Thursday, March 29, 2007

Back in the saddle, of sorts

I've been going to the gym this week. Also, I've been keeping track of what I eat. Rather than actually counting calories, that keeps me from eating because I don't feel like writing everything done. (For example, I'm NOT going to write down the piece of sugarfree gum I had this afternoon, that had less than 3 calories. I'm also avoiding the plate of brownies in the kitchen because then I have to write that down.)

It all started on Monday, when I was told that I could have an ice cream sundae for dinner as I'd been healthy all day. I was curious, so I wrote it all down and looked stuff up and did the math - just over 2,000 calories. Clearly, I need to eat more.

There's something about spring that always makes me want to be outside, DOING something. I'm not content to just sit in the sun and sunbath. I must have a book in hand. Or, better yet, frisbee or football or soccer.

Riding helps. The fact that the foal was born also helps - baby horse! What NOT to love? So cute! I didn't know that the foal had been born, or I would have taken my camera with me and gotten a few pictures. Next week, I promise.

But yes, I've been working out and attempting to actually eat three to four servings of fruit and veggies a day. I've pretty much given up the whole idea of managing to eat enough fiber, but I think I'm ok with that.

I'm mentioning this so that someone will know about it to be on my case about the whole thing. This is the first time I've EVER tried to diet and/or exercise - I've always been skinny enough to get away with eating whatever I want. And I tend to want things like apples or pretzels. Exercise.. well, last summer, work WAS exercise. But I've been active in some form or another since I was three years old, when I started gymnastics. Then riding.. then marching band and musical. And then college, with no marching band, no gymnastics, no musical, and no riding. I started going to the gym and noticed that my mood SKYROCKETED. Endorphins really do make me happy.

This year, however, I never got into the habit. I gave my body a break after the beating it took over the summer (read: I am lazy) and then got sick. And then sick again. The laziness aspect certainly didn't help things.

I'm hoping that mentioning this will give me motivation enough to continue til this is a habit.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Getting There

Both sleeves for Blaze are completed! I sat down today and finished the right sleeve because Blaze goes with me to class on Wednesdays and I wanted to be sure that I'd have something to do. (Ok, so that sentence doesn't QUITE make sense...) But now one sleeve is attached to Blaze. See?



Right after I took that picture, I realized that I had started in the wrong point of the stitch pattern.. and had to tink my way back to the starting point. I have managed to catch up back to were I was, however. And I am slowly realizing that the rest of this sweater is going to take longer because, dude - there are a LOT of stitches in each round.

However, I am happy to report that one ball of yarn gives you this:


That's right folks. I knit my sleeves a bit longer than called for in the pattern and was wary about the amount of yarn I'd need. I to knit about 5.5" after this point and I have 3 full balls and most of a 4th. I'm fairly certain I'm going to have enough yarn, even with a longer body and sleeves.

The Pawprint socks are also well on their way. This is what happens when one has three hours (or more) of Paradise Lost to read each week:

That, by the way, is my knit/read set up. My laptop is propped up by two stacks of two Altoids tins in the back. I put my stapler on top of the closed laptop lid and then prop my HUGE text book up against that whole contraption. So far, the two socks are matching fairly well. I'll have to check in a little bit if that's still the case up the leg.

I also kinda feel the need to figure out my next big project. I need to finish Sizzle, which only needs a neckband and finishing touches at the sleeves. Branching Out could be finished. I have two pairs of socks on the needles right now, but I also have an empty set of DPNs. Hrm...

I think I shall be signing up for Sockapalooza this year. I figure, free socks in exchange for a pair of socks! I'm hoping that my pal likes the color blue, because then I can use stash sock yarn - which is pretty much the ONLY yarn in my stash.

In other news, I shall be in Lyndhurst, OH this weekend! I'm so excited! If any of the other many knitters planning to be there reads this, will someone say Hi to me that day? I'm guessing that I'm going to be in hermit mode and also, scared witless because I WON'T KNOW ANYONE. And we all know that's how nightmares start. (Well, either that, or you know EVERYONE. And you are in your underwear, for some reason.) The Urmila will visit the bookstore with me, but she doesn't deal with people. I'll post a picture of myself later this week and which ever project I decide to take with me!

