Saturday, December 30, 2006

Back Online...

Well, sorta. I've been able to get online with various computers here (not my own, of course), but I've been hogging Dad's and for some reason it doesn't like the Blogger cookies, so I haven't been able to sign in. If anyone got any anonymous comments, it was probably me!

Spent yesterday and this morning in Lafayette with various friends from school. I ended up crashing at AF guy's dad's house - he, his sister, his dad, and I all tried to cheer Purdue on to victory in the bowl game last night, but Purdue apparently forgot to show up. We all crashed on their floor. It was great though - I got to see the campus again, and it is absolutely amazing how much has changed and how much has stayed the same! They have completed at least four new buildings (all red brick, of course, nothing else is allowed on campus), and are working on several more! I've only been gone three years! Anyway, it was really cool!

Oh, and whoever the anonymous pusher was who recommended River Knits, you're both my new favorite person and my new most hated person. Not really the second, but my checkbook is complaining (just a little). I stopped by there this morning, just after they opened. I was the first person in the store, but another lady walked in not two minutes later, and after that, it was a steady stream of people in and out. Not only was it super cool to see someone behind the counter close to my own age, knitting mittens on dpns and who actually knew how things roll in Knitland, but the first thing I see:



Yes. Yes, there it was. Right in front of me. My favorite sock yarn EVAR! Bearfoot! And next to it? Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport. And Cherry Tree Hill. And Regia's Bamboo (which is a heck of a lot softer than I expected!) And that was just in the first two steps in! I was good, though, and only stuck to the Bearfoot. Three skeins, but just Bearfoot. They have a GREAT selection there, of all kinds of yarns, from Plymouth Encore to this:




My other, erm, splurge. Cashmere. 100% Cashmere laceweight. In my favorite colors. This, specifically, is Mongolian Cashmere from Jade Sapphire in the Lagoon colorway. Between the beautiful yarn and the scarf they had made from one skein of it (400 yds/skein), how could I say no? I got one skein (I wanted to get three for a shawl so badly, but I really couldn't afford it!) and the pattern for the scarf. I had the girl wind the skein for me, as I'm pretty sure that I will work on this on the plane.

They also have a decent selection of needles, the first time I've ever actually SEEN Lantern Moon Ebony wood needles. Now I get why people drool over them! I did not get a set (I just got the KnitPicks, remember), but I did pick up a US 4 Clover Bamboo circ to work with the cashmere. I figured the super slick KnitPicks and Addis that I have may not be the best match for the cashmere. Sigh. I find this shop NOW, and it's 2500 miles away. Grrr. Luckily, they are online as well!

Other knitting news: All three pairs of clogs are felted,

although Mom's will probably go in for another cycle at least. They're just not felting as small as they need to! It may have to do with the light colored sole and cuff yarn. The soles for hers came in Thursday, so I'm going to spend this afternoon and probably most of tomorrow (while watching the hotly debated Bears-Packers game, I'm sure) sewing soles onto all three pairs. Oh, and I almost had a heart attack the other day. I put Mom's sock in the pocket of my coat to work on in the car on the way to the mall, but I didn't get a chance to work on it. Later, when we got back home, I went to pull it out and...no project bag! No sock, yarn, needles, bag, zip! Nothing in the car, nothing at home...after tearing the house apart (I was actually more ticked about losing the needles, I love US2 Inox), I called the first store we went to. Apparently it had fallen out of my pocket and someone had been a saint and turned it in to lost and found! Yay! When I called the store, I asked the lady if anyone had turned in any half-knit socks. She sounded a little confused, then goes, "Oh, knitting! Yeah, someone turned some knitting in the other day! Blue yarn?" Whew!

Oh, and for the kitty lovers, some new pics of my parents' babies.

They've grown so much! And one of the old ones doing a pretty good job of ignoring them.

This is Scud (named by my brother after the SCUD missiles, she's eight). Fuzz (also named by my brother, no idea what that was from) declined to have her picture taken. I can't wait to see my own TeddieCat again!!

My knitting New Years resolution is to knit from the stash. I am allowing myself one yarn splurge, to get enough yarn for a sweater. I'm not sure precisely what I want for that yet, so I'm waiting until I find The Yarn. (Knowing my luck, it'll be when I find The Guy, too, and I'll have to choose between 'em!) This, erm, DOES include sock yarn this time. I have wayy too much of it and am not knitting it up fast enough!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Okay, this is cool. My dad got a new computer for Christmas and it has a wireless keyboard. I always kind of scoffed at these things, but it's rather nice to be curled up on the couch and typing! No pics in this post, as I've honestly been too busy and thinking of other things than taking pictures, but I'll try to keep it organized as much as possible.

1. Christmas: was wonderful. We always have Christmas Eve with my mom's side of the family. Of course, Santa came that night (after drafting me to help wrap my brother's gifts and some of each of my parents' as well) and left all sorts of goodies for us. The rest of Christmas Day is always spent with my dad's side of the family, who live just down the driveway and across the old orchard from us (it would make sense if you knew this town). My entire extended family lives in the same town, so we don't really have the big family get togethers, but we always have special meals for Christmas. Both days are my favourite times of the year. Christmas is a 48-hour day for us, really.

2. Felted Clogs: went over big time! The guys' are a little big (about an inch, which isn't bad), which is fine. Too big is easily fixable. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get them off their feet long enough to take them through the felting process one more time, let them dry, and get the soles sewn on! They did finally admit that the slippers were pretty slick on the stone tile floor in the kitchen, but they didn't want to take them off and put their feet on the cold floor. Men. Mom's were knitted in time for the holidays, but not felted. She wears a size 8 shoe, which is right in between the women's medium and large sizes. Since the guys' turned out so big, I went with the medium, but want to have her feet around when I felt them so they don't get too small too quickly. I may end up hand felting all three pairs again - they have a pretty powerful washer here. I also ordered the soles for Mom's size (they were out of stock when I ordered the guys'), and I hope they're here by Friday so I can sew them on. If I don't, it'll never get done!

3. Presents: I only got one knitting related gift, but it's still cool! One of my aunts got me both Stitch 'n Bitch and Stitch 'n Bitch Nation! I've had fun flipping through the patterns and tips. I don't really need another "learn to knit book", but it's still fun to get new ideas, and super cool that she thought of that for me! My big present from my parents, though, is that they are going to buy me a new computer! Yay! It would be super awkward to try to ship one back to California, so my mom and I are going computer shopping on Thursday to find the one we like, and then they'll buy it for me once I'm back home. This, my friends, is when it pays to have a mother who is a computer systems admin at a bank! You would think that with as much time as I spend in front of a computer, I would know quite a bit about them, but I don't. I just make up a list of what I'd like to be able to do with the computer, and then Mom goes on the hunt. It's always worked out so far. Other very fun presents include the new Dilbert book, an incredibly comfy zip up hoody sweater, and new Cubs flannel pajama pants!

4. After Christmas projects: I did not bring Rogue with me here, as it's in that bulky sweater stage, but I did bring the Snowdrop Shawl, both parents' socks, and a skein of the SWS. I started, after several ideas, a multidirectional diagonal scarf with the SWS. The denim hasn't been striping for me at all, though, so it's not a particularly interesting scarf color-wise. Still, it might work well as a guy's scarf. We'll see. I've made this scarf before and really enjoyed it (you know me and short rows!) and I love the feel of the SWS, but I have to admit that it doesn't stand up particularly well to frogging and tinking. Mental note to self: next time I buy this, definitely have a project in mind BEFORE I start playing around with it. I've done another repeat on the shawl, and am about half done with the foot of the first of Mom's socks. I'm going back and forth between completely frogging what is done of Dad's sock or just back to the lifeline at the start of the heel. I think I know what is throwing me off with the stupid heel - there's an odd number of stitches! For some reason I just now thought of this. Oh...and I spent my Christmas money on the KnitPicks Options set and one of their US 2 circs. They should be waiting for me when I get home, and I can't wait to play with them!!

