Sunday, February 17, 2008

Progress and Pictures

So I decided that for Valentine's Day, Lee and I would go to Dinosaur Barbecue. They had a guy playing from a band he likes Friday night, and so we went there. It was good. And it's number four on the list.

Saturday night we went to a hockey game, the last one of the season during classes. We'll probably go to the two over break also, since we're staying for break, but I definitely get number 80 crossed off! Woohooo!

I've also been compiling lists, so part of number 61 is complete. Can't be done until I've found the real reading lists that I'm trying to read. I saved all my reading lists from high school, mostly because it was college level courses I was taking, and all interesting books. I think I know where they are, but that's 200 miles away right now. Gotta find those eventually. I keep randomly finding them, saying, "oh, here they are, can't forget that!" and promptly putting them somewhere "to remember" that I can't ever recall.

I really, really want to work on something else. I'm almost done with Henry. I've got seven rows left, then bindoff, then blocking. It'll be done except for the blocking tonight. I then need to finish my grandmother's birthday present so I can give it to her when I see her. It's a pretty lace stole, out of KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud in Peppermint Heather. 100% very soft baby alpaca with a nice little halo and a delicious pink color she'll just love. I've gone down a couple of needle sizes, and my gauge is just about on. It's supposed to be 7 rows per inch, and I figure I'm getting around 8, though it might be seven if I block it really hard. You're supposed to knit it 65.5" long, and with sixteen stitch repeats, so two inches per repeat. 32 repeats (maybe 30) and you end with half a repeat. Each repeat takes about a movie. I think - I've only done one repeat and I don't really remember how long it actually took! Maybe it was half a repeat per movie...Anyway, I'm estimating one repeat per movie. So it would be perfectly reasonable to get done in a month. One repeat per day, play catch-up on the weekends, great. I have less than two weeks. And only one repeat done. Crud.

Luckily, I have a weekend and then the rest of finals week in between now and then. I hope. I'm still not positive when I'm going to see them. I'll have at least six days where I don't have anything planned right now, and a few other times where I'll probably be knitting while tutoring/in class/studying/sitting through final presentations, so while it might be close, I think I can get it done.

Originally uploaded by UnFrogged

If I can resist the lure of temptation...I really, really, really want to make some socks. New socks. For me. Or a sweater. I'd love to finish Peasantry. Maybe work on Blaze some. Rouge's been calling for months. My mom's sweater is next up. If she'd ever send me her measurements.

But first, I must finish what needs finishing.

I took a big step today, for me. I frogged something. A sock. My Victorian Lace Socks, in fact. I really didn't like the yarn at all, the pattern just wasn't doing anything for me, and they needed handwashing. I didn't like them enough to actually want to wear them enough to wash them. I also think the yarn will make a very nice hat and scarf combo, when paired with the leftovers from the Henry. I won't be making a second Henry, I'll be making a nice hat and a large scarf with whatever's left from Henry and the socks. I decided to go with the five repeats for Henry, so I'll have just under two skeins left over. Which is good because the yarn from the socks, Nancy's Knit Knacks Digit comes in smaller than 50 gram skeins, so I'll have closer to an even amount of yarn. Still more grey than black, so I'm thinking the hat will have grey ribbing flowing into a herringbone pattern of grey and black. Subdued, elegant, something I can wear with a my nice peacoat-esque coat. Possibly a grey flower on it too, but we'll see how it looks when I get there.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

101 in 1001

Goals are good. Lists of goals help so you can try to keep up with them. This list is a list of 101 things that you attempt to get done in 1001 days, so if I start today, I would end on November 5, 2010. I think I'll actually be starting in a couple of days, whenever I get the full list there. I'm'a gonna keep this post on top until I actually start it, and continue adding new ones until I have a full list. I'm really going to be thinking about these, so here goes:

Finally done with the list, so I am starting on February 14 (Valentine's Day, awww)

Things to do before I leave Rochester:
1. Graduate
2. Get a job
3. Go to the Seneca Zoo
4. Go to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que when there's live music

5. Go to the Thursday night Chicks with Sticks group at least once
56. Eat at Henry's
57. Take Lee etc. to Niagara Falls
58. Visit a local winery
61. Go to the Lilac Festival
70. Roll my kayak (paddle roll okay, goal is rolling freehanded)
Go snowshoeing/cross country skiing at the local nature preserve
80. Go to a hockey game (GO TIGERS!)

