Friday, September 25, 2009

Clearly, I hate myself.

Hey, you know what would be a great use for all my blue and purple Wollmeise?

Yeah. Because that wouldn't be stressful AT ALL. For me, the biggest issue would be picking the colors. The original has 11. That would result in me making the biggest Crayola piece of shit sweater ever. Or all the colors would blend together and it would just look like a blue sweater. I think I would really need a kit for this - or better yet, someone to pick out my yarn for me and assign each color to a spot. I wouldn't even know where to begin.

Perhaps I should ease into a fair isle sweater a little more slowly.

I was thinking of a deep-v sweater vest with a center pattern that mimics my Argyle Purl scarf, but with just elongated reverse stockinette diamonds. I'm seeing it in Wollmeise Petit Poison No. 5. It's kind of a deep mulberry. I just don't know what I'd wear it with. I look so ugly in button down shirts. I keep buying them, though, because I always think "oh hey, that's stylish!" and it never is. Love them on men. Heinous on me. And googling "sexy sweater vest" isn't giving me any reinforcement. It did give me Ellen Degeneres, and that helps a little, but somehow I doubt looking like Ellen is going to get me laid. Well, it might. Just not in the way I was intending.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I've got 11 inches for you, baby.

11 inches of pure sweater ecstasy.

That's the back part of my Toni sweater, from The Mirasol Collection Book 5. I bought that book at Seaport Yarn in Portland, and I'm using Cascade Venezia Worsted from The Knitting Experience that I had been loving for so long, and finally bought when it was on sale. I'm also being terribly uncreative and using yarn that is totally the same color as the pattern photo, which you can see in someone else's WIP here. I got through that much, plus two pocket liners, before I had to wind the next ball. I guess that counts as destashing. At the very least, it let me make another visit to the personal yarn store to pull out the next hank.

I brought all 15 items to the Cumberland fairgrounds tonight. I'm so nervous. All my babies are gone, waiting to be judged. I feel like I have a reasonable shot in many of the categories. In a repeat of last year, my plain knit socks entry (the pom pom socks) were an immediate attention-getter. That's the one I took a blue ribbon in last year. It's hard not to aim for a repeat performance this year. Which may have been a major motivator in submitting 15 items to the fair. I like ribbons.

I went to the Y for the third time today. I saw a woman that I've subbed with before (yesterday, actually - I got a half day covering for my former boss) and she was telling me about proctoring SAT exams. That must be coming up soon, so I sent an e-mail to the contact person as soon as I got home. It's great money, so hopefully that turns into something for me.

Takashi Saito is killing me right now. After Ramon Ramirez prevented a shut out. Oh bullpen, you never make it easy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


The weather was great today, not a cloud in the sky and perfectly warm. I took my 2 hour walk/tiny bit of running and worked up a hell of a sweat. Granted, I live on top of a 90 degree hill. That alone may be the reason my pants are now dangling off my ass. You can just call me Ms. No Booty. I'm not sure what the official weight loss is, but I know I lost 3.3 pounds between last Monday and Saturday. Perhaps I'll weigh again later in the week.

I've been drinking tea again this week. I've never been someone that could make a big pot of tea and drink 8 cups before it gets cold, but 1-2 a day is pretty good for me. I'm finishing up some vanilla black that a friend sent me. The internet has been my main tea source - it's easy enough to post on the Random Acts of Kindness board on Ravelry and someone will send you samples. I've been working through those for a while, and recently bought some chocolate mint black tea at Teavana. That store can eat a dick, though. They were pushing me to buy this $7 tin I have no place for because otherwise my tea would somehow be ruined. It was even to the point of saying they wouldn't let me leave without it. What the fuck ever. I'd never really heard anything good about them, anyways, but I was so excited that our mall actually had a tea store. Little did I know all the tea was kept hidden behind the counter and it was staffed by jackasses. No thanks, I don't need an $80 teapot in the shape of an elephant, anyway.

I started a new sweater today. It's a pattern called Toni, from a Mirasol pattern book. I'm using Cascade Venezia Worsted, a yarn that I got on sale from The Knitting Experience during their Summer sale. So far I've made pocket liners (that's a first) and a bit over an inch of the back. I opted not to do the back and 2 fronts at the same time because I was having a hard time conceptualizing the different stitch patterns they have and the whole pocket thing. Let's see how bad my sewing turns out when I have to put this thing together. Ugh.

