Sunday, March 30, 2008

No Discrimination

Dear Readers,

I must tell you I have realized something, I have no discriminating spirit when it comes to yarn. One month I will spend $40 on a single skein of Be Sweet Magic Ball. The next month I will spend $6 on two skeins of Red Heart Super Saver yarn. I will make baby sweaters out of Jaeger yarn and hats out of a pound of Joanne's Rainbow brand yarn. And then they all go into the same big plastic bin to live happily together.

Basically friends, I'm not a yarn snob. I'm a yarn hippie. Maybe one day all my yarn and I will get together in our yarny happiness, hold hands, and sing Kum Ba Yah. I love it.

So, yeah, after church I went to Joanne's and picked out some red and black yarn. I'm making some knee high socks. One pair in purple and red and, if my strength holds out, one pair in red and black.
There was much calculating. Which made my brain hurt. I did have to take a test on Saturday. And there was lots of math on the test.
But who doesn't love a pair of knee high socks? That's right. No one. No one doesn't love knee high socks.
And I finished the magic slippers. I wanted Penelope to wear them but she just wanted to sniff at them.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Has it Really Been a Week?

When I checked my blog today I realized I hadn't posted since Monday. I did knit some more during the week...but only 4 rows on the pink sweater. I sat in silence on Wednesday and just knit on the sweater and thought. I digress however. That wasn't any really significant amount of work. Today, I got this:
Sock yarn in some muted, manly tones.
The mom of one of my students brought this to me. She had seen the rings I knit for a friend. I commented that I thought sock yarn would work better. She said she had some sock yarn from a project that she never used in some manly colors and asked if I would like to inherit it to make another ring. I, of course, jumped at the chance.
However, I thought that knitting a ring would be a little boring and too quick for my tastes. So, I put aside the studying, put aside the ring making, and made one magic slipper.
So cute! Mine turned out a little different than the ones pictured in the pattern. I used a size 2 needle and omitted about 4 rows of decreases making the sides of the slipper pretty shallow. I think they turned out pretty good.
There is always room for improvement but I'll think about that after making the second slipper.
Now, I'm going to head to bed for a good night's sleep. Then I'll get up early, study a little, and then go take my certification test. Wish me luck! Maybe there will be celebratory knitting :)

Monday, March 24, 2008

I Spoke Too Soon

After my comment yesterday about how nice the weather was getting and how warm the temperature was... it was freezing cold today. Wind and snow flurries and everything. Boo for crazy March weather.

Tonight I put down the pink sweater in favor of seaming an old baby sweater I finished a few months ago.
It looks pretty good. Here's a picture of the cabled front.
While I'm pretty pleased with how it is turning out I have a confession to make. I suck at seaming. I mean, it's bad. I'm never really sure where I should be sticking the needle and then I just end up kind of doing my own thing and it seems to be working out (for now). I think if I could properly see the stitches it would be better. But the colors of this yarn kind of obscure my view (and, hopefully, the view of my poor seaming job). However I end up getting the needle through, I always make sure that I do it nice and tight. At least that way it won't come undone. When I finish with the seaming I want to add a zipper to the front. Ambitious, I know. But I'm hoping that will make the semi-crinkly fronts lie flatter.

Penelope came to investigate and was thoroughly unconcerned with my seaming problems. Please divert your eyes from my hideous attire.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Here is something big and pink for you to take a gander at for Easter.
Just working on the pink sweater. Still waiting to start another big project until next month. Then I'm thinking it will be a pair of Jaywalker socks.
It seems like all my regular blogging buddies are in a rut. We all seem to have nothing to write about. Maybe since the weather is getting warmer the urge to knit something large and woolly dwindles a bit. Time to switch to cotton and tank top patterns!

Penelope napped while I watched Extreme Makeover Home Edition and Oprah's Big Give.
Since she's just a big ball of fur with a flat face her head kind of gets lost when she naps. If you can see it, her head is almost upside down. When she lays like this she also snores pretty loudly. Love my cat!

