Monday, December 28, 2009


It's 6:19 am central standard time, and I'm sitting here in the Austin airport, waiting for my 7:05 am flight. I arrived in sunny central Texas on the 16th, and have been enjoying the weather (ok, not the wind so much) and the sun. I meant to post earlier, but, well, things just got away from me.

On the 16th (a Wednesday) I sat in a much different airport, nearly as early in the morning, knitting away (the caffeine had kicked in, I'm still waiting for this morning's tea). By the time they called for boarding, I'd gotten this far:

That is a good start to Traveling Woman by The yarn is Sunshine Yarn Luxury Sport in "maroon bells" that I got as part of a swap with the NCIS Knitters group on Ravelry. By the time I landed for my 3 hour layover in Pheonix, it looked like this:

That is the completed stocking stitch portion of the shawl. YAY!!! However, by this time I was a little brain fuzzy from having been up since 3:30 am and flying all morning (which always makes me extra fuzzy). That's as far as the knitting got for the day. On my second flight I read Deadly Decisions by Kathy Reichs, and at one point I tried to sleep (which didn't work).

I had a busy time once I got into Austin, and my knitting time decreased so that I didn't finish my shawl until the 22nd. I've worn it every day since. I love it. It's soft. It's smooshy. It's warm. It's maroon. Basically, it's knitting perfection.

It needs to be reblocked, and I'm going to steam the ever loving life out of it to see if it will help hold the block. Regardless, I love it. I modified it sligtly due to a smaller yardage of my yarn than what was called for. I used 250 yards of sport weight instead of 385 yards of fingering, so instead of starting the lace section with 11 repeats, I started with 9. I also used US 5 needles instead of US 6 needles because I like my 5s better. It makes it a little smaller overall, but I'm not known for being a big person so it fits me perfectly.

After this I ended up doing some impromptu last minute Christmas knitting at the request of my mom. She saw my Sand Dollar Hat and loved it, so she bought some Patons Silk Bamboo in Sapphire and I knit her up one of her own. I finished and blocked it yesterday, and neglected to take pictures of the finished product.

In addition to being busy, I was also distracted from my knitting by this:

This is Girlie, by parent's 18 year old blind cat. Everything she does is cute beyond all reason. She slept with me almost every night. She sought me out when she wasn't asleep. I doted on her. I miss her already.

Ok, they just called the start of boarding. I've got a short wait, I didn't log on to get my boarding pass in time (even though I was awake, cleaning up after Girlie who'd had an upset tummy).

Friday, December 4, 2009

And Relax

I turned in my last term paper this morning, which means I am not enjoying some well deserved FREEDOM!!! As promised in the previous post, I'm here with lots of pictures to share with you.

First off, I have an update on my ant infestation. They're still infesting. Despite the multiple locations of poison put out by the maintenance person, against my better judgement since it's never worked in the past, I have had 0 decrease in ant activity. In fact it's gotten so bad that I can't turn on the light above my desk anymore, because that just draws them out and then they fall on my desk (and computer, and in my food, and on my head).

I took the above three pictures after I'd had the light on for 10 minutes. See all those little black dots all over the light and cieling in the above right picture? Ants, each and every one of them. I've got the creepy crawlies on my head just thinking about them.

The giant crack in the light cover that you can see has been there since last winter, when Jesse took it down to put (ineffectual) bait in it, and the plastic broke. He broke the one in the kitchen completely, I've had a bare bulb in there ever since. I took the cover down a couple of weeks ago to try and super glue it back together. It worked...somewhat. I had to hold the split together with masking tape, and some of the masking tape got super glued to the cover. The ants are still coming through.

In less icky, more yarny news, Thanksgiving Santa (aka Sidnee) visited knit night the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and brought yarny giveaways. I picked up 7 skeins of recycled sari silk.

No clue what I'm going to do with this, but I compulsively accept free yarn. Plus, it's very lovely, so many yummy colors.

The hand warmers that I spoke of in a previous post had to be restarted. These are the ones knit out of Jasmine yarn for a friend of mine. The first one was just a bit too snug on her, so I started over on size 4 US (3.5mm) needles. I got the first one re-knit in short order, but the second one got put on hold until I'd finished another two pairs for her that are meant as Christmas gifts to her nieces.

