Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I Knew This Would Happen

Well, I was right, I did get distracted from the baby blanket! Instead, I've been working on the cashmere hat, which has been a pain in the a**. The pattern is easy, it's just a k2 p2 rib for 9 inches, but the yarn, oh the yarn, is totally tangled, and it seems to be tangling for no reason. Stu worked tirelessly on Sunday night untangling it. He did it, because I have no patience for unreasonable tangles.

I remember getting a round brush stuck in my hair when I was about 6 years old, we were in the car in California ( I think it was one of our Disneyland trips). Anyway, my solutions were to either pull the brush as hard as I could and either rip the hair out of the brush, or rip it out of my head. I didn't care as long as the brush was no longer stuck to me! My mom had to talk me out of my plan, then untangle the brush from my hair herself.

But I digress.... So after all Stu's hard work, we finally got it into ball form, and I figured that everything would go smoothly from now on. Boy was I wrong! Yesterday I had a few tangles, which I calmly untangled, and continued knitting with. I woke up at 7am this morning, and figured I would start the day off right and do a row or two in bed. I pulled some yarn out, and realized there was another huge tangle, and then another one, and then another one. I kid you not! The whole thing is tied in huge knots. After no knitting and 20mins on untangling, the whole thing ended up being thrown across the room, with my solemn vow never to knit again! I knit to relax, and if it's not relaxing, why do I do it?

It's been a few hours now, and I think I've revised that plan a bit. I will never knit with this yarn again. Anyway, the whole episode has put me in such a bitchy mood. I think that on top of my hate of tangles, my cold is making me less tolerant too. I hate being sick, because I just don't have time for it. One more cold, and I'm not going to be graduating this year.

Originally, I was going to write about good things though, so I think I should at least give them a mention. Last night I took my handspun merino wool off of the drop spindle, and decided to dye it blue, with blue raspberry Koolaid. It went really well and looks great, I think I might re-dye it though, because some bits don't have any color. Not a problem though, because I love to dye!! And it looks pretty hanging from my shower rod (the only place the cat can't get at).

Also, Stu's brother made some French bread for us, and it was so perfect and so gourmet that I had to take a picture of it. I wish I could make bread like that. Mine always turns out like a soggy potato in the middle, and partially burned on the outside. I think that's part of the reason I appreciate this bread so much!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Baby Blanket

Now, I know I promised a picture of the baby blanket I've been working on, and it's been a while since I made that promise, but here it is now. I have been working so busily on the socks that I really haven't had much time for it, but I hope to find more time now. It isn't a great picture, but there isn't much to photograph yet. It is so amazingly soft that I wish you could feel it through the screen. Wow, that would be so cool. I think it would make knitting blogs much more popular.

The only things that might pull me away from working on the blanket it the new yarn I got on Friday. Now, this one you'd definitely want to be touching. It's 100% cashmere!!!! Sooooo Soft.... I'm going to make a hat for myself out of it, since it's been a while since I've made anything for myself. I can't wait. It picture does not do the color justice. It's the purdy one at the bottom. I went in to Urban Yarns looking for a different color of this yarn (I was going to make a gift hat for someone else), but they didn't have any, 'cause their shipment hadn't arrived yet. Hopefully it will come this week. Of course, I couldn't leave without anything, so I got the cashmere hat yarn, and some more of the fabulous Fleece Artist sock yarn, but in a different color this time ( the blue one on the side).

Now, with the hat, I didn't have the proper sized circular needle, so I was forced (tehe) to buy another Addi Turbo needle. Now I have a 2.5mm, 3.5mm, and a 4.5mm circular needle. My Addi empire grows. Wahahaha!!!!! I think I'm feeling a bit silly today. I think it's the Sudafed I've been taking for my sinuses (it's helping, by the way), but I still feel like crap.

I almost forgot. I am now a member of the Addi Ho web ring. Exciting stuff, huh? You can check out the button on the left side of my page.

I hope that was enough pics. I've finished my school stuff for today, so I'm gonna get started on the hat. Pictures soon.

I Hope You're Ready For Some Pictures...

