Thursday, December 21, 2006

Overload! Randomness!

My brain is teeming with projects that I want to be working on. I'm still slogging through the first sleeve of the sweater - I think I have about 20 rows to go, then I start on the second sleeve. I'm going to the LYS today to pick up a couple of needles and some yarn for a couple of chemo caps that I'm making for a friend. I previously made her the cabled newsboy from Stitch N Bitch Nation (it was so cute I almost kept it for myself), and Odessa. She liked Odessa so much that she's requested two more in black and cream. I'm more than happy to oblige! I also need an extra circular needle so I can start on Mom's poncho. I'm so pissed - I lost my Denise needle case at some point, and I tore apart my house trying to find them with no success. I should probably just invest in another set.

Here are the other projects I've been thinking about:

Fetching - such an appropriate name :) I love gloves, and this would be a great quick knit. I can imagine having many, many colors of these.

I already went on about the lace leaf pullover, so I won't bore you with that again. I'm getting the yarn today via UPS, so we'll see how it goes.

Eternal Embrace - I really like the pattern, because of the ease. I made a turtleneck shrug for myself, and I felt like a claustrophobic overstuffed sausage in it. And I love the site.

At least a couple of these projects will be super-quick for me to complete, so I will probably work on these during my time off.

I've been surfing the knitting blogs, finding some old ones and new ones. There were several that I had stopped reading, and I couldn't remember why. I came across one in particular (I won't mention the name here), in which there was a post about the Anticraft site, and it all came rushing back to me why I had stopped reading some of these sites. Some people were so critical of the Anticraft site when it first came out, because of the gothy content. I had no idea so many people were so hateful about "goth"! People who claimed to be so open-minded were really goddamned judgmental and MEAN when it came to that website. So, I stopped reading theirs, because I couldn't stand the hypocrisy. I'm finding that I didn't miss much of anything after I had taken these blogs off of my Bloglines listing.

Ok, rant over.

So, what am I doing for the holidays? Not much of anything, thank goodness. I am off from work from noon today through the 2nd, so I intend to get a lot of knitting done during that time. The holidays are weird for me this year - I haven't been in the spirit at all. I'm not religious anymore, so there's been no church activities for the past several years, but I still liked to decorate and celebrate the pagan side of the season. J has always hated Xmas and the consumerism, and has been trying to woo me over to the "dark side", in having me not celebrating Xmas in any way. He may think he got his way this year, but I can guarantee that this is not a permanent condition. In fact, I feel it coming on, little by little. I may just put some stuff out when I get home today!

We will see the hub's parents on Xmas Eve, and mine on Xmas day. We're getting together with friends on New Year's Eve to make tamales and drink champagne - yum! I can't wait!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Vacation on Sleeve Island

No sleeve pics, since I haven't made enough progress to warrant documentation of the 2 inch blob protruding from the armhole region.

My weekend was deliciously lazy. As we pondered what to do to get ourselves out of the house on Saturday, we found out that we would not have an open house that afternoon after all, owing to the windy and blustery weather. Our butts were planted firmly on the couch in the living room the entire weekend, and as a result I got an amazing amount of knitting done on the sweater. I completed the front, grafted the shoulders together, and picked up and knit stiches for the first sleeve. Then we shall see if the beast actually fits. I have yet to engineer a sweater that fits me properly, so I shan't get my hopes up too much.

Last week, I won a $50 AMEX gift card in a holiday raffle, so of course I had to buy yarn and books with the winnings. Because I am still obsessed with this pattern and getting it right, I bought enough Needful Yarns Van Dyck for the Lace Leaf Pullover. This is the exact yarn that the pattern calls for, so it damn well better work this time! I also cruised by Amazon and picked up Big Girl Knits, the Yarn Harlot's new tome, and a "best of" CD by The Pixies. Not too shabby!

I am counting the hours until I get off work on Thursday. I am excited to have all of that time off!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

It's a back!

So far, so good. I'm already up to the 4th row of blocks on the front, so I may finish that part of the sweater today. I'll probably have this all complete in the next couple of days.

I had the strangest dream a couple of nights ago. A robber broke in, held us at gunpoint, and demanded all of our yarn. I wish I could have made it a lucid dream and said, "Take the acrylic!"

Not much going on here. We didn't have an open house yesterday after all, because of all the nasty windy weather. So, I knit all day in front of the TV, then we got dressed and went out for Thai food, then resumed our places on the couch and had some chocolates with late harvest zin. Yummy. Today looks to be more of the same. I think I will go warm up my coffee and snuggle back under the afghan.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Bringing it up to speed

Here are some projects that I have been working on the past several months:

I'm very happy with how it turned out! I'm going to make one for my mom, in Shine Worsted (she's not fond of wool, and gets overheated easily).

Pattern: The Very Harlot Poncho
Yarn: Classic Elite Inca Alpaca (100% alpaca, 109 yards), 5 balls (can't remember the color names), including fringe

A plethora of scarves:

Okay, so it's just two. The one on the right was felted, and ended up with this wonderful velvety texture. It's finally starting to get cold enough to wear these.