This is the first (now completed) jasmine wrist warmer. I knit this one from the top down, so that I could monitor the length more closely and hopefully have enough yarn for both (it's going to be close, very close).

I got a lot of knitting done on the gift hand warmers over the Thanksgiving holiday, in addition to lots of work on my term papers. I celebrated Thursday night with macaroni and cheese, which might not sound like much, but this is my great-grandmother's recipe for the dish and it's delicious. I snapped this picture right after taking it out of the oven. I at the last of it for dinner last night. I miss it already.

The first set of gift mitts I knit were in a mystery fiber variegated dark pink fingering weight yarn, on size 2.5 US (3 mm) needles. I loved working with this yarn. I know it's got silk in it. I've got a matching headband to knit up, and I'm saving it for last.

I finished these on Friday, and started the next pair (blue variegated wool, fingering, same needles) on Friday. I just finished them up today on the bus to the library, and have cast on for the matching headband in this color. I don't have any pictures of these, but I'll try to remember to get some (I gave the finished pink ones to their gifter before I could snap a finished shot. I'm prone to doing that).

Now I'm gearing up for a weekend of relaxation, fun, and possibly some mild cleaning of my home (like dishes and putting away school papers, nothing drastic). I've got DVDs from the library, and a paper back sci-fi for bed time reading. I'm hoping to finish up the headbands in short order so I can get back to working on my Hot Pink and Vintage cardigan, and I'm going to start a pair of Prarie Boots by cocoknits for myself. I've got the pattern printed and the yarn all lined up, and I'm so very tired of having ice cubes for feet at home.

That's all I've got for now. I'll try to stay on top of posting regularly during winter break.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Check In

Just wanted to post a quick note so no one thinks I've fallen off the face of the planet. I'm still here, I have been knitting (a little bit) but mostly I'm working on finishing up two involved term papers. My last one is due a week from tomorrow, after which I'll have 8 days of FREEDOM before I fly south for my annual winter flee (during which I will also have lots of knitting time).

I do have several pictures that are just waiting to be uploaded. Suffice it to say, the next post is going to be a monster.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

So Good

I finally managed to finish a project! I got the earflap hat (lovingly named "!@#$%^& hat" on Ravelry) done today, ends all woven in and steam blocked.

I like how the yarn knit up in a stripey pattern. The yarn is red, blue and yellow, but with the double stranding I ended up with a "green" section and a few spots that look "orange." I would love to work with this yarn again and make something for myself.

In other news, I also have progress pictures of my Hot Pink and Vintage sweater. I'm about 1/3 of the way through the front right section of the sweater. It goes quickly when I actually work on it, but it will sit idle for days so this sweater is really taking longer than in should.

I'm really liking how the cabled button band is knitting up, even if the 12 stitch cable is a bit arduous to execute. The yarn is also knitting up wonderfully well, I think it was just the right pick for this sweater.

In other yarn related news, I finally broke down and got a big clear plastic bin to corral the yarn that doesn't fit in my hanging organizer, storage ottoman, or in my "wall of yarn" decoration. My yarn stash has gone from looking like this:

(It's not just my yarn stash, but also where I keep my mending and some random fabric that I end up with.)

To this:

Not all of the yarn fit in the box (obviously) but at least it's nice and neat, now. If I'd just get out my sewing machine I could drastically clean this up, since most of the mending is easy stuff, like hemming or easy seam mending. Also, that plastic bag has an empty shoebox that I need to deconstruct and put in the recycle.

Now it's time to go warm up dinner. I'm having tacos, which is all part of a Day in the Life.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Stupid Batteries

I was planning on doing a longer picture update, but my camera batteries died before I could get all of the photos taken. Stupid dollar store batteries (but I can afford better now, so I'll get new batteries tomorrow afternoon).

What I do have so far is an update on a couple of projects that I've never photoed before. First is the !@#$%^& hat (that's honestly the name I gave it on Ravelry) that I am making for one of my roommates. He purchased the yarn (Jojoland Melody) and payment is still being hammered out.

His specifications were for an earflap hat, and that is what I am making.