I finally finished sock number two, and it turned out really well. It took me less time than the first one, but it seemed like longer. I don't know why. The picture makes the socks look like they're two different sizes, but they're not (I swear!!). My left index finger now has a huge callous, and it looks pretty gnarled. I'm feeling pretty good, since my deadline for these socks was December, and it's only the end of September, so I have lots of time for my other Christmas gift projects.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Not The Best Morning...

This morning was not a good morning to be "mom" to my kitty cat. I'm not feeling particularly well (my sinuses are really messed up), and as you know, I'm behind on my Virginia Woolf reading, so I set my alarm clock for 7 am, so I could get some reading done, and still have some time for knitting today. Yesterday I set my alarm for 7 am also, and started Orlando, and I had to get it finished this morning, so I can start on The Waves (the last Woolf novel I have to read).

Anyway, at 5:45 am, I hear the cat heaving away, and it sounded like he was moving around while he did it. I decided that I'd just wait til my alarm went off at 7, and clean it up then. Well, I was right. He was moving around while he threw up!! So I spent the beginning of my day cleaning up 4 large patches of cat vomit. And he even managed to get it on my hair dryer!! All I could think was, "why can't he throw up in the bathroom or the kitchen", where it would be easier to clean up? I think he just likes to torture me.

And to top it all off, after I cleaned up, I went into the kitchen to start the coffee, and he started begging for food, and absolutely would not stop whining until I fed him. Good news though, it's still in his stomach.

Oh and I have more yarn news, but I have to do more school stuff before I can write about it. I'll take pictures as well. I hope to do that later today, or tomorrow.

PS. The picture is the cat wrapped up in the crocheted afghan that I made in the spring. It's ugly but nice to have around since it's getting colder.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

One Sock Down, One To Go

I'm all done the first sock! It went really quickly, and I like using a circular needle much more than 5 dpns. This Addi Turbo is a keeper! Everyone out there who said that they're the best, was right. I don't know how I'll ever use anything else.

I cast on the second sock last night. It took me about 10 tries to get the tension right, so I only actually got about 4 rows done. At that point, I was getting tired and frusterated, so I decided to put it down, and work on the Soft Baby baby blanket.

I'm putting a garter stitch edge on it (1.5 inches) as I go, and I will post pictures as soon as you can really see what's going on with it. Hopefully, that will be in the next few days.

School stuff has been insane!!! I was feeling a behind yesterday morning, and then I was looking over the course manual for Abnormal Psych, and realized that I read the wrong chapter for the first unit! We don't even cover the chapter that I did read. That put me into total panic mode, so, working quickly, I got a bunch of other stuff done for my courses. By 2pm, I had finished the "correct" chapter in psych, and did the reading for the next unit. Funny enough, it was on stress, and its effects. I now know for sure that the course is trying to kill me!

I also managed to get about half way through my next sociology unit (it's really reading intensive), drop off my student loan papers, which finally arrived yesterday morning, go for lunch, buy groceries, clean the windows, and have coffee in the evening. Boy was I tired last night. I had an insanely busy day!

School will be a bit easier today, because I picked up a bunch of goodies from Terra Breads. The best bread place in town! I'm eating this blueberry thing right now. Mmmmmmmm.........

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Sock Progress

I've been working away on the gift sock that I'm making, and it's going really well. It's taking way less time than the last sock I made, even though it's the same pattern. I guess I'm getting faster. It's my first time using a circular needle for a sock, and I love it! It's so much more simple, and I think the fact that it's an Addi Turbo is making a huge difference too. I love Addis!!!

I cast on the stitches for the baby blanket last night, onto my 4.5mm Addi Turbos, and the needles are great. I got 8 rows done, while watching the season premier of CSI:Miami. I thought someone was supposed to die in it? I guess not. The Rowan Soft Baby is by far the softest yarn I have ever touched. I absolutely love it! The blanket is going to be great.

I'm hoping to finish the sock up to the toe shaping today. Once I'm at that point, I have to put it on 2 dpns and work the toe with them. I hate doing the toe, it always makes my finger sore; although, I am getting quite the callous on my left index finger!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

More Sock Details

Hi Ariane! Thanks for your great comments, they always make me feel so good.

