Archive for the ‘personal’ Category


Breathing Fire

February 6, 2008

Goblet of Fire socks are done!

The pattern worked perfectly and the few alterations to size I made in terms of foot length made a huge difference in how well they fit under shoes. I got probably a third of the sock done just during the Super Bowl (Go Giants!), and finishing them off on Monday was a cinch. One thing I’m less than pleased with is the toe. I wish I could figure out how to get my top-down toes less square and more rounded. It’s not that they’re uncomfortable to wear, but I feel like they look a bit strange. Still, good socks and I cast on for Book 5’s socks right after the last end was sewn (mmmmm…silky blue awesomeness….)

BUT, I’ve been sidetracked. It’s Project Spectrum season and I’m getting started with the FIRE. That cabled vest is still on the needles (it’s a big project in DK wieght yarn, okay?), but I wanted some more red…something firey…and a hat. It’s been more than a month since my last hat and that’s just not kosher in my world.  I didn’t buy new yarn for the ENTIRE month of January! Just stash! It’s awesome! Clearly I could go buy new now! I know it’s a pathetic excuse but seriously it’ll be going right back out of the stash asap. Malabrigo Chunky in Amoroso seems like the perfect set of Fire colors to really kick in this band of the spectrum. The pattern I chose was the Trinity Stitch Beret from Craftster and I would just like to chime in that Trinity Stitch is the DEVIL. Only my Options Needles’ pointyness is the only reason I can get three chunky stitches all purled together. Still, it looks awesome and I’m looking forward to getting some pictures up.

Oh and the Hartshorn vest! It’s still being worked on. In fact, I fudged my way through some bust increases recently, so the split should be coming up in about an inch or so. My biggest worry is that it’s going to be weirdly big. Not only did I factor in about two inches of positive ease with my calculations, but I’ve also been losing weight. Pilates classes are fun, but they can muck with your knitting calculations.

Lastly, I’m a moran and missed the fact that I got tagged by the “7 Facts Meme” again at the end of January! I gotta pay more attention to stuff like this. So here are my 7 facts:

  • – I am capable of keeping a secret unto death
  • – One of my favorite things to do in my free time is aquire new skills. I collect skill sets like some people collect baseball cards. I collect basic foreign language skills, hobby skills, and life skills. Of each of these catagories, I still want to learn German, embroidery, and how to tie good knots
  • – I have never once been on a calorie counting diet plan
  • – It pretty much takes spitting in my food in front of me and then calling someone around me a nasty name to get me to be unkind to waitstaff.
  • – One of my biggest pet peeves is when people who don’t know how to use a piece of technology will not ask for help and instead keep flailing and failing until they break something.
  • – No matter how little makeup I’m wearing, I always worry that it’s too much
  • – I have a compulsion that causes me to lock things a minimum of twice before i can securely walk away from them. This has lead to me driving well out of my way to double check house-locks and hitting my car lock button keychain thing a record 10 times.

STILL don’t know 7 bloggers 😦 but I *can* tag..

Melissa (though she’s probably still busy with the big move)

Jody (who got me the first time)

And of course, Marie! (who I finally noticed isn’t in my blogroll making me realize just how stupid the whole “use the internet explorer history link” thing is)


From the east

January 15, 2008

Yesterday was a great day for a couple reasons. The one I want to get in to to detail with here is that I finally got the yarn swift and ball winder I ordered! I can finally *wind* my laceweight, meaning I can finally *knit* with it, meaning I can finally *try making lace!*

Clearly once I had the swift and winder, I had to set them up right away. But the table that I use for all my craft stuff is too thick, so I set myself up with the swift on the little end table where the printer usually lives and the ball winder on the edge of a chair. I work with the setup I have, not the setup I want.

On opening the box for the swift, I *did* notice it was a Japanese product. That’s cool. A lot of awesome things come from Japan. It must be pointed out now that I did not get one of those pretty wooden swifts like you see at the LYS. Oh no. Not for this cheapskate. Metal and Plastic for the win. It looked like someone decided to turn lemons in to lemonade and made their broken umbrella in to a swift with little pieces of orange plastic to protect the yarn.

After figuring out on my own how to set up the swift, I finally looked at what was written in English on the box. No joke, this thing’s name is the “K.M. All-Powerful Reeling Machine.” Hang on there, buddy. “All-Powerful”? Now I’m all for self esteem, but aren’t we getting a little ahead of ourselves? Can you make me a sandwich? Can you dry my hair? Then right there are just a few limits on your power. Let’s try and keep the ego in check and remember who’s in charge here, eh.

