Archive for the ‘knitting’ Category

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the yarn harlot strikes again

October 7, 2008

i got to go see stephanie pearl-mcphee – the yarn harlot – up at third place books this evening; she was stopping in on her book tour. i debated about going – i’ve seen her (there) twice before, and we live much farther away from that bookstore than we used to, so i couldn’t decide if i wanted to make the drive. i’m glad i did, though.

i was uber-grouchy when i got there, mostly due to people’s poor driving skills (it seems we pacific northwesterners have to readjust to driving in the rain each fall) and waiting for, i kid you not, 4 minutes for a green arrow for my final turn before i could get to my destination. then a girl stole my parking space. i guess she didn’t really steal it, but i had my eye on it and she beat me there. i yelled in my car a lot about that one.

so, grouchy me gets inside, sits down, and pulls out my knitting (i’m on the last section of my clapotis). stephanie starts talking about knitting. people are laughing at her jokes, but i’m so grumpy that i’m not. but slowly, i warmed up to things. by the end, when she was talking about knitting as being a means of fixing up and countering negativity in one’s life, i was totally into it.  i don’t know if a non-knitter (or non-crafter) could completely understand, but i loved this idea. it’s basically that the act of knitting, for most people, is doing something good. it’s a task that we can accomplish. it provides challenges that we can rise to, and finishing something new or beautiful (or both) feels good. and feels good in a way that most people don’t often get from their everyday lives, because most of the messages we hear (even from our own brains) is that we aren’t, in some way or another, good enough. isn’t that the underlying theme of advertising? and the underlying problem of low self-esteem? but through knitting, our brains can think “whee! i did it!” or “i’m awesome!” or “i made something beautiful!”. anyway, you get the idea. i liked it.

my 2nd favorite part of the event, though, was the q&a. stephanie started talking off-the-cuff and got into a some hilarious stories about camping and raccoons, skunks, and squirrels. also, right near the end mentioned that one of the great things about knitting is that it’s non-judgmental. and you can and should do what makes you happy when it comes to knitting. so if you want to have 23 works in progress, then by all means, have them all. it’s supposed to be fun.

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the last few weeks

August 17, 2008

in going through some boxes at my mom’s house, i found a journal i kept from the spring of my junior year of high school to the spring of my senior year. it has re-inspired me to keep writing, because it was so fun to read. even the little silly things reminded me of events i would have otherwise forgotten. in some sense, that’s why people write/journal/blog, isn’t it?

it’s been a whirlwind few weeks since the exam. i met my sister in washington, dc for some sightseeing and family-seeing. i then spent a long weekend bopping between my parents’ houses, trying desperately to catch up with them and get enough time with them. i took my niece-dog for a walk. two college girlfriends of mine drove up to my mom’s house to hang out, as we hadn’t seen each other in more than a year. all in all: exhausting, but good.

a few days after i got home, j’s mom came up to visit for about 6 days. j had to work 2 of those days, so she and i spent a lot of quality time together. we did some nice things: took the bainbridge ferry (oh, churchmouse yarn and tea, how i love thee), enjoyed a lunchtime concert downtown (hello, billy joe and the dusty 45’s!) and wandered through pike place market, where i was treated to a full pound of rainier cherries. love! i also finished up my last remaining tasks from the internship i had last year, so that i can make a fresh start at my new job. new job starts this week.

it has been almost unbearably hot in seattle this weekend. i think it’s the annual weekend-we-wish-we-had-air-conditioning. it happens at least once a summer, and this one would definitely be it for me. we’ve been hauling our huge fan all over the house with us (best $49 ever spent, i might add) in an attempt to stay cool. and sane. also: i would like to give credit to whichever person in this household (don’t remember exactly who) decided to purchase this fan last fall at costco, out of season. after remembering a previous annual weekend-we-wish-we-had-a/c, which we spent largely running from target to walgreens to home depot (etc.) looking for a fan and they were all sold out, one of us had the sense to just buy one, despite the lack of immediate need. BRILLIANT.

oh! the picture above: my jaywalker socks took a trip to snoqualmie falls (with j and j’s mom. and me.). they are traveling courtesy of the awesome needle-holder doodad i picked up at churchmouse.

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loot

July 29, 2008

here’s what i ended up with from my little post-bar yarn shopping trip:

araucania yarns – atacama

100% alpaca, 5 skeins, color 507.

for a clapotis: i know, i know – everyone has made one of these things, it seems like, but i do think they’re beautiful (especially in variegated yarn), and i’m looking forward to seeing if they’re as fun to knit as they appear to be.

i also picked up 2 skeins of online beach color, colorway 942 – with interesting variations of pink, green, yellow, and grey. i have my eye on this gathered scarf pattern.

i saw one on ravelry a few months ago and it’s been in the back of my mind ever since (and it helps that little knits has such awesome prices: $6.99 per skein!). after much debate, the clapotis project made it into my (carry-on) suitcase for vacation with me. beach scarf, i’ll save you for another day…

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what’s on the needles

June 29, 2008

i’m working on a few things at the moment, albeit very slowly because of my study schedule.

first, the very adorable hoodie baby blanket by the thrifty knitter (pattern was originally in magknits). i’m still on the neverending stockinette section, but i actually enjoy stockinette. lots of it. particularly while spending so many hours a day doing brain-intensive work. it’s nice to turn to something relatively mindless and relaxing.

knitted with lion brand cotton-ease (in the “lake” colorway, i’ll be using the beautiful blue-black-y “charcoal” for the border), which is quite possibly my favorite yarn of the moment. i love the colors, love the stretch, love the softness. actually, i was surprised at first at how soft this blankie is turning out to be, because my other major use of cotton-ease has been for a sheldon. i had to knit sheldon on size 5 needles to try to prevent holes (note the word “try”). i’m using size 8’s for this blanket and the fabric is soooo soft and snuggly. it’s going to be a great baby blanket.

i’m also working on a pair of plain jane stockinette socks (see? i do love the simple patterns right now), based on the yarn harlot‘s basic sock recipe.

knitted with regia sock yarn i picked up at a new yarn, in north seattle. i can’t find the ballband at the moment to share the colorway, but i like it. it doesn’t pool very much, and the changes are frequent enough to keep it interesting.

i do, however, need to switch over from metal dpns to wood. i go through phases of preferring one to the other, and i must have been in a metal phase when i cast these puppies on (6 weeks ago! i’m so slow!) and am now definitely wanting wood back. hopefully it won’t change my gauge too much.

i am anxiously awaiting july 24th – the day on which i finish the big test i’m studying for, and the day on which i am done with homework for a VERY LONG TIME. no homework = much more knitting time. i can’t wait!