Nov 28, 2011

Bite me, Barbie

Oh, Thanksgiving. My absolute favorite holiday of the year - where friends escape their families and come to my house for a delicious meal and countless bottles of wine. This year featured drunken charades, which ended with my friend Jeff attempting to mime out "Dick Cheney," only to have guesses such as "Dick Rain-shackle." (attempted to mime "chain," then "sounds like rain," in case you're wondering). My personal favorite was getting someone to mime out "Ken Burns Effect." Yeah, I'm kind of a bitch...

So now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time to focus on looking a little less like a beached whale. In an effort to actually have some accountability in yet another weight-loss goal, I've come up with a way to tie it into dealing with my yarn-buying addiction. For every two pounds that I lose, I get one credit (1 credit = a skein of yarn. However, for every five pounds husband loses, he can take a credit away. Also, for every two pounds I gain back, I have to destash my most recent yarn purchase.

Last year I attempted a yarn-buying fast, which failed rather quickly due to a total lack of accountability. This time, I am going to attempt to change that through public shaming. I have created a group on ravelry for fellow fluffy people (and not so fluffy people) to set their goals and reward system, check in, get support, and even prizes. (Sweatin' For Skeins) Since I'm owner/moderator of the group, there is already pressure to keep up with my goals and not post failures. The second public shaming involves actually disclosing my weight *gulp* to the (knitting) public. Considering that I have actively avoided even knowing my weight for many years now, this is a pretty big step. So here goes.

I weigh the equivalent of 1, 398 skeins of sock yarn

What, you thought I was going to make that easy for you? Enjoy your math.

I bought an exercise game for my wii (since I work from home, I can take breaks with it) - Exerbeat. It's kind of fun, and has competitiveness I need - trying to beat my scores, and more importantly, husbands' scores. Plus, I get to yell obscenities at the stupid instructor. I'm pretty sure the voice of the aerobics instructor is the woman who does the voice of Barbie. It's fucking obnoxious and makes me want to kick her in the shins. (I'm writing this while watching husband do some of the exercises - makes me wish I had a video camera, it's pretty hilarious.)

Anyway... Knitting! I've done some! Look!

I finished Liz's Red Sox Socks. They turned out really well, although I somehow ended up with one afterthought heel being a bit bigger than the other. Oh well, if they don't fit right it'll be easy to fix.

Knitty gritty: basic vanilla socks, CO 64, women's size 8, afterthought heel. Wollmeise twin in Ruby Thursday and Natur for heels and toes.

I have a couple of other things I've been working on, but I'll put those in a separate post. That's it for now!

Nov 14, 2011

singular of sox?

Oof, two weeks since my last post, eh? That's no good... However, guess what I've been up to?! That's right, I've been knitting! After some marathon knitting - including knitting most of the drive up to Tahquamenon Falls for some too-late-in-the-season camping - I finally finished my Farmer McGregor Socks!

I absolutely fucking LOVE these socks. They were super fun to knit - definitely not boring, but also not ├╝ber-challenging - and CHECK OUT THAT POOLING! I have longed for pooling like that, begged for it, offered to sell my soul for it. Since I wear a women's size 11 shoe, I always have a pretty large cast-on count. Where the average 64 stitches seem to give everyone awesome stripey pooling when it comes to hand-painted yarn, my 72 stitches gives me blotchy, lame-ass pooling. This pattern (where I CO 80) worked its little magic and lo & behold, AWESOME POOLING. I am definitely knitting this pattern again, along with every other pattern in Alice Yu's new book (Socktopus - 17 Pairs of Socks to Knit and Show Off).

The knitty gritty - Wollmeise 80/20 Twin in Johannisbeer und Brennessel WD. Knit large size on US size 1.5 chiagoo needles, 3.5 pattern repeats for the cuff. ravelry project page

It feels really good to cross another WIP off my list :) But now, it's November, which means Christmas knitting. Ugh. Don't get me wrong, I love knitting for other people. I just don't like that I am a chronic procrastinator and always end up having to knit my ass off just to get stuff done in time (meaning I also don't get to work on anything for myself during that time). I want to knit myself some christmasy socks, but alas, those will have to wait. I'm sure I will remember this next year and start early. Heh.

Luckily, I seem to be rocking the Christmas knitting as well. I don't know where this productivity is coming from, but I'm not going to question it. I finished a gaiter (the male version of a cowl, in other words, the exact same thing as a cowl) for husband in time for hunting season - opening day is tomorrow - as an early xmas present. Looks cozy, doesn't he? I have to say, my hands were pretty damn cozy while I was knitting this.

Knitty gritty - Fisherman's Rib Gaiter knit with the luscious Malabrigo Rios in glazed carrot. CO 60 with yarn held double on US size 10.5 needles. I added flaps on either side of the bottom etch to tuck into his shirt (dickies, if you will... snicker).

Next up, I have one sock finished of Red Sox socks for my friend Liz.

