Archive for August, 2007

Twenty Kureyon blocks! Ah ah ah!

count von count

I know it’s Friday, but better a late WIP Wednesday than never right? Right.

Kureyon 207
Kureyon 207, purchased at Stitches Midwest 2007, the 18th block

Kureyon 126
Kureyon 126, from KillerDaisy (on Ravelry) (THANK YOU!), the 19th block

Kureyon Mishmash
Kureyon Mishmash, from previous block leftovers. The 20th and final block!

Woohoo! They’re done! I acutally finished the last one a week ago, but with the surreptitious camera-borrowing I am reduced to posting ultra late. I hope my own camera returns to me soon because good lord, blogging is hard when you don’t have a digital camera.

Anyway. Not the point. The point is: all my blocks for this afghan are done, and now I just need to knit them together (note for purists: this is already happening, but I don’t like to talk about it because I can’t show you pictures, but hey I just did. Dammit.). Cascade Eco Wool colorway 8095 is my chosen medium for that part of the process, because the yardage is so fantastic for the price. Fun fact: on the Cascade website the colorway 8095 looks black, but when you get it home it’s actually a superdark brown. It’s fine for my purposes, but just FYI.

This project has had the best timing its whole life. I started the first block when I needed something to take a break from the bastardy of cleaning, and I’m putting everything together just as the weather is starting to turn a little cooler. The days are clear and sunny and 70s (F), temperatures are getting into the 50s (F) here at night, and I’m beginning to think of stews and cider and being curled up in a lovely colorful blanket at night. Mmmmm.

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I didn’t mean to be all dramatic with my last post and then leave the blog for a while. Sorry about that.

All is well Chez HookOn, seeing as we live on the second floor of a building nowhere near the river. Thursday night did bring us a lively storm, starting about 11:00pm and not really tapering off until about 2:00am. I was awake for most of it because I didn’t have to work on Friday, and hate being almost asleep and then JOLTED awake by the freakishly loud thunder. I decided just to stay up and knit.

Anyway, Thursday’s storm put us right over the edge and Friday saw a LOT of the county looking like some dude in a beard was about to come tell us all about this huge wooden boat he just made, and would we mind grabbing two of whatever animal we can find. Of course I can’t find good pictures of the flood in DeKalb from the internet, so I will show you my crappy cell phone pictures.

Flood Stage + 4.8 feet

One of Two

For those of you who used to live here and might be interested, I took these pictures (with my crappy cell phone camera, sorry) of the bridge on Hillcrest about 150 yards west of 4th Street/Sycamore Road, facing south. The water had to dip under the bridge to get through. Saint Mary’s cemetery was partially underwater (shudder), and so was the bridge on First Street, only it was all under water. The Hillcrest bridge was one of two bridges open in … the county? or maybe just the surrounding area. It was a busy day on Hillcrest, and I was glad to get home.

The Kishwaukee river is usually about 2? maybe 3 feet deep. It might get as deep as 5 feet in places. This article has some pictures of The Mighty Kish in its natural state. Flood stage is something like 10.1 feet, and by Friday we had hit 14.6 feet (or thereabouts). Ugh.

Overall, this flood story is no match for the ones you guys shared last time. Rachel, I hope your commute wasn’t as hellish on Friday night! It sounds like the suburbs and the city had a lot more damage than we did. Yvonne, what a way to come home from camp! Femiknitter, I can’t believe that you and your family were going to see “Masters of the Universe.” That is totally sweet. Anna, I totally did a slip-n-slide in my yard in the spring when I was growing up! Margaret, I’m so sorry about the man-made flood! Thanks for commiserating with me, ladies — and thanks to Melissa for your good thoughts!

Hopefully the people who got hit the hardest can get some help putting things back together, now that DeKalb County has been declared a disaster zone (or whatever the proper term is). All respect to those who are dealing with water in their homes.

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Tonight’s forecast:

Another flood warning

DeKalb IL is right above the little “c” in Chicago on that map.

The river in town is already above flood stage, and we have a flood warning in effect until Sunday night. It’s raining to beat the band, as my grandma would say, and my landlord has turned off the sewer line because the storm drains are so full (because it’s been raining almost every day for two weeks) that water is backing up through the sewer lines. Charming.

This reminds me of a summer a few years ago when I lived at home. It rained and rained and rained and the water just had nowhere else to go. Naturally my Dad had installed a sump pump and that took care of the water coming up into the basement, until the pump broke at 9:30pm. My parents live a good 45 minutes from the nearest big hardware store, so replacing it wasn’t an option. Because everyone else in my family had something important to do the next morning (work, appointments, whatever), Nick and I (who were on summer break from college and had nothing to do) stayed up all night and bailed out the basement. It sucked a lot. But we saved the house from certain death, and then slept all day.

