Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Decorations Done Right

I just wanted to share what I consider to be the best Halloween decorations ever. Every year our neighbors paint over their wooden headstones and paint in new epitaphs that relate to other neighbor's occupations or hobbies. I made the cut this year. (I will look the other way on the name misspelling since the yarn reference is so cool.)

Just for clarification, Cindy is a personal trainer and John does Ham Radio stuff. Our neighbors must spend a fair amount of time thinking of silly puns.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Vestus For The Rest Of Us

I am on fire. Another FO in under a week. My Aunt had requested a vest last year. Although it took me until now to feel comfortable enough with my skills to design a vest for her.

She loaned me one of her vests so I could match the sizing. I am proud to say that I the knit vest is pretty darn close in size to her other vest. She also bought the yarn, which was Universal Yarns (now discontinued) Deluxe Worsted Magic in the Blue Meadow colorway. The ravelry project page is here.

It's funny how when you follow a knitting pattern, shaping a shoulder is easy. But when you are writing up a "quick" pattern, all of a sudden shoulder shaping is a mystery. After a few days of puzzling, I finally thought to add a few short rows to help it slope. Ta-da. Magic.

I was so eager to start my next project, that I actually started swatching while walking to get tea. This lovely ball of Handmaiden Casbah was a nightmare to ball. I was going to roll it up "quickly" before bed, but it turned into a tangled mess (no fault of my own), so I went to bed at 2:30AM because I couldn't just leave it. What will this skein become, you wonder? It will be a pair of Smaug Socks that I fully intend to wear when I go see The Hobbit.

Friday, October 26, 2012


Goal #4: Knit a pair of sock with my own hand spun yarn. Check that one off of the annual goal list.
This was one of the goals I wasn't really sure I would have time for this year. But I'm really happy I did it. Plus, I'd been wanting to knit the Denature pattern for nearly two years now. My weird gauge and lack of sock knowledge had kept me from them... until now.

I had divided the braid in half when I spun up the yarn. But one skein ended up being a little thinner than the other, so I had to take out lengths of yarn to keep the stripes matching. Usually I use a Russian join when joining yarn, but since this isn't a superwash wool, I went ahead and did a spit splice for the first time ever. (I used water, not spit) It might be my new favorite kind of join.

The official info:
100% Polwarth Top from Woolgatherings. The braid was split in half for the first ply, then was Navajo plied. It ended up around a heavy fingering weight. The size small sock called for 70+ stitches to be cast on. I did some editing and cast on 52 stitches instead.
Ravelry Project Page

(Thanks for modeling the socks Mum)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Letting Go

Over time, it seems like I've become a bit of a project horder. I like to add new hobbies without really giving up any. But I think it is time to let go. This month I decided to stop drawing my daily comic. Actually, I hadn't drawn it for a few months, but this month I finally admitted to myself that I wasn't ever going to catch up. I started this comic in college to help me feel like I'd accomplished something every day. A little 3 panel comic reminded me that even though I had a mound of school work, I still could do a little something for myself.

After I graduated it got more and more difficult to keep up. Soon this little project that was suppose to make me feel accomplished started doing the opposite. I felt crushing amounts of guilt that I wasn't able to keep up and I started to punish myself creatively. Little rules would pop up in my head such as, "If you don't make up 3 missed comics, you aren't allowed to draw anything else." I've spent over a year putting myself down because I can't keep up with it. So I'm finally giving it up. There hasn't been an instant feeling of relief though. It's like a break-up. You know it's for the better, but you still look at it with fond memories. Does anyone else have a project that they might need to give up?

(On a side note, I've had another setback with wisdom tooth recovery and am now on antibiotics a third time. I think at this point I'll just let you all know when I'm better. The minute I am, I plan to have a week-long food orgy involving steak, pizza, sandwiches, and casadias.)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bug Glasses

I just got back from my trip where Mum and I were moving nonstop the entire time. I was able to see a bunch of my relatives and visit some of my favorite stores. While Mum and I were at Picos, I spotted these silly bug glasses. I slipped them on and tapped Mum on the shoulder. She spent the next 5-10 minutes laughing. Other customers also laughed as she tried to stifle herself. (A few days later she expressed interest in ordering coffee while wearing the glasses. I expressed the same amount of interest in pretending not to know her if she did that.)

On the knitting front, did I:
A) Finish the vest
B) Knit up to the arm holes
C) Knit 5 rows
If you guessed C, you would be correct. The only time I had to knit was when I was waiting for my turn in the bathroom. I spent all the car rides enjoying the view.

We were so busy the entire trip that I only took five pictures... at a cemetery. Mum and I visited the Oddfellows/ Masonic cemetery in Grants Pass that we have passed by on the freeway many times. For years I have wanted to visit. I found this pair of markers rather interesting. It was in a family plot. These two individuals died a week apart. I was curious if there was some sort of illness going around at the time.

Over all it was a good trip. I did, however, spend the car ride home with a sore jaw. It's been two weeks since I've had my wisdom teeth removed and I have moved backwards in regards to recovery. The sore jaw during the car ride got swollen by the end. It was like the Godfather Part 2 and the right side of my face was playing the part of Brando. It wasn't any better this morning, so I made a quick appointment and had it looked at. I'll spare you all the gory details, but I am on antibiotics again and have this rather bitter tasting dressing in my mouth. (Turns out I am one of the lucky 10%-15% that this secondary infection happens to. Lucky me.) Even though I would rather be completely healed by now, I'm just happy that this happened at the very end of our trip, I was able to get an appointment today, and that I have a few days to recover before going back to work. Thank goodness for modern medicine.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Knitting Delusions

It's funny how, before every trip, I have grandiose ideas on what kinds of projects I'll have time to work on. This time, I believe that I can knit an entire vest in 5 days. I spent today designing and casting on. This particular vest is one that I promised to knit for my aunt last year. Since I'll be seeing her, it is "completely reasonable" to believe I'll be done with it by the end of the trip. 

Last week, after forcing a chunk of my stash on my coworker, she felt the need to need to reciprocate. Neither of our stashes really shrunk much as a result. I think this yarn needs to become a cute pullover with a little cabling. I'm really not sure if there is enough for me to add a little cabling, but I like to live life on the edge. 

It's been a little over a week since I got my wisdom teeth removed and I'm happy to report that I no longer look like the Godfather. But I'm still a bit too sore to eat steak.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Slow Sock Progress

I had this great plan. I was going to have my wisdom teeth out, then I was going to sit on the couch and knit for a week. It was foolproof. Teeth out = knitting time. I was going to be done with a pair of socks. 

What actually happened is that I didn't have enough energy to even touch the needles until last night. So I've only knit 30 rounds of my second Denature sock. Ah well.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Yarn Makes Everything Better

On Monday I had all four wisdom teeth removed. The surgery was successful, although I now feel like I've been punched in the jaw during a bar room brawl.
Of course on the same day as my surgery, the Madelinetosh order that I've been excited about came in at work. So what does one do the day after surgery when the Tosh comes in? They ask their Mum very nicely to drive them to the shop. So I bought myself 4 skeins of Tosh Pashmina in the colorway Tart. 

The Pashmina was a planned purchase. But while I was there, it made sense to buy just a little more. You know, to help my jaw feel better. Mum wanted a skein of Tosh Lace in the Spectrum. (She said she really has to stop going shopping with me.) I also bought myself a skein of Tosh Sock in the Home colorway.

I'll admit it. The Tosh Sock was a bit of an impulse buy.  But it was worth it. I'm sure my jaw became just a little less swollen after I picked it up.
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