Friday, January 28, 2011

It's Here!

The weekend is here! Finally! I feel like it's taken forever to get here. On Thursday I thought for a brief moment that it was Friday. But, of course, it wasn't. Now it's here though! And I can relax. Or at least my version of relax. Which involves dyeing yarn and making discussion postings for school. Oh and doing laundry. But you know, it's not the 9-5.

I finished one of the fingerless game knitting mitts.
I even started the second one!
Since these are only about 6 inches long they are quick knitting. But the short rows make it fun. I can't wait to see how blocking loosens these up and relaxes some of the stitches. They are a little tight on my hands but I think that once they are blocked they'll fit nicely.

On a side note: I think I might be terrible at guesstimating mitten/fingerless gloves sizes (like, will these fit a kid or an adult?). I think because my hands are on the small size. I guess I should actually check a chart or something.

Now that I have an almost finished pair of fingerless gloves I'm about to turn these:
into, you guessed it, some mittens! (Mitten Madness total: 4.5 finished, this will be my 6th pair (once finished))

I love the weekends :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Must. Make. Mittens.

I have been taken by a strange desire to knit mittens and mittens only lately. I'm sure this has nothing to do with Mitten Madness. Or the fact that I can churn out a pair of basic mittens in two evenings. I finished the cabled fingerless mittens two weeks ago while watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for class.
I thought these were going to be too small but they actually fit me quite well.
And they're warm because they're 100% wool. The pattern is the Mock Cable Wristers from 60 Quick Knits.

Saturday I started a pair of plain mittens using the No Swatch, No Gauge Mittens for Kids pattern by Jean Gifford. I finished them up on Sunday, soaked them Sunday night, and they have been drying since earlier this morning.
This is really a pattern I can get on board with. You use whatever yarn you have and whatever needles you need to make a dense fabric. The resulting mittens are great for charity since they are guaranteed to fit someone. The yarn is some Classic Wool in the colorway Bird of Paradise. I will probably use this pattern as a template for designing some patterned mittens or for game knitting.

Since I finished the classic mittens I had to start a new pair of course.
This is some of the left over yarn from the No Swatch mittens. I'm making some more fingerless gloves. This is using a game knitting technique.
When a predetermined action happens in the show you are watching you wrap the next stitch and turn. The whole mitt ends up being made from short rows. I must say that I'm really loving the game knitting ebook that I bought. I would highly recommend it. It's given me lots of ideas for knitting projects and since I watch t.v. while I knit it's a great way to incorporate the two.

I guess that I have done some other knitting besides mittens. I'm still working on my Red Dragon socks. I'm past the heel turn but I don't have a progress picture to show for it. I also finished the pink sweater.
I think it's adorable. This isn't for anyone, it's actually for sale in my shop. I plan on adding a few more baby things and washcloths over the next few weeks. For now though I have mittens to knit...

Thursday, January 20, 2011


As you may have guessed from the title this post is not about yarn or knitting. If that is why you are here then you might want to come back later. However, this is a fairly entertaining story so you might just want to stick around.

About 3 months ago I started graduate school through an online university. In order to pay for this school I took out some hefty loans. As part of my loan package each quarter I get a book allowance that comes in advance of my actual tuition. There are, however, some stipulations to this. You have to have x amount over and above your tuition and it comes at this time or that and what have you. Well, for my first quarter and half (because I started mid-quarter for one my classes) I had the book allowance but it kind of came later than I expected. No big deal but I had to be mindful of this. Fast forward to the current quarter.

I spent most of Christmas break waiting for my book allowance to come but I wasn't sweating it too much because I knew it would probably come the week before classes. Well, the Thursday before classes came and I still didn't have my book allowance. I went to the school website and read over some of the fine print and realized that I wasn't going to get the allowance this quarter for one reason or another (I suspect that it's because I signed up for an extra class this quarter and will not have enough over the cost of tuition to get the extra money for the books). The reasoning doesn't really matter but now it's Thursday, classes start Sunday/Monday and I need my books. Well, I had to do some personal finances arranging but I was able to get the money into my account by Monday morning so I could get my books. A little late but before the end of the first week.

I placed the order for my books on Tuesday of last week and ordered 2 day air mail which meant they would be here by Thursday. Plenty of time to get done with my postings for the week. Well, last week was the week of the Snow-Storm-That-Lasted-A-Lifetime so this threw off the entire UPS delivery schedule. There is nothing I can do at this point so I grin and bear it and stalk the UPS site for several days waiting for my package to ship.

