Saturday, August 30, 2008

Knitting again.... ahhhhhhh

FYI for those not interested in knitting and yarn (who are you and what are you doing here?): knit heavy post but there's a non-knitting craft at the bottom if you just wanna scroll down

So knitting really suffered during my practicum. I think I went for an entire week without knitting at one point. It's so nice to be in a space where I can just come home and knit (if I choose to ignore housework- which I am very talented at). I've been craving getting some sweaters done- I do have skully but that sweater is *so* warm and I need to do something about the cast on edge as it rolls too much. My shawls are great but they are pretty fancy for everyday wear. All my other sweaters have been gifts so I've decided to be selfish and knit some for me, but I will be starting one for Julia soon, once I get the yarn from her :) (she's got the yarn and the pattern, it's just packed right now). So on Thursday I cast on for the Wallis Cardigan with some wonderful Silky Tweed. It's a good thing it's so beautiful because double knitting? Ugh. The thing about double knitting is it doesn't look like much but believe me, this is so much knitting here! It's just all hidden. Sigh. (and yes- those are star war sheets, thanks for asking)
I've got two bags I need to finish though. And weirdly enough it's the i-cord for each that needs completing. This will eventually be the Elisa Nest Tote knit out of Euroflax which I don't know if I'll knit with again cause it's like knitting with straw. We'll see. The bag looks alarmingly small but stretches out like crazy. This would have been finished a month ago but the i-cord you pick up along the edges of the bag and I wasn't paying attention and starting picking up the i-cord on the edge... but then stopped paying attention and continued the i-cord onto the body of the bag. Fail. Anyhoo, just need to cast on again for the i-cord and will probably finish it in an evening or so.
This bag is nearly already done (did I already show a picture of it?) but I didn't make the i-cord long enough so I have to knit another strap and felt it. Sigh. This bag shrunk like MAD. It's Soy Wool Stripes by.... patons? Bernat? Some big yarn company and yeah. Wow. This thing could hold water if it wanted to. I worked on the i-cord for a bit while waiting for the photos to download so it's a big longer now. Basically the conclusion is that I'm not a fan of i-cord. Boooooring!
This project had a lot of i-cord in it but it was worth it to see it on this gremlin! God, I love my nephew so much. And just last weekend I introduced him to Mariocart. He's going to be a pro!

Today was an uber fun day (and it's only 2:30!). I met my friends Tammy, Erin, and Hilary (so sorry Hilary! I have no idea who Heather is!) at Three Bags Full one hour before opening so we could be first into the store for the big sale. I knew what I needed so I kinda just went straight to the areas and looked nowhere else. I knew I was going to be spending money and I knew I couldn't spend any more than what I had alloted. I felt bad leaving so quickly but there were so many people in the store you couldn't move and I started to freak a little. I said bye but I don't think they heard me. I felt bad leaving them but I have confidence that they were able to carry on without me and buy yarn. I can't wait till they post on their blogs what they got! I also ran into my friend Katherine (Kipper) who was my childhood best friend (and very happily we are becoming awesome friends again) so we grabbed a coffee afterwards. Altogether I bought eight skeins of cascade in an off white in order to start my Wisteria and four skeins of Dream in Colour Classy (never thought I've ever be able to say that... FOUR skeins!) for Hey Teach. Want to see a close up you say? Why of course! (Soon I will get a more accurate photo of the dream in colour, it's more purpley.)

And because I was so 'don't look at the other yarn, don't look at the other yarn' I was the first one to buy yarn which meant I got a gift! Holy smokes! It's a Denise knitting organizer and is spectacular! (and um... it's 55$ retail so totally insanely spoiled!) I actually want to clean now so I can find all my knitting knickknacks and put them in there. Woo! And as we speak Spike is sleeping on it. Everything is a cat bed in this place. While my dear cousin Lisa was here we went to a painting ceramics place and had a great time. This bowl was inspired by my tattoos, mostly cause my tattoos are things I like to draw so it made sense to draw them on the bowl as well. I have no idea what to put in it but for now it's safely in the kitchen. Okay, I'm off to return the bad soy milk (ruined my chai latte!) and then wind up my yarn. I don't know if I'll cast on for the new sweaters just yet but I'll keep you updated!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ravelympic Gold!

(this post was started ages ago but blogger wasn't letting me upload the photos- fourth time is a charm apparently!)

