26 November 2007

Three Weeks!!!!!!!

So....

I really haven't written in a month and a half?

That seems a little hard to believe, but time has been going by ludicrously fast. I mean, I have a week and a half left before finals, and more work than I could possibly complete in such a time frame. But it has to happen, I guess.

What's even scarier is that in three weeks time, I will be done for the semester. Three weeks! I remember the day I left for Aurora like it was 3 seconds ago.

Basically, my status is very much the same as it was in my last entry: I have a constant companion in my homework that is a Mountain of Doom (fondly dubbed George); I haven't knit in weeks; and I still haven't caught up in my reading (honestly, it's not going to happen--for me or anyone else, try as we might). I did get to pick my classes for next semester, and if all goes well, I'll get to take all of them. We find out tomorrow, tentatively.

I had a pleasant Thanksgiving break last week, even though I can't really remember what I did. All I know is that I didn't get nearly enough work done. My room is thoroughly clean though! You can always tell when I have a lot of work, because even picking up after myself becomes a more attractive chore. Thanksgiving Day was nice--I didn't get up until 11:30, and a few hours later my roommate picked me up. We went to her older sister's house for dinner, so I got to meet some of her family. Afterwards, we headed to a friend's house near school, where we hung out until about 2am. It was a pretty good Thanksgiving, actually.

Happy Belated Thanksgiving to you all!

Oh, but you know what is totally the best part?! It SNOWED. Yes, real live snow flurry action. It didn't stick around for very long, because it eventually turned into rain, but when it initially came out of the clouds it was SNOW. All the natives here were laughing at how excited I was....

That's what I love--the cold weather. My scarves are necessary here! They get to serve their intended purpose!

So with nothing else to report, I will sign off.

I'll be home soon...
/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

You know what I just noticed? Tomorrow is this little blogging venture's one year anniversary! Neato.



13 October 2007

I decided this was more important than homework.

That's right! I said it! But before y'all get your parental-hackles up, I'm ahead in my assignments for the weekend. Onward.

Would you believe it? I'm alive. I even survived midterms last week. And I didn't do too shabby on 'em, either. But it was brutal. That's probably the hardest part about being here--it's real college, with real midterms. It also doesn't help that I haven't been a full-time student since I was a junior in high school, and now I'm taking 18 credits (I've written about 5 papers in two and half weeks). M
y time management skills have gone into hiding. They're probably lurking under my bed with the dust beasts...

With that in mind, I really must apologize for my severe inability to communicate with all you lovely people. I promise I do think of you every day, even if only for a moment. December is approaching faster than it seems. It will most likely show up tomorrow.

So I suppose I should talk a little bit about my life here, shouldn't I? Well, lets see...My classes are interesting--I'm particularly enjoying the women in Re
naissance literature seminar and my other English class, mostly due to the material we're reading. Which reminds me, I believe Miss Becky requested a list of my textbooks. I'll just link to the good ones. Besides, there are about 20 of them, so it needs to be narrowed down anyway:

History of China: Monkey, Wild Swans, Mountain of Fame.

Wells 101: we've already read Turn of the Screw and Orlando; we're reading China Men; coming up: The Passion and The Woman Who Walked Into Doors.

Women in Renaissance Lit: Half Humankind, Women Poets of the Renaissance, Troilus and Cressida, The Roaring Girl, and Bell in Campo.


My other classes just have basic textbooks, most of which are blah, but I suppose they do the job. Half Humankind is probably close to my favorite book out of all tha
t I've read so far.

Other than being smothered by the written word, I enjoy being here. The weather seems to have finally settled into actual fall temperatures (50s and 60s), even if the transition was a bit ruthless.
Up until now, the weather had been gradually shifting between humid and comfortable (dude, seriously, the humidity here? You can SEE IT hanging in the air)--last Wednesday, it was chilly in the morning, upwards of 80 degrees by afternoon, cold and rainy by dinner, and then BOOM: Thursday is 52 degrees with wind and rain. And that's how the weather has stayed for the last few days. My dorm room is freezing, because they haven't turned the heaters on yet, but at least I've been able to wear my Central Park Hoodie without dying of heat frustration. It is currently the warmest piece of clothing I have.

I'm starting to build up a circle of friends, which includes my roommate. There are a number of people here who are as weird as I am. No one to knit with yet, and the knitting club will have to wait until next semester, since I have no time for anything! at the moment.

