Friday, June 7, 2013

I Really Gotta Get It Together

I completely lost track of time. One minute it was April, the next it was almost Mother's Day. I looked up again and HOLY CRAP it's June? What? June? No. That can't be right.

I'm still slogging away on Elbow's super graphic "ugly blanket". It's almost finished, just 1 1/2 more pattern repeats to go. As the weather warms up it is harder and harder to work on it for any real length of time. I've made several hats in the past month or so but they haven't turned out as I had hoped. I made them in an attempt to disguise my new haircut and one of them works OK but the others. . . we won't go there. I also finished up a sweater from a year ago that only needed a sleeve. I'm really pleased with it and will be pic spamming taking pictures soon.

I've also been busy getting everything set up for school this fall. I'm excited to get back to it, but there are so many hoops to jump through with this place! I spent all day yesterday running around town getting documents and signatures and tests. It was exhausting but it's finally done. Maybe now I can get back to the Almanac. I really wanted to make the Pi Shawl again this go round. There is this great yarn that my MIL brought back from Latvia that is begging to be a Pi.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Wait. It's APRIL?

I was at work last night, catching up with a supervisor I haven't seen in ages, when I realized that April is almost over and I haven't updated the blog in well over a month. I think it's because I feel guilty about not having more pictures of finished stuff but it's not like anyone *actually* reads this thing, so there isn't anyone to care. Yay for existing in a vacuum!

Seriously though, I have done quite a bit since the middle of March.

For starters, that ugly blanket is finished. The baby is curled up under it right now - snoring like a grown ass man - and I have started another one for my oldest. She wanted hers in white, black, and red though so it's a bit more modern than tan, brown, and rust. I used the directions for a seamless blanket (who puts a seam down the middle of an afghan?!?!) which makes this bugger a good deal wider than the "half-ghan" that the baby got. It is fairly tedious and only gets pulled out when I need to veg on the couch or am drunk. Often times it's both.

My husband and I went on a trip with some of our friends to a big fighting game tournament in Atlanta at the end of March, so I took along my almanac and enough yarn to make the February baby blanket/shawl. It was surprisingly quick to knit and it turned out beautifully despite my attempts to work on it during/after the festivities on Saturday night. I'll get pictures maybe sometime. I also found a finished baby kimono while pawing through my stash for another project. My husband's friend's baby is going to be *set* on the hand knits.

I also remembered just why I never finished the April project the last time. Now, don't get me wrong, the idea of this blanket is incredibly cool. You start each square in the center, work your way to the edge, then put that bad boy on some waste yarn and move on to the next. You end up having all of these little squares with live borders that get sewn together in a way that challenges you to find where the join is and how the blanket was made. Awes. . . HOLD THE FUCK UP. I have to *sew these bastards together by hand*? Is this bitch on crack?  This pattern SUCKS. I hate to say that about any of EZ's stuff but if I am being honest, Mrs. Zimmerman created this pattern for masochists and for her own sick amusement. Count me out on this one. I'll sew together what I have, slap a border on it, and give it to the baby. Or the trash can. Maybe the baby will give it to the trash can. Yeah. I can go with that.

In an effort to avoid going completely crazy with the EZ pattern, I took to the pattern page on Ravelry to find something that wouldn't make me want to scratch my eyes out. I found this. I broke one of my cardinal rules and *paid real money* for a *knitting* pattern. I immediately grabbed yarn and sat down in front of the computer to cast on. I spent the next three days knitting, ripping, knitting again, screaming at the designer, and throwing yarn across the apartment. This pattern is a translation of a translation at best. There is so much copy-pasting going on that you would think it was a freshman lit paper. Did the designer just plug her original directions into Google Translate? I don't know what I was thinking when I clicked "buy now". It was my birthday, maybe I was high on cake fumes?  I powered through it though and after sifting through the English language support thread (of which a good deal is in Spanish) I was able to figure it out.

