Thursday, March 30, 2006

Yarn & Books

So last night I was looking at yarn online (that sounds kinda sketchy doesn't it?) when I realized that I need to have some sort of barrier to keep me from buying loads of yarn. "What could I do?" I thought to myself. "Could I motivate myself to exercise and as a reward get yarn? No, no, my head is all congested from the pollen, exercise is out of the question (or so I explain it away to myself). Hmmm, look at all those books I have on my bookshelf. It is going to be a pain transporting all of them to Florida. I should read them and either sell them or give them away now. Wait a minute! I have an idea!" Indeed, I did have a good idea last night. I have decided that for every page of a book (non/fiction novel NOT knitting pattern books unfortunately) I will put a penny into my yarn and knitting fund.

Now for the rules...
RULE#1: The pages do not count until I finish the book. (I am not trying to be mean to myself; I am just not going to deal with the math and the counting of pages.)

RULE#2: If I have started a book and am not 75% done with the book, I can count the pages (old and new pages) towards the yarn fund. (I am hoping that I will be motivated to finish Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell now.)

Of course this means that I will be using precious yarn time for reading, but I think it will be worth it in the end (since I will be able to buy MORE YARN!).

Besides coming up with brilliant ideas last night, I also got a flickr account, so now you will be able to see all of my finished projects. I am sure if you have been reading this blog, it will seem like I never finish anything, but lo and behold, I do finish a project every once and a while. I also will put up the Lopi and Magic Stripe yarn battle royale for being the Knitting Olympics project (I filled up my picture quota for the month, so you will have to wait). Of course, as you know I had to drop out, but that crazy night of yarn wars will be in my memories forever.

As promised, here are pictures of my WIPs (no, not all of them, just the Harry Potter scarf and the (misnomer) SCID scarf (I decided to work on it in the clinic while I wait for potential participants now). A quick note about the SCID scarf, the needle on the right is the "real" scarf. The needle on the left has the scarf I made with the size 15's. I am in the process of reknitting the scarf now.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

It Is A Tad Early

So when I came home tonight, I checked my email and low and behold, I got an email from WBRU (the local alternative rock station) stating that this email would probably be the last one I would be getting and that the radio station had a great run. Now, I was a little confused when I read this for two reasons. One, a representative from WBRU is coming to my office on Friday to discuss advertising our research studies on the air, and two, WBRU is the number one alternative rock station in the region. After thinking about this for a minute, I looked at the calendar and April 1st is not until Saturday. Could it be a real and true situation? Had WBRU embezzled funds? Did we have our very own Enron scandal in little Providence, Rhode Island? Well, I got my answer five minutes later when I received an email from the Motley Fool radio show (it's on NPR and you should listen to the show if you are interested in business and personal finance issues but need things explained simply) stating that this week's show is their LAST show. I just have one thing to say to these emails: "APRIL 1ST IS SATURDAY!"

I worked on the Harry Potter scarf tonight. I am less than five stripes (4 3/4 stripes to be exact) away from finishing. It is getting a little tiring but I am psyched about getting it done. I really want to call myself a process knitter, but alas, I am most definitely a goal-oriented knitter. I do think to myself when I see patterns: "Wow, that would be fun to knit;" however, I am also thinking: "I want one of those!" In my own defense, I do try to learn a new skill with every new project. Sometimes it is a simple skill like knitting a scarf in the round, and sometimes it is a bit more complicated like knitting lace and blocking it.

Oh! Random thing! Today, I realized that I had a scarf in process at work (yes, I leave knitting everywhere: note to self...get some knitting to leave in the car) that I was making while watching SCID tapes (videos teaching me how to administer a survey that "diagnoses" participants with psychological disorders). I remembered that I stopped working on it, because I had broken my wrist and because I was knitting it (I should say now, that it is a fun fur scarf) with size 15 needles and it is way to thick. Since, I am pretty far into the balls of yarn, I am going to finish knitting it on the 15's and then reknit it on the 17's. As much as this sounds tedious, it is much easier than trying to rewind fun fur. Don't ask me (or my mom) why I know this.

