Zarzuela Knits and Crochets
My blog about my knitting, crocheting, and anything else I feel like ranting about!

Not so grand exit

Just thought I would post one more time before I retreat to the country for the holidays.
I haven't gotten much done in the last couple of days. Monday in CT was a weather nightmare. I was literally 2 degrees at one point and with the freezing rain under the snow we got, let's just say life wasn't fun. It's amazing how quickly one regains the "holy crap the sidewalks are slippery" waddle. I also felt as though my cleaning of my car would be good for Candid Camera or something. Except for the driver's door, all the other doors were frozen shut and, of course, the snow brush/ice scraper was all the way in the back! Let's just say an almost 6 foot tall frozen chick climbing over the front seats of a '96 Jimmy and over all the stuff in the back to get to said snow brush must have been quite amusing for someone. All this to say, I managed to strain my hands pretty badly throughout the whole process (mostly trying to pry the doors open) so I haven't done a whole lot of knitting or crocheting until last night.
After said cold snap, I decided that my fuzzy Red Heart Light n' Lofty hat from last year just wasn't gonna cut it this year so I decided to make one out of some Paton's Classic that I picked up last week. After a lot of trial and error, I decided to use this pattern from the knitty and this is what I have so far:

Not exactly impressive but it actually fits my big nogin and I did manage to kitchener it together at SnB last night. I'm hoping to finish this in the next couple of days considering from the looks of the forecast the cold stuff is on it's way back.
I'm also still plugging along at the beaded socks. I almost finished the heal flaps last night but just couldn't hold on to the little needles any more. The Dusty Miller has a bit of progress too, but not enough to make it worth taking a pic. All these projects, two HMB ghans, the scarf I decided to make out of the Mariah sleeves and probably another thing or two are all going home with me today. I should have lots to show by the time I get back to my DSL although I will try to do at least one update from home. Unfortunately, some computer time needs to be spent with Mr. Resume and Mr. Cover-Letter since my boss "gently" reminded me of my neglect of these two dear friends before I left work last night. I also still need a flight to Vancouver and a hotel reservation but I'm not even gonna go there right now.
By the way, I still need more votes on my last post! I know you are out there! I know you are reading!! I can see you (through my hit counter of course)!!! Please vote. I'm a Pisces and if you know anything about them you know we can't make up our minds for the life of us. Help a girl out ok!! :)
And finally, since I probably won't get back to this until after it's all done, to all you that celebrate it
Merry Christmas!!!
Safe and happy holiday wishes to all!

Vote now!!

Just a quick entry tonight as I seem to have too much to do and not enough energy for it all.

I need your help!! Yes you!! You right there!! I need you to help me decide what to do with a long time UFO. I started to make the Bulky Stole from this book sometime this summer. I didn't have the yarn they suggested so I substituted Lion Homespun. I somehow managed to buy four packages of mill ends of it at A.C. Moore one time and hadn't yet used it. This is what the stole looks like so far:

This isn't exactly what I would wear this with but I wasn't going to change just for the pic. And my head was cut off on purpose. Here's what it looks like closeup thrown between the arms of my computer chair:

Ok....so this is where you come in. The pattern calls for another row of squares. I have plenty of yarn but I just don't know if it's worth it. I don't really like the way it drapes so far and I don't know if another row will help or not. It doesn't really seem to cover well the way it is now though (keep in mind I'm rather tall). Either way, I would still have to edge it before it was done. It's been sitting on my coffee table for months now and I'm just sick of looking at it!
So what should I do?
Add another row?
Or not?
Leave a comment to vote! My poor, tired, cold little brain thanks you.
And now back to making warm things to wear...

It's a FO!!

Now that the Christmas cards are done (whew!) I can get back to my favorite pastimes. Friday night I finished the Quick Cable Sweater!

I would model it but that whole timer thing on my camera and trying to find a place to put it not to mention the fact that I am in "sloppy weekend mode"...well let's just say it wouldn't be pretty. I'll have to have my Mom take a pic of me in it when I go home next week.

Anyway, this has definitely got to be record time for a wearable garment of considerable size. It took exactly 9 days. Crazy. The seaming was probably the most difficult part. My blocking escapade really didn't seem to help much. I started with the sleeves and sewed them in using mattress stitch but I only sewed the long side and not the "notches". That was pretty dumb because when I finished going up the side of the body it made for a bit of weirdness. Somehow I managed. I also had to fudge the collar a bit. I ended up picking up more stitches than the pattern said and just reducing to the correct number on the first round. It seemed to work out and there aren't any big holes. If you ever make one of these, believe me, it is nice a toasty warm. I'm one of those people who is always cold so I'm totally happy with it. Others with more normal body temperature might find it a bit much. But I don't think you can go too wrong with a 9 day sweater. Of course this whole accomplishment is only adding fuel to the fire of my current "wow, you mean I can actually make stuff to wear and it will really fit?!?!" phase.

