Monday, December 18, 2006

your attention please

That's right. I finished something. HA.

Pattern: Cowgirl Slipper Socks from Interweave Knits, Winter 2006
Yarn: 100% merino from Table Rock Llamas Fiber Arts Studio
Modifications: I only did two repeats of the cuff pattern because I thought I wouldn't have enough yarn for the full four. Turns out I probably would have. Phooey.
Started December 7, 2006 and finished December 12, 2006

Friday, December 01, 2006

Friday, November 17, 2006

After my last post, Carrie K asked if I really needed to frog the Slytherin scarf. I wish I could say that I really didn't, but I started it over with nice, untwisted stitches, and it looks so much better that I really wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't redo it. Everytime I saw the scarf it would make me cringe.

The Evidence:

I have been doing some other knitting:

Both are Christmas presents so I won't really elaborate until after Christmas. Heh. Someone out there is laughing hysterically while thinking, "Christmas presents? This kid's been knitting for a year and hasn't managed to finish one single thing! How is she going to knit Christmas presents?" And to that person, I sniff disdainfully in your general direction (unfortunately, that person seems to be living in the back of my head, so physically pulling that off is a little tricky).

Oh, and if anyone is wondering, yes, those are full of twisted knit stitches, but I have decided that in their cases it is not an issue.

The Weasley squares are mustering.

I would say that I'm going to end this to go knit some more, but I'm not. I picked up Labyrinth by Kate Mosse the other day and it is highly engrossing...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

If anyone is interested in finding out how it feels to learn that you've been making the freaking knit stitch incorrectly for nearly a year, let me tell you. It feels bad.

I almost didn't post about it because I feel so silly. But, I've been knitting this Slytherin scarf for my roommate, as I've said, and I've noticed that the stitches all seem to slant to the right. At first I just thought this was a feature of circular knitting and that it would block out, but then I looked at a few pictures of other people's circular knitting. Their stitches weren't slanting to the right...

My stomach started to feel funny. Then I read something about twisted stitches on, and my stomach started to feel worse. I kept looking at my stitches, unsure of whether I had twisted them or not, and then a horrible thought occured to me.

What if I've been knitting wrong?

This was all last night. The thought was too horrible to be contemplated so I went to bed. I had dreams about knitting. And X-men, actually. But I digress.

This morning I decided to set aside my pride and the fear of ripping out the Slytherin scarf (and the sock, which is also doing the funny slanting thing), and went over to and watched the video about making knit stitches.

Yep! Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, WRONG!

I'm going to go eat some brownies and try not to cry while I frog two months worth of incorrect stitches.

Oh, and if anyone is wondering, I do make my purl stitches correctly. I watched those videos too, just to be sure.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

My roommate occasionally travels to Toronto to visit her brother. She went again this weekend, and I finally asked her the question that has been plaguing me for nearly a year:

"How do you ride on the bus for that long and not knit?"

Thursday, November 02, 2006

WILL THE UNIVERSE PLEASE HOLD STILL AND BE SILENT...while I cast on thesee 163 stitches. Thank you.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A few weeks ago, during my internet travails, I stumbled upon a picture of the Ruffles scarf, from the book Scarf Style (if you want to see a picture too, you can go here, scroll down to July 18). My "hey that's really cool" alarm went off, and much to my delight I found out that the London Public Library has four copies of this book. I put one on reserve and waited a few days. Then I got the e-mail, "Hey, come pick up your book," and, full of anticipation and plans to start the scarf as soon as I got home with the book, I went to pick it up on my way to work.

I probably shouldn't admit this where anyone could read it, but I was so excited about this scarf (seriously, go look at the picture) that I couldn't stop thinking about it while I was at work, so on my lunch break I pulled the book out of my locker, just to look at the pattern. According to the table of contents, the pattern is on page 103.

Imagine my fury upon discovering that someone had ripped page 103 out of the book.


Yes, just breathe for a few seconds. Acknowledge that this is not the end of the world, and that the library has three other copies. Plan to resolve the problem Monday between classes. Plan to tell the librarian, but try not to suggest that she should be hunting down the perpetrator with a battle axe. Eat some chocolate. Knit something else. Don't let it ruin your weekend, but feel free to mutter darkly about how hideously uncivilized a person would have to be to rip something out of a library book.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

As I mentioned briefly in the last post, I started a sock. If it goes well, I might knit two socks, and wear one of them on each foot. I know, I know... Anyway, the sock has become the new "knitting I carry around with me," and I pulled it out of my purse this morning to work on it before class, only to find that I only had four DPNs instead of five. I did not, however, collapse on the floor in a state of horrified panic. I merely rifled through my purse a bit to determine that the missing DPN was not in fact lurking near the bottom, then stuck the sock back into my purse and turned to my other form of amusement (Han Solo at Stars' End-and no, I don't read anything difficult in my free time during the school year, I love my brain more than that).

I would like to think that this is a sign of personal growth, that I am learning to accept and work with unexpected difficulties, but I think it was more a sign that I only had five hours of sleep and just didn't have the energy to panic.

On the bus ride home, I did manage to summon the energy to acknowledge that I could knit the sock with four needles instead of five, if the fifth one was indeed lost forever, but I found the deserter lounging on the tile in my foyer, so no harm done.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I was going to update with lovely pictures of progress (progress!), show you how many Weasley squares I've finished (58, 82 to go...), show you the Slytherin scarf and my lovely new sock (yes, a sock! I haven't gotten to the heel yet...), but as luck would have it, the camera has refused to operate until I bring it a sacrifice of four double-A batteries. What a jerk.

Usually, I talk while I type, but I didn't say that last part out loud because the camera is sitting right next to me and I don't want it to get angry and start demanding other things (like shrubberies).