I am working with a circular that's 12 inches long, and a 2.5mm needle. This is my first try with a circular for socks too, but it's going really quickly, and I think it's easier. The Fleece Artist sock kit comes with a sock pattern that's meant to be done with circulars. The last Fleece Artist sock that I did was on 5 dpns. Once I got the hang of it, it was pretty fast, but the circulars are still faster. Maybe it's just 'cause they're Addis.

One warning though...Depending on the size of the sock, it might be a be a bit tight around the needle.

You can order them from Urban Yarns if you're interested in the Fleece Artist, or the Fleece Artist Website may be able to tell you where they are stocked in your area.

Their sock yarn is 100% merino wool, and is fabulous to work with.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Ladies and Gentlemen, We've Been Misled...

For many years now, we've been misled into thinking that Disneyland was the happiest place on earth, but I found the true happiest place on earth yesterday, at a store called Urban Yarns in Vancouver, B.C..

I spent about 2 hours there yesterday afternoon. I lost track of time, and was a bit worried that I would get a parking ticket, since I parked in a 1 hour parking zone. Note to knitters: DON'T PARK IN A 1 HOUR ZONE WHEN SHOPPING AT A YARN STORE!!!! I didn't get a ticket though, which made the day even better.

I met two nice women who work there ( I think they're the owners), and they were both knowledable and chatty. They obviously share the same passion for yarn as I do. If I was going to work in a yarn store, that is the one I would want to work at.

They carry many of the brands that the other yarn stores in Vancouver do not, like Rowan, Debbie Bliss, an amazing selection of Fleece artist (my favorite!), and many other high end yarns. They also have a huge number of kits, and some really great books. I fell in love with some Lantern Moon needles with beads on the end, but what I really wanted was to try out some Addi Turbos. I got 2 pairs of circular Addi Turbos, a 2.5 mm for socks, and a 4.5mm for a blanket I'm going to do for my new niece or nephew. Man are they expensive, but they are great!

I picked up some Fleece Artist Sock yarn there and started on the socks with my new needles last night. I don't know how I'll ever use anything but Addi Turbos. The socks are a gift for someone who I'm not gonna name, because I want them to be a bit of a surprise. Although I think he might know after he reads this.

I picked up 4 balls of Rowan Soft Baby, 2 are creamy white, and 2 are a blush color. This is going to be the softest blanket ever! I also got 2 balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran for a baby sweater. It's blue, and I think that if the baby is a girl, she can wear blue. Let's not get old fashioned here. I also got 2 balls of cream colored Cashmerino Aran for a hat and some booties. It's really going to be a cute set.

Oh yeah, before I forget, I totally fell in love with a Lantern Moon silk needle holder! It's so super pretty. The red is my favorite. My new goal for the year is to own one!

Monday, September 12, 2005

I Think I'm Addicted To Spinning

Well, I had a nice little blog entry all ready to go. All I had to do was post the pictures, and of course, that's the time that the internet goes down. I hate wireless internet. I went for the expensive router and everything, and a pay a fortune every month for internet access. It's not supposed to just crap out on me whenever it feels like it!

Anyway, I got some raw merino wool today from Birkeland Bros. and started spinning as soon as I got home. The pictures are what I finished tonight. I dyed it with strawberry Koolaid, and I am really happy with the color. I think that red is the only color that my camera has trouble with, so you'll have to use your imagination.

I want to get my school stuff done as quickly as possible tomorrow, so I can get back to spinning and dying.

Burns Bog Is Burning

Burns Bog has been burning since yesterday at 4pm. We were able to smell smoke last night from our place in Marpole (which is quite a fair distance away from the fire). This morning when I woke up, I had killer asthma, which I thought was strange, but paid no real attention. Shortly after, I went out on the deck to our freezer to get some cat food out, and I noticed that everything on the deck, including the deck itself, was covered in a dusting of ashes! Now the asthma makes more sense, since I was sleeping with the window open. I guess I'll be spending the day inside today.

