Tuesday, May 30, 2006

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

The Sampler Shawl and I don't seem to be getting along. I came home and curled up with Duck Tales and the shawl and commenced a row of knitting. Everything seemed perfectly fine. I started having illusions of grandeur. I was going to finish the first pattern of the shawl and be ahead of the game! Life is good! Then a little problem occurred. I started another k2tog and YO row. I was supposed to end with 1K. Well, when I got to the end I had TWO stitches. ::sigh:: I guess I am going to have to tink back. This shawl isn't hard. I have been know to perform k2togs and YOs without any problems whatsoever. Oh well. I will just tink back and put stitch markers every 50 stitches, so I can recognize these sorts of problems earlier in the process. This is one of the great things about knitting, you can erase the past and start anew.

The one exciting piece of news is that I now officially have lace! See the holes! It is now a lacey (albeit wrongly knitted) shawl! The Sampler Shawl might think it knows how to get on my nerves with this silly counting issue, but I will overcome! The yarn might think it is meant for something else, but alas, it is meant to be a shawl. It just looks so darn cute!

Monday, May 29, 2006

One More Post

Before I post anything, I want you to know that I am not going to start posting three times a day. This is purely survival of the fittest since my home modem is fleeing the scene tomorrow. I will be able to post from work, but it just won't be the same, you know?

Anyway, I wanted to update you on the knecklace, which I neglected to mention in an earlier post today, and to tell you the next sordid tale in regards to my teammate the Sampler Shawl.

I blocked the knecklace this weekend and it came out looking pretty good, as you can see. I did everything according to the pattern and when it is on the ground, it even looks like the picture in the pattern. The problem is when I put the knecklace around my neck, it looks like a clown's collar. It is also too big. That is my fault, since I wasn't in the mood to knit a swatch. lol. When have I ever been in the mood to knit a swatch? I should note here that I have yet to knit a swatch. This may be why I mainly knit scarves.

Part of the problem is that I used Silky Wool when I should have used a 100% wool yarn. Another part of the problem was, in my opinion, was that there were too many loops. If I had to do it again, I would not have dropped as many stitches, but have made larger loops with a k3tog instead. Oh, I would also drop the stitches closer to the end of the project so there were only two or three loops per section. The loops just look really crowded right now. Since I used such a trivial amount of yarn, I don't think I am going to frog it. I am going to attach the clasp and see if it magically gets better.

The Sampler Shawl and I had yet another battle tonight. I put on Sneakers and started my mandatory two rows a night requirement. When I got to the tenth to last stitch (of 401 stitches) of the first row, I realized that I had made a mistake with stitch number FIVE. Surprisingly enough, I tink faster than I knit. Oh, I guess I failed to mentioned that the row I had to knit was *YO, k2tog* the entire way. I like k2tog as much as the next person but when you have to do it 393 times, you get a little tired of it.

In happier news, I really like the way the shawl is knitting up. The colors are nice and I think it will be quite cozy when it is done.


Knitting Television:

Challenge #1

As part of the Amazing Lace, I am going to have to perform various challenges and post about them. This is one of those challenges. I need to introduce my teammate and me to the other contestants and audience members. If you are interested in learning more about the Amazing Lace, check it out here.

Challenge #1

::cue theme music::
Overly enthusiastic host: Welcome back to the Amazing Lace! I think this year will be the most exciting Amazing Lace yet! The next team we are going to meet is team Sampler Shawl and Silverarrowknits.

Silverarrowknits: I am so excited to be a part of this knitalong! I am currently residing in Rhode Island, but at the end of the summer I am moving to Florida for graduate school. Knitting lace is perfect, because this is an item I will be able to wear even in sunny Florida! I am also really excited to be meeting people from all over the world! We are all knitting lace together. I mean, golly, this is a really great opportunity to make new friends and show the world how knitters can get along, even when we are technically "competing" against one another! World peace here we come!

Sampler Shawl: To be honest, I wasn't all that excited to be a part of this at first. I was really happy living in the KnitPicks warehouse, when Silverarrowknits ordered me. I was chilling with all my friends and having a real good time of it all. In fact, even when I arrived at Silverarrowknits' post office, I stuck myself between two larger packages, so the mailman wouldn't see me and tell Silverarrowknits I had arrived.