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sometimes, when I'm feeling really adventurous, I use the printer to print things.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Booky McBookbook

Meme swiped from Carrie K's blog. =D

1. One book that changed your life: Hmm...I don't knowing about changing my life per se, but I've found all of C.S. Lewis's non-fiction, that I've read, to be deeply profound.

2. One book that you’ve read more than once: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: All of the Harry Potter books. I know I'm cheating! But it's one big story, right? RIGHT?! (That said, hopefully I don't find myself on any desert islands before book seven comes out...)

4. One book that made you laugh: Anything by Terry Pratchett, most recently Going Postal.

5. One book that made you cry: Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides

6. One book that you wish had been written: How to Never, Ever Procrastinate Again. Heh...

7. One book that you wish had never been written: Hmm...I can think of a lot of books I really disliked, but I know other people have really enjoyed (The Catcher in the Rye comes to mind...). However, I get really disgusted when I see trashy fiction targeted at young teenagers, especially girls. So that. "Trashy fiction targeted at young girls."

8. One book you’re currently reading: The Dante Club, but I'm having such a hard time getting into it. My mom said it was really good though, so I'm trying. I was also reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets earlier today...

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser

10. Now tag five people: Haha right, like five people read this.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


I love it when she sleeps like this. She does so many ridiculous things. Everybody should have a pet that makes him laugh every time he looks at it. If Sassy weren't doing something strange, I'd probably think she was sick.

So today, she is obviously a happy, healthy cat, while I am a wretched, snot-spewing lump. I've stopped working on my roommate's Slytherin scarf because the idea of me intermittenly blowing my nose and then picking up her scarf again to work on it probably grosses her out. She wouldn't actually tell me if it did, but it kind of grosses me out too. Obviously it's going to get washed before she actually wears it, but still. Today is the age of the super-germ, and you never know what might be coming out of my sinuses. Grossed out now? Good. Because it'd just be really selfish of me to keep all the grossing out for myself.

Sloppy sinuses haven't stopped me from working on the Weasley squares, though. But obviously the Weasley blanket's going to get washed after it's all put together too! It really doesn't matter. I believe in the power of soap. Such is the advantage of acrylic soon as the blanket's done it's getting tossed in the washing machine and I won't even worry about it.

Friday, September 22, 2006

My yearly fall cold has made its appearance in all of its lime green snot glory. But being sick does give me an excuse to knit and watch movies all day. Mindless knitting, of course, but the only projects I'm really paying attention to right now are mindless. The Weasley blanket? Garter stitch squares. The Sesame sweater? Stockinette flat. The Slytherin scarf? Stockinette in the round. Mindless! It's ok though. Mindless knitting allows me to knit on the bus and to knit in the library while I'm doing my reading for class (all of my textbooks stay open by themselves this year. I knew I picked good classes.).

Wednesday I had been working on a Weasley square on the bus on the way to school, and when the bus stopped, I got off and just kept knitting. I was halfway to my building before I realized I'd been knitting while I was walking. Part of me is proud of myself and part of me is really happy I was heading to a night class and there weren't that many people on campus.

The Slytherin scarf is slithering off the needles at a fairly respectable rate. I'm not a very speedy knitter (as evidenced by the sad lack of finished objects to appear on this blog), but I'm trying not to beat myself up about it. Plus, the addi Turbos do seem to make the knitting go faster...but maybe that's just the placebo effect.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

good timing

Since my new 12" Addi Turbo arrived in the mail today, on my birthday, I'm going to pretend that I planned it that way so I'd get a birthday present in the mail...

What is the 12" Addi Turbo for, you ask? Well, actually, it's not for anything, I just knew that if I wanted to get in with the cool knitters I was going to have to own at least one Addi Turbo knitting needle. So can I be in the club now? Can I? Or do I still have to run into the yarn shop naked and throw myself at the Koigu?

Kidding. My roommate has announced that she's in Slytherin and needs a scarf to prove it. I decided that six inches wide was a better size for a Harry Potter scarf than eight inches, but of course the 16" circular that I had would not accomodate that decision. I suppose it is possible that other needle brands make 12" needles, but I figured if I was going to have to order it online anyway I might as well see what all the Addi Turbo fuss is about.

Oh, and speaking of birthdays, my ever so delightful siblings (brother 16 and sister 12) gave me a gift certificate to Am I excited? Oh yes...ever so excited...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It's a bird, it's a plane..., it's an update!

I found this lovely stuff at the Zeilinger Wool Company in Frankenmuth, Michigan, while I was home in July:

So I swatched it a bit:

The Weasley blanket cometh...

...very slowly. But if you're interested, I made a Flickr album of the finished Weasley squares. Well, actually, they aren't really "finished," they've got ends sticking out and some of them don't look very square...ah well.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

So...pretty.. *drool*

I've almost got the merino laceweight under control, so I was poking around on the internet looking for a lace pattern. I don't have enough yarn for that particluar project, which at any rate might be a bit too ambitious when I have about 5,349 other things going and school is going to start in a month. But one day... *wistful look into the glorious, spider stole future*

Monday, July 31, 2006

More books.

I've been knitting Weasley squares because they are brainless, and my brain has melted from all the heat. Right now, I would probably sell my soul for an air conditioner. But I wouldn't sell it to just anybody. I have standards. Like I definitely wouldn't sell it to anyone named...Lord Voldemort...or...or...I don't know.

It's too hot to say anything funny.

Friday, July 21, 2006

I may now understand, just a little, how parents feel when their children get along.
I am nerdier than 58% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

I'm not too sure about this quiz. I mean, no, I wouldn't consider myself the Supreme Ruling Empress of Girl Nerds, but last year I stayed up alllll night making a Jedi robe to wear to a Star Wars premiere. I think that alone should earn me a permanent, high-ranking spot in nerd heaven.