Monday of this week I see that my books are on a truck to be delivered by the end of the day. Hooray! I was in Athens for much of the day at a gymnastics meet (watching, not participating) but I was expecting to get the box when I got home. When I pulled up at 9:00 or so there was nothing at my door. No box, no note, nothing. I check the UPS site and there is now a note that says "Due to circumstances out of UPS' control your package will not be delivered today." What the what?!?! Despite almost losing it I take a deep breath and pull myself together. It will be here tomorrow for sure.

Tuesday comes and I have to go back to my regular 8-4 job :( When I come home I begin monitoring the parking lot for the UPS truck. I had a book study meeting with my friends at 7 so I was hoping to get the package before I had to leave. At 5:30 or so the UPS man arrives! Hooray! I sign off on the box (after he has an equipment malfunction with his scanner thingy) and decide to open the box before I head to dinner. This is what was inside.
That would be a soldering station. A temperature controlled soldering station at that. I had a serious "what the hell" moment. I even opened the box in case my two, 5 lb. textbooks were hiding inside.
Nope, just a soldering station. At this point I begin to flip the frack out. My classes have been in session for over a week and I still do not have my books. I have two discussion posting due the next night that were based solely off the texts. I. must. have. these. books. NOW!

I send an email to the bookstore and check my invoice (for the record, I definitely ordered textbooks). I wait about 30 seconds before I get impatient and jump on the bookstore's live chat (because of course there's no phone number listed). I explain to the lady what's happened. She can't believe it (welcome to my world, sister). She says she can overnight the books to me. They will be here on Thursday (because they won't ship until the next day, Wednesday). This is unacceptable to me. I ask for a refund and get put on "hold" for 20 minutes. During this time I have a meltdown, try to put on makeup, and attempt to get ready for dinner with friends. Finally she comes back. She has refunded my money so I can get the ebook versions instead. I thank her, order the books, leave, and meet my friends. After I got home I (praise the Lord) had no problems getting the ebooks to work. But I'm still not thrilled. I love the feel of books and being able to whip them off the shelf for reference whenever I need to. I like being able to flip back and forth between chapters quickly and easily. But this will do. Last night I was able to finish my discussion postings and at least now I won't fail because I don't have the books (if I fail it will be for other reasons but certainly not the books).

So, there you have it. The saga of the grad school books. I'll be ordering my textbooks for spring quarter next week.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Super Productive

For the last 3 days I've been stuck in my house due to ice and snow. Tomorrow I'll be stuck here as well. The snow is melting, a little. We still have between 3-5" piled up around my complex. The roads are the problem. If things warm up even a little it all freezes over during the night when the temperatures dip back into the teens (Fahrenheit). I haven't minded at all actually because I've been working on a lot of things. On Monday I updated the shop with new yarns and plan to add some more tomorrow.

In case you missed the update, this is Swamp Thing.
Tuesday I picked up and cleaned the entire apartment. I mean mopped, did the laundry, dusted, rearranged, the whole nine yards. The place looks awesome now! I even managed to do a good deal of work in the office which is by far the least organized room in the apartment.
Today (Wednesday) I spent most of the morning finishing up some assignments for grad school then I finished vacuuming and mopping. The rest of the day was for working on the Eastern European and Russian Orphanages Project website and setting up a Facebook page for EEROP. And I did more laundry. I think laundry might be my least favorite chore. It takes forever to do and by the end of the week the hamper is full again and you have to start all over! Surprisingly I still had time to knit some. I started a pair of simple wristers from 60 Quick Knits yesterday and I've worked a little more on them tonight. I'm not using Cascade 220 as suggested but some gifted DK weight yarn. These are turning out a bit smaller than originally planned but can still go towards Mitten Madness.
Tomorrow I'm hoping that it will clear up ever so slightly. While I've appreciated the time to get some things done in the house we are almost out of cat food and sugar. Penelope will need to eat and I can't function without my morning cup of tea! For now I'm debating putting in a movie. It's 9:15 but I don't have anywhere to go tomorrow :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

So Much To Show You!

I've been meaning to post for the past 2 or 3 days but I keep seeming to get busy with one thing or another and then blogging goes on the back burner. But today I had ample time to get ahead at a lot of things that I've been wanting to spend time on. I was able to dye yarn and work on the store today and tomorrow will be full of cleaning the house and continuing to try and get ahead with grad school work. Why all the time on my hands suddenly? Snow!