Silverarrowknits: Sampler Shawl and I had a little bit of trouble at first. He got lost at the post office but I found him. When I got him home, I told him about the Amazing Lace and the great opportunity it is for meeting other lace projects and knitters. He was a bit skeptical at first, but after looking at the website, he seemed more interested in the spirit of the event.

Sampler Shawl: Once I went home with her, she started talking about world peace and knitters uniting. I thought she was off her rocker. It was only after I saw the website that I got interested in the event. Beating out other lace items really got me going. Seriously, take a look at me, I have some nice variegation going on, I knit up well, and I am 100% merino wool. Plus the winning team gets a skein of Helen's Lace and she is HOT. What other competition let's you take home a smoking skein?

Silverarrowknits: I am really excited that Sampler Shawl agreed to do this with me. I think we will have a lot of fun while meeting other lace knitters! I also heard that the winner gets a skein of Helen's Lace. I have always wanted to buy a skein of it, but it has always been out of my price range. It would be really great to win the skein while meeting lace knitters, which is something I want to do anyhow!

Sampler Shawl: We are going to win. We are going to blow the competition out of the water. I want that skein of Helen's Lace and I will do anything necessary to ensure that. Silverarrowknits might think this is all about meeting new people, but let's be honest, how many of the do gooders win in any reality show competition? That's right none. I am going to keep us in the race and get us to the end. I will push Silverarrowknits as far as she needs to go to do this.

Here is Silverarrowknits and Sampler Shawl's official team photo.

Overly enthusiastic host: Well, those two seem to have very different game plans. Hopefully that will work to their advantage, but as we have seen in the past, this sort of team play only leads to heartache and loss. Now let's meet team....

Happy Summer!

Today is a very busy day! Two wonderful challenges started today: The Amazing Lace and the Summer Reading Challenge. The summer is officially here and I am off and running! Let's get down to business!

The Amazing Lace:
Things are going well. It might have taken me two days to cast on (401 stitches is a lot!), but I have already knit four rows. According to some quick (and poor) calculations, I only need to knit two rows a day to be finished by Labor Day. Hurrah! This makes the whole project seem less daunting.

Summer Reading Challenge:
I am going to return to The Lady in White and try to finish that in the near future. I have a suitcase full (no joke, that is where I am storing them) of books that need to be read before I move to Florida. If I don't finish them, I will need to bring a suitcase full of books to Florida. We won't talk about the second suitcase full of books, because they are books, I am planning on doing away with before the trip. I am going to do a weekly update about my reading, so as to not clog my knitting blog with it but you can still get your reading fix. :)

Current Projects:
Yesterday was Brown's Graduation. It was so much fun! The alumni march in the Procession and cheer the new graduates on. After the march and the big graduation, I went to the Neuroscience (yes, that is a concentration, here at Brown for undergraduates) graduation for my friend S. and for the free food. I also said hello to my old first-year and sophomore year advisor. I am really glad that I brought the feather and fan scarf, because I ended up knitting during the Neuroscience graduation. It was really long. Even though there were only about 50 graduates, the department felt it was important to list all the accomplishments of every graduate and where they were going. I did learn one important thing though, India is a very popular destination for newly graduated students.


Knitting Television:
Vanity Fair (Reese Witherspoon version)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

A Day of Accomplishments

Tonight was a night of accomplishments. Well to be more specific, I had one accomplishment. I didn't move more stuff, because it was drizzling. I didn't pack up too much stuff, because I just didn't have the energy. I did, however, start and complete a project in just a few hours tonight! I knit my Knit the Classics Pride & Prejudice project. It is the knecklace from Knitty. I still need to block it and add a button, so I can wear it, but all the knitting is done!

Now that I have done something meaningful today, I am off to bed!


Knitting Television:
Sex & the City

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Spring Is Here!

Ah, Spring has officially come to Providence, RI. The weather was in the uppers 70s today. I didn't spend that much time outside (silly windowless office), but knowing it was warm outside was all I needed. What really topped off the day was when I walked down Thayer Street and the bikers were lining the street with their bikes. You see, once the weather gets warmer everyone with a motorcycle flocks to Thayer Street to show off their bikes to one another and hang out with their friends. At first it is a little curious to see the bikers and the college students mixed together, but the scene grows on you. I will honestly miss it when I move to Florida.

