Friday, August 29, 2008

What I Got

I got them no-camera blues. Still.

In the meantime, go amuse yourself with this.

Seriously, it's the best thing for a bad day.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What I Liked

From Barack Obama's acceptance speech, courtesy of the transcript on the New York Times website:

Democrats, as well as Republicans, will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past, for part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose, and that's what we have to restore.

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country.

The -- the reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than they are for those plagued by gang violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals.

I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in a hospital and to live lives free of discrimination.

You know, passions may fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers.

Rhetorically, the man just rose above every wedge issue the Republicans have tried to drum up over the last twenty years. Now let's see if he -- we? -- can get people to listen and think.

In other (knitting) news... one more FO! And still no working camera. It's turning comical, this sudden flood of FOs with no means of documentation (or really, showing off). We will have daily FO posts once this dilemma of mine is solved and $200 for a new camera magically lands on my doorstop from the digital camera fairy. I hear she makes house calls?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

So close. So close.

Still no pictures, and the FOs are starting to pile up!

And you know what? This morning I even had a couple people from an indie film crew in my apartment taking pictures with a digital camera to see if they want to film a scene in my kitchen next month. I very nearly asked if they could just take a quick shot, just a quick one, of my feet with the newly-completed Leyburn Socks on them.

Now before anybody gets excited about the film part, don't. This is an indie film, and when I say indie, I don't mean Hustle and Flow. I mean tiny budget, film-on-the-weekends-only, miniscule distribution if any. Trust me, you won't see a preview during primetime. This is just another one of those favors you do for people. (I'm the one doing the favor, btw. In case you were wondering.)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ravthlete '08

Man. Of all the months for Ravelympics to come along. Broken camera, 12+ hour work days... my first stage management gig,* for crying out loud...

All I can say is, the upside of my fella's alcoholic twit of a roommate bailing on him and moving out early (aside from the drastic decrease in bad drama and juju) is that he is hiding his valuable portable electronics in my closet** until she's gone, which means my Ravelympic success and failure and other WIPs are tucked safely away on his camera. Tucked safe away, because the cord to transfer data from the camera to a computer wasn't included in the buried treasure.

I really hope I can get access to that cord before he gets his camera back, or he's going to flip through the images and, well, you can imagine. "Why do you need 87 pictures of yarn?"

But to commemorate my finished project, here is my single award, and I display it proudly.

* Dude. Long story, but check it out: I didn't screw everything up. In fact, I even did extremely well. Who knew?

** I'm brilliant. I put it behind and under my feminine hygiene supplies. Just in case I do get burgled, any male burgler will doubtless flee in terror. (I would say "run away like a girl," but any girl burgler would grab everything and fence it for untold sums.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

FO: ...

I finished 'em! I finished 'em! I finished the Albuquerque Gloves in time for the close of Ravelympics '08!

I'm sure you want to see a picture.

So do I, actually.

Yeah, the camera's still out of commission. No time to get a new one yet. Will borrow one shortly, and you better come back to peep my work, because I'm terrifically proud. These things are beautiful, and if you live in Austin I want you bidding on these at the Four Corners auction at the end of September.

So... A picture will come when opportunity permits.

Other clever thoughts:

1. I have a second project entered in the Ravelympics, one that doesn't look too likely now. Ah, well. It's good to be ambitious.

2. Since when do they actually enforce that "Don't step on the line" rule in the 200m dash? In nine years of track and field, I never once saw that rule enforced. True, I was running DIII, but come on.

3. It is a good thing to weave your ends in as you go when working on stranded colorwork. All I had to do tonight after finishing the ribbing was snip, snip, snip. So much better, even if irritating at the time.

4. A lot of knitters entered projects into the Ravelympics in more than one category, which doesn't seem right to me. And there's a few people who entered stuff in the colorwork category that has like one row of duplicate stitch, or maybe it's like a couple stripes thrown in here and there, which I personally don't think qualifies. I was getting all grumpy and thinking about ways to introduce difficulty scores, a la gymnastics... then I remembered, "Oh, right. It's all in fun." I ought to remember that more often.

5. No details or anything here, but don't ever live with an alcoholic. Unless you want to do character research into the nature of denial and self-destruction.

6. And lastly, dudes: go back and watch all the finals of the 400m hurdles. That was my big event in college, and look at them at the end of that race. These are the best runners in the world, and even they are slagging at the end. That race is freakin' impossible. So cool.

See you soon!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Speed of Yarn


Last weekend, I went to my parents' place for a quiet visit. I knit this much:

Day 3 of Ravelympics: Almost the entire first glove.

I'm not at my parents' place now. Yesterday I clocked 12.75 hours at two different jobs (neither of them writing my novel, incidentally). It's now day 6 of Ravelympics, and I've knit 10 rows of ribbing on glove two.

That tell you something about vacations?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ravelympic Jellyfish

I, too, have joined the Ravelympics. (If you know what Ravelry is, then you know what the Ravelympics are. Everybody's joined up.) I gave myself two projects: a felted purse of my own design out of Brown Sheep Top o' the Lamb, and a pair of Albuquerque Gloves, a pattern which has gotten almost no attention as far as I can see but deserves more. They aren't my style, per se, but they will be loved by the person who gets them, and the colors are gorgeous, and the yarn was affordable.

Here's the first one, almost half done as of this morning (courtesy of a borrowed digital camera that, unlike mine, works):

Is it just me, or do the dangly bits of loose ends look like the stinging tentacles of a jellyfish?

Fortunately, these don't sting. In theory, I won't even have to sew all of them in when I'm done, because the pattern recommends weaving each end in with the floats of the colors currently in play, as you go.

I hope I'm glad about that when I'm done, because it's irritating as all get-out to fiddle with them now.

Stranded colorwork, by the way, is not for beginners. If you were wondering. After a lot of experimenting and gnashing of teeth and massaging of knuckles and some help from a video at Sticks and String, I think I've figured out my own ideosyncratic way of carrying two colors in my right hand. That made a big difference. If you're considering trying stranded colorwork for the first time, however, I strongly recommend the Fake Isle Hat as a starter project.

If you've done some stranded colorwork yourself, care to share with me in the comments section how you prefer to start/stop new colors? Is there a better way to go?

My second project, that felted purse I mentioned up above, has not yet reached the needles. "It's all locked safe up here," as Will said in Shakespeare in Love. Ravelympics aside, I have a late-September deadline for both projects, because we're having another silent auction for the New Mexico volunteer trip I took part in last year.

Therein lies the connection: the gloves are Navajo- and Pueblo-themed. The Brown Sheep yarn for the purse I purchased (for wicked cheap!) at a trading post on the Reservation last year, and I'm imagining a design that uses this traditional Navajo motif. Which will require more stranded colorwork and possibly even intarsia, but a girl's gotta have a challenge, right? I don't have the proper colors for a true version of that pattern, but the ladies and gents of Austin, Texas are not likely to mind.

That's it for me! How are your Ravelympic projects coming?