So many times it happens so fast

October 9, 2010 § 2 Comments

Proudest fucking moment of my life?

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Witnessing Saskia teaching her friend her first cast-on and the knit stitch.

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Reeds drifting by you know how I feel

September 19, 2010 § 3 Comments

So, the self-imposed three-day knitting pause. Let me tell you how it’s going.

Ah. Until last night, it didn’t go too badly. And by ‘not too badly’ I mean that the only yarn not in a ball in this house is 100g of laceweight even I am not crazy enough to try and wind on my own. (I’ve tried it before. It wasn’t pretty.) And also by ‘not too badly’ I mean that I was bored out of my skull, scouring the internet for interesting things and being close to having to physically restrain myself from going over to my desk and picking up some knitting.

And then I found something amazing. I found a present-day version of Sherlock Holmes, a three-part series written and produced by Mark Gatiss and, wait for it, Steven Moffat, and it was SO GOOD. With how much I wasn’t thrilled by the last DW series I kind of forgot how truly amazing Steven Moffat is. How he’s the guy who created Cpt. Jack Harkness. The guy who has this wonderful gift for suspense and dialogue and horror.

It also helps that the Holmes/Watson subtext is up through the roof. Especially in the first half hour, which I watched twice because that’s when Saskia came home. And it was all good, because the program was just so intriguing and exciting that I didn’t even miss my knitting.

And then It happened. Apparently the universe thinks it’s not bad enough that I can’t knit. No, to add insult to injury, they had Steven Moffat put Watson in this gorgeous, truly gorgeous Aran sweater.

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And I want it. I was up till 2.30 last night researching Arans and figuring out the pattern on paper, my fingers itching to cast on a swatch so I charted more options and went to bed half-crazy and dreamed about gorgeous sweaters that I couldn’t knit all night.

So after messing with contrast and brightness and general photoshoppy shenanigans until my eyes bled, I forced Saskia at swordpoint to knit up a swatch, and then I adjusted, and she cast on a new swatch and did about two rows, and then she just left my room and left the knitting lying on the foot of my bed, about an arm’s length from me.

She might as well have left an opium pipe next to Sherlock Holmes, or 50-year-old whiskey next to a recovering alcoholic. Seriously.

Which is my only excuse that I may or may not have knit three or four rows. With a nifty system, including knitting back tbl left-hand English style, that allowed me to mostly hold my right wrist stable. Which was kind of tiring but also went much better and much less painful than I’d anticipated.

But, better than that… I have charts.

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I have construction notes.

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I have calculations that with my chart, and the construction notes, and some worsted-weight yarn on 3.5mm needles, this sweater should fit me like there’s no tomorrow. I also have a roommate who’d be thrilled to have a Watson Sweater KAL if we can find a way to adjust the pattern to her considerably skinnier frame (either thinner yarn or thinner cables. we’ll see.) I have seldom been so excited about a prospective project.

Now all I need is said worsted-weight yarn, and a new fucking wrist.

Somebody shoot me now.

On the front lobe of my left-side brain

July 22, 2010 § 2 Comments

I went to Zitron when I was at my parents’ these last few days – big surprise there, I know! The plan was to just nip in and get some sock yarn, and like always, the nipping extended to about an hour and a half, in which I fondled new yarns due to come out in the near to not-so-near future (and oh, I can hardly wait for the new lace yarn!), talked yarn and translation with Mr Zitron, and bought some fresh-from-the-dyeworks sock yarn. And some lace yarn. And ordered a custom extra-long 4mm circ for Girl Friday.

I love those people, but my visit once again creates an old problem: it’s called ‘oh god, I’m running out of space to store my yarn’.

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The second drawer is actually just for reference, I didn’t add anything to the heavier-than-fingering-weight yarns. However, the four sock yarns (two balls, two skeins) on the left are the sock yarns I bought, plus white lace yarn (which I’ve vaguely planned for knitting a half a Balmoral), and this beauty:

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It’s Filigran Lace No 1 in Indian Summer, and it’s very colorful. The colors are muted jewel-tones, yes, and it’s entirely gorgeous in the skein as well as in the ball. I’ll have to wait for a really strong shawl pattern for this, though, or else it’ll drown in the sheer mass of colors.

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This is some Trekking HandArt Tweed that didn’t have a color on the label, so I’m assuming it’s a test skein or something not quite ready for widespread distribution. Either way, I love it, and I’m knitting socks with it right now. Waffle-stitch, nothing fancy, but slightly more fancy than the plain socks I usually churn out. It’s just so pretty! And the colors are kind of rustic, which goes very well with the whole tweed thing. I’m not sure what it reminds me of, but it is very homey.

The bad news about having cast on yet another sock will become instantly apparent when I show you this photo:

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I’m assuming there’s about five to six pairs buried somewhere in my laundry to add to that, plus the recent pair that isn’t in there because I haven’t yet cut the ends. I really need to  sort out the socks that are starting to wear thin, or find another solution, or start giving socks away (except how could I, they’re my babies!), because my sock drawer is already literally bursting at the seams. No kidding, one of the corner has burst apart.

It’s entirely true I might have a slight obsession.

And people wonder why I like to knit lace. For those who are wondering: it’s because it takes more time and less space.

Hold on to this feeling

February 1, 2010 § 6 Comments

Exciting news: I finished stuff today! Amazing, I know.

Stuff being my little scarflette in bulky handspun yarn (no photos yet, sorry) and my rainbow bright Rainy Day Socks.