I think that's about it. Mom keeps mentioning that I should look around to see if there are any yarn stores that are in the areas we will be shopping in, and if I want to check any out, she'll go with me. I'm not sure whether she is that interested in the knitting or just in finding yarns she likes that she can "request", but either works for me =) I'm going over to Purdue on Friday (I think) to hang out with some friends, including AF guy (we met and dated my sophomore/his junior year there), and hoping to hang out here with Becki and Amanda on Saturday. The kittens are cute as ever, and have been pretty good about the whole Christmas thing, if you don't count trying to use the tree as a vertical racecourse. The older cats still are doing their best to ignore the little ones, and the dog just wants to be petted and played fetch with. I miss my TeddieCat. A lot more than I thought I would. I hope he's doing okay!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday as well! I've seen some of the posts already and it is SO COOL to see how everyone else celebrates, what they have made, and what they have received! Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Three Things

1. Seussical is closed! Final performance was this afternoon. It's one of those that it was fun to work on, but we're looking forward to next semester already. I'm doing Barrymore and The Man Who Came To Dinner next semester, and Company and Lifeboat in the summer, with the possibility of calling the Solvang run of Urinetown. I'm also going to try to take a more active role in mentoring and working with the students. I'm looking forward to it.

2. I got this for Christmas! The intern I am teaching to knit spent her downtime during the run of the show crocheting scarves for all of us!! How cool is that?! Mine is a very very soft Moda Dea fuzzy yarn. It's so pretty and warm, I love it! Unfortunately, said intern will not be with us next semester (something about wanting to get married in March. I mean, really, planning your wedding and honeymoon, hanging out with us in the office and backstage, what kind of choice is that? =) ) but we're planting seeds for the summer. I gave her one of my learning to knit books so she can expand a little more if she wants while she's away.
3. Two pairs of clogs are done and felted. These are both men's large size. Getting inspected by the supervisor:
And post felting (note the supervisor still inspecting)
The cuffs on the green ones turned out very differently. I'm not quite sure why. Also, the green ones felted a lot faster than the gray ones, so the grey ones are slightly bigger still. Also, one of Mom's clogs is done:

I love the colors of these (I'm sure you're all shocked). The second one is in my lap waiting for me to figure out how I ended up with the wrong number of stitches on the sole already. I want to get these done tonight so I can felt them in the morning and probably dry them with a hair dryer or something before my flight. I hope the winter storms going through Colorado and all that don't mess up the schedule too badly, but it's not like there's much I can do about it.

Oh, and I did pick up some Patons SWS. My other intern got me fondling it and after checking out various reviews of it, I picked up two skeins in Natural Denim (another shock, huh?). I have to admit it is extremely soft. I started an entrelac scarf with it, then frogged it. Maybe a hat. Dunno yet. Gotta get this clog done first!

Flying home tomorrow! Can't wait for Christmas! I love my family, but on the other hand I can't wait to get back home already. I'm excited about the next semester, I found a taekwondo studio that teaches beginning adult classes starting Jan. 2 (I've always wanted to learn, and it's good practical exercise!), and AF guy is going to come down for a few days while we're both on break. And I already miss my kitty and I haven't even dropped him off yet! He gets mucho snuggles tonight!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Another Monday Adventure!


Cookies! I spent yesterday cleaning and baking and wishing I was knitting. It's a very secret family recipe, handed down from generations. Okay, it's in a very old Pillsbury cookbook that my dad has had for as long as I can remember. It's probably out of print. Dad and I make these every year, without fail. This is the first time I have made them by myself, though. Not that it is a particularly difficult or complicated recipe, but I'm really pleased with how they turned out. Just like Dad's! He's given them away as Christmas gifts before, and everyone has always asked for more. Now I know why. I made about five dozen cookies and brought them in for the cast and crew this afternoon. I'm not sure the cast actually got any, as when I checked them after about an hour, the crew had demolished them and there were only about ten left. Luckily for me, while I enjoy baking them and occasionally nibbling on the dough, I don't really like the cookies themselves, so I don't have to worry about overindulging on these guys.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to make these cookies in real life and not get flour all over creation and back. I don't care what they show you on those cooking shows. Flour for the dough, flour for the rolling board, flour for the rolling pin, flour for the cookie cutters, and then, once you're done with the flour, powdered sugar for the icing! It gets ALL over the place. And, of course, the vaccuum cleaner dies as I'm trying to get the stuff up off the carpet. Completely and totally dead. Grr...granted, it was a very cheap vaccuum, and you get what you pay for, but really, just what I need to do right now, spend more money! But, I can't leave flour and sugar in the carpet, that's just gross. So I run to Target while the dough is chilling and get a new vaccuum (a better one). (Ironically, in what appears to be a dramatic expression of sympathy, Chrissy's vaccuum also died yesterday and she had to get a new one as well. We did not get the same kind for replacements, though, that would just be weird!) Get home, go to roll out the dough, and realize I don't have a rolling pin. It's just not one of those things that I thought I really needed at the time I was stocking my kitchen, I guess. Go back to Target. They are completely sold out of rolling pins. Go to Vons. Same story. Finally I cringe, screw up my courage, and go to Wal-Mart (I really don't like our Wal-Mart). They have two pins left. Sigh. I didn't get to actually start baking the cookies until about 10:00p. I baked them all last night and iced about half of them before conceding defeat, and iced the rest this morning before the show. Now I have to finish cleaning the kitchen counters, do yet another load of dishes, wrap presents, knit Mom's slippers, and felt all three pairs. In between the five shows we're doing between now and Thursday! Oy!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Another Weird Meme from AR

"THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the "6 weird things about you." People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you are tagged" in their comments and tell them to read your blog."

Six weird things about me:
  1. I still check under the bed before I go to sleep, and always have a dim light on where I can see it from my bed. I blame it on an overactive imagination and watching too many crime dramas.
  2. Having a dentist clean my teeth gives me the shivers. The feel of the metal on my teeth, even just the mirror, is like nails on a chalkboard to me.
  3. I have a terrible sense of smell. Almost no sense of smell - stuff has to be really strong for me to smell it.
  4. I can spend hours on a text-based RPG, but don't generally spend a lot of time on regular graphic video games.
  5. I have no problems waiting in airports. Ever. I love people watching, particularly if there are delays. It's fascinating. And, if all else fails, there's always knitting, reading, puzzles and napping on your carry-on bag. I have only lost my temper with anyone while traveling once, and that was some lady who was really being a bitch about a weather delay. Like there's anything anyone can do about the weather.
  6. I work on crossword puzzles before I go to bed every night. They relax me, somehow.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

2006 Meme

Stolen from AR. Take the first sentence of the first post for each month of 2006. I need to work on opening sentences, wow! You might not even know this was a knitting blog!

January: I have enough sock yarn to make nine and a half pairs of socks this year for the Two Thousand and Socks! KAL RoseByAny (Amie) started over on the KR Forums.

February: Okay, so not really.

March: Just very busy, and don't have internet at home anymore.

April: Borrowed this meme from Cara. Looking down the list, I realize that I can't really think of any books that I WOULDN'T read.

May: Because she's wearing her Jaywalkers!

June: This makes me happy.

July: So Anna opened last night to very positive reviews.

August: I came home from rehearsal uncharacteristically hyper tonight.

September: Dames is OPEN!

October: Guess where I was today?!

November: No Halloween for me this year.

December: Real post to come later, hopefully with pics.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Some success?

The second of Kelly's slippers is almost done. I've been blah and unmotivated and have that almost-but-not-quite-sicky feeling most of this week, which I attribute to lack of sleep and PMS. I don't have much of a voice today, and I'm supposed to call the show tonight. I can do it, it just might be quieter than usual.

I finished another scrap on the Scrap Sock Yarn Log Cabin, as I was using it this week to teach one of my interns to knit. I find it is easiest to show a technique if you are working on something similar, rather than "Well, I'm knitting this so don't pay attention to what I am doing but do yours this way." I gave her some yarn and a pair of US 8 straights, and she's doing pretty well, for the first time she's ever knit. She really likes the look of ribbing, so I might teach her purling tonight. The other one is still in the process of learning entrelac, and I started another Danica that I can follow along with her on. This one is in leftover yarn from Becki's Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf, and is only going to be used as a teaching tool and a scrap user upper. I figured out how she ended up with an odd looking garter stitch. Whoever had taught her to purl actually taught her how to twist a knit stitch, rather than an actual purl stitch. So I had to re-teach her to purl (hmm...remember when I realized that I was purling incorrectly? I could totally empathize with her frustration!) and she's had a little trouble with it, but she'll get it. I think she really likes the idea of short rows; she's started the base triangles on another project already.