Just so this has something to do with knitting, I had been mulling over the idea of a sweater with some sort of Tetris block pattern in it, although probably just in two colours, so it would give the idea of Tetris without being excessively tacky. I should include a drawing but I haven't made one yet. Maybe if I plug a USB cable into my brain... (things adapt to their environments, right? I mean I bet in the next ten years or so babies will start being born with USB ports in the backs of their heads. Just watch). Anyway. Tetris makes me want to punch things at the moment so I think that sweater may be on hold.

I'd like to knit a shark. Actually, my dad caught a shark last summer while he was fishing on a charter boat, and it just arrived from the taxidermist. Maybe I could knit him a shark cozy for Christmas. But he already calls me eccentric so maybe I won't.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I've been spending a lot of time in the living room lately...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Today I didn't have to work at all, which is a very exciting occurence when you have two jobs, so I went into my usual "no work" mode and curled up with some podcasts, some snacks, and some knitting. I spent a good four hours this way, but about three o'clock I started to get a bit restless. "I should go outside!" I thought, even though it's been raining on and off all day. "Why should I stay cooped up in my apartment when there's such a nice drizzly day out there?"

So on my bike I got and off I headed to the Place of Tempting Place of Beauty and Evil Place Where I Wish I Was Independently Wealthy yarn shop.

Now, I did say in my initial post about the yarn shop that I wasn't going to go back because it was really expensive, most of it. But, I needed a specific sort of fiber for the final hurrah of the One Skein secret pal exchange, and I thought that someone working at the yarn shop migh be more help than someone working at Michael's. I did find a reasonably priced, suitable yarn, so I bought it and turned to leave the shop...

...only to find that somebody had pressed the 'on' button for the rain and turned it up to eleven.

Well, whatever, rain is just water. But then I got splashed by a nice, large city bus driving kind of fast through a nice, large city puddle, and now I just feel kind of gross.

The Great Yarn Rescue of '06

It was twilight at my grandfather's cottage on a small lake in northern Michigan, and I had been sitting on the pontoon knitting. As the sun set, the weather had cooled, and the mosquitos had begun to salivate. Not wanting to be their next feast, I decided it would be best to take myself and my things up to the cottage and change into some more evening appropriate attire-the swimsuit and sarong look wasn't going to hold out against the insect onslaught. I picked up my book, my knitting, and the extra ball of yarn I'd been carrying around with me all day (in the event that I came to the end of the working ball, I didn't want to have to trudge all the way to my luggage to get another one), and stepped off the boat onto the dock. I was just stepping off the dock onto the grass when I looked down at what I was carrying and realized something was missing...

Horrified, I whirled around and looked wildly at the dock, but the extra ball of yarn was nowhere to be seen. I hurried back onto the boat, but there was no yarn there either. In the growing darkness, I looked mournfully into the water between the boat and the dock and realized what had happened. I had dropped the ball of yarn into the lake. Desperately, I knelt down on the edge of the boat and peered into the water, but I couldn't see anything (I didn't really expect to, but I was distraught and not thinking clearly). Now, I am not a person to give up when I know there is still a way to overcome an adversity, but I am also generally realistic. I came to the very logical conclusion that the yarn, like a few pairs of my mother's glasses, my dad's fishing rod, and an odd number of swim shoes, was lost forever in the murky depths of Wixom Lake.

I'm not really the sort of person to get extremely emotional about most things. I did cry for half an hour when Chewbacca died in Vector Prime, but that was Chewbacca (on a side note, do you think there are knitters in the Star Wars galaxy? And do you think that anyone spins yarn out of wookiee fur? Like...wookiee wool?!!). However, I did feel a bit nauseated about losing a ball of yarn, as I had only bought five of them and wasn't entirely sure I was going to have enough to finish the project I'd started. I knew there were stores I could get to easily that sell the yarn, but what if I couldn't match up the dye lot? These possibilities made me feel very pouty, so I went up to the cottage and whined about it to my mother, who did sympathize but obviously couldn't remedy the situation.

For whatever reason, perhaps a desire to return to the scene of the tragedy and find closure, I went back down to the boat and half heartedly looked around again, in case the yarn really hadn't fallen into the water and I'd missed it in my initial search. Realizing I was being silly and still hadn't managed to change my clothing, I stepped off the boat and happened to look out on the lake.

Floating there, about fifteen feet out, was my yarn.

At this point, something very silly happened. After an initial surge of joy at finding the yarn not at the bottom of the lake, I thought, "Dad won't let me go swimming when it's almost dark outside..."

Then I mentally slapped myself, realizing that I am almost twenty years old and can go swimming any time I want, and this was an emergency. I threw the sarong and my glasses onto the boat and jumped into the water.

This proved to be momentarily disconcerting, as I can't see that well without my glasses-beyond eighteen inches or so, everything is pretty blurry. As I have said, it was almost dark, and for a moment I couldn't see where the yarn was and I thought that I was too late, that it had soaked up enough water to actually sink, and that my one brief glimmer of hope was just that-a brief glimmer.

But then the water moved just the right way, and I could see the outline of the ball of yarn, and I swam with all possible haste towards it. Reaching it, I grabbed it out of the water and held it aloft. Then I swam back to the dock using only one arm, since the other arm was occupied keeping the yarn above the water.

Having successfully executed the rescue mission, I went back inside to comfort the victim.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Introducing...yarn from my one skein secret pal! It is 100% merino and it is lovely. "Blondi" says she had it dyed at her LYS "to your specs!" Is that cool or what? I feel special. Thanks Blondi!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Self-medication, variation 5783:

1 Smirnoff Raspberry Twister + Disney's Beauty and the Beast + mindless knitting

Still in test phase, but seems to be working.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The laceweight merino is still lying in a dejected, half-tangled mess on an end table in the living room. I feel guilty looking at it.