In keeping with that I am making progress on the December socks. I've finally made it to the end of the cuff and have started the heal flaps. Once I figured out that I didn't really have to go by the pattern for the number of stitches since I altered that anyway it was pretty easy. Now I'll just have to see if doing the gusset works with this whole two on one circ thing. Nothing exciting to show there so no pic for now.

However, my recent crochet hook aversion must be over. Last night I started to work on the Dusty Miller. Let me tell you, this will definitely NOT be a 9 day sweater. If you haven't seen this before, here is the pic from the book:

This can be found in Crocheted Aran Sweaters by Jane Snedden Peever. You can see another sweater from this book in the FO gallery over in the sidebar. I just love how this looks and have been waiting to do it. I'm using Lion Brand Woolease in Fisherman for that authentic Aran Sweater look. This is what I have so far:

Just that little bit took FOREVER. Of course I'm probably using the sweater I just finished as a frame of reference so you'll have to excuse my impatience. It took me a bit of doing to get my head around the pattern too. It's worked from side to side horizontally instead of vertically which was a bit of a shock. I'm a little worried about finding the right buttons when I'm finished too but that will just have to wait. Between this sweater, the socks and two HMB ghans (for which the squares have suddenly been coming in like crazy) I should have plenty to keep me busy while I'm home for Christmas.
Edit: I almost forgot! I've been approved for the Crochet Blogs webring! :) You can find it down in the side bar. Now I'm just waiting to hear from New England Knits...

Soggy sleeves aren't cool

Ok...did anyone else know that the sun doesn't even come up in Southern CT until after 7am these days?! I find that incredibly weird.

Anyway, if you couldn't already tell, there was a bit of no sleeping going on at my place last night. I woke up around 4:30am and didn't get back to sleep until 7:30am. After looking through a couple of books I decided to try and do something constructive. Big mistake. I finished my sleeves for the Quick Cable sweater at SnB last night and was told about an article in Knitty about seaming. Being immediately inspired, I decided that I must block my sleeves. It quickly became apparent that no decisions should be made prior to 7am because I am obviously certifiably insane at that hour. Here are my poor wet little sleeves:

I don't think this blocking thing is going so well. They don't really seem like they are going to be easier to sew at all. They just look wet and sad and now I think they may get the hairdryer taken to them just so I can actually do something with them soon. Very frustrating.

Something complete unreal happened when I go home last night. So unreal that I must publish it here for all the world to see.

I do not have enough yarn in my stash for a project I wanted to do.

Yes, you read it correctly. I am completely flabbergasted by this strange turn of events. When I got back last night I was thinking that I might start this vintage pattern before I start Mariah since I don't have the yarn for that yet.

You can't see from the pic too well but it's a cute little cardi. I thought I would do it in Red Heart just for a quick cheap simple wearable project. That's where the shocking part comes in. I do not have enough of any one color to do it. I need a mere 20 oz. and I just don't have enough of anything. Well, I shouldn't say anything. I could do some pretty ugly things with what I have, but I don't have enough of anything to make it worth doing. I have plenty of Stars and Stripes (a red white and blue variegated) but I think that would be a little much. I was going to do it in a plum color but I don't have enough! I'm still in shock. Maybe it's the lack of sleep.

Something else happened last night of which you should all be aware also. A trip to Michael's turned into a sales tax fiasco. Check out Eklecktica's entry for today for the full story. Suffice it to say, CHECK YOUR RECEIPTS!!

I also picked up the latest issue of Family Circle Easy Knitting yesterday. I got it mostly because of these two sweaters:



Anyone up for another knitalong? I'm not usually a pink person, but I love these. And I also find this completely hysterical because I never thought I'd ever catch myself wearing or even considering wearing anything called "preppy". I was the total goth chick in high school. Complete with wallet on a chain, technicolor hair and flannel shirts. My how times have changed. It must be a librarian thing. Although you won't catch me with sensible shoes and my hair in a bun any time soon either.
And now to figure out what to do with soggy sleeves....

Sock Progress

For one reason or another, the beading on the socks demanded to be finished last night. I guess I needed a break from huge yarn and huge needles. So I finally decided to take my holiday themed progress picture for the knitalong.