This pattern is genius in it's use of short rows. I wish I could come up with this kind of stuff as easily as I can sweaters. Yes, it takes a bit more concentration than I would like, but after making my favorite scarf in the history of ever I can handle it. At least I don't need to keep track of beads and tiny ass crochet hook. I wouldn't exactly call this pattern a fun knit for most people, but it is deliciously technical. I like patterns like that on occasion. I think EZ would approve.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March Madness

So far this month has felt really productive. I've finished 4 knitting projects so far! Here's the yarn porn:

*January Aran vest*

Front view

Back view

*February Baby Sweater*


I do have a confession to make though. After doing so much finishing work, I was absolutely itching to cast on something. ANYTHING. So I started an ugly blanket. Now, the link isn't the exact pattern I'm using, but it gives you an idea of the kind of ugly I'm going for. I got this book from our local library's book sale a couple of years ago because I'm a sucker for vintage knitting books. The best thing about this one is that a good portion of the blankets are crocheted. I can improvise a knitting pattern like no body's business, but crochet? Not so much.

There is a really fantastic crochet pattern inside for an airplane blanket/pillow all in one thing that I intended to make but it calls for super bulky yarn and a hook that I didn't have on hand. I decided to make the Colonial Ripples afghan instead and I am so glad I did. I'm 3 days in and 1/2 way done. With a freakin' blanket. It's really good for sitting in front of the TV too. I got the first 2 ripples done while my husband and I watched some Ugly Betty and another done last night while watching some DS 9. I may do some more tonight after work. It all depends on if we have friends over to watch GOT. Of course, they're going to find out how weird I am eventually. I may as well hook while they're here.

Will I be burned out on blankets by April? Probably. Good thing I still have some of the squares from my last attempt at the Almanac. Granted, a 6 year old picked the colors, but I don't have to start next month from scratch. BONUS: I'll be finishing another WIP. If I look at it that way, it won't feel so much like cheating.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Productivity! In More Ways Than One

I've done a lot of thinking this weekend. Instead of making this month's sweater (I love you EZ but I'm sweatered out) I will be finishing up as many current projects as I can. This includes weaving in the last few ends of the January Aran, putting the second sleeve on the February Baby Sweater, putting the second sleeve on a sweater I started last September *cough*, and tinking back the edge on a shawl that I ran out of yarn for. If I get it all finished I'm starting back in on Susan's Tardis socks. I hate those freaking socks.

I don't know if I'll get all of this done because, honestly, I just don't knit that much anymore. After we moved into the apartment my interest in knitting kind of dwindled. Sometimes it starts to feel like a chore and when that happens I put it down and walk away. Coming from 5+ years of constantly knitting or thinking about knitting it is so strange to not be excited about it all the time. I mean, yeah, this was a long time in coming but it is still bittersweet.

Part of the reason I decided to give the Almanac a go again was to try to get my excitement back up. Maybe as the year goes on it'll happen. Maybe not. I've stopped beating myself up over it though. I still love knitting, we'll always be together, but I can't hide behind it anymore. I've been a knitter for over half of my life and it's time to see what else is out there for me. That's cool. Bring it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Endless, Endless I-Cord

The hard part is over. I have conquered steeks. Please forgive the terrible lighting. My camera is garbage and it was 2:00am.

Finished body, pre-sewing.

Deep breath, it'll be ok. 

Go have a drink. Cutting is easier after some time with Dr. Daniels.

Eeew, this picture is dark. If I hadn't been drunk, I'd have taken another one before I started the I-cord. 

Now, I just need to get with it and finish this i-cord edging! It isn't difficult in the least, just incredibly tedious and I've finished watching my latest smutty show. Ooooh it is some good knitting TV. Hang in there for the first few episodes. It gets good. I actually want to find the next season(s).

I haven't even begun to cast on for February's nonsense yet. I had hoped to do all 5 of the projects this month but it looks like I will only have time for one. So tell me Internet, do I do the blanket or the sweater? I am gifting the item to a friend who is expecting in mid-September, in AL, who doesn't know gender. If I do the sweater, I have a really cute cotton picked out. No idea what I'll use for the blanket. I'm doing this whole book from my stash, so I don't have a lot of worsted options that would work for a baby.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

It's February Already?!?!

