Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fair Isle Socks

Pattern: Sort of my own - someone on Ravelry had put up something similar with instructions, but they were wrong. I stared at it until I had an idea of stitch counts and drew it out by coloring in boxes on Microsoft Excel.
Yarn: Noro Kureyon Sock. God, it's so awful. And so not ideal for skin contact. But I keep buying it because it's pretty.
Needles: Size 3
Completed: January 19, 2010

I really wanted to challenge myself on some socks, and I was bored with looking up things in stitch dictionaries. I found the socks I had originally favorited, and was disappointed when I realized the instructions were wrong. I did get the hang of it, and I learned a lot on these. A friend taught me what it means to "tack up floats," and that made a big difference, especially where I had 10-stitch floats. Unfortunately, sock #1 came out too small. I wasn't brave enough to try it on until I was at the heel, and at that point, I wasn't going to rip this all out. I managed to force it on and off my foot a few times and now it's wearable, just not that easy to slip and slide out of. I adjusted my stitch count accordingly for the foot, as well as for the second sock and that fits just fine. I wish I had made them a little taller, but since fair isle eats up more yarn, I was a little paranoid. I still have quite a bit extra, but not as much as usual.

Monday, January 11, 2010

8 is 8


Pattern: Loop stitch, as learned from The Knitter's Bible, and following a setup from Super Stitches Knitting
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease. I'm so sorry. It's just all I had for red yarn.
Needles: Size 8
Completed: January 10, 2010

Can't give details on this just yet, as it's part of a larger, secret project.

Fabulous People

Pattern: None. It's just seed stitch over 11 stitches.
Yarn: Cascade Magnum
Needles: Size 19. It actually gave me shoulder pain.
Completed: January 9, 2010

So on Christmas Eve, I ended up getting drunk with a 16 year old boy. That's how my family parties. Jordan isn't technically family - he's my mom's boyfriend's son. I'd never really talked with him before, but as the champagne flowed, and he kept refilling mine, we really got on well, and ended up having this fantastic drunken conversation about numerology, the Bible, and destiny. Sometimes when I drink too much I end up insisting that I'll knit things for people, especially people that give me hugs, and that's how we got here. I had bought this yarn in October, and charming as it is, it's nothing I need. Returning it for store credit doesn't help my yarn situation, so I knit it up in a matter of hours. I'm going to give it to him as a very-early-birthday present, since mid-March is too late for a massive wool scarf.

The name comes from a song by my favorite band, Electric Six. You can check it out here. I think, if anyone can rock this scarf, Jordan can. I just hope it doesn't clash too much with his orange skin.

Skulls, Death, Cables

Pattern: Celtic Cable Neckwarmer by Lindsay Henricks
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Azul Profundo
Needles: Size 8
Completed: January 8, 2010

I've had this queued up for so long. I bought yarn for it in February 2008, then got the counter and realized it wasn't the color I was going for. But I bought it anyways. I was also intending to buy the skull buttons at that time, but totally forgot them after I walked away from the button area, not wanting to carry the tube around with me the whole time. A friend of mine went to the anniversary sale in May, so I asked her to pick them up for me. Really, this whole thing was an excuse to use these buttons.

I can't believe how fast I wheeled this thing out. Really, it was only a few hours. I got really into the rhythm with the cable chart. I just sat at my computer with it, zoned out listening to my music (especially Robbie Williams, who I have a real affinity for lately) and going like crazy. I really enjoyed it, and it was a very well-done chart. If I had a request to make another one for someone, I would do it with no problem. I wouldn't make myself another one, because I really don't think I need more than one, but as a gift idea, it would be great.

Akimbo Again


Pattern: Akimbo by Stephen West
Yarn: Wollmeise 80/20 Twin in Birkenrinde as the main color, with the bright red parts of a Cranberries Zauberball as the contrast color
Needles: Size 4
Modifications: The scarf was worked entirely in stockinette, and the color pattern for the chevron was done with 4 stripes of the CC instead of 2. I still used 2 stripes of the MC.
Completed: January 8, 2010

I loved this pattern so much that after finishing it, I knew I wanted to explore how it would look in stockinette, and I wanted another one in a totally different color scheme. I wanted to use my Wollmeise, so I dumped it all out on my stove. My house doesn't have any overhead lighting, so it's the best place to look at it under light. And it was night time. But I picked out a bunch of pairs of Wollmeise, and the one I liked the best was Birk with a bright blue. Then I put the Birk on my swift and realized I actually had what's called "piggy birkenrinde." Instead of being purely cream and black, parts have a pinkish cast. It's more of a red brown, and you really don't notice it in the hank, but once I was aware of it, it was all I could see. I hated the idea of a red, white, and blue scarf, so this put me into a little bit of a panic mode. Thanks to Ravelry's new "search your stash by color" feature, I was able to find a nice red yarn. Because Zauberball is an evolving yarn, it isn't just bright red but also a burgundy/maroon color. While I liked that at first, in practice I wasn't too fond of it, so I cut off parts that weren't the bright red I liked so much. I ended up with a Zauberball and 4 little zauberbabies (just in case when I make socks with this I end up running short).

