Sunday, June 19, 2016

A brief moment of panic

The following conversation happened in my head about 15 short minutes ago. The participants are myself and a lovely sweater pattern called  Fiori Pullover ( ). M stands for me and F for the pattern.
M: Alright. Piece measures 5.25 inches from the top of the bust band. Next bodice and sleeves.
F: Knit to 23 st before side marker. Place new marker. Knit 15 then put 8 st before side marker on hold, remove marker, place 7 st on hold. Place 76 right sleeve st from hold onto left needle.
M: to 7 st. Placing 76 on hold....but now I don't have enough for the back. Wait.. reads over instructions again.
F: read that right. place 76 sleeve st on left needle.
M: Where do those stitches on hold come from? I;m knitting in the round, right?
F: Yep! Cast on..join, don't twist.
M: reads over bodice part again..and again...Did I miss separating somewhere? Aww, maaan..that would suck! I'd have to start over! I need a drink...
F: humming softly ....
M: Alright. Glass of Merlot. Reading it again. From the start.
F: Yep...still nothing has magically changed. Knit in round. Certain length. Place stitches....
M: Shut up!! Where do those 76 stitches come from?? I have only 238! Wait..there is a second set of 76 to be added? 390 total?? WTF?
F: No need to be rude...I'm just stating what you need to do if you want a pretty garment. I think it's quite clear...
M: Now you're being sarcastic. Let's go over this AGAIN:...move 76 from holder to left...WHAT 76 STITCHES!?!?!
F:  humming "I can see clearly now, the wine has worked...M: Okay. One more glass...right. From the start. Pattern notes...gauge, who needs that..needle size...
F: Getting warmer....
M: Hush. Begin: Cast on 86 st for right sleeve...turns page with incredulous look..Sleeve? What sleeve?
F: Getting REALLY warm now...
M: Hmm..right sleeve, put on hold...left sleeve, put on hold...wait....cast on body...
F: Uh huh. You were saying...?
M: Oh for fucks sake...who in their right mind starts a pattern with the sleeves? So now I have to make the sleeves before I can go on. Got it. Why didn't they say that from the start?
F: Well...I kinda DID say that...
M: Oh shut up, smart ass. Phew..I thought I'd have to start over..hahahaha...Now where are those 3.75  mm needles...
F: Ding ding ding!! We have a winner...

Friday, April 17, 2015

Don't tell me what to eat

For the last 30 years of my life I have been a happy vegetarian. I don't like the texture of meat, I don't like the taste and I am convinced that the human body does not need it.
I am not one of those people that avoid meat because of how chickens and cows are treated....I just don't like it. And my body's responses to my meat free diet confirm my beliefs.
I am also completely content with the fact that you eat meat. Whatever floats your boat.
What I completely dislike are the people that tell me--after I revealed to them that I am vegetarian-- "Well, that's fine. But you should try my barbecued, meat-falls-off-the-bone ribs...they'll change your mind!"
No. It won't. I appreciate your cooking (and barbecueing) prowess, but I don't want to try your ribs. EVER!! No matter how good they are.
At this point my body would probably go into shock if I added meat to my stomach contents.
So please....if you invite me to a cook-out or barbecue...throw some veggies on the grill and I'll be happy. Don't try to convert me. It will be a futile attempt. And a waste of your and my time. But don't get me wrong...I will have a beer with you.Or two. After all...that's just fermented veggies....right?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Spring Cleaning

My mother went crazy every Spring. She scrubbed, re-organized and cleaned everything in the house. Winter wardrobe was put away ("but Mom!!! It's only 28 degrees outside!!") summer clothing was inspected, mended, given away or thrown out.
I always vowed to avoid such compulsive behaviour and would rather sit in a corner with a book, waiting for the Spring cleaning urges to subside. I'm perfectly content with summer and winter wardrobe existing side by side in my closet year round, thank you very much.
Enter an empty closet in a new apartment, an adult female with compulsive yarn-hoarding traits, a vast collection of quilting fabric and supplies and a teenager with anxiety issues.
I swear that child is my mother incarnate.
But she has a point: the closet has turned itself into a collection bin of things that have no home. There are Why-did-I-buy-this', I-don't -know-where-to-put-this', I-give-this-to-the-Goodwill-some-day's, I-swear-I'll-fit-into-these-again-someday's and last but not least What-the-heck-is-this's.
I decided this needs to be turned into a crafting space, with neat bins for the yarn, shelves for the books, cabinets for the office stuff and a tabletop for the lap top and college related things. Having my own space would also eliminate the scathing looks my child gets when I am trying to work and she is trying to play a ridiculously loud video game, or watch a so called "Reality" show.
Here are a couple of pictures of the offending closet space.

Two days ago I tackled one of the boxes underneath everything you see here. I had come home from work, fixed and ate dinner and had poured a glass of wine. Here is what ensued:
-Okay then...let's get this started. First bin.....Oh, hey! I forgot I had this yarn!! Such a pretty blue. Wonder where the pattern went that I wanted to use...
Several minutes later..
*sip, sip*
-Well, I'll find it some other time. OH! There is the kid's sweater that I wanted to unravel and use the yarn for something else. And the pattern for the scarf I wanted to make....
-Wonder if the beginning will be hard to find.....
Two hours and a second glass of wine later ...
-Hihi! My mother made this sweater. She'd kill me if she saw me undo it...wonder what yarn she used......
-Only one way to find out. Where's the lighter?
Concerned teen: "Mother!! What are you doing in the kitchen sink with yarn and a lighter??"
-When I set yarn to the fire... no...wait....a flame to the yarn....and it's plastic. It could alarm the....set off the alarm. If it's wool it will not flame...burn!, and stop smool...smou...smo..scorching when I take the lighter off.
-Hihihi!!! It's on fire and melting. Cheap bitch! Is there any more wine??
The four hour "cleaning session" ended with the following result: Yarn found that I forgot I had. Pattern for said yarn impossible to locate. Child size sweater halfway unraveled. Determined it is acrylic. It burned with a bright yellow flame. Burned! Not melted, or smouldered. Burned.
The bin is now in the middle of the room, adding to the "early storage design" flair of my sleeping quarters.
And my head hurts......