I had a semi-productive evening. I didn't move any more stuff to the sublet. I just couldn't bear to move one more thing. I did wind the yarn for the Sampler Shawl though. The middle one on the far right is a bit smaller because it was one of the balls that I rewound (before I learned how to properly use the ball winder) and it had a big knot about three yards away from the end. Maybe, just maybe, I will actually start this project. There are some comfy couches in my sublet and I can imagine myself curling up on one and knitting while watching reruns in the evening.

Oh! I found the perfect project for this month's Knit the Classics Pride and Prejudice project! At work, I was looking at knitting patterns and came across the knecklace on Knitty. Isn't it cute? I was planning on taking a visit to Michael's for size 5 needles when I realized that the yarn I wanted to use was in the sublet! You might be thinking that I could just get the yarn from the sublet, but that wouldn't be that easy, because all the yarn is packed up and I am not sure which box the yarn is in. :( Maybe I will just pick up something else that could work this weekend. Hmmm....

I worked on the feather and fan scarf tonight. Now that I am not tinking every other row, I am progressing rather quickly. I think I will bring it to Brown's Graduation this weekend. I think it will enjoy the outing.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Moving Woes

Phew, this has been a busy week so far. I am in the process of moving my stuff to the sublet. I moved two car loads of stuff and I think two more car loads will do it. Today was an emotionally hard day for me, because I moved my yarn and knitting books to the apartment. Well, I should be honest and say I moved most of it. I kept the Icarus shawl yarn, Sock and his counterpart, my current dishcloth, and the feather and fan scarf. This also required me to keep a couple of my knitting books for reference of course. Oh, did I also mention that I don't want to drop off my needles until the last minute? That is right, my last trip (the one where I move permanently for the summer) will consist of important documents like my birth certificate and my knitting needles. I think I have my priorities straight.

The feather and fan scarf is going well, finally. I went down to a size seven needle and I am much happier with the YOs. They aren't so holey and as likely to catch on things when I wear it. Even after I picked the right needle size though, I had to keep frogging the work, because apparently I can't follow a simple 4 row pattern. I finally tied a string to one needle and now I seem to be making some progress (with no tinking in sight!).

Oh, random entertaining story. I saw my summer landlord yesterday when I was moving my stuff into the apartment. He told me that he wanted to sit down with me for a chat about general security measures (locking doors and whatnot). Keep in mind, this will be the second chat about locking doors and fire extinguishers. When I mentioned this he told me that he likes to have the talk multiple times because even bright people have problems keeping their things safe. What I really wanted to say to this was, "Look, at my office we super glue fake plants to the tables in the waiting room because the FAKE PLANTS have a tendency to walk off. Trust me, I will keep the door locked." I decided that this might not be an appropriate response, so I smiled and said okay. This will be the fifth apartment I have lived in (two sublets and two one year leases) and I have never had the "chat" with any of the landlords.

I promise to post pictures tomorrow. By then, almost all of my stuff will be out of the apartment and I will be less stressed.


Monday, May 22, 2006

A New Project!

Today I made a decision. It was not a big decision, but it was a decision regarding knitting and lace. Since my housemate moved out this weekend, my desire to knit has been low. You see, she took most of the furniture with her. I knew she was going to do this, but it was weird to see the living room with no comfy couch and the kitchen with no kitchen table. I should also note that I have been selling my furniture because I can't bring it with me to Florida. As of now I have sold my bed, desk, and drawers. So as you can see, there are no real comfy spots to knit in my house.

Today, however, things changed. Today, I ran out of clean and respectable work clothes. What is a girl to do except go to the laundromat and bring her knitting with her? After careful thought (who am I kidding? I made this decision while stuffing dirty clothes into a laundry bag), I decided to use a hank of Silky Wool to make a Fan and Feather scarf. I am pretty excited, because this is a scarf that I can wear in FLORIDA! It is decorative and provides the perfect amount of warmth. I am a bit disappointed though, because I think I am going to have to frog it and start again. I used a size 9 needle and I think I need to go down a couple of sizes, because the YOs seem a bit too big. I am still going to do a shawl for my official Amazing Lace teammate, but this is a nice "SAK is moving in a week and is totally crazed" project. My mind can only handle a four row repeat pattern at the moment.


