Monday, April 30, 2007

Almost a Finished Object

I cast off Blaze yesterday!!!!

However... It is not quite yet an FO. The top... it has problems. Such as, it doesn't stay quite where it belongs. See?

(You have no idea how hard I was laughing during that shot. Nothing like taking a good look at your own cleavage.)

There is also this problem:

I can't go any higher with the knitting, but I really don't quite like that. I COULD rip back my cast-off and the neck shaping and the last pattern repeat and throw a few decreases in here and there and hope that would keep it where it belongs.

However, what I think I'm going to do is run a small strand of elastic around the inside edge. Also, blocking might help a bit.

Other than the neckline problem, Blaze is looking awesome:

The back view...

The side view...

And the front, not-yet-floppy, view...

Now, I just need to find the time to run to Walmart or Michael's and find elastic to finish it off. And weave in all the ends. And block it, maybe? Blocking requires waiting for it to dry, and we all know I'm not so very good with the waiting. Also, I have no where to STORE it while it is drying. YAY small apartments.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Random Thursday

  • I actually enjoy handing in papers when I feel like I wrote a solid argument. Also, clever titles make me happy.
  • I have an 8-10 page paper due tomorrow morning at 10:10am. As of right now, I have some notes, a three page rough draft, and need to look through some 400 pages of Paradise Lost to pull out relevant quotes. Of all of that, the quotes are going to be the worst.
  • I only have one day and one week of classes left. This semester just FLEW by without my noticing.
  • Lack of sleep, over a long period of time, can feel an awful lot like a hangover. Personally, I'd rather drink to earn the hangover, but there's no time for that.
  • A Margarita, a huge platter of fries, and a salmon club sandwich is an awesome way to end a rainy Wednesday.
  • I've realized that the end of this semester is slightly easier than last semester, as all the craziness is occurring BEFORE finals week. Can't I just have another semester of 5 exams to take for which I need to actually STUDY? You can't study for an essay exam on Paradise Lost, since there is NO WAY I'd be able to re-read the whole thing.
I tried Blaze on last night, after realizing that I need another half a pattern repeat. Here it is:

You can't see it, but my bra straps are showing! The neckline, what with decreases and being knit in a smaller needle, should pull the top in a bit, to keep it from looking funky. In that shot, I think the needles don't really help too much.

It falls down a little bit as I attempt to take pictures, so I think I COULD get away with knitting the neckline now and calling it done, but I really ought to add that pattern repeat. Bras are required when in public and I want to show this sweater off. Also, I hate the bra strap peeking out from a wide-necked sweater look. And the tanktop under wide-necked sweater look. GAH! I'm so close to finishing, but that makes me want it to be perfect all the more. I've spent some 4 months on this sweater, it better be awesome.

Monday, April 23, 2007

This is not homework

Even though today's high was something in the 80s, I'm still slogging along on Blaze. I have 15 rows to go.. but with nearly 300 stitches per round, that takes a while. Maybe I can wear it to work over the summer, as I tend to freeze in air conditioning.

Soon, I'll need to pull Sizzle out and finish that. Then I can wear that one to work as well. I think after everything settles down a bit. One rough draft and a final paper for FR, one final paper for 301, one final exam for 301, one final paper for 497C, one final paper for 409Y, one book report for 176, one final exam for 176, one take home final essay for 303, and one quiz for 497C and I think I'm done for the semester. Of course, I also think I'm forgetting something.

The finished waffleweave sock:

For some reason, the sock does not lie flat. I haven't blocked it however, and it fits a foot perfectly, so I'm not too worried about it. You can also see that I've started the second sock. I'm about two pattern repeats into the 18 repeats that make up the cuff. I don't see it taking too long but I also don't see me having that much time to knit.

Bayerische is slowly coming along. See:

Because of the crossing of stitches every single round, I've had to distribute stitches in a slightly ... uneven and strange way. DO NOT LIKE. It is almost enough to make me consider two circular needles, but that will prolly never happen.

The sock is pretty there, but it totally blooms on the foot:

The color is close to true in the first picture, this one is a little washed out. It is seriously hard to get a decent picture of a sock on needles on the foot with weird numbers of stitches on each needle and NOT accidentally getting a corner of your drying rack which is currently home to some 14 bras and pairs of underwear from the last two weeks. Love the internets, but I'm not posting pictures of my underwear. (if you have other requests of things that I could also show my parents, let me know.)

I think I'm going to try to finish the waffleweave socks, then Bayerische. THEN, I can cast on a pair of socks for me.