And it got even better…the swift has instructions. GLORIOUS instructions. I tried taking a picture of them to post here, but they got pwned by the flash, so I’ll just have to type them out, changing nothing for added hilarity because it doesn’t need it.

First of all, they’re listed as “Main Features.” How many “features” can a bloody yarn swift really have? Apparently a minimum of six, which are accompanied by the most confusing diagram I’ve ever seen for anything and a photo of an only slightly robotic looking Japanese woman with a cute haircut holding yarn with the swift near her. Here are the “Main Features” reproduced, in their entirety, with no corrections or alterations:

A) Being equipped with convenient metal connector, this tool is attachable to wherever you may wish, in the three directions – vertical or horizontal or diagonal. So there is no trouble at all like entangling of thread or yarn.

B) It is holding type, and made entirely of metal. The connector is of the utmost convenience and permanent use.

C) This reeling machine can be used for all kinds of thread or yarn. Because you can expand or contract it as the case demands, either for hand knitting thread of small reel or for woolen yarn of large reel.

D) The part where thread or yarn are reeled on is covered with vinyl. By this protection, thread or yarn never gets thangled or dirty.

E) This machine is also convenient for washing of old woolen yarn, as small or large reel is made at your will by the use of the handle attached.

F) Push the red buffon and adjust the size of machine – reel. Please.


. . . . . . .


This was honestly a twenty minute gigglefest. I’m not usually this amused by Ingrish but there’s just something about owning an English language challenged yarn swift with delusions of grandeur that was just too funny not to react to. Oh! And let’s not forget the baffeling “Directions” section which I think gives you more of a tip for fun than actual user guidelines:

When you open or shut it. please give a slight swing. just as you do with your umbrella or parasol.

Punctuation aside, my issue here is that it totally doesn’t need a “slight swing” to close. I’ve done it without swinging, so I am assuming this is more of a whimsicle fun fact, like suggesting that pretending those stick shaped pretzels are cigars might be amusing.

So I am now the proud owner of an Ingrish Speaking Yarn Swift with a God Complex, and a perfectly good ball winder. And with my penchant for naming things, this was no exception. It wasn’t even hard to come up with the names.

Folks, let me introduce you to Cats and Zig, repectively

Oh. And the other thing that made yesterday great? I got in to Villanova Law School, which was one of my top two evenly matched choices 🙂


Christmas Story

December 26, 2007

I decided to make sweaters for the two new babies in my family this year. The first was for the older boy, but I finished it so early that I gave it to him way before Christmas so he’d get some time in it before it no longer fit. The baby girl was originally getting a BSJ, but right before I sewed it up, I saw that there was no way it would fit her. So with very little time left, I decided to work up the two-needle baby sweater from Knitter Almanac. I’ve seen so many pretty versions of it that I just knew it would look great….then i got distracted and had only a month left…then I completely messed up the gague and had to start from scratch. Then I only had 4 days left…



This is a sweater that I am truly proud of. I followed an EZ pattern, understanding why what was written was there, understanding why I was increasing to this number of stitches and what she meant by “work back and forth.” The directions are like one paragraph long and I used them to make a pretty baby sweater! I rule!

And it was even more special because I feel like my family really understood the kind of time and effort that went in to it. They were passing it around and squishing the fabric and insisting that it must have taken more than four days (it really didn’t! I just stayed up really late, did nothing but knit, and was sewing the buttons on that morning).  And even better, I know the baby’ll look adorable in it. It’s a good shade of lavander for her eyes.

What’s more, it fits. Icing on the cake.


New York

December 11, 2007

My family took a trip in to NYC this past Sunday to do all those NYC Christmas things. We looked at the department store windows on 5th Avenue, we saw Rockefeller Center, had a nice lunch out…all those good things. We also walked for about five miles without breaks in the damp cold. My mother does not like to take motorized transport in a city unless one of her legs is actually falling off and she can’t find anything to fashion a walking stick out of. Me? My feet felt like I was walking on broken glass, my legs are still sore, and I think I’ve caught a cold. But it was still a great day! Lots of fun.

 One of the tings we did was go to Bryant Park by the Public Library. There was a skating rink and a whole bunch of little shopping kiosks with things from around the world, especially wintery countries. Russian nesting dolls, Norwegian mittens, and a whole lot of stuff from Canada. In fact, I think the skating rink itself was sponsored by Canada. I have to admit that I felt a not insignificant amount of pride when we were looking at scarves and hats and my mother said “It’s cute, but I bet you can already make this stuff, right?”

