Archive for July, 2006

Two words:

Monday, July 31st, 2006

Yarn. Harlot.

I do not care who you are. I do not care whether or not you knit. You need to read the Yarn Harlot.

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Stand in awe, for you are in the presence of glory.

When I began following her blog in early 2004, I had no idea what I was in for. Seriously. She is an addiction! I was fairly new to the concept of blogging in general, and more importantly I was paralyzingly afraid that someone would find out my secret: I actually read knitting blogs.

(Overwhelm yourself with the sarcasm here;) Oh, the horror.

If you had told me then that within three years I would have my own, I would have laughed myself miles past “silly” and all the way until you crept noiselessly out of the room to call my mother. (Moom, for the record, would have denied all responsibility. She would have left you on your own to deal with my silliness as you so chose, then would taunt me continuously for those following three years. Meanypants!)

That is a tangential subject though, and entirely unrelated to what is important about the Yarn Harlot.

The Yarn Harlot is brilliant, hilarious, eloquent, and many other things that would probably take up too much space to list, but mostly she knows knitters. Knitters in general. Knitters as a whole, as a valid portion of the population, as a secret society of revolutionaries who burn for change and are on their way to taking over. (Moths, watch out!)

If you don’t understand, it is because you aren’t in the loop. It means that you need to go here now, and then go to the library for all of her books. She writes about the bad along with the good, and gives many of us the justification we need. Not only to carry on with our (noble) actions, but to avoid the criticisms, tauntings, dismissals, and stupidity–yes, even that–of others.

i.e. My book is signed “obsession is normal”. (Refer to the pages where she returns the favor of hobby-taunting; “some people collect rocks”.)

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Trekking sock

We have to face it; some people just don’t understand knitters and their wool. We are wool-hearted, and they are cold in the winter. =D (At this point, anyone who has even the faintest idea of what my winter clothing habits are like is going to swallow their words. I’m waiting… Done? *Suspicious look*… Good.)

Here is what we need to do. You know how the movie store has a section for comedy concerts? We need to somehow make a place there for the Yarn Harlot. If you have not gone to see her you may not understand this, but honestly? My face is still a little sore today. We filled the whole room in the library (and another upstairs with a TV monitor), and I swear that we were collectively ready to wet ourselves with the hilarity. Her humor is completely unique, and somewhat unexpected even if you are familiar with her writing. She has an incredible sense of timing and presence.

We really ought ought to have been in The Ark, or some sort of real performance space. A knitters comedy concert? Why not! I don’t think that I have ever felt so at home in a crowd. Everyone had their knitting out, everyone was wearing a project, and everyone was talking about it. Wool, glorious wool! I happened to be sitting next to Knitterbunny, whose blog I am new to. I did not think to take a picture at the time, but much more importantly I was starving and she gave me chocolate. (Thank you!! You have no idea how much I needed that!)
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Knitters Without Borders pin. Go contribute!!

These are just a few of the things that you would have heard, had you been there:

“Hey, there’s a ball of yarn on the floor!” *twenty heads whip around curiously*

“Is that your first time using Mountain Colors sock yarn?” *half the room talks over each other to praise it at great length*

“My boyfriend took the digital camera away, because he dosen’t understand why I have to take pictures of everything and doesn’t want me to knitblog.” (Someone across the room) “DON’T MARRY HIM!!” (I was a little unclear on this. He may have actually been her husband, but the point itself was clear enough. That is what counts.) Actually, the Harlot wrote her a petition demanding the immediate return of the camera. We all signed.

There was much, much more.

Moving on.

Here is the Lupine shawl in its current state:

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If any of you can read knitting and see the weird extra yarnover near the top, that is not a mistake. I am going to go back and change it, but it was placed there intentionally.

Finally, last night I wound this:

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Noro Silver Thaw. Because I can feel Emily glaring, I promise that I only did it because I am running out of time on the project.

That was quite possibly the longest post ever. However, it was necessary. I am a strong advocate for spreading tasteful humor. You might as well enjoy it!

Half post

Sunday, July 30th, 2006

Later today I’ll post a real update, with photos of the Lupine shawl (to this point) and other things. Amanda and I are going to go downtown in a few minutes, and wander until it is time to see the Yarn Harlot!!

This should keep you occupied for now.

I’ll tell you which images are my favorites later. Have fun!! =D

Midnight Lupine

Friday, July 28th, 2006

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A pattern that I am designing. Expect it to change; it is a work in progress. If it turns out well, I may try selling the pattern.

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I also bought a notebook today for the patterns I am designing. Those are not the best sketches of how this is supposed to look, but they are decent. The book is actually meant to be an all-purpose calendar/planner, however I decided it was just about perfect for a portable sketchbook.

One side of the page is like the above, and the other has graph paper that I am using to chart.

I think I am going to restart the shawl again though, because I have come up with a better idea. I need a plainer set of yarnovers to lead into the intended pattern.
Wish me luck. Ripping back mohair is said to be like having teeth pulled with no anesthetic. Some things must be done!!

As much as I hate ripping, the beginning I have is not a waste. It has given me an idea for another shawl that I want to design! (I already have yarn in the stash that I can use for it. This could be good.)

