a knitter navigates through life

Monday, March 31, 2008

ask me how the dancing flames socks are going

Go ahead. I dare you.

The dancing flames socks were coming along very well (note the use of the past tense? Cue the ominous music). They were creeping ever closer to my knees (note to self: Cherry Tree Hill does NOT skimp on yardage. This is definitely yarn to buy again.) One quiet evening, I was trying them on to see if I had enough yarn left to make them into knee-highs, and I asked the Best Roommate Ever, "Do these look a little stretched on my calves?"

She looked over and said, "Uh-huh." Damn.

Now, I love BRE, I really do. She is honest and forthright and I value her opinion. Even when I don't particularly like her opinion. So I ripped back each sock three repeats and added an extra eight-stitch repeat per pattern repeat.

So by the time the socks are hugging my muscular calves, they are 88 stitches around instead of 64, which seems to have solved the problem.

Which is all well and good and yay for problem solving and knitting triumphs and knitting things that actually fit your body parts, but I am really really tired of these socks. I still love them because they are beautiful and the pattern is fun to knit (I know, still. I'm beginning to edge dangerously close to that line between easily amused and simple-minded.) Maybe if I am a very good girl and eat all my vegetables and work hard on my socks, one day, some day far in the future, I will get to knit something else while wearing my beautiful knee-high socks. Probably just in time for summer.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

last birthday post, I promise

Jaymie liked Auntie Kim's birthday, too.

Tissue paper is comfy.

Coming soon to a knit blog near you: actual knitting! Because I am knitting. Just not, um, very well.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

an important scientific discovery

I discovered this morning that the gravitational pull exerted by two snuggling kitties makes it impossible for me to get out of bed. I am capable of overcoming the pull of one snuggling kitty, but the presence of the second kitty renders me helpless.

I wonder if that's a valid excuse for missing work?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

ugly is the new pretty

I went to Borders to decompress after a long day's work by reading the knitting books. I don't actually buy the books from Borders, I get those from my LYS's, but if I'm just looking to unwind and not socialize, the knitting section in Borders is pretty solitary. I was perusing the shelves, idly looking through a new release. The cover had some cute sweater pictures, so I flipped it open to find . . . a section on ponchos. Danger Will Robinson! Run away! Now, that book may have had some amazing stuff, but I will never know, because the first thing I saw when I opened it was fun-fur ponchos. I all but flung the book down and fled the premises. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Why, oh why have we not all gotten over the fun-fur poncho thing? Then again, tight-leg jeans and neon are making a comeback, which is further proof that ugly never dies.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Party! Party!

I partied down with my favorite people last night at Treats for Breathing's big shindig (or should I say HIPdig? Ha! I crack me up.) Tons of fun. I had the best time. Happy birthday again, babe!
My uncle is in town this weekend (OK, in Cumming. We had a hard time explaining to him that no, Cumming was not Atlanta, and he was practically in Tennessee. Nonnatives. They don't understand these things. But I digress.) My family met him for dinner last night, but I was unable to attend due to celebrating TfB's exciting mobility and being put-back-together-ness. So my uncle calls and leaves a message on my cell phone, saying, "Hey, Kim. Your parents tell me you can't meet us for dinner because you have a knitting party? I told them next time, to just lie to me about where you are."
Sorry, Jeff.

Friday, March 21, 2008

say again?

I ran into someone from my knitting group at Borders the other day, a friend I hadn't seen in quite a while. (Aside: isn't it weird when you run into someone in a place that's not where you normally see them? It takes a few seconds for it to sink in. "Hi! . . . Oh, whoa, HI! What are you doing here?" I ran into Ms. Rereading Proust at the blood donor center one time and that was just bizarre. We still talk about it.) Anyway, my friend hadn't been to knit night in a while, and I remarked on that as we were chatting. She replied, "Oh, I don't knit in the summertime." There was a palpable thirty-second silence in which I stared at her blankly. I managed (just barely) to keep myself from asking, "What do you mean, you don't knit? What DO you do?" I can't even imagine. I'm so restless and fidgety, um, all the time, that if I didn't knit, I would go completely crazy. I would have the shiniest house in the world, and the spice rack would be alphebetized and I would probably pressure-wash the sidewalk every Saturday and give the cats exciting hairdo's and they would hate me. Knitting soaks up all of my crazy restless energy and gives it back as pretty socks. I'm not sure what I did before I knit, but I'm sure it drove people crazy, whatever it was.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

yay for birthdays!