This morning I started my third attempt at knitting in the round with double-pointed needles. It's not a total disaster, although the stitch marker kept falling off so I gave up on it and just resolved to keep very good track of my stitches. Famous last words, probably, but so far I haven't lost track. I decided to try knit Kate from the Winter 2005 issue of Knitty. I just had a momentary image of Yoda poking me with a giant knitting needle and saying, "Do or do not, there is no try," so I guess I'd better see Kate to the end or I'll be a bad Jedi knitter.

I did knit in public on World Wide Knit in Public Day, but since I've been doing that for a month or so now it wasn't really that exciting. It might have been more fun to go hang out with a bunch of knitters in the middle of an intersection and knit, but I don't know any knitters with whom to do death-defying (or not so defying) knitting things. Rats.

Oh, the summer reading list has been updated...scroll down...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Over the weekend, I went to City Knits in Detroit, which was a bit on the small side but had a lot of nice, reasonably priced yarn (at least, it was less expensive than the yarn in the yarn shop here in London). I met a very friendly hank of 1375 yards of lace weight merino wool, and decided it needed to go home with me. The yarn shop lady at the counter said she had never wound that particular yarn, but if I wanted her to she would. However, my mom was waiting for me and I've wound plenty of yarn by myself, so I just paid for the yarn and left.

About an hour ago I started trying to wind it. I'm trying to stay optimistic, but it keeps cringing and wanting to know what happened to the beautiful life I promised it when I took it away from its yarn store home. I feel like a bad parent.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Summer Reading List...

...because, you know, all the other knitters are doing it.

Actually, I don't have an actual list of books I want to read this summer, but since my roommate went home for the summer, I'll have no one to jabber at nonstop. So, when I'm not in the mood for listening to podcasts and knitting, I'll probably end up reading, because talking to the cat gets boring after the first five minutes.

Books finished as of June 1:

June 4 Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis

June 6 The Giver, Lois Lowry
I should have read this book when I was ten, like normal children, before I read Brave New World and 1984, but, since I didn't, this book just ended up being extremely unsatisfying. There were so many things that were alluded to but couldn't be discussed and resolved fully in a children's novel, which really makes me wonder why it was written for children. It is a unique take on the post apocalyptic totalitarian regime theme, and I wish the novel had been more fully developed.

June 8 Ghost Soldiers, Hampton Sides

June 16 Legally Blonde, Amanda Brown
I've read a few books after I saw the movie, although it isn't something I normally do. Generally I only watch the movie first if I either didn't know it was based on a book, or had very little interest in the book. Legally Blonde fell into the former category, and it's taken me however many years since the movie came out to remember to track down the book and read it. I was disappointed. The movie was better.

June 17 Girl in Hyacinth Blue, Susan Vreeland

July 31 The Dark Is Rising sequence, Susan Cooper
Over Sea, Under Stone
The Dark Is Rising
The Grey King
Silver on the Tree
I started reading this series when I was twelve or thirteen, but didn't finish it then. I spotted it at the library and, having always kind of wondered how it concluded, checked out all the books. The first two books and the fourth book were very exciting, the third book was forgettable, and the last book was...alright. To be frank, I thought the ending was terrible. But there's a lot of references to King Arthur mythology, and Cooper is a skillful storyteller, so the series was overall, reasonably entertaining.

August 11 Eragon and Eldest, Christopher Paolini
This trilogy is shaping up to be Star Wars with dragons and no space ships, but so far it's been a fun read so I'm not complaining. It's a good way to get my "classic tale of good vs. evil" fix.

August 21 Going Postal, Terry Pratchett
What can I say about Terry Pratchett? His books are nearly nonstop hilarity from cover to cover, and this one was no different. RIght now I want to go to the library and check out every single book he's ever written, even the ones I've already read, but I wouldn't finish them all in three weeks and then I'd have loads of overdue fines.

Monday, June 05, 2006

May I introduce me, the online knitting group loser extraordinaire.

First, there's Knit the Classics. The May book was Pride and Prejudice, which I love (although I love Sense and Sensibility more, especially since Alan Rickman is in the movie and...well...Alan Rickman...), but did I read it? Nope. I even had a crazy idea that seven people commented in support of, but did I knit it? Nope. Now I think I can safely blame this on moving and working six days a week. But still. I was disappointed that I didn't have the time to do either of those things.

Second, there's the Sexy Knitter's Club. I was prepared to at least attempt to fit another project into my budget, because for some reason I really, really wanted to participate in the June KAL, but then the Tempting II pattern won, and it just doesn't tempt me. I tried to like it. I looked at the pictures and I read the pattern and I tried really, really hard to like it. But I just don't. So I won't be participating in this KAL.

Third, there's the Amazing Lace. A while back, I bought and frogged a sweater from Value Village that I had intended to make into the Marilyn sweater from Interweave Knits, but it wasn't working out at all. Now I really like the look of floaty, ethereal lace made with toothpicks and thread, but I don't have any in my possession and for one reason or another don't feel motivated to go buy them. What I do have are size eleven needles and fairly thick yarn. Hey, that sounds like a great thing to knit lace out of! And hey, there's a lace KAL on the internet! So I joined, because I was going to knit some lace anyway. Except I don't have a digital camera, and my roommate leaves for BC tomorrow. So, I'm not really sure how I'm going to finish all the "challenges." I reckon if I were really creative, I wouldn't need a digital camera. Maybe I can plug a USB cable into the lace itself and transmit it directly onto my computer. I wonder how much space lace takes up. My hard drive is getting kind of congested...

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Next weekend I will be returning to my native land of Michigan.* London and Flint are about two hours away from each other, but getting home is always a complicated process. Unless someone comes to pick me up, I can either take the train to Sarnia, and have someone pick me up there, or I can take the bus to Flint. Now at first glance one would think, "Why, take the bus, of course!"

BUT! A Greyhound bus trip from London to Flint takes EIGHT HOURS, because the bus does not drive directly to Flint. The bus drives to Windsor, then leaves you in Detroit for three hours, and then another bus drives you to Flint! Utter silliness, in my opinion, but probably better for the bus line, money wise.