Where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday I was looking at the calendar and thinking, "Great! I still have 11 days to crank this bad boy out. No sweat!" Oops.

Today I reached the final bind-off row on the body, only to run out of yarn (on the skein, I do have 2 more!) 10 stitches before the end. If I hadn't forgotten to bind off twice on the shoulder line, I would have ended with just enough yarn to weave in the end. Talk about *facepalm*. One of the rarest, most pleasing feelings in knitting was within my grasp! sigh Maybe next time.

I'll wind up another skein tomorrow and get cracking on the steeks if I get the time. There is a really neat violin workshop happening at one of the local schools that I'd like to attend and that will take up a lot of the afternoon.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Slowly but Surely

 I finally feel like I have made some progress on this thing. Not nearly as much as I was hoping for at this point, but enough to be content with it. I had to rip out the second half of the big cable pattern a few times before I got it right and that really cut into my time frame. After spending some quality time with the fishtrap chart I finally got the hang of it. Now, the only time I need to look at the thing is when I ‘m getting close to doing the small cables. I love the way the twisted stitches make those stand out. They are by far the best looking rope cables I’ve ever done.

As I’m going, and looking at the deadline, I keep thinking that I want to make this a vest. A nice i-cord border seems lovely. No buttons, but maybe some hidden belt loops? I have plenty of knitting to go before I decide in any case. We’ll see.

The baby is actually being really good about letting me knit. She has even taken to cuddling up with me and watching her ‘mouse movie’ while I knit. It doesn’t make for the best knitting TV, but I’ll take what I can get. I did find this on Netflix the other night. OMG. Nedomir was quite the looker in ‘93. Also, quite the unintentional comedian. If you ever want to see some really awkward sex, this is the show for you. I don’t think the female lead enjoyed any of it and that’s just a shame. Tonight, I’m moving on to The Tudors. It’s been in my instant queue for forever. I’m hoping the romance is a little more romantic and a little less. . . strange.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Here We Go Again!

After quite little break, I've decided to give the Almanac another go. Life got pretty crazy for a while and I think things are finally at a point where attempting this again isn't totally inconceivable. So, to catch y'all up. . .

In December of 2010, when things were pretty much at their lowest for me, I found out that I was having another baby. My husband and I were at odds as to what to do for a while. It was REALLY a bad time for me to get pregnant, we were fighting constantly and I had started packing my things to move out. I don't know what changed or when, but something clicked and we started trying again. Once our relationship was sorted out, the rest of everything just started falling into place.

I graduated with a 3.74 GPA in Biology. My husband got a great job that allows me to stay, at our own place, with the kids. I've learned to sew, cook, and I've even gotten back into gaming (which takes up more knitting time than I will readily admit). Miss E just went through the testing process to be in the gifted classes at school next year. The newbie, Kit, is 17 months old and is my little engineering daredevil. Things are pretty wonderful right now.

My job at the LYS was. . . complicated. I loved the customers, getting to be around fiber all day, help people with design issues, and all of the little things that go with keeping a business running. I felt like I was making a difference in the local fiber scene and it was for the better, you know? God, but working for that woman was awful. She was never there and had no idea what was good for the business. If she wanted it, she bought it, regardless of what our customers were buying or looking for. Eventually (after I left) she started carrying Red Heart yarns.

Yep. Red Heart.

I haven't set foot back in the store since I left, but I've been told that the isles are so close together that you can't walk through the store and that all of the amazing windows don't really let in the light anymore due to the over crowding. *shrug* Not my problem anymore. Love that.

So, now that life is back on track, I am too. I cast on for the January Aran on the 1st, but haven't had too much time to sit down with it. I'm using a lavender 2-ply handspun that I was given by my MIL after her trip to Latvia last summer. It is perfect for this project and the stitch definition is just to die for. I may not have quite enough to make the sleeves, so as of right now, I'm planning on a vest. We'll see how much is left once the body is done. *phew* I'm wiped and have a big day of birthday parties and family stuff tomorrow, so I'll end it here. See everyone next week with (hopefully) more than 1" of sweater finished!