Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's that time again

It's time for xmas knitting!

This year I have LOTS to make, and almost no time to spare. Right now I've got a 12 hour workday during the week, including my commute, which means I'm gone from 7:30 in the morning to 7:30 at night most weekdays (excluding today, because I'm off work) So, knitting time is a bit limited. But it's still mid-November and I am confident that I will somehow pull this off.

First, the biggest project. I am 1 skien into my dad's annual Christmas Sweater.

This year it's red and cable-y. The yarn is Knitpicks Telemark (as it is every year) in Garnet Heather. For the first time it's a sweater of my own design, rather than from a pattern. It's kind of unfortunate, because my dad's sweater is usually the only thing I knit from a pattern during the whole winter season, it's a big project and a chance to turn my mind off and just follow someone's instructions. But not this year.

Oh well, I guess I'll either be terribly proud of myself in a few weeks when it all comes together, or things will just be plain terrible. This is why I tried to start early.

I am also pretty happy to have my first (99%) completed project--i still have to weave in the two ends--it's Cathy's blue flame scarf, for my boyfriend's mother (my not-quite-MIL)

This is a lace pattern modified from the "Candlelight" pattern in The Encyclopedia of Knitting. I kind of want to keep it, but I will not, because I really don't know what I would get NQMIL. She and my NQFIL (not-quite-father-in-law) are notoriously hard to shop for. So I am making things that cannot be returnedd to the store.
But even if you could return this, would you?

I think not.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nine months..... long enough to have a baby; but that's NOT what I did. (dear god, no.) Nine months is a school year; but that's not what I did.

In the past nine months I was silent because I did nothing--almost nothing knitterly. My arm-thing (tendonitis to be precise) got out of control. And while I did many things--went to work, fell in love, sang karaoke, ate, slept, watched TV--I did not do much at all in the way of knitting. I've had weeks, just look at my Christmas posts, where I made as much as I have in the past nine months.

And then, last week I got The Shot. That's a story unto itself, and one which I will hopefully tell one of these days (you may have to remind me) but it means I can knit again. Maybe not quite at my old, breakneck pace. But I can knit socks and shawls and sweaters and my itching hands can finally quiet down.

I know it was rude to leave for so long, and I hope you'll all take me back. I have lots to share.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Tonight I have made for myself a chocolate cake

...with two layers and dark chocolate frosting.

I baked the two layers and let them cool completely in the oven so the tops wouldn't crack.
I turned each out onto a plate, and evened the top of the second layer, so it would fit with the first.

I frosted the entire thing with a crumb layer, which I let set before putting on the final layer. I was sure to use the flat side of the knife when making the swirls, so they wouldn't have the lines from the serrated knife edge.

I put it on my best china, and cleaned the frosting dabs off the plate. Then i took a picture, because i thought it a beautiful cake.

It is not birthday cake, or graduation cake, or celebration cake. It is not for Thanksgiving dinner or the Fourth of July cookout, or for anyone else but me to eat. Once in a while, it is lovely and right that we should make for ourselves something that has as much care put into it as if it were for someone else. I don't make myself cake often, but I make myself plenty of other foods, and usually i don't bother much with presentation. I cook "good enough" food, throw it on a plate, and scarf it down while watching a tv program, or checking on a website. Lots of people do this with their knitting, too. They make socks and scarves and baby blankets for everyone they know, then feel a bit guilty when picking up a long-ago started cardigan that they just loved.

So here's to sometimes saving the nicest things for only ourselves. Not to be selfish, but to remind ourselves that we are worth the niceties we reserve for others.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

On Lunch

I'm on lunch, so there isn't much time for posting. But I wanted to show off a couple of things.

First a FO. The Celtic tote from IK Winter 2007.

I think the lighting in my new apartment is better than where I lived before.

Next, I've finally gotten my arm back in spinning condition again after an attack of the nasties (I'm beginning to think that plying yarn has a greater-than-normal effect on my bad arm. Perhaps because I keep trying to ply the bobbin of yarn in one sitting)

But, in small doses the spinning has returned. And i'm currently working on the "Fawkes" colorway that i dyed back at the end of last year.

It is just the proper thing to be doing in the midst of February, don't you think?

Now, back to work. Look sharp for our next edition when we shall discuss the return of The Bad Cat, and perhaps Pi Shawls.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Just a suggestion.

If you live in one of 22 super Tuesday states, you are a lucky individual. I encourage you to go to your polling place or caucus location and support the candidate of your choice, regardless of leaning or party.

