Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Silly Hats Only

Pattern: Porom by Jared Flood
Yarn: Kollage Corntastic
Needles: Size 4 for ribbing, size 6 for body
Completed: June 26, 2010

Modifications: Only did one inch of ribbing instead of the usual 2. I decided that I wanted the pattern to be more noticeable from the front and all that ribbing was really cramping my style. I screwed something up pretty hardcore on the decreases, but I did a fantastic job of covering it, so the mistake, wherever it was, blends in very well. It's just like when I make a pair of socks and fuck up the second one - I get overconfident.

Made this one largely because a coworker gets a kick out of my silly hats. I loved the raspberry one so much, but it's hard to find colors that it goes well with. Fortunately, off white goes with everything. This yarn is so nice, too. So much nicer to work with than cotton.

Get the fuck ready.

I'm trying it again.

This time, I'm using butter to grease the muffin cups, and at no point will a turkey baster be involved. And I know where to locate the pan. All I need to do is avoid getting myself stuck to a vermin trap and it'll be a massive improvement over last time.

One of my best friends is having a birthday tomorrow, and one of my coworkers is having a farewell party on Friday. Because I feel this obligation to bake for all things, I'm going to see what I can do before I have to work at 2:30. I did tell the coworker I'd make her chocolate chip cookies, but, there's nothing I enjoy more than disappointing people on their last day of work. (honestly my cookies have been going right to hell lately and I have no faith in their ability to come out successfully) I'd like to vegan up the stuff for work, but, I know this recipe works, and I honestly have very little interest in figuring out a way to make vegan buttercream. Chocolate buttercream is the only frosting I can make that doesn't have a horrible consistency, off color, and runny consistency, so I know better than to mess with a good thing.

12:23 pm: 1 hour later: Update: I only had 1/4th of the chocolate powder I needed. So frosting them will have to wait until I get home from work. I made up the difference for the cupcakes themselves by melting chocolate chips. Let's see if they suck.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Shamed into action

"How's your Spanish going?"


I kind of hadn't studied at all in a month. So, I actually did a lesson when I came home. I worked on question words and professions. We'll see if I retain any of it, but at least I put in the effort. I need to make myself practice verb conjugation more often, though. I have a Spanish for Dummies book - I should really go through that.

I got accepted for an apartment, but, like, man. Apparently it's the last place in Portland you want to live. So, I thought I had a good thing, but apparently I don't, but I do think a lot of people are overreacting, but still. It's all very confusing. And then today I saw the most beautiful apartment known to mankind, but it's a little expensive, but I'd be willing to pick up extra work just to try to afford it. It's so incredible. I applied. I'm hoping and praying.

I have no idea what I'm doing any more. I just know that I saw one that had a filthy oven and stained carpets they weren't going to replace and that was just a total turn off. If you care that little to show the place, I can only imagine how efficient your maintenance is.

Working on a small Summer bag in Plymouth Kudo. It's a good little distraction. And it uses my cache of rainbow yarns. I meant to start this a year ago. Oops.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I dislike this.

Maybe I'm unusual, but I feel like, if you're going to move into an apartment, it's good to have some notice of when you'll be doing that, not just something you look up on the internet, say that'll do, and then you move in 2 days later. But apparently this is how it works. When I was first looking for a place in May, for an August 1st move in, it became readily apparent that this is not the way the world works. I thought maybe in June. Nope. Middle of June? Nope, still everything is for July 1st. I'm someone that wants to know things in advance and be able to have a plan. So this is killing me, knowing that this is all going to be fairly last minute. I mean, I understand it, from a landlord's perspective. Why get someone signed up for an apartment 3 months in advance when you can get someone that wants to move in right away and make 3 more months of rent out of it? At least one prospective landlord was polite about turning me down and agreed that it feels better to do this stuff in advance.

There's no right away to deal with this, as far as talking to my grandmother about it. If I do it far enough in advance, that just maximizes the amount of time I have to spend with her making me miserable and trying to talk me out of it and trying to convince me that I can't hack it. If I wait too long, it's OH MY GOD THIS IS SO LAST MINUTE WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME? No matter what I end up doing here, it's going to be the same. So my best option has been to just prolong the inevitable as much as I can. Which is how I approach many challenging situations. I know, it's great.

I wrote down a million phone numbers of apartment rentals that I couldn't just e-mail about. I hate phones. Texting was the best thing ever invented for me, since I can stay social and make plans without ever having to ever actually and awkwardly talk to a person. Part of me doesn't even want to bother making these calls in the 45 minutes I have left before I have to go back to work, because I just know I'm going to get shot down and told to wait until July 1st anyways.

Also, I really have no desire to rent from someone who uses "u" and "plz" in his e-mails. You're not Prince, buddy. (If anyone is, I am) I'm not feeling that great about you handling thousands of my dollars.

Torn between bliss and frustration so much lately. Work itself was nice today, so far, on my 2 hours out of the 9.5 total, but I had a few crappy interactions with other people that threatened to sour the whole time. Feeling pressured about some other non-work things. But very happy otherwise in that situation. So I don't know. I'm sort of waiting for the inevitable breakdown. It's just going to be a long wait until August 1st.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Raspberry Beret

Pattern: Porom by Jared Flood
Yarn: Plymouth Galway Worsted
Needles: Size 6 for ribbing, size 7 for body
Completed: June 11, 2010

No modifications, aside from the fact that the original uses DK and I used worsted, but it seems like everything came out the right size regardless. I've felt compelled by my love of Prince to make my own raspberry beret for some time, and one day a friend was terribly amused by the whole idea and brought me out to the yarn store so I could finally put up or shut up. Then another friend invited me to a silly hats party and I really did have to make it. I absolutely love how this pattern turned out. So simple, but with just enough i it to keep you interested as you're moving along. It's very well-written and the directions are very clear. I'm already crafting a second one. I think I did Prince proud.