On a nicer note, Stu and I had dinner with my parents, my brother, and their next door neighbors last night. It was a really nice meal, and excellent company. Dinner at my parents' house is always nice, but it was good to have the neighbors there as well. They have the sweetest little girl. The only bad thing is that they are moving away in November. I can't believe it! My parents finally get some really nice neighbors, and then they move. I hope the people who move in after are as nice as these people.

I was also multitasking last night, since I took the opportunity to wash my new jeans while we were eating. I got them from the Gap about a week ago, and they were about a foot too long, but a really nice dark indigo blue color. After they came out of the wash, they were almost the right length. I never thought a pair of jeans would shrink 6 inches with one wash. Now I'm really glad that I didn't go with the shorter ones. I think that as long as I wear them with heels, I don't need to get them hemmed. Did I mention that I suck with anything to do with thread, and that includes using a sewing machine (even though I have one!!).

I knit three rows last night when I got home from dinner. I was really tired though. It's been hard finding the time and energy to knit in the last week. We've been out almost every night, and I've been forcing myself to work on school during the days. The only time that is left for knitting is late at night, and since I've been getting up so early to work on school, I never really get much done.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Hank's New Friend

I've been spinning more, and it is truly quite addictive. I decided to make Hank a friend. This is what I got done yesterday and today. I can't wait to try dying this stuff! I think Hank will stay natural. I'm totally attached to Hank, and can't bear to do anything with him. A spinning souvenir!

PS. Hank's the one on the right.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Meet Hank

I would like to introduce all of you to my new little friend, Hank. All of the strings hanging off are from tying it up, so it doesn't come apart when dying.

This is my first spinning attempt, and I think it turned out really well. Although, I have no idea what I could make with it. Good news, the strands are getting more even by the minute.

I wound it off of the drop spindle, and around the top of my computer chair. I started with a kitchen chair, but it was too slipery. I think I even twisted it around itself properly. It's sooo cute.

That was super fun!! I highly recommend it. I'm off to use some Koolaid.

Exhaustion: A Finished Paper, An Unfinished Sleeve

I've been working like crazy on my Medieval Lit. course. I just finished the paper that's due on Wednesday, but I haven't started anything for my other courses yet.

I was at Superstore last night, perusing their Koolaid collection. I found a couple. I really wanted to try Bluemoon Berry, but they only had the sugar added stuff, and I know I don't need that sticky messy headache.

I'm going to spend the rest of the day knitting that darn sleeve, and doing some spinning with my drop spindle.

I tried to knit last night, but I only got 1 row done (I think I'm getting worse!!) Today, I must get more done!! I will get more done.

In the last few days I've been dealing with my digital music collection, and that's been taking a lot of time. I wanted to get all my music (700 songs) from my old desktop to my new lap top. I started this process when I got the computer 5 months ago. Yesterday, I finally got it done. I'm glad too, since my iPod had a bunch of repeat songs on it, cuz they were spelled differently, and I didn't catch it early on. My desktop went to Stu, and he did a bunch of funny things to it, so I couldn't even hook my iPod up properly to it. He did, however, put all my songs on a few cds for me, so I have them all backed up in 1ish place.

I posted my blog address on the SnB bulletin site for the Vancouver SnB, saying that I had sweater pics, and someone actually checked it out, and commented on it on the bulletin board! This may sound weird, but I am always flattered when someone reads my blog, and even more flattered when someone has something positive to say about it. You all know who you are, and I am grateful for you.

Comments also keep me motivated to get pieces finished, which is just what I need sometimes.

Thank you to all you readers out there. You are appreciated :)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Reindeer Sweater Fronts

Here are the pictures of the finished sweater fronts for the reindeer sweater. All I have to knit now are a couple of sleeves. I've gotten 8 inches or so done on the first sleeve, but it's been slow going.

I think I'm I little overwhelmed and tired from school. I just finished the Book of Margery Kempe this afternoon. It was 300 pages and quite exhausting!! But, on the bright side, it only took me 2.5 days.

I haven't been letting myself procrastinate with knitting. I've forced myself to read and work on school until 4 or 5 o'clock, and only then am I allowed to even think about knitting. It was difficult today, since the cat was playing with a knitting needle under the bed, while I was trying to read.

