It started out as a feeling

July 16, 2010 § 3 Comments

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So, despite almost being done with seaming Girl Friday, I’ve experienced a major setback. AGAIN. And it again consists of me having to rip back the collar/button band (all 80-odd grams of it) and reknitting it with more stitches. AGAIN. I’m pretty much at the point where I just wanna throw the damn thing in the corner and let it rot.

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(Girl Friday as of yesterday around noon)

At least my seams are going well, which is a relief. I’ll have to find another technique for the ribbing on the sleeves, but! I do have to say, I like the actual motions of seaming, it’s just that it takes so damn long. Especially if you make the cardigan even longer to fit your long-ass body.

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But yeah, I’m good at seaming. That wonky column of stitches isn’t the seam, btw, it’s a randomly wonky row. No idea why it looks so weird.

Oh well. To counteract the frustration that is the cardigan (and to procrastinate from the Swallowtail Shawl, which needs to be done in a week) I started a toy owl in some gorgeous alpaca I had lying around since last year’s Wollefest.

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It came to me in a dream – it’s basically a truncated cone, with a flat-knit panel (consisting of eyes, beak, ear-feathers and colorfully embroidered belly) attached to the front. We’ll see how that goes. Right now I’m at the cone part, and it’s going swimmingly.

I really should be working on the Swallowtail Shawl. I’m kind of in the mood for a bit of math, maybe I’ll sit down with it later. It’s probably an issue even a mathematically challenged person like me can figure out in less than two minutes.

**

And now… for something completely different. Like guacamole.

Now, I didn’t even like avocados until last summer, until someone (most likely Christian) convinced me to try the guacamole on the taco platter we shared at a cocktail bar, and va-voom. Just like that, I was hooked.

So last night, I made a half-recipe’s worth of Pioneer Woman’s tortillas and used the recipe from my new Spanish dictionary to make some guacamole. (Yes, at G like guacamole, there’s a little info window with a recipe. How cool is that? Langenscheidt rocks.)

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Not that that recipe was totally extraordinary. It was pretty much like every guacamole recipe you’ve ever seen: an avocado (mashed), a tomato and an onion (finely diced), cilantro (which I can’t get, so I use parsley), a goodly amount of garlic, and lemon juice, salt, pepper and tabasco to taste. Mmmmh.

And then this morning, I used up the leftovers and made a truly heart-stopping brunch.

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Seriously, I wish there wasn’t so much lard in that tortilla recipe. Because they’re the best tortillas I’ve ever made.

Speaking of Spanish, I scored a 2.0 in my oral exam! Which is awesome, especially if you consider how I was convinced I’d fail it. So, cheers, guys.

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Oh the weather outside is frightful

May 19, 2010 § 4 Comments

After a beautiful April and beginning of May… the weather has been terrible recently, which kind of drags down my motivation as well as my mood. Which, after my last post, sounds ominous. But never fear, dear readers! Things got better before they got worse. There was a barbecue in my kitchen, chocolate fondue, drinking and fraternization with my Spanish teacher, who assured me I had absolutely nothing to worry about regarding the oral exam – even though I’m still periodically undergoing phases of cold, crippling terror – and lots and lots of therapeutic knitting.

Also, the third Leipziger Wollefest is this weekend, and I’m so glad I decided to skip the SPN con. It would’ve been a great opportunity, but… it’s all good. I think part of what dragged me down before was the uncertainty of not having a room down there, and… just everything.

Instead, I’m doing the Doctor Who TARDIS cowl KAL, and I’m doing pretty much fabulous. The yarn I ordered is a bit too teal to be a true TARDIS blue, but it’s still got that comfy feel to it from the color alone, plus teal goes better with my wardrobe. Adding to the comfiness is of course the fact that the yarn’s 100% alpaca, handdyed by Drachenwolle. Same stuff I made the Perfectly Cromulent hat out of, just a different color.

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It’s pretty spectacular, if you ask me. The color, I mean.

Speaking of spectacular, I made chili today. Knitting alpaca, eating chili, bundling up in an oversized hoodie and sweats after a hot eucalyptus bubble bath… yeah, it’s that kind of day.

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Also, I have a confession to make. It’s no secret I like photography, even if I hardly have the equipment for anything approaching professional. But…

I love photographing boring things.

The other day, I spent the longest time photographing my grey stadium blanket. I played with contrasts, aperture, color and saturation, and I had the grandest time. Photographing a grey blanket. And I’m really quite in love with some of the photos I got out of the possibly most mundane photography session in the history of the world – I like to think they exude a wonderful sense of minimalist calm. Which… I don’t know. I’m not big on minimalism, or any kind of stripped-down modern art, but I really do love these.

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I know. It’s a grey blanket.

Don’t judge me.

*

Oh, also? My Spanish teacher has a blog… with this layout. Which was disconcerting, to say the least :D

Sheep!