Is being magically transformed into this:

That's the last picture I got before the batteries died, or I'd have managed more detailed shots. It keeps rolling up on me like a slap bracelet, though.

Second is a project that I started tonight. A friend of me provided yarn to make two hand warmers and head band sets for Christmas for her nieces, and a set of hand warmers for her. The yarn got lost in my yarn mess, but I cleaned that up recently and refound the yarn. These things knit up almost faster than Superman so it shouldn't be too much of a challenge to get them done before my annual flee to warmer/sunnier climes at winter break.

The yarn is Louisa Harding "Jasmine" which is 48% cotton, 39% bamboo, 10% silk, and 3% polyester (in the form of a silver thread), and the color is a lovely "Cinderella" (the Disney version) blue. I'm using 3.00 mm needles.

Lastly, I'm almost done assembling the kits for my class this weekend. I'm teaching crochet wire buttons at our annual regional ASG meeting, and I've got a whopping (and probably record) 15 people enrolled. I just need 1 more reel of wire for the kits and one for my demos (I'm not about to use my expensive wire for a class I'm teaching pro bono). I'll pick those up tomorrow (the wire section at Joanns won't be the same for weeks) and whip up some samples. I got some great beads for my attendees. It should be fun.

I haven't worked on my Hot Pink and Vintage sweater since Wednesday of last week, and there are no new photos. Mostly I'm sticking to small portable projects that are good for bus knitting and a few stolen moments before class. It also didn't help that I had a horrible migraine last night and spent 4.5 hours in bed before I went to sleep. If nothing else I'll have plenty of time to work on it during my southward fleeing in December.

That's all I've got right now, so I'm going to log off and turn in (still tired from the migraine).

Keep stitching, and stay tuned for more A Day in the Life.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Random Thoughts

If the Yarn Harlot can do this, so can I.

1. Working 3 hours over a four hour stretch means that I was bored and stuck on campus for an hour.

2. I read faster than I think I do, which is saying something because I think I read fast.

3. It smells like gravy down here in the computer lab.

4. I now want gravy. And meat. I wish there were Luby's in Oregon.

5. I neglected to bring the !@#$%^& hat that I'm working on (yes, that is the official name I've given it. I love the yarn, I love the needles, but I hate knitting hats at such small gauge.)

6. Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine rocks my socks (even though I don't have hand knit socks on today, they were all in the wash).

7. Graduate school is not conducive to knitting time. Or yarn budgets.

8. I got my floor stash of yarn organized into one bin so it isn't collecting dust and leaves and tripping me anymore. Pictures forthcoming.

9. I need a knitting project that is knit on needles larger than size 3 US. It'd be nice to feel like I was making progress in some aspect of my life.

10. This gravy smell is getting out of hand.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I almost forgot!

Knitpicks is having a promotional contest where one lucky person will win the contents of their wishlist, up to $150. I filled mine up, and am keeping my fingers crossed. Although I think I might got switch out a few things, and see if I can work in a set of their nice bamboo needles since I love the HiyaHiyas so much.

Where'd My Life Go?

It's been a while since I last posted. This, sadly, has been due less to a lack of time to post and more to a lack of time to knit. I got about 3 hours of knitting time in for this entire week. Between school reading, getting the ball rolling for my thesis, having the most bizarre work schedule I've ever had, and a couple of anxiety events, there hasn't been much brain power for knitting. It doesn't help that every time I clean up my apartment, I turn around once and it's a mess again (especially those ungrateful, never ending dishes). Since I have no room to escape the mess (I've only got the one rectangle) I feel compelled to clean instead of knit.

As a result, my Vintage Pink Sweater progress has slowed dramatically. I've gotten 11 inches total knitted on the back, and I've put the stitches on a holder while I knit the right front piece.
I want to make sure this sweater isn't too long, and so I need to knit the piece with the fancy cable pattern on it to know how much I need to shorten the other pieces. I started the right front at knitting on Wednesday, and then worked on it for a short span today. I've got probably an inch done. I have been using a lovely set of HiyaHiya bamboo needles on the front ribbing, and I'm loving the way the yarn slides effortlessly over them. I'm becoming more and more dissatisfied with my Boye Interchangeables as the years go on.