I'm going to the Y tomorrow. I'll use the machines there for a couple hours, since I have a free pass. I do like it there, but I'm not sure I could get there often enough to buy a monthly/yearly membership. It's a change from the UNH gym in a few ways - it sucks having to actually pay to work out, but it's awesome that I'm not standing around awkwardly waiting for a treadmill or a bike. And I'm not surrounded by frat boys and Barbie dolls when I'm trying to figure out how to adjust the seat height.

Now I'm googling for tea. I guess fall's here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Finishing up prep for the fair

I like my blog so much better when there's pictures in the entries. Accordingly, there's a penguin. And here's a penguin butt.

I know I already put up a picture, a very awkward one of the penguin on my countertop in front of a piece of foam core, but I felt all artsy and shit. I'm alone during the day sometimes now, and one of the other residents in this building moved out, so I've been frolicking about the front and back yards more, since no one's around to see me putting a penguin in a tree or taking pictures of Wollmeise topless (because I'm sweaty after running and why bother putting on a clean shirt). I also put a pillow in a tree.

It JUST makes it to fair size specification. And I am so in love with it. For something that was made on a whim as a total destasher, it couldn't be prettier. The other side has a tier of black diamonds right across the middle - it fits perfectly. My friend Vivian had suggested entrelac for it, and that led me to the Kureyon, since Kureyon is just made for this sort of stuff. I changed balls every tier, and occasionally worked from a scrap ball or the other end of a ball when both balls were at a similar color. I used two full balls and a bit of scrap leftover from the Noro scarves I made last Summer. Got three things out of my stash, hallejuah. And then I bought 16 Wollmeises. I am powerless. Want to see them?

That's all 16 of them in my Lantern Moon basket, or, the one useful thing from the "basket of yarn" I bid on and won at my last NHPTV auction. If anyone wants an autographed copy of The Friday Night Knitting Club, let's negotiate. And if you want a more dramatic shot of my collection, here you go (this is also my background on my desktop and twitter now):

I think I'm finished making things for the fair. I made a baby hat that was so damn cute, I ended up writing the pattern and putting it up on Rav - The Little Lady Baby Hat. I know, I sicken myself. And I only made it for the fair - I have no idea what I'll do with it after. Maybe it'll become the next Clapotis and I can send it over to the LYS that I got the yarn from to use as a shop sample. Or, you know, that has no chance of happening. But one of my internet friends is making it, at least! It has a ruffle, after all. You can't beat the ruffle. Except for the part where I make you cast on like 300 stitches. That was pretty cruel of me.

I've done a little less knitting this week because I've been taking advantage of the fact that September actually has a few decent weeks of weather and going outside walking/running for hours. I accidentally wandered to the next town yesterday. And the day before that, I accidentally locked myself in a community garden. But that's a story for another time. A story about why I should join a gym instead, I guess.

Right now I'm working on a slouchy hat with Manos Silk Blend. It's so soft and so nice to work with. I just fear that I'll run a bit short, so I had to go into this project with a willingness to frog. That's never anything fun to think about. So instead, think about a bed covered in sock yarn.

There's a reasonable chance I'm mentally ill.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Half a pair!

I bound off a sock tonight. It's made with Regia Pompon (not pompoM, mind you) yarn, which is pretty much if Fancy Fur was sock yarn. It's interesting, certainly, but I'll never be able to get shoes on with it. So they're slipper socks. I made them as the second go at an entry in the plain knit socks category at the fair. I just didn't feel like the self-striping ones had enough pizazz. Last year, my blue ribbon winners were made with sparkly yarn, and that totally nailed it for me (Patons Brilliant, FYI). So I made giant knee socks for no reason and wasted a week. Eh, whatever. Usually I'd follow that up with "it's not like I had anything better to do," but this week, I actually do. I have those four days of subbing. Of course, it's midnight now and I have to get up at 6:15, but I accidentally slept until 11:38 this morning and I just can't force myself to sleep even if I know I have to get to bed. I'll just be a little draggy in the morning, but anxiety will certainly keep me alert. Especially if I have to wipe anyone. Dear god.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


Crap, I didn't blog yesterday. I thought about it just as I was about to get into bed, but couldn't be bothered to go back down and pour out some drivel just to say I kept a streak alive. So, the count begins again.

I did this today:

That's my sweater yarn, neatly organized to give me a personal yarn store. Now, when I want to make a sweater, I can pick any of 9 choices of color/fiber, and I don't have to hunt around for it. After this fair madness, I definitely plan to get cracking on that. Plus, now I get to look at yarn while I fall asleep. Many happy dreams are sure to occur.

Friday, September 04, 2009

My day, in pictures

My day started with a coffee date with a fantastic guy. Mmm. Can't beat chai lattes and three fabulous hours of conversation.

