If I go crazy then would you still call me Superman?

November 9, 2010 § 4 Comments

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As always, I can count on my desk to be a pretty accurate snapshot of my life. Mostly because I just pile stuff on there, pull things that I need from the bottom to the top, until everything’s arranged in a kind of organized chaos.

My life seems to be a pretty even split between knitting and Spanish right now. Which… is kind of what it’s been for the last year, to be honest. Except now it’s more fun and less fun at the same time – more fun because I read books in Spanish now, even if my dictionary is never particularly far – less fun because my Spanish course kind of sucks, for several reasons I won’t go into.

But those rather vague lumps in the picture, that’s top to bottom: Henry scarf (for Adam), Vespergyle Mitts (for me), Watson sweater (tan-colored lump, for me), Girl Friday (grey, for my sister). Featured in the background: Thermal sweater, for me, which I haven’t touched in a while due to, well, the big pile in the middle.

I’ve tried rotating working on them by day, which was a veritable shipwreck due to my project ADD, so I mostly work on each of them every day. Which sounds like I’m getting a lot more done than is actually the case.

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Which is weird, because I’m actually more lazy recently than in a while. I love knitting, but with Christmas at the door it’s mostly a low-level stress factor, along with something that kind of feels like a chore. Plus I have Smallville and Psych to supplement my usual shows, so more knitting time there. Plus I ordered a webcam the other day and it should get here this week, which means I can knit while webcamming with Adam.

And gosh, doesn’t that sound naughty.

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Ad-mitt-ing defeat

September 6, 2010 § 3 Comments

A couple of days ago, I started a mitt. It was a thing of beauty, clever and gorgeous on the palm as well as on the top; even the thumb gusset was delightful.

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And even though the outside was great, I loved the inside even more, for all the cleverness and how you could see the pattern reflected in the floats.

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It was also too tight. I’m not really a tight knitter with most things, so it always comes as a complete and utter surprise when I do colorwork and suddenly my gauge pulls in by a quarter and I can’t get anything to fit. And stretched colorwork just looks silly. Not to mention I’d really like to retain blood flow in my hands this winter.

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So I frogged it. Well, down to the cuffs, because surprisingly enough my wrists are smaller than my hands, and the cuffs don’t stretch out. I’m slightly frustrated, but to be honest, not as much as I could be. If Girl Friday and Balmoral have taught me anything, it’s that ripping back to do it properly will pay off every single time.

Oh, speaking of which. Girl Friday?

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I’m wearing it right now.

And my favorite part, even better than the bold pattern, or the huge collar-slash-buttonband I knit no less than four times (yes, four), or the way it fits me perfectly and looks so damn cool… is the little ‘Handmade’ charm Saskia gave me a bunch of last Christmas, hanging proudly on  the edge of my collar  where everyone can see it.

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Like she’s born in black and white

March 5, 2010 § 11 Comments

I just realized I haven’t blogged in a while… but honestly, I was sure there hasn’t been a whole lot to blog about. I bake more than I knit, I spend a surprising amount of time outside enjoying the crisp, dramatic weather, and I read more gossip than anything else. But somehow, stuff has accumulated, I guess. So, here goes.

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I finished the body of my sweater last weekend – I still haven’t picked up stitches for the first arm, mostly because I’m suffering from an acute case of Startitis and Spring Fever. But, on the positive side, I finally figured out what kind of color pattern I wanted to put on the sweater – I’d debated whether to put the Fornicating Deer on the shoulder, but in the end, I decided on something far more awesome, and subtly geeky.

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A ‘salt line’ just over the ribbing. To keep out the ghosts, Winchester-style. Thirteen repeats of the word SALT around my torso, and I’ll put some around the arms, too. (It turned out to be 13 by accident. Sometimes it’s great to be a fatty. Another lucky accident was that I started charting at random, got a 16-st repeat, and apart from one single stitch, it worked out perfectly.)

The placement isn’t the most flattering, cause it’s right where my jeans pinch in, but I’m too excited by the concept to care. Plus it’s kind of negative space, so you don’t immediately see the geekery, but it’s still there.

My I’ll-just-fudge-it Shetland Triangle (shamelessly ripping off Evelyn A. Clark’s version, proof that my ingenuity and wit is worth at least $9) is also done, and already blocked while I visited two museums with Saskia the other day. Good times.

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I had to rip back one repeat at some point, because I realized I was running out of yarn, fast. Even with one repeat less, the amount I have left over is scary small.