So yeah, my needles are bigger than my tree. But they make an interesting ornament don't you think?
Here's a slightly better pic of just the socks:

My reduction of five stitches seems to have worked out pretty well. By the end of the beading I was ready to be done with it though. My right thumb was too. I think they look pretty cool so far. Now I just have to knit 10 rows and start the rest of the sock. I really can't wait to wear them. I think they will be super cozy and kinda funky looking. And considering the way the temps are going around here I could use some wool socks and quick!
Now that this part of the socks are done it's back to the sweater which will be going to SnB tonight. Considering I only need three more inches on the first sleeve I'm starting to think I might have this sucker done by the end of the weekend. Of course that will only happen if I continue to ignore everything else I should be doing like writing Christmas cards and paying some bills and stuff. Yeah. I think I can do that.

Knitting and ears

Just got back from the drs. office. I have an ear infection. Nothing unusual for me. The weirdest part was that he spent more time talking about my hypoglycemia than the ear infection! Why do drs. have to be so weird? At least I got to work on the diagonal scarf a bit while I waited.

Last night I decided to start the sleeves for the Quick cable sweater just to see how much yarn I would need. After one skein I had this:

And it's three inches too short. So the binding off of the shoulders became absolutely necessary and I'm too impatient to wait for blocking so I just did it anyway. While it was a bit complicated and cumbersome, the three needle bindoff makes a nice looking seam. Here is the wrong side:

And here's the right side:

The stitches look a little twisted but I think it worked out pretty well. I put it on and the shoulders don't feel weird or anything. Of course without the side seams done or anything it's pretty hard to tell how it will really feel. At least it looks as though it might actually fit!
I need to start thinking about yarn for Mariah since I'll probably need to get started early what with school starting on the 24th of January and the conference I have to go to in Feb. and all. The patons seems nice but I think I might want something that I can wash more easily (translation: throw in the washer without thinking about it). I'm thinking it would be nice to branch out from Woolease but I'm not sure what else to use that wouldn't be prohibitively expensive. Guess I'll have to ponder that more this week.

Secret Weekend Revealed

Happy Birthday Mom!! :)
Despite getting the bad news that my ex's grandmother passed away on Saturday, this weekend was otherwise quite successful. The big secret was that I went home on Saturday to surprise my Mom for her birthday (which is actually today). You have to understand, in my family, keeping a secret such as this is darn near impossible. The look on her face when I walked in and said I had saved myself a stamp as I handed her her birthday card was totally priceless! Equally amazing was the fact that her birthday present actually arrived on Saturday as well! Dad and I got her a charm bracelet from this Italian Charm bracelet site that everyone on HMB had talked about a while back. It actually looked pretty good and even fit once the comedy of trying to get the pieces apart and back together was completed. We all had a good laugh and some bruised fingers after that one. The only thing that ticked me off was that I ordered it on the 30th of Nov. and they were supposed to ship it in 3 days. It was postmarked the 9th of Dec.!! And their free shipping, 60 cents! At least it arrived on time. The three of us went out to dinner and even managed to agree on a movie that we all wanted to see. This is also nothing short of a miracle. We saw National Treasure which wasn't too bad. At one point I was beginning to wonder how long they were gonna drag the story line out, and I'm not exactly a Nick Cage fan, but it was actually quite good in the end.

In the meantime, I managed to get a bit of knitting done. Between hanging out at home and not feeling like doing anything when I got back to CT but watching Sunday night football and knitting, I finished the front AND back of the Quick Cable Sweater.

Sorry about the pic being on its side but I couldn't get it to rotate this morning for some reason. As you can see, I went with the advice of my fellow knitters and just left the cable on the back. My mom thinks it will be more padding and warmth for my spine. When you put it that way, sounds good to me! (And thanks for the extra stitch holders Mom!)
The pattern says to block the pieces before putting them together but I don't know how I'm going to do that. These pieces are kinda big and I don't have a lot of room. I also have to do a three needle bind off to join the front and back and I've never done that before. I'm thinking about doing that before I block them just because I think I'm going to need all that yarn that is still attached to them to finish the sleeves. And blocking and joining advice out there?
I'm really enjoying this sweater. It isn't too boring to knit and it is totally feeding my need for seeing immediate progress. I think it might even be good for a last minuet gift if you didn't wait until the absolute last minuet.

Oh by the way,

Bills 37 - Browns 7

We are actually over 500! Can this be true?!


Rest in Peace
Murial McNiff
d. December 11, 2004
She fought bravely until the end.
You will be missed.