Monday, March 26, 2007

NYC - 2007

The Urmila and I visited New York City this weekend. I was very disappointed to miss the Yarn Harlot on Thursday, but NYC is a 5 hour drive from school, so that wasn't quite going to happen.

We did, however, visit the Museum of Arts and Design and saw the exhibit on Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting, which was amazing. There was a dress (that would have fit me!) knitted out of some 800+ dollar bills. Someone else cut a fender, a hood, and a few other pieces of abandoned cars into a form of lace that was quite pretty. I was surprised at how small the museum was, but I think it is moving to a new location sometime in 2008. We stopped at the MoMA store as well, and I got a print of Munch's "The Scream," an all-black dubber ruck, a post card of the "OOF" painting I loved so much last year, and a post card of a Dali print.



Following that, we had lunch (for less than $10) and wandered over to the theater to see Avenue Q. I loved the show and would see it again, if not for the price. Amazing and funny and true and many other things. The show brings up some very controversial topics, such as homosexuality and racism, but handled the issues in such a way to demonstrate that yes, they recognized the problem, yes, they knew that they sometimes added to the problem, and yes, they don't have all the answers. More conservative audience members might have been uncomfortable with puppet sex or a gay character, but I think that's to be expected.



After the show, we wandered around Times Square, ducked into the ESPNZone, visited Barbie's House in the HUGE Toys R Us, and other such touristy stuff until we were hungry, when we stopped into John's (on 44th) for dinner. Very yummy garlic bread and a bruschetta pizza cost us again, less than $10 each. We went to Dylan's Candy Bar afterwards and picked up the same five bars of chocolate as we did last year.



Urmila had picked out two bars she had wanted to try, but they were too far away to make it there, grab a drink, then run over to Dean & Deluca's for Italian Sodas, and then find the bus again. So we stopped in a P.J. Morgans and ordered drinks without being carded. Very strange feeling and neither of us looks 21. Appletinis continue to rock my socks. As do caramel Italian Sodas.



We didn't get back until 2am, so the weekend was pretty much over by that point. Friday night was spent with dinner (chicken with sage and thyme, served over rice with cream of chicken sauce poured over), brownies, and a bottle of wine while watching V for Vendetta, as Urmila had not seen the movie.

We're driving to Cleveland this weekend, which means I get to see the Yarn Harlot! In theory, I could see her in Pittsburgh on Friday and OH on Saturday, but I think the Urmila would cry, as she is NOT a knitter and often says "I need new friends" when we all start talking knitting. So, just Saturday and I need to get directions to the bookstore. I am SO excited, but slightly sad, since I left my copy of "Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much" at home. I'll have to be content with taking Knitting Rules.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Recap

For some reason, my computer does not like to associate with fiber-optic internet service. As a result, it ... doesn't. While at home, I'm forced to either use my father's computer or my sister's computer. My sister's has the disadvantage of being located in HER room. Getting to the computer desk is a feat of balance and flexibility, as there is no walk-way ... just piles of STUFF. My father's computer is not only in a common location of the house, but one doesn't need to warm up before attempting to approach the machine. However, his computer's main language is Swedish. No matter what program you have running - and even if you have an English version of the program - error messages pop up in Swedish. I don't know Swedish. (Neither, for that matter, does my father. That makes tech support quite fun.)

As a result, no blogging. As a result of lots and lots of stuff to do, not quite as much knitting as I would have liked. I did manage to tack on another 5 pattern repeats of Branching Out, for a total of 27, which the pattern calls for. I think I'm going to knit til I run out of yarn, rip back to the end of a full repeat, and finish the thing. Some year. No pictures because it looks like the other pictures, just ... longer.

I finished the one sleeve of Blaze and started the other:



This shouldn't take me too long, as there are only 4 pattern repeats, for a total of 72 rounds. (8 rounds of 72 stitches = 576 stitches. 7 rounds of 74 stitches = 518. 8 rounds of 76 stitches = 608 stitches. And 49 rounds of 78 stitches = 3822 stitches. For a grand total of 5524 stitches for one sleeve. [I'm on round 7 right now, after the 8 rounds of ribbing.] Clearly I'll be done in no time.)

As for my sister's sock,



I also turned the heel, picked up gusset stitches (um, 19 of them, rather than the suggested 16. Not sure what, exactly, I did there), and started the decreasing part. What with the plain stockinette stitch of the bottom, I'm kinda hoping that the foot of the sock goes faster than the leg did. I do have three hours a week to spend on it, though.