In other news, I thought my toaster was toast this week, but it turns out it just needed a time out. I figured this out after I got home from buying a new one, but it's still sealed up so I'll bring it back tomorrow.

There are now only two weeks left of the outdoor Artisan's Market. This past week I did fairly well. I sold the Mardi Gras Moebius Shawl, which means I should take it off my website. Not that my website gets used as anything other than a waste of my time and energy, but still. Miracles could happen. I also sold two pair of (unphotographed) earrings, and my frineds from Salem came down and treated me to lunch. They've been off traveling, so we haven't seen each other in a while, and it was nice to catch up.

Oh, I almost forgot (because I'm actively blocking the memory). I did, last week, knit a short scarf out of Lion Brand Fancy Fur. If it doesn't sell in the next two weeks, I'm giving it to charity.
This only took me a couple of hours to knit, and I only knit on it at home, because I'm a little ashamed of it. I titled it "I Sold Out Scarf" on Ravelry. But hey, I got the yarn from a friend who couldn't stand to look at it, so the only thing I've got invested in this is a little bit of time. And a small piece of my soul.

Other than that, I've got nothing left to report today. As soon as I can get some pictures done (which will require some hard-core cleaning off of my bed) I'll have a couple more things for show and tell.

Unitl then, keep knitting, and stay tuned for another Day in the Life.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My own drummer

It's been a while since I posted anything here. I'm nearly done with the second week of my school and I think I might be getting the hang of my new schedule. That means I'm finally getting back to having time to knit.

And knit I have this week. I finally finished the Shawl that Never Ends, (more formally known as the Diagonal Shawl).

I still need to block it, but first I have to find the space. The shawl is just over 5 feet long and about a foot wide right now.

I've even worn it already. Yesterday I wore my brown dress with brown tights and my lovely new shawl and I felt very proud of myself. And I was warm. This shawl brings on the warmth.

Not the most flattering shot, but I was in class and I did this during our break.

I've also worked a little bit on my Vintage Pink Cardigan, but it looks pretty much the same as in previous pictures, so no photo today.

On the business knitting front, hats have been flying out of the booth that I share with BohoKnitterChic. Last week she sold at least 3 hats. I, however, hadn't knit a replacement for my one and only hat that I sold the previous week. I sold nothing, and even though I had some delicious market fresh Pad Thai, I consider last week to be a bust.

Enter this week's project, the Mission Impossible Hat.

This hat is not related in any way to the movies or anything associated with the movies. The mission impossible aspect of this hat is that I cast on for it yesterday morning and intend to have it done by tomorrow evening while attending grad school full time, feeding myself, and sleeping 8 hours a night. Also, I'm using the leftover partial ball of Cashmerino DK that I had after knitting the final edition of the Sand Dollar Hat. I'm not entirely sure I've got enough yarn to finish this hat.

Keep your fingers crossed for me. I've only got one class tomorrow and I haven't managed to land any more work shifts for this week. *sigh*

Time to put my leftover gumbo away. It was a delicious dinner.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

School's Back

Yesterday was the first day of fall term, so I am officially back as a full time graduate student. That means that after the first couple of weeks, my crafting time is going to be seriously curtailed. All of my classes are reading and writing intensive, and they take priority.

For today, though, I still have time. It's raining, afternoon knitting is a no-go, so I've got nothing on my plate until my new employee meeting at 6. So I'm going to read, knit, and make some jewelry.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Whale of a Tale

It's been some sort of day, that's for sure. Luckily, it was a good sort of day, which makes me happy. Fall term starts on Monday, so it's nice that my last weekend of freedom had one really really good day.

For starters, I had a banner day at the artisan's market this morning. I sold a red beret-ish style hat that I knit ages ago out of the (then) discontinued Sisik by Dale of Norway (it was replaced by Harlequin, which makes me drool and tremble every time I touch it. In a good way). I did not write down the pattern for that hat, which I always kind of kicked myself for, but now it's gone for good (the person who bought it lives in California). That's ok, though, it really wasn't that hard to figure out.

I also sold a pair of earrings, and got a request to make a bracelet to match. I said fine, I need half the cost up front for custom orders, but she said she'd give it all to me because she lives out of town and is going to have her friend pick it up and mail it to her. I plan on making the bracelet tomorrow (mostly because I'm tired tonight and will probably mess it up if I tried).

