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Archive for February, 2008

Dear Winter,

I would like to take this opportunity to tell you how I feel about you.

Winter, you’re kind of a bastard. You’ve been exceptionally bastardous this year. You’ve sent over 50 inches of snow our way and kept us in a deep freeze for most of the past three months. Even though the winds are getting warmer (we have a high of 37 F today!!!), you still dumped 3 inches of snow on us last night. Asshat.

At this point, everything that goes wrong is now your fault, Winter. I’m putting it all on you. My computer’s running slow? It’s the cold weather. I’m out of corn chips? Winter. I can’t get to the gym to work out? The roads are crappy because THIS DAMN WINTER WON’T QUIT. And dammit, Winter, you’re even invading my knitting time:

FAIL.

I forgot to move the little yarn-guiding wire arm out away from the platform, and I blame Winter.

I’m onto you, though. You’re not long for this world. Things are changing around here and we can all see that you’re not as tough as you think you are. The mountain of snow is disappearing.

Mountain of snow Mountain of snow, with snow Where did it go?

In fact, it’s gone.

Yeah, I got your tough-bastard Wintery badness right here, buddy.

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I’ll be frank with you, I just have not felt like writing at all this past week. I haven’t really felt like doing much of anything, come to think of it. Winter is killing my spirit.

light and snow

It’s snowing again right now, and we are expected to get up to 13 inches.

Mountain of snow, with snow

There’s a randomness to how I’m feeling, so there is a randomness to this post. (Ah, delightful symmetry!)

…Thank you to those of you who gave me virtual hugs during this past week. For me and the ones I know, things are headed in the direction of normal, although it’s a weird normal in which this shooting took place. So yes. Forward, together forward… in the words of the NIU fight song.

boot print.
It’s not really yellow snow. It’s just that I was under the sodium lights when I took this picture. Seriously.

…I’ve been working on my doula certification, and that’s going well. I’m in the middle of compiling a list of community resources for new parents/newly expanded families, and it’s exhausting. I have 44 categories on my list, and I have to (at least) have 1 entry in 30 of those categories. Right now I have 17 categories done, most of those with multiple listings. That part of my spirit has not yet been killed by this damned winter.

snow and dark

…Today I discovered that my old running shoes (which I’ve been wearing as work-a-day shoes) have holes in them. I discovered this while walking through a puddle. Awesome.

repurposed

…I have also been knitting this whole time and got myself through my first-ever mitten! Hooray! The second one has been started, and is part of my teaching project so I’m not moving very fast. Not that I moved very fast on the first one either.

innards of mitten!
It’s inside-out here, although this side kind of intrigues me…

…The snowplows are coming through again. I wonder how long this storm will last. We have already shoveled once, and it wasn’t slowing down any when I was out there 2 hours ago.

Possibly public lot #9

…One day I will tell you the story of My Left Groin Muscles And How They Broke, but not now. Now it is sufficient to say that they are doing much better and I can walk and turn corners easily and without fear for the first time in years. Thus begins the “get in shape so I don’t hurt” part of my 2008 goals.

aftermath

…Nights like this, I don’t mind winter so much. It’s pretty, it covers up the crappy bits, and the world gets still and muffled so I feel a little less pressed-upon. (It’s just the whole winter put together that has brung me low)

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NIU_Black_Ribbon

Memorial

Scholarship Fund

Services

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Happy V-Day

Bright!

I’m not big on this holiday any more, but I thought I’d take a page from Eve Ensler’s book and bring a different meaning to February 14th.

Meaning, I’m here today to remind you to get your annual exam. I got mine this past Monday. It is uncomfortable and a little weird, but sacrifice your dignity on the altar of good health. I have good reasons to be passionate about this, and you probably have your own reasons to get this done. So go get it done. Make the appointment now.

Not sure what an annual exam entails? Here are some links to explanations.

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Green Socks With A Twist

Sorry for the extended blog silence (well, for me). I got busy with these socks, with preparations for teaching two knitting classes this week, and with hating winter with a bitter cold passion (seriously, what is going on with all this snow? And so often?). I’m feeling better now and am tickled to announce…

A Finished Object. Or two? Does a pair of socks count as one FO or two? The deep mysteries of knitting.

Let it be known that I failed utterly in trying to remember my template for FO posts because it has been so fricking long since I last properly talked about a finished project. It occurs to me that all my Christmas knitting projects just kind of got lumped into one “I’m done! And moving on!” quasi-post and never got their own parades. Not that I’m going there now, because … no. Just no. But we shall rejoice because I did finally figure out my FO template, after going all the way back to October 2007.

