Archive for February, 2009

Note to self

If you’re going to knit one sock over the course of 10 months, then dither about casting on for the second sock, it would help matters immensely if you were to not misplace the original pattern, causing you to use the wrong pattern for the second sock because the wrong pattern kind of resembles the original pattern a little.

I mean really.

The green sock? The one I’m holding up for my cat to regard in my last picture of my last post? Yeah. I am using an entirely different pattern for this one than I did for the original sock. Which I cast on in April of 2008. This new sock may or may not be two stitches short of the original (yes, please insert joke here in which I myself am a few stitches short of a sock. THE IRONY IS NOT LOST ON ME.), and I can’t find the original pattern in my pattern binder, or in my project bags. I’m going to reprint it today and hopefully be able to salvage my sock.

If I can’t, you will find me under the bed muttering curses to the world and chewing on sock yarn.

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Project 365: 47-53 (sort of)

I really meant to post more last week than just the weekly photo update, but life got away from me a bit and my brain got all tangled up in the woecake that has been my winter experience. After realizing that I needed a change of scenery before I started gnawing on my own arm, I made reservations for this coming weekend at a hotel in a city a few hours from here. And then I told NinjaHusband about it. Impulse control is my next life lesson.

February 16, 2009
Monday, after celebrating the completion of my grant application, I did some housework and then sat down to blog. Miyagi hopped up on the footie part of the recliner and, as is her wont, curled up on my legs. I thought this picture was gloriously meta, with my blog dashboard infinitesimally visible in the corner.

February 17, 2009
This was the example I knit up for my students on Tuesday evening while I waited for them to show up. I teach by demonstrating a technique first, several times, then asking them to repeat it while I walk around to each student and help them one-on-one. The yarn is a bulky something that I got in a swap, and the needles are 12.0mm / US 17 — the bigness really helps when I stand at the front of the room to demonstrate. I actually started knitting backwards, or from the wrong side, in order to show them without my arms and torso getting in their way. Teaching knitting always makes me learn something, and I love it.

February 18, 2009
Yeah, it happened. I didn’t think it would happen so early in the year, but I knew I would fall down on this project. On Wednesday our friend Amy came into town and after work I was busy running around, cleaning, getting the guest room ready, and figuring out dinner. I meant to take a picture of her, but after dinner we got to talking and it just didn’t warrant the intrusion — the photo would have felt forced and not genuine. Also I forgot.

February 19, 2009
To make up for the non-picture on Wednesday, I took this picture on Thursday morning. Organic apples (woot! overtime money = yummier groceries!) in a locally-made, hand-made bowl, on a frosty February morning. (Could I sound more greener-than-thou? Gah.) Our kitchen table is next to the patio door, which faces East and gives nice pretty light. I thought the apples looked especially delicious that morning.

February 20, 2009
And this brings us to Friday. Goddamn car. Amy and I were driving into DeKalb to get some breakfast and a little shopping in, and before we even got to the diner, my goddamn car started pouring smoke out from under the hood. And then the smoke started coming inside the car. Fully expecting my goddamn car to explode in my face, I pulled into my bank’s parking lot. I turned it off and looked under my hood and there was oil everywhere, all over the engine block. NinjaHusband counseled taking it to a mechanic he knows, and that turned out to be the best idea ever. The towtruck came in 7 minutes, and the owner was able to fix only what needed fixing to get the goddamn car back on the road without trying to sneak in other “oh, well, this waternator was wobbly so we tightened it and that’ll be $250 ma’am” type things. I have it back now, and the goddamn thing is running. I was half hoping the goddamn car would just be too far gone. Of course, I haven’t looked at the estimates for the other work the mechanic very strongly suggested I get done soonish. This amazing, kind, honest mechanic, if you’re in DeKalb/Sycamore is Bockman’s on 7th and Lincoln.

February 21, 2009
Because I had no transport on Friday, I spent all day knitting on this birthday gift for a friend. Fetchings, in a discontinued dk-weight yarn and 3.5mm / US 4 needles. I knit both at the same time and got quite far. but had to finish them up both at work on Saturday and at home after work and before the birthday party (just weaving in the ends). If you’re thinking the finger bind-off edge looks extra-frilly, you are correct. I misinterpreted the instructions and made the picot bind-off much more bigger. My friend seemed to like them, and she likes frilly things, so it worked out. I learned how to put in a thumb using waste yarn, which is pretty awesome.

February 22, 2009
Full circle. Back in the recliner, cat and blanket and all. I’ve got the second sock (of this pair, remember? it’s okay if you don’t… it’s been a while) on the go and have gotten to the part where I make the gusset and heel. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you actually knit, instead of bitching about not knitting.