When I came home, there was a big box of Wollmeise waiting for me - the aforementioned Lowenzahn, Pfefferminz Prinz, and Lavendel. Lavendel is definitely my favorite. None of these skeins are ever quite what I'm expecting. Sometimes they're much prettier, sometimes they take a little getting used to, but they've all grown on me. A friend of mine ordered some PP and her skein from the same update had much more contrast between the green and blue. Mine almost looks semi-solid. Very strange. But still lovely. I also expected the Lowenzahn to have more yellow in it, but I'm learning to not always trust the pictures on TLE.

I also got some Yarn Pirate I had swapped for a few weeks ago. It's a fantastic aqua blue. It'll be perfect for some intense cabling on socks.

I watched a frighteningly bad Red Sox loss - 12-2, White Sox. But it was actually somewhat entertaining, because with nothing good to talk about, Don Orsillo and Dennis Eckersley, who is a MILLION times better than Dave Roberts, just started talking about random shit, like how to shave your own head or setting people's feet on fire. It was worth it just for the commentary.

I finished a project I started in 2005. I don't know what my issue was with this penguin. I just lost interest in the thought of making the beak and feet. After doing so tonight, I totally understand why. I was not about to make 6 individual toes, seam them, and then sew them all on. Hell. No. So I figured out my own stitch count, knit in the round, and then divided up the toes like glove fingers. I hate making gloves. This should have been a clue. I was working with standard size DPNs with TWO stitches on each one. Goddamn. I couldn't have been happier to be done with that. I've been hoarding this bag of Polyfil much longer than I've been knitting, for reasons that will eventually get me on A&E, so I had plenty to stuff the penguin with. Of course, when it came time to do the feet, I'd already brought it upstairs. So I just cut a few yards of Kureyon off my scrap ball and shoved them in there. That's one way to work through the stash.

Tomorrow I'm going out to lunch with my knitting group. We'll be sitting on the patio in the warm sun, eating fancy food overlooking the ocean. I see some vodka and cranberries in my future, although from that fancypants description, a mint julep sounds more obvious. Three of us booked a trip to Camden, ME for March, for a long "knitter's weekend." I can be talked into anything. Sadly, I can be talked into $275. The yarn store sort of hosting it wants a $75 fee... but you get 20% off in the store and a goodie bag! If I spend enough that I end up saving $75 thanks to that discount, I officially have to stop buying food so I can use the cabinets to store yarn. As it is, my bedroom is a personal yarn store. It's getting sick, really. Nevermind the Wollmeise basket. I'm actually pretty glad there wasn't an update tonight. I have got to cut it out. That said, I'm bringing my ipod touch to knitting tomorrow, just in case there's an update while I'm out and I can grab it through the coffee shop's free wifi. I'm beginning to totally understand drug addiction.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Three boxes came to my door today.

From two updates, because I absolutely love paying more shipping. Look, it's WOLLMEISE.

That's my collection until 11:15 tomorrow morning, when three more will be delivered. From left to right: Birkenrinde, Roter Himbeermund, Sonne, Wasabi, Hortensie, Versuchskaninchen I, Petit Poison No. 5 Dark

I love them like they're puppies. Someone is interested in trading for my Wasabi, but now that I've taken it out in the sunlight, I'm not sure I can let it go. All of these colors grow on me even more the more I look at them. I think Sonne might be my favorite of the ones I had today (V1 was previously the only member of my collection). 3 more will be delivered tomorrow, and then I kinda sorta bought 5 today. There were two updates, it couldn't be helped. I think there may still be more coming - I can only imagine what Sheri at The Loopy Ewe is saving. And at some point, she has to run out of Safran and Birkenrinde, the colors that are always the last to go. If I miss an update Saturday while I'm at knitting... that's probably for the best. Unless they've been saving some Pfauenauge or Sultan. Then I'll just have to cry.

I finished and stuffed my pillow! I'll take pics tomorrow. It looks fantastic. Can't wait to submit it to the fair. Got a good bit of Kureyon out of my stash, too. You know, make room for the Wollmeise that's invading.

Ice cream boyfriend strikes again.