Last night was my weekly evening by myself. I had planned to spend it knitting up a storm, but I was so tired from all the school work that I only got 5 rows done, and each row is only 29 stitches across. It's shameful really!!

I hope to get more done tonight. But, I'm already starting to feel tired. I hope coffee will help.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Back To School

Well, it's back to school for me today. It's kind of a strange "back to school" though, since all my classes are through distance ed. I barely had a break, and I am definitely not ready to go back yet. Unfortunately, I have a paper due next Wednesday, so I have no choice but to get started quickly.

Today I will be beginning to read The Book Of Margery Kempe in Middle English. Call me crazy, but I utterly detest Middle English, and I'm taking a whole course in it. I have a feeling that there's going to be a lot of procrastination knitting going on this semester.

The house is still a disaster, but I did manage to clean the oven at about 11pm last night. It looks way better. I love starting the school year with a clean house, so I'll have to incorperate cleaning with school for the next little bit.

On the knitting front there is good news. I have finished both front pieces for the reindeer jacket. The first side went smoothly, but slowly, and the second side went quickly until the pattern decided to stop making sense. I must have lost track of my rows or something. I was keeping really good track though, so I think it was a flaw in the pattern. I did manage to get it finished, and have the pattern stay the same as the first side. This may sound weird, but I think the wool is buffing my nails as I knit. Has anyone else experienced this?

Next on the agenda is sleeves....but not until I finish my book and the essay to go with it. Or, more likely, until I want to procrastinate. Man, am I a bad student or what? First day of school and already thinking about procrastinating.

I hope to post some reindeer "front" pictures later today. The light just sucks right now.

Have I mentioned that I hate distance ed? I finished high school this way, but the first 2 years of my degree were spent in a classroom. I much prefer it. It's not that I'm not self motivated. I always get everything done early. It's just that you can meet new people in a classroom, and it's more fun, and significantly less work. I'd say, from my experience, distance ed is about three times the work as being in a classroom, because you have no idea exactly what you must know.

Also, friends seem to think that since you're home, your not busy, and can take a break whenever you want. It's like people don't seem to think that I ever do anything. I work hard. I had a conversation the other day that went like this:

Friend: What are you up to next week?

Me: I have tons of school to do. It's going to be really insane. I'll be starting Medieval Lit, which is really difficult, and I have to read a full length novel for it, and write a paper on it. And that's only for 1 of my 4 classes.

Friend: Sounds good then, so you'll be home. Lets hang out. But I can't do anything at, blank, blank, blank time, because I'm busy. I'll be at school.

I hate these conversations. They drive me insane. Talk about feeling like what you do is the absolute most unimportant thing ever!!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

I Can't Freakin Believe It!!

Look what I did yesterday!! It is the reindeer jacket. This is my first attempt at fair isle knitting ever. I guess I have a knack for it.

It was quite exciting as the picture unfolded, and very quick to knit. Unfortunately, I was up until 3am knitting, and then woke up at 8:30, anxious to continue.

This is the back, by the way.

More pics as they come :)

Does anyone have any idea how to put a zipper in? I've never tried, and don't have a clue.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Drop Spindle

I'm Bad...So Very Very Bad...

I've been itching to try out a drop spindle for a while now, so when I heard that Stu was going to be driving by Birkeland Bros. on his way to an appointment, I decided to hitch a ride. I was also going to try to find some "non-pink" Fleece Artist sock yarn.

No luck on the sock yarn, but while I was browsing around, waiting for the sales lady to have a free moment, I noticed some White Buffalo patterns. I had just been looking at these patterns on the internet the day before, and absolutely fell in love with the Reindeer Sweater. Unfortunately, all of the White Buffalo products have been discontinued, and I didn't want a set of all 5 pattern books off of ebay for a few reasons...

1. It would take me forever to knit everything, and that would be overwhelming.
2. I only really wanted one pattern.
3. I didn't want to spend $20 for one little pattern.
4. I am not going to pay $4 USD for something to be shipped from Canada in an envelope.

So, I decided I was SOL, and moved on. But when I found the pattern in Birkeland Bros. I was overjoyed, and decided to get it, even if the yarn was discontinued.