It started Sunday night around 9:45 or so.
And by 10:15 I would say we had almost an inch.
This morning was a winter wonderland.
Total for our area was about 5 inches. I know that most Northerners scoff at 5 inches but we Southerners are not prepared for this type of weather! The whole city of Atlanta has been shut down for the day. And it's pretty much shut down for tomorrow too. Roads are starting to ice over where people have driven on them and there is freezing rain and possibly more snow expected for tomorrow. I'm having a 4 day weekend!

I had to go to my car this morning to get some paperwork out and was able to get an idea of just how much snow had fallen.
I'd say that's quite a bit! The first thing that happened when I walked outside was I stepped off the curb into a 7" pile of snow, ice, and slush that filled my shoe. I thought that would be the end of my snow adventures but I kept reading about everyone sledding and making snow angels so I went out later to put some mail in the box. The consensus? It was cold. And my feet got wet again. And there was some idiot trying to drive who was skidding all over the ice and I thought I was going to get hit. So I stayed in for the rest of the day. And dyed yarn! New yarn will be going in my shop tonight!
This is a little sneak peek of Booberry, a one of a kind, limited edition yarn. Also listing some washcloths in the shop as well. I'm going to start carrying a few little knitted items to try and expand my clientele. In fact one of my recent knitting projects will go in there (as soon as it's finished).
A single button little girl's cardigan.

Since I spent so much time on the shop today I'm thinking tomorrow will be a good time to tackle some charity knitting :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I Have Thumbs!

Ok, so I've always had thumbs (both of them, thankfully) but now my mittens do as well! In the span of a week my charity mittens went from this:
To this:
Yay! One set of mittens for Mitten Madness complete! Of course that means I had to start another pair. I decided to do some game knitting fingerless mittens/ninja gloves. I started with this:

And ended with these:
 Me modeling one.
Game knitting is a lot like a drinking game. You watch a show or movie and whenever a much expected action or line is performed you change the way you're knitting. The game knitting booklet that I purchased has a bunch of base designs like these mitts and a few hats and scarves and such to choose from. The real fun is the various ways you can mix up your knitting. I chose to change the ribbing pattern on these as I watched Family Guy every night. It was pretty fun and definitely quick knitting. Next I want to try a short row hat. In addition to making a lot of knits for charity I've also been working on my Wyvern socks which I decided long ago to name the Red Dragon Socks.

Started with these:

And now have these:
Which look almost exactly the same. I never said I was quickly knitting on these. Just a few more inches and I'll be ready for the short row heel. I know I've done a short row heel but I don't do it very often so I can never remember the particulars of how to do them. At least I still have a little time to look up the directions!

Tonight I'm dyeing some yarn for the store. The online store will probably go down for a few days but while I get the new yarn photographed and listed but it will be back shortly. I had a major problem last night with my skein winder, 3 cones of sock yarn, and a my digital scale so that's set the release of my sock yarns back a little bit but they will be coming! In the meantime please follow the Eastern European and Russian Orphanages Project on Twitter and learn about all the cool things we have coming up :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Resolutions

Drum roll please! Here, in no particular order, are my 2011 New Year's Resolutions!

1. To do more good stuff. I want to grow the Eastern European and Russian Orphanages Project into a full fledged, tax exempt entity. I want to do some more missions work. I want to knit more for charity. I want to continue to feel like I'm making a difference.

2. I want to make the things that are important to me my top priority instead of side projects. Read as: charity and business.

3. I want to do something risky. I have an idea of what this will be but I'm not quite ready to share it. I will when the time is right. For now I'm seeking out advice and trying to be smart about it. There is a fine line between taking a risk and being a damn fool.

4. Go clean with my cosmetics. I'm reading the book No More Dirty Looks and it talks a lot about the benefits of going clean with your health and beauty routine. Since I've switched to organic cleaners and do try to eat organic when I can I think this is a logical next step.

And...that's it! Just four things but four really quality things. This summer I will turn 28 and for some reason that has given me great pause. I'm not where I thought I would be at this point in my life (and have known that for some time) but for some reason 28 seems like too long to let that just continue to be. I want to at least say I tried something different, stuck my neck out, did something new. Maybe this year will be the year I find true love, land the perfect job, and make a million bucks. But if I don't then at least I want to say I tried.