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Yarn, Yarn, and More Yarn

Yesterday was a fabulous and amazing day! E and I went to WEBS' tent sale. Our day got off to a minor rough start when we got on 5 North a bit early. We were supposed to take 91 N for 12 miles before getting on 5 North, but we sort of skipped that step. Everything worked out fine and we even got a scenic ride through Holyoke and Northampton. Everything ended well and we found our way to WEBS.

E and I spent a chunk of time looking at the bags of yarn at the tent sale. I found a couple of great deals including Rowan Kid Classic for 1/2 price and Rowan rowanspun 4 ply for an amazing price. After looking around the tents, I went inside the store. If you have not gone to WEBS and live nearby, you need to go. It is really big. They have a huge selection of knitting books and patterns, knitting needles, and yarn. Of course there are may be places better than WEBS, but of all the yarn stores I have been to, this one has been the best by far.

The store doesn't have a large selection of lace weight yarn, but you can buy comparable weaving yarn by the cone. I ended up getting a cone of Alpaca/Silk yarn (80%/20%). I got 1800 yards for $18. I am so pumped. I am planning on making Icarus with this and at least one other thing.

The sock selection was decent (no Opal Tiger yarn, therefore not amazing) and I picked up some Regia, Trekking XXL, and Jawoll cotton. Even though I haven't finished my first pair of socks, I feel I need a decent sock yarn stash. Socks are great, because they are such tiny projects. I forsee making many pairs of socks while waiting to classes to start and killing time in the lab at grad school. I also picked up some Cascade 220 and Silky Wool. These were necessary purchases I assure you.

I am very happy with my yarn purchases because I have somewhat definite plans for all the yarn. There were some pretty novelty yarns on sale, but I really don't need ten balls of fuzzy yarn or thick to thin yarn. There were also bags of sock yarn for sale, but I didn't really want ten balls of the same color. All in all, it was a great experience. No one was pushy and everyone seemed to be in good spirits. I didn't see anyone get into a fight over a bag of yarn.

Now I have some big decisions to make. What project should I start? I could do the Sampler Shawl as planned, Icarus, Clapotis, a lacey scarf, or a completely different shawl that I haven't found yet.


PS Oh, btw, I finally conquered my swift and winder. Having the yarn guide in the "on" position really helps.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Yarn Shopping!

This is going to be a short post, because I need to go to bed! Tomorrow morning, E and I are driving to Northampton, MA for the huge yarn sale. We are going to shop until we drop! I have a couple of items on my list that I really want to pick up (alpaca lace weight yarn for Icarus), but I am also going to let my heart speak to me too.

If you are going to be at WEBS, come say hi! I am going to be wearing purple pants. Not MC Hammer purple pants, but purple pants all the same. They are the only clean pants I have. :( We should have some code words to recognize each other. You can say, "The eagle is in the green house." I will reply, "The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain."

I spent a bit of time trying to unknot some of the yarn I wound poorly. There seems to be this one huge knot that I just can't get out. At some point I am just going to have to cut it and try to connect the two pieces. I think this is going to be the last ball of yarn that I use for the project because some of the yarn is going to be wonky.

Jen helped me with my winding problems. I didn't have the yarn guide in the "on" position. All is right in the world!

To bed, to bed I must go!

See you tomorrow at WEBS!


I'm Back!

My motivation is back! I came home tonight and decided that I needed a comfort meal. Eggo blueberry waffles always make me happy, instantly! After this, I looked around my room and did a status check. Did I want to work on Sock? No, I am too tired to concentrate on the stitches. Did I want to redo a ball of yarn? Yes, I want to conquer this sudden ball winding issue (I have wound yarn on other people's swifts and winders without any problems). I spent the night undoing one of the mushrooms of yarn and winding it around my swift. The last two or three yards are quite tangled and I will need to finish it tomorrow, but I am going to do this!