I've been thinking about doing another sweater a lot lately. (Darn you, Amie!) I think I know the style I want to make. A long sleeved fitted turtleneck. In red. Because I don't have any red sweaters. I think I might actually know enough to attempt to do this on my own. Maybe. I may have to wait until after Stitches to figure out some of the shaping and decreases, but I can at least get it started, right? After I finish Rogue. In a fit of "oh my god I have to work on something other than slippers and socks" pique last night, I unseamed and frogged back one of the sleeves and added another two inches (12 rows) to the area before I start the sleeve cap. It was actually enormously satisfying. I think it should work fine. My plastic darning needles and scrap yarn pieces have come in awfully handy for lifelines lately. Thread up the needle with the scrap yarn, figure out what row you need to get back to, run the needle and yarn through that row, and frog. Much faster and neater than anything else I've done so far.

I have to leave Teddie for ten whole days while I go home for Christmas. I am going back and forth between boarding him and getting a pet sitter. It would cost about the same, either way. I'm concerned that if I board him, given that I got him from the shelter, that he would think I was abandoning him again, and if I had a sitter check on him, he could stay in his own home, with my scent and stuff around. The pro for boarding is that he would get a LOT more attention there than if I left him at home, even if the sitter checked on him every day, and he loves his attention. Suggestions?

Oh, and check out the Yarn Harlot's new Knitters Without Borders post. It's pretty darn cool. I wonder if there is a way to use Paypal to make a donation, since that is where my "stash" money is?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Another Monday Adventure...(pics!)

How do you and your department spend your days off? We spend ours like this:
at places like this:
And got our pictures taken with cute guys:
Basically, we did a marathon Disneyland day. We drove down Sunday night after the show and got a hotel, then hit the park at 9:00a when the gates opened. We left at 9:15p after the fireworks and got back into Santa Maria around 2:00a this morning. It was Kara's virgin Disneyland trip, so we had to initiate her properly. We hit all the rides, including Space Mountain twice. (Oh my gosh, has that ride changed! It is so fast and cool now!) We shopped and shopped and shopped. (My Christmas shopping is done, but oh, does my charge card hurt - it's going into hiding now until I can get that paid off!) We were able to talk to the stage manager of the Jedi Training Academy show very randomly. Guys in black wearing headsets tend to stick out to people like us, and they were very nice about our sudden attack of questions. And, of course, we finished the day with fireworks, churros, and In-n-Out on the way home. I just had to get a t-shirt with the new Pirates of the Caribbean slogan: The beatings will continue until morale improves. I'm totally wearing it tomorrow to call the show. Chrissy and I did a lot of co-shopping: we both got Princess ears (mine are Pirate Princess ears, of course, her Pretty Princess ears are just a little girly for me), bead-your-own keychains, and stuffed Eeyores. I also got a new zip-up sweatshirt (I really really can't resist those things, it's a sickness) and two t-shirts. Plus my Christmas shopping. It was great!

And, when I got home (granted, I was not conscious enough to appreciate these at the time, but now I am), two envelopes were waiting for me. The first was the Fiber Trends Felted Clogs pattern that I ordered online. Now that I have half of them done already. I'm really really glad that I happened upon the pattern at the LYS - I'd be tearing my hair out at this point otherwise! I have one more men's large to do and then Mom's, and I should be done by this weekend. Anyone interested in buying one of the copies of the pattern from me? Or swapping for something?

The second was my Stitches West confirmation! I didn't get into the finishing class that I wanted, but did get into two basic designing classes and the two-handed colorwork class! I can't wait! I can't wait! By the way, did I mention I can't wait?

Oh, and I turned the heel on the first of Mom's socks. Perfect, the first time. Sigh. Maybe Dad's are just cursed?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Progress!

Christmas gifts: 50% (3 of 6) complete.

Mom's socks: 20% complete

Dad's socks: currently about 23% complete, but will probably get frogged and restarted and given later

Destash: over 50% sold, and I made a new theater-knitting friend, another East Coaster. This one's in costumes. You all seriously need to come out to CA and work. I mean, No Snow - on the coast anyway - what more do I need to say?

Two of my interns have also asked me to do a Knit Night or knitting class of some kind for them. One is the one who is learning entrelac and just needs some help with some of the skills involved. The other crochets but wants to learn to knit as well. I'm pondering. I should do what Suzi did for me - bring her some yarn and a pair of needles and teach her. And I want to, but I've never taught anyone from the basics, just showed stuff like increases and techniques and stuff to people who already have some idea of what I am talking about. Any suggestions?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Destash!

Alright, I'm biting the bullet and destashing. I'm also linking to this post from the KR Forums. Prices are negotiable, and do not include shipping/mailing costs. Prefer Paypal, but will accept personal check in the mail. However, yarn will not be shipped until the check has cleared. Yarns are from a smoke-free home, and stored in plastic containers. I do have a long haired cat and make no guarantees that he has somehow spared this yarn from cat hair when he's gotten it everywhere else.
Yarn: Crystal Palace “Waikiki”
Color: Delphinium (green, blue, purple)
Quantity: 6 skeins (5 full, 1 used and rewound)
Recommended gauge: 5-6 sts/in on US 5-7 needles
Yardage: 105 yds/50g skein
Fiber: 62% viscose, 38% cotton
Comments: almost a boucle. The colors are great, and I had no problems with the yarn, but am not going to make that project anymore and have no other use for it. Handwash or dry clean.
Price: $9.00/skein, $50 for the lot




Yarn: KnitPicks “Simple Stripes”
Color: Vineyard (brown, tan, white, purple), Sweet Tarts (white, blue, green, pink) (both colors discontinued)
Quantity: 2 skeins each color
Recommended gauge: 7-8 sts/in on US 1-3
Yardage: 231 yds/50g skein
Fiber: 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon
Comments: self-striping sock yarn, not in my normal color scheme, machine washable
Price: $2.50/skein, $5.00 for each color set, $10.00 all 4 skeins

Yarn: Schoeller and Stahl “Fortissima Colori Socka Color”
Color: 4010 Graffiti (blues, green, white)
Quantity: 2 skeins
Recommended gauge: 23 sts/10 cm US 3
Yardage: 125 m/50g skein
Fiber: 75% superwash wool, 25% polymide
Comments: self-striping sock yarn, machine washable
Price: $5.00/skein, $10.00 both




Yarn: KnitPicks “Alpaca Cloud”
Color: Stream (heathered blue)
Quantity: 1 skein
Recommended gauge: Lace Weight
Yardage: 440 yds/50g skein
Fiber: 100% baby alpaca
Comments: very soft lace weight, hand wash, enough for a scarf
Price: $3.00/skein



Yarn: KnitPicks “Shimmer”
Color: Morning Mist (grey, white, blue)
Quantity: 1 skein
Recommended gauge: lace weight
Yardage: 440 yds/50g skein
Fiber: 70% alpaca, 30% silk
Comments: hand wash, enough for a scarf
Price: $4.00/skein


Yarn: KnitPicks “Shine” (now “Shine Sport”)
Color: Violet
Quantity: 6 skeins
Recommended gauge: 6 sts/in. on US 3-5
Yardage: 110 yds/50g skein
Fiber: 60% pima cotton, 40% modal
Comments: very bright bold purple, more grape colored than in picture, very soft cotton, very pretty but doesn’t work with my skin tone like I thought it would, machine washable
Price: $2.50/skein, $15 for all


Yarn: KnitPicks “Sock Landscape” (discontinued)
Color: Spring Prairie (yellow, green magenta, purple) and Cape Cod (dark green, tan, brown, grey, navy)
Quantity: 2 skeins each color
Recommended gauge: 7-8 sts/in on US 1-3
Yardage: 192 yds/50g skein
Fiber: 100% merino wool
Comments: hand wash, enough for a pair of women’s socks each color, or a small felting project
Price: $2.50/skein, $5.00/color pair, $10.00 for both pairs



Yarn: KnitPicks “Parade”
Color: Blues (light blue, medium blue, dark blue, white, grey) (discontinued)
Quantity: 2 skeins
Recommended gauge: 7-8 sts/in on US 1-3
Yardage: 137 yds/50g skein
Fiber: 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon
Comments: machine washable, soft, self-striping
Price: $2.50/skein, $5.00 pair









Monday, December 04, 2006

Okay, the real post (lots of pics)

So, first off, this was my accomplishment for the day:

I'm excited, it's my first "real" Christmas tree. It doesn't have my family ornaments on it, of course, those are at my parents house and I feel they should be on that tree there until I start having Christmases in my own home with my own family. For those that voiced their concerns and good wishes, if you look closely in the bottom left, you'll see:

The vet says he's okay. He didn't hear anything strange in the breathing - since Teddie only makes the noise when he's very relaxed or asleep, and shows no signs of actually being out of breath, the vet feels it may be a kitty version of snoring. I'll definitely keep an ear on it, though. The blood in the litter box is more worrisome, and he's on antibiotics to fight any possible infections he may have. Since he's exhibiting no other symptoms there either, they feel it is just a simple infection, possibly brought on by the roundabout exposure to Chrissy's kitty, who also just got diagnosed with a cold. We'll try the antibiotics and see if that helps. Meanwhile, if you saw me at the vet, you'd think I'd been torturing the poor cat, the way he cries in his carrier. I kept getting the strangest looks from other people. Sigh. They say pets are like kids - now I know how all those mothers of crying babies feel! Teddie has, by the way, shown no interest in the Christmas tree, other than sleeping under it. There are some familiar faces on the tree, though:



You may remember these guys from last year.
These are the stockings I made last year from the patterns at Annie's Woolens. The snowman one is stranded, the holly one is woven, a la the Philosopher's Wool method. They were supposed to be Steve and I's stockings. Well, now they're both mine and I'm using them on my tree. So there. *pbbbt*



More current knits include these:

Dishcloths and unfelted clogs. The observant among you will note that the clogs are obviously not from the same pair. The green is one of Kelly's, the grey is one of Dad's. The reason for that being that Katie can't read (again!) and ordered the wrong amount of wool in each color to make a second one of Kelly's clogs to match the first. I also made the same mistake with Mom's, and ended up ordering more wool since white slippers with blue trim, in a house with these three:




plus two more cats won't stay very pretty for very long. I do, however, have enough of the colors of Dad's to make a full pair, although the colors are inversed of what I had originally said they would be. The very observant will also note that the multicolored dishcloth is not knit. It's crocheted. I finally bit the bullet and learned. It's okay. Crochet does go faster, but to me it's a clunkier looking fabric. I'd definitely be interested in doing an afghan with it at some point, though.

Just a side note on the clogs, I still haven't received the pattern I ordered online. The KnitPicks yarn arrived on Friday. I placed the order on Tuesday. This is why I like KnitPicks, no matter what other people say. So, how did I start working on the clogs already? I happened to find the pattern at my LYS on a random stroll-by Friday. Apparently the LYS *is* good for something, who knew?

And, finally, the pretty blue socks are for Mom. I started them tonight. I can only do chunky knitting for so long, and I love this yarn. I'm doing these cuff down, since her feet are only very slightly smaller than mine. I'm also thinking about doing Dad's socks cuff down as well. His first sock, aka the bane of my sock knitting existence, is this one:

There's a lifeline in the sock at 8.5" from the toe from the amount of times I've frogged the stupid heel. I'm seriously considering frogging the whole thing and doing them cuff down so I can do a flap and gusset heel on them as well. I think Dad would like the look of that type of heel better, anyway. They just might not get their socks in time for Christmas. The clogs will be done, though. It takes me a little over a day to make one of the men's large size. They are an easy knit, although I have to admit that the short row shaping on the soles gets wearing fast.

I've introduced one of my interns to Danica. She wanted to learn entrelac really badly. She knows how to knit, and how to follow a pattern, but she has trouble reading the pattern sometimes. Somehow she's ended up with almost a garter stitch version of it, and extra stitches after the final base triangle. No idea how she managed that. She doubled the pattern so she could fold it in half and make a bag out of it eventually, but that shouldn't have affected anything. I'll have to have her walk me through what she did to figure out where she went wrong.

Anyway, I've ranted long enough, but at least there are pictures this time. I still haven't gotten my confirmation for Stitches West. Sigh. I want to get my stuff! You have no idea how excited I am about going! Oh, and I might be able to see my friend in the AF again this weekend. That would be nice! And Chrissy is organizing a stage management department day trip to Disneyland next Monday. Should be fun!

Quickie

Real post to come later, hopefully with pics.

I bought another one of my almost favorite US 2 circular needles. I am not letting Dad's socks defeat me (although the clogs are going very well). Not that the needle had anything to do with it, but I can at least start working on the second sock and not think about the heel while I'm...

taking the TeddieCat to the vet this afternoon. He's been wheezing a little bit, and sneezing, and I found some blood in his litter box this morning. Chrissy's kitty just had to make a vet trip and got diagnosed with a cold. I hope whatever Teddie has is just that simple! I really hope so, since I can't really afford a lot of treatment - for some reason having my brother here last month broke my budget completely, and now Christmas is coming! Sigh!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I give up!

Okay, I don't, really, but y'know...when your hobby is not relaxing you, you do something else. I messed up the YO heel. I have no idea how. I don't really care how, at this point. So I put them down tonight and made a washcloth tonight for a quick FO hit. I might pick them up again in a day or so.

I ordered the Fiber Trends Felted Clogs pattern and some WotA from KnitPicks to supplement some of the colors that are already in the stash. I'm making these instead. Everyone says they're quick knits, even for the larger sizes, and with the felting, they're far easier to size. I may not felt them until after I've given them at Christmas anyway, so that way I can felt them exactly to their feet. Mom's will be in Stream with Cloud trim, Dad's will be Fog with Mist trim, and Kelly's will be Fern with Wheat trim. That's my compromise.

I got cable installed this afternoon and have spent the evening working on the dishcloth and watching Animal Planet. I love Animal Planet. I also can't wait for this weekend - it's Harry Potter movie weekend on ABC (no, I ended up not watching them all last weekend, and I have no idea how exactly HP ties into the 25 days of Christmas, but I'm not arguing either) and have promises to get a sneak peek at the next movie. The trailer for it is awesome - I don't want to wait for next summer!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Argh!

Don't you hate it when some people just don't listen? You present a question. They present an answer. You are very appreciative and run off to try said answer. Said answer doesn't work for a very good reason. You point this out, giving the reason that said answer is not possible at this point. They say "trust me, it works," and all you want to do is go "I believe you, and I'm sure it does work, but what you suggesting I do IS NOT POSSIBLE for me!" And they say, "I've already explained it to you, you're just not listening/stubborn/inflexible." While I admit that I often am those things, as near as I can tell, unless I am missing a lot of things in a lot of places, these people apparently are the ones who have figured out how to warp the space/time continuum and travel long distances quickly and/or be in two places at once. Oh, and erase memories, as well. This is happening in several areas of my life right now, knitting, work, friends, family, and it doesn't get any less frustrating.

I got almost all the way through the YO short row heel, my favorite kind to knit, with no problems. Then I realized that I never put any increases in before I started the heel. I'm pondering finishing the heel anyway and finding a student or intern who wears size 12s and asking them to try it on to see if it is too tight around the weird back of heel/top of foot diagonal place. You know, the place you usually put increases =P I'm also seriously doubting my stitch number. According to all of my calculations, with the gauge I am getting for these socks, I should be in the ~90 stitches range, which is what I've been working with. But all of the people I've been asking advice from have been mentioning stitch numbers in the high 60 range for this size sock. I CO 64 sts when I make socks for me with this yarn and this needle size. So now I'm scared that these are going to be totally too big, Dad will never be able to wear them, we'll both be embarrassed on Christmas morning and I might just throw them away and cry. (No, for the last time, Dad can NOT try them on, unless someone else is going to pay for my plane tickets there and back!) The idea of making him some felted slippers is starting to sound really good, though, and maybe save the socks for later. I did have him try them on when I was home (told him they were for Kelly), but it was dark in the living room, and he tried it on over the top of his other sock. I know they will shrink a little in the wash, but not too much. I hope one of the interns/students wears size 12s...that would answer a lot of questions! Even if I only have to redo the heel. Again.

Totally stolen from AR because it's appropriate:


Your Stress Level is: 47%

You are somewhat prone to stress, especially when life gets hard.
When things are good, you resist stressing over little problems.
But when things are difficult, you tend to freak out and find it hard to calm down.



Monday, November 27, 2006

Sock Update

The toe up flap and gusset continues to be the bane of my existence. I swear, I read it this time! It came out lopsided, don't ask for a more detailed description, as I have no idea what I did or why I can understand the directions perfectly but still screw it up. Apparently my hands have no idea what they are doing.

Heel is frogged. Going to do a short row heel. 28 days left to make 3.75 socks.