Super secret weekend

Some housekeeping stuff:
I made myself a button!! :) I finally took the plunge and downloaded some free image software last night and voila! I now feel much more official. :) Feel free to steal it from the side bar over there (and put it on your own server of course) if you are planning on linking to me. Anyone who can tell me what the piece of music is in the background will win my respect and admiration forever and ever!
Remember the cast on that I told you I was using for the sweater? Apparently it has a bit of an identity crisis. Sami says:
It is a cast on of many names: interweave calls it "backward loop" Zimmerman calls it "loop casting on" and June Hemmons Hiatt calls it "simple cast on" and lists it as a finger cast on technique.
Now I know why I couldn't remember what the heck it was called! Thanks for clearing that up!
I was lucky (maybe unlucky?) enough yesterday to not have to leave my apartment at all. I felt like I had an ear infection/head cold coming on so I just stayed home to try and avoid a severe outbreak. I'm sure those I would have come in contact with would have thanked me. So after doing a little cleaning and wrapping presents I got to do some serious knitting. I've now gotten to the point where I'm doing the beads on the socks.

That is four rows of the bead pattern on so far. We are supposed to post a progress picture to the group but I'm going to wait until all the beads are on. It is also supposed to be a "holiday themed" pic so I'm gonna try to hang them off my itty bitty tree or something. It took me about 2 or 3 hours to get just those four rows of beading done. I'm also doing a row of plain knit inbetween each bead row for a total of 8 rows. Strangely, it doesn't seem tedious at all. I'm not sure if that's because of the added brain power needed to do two at once or if the bead pattern is what keeps the brain working.

I've already bound off for the sleeves on the sweater.

So far the votes say that the cable on the back won't be a problem. I think I'm going to make this piece the front anyway just so people have more time to comment and I have more time to cogitate.
By the way, any of you crocheters out there ever experience "crochet burnout"? I'm seriously in this mood where I don't even want to look at a crochet hook except for the one that is getting the beads on the socks. Maybe that last afghan did me in. Here's hoping it's temporary since I still have an OPH ghan to do and a was given a special project just the other day AND I bought all the yarn for the Dusty Miller!

I think Simba could care less about all these issues:

Doesn't she look completely comfy and totally uninvolved? The thing that she will care about is that there is a super secret surprise in store for someone this weekend that kind of involves Simba. Well, not directly. However, I can not reveal what's in store since I'm not sure if the recipient reads this! Let's just say, I'll tell you all about it on Monday. :)

Double Grr!!!!!!

I have just spent most of the morning updating my blog only to have it get totally messed up resulting in the need to rebuild it one piece at a time!! I've finally managed to get everything back as it should be AND changed my commenting to Haloscan. But really, if I had needed to go to work today this certainly would have NOT been a good thing after all this time. To look on the bright side, I think you'll find the new commenting much better. That whole thing where it put the comments in the page itself just wasn't too slick. I also seem to have some images that aren't showing up even though they are on the same server as others that are! Computers! Oye!

So back to knitting. I have achieved some small successes. First, the socks are finally on the needles!! I guess the 5th time is the charm?! I don't know but I actually almost have the ribbing done and I am very happy about that. After I get the beading done, I'll be sure to post a pic. It's rather unexciting to look at this very moment.

On the other hand, the Quick Cable Sweater is coming along nicely. Here's what I have so far:

That's the magazine that the pattern came from with it. It's basically a big Lion Brand add, but hey, if you've got it, flaunt it right?

I have one quandary with this sweater at the moment. The pattern calls for the cable to be on both the front AND the back. I find this a little weird. Won't having that big bulky cable on the back be a tad uncomfortable? I'm thinking about replacing by just making it the same as the rest on the back (in other words, another stockinette panel). What's your vote?


The order of the day yesterday?

Allow me to explain. First, I decided that I wanted to get the new socks going for the 6 sox knitalong so I tried to cast on for them. Noticed I said tried. Apparently that whole thing about "musicians can only count to four" is totally true. If I didn't end up having the wrong number of stitches I ended up with the yarn going in the wrong direction, something twisted or whatnot. Just to add to the insanity, I'm also doing them with the magic loop method and two on one circ. I managed this for the wristwarmers without a problem but somehow after four tries I have been completely unable to do it for these socks! After ripping it out for the fourth time I put it out of my sight before I started making a noose out of Koigu!