Things to do when I get to where I'm going:
6. Find a Farmer's Market
7. Find a yarn store
8. Find a knitting group
9. Find a high school with a FIRST team or try to get one involved
10. Find a community theater group
11. Find a good horseback riding stable
12. Get an enjoyable weekend/evening job (preferably at yarn store or stable or get work to pay overtime for FIRST involvement) in order to help pay off loans and to give me less time to spend money!
13. Find a good park for hiking in
14. Adopt an animal - cat or angora rabbit, most likely
85. Figure out recycling in area - how to actually recycle things, where to send compost, etc.
86. Actually recycle as much as possible, correctly - completely clean off glass/plastic containers, keep a compost pile, etc.
87. Find a good pilates studio
88. Take at least one exercise type class per year
92. Meet a new friend - someone from the area, probably from work or knitting group

Things in general:
15. Knit my mom a Dale of Norway sweater
16. Spin all of my fleece
17. Get crafting to pay for itself - lessons/selling patterns/working at a yarn store, etc. - As of when I finish my current test knitting, I will have spent less on crafting than I've made this year, yay!
18. Get a group of friends to go to the Disney Food and Wine Festival
19. Finish 75% of currently open projects (I would say all, but I know there's a couple cross stitches that just won't get there, since I shouldn't have started them anyway, so 75% it is)
20. Downsize amount of bathroom items I own (lotions, makeup, things I should but just can't throw away...)
21. Reduce stash to one Rubbermaid bin per craft plus one accessory bin - 1 for knitting, 1 for sewing, 1 for spinning, 1 for reference books/scissors/blockers/pins/etc.

22. Take a road trip through multiple states
23. See a Cirque du Soleil show
24. Eat more natural foods by making one meal per month 100% organic/natural
25. Start and finish 75% of crafts I have supplies for already
26. Knit and use 10 grocery bags
27. Downsize consumer waste in five major ways
28. Finish all planned Christmas presents before December (leaving time for all those unplanned ones...)
29. Find five go-to quick knit patterns for hostess gifts/unexpected baby showers/unexpected gifting events
30. Grow an herb garden and use the herbs in cooking
31. Finish, frame, and hang at least one Art of Disney cross stitch
32. Try one new recipe per month (1/33)
33. Buy a bread pan and use it
34. Bake something every other week (2/143)