I am starting to get worried that I picked a difficult teammate. First he hides away in the post office and now he won't wind properly. Maybe once I get him on the Addi Turbos he will start to feel differently about me.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Happy Day!?

After work today, I raced over the post office. I had promised myself that I would call KnitPicks if my yarn didn't come today. Well, I opened up my mailbox and NO yellow package slip! Since I hate to talk with people on the phone (yes, this is sometimes a problem at work when I have to track participants down by calling everyone they know), I decided to ask my friendly post office workers if there was a package in the back for me and the yellow slip just didn't make it to my box. What do you know! There was a box for me! Someone must have set it aside and had forgotten to label it, because there wasn't a received date written on it. Yea for yarn! Yea for the ball winder!

As soon as I got into my car, I opened the box and feasted my eyes on the beautiful Memories' Redwood Forest merino wool. Isn't the yarn color yummy? It just seems like the perfect color for a folk shawl. It just earthy and perfect. It made me so happy that I immediately went to A Stitch Above to get the needed stitch markers and needles to make this project happen.

I was a little punch happy when I got to the yarn store because not only did I buy the needles (they didn't have any stitch markers that I liked) but also a smaller set of size 3 dpns (I lean in when I knit and I feel like I am going to poke my eye out when I knit my socks on my current size 3 dpns) and Rowan 34 (to make birch later). I decided that I needed the stitch markers tonight too, so I went to Michael's and bought tons of stitch markers. I have a tendency to break them. The woman at A Stitch Above seemed surprised that I could do this. I guess I am stronger than I look.

This is when my day started to not be so great. The first ball I wound was a disaster. The yarn was tangled for an unknown reason on the swift and I had to keep untying knots. The ball came out less than stellar. The second ball didn't get twisted on the swift but the ball is still awful. It doesn't look like the cute balls of yarn I get at the yarn store. My wound yarn looks like little mushrooms. ::sigh:: I tried to rewind the yarn, but I got big knots in the yarn that I was trying to wind and the new ball didn't look any better. I got so frustrated that I put on Ladyhawke (80s movie with Matthew Broderick) that my housemate and I got from Netflix and started reading knitting blogs.

I know I can figure this stuff out but after the sock, which I haven't touched since I grafted the toe, I am starting to feel a little frustrated. Maybe I will make a really long garter stitch scarf. I could even throw in a couple of YOs to give it a lacey look.


Monday, May 15, 2006

The Knitting Gods Can Hear You!

You know that moment where you start to feel cocky? You feel that you know what you are doing and there is no reason to double check. In fact, you don't even think to double check, because you know what you are doing? I had one of those moments tonight. I finished my very first sock. I made a few mistakes with the grafting but there were not that important. I was so pumped! I finished my first sock! Then, then I put the sock on my foot...

To understand what happened I need to give you some background information. When I made the heel, I used needles 1 and 2 instead of 3 and 4, so I had to make a few adjustments to the pattern (I always want to say recipe instead of pattern, I have no idea why). Mainly, whenever I read "do X to needles 1 and 2," I made sure to use needles 3 and 4 instead. Everything was going fine until I came to the toe. I thought I hadn't moved the marker to compensate for the official needle #1. Apparently I had compensated for it. I didn't even look to see where the waste yarn was at the cuff of the sock. ::sigh::

You might think that this has no repercussions on the sock. You can see the decreases in this picture, they are to the right of the tail. Well, the decreases are on the top and botton instead of the sides. My toes are a little pinched. Luckily, I didn't darn the ends in yet. Part of me wants to darn in the ends and ignore the problem and just never wear the socks. The problem with this scenario is that I like the yarn and I want to be able to wear my first pair of socks! Maybe I will start Second Sock and then redo Sock. This might be a bit extreme, but the heel is a bit too long too. My gauge for back and forth knitting is very different from circular knitting.

Even with all the mistakes though, I am really excited that I was able to knit a sock. My sock might not be perfect, but he is getting there. I will overcome or start on my shawl, whichever seems more entertaining. ;)


PS No, the yarn and ball winder still haven't come. If they don't come by the end of the week, I am going to call KnitPicks. :( Well, at least I will have an excuse to buy some lace weight yarn this weekend for the Icarus Shawl.

