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


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.


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 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 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


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!)'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 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...