Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Very entertained by Dirty Jobs tonight. Got to see Mike Rowe shear an alpaca, spin, and help alpacas get it on. Lol.

I'm much less entertained by my complete inability to find a suitable fair isle pattern. I have three colors of Patons Clasic Merino I'd like to do something cute with but I can't find anything suitable. Everything is either more colors, fewer colors, wrong gauge or too much yarn. Dangit! All I want it a hat or bag or something. I'm having fun with my swatch but I'm eager to start an actual project with this yarn.

I guess I may end up attempting to whip something up on my own. I'm not sure how well that'd turn out though.

Well, I better get ready for bed. I still have homework to do tomorrow. Did well over half of it today but I still have a bit left. :P Then I have 6hrs of class.
Better get tucked in before the fire burns out. There's no more dry wood to throw on tonight. At least it's not 20 degrees tonight.

Mmm... fiiiire

Well, I haven't gotten around to that homework yet. Soon as I get off of here, I swear. Has to be done, unfortunately.

So what did I do yesterday? Lots. Really.

First I finally made the pattern row counters for my Secret Pal. Hope she likes 'em. I made larger ones and smaller ones, each in both a 4 and a 5 round rep.
Then I decided I needed something cute to put them in. Whipped out the Altoids-sized tins I've been saving (and the ones I've been using), picked up Mom's acrylic paints and got to painting. Haven't painted in a long while so this was quite fun. I've finished two, one with a monkey and one with a kitty. Have two with jujst the background color so far. One will be a fishtank and the other either animal print or paw prints. We'll see what kind of animal print idea I can come up with once I sit back down with it. Then I need to find a glossy sealer of some sort to finish them off.

Next I ate dinner, watched a bad movie and went through some stitch pattern books I hadn't really sat down with yet, Knitting Beyond the Edge and The Vogue Stitchionary 3: Color. It was really cold so I took a warm bath and read the Knit 'N Style Dec '06 issue my Secret Pal sent (thanks again). When I got out of the tub, my fire was dead so I was too damn cold to get to sleep. :P I have this HUGE thing against central heating and will damn near risk hypothermia just to avoid it (not that such a thing would be a real risk 'round here). My skin is exceptionally unhappy this week so it was definitely a bad idea. And I'm pretty much incapable of building or reviving a fire. Also couldn't find the wood, which didn't help. So instead, I wrapped up in a blankie and took on some Fair Isle for the first time!
In the end I'd had my first go with Continental knitting, two color stranded knitting (one in each hand), *and* the two-circ method! Not too shabby! Hehe. Also listened to my new CD about 10 gazillion times while doing all of this. I'm in love. ;)
Finally Dad got up for work and revived the fire so I was able to get some sleep. I'm still pooped in that didn't sleep much, bad sleep timing, kinda pukey feeling way but at least I didn't just watch bad TV all night or something.
Pictures to come soon. Stitchmarker thingies are rather hard to get a good picture of, come to find out. :P

And now I have to go do some insultingly simple math and dig through my much dreaded financial information for school. *sigh* I'd rather paint and nap but I do have class tomorrow so that would be very bad. I've put it all off too long already.

I need another fire. Brrr! Gotta make myself some fingerless gloves!!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Brrr... it's right cool here. S'posed to get down to the low 20's tonight!
It's been a good day. :) Got my final SP9 package (thanks, Debbie!). I also got the new Shins CD! Woohoo. I've been pretty excited about that being released. Can't wait to spend some time with it.
Then the boy took me out for lunch. Sushi! He made faces at me while I ate the seaweed salad and flying fish roe. Wasn't allowed to get any baby octopus though. He has this thing against watching anyone bite the head off of things. Heh. Mmmm... baby octopus.

How 'bout some pictures I've been meaning to get around to posting?

Here's my finished SWS Clapotis. I really need to knit this pattern again soon. I need a neutral colored one. I'm not sure what I'll made it out of yet though.

I'm not happy with this picture because the colors are total crap but I'm happy with the scarf. Another FO in line for blocking. Haven't gotten to show it to Mom yet, unfortunately. I'm anxious for her to see it and let me know what she thinks.
I think this pattern would be a good choice for my friend in WI's scarf she requested. Maybe in two different colors like the original Danica. I'm not sure about all those blasted ends though. Wonder if I could just carry the yarns through. I'll have to swatch that up.

Here's Lady E! 'Bout 1/4 into the third ball now. Please excuse the background here. My car was the only place I could find to lay it while trying to get a good shot in the sun.

Took this one for the Lime & Violet Sock Marathon on Flickr. This is my sock yarn collection, minus the skein of Bearfoot I missed. All 6.16 miles of it. Heh. I finally did frog the purple sock yarn Clapotis. I think I'm gonna go with the Pi Are Squared shawl instead. Not sure if I'll go plain or sinmple lace. That has been put on the back burner for the moment.