Knitting Television:
Grey's Anatomy
Sex & the City

Sunday, May 14, 2006

More Sock!

I worked on Sock a bit this weekend. It seems that now that he is in the running to be a (partly) finished object, I don't seem to want to finish him. Maybe I am still upset about Sock running off with the pirates at Disney? Hmmm....

The first The Amazing Lace challenge has been announced! By June 4th, I need to have a team photo of my lace and me. At the moment this is going to be a bit hard considering my teammate has not arrived, but no matter, I will figure something out. In fact, I might even trade partners before I even start the Sampler Shawl. I saw the Icarus Shawl in the new Interweave Knits and I must have it. I know, I have a commitment problem. The Sampler Shawl and I have barely started seeing each other and I am already looking at other lace projects. At least my swift understands, he doesn't care what I wind, he just wants to spin!

Oh, you might notice that I joined the Knit the Classics KAL and the Summer Reading Challenge 2006. I read a whole book this weekend and it has motivated me to read more books. It doesn't take much to get me on a bandwagon! I am hoping to push myself not only to knit (even though that would make me happy) but read too this summer. I have a feeling I am going to regret not doing things I enjoy before I start grad school and get overloaded with work.


Knitting Television:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
Mostly Martha

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Yarn and Sharks

My yarn didn't come today! I am starting to think that someone got my package by mistake and is using my yarn! With every passing day, I imagine someone using my yarn to tie things together and doing who knows what else with it! After this explosion of concern, when I got home I didn't even want to knit! I just wanted to wallow in self-pity. I read knitters' blogs about them getting THEIR yarn in the mail. I read about the other lace knitters starting (and continuing) their projects for The Amazing Lace, and I wondered why I couldn't start MY project. How do I know if the Sampler Shawl is a good teammate? Right now he is completely undependable. blah.

I have a couple of more pictures of Sock in Florida. These will be the last of the pictures. Starting tomorrow, I am going to go back on the knitting bandwagon. The Florida trip was relaxing but intense, and I am still exhausted. NOTE: If you are waiting for a reply from an email, I am still working through them and I should be caught up this weekend. I know I said I would get them done by Friday, but I actually had to get some work done at the office today. Weird, I know. My boss wanted to talk about my paper and getting it finalized to send to journals for publication. Is there something wrong with you when you would prefer to reading knitting blogs than do things that can advance your career? I need to start getting motivated, especially since I am starting school in the fall.

Anyway, Sock met up with a bad crowd in Walt Disney World. I kept warning him that these characters looked unsavory. I told him that there was probably a reason why they were locked up in that dungeon. Did Sock listen? No, he did not. He just looked at me, grinned, and joined in a chorus of "A Pirate's Life for Me."

I decided that if he would prefer to hang out with pirates then he was just going to have to learn the consequences of that decision. Needless to say, I wasn't surprised when I had to rescue him from a shark mere hours after meeting his "great, new friends." All of a sudden, multiple rides on Dumbo and It's a Small World didn't seem too bad after all. If you are having a hard time seeing Sock, click the image. He is almost directly below the shark's nose.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Yarn! Why have you forsaken me?

I checked my mailbox today in expectation of my KnitPicks package being there (well, at least a yellow package slip indicating that I have a package). Alas, there was no yarn! I now own a swift and I have no yarn or ball winder! I feel I am living a life metaphor. I am keeping my fingers crossed for tomorrow. Think yarn, everyone!

I have some more entertaining pictures of Sock in Florida. Even my Mom is impressed with this photo of Sock and the UF sign. I would never have come off as photogenic as Sock and get the sign and the fountain in the picture too. When I went to go take the picture, a family was about to take their picture in front of the UF sign. I quickly ran over to the site and said that I was just going to take a quick picture of Sock. Get this! They moved out of the way to let me take the picture first! They didn't even question why I was taking the picture. They must have a knitting gene in their family's makeup.

I also took the obligatory Sock with a gator picture. This was as close as Sock was willing to get to an alligator. Sock didn't care if the gator was fake. He was taking no chances. Sock is excited about the day when I finish knitting him, because it means that I will wear him and he knows that I will try my hardest to keep my appendages away from any and all gators.

