Thursday, August 31, 2006

Time... Is On My Side

Yes it is.

We went and took pictures of the Anya scarf in action (I didn't model, I left that to Sullivan Ross), thinking we were just barely going to make YarnMonkey's deadline. Late last night, I realize that sometime between dinner and bedtime, I've gone home and forgotten to upload the photos from Hastur's camera to my computer! I hurriedly check YarnMonkey's site to see if there's anything regarding extensions, and guess what?

It ends at the end of september. I have another month to work with, should I so feel like it. I could do a full-size shawl at that rate. I could rest, and let my wrists recover. I could knit a sequel to Anya. I could finish that damn hat.

You know what? I think I'll just go to bed.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Finished!

Well, it turns out there was enough yarn for only four diamonds, so four it is. The scarf is finished, rudimentarily blocked (i.e. I stretched it out wet, fussed over it, and let it dry ultimately without pins) and looking wonderful. I did manage to get a full 60" out of it (go figure!) and it's much wider than I'd thought it would be.

So, yes. I love it. And for those of you huffy about my post-tendonitis marathon knitting this weekend to finish it, fret not. My hand started hurting again last night. I'll take it easy at least till the end of the month. Until Sock Wars, at any rate.

So classes begin today. Fun, eh? I'm taking 8 credit hours of classes, 3 credit hours in the Rat Lab, and 23 actual hours of work, all before 5 p.m. Since these classes actually take 13 hours to attend, and Rat Lab is a 10 hours committment, I've actually comitted 46 out of 54 hours this semester (if I work 9 hours days 6 days a week).

Good times!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Bwahahahahaha.

I forsee finishing either today or tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Marathon Knitting!

I know, I know; I'm not supposed to be straining my hand (especially since it started hurting again last night). BUT, yarnmonkey's deadline is the end of the month, and I'm only now starting the third of the diamonds, and this scarf really won't work with just four. Ergo, marathon knitting! I figure if I finish one section of either mesh or a diamond every night, I might just be able to get this done in time. Wish me luck!


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Monday, August 21, 2006

Luke, I Am Your Plot Device

So, my friend Hastur the cross-stitcher has been trying to convert me for ages. I can dig it. I do the same to her. At any rate, during my bout with Tendonitis, I was weakened. I wanted to go over to the Dark Side. I wanted to stitch the Japanese Octogonal Box by Chatelaine.

"We could each get the pattern," she says. "We can work on it together, won't that be fun?"

I am tempted.

"They even have DMC conversions, so the materials won't cost you a million million dollars."

I weaken. Then the kicker:

"Think about it - you could put your tea in it!"

Damn you, cross-stitch, and your siren song! You had to tag-team me with the tea, didn't you?

I'm going to hobby lobby after work.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Moving Right Along

Zoom!

1. Made more lip gloss. This batch doesn't suck as hard, not too firm, and my favorites taste like butter rum :) Yum!

2. Changed the Anya scarf. Added more space between the diamons.

3. Knit more on the Anya scarf. Zoom! Can you believe this thing's almost 20 inches already?

Friday, August 18, 2006

I Made Lip Balm!

It's true! I went out and picked up some ingredients from Hobby Lobby, a few plastic containers (not intended for lip balm, little plastic 3/$1.00 boxes) and a glass jar to both melt and store the bulk of it in, and I love it! Here's what I did:

-Cut up some beeswax. I think, now, that I used too much of it, since I would prefer a softer balm. (I may melt the bulk balm again tonight and add more of the soft stuff)
-Chuck two tbs of shea butter, 2.5 tbs cononut oil (which is surprisingly solid!), 4 tbs olive oil (must remember to get some-a-that sweet almond oil I've heard so much about) and the too-much beeswax into a small glass jar, which was sitting in a pot of water, double-boiler style
- Melt it all, heat on medium. The beeswax takes forever.
- Add a glub of honey! Yay honey!
- Add a few tbs of chai spices (ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom). In the future, be sure and grind these all up real good. Expect powder at the bottom of your balm.
- Ladle (I used a teaspoon, small jar opening) into tiny containers and allow to cool. Enjoy!