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I haven’t woven the ends in yet, but… eh. I’ll do that tomorrow. Ish. Who knows. Also, I joined the new sweater into the round, and I’m below bust level. The Weasley sweater is dyed and dry in my wardrobe, even though it looks a bit like camo. I’m thinking about dyeing it again, in the hope that it sticks more to the yellow patches, but really… part of me is considering just leaving it as is, duplicate stitch a big ol’ P on it, and be done with it. It’s a boxy drop-shoulder sweater anyway, which means comfy sweater, which means not likely to be worn outside the house. Plus the geek factor of the whole Weasley sweater thing. So, yeah.

Also, the most amazing thing about today: the good guys are back. Sassi, and…

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… the dog. Wave. The Plüschplüsch. Who’s fuzzy and squooshy and cuddly right down to his big, fuzzy paws.

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It’s been a good day today. Apart from where the whole apartment is already littered with dog hair. And I brushed the hell of that dog already, and when I say hell, I mean at least 10g or so of fluffy dog hair just waiting to be spun up. Now, if I only had my spindle here.

Till I try I’ll never know

January 9, 2010 § 3 Comments

Double post day!

So, the lunch after my grandma’s funeral was held at a local restaurant. It’s an oldish, family-run thing, and we go there for all celebrations that need catering and a bigger room than we can provide. My sister works there on weekends, they’re all super-nice, and… they have sheep.

Which means that once or twice a year, there’s a big veal buffet, where there’s tons of liver and steak and meat balls and filet and ribs and basically everything you can make out of a young sheep. Which is awesome, seriously.

But it also means that they have sheep. As in, they have mother sheep. Who have lambs. With the weather being as it is, some of the weaker twins born overnight have died this year, but when we were there, there was a lamb in the other room, next to the heating. A friggin’ lamb. That was born last night, and was too weak, and wouldn’t suckle, so they brought it in and got the vet and fed it a bottle of milk and put it in a box with straw in it.

A newborn lamb. A little, black, newborn lamb. About as big as a big cat. Only with ridiculously adorable floppy black ears and a fuzzy head and tired black button eyes. With a little blanket over it.

It’s the first time in years my first impulse was ‘awww’ instead of ‘ooh, tasty!’.

Also, when the sheep get shorn next summer? I’ve asked about getting a kilo or two of fleece. They said yes, cause they don’t do anything with it. Yes, they’re meat sheep, but… dude! I’m excited! Now I’ll just have to buy carders and all that shebang.

Feels like we’re running out of time

December 3, 2009 § 1 Comment

My parents are coming tomorrow.

For the first time since they helped me move, over a year ago. The first time they’re seeing this apartment as my home. I’ve been pretty much freaking out for the past week, and while it’s scared some productivity into me, it’s also driving me to the brink of a nervous breakdown. Which is, well, not quite what I’d like to spend the holiday season like.

But at least the windows are clean, every inch of the floor is vacuumed and wet-swept, and if there’s a shitton of bottles and jars we haven’t gotten around to recycling yet, well, I’ll just ignore those. The chili for tomorrow is already done (prize-winning recipe from Texas, featuring beer, coffee and baking cocoa. it’s actually pretty amazing) and I’m hoping I don’t screw the Welsh Impossible Cake up tomorrow. In an emergency, I could always whip up some muffins.

Maybe I should buy some cake, just in case.

Anyway, in the ways of knitting, this week has had its upsides and downsides. I did finish Saskia’s socks – during a reading of three Sherlock Holmes short stories, which was awesome – but on the other hand, I had almost finished  the WWII watchcap when I realized I’d run out of yarn. So I messed around with a different-color stripe on the top, but it looked amateurish and terrible and, long story short, I ripped it back. And started back up again, in the small size instead of large, and it’s still plenty big. And if not… sigh, I’ll just rip it back another time and make the medium. (Yet another thing I’d appreciate if it didn’t come to pass. No, really.)

I ordered the Yarn Harlot’s Never not knitting page-a-day calender, and it’s pretty damn awesome. So I guess that’s one good thing.

Oh god, my parents are coming tomorrow. I think I’ll just sit. And watch something mindless and violent. And knit on a hat that’s supposed to be finished.

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Dort tanzt Lu-Lu!

November 19, 2009 § 2 Comments

Okay. Triple post today. Whatever.

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IT WAS AWESOME. They didn’t do anything significantly after 1930, and I do love their pop song covers, but… man. Brilliant, anyway. And so, so stylish, with their tuxes and Max Raabe himself in tails, for god’s sake. And the voice! The style! The understatement! The way you could HEAR his facial expressions, and the way he had the audience cracking up with one word. Which was ‘often’.

‘Singing a love song in your lover’s brain goes straight into the… pineal gland. And from there, via the cerebrum, into the cerebellum, if you want to know it exactly. And so the cerebellum doesn’t roll around like a marble in a big bowl, the rest of the space is taken up by the cerebrum. [Long, rhetoric pause, then deadpan] … often.’

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So, yes. The title of the tour is ‘Heute Nacht oder nie’ (tonight or never), and it was mostly songs about men and women and love and the general confusion that comes with that. (Which is funny, since I and some other sources are pretty sure he’s very much gay, but hey. Who cares.)

The crazy thing is… everyone in that band? Demonstrated they play at least three instruments at least reasonably well, AND they can all sing. And the guy who played the banjo (and guitar, and one of the violins) rocked the whole thing. He was kind of doing all the great rock gestures, only… in a tux, and sitting down, and with the banjo.

Did I mention they had a sousaphone? And a xylophone? And… bells? And a big ol’ stand-up bass? And… everything?

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And I wore the Monster. I mean Muir. It is, as it turns out, really very much too large to be anywhere near practical, but it is warm and awesome and really, after the amount of time I spent making it, there was no way I was NOT wearing it.

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So, yes. We’re buying tickets for next April.

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