That's part (and a small part, at that) of the windows in the Urmila's uncle's house. SO COOL.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Random Thursday

  • I'm fairly certain I have a job for the summer.  Training shall happen between now and the end of finals week, at which she'll decide if we get to stay.  Even if I hate the job, I'm planning on staying because I am lazy and don't feel like attempting to find another job.
  • I have an interview for a paid internship at the library during Finals Week.  I am one of two people being interviewed and one of the interviewers taught my archival management class last semester.  I'm feeling like my odds are fairly good.
  • I recently found out about a scholarship for Libral Arts majors, focusing on Jewish Studies and the study of the Holocaust in particular.  The requirements pretty much fit me exactly.  My GPA (a 3.75) might be a problem.  Yes, I feel that a 3.75 is "low."  I want to graduate with a 3.8.  To do so, I need to get a 4.0 for three semesters running.
  • My lesson today rocked.  Jumping BIG fences is fun!  Jumping in and out of the ring and running around like an idiot is even more fun.  I am so very much looking forward to the summer at this barn.  I will, of course, miss every one from the barn at home like crazy, but living with my father and siser will drive me crazy.
  • I have started two of the five papers due next week.  Clearly, I'm right on top of things.
Knitting Randomness:
  • I finished a sock!  The first of my waffleweave socks is finished, ends weaved in and everything.  Start to finish, that sock took 2 weeks, 3 days - not bad for a college student who only knit the sock while reading Paradise Lost, Mr. Sammler's Planet, Of No Interest To the Nation, and while watching The Lives of Others.  It took me forever to figure out the math for the toe decreases, as I wanted a garter stitch toe but did not want to do my normal short row toe.  
  • Blaze is slowly moving along.  I ended up having to rib out another two rows when I realized I had moved cables in the wrong direction for no real reason.  That being said, I think I only have 1.5 repeats left to knit.  At that point, I might add another repeat as I want to be able to wear a bra with this sweater and no have bra straps showing.  Broad shoulders can be a bitch.
  • I found a lace pattern for the cardigan I want to knit for myself.  Now I need to find the yarn.  I really think I might end up knitting this one on size two or three needles, since I think I will like it better then - assuming I ever finish it.  I have hopes of wearing it to work over the summer.  Like, the end of August.  Maybe size 4 needles.  I need to sketch it out, figure out where the lace parts shall end and solid parts - useful for the whole seaming issue - will start.
  • I skipped Hist 409Y this week, so no work on my sister's socks.  I'm going to finish the waffleweave socks, mail them and the pawprint socks to my mother, and then finish my sister's socks.  Then, and only then, will I cast on my Claudia's Handpainted Yarn.  That's some serious motivation.
  • You are not allowed to hold me to that later, when I cast on Claudia's yarn and ignore my sister's sock.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Let's play Catch Up

Not this week, but next week, I have a paper due every day of the week. For five days of classes, that is five papers. I've avoided putting together a page count, because then I just might cry.

I started a new pair of socks, with the Austermann Step yarn, in a waffleweave pattern. I have no idea if I've blogged about these before and I'm too lazy to look it up. But here's the current state of the sock:

I've decided that I really love garter stitch short row heels. Somehow, the row gauge of garter works well with my theory of 50% of total stitches for the heel, and knit and wrap 66% of those, leaving the remaining third for the middle. I forgot to center the instep pattern with columns of purl stitches framing it, so after I knit the heel, I ended up ripping the whole heel out to center everything. I'm much happier now. (And actually, I think the foot is longer now than it was when I took that picture. In an inch or two, I should be ready to start the heel. YAY for Paradise Lost reading, which I'm currently avoiding by writing this post.) These socks are for my mother and I think she'll really like them.

I'm avoiding Blaze. I'm angry at myself for not finishing Blaze before spring arrived. (Then again, Spring HASN'T YET ARRIVED, so I'm still not late. But I don't think I'll finish in time.) Thursday night, I was knitting away on Blaze and discovered one fewer stitch than required. Well, one fewer going by the tried and true method of going around and checking to make sure there were four purl stitches between every two knit stitches. Lo and behold, I was missing a stitch. I checked and didn't discover any dropped stitches.. Ripped back a few rounds and didn't magically get the correct number of stitches. I don't know what happened, but since there aren't any dropped stitches, I really don't care. I just picked up an extra stitch in pattern and kept knitting.

Of course, I ended up ripping out about an inch worth of progress. In one three hour long class, I tend to only mange 5-6 rows of knitting and I tend not to raise my hand but just blurt things out. GAH!! I could have avoiding ripping, just added a stitch and kept on going.