Our booth was located this week next to a local photographer. He had several stunning pictures (including non-blurry pics of hummingbirds in flight), but on the display directly facing my chair was a lovely 8x10 picture of a humpback whale lifting it's pectoral flipper out of the water at 90 degrees. It was framed, had real glass, and was all told $40. I was sitting there, with my humpback whale weakness and $40+ cash sitting in my pocket from my banner day and it was calling to me.

My good sense prevailed, and I did not spend $4o on a framed photo of a humpback whale.

I paid $3 for the same picture as a 4x6 printed on a heavy duty mailing card. :-) Which I plan to frame and hang.

I spent my down time at the market reading my new favorite magazine, Psychology Today.

My booth-mate (Bohemian Knitter Chic) commented on my "light" reading. Compared to the books I've been reading to get ahead in the class I start Monday, this is light.

After I got home from the market I hopped on the bus (which was running 20 minutes late) and rode down to the Fall Festival, which is a huge, high brow annual artist market held in Central Park. It's free to the public, and they've got live music going all day and into the night. The third booth I came to was the first one where I started spending some of my banner day money. 3 years ago I went to my first Fall Festival, where I saw the most awesome garden decoration I'd ever seen. I've seen this person's work several times since then, but I haven't had any place to put a garden decoration. Until now.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you:

Whale on a Stick

Right now WoaS is firmly planted in my magazine basket. I'll figure out a more permanent place tomorrow. There may even be a potted plant in my future.

I walked around for a while more (producing prodigious amounts of drool) and came upon a display of hilarious magnets. I called my mom and she had me read them and picked out three (one each for her and her two sisters).

I got two of the top one. If they'd had another I might have gotten it for me (I may go back tomorrow just to see) because that's how I feel ALL THE FREAKING TIME!!!!!!!

There were other cute quotes, like:

"Cat hair is a Condiment"

"I'm not 70, I'm $69.95 plus tax"

"Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone"

"Don't let your mind wander, it's too little to be left alone"

"Life is sexually transmitted"

"I'd cook dinner, but I can't find the can opener"

I pretty much thought they were all hilarious. I'd plaster the front of my fridge if I had money to waste on plastering my fridge with magnets.

I pretty much managed to make it out of the actual Festival without spending more money. However, there were Festival adjacent areas that tripped me up. I spent $4 on a bumper sticker and button duo. The bumper sticker says "Equal Rights Are Not Special Rights" and the button reads "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people."

I was almost to the bus stop when I passed the woman drawing characateurs. I was so close to just passing her by, but then I thought "what the heck, have fun, live a little!!!" I just had her do it in black and white. She asked where I would go if I could go anywhere in the world. I said London. I'd love to go back to London. I'd love to live for a few years in London.

Back on point, I'm pleased with my characateur. I'm planning on framing it and hanging it up.

I finally made it onto the bus (which was running so late it had caught up to itself) and now I'm exhausted. I think I'll have a shower, clean off my bed, put in a movie, and fall asleep while pretending to watch it.

Oh, I have made some progress on the Vintage Pink Cardigan. I've got all 2.5 inches of the ribbing done and about the same amount of stockignette. I have to knit on it in short bursts because knitting on it for too long makes my left hand ache from hodling the small needles.

That's all for now. Tune in next week for the continuing story of:

A Day in the Life!!!

(If you say the last sentence in the same manner of the original Muppet Show "Pigs in Space" you'll have an idea of where my mind is.)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Veni Vidi Knitty

Yesterday afternoon, I snipped off the last little bit of yarn from woven in ends on my braided pullover.

I still need to give it a good final blocking to settle the shoulder seams, but it does fit and it looks nice. Summer is giving a final push right now, though, so it's a little too warm for me to model it for pictures right now.

With this sweater being done, I found myself in need of a new knitting project (the scarf that never ends is in a time out for being never ending). I decided that I should use some of the yarn that I've rescued from Goodwill sweaters. I got out the four balls of yarn that used to be a Charter Club pullover. It was a size XL, so I have plenty of yarn for sweater. The fiber content is 46% wool, 28% rayon, 16% angora rabbit, and 10% cashmere. It's also hot pink :-).