So then I turned my attention to what should have been much easier. Casting on for the Quick Cable Sweater. I've been dying to get this one started for a while. Managed to find the yarn on sale for less than $20 for the whole sweater. I'm doing it in Lion Brand Thick and Quick in Sky Blue 106 on size 11 Addi Turbos. I even did a new cast on where instead of a long tail you just put loops on the needle by kind of twisting the yarn back on itself (anyone know the actual name for this? Sami are you reading this?! :) ). Of course I cast on the wrong number of stitches and ended up having to tear it out. Then I finally got things going and while knitting along all fat dumb and happy at SnB last night I kept looking at my work and thinking "Weird. Those stitches look twisted". Smart little me of course thought that this couldn't possibly be so since I'm now knitting into the front loop as I am supposed to. The Magic Stripes socks taught me that. However, Sami came over at the end of the night and came to the same conclusion I did, "I think you are twisting your stitches again". ACK! How can this be?!? Turns out, because I knit *combination* style, when working in the round the knit stitch goes into the front of the loop, but when working in the flat, the knit stitch goes into the back of the loop!! And exactly HOW is my tired little brain supposed to remember this?? I have no idea. And exactly why is it that this is the case?? If anyone can explain that to me I would be eternally grateful.

So being the good little knitter I am, I went home frogged the whole thing and started over. I'm happy to report that I finally managed to finish one pattern repeat without screwing anything up and my stitches are indeed ok now. Life is a learning experience.

Oh, and speaking of learning... I learned that an itty bitty cable needle just isn't gonna work for this particular project. Someone suggested using a pencil instead last night but the closest I had was a plastic size K crochet hook. It actually works quite well. You can see there is a bit of a difference in size:

Now I think I'm going to go look up the directions for two socks on one circ and give it another shot. I'm hoping whatever bad vibe it was that was messing with me yesterday is gone now that I've straightened out the sweater. Who knew you have to exorcise your knitting sometimes!!
Oooh...by the way, remember how I mentioned I liked Mariah so much? Apparently I'm not the only one! Looks like Eklectica is going to be hosting a Mariah - along in February. Check out her post from yesterday to sign up!

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

... but that didn't stop me from going shopping! But first,

It's done!

There it is in all it's finished glory. I just finished the Wedding afghan a few minutes ago. I'm very happy that it is done. I really tend to hate patterns that have a lot of chaining in them and this was one of them. But I really like how it looked so I just had to deal and make it. Here's a detail view:

All those loops in between the diamonds are chain 5. Yuck. I'm glad it turned out pretty well but I doubt I'll ever make it again. Now to wash and wrap.

So as I said, although the weather is simply awful around here (it was 40 and pouring when I left work) I still managed to make my trip to the Fabric Place in celebration of my paper accomplishment. Here's what I got:

The needle already had the Fusion Scarf transfered to them. Ahh yes...much better.
The yarns are for my current addiction, more socks! The stuff at the top is Sockotta in color 14 (how original!). I saw a sample worked up at the store and just really like how this color blended. I have enough magic stripes to last me a while so I wanted something that had a bit of interest but wasn't going to stripe specifically.
The lavender stuff is called Silja in color (does "farge" mean color?! The whole label is in german...yet again in my life I need german) 393. I got the idea in my head yesterday that a pair of socks to go with the purple sweater I crocheted would be a fab idea. So there it is.
And the thing I'm most proud of? With my $5 off coupon I managed to get out of there for under $25! Not bad.
Now before I go to bed I just have to figure out what I'm going to take to work on at SnB tomorrow night. I'm a little worried about bringing the beaded socks (beads flying everywhere in coffee shop. yeah. bad idea.) but I think the scarf will be too boring. Dare I cast on for the Quick Cable Sweater? Or do I start the next felted bag? Guess you will have to wait until tomorrow to find out. :)
And for those of you wondering what Simba has been up to lately, here she is with her new favorite toy:

No not the little blue kitty, the bag! And see the little pieces around it? This is her favorite thing to do with said toy:

What can I do? My cat is part termite. Is there therapy for this??

Lots of happy things

I seem to have a bunch of happy things to report today despite the fact that I had an ice covered car and no ice scraper when I tried to get home today. First,

Bills 42 - Miami 32

Nothing like beating a division rival to make the soul feel good.

Second, I'm on the last skein of yarn for the wedding afghan. Completion in time seems to be well within reach. Timely crochet is definitely a happy thing.

Third, Alison, the owner of the Blue Blog left me a comment! I'm such a geek...this totally made my day since I think she has such a cool blog. Since blue is my favorite color I was going to name my blog something along those lines, but when I found the Blue Blog I knew I'd been beat to the punch. My dismay quickly turned to bliss however when I started reading and found how cool it was. Be sure to check out her pattern that made the new Knitty too. It's really cute! (I'm also loving Mariah too. I think I have a thing for cables.)

Fourth, Remember the paper?

