Sunday, April 30, 2006  

3 Down, 1 To Go!!

By Wednesday night, it'll all be over.... another year of law school under my belt. Only I still have all sorts of work to do for the journal, and I start work on the 8th, but we'll leave all that aside for a moment and concentrate on the important stuff. Wednesday Night? Happy Place. Friday? Happy Place. Saturday and Sunday? Nirvana.

But in the meantime, there has been a bit of knitting progress - I'm still plugging away on the black silk shrug, but black silk is almost as hard to photograph as a black cat, so no update pics. I did, however, finish the first Eleanora sock this afternoon - I decided to go with a short row toe, and graft across on the bottom. I somehow had more sts on the top than the bottom, so I had to fudge it a bit - but I'll double check that on the second sock, and I'm sure it'll be fine.

The Sock - Mid-Graft:

Finished Sock - Profile:

Finished Sock - Aerial View

So I don't forget, things I'll change for next pair - start with fewer sts!

I also got my space board in the mail, so I gave it a test run with the pieces of the Astrakan Shawl Collar Cardi. I lovingly steamed the $&*# out of each of the pieces, which did wonders for the curly edges, and will hopefully make it much easier to sew this puppy up.

And the beauty that is the shawl collar:

Woo Hooo! Ready for seaming! Wait - where are you going? Don't put us on the shelf! HEY! PUT DOWN THAT SILK, YOU PROJECT-HUSSY!

My excuse for not seaming right away? Trying to figure out what to use. The embroidery floss at the far right matches best, but I don't have enough of it. The sock yarn is my first choice, but I'm afraid it's too dark. The lighter pink is wool-ease, and I'm not sure how well it'll work since it's worsted. SIGH. So any suggestions are much appreciated!

In other very exciting news - Wendy's launch party on Friday night was great! Ian played bartender and poured a mean champagne cocktail...

Kristine was a very gracious host, and Wendy herself looked amazing in one of the most fantastic dresses I've seen in a long time, and one of her beautiful shawls. Thanks so much for including me, Wendy - and CONGRATS - the book is amazing! Although I still need to get a copy signed ... I couldn't come to the signing on Saturday.

Maryland Sheep & Wool Caravan:
So far, I have Erin, Liz, Carol, Dani (maybe) interested in a Saturday caravan. I know more of you want to join in ... even if you want to take your own car, we can coordinate arriving so we can run around and fondle yarn en masse. So let me know ASAP if you want to be included - maevezana ~!at!~ yahoo ~!dot!~ com.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006  

Happy Birthday!

Happy 5th Birthday, Cricket!

What do you get for the cat who has everything? Why, a 35 pound bucket of cat litter, of course!

And locals - remember to email me if you want to join the Saturday MS&W caravan!!!



Sunday, April 23, 2006  

I'm Not Posting - I'm Studying

Disclaimer - this post is an illusion, because I'm actually studying for finals RIGHT NOW. I'm NOT reading blogs, or watching Gilmore Girls on DVD, or knitting. Because doing any of those things would mean that I wasn't actually studying, and since I am, well, you get the idea.

So I don't know where this pile of finished pieces of the Debbie Bliss shawl-collared cardi came from, because I certainly couldn't have been knitting the collar on Wednesday night at Knit Happens (because, of course, I wasn't AT knit happens on Wednesday night, because I was studying!)

Funnily enough - even though I can seemingly justify knitting for hours instead of studying, seaming up a sweater so I can wear it would totally take too much time away from the books. So the sweater pieces will sit there, on my shelf, looking sad and lonely, until I finally take pity on them.

But I have another excuse for waiting besides studying - I just ordered a space-board, and I want to try it out with these slightly curly pieces before I seam up. See? There's always a good excuse available when you're trying to get out of seaming up a sweater.

I've also NOT been knitting on my Eleanora socks... I'm loving these. Despite appearances, the main pattern is REALLY easy to memorize, which makes them go much faster. And yes, I'm doing these top-down - I actually followed the pattern exactly... for about 5 minutes. And then I made them narrower, and did a short-row heel, and I'll probably do a short row toe. Still undecided about that one. Oh, and I didn't change to size 1 needles. Please. Size 1's for socks? That's crazy-talk! (unless they're koigu, or possibly Cherry Tree Hill.)