And love this dessert! Hot fudge brownie Warm Delight. Yummy!
Happy Easter everyone!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Catching Up

I uploaded my picture software to my work computer so I can finally put up some pics. I finished the back of the pink sweater. I tried to hold it up and model the size. I'm not really sure it's a very good picture but you get the idea. If you look very closely you can see where the bottom half has a weird texture to it from being ripped out and re-knit. Hopefully after I finish and block it it won't look wonky. I also realized that I had knit the 1x1 ribbing using US size 9 needles when I was supposed to use a US size 7. But by that point I had already cast on for the front of the sweater so I didn't sweat it too much.
This is the amount of yarn left over when I finished the back. One whole skein gone. It was pretty awesome to see such little waste.
Right now my personal knitting is going slowly. I started my morning knitting class at school again with a whole new group of kids. Most of them are fairly quick to pick up the technique and there are some kids who are zipping along. I've been spending every free minute studying for the GACE test I have to take next weekend to get certified to teach elementary school. Therefore, I will apologize for the spaciness and infrequency of some of the upcoming posts. Once I get past this test then it will be (almost) Spring Break and a visit to see the Yarn Harlot!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

CPU Saga Part 2

So, Old Blue is official dead. To even retrieve the information that she has locked in her Impenetrable Fortress of Doom will cost me $1600. Yes, you read that right, $1600. When I heard this 3 people in line behind me at Best Buy gasped, the Geek Squad guy looked totally sympathetic, and I almost simultaneously threw up and began crying. When I had suppressed the urge to do both I walked out of the store with my $1600 paper weight and broke down in my car. This wouldn't be as horrible if I wasn't trying to pay for a $2000 trip to a second world country over the summer. But I will press on. I'm uploading my picture software to my work computer this afternoon (thank goodness for having administrator status) and start posting pics again. My knitting mojo has been off for a few days so I'm trying to find something to get pumped about knitting. Or I could just finish the 5 projects that are buttons and seaming away from being done. But I digress...

Monday, March 17, 2008

R.I.P. Old Blue

Well, it finally happened. My laptop crashed. I'm talking a fiery ball of blazing glory...crashed. I tried to look up the weather on Saturday (to make sure there weren't more tornadoes coming towards me...there were) and my computer begins making this horrible scratching, clicking noise like there are hamsters in there simultaneously gnawing through my wires and running amok over the motherboard. It has never made this sound before so I wait cautiously. Then I get this blue screen telling me there is a file with an error and if this is the first time this has happened to reboot my computer. Then there was a list of things to do if this wasn't the first time this kind of thing had happened. Since this was the first time I'd seen this happen I did as the computer suggested and rebooted. Maybe it just needed some time to think about why it was misbehaving. When I turned in on however, it told me it couldn't find any programs and that I had no bootable drives. But I could hit F1 to try again or F2 to see the set-up menu. I hit F1 about 6 times but nothing changed. When I hit F2 it looked like there was still stuff in my computer (at least it hadn't decided to eat my data as well) but for some reason it seems to be having a hate moment with my C Drive and thus refuses to acknowledge it. My first thought when my computer started telling me it wasn't going to work was, "Geek Squad. Take it to Geek Squad." So, today after work I'm going to go and see if they can fix my laptop or at least retrieve my information from deep within it. Until I get Old Blue back I will be using my work laptop so I will still have email but I can't post pics since all that software is on my personal computer. Stay tuned for further up-dates in the CPU Saga.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Everyone Stay Calm

Tonight was my typical stay in, watch a movie, and knit. I worked on the pink sweater. I've finally gotten to the ribbing that goes at the bottom. As you will remember I had to cut and rip this bad boy apart. It has since decided to behave itself very nicely. But it's really just big and pink right now.

What is actually more interesting and pressing right now is the colossal storms going on around here right now. Apparently a tornado hit Atlanta earlier this evening. I just happened to be flipping through the channels and all there is on is radars showing red blotches over the middle part of the state. I'm very thankful that it seems like none will be headed toward the city that me, my parents, or my brother live in. These storms are totally tearing up the downtown area and the airport. It's crazy though how much technology can pinpoint where these things are happening. The meteorologist can tell you what street the storm is hitting. He's even pointing out the almost precise moment that the tornadic activity touches the ground or even starts to form. I mean, they can tell you if the rotation in the storm is on the ground or in the clouds. It's crazy. I think it's amazing how they can literally give a play-by-play of a tornado. I imagine this probably saves a lot of lives. There's not a whole lot that can be done for possessions at a time like this but at least people can be safe. It's been crazy though. I'll probably be headed to bed soon but my thoughts and prayers will be with all the people who are out there in the path of these storms.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Day Late

So I know that I promised on Monday that I would post pictures of the Presto Chango baby sweater on Tuesday and then yesterday I didn't do it. But I had a good reason. I was out doing something very un-Melissa like. I went to a musical. By myself. And guess what...I had a good time.

Being in education I'm bombarded weekly with offers for discounts on 100s of things I neither want now use. But late last week I got an email from my big boss (the head honcho of the whole county) that there was this offer for free tickets to a local playhouse. On a total whim I thought, Why not? I should live a little. Get out, see some stuff, go places. So I sent the contact woman an email and bam! I'm hooked up with free tickets.