I would show you some pictures, but my camera batteries had decided to take the night off. :(


Knitting Television
Sex and the City
Gilmore Girls

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Evil Flowers

Doesn't that flower look pretty? I felt the same way on Saturday, but by Sunday. Oh my god, I wanted to die. I am allergic to pollen, dust, mold, and all things Spring. Every year I look forward to Spring, and then I remember that I HATE SPRING AND ALL THE STUPID FLOWERS AND THEIR EVIL POLLINATING WAYS! ::sigh::

Last night I started working on my Harry Potter scarf again. Watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and seeing the girl with the bad Harry Potter scarf at Barnes & Noble definitely inspired me to finish it. I am a little over halfway done and if I work on it every night this week, I should be finished by the weekend. It would be nice to bring my Harry Potter scarf and my green lacey slanty scarf to Yarns at Lace Wings and show the owner what I have been doing with the yarn I bought there.

I also worked on the Mysterious Present for a bit. Why did I start this project again? Oh that is right, I thought it would be thoughtful gift and a fun thing to do. I don't mind knitting all these pieces too much. I just hate the fact that as soon as I get into the knitting, I am casting off and doing something else. Casting on and off are my least favorite part to knitting and that is the entire makeup of this project. Oh well, I am almost done, then I get to BLOCK the pieces and pray that I can attach them to one another.

I completed my Protecting Human Research Subjects test at work today and it was mind-numbingly boring. I wish I could just write a letter to the powers who may be that I promise I will not be mean or coerce my participants into doing anything that they may not want to do. At the same time, I do understand the reasoning behind the test, because my office deals with every vulnerable population under the sun. I work with a substance-abusing population and other people in my office work with prisoners both adults and youths. I think it is important to remind people that there are population who cannot necessarily stand up for themselves or may feel coerced into agreeing to studies, which may harm them; however, does the test need to be so tedious! ::sigh:: At least it gave me something to do this morning. The best part of the test was that there were random pictures scattered throughout the modules to make it FUN! and INTERESTING!. The amusing part was that these pictures rarely had anything to do with the text next to them. For example, next to a paragraph on why coercing female prisoners is bad, there was a picture of a middle-aged guy sitting in his house looking like he is being interviewed. Why is this faboo besides the fact that the picture and the text do not mesh? The guy is wearing an AMAZING white cabled sweater. :)

After finishing the test, I rewarded myself by checking out KnitPicks and found this. The yarn will only cost me $15 plus shipping and handling, which isn't horrible and it would give me motivation to check my mailbox (like I don't need motivation already with my magazine and netflix subscriptions). Now that I blocked this latest scarf, I totally want to make more things that I can block. Hmmm, there were two shawls I wanted to make in Folk Shawls. Maybe I should order some yarn for those when I order the yarn for the Candle Flame Shawl. Wait! I hear a voice kindly telling me that I am going to have to move in two months and then move AGAIN in another two months. Maybe buying loads of yarn is a bad idea. LOL Ridiculous, I know. Well, maybe I will be a bit responsible and finish some of my current projects (and read a stack of books, so I can give them away before I move). Why do I feel like I am going to need a one bedroom apartment in Gainesville, because any and all potential roommates are not going to be pleased with having a room in the house devoted to yarn?


Knitting Television
Princess Mononoke
Rent (from this weekend)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (from this weekend)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Blocking Is Amazing

This day didn't start too fabulously. I spent half of it collapsed on the couch. I wish I could say I was reading or knitting or doing something equally exciting, but I was mainly spending the time trying to not have a pounding headache and getting rid of the general ickiness I was feeling. At first I was really confused why I was feeling this way, and then it dawned on me. For the past couple of days I didn't take my Claritin. I probably should be taking my allergy medication during the Spring when flowers are starting to bloom again. ::sigh:: I wish I could give a good excuse for not taking it but it was out of sheer laziness.

