Archive for January, 2007

When in doubt, list things.

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

That’ll get me through the next three years of my life, right??

1) I have a funny story or three. I keep talking about them and not telling them. There are reasons for why, called the rest of this list.

2) I have a ten page paper to write for Monday. My professor gave me good comments on my outline (the tragedy of last week). I have the feeling that he only gives the good comments, but he also wrote that it was strong. I have since found additional, more specific research.

2.5) Naturally, having sufficient research and support for my thesis does not make me feel ready to write the paper. I’ll probably spend a few days staring a clean white page and practicing breathing exercises (in a desperate attempt to quell the rising waves of doom and terror), then stay up all weekend drinking sickening quantities of lukewarm tea and frantically abusing my keyboard.

3) I have rehearsals on Monday and Wednesday nights. I am enjoying myself, as usual. There are a few elements of the process that terrify me, but I’m getting over it. It is a much smaller time committment than usual, but it still has its effects…

3.5) I miss acting. And stressful rehearsal schedules. And people who recognize the importance of humility in theatre.

4) Last night I went to bed at four, because I was up doing work. This was NOT because of procrastination. Cait and I sat in the Crow’s Nest for nearly seven hours doing work.

5) I have dramaturgical research due on Tuesday. This needs to happen NOW, not LATER. I need the weekend for my paper, and Monday is too late to start putting my pieces together. Also, my Women’s Studies midterm paper is due next Friday.

6) I have knitting to show, but I am currently in my (lofted) bed and the camera is lurking below.

7) I remember having 70,000 important things to tell, but now I can’t remember a thing.

Not For Me.

Friday, January 26th, 2007
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Just showing you sock one.  With a sadly short cuff.
I’m going to go to bed ridiculously early.  I’m also (planning on) getting up early to Coffee Shop.  Productivity?  *Gives a confused sort of look*

Attention all sock yarn companies: More Yardage

Friday, January 26th, 2007

I know that I promised a funny story today, but I still have to write a french essay, a one page response paper, and a lighting/sound narrative. I should definitely have time to post about it tomorrow, though.

I also don’t have time to take pictures, upload them, and process them. If I did, I would show you that I finished one enormous koigu sock as well as the left front of the Equestrian Blazer. I may have bought a button or four while I was at it, but we really really don’t need to talk about that right now.

When I show you the finished sock tomorrow, you can help me mourn the rather skimpy cuff I’ve been forced to end it with. It’ll work out fine, but I think we should petition Koigu to add yardage to the KPPPM. So that we can make enormous size 11 socks and have enough yarn to knit a full-length cuff.

Without having to buy three skeins…

What makes it sock yarn?

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Sam asked an excellent question that I definitely should have anticipated.

Please excuse stupid basic questions: 1) what makes sock yarn SOCK yarn?; 2) koigu? (obviously not kaogu). Luv.

Sock yarn is….uh..well. Sock yarn is that yarn…oh you know, the one that you use to make socks!! Come on, you know, isn’t it obvious??

Technically, sock yarn is whatever yarn knitters use to make socks. This can range from teeny-tiny fingering weight to extra-chunky slipper sock-type yarn. However, there are also yarns that are specifically designed for sock knitting.

Many of these include some nylon content for durability, but I must confess that my favorites are 100% merino wools and the wool/mohair blends. I am far too lazy to link to anything after the day I’ve had, but if you goolgle google search any of the following terms, you’ll come up with yarns that are specifically intended for sock knitting.

Opal sock yarn

Socks That Rock

Mountain Colors Bearfoot

Brown Sheep Wildefoot

Regia sock yarn

Fleece Artist sock yarn

Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock

Colinette Jitterbug

There are tons of brands and types. The yarns listed are all superwash, although (as always) I recommend washing on the delicate cycle and line/flat drying. Maybe I’ll list some more another day.

As for the second question, Koigu is a fantastic Canadian yarn brand. Simply saying “koigu” is knitter’s slang for “KPPPM”, or “Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino” yarn. There are other Koigu-brand yarns, but truthfully I’m so attached to the KPPPM that I don’t much care.

KPPPM is not specifically designed for sock knitting, but it does make incredible socks!! In fact, it may just be my favorite “sock yarn”. Alongside the Mountain Colors Bearfoot, anyway…

Look in tomorrow for a humorous story (or two)!!

Koigu

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

Let me just talk about socks for a moment. (Sorry to all the non-knitters). I am fixated on sock yarn. Completely. Sock yarn is the staple of my stashing behavior, and the most useful in terms of actual knitting ease. The small size of the yarn, needles, and projects fit nicely into my hands. Socks are quiet, contained, and generally well-behaved. They are easy to carry around, and are still amusing with little to no patterning.