The musical was entitled The Dinosaur Musical. The name says it all. Think prehistoric family fun. I'm not sure I would have paid to see it on Broadway (I mean, there were 2 fart jokes in the thing) but it still made for a better evening than sitting on my bum at home. Plus there was a free reception before hand with cheese and wine (for free!) and I ran into an old friend of mine from college and we spent most of the night catching up so I really wasn't lonely being all by my lonesome.

But now I'm here to post some pics. The Presto Chango baby sweater as it currently stands.
Close up of the front panel.
Close up to see the yarn, which, by the by, I loved working with. Can I say that enough?
And a picture of the front panel alone but with with a very off color, I wanted to show some of the detail a little better.
Blocking the front panel is going to be the best part. I think the lace pattern will really open up and look nice. And it's generic enough that it doesn't look too feminine so it should do well for a boy or girl (though for some reason I imagine this as a boy's sweater, don't know why).

Outside of finishing a few little projects (blocking, seaming, sewing on buttons), I have nothing major planned. I think I may spend a little time on the pink sweater but I'm kind of biding time until next month. See, I limit my yarn spending to between $40 and $50 a month and I usually hit that in the first week. This month I bought a really expensive skein of Be Sweet Magic Ball. Next month I'm getting a ball winder, a skein, and some DPNs off eBay so I can wind yarn and start working on some other things I have planned. Until then it will be me and sweater and black holes of knitting.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Almost Done

I finished the front panel of the Presto Chango baby sweater but for some reason the Google server isn't letting me upload my pictures. The sweater is impossibly cute and I can't wait to show everyone. Of course, it needs to be blocked, the seams need to be sewn in and I need to pick out some cute buttons (maybe I can finally pick up buttons for my baby booties while I'm at it). The finishing bit is always the hardest for me. I want the project to be done but I know that I have to take the time to do it right so it will wear nicely. I'm also having a dilemma choosing what to work on next. I have about 15 projects queued on Ravelry but that's mainly because I'd forget about cool things I want to one day work on if I don't put them on there. Not in my queue is an unoriginal hat, my cousin's Christmas gift, a toddler sweater, and my pink sweater. All that it means is that I will probably find something I think is impossibly cute sometime in the next two days and cast it on because I happen to have the needles. Oh well :) Anyways, updates and pictures of the Presto Chango sweater tomorrow!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Awww! Looky!

My Presto Chango baby sweater is coming along really well. I've got the main body finished. It needs to be blocked and then the seams sewn up. But it looks so cute already!
I started on the falling leaves removable front. Let me just put in the disclaimer that you need to remember that there are buttons holes on the thing. Don't forget them (like I almost did) and blow right past them (like I almost did).
And this morning I finished the child's sock (yes, it grew even bigger...from baby to toddler and finally to child sized). The toe is now square but I think if I kept knitting the thing would have been big enough for me to wear.
I don't understand why nothing has really worked with this yarn. Maybe it's just so crappy that any thing you make with it is going to be a little off. When I ripped back and re-knit the toe the yarn actually got stickier and rougher. I hope that when I wash it it will soften up and be ok.

Friday, March 7, 2008

A (K)Night's Tale

This afternoon was all about relaxing. I took a nice little nap and then tucked into some knitting. Penelope helped me work on the Presto Chango sweater while we watched A Knight's Tale on tv.

I will guard your yarn for you.
Aren't I cute?
Ok, stop knitting and pay attention to me.

I got a lot done. I'm on to the front panels so I have about 6 inches to go until the main body is done and then I'll do the removable front panel. Here's a fuzzy close up of the seed stitch border.
I also did a little work on the blue sock. I'm not too happy with the toe though. Way too pointy for my taste. I'll rip back and fix it tomorrow. My goal is to have non pointy toes on my socks.
Ugh! Pointy toe how I loathe thee!
I'm looking forward to spending tomorrow relaxing and just being at home. It will be the first weekend in about a month that I won't be doing something or going somewhere. This week was crazy busy every evening. Tonight was the first night I haven't had to be rushing off to do something.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

One More Egg

There has been much happenings tonight but not much knitting, sadly. I did get to the toe decreases for the blue sock which is really more of a toddler sock than a baby sock.
Behold it's blue, almost sockiness.
This sock really stands alone. Ha ha! Ok, terrible joke.

There is a reason why this sock isn't finished. And it has to do with muffins.

