Monday, January 29, 2007

Icar-ish Flying Free!

That's right folks, Icar-ish is finished! Not only do I feel great about my first FO for the new year being my first for-me shawl, but I'm damn glad to have the yellow harpy no longer hovering over my head (and instead resting peacefully on my shoulders). I've already had tons of compliments at work about him (mostly from people who recongnize the color, I think a few co-workers think I'm still working on the monster), and I'm hoping to pimp him out in class tonight and tomorrow before giving in to the serious coldness and picking up my jacket again.

Now that he's done, I feel morally obligated to start on Galveston.... yet much like living there, it's better to think about than actually do. That and I can't figure out which stitches I want in two different sections, and an ostrich plume triangle shawl somehow skittered into my brain. I think I may just be tired from Icarus - what I should do is (start and) finish Sue-from-work's hat in the interim.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Shameless Bribery

So, I'm over at Hastur's the other night, and we're talking yarn, and we're talking liberal education, and we're talking feminism (you know, a good night all around) and she asks me to show her some good shawls for... I forget the event, but I think that can be forgiven, since my mind was immediately in pattern mode. I took her by Fiddlesticks, and by Blackberry Ridge (my two personal favorites) and we oohed and aahed and coveted in general, and Hastur happened to remark that she loved the shawls, but did not know how to knit.

Now, you may have figured this one out by now, but I'm an enabler. If you display the slightest interest in learning to knit, I will give you yarn and needles straight away. Maybe 1 out of 10 people I bestow yarn on actually keep it up, but it's worth it. It's like growing plants from seeds: you start out with about a million, hoping to get half a dozen good shoots (or at least I do, but I suck at gardening).

So, Hastur says jokingly, "Sure, I'll learn to knit if you'll get me a skein of SeaSilk!"

And I am like, "Done."

So let it be known: I will get Hastur a skein of Fleece Artist Sea Silk (in the color of her choice, we can special order that shit) if she'll learn how to knit. I don't forsee it being difficult for her, what with being crafty in general, and then... then she will know the true power of the dark side! Muahahahaha!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Harglesnaurfr... pie.

So, the mystery cat belongs to the neighbors, so he's back home. Icar-ish is halfway done with the second edging chart, the Fleece Artist mohair in Seashore has come in, and it's breathtakingly beautiful. I spun up about 2oz of the BFL, two ply fingering-weight, almost 200 yards. I hate my job. I have been assigned homework every day of class so far, in every class, home work assignments that are in the thousands of words each. The internet keeps going down, Sweetie doesn't want to contribute to our moving fund (so I'm putting in an extra $200 a month and he can feed both of us AND the cats), which means I need to get a new job, which means I need one FAST, which means (le sigh) food service again.

For the record? I fucking hate food service. But somehow, I'm fucking bred for it or something, because I can do food service in my sleep and do a better job than most people. Such is my blessing and my curse.

And speaking of curses, the one-skein seasilk shawl pattern? Not really as... impressive as I'd hoped. You start by casting on a large number of stitches, then do your increases at sides and center as per usual, with a really open stitch in the middle, and... I don't understand why that wouldn't make a V shape. Think about it! Two right triangles put together make one LARGE right triangle. Cut the right angles off and you have two trapezoids making a V shape!

But I'm swatching, and we'll see. At least the yarn looks like it should rip back well.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

El Gato Comes to Town

So, updates on Sweetie: NOT a stomach ulcer after all. Specialists have been called, and we're waiting to make an appointment to see where in his guts there is a problem. However, despite all this mystery as regards his innards, he's feeling fine. No being sick in the mornings, no pain in his tummy, nothing like that. He's still on the bland diet, though, and will be until we are told he can come off it.

Now on to the real news: A CAT!