Oh wait....What was that? Did someone say knitting? Why yes! I used to knit! And maybe I will again soon. If all goes well, that miracle beyond miracles will occur this evening, or tomorrow. We shall see.


Well, I must go, but I shall leave you with a picture of the care package lovely Miss Lisa sent me:

Thank you so much Lisa!

I will try to write again soon, as in the next couple of weeks. I refuse to give a particular date, because, clearly, I am incapable of meeting my own deadlines.

Till next time....

26 August 2007

I can't tell if this is real, yet.

So..........it's been awhile, a hasn't it? The last few weeks have been so hectic, crazy, and surreal...I'll just start from the beginning, shall I?

Chicago, August 10-12, 2007

Friday morning, I took the 6
:30am shuttle to the airport. It was so unbelievably difficult to get on that bus; I spent the drive just staring out the window. The driver took the coastal highway, and we saw a pod of dolphins. A good omen. That made me feel better.

The airport was insane, as usual,
but there really weren't any issues--other than my having to dismantle both of my carry-on bags to pull out my laptop and camera. There was a lady (head-to-toe leopard print, gold lamé bag) in front of me in line at the gate who would call up her husband every few minutes to vehemently cuss him out. On the plane, I was able to score a window seat. When we landed at Midway, I had to find the shuttle that would take me to O'Hare (the airport I really needed to be at), where I could catch another shuttle to the hotel. The drive through parts of Chicago was rather interesting--lots of warehouses. At one point, on the freeway, we were next to a mafia henchman-type driving an old but well-taken care of Buick. He was eating a vanilla ice cream cone.

The hotel room was split four ways among Sarah Lou, Jeanie, Sarah W., and myself. The Sarahs were there when I arrived, so we met up with fellow get Stitchian Wendy and headed to Giordano's, where I had my first ever deep-dish pizza (in Chicago, no less!). Back at the hotel, I got to meet Jeanie. We all got along really well and ended up hanging out until 2am--it was basically a knitting slumber party. The next morning, Sarah W. had classes, but Sarah Lou, Jeanie, and I had a nice, laid back morning--we didn't leave the room until noon. Then--it was Stitches time. The hotel is connected to the convention center, so we just walked on over.

All I have to say about the Market is that it's like a yarn
store on crack. It was all I could do to keep from falling into a drool-inducing yarn coma. Thankfully, I had financial and luggage limitations to keep my spending reigned in. Here's what I did buy:


From left to right: 10 balls of Berroco Pure Merino (a lap blanket for Mrs. T.), 3 hanks of Malabrigo lace weight wool, and 1 ball of Golden Crown Suri Alpaca from Windy Valley Muskox. I got a free pattern with the last one, so that's on the project list.


And, arguably the most exciting addition to my yarn collection: 1 hank of special edition Undertaker's Daughter sock yarn, hand-painted by Cider Moon. Sarah Lou collaborated with them to come up with the colorway. I bought her a hank of Jitterbug as an exchange for this one.

Later in the evening, Sarah Lou, Jeanie, and I ate at the hotel restaurant. Here's a picture of Sarah Lou and her dinner. Notice what's on the plate, and what's on her shirt.

Sunday, Sarah Lou and I headed to the Wizard World Convention--it was awesome. I'm only disappointed that I didn't get spend a lot of time there--I had to leave early to make it to the airport on time. Next time, Sarah Lou. Next time...

Pemberton, August 12-18, 2007

The flight to Philadelphia was short and uneventful, and my sister and niece were there waiting to pick me up. The week at my sister's was so nice and relaxing. A good chance to decompress. Of course, it helped I got to scream my head off on all the roller coasters at Six Flags Great Adventure (still can't beat Magic Mountain, though). My niece is absolutely adorable:


I called on Tuesday evening, hoping I'd catch all of you ladies knitting, but you weren't there! Tsk tsk. Maybe I'll try this week. My sister took me to Woolbearers where she bought yarn and a pattern for me to knit her a top:


Saturday afternoon, the two of us drove up to Auburn, New York, and settled in for the evening. The next morning, we headed over to Aurora, where my school is, right on Cayuga Lake.

Aurora, August 19 to present

This past week has been a whirlwind of orientation activities, new faces, and schedule planning. My roommate and I get along, and I like my dorm. So far most everyone I've met has been friendly. Classes really get going tomorrow. I've got an ungodly number of books to buy, but I'm excited.

