Saturday, May 31, 2008

Made it!

Made it through the colorwork, that is. I finished up the Fair Isle section of the Spartan Pullover:

The rest is extremely smooth-sailing stockinette. I bet I finish in a week. Then I have to even out all these stiches... and block.

To those who thought the back side looked nice and even, that's because I didn't show the first and last rows, which are a bit messed up:

Of course, I can adjust those, because I still have loose ends of yellow yarn I can snug up a bit before weaving in.

Speaking of yellow yarn, there's quite a bit of this (Dune) color left. It's 66 gm, enough to suggest that I'll have plenty of the Madeira to finish the pullover, which is good (I was a little nervous, especially what with making the arms extra long for my dear gorilla, er, husband).

I'm thinking if there are enough leftovers I'll either make mittens or fingerless mitts. This yarn is very soft and very warm.

Reversai is also coming along. I'm really amazed at the coolness of this pattern. Dig the cubes!

I'm off to go see Indiana Jones — second day out of the house! w00t!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Socks and hats and work, oh my!

Thanks for the nice comments about my colorwork. I guess we'll know how it came out when it's done, but it's definitely reassuring to hear the good words because it is scary as hell. And to make matters worse, I just ordered yarn from Webs to make my second colorwork project — a child's Fair Isle jacket. I must be nuts.

I finished the Ugly Socks! Really, that's not fair at all, because I'm sure I'll enjoy wearing them and the pattern (River Ripple by Michelle Ogden, from my page-a-day calendar) is a well-written one. Stats: KnitPicks Dye-your-own in Too Much Kool-Aid, US #2 DPNs.

Only problem is that there is WAY too much yarn left. Maybe I can mix it with some other scraps for a hat or something.

Regarding hats, just want to let y'all who like to do charity knitting know about the 100 Hats Project. A knitter named Kristy who is going to the Ukraine in September is hoping to take 100 hats to give to special-needs orphans there. Hats are fast, satisfying projects, they use up scrap yarn, and, as a bonus, you get entered in a contest if you knit one, so what's to lose?

(Plus I think I already have a few hats in my FO stash that need homes.. we'll see.)

Despite my 'finishitis', I did start a new pair of socks because I am back to wanting to have a sock on the needles pretty much all the time. There is just no beating the portability.

This is a new yarn I really wanted to try, and picked up in Berkeley at Stash Yarns on our trip. It's Crystal Palace Maizy, 82% corn fiber and 18% nylon elastic. Ravelry users have warned that it's really splitty, and it really is, but it's knitting up soft and yummy, so it may be worthwhile fighting the splits. I'm using the Reversai sock pattern because I was really impressed with Dave's UnReversais. Check out how beautiful his are!

I cannot even come close to gauge. No matter what needles I use for sock yarn, and no matter how thin the yarn is, I seem to get 7.5-8 spi. So I am using US #1s and knitting this as tight as I can and I'm using the "women's medium" (60 stitch) size. Let's hope! It looks okay so far. The color is a really dark brown, just gorgeous. I mostly wear black or brown socks during the week, so I'm looking forward to having socks that go with my work clothes.

After working from home for three days, I'm going to try coming in to the office tomorrow. I'm getting itchy feet. Staying home when you can't knit (during work hours, that is) is like being on a diet with someone dangling cupcakes in front of you! Might as well be out of temptation's way.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Ugly sock almost has a friend!

Really, it's close — under 50 rows from done, now.

I'm really getting a bout of finishitis — I don't know if it's related to convalescing, or the feeling that I get to start my life fresh when I finally heal from this thing, but the fact that I have a good dozen or so unfinished projects is starting to get to me. Of course, I have the perpetual startitis too, and there are a lot of projects I can't wait to begin, but I feel like I want to have some of the old cleared out of the way first. Plus, I'm more behind on baby gifts than I want to admit. You know you're behind when you start the gift in the 1-year-old size.

I was working on Rob's pullover on the train. I had to start completely over on the body, and I had to rip back about half, fix errors, and lengthen one of the sleeves. Then I found errors in the other sleeve (I haven't ripped back yet but I have the errors marked with stitch markers). Then I restarted the body and knit part of the colorwork.

Only problem was, I didn't have the Internet, nor did I have a primer on colorwork with me. Remember, this is my first ever colorwork, and I hadn't even completely settled on whether or not I was going to hold two yarns in my left hand or one in each (I seem to be settling on one in each). So I didn't know which hand was supposed to hold my foreground color and which was supposed to hold my background color.

I didn't feel like waiting, so I guessed. Put the foreground in the right hand and the background in the left. I knit a while. It looked suspicious, but you know how we knitters just want to keep on going, so I did. Then when I finally got to San Jose, I asked my dear friend Mary, who's a knitting expert.

"Which hand do you usually hold your yarn in?" she asked. I told her I knit Continental.

"Then I think you have it backwards," she said. And then very kindly allowed as how it would probably be fine as long as I was consistent.

I knit on. About two more rows. But it bothered me. Rob kept telling me he didn't mind, wouldn't be able to tell.

I paused.
I looked out the train window.
I took a deep breath, and ripped it all back.

I've only just finished catching up to where I was.



Sorry about the color difference between the pictures — the first one is the more accurate. Anyway, hopefully you can see that the pattern is coming out slightly more defined now.

Here's the back, because people always want to see the back. I am going to great effort to try not to knit this too tightly — I'm using two circs when I could be using one, and I'm stopping and pulling now and then. It's possible I'm overcompensating, but I guess I'll find out when I block.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Wasting space with a literary meme.

