Monday, February 27, 2006

silk painting

On saturday afternoon Jenny and I learned how to paint silk from Sarah. I made a scarf with koi on watery blues. it was so much fun.

The dyes behave slightly differently than acid dyes for wool. Mixing liquid color is easy, but once its on the silk its much harder to get colors to blend. If i had room in my life for another addiction... but i don't. So i'll just have to go to sarah's house to play with this.

(obviously, my knitting progress is not interesting enough to show off.)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

just to make you drool

I won't bore you with a picture of 9" of plain stockinette. i might make it to the start of the pattern during the ladies free skate tonight. i love me some ice skating, so i get a lot less knitting done with the skating on.

But i love posts with pictures. So i present a little fiber pr0n:
My luscious batts and spindle from Grafton Fibers. yum.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

dimensional warp

Its worse than a black hole. The body of a sweater like this is the evil alternate dimension of sleeve island. Alcohol won't help. neither will chocolate. I scrounged up 9+ hours of knitting time between monday and tuesday and what do i have to show for it?

FIVE INCHES. quick math reveals that i will need at least 40 more hours of knitting to finish the body. mmhmmm. yup. that'll happen.

Griffin, my codependant feline child, decided to console me last night while i knit. (in fact both cats were sitting on me at the time, but Sabine ran off when the camera came out.) Can i blame my olympic failure on poor field conditions? there was a fur storm that obscured my view?

Monday, February 20, 2006

fiber and circumstance

last week in review:
tuesday - whine about not being able to go to SPA.
wednesday - decide that i really, really want to go and its worth shuffling plans with friends to fit it in. Big Orange has a friend/business buddy that he really should meet with who lives in portland, anyway. We can go up saturday afternoon; he can have his meeting while i go to SPA and we can spend the night at their house. fab.
thursday - there's been a death in the family. cancel weekend plans and start to arrange travel plans.
friday - decide that i really, really need some 'fiber therapy' and he still needs to meet with friend. We can drive up to portland friday afternoon and spend just a few hours before leaving for funeral in philadelphia.

And it was worth it. Even though i was only there for a few hours, it was such a wonderful time. I needed to be in the presence of other crazy fiber people. To soak up the pleasant and relaxing atmosphere. I got to see quite a few people i know from fiber festivals or craft shows. I got to "actually" meet some blog people, which was fun. Bought beautiful batts and a spindle from Grafton Fibers. Chatted with Stephanie for a bit. [note to self: yeah, good job trying to act cool and not like a total fan girl. but next time remember that she meets hundreds, probably thousands, of rabid knitters and does not remember meeting you at one book signing. dweeb!] I even sat for a bit and knit with complete strangers. school stress, life stress, and sadness floated away for a few hours. such a nice feeling.

didn't get as much knitting done in the car as i'd hoped. much of the driving was done at night and that just doesn't play well with fair isle. I finished sleeve 2, but have yet to cast on for the body. I was supposed to get a lot done over the weekend! i'm so far behind now that my chances of finishing in time are slim-to-none. I'm going to keep trying, but i guess it wasn't meant to be.

here is the sleeve posing as we drove over the Tappan Zee bridge:

Saturday, February 18, 2006

in other news

i forgot to post this before the olympics started.

I finally carded and spun the very last skein i need for the B. Orange sweater. Here the boy, the sweater pieces, and the final skein wait patiently to be united at last. For those of you who haven't met him, his shirt isn't orange by chance. he wears that color every day. its his 'thing'.

I can't really complain. i'm obsessed with sheep.

re: knitting olympics.
I finished the first sleeve! second sleeve is half done. sudden plan changes dictate that i will be spending at least 18 hours in the car this weekend. (long story for another day.) I should be able to get a ton of knitting done, as long as i don't get car sick. I have a sneeking suspicion that following a pattern and knitting in the car will be bad news, but i'm keeping my hopes up.

Right now its past midnight. I have insomnia. i'm trying to stay quiet because we're staying at someone else's house. my knitting? OUT IN THE CAR. i can't go get it. shoot me, please?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

progress shot

HUGE thanks to Roberta of Krafty1 for showing me how to get over my issue establishing the new pattern row! I now appreciate the value of participating in a KAL in a timely manner. (as in, NOT taking a year to finish your sweater that everyone else already did. my Ribby Cardi. ahem.) Without inter-friends working on the same thing i probably would've done my usual "ADD thing" and shoved the sweater to the bottom of the knitting basket for a year or two. but i'm over the bump and progressing nicely on my snowy mountains. yay!

I worked on it a bit last night and this morning, I absolutely had to do schoolwork on monday night. Clearly, i'm not 31% done with this yet.... but that's ok. I will make up time this weekend.



for some dumb reason, i thought NETA spa was next weekend instead of THIS weekend!! And i already made plans for right in the middle of saturday afternoon that i can't change. crud, crud, crud. I was really looking forward to hanging out, spinning, socializing, and shopping.
I wanted to be a part of it, especially since i won the beautiful afghan in the raffle last year. (I wanted to donate some yarn to this year's raffle but the time just snuck up on me! now i don't know how to get it there in time or who to contact about it.) i'm balancing a little bit too much on my plate right now and there's just no way that i can swing it.

I might have to huff and pout (and not read a few key blogs) for a little bit. just like i did when i didn't make it to rhinebeck in the fall. *harumph*

[if you live in new england and were contemplating whether or not to go... DO IT. its really worth the trip. i had a great time last year, for the few hours i was able to go.]

Monday, February 13, 2006

frustrationville. population: me.