35. Write thank-yous for all Birthday/Christmas presents
36. Incur no extra fines on credit cards, bank account, etc.
37. Grow cucumbers
38. Pickle at least one jar of cucumbers
38. Pick ten pounds of fresh raspberries
39. Pick ten pounds of fresh strawberries
40. Pick lots of fresh apples
41. Learn how to make jelly and/or jam with fresh berries
42. Get back down to within healthy BMI ranges
43. Vote in 2008 presidential election
44. Understand local political structure
45. Vote in local 2010 elections (yes, I know this one may be just after I finish, I'm kind of thinking that writing the list will take so long I can keep this one!)
46. Start knitting Master program
47. Join AKD
48. Join TKGA
49. Join CYCA
50. Join CGOA
51. Join SWE, meet with local chapter
52. Start CYCA teaching knitting certification
53. Attend Rhinebeck, Sheep and Wool, Stitches East/West, or any other major knitting event
54. Earn black belt (currently at Purple Belt)
55. Stop biting fingernails
59. Watch all movies on the 100 greatest AFI list (34/100) and 25 greatest Musicals (8/25)
60. Read one book on my List(s) per month (2/33)
61. Create all lists that numbers (59, 60, 19, 20, 25, 28) entail
62. Teach someone to knit
63. Get all of my things out of my mom's house (or if I end up living there, go through and organize/donwsize)
64. Donate hair to Locks of Love
65. Get a good filing cabinet/organize and save important information
66. Bake a pie "for real" - crust from scratch too!
67. Create a real list of blogs/links I check every day
68. Take in progress and finished item pictures of all crafts
69. Blog in-progress pictures at least once a week
71. Create a "signature" for knitted items
72. Get a wax seal stamp/wax for handwritten letters
73. Create a letterboxing stamp and find five letterboxes to use it with
74. Get a new computer (build if PC)
75. Create a working cookbook for kitchen use (copy regularly used recipes, put them in plastic sleeves so I can use them in the kitchen)
77. Collect all retired Art of Disney Cross Stitch kits
78. Floss more regularly - goal is daily by the end of this list
79. Find a healthy cheap snack that I can make for when I have snack cravings
81. Update wardrobe to only handmade socks
82. Update wardrobe to better lingere and take correct care of it! (Hang dry/etc.)
83. Do laundry for real - separate colors, wash like you're supposed to instead of all in one load once a week (college student laundry...)
84. Update Ravelry with stash and things I own
89. Take stock of all yarn/accessories I own and list them
90. Take a trip with Kaci once a year
91. Clean out my car once a month (1/33)
93. Start a rainy day fund - Ultimate goal is $5000, goal for the end of this time period is $1000
94. Go to an art gallery opening
95. Stay up with someone special to watch the sunrise
96. Keep a detailed list of spending for one month, once new job settles in
97. Make a detailed budget and stick to it
98. Drink 8 glasses of water daily for at least one month
99. Knit or otherwise donate to a charity once a year
100. Find my reading lists!
101. Make a new list for the next 1001 days

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Project Monogamy

I was planning to post some FO shots, but those will have to wait. Yesterday we had an icing thing going on, and the trees were gorgeous with their ice-covered branches. I had no free time until darkness had already descended over Rochester, so I was going to take pictures today, once I finished a majority of the sewing of the top. Of course, by the time I looked outside today, everything had already melted. Crap. And it's already all cloudy and there's no good natural light. Oh well.

I've found that recently, I've been very monogamous with my projects. Very strange for me. The seven things I've finished have been worked on and completed, one at a time. Well, mostly. I've had a sock for during classes and times I can't work completely on one thing, and a more complex thing for when I can sit down (the stoles), but it's been just the one sock until it's done and just the one complex thing until it's done. Henry's proven to be so mindless a knit that it's been my carry-around for the past week, and I only worked a very little bit on the Path of Flowers Stole. Just enough to catastrophically drop a stitch. Now, I am very good at picking up stitches, even in lace. I rarely tink back because most things can be fixed just by dropping and picking up, and it takes less time than going all the way back and all the way forward again. Remember how I was concerned that the stole was too open and airy? Yeah, the fact that I couldn't bring the stitch back up because everything looked like a YO decided that one for me. I'm going to try with size US4s now, instead of US6s.

Back to Henry. He's 3/4 done, if I go for only 4 repeats. 3/4 done is 75 rows of 452 stitches on US3s. So the whole monogamy thing is working out well for me. Looks like Henry will be done in about a week and a half from starting it. Amazing. I may well do 5 repeats instead of four though. I have enough yarn for two Henrys (though not currently two recipients), one with four repeats and one with five. I'm going to have to wait and see on this one.