Grr!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

This Is The Heel That Never Ends...

The Yarn Harlot is insane. Sorry, Stephanie, I love your blog and your books, but how the hell do you knit socks so fast?? A sock a day?? Apparently I can't even finish a sock in ten days! The observant among you will note that Dad's socks are only 25% done. That would be because I finally finished the heel on the first one this evening. Granted, it is a man's size 12 sock, with a heel I've never done before, and I spent three of those days traveling, two completely exhausted, and the other five I've had multiple shows. But still. Taking the entire Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone movie to finish the short rows of the heel is a little excessive, I think. The obvious solution is that Dad's feet are just too big. I'll have to speak to him about that. I did make him try them on when I was home, though. I told him they were for my brother. I think they'll fit, although I'm a little nervous about the length. All I know for sure right now is that they are hella big on me!

Oh, and I can't wait to try out the November offering of Spunky Eclectic's Sock Yarn of the Month Club. It's a Speedy Sock yarn (feels like it may be comparable to STR's heavyweight), in a really pretty colorway. I might end up using it for Mom's socks instead of the LL.

Mom is excited about me trying to learn colorwork/Fair Isle, once I told her about the Stitches classes I was going to take in February. I really think she just thinks I'm crazy/obsessed, but whatever. I can't be the only one, as the mere mention of "Hey a knit night would be cool" among the cast/crew gets a huge reaction. Most of them wanted to know if I would teach them entrelac if they came, although finding a time and place is extremely difficult. I think I am learning the difference between a knitter and someone who knits this season. Since I've done more than a scarf (I actually make things like socks, sweaters, entrelac, lace...basically anything more interesting than the five billion garter stitch scarves I've seen being worked on), I'm suddenly this knitting guru. It's terrifying, actually, considering how much I DON'T know and how many mistakes I make on a regular basis.

I've finally been allowed to call the show without supervision. It's a fun show, and I really enjoy calling it, but man, you do have to talk fast to get it all out in time! 27 performances left - the countdown has started. I won't call it again until Thursday morning's brat mat, though, since we have auditions Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tomorrow I'm going to Target and blowing the last of this month's budget on a Mission end table that I can put in the corner and use as a TV stand. My old desk finally broke when I rearranged furniture the other day, and the new one is completely covered in computer stuff right now. I have the TV up on some old dorm crates right now, but it doesn't seem particularly stable to me, and I don't really have anything else that will work. Slowly but steadily, I am achieving the goal of matching furniture! After that, my big Monday plans are to curl up on the couch and watch Harry Potter all day and work on the sock.

Oh, and while I was at Target this morning scouting for Christmas decorations (I'm totally doing my own tree this year for the first time) and the end table, I got complimented by a random stranger on my Lady Eleanor. It made my day.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

We Made It

We left CA at 2:30p PDT on Monday. We staggered through my parents' front door at 1:00a CDT (11:00p PDT) Wednesday morning/Tuesday night. That, for the record, is 32.5 hours of driving. Straight through seven and a half states. (Okay, so only through the Texas panhandle, not the entire state). Ugh! It wasn't too bad, actually, although I'm very glad I'm not sitting in a car any longer. I got some work done on Dad's socks, but Murphy's Law struck again and I got stuck driving mostly during the daylight hours and it was too dark at night to see very well. I still did some work, but I have to go back and check it now. I think I have about an inch more until I start the heel gusset. I actually got more work done on the Left Over Log Cabin - garter stitch on slightly bigger needles was much much easier in the dark.

Now my brother is doing inventory of all his paintball stuff. I guess it's becoming a tradition to have lots of friends and family (okay, everyone and their brother, apparently) come over on Thanksgiving morning and have a huge paintball tournament. Even the "grownups" get involved. I've never played paintball in my life (an act of heresy according to my brother) and I think it sounds like fun, but I also really really wanted to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the morning, so I'm a little torn. I'm trying to talk my mom into setting up a smaller tv out on one of the porches so during breaks we can watch it!

Gotta go learn to shoot a paintball gun now, I guess. Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone! Safe travels!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

YAYAYAYAY!!! (non-knitting post)

I GET TO GO HOME FOR THANKSGIVING!!!

I didn't realize how badly I wanted to go home until the chance sorta dropped into my lap this morning. Brother and I were talking about him driving back to Illinois by himself and how it would really be pushing it to get there in time for Thanksgiving at this point. I have a brat mat Monday morning, and then have the rest of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday off for the holiday and no real plans, but I have a double show day starting Friday afternoon that I have to be back for. But, with two drivers and some financial help from Mom and Dad, brother and I are gonna start the drive back after the show on Monday and hopefully get in by Wednesday night. It's pushing it, even with two drivers, but it's worth it. Then I'll spend Thursday with my family, and fly back out of Chicago at a truly ungodly hour of the morning Friday morning. I can't wait! For the first time in three years, I get to go home and watch the Parade with my mom and eat my grandma's turkey and my dad's pies and watch my cousins try to kill each other with paintball guns. Heaven!

Oh, and as a "thank you for letting me stay here and Merry Early Christmas" present, brother got me...an HD-TV/computer monitor!!!! It's really nice!! I can't wait to get the cable hooked up (sadly, not until the end of the month) and I can watch Law and Order and Animal Planet and the History Channel and all that again! The tv is one of those things that I don't really miss, but I do. And I can use it as a monitor for the desktop computer I'm saving up for! That just cut like three fifths of the cost of the computer set! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

What is it with me and sizing lately???

Mental note to self: when your gut keeps telling you the sleeves are too short, listen to it. The brain don't know nuthin other than "I'm followin' th' pattern, d-yuh!" Or at least get a tape measure out and measure them so your head thinks it knows what it's talking about. I've seamed one sleeve for Rogue. I've started seaming the second sleeve for Rogue. Out of curiosity, I pinned the first sleeve in and tried it on - TWO INCHES too short! And, let me tell you, the whole three-quarter-sleeve thing does not work well with this pattern. I'm on gauge! I swear! I guess maybe I just have longer arms than most people with my bust size. (Okay, I am taller than most people with my bust size, so that might stand to reason.)

Between these and the Jaywalker that was too big, what on earth made me think I can do sized items for other people?? Blindly, no less! Okay, I know their shoe sizes, but hell, apparently I can't even make anything fit ME, and I've been trying them on as I go! Okay, so the Jaywalker was technically too long, and an easy fix, really. I should have tried the gusset and flap again, since I had to frog back anyway, but frustration got the best of me. The sleeves I have a very vague idea how to fix, but it means I probably won't get the sweater done before Christmas if I want to get these socks done. Hell, maybe I can wear the thing to Stitches West if I get it done in time =P

I really wanted to make my New Year's resolution of, well, if not an FO a month, at least twelve FO's this year. Pretty sure I'm not gonna make it, unless dishcloths count =P

Sorry for the rant. PMS'ing and I think I need some chocolate. And a nap.

Oh, and as a positive note, Casino Royale is pretty good, once you wrap your head around the idea that it is the first Bond story, even though it is set in modern times. It sets up a lot of the precedents (the martini, the famous "Bond, James Bond" line, etc.) Bro says it's pretty faithful to the book except for the poker instead of baccarat thing. I guess they figured that poker is more in tune with modern audiences than baccarat. Lots of action, not a lot of gizmos (unfortunately, I love the gizmos and Q), and I think I'm in love with the car. Even if it doesn't have rocket launchers. The new Bond isn't as hot as say, Pierce Brosnan (okay, so I like dark haired guys better than blonds), but he's got the most intense eyes! And he does play the part very well.

And Seussical production photos are up on the PCPA website. The pics are at the bottom of the page. The one of the Cat and JoJo at the top of the show is my favorite, and has become both my and my boss' wallpaper at work, but all of the pics turned out pretty true for once. I LOVE the amount of color that is in this show! It's just SO fun to see!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Surprises...

Weird Monday. First off, AF guy did come down Sunday afternoon, saw the show, and spent the night. He confuzzles me. If anything, he's ten times more attractive now than he was when I dated him (many many moons ago). But I'm pretty sure he just wants to be friends, and that's cool, as I have no desire for a distance relationship at the moment. It just sucks that he's so darn cute (and has ten thousand girls probably waiting for him back at the post, sigh).


Also, he totally got the Teddie Stamp of Approval. The cat was in love. AF guy was in love with the cat. Too bad he's allergic to them. In fact, after AF guy left this afternoon, Teddie has actually been getting in and out of his cat carrier!