Here is Eeyore, modeling the foot of the second pawprint socks.


If they fit her, these socks will go to my mother. These are knit while I'm reading Milton's Paradise Lost.

And then... then I have THIS:



I'm quite sad, even messing around with light balance and color settings, I can't get the real color of this year. There is more green, more blue, more purple. SO PRETTY. That was the awesome part of visiting my mother - she lives in Harrisonburg, VA. So does Claudia, of Claudia's Hand Painted Yarns. As I had hoped, yarn stores round there tend to carry LOTS of Claudia's yarns. I got two skeins, so I'm hoping I might be able to pull off two pairs of footlets. Or maybe this yarn is meant to be a taller sock. Maybe even a toe up pair of socks, so I can knit as much as possible with this yarn. We shall see. I need to finish three pairs of socks before then - pawprint, Bayerische, and this....



The color is very close in this shot, actually. My mother liked the idea of socks with Aloe Vera in them and I can't say I mind the idea of knitting with it. I think I'm going to steal her pair of light cream Opal sock yarn for myself then... This will be her third pair of socks from me.

To completely change the subject, I made the ... mistake? Not sure if that is the correct word... of looking at working student positions for event riding. A found a few that pretty much provide everything I need, plus lessons, horses, coaching at events, a chance to compete.. I wouldn't be able to get one for this summer, but maybe that's what I'll do right out of college. I already know that this isn't the kind of thing that I am going to forget right away, so it can stew in the back of my mind for a while. Until tomorrow, for example.

I'm about to leave for a meeting with a faculty member to discuss the possibility of Holocaust Literature as a thesis option. I'm not sure where his office is, even though I've asked twice. Hrm.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Welcome to the 60s

Hi blog! Remember me?

No? I'm not surprised.

I worked some 30 hours this weekend. I'm tired, sore, and glad I decided to do it. Hairspray was fun to work. I liked working on props, Michael rocked, the people I worked with are fun and crazy. I had enough time to sit down and get a decent chunk of reading done. And I'm only thinking of the paycheck as extra. If I can pull it off, I'm skipping class to work on Rent. I'm really glad I stumbled across this job. It is keeping me from going broke, giving me something to do next year, and reminding me how much I love theatre and working backstage.

I am also behind in my work. I have three papers due Wednesday - a 2000 word essay on Paradise by Toni Morrison, a 2 page report on Paradise Lost, and a 2-3 page close reading of a passage for my Jewish lit class.

I have yet to start the two-page report. I have, however, managed to read some of the section required. I have two pages of hand-written notes scribbled for the 2000 word essay (which should be about 7-8 pages). And I have a decent draft of the close reading, to be polished up on Wednesday during the four hour break between classes. (And the huge pile of work to be done is SO why I'm here.)

On top of that is a midterm in my Indian history survey class on Thursday.

It is 11:15pm and all I've managed to do is e-mail several professors, figure out exactly what I'm doing (and when) for the rest of the week in an attempt to figure out everything. I have timelines and everything. Yes, I am that OCD.

I really had NOTHING to do for classes tomorrow and yet, I haven't been able to write anything for that 2000 word essay. I've tried starting at with various points and comments scribbled in my notes and nothing is actually working. I'm not sure why not - I have a pretty solid argument that I'm putting forward and plenty of quotations to back me up. I don't know. I want to just give up and go to bed, but then I'm writing WAY too much tomorrow. No way I'd be able to pull together an 8page paper on a class day. 

I'm looking forward to spring break, even knowing the amount of work I'll have to do to stay on top of things. Urmila, Tina, and I are going out for St. Patty's Day, which ought to be fun. I'm visiting Mom, which will make her happy. And I can catch up a bit on sleep. 

The busy weekend meant no knitting, however. I need to finish another 16 round repeat for Bayerische and then I can start the heel. For Blaze, I need to knit another two 16 round repeat and then I should be done the left sleeve and ready to start the right. Something tells me I won't get to wear this sweater much this season.

But for now, back to Word and the mocking cursor that likes to remind me that the point of a word processor is to write and that's something I'm NOT currently doing very well. And then bed, for much-needed sleep.