After deciding that the couch didn't have any remedies for my allergies, I decided to block my FINISHED green slanty lacey scarf. When I was putting the pins in the scarf, I was, to be perfectly honest, bored. I kept thinking to myself: "Why do people knit things that require blocking? This is really boring and I am just blocking a scarf! It must take forever to block a shawl. I never want to make a shawl if this means that I will have to block something larger and take significantly more time to put all the pins in the knitting object." After the scarf dried and I took the pins out though, oh my goodness. My opinion completely changed. The scarf was drapey! It wasn't heavy anymore. I didn't fold upon itself and just look bloby. It was beautiful. I can't wait to make shawl now!

I have to make two more completely random comments. First, I watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire last night. If you own the 2 disc version, you need to watch the deleted scenes. In the last deleted scene (but I am not sure), there are amazing shots of the Harry Potter scarf. Honestly, all I could think of during the scene was "hmm, that is an interesting scarf but I like the original better." I am sure that the characters spoke during the scene but the scarf was really the major character in the scene.

My second comment is that last night I bought yarn ONLINE! I decided that I want to make that bloody alien scarf and I am tired of searching for it in yarn stores. I am pretty excited about this. Hopefully, I will time just right and finish another project before the yarn comes (or in the very least, before I start another project).


Saturday, March 25, 2006

Happy Day!

This has been a very interesting day indeed. I spent the day returning yarn (yes, I know, an unspeakable idea) but I realized that the yarn I needed for the alien scarf was supposed to be worsted weight and not DK weight and if I was going to use DK weight I would need more yarn. Anyway, I got to The Fabric Place, returned the yarn, and decided that I just wasn't interested in knitting the scarf double stranded and I didn't see any other green worsted weight yarn that I liked. I proceeded to leave the store WITHOUT yarn. It was an amazing feat.

At this point I was a little worried. I must be in a funk if I have no desire to buy yarn. I decided to visit Barnes & Noble on the way back home thinking that a visit to the knitting books and a coffee at the Starbucks inside would make me feel better. Well, let me tell you, it did!

First of all, B&N already put on the newest issue of Vogue Knitting! Two days before they were supposed to put it out. Second of all, while gripping the VK I started looking the knitting books when I saw this:

I knew the planets must have aligned. Of course there wasn't any yarn calling to me at The Fabric Place! I was meant to come to B&N and pick up Knitting Rules! Now if I can just find the Mason-Dixon Knitting book, I will be set. An odd thing has happened to me recently. I can only read books about knitting and knitting patterns. I am trying to finish Stiff: The Curious Lives of Cadavers, which is really interesting and cool, but I can't seem to get through it. The author nor any of her interviewees knit. It has lost its appeal.
Also, I saw a girl wearing a Harry Potter-like scarf. I say Harry Potter-like, because even though she used the right colors and even got points for knitting it herself, she used chunky wool and did the whole thing in garter stitch. This is a sign. Once I finish the green lacey slanty scarf, I am going to finish my Harry Potter scarf. I might not be able to wear for a few months, but I will be able to rest assured knowing that it is complete and it will be ready for the winter and the next Harry Potter book.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I Have an Apartment!

You can't see me right now, but I am doing the SAK happy dance right now (yes, I am typing at the same time, I am just that multi-talented). I looked at a ton of apartments. A ton. They were tiny AND expensive. I am not trying to be picky for two months of subletting, but COME ON! I would like a distinct living room and kitchen if I am paying $650 a MONTH! Anyways, while I was at working, I was thinking about apartments. In fact, I gave up today and emailed this girl and said I would take her tiny apartment. Don't get me wrong, it is nice, but it is tiny for the amount of money I would be paying. HOWEVER, tonight, I looked at an apartment. What an apartment! It was a three bedroom, when I was expecting a two bedroom, but it was huge! There was a double parlor, a porch, parking, and big bedrooms. I can even move my stuff in early! It was also the cheapest place that I saw. I am so happy. One apartment down, one to go. Hurrah! Life is good. :)

In knitting news, my green lacey slanty scarf is over two feet long and the ball of yarn is shrinking! Check it out!