This looked like crap fresh off the needles, but as soon as I soaked it and pinned it to block, it looked fantastic. I wore it the next day and everyone commented how nice it looked and how well the colors went together. I've tricked my knitting group into believing I have color sense. No, I just have a lot of yarn, and eventually, by the law of averages, I'd hit the right combo.

I will probably make another Akimbo, just because I have the pattern and I know I like it. I think I'd stick with this stockinette version, since it shows off variegated yarns so nicely. I actually like pooling - it's an adventure to me.


Pattern: Akimbo by Stephen West
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Abril, with Bristol Yarn Gallery Buckingham in black as the contrast color
Needles: Size 4, bound off over 5s
Completed: January 2, 2010

I didn't do any modifications to the pattern, but towards the end, decided I was unsure about the garter stitch. Really at the point of no return, though. It worked out for the best - I'm very happy with it. Actually, I'm wearing it to type this. The black works well with the variegated purple. I'm just a little disappointed with the saturation level of Malabrigo Sock - the garter stitch really shows off the white in the yarn. It's not too noticeable at a distance, but it was kind of grating to notice as I knit it. I don't think I'll be buying this yarn again. Unfortunately, I somehow managed to buy two hanks of the same color of it. I might try to sell one, since I've already got one FO out of it and I get bored working with the same color twice.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

In which I talk about my boobs.

I got to sub today. I taught elementary school special ed. Cute kids. Although one of them looked just like Victor from Family Guy:

He was creepy.

So this school has a big room that’s a combo work room/staff room. It’s like the combohole of classrooms. There’s a woman that has her own desk there. I’m not sure what she does exactly, but there she is. She’s older, probably early 60s. When she saw me come in today, she looked right at me and said, with a smile, “two fried eggs.” Bwa? Bear in mind, I was not eating eggs. I was carrying a travel mug of hot chocolate , which is similar, but there weren’t eggs anywhere. She tells me that being flat chested is like having two fried eggs on your chest. Her husband once gave her a t-shirt with a picture of two fried eggs right at chest level. She was not amused.

And a good morning to you, too.

As far as I can tell, I didn’t walk into the middle of a conversation. I’m thinking she may have looked at me and immediately decided she should comment on my chest. Which is… well, coming from an old woman, sort of horrible, sort of hilarious. I did have a bulky sweater on today, but I’m pretty sure I at least have SOMETHING in there. I realize there’s such thing as boobs so big it’s the first thing you notice, but so small? Looks like I’ll be using my sub pay to get implants.

You be the judge. I’m in PJs and no bra.

They’re not much, but they’re SOMETHING. My projectile ribs don’t help this situation. It’s like I have 4 tiny boobs. Even at my heaviest (Calculating for how much my old scale underweighed, I may have bee ~150 at 5’2”) you could still count my ribs. I’m built strangely.

Should the human body even do that?

Just for Toni.

Who's on pins and needles waiting for me to post something about the minutiae of my life.

2010 has been kind of awesome so far. I've gotten a day of subbing and had two job interviews. One of them was for subbing, for a district I was already approved for in grades 5-12 (but they made me interview again for k-4), so really, there was no way I could screw that up short of snorting coke during the conversation. I managed to hold off. The other one was for a bank, as a part time teller. Not exactly the career goal or the amount of work I want, but I kicked ass at it. Unfortunately, it's not in the hands of my interviewers. They make recommendations and then "corporate" decides. Ah, bureaucracy.

I worked today at a middle school. It was special-ed-style stuff. Not really cognitive issues, just needs some one on one support. I did nothing. Literally. Nothing. My kid didn't want to work, I was told not to push, so I just hung out with him. It was great. Then I switched to another kid who didn't need me for anything so I watched him watch his class in a geography bee. They both go home early, so I was out early. Insanely easy day. Now, if I would just get called more than once a week.

Nothing much on deck for the rest of the week. I never know when I'm going to work, since the two new districts ever e-mail anything in advance. And I think my usual district is mad at me for already being committed to another town when they called once. Try giving me work more than once a fortnight, or other archaic measurements, and I wouldn't have to look elsewhere.

At this point, I'm just applying for the most ridiculous shit I can find. Last week's highlights include secretary of the hospital's cleaning department, flower department at the grocery store, and furniture store manager. I was this close to applying for one whose main qualification was "sufficient education to be able to read and write." I opted to wait until the moment of absolute financial destitution for that one.

I am almost completely out of tea. Additionally, I am also almost completely out of alcohol. Please send help.