Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Old Age and Colin Firth

In my own defense, I try not to use the heater in the winter. It's better for the environment.

So I snuggle under a blanket when I'm sitting still. Often when I'm sitting still, I'm knitting. Often when I'm knitting, I have a movie on, one that I've watched before. Often when I watch a movie, it's Pride and Prejudice.

Okay. So, to save money, a few weeks ago I moved into an apartment that I share with two other people who are never there. It's like a fake apartment: I'm the only one who's ever around, and it's not like I'm home much myself. Works for everybody.

One of the roommates and his girlfriend dropped by tonight, unannounced. That doesn't bother me; after all, he's paying rent, isn't he?

Only, they dropped by as I was knitting a sock under a blanket in a chair in front of the TV watching an old movie.

Quick: I'm going to go do a keg stand before I start looking like the 80-year-old I apparently am.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Quick Meme

Forgive the uncraftiness. I just love these things.

I found this one at le petit hibou. You're supposed to answer with only one word.

Where is your mobile phone? purse
Where is your significant other? traffic
Your hair colour? brown
Your mother? super
Your father? dandy
Your favourite thing? bed
Your dream last night? troubled
Your dream goal? bestseller
The room you're in? messy
Your hobby? knitting
Your fear? cockroaches
Where do you want to be in 6 years? deep-pocketed
Where were you last night? barbecue
What you're not? bored
One of your wish-list items? garden
Where you grew up? safe
The last thing you did? mail
What are you wearing? boots
Your TV? analog
Your pets? imaginary
Your computer? limping
Your mood? sleepy
Missing someone? grin
Your car? rez-de-chausez
Something you're not wearing? earrings
Favourite shop? Anthropologie
Your summer? hot
Love someone? grin
Your favourite colour? yes
When is the last time you laughed? 4 p.m.
When is the last time you cried? election (in a good way)

Steal away!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sock-Knitting in Technicolor

Sock-knitting has a lot of advantages. Plenty of other people have noted them before me. Portability, ease, quickness, versatility: socks have it all.

I'm only on my second pair ever, so my speediness isn't up there just yet. I knit socks in chunks, split apart by the inertia of not wanting to go back to the computer to figure out exactly how one does a toe, foot, heel, or leg.

The best thing about socks, however, is that they are nowhere near your face.

Here's the thing: I love pinks and purples and reds and corals. They are very pretty. They make my face look like the wall of my last apartment: dull, rental-white, and you don't want to look for very long.

Socks, however, are nowhere near my face. Having discovered this, I have set off on a whole new palette of exploration.

Seriously, have you ever seen purple and pink together on this blog before?

These are the Twilight Socks from 2-at-a-Time Socks, converted into toe-up because I'm always fiddling with yarn weight and gauge and it's better to know you've screwed up early on. I am also not knitting them two at a time, because I'm too cheap for all those circular needles. (You should see what I do with recipes in the kitchen.)

The yarn is delish: Seacoast Handpainted Yarns, a sock yarn in Raspberry Mocha. This is another treat from my mother's attempt at reducing her stash. (You may have heard me mention that before... Love ya, Mom!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Daily Skein Is My New Best Friend

Betcha didn't know that, did you, Cailyn?

I'm not actually trying to spook the lady, who writes very engaging posts over at The Daily Skein. I just want to give her props for saving a knitter in trouble. Namely me.

She and I apparently have what is either a total knitting kismet-thing going on, or else we just both like Knit Picks. (Okay, probably the latter, but I just like the word kismet.) Total coincidence here: I totally fell in love with the Estes Vest from the Fall '08 Interweave Knits. I am a cheap lady, so as soon as I decided must have, must have, I dashed on over to Knit Picks for an affordable yarn substitute. I settled on Wool of the Andes Bulky, in Scuba.

I totally and completely did my math wrong and only ordered five skeins instead of six. I'm smart like that.

About the time I realized this, I happened across a blog post from The Daily Skein. I knit her Albuquerque Gloves (and have been pimping them ever since) this summer, and haven't been reading all that long. But lo and behold, guess who was knitting the exact same pattern -- in the exact same yarn -- ordered at exactly the same time?

A quick email and a friendly sale and I now have enough yarn in the same dye lot to finish the pattern and add an inch or two to the length, as several others have chosen to do.

Thanks, lady. You really saved me there.

By the way... I'm knitting these on those self-same 10.5 Boye Needlemaster needles that my blue suede love seat has developed such an appetite for. Just to show how you can make just about all things work for the best, I'm using the spare 10.5 needle as a cable needle, along with my two replacements, to knit this piece. I never use cable needles, either, but I couldn't get gauge without.

It's all about the love seat, I'm telling you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Love Song of the 10.5 Boye Needlemaster Tip

I have three stories for you this evening.

Almost four years ago, when I was living in Cincinnati, I decided to go see a play. In those days I was more active in theater, so I was sure I'd bump into someone I knew, and I did: my friend "Gordon," a very interesting sort of dude who is very catlike in his attention span. He takes everything very earnestly and seriously, but not for very long.