So, yes, it was crazy fun. I have six small containers of balm, a giant jar full of balm (I didn't expect it go that far!), and the itch to try more flavors. I think with the next batch, I'll make just a jar of generic unflavored balm, and try adding oils to it (peppermint, vanilla, etc) as it's going in the little containers.

In knitting news, I've been chugging away at the Anya scarf! I've almost finished the first motif, and it's much more square than it look on the progress bar. This, of course, means that I have to get to do more of it! So once the bar is chocolate (mmm, chocolate), it'll likely go pink again. I'm aiming for 40" unblocked (since that's what texas humidity will make of it) before I bind off.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Whee! Back on the Needles!

I hereby pronounce myself recovered enough to knit! And knit I have, on the Anya scarf, as often as I can get a moment (while taking breaks, and not knitting for longer than 20 minutes at a time - see? I can learn), and it's really surprising how quickly I'm tearing through the chart. I guess it goes twice as fast when you chart all the rows, eh? I'm also loving the contrast in the positive space of the outer design, and the negative space of the inside one. It's eminently diggable. So I made myself another little progress image (you know how I love those) and I plan to keep it updated on the bottom of my posts for the rest of the month :)


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Anya Scarf

I woke up today with barely any hand pain whatsoever. It only hurts when I put actual pressure on it, not when it just gets the least bit bendy. I even forgot to wear my wrist brace today, that's how good I'm feeling. Well, that and I remembered it after my neighbor's mean-ass beagle charged at me (WTF is up with letting your MEAN dog sit around unattended, outside on a chain that can REACH THE SIDEWALK when you KNOW he'll try and bite someone? In one million degree weather? I'm complaining to her when I go home today), and I didn't feel hurty enough in the wrist to dare bite marks on the ass. I hate that woman and her dogs.

Anyway, tolerable wrist discomfort = take-it-easy knitting! So no giant sweaters until I go home (must get done with this godawful bobble top), which means it's time for lace!

I've written out the chart for the scarf I'm submitting to YarnMonkey, and sent it to her on the off-chance I can actually finish it in time. If not, I'll still have a bitchin' awesome scarf, envy of all the land, and I'll post the pattern. I'm measuring the unblocked length, since it's merino and this is texas, but I'll block it out nice and pretty for the photographs. So far I have about three inches - tiny, measly thing it is. But oh so pretty. I do love her so.

I've decided to call this scarf Anya. Not only is it a pretty, russian-sounding name to fit a pretty, russian-themed scarf (no actual orenburg construction, but orenburg designs), but also because, nerds that we are, Sweetie and I recently finished watching the final season of Buffy, and Anya is my favorite character. She finally defines herself NOT in relation to other people, faces her fears, and dies in the most human way possible - protecting others against impossible odds. Hokey, yes, but I don't care. It's my scarf and I'll call it what I like.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Joys of Mate (MAH-tay)

So, the other night we went over to some friends' house, Hastur and Mr. Haster, another library/gamer couple that we've known for years yet I now realize I haven't mentioned yet on the blog. At any rate, the subject of tea came up, and of my crazy zealousness acquiring and drinking new varieties since my hand is still all kinds of fucked up (though feeling markedly better; I was even able to knit two inches on the lace scarf this weekend with only moderate wristly tightness), and Mr. Hastur brought up that he'd had something called Mate while in South America for the peace corps. Like rooibos and honeybush, it's an herb that's treated like tea (except it's not roasted), and damn tasty besides. He'd picked up a mix that Republic of Tea makes (the mate latte), and HOOBOY was that good stuff. So it's funny, now, that my favorite teas are for the most part not teas at all. I'm looking into more traditional methods of making it (out of curiosity and also fun - you drink it loose-leaf with a filtered straw and that sounds cool as hell), and www.mymateworld looks like a promising place.

Also, my week in a brace has been fun, and will hopefully end soon. It did really (REALLY) help my wrist, so I'm going to be knitting a pair for future use under slightly less dire circumstances. I figure I'll keep the pocket for the metal bar that keeps you from bending, and add a pocket on the top to hold a heat pad or ice pack. And, of course, dye it fun color in superwash wool :) Etsy here I come!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The List

Well. I think, after months of checking out books from interlibrary loan, skimming them all, perusing the promising-looking ones in greater depth, and when neccessary swatching something found inside, that I have my list of books. This, ladies and gents, will be the list I give my library. These titles will breathe new life into our craft section.