Anyway. It's more expensive to take the bus so I usually take the train, but I can't leave until next Saturday and there are only afternoon and evening trains on Saturday. TO SARNIA. What was I forgetting?


If I take the train to Windsor, I can get home a few hours earlier. And if I take the train to Windsor, whoever picks me up will have to drive through Detroit. And if we drive through Detroit, we can go to a yarn shop!

So, hopefully my mom picks me up, because she would probably humor me. She can knit too, actually. Sometimes I forget. It's not a regular hobby of hers (otherwise I wouldn't forget about it), but I believe I remember her telling me that she learned to knit and crochet in an after school class when she was in elementary or middle school.

Ahaha, as I was writing this my mom just called, and the "yarn shop expedition" (her words) is a go! Yay!

*Right. I was actually born in St. Catharines, Ontario, so if you get really technical about it, Michigan is not my native land. However, I grew up in Michigan and it is much more familiar than this silly Ontario place.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

So I went to the yarn shop.



*deep breaths*

It was beautiful. But so expensive.

I really shouldn't have been so surprised. There's a high end and a low end to everything, right? The clothing store I work at sells twelve dollar pairs of sunglasses and the Sunglass Hut (or whatever it's called) by the food court sells one thousand dollar pairs of sunglasses. The shock was maybe more related to the sudden realization that I have developed a potentially very expensive habit that can only receive dubious, sporadic support from my bank account.

I did buy something. Three somethings, actually. One skein of Debbie Bliss pure silk in a very exciting pink colour (it doesn't have a name, just a number, and I don't feel like looking it up online), one ball of Jo Sharp kid mohair (it was fifty percent off, and actually it might have been Rowan, I don't remember now and it doesn't have a ball band), and one secret skein for my one skein secret pal, which I won't specifiy in case she stumbles unwittingly across my blog.

The yarn shop is not going to be a place I visit often. I just don't need to be tempting myself that way.
Friday I packed, Saturday I moved, Sunday and Monday I tried to not much knitting has been going on in my little world. Besides the whole moving thing, I have misplaced the piece of paper on which I was keeping track of my ribbing rows for the Sesame cardigan, and am now afraid to keep working on it. This has me really bummed out, because I was really enjoying working on it despite it being mostly stockinette stitch (at least it's not stockinette in the round). I half-heartedly started another Weasley square, and I pulled out the ribbon x-back (which I cast on for a few weeks ago and have since done nothing), but could not bring myself to deal with the ribbon yarn, so it is currently languishing on my desk.

So yes! A post about no progress whatsoever! They'll be calling for a book deal any day now.

I woke up at quarter to eight this morning, a feat I am incapable of during the school year, and have spent the last two hours or so reading Eunny Jang's knitting blog. If I find a blog I really, really like, I will go back to the very beginning and read the whole thing chronologically. Is that weird? Actually, I think it's weirder I don't do that with all the blogs I read. I refuse to read book series out of order, and I listen to all the back episodes every time I find a new podcast. This has nothing to do with knitting. MUST...STAY...ON...TOPIC! ugh.

Today I'm going to the yarn shop downtown to see if I can find some yarn for my One Skein secret pal. I'm kind of nervous about it. What if the staff looks at me and just KNOWS I usually buy yarn at Michael's? *shudder*

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

This has nothing to do with knitting, but I really like noodles.
My absolute favourite thing in the world is being woken up by construction in the apartment next door!


Monday I had to go to Cambridge to help train people at a clearance center run by the company I work for. Cambridge is about an hour away from London, and since I and the other people going were travelling for work, we were paid for the time it took to drive there and back. Now I, of course, knit the whole trip, so you know what that means right? RIGHT? I got paid to knit!

I'll be a professional knitter yet.

I've had two people from work, after me telling them that I am knitting a sweater (cardigan, whatever), ask, "Is it for you?" And I feel guilty for saying yes, as if for some reason I'm not supposed to knit for myself. It seems like a strange question to ask. When someone walks into a clothing store you assume they're shopping for themselves, right? So why would making a piece of clothing be different? And it's not like there are any major gift-giving holidays coming up (ok maybe Father's Day, but my family's never done major gift-giving on Father's Day). Who'd want my first sweater anyway? The sleeves might not be the same length.

Today is my one day off before I move, and I will be spending most of it packing. But right now I'm going to knit. Actually, most mornings I start knitting right after I get up. I could write a book. Confessions of a Grumpy Morning Knitter.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I just finished the back of the Sesame cardigan, hurrah. I'll probably cast on for the right front right after I post this, so I can start working on it on the way to work.

I signed up for the One Skein Secret Pal exchange, so I suppose I'll post the questionnaire here...

1. Which yarn is most like your personality (you can be specific or general with your answer- brand, type, color, fiber, whatever)?
Er...well...(stuck on the first question...) I suppose being a quiet, creative person, understated yarns would be most like my personality. Now, what's an understated yarn? You decide! *snicker*

2. What is your favorite color yarn to knit/crochet with? I like very soft pinks and any sort of green, except neon. I don't really like neon anything.

3. Have you ever used variegated, or magic, yarns? I've used variegated yarns but never the self-striping ones. They certainly seem interesting, though.

4. Do you tend to favor certain fibers when choosing yarns? No. I'm a university student on a budget so I only buy yarn sporadically, and I can't buy anything expensive. If I weren't on a budget I'd probably be open to anything, since I haven't knit enough to really have an informed opinion on any one fiber in particular.

5. Do you prefer to work with center-pull or traditionally wound balls of yarn? Either.

6. Have you ever worked with organic yarns or are you interested in trying them? No, I haven't worked with them, and yes, I'd be interested in trying them, just for kicks.