The yarn swatched up perfectly for the Vintage Pink Cardigan from the spring 2005 Interweave Knits.

I had a few reservations about knitting a sweater on size 3 (US) needles. But, life is meant for challenges. Also, unlike the Braided Cable Pullover I don't have to mark down every single row that I work except for the right front piece. Once I get past the 2.5 inches of ribbing at the bottom the bulk of the knitting is miles and miles of stockingnette stitches. Perfect for evening movie knitting after a long day of studying.

So far, I'm still working through the ribbing for the back piece.

The Muppet Movie is coming from Netflix today. A hot pink vintage inspired cardigan seems like excellent muppet knitting.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Octopus' Garden

I love critters. Especially furry ones that meow and let me love on them. Up until a couple of years ago, I had one of these furry critters in my life. But with the onset of graduate school, I decided that it would be a sounder financial decision to put off having another furry critter in my life until providing food and shelter wasn't such a touchy subject (read: post graduation once sound employment has been achieved).

However, what is a sound financial decision is a very poor emotional one. I miss my furry lap warmer (aka Mia) and my morning back massager (aka Patches). Life is just a little bit more empty for me these days.

Then I met Guy.

Guy is not my furry critter. I don't even know his real name, so I call him Guy. I'm pretty sure his permanent home is the next door neighbor, but he has claimed my backyard as his own. He sleeps in the shade and drinks from the pond, and chases off Gray Cat and Tortie Cat. For the first several months I lived here he'd run away at the very sight of me. He still runs from everyone else. Sometimes if I move wrong or if I'm carrying something, he runs from me too.

He's kind of a scaredy-Guy.

But most of the time, he waits for me to come out and love on him. He especially likes to have his head scratched, and will melt into the patio when I do this. If I go back inside before he's done getting attention, he lays on my outdoor mat until I come back out. (If I don't come back out, I won't see him for weeks as he pouts and holds a grudge).

He is my big hunky Guy who helps fill the whole in my life as I muddle my way through grad school.

Of course, there are furry critters that I'm not so fond of. Specifically, raccoons generally give me the wiggins. Except for the other night, when a raccoon meerly caused me about half an hour of curiosity and surprise.

One of the things that sealed my like of this *tiny* apartment was the skylight in the back half (where my bed is). The skylight helps it be lighter in here, even in the gloomy, wet, dreary winters. A few nights ago, as I lay reading in bed, I found out that I'm not the only one who is enamored with my skylight.

That is my skylight, and if you look closely (if you click on the picture it will enlarge, which may help) you can see a big, fat raccoon sitting on my skylight, taking a bath. It stayed there for about half an hour. Bathing. On my skylight. I haven't seen it since then, but every night when I hear something on my roof, I wonder if it's that dang raccoon.

In other news, the sweater is almost finished. That's my big project for today.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Back By Popular Demand

I haven't gotten much done on the knitting front lately. One day I spent a couple hours working on getting my financial aid reinstated. Sunday I stayed mostly inert. Saturday I lost money at the artisan's market.

I did finish the first sleeve for my Braided Pullover on Saturday. Yesterday I started the second sleeve and got about 1/3 of the way done (not counting the sleeve cap).
Knitting the sleeves inside out has been a very good idea. I've got knitting this afternoon, so I'm hopeful of getting another 1/3 of the sleeve done. My goal is to get the sweater finished by the end of this week.

I did get a few new pieces of jewelry made on Monday (I'm pretty sure it was Monday). Football season has started here, so I made 2 bracelets with the university's team colors and football theme charms.

I have higher hopes of next week at the market. There is an afternoon home game, so maybe I can entice some rabid fan to get a team colors bracelet.

Part of my low creative output of the past few days was my distraction by a book. One of my fall classes has a list of 9 books on the required list, so I've been getting them from various libraries. I got one of them from the downtown library and started reading it on the bus ride home and got hooked. The book is She's Not There by Jennifer Finney Boylan. It is about her journey through transgenderism. Her career is as a comic writer, so the book was easy and engaging to read and I finished it 4 days after I got it checked out. Check one book of the list.

I'm very hungry now, so I'm going to sign off and scrounge up some lunch.