Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Knit a cup of tea....

Thanks for all the nice comments about the crappy current state of things. You guys are sweet, I wish I could pack you in my pocket for those times I'm sitting at work, contemplating banging my head on the desk... We buried my grandmother yesterday. It was pouring rain most of the day and was just extremely dreary and sad. However, my grandmother was 91 years old. She lived to know several of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And she was a very faithful woman who loved going to church every day she possibly could. The priest said at her wake 'she was better prepared for the afterlife than most people.' And knowing that she was loved, and knew that she was loved, and that she really did get to live out most of her days doing exactly as she pleased, these are things I'm trying to remember that are starting to make make me feel a little better.

And I've been trying to knit to feel better too- I present to you my knitting equivalent of having a nice, soothing cup of tea:

There's knitting you do for the end product, and knitting you do to challenge yourself, and knitting you do to experiment, and then there's knitting you do to feel better. Hats are the knitting that I do to feel better. I have know idea why, but there's something about stockinette, in the round, worsted weight or larger gauge that just soothes my soul. And this one is a bonus-it's a really soft pretty yarn called Caron Dazzelaire that has so unfortunately been discontinued. It's left over from a former life when a few friends and family members actually paid me to crochet baby blankets for gifts. (Crochet??? What's that??) Anyway, so this is actually a baby hat that I'll be donating to charity, which will feel good also. Feels so good I'll be casting on another one tonight.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

And then you have those days like this...

That make you wonder why you even bothered getting out of bed today. Allow me a 2 second rant here- things are kind of crappy lately. The job thing is a total bummer. Unfortunately the office move did not improve some serious issues where I work. The company is not doing well at all and everyday we all wonder if that's the day we're going to get laid off. Ick. So I'm looking, and while it hasn't been hopeless, I haven't found a new place that I really want to work either. I'm really hoping to get laid off soon so I can collect some unemployment (benefits I've always paid into and never, ever collected on) and take a little break. But instead each day I'm continually surprised how things manage to get worse and worse, but not bad enough to close. And there I am still employed and having to find a way to drag my butt in the next day. To this crappy, crappy job. Yep, it really sucks.

Add into this situation the bad news I got this morning. My grandmother on my dad's side passed away today. She was very old and lived a very full life. Although she had been failing and bedridden for quite awhile she was always very much the matriarch of that side of my family. It's just a sad, sad thing and unfortunately no matter how well you prepare for it, it doesn't make it any easier when it happens.

So I'm trying to keep a handle on things, doing what I need to do, which is a lot of stuff I really don't feel like doing at all. Which is something that seems to make me feel more crappy. So I take a minute to sit down and try to do some knitting and relax and somehow I end up with this

Umm, yeah that's not making me feel much better either. This is a kit I have for a purse that I purchased at Stitches last year. I'd love to link to the company but I can't find anything about them online so I wonder if they're even around anymore. I zipped through the front and sides in no time earlier in the week, and now I just have to do this one last part, but the colorwork is tough. And it's making me curse. And sweat. And I don't really need the agita right now. So I'm going to put down the knitting for today and maybe when I come back to this it will somehow cease to look to me like the knitting equivalent of a car wreck.

Oh. Well.

Sorry for the whine all, hope your Saturday's are treating you better.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Done and done!

First, the finished Elizabeth I scarf

My patented "Slacker" blocking technique didn't affect it as much as I feared. It's not pin straight on the sides, but honestly I sometimes can treat my scarves pretty harshly. Even if it started out flat and perfect, trust me a few minutes stuffed down the collar of my coat will have it at least somewhat wrinkled. Which is how things sometimes get in the real world. Which is ok, we do make this stuff to wear after all right?

In addition to the scarf I also finished the toe-up red socks I've been working on forever.

They might look fine and dandy but you know, looks can be deceiving. My one major complaint? I didn't do some kind of modified stretchy bind off at the top. And boy can you tell when it takes me 3 minutes to get them completely on. When Freddy/Jason/the bogeyman comes to chase me these will not be the socks I reach for to put on before I leave the house or I will be toast. Once I get the socks on they're completely wearable, but still, it's a big lesson learned. Another thing-I somehow ended up with these big honking holes at the heel gussets on the second sock I knit. Go figure, it was the 4th time I worked those short rows, you'd think I'd get better with each time. They're not huge enough for other people to notice-just me! Which is enough. Still, they will get worn. These are superwash wool so I figure what I lose in putting-on time perhaps I will make up in not-having-to-handwash these socks time. And the toe-up sock thing is still very intriguing. I will be trying it more in the future. And I bet the next pair will definitely come out much better.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Bad blocking and mind control....