On the subject of hats, they were probably the things I looked at most. People were walking all around the city with the cutest hats on and I kept looking at them and dissecting them, thinking that maybe I could make my very own version. By the same token, I also saw more fun-fur scarves than was strictly necessary, but the overall outerwear impression was good.

At the end of the day, we were walking back down 7th avenue toward Penn Station to catch the Path home. Around Times Square I was still doing my people/hat watching thing to keep from focusing on the excruciating pain in my feet and legs. Among the hats I saw something I recognized. An Odessa hat! A girl maybe a little younger than me was wearing a very nice looking purple Odessa with matching beads, and when we walked past her I also saw that she was sporting a Gryffindor Scarf.

I didn’t and couldn’t say anything at the time, but to the girl with the purple Odessa in Times Square in the early evening of 12/9, you’re hat was beautiful. The beads you picked were perfect for the yarn color and I’m super jealous that you got it to fit so well. And the colors on your Harry Potter scarf were spot on. Merry Christmas.


Aw hell

November 28, 2007

I know that I actually need to knit for gift purposes. I know this. I don’t need to be reminded. But honestly, since I have to basically start from scratch on a personal statement for this year’s round of law school applications, I haven’t had all the time in the world for it…also two of the gifts I’m working on are black ribbed objects that are way too similar for my puny human brain. Mike’s Prime Rib scarf is taking forever. I still like the stitch but seriously 2.5 skeins in how is this thing not *done* already? It’s like that Mitch Hedberg pancake joke: “exciting at first, but by the end you’re f*&^ing sick of them.”

I started the February Baby Sweater too and as cute as it’s gonna be…would it have KILLED EZ to warn us about the button holes while still on the yolk? I know her patterns are more interactive and ask you to…like…*think* about what you’re knitting but still. Now the buttons are gonna start after the yolk, but honestly I think it won’t look too too too stupid, and since this is the second time I’m trying to knit something for the kid it’s gonna have to just be good enough.

Once I cannibalize the yarn from the BSJ I’m sure I’ll have enough left over to make a little hat to go with it…and then I can also make one for Matthew. Oh! Speaking of whom, I got an email from his mom the other day who says they actually *use* the Trellis I made him! I don’t know if that’s actually true or not (I like to think it is but I’m not vain), but it makes me feel better that all that work was not, in fact, for nothing. I like making gifts, but it makes me so nervous, ya know?

Fact is I do most of my knitting for myself. Like…I don’t want to inflict a handmade object on someone who then has to pretend to like it. But knitting things for myself is always fun. Especially hats. And on that note, I plan on picking up a couple of Ysolda patterns, specifically Gretel and Estella. I’m kinda digging these really slouchy hats. They look pretty good with my hair (which I’ve decided to keep long), and don’t give me horrible hat head. I’m especially excited about Gretel, which from the ravelry pictures seems to always look awesome…

Not that I have time for that with all the gift knitting…

AND! I was tagged with a meme a little while ago but never got around to posting the reply. Sorry, Jody 😦 I’m catching up now.

The Rules:

    Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.

  1. Share seven random and or weird things about yourself.
  2. Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
  3. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Seven Random Facts:

  1. I have a bit of an obsession with my hair. Well…maybe not so much an obsession as a preoccupation. No matter how bad it misbehaves I still love it and try to make it look the best it can every day…if I don’t…the bad things happen. 
  2. I speak Spanish nearly fluently, can speak a bit of French and Italian, and know the Arabic alphabet.
  3. I typically drink my coffee diesel (black, no cream or sugar), but prefer tea with milk and lots of sugar.
  4. I spent a semester of college in Granada, Spain to improve my Spanish. I now speak with the Spanish equivalent of a Georgia drawl. 
  5. I have a level 70 character on World of Warcraft, which I play casually.
  6. I am an only child.
  7. I had a dog named Sandy since I was about 4 years old. She died two years ago. I still miss her.

Sadly, I don’t really know too many bloggers, so I can only tag two:

   and Marie


Good intentions

September 16, 2007

I really should have listened. My Mother said that the Trellis looked too small…Melissa from Inner Child Crochet said to listen to advice like that… Even my friend who doesn’t knit pointed out that the sweater seemed to be scrunching in on itself.

 And yet, like Homer Simpson defending the edability of his airborn roast pig, I kept assuring people “It’s still good! It’s still good!”