I've also been sewing. I left my machine at home, but the director of the other show that will be performed before Hamlet let me borrow hers. I wanted a corset-style bodice for my costume, so that's what I'm doing. I think I like my other shirt better, now that it's done though. I haven't sewn in awhile, so my seamstressing skills are not quite up to par with the shirt. There are a couple of seams I am very much not proud of, and I got stretchy satin so there's a bit of puckering along all the seams. It is very nice and black and shiny, though not quite as form-fitting as I was going for. I don't want to deal with taking in bits though, that will probably make it too small/generally unwearable. I know I'll wear it as a shell for showing off my stoles and things so I'm not too upset with not wearing it in the show or the fact that it's not quite perfect. And I may go back and attack it some more when I have my machine with me again.

I can't wait until I get my own workroom. Also, why does Blogger have my correct time zone, yet continuously post incorrect times for when I post?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Still No FO shots...

Rochester has been bleak and snowy. And so, no pictures of my pretty stoles yet. I'll probably get a stage shot of Guinevere, as I wore it to rehearsal last night and my costume requirement became "Something queenly, floor-length, that matches the red thing." I don't have such a dress or skirt/top combo, so I have to go shopping. Oh gee darn!

OH OH OH LOOK LOOK LOOK!!! See that purpley one? No, not that one, the one on the right? The ribbed short sleeve one with the ribbon? Yeah, I did that. WOOOHOOOOO!!!!

Very flighty post today. Jumping around to random topics. But better than none at all, right?

Next topic: How wide is a good scarf? I'm making Henry, for my grandfather. I currently am just about at the end of the first skein. I bought four, as per the recommendations, and one takes me a few rows further than two repeats of the "V" pattern. I'm at school, with Henry but without a camera (and I don't want to explain to the office peoples that I'm borrowing the camera, not for engineering samples and reports, but for scarf pictures) so you'll just have to visualize how it is now. This is nearly 2.5 inches. The scarf as per the pattern is 8 inches and seven repeats. My question to you, faithful reader(s) is how wide should a good man's scarf be? I'm sure he won't be wrapping it about his neck much, just wearing it with his suit to church on cold days, but how wide should it be? The full 8" scarf seems to be folded over in the photo shoot, which makes me think that a thinner scarf is not a bad thing. If I make it 4.5/5 inches, two skeins, will it be enough? If so, I am halfway done. I will do 4, maybe 4.5 repeats, depending on how it looks. I can probably get 4.5 repeats out of two skeins, and then I'll have enough for another scarf if/when I'd like one for someone else.

Above and beyond that, does anyone have a job for a MechE fresh out of college that DOESN'T involve supervising an assembly line or working in a factory? Yeah, send it my way.

Just spend awhile researching Henry some more on Ravelry, and yeah, I think 4 repeats will be just fine. So I am couting it as halfway done, yipee!!!

Friday, February 1, 2008

WIP Update

First off, I'm sad. I finally went back to the Sock A Month 4 Knitalong to blog about my January sock and found out that it was only through December! I could have sworn it was until January...and signups for SAM5 are closed. Ah well. I am sure I will still be knitting a pair of socks or two per month.

We interrupt the Blocking series to give you a WIP update. Also because I have not gotten FO shots of Swan Lake (MS3) yet due to the fact that it's been crappy and Rochester-y here, and because if I want a picture of it on myself, I need a photographer. Which requires bribing Lee. I don't really have any good bribes right now. As for the update: I've finished a few more things, which is really good because I got an order from KnitPicks on Tuesday, and you all know how it is when you get new yarn...

I finished Guinevere, which means I have finished two stoles and therefore can start another new stole. Guinevere was made from KnitPicks Bare Merino Laceweight, dyed using a couple colors of Kool-Aid, and some black beads. I wasn't sure if I'd like the subtle variegations that came from stirring the yarn religiously, then letting it get too hot while forgetting to stir it while the entirety of the dye was soaked in. If you want solid colored yarn, you have to stir it up so the dye gets soaked in evenly. If you just leave it, you get differences in color. The inner bits of the skein stay lighter, and some outer bits get all the color. I do like how it turned out, though I'm still not thrilled with the design. I had only a very little bit of yarn left from the 880 yards I made it with, using US4s, and I did not alter the pattern at all, so that made me happy, since the recommended yardage is 1000 - 1200 yds. Here it is:

Actual nice FO shots forthcoming. I swear.