As you will recall, a while back I bribed, I mean...gently persuaded my knitting class that if they worked on their projects and showed progress I would bring them breakfast at the end of the quarter. The end of the quarter is tomorrow. No big deal. I had actually written down in my day planner to pick up breakfast items. So, after work I come home, go for a walk (much needed), make some dinner, and head out for a Bible study. After Bible study I go by the grocery store and pick up muffin mix, o.j., and apple juice and come home. I then begin making the muffins. Until I got to step 2. Step 2 calls for one egg. Now, in a normal household where breakfasts and dinners are made on a regular basis this would not be a problem. However, I do not make breakfast or dinner on a regular basis. Thus, I rarely have eggs on hand. In fact the carton I had said, "Sell my Jan 11, 2008." Wasn't going to work. So, I turn off the oven, put my shoes back on, and go back to the grocery store for some eggs. 20 minutes later I'm finally mixing the muffin batter. Thankfully I have a nuclear oven that cooks things in half the time so I'm waiting on only one more batch before I can go to bed.

Behold the almost muffiny goodness.

So, yeah, that's what my evening has been like. Hopefully tomorrow will = more knitting.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Finally Some Knitting

I know it seems like I haven't been knitting much lately with all the traveling but I have been. Take a gander at the Presto Chango baby sweater.
I got a lot done on it last night. Instead of doing as the pattern suggests and knitting one side of the sweater front and then the other I'm knitting them both at the same time using 2 balls of yarn. Words cannot express how much I like working on this. I'll be sad when this one is finished and I send or give it away.

Meanwhile the baby sock is well, a baby sock.

Blue and rib-y. I'm still not a fan of the yarn but I like to knit socks so it's going well.

I'm so glad to be home tonight even though I'm beginning to bake in my apartment. The AC hasn't been working for the past 2 weeks and they were supposed to come and fix it today. I'm thinking they forgot. I had to baby-sit after work which was nice because I love kids (naturally) but I still didn't get home until around 8:30. I'll probably head to bed early tonight.

One final note: I haven't forgotten about my big announcement. There is still a few people who I need to tell personally. But just know that it has to do with my job and I'm very excited about it!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sunday Afternoon's Are For...

1. Napping

As if you needed confirmation that I had done this.

2. Updating Blogs

As promised I'm updating about my trip to Savannah. First, for anyone who was unsure of where my priorities might lie...
I think all is as it should be.

I also decided to take some pictures of my trip down to Savannah. Hwy 16 is the magical highway that runs from Macon to Savannah. To get to Savannah you must take this 160 mile stretch on the last half of your journey (from my house to Macon it's about 2 hours so this makes the start of Hwy 16 the halfway point for me). Hwy 16 is mind numbingly boring. And when you have already been in a car for 2 hours (give or take 30 minutes) it is enough to make you want to cry. For proof I give you...Hour 1:
Hmm, undulating hills, a few cars...nothing of real note. Hour 2:
More of the same...Hour 3:
Still the same...oh, wait! A big truck! Close to my car! At this point I should interject that I'm terrified of driving next to tractor trailer trucks so having this big truck next to me as I took pictures was really not as thrilling as I make it sound. And notice that I was on Hwy 16 for almost 3 hours. There was a gas station finding incident and a tear in the time space continuum that actually caused me to take an extra hour longer than needed. The only shining light about Hwy 16 is that there is a local point of interest that lets you know you are almost to Savannah. The Christmas Tree.
Here is a closer picture of the Christmas Tree (though a little sideways, I was driving 80 mph after all). The story goes (as I know it) that students from the Savannah College of Art and Design keep this tree decorated year round. Which can't be hard because it's just some tinsel thrown on a tree. But it's almost exactly 30 minutes outside of Savannah and every time I see it my heart does a little dance because I'm about to be out of the stinkin' car and be able to stretch my legs.
The rest of the trip was rather uneventful. It was mostly work related activities. Though on Friday afternoon my friend Trotter and I went to Wild Fibre, stocked up on supplies, and I taught her how to knit. She promised to have a scarf by Monday. I'm just happy to be contributing to knitters taking over the world. However, this kind of leads me to the next thing that Sunday afternoons are for...
3. Knitting!
I picked up this lovely yarn on Friday in Savannah.
Be Sweet Magic Ball in Shakespeare. So awesome. I know exactly what I'm going to try and make with it. And for some regular, tote along anywhere and everywhere knitting I'm working on these:
Some simple socks in toddler size. The yarn is the same as those awful baby booties I was working on a few days ago but have decided to frog. They shall have a new life as these socks. For now I'm off to watch The Muppet Show, season 1 on DVD and knit something.