My excuse is I'm still pretty frail, and this is the first day I've been online more than a few minutes at a time.

Still. I suspect I've posted this before, but I got tagged again, and the list is different now, so..

Consider yourself tagged only if you wish to be.

I'd like to add that things I marked as "liked" were ones I liked when I read them. Some of them I don't like anymore.

According to a LibraryThing survey, these 106 works are the ones most often marked as “unread.” That is, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded.

Bold the ones you’ve read, underline the ones read solely as a requirement (e.g. school, book club), italicize the ones you started, but didn’t finish.
Denote (*) the ones you liked, and would (or did) read again or recommend. Even if you did read them for school in the first place.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell [I've never even heard of this and I distrust its existence]
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment*
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights*
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose*
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey*
Pride and Prejudice*
Jane Eyre*
The Tale of Two Cities*
The Brothers Karamazov*
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife*
The Iliad*
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner*
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius [I'm sure I've read many of these; never heard of this particular one]
Atlas Shrugged* [sorry]
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha*
Middlesex [I continue to think this is Middlemarch, which I did read]
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man*
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World*
The Fountainhead* [again, cough, sorry, but I do like it]
Foucault’s Pendulum
Middlemarch* [see]
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath*
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons
The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise)
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility*
The Picture of Dorian Gray*
Mansfield Park*
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time*
The Prince*
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir*
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces*
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being*
The Scarlet Letter*
Eats, Shoots & Leaves*
The Mists of Avalon*
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey*
The Catcher in the Rye*
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything*
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values*
The Aeneid
Watership Down*
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit*
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hello me not dead

Just a quick note to say I'm alive and the surgery went okay (it was early Monday morning). Apparently it took about three times as long as they initially predicted, but not because of any complications, just that the disease was extensive. I will probably find out more at my follow-up appointment Thursday.

I'm not spending much time online right now, so this is just a quickie — please forgive me if I don't answer e-mail for a few more days. I'm sure you'll all be horrified to hear I'm too tired to consider knitting. Or TV, or Web surfing. I'm reading a little from time to time but mostly just staring or sleeping. I'm sure I'll be back to normal soon :-)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Thanks for the "crazy color" comments

I am growing to kind of like those silly socks. Figures!

I do want to clear up one misunderstanding. Although I am overweight and currently out of shape, I can (oddly) still touch my toe to my nose. So I didn't have too much trouble taking those photos without serious gymnastics. (Getting up off the sofa is another story altogether!)

I'll be offline for about a week (-ish). Going to a wedding out of town this weekend, followed by my sinus surgery Monday morning. It's supposed to take a solid week to heal from that, but I may be dragging my laptop into bed with me before the week's up :-)

I'll leave you with some more random entertainment from our trip up north:

We spent a day at the Maker Faire with friends Man-Ling and Alberto and SecretYarn reader Bex. Among other grand entertainments, there was a 3D printer (I love those things) that PRINTS IN SUGAR. Yes, this "printer" created these:

I'll show you more pictures later; Maker Faire was TEH COOL

We also visited my friend Georgina and her family. They have a lot of sustainable aspects to their home, including solar power and wonderful skylight lighting. They also have chickens:

and bunnies:

And if you're feeling a little crazy, here's where you should go:

That's all for now. Have a good weekend, and I'll see you when I see you...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

An ugly thing, but mine own

Some of you may remember when I dyed some yarn with Kool-Aid, with deeply mediocre results. The yarn was really overcheery and ugly, but I thought it might make socks that a kid would like. Alas, turns out the wool's not superwash. No one I know with kids would actually consider hand-washing their child's socks.

So socks for me it will be. I can't bear to give socks this ugly away. It seems cruel. I'm using the River Ripple pattern, by Michelle Ogden, from one of my knitting page-a-day calendars.

One sock is done (I substituted a French Toe, which I prefer because (1) I hate to Kitchener and (2) it fits me really well):

Now I know you're going to be tempted to tell me the sock is cute, but honestly, you have to admit it was a bad idea to knit this yarn in this pattern. The plain stockinette is all right but the leg is pretty... headache-inducing.

I kinda like it anyway :-)

I'm about 1/3 way down the cuff on sock #2...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Too much to blab about!

Not a whole lot of it is knitting, I'm afraid... though I did knit some on the trip.

Thanks for all your good wishes for the travel! I had a lovely trek north to see a lot of friends (sadly, I missed the amazing April, but I did get to see the craft junkie and about 18 other individuals, couples and families. We also visited a lot of kitties). It was crammed, but great. It's nice having friends all over the world but I would like to spend more time with them.

So I'll give you a few random stories and pics today, and there will be more to come.

This was a hilarious sign next to a fountain in Hayward, where we had lunch with my aunt Grace (more of an older sister really):

It's true. They really shouldn't.

Here is Rob being kissed by Chester, one of my friend Matt's cats:

Chester's a real graceful sort:

In San Francisco, we went to a vegan "raw food" restaurant, Gratitude. I went mostly for the novelty (Rob is vegetarian and I'm allergic to dairy, but we tend to eat more conventional food), but was surprised to find it was delicious.

I really did wear my drop-stitch cardi every darned day. Now I have to wash it again, and it has enough pills that it looks years old. But I still love it to pieces! (Er, hopefully not literally.)