I am sort of embarrassed to say that the majority of this knitting happened at work. I recruit for a clinical research study and I spend the majority of my time sitting in a doctor's waiting room hoping that her patients will come in and I can screen them for the study. I used to read, but if I was tired, it was hard to concentrate on the words. With the knitting, I can keep going and the movement keeps me awake.

Alright, now that I have accomplished one huge step towards my future, I am going to get something to eat, watch an episode of Twin Peaks (from the second season, that's right, the one that you CANNOT get on DVD), and knit for a while. No, I am not going to eat and knit, I am not that multi-talented. ;)


The Green Lacey Slanty Scarf Continues...

Last night, my housemate and I watched The Neverending Story II while I knit and she crocheted. I have to say that I have missed these nights that we would sit in our apartment and watch netflix movies. Since S has started her crazy cool publishing job and I have been on grad school interviews, we have just been too busy and too tired to do anything as active as crafting and movie watching. S made some very nifty lacey coasters and I worked on the green slanty lacey scarf some more. The end is in sight. You might be asking yourselves why and I have a very simple explanation. I only have one ball of mossy green yarn for this scarf, so when I run out of yarn, the scarf will be over. I am slightly concerned that it will be too short, but I am going to try to block it and see what happens.

I should probably point out now, that I am new to the world of blocking. I am a newbie in the world of knitting and until recently I never blocked anything. I should also note that the one thing I did block, did not really need blocking and I think the blocking did nothing at all anyhow. I guess my philosophy regarding this technique is that as long as it is not going to harm the garment (the yarn specifically says not to get it wet), I might as well try it out. I could, of course, read up on blocking and learn how to do it properly and understand what material blocks well and when it is a bother, but really what is the point of doing that? Being responsible and thinking ahead! Ha! I laugh in the face of danger and responsibility! Ha ha...hahaha...gwahahahaha!

Um...yes ::smoothes wrinkles out of her khaki pants, adjusts turtleneck sweater, checks off last item in her to do list for the day:: I should be leaving for my follow-up appointment with my orthopedic surgeon so I can get there 15 minutes early.


PS I will posts pictures of the scarf tonight!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Stash Shots

I worked on the green slanty lacey scarf a bit, but I got tired of working on it, so I made so sexy shots of my stash. Check it out!


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Harry Potter

So I was doing some websurfing instead of...wait a minute! The only thing I have to do is...knit! Yes, I need to look for apartments but I did what I could for today and there is nothing else I need to do! Wow, I can die happy. Wait! No I can't! That was the point of this post. I started looking on Harry Potter websites, and my HP scarf starting calling to me from my bag of UFOs. Here is a pic from before. It still looks the same. It is quite sad. What is worse was that I was thinking of getting the pattern for Hermione's bobbled and cable hat. But, believe it or not, I am feeling guilty about starting another HP project without finishing the scarf.

Hmmm...maybe I should knit a pair of HP socks. It would just be striped socks in gold and burgundy. That would be okay, right?


Promises, promises

Like I promised, here are some lovely pictures!

Here is all the lovely yarn I purchased this past weekend. There are two ball of the Bolero, but I started knitting it as you can see in the second picture. Yes, I am reknitting the yarn after using it all for a stockinette scarf. You should all take my knitting needles away. What was I think not using a garter stitch border? It curled like mad and I decided to restart it.

I also worked on my green slanty lacey scarf. Here is my progress!

Also, I have been cleaning up my room! Check out the before (during grad school interviews) and the after.

Amazing turn around huh? :)
Okay, back to working efficiently (and America's Top Model...apparently I get UPN!)