March 20, 2009 § Leave a comment

This has been going around the interwebs for a couple of days, but I really needed to post this. Because apparently, there are people who aren’t me who have too much time on their hands.

EXTREME SHEPHERDING! (embedding doesn’t work. meh.)

Even though I’m pretty sure this is fake (let’s face it, how could something this cool actually be real), I’m ridiculously entranced by it. Sheep!

Speaking of knittable animals. When I get back to Leipzig, I’ll have to go see Horst, the Zoo’s alpaca, and find out what they do with the hair he sheds. Cause alpacas shed, right? Right? Or at least they have to shear him once a year or so, or he’d be known Horst the Pompom, not Horst the alpaca. I doubt they collect it and/or give it away, but how cool would that be?! It’s shedding time, anyway, for camels too. Hm. It’s worth a try, plus I’ve not yet managed to visit the apparently spectacular zoo.

Alpacas are my new favorite animal, anyway. Not only are they fuzzy, soft and spinnable, they also hum and, get this, ‘orgle’. Whatever the hell that is, I’m just in love with the word. (Apparently it’s some sort of mating song,  but I’m having a hard time imagining a singing alpaca)

The Tempest

March 14, 2009 § Leave a comment

I caved and started the Tempest cardigan yesterday. Turns out I had the right needles with me – 5.00mm circulars, and I have the bottom three wide stripes and two of the smaller ones. And oh my god, am I in love with it.

It’s simple enough to be mindless, comfortable knitting, but at the same time the stripes keep it interesting enough to keep me from going batshit. The Berroco Ultra Alpaca is amazing on my hands, so soft and warm and I can’t wait to wear it. The only thing is that I have to do a lot of calculating around – my gauge is 13 on 10, as opposed to 20, which isn’t a problem widthwise but takes a bit of tinkering with  the row count. But oh well, I have time. And this is just so much less frustrating than the Shawl Bitch was becoming. Seriously, that pattern is starting to give me a headache.

But – cured, blown away by my new and shiny tempest.

A day well spent

March 11, 2009 § Leave a comment

I went to Ithaca, NY with my host sisters today, and I did find the LYS, Homespun. And while they do have a lot of fabric, they also have a metric crapton of yarn, and it’s pretty yarn and most of it is actually affordable!

So I bought 95 dollars’ worth of it.

Most of it went into yarn for my Tempest Cardigan, for which I bought Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light in green and dark teal. They’re both semisolids, which I hope is going to work well with the pattern. I’ll have to figure out which needle size I’ll need though – the yarn isn’t fingering, it’s sport or DK, I’m not sure, but I just fell in love with it. Fewer stitches to knit, too! Its 45/55 alpaca/peruvian wool, really nice to touch, the colors are gorgeous, AND as another plus, it was ‘only’ $5.50 for 50 grams. Which is alright, and pretty much a bargain for any sort of alpaca.

Then, while the shopkeeper was in the back to get more of the Berroco (sometimes it sucks being a fatty), I rifled through one of the many baskets they had sitting on the counter, and I found… Malabrigo Baby Merino laceweight. I bought 100g of the Glazed Carrot colorway, which, you might be surprised, is a semisolid orange. Gorgeous, just gorgeous, although it does feel a bit… heavier than the Misti Alpaca, but what doesn’t? Mohair, probably, but that’s just too fuzzy for anything if you ask me.

And then, because come on, I was only at $78, I bought two skeins of Brown Sheep Wildefoot luxury sock yarn, one in Temple Turquoise and one in Vinca Minor. (a nice, deep purple) Why is it that I seem to be unable to leave a yarn store without sock yarn? No matter what I buy, there’s always at least enough for one pair of socks. I’m not sure if the stuff is actually gonna become a pair of socks. I haven’t done fair isle socks, I don’t think, I thought about it but then discovered lace – but I remember some awesome two-colored socks in Knitting on the Road of whatever it’s called, by Nancy Bush (I still need to get me that Estonian Lace book of hers!) so… who knows. Or a hat. Or it’s gonna stay souvenir yarn, who knows.

So, to sum it up… a good haul. I’m very excited, though I can’t start until I’m back in Leipzig. But I still have the European Pyton and half a mitt waiting to be finished, so I’ll keep my hands busy.

Speaking of which: I bought Free Range Knitter on Sunday, and it’s… it’s a good book. I don’t like it quite as much as Secret Life of a Knitter, but it’s still good. The last story, about the woman on her deathbed who couldn’t keep her hands still, and everybody worried, until her old friends came over and cracked up because they recognized the movement – that made me tear up. There’s really a lot of good stories, I guess it’s just more contemplative and not as laugh out loud funny as Secret Life. But that’s okay.

I feel like I’m in knitting nirvana. Except for the fact that I made a mistake somewhere in the budding lace pattern. Ngh.

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