4.30.2008

The world is awesome.

I really don't feel this way a whole lot lately.

But YouTube and Mike Rowe are there to remind me.

For the un-religious of us Ravellers

God has joined Ravelry.com as of April 27, 2008. And an interesting topic has come up. Who will you befriend? God or Beelzebub? Now if your choice depends on the number and skill of projects bear in mind God only arrived Sunday (heh, shouldn't He/She have been resting?) while Beelzebub has been a member since September. Give God a chance to create His/Her flickr.com account and upload some photos. I made my choice, which will be yours?

I bet Jess and Casey never meant Ravelry.com to become a battle for the soul, but Bob always had.

Beware my Might!

So this morning on my way to work I was listening to an old Knit Picks Podcast where Kelly and Tina discussed a "new" yarn they were going to carry. Well It was described as something just perfect for a friend's project.

So I sent an email linking the yarn and within 45 minutes she had picked a color, purchased it and emailed me back (I won't tell you who, because she'll probably mention it later).

The force is strong within me and it's might frightens me, though I could get used to it. My mind is already reeling with all this power. It is taking all my control not to web surf for more yarn to pass onto others to buy.

Another topic, I think I'm going to have to start painting my nails to match all my current knitting projects. For instance right now, I think I need to french manicure my nails (cream colored Juno Regina Shawl and natural color of my Aran Accent Vest swatch) with some purple stripes for my Mom's sweater.

I need to go shopping. Though I hate waiting for my nails to dry. It is only natural for me to pick up knitting while I wait, but it smudges and gets enamel on my project. Damn nail polish, jury duty and Heathrow airport!

4.29.2008

MeMe



Here's the rules:

# Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
# Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
# Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
# Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I don't like raisins. Hardly unusual, but I'm adamant.
2. I want my next boyfriend to be a male knitter.
3. My room is a mess! Don't tell my mom.
4. I'm learning to play bass guitar from my roomie. That reminds me I have to practice this weekend.
5. I have three rockin' sisters. Two of which just went to supercross at qwest stadium in seattle and the third won first place in Seattle with her troubadour choir group.
6. I took a babysitting course when I was a kid at the local hospital. First aid and all that jazz, but I really should get some first aid to date.
7. Mom's Sweater smells like dirty hands. It's cuz I knit on the bus after work I think. I'm going to have to wash it after it is put together. Any great smelling knit wash ideas?

You all know me, I'm not gonna tag you, but I'd love to see you fill it out on your own. I got this particular meme from Knitter's Delight, who happened to take this fantastic pic of me knitting in Balboa Park on Sunday.

(insert clever title here)


I have learned that the sweater I received from my grandmother is a Mary Maxim pattern called Pheasant Hunt. You can read about Mary Maxim patterns here. They were hugely popular in the 50's especially Canada which explains the desire for them in the logging camp in wooded Idaho my grandparents used to live in. My grandmother sent me an email saying it was a neighbor in the logging camp who started her knitting. She thinks it was because her neighbor was tired of her coming to visit all the time.



I began swatching for the Aran Accent Vest yesterday and I think I will be using my new size 3 Addi Turbo Lace needles. That is the uppermost section of the swatch. I want to have a very sturdy fabric to hold up to the cable pattern. The Addi Turbo Lace needles were bought for the Juno Regina shawl, but ended up moving down to a size two. However, the hand made yarn from New Zealand slides a lot nicer on the lace needles and I think those tiny little points are going to be essential. The twist in the yarn is not very tight and it also feels like there may still be quite a bit of lanolin in the yarn as my fingers start to feel a little sticky after a while.

I am going to officially move the Aran Accent Vest to the Active WIP list on the side bar, but really I won't get past the screwing around with the swatch stage until I finish the final sleeve on my Mom's sweater. I finished the first and the seaming/finishing won't be done on the bus so the Aran Accent Vest will become my bus knitting. I'm so close :)

It sounds like I am very organized, but I really am not. This is about the only thing in my life I have worked out right now and I am clinging to the feeling of control I have over my knitting. Maybe I'll be able to carry it over into the rest of my life soon.

4.25.2008

Beaded Lace, Stockinette and Cables... Oh My!



Juno Regina. It is taking ages for several reasons. I am super motivated on my Mom's sweater, the laceweight knitting moves slowly and I have started adding clear glass seed beads. They are difficult to see in the picture, but they add a lovely sparkle. Hopefully they will also add a nice weight to the fabric. I am adding them as I go because I didn't decide to add them until after I had begun the project. This slows me down and strains my eyes. I am thinking I may break the yarn and add them in advance for the rest of the project, but I'm concerned about what the beads will do sliding along the Mohair.