Do you have a flood story? Do tell in the comments. But if it involves recently seeing animals walking two by two past your door, I’m going to lose it.

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Like a hot knife through butter, I move through the pile of Kureyon.

kureyon 180
Kureyon 180, the 14th block

Like grass in the wind, it bends to my will.

kureyon 170
Kureyon 170, the 15th block

The colors dance under my hands. Like puppets.

kureyon 154
Kureyon 154, the 16th block

Kureyon, you fascinate me even as I devour you.

kureyon 215
Kureyon 215, the 17th block

(I bought all these colors at Stitches Midwest this year.)

I don’t think I’ve ever been this continuously excited about one project. I’ve never been this driven to keep knitting on a project, to actually rush to the finish to see how it turns out when it’s all done, and to do it without any boredom! This is awesome! Knitting log cabin squares is the very best knitterly thing ever, in my distracted opinion. I think I’m going to have my students make some of these when my classes start up again.

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My Stitches Midwest 2007 Experience can be summed up in the following picture-less points (sorry, the Dada camera is still at the repair shop):

1. If you can help it, don’t go to Stitches when you’re ill. It really brings down your energy level and there is nothing at Stitches that feels better than a nap.

2. That said, I had a really great time hanging out with Femiknitter and exploring the giant knitters’ playground that is Stitches. I loved every minute of the four hours that we were there, and had a blast napping when we got back to her folks’ house. And eating spicy food that opened up my sinuses. And going to bed really early. (Nick was right; the knitter in me was stronger than the cold, but just barely.)

3. I managed to stay within my self-imposed yarn budget. This was both an awesome thing and a sort of sad thing. It was awesome because, hey! I’ve got self-control, but it was sad because hey! when else am I going to see this much amazing yarn in one place. I blame my self-control entirely on my cold, of course. Had I been more lucid I would have said to hell with the budget and pulled out the MasterCard.

4. I purchased 6 balls of Kureyon (enough to finish up the afghan) (mostly bright colors); 2 skeins of ShiBui Knits sock yarn in Orchid; 2 skeins of Koigu in black (I’m not linking to anything here because, well, it’s black Koigu. You can probably imagine what it looks like.) because I have some pretty Koigu leftover from my first socks and I think that color would make cute toes and heels on a black sock; 1 skein of Chapman Springs STR in lightweight and 1 skein in Sapphire STR in lightweight (apparently not on the website yet) (for a Chevron Scarf… mmm!); and 1 enormous cone of Valley Yarns something-or-other that is comparable to Rowanspun (I don’t really know… I was delirious from the great deal — $32.00 — and the fever) in a luscious brown-with-pinkish-bits. It’s going to be the Tangled Yoke Cardigan from the new IK.

5. Not a huge haul, but everything I bought makes me feel good. And I had a plan going in. Everything I bought had a specific and pre-determined purpose, except the ShiBui Knits sock yarn. That just made me giggle, so it had to come home with me. Having a plan RULES!

6. This is the part where I make a little grumpy noise. I’m going to preface my grumpy noise by saying I like Tess’ Yarns. I love Melinda’s color sense and I love the base yarns. Last year I bought two skeins of their microfiber ribbon, but didn’t have a pattern for it (do you see why I went in with a plan this year?). What made me a little grumpy was the set up of their booth at Stitches. None of the yarns had pricetags on them — you had to get a price sheet (of which they kept running out, and were taxed with printing more) to find out what the stuff cost. And when I tried to buy a pattern for the microfiber ribbon yarn tank top, I had to wait in line THREE TIMES because the pattern just could not be found (It eventually turned up, after my third wait in line, as we were ready to leave). This is just a review of their service at Stitches in a crazybusy situation — I’m sure the online and bricks-and-mortar store service are better.

7. I am feeling much healthier now. I’m not at all disgusting anymore, which pleases me no end.

I’m sorry this post is so boring and picture-less. I’ve had to rely on a surreptitiously borrowed camera, and it’s not always available when I want it to be. Hopefully the Dada camera will return to me soon, free of all its Dada tendencies.

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I was going to post this yesterday, but I got distracted.

Nick left last night for a four-day trip away with guys, and I took advantage of his absence by scattering my knitting all over the living room. I may have left a project in the bathroom… I’m not sure. I love having the apartment to myself, because I can let my inner Completely Insane Knitter out. Tonight I plan to pull the entire stash out of its dresser and just roll around in it.