In case you're wondering if all I've knit in the past 3-4 weeks was Fetching, I promise this is not the case. The green Elizabeth I Lace Scarf is being blocked.

I'm a little concerned. I really should have string blocked it so the edges would be sure to come out straight. Instead, you can see I chose the slacker option of "Oh, let me just try putting a bunch of pins in it and maybe it will come out straight." Stupid, I know. But we'll see. I'll keep you posted.

In other news Tracy made me follow her to the yarn store near where we knit on Tuesday. Sigh... Yes, at gunpoint and everything, it's true... When we got there I found this and somehow it just grabbed control of my mind and I knew there was no way of getting out of there without it.

It's Schaefer Elaine in the colorway "Rosa Parks." How cool is that? They actually name the colors after famous women like Edith Piaf, Emily Dickinson, Margaret Mead and of course, Rosa Parks. The colors are amazing and there's plenty here to make a cool scarf probably pretty quickly. What's with the scarves lately? Who knows. When the yarn is this pretty, why ask why right?

On a completely non-knitting related note- for any foodies who might be interested- did you hear squealing coming from the direction of New Jersey this afternoon? That would be me, when I saw a little 2 second blurb on the Food Network today that Nigella Lawson is going to have her own show on there in October. I am so psyched. I used to watch 'Nigella Bites' on E a few years ago and loved it and then it disappeared. Nigella is intelligent and makes some pretty good recipes. She also cracks me up because she has this thing where she is like almost always eating on the show. And if there are males in your house they usually don't complain too much about watching her either. My husband once said that they really should change the name of the show to "Nigella's Boobies." Yeah, men are just so subtle sometimes... Anyway, Food Network must have vetoed that one and instead is going for "Nigella's Feasts." Good choice. I'll be watching.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

My new favorite things...

A new, big basil plant gifted from my in-laws last weekend, and my finished, fingerless Fetching gloves!

As I haven't already beat the dead horse into the ground the pattern is of course from knotty and I used the recommended Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. And yes, I managed to make the pair from one ball, there wasn't a ton of yarn left over but I don't see running into a problem when I make more and more of these in the future. Serious, I liked knitting these almost as much as I like wearing them. Fast, easy and cool as all heck if you ask me. As soon as it's cool enough to wear them here without sweaty palms, I will be wearing these babies a lot!

P.S. There's a new button in the sidebar for the Punk Rock Gift Exchange which is something I am very psyched about. Do you knit? Are you punk rock? Do you promise to be a good pal? Go sign up!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hey Lunchbox!

Yep, I'm from Jersey. And if you know anything about where I live in Jersey I'm dangerously close to two celebrity hometowns. That would be Freehold-home to Bruce Springsteen. (Bruuuuce!!!!!) And also Red Bank-home to Kevin Smith.

OK, so it's not like Paris Hilton or Celine Dion type celebrity but still, there are many, many dedicated fans and we do hold the movie Clerks very, very close to our hearts. So was it coincidence or fate when this weekend on our knitting group night, in our knitting group town Netflix decided to have it's Rolling Roadshow featuring Q&A with Kevin Smith, autographs by the cast, a showing of the movie, and of course... knitting for everyone! Ok, so maybe we were the only ones knitting, but that's ok, it doesn't stop us.

Me and Tracy. Note the presence of the Fetchings in progress. We loves us the Fetchings!!!

Erin and Chris. Where's Chris's knitting? Hmm....

Colleen and Andy. Aww....

Oh and of course, you know wherever they go knitters are bound to make new friends...

How cool is that? It's a freaking Imperial Stormtrooper! He's promoting their 'professional costuming service' where you can rent these guys out for parties and stuff. Or to like randomly follow you around and help you with your errands if you want. You know, groceries, going to the bank, getting a pedicure.... Not that I ever thought of that....

Eventually the sun went down and it was time for some Bezerker.

It was a really fun night. And for all you movie buff's out there I really have to recommend you check out The Netflix Rolling Roadshow and see if there's one near you. They are free and really, really fun. They are trying show the movies outside in places where it was filmed or near there. Hubby is already totally disappointed he missed seeing the Warriors at Coney Island. The ones I wish I could go to? Well they're showing Ferris Bueller's Day off in Northbrook, IL, Raizing Arizona in Apache Junction, AZ, Field of Dreams in the baseball field in Iowa where it was filmed, The Searchers with John Wayne in Monument Valley, Utah. Not that I'm a big John Wayne fan, but how cool would it be to see any movie (especially a western) in Monument Valley. Sigh... One of these days I'm going to get that RV together and make all of them....