Okie dokie, time to clean off the desk and get some work done. Have homework for both classes and some pattern row counters to make. :)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Entrelac is addictive

I finished the Mini-Lady E/Danica hybrid scarf last night. I'm amazed how quickly that went. I'm really happy with the results. Haven't sewn in the two ends yet (hooray for spit-splicing) and will have to block it as soon as I can find a place. The colors are wonderful. No photos yet.

Also started my full size Lady E. Finished the beginning triangles before bed (insomnia... again). Sat it on the table before falling asleep. I've had surprisingly good luck being able to leave my knitting lying around even though we have so many cats but I finally learned my lesson today. Someone, probably the female, who happens to hate me, made a giant mess out of my poor ball of Karaoke. Didn't hurt the WIP itself, thank goodness. But I spent all day trying to untangle that freakin' ball! Of course this would happen to the yarn that's way more expensive than my usual stuff *and* special ordered. Lesson learned.
After a maddening but mostly successful untangling session, I managed to get a little knitting in. I'm now partway into the second ball, almost through the 5th tier. :) It's really pretty. The colors are subtle but so pretty and multi-faceted . And it's so surprisingly light!

Going from a Kureyon project, to a couple SWS projects, to working with the Karaoke is interesting.

The Kureyon was nicer than I expected. The colors are really nice, especially in the skein. Some of the subtleties are lost once it's knit up, and more so after a wash, but the overall look is still really nice and interesting. The color combinations are interesting and kinda random-ish. Of course the biggest draw is the butt-load of colors available. The texture leaves something to be desired. It's not as bad as I expected. Not itchy but definitely rough. Decent to work with and soft enough for my mom to wear as gloves. When splicing ends together, I was surprised how much work it took to felt well. The yarn itself is a little more irregular in thickness than the other two but seems to knit up fairly uniformly.
Biggest complaint? The dye stained my fingers as I worked with it.

SWS is really nice. I love working with it. The fluffy texture is nifty. It is easy to split so sharp needles and knitting by touch alone can be a bit tricky. There aren't a ton of colorways but the colors are pretty. The striping is more uniform than with the other two. I found Natural Earth to be a bit more random and the pink/green to be a pretty set sequence. The yarn has a very alluring sheen. I wish it retained that a little more when knit up. It does to some extent, but the fuzzing does distort it a good bit. It's soft and great to knit but can be a little scratchy/prickly right against my skin and sheds a bit. Frogging is pain because it loves to stick to itself and looks pretty worn once you've ripped it out. That's not a really big deal since it looks pretty uniform once it's all knit up.

The Karaoke is really interesting. The colors are so complex. I'm using Mermaid Mix and it's very subtle overall but there are amazing variations within the yarn itself. The texture is totally different. Not as "soft" as the SWS but that makes it less fuzzy. It's more gentle than SWS though. And sooo much lighter. What I've knit up so far has almost a cottony feel. Better stitch definition than the other two. I don't think it will shed much, which is nice. My only real complaint with the Karaoke so far is that it's a bit weak. It broke on me a couple times while I was trying to untangle it. Still seems to produce a reasonably sturdy fabric though.

All three are definitely good yarn and have their places and uses.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Oooh, look... actualy knitting evidence!

Here's a bit of what I've been working on lately.

First there's the back of my first sweater. Berroco Ultra Alpaca on US5 KP Options 24" (4s for the ribbing)

Here's the lovely SWS in Natural Earth my mom got at Michael's last week:

Here's the lovely SWS swatched up for an entrelac scarf. For the left swatch I CO24 and each square is 8sts. The right I CO20 and each square is 10sts. I like the way the colors were more isolated in individual squares in the left one but the larger squares gave a nicer fabric for the scarf so I went with that one. I'll be making my Karaoke shawl using the smaller squares on larger needles.

Here's a progress shot of the scarf. This was yesterday morning. I'm now finished with the first ball you see here and partway into the second. Not bad for only a couple days work. Especially if you consider the first two failed attempts plus the second swatch as well.

Entrelac is fun! I'm getting pretty darn good at picking up stitches and all that turning it not nearly as annoying as I feared. I'm doing this scarf on my Denise needles, size 8 for knit side and 7 for purl side. I think I might be more bothered my the turning if I were using straights.
The more I use the Denise needles, the more I love 'em . My only complaint is I wish they all felt as secure as my 7s. the other sizes seem to have too much wiggle in the join area. Haven't come loose or anything but I'd prefer they be more secure. I'm not sure if this is normal or not. I think I'll take a look at another set when we go to pick up my yarn to see if they do the same thing or if mine are not quite right.