I GOT AN A!!! :-D

I could hardly believe it. I also got an A for the course which makes me totally happy. There is a light at the end of the tunnel! There really is!!
This weekend I was kind of a bad girl and cast on for the diagonal scarf I've been wanting to do for little old me for ages. It's done with two balls of Reynolds Fusion by casting on two stitches and increasing for a while and then binding off on the short edge and making stitches on the long edge as you go. So far it's coming out pretty well:

I fell in love with this yarn at Webs this summer but it was a little too much for the budget. I found it on sale at the Fabric Place and couldn't let it go again. I think the colors are simply amazing. And it really is wild how this little strand of fuzzy yarn can wind up feeling so thick and full. The only real problem I'm having is the needles. I started it on metal straight needles and my hands were not happy. I decided to switch to circs but the only size 9s I had are these really cheap awful things that don't let the yarn slide at all and are just horrible to work with. I think I've decided that all knitting must be done on circular needles. I mean, why not? They are way more comfy than straights and you can do all the same stuff. So armed with $5 off coupon and in honor of the A I'm going to take a little trip to the Fabric Place tomorrow night. :) They carry all sorts of Addi Turbos which I think are heaven sent. Lord only knows what other things I will find to get me in trouble there. I'll be sure to give the full report tomorrow night sometime providing we don't have another weather episode like we did today. YUCK!
And if you're wondering about the Koigu socks, 55 stitches is the magic number. Thank you for all the comments! Others had suggested this number and a friend shared a formula for figuring this out and that's what I came up with. Unfortunately, I don't really feel that I can post the formula here since it came from a book (I am a good future librarian I say!). But I can certainly lead you to the book which is Queen Kahuna's Crazy Toes & Heals Sock Book. If the title isn't worth the money alone, the sock formula is!! I've asked Santa for this for Christmas and if he doesn't deliver I'm certainly going to get it myself so I feel I have fullfilled my obligation to the copyright gods. So there. I'm not going to cast on for these until I get the wedding afghan done and a couple of scarfs that I realized today that I really should make for presents. After that, I'm planning a month of knitting and crocheting for me. How selfish am I?
One other thing, I just had to share this forward that my Mom sent me today.

When I stand up for myself and my beliefs,
they call me a bitch.
When I stand up for those I love,
they call me a bitch.
When I speak my mind,
think my own thoughts or do things my own way,
they call me a bitch.
Being a bitch means I won't compromise what's in my heart.
It means I live my life MY way.
It means I won't allow anyone to step on me.
When I refuse to tolerate injustice and speak against it,
I am defined as a bitch.
The same thing happens when I take time for myself instead of being everyone's maid,
or when I act a little selfish.

It means I have the courage and strength to allow myself to be who I truly am and won't become anyone else's idea of what they think I "should" be.

I am outspoken, opinionated and determined. I want what I want and there is nothing wrong with that!
So try to stomp on me, try to douse my inner flame, try to squash every ounce of beauty I hold within me.
You won't succeed.
And if that makes me a bitch, so be it.
I embrace the title and am proud to bear it.
B - Babe
I - In
T - Total
C - Control of
H - Herself
B = Beautiful
I = Intelligent
T = Talented
C = Charming
H = Hell of a Woman
B = Beautiful
I = Individual
T = That
C = Can
H = Handle anything
Yeah. I think that just about says it all.

100 Things

I've seen this done on a couple of other blogs and found it interesting. It's quite the "getting to know you" sort of thing. Since I don't have much else to report today since I'm still waiting for more input on the sock stitches (hint, hint) I thought I'd post this now. Hopefully you won't find it totally weird or depressing.