It’s not good. There’s no way it’s gonna fit a one year old boy, which is how old the intended receipient would be by Christmas. I’m not even sure it would fit him now. I’m only one sleeve away from finishing the different pieces, so it’s way too late to turn back now. It *will,* however, fit little Ryan, who will only be 6 months by then…but I was already making her the Baby Suprise Jacket. So she’s gonna get two sweaters? Oh man. That means I have to really pull out all the stops for the *new* sweater I knit for Matthew. Maybe I’ll make him a sweater and a Sheldon. Toys are pretty awesome.

Between this crushing knitting defeat and the fact that I haven’t actually completed anything in what feels like months, I’m in a pretty bad funk as far as knitting. All I worked on yesterday was my Log Cabin Blanket, but knitting a blanket is sort of the unfufilling in that kind of “endless project sort of way.” I’ve also got a nasty headache and had a big letdown yesterday when  a family meeting decided that we were not ready to get another dog, no matter how precious the beagle/coon hound mix puppies my mom and I saw at the adoption drive were. Bad weekend.

I’m gonna cast on for that second Endpaper Mitt and grab a beer. I’m so done.

 UPDATE: I had no beer and ended up with the wrong amount of stitches after doing the entire cuff. Had to frog. Yesterday was not a good day for knitting.


The point of no return?

August 15, 2007

I think I may have hit the point of no return and am now transitioning from a knitter to a Knitter.

What brought this on? I really really *really* want to join this “Sock Yarn of the Month” club I heard about on Ravelry. It’s nice, independently died sock yarn and I really really want it….But can I do it?

 I have the money to do the monthly instalment plans, but it’s the stash space I worry about. I refuse to purchase any more containers for my yarn. It’s gotten out of hand already. I picked through it the other day and the thing is it’s not even just odds and ends of yarn. It’s like several groups that have enough to make a sweater. One set I know is for my cousin’s baby girl, and another bunch is for my other cousin’s little boy. I need to just sit down and use those large patches up, but that brings me to the next problem:

Has anyone ever sucessfully used up their yarn? Like, the whole skein/ball/hank is gone, baby, gone? I seem to be incapable of using up any given color. The skeins of Lamb’s Pride I had in Turkish Olive? *Still* have some left. And this is after making a small scarf, part of a felted purse, and a set of garter stitch mitts with it! I still have a lump of it that’s too small to really make anything with, but too big to just throw away. For *once* I’d just like to use something up…

Good thing I have that Clashtastic Log Cabin. Blankets = stash killers, so all that old Homespun is as good as gone. Of course, this knowledge put me in to a false sense of security and I felt safe to toss a couple of balls of Pallete in to my shopping cart when I ordered my friend’s birthday preasent from Knitpicks. What? I needed to round the order out to $45 for the shipping…

…If this gets any worse I’m going to want to try spinning…and that will just be bad for all of us….



July 18, 2007

I’ve recently come to a not so stunning realization.

 I love to make things.

Crafting makes me very very happy.

More than just knitting and crochet, I’m finding that I enjoy all sorts of making things practices. I learned to tat recently, I’m trying to learn to sew (I need some help to figure out the sewing maching, still), and I’ve been having a lot of fun recently decorating one of my crafting boxes with decoupage. It’s such simple, silly seeming stuff but it really brightens my day.

I’ve never really had a creative outlet. The title of this blog didn’t come out of nowhere. I was terrible in middle school art class. I can’t draw or sculpt. I can see what I want to express in my head, but my hands just won’t do it. This is upsetting to me since there really is quite a lot of art in my family’s history. My great grandfather was a pretty good painter, and we have several of his paintings up in our house.

But then there’s Nana. My mother’s mother. I remember when she and Pop would come to visit, she always had crochet with her. She taught me to make a chain, which (being 8 at the time) I promptly made long enough to wrap around the bottom floor of the house…I got in trouble with mom for that, but Nanny thought it was cute. She passed away before I could ever ask her to elaborate on that chain stitch, and as the years went by I found out that she was also an excellent sketch artist, scultpor, embroiderer, seamstress….Nana could do anything. I couldn’t even master the art of the stick figure.

Nana really dwarfs us all to this day. My mother is a wizard on the sewing maching, but she always brings up that she’s not as good as her mother. Same with my Aunts. I know I’m nowhere near as talented as she is either, but I can deal with it. This is something that makes me really happy. It’s an outlet. One I’ve never really had before.

If only they’d had a needlecraft unit in middle school…maybe then I wouldn’t have been such a miserable cuss during those years.