This went fast. Two days fast. I've never knit a sock so quickly. It feels.... weird. I'm using Wollmeise for these in Ruby Thursday and Natur, and I am pretty geeked about how great the first one looks. I'm pretty positive that she'll absolutely adore them (here's hoping they fit). One down, one to go. Assuming I finish these before next week, I can guarantee that I will be itching to give them to her early. Husband is very familiar with this tendency of mine. Not only can I never wait to open my own gifts (November begins the perpetual and 5-year-old-like "so what'd you get me?" questioning), but I also cannot wait for recipients to open the gifts I have bought/made them (November also begins the perpetual "wanna know what I got you?" questioning). It's a problem, but I think it adds to my adorable charm.

In other news, I have to gush about how awesome my friend and dyer-extraordinaire Heidi is. First of all, I LOVE her yarns (Grant Creek Yarns). She has a great eye for color, wonderful bases, and just awesome technique. It is pretty clear from talking to her that she loves to dye yarn, and it shows in her products. Anyway, for a while I had been badgering her to dye up a yarn based on a typo of one of her colorways - Electric Bungalow (typo of Electric Boogaloo), which I envisioned as spectacular 70s wallpaper-inspired colors. She rolled her eyes and called me crazy, which is pretty fair. Anyway, I got a package in the mail from her a few weeks after my brother died with none other than Electric Bungalow in exactly the colors I had envisioned! Totally unexpected, totally overwhelming. I kind of teared up a little, as I knew that she did NOT want to dye these colors and as a result did so because she was hoping it would make me feel better. Basically, this is yarn dyed purely out of the kindness of her heart. :)

Oh yeah, did I mention it's on her Glimmer (w/sparkles!) base? I mad heart this skein, and immediately wound it and cast on. I have so far started two different patterns with the yarn and am still not satisfied - but the perfect pattern will be found! After the xmas knitting is done, of course... Anyway, here is a pic taken while camping up north of one of the attempts:

I love how the yarn matches the scenery. I am so very grateful to Heidi for being an awesome friend and a killer dyer :)

 I leave you now with another pic from our little camping trip. It was insanely cold, but at least we had the campgrounds to ourself! The photo is from our campsite, shortly before retreating into the tent to warm up!

Nov 1, 2011

the proof is in the score - these be unlucky

I know I haven't posted in a bit, but I think it goes without saying why. I won't dwell, but it is still difficult to "get back to normal." Still, grief has proven to be an excellent motivating force when it comes to my knitting. Focusing on the needles keeps me from breaking down completely, and for that I am grateful.

So, I mentioned this in my last post, but I finished my "lucky" Lions socks a while ago. I was supposed to have them done before football season started, in an attempt to sway my dear and kind of pathetic Detroit Lions. Well, I finished them four games in - more like four wins in. So they weren't really hurting for luck, but more is  always better right? So the first game I wore them, and we won. YAY LIONS! Socks must be lucky, right? Well the next weekend I was away and didn't have them with me, and we lost. Well, clearly it was because I wasn't wearing them, so that doesn't count, right? Next game, I wore them, and we lost. We also looked like crap. At this point the socks were 1-1. This last weekend, I purposefully didn't wear the socks, and we kicked the crap out of Tebow and the Broncos. Since I hate Tebow, this was a double win (although my brother was always a Broncos fan, so that's a bit of a bummer... but we rarely saw eye-to-eye on professional sports). I think that makes the socks 1-2... sort of. Anyway, I've come to the conclusion that these are now officially off-season socks. I might wear them to the game we have tickets to, but ONLY if the outcome has no bearing on the playoffs.

Yeah, I'm that superstitious.

Yes, I understand that my choice in foot accessories has NO bearing on the outcome of a football game.

But fuck if I'm taking any chances...

beer tastes better when wearing hand-knit socks! 

Most importantly, they're done! Another WIP bites the dust :)
The knitty-gritty: String Theory Colorworks Continuum (MCN) in Pluto, knit on size US 1.5 Chiagoo circs (magic loop), with an afterthought heel (black heel, toe and cuff in Wollmeise Twin, colorway "Schwarz").

I also finished my fucking clapotis. So the story here is that last year I knit a clapotis for my maid-of-honor. I finished it in about a month, and was really really happy with the result. So much so, that I decided I absolutely needed one of my own. So in February, I happily cast one on for myself. Now, if you've never knitted this pattern (and I hear there are one or two knitters left in the world who haven't, but that might just be knitting legend), it's so fucking boring. Dropping the stitches is fun, but beyond that it is about as exciting as watching my husband play facebook games. I really needed to force myself to finish this damn thing. It's not as long as I would have liked, but it's long enough. I do love the finished product, but I don't know that it is worth the extreme boredom.

That's Harvey modeling the shawl


Isn't it lovely? I have read on various forums that the pattern designer and her minions are very anti-blocking of this shawl, but I don't give a rat's ass. I like the way it looks blocked out, and I'm the one that has to live with it, right?
The knitty-gritty: Clapotis knit with one skein Wollmeise 100% Merino in colorway Versuchskaninchen II (one of my all time faves). Don't recall how many increase rounds I did (I think I stuck to the pattern), did 20 straight repeats. US size 6 needles.

So, two WIPs taken care of, four to go. Of course, some xmas knitting will probably take priority here soon... ugh. I mean YAY!