Friday, March 28, 2008

Knitting Has Taken Over My Brain

I'm really swamped with school right now and I really wanted a break...but my 14 year-old sister is also really swamped with life and she needed a break too. So I took a week off from work and had her fly down here to sunny CA from Minneapolis for her spring break. We had a good time--I took her all over Hollywood and Beverly Hills, I took her all over San Diego and the zoo, I took her to see the ocean for the first time in her life and she loved it. But now she's gone *sniff!* and I have to get back to reality.

Reality sucks sometimes.

Reality is going to suck for exactly 6 more weeks.

I have been trying to concentrate on my final homework assignments, and I actually just shot off a 10-page marketing and positioning paper know what? Never mind. It's really not at all interesting. My point is that I'm trying to concentrate on work but all I can think about is knitting. I can't get it out of my head! It's like when I was in 6th grade and got obsessed with an old Rubik's cube and I got really good at solving it by going over and over all the solution moves in my head during class. I really think that's the reason I suddenly started having trouble with algebra. But I could solve your Rubik's cube in mere minutes!

Not exactly a marketable skill, as it turns out.

But now when I'm supposed to be working on my thesis paper, I keep finding myself reading blogs or poking around on Ravelry. It's ironic because if I would just buckle down and get some work done, I would actually have more time to do these things and I wouldn't have to feel guilty about it. But we all know how hard that can be, so I have to set little goals for myself: write notes on this script by 3:30, and you can knit 12 rows of the Lizard Ridge square. It's lame. I'm like the nursery school teacher to my inner child...or something.

But I have told myself that I can only work on small projects until I'm done with all this damn work. (That's going to be hard, especially when the box of yarn I bought on sale comes in the mail...but more on that later.) So here is what I have been working on:

Wobbly Circles Tote - finished! I just need to felt it now, which I will probably get to over the weekend.

Two squares of the Lizard Ridge blanket. My brother and I are making this together, kind of whenever we pick up balls of Kureyon. These were my first two squares and I was surprised by how much I like doing them! I used opposite ends of the same balls of yarn for each of these, and I was more than a little disappointed that they ended up having similar colors at each end. When I do more squares, I'm going to alternate two balls of yarn instead. This is a super-quick knit, plus you get really good at doing those short rows!

That's all for now...I have to go read some more homework crap. Can you believe my internship even gives me homework?!? WTF??? I'm already stretched to the limit here and they give me homework. Did I mention that reality sucks?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Mega FO Post

Even though I have a huge thesis paper to write, 2 last courses to finish up, and nearly 2 months left of a full-time internship...I have been doing a little knitting. Here is my FO parade:

Pattern: Wendy Bernard's Easy Flame Lace Scarf
Yarn: 1 hank Knit Picks Shimmer Laceweight in Deep Woods (on clearance!)

The whole thing ended up being 6 feet long and I like it because I'm super tall so I can pull it off. Plus, I can just wrap it around my neck a couple times and it's light yet warm for the windy days we've had down here lately.

Next up:

Another baby hoodie from Debbie Bliss Special Knits
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Superwash in Truffle (stripes in Deep Ocean)
Mods: I stuck a couple stripes on one sleeve. That's it. But now I can say, "Yeah. I modify sweater patterns to make them look how I want." Because that's a very impressive thing to say.

And finally:

Hallowig from knitty. No mods. Exactly as written. For a gag gift. Sorry, no picture.

First of all, let me say that I have never knit with acrylic yarn before and I HATED IT. I'm a grad student so it's not like I'm rolling in dough, but I have very little free time and I want to spend it knitting with nicer materials than that, so I seek out good deals on things and I only buy what I really like and know I'm going to use. I don't have a huge stash of random yarn, and everything I have is for something specific. So if that makes me a yarn snob, hell, I'll take it! I should have a banner on my blog or something. Too bad I still have two more gag gifts to make out of other acrylic yarn...

Whatever. Back to the knitting. I noticed as I was putting together all these exciting FOs that they're all really small. I have all these fantastic plans for beautiful sweaters and I'm making piddly little projects? I'm kind of annoyed at myself for wasting my time. BUT...right now about all I can manage is something small, so that's OK. I'm looking forward to finishing school and being able to jump into a sweater or something once again.