Totally all on his own! I have never ever seen him voluntarily get within five feet of the carrier if he can help it. I've kept it out in the open with the lid open so he gets used to seeing it and isn't afraid of it when I bring it out, but in the past, he's still whined and begged and pleaded every time I've had to pour him into it. This evening, I caught him inside once just sitting and looking around, and the second time he was snuggled up sound asleep inside it. I wonder if he thinks he's going somewhere? If so, I want to know, so I can go, too!

The other surprise is:

The yarn for Mom and Dad's socks came today - after I'd gotten an email from the company this morning saying that not to expect it until Nov. 22! I have all four skeins wound (after a discussion about swifts and winding balls and yarn with my brother. Apparently things that spin are fascinating to males, whether they are twenty three days or twenty three years old =P) and started the first of my dad's socks tonight. I figure his will take the longest, and I'm not completely sure that I will have enough yarn. I had TONS of leftovers from my LL socks, but just in case, I'm doing his earliest and toe up, so I can fudge the leg if I have to. I'm planning on using my Column Sock pattern for both pairs of socks, so they have a bit of stretch to them if they aren't quite the right size.

Oh, I finished the heel of the first Jaywalker (I frogged and did a short row heel, I know, I'm a wimp!) and I seamed one of the Rogue sleeves this evening, too. I forget how long seaming takes. One sleeve and I was done for the evening. Tomorrow I'll try to do the other one. Then sew one to the body the next night, the other the night after, and hopefully I'll have a new sweater by this weekend! Still worried about the arms being too short, though. And my seaming sucks!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Friday, November 10, 2006

Cold Feet (aka Various Knitting Anxieties)


See, I do have them done. And I have the body done. And the hood done. And I'm probaby not doing the kangaroo pocket at the last minute like I had planned on. (And yes, they were posing on my unmade bed with the shirt I am wearing on Sunday when AF guy comes. Can't wait!)But...er...I'm suddenly terrified of sewing them in. So many questions are popping into my head. Should I seam the sleeves first, then sew them in? Should I sew them in and then seam them? How exactly does one sew in sleeves? I mean, I know how to gather and pin and baste and sew sleeves into sewn doll clothes. But I've never done it with knit fabric before. Such anxiety! I will finish this, soon! I've asked the lovely knitters of the KR Forums for advice, and they've never failed me before. I promise, the cables show up much much better irl than they do in any of my photos. I'm just not a photographer. The sleeves actually blocked fairly well, as well as can be expected for a stockinette stitch, anyway. Of course the edges roll. I dunked them in Eucalan before blocking and I cannot believe how much the yarn has softened up! Not that it is terrible to begin with, but wow!


The other worry started this afternoon. I was happily trotting along with the first of the Jaywalkers and got to starting the gusset. I've never done a toe-up flap and gusset before. So I'm faithfully plodding along with the pattern's instructions (after a nudge from Amie, who kindly suggested that I learn to read. It does help, surprisingly!) I do the initial increases where I usually start heels. I place the markers one stitch in on either side of the sole needle, and faithfully begin the increasing every two rows. The problem? I've done seven increase rows, and have eight stitches on the outside of the markers. I'm supposed to keep going until there are 18sts on the outside of the markers. But you can see how close I am to the back of my foot already. I'm afraid if I do twenty more rows (ten more increases), the sock will be far too long. Am I crazy? Do I stop now and begin the heel extension? For the record, so far I haven't been crazy about the toe up flap and gusset thing. I was pondering this, and realized that I prefer knitting socks from the toe up, but heel flap and gussets from the cuff down. Someone figure out how to change the laws of physics so that I can use both techniques in the same sock, please? Thanks!

Oh, and I registered for Stitches West! I'm going to go Saturday (morning and afternoon) and Sunday (morning). My first choices are "Design Your Dream Sweater" with Leslye Solomon, "2 Hand Knitting: Basics" with Susie Hodges, and "Sweater Finishing", again with Leslye Solomon. (Wow, I hope I like her as a teacher the first time!) It came down to whether or not I wanted to go to Stitches or join the STR 2007 Sock Club. I'm already in a sock club that I really enjoy (um, hello, did you SEE the above sock picture?), I have more than enough sock yarn already (no comments from the peanut gallery about buying more LL the other day!), and I feel like the money is better spent learning more about what to do with the yarn I already have than buying more and continuing to have mediocre projects. Anyone need a roommate for Friday/Saturday night? =)

Seussical opens Saturday night. We previewed tonight, another one tomorrow night. I get to sit out in the house (on headset again tomorrow night) this weekend! So cool! I'm gonna sit in the booth with Chrissy starting next week and use the understudy rehearsals as my practice calling times. Hopefully by next weekend we'll have two people fully confident in calling the show, which will be so nice for both of us, as we're doing almost fifty performances! I was surrounded by Cub Scouts in the audience tonight, and they loved it. So exciting to do kids' shows sometimes! Their energy is a palpalble thing, and it's so fun to watch the kids (big and little) watch the show!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Alpha Bravo Charlie, we have a Rogue on the horizon...

Pics later.

Suffice to say, there are two blue sleeves pinned to a towel on the bedroom floor. I'm not really sure how well Wool-Ease will block, since it is mostly acrylic, but I'm hoping there is enough wool content to...I don't know...do something with the blocking. They turned out as well as they should have, so now I am faced with the somewhat daunting prospect of setting in sleeves. As tomorrow is a 10/12 (which, for me is more like a 13/15 - hours worked / #hours in the span of day, the time we are first called until the official end of call), I at least have one more day to put it off. My brother wanted to know why it smelled like wet dog and there was a towel full of pins on the floor. I told him it was wet sheep and the towel was not to be moved under pain of death.

Yarn was purchased today, as well. I dug through my sock yarn stash and didn't find anything that was telling me it was supposed to be a pair of socks for either my mom or my dad. It all wants to be mine. (I tried, I really did!) So I ordered some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Lakeview and Camoflauge online. I'm telling myself that I'll work on the hat/scarf and dishcloths while I wait for the sock yarn. Hey, if that's what I end up spending on Christmas gifts, I can live with it! I also picked up some cotton for the dishcloths, and, surprisingly, Michael's also had several small booklets that I picked up. I got The Knitters' Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie M. Wiseman (please help me make the sleeve seams nice!), Trendy Knitted Tops (which had several designs that I like or think I can modify to be liked), 99 Knit Stitches (for ideas to try with the dishcloths), and a learn to crochet kit. I also got my dress for opening, continuing my tradition of dressing up for opening night. Now I just have to get something done with my hair.

Although the dress doesn't really have anything to do with fiber, the shopping expedition did wake up something in me. I think I know what classes I want to go to at Stitches West. I want a Fair Isle class, a finishing class, and a basic design or pattern adaptation class. Why? Because my color work sucks and I love the look of Fair Isle, if I make something I want it to look as good as it can possibly get and I don't want it to LOOK homemade, and I've actually been struck by a creative burst and think I might be able to create, or rather, re-create something on my own. I have some ideas about styles and things, but not really any idea how to go about starting the trial and error process of design. It's one of those things I get technically (I'm actually pretty good with math and the whole gauge-using-numbers thing makes perfect sense to me), but I'd like some help putting everything together in my head, if that makes any sense. So, three classes. I think I can do that.

Oh, and AF guy didn't come down this weekend. Apparently he injured himself. He is planning on coming down next Sunday and Monday, though! Can't wait to see friends!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Guess I am doing some holiday knitting...

Me: oh, what do you and/or Dad want for Christmas?
Mom: do you have time to knit any socks?
Me: maybe
Me: socks for you or Dad?
Mom: either

I was really not expecting that one at all! I can do two pairs of basic socks in time, I think, if I do sport weight on size 2 or 3. (I think some of my beloved Bearfoot may have to be sacrificed to this cause. Or maybe the Cool Rain from Spunky Eclectic - Mom would love those colors. I have no idea if I have any male-friendly yarn, though. I might have to ask brother's opinion.) And a hat and scarf for another friend double stranded on large needles (which I was planning to do anyway). And a couple of pink and white dishcloths for another friend. That's all, though.

Sleeve increases on Rogue are done! 44 more rows!

I actually have the days of Stitches West completely off, by sheer dumb luck. And it's only like two hours away. And one of my co-workers has family in that area and said I could stay with them instead of a hotel. I would LOVE to be able to go all weekend and do The Works, but I don't think I can justify splurging that much. Someone help me decide which classes I really really really want to go to!