While I had the thing on multiple needles, though, I did take the time to try it on. It fits! YAY! I really do need another 3-5 inches though, or the thing will become an off-the-shoulder- sweater and I just can't pull that look off.

Last night, the Boy and I were watching Firefly and I wasn't knitting, per usual. He asked why not and I replied that I just didn't really feel like it. He became convinced that I was about to fall over and die. Annoyance with Blaze, not being able to look at charts and knit Bayerische while watching TV, and not wanting to hurry my reading sock knitting along left me with nothing to work on. Also, my pinkies hurt from the double reins of Timmy's bridle and knitting really doesn't help the pain.

Now that I've wasted a good two hours, I'm going to go read ... something and try not to fall asleep. This week is going to be hellish and next week is going to be even worse.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Finished Object: Pawprint Socks

The Specs:
Pattern: Basic toe up socks, using Judy's Magic Cast On from Knitty and a pawprint motif from WendyKnits! (I'd link, but I'm lazy.) Short row heels and twenty rounds of knit two purl two ribbing at the top.
Yarn: Opal Dreamcatcher, Color 1235, 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon. I used the majority of a skein, but I could probably get a pair of baby booties out of the rest of it.
Colors: Color #1235, a dark blue, dark gray, white, and bright blue stripping yarn.
Needles: Size US 1s, bamboo.
Start to Finish: Started back in November, I think on the 14th, and completed on April 2nd.
For: My mother
Notes: I hate toe-up socks. Never again. The cast on is way too fiddly and I had major trouble getting the bindoff to be stretchy enough to let human legs wear the socks but firm enough to keep the socks from falling down. I loved the color and enjoyed the pawprint motif, even though I regularly messed up when I forgot where I was, what I was doing, how to knit.. You know, the usual. I am very pleased with how well the pattern matches. I also realized that I need to start writing down my numbers so that all aspects of my socks will match. Like how many stitches to wrap for the heel, for example. That's an AWESOME number to write down, because that's also a hard number to count on a finished sock.

And let us ignore the pasty-whiteness that is my skin color. It gets darker in the summer, but I still have my heat on since I dislike frostbite.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Yarn Harlotry

So, weekend recap:

Friday was spent doing homework, more homework, homework, and more homework. Eventually quit homework in favor of the gym, shower, dinner, and out for a few drinks and then to see a friend's band play.

Saturday morning, Urmila and I left around 8:45am and got to Cleveland a little after 12:30. We grabbed lunch at the bookstore. After waiting FOREVER for the check, I returned to the area that had the highest concentration of knitters to discover all the chairs were gone and I'd have to stand in the back. I ended up right behind this...

...which is the book upon which I will most likely be writing my thesis. I need to read it again and I SO considered buying that copy.

Luckily for me, Steph soon showed up.

Seriously, how many pictures exist of Steph taking pictures of a sock and a crowd? I would argue that the answer is "not nearly enough."

She was everything you'd expect from her blog, and more. (Actually, her voice and manner of speaking reminded me - very strongly - of someone from back home. I just can't think of who, unless Steph and I have known each other in past lives and somehow.. that seems like a bit of a stretch to me.) I pulled out the pawprint sock and knitted away - it seemed fitting to knit a sock while listening to the Yarn Harlot. And currently, after only another 800 lines of
Paradise Lost, the sock is less than ten rounds away from completion. I am trying SO HARD to actually Do Homework and not knit. Because if I finish the sock, then I'm going to have to cast on another. And well, that's just a slippery slope that I can go flying down tomorrow, as my three hour long class has been canceled.

Um, so back to the Yarn Harlot. She only said "arse" two or three times. And I am so glad I can knit without looking, or else I would have missed this:


I stood in line for only an hour or so - amazing, I know! - and got my two books signed. I'm so mad that I forgot to bring my copy of Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much - but hey! Just an excuse to go see her again! She 'bout knocked me over when she said that she recognized my blog name - THE YARN HARLOT RECOGNIZED MY BLOG NAME. That means she's BEEN here. And as I stood there, with my sock and my camera, she asked if I wanted a sock picture. That I looked like someone who wanted a sock picture. Of all people, Steph should recognize such a thing.

After that, Urmila and I went to her uncle's house... where I later took this:

That house (and the people who own it...) are going to need a post all of their own. But that is ok, because I met the Yarn Harlot, spoke to her, and didn't fall over dead at the end of it. (Or, if I did, I'm not aware of it so let me stay unaware, s'il vous plait.)

A preview

A full update tomorrow, I promise!