The sales lady was finally done helping the other customer in the store, and I asked her if she had a yarn suggestion for this sweater (to keep in mind for the future). She said, "Um, yeah. Use the White Buffalo, it's over there, and there, and there, and there's more in the back."

Wow, my lucky day! Unfortunately, they didn't have the right shade of charcoal for the main color, so my main color will be black, and I'll keep the red and white accents. The one really weird thing about the black is that the color kind of rubs off on my hands while I knit. I'm hoping that once it's blocked it will be fine.

White Buffalo yarn is really neat. It's unspun, and six strands that you kind of have to twist together as you knit. That takes some getting used to! If you pull on it too hard while it's untwisted, it breaks apart, which sucks, but I learned that before I actually started. I've completed the ribbing for the bottom of the back. I'm stuck at that part though, because the ribbing is done with 9mm needles, and the rest is done with 10mm needles, and I thought I had both sizes, but I only had the 9mm, so I have to get some 10mm needles today. I picked up the Stitch 'n Bitch Journal when it came out, and have been meaning to do the needle inventory for a long time now, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I've got to do it soon though, so this doesn't happen again.

White Buffalo yarn was made to mimic the yarn used by the Cowichan people to make the oh- so-popular Cowichan sweaters, that's why it's unspun. It comes in "cakes" instead of balls or hanks, so there's no center pulling here. I've wanted one of these sweaters for a long time, and my dad loves them too. Maybe if this one goes well, he'll get one next.

Oh, yeah. I got the drop spindle, after trying one out at the store for about half and hour. It was nice having a mini lesson, and I had fun learning. I also picked up a smallish bag of coopworth wool to spin with. I wanted to spin merino, but it's finer, so it's more difficult to spin. At least, that was what I was told. Once I get better at it, I will definately be picking up merino. The fibre I have spun so far is amusing to look at. The last thing I would call it is even. It has lots of character. Lots and lots. I think you can sort of see it in the picture.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Huh, I Thought The Percentage Would Be Higher...

You Are 30% Weird

Not enough to scare other people...
But sometimes you scare yourself.

A New Goal

I now have a new goal for this fall. I want to go to Urban Yarns on 10th Ave in Vancouver. I just had to write it down so I don't forget. If anyone else is around Vancouver, and wants to come with me, just let me know. I was just on their website, and their stuff looks great.

Poncho Pics

As I wrote before, the poncho is now finished, as of a couple of days ago anyway. I was meaning to post pictures earlier, but I got sidetracked with cleaning the house, before next semester starts. All the dust was making my allergies really bad, and now I have come down with a cold (and the house is still in shambles!).

On top of finishing the poncho, I also finished off the sock I started months ago. I completely finished it the first time, but it was about 2 inches too short, even though I followed the pattern exactly, so I had to rip the end out, and add some foot length. After that, I really didn't want to deal with all of the toe decreasing again, so I just grafted it straight across. BIG MISTAKE!! It had a completely square toe (I don't know what I was expecting), so I have known for months that I would have to take the grafting out, and decrease properly. I finally decided to bite the bullet a few days ago, and it's all done. It was way easier than the first two times!

I also made myself a sock blocker out of a hanger, which worked perfectly. Thank goodness I just pulled a bunch of clothes out of my closet to give to charity, so I have a surplus of hangers.

I now have two active projects that I am working on: the second sock, and the baby booties, which I cast on yesterday.

By the way, the socks are done with Fleece Artist 100% merino wool. I love this stuff so much!! It is really nice to work with, and knits up really nicely. I got mine at Birkeland Bros. in Vancouver, but last time I was in there they didn't have much of a selection, and they couldn't tell me when they'd be getting more in. My future in-laws are going away in a few days, and will be gone for a month, so we will be vehicularly able again, and I can go check out their supply again. With the price of gas these days, I may just take the bus. Who knows.

On a bit of a boring side note, I finished reading Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own. I now have to write an annotated bibliography entry for it, so that's probably what I will be working on for today. I'm supposed to have 6 of her books read by Tuesday, and annotated bibliography entries on all of them. I don't think that will be happening.