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cardigan Adventures

The child is sixteen. The child has not worn Mother's hand knits since she was 11, because they are "dorky".
The child has a good social circle. The child has a few good friends that find Mother's knitting skills fascinating.
The child finally realizes that a bought cardigan of her liking can cost upwards of $ 80. The child also realizes that Mother could make that said cardigan for about $ 24. The child also realizes that it would make Mother very happy to knit again for her offspring.
The child peruses Ravelry and Google and comes to Mother with the wish for a hand knit cardigan. The child wants an oversized cardigan in soft wool that she can snuggle up in. The child also has found six different cardigans; each one bearing a feature to her liking, but no cardigan that combines all of them into one.
The child challenges Mother by saying: "But you can do that, right Mom?"
The child knows Mother well, because Mother says:" Sure thing, honey. What color?"
The child replies:" A gray? Maybe heathered? Kinda grayish, pencil lead color?"
And so the cardigan adventure begins.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Interesting thing this College experience. First of all...I love it. I have never been a Math Whiz...but I seem to have a knack for Statistics. I'm actually helping other students. As my brother put it:" Who'd you bribe to get an A in Math?" Thanks for the vote of confidence there, little brother.
College has also taught me to not care. What other people think of me that is. I grew up in a home that was very much upper middle class and my Mom put a lot of weight on what the neighbors might think of us.
Growing up in this rather restricted home made me .....well....almost a conformist. I had my rebel outbursts, but mostly I did what was expected of me. the tender age of *mumblemumble* I finally realized...I don't care what other people think.
I knit. So what?
I love Heavy Metal music. So what?
I hate what people are doing to this planet. So what?
I rather support a local Wolf Sanctuary than any human cause. So what?
I got a nose piercing. So what?
I quit a nice paying job to go back to college and took a part time job which I love. So what?
I tell you what. I am me. I like who I am.
Deal with it.

Monday, January 21, 2013

APA format and a great cardigan

APA format shall be my nemesis forever.
Apparently you need to find a dead cat and swing it around your head three times by the light of the full moon (which will be hard, since the paper is due on Saturday), UNLESS it is a Tuesday. In that case you italicize only the year, not the name.
I wish Microsoft Word had a button that says APA or MLA. I could just write the damn thing and push the button and voila! APA paper.
I would also like to know who came up with this crap. The last time I wrote a paper it was in pen on paper. And I got points for putting my name and the date correctly in the upper right corner.
My paper was AARP style! Old school. Literally.
The cardigan is coming along nicely. The back is finished and  spot on with the measurement. I am halfway done with the left front. I made a few adjustments to the pattern. I didn't want the cardi to end at my waist. So I added 3 inches to the length. That will look a lot better for my body type.
The pattern is really easy to follow.
My de-stash is not going so well though. I started the year with about 205000 yards in my stash. So far I managed to turn it into 211000 yards.
Ebay is my achilles heel. That's for sure. There are some great deals to be had.
The sample knit for KnitPicks is going well too. I have about 60% of the stole completed. The sooner I het that baby done the faster I get paid. And I want some spending money for Madrona which is approaching fast.
I will meet with one of my Ravelry friends there for the first time in person and I am looking forward to that. A lot.
I might even be persuaded to take some pics.
We'll see.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The year of the sweaters

Well, what do you know. It is 2013.
No resolutions this year, because I don't keep any of them longer than 24 hours anyway.
I want to knit more sweaters or cardigans this year though. I have cast on the first one: The Wave Hello Cardi by very talented designer Melissa Monday.The pattern can be found here:
Bulky weight, pretty straight forward, should go fast, right?? WRONG!!!
Since I learned my lesson on the Kiloran top,  I swatched this time. 11 st and 16 rows should give me a 4x4 inch swatch. And so it does. Success!
I still have a 39 inch chest and the cardigan is supposed to have no ease. So size L (40 inch chest) it is. The swatch says so after all, right?? WRONG!!!
Cast on the amount of stitches needed for a size 40" chest. This should give me a width of 22.75 inches  for the back of the cardi.
Cast on the required 80 stitches. Knitted 6 rows. The back is 28 inches. Say what?? Okay. So how many stitches should I cast on then? Wait a minute: Math shall be involved. Since 80 stitches gives me 28 inches, x should give me 23. A little math determines that I should cast on for a size S. That's S. You read that right. 68 stitches.
I have knitted the entire border with 68 stitches now and it is right on the money. How a swatch can be right there and then the actual garment is way to big I will never understand.
But hey....I'm a size S!!! I'll take it.

In other news: I went back to college and me, the forever math challenged, has an A in Math so far. I am rather proud of that. It is entirely besides the point that we are learning statistics. It is mostly text right now. And I am good at that.
In history I blew my first quiz to smithereens with 1 point out of a possible 5. I made a conscious choice to pay my rent instead of buying the book for that class. A decision I can live with. I will be able to catch up quickly by the end of the month.
My English professor is simply wonderful. He understands that there are people like me that do grammar intuitively without really knowing the rules or mechanics of it. His class is so far brilliant, even though it is on Saturdays at 8 AM.
He is worth getting up at an ungodly 6 AM.
I shall keep you updated on successes an failures.