In the next couple of days I'll post again, with pictures of the campus and more details about classes. The area is gorgeous, even if the weather can't make up its mind--yesterday it was upwards of 95 degrees with solid humidity, and today it's 70 and breezy. I guess that's living on a lake for you.

I miss all of you so much, and I can't wait to hang out and knit with everybody in December. Keep knitting!


P.S. Thank you for the wonderful voicemail yesterday!

25 July 2007

Finished-Project-Palooza

Here are three sweaters (well, two and a bolero). They've been lurking on my finished list for some time now, and finally, finally, they will be revealed to the world. The pictures aren't fabulous, but at some point there will be action shots. For now, you get limp, somewhat misshapen, vaguely sweater-type piles of yarn modeled by a couple of different household surfaces. Enjoy!

First up, the Cloud Bolero. I used Manos del Uruguay wool, and while I like it, it's too big. It may get ripped. I dunno, yet.


Camisa, from the Fall 2006 Knitscene. I love it, and it fits really well. Even if the cotton is extraordinarily fuzzy.

And finally, Dogwood Donna in o-wool Balance. This was a nice one. The intarsia was fun, but the French knots are nasty little buggers. And isn't that button just perfect?



Because of its cult status, my Central Park Hoodie will get its very own entry in the days to come. And I really do promise that. Really really.

Now for little projects. I made the Dream Swatch Wrap out of one hank of Claudia Handpaint fingering merino. Two shots--one for color progression (is that not the coolest towel? My great-grandmother made it) and one for action:



Over the last several weeks, I also completed my very first pair of socks, using Austermann Step in Turf. I used the Lorna's Laces Basic Sock pattern and size two DPNs. When I started the second sock, I rewound the yarn to reverse the striping. Interestingly enough, both heels turned out blue:


I'm just starting to get back into the knitting groove, as it was temporarily put on hold so as to devote as many hours to consuming the last Harry Potter book as possible. It was fantastic. But maybe I'm biased. I have been a loyal fan since well before the first book went big...

In an upcoming post, I will show off my newly enhanced knitting library, thanks to the KnitPicks sale and some friends who like to give me stuff (for some reason). I will write again before the month is out. And if I don't, I give you leave, dear reader, to launch things in the general direction of my head. But not in real life, of course.


15 July 2007

All Apologies...

In light of my apparent inability to post on a regular basis, I apologize. Over the next week, I plan to post several entries in rapid succession--there are a lot of finished projects that need showing off!

On a non-knitting-related note (but still somewhat knitting-related), I have been caught up in the whirlwind that is getting ready for college. This event has been on hold for about two years, so I'm excited that it's finally happening. To start things off with a bang, I get to stop in Chicago for the Stitches Midwest convention with Sarah Lou. And since it just so happens to be in the exact same convention center on the exact same weekend, we'll also hang out at WizardWorld comicon.


Until then, I've got a backlog of sweaters, my first pair of socks, and a couple of other little projects that need posting. In the meantime, here's a teaser:

More pictures to come, I promise!

28 June 2007

S.E.X. Bomb

The past several days have been a stash enhancement marathon. Between one yarn shop closing its doors forever and another celebrating its third anniversary with a by-the-bag sale, it's truly a wonder any knitters in this area have any money left at all...

BB's Knits is selling all stock at 50% off, maybe more by now. The owner is retiring after having been open for around twenty years (I believe)--and tomorrow is the final day. Needless to say, the local knitting community is disappointed that a yarn shop is closing, but at the same time, everyone is restless, twitchy, and salivating. Most knitters have made several trips at several hundred dollars (and sometimes much more) a pop. Even I got a little antsy at the thought of all that potentially attainable yarn. Becky, Sandy, and I trekked up to the shop last week. The drive was an adventure in and of itself, then we had to park less-than-legally and jaywalk. The things we'll do for yarn. Being that I happened to be graced with a very small bank account, I managed to get out of the shop after spending only about $102. Here's what I got:

Last Saturday marked the third anniversary party and sale at Anacapa Fine Yarns. As an employee, I got to help sort all the sale yarn into The Hot-Tub O' Yarn box. Observe the water bottle for scale:


We further sorted the yarn into smaller boxes, to make it more accessible. In doing so, I had to climb into the big box and dig around. I still think it would have been interesting to see how things turned out if we'd left the yarn in the big box....Ah well. Behold! The calm before the storm:


That's what it looked like just before we opened at 10am--eight 4 foot by 2 foot boxes, piled high with bags of yarn marked down 40, 50, and 60 percent. By 11:30am, we were down to just five boxes. At the end of the day, we had 2 boxes plus a little overflow into a third. I purposely waited until the end of the day to shop because I knew I'd spend less money that way. For about $40, I got two bags:



  • Two hanks of Mountain Colors 3 ply wool in Rosehip, at 40% off.
  • Three balls of Maggi's Mist Slub, at 60% off.
All in all, I think I was pretty lucky. I didn't break my bank account (yet) and I got some awesome yarn at fabulous prices. Now I just need to sit down and reorganize my stash...