I am nearly finished on the first sleeve for Mom's Sweater, so close I can taste it. I have been messing around with techniques for sliding the yarn through my hands. I usually knit with out 'holding' the yarn, I slide the needle into the stitch, then grab the yarn and wrap giving it a slight tug. I have always manage to get great even tension but I think is slows me down a little. All the stockinette stitch on Mom's sweater gives me plenty of time to fiddle around with possibilities and I think I have finally found one that allows me to zoom through the stitches.

Yesterday I was using this 'new' method on the trolley coming home from work and a nice older lady sat down beside me and said "Oh a real knitter!" I will admit I was speed racing through the row, but I don't think I have ever been called a 'real' knitter by anybody. It felt great. She proceeded to tell me about projects she had done in the past, but I had a hard time understanding most of what she said and couldn't describe any of her projects for you. Though I got the gist, she did, but doesn't anymore.

I started a swatch for the Aran Accent Vest with some size 5 bamboo circulars I picked up on the way home and I am loving the fabric much better than I did on the size 6s. The yarn is a little 'thick and thin' which is a result of the hand spinning, but I really like the color. I'll post pics when I get started on the actual project. When I finish Mom's sweater it will probably become my bus knitting. Cables have got to be simpler than lace/beading right?

4.23.2008

37 Freshly Wound Balls... heh



Last week, I went to Susan's and it turned into a marathon yarn untangling and ball winding session with almost an entire season of Project Runway. Well, we got all but the last episode in.

So Tuesday night, I brought all my unwound hanks to be wound up into balls and watch the finale. Susan and I have decided we are both going to knit the Aran Accent Vest as our own private knit-a-long (KAL). Looking for yarn and talking to Susan I remembered that I have hand spun yarn I purchased out of a lovely stranger's shed in New Zealand in my stash (which needs busted, seriously!). I'm not sure about the yardages, but the spinner said it was probably enough to make me a jumper (love the Kiwi/Aussie/Brit talk). While I'm not sure about that, there is definitely enough for a cabled vest. So I started swatching it last night on size 6 circulars (I have to switch to the millimeter system, I have 3 pairs of size 6 but they aren' exactly the same) but it seemed a little loose to me. I'm going to pick up some size 5s hopefully today and keep swatching.

I have read a lot on Ravelry about the vest coming out too large for many knitters so I think if I get a finer gauge and knit the pattern size for my bust, it might come out better. Right?

Listen to me, all swatch knitting and stuff. I'm such a good kid.

Also I knit 12 rows on the bus this morning for my Mom's sweater. I am trying to bust through it. I am 3/4 of the way done with the first sleeve.

4.22.2008

Ravelry Predator, watch out!

So I'm recently single again. This morning I was checking out comments and blog posts about the Aran Accent Vest I want to make. Somehow, and I don't know how this happened, I found myself looking at male knitter profiles like I was shopping. It doesn't help that I found the SMACK Group (straight men also crochet & knit) which is basically a buffet of perfect men for me to prey on.

I restrained myself. Realized I had a problem and walked away. However, not before posting comments on a few blogs about a dream I had regarding the Pope. I didn't join the group and I have begun a mantra, "Ravelry does not equal Match.com, Ravelry does not equal Match.com"

Oh but how heavenly that would be.

4.21.2008

I have an idea!!!

Check this out, online knitting groups. Video conferencing basically with far away knitters. Is that a good idea or what? Lots of cameras have built in mics and you can knit while you talk, show off your progress.

However, I don't know anything about video conferencing or even if there is already a group that does this. I can't find any mention of it on Ravelry but I would join one. Someone make one! I will buy the camera and the software! What is the best, cheapest software for this type of thing?

4.20.2008

Mid 20's Crisis

So I'm going through a thing and it required me to go home and be with my Mommy. Sometimes you just need to be surrounded by people who love you to remind you how special you are. So I took the entire week off and went home.

In San Diego, my friend Susan and Roomie Jon have both been great to me and let me tell you, if you need distracted. Susan is the Queen. Tuesday night I spent 8 hours at her place untangling yarn knots, winding new balls and watching Project Runway. Thanks Susan.

Anyway, I went home and my Mom is a super star. She got me a massage and a pedicure. Bright pink, just because it isn't normally my style and I need to figure out who I am all over again and pink nails seemed a simple place to start.



