Sunday, December 31, 2006

Hastur's Challenge - Level 1 Completed!

So, I finished the 10th project for Hastur's Challenge this week, a simple beanie knit out of Wool-Ease for Sweetie's sister. I'm actually quite surprised at how quickly these tem projects have worked up - I didn't change my style of knitting, I just refrained from buying a few patterns I otherwise would have picked up. Notably, Arianne and a few lace shawls. I did buy yarn once or twice (okay, three times), but twice was out of gift money and I didn't use them to make projects for the Challenge. I'm thinking for my reward, I'm going to go ahead and kit up for the Victoriana Top from Elann, in their baby silk. Maybe nab some yarn for Arianne while I'm there.

So, after this notable achievement, I've of course got to set up for the next level of the challenge - 15 projects before I buy my next pattern. I'm going to have two changes to my prior Challenge, one being that I can get Interweave Knits magazine when it comes out (I'd subscribe, but I'm so paranoid about moving and not getting an issue!), and I can buy yarn. I still have to make items out of yarn that is stash when I start the challenge - and I'm not starting yet, let me be clear on this - but I can acquire some stash yarn, when I'm in other cities and whatnot and need souveniers, and it counts for the next level of the challenge. This challenge will go into effect on the 15th of January, when the mini-mester is done and my schedule has calmed down some. I hope to finish Frost Flowers and Icar-ish, and those should count for quite a bit.

Speaking of Icar-ish, I picked up another copy of the Summer 06 IK to review the pattern. Turns out I have more than a few differences - I'm up a needle size, I've got eleven stitches per ray instead of nine, and I started it in a different place. So I need to take gague and see how it compares to the original, and from there see if I need to alter the number of rays from what the pattern dictates, and adapt the lace pattern a little to account for the extra stitches. I'm feeling pretty good about this, and since I got a digital camera for Christmas (thanks, PrimaryBrother!) I'll even have pictures to post!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


So, here's the thing. I don't see my family that often. Christmas, thanksgiving, basically the holidays that involve lots of food, occassional other trips through the year but not often. When there isn't a holiday to work around, we don't really know what to do with each other if I visit. AND YET, every time I've seen them for the past two or three years? They've remarked on how "fat I'm getting."

Okay, you know what? I know I'm overweight. I'm 180 on a 160 frame, I know quite well that I've got a heed's worth of extra flesh up in here. This ain't no surprise. It's even LESS of a surprise since I've been carrying this weight for THREE YEARS. I don't slim down right after new years and suddenly gain it all back for family gatherings -- all this ass is staying right where it is. And it's not like my parents aren't both overweight themselves, or everyone in our extended family. We're a family of fat people, okay? The only skinny ones of the lot are TwinSister, who excersizes and counts calories like people with OCD wash their hands, and the seriously extended family Adolfi's wife brought from Pakistan. So this whole PPN putting on 20 lbs in 3 years? Not a damn national crisis. Yet every time I stop in to see my family, be it for an hour or a week, my weight is brought up. Not "are you happy, PPN." Not, "how's that depression working out?" or "what's that you're knitting?" or even "so how is Sweetie doing?" No, just endless repetitions of "Hot damn, that's a big fat ass. You must be somehow unaware of your physical form, so allow me to clue you in -- it's large."

What really pisses me off, though, is how the classifications have changed since I put on weight. Instead of TwinSister and I being "the pretty one" and "the smart one", we're now suddenly "the pretty one" and "the fat one", with people being surprised that I'm getting my goddamn degree this may and going for my masters and doctorate after that. It's like I can see the wheels turning in their heads, 'good thing she's going for her education, 'cause those looks ain't doing a damn thing for her.' It makes me want to punch people. But more than that, it makes me not want to visit home. And that's a damn shame.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Remember Me?

Yeah, I've missed you too, baby. Come on home, Mama's got a new pair of needles just for you.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Well, Crap.

Okay, so I finally finished my Christmas shopping. I got my dad something that plugs into the TV so he can play Ms. Pac-Man (one of his old favorites) and PrimaryBrother a nice pocketknife, and LittlerBrother I'm just finishing the DS case for. The problem? Now TwinSister's hat looks like an insufficient gift. So what's a girl to do, but give away the Emma scarf? Hopefully I'll get to take a picture of her wearing it, and use that to pimp the pattern. Or maybe I'll just post it up here for free - honestly, I just want to get some damn pics of it up already.