And here's a close-up of the stitch pattern:

And finally, I'm DEFINITELY NOT knitting the back of the Shrug from Debbie Bliss' new Pure Silk book. So since I'm not knitting it, I couldn't possibly know that the silk is so amazing that I can't actually put it down without looking at it longingly as I walk away. Oh, and of course, were I actually knitting this, I would have changed the pattern by knitting the ribbing on the bottom (instead of picking up stitches on the cast-on edge), and that I mirrored the cables around the center motif, because I'm anal like that.

But even if you're studying all the time, you have to eat, right? And so it's totally justified to make chicken noodle soup from scratch, because you've TOTALLY got to eat, right?

Ok - enough with the (not) studying.... Happily, the weekend after my last final is SHEEP & WOOL. You know you're going. So if you're local, and want to go on Saturday bright and early so that minimal blood-letting has to occur at a couple of key merchants (cough cough, that means you, Holly!), then email me (address in the sidebar). I'll start putting together a list, and we can figure out logistics!

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006  

MS Walk

One of my bestest friends, Karen, is walking in the MS walk this fall. Please consider supporting her - I've copied her letter below. And let me add that when she says that her dad has MS, what she doesn't say is that he is now wheelchair bound, can barely speak, and can't eat or drink. When he was diagnosed, he and my dad were the coaches for our soccer team. It's been heartbreaking to watch him struggle as his body continues to fail him.

I'm participating in the MS Challenge Walk September 29-October 1, 2006. My father was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis eighteen years ago, and I have decided to challenge myself to walk 50 miles over the course of three days in support of my dad and the over 400,000 Americans living with MS. My goal is to raise $1,500 in support of this cause to help people like my dad and my family who live with MS on a daily basis. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic and often disabling disease of the central nervous system. People are usually diagnosed with MS between the ages of 20 and 50. Symptoms of the disease are unpredictable, ranging from tingling and numbness to paralysis and blindness. The National MS Society is the largest private sponsor of MS research in the world. They support research projects that are aimed at finding the cause of MS, better treatments for individuals living with it, and ultimately a cure. The National MS Society also directly supports individuals with MS and their families through numerous local programs and services.

If you choose to make a donation, you can donate online HERE.

(I'll eventually get around to putting a link on my sidebar. )



Thursday, April 13, 2006  

How To Avoid Studying for Finals

I have a final in fewer than 2 weeks. I would count the days, but then I would have a heart attack. So yesterday, instead of studying, I gave myself one last afternoon of happiness.

First, I watched Season 4 of Ballykissangel, courtesy of Netflix. Well, I don't know if "watched" is the correct phrase. You see, season 4 is when a certain actor joined the show's cast. In the episode I "watched" yesterday afternoon, this actor had a scene where his costuming notes consisted of "black boxers."

Yes, that is Collin Farrel, and day-um. Let's all enjoy the pre-scungy hot Irishman. I may be re-watching this episode a few more times before Netflix gets the disk back...

After enjoying the view for a bit, I headed over to the Happy Place.

Here's S' big-honkin sock at the start of the knitting festivities...

It sat patiently as I wound my new lovely sock yarn into a nice big yarn cake. Thanks so a certain enabler, I decided to give Black Bunny Fibers a try. I ordered a skein of the sock yarn in leprechaun, and it's so beautiful. Since it's a rather "skinny" sock yarn, I'm hoping it'll work with the beautiful Eleanora pattern, since the pattern calls for 78 stitches!!! Since I usually use 50-60 stitches for most of my socks, I'm hoping this thinner yarn will work. As soon as I finish S' first big-honkin sock and get the second one past the toe, I'm handing them over to him to work on them, and get started. This yarn is so beautiful - I really can't wait!

It was the perfect day to spend hanging out at the Happy Place. Kristine was there (finally!), and yes - there is proof that she is, in fact, alive.

caption for this photo - "Jerby, Well on Her Way to World Yarn Domination, is Temporarily Foiled by Cookie."

And there was other fun and hilarity to be found - as is COMPLETELY un-evident from this photo. Apparently, Wendy, Kristine, and the fabulous Jacinta were having a blast playing "best funeral face ever." Or, there's the possibility that my photography skills suck monkey-butts, and I just can't take a proper photo of what was, in fact, an amazingly fun afternoon.

Things just got better when the famous Ann and Kay came through the door - here they are admiring Wendy's new book. Again, I have no idea why my camera hates people - really, all 4 ladies in this picture are lovely in person.