After the show, we went to Shanghai Mama's for Chinese food. I mentioned that I was thinking of buying a loveseat. "A loveseat?" he said. "No kidding. This week I'm working at _____ Furniture. They're having a closing sale. You should come by. I'll hook you up." I didn't think working at a furniture store was the sort of thing you did for a week, but that's Gordon.

Show up I did, and he showed me several loveseats that were just not calling my name. "Well, there's always the clearance room." Gordon ushered me in, and behold, just as we entered the room, a voice was heard on the storewide speakers: "Now in the clearance rooms. Sofas and loveseats for only $25. First-come, first-served."

I executed a near-perfect dive onto the nearest loveseat, a blue suede number with puffy cushions, and claimed it as my own.

The fella has never taken to it, really, but after an adventure like that, I'm quite attached.

Here it is, back in the apartment in Cincinnati:

Now for story number two!

A year ago, not long after I purchased my Boye Needlemaster set, I was knitting something or other (been too long) on the blue suede loveseat. I did not stand up. I did not change position much at all. I set my knitting in my lap and watched the end of what was probably Pride and Prejudice or something. Then when I reached for the Needlemaster case to put away the needles... one of them was gone.

I lifted the cushions, I looked underneath, I shook out the blankets: I looked everywhere. Nowhere. One of the 10.5 tips had vanished. Completely.

And now the third story in this saga:

I have just finished moving into two different apartments. And, like the splitting of an atom, it hasn't been easy.

My fella has graciously agreed to let the blue suede loveseat continue its life with us and has taken it into his apartment. That required that he and I together test the mettle of our relationship and get the thing up three flights of narrow stairs. We survived as a couple, but we hope to hire movers next time.

Just as we reached the very top, we heard a clink, tinkle tinkle. He froze. "What's that?"

"Urk," I said, which is about all I can say when I'm carrying half a loveseat.

We were moving it into its place in his apartment and pushing it against the wall when we heard it again. Clink, tinkle tinkle.

The freakin' 10.5 needle tip!

I took off the cushions. I felt in the cracks. I searched everywhere.

We can't get it out! Not without major surgery, and I'm sorry, but that's a $25 blue suede loveseat. Ain't nobody cuttin' into my baby like that.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

When They Called It for Obama

On CNN, they said that around the world, everyone will remember where they were when they heard Obama had won the 2008 election.

I don't think that's true. Don't get me wrong: It's amazing! I'm thrilled! It's such a relief that today I felt like I was breathing a different kind of oxygen. It's just, everybody basically has the same answer: "I was watching TV." We were all already waiting to see whether or not it would happen.

For the knitters amongst us, I have a better question: What were you knitting when you heard Obama had won the 2008 election?

(You'll have to reward yourselves this time. Someday, there will be a proper contest on this blog, when I have a working camera and am not in the middle of moving to a new apartment and have no clue what stash is where.)

I was knitting this:

It's the Storm Water Scarf, obviously unblocked, made out of Sea Silk. I knit two rows, and then they called Pennsylvania. I dropped the knitting and howled for joy. I knit one and half more rows and was very distracted, and then they called Ohio. I jumped up and down on the fella's couch (much to his dismay; it's a nice couch).

I knit three more stitches over the next hour or so. When they called California, that was it. No more knitting last night!

We watched the beautiful acceptance speech. We joined the spontaneous street party at 6th and Brazos last night. We are very tired today.

But we are hopeful.

Let's see what's next.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Where Is Cobbalicious?

It's tough to participate in the vibrant online knitting community (reread that phrase and I swear, you'll turn red in the face) when your camera, computer, and life are on the fritz. I've really missed posting and reading and putting pictures up on Ravelry. I've even been pretty nutty with the knitting, with all kinds of start-stop-startover projects to share.

But first, some recent adventures. The fella and I went to San Francisco last weekend to attend Groomzilla's wedding, which may have been one of the most tasteful, elegant events of the year. At least up until the point that we left; a random encounter with Groomzilla himself the next day confirmed that we left just before things got crazy outta hand with the lush/law student/lawyer populations (and those overlap like a Venn diagram) in attendance.

Here's some of the other things we did:

That's me in front of the de Young Museum. It looks like a Klingon palace. Inside is nifty, too.

Amoeba Music is big. This is only one corner. That was the fella's big request of the trip.

It was unusually warm most of the time we were there. After the wedding, we took a trolley up the hill to Grace Cathedral, one of my favorite places in the city.

See that little white thing on my foot? During the trolley ride, a lady accidentally dropped a very full, 30+ oz bottle of water on my toe. (That hurts like hell, if you've never tried it.) I tried to shake it off, but it started bleeding. I brought that to my fella's attention, and upon doing so I heard "Her foot is bleeding because that lady dropped a water bottle on it" translated into about three language groups on our trolley car.

The fella was chivalrous. He helped me limp to a cafe, which supplied us with makeshift first aid supplies. I don't think the toe was broken, but even if it was, nothing would have happened differently.

The last afternoon we paid a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge, just as the fog bank rolled in. This is the view up from standing beside the SF-side pylon.

No wonder it's such a hotspot for personally devastating emotional crises. The fog, the cold wind, the fog horns, and the sheer height of everything is stunning. I suggest only paying a visit when you are in a good mood.

Next up: knitting. Promise. (I snagged the camera today. Yipee!)