1. I’m 26 and have been going gray since I was 22.
2. That fact doesn’t make me happy.
3. I’ve been coloring my hair since about 22.
4. I lost my mom’s parents when I was 12 and 14.
5. I tried to follow them shortly thereafter.
6. I’m glad I didn’t manage to do that.
7. I’ve battled depression most of my adult life without really knowing it.
8. I’m scared to death of the day my parents die.
9. I’m also scared to death of bodies of water larger than a bathtub.
10. I almost drowned twice as a kid.
11. I don’t really want to find out if the third time really is the charm.
12. I’m hypoglycemic.
13. After I changed my diet I lost 10 pounds.
14. I’m 5’11”
15. I’m not saying how much I weigh.
16. I’m basically a vegetarian.
17. I won’t cook meat but I’ll eat it out or at my parent’s house.
18. I’ll cook fish but I think it’s gross.
19. I have a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Fredonia in Music Performance.
20. I have a master’s degree from Yale in Music Performance.
21. I will (hopefully) get my second master’s degree from Southern CT State University in May in Library Science.
22. I’m still not quite sure what I want to be when I grow up.
23. The thought of a 9-5 job sounds boring as hell.
24. I’d really like a retirement plan and a paid sick day though.
25. I dated a guy for 5.5 years and then broke up with him.
26. He was shorter than me by two inches.
27. I’m not sure I believe in marriage.
28. I don’t want human kids.
29. My cat is an only child just like me.
30. I don’t believe in god.
31. I think organized religion is a crock.
32. But I don’t think less of people who participate in it.
33. I believe in an afterlife.
34. I believe that divinity exists in every living thing.
35. I don’t think I need someone to tell me how to live as a good person.
36. My parents taught me that.
37. I think men who rape women should either have their penis registered as a deadly weapon and branded or should have it cut off.
38. If you think I’m kidding about that one, try me.
39. I think that would stop a lot of sexual assault.
40. I don’t think women’s liberation is over.
41. I think women of my generation mistakenly think that we are equal, we aren’t.
42. I’m still depressed about the presidential election.
43. I think Canada is awesome.
44. Lake Moraine in Alberta is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been and may be the most beautiful place on earth.
45. I went to Spain in 8th grade.
46. I totally want to go back some day.
47. I love to travel.
48. I wish I had the money to travel more.
49. I also wish I had someone to go with.
50. I play bassoon and contrabassoon.
51. I don’t practice enough.
52. I go to bassoon camp every May.
53. I got a horse when I was 12.
54. I used to go to a show once a month from April – October.
55. I got Lyme’s disease in High School and had to stop riding.
56. My horse died my senior year of High School.
57. I still miss him.
58. I learned to knit and crochet around age 10 but didn’t really do anything with it until college.
59. I was a double major in Performance and Education as an undergrad.
60. I got through 6 weeks of student teaching and dropped Education.
61. I had already passed my state exams.
62. I love to teach privately but hate public school.
63. My high school band director is still one of my great friends.
64. My dad was a NY State Cop for 26.5 years.
65. My mom had the hardest job in the world, raising me.
66. My dad directed traffic at the first Woodstock.
67. He was also on the SWAT Team that protected the 1980 Olympics.
68. He listened to the US beat the Russians in hockey on the radio while guarding the hanger housing Walter Mondale’s plane.
69. I love watching Hockey.
70. The Buffalo Sabres are my team.
71. I’m very sad there isn’t any hockey this year.
72. I have a Sabres mouse pad that I bought in CT weirdly enough.
73. I still have my Domink Hasek jersey in my closet.
74. I love yoga.
75. I wish I could do it more.
76. I thought about becoming a yoga teacher.
77. I think learning Sanskrit would be cool.
78. I really need to learn German first.
79. I’ve also thought of becoming a massage therapist.
80. I’ve had a lot of problems with my hands (tendonitis, thoracic outlet syndrome and ulner neuropathy).
81. I was in a rehearsal in undergrad and both my hands went numb. Not fun.
82. It’s pretty much under control now.
83. Yoga really seems to help with everything.
84. I think Letterman is better than Leno.
85. I’m one of those people that is always cold.
86. I’ve never knit with beads but I’m gonna learn!!
87. I don’t think using acrylic yarn is a sin against humanity.
88. I’m having a problem thinking of stuff for the last 12 things.
89. I don’t like snow.
90. But I own all the necessary equipment for cross-country skiing.
91. I love sushi but can’t have the white rice anymore.
92. When I grow up I want a great dane and a westy and I want to name them Wallace and Grommit.
93. I don’t think Simba will stand for that though.
94. My favorite movie of all time is the first Fantasia.
95. I love Tom Hanks though.
96. My favorite painting is the Garden of Delights by Bosch.
97. My favorite composer is Beethoven even though he did some pretty evil things to bassoon players.
98. My bassoon’s name is Stravinsky though because the first thing I played on him was the opening of the Rite of Spring.
99. My favorite flowers are roses.
100. I’m a total Pisces and can never make up my mind about anything.

