark.
Therefore, I need to knit (1760x3)+121 yards to hit Mile 7.

5401 yards / 61 days = 88.5 yards per day, not including spinning singles for plied yarn. Singles yarns have never looked so attractive.

I'm going to need a wrist replacement by the time I'm 40.