I found a job down in San Diego that would be perfect for me, so I applied for it on Friday. It's at a certain world-renowned not-for-profit fine arts organization and I'm crossing my fingers that they won't think my little stint in Hollywood is a reason not to consider me for the position. You know...not being "serious" about my art, using this job as a fallback, etc. We'll see. I'll keep you posted because it would be really exciting to get this perfect job before I even graduate so I don't have to worry about taking some lame data-entry job after I move down there.

Oh yes, one more thing. I started this last night:

The Wobbly Circles Tote from IK. As part of my plan to learn colorwork this year, I wanted to start intarsia on something that will be felted to hide any imperfections. It's going pretty quickly and the changing colors keeps it interesting. The only downside is that it's hard to watch foreign-language movies while I'm knitting this because I can't keep up with the subtitles!

Even though I don't have much time for my own blog, I have been keeping up with other peoples' blogs and enjoying all the pretty things everyone is working on. I apologize that I don't have time to comment, but I am reading and admiring all of your work!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I'm Officially OLD know those days when you're stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic for hours, and you spend about 45 minutes behind some big SUV, and you sit there wondering to yourself why they have such an odd rear window sticker of a small, oddly-shaped kid standing underneath a slender, stately rose...until you realize half an hour later that the "sticker" is really just two big blobs of bird shit? That's how tired I've been lately.

I think it's because I am officially old. I turned the big 3-0 last Saturday. I can no longer say "I'm in my twenties" and let people think I'm as young as they want because even if I was 29, I still wouldn't be old. But now I'm old. Hear that sound? Yeah. Those are my bones creaking.

But I guess turning 30 wasn't all that bad. I got to go to the LYS for my birthday month discount. Woohoo! I headed over there last Sunday and picked up some yarn I had been planning on. One of my goals this year is to jump the hurdle and actually learn to do some colorwork, so I was picking up some Brown Sheep wool for the Wobbly Circles Tote from IK. I also wanted some white feltable yarn for the Calla Lily Bag from the Knitter's Book of Yarn. No one who worked there knew which white yarns would felt, and the guy who rang me up said flat out that NO white yarns would EVER felt. I know he was totally wrong and that some do, but I wasn't going to stand there and argue so I just got what I wanted and left.

Along with the tote bag yarn, I browsed around and found some Baruffa Merinos Sei in a very pretty Deep Eggplant color. It seemed very soft to me, and I really like the color. Normally I don't buy yarn without a specific purpose for it, but I have a lot of sweaters that I want to make, and I figured this yarn would work for one of them. I had the Sideways Spencer by Annie Modesitt in mind since I just bought the pattern and I thought the yarn would make the cables really stand out. Now, I'm no expert on yarn and I thought it felt a little thin, but the sign above the shelves told me in no uncertain terms that this was WORSTED WEIGHT yarn. So I scrounged through the bins to come up with 9 balls of the stuff and bought it.

I was more than a little disgusted when I came home to discover, after I looked up the yarn online, that it is really DK WEIGHT. This will not work for the sweater I had in mind at all, since the Sideways Spencer calls for worsted or heavy worsted yarn, and I simply don't have the wherewithall to try to convert all those cables to a lighter weight yarn. I went on Ravelry and through all my pattern books and magazines for some other options that I could make and I did find some...but I may not have enough yarn for them. I have just enough for some of the patterns, but I have very long arms and always need extra yarn to accommodate that.

So now I'm just really annoyed at that yarn store. First they tell me that "white wool won't felt", then they have improper signs up that get me to buy the wrong yarn. My birthday month is over and the discount only worked on one purchase anyway, so there's not a whole lot I can do. I think that yarn store is really cute, but I haven't ever really been impressed with their yarn selection anyway so I don't think I'll be back.

In knitting news: none to speak of. This week was full of final exams and presentations for the classes that don't last all semester. I did get a tentative offer of partnership with some sort of start-up online business based on my presentation to a group of employees from a well-known internet company that recently avoided a takeover...but since I know absolutely nothing about designing websites, that's not likely to pan out. If anyone knows Casey and Jess and thinks they would want to partner with me, I know a big company who said they would buy my idea. ;-)