Notice my new badge? I finished my ravelympic shawl! Here is the ramblings I had on my raverly project page... (note- usually ramblings on projects pages are much much shorter than this- one liners or nothing at all at times... this was special)

from Ravelry

Started: August 7th, 7am
Finished: August 16th, 4pm

Pre-Ravelympics: Holy Crap this snuck up fast! I need to start training now!!!

My goal is to use up nearly the entire skein of seasilk- however much that is. If it isn’t enough and the shawl is too small I will do the edging in Koigu probably but I don’t think that will happen. I will leave myself some room for leftover yarn since I don’t know how much to leave for the edging. My ravelympic dream will be realized if I can wear this shawl to my Grandma’s birthday party on the 23rd.

Day 1: One center repeat
Having difficulty with the pattern and spent a lot of time tinking. Finished the neck chart and one and a half of the middle chart.

Day 2: Three center repeats;147 stitches
Woke up feeling daunted by the scope of my project today. Nina (Nanaboo) is helping calm me down. Was able to finish another one and half center charts taking me to three center repeats. Am at 147 stitches. I’m worried I may run out of yarn too quickly so I’m thinking of going on a search for more seasilk but we’ll wait and see I guess.
Day 3: Four center repeats: 193 stitches
Finished the fourth center repeat and a few rows today (also did report cards so all in all a busy day). I grew so concerned I was going to run out of yarn I ran over to Birkeland after stitch n bitch and bought a skein of seasilk that is more solid coloured but is based on the same colour palette as mine, just no purple. Then I got this skein home and was reading the pattern that came with it and it said that the yarn will grow 15 to 20% after blocking so now I’m so confused. I’ll just keep knitting. And also, I have no idea where I am at with this. Am I close? Am I far? Ugh. I’m going to bed.
Day 4: Only finished 9 rows today as it was a very productive day non-knitting wise. The rows are getting longer but now that I ‘know’ the pattern it’s become easier to work on it while doing other things, which is good because the only time I did get to work on this was during coffee with a friend. Pictures tomorrow!

Day 5: 5 center pattern repeats, 235 stitches (approx-all these stitch counts are approximate cause they are quick and only done once), 104 rows

What’s interesting is that now that I can actually just knit this without concern the rows are so long. My first day I spent most of it tinking rows back and they were so short back then! :) Anyhoo, still unsure about the yarn and unsure about my progress. However I am sure I am going to kill the neighbours across the alley if they don’t shut up soon. Back to knitting, okay yeah- did a lot today and kinda decided that a) it doesn’t matter how much other people are knitting, this is about me and b) even if I don’t finish in time I’m amazed at how much I have knit on this and how I have stuck to it! I have never been so loyal and steadfast to anything in my life! Hoping to finish the sixth repeat tomorrow. Tata!

Day 6: One purl row short of completing the sixth center repeat but am so tired I am making mistakes. The picture is off the disappearing seasilk (where is it going?) since the shawl is getting so large it’s hard to take a picture of it without risking it falling off the needles.

Day 7: Six center repeats. More stitches than I’d like to count.
Finished the sixth center repeat and halfway through the seventh. No day seven picture. Was too tired to turn on camera and click.

Day 8: Seven center repeats. 295 stitches.
Finished the seventh center repeat while at coffee with friends. A small amount of the first skein remains but it is so not enough for another repeat nor the edging so I’m adding the second skein for the edging. Lots of details tomorrow as the past three days have been busy and I am tired. The end is in sight! The day eight photo is the one underneath the day seven. I wasn’t too tired to click but I was too tired to find paper and write on it.

Day 9: Finished! Seven center repeats; 325 stitches 156 rows

I wanted to start the edging last night but I was so tired I didn’t want to risk making a mistake. I woke up early for some reason this morning and started knitting and could not be stopped. I had to stop for laundry, coffee, and more laundry but I finished the edging and cast off at 4pm! The shawl has been blocked to an inch of its life and will hopefully be dry tomorrow for a photo op. I love the edging contrast colour. It’s a little small (hence the aggressive blocking) but it will be okay. Next time I will use larger needles.