In other entrelac-related news... my SWTC Karaoke has gone missing!!! All three balls are apparantly on the lam. I have no idea how this happened. I would have sworn I put them in the stash drawers with the rest of the stuff that was in the same bag. I won't totally freak until I check the cluttered side of the room. I'll be picking up 3 more balls this week.

It's a rather nasty day here. I overslept considerably and it's soo gloomy I still don't feel awake. I think I need to knock myself out super early tonight, even though I slept in (to put it mildly). I have a lot to do tomorrow to make up for today, plus class from 2:30 - 8p. :P I want to go to the gym, do laundry, and get partially packed for Thursday. I have no idea what I'm going to wear to the show yet and it seems every article of clothing I own is dirty or missing.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


School was a bit trying today. First I couldn't find any parking and ended up 40miles away. Ah well, I figure I can use the walk.
Then came "Business Math." Wow. Um, yeah. So the book is from 1994 (yet still cost a hundred bucks) and starts off with "introduction to Whole Numbers," I shit you not! WTF? We seriously did addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Next week we more up to *gasp* fractions. *dies* I would have died of boredom or fidgeted out of my chair and been really tempted to smart off if not for my knitting. I havent actually knit during class before. On breaks and waiting for class to start, sure, but not while we were doing work. I don't think the teacher minded though. I participated in the work and discussions and rarely actually looked at the sock so it went over well.
Class ends at 5 but we got out at 4:30 since it was the first day an all. I found my 5:20 class, put my stuff down and went to move my car. Got back and was still really early so I knit a little and did my doofus math homework. 5:18 rolls around and still there's no one around. I started to worry about being in the right place until one other girl wandered in. Around 5:30 we were informed that class had been rescheduled for "probably the same time tomorrow." Isn't that lovely? Makes for an annoying gap in my schedule if that's the case. And how am I supposed to know if it's even then?? Just show up and pray? Stupid little tech school.

I'm dreading English again tomorrow. The class is enormous, we'll have to do "group papers" and we apparently have to do presentations for everything we write. WTF? I guess I'll be ready to knock out that much more dreaded Public Speaking after this, huh? :P The boy is excited about me taking English since he'll feel less lost when hearing about my work. His mom was a high school English teacher and he's the only person I know who grew up in this hobunk town and doesn't have the slightest accent.

I wonder if I'll be able to start Lady Eleanor over the weekend. Perhaps I should hold off until I finish another project. I'll need to sit down and figure this entrelac thing out and I'm not sire I'll get that much alone time (and have the attention span for it at the same time). I'm sure it won't be too hard once I get going but I have to sit down with the needles and yarn and sort it through first.
I'll probably just work on the sweater a bit and see if I can get a minute to do a couple Branching Out reps in. I don't like to stop in the middle of those, in case the sticky note comes off my pattern. Oh, and the hat! I keep forgetting about that darned hat! Not sure why.

So, not really a bad day (finslly got the fish tank done) but I do have a headache, burning eyes, and no dinner.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

School Daze

My first class starts today at 1. Can't say I'm looking forward to taking an English class but tomorrow should be interesting (Personal Finance and Business Math).

I'm knitting news, the SWS Clapotis is done! I finished it night before last. Haven't washed/blocked it yet because I have no place to dry it. :P Trying to work that one out. Also, I'd like to get some sort of no-rinse wool wash. I'm not sure what to get or where just yet though. That, and I'm broke.
Secret Pal 9 is almost over. I need to sit down and finish my pal's last box. Wanted to do it yesterday but I had some sudden tummy bug that put me out of commission. It even made me miss the first half of the slaughter, uh, I mean game. I'm not a Gators fan at all but go SEC anyway.

Did another repeat on the Branching Out scarf yesterday. Then I messed up and had to go back to the lifeline with was two repeats below the one I had just done. Did two mre to catch back up. At least it felt like I made a little progress. LOL.

Been making more actual progress on the sweater and I finally picked the cabled hat back up for a couple rounds last night. I need to get that one out since it was originally intended as a Christmas present and it'll be too warm for it very very soon.
I'm planning to try cabling without a cable needle soon because I've found that my hands cramp up when I do cables the regular way.

I think I might frog the Fearless Fibers Clapotis and make it a Pie Are Squared shawl instead.

I wanted to spend the afternoon tending the critters, making stitch markers and maybe working on that stash organization but now the boy is suddenly off work (long story that just pisses me off) so he wants to go out to eat and stuff.

Speaking of eating... I need to improve that again. I've gained back most of the weight I lost last year and I'm really not happy about it. Hopefully I'll be able to get a good gym schedule going now since classes starting back will give my general schedule a little more structure.

Bath time.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

more on the house stuff...