Personally, I live in the politically irrelevant state of Indiana, but I'm happy to let you know that if I had a vote to count today, this is who I'd cast it for:

Not just for the singing. For the hope. It's not often in the jaded world of modern politics someone can talk so unremittingly about hope and the power of individual people to change an entrenched system while continuing to sound at all sincere. I think that's what I need now as a voter, and what we could surely use as a nation. So my vote, that I gave myself by virtue of having a blog, and a little voice on some corner of the internet, goes to Barack Obama. I hope you have a candidate you believe in just as much. And I hope you get involved, and when it is your time, that you cast your vote for him or her.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Things I have been working on

Yesterday was an exciting night for me. It was the first night I spent in my new apartment. And anyone who has moved into a new place, ever, in their whole lives will understand that I didn't get any sleep. New places have new sounds, and new cars driving by at new times, and new dogs barking, and new neighbors upstairs moving about at odd times, or maybe it's just the house shifting and I really shouldn't be commenting on the habits of my upstairs neighbor who seems a lovely sort of girl and has a really pretty coat, maybe i should ask her where she got it next time i see her. (I'm going to have to take a moment and apologize to all my English teachers ever for that sentence. Sorry. Let's continue...)

anyhoodle, I am tired, and all of me hurts from the moving which is not at all complete. But I just had to show off my new, still messy apartment to the internets in general because i am beyond pleased to finally have my own little home. it's been nice living with my mom last year, i'm certainly grateful for the free room and board she's offered me while i got back on my feet, but let us face it: living with one's mother is not the most liberating of experiences. This is particularly true when one has previously lived on one's own, as I did.

I now present you with a photo tour of "Things I Like About my Apartment"
Thing the first: My Kitchen

There was a time when I was known among my friends as quite the cook. Now that I have all my things out of storage and arranged just so, I am somewhat eager to see if this is still the case.

I even have my own little kitchen table at which I am sitting this very moment. See the computer. Imagine me in the chair, that's what's going on now. That mess of newspaper and boxes is even still there. (Thing the second I like: I don't have to clean up until i'm ready, because only i see the mess.)

The apartment I rented is a studio, a little back apartment in what was once a big ol' colonial house. It has some nice details from the old house like this:

A built in...oh, i don't even know what to call it, "place-of-storing-my-craft-stuff-and-displaying-pictures". Or "Thing I like: number 3." Yeah, that's better.

Next we have my own pictures on my own walls. Fourth think I like about my apartment.

And here are some books. Lots of books, most of which were in storage with my kitchen stuff until recently. They are thing the fifth that I like about my new apartment: Books.

I'll update you with slightly more presentable pictures soon shortly eventually someday

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

you say you want a resolution?

i'll be honest.

the holidays really aren't my time.

"oh dear!" everyone gasps, when i say such a thing. "surely...surely you love the holidays!"

i do not.

late november through early january is the time of year when the universe likes to try and end me. stop me. stomp me. hate me. make me hate back. and smack dab in the middle of all of it lies christmas. the hap-happiest seeeeeeason of all.

dear friends, i have suffered two broken hearts, two broken cars, a move, a lost job, and more than one family tragedy during previous decembers. i did not want a repeat, and so this year i put down my head and knit. i hoped that the universe would forget its vendetta against me. but it did not.

i won't go into too much detail. the most salient tragedy was the one that befell my computer, rendering me blogless from just before christmas to just after new years. there was car stuff, there was health stuff, there was personal stuff.

but in the middle were presents and family, and at the end of it all, was survival. and it won't be "the holidays" again for a long time. i'm really just now recovering.

this is not in the way of seeking pity or sympathy. we all have our good times and bad. and in a way it feels cleansing. i feel i pay in full on my karmic debts at the end of the year. if i could do that with my finances, well, i'd have a lot more yarn.

but it leaves me a bit behind the ties. only last week did i really raise up my head again and fall back into the new life in the new year. as it stands, i've been thinking about resolutions, and new starts, and things that we let define us.

without getting too involved or personal, or airing my dirty laundry on the world wide interwebs, i've been thinking that maybe after all the "ick" that comes at the end of the year, i need to look at things anew. i need to stop expecting the bad and start seeing the good.

what if knowing that this december was going to be wretched, helped to make it more wretched? what if expecting to be disappointed made it more painful when the disappointment came, and less pleasing if it didn't?

spinning and knitting returns soon, and my blog resolution is not to leave you so long with no word from me. but my real life resolution?

2008 is the year i'll expect better for myself.

after all, someone who can do this:

ought to expect good things.