Really Official

I have done it. I have made the big decision and finalized it and everything. I am going to the University of Florida. I can't change my mind now. I emailed UF and said I was accepting. I emailed the other schools and said I was not accepting. I think I made the right decision because I don't feel sick to my stomach. Whenever I make a decision I am regretting, I feel it in my bones even after I make the decision. I don't regret it and I am now looking forward to going to Gainesville, Florida. I made a to do list and I am feeling confident about it. I also have enough yarn to get me through the next several months, so if I decide that I don't like the LYS in Gainesville, I will have enough of a stash to get me through until I find one that makes me happy.

It's almost funny that now that I have gone through over a year of major stressors with applying to graduate school (GREs, GRE Psychology, personal statements, getting recommendations, getting transcripts, and organizing everything), my major concern is whether I will like the yarn store in Gainesville. I am concerned about getting housing, but everything else (new license, new plates for my car, public library card, voter's registration, dealing with new doctors and dentists, and getting my Florida Resident Disney World ticket) seems doable. Okay, maybe I am a little nervous about driving from Providence to Florida but it is doable and it will happen whether I like it or not. I just hope that I can find a nice apartment for reasonable rent. My big dream is to get several bookshelves. That is the one piece of furniture that I always need more than anything else. I can use the bookshelves for all of my books (my yarn buying problem is related to my book buying problem I think), my yarn, my dopey figurines and other knick knacks, my pictures, and just all sorts of other random stuff. I don't like putting anything in drawers except for clothes, because I like to see what I have. That is why all my yarn storage bins are clear. I want to know what is in them.

OMG. I am going to the University of Florida. It is just starting to hit me. I have to say that I am really excited about this opportunity. I am going to miss everyone at work. I am so used to our daily routines that it will be hard not seeing them all the time. I think what is even scarier is that I know that things will just continue to happen without me here. There will be a couple of random stories about me, but they will be forgotten in time or they will just refer to "that Research Assistant who used to work on the HepC study." It isn't like I want them to think about me all the time or that I need to be in control, but it just seems surreal every time someone leaves that there isn't a gap or anything. Things just keep truckin' on forever and ever. I know that is the mark of a well run lab. No study is just one research assistant and your co-workers can always find what they need at your desk. I must say even though my area isn't the neatest, everything is labeled and you don't need to really hunt to find anything. Alright, enough nostalgia, on with the knitting!
I don't have any pictures to post since they are still in my camera. I will post them tonight, I promise! I will say that I have been continuing to work on my green slanty lacey scarf. I can't wrap it around my neck, but I am planning to watch NCIS (or at least most of it since I am looking at an apartment to sublet tonight) and the movie Protocol with Goldie Hawn tonight so the scarf with lengthen. Since the plot isn't too deep, I am assuming that I will be able to watch it and not have to tinK anymore. I watched an episode of Star Trek The Next Generation last night and I didn't make any mistakes. I am thinking shows like The Sopranos, which requires you to know what is happening and paying attention to characters and their names (I
don't do well with shows where everyone looks or acts almost the same or have the same intentions with slightly different goals), are not good for me, because I am not paying the little amount of attention to my knitting that this scarf requires. Two Rows! You think I could remember and correctly perform a pattern of just a two row repeat but apparently not.

Alright, I should finish up some work here and send out some apartment hunting feelers. ::sigh:: I will be glad when I know where I am going to be living for the next 15 months.

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Good News

So it is official, well not really since I haven’t sent the confirmation email, but I am going to go to the University of Florida. I know, I know, Binghamton is only 3 hours away from RHINEBECK. It hurts. I have never even been to the festival, but I know I will be missing it. I think UF will be a better fit for me, PLUS (I did check before making my final decision) there is a yarn store in Gainesville. Did you think I would go to a graduate school with only a Michaels in the general vicinity? I think not! There is one though just in case the LYS is closed I have a need for size 4 needles.