Speaking of segues, I got some nice yarn up at Hill Country Weavers this past weekend. I got two skeins of apple-green kid mohair (about 1000 yards total) and a nice Merino gossamerweight, about 1500 yards by itself. They're not going to count towards the Challenge, but I don't care. Oh, and I finished a sleeping socklet - it's got latex in the inside of the heel, so I can put mousturizer in it. I think it's pretty swanky.

So, I guess it's time to head out. I'd like to take my wheel with me this time, but what with the cats in the car there isn't going to be room. So until next time, my dears: Same Persian time, same Persian channel.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


So, Fox's scarf is coming along slower than I'd hoped. I switched to some hairpin crochet, but then I remembered I suck at crochet, so right now me and this scarf are in somewhat of a standoff. In other news, I made TwinSister a nice, cabled brown hat (using the chart from Shedir, only with 2-stitch cables instead of 1-stitch, and over worsted weight - I really must post a picture), and now I'm making myself one to match since I love it that hard. LittlerBrother is getting an old-school NES controller-shaped DS case (a la Craftster), Dad I'm hoping to get an orange tree... so that just leaves PrimaryBrother and Mom to shop for. If PrimaryBrother was living in the dorms I'd get him, you know, dorm things, a whiteboard and a box of condoms (hey, he's 18, he should have something on hand). Maybe I still will. For Mom... you know, 24 years I've known her and she's no easier to shop for. Maybe I should give her this other hat I'm making? Or make her one like it? She's in the used RV business now, so she needs some classy cold-weather gear. Sweetie is trying to make a knotwork bracelet out of ParaCord for FavCousin, if that works out well I'd like to do something similar for PrimaryBrother maybe.

Oh, and I hate my job. Nothing new there, except that I'm actively looking to replace it now.

I guess that's about all for updates at the moment. That, and that I plan to fall off the wagon this weekend, since I'm going to be visiting K-the-knitter up in Austin and we'll actually get to go check out FUCKING HILL COUNTRY WEAVERS. Nothing I get there will be able to count towards the challenge, and I can't get any patterns, but I have enough for a modest yarn budget, and by gad, I'm a-getting some yarn.

And since it's been a while since I posted any of my old art, here you go (I used to have a thing for cats and horses, how cliche of me):

Friday, December 01, 2006

In Which the Persian Pen Name Learns a New Skill

Well, Fox's scarf? Not so much. I tried (and tried and tried) swatching for this thing, and no kind of scarf was it going to be. Plus, it made my hands hurt. So I called up my old nemesis, that dark art, that I swore never again to do once I first picked up my needles....

That's right. I crocheted.

Now, I'm certain that there are all kinds of people out there who are right handy at crochet. I'm sure they've made many a lovely thing, garments that would make me weep with joy to gaze upon, articles of lace and the pure fire of inspiration. Me? I am not that person. Crochet, with me, is all about speed and lack of hand-hurties. I can granny square with the best of 'em, but I'll hate myself (and the project) in the morning. I just don't like the look, feel, and textile qualities of crochet. That said, I started looking for a pattern.

Do you have any idea how many really bad scarf patterns there are for crochet? Fox wanted a "black, squishy scarf", and as long as those criteria were met she said she didn't really care how it looks. But I care. So on I searched.

Eventually, I came across this pattern from Saks Fifth Avenue. It said it was crocheted, and surprise! It didn't suck! Of course, it was a stitch with which I was unfamiliar, so I asked around on Craftster and eventually discovered that the center panels were made with Hairpin crochet (which to me, must explain the lack of suck). So I traded a loom for some yarn with Mr. Hastur (whose hat and scarf are going to look great, by the way) and started loopin'.

Damn you, hairpin crochet. Your siren song. Your speedy output of scarfly goodness. Your consistent tension and all around enjoyableness. Damn you for making me enjoy crocheting again.

Oh, and meme tracking? Totally cool. You guys should help out with this. Link to everyone's good buddy Scott (the grad student studying intarweb memes hoping to present at an MLA conference) and ping Technocrati.