Thank you for all the happy birthday wishes! I had a very happy (quiet) birthday celebration with my mom yesterday, and a very lively and not-at-all-quiet celebration with some friends on Monday. (Also, it was St. Patrick's day. Which might account for the raucousness of everybody else in the restaurant, but I choose to believe that they too were celebrating my birthday. Pre-gaming, as it were.) And some people brought prezzies! For me! I was flabbergasted. I have such sweet, thoughtful friends.
Princess Jana Banana-Hammock brought me tons of gifty things, including, but not limited to:

stitch markers and a cute pin with kitty beads that she made herself
(because we all know how I feel about kitties)

a kickass candle holder that she made herself
(how do I find such talented friends?)

Here it is bringing light to a very grey and cloudy/rainy/miserable day;
just what I needed!

Along with a Knitch gift card (!!!!!!!), and a kickass birthday card, and a cute birthday girl button that has become official birthday accoutrement of these crazy folks I roll with, and I can't even remember what else, I was so gobsmacked.

The Foxy Yarn Pusher brought me sock yarn. She knows my weakness. This is Knitting Notions Supersock in Deep Blue Sea. It's a lot bluer than it looks in the photo. It is so beautiful I just cuddled it for a while. I couldn't even put it down, it is so lovely.


is a birthday present to myself. It's Wupatki, by Reporebo. Funny story. I was sitting at the computer, surfing the knitblogs and eating my breakfast one morning on my day off, when I noticed that Ms. Reporebo had posted some of her new yarns. I moseyed over (metaphorically speaking) to check it out and saw this. I gasped in stunned amazement at the beautifulness of the yarn, grabbed my phone, (thankfully) checked the time and realized it wasn't an ungodly hour to call someone demanding yarn, called her up at work, and shouted, "I NEED THAT YARN!" She thinks I'm insane, but I think she likes that about me. And the yarn is mine, so my method was successful. Go me.

I feel so loved!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Almost a St. Patrick's baby

On this day, 27 years ago, my poor patient mother brought me into this world, and somehow has refrained, for 27 years, from taking me out of it. Thanks, Mom and Dad. I love you both. Sorry for getting my tongue pierced in college.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I don't call her BRE for nuthin'.

The Best Roommate Ever has gone out of town to visit her family, and the kitties are sad and mommy-less. One set of hands is not enough for all the petting and feeding they require. Fortunately, Alex and I seem to have reached an understanding in the last few months that I am not going to eat him, and when I reach for him, it is to PET him, not to beat him with sticks. Now, he was a rescue kitty, but he was rescued as a baby, five years ago, by the Best Roommate Ever, who has done nothing but spoil him and love on him for almost the entirity of his life. He seems a lot more accepting of me than he was last time BRE went on vacation; he even slept with me the last few nights.

BRE will be coming back into town the day after my birthday, and apparently she felt bad about missing my big day. Before she left she hid plastic easter eggs filled with dark chocolate in ransom locations all through the apartment (seriously random places. Like in my box of granola bars and in the drawer with the measuring cups and in my bottle of vitamins.) so I've been having a little easter egg hunt for the last week. I was so touched and charmed by her thoughtfulness. I told my mom, "I haven't cried yet, but I might still." This is absolutely the sweetest, most thoughtful, wackiest thing anyone has ever done for me. I mean seriously.

Even more deviously, she also got me a book (A Treasury of Magical Knitting by Cat Bordhi) for my birthday, but she put it on the shelf with all my other knitting books.

I was looking though my books the other day, and noticed . . . wait a second. Was that always . . . ? Did I . . . ? I don't remember buying . . . Where . . . ? How . . . ? Huh? It took about ten minutes of total confusion to figure it out.

Best. Roommate. EVER.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I ainten't dead!

I have returned, more or less, to the land of the living, after feeling like absolute crud almost all week. It wasn't (thank Bob) that horrible flu thing that's been going around; it was more like angry painful stomach clenching every time I tried to eat, coupled with total utter exhaustion. It was a big achievement for me to eat breakfast, check my email and brush my teeth before collapsing back into bed. The stomach pain was especially unfun, because it wasn't combined with nausea, just pain. After a while, I'd start to think, perhaps my stomach hurts because I am hungry. That could be it. And I'd say, "How would you like a nice banana, stomach? Mmm, nice soft yummy banana." And I would eat it and my stomach would go: CLEEEEEENNNNNCH! And I would think, "OK, that seemed like a good idea at the time" and go lie down for a few hours.
On the plus side, I did get caught up on the Ravelry boards. In spite of all the Ravelling, very little actual knitting got done. I always think staying home sick would be so cozy and good for my knitting, with the blankets and the handknit socks and the tea. In the real world, outside Kim's head, staying home sick means I feel far too crappy to drag myself in to work, so I spend the whole day unconscious. In spite of that, there has been some progress on the dancing flames socks (is this getting old for anyone else? "Hey, look, here's another picture of the same pair of socks, slightly longer! Woo-hoo!")