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Apart from that, I knit myself a new washcloth today out of boredom, and when it was finished after watching ‘She’s the man’ (one of my favorite feel-good movies, even if it’s kinda girly), conveniently took a bath. I should stop knitting new washclothes whenever I need to change them. It’s not like I don’t have a bazillion in my closet and hamper already. But it’s cute. And apple-y.

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I also started a hat in some lovely fingering weight grass-green alpaca, but it turned out I cast on about 30 stitches too much. So it got ripped back before I could even think to get a picture. The plan is to make a slouchy beret with the fir cone stitch pattern, and maybe some clever in-pattern crown decreases if I can figure them out.

So, anyway. The new Grey’s Anatomy ep just finished downloading, and after I’m done watching that, I think I’ll go outside and take a walk.

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Hangin’ tough, staying hungry

November 27, 2009 § 4 Comments

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So! It’s Christmas. Officially. Well, not officially, but our flat looks like Santa Claus’ workshop threw up in here, so yeah, it’s Christmas.

We spent all day decorating – we’re still not done, there’s still a ton littering the floor of the hallway, but Saskia’s off to dancing class, and I’m not touching her stuff. It was like spring cleaning, except for the fact that it’s almost winter; we cleaned windows and vacuumed every last square inch and I’m gonna mop once Saskia gets her crap sorted, so, yeah. Good times.

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We did the whole shebang, with music and scented candles and lots of spiced wine and reverential unpacking of Saskia’s big-ass crate full of stuff. The only thing that didn’t add particularly to the Christmassy mood  – and this is such a silly thing to complain about – was that the weather was gorgeous the whole day.

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We also discovered that we have way too many mugs. This is certainly not a new discovery, but it’s the first time absolutely every single one of our mugs, with the recent addition of the Christmas Market mugs and the ones that came with the spiced wine, was clean and in the cupboard.

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There’s also six more mugs (that came with the Saskia’s tableware set) and of course the espresso cups, and the two yellow ones that belong to my tea pot and… we have too many mugs.

Home in the valley
Home in the city

 

Also, a word on Ruba’iyat. I’m making good progress, almost halfway done with the second chart, which is nice. Even though the pattern doesn’t show quite as much as I’d like, which is partly due to the lighter specks in the brown yarn. Which I don’t particularly mind, it brings some motion into the whole thing. Also, there may not be quite enough contrast between the red and the brown, but I’m not ripping back. Cause the biggest problem with these mitts is, surprisingly enough, my lack of skill when it comes to colorwork.

There, I admitted it. Give me stripes, give me cables, give me short rows, give me lace, and I’ll rock it. Really. But with colorwork, I have tension issues, I knit unevenly, and I consider it nothing short of a miracle that Opus Spicatum came out the way it did.

And Ruba’iyat… I mean, it’s not terrible. I’ve made worse, and I’ve definitely seen worse. It’s to a point where I’m pretty sure most of the uneven spots will block out to some extent, too. But still, it’s frustrating to get your ass kicked by a mitten when you just finished a ginormous lace shawl that came out close to perfect.

Maybe I’ll just put the mittens aside for a bit and finish my mom’s Amber Waves. The rows on that are 10 stitches shorter, take me about half the time, and I can watch a movie. I need a movie.

I wish SPN and Grey’s Anatomy weren’t on hiatus.

Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum

November 20, 2009 § 2 Comments

I just finished Opus Spicatum!

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I’m insanely proud. The ribbing was what took the most out of me, and what looks crappiest, but the colorwork is easily the best I’ve ever done, and I’m just very much in love with the pattern in general. I might do another one. And use the right needles right away.

But apart from unfortunate needle choices, I can’t decide what I love most about this hat. The little i-cord nub in the center of the star?

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The clever in-pattern decreases?

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The pleasing aesthetic, the calming shape, the easy-to-memorize pattern? The fuzziness of the yarn?

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Kate Gagnon Osborn is my new idol.

So… yeah. Right now, the hat’s hanging around in the sink, soaking in warm water and Herbal Essences (I’m a firm believer in washing wool with shampoo), and I already have the plate for blocking out. The stitches are even enough they don’t really need any blocking (go me!), but I’m hoping to increase the size just a bit, cause I’m spot-on with the gauge and of course my head is too big. Figures.

But, man. That hat is seriously gorgeous. I can’t wait to wear it.

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