So I used to live next door to an ice cream window. WHY DID WE EVER MOVE. Being that it's September 2nd, I realized that time is running out on ice cream. It was a gorgeous day, so I walked a couple miles (okay, maybe it just feels like it. But it's at least one of them. and a half.) to get some. There's this guy there that's been flirting with me via ice cream for years. I have no idea how old he is, because he looks pretty young, but I did see him smoking recently (heartbreaking). Like I said, he's been there a few years, but this place is pretty into the child labor. I applied there myself when I was 15. But anyways, I'm not a cougar, so I just take the ice cream, not the dude. He always gives me an obscene amount. Today I walked home with this:

Hot damn. It was the best walk home ever. That's all chocolate soft serve ice cream and crushed up Oreos. I eat like a god. I got a kick out of the "it's the end of the season, this is all the crap that didn't sell" hard serve flavors they had today: Indian Pudding, Almond Joy (they have had Almond Joy the entire Summer... usually flavors rotate every day or two), Pumpkin Pecan... not pretty. Indian Pudding, sweet Jesus.

I had a great day to myself, knitting, eating broccoli-cheese-and-bacon soup, watching some classy episodes of Trading Spouses. I even sent the secretary in charge of assigning substitutes an e-mail to remind her that I have full availability now, and she wrote right back with a four day assignment for me! It's even ed teching! The best part of that is that you get hourly pay instead of a flat rate, and it works out to be a lot more than the flat rate. Plus, it's one on one instead of "oh my God, there are 20 first graders here and they are solely my problem." Then, I went out for the best time I've had in weeks (and I've had some great times!), mini-golfing and out to dinner with five friends. It was SO much fun, and, odd as it sounds, even better because none of us are any good at mini golf. It's better when you can all laugh about being terrible, you know? I tied for fourth place, which, all things considered, was pretty amazing. I hit the ball over onto the next hole at one point. I'm like the mini golf hulk.

We went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner, after repeatedly yelling "YES!" in the mini golf parking lot in order to convince a skeptical friend that yes, she really did want to go out. I'm not used to drinking with my original two friends, but the new three were more comfortable. My friend Anna and I decided to join the guys in drinks. I apparently ordered A BUCKET OF MARGARITA.

Totally drank it all, too. Didn't get wasted off of it, like the last time I had a margarita. Granted, last time was two margaritas and two vodkas, the vodkas being consumed one right after another, and having never had that many drinks in one night before. My face got warm, but I didn't get silly off it. I was already plenty silly from having a WONDERFUL time with my friends. It was a shame to have to go home. I can't wait to see them all again - it was such a fantastic time. I'm so glad that I'm getting out more, trying new things, opening myself up, meeting new people, and finally being comfortable being myself. Things have gotten so much better because of it.

I've now blogged 5 days in a row! I know the time stamps don't reflect it, but I say, even if it's after midnight, if I'm still up, it still counts as the same day. I don't want to commit to writing every single day for a year, since that'll just lead to failure and disappointment (I'm so optimistic) but I think I'm on a good roll. And I've really enjoyed this, after being pushed by my friend Jennifer to do so.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Entrelac pillow

It's coming along - behold:

I don't know if I'm going to have enough to get it done, even with two full balls of Kureyon in my stash. Crap. If all else fails, I'll just do a regular background - maybe striping some stash yarn. This pillow is the ultimate stash buster. It would make it harder to felt, like I was intending to do for a Christmas present, but I could always pick it apart closer to winter, felting the entrelac half and then removing as many rows as necessary from the back and then re-attaching it. Of course, then the width wouldn't be right. Argh.

Got a huge amount done tonight. Hoping to make some more progress before I go out tomorrow. And really hoping WM doesn't update while I'm out, too.

Hi Jennifer!


Madness? This is Wollmeise!

I haven't gone to bed yet, so this post still counts as Monday.

I got cartjacked on a WM 80/20 update tonight, so I missed the V3 and Ulura I had in my cart. More than made up for it when there was a 100 update later in the night:

Pfefferminz Prinz

Holy crap.

I actually had two more in my cart but I looked at it and said out loud "I can't do this." I hope the two I put back went to someone that hadn't gotten a chance to get some before - I've been a piggy lately. And I went to Seaport Yarn, a store where some friends are often unable to spend less than several hundred dollars. I had been there once before and didn't have that problem, but today I found so much wonderful Mirasol yarn that I needed to make sweaters out of. I grabbed a few other things for socks and hats, as well as a pattern book. The woman that works there is very nice, too.

School started today. Although I didn't get an ed tech job, I'm on the sub list. Hopefully I'll be getting a little work sometime soon. I guess I can always hope the rumors about Swine Flu getting stronger are true. Because I'm going to hell.

I'm working on an entrelac pillow in Kureyon as an entry for the fair. I am so shameless. I figured I could bang it out fast, but I ended up going out today and then the WM update got me all thrown off, as well as lots of Twittering with my friends. Let's see if I can at least finish this tier without getting too distracted. I think the pillow might get felted after the fair and become a Christmas present. I'm too afraid to felt it now and have it shrink below fair size standards.