I got all deep and philosophical when I was in Florida. I took this picture in St. Augustine. Doesn't this picture make you question your existence? A mermaid is holding Sock. Mermaids don't have feet! Yeah, I know. It makes you think.

I have more but I think I should leave you to your quiet contemplation.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Sock's Adventures in Florida!

Wow, this past week has been a whirlwind of activity. Sock and I had several very exciting adventures. The whole trip started with a completely full flight to Orlando complete with screaming children who were very anxious to see Mickey Mouse. When I got to Orlando, I met up with my parents and the next day we drove to Gainesville. After being in the city for four hours we a) ate lunch, b) signed a lease on an apartment, c) and got our car towed (while I was signing the lease). When you are checking out an apartment complex, make sure that you park in the "future resident" parking or else you won't have a car when you finish the tour. Since we got the apartment hunting done on the first day (it was the first place we saw and it just so happened to be the perfect place for me), we spent the rest of the week going to St. Augustine and Disney World.

While in Gainesville, I went to the local yarn store. I had been warned, but I was disappointed all the same. The store was small and when I tried to explain about how excited I was that there was a yarn store in Gainesville, the woman helping me gave me a look like I was crazy. Thank goodness for online yarn stores.

Sock really enjoyed St. Augustine. First, he soaked up the rays on the beach. As you can see, pets are not allowed on this beach, but socks are! Even though Sock didn't stay out too long (the sun is too harsh on his delicate wool), he really enjoyed playing in the sand and seeing the people swim in the water.

Later he got a little learning done at the very first school house in the US. Sock and I didn't go in the school house, because they were charging ridiculous sums of money to go in, but I think Sock got a good education just peeking in through the window.

After learning his ABCs and 123s, he hung out with some other socks, wind socks that is! Sock was pretty excited to meet them, but he wasn't jealous of their job at all. He is pumped about keeping my feet toasty warm and cozy. He did not seem keen at all in spending all day in the hot sun with the air blowing right through him.

On Tuesday, my parents, Sock, and I went to the Magic Kingdom. I love the Magic Kingdom. We got on all the rides, which was really exciting. When we got to the park, it was raining, so many people stayed away from the park until the afternoon when it cleared up. We perservered and went on most of the Fantasyland rides, which are covered, during the drizzling.

When I came home, a very exciting package was awaiting me: my swift! I thought my yarn would have arrived by Saturday, but I guess it needed a few more days. I can't wait to check my mail tomorrow and start cranking out balls of yarn!

I got a good amount of work done on Sock during the trip. By the time I got to Disney World though, I was thoroughly exhausted. My entire body hurt (especially after spending 12 hours at the park). The idea of doing anything, even knitting just seemed painful. Once I get my yarn from KnitPicks though, I feel my exhaustion will disappear.

I have more stories and pictures, but I am too tired to write. Just know, that my first pair of socks is coming along nicely and I now have an apartment in Florida! Yea! If you have emailed me in the past week, I promise to get back to you tomorrow.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Sock's First Flight!

Sock and I made it safely to Orlando this afternoon. Our flight from Providence to Orlando was 100% full. Kids were everywhere! A little girl in the row ahead of me kept asking her mother when the plane was going to take off, then she asked when they were going to get to Disney World (right after we took off), and finally once we were starting to land she made sure to point out that there were lights on in Florida (yes! there is electricity in Florida in case you are wondering). Needless to say, Sock and I were excited to land. I met up with my parents, ate dinner, and came back to the hotel room. We have wireless internet here!

I worked on Sock at the airport and on the flight. I think I am going to have to get some smaller dpns because I seem to keep my face really close to my knitting and I was afraid I was going to lose an eye during the turbulence.

I am getting close to working on the heel. I keep trying Sock on to see if he is the right fit and I am a little worried. I am a little off my gauge (half a stitch) and the sock is a bit tight but it is not cutting off my circulation tight. I think I am going to work on the heel and try it on again and if it is a no go, I will frog it. Luckily, my swift and winder should come this weekend, so when I get back to Providence, winding the yarn back up won't be such an ordeal. I am so glad I grabbed some Sugar 'n Cream at the last minute. If I don't have a sock by the end of this trip at least I will have a dish cloth. Waste not, want not.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Til Next Week!