Right now there is an extra kitty in our house. He woke us up at 6:00 a.m., crying. We thought at first it was one of our own boys in another room, but it was the mystery cat (I like to call him Firefly) a couple doors down from us, meowing at the top of his lungs! We took him by the shelter to see if he's got a microchip (he doesn't), and went by the apartment offices of all the complexes in our area to see if he'd been reported missing (he hasn't), and put up signs in the mail rooms and laundrymats for said apartments with our cell numbers (so far, no calls), and after all that? I'm hoping he belongs to the people next door (the ones with the mean dogs, that they let out FREE in the mornings so they can chase me to the bus stop and theoretically also go pee). Thus far we haven't been able to get ahold of them, though I did get a nice glance of the mean dog so enraged by my EXISTING outside his window, much less knocking on HIS DOOR, that he felt the need to tear some decorative couch pillows to tiny bits. I was tempted to stick around and see how many he'd take out, but he's a pretty big dog and that pane of glass isn't getting any thicker should he decide to lunge against it. Discretion is the better part of not being mauled, after all.

In other news, Blue Face Howeveryouspellit? Great for spinning! I've already spun up a bit, it's working out well at around the same thickness as's laceweight, only much softer and with great luster! I'm thinking to spin up enough for a good-sized scarf, something squishy to wear with Emma maybe. Or maybe I could ply it, make a hat? Really, I'm just wanting to play with it >.> If a project comes out of this, all the better, but right now the pet skein would be a reward in and of itself.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


So, the bloodwork is back, and it's neither a virus nor something pancreatic. They haven't done the final tests, but it's looking like Sweetie's got an ulcer, which is GOOD because it's not anything WORSE. He's even allowed to eat red meat again, so we celebrated with gyros.

In knitting news, I spent much of yesterday cleaning, and then organizing the stash. I wound up lots of yarn that'd been waiting for it, stacked things nicely, and packed them into the stash cubbard. I need a new (or a second) cubbard, I think. Or, you know, to knit a whole bunch and thereby reduce stash. I've been putting like yarns together, and I might have the yarn for a whole bunch of projects that I didn't think I could do - like a Seraphim shawl out of Elann's baby silk, in that lovely camel color. I have eight balls of that, and whaddaya know, it's enough!

In the same vein, my second installment of Hastur's Challenge starts tomorrow. I admit, I was bad in the interim between the 10 and the 15 project challenges. I bought patterns: Seraphim, the one-skein seasilk shawl, and fiber trend's felted clogs. I ordered yarn: Some hand-dyed laceweight from Etsy (the color is Crocus, it's just lovely), two more from (green apple and lavender), a skein of handmaiden mohair in Seashore and some colourmartUK cashmere, which I've been wanting to try for quite some time. I was very, very bad.

I regret nothing.

So, in part because of my newly organized stash, and in part because I'm getting incredibly close to finishing the Icar-ish shawl, I've decided to change two things about this next Challenge. First, the scope: I will be upping the number of projects from fifteen to twenty-five. Second, the starting date: It begins now! So let's get this all formal-like, shall we?

I, Persian Pen Name, do solenmly swear that I will not buy any patterns until I have finished twenty-five projects from yarn that is in my stash (or on its way to me) right now this instant. I can still pick up the new Interweave Knits and Spin-Off magazines (girl's gotta have some fun), but no back issues or other titles. I can buy yarn for specific gifts for other people, or with money that is given to me as a gift (paychecks do not count as gifts!), but any other yarn that I purchase will count as a NEGATIVE project, EVEN IF I make something with it right away. I still can (and should!) get books via the library and as many free patterns as I can get my grubby little hands on. Every pattern of my own that I can get published counts as TWO PROJECTS towards my total, and yes Virginia, publishing on my blog does count, though it won't help pay the rent. I figure this, because it will probaly be me drawing up the charts, and then knitting the item to make sure the charts work. If somehow I can publish a pattern without knitting it up (seriously, does anyone do that?) it will only count as one project. For every ball of yarn I finish, I will donate $0.50 to Heifer International or Doctors Without Borders (a la Kim). If, in a moment of weakness, I should purchase a pattern, that pattern will count as TWO negative projects, AND I will add the price of the pattern to my charity total. Spinning 100g or more of any given fiber will count as a project, though spinning fiber itself will not count as yarn purchased. Selling of children is still disallowed, as is using sex (or the promise thereof) to obtain yarn or patterns. Sock pairs now count as ONE project, as do very large items like shawls (This part will be the death of me yet). And, as soon as I can find my camera, I should post pictures of WIPs and FOs.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Sonova Crap

So, things are going well in Knittsville. I'm almost to the lace on Icar-ish, the Seraphim shawl pattern's in, everything yarn-related is coming up roses.