So I have a confession. I’m a moron. I was so stressed out about this shawl because I thought you needed 29 repeats of the center pattern. After last weekend only getting 3 done I was freaking out because I didn’t know how I would ever get 29 done! But I kept on knitting and around Wednesday started to think… my goodness that shawl the designer made must have been huge- maybe I’ll only make mine 20 pattern repeats. And on Thursday I decided I simply had to go back to the pattern and look at the instructions again because I realized that a shawl with that many repeats would double as a queen sized bed spread. Yeah, most of you have probably already guessed… the instructions said to repeat chart 2 9 times. I am a moron. I am happy with my seven since my original goal was to use up all my seasilk and I used up even more than that!

And this last picture was taken August 23rd at my Grandma's 75th birthday party with my dear little nephew Anthony (my cousin's baby but same diff).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Angst is your Angst

I'm so emotional when I'm premenstral. I cried last night worried that my friend who likes to mountain bike and cross raging rivers will hurt herself even though she's safely trapped in the city teaching right now; I became insanely emotional when I heard about the aid workers in Afghanistan (which is a very valid reason to be upset) and could not stop sobbing in front of my computer; I got rather upset with my messy kitchen and crashed pots into my sink like a spoiled child(possibly scaring my neighbour in the apartment next to me (our kitchen windows face each other)) and then kicked some cupboards and hurt my foot; and I keep on getting worked up over my knitting because I am paralyzed in wretched selfish doubt that I won't finish my shawl in time before the end of the olympics.

So I decided to start reading Angela's Ashes.

Yeah, so if my neighbours weren't worried about me before the heaving sobs coming from my apartment would make them so. I honestly don't know how people survive such grief. Once I got over that I went into the bathroom to wash my face and cried some more. So I decided to eat a peanut butter and jam sandwich. Despite the sadness, I am very engrossed in the book and will continue to read it only tonight I need to go work on my knitting some more if I am to finish before the end of the Olympics. It's not like anything I've read before.

And in a happy note? Drunken Monkey is putting out a clothing line! Woooo!

Friday, August 08, 2008

August... we are hardly getting to know you

That's my new hair. It's not the best shot (but check out that rack!) of how I tend to style it but yeah.

I'm very grumpy tonight. Not having the best evening. I'm a little sad. But it's okay. I'm just self-indulgent and mopey.

And yeah. About the blogging. It's half laziness and half my computer is slowly but surely starting to die. Could be the heat. It takes me about 20 minutes to load up photos just off of my camera and even longer to get them onto blogger. And I love photos so my blogging has been hurting.

So I'm doing another photo documentary that I so love to do. If you are new to this blog you would think I'm freakishly egotastic since I'm in about four of the photos but if you know me you know I am egotastic so it's all good.

Here is Jubbers and I hanging out at the airport before she took off for Papua New Guinea (she's very selfish like that, jetsetting off to exotic locations for year long vacations- I tell you- that girl!). But seriously, both my sisters rock so much. I'm very blessed.

This is Spike in a very 'Spike' pose. His head is resting on the windowsill and his back legs are all splayed out. Spike has been a little worrisome of late due to our crazy heat and my sauna of an apartment. He's only eating about half as much as he use to but I make sure he drinks a lot of water and am keeping a very close eye on him. He's still active and crazy (well, except when it's boiling in the apartment and we are both lying comatose on the floor in front of the fan). When it was crazy hot the other day I decided to douse him in cool water. I have the scratches to prove it.
This is me doing something I have been unable to do for five years. I am using a biore nose strip without cutting it into pieces with scissors so it works around my nose ring. I have no idea what possessed me to take a picture but here you go.

7am this morning I started my Zetor shawl for the Ravelympics (link only works for members) (and here is the site if you wanna sign up). Basically you pick a project and start on the first day of the summer olympics and have to finish by the end of the closing ceremonies. I hope to keep you updated. That's seasilk by Fleece Artist by the way. Yummy.

This is a present from Sheena (Sheena= awesome) for getting hired by the VSB. It's a skull cookie cutter and a skull icecube tray. My first attempt at cookies were with pillsbury which according to one of my friends who knows the first thing about baking said they were too fatty to keep the shape.
And to end of a happy note... this is me biting my first paycheck in over a year.
Oh yeah.

And yes, the title refers to me freaking out yesterday when I realized it was the seventh of August already and I had barely realized it was August at all. Trying to explain to ESL students the concept of 'time flies' is really challenging fyi. And oh yeah, my job was extended for three extra weeks so if I ever blog in jibberish you know why. It's good, don't get me wrong, just by the time Friday rolls around I'm a little, you know, crazy.