7. How many and what projects have you made in the last year? I've only been knitting since December, so not much. I finished knitting a Harry Potter scarf but I haven't blocked it or added the fringe on yet. I have an afghan comprised of 7" garter-stitch squares and the Sesame cardigan from MagKnits in progress.

8. Will you be knitting any gifts this year? It is a distinct possibility.

9. What is your favorite one skein project? Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to look at the book yet.

10. How much yarn do you have in your stash and how do you store it? Not a lot. I have a plastic storage cube (about 18" square) that holds all of it.

11. Do you have a yarn in your stash that you love so much you can never use it or part with it? No, although I do have yarn I'm not sure what to do with.

12. Do you knit less or differently in the summer? No.

13. Do you belong to any knitting groups (online or offline)? Online, the Sexy Knitters Club and Knit the Classics, although I'm mostly just a lurker.

Friday, May 12, 2006

I was almost late for work because I spent all morning laughing hysterically at this.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Yesterday, for the first time in my life, I KNIT IN PUBLIC.

On the bus.

Boy did I feel daring.

I did it again today.


Friday, May 05, 2006

I borrowed my roommate's camera...

In a couple weeks I'm moving to a new apartment, so I thought I'd start packing up some clothes I know I'm not going to wear any time soon. I pulled out the bottom left drawer of my dresser and found these:

Who knows how long they've been there, forlorn and forgotten! Oh evil Sassy, bringing about involuntary diaspora!

Um...actually, as of typing this, I still haven't pulled them out from under the dresser. Rather, my first thought was "Argh! Cat!" followed by "Hey, I should take a picture of this."

Then I went crazy and took pictures of other things too, like this scarf I started a while back and work on occasionally:

The yarn is from the frogged blanket.

The beginnings of Sesame, from Marji's yarn:

Squares for Ron's blanket (which I shall henceforth refer to as "Weasley squares"):

The Harry Potter scarf, obligingly modeled by my lamp:

Half of the back of this sweater...

...but I'm going to have to frog it because I messed up a repeat or something. Yuck. The yarn was, in its former life, a Gap sweater. Bet it feels silly now! I would...

Some ribbon yarn that was on sale at Michael's, for this tank, maybe:

The frustrating mystery ribbon yarn:

And the pink mystery yarn:

Monday, May 01, 2006

I've been feeling kind of down the past week or so, and can't think of anything particularly witty to say about knitting. I have been knitting, though. I now have eleven squares for Ron's blanket, and I just finished knitting a swatch for the Sesame cardigan, from MagKnits.

I put all the little balls of yarn for Ron's blanket in a mesh laundry bag, and Sassy sat looking at it disconsolately for quite a while.

Last week I was at Zeller's before work, poking around the yarn section for any yarn that looked like it might go well in Ron's blanket, when I stumbled upon a giant basket of bagged yarn marked "1 lb bags factory ends unknown fiber- $4.97." Mystery yarn! I bought a bag of some lilac ribbon yarn and some sort of pink yarn (acrylic, but it feels nice, and for five dollars...). I might make another Sesame out of the pink, but I'm not sure what I'm doing with the ribbon yarn yet. I tried knitting some lace with it today, which was actually looking neat, but the yarn kept getting twisted, and being in a bad mood, it was frustrating me to the point of tears. I put on a Harry Potter audio book and spent a couple hours winding the yarn around a piece of cardboard. I should probably be able to do something with it now.

There was some highly sketchy looking yarn in that mystery yarn bin, though. I might go back tomorrow, since I'll be at the mall for work, and see if there's anything else that wants me to take it home.

This is how stashing starts, isn't it?

I've looked up a couple of yarn shops in London, so once I buy a bus pass I'm going to go, just because I've never been to a real yarn shop. I think, as long as I keep myself busy, things'll be alright. At least school is over.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I'm finished the Harry Potter scarf! Well, not finished finished, but I'm done knitting it. I've just got to block it and add the fringe now. I might do that this weekend.

More about knitting when I never have to think about modern drama again.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

only loosely related to knitting

Darth Knittress: I don't even really like Winnie the Pooh

Her Boyfriendt: you don't!
HB: why not savage?

DK: I don't know, it always kind of bored me

HB: is it becuase he wasn't knitted?

DK: oh honestly

HB: well I'm not knitted either
HB: oh wait
HB: I see
HB: you plan on frogging me and knitting me into the perfect boyfriend

DK: ...
DK: you are raving

HB: well at least I'm not some dark lordess of the knitting sith

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I'm pretty sick of garter stitch. I'd like some lace to knit, lace is fun. Well, actually, I've never knitted something that was specifically lace, but the first thing I decided to try knitting when I experienced my random urge to knit over the winter was this scarf, which had a lot of yarn overs and decreases and things, and I hear that's all you really need to know how to do to knit lace, so I don't imagine lace knitting would be much of a problem for me. That scarf pattern was actually really fun, I'd like to knit it up again with some nice yarn, not the cheap icky stuff I was using.

Knitting artists have been catching my attention lately. Freddie Robbins knits weird sweaters, tree cozies, and murderous women's houses. I really loved the tree cozies. Germaine Koh has an ongoing knitting project that is really quite outrageous, and made from recycled yarn. I'm an art student, and I must admit, sometimes I feel pretty lame in regards to my own work. I think if I started incorporating things I was truly interested in I might be happier with what I produce. But before I get really serious and introspective, how about that recycled yarn!