From left:

Lace Leaf Scarf
Pattern: Scarf Style
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran (55% Merino, 33% Microfiber, 12% Cashmere, 98 yards), 4 balls
Color: Celery

Vintage Velvet Scarf
Pattern: Scarf Style
Yarn: Muench Touch Me (72% Viscose, 28% Wool, 61 yards), 5 balls
Color: Bold Red

This pic cracks me up. It looks like I'm about to blast a cap in yo ass.

I love this sweater. However, I overestimated my size - I think I gave myself about 10 inches of ease. This is because I was paranoid about the sweater being too tight, so I not only knit the largest size, but I went up to a #9 needle. Silly girl. This sweater was so fun to knit, I will likely make another, but in a more appropriate size. I totally dig the knotwork on the sleeves and the hood. Please ignore how dirty the mirror is :)

Pattern: Rogue
Yarn: Rowan Magpie (100% Merino Wool, 215 yards), 9 balls in some dark blue color
And lastly, a new project - another scarf:

Straight on, it looks like stripes. But at an angle, aliens! I have 5 more alien heads to go.

Pattern: Alien Illusion Scarf from Stitch N Bitch
Yarn: I ball of Lamb's Pride Worsted (85% wool, 15% mohair) in Limeade, and 1 ball Patons Classic Wool in Coal

Another note on Rogue - I've been thinking about doing something a bit drastic with this sweater, since I am swimming in it. Felting. It would shrink the sweater to an appropriate size, and I think the knotwork would look cool. Besides, I noticed the other day that the knots by the hem are already starting to felt a bit. I'm scared to do it because I don't want to ruin this nice sweater I made. Or, maybe I could just unravel the whole thing and start over. Then I would have some Magpie left over to make something else. Maybe a hat for the husband?

I'm also working on something else that I cannot find pictures for online - the basketweave v-neck sweater from Loop-d-Loop. Is it possible that nobody out there has attempted this sweater? I didn't find one blog of anybody who has even frogged the thing in frustration. The knitting of this so far has been downright brainless - no shaping, just decreases for the arms and the neck. The bigger check pattern is on the body, and a smaller check on the sleeves. I am working on the back, and am about an inch from the arm decreases. I'm hoping for a boxy, sweatshirt-like sweater so I can lounge about comfortably. I'll post a pic when I have something that has more of a shape. Oh, and I am using Debbie Bliss Merino Chunky in a charcoal color.

I almost forgot - I have yet another project waiting in the wings. This scarf. Does this not crack you up? I got enough yarn for the 13 1/2 foot model, but my husband talked me into making the shorter one for him, and maybe a second one for myself.

This weekend should be pretty uneventful. We have an open house today, and nothing planned for tomorrow. I am counting the days until next Friday, when our holiday shutdown begins. Paid company holiday for 12 days? I'll take that. Yet another reason why it's good that we are still here - I can take advantage of the last of he decent perks that the company offers.

Friday, December 15, 2006

A whole year since I last posted here

Well, I'm going to give this another go. Darn it, I still like the idea of having my own little place where I can show off my knitting progress. Plus, I noticed that what few readers I had quickly dropped off when I started posting exclusively in my other blog. I don't blame you - I'm not exactly prolific in my other blog, and LiveJournal isn't too visitor-friendly in terms of posting comments.

I've done a few updates on this page, namely including some new links to what I read now. I know there are a couple of webring links that are likely out of date - I will remove those as time goes on.

So, what have I been up to in the past 11 or so months since I last posted? Quite a bit, actually. We went on a wonderful trip up to Victoria, BC last winter - seriously, the best vacation my husband and I have ever taken. Canadians are so nice and friendly. We would so live up there, if the opportunity came along. The rest of the year wasn't too active - lots of knitting, hanging out with friends, roasting in our house during the Summer That Wouldn't Die (as I like to think of it).

July and August, we started thinking that we wanted to move out of state. We've both lived in CA all our lives, and it's time for a change. Besides, we hate it here - the people are rude and snobby, the drivers should all be shot, and most of our neighbors suck and don't invite us to neighborhood parties. Plus, do you know how expensive it is to own a place in SoCal? So, we pulled out a map and asked ourselves, "Where do we want to live?" We had requirements - milder winters (some snow, but not too much), temperate summers, more nature, no desert, affordable housing, liberal leanings. After some research, we came up with Portland, Oregon. Now, I've never been up to the Pacific Northwest, but I always loved it in theory. J has been up to Seattle, but not to Oregon. So, we took a trip up there for a week to check things out. Wow - I absolutely loved it up there! So, it was decided. We put our house on the market in mid-August, and it is still up on the market. The housing market has slowed waaaaay down, and this isn't exactly the best time of the year to sell :) I never said we were smart!

So, as soon as we sell, we'll move up north. We're probably going to end up renting a house for about a year, then look for a place to buy. One obstacle was taken out of the way - J will be able to keep his job and work from home up there. And keep his current salary. I will be the only one that needs to find gainful employment. Since I'm in HR, I don't think this will be a problem.

I also happen to think that things happen a certain way for a reason. It may not be discernible at the time, but eventually things are made clear. In light of the news stories recently about the crazy flooding, wind and rains, the people getting lost in the snow, perhaps winter would not have been the best time to move after all. I'm thinking spring will be just about perfect.

I'm still depressed about not being up there already, though.

Next post - picture heavy! I'll update with the projects I have worked on so far this year, and what I am working on right now.