This one is much skinnier and longer than Swan Lake. It may actually be too skinny...but I'm going to go with it. I may even wear it as part of my costume next weekend when I play Gertrude (the Queen) in the 15-Minute Hamlet, by Tom Stoppard. You can look it up on YouTube and see an ...interesting... version of it if you've no idea what I'm talking about. Ours will be better than that one. Not sure by how much, exactly, but better! Here's the stole I've started since I've finished two and can with a clear conscience start another:

Sorry for the blur!

It's the Path of Flowers Shawl by Chrissy Gardiner, who, by the way, has an awesome shirt (Auburn Camp Shirt) in the Spring Interweave. If I knew I'd have a permanent address for the next year, I'd say a great birthday gift would be a subscription, but I don't have an address, so I shall just drool over it now and maybe get it when it hits newsstands. I want to make the Linen Trumpet Skirt, the Auburn Camp Shirt, and the Banded Peasant Blouse. /aside, the stole is made from KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud in Peppermint with size US6 needles, and will be a birthday present for my Grandmother when I go see her in March. Stop laughing, I swear it will be done!

I've also finally sewn the button onto my RIT Stadium Blanket. Apparently I didn't ever actually post about it (it was to be one of those failed NaWriBloMo posts) so I'll go into detail on that one later. It would make this one too long. With that one and the Hemlock Ring done, I have two blankets finished, and so can start another one. I'm using that credit to start a sweater, the Telemark Ski Sweater, for my mom, as her fiftieth birthday is coming up.

No progress yet, though I have the yarn and the pattern. She wants one in the same colors as the model, but as a cardigan instead of as a sweater. I think it'll lend itself nicely to cardigan-izing. I also got a couple extra skeins of the blue and black so I can make a nice button band all the way down. See, thinking ahead, I can do that sometimes!

I finished a second pair of socks for this month as well, and these are for my sister:

Mix and Match Rib Socks, Hourglass Rib

This gives me two socks finished, so I can start another pair of socks. I do have three pairs of socks for me I want to do, one that I really should start as it's a design that I have figured out, just need to test, four pairs for next Christmas and I bought yarn for another pair of socks in my last KnitPicks order. I know, I know, I broke my own no yarn for me rule, but it's not my fault! I had a $51.04 order, $1.04 over their free shipping limit. So I went to check out, and there was shipping added! What's going on? Oh. The Telemark pattern is $1.29, but doesn't count for shipping since I can download it. I'm $0.25 under the free shipping cost. A frigging quarter! So instead of doing something intelligent, like paying the extra $1.70 for them to ship me a printed copy of the pattern and therefore getting shipping, I decided that one can always use more sock yarn. And who knows, they might not be for me...

Instead of starting another pair of socks, though, I've started Henry. When I first looked at this design, I said, that looks cool. It will match my grandfather's hat and look nice for Church in the cold. Then I saw that it was made from fingering weight (sock) yarn. So it'll take awhile. But it's 227 stitches and about 175 rows, that's not that bad, right? Yeah. If you read line two of the pattern, it says to K1, YO across. As in, practically double the number of stitches on the needles. 452 stitches times 175 rows does not sound as do-able as the 227 stitches. Here's where the foresight would have come in handy! But, I have it started, it's really a very intuitive pattern once you see where it's going, and I might not make it the full 8" across. Anyway, here's what I have so far:

Again with the blur.

This is made using KnitPicks Palette in Ash, and size US2 and US3 needles.

I am chugging along, but for now I'm going to focus on my grandparent's and my mom's gifts. I'll try for more WIP shots, especially with the ski sweater, but I probably won't have FOs to show for a bit.