Swatching the beads

Well I've managed to do a little swatch of the beading for the new sock pattern. Here are a couple of pics:

I've learned a lot from this experience already:
1. It's REALLY hard to take a picture of something like this unless you have a few extra hands.
2. Cats are no help when you need a few extra hands.
3. Honey, that Koigu is like buttah!! Now I know what all the fuss is about.
4. I really love the magic loop method. It works for anything.
5. Impaling oneself on an itty bitty crochet hook HURTS!
6. Knitting and crocheting can, in fact, cause bodily harm (see number 4).
7. If the yarn won't go through the bead, try another bead (refer to number 4 for results of not following this procedure).
8. It really is good to "stretch" one's abilities on a regular basis, but proceed with caution (you should know why by now).
In case you are wondering, I'm fine. Just a little puncture. And no...I didn't bleed on the Koigu (which of course, was my main concern).
So far I have to say I'm pretty impressed with myself. I wasn't real sure about this whole bead deal but it's working out pretty well. I'm actually kinda sad that I'm gonna have to frog the swatch but this yarn is precious so there is no sense in trying to keep it for posterity or something. If you haven't worked with Koigu before, I would highly recommend it. I hope to find some more in the future at a better price so I might be able to do something with it again. I seem to be developing a thing for merino wool.
The only problem I'm having so far is trying to figure out how to make this thing so it actually fits. The pattern says to cast on 60 stitches and calls for 8 stitches per inch. I did that but I'm getting 7 stitches per inch on the smallest needles I have. The pattern says sock weight yarn which I think the Koigu is so I'm not totally sure why the gauge is off. I should probably be using a size 1 but I can't find one long enough anywhere and I'm a bit strapped for cash with the holidays and all. I think I'm just going to try it with 45 stitches instead. The Magic Stripes socks that I did were done with 56 stitches on size 4 needles and I got seven stitches to the inch. The only problem is the pattern I'm using now needs a multiple of 5 stitches for the beading to come out right. Hmmm... maybe I should go with 55 instead of 45? Any experts out there care to comment?

Lazy Friday

Does anyone else find that if they don't have to go to work they get next to nothing done? I've been so totally unmotivated today and I have to be at a rehearsal in a few hours. There were tons of things I could have done today but didn't quite get to most of them.
Anyway, I've finished off the 2nd skein of yarn for the Wedding afghan. I figure everyone is probably getting sick of looking at it so I'll just post another pic when it's done. I also finally got supplies for the new sock pattern:

I think the lighter beads will work out well with the Koigu. They aren't the really tiny seed beads. Instead I got a slightly bigger size. I also bought a size 10 crochet hook last night but that was too big so I got the size 12 you see here. (Oh yeah, somebody please hurt me if I ever decide to crochet something that actually calls for this size crochet hook!!! It's almost microscopic!!) It finally fits through the beads but I'm wondering how successful it will be to grab the yarn with it. I think I'm going to have to swatch this one. Yes I used the S word! I almost never do that but I figure this territory is too weird not to. I will of course keep you all posted on my progress.
Good news! I've been accepted to the Knitting Kitty webring! You can find it in the sidebar. Maybe it's time to teach Simba to knit... nah...she'd just play with the yarn all the time. And then there is that whole opposable thumb thing...bummer.


So yesterday during what was more like a hurricane than the beginning of December I decided that it was time to decorate for Christmas. I figure this should have some people rolling on the floor, so here is my pathetic little Christmas Tree:

That cup on the right hand side is indeed coffee up size. That gives you some idea how big my tree is. I'm not grown up enough to get a real one yet, so this does the job. Well...with a little help from a balsam scented Yankee Candle! I also have a stunning light display in my front window:

Yes. Also quite sad. (I told you this was funny.) But hey, at least my Christmas Cactus is blooming! And yes, perhaps it is time to retire the pumpkin...

Yesterday was SnB night number one so I did manage some decent progress on the Wedding afghan:

I'm almost done with the second skein of yarn. I'll probably be able to finish that off and start on skein number 2 tonight at SnB number 2. Even though it's quite an open pattern it sure is warm on my lap, which I'm glad to note. Hopefully the recipients will like it too.

So the new pattern was posted for the 6 sox knitalong (which incidentally has a pic of the new pattern on the front page today) and it requires B-E-A-D-S!! I've just barely gotten over my fear of socks and now you want me to do beads?!? I am happy to report that I was not the only one a bit freeked out by this. Just when I thought I was going to be able to make it to a Thursday night SnB without setting foot in Michaels...I need beads! I was thinking that I might do it without them but the pattern really does require it. They are done in a diamond pattern around the cuff in a contrasting color to the yarn. I hope my precious little Koigu can hold up to the challenge since people keep talking about needing a sturdy yarn for this sort of thing so the yarn doesn't wear. Has anyone out there in blog land done this before? Any amazing tips you'd like to share?

Thanks to Eklectica for leaving the tip about using other things to make the ball center smaller. I so didn't even think about that! Then last night I was told by my SnB buddy Sami that she used a tuning fork to wrap a ball on! I think that is totally cool. Of course I'm also a bit amused by the fact that the nursing major has a tuning fork and the masters-degree-possessing bassoonist doesn't! Somehow I don't think my electronic tuner will work out quite the same....