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I know how often I proclaim my complete and undying love for socks. (Emily is ruffling her feathers sarcastically in the background). At least twice weekly, right?

Well, I take sock knitting for granted. As staple projects, they are the one thing I take everywhere. They are part of my identity, and I scarcely give them a thought anymore. Sometimes I get sick of them, but the next time I have to watch a movie for class or ride somewhere in the dark I search for the nearest sock project. Nothing else is small enough to be portable? Sock! I’m sick of my current project? Sock! Bad day? Sock!

I was feeling slighty unimpressed with sock knitting Sunday morning. Underwhelmed, if you will. I skulked around trying to figure out how to carry all my books to rocketstar without destroying my shoulders and back, and haphazardly tossed some koigu into my bag along with everything else. I also brought the Venezia Pullover, but as I can’t look at a chart while reading that amounted to…oh…two rows. Anyway, fair isle requires frequent checks to make sure it’s on track.

All it took was to cast on for the sock. Magic! Tadaa!! The sock love is back.

(Never underestimate the powers of koigu, my friends.)

Now all I have to do is reconcile for myself the fact that these socks are Not For Me.  Really.  Constant reminders that these socks, sized to fit size 11 male feet, would never ever fit my rather modest size 7 female feet are much appreciated…

My wrists don’t like me.

Saturday, January 20th, 2007

First off, I have amended the asterisk glitch in the last post. I suppose I got a bit ahead of myself, as usual.

Secondly, I cannot stop doing crossword puzzles. Not when I have other things, but when I finish my work I keep taking crossword puzzles to bed instead of going right to sleep. This could be why I currently have an enormous headache that I can’t explain. Nine years of past experience that Not Sleeping Enough = Headache should tell me something, hmm??

It is probably better to skip over the “logic” discussion at this point. Logic is a choice, and I’ll have to live with the consequences of not making that choice.

The past few days have been fairly productive in terms of my knitting, but not much else.

I have finished the sleeves of the Equestrian Blazer (Interweave Knits Winter 2007 Issue), and started the left front.

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Emily the Yarn Duck is currently Emily the Sleeve Guard Duck

The end is in sight, but this project continues to move slowly. I am currently in the library without anything else to knit, but as soon as I go back to the room I am putting it aside for a few days. My wrists and hands are objecting with increasing urgency, and I don’t want to injure myself.

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So close…yet so far.

One other thing that I finished nearly finished the other day is this:

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Finished sock minus +/- 6 rows and finishing.

It is finally time to be productive. Now that it is getting dark, anyway. I lazed about all day today, just waiting for the mood to strike. I know, bad idea.  Right?

The problem with half of my life is that I cannot work when it is sunny.  I find bright sunlight to be severely overstimulating, and it gives me an enormous headache.  I woke up early feeling like someone had used an axe to split open my skull and inserted bricks, then closed the blinds and did crosswords until 4pm.

I’m trying not to look at it as a waste of time…

Africaaaaaaa

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

As of yesterday, my study abroad application is done. Finished, completed, out of the way, and most importantly TURNED IN. That’s it.

Now I wait for an undetermined length of time, until they let me know whether or not I’m well-behaved enough to go to Sénégal with the other Zoo aminals.*

(Oink oink TRUMPET….)

There has been very little knitting progress in the past few days. Oh, a row or two here and there on the socks, but nothing significan’t significant. It’s funny though. Today I have found myself in this extremely odd state in which I have very little work to do. I have a Kabuki play to read for Friday, and some French to study. Everything else is long-term or not assigned yet, so the best I can do is work on preliminary research.

With that said, I was completely a College Student after class today. By which I mean that I lazed about for an hour, crawled into bed a little before five with a crossword puzzle, and ceased to display any vital signs until 7 pm when my alarm went off. (Yes, I anticipated this.) The worst part? I stayed in bed in a state of drowsy half-consciousness until 7:45.

Lazylazylazylazy. And headache. And now I’m going to knit until I fall asleep. I’ll post about it tomorrow!!

* aMiNals.  Not aNiMals, thank you.

The Victim of Tragic Circumstances

Sunday, January 14th, 2007
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I have absolutely no bloody self control!! I mean, honestly. Did I not make it very clear that I was intending to *finish* things before starting *new* things??

Please don’t think any worse of me. I’m trying so hard. Aaaand…now let me explain to you the why this is Not My Fault. (This time…)

As I held very strongly to my resolution of Finishing Things for the first days of a new quarter, I rejoiced in my unfathomable mistake clever decision not to change the shipping address on my xmas yarn. There I was, finishing socks and feeling a great sense of hopefulness for my lovely Equestrian Blazer in progress when…

A package slip. A package slip! I wonder what could be in the mail?? It was with overwhelming and secretive delight a growing sense of horror and trepidation that I received an innocent looking little box with the return address of Two Swans Yarn. This could only mean one thing.