Tech is going well. We got time off for good behaviour this evening (the really really great thing about a 70m high energy show), but we did almost kill an actor with a trap. Luckily, no one was injured, just a lot of shaken up crew and stage managers, but it's all good and we have tomorrow off! I'm going to try to get the Rogue sleeves finished either tonight or tomorrow. I'm thinking Harry Potter movie marathon...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

No, I can't, I have rehearsal...

No Halloween for me this year. Spent all day in paper tech for Seussical. Unfortunately, I went straight from paper tech back to the office, where I spent a few hours staring at the run sheet and shift plots, trying to make them not only match up but make sense to actors and make sure that I have crew members available every place I need them. This is very hard to do when you're still seeing dancing music notes in front of you from looking at a music score for five hours straight. Then I got to go to rehearsal, which only made it an 11-1/2 hour day. Crew view's tomorrow, then we start getting onstage with wandleprobes, spacing rehearsals and shift techs for the rest of the week and then hit tech this weekend and a week of dress rehearsals after that. It's pretty cool - I still have all of the work during tech, but not much of the responsibility, since I'm only the backup stage manager. My job is to make sure the ASMs aren't killing anyone are running things smoothly backstage, and to learn to call the show. But I'm not the stage manager running the tech, I'm just kind of hanging out and paying attention to everything. I might even get to go to an Opening Night and not have to wear blacks and maybe even get to dress up and sit in the house! It's a really really fun show, though, and I hope everything works out the way the director is envisioning it, because it will be awesome if it does! Now if I can just get the damn songs out of my head...(Who, who-waddah, who who who-waddah-daddah...)

So I pretty much won't be home for the next ten days, although AF guy is supposed to come visit on Monday. He hasn't called me when he said he would recently, though, so not sure if that's still happening or not. I'm not holding my breath, although I do hope he comes.

I actually did spend some time on Rogue yesterday! I think I'm about 75% done with the sleeves, but I'm starting to worry that they may be too short, and I'm not really sure how to fix that. Just keep doing the increasing sections instead of the shaping? Also, I'm almost to the heel of the first Jaywalker (this one looks SO much better!), started a new log on the sock yarn log cabin (only getting worked on at work) and finished the body and two of the symbols of the cross-stitch. Failed miserably on getting those April Fool Socks done for Socktoberfest- I've barely touched them. Nor have I touched the spinning since my parents were here. I've developed some sort of barrier about it, I think. At some point I need to dig out the Simply Soft (duck, Amie!) and make a hat and scarf for one of my friends who is a big Colts fan (and conveniently, a Harry Potter fan, since the pattern I showed him was the Ravenclaw scarf from the third movie) and has a December birthday. I know I have blue and white around here somewhere...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Feel Free to Add to the List

Things I've Learned From My Needlework:
  1. Every little bit really does count.
  2. Just because you don’t see or feel progress doesn’t mean it isn’t there. You might just have to focus on something else for a little bit to see it.
  3. Both God and the Devil really are in the details.
  4. Sometimes things just don’t make sense or seem to have any particularly special results until after you do them.
  5. If it’s not turning out the way you want it to, and you can’t fix it, frog it and try again. If it still isn’t working out, either adapt or find something different to do. You can’t force something to be what it isn’t.
  6. Patience is a virtue.
  7. Just because lots of other people who have similar interests as you like something doesn’t mean that you will.
  8. Practice does make perfect. Having a natural skill and/or a drive to learn also helps.
  9. Breaking large projects down into pieces or steps makes them not seem so huge. A large afghan is either one pattern or lots of smaller chunks of patterns. A shawl is a bunch of pattern repeats. A sweater is a back, a front, two sleeves, and a neck. A 2ft. square cross-stitch of a Precious Moments Noah’s Ark consists of lots of pairs of animals and a boat. Eat the elephant a bite at a time.
  10. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. If it isn’t up to your standards, it will bug you every time you think about it, and who needs that kind of annoyance? On the other hand, nothing is perfect, either, so give yourself some slack.
  11. Always go back to the basics. When it all comes down to it, even the most complex lace or cable knitting is nothing more than knit and purl stitches. The most elaborate cross-stitch is still just a bunch of x’s and /’s.
  12. If you don’t learn the basics and make a habit of using them properly, nothing you ever do will turn out the way you expect, no matter how carefully you follow the instructions.
  13. Everyone has different standards and tastes, but no one should ever look down on you for yours.
  14. Just because you think something is special doesn’t mean anyone else will.
  15. If what you are doing “to relax” is stressing you out, stop.
  16. Just because you CAN make something doesn’t mean you SHOULD make something.
  17. Everyone has some kind of idiosyncrasy when it comes to their crafts. Including you.
  18. When you are taking a break from a project, actually walk away from it.
  19. Chocolate and fine wine are both great restoratives, but can also cause lots of problems.
  20. If you don't like it, don't buy it.
  21. Buying the best you can afford is bullshit. Just because a something is expensive doesn't mean it's any good. If you like it and it fits your needs and desires, go for it.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Doncha Hate It When...(Lossa Pics and Kinda Long)

You pick up a project you haven't worked on in months (okay, a year or more) and realize how damn close you were to finishing? I've been rearranging my apartment, because my brother has come to stay for an indefinitely extended visit. As I have a one bedroom apartment, he gets the luxury of sleeping in the living room where my computer and knitting stuff was. To give us both some privacy, I rearranged my bedroom (and finally got a decent desk and dresser in the process!) and moved my computer into it.




(Yes, I love blue. How on earth does my desk get so cluttered so quickly? Never mind, don't answer that!)

Anyway, since the computer is in the bedroom now, the stash had to move, too. I realize this is not nearly as big a deal for me as it is for some people, but I do have to say that I feel a bit sorry for it, getting all squashed in the corner now.



In the process of moving the stash, I came across my cross-stitch basket and found this.



(Not difficult, as my knitting needles were resting on top of all that comfy canvas and floss and patterns.) I had started this project about two years ago as a wedding gift for a friend (they were decorating their bathroom in this theme). I was not able to get it finished in time for the wedding, ended up buying them a gift, and got hooked on knitting shortly after. I picked it up - and realized I have maybe three colors left to do in the entire thing! I worked on it again last night, and have about thirty stitches left in the main body, then the Chinese characters that go along the sides and the backstitching. That's it! Gah! I was so close two years ago! I'm going to finish it and give it to my AF friend, who is studying Chinese, appreciates Asian culture, and has a soft spot for cross-stitch. I'll of course tell him the whole story, so he doesn't get all worried - he knows how much time and patience go into needlework!

Oh, and in other fiber news, my dad thinks spinning is pretty cool and was asking me all sorts of questions about it. I didn't show him my first attempt (only have a pic of the swatch I knit with it)



I did show him my much better but still fairly sucky effort that is currently in progress (pics of that are turning out very blurry for some reason). My dad is the type who very much appreciates technology and new toys (hell, he was a CSI and now is in charge of training all the CSIs in Illinois, he knows his toys), but still cans his own veggies, makes his own jams and jellies (I was eight before I realized that other people actually BOUGHT jelly in the store - I still refuse to and either make my own now or get some of Dad's =) ), and has a very strong tie to our family's farming history. Yes, that's where I get it from - I love my daddy! He's also a softy and was able to sweet talk my mom into getting these guys



when they got home from visiting me. Apparently their names are Gomer and Merlin. Why? I haven't got the faintest idea. I guess my brother suggested the names and they liked them. No reported problems so far with the Lab and two other cats that also currently reside with them, so that's good.

Speaking of kitties and fiber, Teddie really likes the cross-stitching thing, because Mom swears much more when he bats at the floss and pulls it out of the needle than when he bats at the knitting yarn. You can practically hear him snickering as he runs under the bed for safety. (ETA: Teddie apparently prefers men over women. He was pretty shy when my family was here, but would be coaxed out for my dad and brother. He would not have a thing to do with my mom for some reason, though. If she was around, he'd hiss, run and hide. *shrugs*) However, some knitting progress has been getting done. I'm almost done with the first chunk of yarn for the sock stash log cabin. I have one repeat of stripes for the CDT done. I had the toes complete on the stockinette socks I was working on and then frogged them. I love the yarn still, but think I need to go down a needle size for it, and my US 1s are currently in use for the April Fool's Socks



My beloved US 2s are now housing this:



The yarn suddenly started screaming the other night that it wanted to be Jaywalker socks. I'm game for trying the pattern again. This time I'll even try to do it correctly! I'm going to try a toe-up heel flap and gusset on these, and I'm going to do them one at a time.