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Project 365: 40-46

Today I finished a big project at work, and have been celebrating with beer and chocolate. The lateitude is entirely due to happiness at being done with five-page essays on the leadership role my place of employment plays in my community. And there’s been a lot of happiness.

February 9, 2009
I spent most of Monday worrying about this big project, and teaching a knitting class the next day, and completely forgot to take a picture until like midnight. Possibly after midnight. So if you want to call me out for not really taking this picture on the Monday, you can. You’d be kind of a jerkface, but you could do it. This is my non-special downstairs bookshelf, the history section. With myths and tales, apparently. The mixing of genres gives me the wiggins and I totally reshelved Beowulf in the right spot after I took this picture.

February 10, 2009
Before my beginners knitting class on Tuesday night. With my basics class I like to start with stitches already cast on the needles, so the students can jump right in to the knit stitch. I think it makes for an easier start and increases their confidence. It was a pretty good class, and I hope the next two weeks (two more classes in the session) go just as well. Fingers crossed.

February 11, 2009
Doo doo doo lookin’ out my front door. The view on Wednesday sometime after 5pm out my front door, which is not the door that anyone ever actually uses. The townhouses are set up in a way that is dumb, with parking and the garage on one side, and the “front” door on another. We usually just have people come in through the garage. Less classy, maybe, but more convenient. I love the purple look to the sky, and I seriously can’t get over the bare trees against the sky look that’s so everywhere right now. Love.

February 12, 2009
The library hosted two actresses who put on a show about Mary Todd Lincoln and Emilie Todd Helm, on Abe Lincoln’s birthday. It was a lot of fun and very moving. They did a readers’ theater presentation about the sisters’ experiences leading up to, during, and after the Civil War. A neat new perspective on that time in history.

February 13, 2009
My parents. We had dinner with my family on Friday to celebrate my birthday and Laura’s birthday and my Dad’s birthday. Birthday madness. My Mom gave me a two dollar bill that she found in one of my boxes of stuff in the attic. I took this picture in a restaurant without the flash, and after two drinks.

February 14, 2009
On Saturday NinjaHusband and I went to the NIU Art Museum to see the new shows. It was the first time we’d been to the museum in a while and I really liked the fiber arts exhibit. The picture is of the statue outside Altgeld Hall, and the gargoyle/statue has a name and a history of frats or groups stealing its head, but I learned it all when I was in school and have forgotten it. Like most of what I learned in school.

February 15, 2009
Sunday night SnB. My free therapy session. This is Beth with her newly reknit sweater top, salvaged from a Vogue knitting pattern. I’m such a fan of Sunday nights, with the girls and the knitting and the beer and the awesome chat. Hooray for Sunday nights!

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Project 365: 33-39

I don’t have much to say in the way of an introduction for this week’s photos, other than: I haven’t Photoshopped any of my pictures and in fact do not know how to use the program, though I want to learn. Looks like “browse photography blogs” just made my to-do list.

February 2, 2009
Garden lust, I has it. My friend and I are putting in a garden at her house this spring. I’ve never done this before and I’m sure I’m going to screw something up like not plant the seeds at the right time or something, but I really really want to eat some fresh veggies that I’ve grown myself. So, I am. I hope.

February 3, 2009
I saw this snow graffiti on my way back to work from dinner on Tuesday night. Don’t know what it says, don’t know if it’s Chinese or Japanese (do you? let me know!), but I thought it was really weird and fun. Unless, of course, it says something awful. I almost walked past it, because it was so freaking cold that evening, but its weirdness turned me back.

February 4, 2009
The plaster hand was our gift from our friends Angie and her daughter O., and the table was my grandparents’ first TV stand. This setup sits to the left of our couch and is one of my favorite non-yarn arrangements in our house. Playing around with the black-and-white feature again, which is so much fun.

February 5, 2009
My friend Jill (the one with whom I will garden) and her son C. I spent the evening with them on Thursday, talking about gardening stuff and eating dinner and holding the baby. It’s lots of fun to be around Jill — she has so much creative energy and so many ideas for great ways to enjoy life. She recently got a whole lot of white board paint (no, I didn’t know it existed either) and plans to paint an entire wall with it, the better to map out her plans.

February 6, 2009
This house is a historical home, or something (I don’t know, some group is rehabbing it but it’s not open to the public… whatever) near my work and when I walked out on Friday I saw the sunset in the windows, which reminded me of the time my Mom was washing the dishes at the sink with the north-facing window cranked open at sunset time and looked out and thought the yard was on fire and yelled for my Dad and we all came running because we thought the yard was on fire but when we got there the yard was not at all on fire and it was the reflection of the sunset in the window glass. It was awesome.