And here's a picture of the remaining ball of yarn. I will give this to Cherry Tree Hill, they don't skimp on the yardage. Thigh-highs, hell. At this rate, I'll be able to pull them up to my neck.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Now that's what I'm talking about!

The weather for the past few days has been perfect for early March, cold and crisp and windy. It even snowed a little yesterday morning. Normally, I hate the cold. I am a tropical mammal; the cold is not my friend. However, I know I'll never survive the 10 months of Atlanta summer unless I have something to compare it to. I'd rather sweat than shiver, but I need to do a little shivering to remind myself.
The knitting is progressing at a normal pace, which is frustrating me. I'm getting cranky and irritable with all of my projects. I want a finished object, dangit! The second sleeve of the sweater is inching painfully along. It's annoying and fiddly trying to make the sleeves and body match with a finite amount of yarn from three very different dye lots. Also, it's cotton, so I can't even spit-splice the yarn.

The grey shawl is still tiny; not much progress to report there. The Dancing Flames socks are zipping along nicely. I got to the second heel last night, so the end is in sight.

Or rather, the end WOULD be in sight. Um, I hate to ask, but does it look like the ball of yarn is getting smaller? At all? Because, um, I don't know. It really doesn't seem to be. These socks are going to end up as thigh-highs, aren't they?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Feed the birds . . .

. . . as Mary Poppins says. Instead of feeding the birds, I've decided to do a bit of Habitat for Humanity for them. I've been saving my leftover yarn bits all year in a jar.

Jaymie is not impressed.

I cut them up into 4-6 inch lengths, and hung them from the tree out front.

Now it's a race to see who will find them first, the birds or the squirrels. I think Mary Poppins would be proud.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

May I introduce . . .

. . . a project a long time in the planning and anticipating, the lovely Seraphim Shawl. This is the first pattern I really bought, not in a book, but paid money for it off the internet. I just couldn't help myself, it was so beautiful. I carried it around for a long time, marinating, trying to find the perfect yarn, failing, always searching. Until one day, I saw this at one of my LYS's.

Malabrigo laceweight in Pearl, the softest, most beautiful yarn imaginable in the softest, pink-tinged grey imaginable. Incredibly, I didn't even connect this yarn with my dream shawl for several visits. I would go, fondle the yarn, wander the store, and it never occurred to me until one day, they only had two skeins left, and suddenly (thank Elizabeth Zimmerman) the lightbulb went on.

I began swatching a few weeks ago, experimenting with every possible combination of needle sizes, one strand vs. two held together, combing Ravelry for other people's results, and after creating an impressively enormous swatch, I decided to use a single strand with size 4's. (Note the brand-spanking-new Addi lace needles, purchased especially for this project.)

I started last night and already I'm so delighted with the results I want to squeal with glee. Here is my brand-new baby Seraphim shawl.

And here it is much, much too close.

This picture actually gives a pretty good representation of the color and the slight variegation. I am totally head-over-heels in love with everything about it.

Talk to me again after I've completed Step 7: repeat rows 5 and 6 58 more times. I might be a little less in love then. But for now, it's bliss.

Monday, March 3, 2008

I get by with a little help from my friends . . .

One of my very dear friends sent me this miraculous gem of wisdom, which she originally heard from her boyfriend and has embellished with her own theories.
"[Her boyfriend] had a friend in grad school, Oscar, who had a theory that as soon as women hear that a man is 27, they bolt. (The solution for Oscar as a 27-year-old in a dry spell was to wait it out for a couple of years.) The supposed reason the women were bolting is that men have this confused, and in many cases, intolerable phase. It comes in the phase in between their early and mid-twenties when they know what they want and have direction - for the near-term at least (to party, have fun, hang out, etc.) and the 30ish phase, when they also know what they want and where they're going (wife, 2.1 kids, house, dog, etc. for most of them). If you find a guy in this in-between phase, you get strange, conflicted, maddening behavior.
To fill out the theory with my own musings: it's not just that the 27-year-old can't commit; 23-year-olds won't either, but with them you know what you're getting, and it's consistent. It's that the 23-year-old and the 30-year-old versions of him are duking it out, and you're stuck in the crossfire. Consider yourself collateral damage. He doesn't necessarily have to be 27 of course. In retrospect, I've seen this in 25-year-olds and in 30-year-olds, but 27 does seem to be the median age for this behavior. I suspect that women may have this phase too, but instead of lasting for two years, it lasts about two days, and gets blamed on PMS.
One flaw in Oscar's theory (the part that explained why he couldn't get a date) is that it takes most women a couple of bad experiences with the 27-year-olds to figure this out (and by then, they have either lucked into a prematurely post-27-phase guy, naturally moved on to 30-somethings, or joined a convent)."
This explains EVERYTHING. That will be all.