Wednesday, February 27, 2008

FO: A Touch of Whimsy hat

Note: Excessive cat hair in picture alert!
Yarn: Less than 218 yards of Purewool Poison
Pattern: This was a fun pattern to knit. Knitting the bottom and forcing myself to learn to graft made it all the more interesting, I'm pretty pleased with my first attempt at grafting. The top is a bit pointy which I'm sure is somehow my fault. I probably should have switched to size 7 needles the last few rows, because I always knit a bit looser on dpns when it gets tight and little. Perhaps this can straighten itself out with blocking/manual tightening of stitches. The color pooling is a bit strange in some sections, but I like it anyways.

In other news, look what came in the mail for me:
Though I don't if I will be making any of the patterns anytime soon, this is a really cute book. Makes me want to start reading Harry Potter all over again....while knitting a house sweater.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Dear Washing Machine and Dryer:

We have what seems to be a normal relationship. I put dirty clothes in, you wash them. I put wet clothes in the dryer, they come out dry(er).

One of you is eating my running socks.

I'm not going to name names, Dryer, but my shrinking supply of running socks has caused my body to become angry at me this weekend, and this is not acceptable.

Because of your sneaky sock stealing ways, I was forced out into the single digit weather on Sunday morning to run 11 miles in old holey running socks. Holey running socks with holes that rubbed my heal. For 11 miles. My body thought it best to let me know that I should end my run after 5 miles with a popped blister. My body did not realize that I had neither a band-aid nor a way to stop early on my there and back running route. I have had to rid myself of those holey socks post run, because of a serious "ewwwww" factor, Dryer, and I will have to put myself at your mercy to not eat my expensive running shoes when I have to wash them. But know that I have my eye on you, Dryer. You too, Washer, and I would appreciate your cooperation in keeping my body happier in the future.

My body thanks you for your future consideration.

Operator of Washer and Dryer

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Uruguayan Merino is my favorite

Despite the rigors of the cold/sickness that just won't die and teaching my friends to snowboard from skis, I have been knitting a bit. I got some Purewool for Christmas and instead of doing a project from my ravelry queue (which is beginning to take on proportions not unlike my stash) I saw the cutest pattern in my pattern a day calendar: A Touch of Whimsy Hat

I'm using a colorway called posion which, contrary to the picture you see on the website, is not dark purple and deep magenta, it's actually dark magenta and fuschia. That was a bit disappointing, but it still very soft Uruguayan merino for a fraction of the cost of Malabrigo, so I guess I'll live with the color descrepancies. Especially since it's so soft, I keep forgetting it's wool.

The pattern is kind of lost on this colorway because of the great variations in color, but I still like it. In a few inches I'll have to learn kitchener stitch to graft this together, and it will start to resemble a hat. And then I will find patterns so that I can knit with only with Purewool until I'm out :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cocoa swap FOs

Since my cocoa buddy has gotten her package, I can post what I've been up too, besides ignoring my so called scarf, which is so close to done that's it is positively silly for me to ignore it.

The owl was a buddy I included is the first toy I've ever knitted, and it was really fun. Once more of my friends start reproducing, I'm sure I'll have more excuses to make toys. I do love making baby things because of the instant gratification aspect, so hopefully my married friends will start making babies soon :)
And I am absolutely enamored with painting knitting needles. It is almost better than knitting itself. I might get some really fine hair brushes and start trying to do more detailed work. How cute would knitting needles be with sheep on them?

In other news, making yarn bowls might take awhile. My third attempt on the pottery wheel resulted in finally centering the clay (or close enough to centering it) and making a bowl....and then the top got all wobbly and uneven and it went "flop." Someday, yarn bowl you will be mine...

Last night I tried casting on for a hat with a provisional cast on, which I learned where I learn everything (), and it was just not working. It is those days that I covet people with experienced knitting friends or with knitting groups.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Note to self

Do not do crunches on an incline bench while drinking even if you are the party queen of flip cup.
Le sigh.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Yarn bowl

I don't usually post more than once a day, but look what I found:

Squee! I now have creative direction for my pottery class....if I can ever learn to center the clay on the wheel....but if you love this idea like I do, you can get them here

FO: Yoga Bag

I've been using this for a solid year, but I've never posted about it. It wasn't needle knit, it was done on a loom. Despite using it, I'm always looking at "better" patterns like Namaste. However, almost every time I go to a yoga class, someone compliments me on it.

Yarn: Red Heart, worsted weight
Pattern: none
Loom:Red Knifty Knitter loom

I just used a single strand on this loom until I had a tube of appropriate length. I gathered the stiches on one end together to close it off, and knit a length of braided yarn to go through the stitches on the other end. I make a panel on the loom of four stitches to be the shoulder strap.

The Red Heart Acrylic is stretchy, so it's easy to get the yoga mat in and out, especially because the single yarn on the loom makes suck a loose material. But because it's so stretchy, it kind of stretches and doesn't look as pretty as material bags when you wear it on your shoulder. I'm not going to defend my Red Heart purchase or explain it. It's cheap yarn and you can wash it. *shrug* If I were to knit another one, I would probably use a yarn with some cotton to cut down on stretchiness, and I'd also weave to bottom, so it would lie flat against the mat.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Cocoa Swap Topic #4

What is your most memorable vacation? Where did you go? What made it memorable?

My most memorable vacation was probably the semester I spent abroad in Australia. I was drinking at pubs every night going to school, but I managed to have many memorable trips out of Brisbane. I learned to scuba dive, held a koala, scratched a wallaby's chin (just like a kitty cat), rescued a baby kangaroo from roadkill in the middle of the outback, explored Uluru in Austraila's Red Centre, visited Opal mines, swam in a lake of tea, and of course, tried my hand at surfing on their squeaky sand beaches. I attended the University of Queensland in subtropical Brisbane, and got to take weekend scuba diving trips, hiking trips that ended with BBQs on the beach, and attended my Aussie roommates' rugby games and after game parties at pubs. I took a ferry across the river every day to school and on the walk home, I would pick up fragrant fallen frangipani flowers (called plumeria in America) and stick them in bowls of water in my room so that there was always a fragrance of flowers. I made the best friends I've ever had in those short months, friends that knew/know me better than many friends I've had for years. I had community dinner with the daughter os a Costa Rican coffee farmer, a sorority girl from Virginia, and anarchist from San Francisco, and a girl from my college who turned out to be a friend of the man I married.
I changed my worldview, learned how a different culture reacts to the world and to Americans, and learned how to assimilate to a different culture. I learned to see Americans as another culture sees them, and learned how to not be "another American tourist." I had my values challenged: some important ones reaffirmed, others rejected.
I feel strongly about the importance of making studying abroad an affordable and emphasized option in college study. As a prevet/animal science major, it was not an easy option, but it changed my life. As one of the world's superpowers, America's culture affects people all over the world, both negatively and positively. I feel that the more educated we become about how we affect the world, the more the youth of today will be able to make educated decisions in the future of how to treat the world.

*This philosophizing brought to you as a byproduct of the recent watching of too many political debates.