spiralling into the sun

4 August 2011 § Leave a comment

For the past month or so, I’ve felt like I’ve been living in that episode of The Twilight Zone where the earth is getting closer to the sun and everyone is freaking out, then the girl wakes up out of a feverish sleep and we find that she is ill and the earth is actually travelling away from the sun and everything is getting colder.

red petunias

But the heat has finally started to break. Today was a relatively mild 84 degrees. The blanket is ongoing; I had to frog back a couple inches because I can’t figure out how to properly pick up dropped garter stitches. Knitting a baby blanket in the hottest summer evar has been quite a challenge. I’ve mostly been sitting in front of the air conditioner and watching Mad Men on Netflix to allay the heat and boredom. Next time I will crochet.  One of the benefits of ripping out was that I noticed that I could actually be knitting the blanket horizontally which should make it faster.. It still feels like it will never end, though.

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slow & steady…

20 July 2011 § Leave a comment

Summer is drifting along lazily. I’m beginning to venture into the mid-summer mode I always do, wary of heat and humidity, dreaming of fall. Some cool nights wouldn’t bother me a bit.

I generally hate air conditioning. I even went so far as to call my boyfriend a pejorative term for a certain part of the female anatomy on the first muggy, 80 degree night we had in May when he suggested we turn the A/C on. But now? It suits me just fine, thank you. It’s strange, but in mid-winter I get nostalgic for that feeling of the first blast of cool air when you walk inside after being out in thick, muggy air. In summer, I get nostalgic for the idea of snuggling up in a warm blanket on the couch when snow is falling outside. I think after a certain point, I just wish for times when I don’t rue the heat / cold.

Lately I’ve been fantasizing about snow. Don’t tell anyone. I vowed loudly in December to never complain this summer when it was hot. But here I am, complaining that it’s hot.

When I was a kid, like all kids, I lived for summer. Long days playing outside, no school, swimming pools and ice cream. It just seems like the past few years it has been entirely too hot to stay outside for more than an hour or so.

This summer has been anything but relaxing though. Over the past week I’ve spent a full-time job’s amount of hours working on a research paper for an English class.  Tomorrow, I have one midterm and then a free 24 hours to do whatever I want….

I think I’ll knit.

 

 

time to get healthy

8 July 2011 § Leave a comment

Today has been a challenging day filled with a lot of stress. I had a doctors appointment to discuss a surgery I will be having in a few weeks. The surgery isn’t really anything major, it’s outpatient and pretty routine. However, the situation I’m in has given me a lot of pause, especially on how I don’t do anything to promote my own health. My diet is atrocious, exercise is nonexistent, I drink, I smoke. All of this really has to change, because a lot of cancer runs in my family and it’s frankly irresponsible of me to treat my body this way, knowing that I have a higher risk of these problems. My mom has had breast and cervical cancer and my whole life I was under the impression that, yes, I certainly had a risk of developing it, but it wouldn’t actually happen to me. Even though I don’t have cancer, it’s made me realize that I’m not as healthy and immortal as I seemed to think.

So it is time to get healthy.

toe up from the flo' up

In other news, the hour and a half I waited at the doctor’s office was put to good use as I had plenty of time to both knit my sock and plot revenge. My appointment was supposed to be at 10:10; at 8:30 I got a call asking if I could come in early.  Of course, I said. I thought I could finish up early. You see, my appointment should’ve only taken around 5 minutes. The biopsy information had already been discussed with me over the phone, and the appointment for surgery had already been scheduled. All they had to do was have me sign a consent form, tell me not to eat or drink anything, and send me on my merry way.  Instead, they decided to allow every complaining pregnant lady to go right on ahead in front of me.

But it’s okay, because the rest of the day was filled with homework. So that was about the only knitting time I got, except for some that I snuck in.

a year older…

6 July 2011 § Leave a comment

Yesterday, I turned twenty-five. No big deal, I turn a year older every year on 5 July.

4th of July fireworks - city park

My dad baked me a cake.

cake for the big two-five

I went out  to a bar with friends and woke up at 9 AM today extremely hungover. I mean, I tipped a few back, but the pounding in my skull tells me I had a lot more than I thought I did. Overall, though, I had a great time. Lots of laughs & hugs, and I got to ring in my 25th year surrounded by the people who mean the most to me.

bloom
 

Birthdays are usually a time in which I reflect on what I personally want out of the coming year and how I spent the previous one. It’s sort of like New Years, only smack dab in the middle of the calendar. I decided that over the next year, I want a lot of new experiences. I want to shake things up, travel more, take a lot of classes and get close to finishing my degree. But I also want to try harder to find balance in my life. Work hard, yes, but find more time to enjoy life. Read more. Knit more. Learn more. Explore.

quiet time

Be less shy about taking pictures.

Today I started on some toe-up socks in Felici (Sport, “Sunny Day”). It took me three hours and many articles to figure out how to cast on. I’ve only completed two pairs of socks, both cuff-down, but I feel as though I grasp the concept pretty well. It’s been a challenge so far. I cast on one way and had to rip it out, then I made a crochet provisional cast on and now they’re looking pretty good. (Wendy Johnson’s “Easy Method” on Knitty) I think I’m going to like toe-ups because I hate having leftover sock yarn that’s too little to make another pair, too much to throw away, and too strange a colorway to really fit with anything else..