Then, this morning, Sweetie starts being sick. I won't go into details, since it's gross, but long story short? We're hoping it's a virus, and failing that, a stomach ulcer. If it's not either of those, it could be pancreatic somethings, which, as a general rule, suck ass. I guess I should be thankful, in a way-- right now, I've got plenty of cash to cover emergency stuff, even a few months of rent if needed, and his parents have offered to help as well. If this had to happen, now is a good time for it, when we've got plenty of help and a great support system. It really makes you stop and think, when you're sleeping next to someone you love, how very small is the line between there and gone. I mean, one tiny virus, given enough time to mutate, can take us away from everyone we love. So, I know nobody reads this thing (except for Hastur, and she knows all the details), but I urge any of you who might be out there lurking, maybe skimming for good free patterns or whatever, to go and tell people how much you love them, and how happy you are that they're in your life. If you are religious, thank whatever you follow that you exist. If you're not religious, just be appreciative. I know I am.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Galveston Shawl and Felted Clogs

So, I've worked out a stitch pattern for the jetties area of the Galveston shawl, and I think I have a way to start it from the center out. There are graphs, there are sketches, things are going well on that front - as soon as I can find my camera (it's either somewhere in the car, or in Beaumont) I'll post some pictures.

And speaking of pictures, I was over at Hastur's again tonight working on Fiber Trend's Felted Clogs pattern, which I picked up earlier this afternoon with a little yarn to make 'em. It's a varigated purple, with a dark purple accent color, very nice. What they don't tell you in the instructions (and are those the least intuitive instructions ever or what?) is that when finished but not felted, these clogs are the size of a small dog. Literally. We got Hastur-the-dog into the one I finished, and it fit him perfectly! I'll be working up the second one tomorrow, and hopefully I'll be able to put up a photo of the finished pair sometime soon :)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Years Resolutions

Maybe I should actually post my new years resolutions, what with it being the third and all.

1. Finish Icar-ish, FF&L, Fox's Scarf, and Sue-at-work's Hat.

2. Design and knit the Galveston shawl that lives in my brain (silk noil laceweight, natural color).

3. Knit the one-skein seasilk shawl from Lettuce Knit (handmaiden seasilk, in some green and pink colorway).

4. Spin the 4oz of blue merino from the LYS into laceweight; if possible, make a scarf from it.

5. Make another Emma scarf, since I gave the original to my sister for christmas, and try to get the pattern published (or at least take a picture!).

6. Drink diet instead of regular soda (one exception per week), and two glasses of water a day.

Nubby Lace - Seaside Shawl

I have a confession to make, invisible readers.

Sometimes? When I need to sleep? I think about yarn.

See, I'll pick something in my stash that's been there a while, and I'll go over it in my head, the color, the yardage, how it looks and feels, and do a little free-association. Like that silk noil yarn from a million years ago? Reminds me of nothing so much as fishing net. Soft, shiny, silk fishing net, but fishing net nonetheless. So I couldn't sleep last night, so I started thinking about this yarn. I used to live in Galveston, see, for about three years, it's really the beach I know best. I love it when a storm's rolling in, and the sea and sand are grey and wet, and the waves are going to get big but haven't just yet, and they crash around on the jetties, and it's not too hot or too sunny or too mosquito-y or any of the other things (like jellyfish) that kept me away from the water. So I imagined myself on the beach near the jetties, wind in my face and the Seawall at my back, wearing my shawl that's soft like old fish nets. And somehow, while I was imagining this, I saw the shawl. It had jetties, and foam, and even the seawall. It was beautiful. So I got up, grabbed my graph paper, and made a quick sketch before I could forget!

This year. This year, there shall be Galveston. In shawl form.