February 7, 2009
Still life with Heather’s sock, handspun, and wine glass.

February 8, 2009
The beginnings of the Tuscany shawl. This is my first lace pattern (ignoring the failed Icarus from two years ago) and I think it’s a really good one for beginners because (a) it’s in sportweight yarn, for bobsakes, and the knitting is amazingly quick, and (b) the lace pattern is easy peasy, requiring only a bit of your attention. I haven’t knit on it at Stitch-n-Bitch night, but I probably will when I feel more comfortable with it. I’m already further along than that picture; I completed another repeat last night.

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The knitting, it is everywhere.

Random act of knitting
Harry Dumpty at the DeKalb Public Library, with new kicks

I saw this at the library and heard later that it was a knitter friend of a knitter friend who surreptitiously put these cute stockings on the statue outside the children’s entrance. It was awesome.

Socks on Mr Dumpty

The socks stuck around for a few days before someone with absolutely no sense of whimsy or humor complained about them (What was the complaint? They were too bright? They clashed with the stone wall he was sitting on?) and the administration took them off. FAIL.

random acts of knitting

Boo on humorless jerkfaces! Yay for random handknits cropping up in the wild!

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Project 365: 26-32

I feel like part of this week snuck up on me and came together through no planning on my part. I’m toying with the idea of having a week of themed pictures, but clearly that hasn’t happened yet. My week in review…

January 26, 2009
Adam and Beth came over for my Actual Birthday and we had a good time making the cat do ridiculous things. I missed a couple mid-air shots because my camera takes a bit of time between pictures to get back to “ready” mode. This one cracked me up, with the evil eyes.

January 27, 2009
Over New Year’s, I set out this candy dish (a bowl, which I’m sure I’ll feature on its own somewhere down the line) and the level of the candy really hasn’t gone down very much. I had planned to take a picture of the yarn shop I visited this Tuesday morning with my Mom and Fairy Godmother, but naturally I had forgotten to take the camera with me because I was running late. We had a really good time shopping for yarn (did I bring my notes on what to buy? of course I didn’t) and I meant to take a picture of the yarn I bought, but by the time I realized that I was home from work at 9pm and I had forgotten my yarn at work (dropped off by Mom at work from the shopping, picked up by N.). So, I took this kind of okay-composed picture with poor white balance and called it a day.

January 28, 2009
This is the yarn I bought on Tuesday. 7 skeins of Kureyon, three in colorway 40, and four in colorway 209. I’m thinking two-row striped scarf and matching hat. I spent some time trying to decide on two good looking colorways and showed several combinations (okay, am I high or does Firefox not know how to spell the word “combinations”, because I’m fairly certain I know how to spell that word oh my god) to my Mom asking her opinion. One was the blue colorway 40 and a medium green with purple — pretty together, but a very different look from the 40-209 arrangement. Mom’s response? “Hmm… that’s not very bright, is it. What about something brighter?” My Mom has awesome color sense.

January 29, 2009
I took this picture at about a quarter after 5pm on Thursday, while I was on the phone with Heather. It’s so encouraging that the light sticks around later and later now. I started noticing it in early January, and now I’m so excited to see even a little bit of daylight when I get out of work. Plus silhouettes, which are awesome.

January 30, 2009
One of the trains that runs through DeKalb every half hour or so. This is at the First Street crossing, south of Lincoln. I had the day off on Friday and was headed to my bank after hitting the Yarn Exchange for some repair yarn, and ran into the train. Fortunately I had my camera in my bag (I’m learning to bring it with me everywhere) caught this. I don’t miss living so near the tracks that I could hear the train. NinjaHusband, when he was in school, lived in an apartment that was probably 10 feet from the tracks. I didn’t stay over there very often.

January 31, 2009
My birthday cake! Made by NinjaHusband, on the occasion of us hosting his family at our house for dinner and a get-together, and CAKE! It’s a great vegan/eggless recipe, with baking soda and vinegar as the leavening. He didn’t believe me that you have to mix everything in the pan, then add vinegar (“Vinegar??”), then pop it in the oven immediately. But it’s true. And delicious.

February 1, 2009
SuperBowl party with friends. We put 32 dollars into the pot (bingo cards and squares) and got nothing, even though THREE TIMES it looked like I was going to win some money and THREE TIMES the score changed at the last second. Go Steelers and all, but dammit I wanted to win some money.

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