20 June 2007

Technical Difficulties

Right, so when I say a post will happen on a particular day, I really do try to keep that promise. But my computer has a tendency to listen in when I announce such things. Its habitual reaction is to mysteriously forget the proper way to function and away it goes, laughing on a fast camel. Which brings us to this moment, ten days past the original stated date. Ah well.

Onward.

The first week of June was spent in Monterey, Ashland, and Reno. We head up to Ashland every year for the Shakespeare Festival, but this year we also stopped in Monterey and Reno. It must be noted: this is the first trip I've taken since I started knitting, ergo this is the first time I've been able to hunt down and check out other local yarn shops!

Monterey, California


The one shop in the area that was actually open was Monarch Knitting & Quilts, a great little shop. An amazing selection, and a whole wall of Manos del Uruguay wool (*drool*). Not to mention a beautiful Siberian Husky, named Sakura. She was the official greeter (there's a picture of her on the website). There was also a formidable guard parrot who would pretend to land on the shelves and then dive-bomb your head. All in good fun. I didn't buy anything, but I would highly recommend the shop. I will definitely make another trip there the next time I'm in the area.

Ashland, Oregon


The hotel we traditonally stay at in Ashland is just a couple of blocks from the main plaza--where there happens to be a yarn shop! The Websters is a lovely shop. It's pretty comparable to Anacapa in terms of selection--which is to say, there was a lot of nice stuff. I had every intention of going back before we left, but never did...However, before you start thinking this was a yarn-free trip--I did go to two other yarn stores. One was Middleford Yarn & Stitchery in Medford. It was a cute shop, but it seemed mostly devoted to needlepoint. The second one--and by far the yarn shop highlight of the trip--was the Llamas & Llambs Boutique in Jacksonville. This store was awesome. It was an old house, and each room was devoted to a different fiber art (spinning, weaving, etc.) and the prices! Oh, the prices...Here's what I got:


A. Three hanks of Oregon-born, -bred, and -spun baby alpaca from Adorabella Alpacas. 110 yards, DK weight, $6.10 per hank. They put the name of the alpaca on the label--mine is from Lucca (2), which may be this little guy.

B. An 8 ounce cone of laceweight Shetland wool. For $8.

C. And finally, the $23 hank of New Zealand grown, spun, and hand painted 10 ply merino wool, in Aubergine. I'd skipped over this yarn on my first initial walk-through, but when I found this colorway, I gave in. The picture doesn't do the colors justice.

Reno, Nevada


The photography exhibit we saw here showed the work of my new favorite photographer: Inge Morath. Here's a llama in Times Square. While visiting, our very good family friends took us to a used book sale. Knitting books!



1. Alice Starmore's Sweaters For Men. Gotta love a highly inexpensive Starmore book. Especially when some sell for hundreds of dollars, nowadays.

2. Elle Knits. Some interesting sweaters and a cute litt
le intarsia cherry pullover that may very well be knit up for my niece.

3. Knit One, Style One. While this book was purchased at the same sale, it was actually mailed to me a few weeks prior to the trip. Mostly scary 80's patterns, but some potentially useful Fair Isle charts.

4. 45 Fine & Fanciful Hats to Knit. The hats, charts, and colors in this book are gorgeous. It's so bright, and most of the patterns look like they'd be fun to knit.

Now for La Pièce de Résistance:


Several pounds of handspun Chilean alpaca that had been in a closet for 16 years. A very big and gracious thank you to Mrs. T (even if you aren't reading this) for probably the best yarn-related part of the trip. She used to weave, and when she and her family lived in Chile, this was what she brought back home. Now she's given it to me. Oh yes.

Speaking of Chile, the country seems to be missing a lake. Bet you anything my computer had a hand in it. Or a chip. Or a megabyte. Something.

Hopefully this post hasn't dragged out too long for your tastes, but there you are. So as not to make it too much longer, I will refrain from blathering on about progressing projects. That's what my nifty little graphs on the sidebar are for!