I also chopped my hair, it went bye bye! I was keeping it long for a very specific reason which is gone now and I need to start doing things for me. Sorry I don't have any before pics, I always wore it in a ponytail/bun anyway. Well not anymore...



My mom even took me yarn shopping, but I didn't buy any. I did however get Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off, Patons Cables book #500846 to make the Aran Accent Vest and The Knitting Answer Book by Margaret Radcliffe. I also bought some beads to add to my cousin's Juno Regina shawl.

We also played a lot of board games, ate out alot and tried on her sweater. I'm so glad we did. I blocked the front and back and seamed them to try it on her and it fit great (I'm going to add a little gusset at the seam for the bust though). I was still working on the first sleeve, but I found out the cap was shaped improperly and I only need 200 rows so it was a very successful fitting. I was so happy and she loved it. the color, the weight the neckline. Now if I could just finish those sleeves...

Also this week I was given a gift from my grandmother that is absolutely perfect for a knitter like me and it was completely unexpected. When she was 19, my grandfather wanted a sweater that was all the rage at the time. He insisted on a hunting/pheasant pattern on it. She saved up for months to buy the wool and reknit the colorwork pattern on the back at least three times. She just recently tried to sell it at auction as they are clearing out there house in preparation to sell it, but their were no takers. It wasn't until after that she realized I might be interested in it. Of course I'm interested!








There are some problems with it that I intend to fix and restore her to her former glory. It needs cleaned for starters...



Also there are some places where it wasn't weaved in properly and the yarn is coming unraveled. The color work wasn't stranded right and it is pulling into the center. And every once in a while, there is an entire row of twisted stitches which makes me giggle. She was young when she made it and was never really a "knitter". When I inspect it closely I can see a lot of mistakes. I think that may come from my infinite knitting resource, the internet. I have had access to many more techniques and tricks than she ever was. She worked most of it out on her own, a labor of love and proof the curse of the boyfriend sweater can be beat. It is a beautiful piece of family history and I am so glad she thought of me.

Today, Roomie and I built a wall. Check it out here...

4.14.2008

Knitting Progress

The yarn has arrived for the Juno Regina and boy is it tiny. I overbought yardage and I am going to have to make it larger I think. Maybe an extra chart repeat in the growing section or else it might come out more scarf like. The mohair is already frustrating me. I made a mistake in the second chart and tried to rip out, but I basically had to throw it away and start over because of the knotty mess I made. I am going to have to be very careful with it so I am going to write the charts much larger with all the repeats included. Plus, I'm going to use very slippery lifelines. I have some lace weight silk samples that should work for this.

The complexity of the Juno Regina project means it is an at home project now while my mother's semi Lucie sweater has been relegated to bus status. I am on the first sleeve and have written it to be top down, that way if it is too short it is much easier to add length (remember, the most important part of this sweater, it's entire purpose actually, is to fit my mother's monkey arms). the cap is a little more square on top than I like, but I tried it on my roommate (he is such a good sport) by wrapping it around his arm and it really didn't look too square.

I went to the San Diego Knit Nutz on Sunday which is a new roaming knitting group that meets in a new place each week. Next week is Balboa Park picnic style. Unfortunately I'm going to miss it, but if you are on ravelry.com check them out it sounds like fun.

Also, just recently my littlest sister was here to visit me for her final spring break of high school. It was super busy and we had a blast, tiny list of activities include:

Padre's game
Prom dress shopping (she picked out a gorgeous one)
San Diego Wild Animal Park (we love giraffes)
Mission Beach
Tie-dying project
Painting and more



I miss her a lot. However, I am going to see her and my parents on Wednesday on kind of a mental health holiday. My personal life has been suffering a lot lately and I feel like I just need my mom. I want to be surrounded by people who love me for a little while.

4.11.2008

Shiny!

I know, I'm a dork. I've dealt with it.

MeMe from Heather!

I have been Tagged by Heather so here goes...

1. Link to the person that tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

#1) I do not like fruit flesh in bread. This means I don't like blueberry/strawberry/rasberry muffins/pancakes/anything. but I do like things like banana/pumpkin/zucchini breads/rolls/etc. It is weird I know, like who hates blueberry pancakes? I DO! oh and raisin anything!

#2) I push my left needle out of the stitch I just knit into with my right index finger which sometimes results in tenderness depending on the sharpness of the needle. Most of the time I don't even notice, but sometimes after it is much too late, I will change up my knitting style.