I came across the concept of recycled yarn a few months ago, mentioned in passing in an article I was reading. The idea stuck around my head for a while, but I didn't act on it until a few weeks ago, when I had to do an art video for my media art class. I decided to film myself unraveling a sweater, so I went off to Value Village and bought one. I think, truth be told, I was more interested in the yarn I could knit something with than the actual artistic implications of unraveling a sweater, but unfortunately the sweater I picked out didn't end up giving me such great yarn. I'll probably give the yarn to my cat. Last week, however, I really wanted to frog another sweater, so I went to Value Village again, and this time picked out a sweater fully intending to knit something out of it. The sweater I chose was, in its former life, a magenta 50% wool, 50% nylon turtleneck sweater from the Gap. I frogged it (I really, really like frogging, is that weird?), got the appropriate needles, and actually cast on for the sweater last night (bad me! should have been studying!). It seems to be going pretty well, my gauge is just a tad bit under the specified gauge, but I don't think I really want a sweater 40" around. I think, if my calculations are correct, my sweater should end up being 37" around. Hopefully I got that right. It looks right so far, but I'm only 12 rows into it.

Today I received the yarn that Marji sent me (thanks Marji!), and it is very exciting. It's the sort of yarn that comes wound into those cute little balls with the tag stuck in the middle. Maybe a lot of yarn comes that way, I don't know, but the only yarn I've ever seen come like that is the stuff I can't afford at Michael's or Jo-Ann's. So yes, exciting! But I'll wait to start the intended sweater until after exams. I promise. Actually, since I cast on for the other sweater I've calmed down about it, I think I can now set it aside for the time being. I just really wanted to start it. And as far as the Jo Sharp wool from Marji...well, quite honestly, I really like looking at it, because of the way it's wound. Maybe I'll set it out on my shelf and enjoy its aesthetic appeal for a bit.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I will take this moment to say that bamboo knitting needles are the greatest knitting thing I have yet discovered.

In other news, has THE BEST verification letters EVER. You can actually read them! It's so awesome.

To do:
1. Knit a lot
2. Write those essays so I don't feel guilty about #1.
3. Figure out how to post buttons on my blog

If only I could write essays and knit at the same time. I can read and knit at the same time, provided the book is kind enough to stay open by itself, which will make studying Elin Diamond's definition of hysteria so much more comfortable. I think I'm going to take the scarf to class today, I've got at least one class I'm pretty sure I'm not going to have to take notes for, since it's the last day of classes.

Last day of classes! YAY! That like crazy until exams are over (April 28) and then KNIT ALL THE TIME!

I. Cannot. Wait.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


-Four squares finished for Ron's blanket

I haven't worked on anything else since my last post. The idea of a quirky blanket is way too much fun. Someone in the livejournal harry potter knitting group found a better picture of Ron's blanket in the Leaky Cauldron galleries. The new Leaky Cauldron site doesn't always play nicely with my browser, so I hadn't searched the rest of the gallery after finding one picture, since it was giving me a headache.

There's a LewisCraft store in the mall where I work that is closing, so all their stuff's on sale! I got some more yarn to go in the blanket, since it was pretty inexpensive anyway (it came to about two dollars a ball with the discount), but I think I'll keep checking back to see if there are any better sales later on. This is how stashing starts, isn't it? Haha. Anyhow, the yarn I got is Paton's Astra. It's 100% acrylic, but it feels pretty nice and it matches the yarn I had from the frogged blanket as far as weight and gauge. And with something like a blanket, I'd prefer to be able to throw it in the washer. Hopefully none of the mystery yarn from the frogged blanket is 100% wool or anything...that'd be really awkward.

Well, actually, if it was, I could probably just cut out the ruined square and make another one to replace it. Tedious, but not the end of the world. Why I am thinking about this when I am only four squares into it (out of a calculated 143) I really have no idea, but that's how my brain works.

...and I'll have to stop now because the cat is trying to eat the squares. Ack!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Ron's blanket

I found something to do with my little random balls of yarn from the frogged blanket!

Earlier I was listening to PotterCast, a Harry Potter podcast put out by the Leaky Cauldrom, and their fan interview this week was with a Harry Potter crafter! They talked about the general Harry Potter crafting community, and referenced a thread on the Leaky Lounge started by Harry Potter knitters! In this thread, I found links to Harry Potter knitting groups, Harry Potter knitting websites, and lots of Harry Potter knitting patterns. I have a new found love for the internet. Um, have I mentioned that I really like Harry Potter? So, anyway, I read through the thread and someone mentioned they were going to knit Ron's blanket from the Goblet of Fire movie, and I think that's a really fabulous idea, so I'm going to too! Obviously it won't be an exact replica, but from the picture I found you get the general feel of the blanket, and you can really go just about anywhere with it. Eventually I'll probably have to acquire some more yarn to finish it, but this should keep me busy for a bit.

Projects I have going at the moment:

Harry Potter scarf (almost done!)
random chevron-striped scarf (using the greens, light browns, and pinks from the frogged blanket)
thread crochet shrug
crochet afghan (started a few years ago)

The crochet shrug is barely, barely started, since the day after I started it I gave my left index finger a really nasty cut and haven't been able to hold the thread while I crochet. The crochet afghan is probably going to get frogged, I don't like it anymore. I'm just waiting to frog it until I find something to do with the yarn, so maybe in the mean time I'll like it again.

I'm going to cast on for the Ron blanket as soon as I publish this. Maybe I'll study for finals sometime soon...
My cat just tried to eat the Harry Potter scarf.

I am not kidding. She opened her mouth really wide and bit it.

Sassy is on drugs and right now she has the munchies.
I was going to work on the Harry Potter scarf, but Sassy decided that lying on me for eight hours while I slept wasn't enough together time, so now she needs to sit on me while I sit at my desk. I do most of my knitting sitting at my desk, actually. I like to knit while I listen to podcasts, but I don't have an iPod, so I listen to them on my laptop. I like to think of my laptop as my really big iPod...

It'd be fun to post pictures of the Harry Potter scarf and some other things I have going, but I don't have a digital camera either. I borrowed my roommate's to post pictures of my stash, but most of the time, when I think I might want to borrow her camera, it's at times when she's probably asleep, like right now, or yesterday at 5AM. My impulses need to get on schedule with everyone else. Actually, I'm supposed to be getting a digital camera-my grandmother bought me a very small digital camera for Christmas, but it was so small that it didn't have its own drivers, and, of course, the drivers included on the CD were Windows only. We called the company but they don't do anything for Macs (dorks) so the camera went to my little sister and my mom said she could actually find me a more versatile digital camera on eBay for the same price. I hate to pester her about it though, so I have no idea how that search is going.