I was flying right along on my sleeve. The pattern was working out perfectly. Nice easy repeats. I have my center stitches marked. I got through the bottom pattern with no glitches. The row with 3 colors i decided i will go back later and do the 3rd in duplicate stitch. I'm ready to start the upper pattern. The one with the mountains, that doesn't have nice, easy repeats. That's where i hit my glitch. The Dale pattern doesn't mark sizes on the sleeve, so you don't know exactly where to start and stop the pattern. I assume this is because you are still increasing through this section and they want you to just count how many stitches you have and work it out for yourself. (You have to work the pattern into your increases however you see fit). For this section, i should be able to count how many stitches are on my needle and then read back from the center stitches to figure out where i should start the pattern. This makes perfect sense in my head. But on the needles it just isn't working. I tried to knit the same row 5 times and just could NOT get it to work out. Some growling and cussing later, i decided i'm going to let that sleeve rest a for a few days and come back to it with a clear head. I cast on for the other sleeve last night and worked a few inches of that one instead.

homework? what homework?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

go, blizzard, go!!

Every olympic knitter in New England is cheering today. We knew we were going to be snowed in this morning, but its especially pleasing to open the front door and see this:

snow, on the porch, blowing sideways, with no sign of letting up any time soon. awesome. That means that homework and knitting are the only things i have to do today. Blizzards on the weekend are much less stressful than during the week because you don't have to worry about whether or not your job/school was cancelled and if you should try to make it in or not. A sunday blizzard means you just sit around in your pajamas and enjoy the day. yaaaaay!!!

And about that olympic knitting....
This is where i left off when i went to bed last night. I had to stop anyway because (even with every lamp in the room on) i couldn't see the different between the black and marine blue stitches. so annoying. I'm almost done with the black pattern stitches though! I'm starting with the sleeve because i want to make sure i've worked out all gauge and puckering issues before doing the main body. pucking in the boobular area would make me very, very unhappy.

I was supposed to get together with some other gals this morning for a knitting/quilting brunch. It would be nice if we could still do it in the afternoon. but i'm going to be knitting anyway!

Friday, February 10, 2006

yeah, hello, hi?

how am i supposed to be knitting when there are waltzing cow-people on television? i nearly spewed wine and chocolate out my nostrils. And i don't want an injury so early in the games!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

that is so... me

I was so proud of myself for finishing that cute little lavender boat neck sweater BEFORE my friend had her baby. I thought "ok, the announcement will come any day now. Then i'll put it in the mail and i'll be so on top of it!"

shyeah. Baby boy Quin was born this week. BOY. I have no idea why i was so sure that she was having a girl. I guess i totally imagined it. oops. Well i have 2 skeins of the same yarn in green/blue and the sweater knits up quickly. And i have 3 other friends due soon, so one of them will get the lavender version.

[My mom thinks i should send it anyway because boys these days can wear any color. but i know this gal, and she absolutely will not dress her boy in lavender. period.]

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Utah on my mind

Last night my mind started to wander, and arrived at "what was i knitting during the last winter olympics?" That started a big, fat roller coaster of memories!

Lets start a few months before that, fall 2001. [Wayne's World time warp music. doodle-oot, doodle-oot] I had recently left a failed long-term relationship. I spent the previous school year as a high school science teacher (8th and 9th grade). Even though everyone says the second year is easier, I was utterly traumatized and just couldn't bring myself to go back to teaching. I had no idea what i was going to do with myself.

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In december i went to visit my brother, who was studying in Copenhagen for the year. I knit him a sweater as a christmas present and i remember sitting in Heathrow during my layover, finishing seams and darning in yarn ends! I spent New Year's Eve in Berlin with a college friend and i witnessed the changover from the Mark to the Euro. Very, very awesome. Half of my backpack was full of Noro Kureyon because i was knitting the first version of the kureyon sweater (now my beloved Rosedale U.)

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Back to the US for january, where the story gets depressing. Living completely on my own for the first time, hip deep in debt, i worked 3 jobs to get by. I worked as a Denny's waitress, math tutor, and at a local yarn store (where most of that paycheck went right back to them. employee discounts are evil). I lived in the crappiest efficiency apartment on the face of the planet. 1 room, made from a converted garage; it had terrible insulation and a big pole in the middle of the room. and BURNT ORANGE SHAG CARPET. Because heat was included in my rent, the landlords locked the thermostat at a ridiculously low temperature. I used to put ziploc baggies of ice cubes on it to force the heat to turn on. I had no friends and no social life, so i got a lot of knitting done. And i watched every possible second of the 2002 winter olympics.

Stick with me, i really am going somewhere with this.

Things were about to change. In the spring i got a "real job" in Worcester, MA. I moved to a nice apartment, got two adorable kittens, and started to make new friends. While there were still many roadbumps, things were looking up. (I would've never guess in early 2002 that Mitt Romney would later be my governor!) I settled into a new career and became a published scientist. I made so many wonderful friends and really loved my new city. I travelled to some cool places, learned to scuba dive and drive a scooter. Eventually, i met Big Orange and fell in love again. (awwwww.) This fall we started a whole new chapter in our lives. We moved to a new city, he started a new career, and i'm working towards getting a PhD in biology. Of course there are always bumps (grad student stipend, OUCH) and i really miss my "worcester family". But i'm very happy with my life in general, and i'm really amazed at how much things have changed in the span of 4 years. It feels like that was a million years ago. And i'm definitely going to reflect on that as i knit and watch the 2006 olympics!

What were you knitting/doing during the 2002 olympics? and 1998? care to go further?