Monday, June 14, 2010

blah blah introspection whatever stuff and stuff

Shit, when did this blog get to be all FEELINGS and shit? I thought I was here to talk about yarn.

Just kidding. But I suppose I could write something more substantial than "look how depressed I'm not anymore" and actually tell people what I'm up to. I'm still keeping up my lots-o-hours at Preble Street. Subbing technically isn't over, but it seems teachers are sucking it up and just working this week. I suppose taking a day off now is like getting tackled on the 1 yard line. I just hoped someone would want to use up the rest of their sick time and earn me a fast $75 on a day I might happen to have available. But, instead, I'm doomed to just sleep in, read, level up on WoW, and make muffins. Tragedy, I know. And my last day of subbing was the perfect way to close out my career. I did absolutely nothing. Literally. Not only did I never teach anything, I never stood up. I sat at the teacher's desk all day and did the following:

* Drink tea
* Use a laptop
* Gossip with someone that used to be an ed tech in Yarmouth
* Read over 100 pages
* Text friends
* Eat a sandwich (roast beef, pickles, mustard, pepperjack cheese, warmed up in the microwave so the cheese is melty)
* Do an entire crossword puzzle
* Text my friend to inform him that I did an entire crossword puzzle

That's it. This guy teaches study hall. And if there's ever more than one kid in the room, there's at least one, sometimes two, ed techs in the room. So I had absolutely nothing to do. Allegedly this guy has a reason to have a job, but I wasn't seeing it. That said, AWESOME. There was absolutely no reason for me to be there. But there is no better reason to get woken up at 5:15 am. (I got back to sleep, MERCIFULLY.)

I fell out of the knitting zen for a while, since I got absorbed in other hobbies, as well as totally bored with my current projects. I was making that cowlneck endless stockinette sweater seen in the previous post, as well as a 3x3 ribbed knee sock. I finished one sock but needed to graft it, and meh, who wants to do that. I also had to cast on the next one after that and I just couldn't work up the effort to pay attention to when I should decrease to match the original sock. I got way into reading again, going back to my 300 page a day habit. It's easier to kill a couple hours when you're absorbed in a book than when you're knitting, since you're not looking around or just making the same motion over and over. I'd been reading in the library, my car, Monument Square, down at the waterfront, on the beach, at a park, really just all over Portland. I feel like there's so much reading I have to catch up on, seeing all the amazing books at the Portland Public Library I want to read. It doesn't help that I was recently introduced to Longfellow Books and would be happy to buy out the entire store. (A Portland, ME bookstore)

My zest for baking has returned, as well. I used the time I had today, with not working until 3, to make vegan apple cinnamon muffins. Originally, I was just going to follow a non-vegan recipe in my Pillsbury baking book. This book has never once failed me. I put the word out on Facebook that I was going to bake for my coworkers, and the first and immediate response was from a vegan coworker. I mentally facepalmed, picturing me bringing in those muffins and he not being able to eat them. I wondered about how shitty that must feel to have to pass on something others are enjoying Every. Single. Time., and decided that, out of respect for Sean, I was going to make some damn vegan muffins. The first link I looked at had a super simple recipe. All I had to do was buy bananas, and since I'm a turd and had forgotten to buy apple juice when I bought the apples in the first place, I had to go back to the grocery store anyways. I even scored a couple of Empire apples last night when I was flirting with the fruit guy. He had them hidden out back and brought them to me when I took issue with how shitty all the McIntoshes looked. To his credit, they were indeed absolutely perfect for the muffins. I'll have to go back and thank him for succumbing to my feminine charms and getting them. Vaginas are powerful, man.

The muffins were easy to make, and allowed me to get my prep cook on by dicing up the apples and mashing bananas, both of which were highly therapeutic. And, now there's apple juice in my house. I doubled the recipe, since I knew if they turned out to be any good, they'd go fast at work, and I'd still want to leave some home for my grandmother to eat. I ended up with one muffin shy of 3 dozen. I also covered myself in batter, but that's just obligatory.

They were so well-received at work that I can't wait to make more. I even got high praise from someone who told me that this was literally the first vegan snack he's ever enjoyed. And most importantly, Sean loved them. I did good. And, I even loved them! A lot of times I lose interest in what I baked, since I have high standards and can taste when a cake just isn't right, or I'm too annoyed with how a cookie came out. But these are awesome. That muffin pan is about to get some serious use. If only it wasn't a total bitch to clean.

Working on the sweater in the previous post right now. It's a bit below belly button length now. That means I'll be switching over to 4x4 ribbing soon and then the body is done. Just sleeves left. I got a huge chunk of the body done on Friday, between getting out of work at 9:45 and going into super focus mode when knitting at the bar with my friends Megan, Brian, and Matt. It grew like crazy then. I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere. I got my knitting mojo back by making a new slouchy hat, and I loved the pattern so much that there might be another one coming soon. But for now, I'm sleepy. See you tomorrow, internet.

Wait. One more thing. The other day, just because that's how I am, I started answering the phone at Preble Street thusly:

Preble Street, this is Liza, can I help you?

Sometimes it's best just to give in and go with it.