The casting on is finnicky. I have trouble learning new cast-on methods. I think because I didn’t learn the long tail in the traditional way and I do it kind of strangely.  I didn’t think I’d like it because my increases are always messy, but so far she’s looking good. One thing I like about toe up is that since the cuff is the last portion, if I get bored with it I can just bind off. Usually I cast on my socks with zeal, zip through the heel turn, and lose my interest mid-foot. Now as long as I make it a few rows past the heel I can stop and they’ll still be wearable. It won’t use up the yarn, as I said I wanted to, but whatever. AND no kitchener stitch. I hate grafting toes. Somehow I always mess up the first one and I can feel a nub in one toe that I correct in the other. I can see this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship and a year of being unafraid to try new things.

FO: Springtime in Gryffindor

14 June 2011 § Leave a comment

It’s been a while, huh?

Springtime in Gryffindor II

Well, today I am pleased to present…. an FO!

Took me long enough.

 
Camilla

According to Ravelry, I started these on April 8th. Then a little thing I called Spring-Quarter-onset Second Mitt Syndrome took hold. I didn’t have time to do anything besides school work. In a fit of knitting despiration I’d cast on the second mitt and knit up to 5 rows of the pattern and then stopped. It’s been pretty hot and I was forced to read some books against my will for school, so knitting took a backseat (like, a trunk backseat.)   

Yesterday was nice and cool. There was a lovely breeze that made it feel like fall. (When your temperatures have been upwards of 90 degrees, 75 degrees feels like fall to you.) So I sat and knit all day yesterday and finished the right hand mitt. Due to inattention on my part I messed up a stitch and subsequently learned to double knit. This is also my first real Fair Isle, and if you want to try one I cannot reccommend SpillyJane’s patterns enough. I had no trouble following the pattern until I almost-memorized it.

Truthfully, though, I have been doing other things.

Future Flowers

I finally got around to planting some seeds last week. These are African Daisies I planted in a window box last Wednesday. I also planted some poppies (which haven’t showed yet), some basil, tomatoes, and hot peppers (all sprouting up nicely).  We have two large trees in the backyard that obscure most of the sun, except where the veggies are planted. I just hope it’s enough that they continue growing. I’m not usually so good at growing things, so I hope my genes finally kicked in and I got some of my mom’s planting prowess.

 
Thyme

Now I have no clue what to knit. It seems like everything I’ve tried to start lately I’ve had to rip out. I seem to be going through a knitting stage where I’ve done it long enough to be a little overconfident and I keep messing up what I cast on for because I don’t swatch.  But I should take advantage of this newfound productivity and try my hand at something.

Addiction

23 February 2011 § Leave a comment

Life remains hectic. Adrift in a sea of homework and work work, I am crocheting myself a little life raft.

Mr. Blue Sky scarf II

The colors make me insanely happy because, let’s face it, we’re in the final throes of winter trying to run down the clock. And I’m getting stir crazy. Like a junkie desperate for a fix, I look toward any signs of spring to get me by. It was in the 40s here last week and I decided it would be a good idea to wear flip flops (it wasn’t). Defeated, when I came home I put on my wool socks. But this? It’s my own little slice of blue skies and sunshine made of Debbie Stoller’s Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe (colorways: Eucalyptus, Sea Glass, Goldenrod) , a wool/bamboo blend that will surely carry me ’til the time the forsythia bloom. I love crocheting with this yarn. I made the Taffy Pull scarf out of it and gave it to a friend for christmas and she adores it. (unfortunately I forgot to take pictures).

vday flowers VI

vday flowers V

I received these lovely flowers as a Valentines Day gift.  Or, as I like to think of them, a gift for surviving Valentine’s Day. My employer decided to issue a major upset right in the thick of the post-Vday pre-President’s Day week that has everyone at my job up in arms. Can’t say I’m very happy about it either. They’re changing something that was a reason I thought our job was one of the better ones in the industry, and now we must share tips and they are cutting wages. While I understand that we’ve just come through tough economic times, I feel like the economy is improving and it seems a little late to choose to do this. On top of it, they’re trying to wrap a big fat pink bow on it and tell us it’s a way to keep the doors of the restaurant open when my employer made an $80 million increase in profits last year. As in, they already had astronomical profits and then made an ungodly amount more profits and are going to make $40 million more a year by forcing us servers to share our tips. It’s quite upsetting. So I understandably needed a mindless project that let some damn sunshine in. It’s about half finished. I’m hoping to wear it to school on Thursday.

Like many women, I also choose to release my frustrations with some good ol’ fashioned American shopping. So much so that I’ve been spending copious and borderline ridiculous amounts online in the past few days. I ordered some Aracarunia Itata from WEBS the other day, and it came today. And when I saw that Knit Picks had swifts on sale and new colors of Felici and a new mohair/silk fingering weight yarn, I couldn’t wait to drop $150 on their website. On top of the fact that I replaced my recently deceased phone on ebay tonight and spent a month’s rent worth in clothing today.  

And the spring colors are getting to me.  I usually love the vibrant summery blues and greens but I’ve been going for pastel purples and soft pinks and blues lately. Oh well, a little girliness never hurt anyone, I suppose.

Fibre Company hat

Here’s my top down hat. It’s resting while I speed through my crochet scarf. Somehow size 4’s seem smaller than I thought at the outset. It looks mitered in this picture, doesn’t it? I assure you that it is safely round, photography can lie, after all.

Kings of Cool

17 February 2011 § Leave a comment

No matter how stressful your day is, Kings of Convenience and knitting together will mellow you out proper.