Anyway, it's a lovely Monday, and my big plans are possibly going to play disc golf, hunting on Astaria, and carving the jack o' lanterns from the pumpkins Kelly insisted we get. I'm sure there will be fiber time, too!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I don't normally share these here, but I really liked Firefly and was happy that I got this result w/o even trying to manipulate the answers!




You scored as Serenity (Firefly). You like to live your own way and don't enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.

Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with QuizFarm.com

Thursday, October 12, 2006

No Progress, No Pics

On, well, anything, really. Some on the CDT, but I've had two people tell me that maybe the colors I picked don't work so well. The yellow apparently is not in the correct tonal world as the rest. I've looked at it, I agree, and decided that, for now, I don't give a damn. Note that I am reserving the right to frog it all back at some point in the future. I've accepted and admitted that I'm in a fiber funk right now. No work has been done on anything else, though I have thought about it. It just seems so...difficult to pick up the needles right now. I need to take one of these two at a time socks off the needles and put it in my rehearsal bag instead of the CDT. That would be the smart thing to do. I love doing socks two at a time, but it is SO SLOW! I really don't understand why.

Oh, I did find The Dress I Must Wear For Opening (since I can gloat and sit in the audience Opening Night for Seussical - one of the perks of this whole two stage manager deal), but I really need to work on my legs before hand. They just aren't really toned enough to show off in this dress. To help with this (not the only exercise, but definitely the most interesting to me right now), I got one of the balance balls the other day and have had fun playing around with it so far (wow, can I feel it in my back and abs!). It's a lot of fun, but the dvd that came with the ball that showed you how to properly use it and not injure yourself doesn't work on my computer. After various negotiations with the company and me stressing how disappointed I was in this, they are sending me a new copy of the dvd. I hope that one works, I'd love to learn to properly use this instead of the random stuff I've cobbled together. It's been great as a substitute desk chair, as it really makes you aware of your posture! I've been trying to use it as that for an hour or so everyday.

Teddie doesn't like it so much, as it is much more difficult for him to sit on my lap when I'm sitting on it. He's become a lap kitty all of a sudden lately. Not that I'm complaining, but I'm not sure what's up with that. Maybe it's the changing weather. I'm thinking of getting him a playmate, but due to his maturity, am not sure if that is a good idea or not. He just seems bored now that he's over his allergies and feeling better.

Two guys on my mind lately, one really distant and one not so distant but not convenient either. I'm just mostly enjoying the idea that other guys interest me again, as even a month ago, the idea of being around another guy in any kind of romantic sense made my skin crawl. It's fun to crush on guys again. There's something in the water or something, though. I know of five long term couples (two years or more) that have broken up over the past four months. Anyone else notice this?

Family is coming out to visit this weekend (I think). I suppose I should clean the place, huh?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Guess where I was today?!

Does this help?



or this?


or this?


Monterey! One of my friends (okay, an ex-bf, but still, we're friends now) is currently stationed at the Army post there (he's in the AF, I don't get it either, but apparently such things are the norm) and had today off because of Columbus Day. So I drove up and we spent the day hanging out around the bay, taking in the jawdroppingly beautiful and somehow peacefully violent ocean cliff views, eating ice cream, and just enjoying being in each other's company and not wanting to kill each other. It was really really nice. We are already making plans to do this again. Unfortunately, the military doesn't really go for the whole "Monday off" thing, and my job doesn't really go for the whole "weekends off" thing, so we will have to wait until I am in performance schedule for Seussical or he gets a random three day weekend. Btw, Highway 1 between Monterey and San Simeon is not for the faint of heart. I'm sure it's a gorgeous drive during the day, but I'm rather glad I was doing it at night - those curves are wicked and I don't think I could have done them with any distractions! It was fun for the first five or six curves and then got nasty fast. I much prefer the more boring 101.

Teddie is not happy with me for leaving him home by himself all day, especially after I spent yesterday rearranging furniture. My brother is coming out for an extended stay soon, and I realized that if he was sleeping on the futon, I was gonna have to move my computer into my bedroom as I keep vampire hours and didn't want to disturb him. So the bedroom furniture all got rearranged. Then, I realized I didn't have any spare pillows. So I truck off to the store, and lo and behold, pillows on sale! I got a standard set for the futon and a queen set for my bed, as I haven't gotten new pillows in years, either. And of course, had to get sheets, too, for both beds. And a floor lamp that actually works for my room. And a set of drawers that aren't cheap see-through plastic to store my undies and socks in. (I didn't think my brother would appreciate that much.) My bedroom is so pretty now! And the futon is much improved, as well!


No real fiber news. I haven't really worked on the spinning at all. I frogged and restarted the second CDT on bigger needles. It was just going too slowly for me. And, my inner yarn slut came out again and I had to start a new pair of socks. I mean, seriously, have you seen Amy's September offering? Look me straight in the eye and tell me you could have put it away!

Dames is closed (pout - we agreed, if we had stayed in the Marian we could have done a few more weeks, but it was too damn cold in Solvang!). I'm starting Seussical tomorrow (they've already been in rehearsal for a week), and also have two meetings for a couple of shows in preproduction for next semester, and have to set up a meeting for a third show. Oye. And, as I got up at 6:30a this morning so I could be on the road by 7:30a (the sacrifices we make for friends!), I think I shall go to sleep!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Told you it would either be feast or famine. Not that I have much in the way of knitting to report. I've done another repeat on the Snowdrop, added a few rows to the Rogue sleeves (nowhere near completion), have almost finished the first leftover sock yarn ball for the Log Cabin, and have started another Chunky Diagonal throw for myself. It sounds like a lot, but it really isn't nearly as much as I normally do. I've been in a bit of a knitting/fiber slump this week. I have barely even worked on spinning. I've been busier than usual at work, true, but not crazy busy. Most of it is that one of my friends is going through some rough times right now, and the only way I can talk to him is online. It's difficult to spin and type at the same time. It's slightly easier to knit, pause, and then type, but I just haven't been doing it.

I love using the sock yarn on the size 5's for the Log Cabin. The fabric is very light, but it's not really loose or airy. Of course, I expect that this will change as I go through different brands of leftovers, since they are all just slightly different. The new CDT is being knit up using solid colors of LB's Jiffy. Beverly's was having a sale, so I got 5 skeins and a Chibi w/ some darning needles for just over $12. I'll have to go back for more yarn as I work through it. I'm okay with that. I'm working it up on size 10 needles. It's much denser than the first one, but I think it will make a great blanket. I'm also going to make it bigger by changing the total number of stripes per strip to 15 instead of 13 and doing at least five strips (maybe six) instead of four. I like my blankets big. The Jiffy isn't quite as bulky as the Homespun, though, so this does involve more rows and stitches than I had anticipated and it's going much more slowly than the first. The Log Cabin has been my show project, and the CDT has been my bus project. I'm saving working more on the April Fool's Socks for Socktoberfest.

Eight more Dames performances. Seussical starts rehearsals Tuesday, but due to Dames, I won't really start until the week after. Everyone's getting sick, including me (though no one else knows that, they'd flip as we're already seriously shorthanded), so think good thoughts for us!

Oh, and I got a new toy! Woo for new mp3 players that actually work and hold a charge! Now I just have to find songs!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Quick Update

Before I have to go get the van, as our bus is unavailable tonight. Sigh.

Yes, I spent the rest of the evening playing with the spindle. I totally...well, not ruined, but shall we say, had some difficulties with the trial batch of the pretty blue/green fibers. I realize now that I was not drafting nearly enough - I ended up with something very close to a polar weight yarn, although it was still useable (of course, I had to knit a swatch with it, which was where I figured out that this isn't maybe the way things were supposed to have gone). I don't know if I can rescue it or not. I hope so. Once I realized where I had gone wrong, I pulled out the Corriedale and started playing with that. It is going much, much better. I'm trying to work on keeping a constant tension/drafting. Sometimes I've gotten too thin and the yarn has broken. I'm not really good with joining, yet, either, but that is getting better, I think. This is So Cool! I do miss my knitting, though. Will have to get some lovin' time in on that.

Anyway, gotta go. Show time!