Monday, October 31, 2011

My Random Monday - Halloween Edition!

1. I'm not that big on Halloween.  Candy? It's a nice indulgence but why eat a bunch of it in one go? You just make yourself sick.  Costumes? You go out and buy it, then wear it once and never again.  It's weird, because Halloween used to be my favorite holiday.  Now, not so much.

2. Maybe I'm just being a wet blanket because this week is the busiest ever for me.  I'm travelling for work, then I have a 3-day summit for school.  It should give me some good knitting time, at least.

3. Oh.... this:
I joined a crafty directory! I had a lot of fun looking at all the different blogs in it... so, you should check it out and join, too!

4. Here's something spooky... GMOs.  I'm a big non-GMO proponent, and I guess I'm not in the majority.  This poll asked people "Would you eat genetically modified salmon?" and when I took it, the majority said "NO WAY!"  Sadly, most of us ARE eating GMOs every day.  It's not enough to just buy the stuff that says GMO-free on the label - if you're in the U.S. you should go to the Center for Food Safety.  They have a form that you can fill out in thirty seconds to write to the FDA.  Even if you don't think it'll work, at least give it a try if you feel strongly about the issue!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Best Gift EVER!

I have the greatest, most greatest BKFF (Best knitting friends forever).  At club last night, Ash gave me THESE...




I am seriously going to treasure these forever.  I can't take my HazWOpER refresher this year because I have a class that meets - this totally makes up for it.  I had them clean up some cocoa today.


Part of me just wants to carry these around with me and photograph them cleaning up spills.


The most amazing thing is that I've had a pretty crummy week, and these have just made it. I've found that my happiness can be won over with presents.  What cool things cheer you up, Internet friends?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lotus's Bad Week


It's been a while since I posted up photos of Lotus!  She had a pretty crummy week last week.  After her bath on Wednesday, she got a nail tangled in the towel that I was drying her with - it was caught like a hook, and there was no way to get it out without clipping it.  It was like torture to her.  Then on Friday night in the wee hours she bumped her face on her wheel and got a nasty bruise, and refused to do anything all weekend.  Finally she came out Sunday night and I played with her on the bed, and she fell into a corner and was so embarrassed she wouldn't let me hold her for a good hour.  She's finally eating a lot and running on her wheel again, so I'm not worried.  I just hope that she doesn't end up like the wheel horror stories I've heard...

Anyway,  we like to sit and read together (well, I read, she naps) and then usually W comes up and we go to sleep. And by we I mean W and I.  Lotus doesn't sleep at night - she's too busy guzzling down water, knocking down her food bowl, and running around on her wheel.  It's actually hard for me to sleep when she's not running - then I know she's upset or something is wrong.  (That's how I knew that she had hit herself.)

When I was putting her back W got out his iPhone and took some photos.  She's afraid of bright lights and sudden noises, so the DSL camera doesn't turn out so well.  As I held her she started licking my hands and foaming.




In the bottom picture it looks like she's biting me, but that's just the face that she makes when she foams.  She's learned that when she bites me I yelp, and that's not a fun experience.  She still bites W occasionally while foaming, but not mean, leave-me-alone bites.  More like tastes :)


And yes, I have huge boobs.  Sorry they just happen to be in every one! XD Blame W for that!

Monday, October 24, 2011

My Random Monday - 10/24

1. It is now week 8.  If there's anything you know about RIT, you need to know that there is a lot of work.  Some people might say "Hey, I'm in department A and you're in college B, I have more work than you," but I completely disagree with this. I think we're ALL overworked and cranky, but it prepares us to be overworked and cranky in the real world, so it's not so bad.  When it's over.  Right now it's pretty dumb.

2. I haven't been knitting so much, but I have been working on W's puppets all weekend.  I'm kind of disappointed to say they despite swatching, it took me three tries to get most of the body parts right for his little puppet. 


The cast-off parts have turned into a little bunny, which I still need to sew together and stuff... but I kind of like her.