Tomorrow I leave for Gainesville, FL via Orlando. I will be gone until late next week, I will try to post while in FL but I don't know if that will happen. When I get back I will have lots of pictures of my sock trying to find the perfect apartment for a poor graduate student who has serious fiber needs. ::sigh:: Keep your needles crossed for me! I will have more details next Thursday.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

New Look

Since I have been cleaning piles and piles of data at work and freaking out by all the disorganization (no one's fault, just too many cooks in the kitchen), I decided to make my blog more streamlined. I am going to figure out how to change the color (orange isn't my favorite color) and make it a bit more me. I hope you like it so far. :) If I get tons of protesting, I will change it back, but give the streamline-ness a chance to grow on you!

While I was going through the piles of data for the Hepatitis C study, I found myself listening to the opening sequence for Trainspotting. I thought this was a perfect monologue to listen to while cleaning data on heroin users. After listening to the "Choose Life" sequence a couple of more times, I realized that this speech could work well for knitting and since I am getting pumped for the Amazing Lace, it has a lace theme! Note: This is a family-friendly version. If you are interested in the real version, know that the language is rough.

Choose lace. Choose a pattern. Choose a knitting needle. Choose a yarn. Choose a freaking big chart, choose Eucalan wash, Addi Turbos, Chibi tapestry needles and cachachas. Choose good designs, with few errors, and an email address. Choose reasonably priced local yarn stores. Choose a starter project. Choose your blogger buddies. Choose shells and cotton tanks. Choose Jaggerspun Zephyr in a range of freaking colors. Choose designer patterns and wondering who made the unintelligible pattern at two in the morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching reality television and crime shows, for just one more row. Choose collecting yarn, filling your house with it, knitting hats and mittens for your family and friends. Choose your future. Choose lace.

Okay, I am on a slight kick, since I bought yarn last night supposedly for the Folk Shawls' Sampler Shawl. I am not sure if I got the right weight, so I am going to make whatever the yarn tells me. Yes, I know finding a yarn substitute should be easy, but I started thinking way to hard about it. I should also confess (Mom, I am really sorry about this, I don't know why I am apologizing to you, but I see the frown on your face from here) that I bought a swift and a ball winder too. I had coupons! The yarn I bought for the shawl needs to be wound! It is a good investment. Really, it is. Wow, I can't believe how much guilt this purchase is causing me. When I get my fun packages in the mail I will have pictures and then you will all see how I could not say no to the yarn or to the swift and the winder.

Besides thinking about knitting and changing my blog, I have been knitting! I finished another dish cloth. Okay, I do need to weave in the ends, but I am going to do that tonight. I am really enjoy knitting these dish cloths. I have been trying out all sorts of new stitch patterns that I might not have tried. Plus, I am being a good knitter and writing down any important notes about the stitch like whether it is stretchy and if the "swatch" curls or not.

I havent't gotten too far on my sock recently, but I am going to finish the cuff tonight, probably while watching Leno and Conan. ;) I am going to Gainesville, FL with my parents later this week and I have been spending my free time running errands. At least I will have some uninterruptable knitting time on my flight to Orlando!


Monday, May 01, 2006

The Lace Is On!

I am so excited! I have just joined my very first knit-along. Okay, I did join the Knitting Olympics, but we all remember how that panned out, so we are just going to forget that it ever happened. You should all the join The Amazing Lace, because

1) my friend Theresa is co-sponsoring it,
2) I am participating in it, and
3) it is knitting as a sport!

I am trying to figure out what lace item I am going to knit. I am thinking about Knitty's Branching Out, Rowan's Birch, and EZ's Pi Shawl. I want to make a shawl, but I am not sure if I am willing to commit to a knitted good that requires 300+ live stitches. I am going to do some investigative work tonight. So many possibilities, so much yarn. :)

Oh! Good news! I have convinced my friend E to start a blog (so she can join The Amazing Lace! hint hint wink wink). You should all check out her new blog, because she is faboo and she is knitting a Fiddlesticks Shawl. This is her second, I believe. Impressive I know!