Heirloom Knitting by Sharon Miller
The Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning
Sweater Design in Plain English by Maggie Righetti
Color in Spinning
Folk Socks (and everything else by Nancy Bush)
Socks, Socks, Socks
Everything by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Gossamer Webs
A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, by Barbara Walker (all 4 volumes)
>Scarf Style
Knitting in the Old Way by Gibson-Roberts
Knitters Handbook by Montse Stanley
The Art of Fair Isle Knitting by Ann Feitelson
The Sweater Workshop by Jacqueline Fee
The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns by Ann Budd

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Things Tendonitis Has Taught Me:

1. When the Doctor says no knitting, he says it for a reason.
2. Knitting while wearing the brace still counts as knitting, and will hurt you.
3. Just because you weren't specifically advised not to crochet doesn't mean you can.
4. Same goes for spinning.
5. And tatting.
6. And cross-stitch.
7. Even if you're wearing the brace while you do it.
8. Even if you only do it a little.
9. Doing laundry hurts.
10. That means it's your partner's turn to do it.
11. Surprisingly, it doesn't hurt to do the dishes.
12. Telling your partner this means it's your turn to do the dishes.
13. Playing with clay does not hurt you. (As long as someone else softens it up first)
14. When you bring special "humor the injured lady" tea to work, don't keep it in the break room. Other people will take it home.
15. Making a special glass jar decorated with clay that says the contents are specifically your tea may or may not stop people from stealing your tea. It will, however, make them assholes if they do.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Crap in a Hat!

Well, it's official. I knit my wrist off. Or rather, I knit myself into a fine case of tendonitis. I'm now having to maneuver the strange world of the right-handed, while my left is lovingly enclosed ina stiff brace (which, incidentally, gives me karate-chop action). The doc told me not to knit for at least a week, and to take it easy after that. I figure that "taking it easy" will mean only knitting heavy things (like the bobble top, which I only need to do the front from the armpits up to finish) while sitting down, and leaving those light, lacey scarves as my walking-to-class projects.

Basically, flexing my wrist? Hurts like a bitch, for three days now. Heat makes me feel better, cold makes the injury get better while I live all ache-y and irritable. No knitting for a week!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I Like Tea

It's true! I've always had a great love for the tea. When I was little, I made my dad a pot of tea every night for a summer in exchange for a new bike :) Now that I'm older, my tastes are getting more complex, and I know there's more to tea than I am aware of.

So basically, I'm trying to find out what different kinds of teas there are, and yes, I'm including herbal tisanes, infusions and whatnot in my definition of tea. I'd really like to try some rooibos and honeybush, they've got a nice-looking rooibos/rosebud tea over a World Market that I'd love to try. Better yet, what I'd like to do is get all of these crazy ingredients that people put in their tea blends (vanilla beans, rose petals, bits-o-orange) so I can try a little mix-and-match myself. I imagine myself five, ten years down the road, older and wiser, with not only a spice rack that would make buddah blush, but this crazy assortment of note-cards detailing failed and successful tea experiments, with the winners bound in tiny bundles, perfect for dropping into a single cup when company comes over. Yeah, I have weird daydreams, but wouldn't it be pretty? Tiny sachets of honeybush and rosehips with a hint of orange, or a strong pu-erh black and ginger. I also imagine a tiny, tiny window garden, teas and mints and herbs and maaaaaybe avocado and henna trees.

I'm horrible at keeping plants alive, you know. That's how I know this is all dreaming.

Zoom!

Oh man, working with all these lace and fingering weight yarns, I had forgotten how quickly Worsted can go! I've decided to do this hat (must think of a name) in the lavender Peace Fleece on 7s, and the beige Baby Silk on 3s (going a size down for the ribbings, of course). I can't decide for the finer one whether I want to do more zigzaggy lines between the cables, or more open space, or what. I'll swatch it and see what I like better. Swatching fixes everything.