Hand felting is a total chore - I'm not thrilled by it.

3. I'm on a mission to try all the noodle restaurants in Rochester, in preparation for this coming winter.  I will figure out the best!  A few weeks ago I went to Aja Noodle (twice) and I was impressed with some stuff but pretty disappointed in others.  Tonight I'm going to try Mamasan's Noodle Cafe.

5. And finally... You should try this!

I got loyal, restless, courageous, and sweet.  I'm interested to see what other people see.  No cheating!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pretty Shawl Photos


I love my Blackbird Shawlette. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love.  I blocked it really quick on Friday, and realized Monday that the decreases in the center were wonky.  So, I re-blocked it, taking my time. 

The difference between the blocked and un-blocked version is phenomenal.  It's like my shawlette is me, tiny and with a lot of potential.  Unassuming, but when teased and stretched it's something to be reckoned with.  It's elegant and beautiful, like a butterfly in a glass case. I almost don't want to take it down... it won't be this gorgeous.


Repurposing W's homosode was such a good idea. The pins slide into it, and I don't have to worry about someone stepping on it - I can take the board and prop it up against a wall.  Or maybe mount it on a wall! It does seem like it could be a work of art more than an article of clothing.  It isn't very warm.  


But blocking also brings out the bad.  I found mistakes I didn't know about (in addition to the ones that I knew about but chose to ignore.  Below you can see where I messed up an eyelet row.


Also, I dropped a stitch at the veeeerrrrrryyyy beginning.


 While I'm knitting something, I look at mistakes as nonconformities (sorry, engineering school) that need to be fixed, but on the blocking board they're not mistakes, they're things that make my shawl unique and different, like a birth mark. 

W and I tried to do an impromptu photo shoot but it just didn't work out.  We got a few pictures taken but they were HIDEOUS.  I'm transitioning to paleoshowers, and I'm still kind of greasy.  I told myself I would give it until the end of the academic quarter and decide if I would continue then - it's only been 8 days.


But I did get one shot where I don't look terribly hideous.  I usually hate photos of myself, but every once in a while W takes one and I think "Oooh... I like that picture."  Then W says something like "It's overexposed."

Monday, October 17, 2011

Beck from Rhinebeck!

Rhinebeck was pretty super awesome. I blocked my shawlette while the friend I went with, Rebecca, packed. We drove to Schenectady Friday night with it in the back seat of my car, and then it sat there until Saturday morning, where I took it down while we waiting in traffic for an hour and a half to park in the fairground.


W let me borrow his camera, but remember those nice blog photos I put up on Thursday night? I was an idiot and left the cap on. So, I can tell you about the sheep, the crowds, and the YARN... I can even tell you about the projects, and the people watching, and they lady that wore three shawls... but no photos.

I wish there was some kind of way to describe the Rhinebeck feeling. I get through the gate and I feel like it's Christmastime. I glimpse bloggers that I follow waiting in line to get food or coffee. I get to look at and touch yarn that I only see photos of online.

Maybe I can describe it with the photos of the swag I got.


It's a pretty modest haul. I got sock yarn for me, and enough yarn for two W socks from the same stand that I got my Opal Sock Yarn last year. No Opal this year, though... but Regia isn't so bad, I guess...

I also got a sweater's worth of yarn! I saw the Maple Creek Farm stand that I bought yarn from last year, and I saw their Jade colorway and KNEW I had to have a sweater made from it! It was only 678 yards - nothing to laugh at... but not enough for a cardi for someone as busty as me. So I got the lighter color, Sherwood Forest, to stripe with it and maybe push it a little more.


I would definitely recommend checking them out if you ever have the chance - there's supposed to be a website for them, but the link on Ravelry is broken! Even if you don't want to spend some money... just go and smell the yarn. W thought I was crazy, sniffing yarn, but it just smells so good!


Crazy luck got me this lace yarn. I was suffocating in this crowd in one of the buildings, and I slipped into a booth to cut towards the exit... but I was fixated by the colors! I ended up picking up Sweet Nothings Silken in a colorway called "A Rose By Another Name." I would definitely recommend them... Bittersweet Woolery.