On another note, I have not had a good opportunity to take fancy photographs of the finished shawls. I want to show them on a body. I did take some pictures outside today, and here they are.

The whole image of Peacock Feathers…

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And a closeup of the point…

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I love the edging. It has given me ideas for the next project.

Here is the point of Snowdrop…

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Also beautiful. Amanda and I are going to block hers tomorrow. We knit them in the same yarn, except hers is pink. She also opted out of the pointy edging. =D

Just to live up to my indecisive nature, I feel like starting everything today. (Everything being three shawls, a scarf, a sweater, and two pairs of socks. So far I am holding off quite well, but tomorrow is another day…) My next project was supposed to be the brown sweater I showed you yarn pictures of, but I am going to wait on that one until I have time to make a duct tape dressform.

Okay, I can feel your incredulous looks.

Stop it!! You’re making me uncomfortable. *Shifts* I promise that it works and that I’m not just making it up. I read about it in an ancient issue of Threads. Anyhow, it’s going to be pretty awesome. If I have somone there to hold the camera, I’ll photo document. And if I don’t have someone there to hold the camera…I might be stuck in a duct tape coccoon. I admit that it would be pretty hilarious, but I think I’d prefer that I *did* have someone there to cut me out.

Emily the Yarn Duck says that she is in shock because I finished something. Very funny. How on earth did I end up with such a sarcastic Yarn Duck? I suppose that is is my fault. She does NOT like to be neglected for so long. I’d best get my act together.

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Finally, I have a request. Can you all list your favorite books for me in the comments? I am feeling very bored and despondent. What I need is a trip to the library. I love summer, but I am running out of things to think about and your suggestions would be amazing.

Peacock feathers everywhere…

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

Today, the most amazing thing in the world took place. Again.

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That’s right. Blocking!!

I apologize for the terrible quality of the photos. The carpet back here is a strange sort of brown, the lighting is bad, and my camera is low on battteries. Pair that with my inability to hold still for five lousy minutes, and you get a bunch of crappy, blurry photographs…

Anyway. Continuing on. I shall take decent photographs tomorrow when they are completely dry and I can find a good place to model them. Okay??

Okay.

I washed and blocked Snowdrop first, in a rare moment of foresight. This decision was based solely on dye colors, and I’m lucky that I did. Were I a good knitter I would have changed the water between them, but I am a lazy knitter. Lazy!! So I used the same water, and wouldn’t you know it but a decent amount of smudgy blue came seeping out.

Here is a blurry detail shot of Snowdrop blocking…

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And the same of Peacock Feathers…

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Okay. Look at all the yellow dots. Now go look at the full shot, and notice all the yellow dots.

When I blocked Snowdrop, it took my entire box of dressmaker’s pins!! *Yeek!!* I ran out to the fabric store for a second box, and it was sheer dumb luck (and a fortunate feeling of unease) that landed me with the box of 175 rather than 100. It took every one. Each one of those loops in the crocheted edging had to be pinned out. Believe me, it was no easy task getting them to line up in the corners.

Now is the hard part. No, really. I have to sit here staring at them until they are ready to be unpinned.

Wish me luck!!

Again?

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

I am unable to get a restful night’s sleep. I have trouble going to bed at a reasonable hour, and I have been waking up every few hours in the night. Then, every day, I wake up between 7:45 and 9:00 and cannot go back to sleep. I don’t mind a little bit of sleepiness in my life, however the murky exhaustion that has been haunting me in the last two weeks is quite unwelcome.

It had an excuse when I was chasing 94 children around. Now that my time is mostly spent not being able to sleep, forgetting to eat, going to work, sulking, and drinking tea, it is not so logical.

But wait! Looking over that list I have the answer. Forgetting to eat is something that happens to me only when multiple other discomforts present themselves at once. For example, heat, humidity, sleeplessness, and distraction. Uh…*quiet voice* too much coffee. Hmm…put checks next to all of those.

When I do not eat I get headaches and my body is very slow. Yesterday I kept feeling as though putting my head down on the counter at work would cause me to fall heavily asleep.

No food = exhaustion.

Every single time this happens I forget why, and then the sudden protein craving hits and I remember.

Problem solved!! I have groceries and I am prepared.

More excitingly, I finished peacock feathers yesterday. Tomorrow I am going to block it along with snowdrop, and then you can have pictures!! I’ve just been too tired to block. Look for new things in the next few days.

Finally, thanks for your tolerance with my sporadic posting. It is very hard to put together a coherent (fine, I’ll admit it: I am never coherent) or interesting post when I am like this. On top of that I am a very slow writer. Posts that have little flow and/or don’t make a lot of sense are written quickly with little to no editing. (Such as this one, as you can tell.) Don’t even talk to me about grammatical mistakes just now. I know.

Pictures tomorrow, my flock.

Well moused, lion.

Sunday, July 23rd, 2006

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I feel well loved. My (fabulous) little summer theatre job ended yesterday, and I am quite content with the results. It is always an embarrassing run technically, however the kids are amazing. This year I positively adored all of them. It was a unique group, and I hope a good number of them will come back next year.