First we’ll look at the many ways this project tried to eat my brain.
1x1 rib - fug 2x2 rib ktbl
The first 1×1 rib looked like crap, and the 2×2 rib didn’t work out. It both started and ended with k2. FAIL.

But I got back on the horse that threw me and finished the darn things.
perfect pair

Project
Basic toe-up socks. With cable on both sides. For funsies!
On the hoof

Yarn
Koigu KPPPM in some green colorway. The tag with the number is lost, or hidden under a mountain of sock yarn which I have no desire to move.
More cable

Needles
Knit Picks dpn 2.5mm / US 1.5.
stretchy

Pattern
Wendy’s Fingering weight toe-up socks with slip-stitch heel (that’s a .pdf) I love this pattern so much.
The heel oh my god I love it
Because it makes the gusset look like this.

Modifications
The pattern comes in various sizes, and I wanted a size that was between the smallest and the medium-est. So I made up my own numbers for the heel and gusset. It was harder than just changing my gauge, but that’s how I roll, yo. And because I was determined to use up as much of the yarn as possible (one awesome advantage of the toe-up sock method), I worked up to where my calf muscle (the gastrocnemius, and I can’t believe I remembered (a) the medical name and (b) how to spell it) starts and felt it wise to increase two stitches before I started the cuff.
Increases, for the calf
I finished it off with a k1tbl, p1 rib which is pretty and neat and pleases me no end.
the ribbing and the cable

Time Spent
December 21st to February 10th. What the hell is my problem? To make up for the long wait between cast-on and finishing, I wore the socks a full 36 hours straight. That’s how much I love them.

What I Learned
I learned how to make a toe-up sock with a gusset and slip-stitch heel, and that this is my new favorite method of making socks. I learned that I could add features midway (the cable). I learned the suspended bind-off which made my cuffs very flexible. I learned that a 60-stitch sock in fingeringweight on 2.5mm needles with a cable is just a smidge too tight for my feet (I can get them on my foot, but only with some tugging). And I learned that there is a difference between M1R and M1L increases, and that I should have used both of them but didn’t.

I love the bejeezus out of these socks, and the pattern is amazing. Well-written, clear, perfect. Hooray for Wendy!

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Winning

I woke up this morning thinking about double increases. An hour before my alarm. Which means today is going to be a winningly good day.

Contest Winners!
I used this random number generator to find the BIRTHDAY TIME!!!! Contest winners. Although really everyone’s a winner with those birthday memories — engagement! first dates! Shakespeare! surprise hilarity! It was fun to read about traditions that were like my own, like Sandie’s mom letting her choose her birthday meal, and 5elementknitr and Dove‘s scavenger hunt experiences, which featured strongly in my youth.

Of course, there are those who are getting the free stuff. Tanya wins the coffee mug, Mary Kay lip set, and yarn! And Sarah wins the Mary Kay hand lotion set! Hooray! I have emailed both of you for your addresses so the swag can get to you!

Thank you to everyone who played and wished me a happy birthday! It was a really good birthday and I had a great weekend.

Political Winners!
I don’t normally talk about politics on this blog, but today is the day before Super Tuesday and I want to put this information out there. At the beginning of the presidential campaign I was a little bit up in the air about which Democratic candidate I liked best (the Republicans not really registering on my radar). Barack Obama is my senator and I’ve loved his record there, but I was also excited about the prospect of Hillary Clinton becoming president because as a woman, who could have a better understanding of women’s reproductive health rights than she? (This is one of my big issues.)

Turns out, Barack Obama has a better understanding of women’s reproductive health rights, and a better understanding of the truth. The former president of the Chicago chapter of NOW explains why she switched her support from Clinton to Obama, and other pro-choice supporters tell why they feel the same way. Is your state part of Super Tuesday? Vote for Obama. Or if you don’t want to, make sure you know why not. In the words of a friend of mine, “Make good choices!”

Knitting Winner!
It’s me! I’m flying along on my green socks…
Moving Right Along
… with the lovely addition of a C2F cable to keep my interest. I started these socks wanting just something plain and mindless and easy, but plain stockinette all the way up the leg is NOT easy to focus on. Add a cute little cable and suddenly I’m zooming through the 5 plain rounds to get to the 6th round when I get to cable. Hooray!

2x2 cable

Plus this gets me on my way to a more cabley 2008. Heck yes I’m reaching that goal.

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