Also, I worked more on the green lacey slanted scarf. It has a real name but green lacey slanted scarf really describes the project perfectly. I’d say I am about a third done with the scarf, if I did not have to rip out half of what I knit though I would be much happier. Saturday night I was watching Season 3 of The Sopranos when I noticed that the eyelets were not slanting the same way as the knit2togs. In other words, the scarf was starting to zigzag when it was just supposed to be zagging (NOT zigging, mind you). I am really getting the hang of ripping out rows and then putting all the stitches back on the needle though. I am not as scared of losing my entire project when I make a mistake.

This past weekend I got a little excited at the yarn store and got a nice little addition to my stash. I got some Brown Sheep NatureSpun in Pepper and Spring Green to make the crazy cool Alien Scarf in Stitch n Bitch. I also picked up some sock yarn to make a pair of socks, because I AM going to learn how to make socks one of these days. I also got some more Wooly Silk yarn that I am using to make the green lacey slanted scarf but in yellow since it is nice to knit with and I want to make some more pretty lacey things. I also got some Lion Brand Bolero yarn, which is crazy soft and a little funky since it isn’t plied or anything. I want to make a scarf out of it but I keep frogging the product since I am not happy with the width or the stitch pattern or anything else. I think this is a sign to stop starting projects and finish one of the ones I have going.


Knitting Television
The Sopranos (Season 3)
Home Movies (Season 2, Disc 1)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

At least I am not in denial

According to every single recovery group ever, admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. I have a problem. I am incapable of finishing a project. If I do not have ten projects going, I think I might explode. I just cast on a new scarf less than a week ago and I already want to BUY NEW YARN (even though I have a considerable stash) to make the alien scarf in Stitch n Bitch. When my LYS (local yarn store...I know you know, but not everyone knows) did not have the right yarn I bought size 10 DPN (double pointed needles), so I could knit a cute hat. Granted, I already have a cute hat on the needles, but this hat has CABLES...cute cables even. ::sigh:: Maybe moving to a warm climate would be good for me, it would reign in my wooly needs. lol Who am I kidding? As soon as the temperature would dip under 50 degrees, I would be wearing my cute cable hat (if I ever finish it) with my mossy green scarf (same problem).

Anyway, I did commit to step 1. I have a problem.

Here is a finished project to hold you until I sit down and cast off on one of my projects. This is my first project. I used Rowan's big wool. It is just a simple garter stitch scarf, but it holds a special place in my heart.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Craziness Is Coming to an End

So much has happened in the past couple of days, I barely know where to begin!

First, we must all pay homage to yesterday being Pi Day. My housemate and J made an apple pie to celebrate.

Isn't it cute? It was quite delicious as well. :)

Second, I got my cast off on Thursday! Whoo Hoo! My doctor gave me a brace to wear when I am probably doing too much, but he said to let my wrist go naked as much as it wants! Let me tell you, getting to wash my arm on Thursday was quite a wonderful experience. FYI, take a shower everyday, because when you don't your body smells quite ripe.

Third, I cast on for the first time on almost a month and a half. I know, I know, I should be knitting my socks, but my wrist still doesn't bend perfectly yet, so I cast on a scarf. If I stop making mistakes and having to rip out rows, I should be able to finish it in a week, but the way I am going, it may take a while.

Fourth, I got into three more grad schools! I am trying to make my final decision by the end of the week. The big question is upstate NY with the perfect knitting weather or sunny Florida with Disney World? ::sigh:: Why is this so hard?

Fifth, Filbert likes his cave. :)


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Happy Day

I got into Northern Illinois University yesterday! I am going to graduate school! I AM GOING TO GRADUATE SCHOOL!!! I cannot believe it. I am so happy you cannot even imagine it. Apparently all the money I spent on applications would not have been better used on a trip to Disney World (of course that doesn't mean I still don't want to go). ::sigh:: I am going to be a DOCTOR! Yea!

Due to the celebratory nature of yesterday, I bought myself a little present. I got Debbie Stoller's Happy Hooker book on crochet. I am still a knitter. Don't worry. I just thought it would be nice to open myself up to new situations in the world of textiles. :)