Success!! The last time I ordered from this company, I was shipping my purchase to school.

I was so well behaved! For days, I scarcely even looked in the direction of that yarn box. No way (José) was I falling for that trick. It hid under my desk, then under some other things, and Emily told me that if I so much as even looked in that direction she was going to permanently cut off my supply.*

What happened next is not for the faint of heart.

As I pulled out my brand new 2.75 mm 24″ circular for a loose inspection, you know, just so I knew it would be ready in a month or so when I was maybe ready to start a new project, I thought I felt a little tickle at my ankle. I looked down to investigate, but I couldn’t see anything. I stopped…listened…

Nothing.

I continued my inspection, and…there it was again!! This time somewhere around my knee. This time I set down the needle, and looked right under my chair. Was that a flash of motion?!??! When I still didn’t find anything, I went to pick up the needle again and–

AH!!! FSLkdjsklfj Foiled again! The yarn was *casting itself onto the needle*. I hurriedly picked it up, intending to stop it. It was going so quickly that my hands could barely keep up, but my knitting muscles are strong. I had faith. I managed to fight it enough to slow down the process a bit, but some forces in this world are simply too great. Even for me.

Alas, do not judge me, weak and mortal as I may be!

At least I also have this to show you.

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A crappy sleeve-age picture. As lovely as I find the Donegal Tweed to be, it is coarse. I am knitting it on a size 5 needle. It is hard for me to work on it for extended periods of time, as the tight gauge makes my hands hurt. Also, I’d like to point out that sleeves can be Very Boring. Slow and steady, that’s the key.

Actually, the key is to finish my essays so that I can go to Africa next year…  *TypeTypeTypeTypeTypeType…*

* In case you were wondering, she can bite more painfully than I can. It’s no secret who’s in charge in this relationship…

Well.

Saturday, January 13th, 2007

I am in Ann Arbor for a few days. Most of the Ann Arbor people I know in Kalamazoo were coming home, so why not??

Okay, the truth is that I left all of my French notes at home when I moved back into school for the quarter, and I had no idea where they were. O_o

French notes…found.

Three day weekend…check.

Minimal amounts of homework…check.

Study abroad application…*mouse breaks into hysterics*

Okay, here is another good reason for being home. The school library has very little useful information about Senegal. (Okay, I probably just didn’t look very hard…). Also, because applications are due in three days, there probably aren’t any on the shelves right now.

My fantastic Ann Arbor library should have anything and everything I could possibly need (have faith, little mouse), on top of which I have a $15 library fee from overdue books, and can’t check any out until I pay some of that. I promise that’s a good thing. It mean that I have to actually go and do work while I am there, increasing my likelihood of getting this done today by about…oh…50%.

Alright, so maybe I’m not as far behind as I think I am. I’ve already talked to some people (read: Jess) who went there, and I know what I’m writing my essays about. My application is complete except for the essays. I don’t have class until Wednesday, due to a long weekend and the overwhelming sway of most class-time resting on the early part of the week.  You see, we have no class on Monday (but we do have rehearsal), and my Tuesday lab was cancelled because of the Monday session’s nonexistence.
Three whole days?  That’s more than enough to write my essays, choose a paper topic, and re-learn all the french I’ve forgotten.

Ah, long weekends.

More Socks!

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

I finished Moom’s xmas socks on whatever day I last posted a photo of them. Foolishly, I forgot to give them to her when she was here today. At least I have now successfully applied for a passport…

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Moom’s Socks

I have since started another sock, out of some of the German sock yarn that I acquired last spring.

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Sock up to heel…

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Close-up of stitch pattern…

I have also done a small bit of work on my sleeves. Note the *small* bit. The roughness of the wool and the tight stitch gauge were starting to make my wrist hurt, so I put them aside temporarily. I intend to go back to them…oh…tonight or tomorrow.

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Classes are…going. As always. I have a lot of work, and very little time to post. I am filling out my study abroad application. I. am. not. sleeping. I am pretending that I know how to direct.

I am acquiring something that makes me giggle:

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Don’t get me wrong.  I think yarn deserves incredible amounts of respect. Really, really. Let me just give you a closer look at the lable…

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80% god?? This has got to be good. =D

I hope everyone has a little bit of god in their life today, whether it be woollen “god” (like me), or your God of religious practice. If you have neither, have some good instead. =D