Onward.

The Sneak was home for the weekend. We really were not home and awake at the same time for more than about an hour, but I did have time to take this picture. In which neither of us could keep a straight ugly face.

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Hilarious, no? I have noooo idea what The Sneak is looking at.

Just to prove my complete lack of anything intelligent, intellectual, comical, surprising, or in any way shape or form interesting to say, this was the high point of my afternoon:

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I am not kidding. I have been looking for this exact product for more than a year. Read that again. Is that not ridiculous? Don’t try to tell me that they are all the same. They are not. The Goody pins have a longer tip with a smaller angle, and they don’t hold my hair as well, etc… I bought two cards because it will probably be five thousand years before I stumble across them again.

Oh, and one other interesting thing…

When I wrote thank you notes to my cast, I gave them my Mouse Nest e-mail address. This is because it is the only one that does not reveal my birth certificate name. It is very important to me that they know me as Mouse (which is my real name as far as I am concerned, as people have called me that since the age of one-and-a-half) and that the other name remains confidential.

The reason why that is interesting…is that I wonder how many of them will get curious about mousesnest.com? It is a mystery. (Hey, and if any of you are reading this, leave me a comment!)

I am not editing this entry, so the writing is awful. Tough cookies.

Also, I have to get out of Amanda’s work now. And I have to stop drinking coffeecoffeecoffee. As her work is in a coffeeshop…yes.

Out, two, three, four.

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006

I feel very strange. I have carefully selected, encouraged, and recommended a few people whom I think ought to take a job. One that has usually been “mine” over the last four years. They may or may not understand how monumental that is or why, but if any of them do take it they probably will someday. These people have impressed me greatly with their maturity, their independence, their talent, their attitudes, and their respect. And their lovable personalities. If I am ever in a position to require the kind of assistance that they could provide, I hope that they will still be around and interested. All in time, all in time.

There are very few people who will understand the above, but that is okay. It would be bad etiquette to explain, and what matters is that it was important to me. Very. I have given myself a level of mental freedom that has been quite evasive for a long time, and now I have to work on accepting that.

Confused? Good.

Who needs rest?

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

I can push myself through exhaustion. I have experience with this. I can push through headaches, through two hours of sleep or less, through many hours of walking, through overwhelming amounts of noise, through cold or hot or wet or sticky or dry.

I swear!! I am energetic! I can do anything at all, there is absolutely no…

no…

*sound of limp flesh falling heavily upon the ground*

Mean and scary?

Wednesday, July 19th, 2006

That’s right I am! Only when it is required of me, though.

Today was the day where the velociraptor had to emerge, in a rather wrathful and accusatory manner. I always feel terrible after it goes back into hiding, but some things must be done.

I’m sorry though. You do not continue to miss entrances after I warn you once, you do not promise me that you can say your lines without the script and then have no idea where on earth we are, and you do NOT talk onstage. Most of all, you do not argue with me about any of those things. Especially when you know better and I have yelled at you before and you think that you are really cool. I will win, and I will crush you. (Okay, so I’ll come and explain and apologize for the necessity of humiliation when it’s all said and done…oh shush.)

Uh…I may have even caught myself quoting my favorite teacher in the world with the statement “don’t poke the bear”…

Oh well. I love what I do. I’ll still be learning for as long and I continue to do it, but it really is enormous fun. Overall they are incredibly good. Just saying though, you always know which ones are the best because they don’t need to be part of the group to be happy.

See? Mean and scary. (Take a minute and look at the picture in the last entry. Yep. Mean and scary. Right.) OOH! Cookies!!

Sunglasses are a pain…

Monday, July 17th, 2006

…when you are hunting for them. Ah yes, carefully stalking them between the aisles of Target, Meijer, K-mart, Kroger, wherever you choose to hunt. SHH!! Be careful, if you don’t sneak up on them quietly you will startle them, and all the good ones will hide leaving you with the weird 80s way-too-giant or wrap-weirdly-around-your-face-just-plain-ugly or “in style” varieties. Yes.

But the fun part of finding some that are tolerable, even though they will inevitably still look as ridiculous as an ostrich in flight, is that they still look better in the mirror than they do in pictures.

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(Sneak, I want you to take a good look at that face. Okay, okay! Now just *try* to tell me that it doesn’t remind you of the dead baby masks! Hahaha!)

I can’t smile, so I decided to post the funniest of the pictures. That was it. Don’t I look like a bug? I am quite amused. Moving on…

This is a section of my birch shawl:

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Made last summer. The pattern is all over, and it is a large triangle.

This:

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Is the Mountain Peaks Shawl. That picture is crap and I know it. I’ll try to take a better one next time It is cool enough to wear it.

All of my shawls currently need blocking…but I am lazy. I did start the second beach colored sock, though.
Leading me to the best thing that happened today…

This year at summer YAG, I have been threatening all the boys who can’t sit still that I am going to teach them to knit. Well, the twitchiest of them all actually learned today! I did not teach him, but I told someone else they could. He stood there swearing on his honor that he did not have the attention span for it…and stood there knitting completely transfixed through all of snack time and half the rehearsal.

TRIUMPH!!