Anyway, I have knitting to report. I’ve been absolutely flying through the Kureyon lately…

Kureyon 3
Kureyon 3, from Kimberly of SomeBunnysLove. The 11th block.

Kureyon unknown
Kureyon unknkown, also from Kimberly. The 12th block.

Kureyon 78
Kureyon 78, also from Kimberly. The 13th block.

And I finished the 14th block last night, and cast on for the 15th.

I am so excited about this project. While I was hanging out with Femiknitter this weekend (and I promise I’ll do a proper recap soon!), we talked about this project and I gushed on and on about how easy it is and how huge the payoff is (or will be) for not a lot of work. Why is this project so much more appealing than a sweater or socks right now? It’s blocks (small and portable); it’s different colors (exciting and not repetitious in that way); the pattern is simple (mindless for movie watching, easily memorized); and I’m getting a blanket out of it. It’s perfect for my flighty-knitterly ways — I can feel a huge sense of accomplishment after only 2 hours of knitting and move on to the next skein of yarn, but still be working on the same project. I hope my huge enthusiasm for this project won’t be sucked away by the piecing-together time. I’m going to knit everything together, not sew it, so that should help.

To force myself to be more of a knitter and less of a person who sits around reading knit blogs and thinking about knitting, I’m introducing a new feature: the WIP Wednesday. Even if it’s on a Thursday. Once a week I have to show off what I’m doing, and hopefully this will make me have something to show off. Motivating via shame. It’s a time-honored tradition.

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I joined the Vegan Pal 2 Swap for several reasons, the biggest of which is I CAN’T WAIT FOR FALL.

Vegan Pal 2

What is/are your craft(s), and how long have you been doing it/them?
I’m a knitter and a crocheter. I’ve been crocheting since 2003 and knitting since 2005. I knit more than I crochet, but I love both.

Are you a vegan, vegetarian, veg-curious, veg-friendly or other?
I’m a vegan when it comes to food and leather, but I happily knit with wool, alpaca, and other renewable resources.

Is this your first swap, or have you done previous swaps before? What makes a swap enjoyable for you?
This is my … third? fourth? swap, and I like swaps when there’s a theme, when the senders really take the time to figure out what their recipients like, and when recipients are clear about what they like. I hope I’ve done both in the past. 🙂

What is/are your favorite color(s)? Do you particularly dislike any color(s)?
I am in a strong green phase right now; I love all kinds of jewel tones (bright, clear reds/blues/yellows/oranges/pinks/purples/greens, etc); I love warm spicy fall colors (wine, pumpkin, gold, curry green, olive); I don’t do well with misty, pastel colors. Colors from a bright sunny day are my favorites; colors from a foggy seashore are my least favorite.

Do you have any allergies (such as pets, foods, fibers or cigarette smoke)?
I’m allergic to cats and cigarette smoke, and might be allergic to mohair. Or it might just be itchy. Either way, not much of a fan.

Do you have any companion animals? If so, name(s) and type(s)?
No animals. Many houseplants (named Ziggy, Lily, Charles in Charge, Locke, Montescue, and Ivy).

Do you collect anything?
I suppose I collect books and yarn, but nothing of a collectible, displayable nature.

Do you have a favorite vegan food, snack or dish? If no fav that’s vegan (for those who aren’t vegan), what’s your favorite food? (Hopefully your pal can find a vegan version!)
I love nori rolls (nori seaweed, sushi rice, and veggies in the middle), I love cozy stews in the fall, and I love Indian food.

What are some of your favorite/least favorite tastes/flavors? (e.g. sweet, salty, chocolate, crunchy, smooth, tart, sour, spicy, thai, whatever –Help your pal get a feel for what kind of recipes you might like and/or never ever make.)
Oh, I love me some chocolate (dark), I love salty, savory, and Thai. I like using peanuts in my cooking, or as in a Thai curry. I’m not a fan of tart or sour, really, and I’m in the middle on sweet overall.

What tools/supplies/accessories for your craft(s) are you wishing you had but don’t? Also, what do you have TOO many of? (basically a wish and anti-wish list)
I’ve been thinking of trying socks on two circular needles, but haven’t gotten any of KnitPicks’ small-size (2.25mm) circulars; I could use another Clover clicky-clicky row counter. I have a TON of straight needles that aren’t gettting much use, and I have all the crochet hooks I need right now.

Are you on Ravelry? What’s your handle?
Yes, I am on Ravelry — my handle is KathyMarie.