Ah, nothing better than a shower after all that ick. :P
I cleaned that corner again, cleaned the area between the wall and floor, put a bunch of enzyme cleaner stuff in the appropriate areas, etc. Then I drug the mattress and box springs out by myself (my bro bailed on me today :P). As soon as I got the mattress out, Kitty attacked the box springs. Then I went to get a vacuum cleaner attachment from the kitchen. When I came back there was a Kitty head sticking out of the top of my dad's doorway. LOL He didn't waste any time getting on top of the mattress, huh? Lugged the box springs out (fell on my head at one point) and, going with the theme lately, I need a new one. This one's not really springs, it's a wood frame. Well, one of the stupid pieces that go across it broke on me. *argh*
Picked up under the bed. It amazed me how much stuff slides up under there because of the Pergo-type floor. I move my bed out and clean under it more than anyone I know, yet it's always a treasure trove (and land of furballs). After cleaning and vacuuming I got down and cleaned the floor by hand. Got it all spiffed up and moved stuff back in. As soon as I got the box springs back down I realized I forgot to vacuum the bottom so it dumped a bunch of dust and stuff on the damn floor!!!!!!! I just can't win.

I think I've earned a drink. Hopefully my bro will show up soon with a movie. I'm planning to order pizza and watch a movie. We watched Click last night. Pretty good movie but I wasn't expecting it to make me cry! There was a Dirty Jobs marathon on afterward but I was too tired to watch any of 'em. I guess they'll stop playing all the old ones once the new season starts next week. Dangit. I wish I had Tivo.
Was also too tired to knit. :( I think I am again. Cleaning that floor kinda took it out of my hands. Poo.
So, how's everyone's new year going?
I'm doing well. Christmas was nice. New Years was wonderfully uneventful. (A great thing for me since I have super-duper bad luck with New Years Eve in general.)
I spent last weekend with my ass glued to the recliner watching as much football as possible and knitting up a storm. I finished the boy's socks, made my mom a pair of gloves based on Knitty's Fetching, and started my first sweater.

This week has been home-improvement based. Don't you just love how once you start home improvements/repairs, you always find more and mroe that needs doing? :P *blah* For example, we decided to replace the toilet, then noticed the floor needed to be done as well. Might as well paint then. Oh, check out the ceiling... lets get rid of the popcorn stuff and paint it too. I hate the lights and mirror/medicine cabinet and the sink is stained so there's another thing to replace. And shelves. Neeeeed shelves. Those will have to be custom though. Replacing a toilet becomes Operation Overhaul the Bathroom.

I also started on my room. Gathered up as much stash and knitting stuffs as I could find (more keeps popping up) and stuffed it in drawers to be organized soon. Find that there's no way the current drawers, *or* the extra ones I cleaned out, will contain it. So basically, I'm gonna end up with an entire wall of plastic drawers and hampers to keep it all together. LOL Took out a regular dresser to help with this. Clothes? Who needs clothes? I'll replace 'em with knits anyway. ;) Or just stuff the room with yarn and roll around in that rather than leaving the house for functions that would require clothes.

So last night I'm cleaning up the cat corner and I discover that my sweet little puss-pusses have thrown so much litter up against the wall over the past few months that it's down behind the baseboards.(My vacuum hates me and likely wants to fry itself because of cat-litter/fur overload.) So the baseboards on two of the walls have to go (note: cat corner :P) Well, actually I got all amped about it last night and armed with a paint scraper, crowbar, and hammer I got those puppies off. I was rather impressed with myself, actually. Didn't damage anything, not even the paint, with the exception of one spot of wall in the corner. Who knew it had gotten damp enought to become kinda soft? So that might mean a little area of drywall repair. And so on, and so forth.

And that's only my bath and bedroom. I'm not even gonna go into the fact that we're planning to re-floor the entire house and other such craziness.

Also took some time yesterday to go buy books and get some last minute stuff straight before classes start next week. My brother starts Monday evening but I don't have a class until Thursday afternoon. I'm taking three classes but anticipate spending way more time on school-related stuff because I have to keep an eye on the bro. He started pulling this super-stealthy class skipping BS so we've switched him to the tech school where I can stay up his ass and make sure everything's on the up 'n up. Can't complain too much though since I also went through my f*cking-off instead of going to anxiety inducing classes phase and my parents got me through that. Mom's at the end of her rope with him (and other things) right now though so I get to step in on this one. It's pretty much shape up or ship out, literally. As in Coast Guard. That's certainly not a bad idea, but hopefully we can get him back on track without resorting to military action. :P

Well, that's all I have for now. I'll get a shot of the sweater progress soon. Forgot to take pics of the gloves so I'll have to get Mom to model for me soon. I need pics of the "crayon socks" as well. And the boy's socks. I forgot to shoot those too. Not surprising since there's so much other stuff going on.

Now I'm off to figure out where the heck to move my mattress so I can clean under the bed. This house is waaaaaaay too tiny for the two biggest packrats in town. Well, actually not the biggest since the boy's mom is worse and I'm getting better but anyway...