I also managed to snag a project bag from Go Monkey Design!  I keep all my projects in little ziploc bags... Now I have a REAL project bag! :)

Speaking of snagging...


Ash couldn't come with us - she has been really sick - but she gave me money to buy her some goodies. I'm not going to reveal the bag until I give it to her, so I'll save it for a later post. I really hope I can make her happy! I would be nervous giving cash to someone and saying "I'd like a tote bag and... I'm sure you'll find good things for me."

Friday, October 14, 2011

RIT After Class Showcase!

Today I spent my day in the SAU, hanging out and telling people "Yes, we're the knitting and crochet club." "No, really, everyone tells me they've never heard of us. That's why I'm here!"  We probably had the most traffic out of any of the other (four? six?) tables there, mostly because of our choice location.

Mostly because of these guys.  I REALLY need to make at least a hundred more so I can sell them at our craft table in December.  Gak.


Plenty of people joined to show all of our awesome skillz.  Or, just sit and craft and eat ice cream.


All and all, a good day, and also, there was this:


I've claimed some of W's homosode board (he's not shooting until November, anyway, right?) and I'm going to block this baby tonight.  Rhinebeck, here we come!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Stop Motion Knitting - Pre-Knitting.


As you might (or not, I'm not sure if I've mentioned it on the blog before) know, W is working on his thesis.  I'm working as his "Fabricator" - a fancy word for how I'm helping him build his puppets.  He's doing all of the shop work, and I'm making all of the outside parts. 

The plan is to have felted puppets with an underlying wood and wire armature.  I'm trying to make the outsides so that if W needs to change the inside armature, he can just take the knit parts off like clothes and put them on a new armature.

Designing these puppets has been similar to designing toys, but you have to take a few things into consideration.  For one, the covers can limit access to he underlying armature, so if the armature breaks you would have to knit a whole new cover over a new armature (gulp!) or cut the cover.  Another is that these "toys" will get a lot of play time, so seams need to be tight and neat (because they're on camera! :) )

Anyway, I haven't actually knit anything (aside from a felted swatch) but over the weekend W and I sat down, looked at our supplies and my stash and made decisions about what fabrics I'm going to use.

I tried to give him a lot of options, since we didn't have a lot of options in the main color department when we went to JoAnn Fabrics - we noticed that most big box stores that we went to didn't have a very large selection of colors for 100% wool, but JoAnn's had the best. We even found a little bow for the girl puppet!


The monsters' horns are going to be wrapped in yarn - we have 3 options for that.   One is an acrylic, one is the Samba that I bought the other week at the Yarn store, and the last one (our top choice at the moment) is some handspun that I bought at Rhinebeck last year.  I wrapped each option around an index card so we could compare how they looked.


The other choice we had to make was what yarn to use for the monsters' socks.  We could order sock yarn, but without being able to see the color, we were hesitant - and don't get me started on the sock yarn options at the big box stores we went to (almost zero).  So, we looked into my stash and I wound up the possible combinations on this card:


I kind of like the idea of wrapping yarns around cards, especially when planning colorwork.  I think this could be a useful in the future - it's quick to make, and easy to see how colors blend together.

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Random Monday - 10/10


2. Okay, for some reason I'm not at Defcon 5 on this project.  I am convinced that I can take it with my in the car on the blocking board. So, it will be worn on Saturday!

3.  All of my spare time has been spent playing Glitch this week.  I think my friends have conspired to make me not finish this project.  Glitch is VERY addictive, so if you like online game you really shouldn't click the link!

4. Between school, actual-get-paid work and not-paid-really knitting, I think I am the most miserable person in the world. I have a team project in every class and they are all giving me ulcers. 


5. W has been working on his thesis, and he has a blog, too! It makes me very excited.  I have a post about my work on that... I should post that tomorrow.  A lot of posts that I write get lost in neverland and never published.  I need to work on that.