I have to say a big "Thank you!" to Marji, who is donating, to my knitting cause, some Jo Sharp DK wool, intended for a sweater project. Marji has a very large, beautiful stash, and on Flash Your Stash day offered to donate yarn to someone with a needy stash. I shamelessly sent her a link and she decided that I qualify. Thanks Marji! I am thinking about making this cardigan. It should be exciting.

Ahh the cat has decided I am no longer interesting so now I can knit! Huzzah!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

flash your stash

Today I learned that it is "Flash Your Stash" day, and that yarn-lovers everywhere will spend lots of time drooling over yarn porn. My stash hardly qualifies. It's more like yarn-Puritanism. But hey...I have a stash, no matter how small, pathetic, and ugly. It is my stash to protect from my cat and call my own.

Friday, March 31, 2006

secret pals!

This is such a great idea! I think my bank account can handle it, so as soon as I sign the lease on my new apartment I'm signing up (I'd rather actually own my new address before I start giving it out).

double-pointed demons

I thought I'd try knitting in the round with double pointed needles again tonight. It's not going quite as badly as it did the first time I tried, so that's encouraging, but it's still very awkward. Did people really ever knit sweaters this way? Craziness.

The Harry Potter scarf is coming along very nicely, but right now I'm really, really sick of doing the same stitch over and over again so I'll be happy when it's finished. I have three and a half stripes left, and then I have to block it and add the tassels.

Haha...block it...look at me use knitting-words...I feel so inexperienced as a knitter, because I am (so why even say it? I don't know). People start writing articles about shoulder shaping and which gods you have to pray to to get your gauge right and how many alpaca it takes to make a skein and I just hide under my desk and stockinette stitch my scarves, feeling inadequate. Now, I know that all it will take for me to get over this is to actually start swatching and knit a sweater, but since I don't have the resources to do that just yet, I bite my nails about it in the mean time. Also, I'm fairly sure you don't have to spin your own yarn to get into knitting heaven (I hope, because spinning makes me think of this fairy tale book I had as a child that had, for the story of Sleeping Beauty, a particularly gruesome and scary depiction of the evil fairy and her spinning wheel...and...yeah...*shudder*).

In my last post I mentioned a very ugly blanket that I frogged. When I inherited my cat I also inherited her cat carrier and the blanket that came in it. It was a crocheted blanket of many different colours that looked like they had been the remnants of skeins that someone wanted to get rid of. Now, I can understand wanting to get rid of little bits of yarn, and I can understand being so desperate to make something that you will knit or crochet ANYTHING, but this blanket was still a crime of colour. It was ugly. I can't say it any better than that.

Anyone who's paid their own way through university, as I am doing, understands that sometimes you have a lot of extra cash and sometimes you owe people (friendlies such as phone companies and landlords) cash that you don't have. This was during a time most resembling the latter situation, so I couldn't even remotely afford to go buy yarn, but I was desperate-so very desperate-to knit SOMETHING.

And so, my eyes fell upon the ugly blanket, and I saw the potential...if the colours were arranged differently...if some colours were completely eliminated...there could be such beauty...

So I frogged that sucker. I frogged it dead. And now I have a ridiculous number of silly small bits of yarn that I'm still not sure what to do with.

In December, I inherited a cat from my great-grandmother. Sassy is five or six years old and is the first cat I have ever owned that plays with yarn. The cats I had growing up would occasionally swat at yarn, if you dangled it in front of them and gave them a treat with it, but Sassy will take small balls of yarn out of my knitting box and chase them around the apartment until they are completely unravelled. Then she comes back for another victim. Today I picked up four balls of yarn that she had completely demolished and three more that were getting there, but that Sassy had batted too far behind furniture to finish the deed. I am rather glad (and very, very amused) that she has this hobby, because it distracts her totally and keeps her away from me while I'm knitting, but I am concerned that she will grow tired of the little balls of acrylic worsted weight (frogged from a very ugly blanket-more on that later) and start attacking things like eyelash yarn, which might not survive relentless cat abuse.

The solution to this came from Value Village (I love thrift stores). Wednesday night I found two bags of random yarn at Value Village for two dollars a piece, and, excited beyond measure, I bought them. Wheee! Most of the yarn was pretty decent, although it smelled a little musty, but there were three very sketchy skeins of yarn that I will never, ever knit anything out of. BUT I will be rolling them into balls and giving them to the cat. So the cat will have her own yarn and leave mine alone! Problem solved.

Maybe. She'll probably know I'm trying to buy her off and ignore the sketchy yarn completely.

Friday, March 24, 2006

I've done it. I've started a knitting blog. There are probably hundreds of other knitting blogs out there but this one is mine! Muahahaha...

Anyhow, right now I'm working on a Harry Potter scarf (specifically, Gryffindor). Each stripe of this scarf has 2,325 stitches, so, at a projected nineteen stripes, this scarf will have 44,175 stitches. Crazy! I think I'll make a sweater next. Yes, I know it's almost April, but it snowed today. I'm sure there'll be plenty of need for a sweater well into July.

This scarf will be the first thing I've knitted to completion since I was nine, when I knitted a scarf for my doll and soon afterwards decided I hated knitting. I then crocheted exclusively until about four months ago, when I felt a random, inexplicable urge to knit, and have been knitting in all my spare time since (random stabs at projects that are currently being ignored in favor of the Harry Potter scarf, or were viciously frogged because they just weren't working out). If that sounds random, indistinct, and just plain weird, that's because it is. But hey. I have a new obsession. It gives me something to do besides playing Scrabble.