Is there anything else you would like your pal to know about you?
I’m trying to get back into shape — I was a runner in high school and I’m trying to get back in that groove. I’m married (just over 1 year). I live in an apartment. I like reading non-fiction and fiction by Terry Pratchett. I hate millipedes, centipedes, and earwigs.

What scents do you like/dislike?
I really like spicy, autumny scents like apple pie, cloves, nutmeg, pine, etc. I’m not a fan of floral scents, or any “air freshener” scents.

Do you prefer fall or Halloween or some other Autumn theme?
Halloween’s not my favorite holiday, so I’d prefer an autumn/fall/cozy/tuck-in-for-winter theme. It’s my favorite time of the year — sweater weather begins!

Just for fun – tell your favorite Halloween or Autumn related memory.
I don’t have just one. I love the smell of poplar trees in the fall; hanging out with friends around a fire; the excitement of school starting; football games; bringing out the winter clothes; apple-picking; lots of baking; and Thanksgiving with my family.

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Damn Straight

In a bastardous turn of events, I have been struck with a cold. A nasty sinus cold. Mere days — nay, HOURS, before I’m scheduled to be at Stitches.

My nose is runny (but also stuffed up!), my throat is scratchy and sore, and I’m thirsty as hell. As you may have suspected, I am also not very happy.

I’m still going to go to Stitches Midwest (I didn’t knit those cotton washcloths for nothing, nosirreebob), and see Femiknitter and have a totally awesome time, but I’m bummed because I don’t know if I’ll have the energy to run around the marketplace like I’ve never seen yarn before and dive into huge piles of yarn and just roll around in them. I’m sure the vendors will be disappointed.

So I’m grumbling to Nick today over email about my symptoms and whatnot (there’s a lot of “whatnot” when you’re whining about being sick).

Me: *grumble grumble* lightheaded, groggy, my face feels inflated *grumble grumble*
Nick: I hope Stitches won’t be ruined for you. I’m sure that you’ll be able to go, no matter how bad you feel. The knitter in you is stronger than any cold could be.

How can I not rally after hearing that?

P.S. I finished the 11th Kureyon block! Pictures soon.

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Last week sometime, or perhaps before that (I don’t really know, and I shall blame this not-knowing on the heat and humidity we’ve been having), Femiknitter and I formed a pact to make sure we finished up some stalled projects. Because she’s coming into Chicago this Saturday (!!!) and we’re going to Stitches Midwest together, we decided to force ourselves to finish whatever projects seemed challenging by this coming Friday night (the 10th). If we do that, we get a bonus on our Stitches budget (if my budget is X, finishing my project(s) earns me X+50) (my budget is looking freakishly algebraic).

After being intimidated by my headband for far too long, I finished it in about 90 minutes. And after puttering around on my warshrag for, again, far too long, I finished that in a day. (Read the specs) (It’s amazing the amount of knitting that gets done when you actually knit, instead of whingeing about it not being done.) And those were my Stitches goals. Those were the projects that were supposed to earn me another fifty dollars. These two projects that took two days total to complete. I didn’t feel like I earned anything.

So I set myself another goal: Knit four more washrags by Friday, August 10th.

And I did.

Test Pattern
I finished the black&white one last night

Technicolor Warshrags

I worked almost exclusively on these 100% cotton washcloths, and now my hands are insisting that I be done with them for a while. Nick’s been rubbing my hands for me after each evening’s knitting for the past week or so (huzzah!), but they’re still a little sore. Strong, though. I feel like I could crimp like a champ at this point. But I won’t.

In between working on the headband and the cotton, I finished block #10 of the (mercifully wooly and elastic) Noro Kureyon log cabin blanket.

Kureyon 157
Kureyon 157, a pretty dark picture… sorry!

And I’m working on the eleventh

Kureyon 3
Kureyon 3, from Kimberly

I think I can finish it by Friday. Bonus!

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I’m hard at work on my Bonus Stitches Goal (more on that later), so I give you a lolcat quiz to distract you from my lack of content. Heather, you are required to take this quiz. Anyone else can choose to play or not. But tell me in the comments what manner of lolcat you are.

Your Score: Lion Warning Cat

81% Affectionate, 63% Excitable, 28% Hungry

You are the good Samaritan of the lolcat world. Protecting others from danger by shouting observations and guidance in cases of imminent threat, you believe in the well-being of everyone.

To see all possible results, checka dis.

Link: The Which Lolcat Are You? Test written by GumOtaku on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Found on Stumbling Over Chaos.

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