6. I made Jambalaya completely in the rice cooker yesterday.  I was really proud, but it didn't taste as good as I thought.  It looked good, though!


7.  This week is HUGE, Rochester, HUGE.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My DAL Design (And a little about how I got to it)


Goodness gracious, September went by REALLY fast.  Thankfully, I finally have a design for the DAL, and part of it knit to boot! But I'm going to have to work really fast if I want enough time to have the pattern tested and edited before the November 25th deadline.  I feel like it's going to be down to the wire for me again, but at least I won't be weaseling out of this like last time! :P

This round has been a bit hard for me.  I had a ton of ideas when the theme was announced ("fairytale") - but when I put the mood board together, I got a bit of a blank.  I spent time doodling on this piece of paper that I keep near my desk, and it took a huge beating.  I narrowed it down to three ideas:


There was a Seven Raven's Shawlette, which would have been double knit, reversible, and SO MUCH WORK.  There was the Princess and the Pea socks, which I really liked the idea of, but... they looked oddly familiar to Warren's room mate's socks... which I had never heard of, but am fascinated with! They're called Solmate Socks.  Cool idea, but... why not do something original? 

So, I settled on a gingerbread house inspired cardigan.  Wait.  Freeze.


I've never knit a cardigan before.  In fact, I've never designed a wearable before (unless you count socks, but really... I don't) and, seeing as I've only ever knit one adult-sized article of clothing, maybe I should scale it down in three months?

So, out went the pockets.  Out went the contrasting i-cord trim in white and the multicolored "gumdrop" bobbles that would have transitioned the edging from the stockinette stitch base.  (It looked so good in my head, but the look I got when I explained my idea at Hooks and Needles made me reconsider.  Writing it down now, and reading it, I understand)  I cut it down so that it would seem more like a knit object that babies would wear and less like... well, a gingerbread house costume.  It will have bright red buttons, though! That I will not compromise on.


So, that's where I'm at right now.  I'm not quite sure how I'm going to work the decreases for the yoke (having never worked one before) but I think I can fandangle it! I even did a swatch, although that's been entered into service as a brick... more on that some other time, I think.  I have a lot of projects going on right now, and I feel like I need to finish at least 8 before I can breathe again.

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Random Monday - October 3rd

1.  I have bronchitis.  This explains a lot of how I've been doing these past 10 days.  The health center thinks that I got a cold, then it's developed into bronchitis because I haven't been "taking care of myself."

2.  Considering that I've been sleeping for twelve hours at a time, forcing myself to eat, and still managing to do the chores around the house and "most" of my homework, I seriously wish someone at the health center would define "taking care of myself!"

3.  Also, my lost camera has not turned up.  I only assume that it's living a happy life taking photos for someone else's blog (though, if my camera benefactor ever reads this, if you could send me the touristy photos I took I'd really appreciate it, since all W really took were  artsy photos of birds.)

4.  Speaking of W, he is letting me use his camera but it's a Nikon D300 and it's really, really fancy.  It took me 20 minutes to take photos of the yarn I bought on Saturday.

5.  Oh, I bought yarn Saturday.


Plymouth Encore in bright colors for an upcoming craft table that Hooks and Needles is going to do as a fundraiser.  I'm going to un-vent some flowers, and make little Inkly's, and maybe some hedgehogs if I can find the yarn.


Mini Mochi to go with the Mini Mochi I already have in my stash to make a Mini Mochi striped scarf (like a Noro striped scarf, but without the Noro because... I'm still not convinced I want to try Noro) for myself.


Some cotton that was in the sale bin that will make good fingerless gloves.  It's organic, naturally dyed cotton and it only cost $3.90 for the two skeins! Who says yarn stores are pricey? :P

6.  I ended up finding another mistake on my shawlette last night (besides the surprise stitches) - I had messed up the lace pattern beyond tinking back, so I just frogged back to the lifeline.  Stitch count for the entire weekend: -15. 
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