Ann and Kay were amazing - I loved looking at the items from the book, and am so happy to own my copy. Initially, I thought this was a knitting book I might skip - but I've read over half of it, and I have enjoyed every page. I also have a strange and compelling desire to knit log cabin blankets, but I'm hoping that's temporary. And something great about this book that I don't believe has been mentioned? When you remove the dust-jacket, the cover of the book is still slightly shiny - and bathtub drips just wipe right off. This is important, as this is DEFINITELY a bath-tub book-club pick of the week.

By the end of the day, I felt relaxed, happy, and productive - check out the progress on the Big-Honkin' Sock!

Hmmm - apparently my professors will not be accepting photos of knitting progress in lieu of a satisfactorily completed final exam. Damn.

See you in 3 weeks...

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006  

Searching for the Fear

This is my last full week of classes. At some point, I really need that burst of "Oh My God, I'm taking a FINAL soon" fear to get me to hit those books. So far, I keep looking at the calendar, seeing how little time there really is, and somehow - no fear. This weekend the studying starts in earnest, fear or no fear.

But until then, there's knitting!

Cherry Blossom Socks

my own - basic toe-up with short-rows, added in a very stretchy lace pattern:
row 1: *k3 p2*
row 2: * yo k2tog k1 p2*
row 3: *k3 p2*
row 4: *k1 ssk yo p2*


50 sts with size 1 needles

I almost managed to finish these during the official Cherry Blossom Festival, but missed by a few days. But still, the perfect color yarn for my favorite time in DC!

And I have PLENTY of yarn leftover - thanks to the lacy stitch pattern, I barely touched the second ball of yarn.

And I've picked out my next sock project - happy koigu in a happy spring color. Pattern to be determined, because currently I'm "helping" S knit his gigantic brown socks. He's done a fair bit on them, but if we wait until he finishes them, he'll be wearing the best handknitted socks in his nursing home. So he knits a bit, I knit a lot, he knits a bit... and K has even gotten in on the action during the brief period when she was (gasp) WITHOUT KNITTING. But don't worry, we've fixed that now.

I'm also still plugging VERY slowly away on the shawl collar of the Debbie Bliss sweater in astrakan - it seriously never ends. I think I'm over 1/2 way there, but I ended up having to buy an extra ball of yarn to be safe. If I can ever finish this, I'll be done with the knitting - all that will be left will be the blocking, assembly (note to self - find coordinating smooth yarn in stash!), and bringing this bad-boy out for its "please don't get too hot yet because I have a new sweater" debut.

Meanwhile, my repeated pleas for help in the "countdown to finals" stress have gone unheeded -

Exhibit A: Cricket

Exhibit B: Abby... and yes, she put her little head on the pillow all by herself. At S' house, she has her own pillow on the couch so she'll be comfy.

At what point can I just give up on the whole studying thing, curl up with the fuzzles, and take a nap of my own?

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Sunday, April 02, 2006  

Concrete 1, Head 0

In case any of y'all are wondering, smacking one's head onto a hard surface can result in some pain, a bit of a black eye, and, if you happen to be more than a little tipsy at the time, a trip to the emergency room to double check for signs of a concussion. Luckily, besides a bruised ego and the aforementioned black eye, I'm 100% fine.

So anyway, in MUCH better news, I finally managed to take pictures of my latest finished socks:

New Mexico Socks

my own

Cherry Tree Hill in Serengeti

60 sts with size 0 needles; garter stitch rib.

These colors totally reminded me of New Mexico, and, since I started (and finished) the first sock in Albuquerque, it all seemed so appropriate. I may knit with nothing besides koigu kpppm and cherry tree hill sock yarns.

Shield Your Eyes Socks


Random solid yellow sock yarn, and slightly variegated pink and orange from ebay seller lotusblossom.

Much fun to knit. Did I mention that I LOVE the stripes?

I had to make the socks smaller, but that was easily accomplished by reducing the knit sts to 5 instead of the 7 called for between the interesting stuff. I used 60 sts for the foot, and increased back to 7 for the ankles.

Also, (of course), these were knit toe-up with my standard short-row toes and heels on 2 US1 addi turbos.

In other happy news, I, I mean CRICKET, got a present from a certain California Girl... she supposedly found some random leftover skeins of the yarn she sent me a few weeks ago, and sent them to me. Really, though, Cricket is convinced that it was all just an excuse to send her a few entertaining little toys...

Here, Cricket demonstrates that you CAN have your grey mouse, and your red mouse too.

And finally - a Tribute to Spring in D.C.

spring tulips

cherry blossoms

squirrel chasing

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