#3) I watch America's Next Top Model and miss cable mostly for Project Runway. Even though I'm an overweight tom-boy who wears jeans 360 days a year. I have no idea why I watch them, but I love'em and hate'em.

#4) My main character on World of Warcraft is a level 70 female Tauren hunter. I started a hunter because I got to have a pet. Unlike any good player, I have had the same pet since I learned to train them in Mulgore. It is a prairie lion and her name is KeiKei. I love her like a real pet.

#5) I hate Monopoly. It is long and boring and I have never played long enough for anybody to win. Though I like to be the shoe.

#6) I love keeping fish. Love it. I have more than once been called over-protective/-caring of the tetras, goldfish and frogs. I even once had a pair of snails (lay eggs like once a week) and the first eggs they laid I hatched. Bad idea. But they were so cute with their tiny little shells!

Ok so there you go. It is hard to think of things that are particular to myself that are non-important. For instance the first things I thought of were

#1) I only get to see my boyfriend three times a year (if that)
#2) I miss my family so much I actually cry sometimes before I go to bed.

and you know, stuff like that. But those seemed like Important things/habits/quirks. Also, I'm not going to tag anyone because I am just so Anti-chain letter that I am tagging anyone who reads this. Let me know if you fill it out so I can read it :)

Breaking the Silence

I have been quiet for a long time with work travel and a knitting slump, but I'm back and I got stuff to say :)

So I am way behind on my podcasts, mostly because I listen on the bus and I have not been riding when I was out of the country. But also because I use my phone as my mp3 player. Which is fine, it worked good and was easy to interrupt for a phone call. Plus I like not carrying around a ton of electronics (and you know I always got either a PSP or DS on me as well). But the phone was a hassle because it had a special headphone jack; I couldn't use just any headphones and they hurt after a while. Also, they weren't quick to replace if you happened to, oh I don't know... drop your phone while the headphones were still in your ears so many times that you just popped apart those little tiny wires inside the cable. On top of that, I got a new phone with an even more specialized jack. It still plays music and I got an adapter, but HASSLE.

So anyway, moral of the story is I went and bought a cheap mp3 player from Target on clearance with Spongebob Squarepants on it. When I shake it, it adds cartoon sound effects. I love it.

So today on my way to work, I got to listen to a few new podcasts (new to me anyway, and even though I am way behind on Cast On, It's a Purl Man and Sticks and String). I checked out Y Knits (knitting by and for men, recorded by men) and Knit Science. I really liked Y Knits and heard their episode about Art or Craft which got me to thinking about it.

This is not a new discussion. The topic is right up there with copyrighted material, charging for your knitting and what defines a designer. But this one more than any other is exasperating to me and I am really tired of it (so those of you that record podcasts or blog, don't do it anymore!).

It seems to me that knitting itself is a craft, a method if you will, or even a means. It is a process (that we all enjoy obviously) to get from point A to point B. Now you can go and make Art from it, just like you can make art from paints, clay and every other media on the planet. Now how you define which pieces are actually art, does it really matter (I wanted to put "f*cking matter" in there, but that is just the sailor in me, not the emotion in me).

If you or anybody else calls your products art, its art (which we must all admit, implies at least a minimal amount of originality). If someone says it isn't, it isn't. Art is personal and not definitive. This goes back to things like nude paintings and what is pornographic and what is art, it is all in the eye of the beholder.

I have said my piece. Leave it alone.

4.09.2008

I know I'm a slacker


So I wanted to sit down and write about fabulous adventures in London (which were fabulous, by the way), but you know how big posts like that can be a lot of work and I just kept putting it off. Last night I preferred knitting in my warm bed and watching crap TV. However, something every knitter dreams of happened to me at work today and I felt I just had to share it with you.

I got yarn in the mail! Not yarn I ordered or asked for, just a gift of yarn in the mail. It was sent to me from a scientist on a previous cruise (who also gave me silk yarn from Cambodia, I have yet to do anything with, it is too pretty!). It is a beautiful skein of brown alpaca from Tasmania. How sweet is that? I don't have the cable from my phone to my computer or I would share it with you right now, but I will post a pic when I get home.

C'mon, you are all jealous and you know it! Unexpected alpaca from tasmania!

Also, I just purchased some Elann Silken Kidd in winter white to make a shawl for my patient cousin from the Juno Regina pattern on knitty.com.

If I am the fastest knitter evah(!) I will be able to finish that as well as my mom's sweater in time for my Aunt's (her mom's) wedding in July. Yeah freaking right.