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what am I doing here?

in which susan proceeds to get caffienated and knit all day. if only I could get paid to drink coffee and knit... that would so be the shiz-knit.

?? 5.31.2006 |

I've been moving along on the front pieces for the karabella cardi. interestingly, it seems to take twice as long to do two pieces at once... so I'm making the smallest size and it tells me to cast on 51 for each piece, which I did, obediently. after doing 20 rows of k1p1 ribbing, I'm told to do the following to set up the cable section: *(k9, p3) rep from * to last 14 st ... um... so... are my math skills totally lacking or does that only add up to 50? I'm left with one stitch more than the pattern seems to want me to have. why?? am I doing something wrong?

so now I'm trying to figure out what to do with that leftover stitch. I considered (for barely a second!) ripping out and re-casting on with 50 instead of 51, but instead just decided to forget it and just knit that last stitch and who cares, right? it's just one little stitch, right? part of me is really kicking myself for not reading ahead for errors before starting. even though it's just one stitch, it's really kind of bothering me a little bit. that, and the fact that I can't seem to find any published errata for karabella. what's that all about?

I'm reminded of way back when, when standardized testing seemed to be a regular occurance in life and how much I hated those reading comprehension parts. it seemed like they purposefully found the most boring, sleep-inducing essays to print in there. I would usually read half of the first sentence to see if it was worth reading through, and then skip straight to the questions, where they conveniently referenced the line in the essay which the question was about. usually, I'd still have no idea what they were talking about and just end up guessing. this made for finishing tests really fast, but usually also resulted in far from stellar scores.

the point is, I still haven't learned to read through - is it because I'm lazy or hasty? maybe a combination of both. but I've learned to just suck it up and deal with the consequences, because I guess I've decided that I'd rather suffer from something that was totally avoidable than read ahead. such logic! I'm just grateful that it's not too huge of a problem in this case. although, I should probably not say anything until the cardi is actually finished...

summertime = knittingtime = happy me time! 5.30.2006 |

I guess it's not technically summer. but it sure feels like it! it was nice to finally get a day off yesterday. like a real day off. as in my mom watched isa so that I could drink coffee and knit all day. what fun! and thanks, mom! I slept in for a little, then took an actual morning shower, and went down to get some good coffee and knit for a few hours. here's what I managed to get done:
btw, it's not easy to cable and bind off at the same time. I think my head almost exploded trying to figure out what I was doing. and I also think I may have miscalculated somewhere and ended up with six stitches instead of four at the end. I'm hoping it won't be really noticeable once it's finished because I was not about to go back and try to fix that! and I started the front, but didn't get too far. I decided to work both pieces at once and I'm only about half way through the ribbing right now. oh, and I also met a fellow knitter while at the coffee shop! she encouraged me to go down to the lys in san jose, which I foolishly did and ended up with this:
is it time for me to get on the sock wagon or what? this photo doesn't actually show the colors so well, but it's so cute in real life. I thought about getting something more variegated, but then decided against it because, in reality, I'm much too boring for that. regardless, I do want to make some socks and now that I've got this stuff in my hands, I am so itching to start some! ack!

I also had a 50% and a 40% off coupon to use. so I got this and this. such fun for me!

oh! and I wove and washed and blocked on friday night. behold the cuteness...
the actual color is inbetween the two pics here. I decided to skip the earflaps on this pattern so that it could be more of a spring/summer hat. and I also decided to leave off the ties and instead wove a ribbon through the bobbles as a little somethin'-somethin' to make it a bit summerier. I think it came out quite well!

enough jibber jabber for one day here. I should have more progress pics coming up soon!

and we're off! 5.26.2006 |

since I don't have the option of bringing my work home, I decided to bring my home to work today. I got in a few rows of ribbing of the back in between phone calls and emails. and I am pleased to report that the blue sky is about a bazillion times nicer to knit with than the el cheapo. it's soft and smooth and knits up nice and bouncy. yum!

god-willing, there will be lots of knitting time in store for me this weekend!

switchity swatch swatch 5.25.2006 |

real quick - anyone else watch lost last night?? two things: OMG!! and WTF?! this concludes my commentary in this section.

so, yes, I did finish knitting the hat the other night, but I haven't woven in the ends or washed and blocked yet. it's a bit floppier than I'd wanted it to be, but, seriously, people, I had thought about going down a needle size, but the annoyingness of the yarn plus all the p4togs and the k4tog tbls were a hassle enough as it is. anyway, it's still pretty cute and hopefully the stitches will behave a bit prettier after a nice relaxing bath. here's a mini-preview (where "mini" means "bad picture where model is attempting to capture and eat camera"):
I know - this was supposed to be just a momentary distraction from more pressing projects, but, after mentioning the blue sky the other day, I couldn't fight the desire to bust out the pattern and do some preliminary swatching. plus, I want a cute cotton sweater to wear on summer nights, y'know? I also have been reminded that I need a ball winder - and maybe a swift that isn't made by little tykes.
I keep telling myself that I am not abandoning said "pressing projects"... but the shawl was relocated last night. it used to live on the couch (lately, in a sad little pile under a throw), but it's been moved to the shopping bag in the corner which contains all the bits and pieces of the sweater which has no end, butterfly and other little knitting odds and ends. is that where projects go to die? or is it just a vacation? let's hope it's the latter...

public service announcement 5.23.2006 |

hi all! before we get to the (just a teensy bit of) knitting content, I just had a little psa to put out there for all 2 of you who read this blog. don't leave your outgoing bills in your mailbox, unless it has a lock on it. "oh, I never leave my bills in the mailbox! are you crazy?" well, yes, I guess I am, a lot of the time. and fine, so maybe I'm naive and like to think that people aren't so mean that they would steal checks out of random poor people's mailboxes and take them home and use them to create fake checks using the poor person's signature and bank account and writing it to themselves in the amount of (where X = the balance of the poor person's checking account) roughly X+$2000 and make the poor person have to go to the bank in the middle of the work day and sit there for almost 2 hours filling out paperwork and opening a new account and a bunch of other stuff. thanks a bunch, monique williams (scientologist?)!! luckily, you are stupider than I am, because you actually deposited it into an account you opened at the exact same bank where I am a customer so that it was super easy to trace. thanks, wamu for being patient and helpful, but also damn you for giving me overdraft protection, which I didn't really want. anyway, hopefully this all straightens itself out soon and I get my money back... and I'll stop ranting now. (deep breath...)

cuz, look! I think someone might actually have an FO tonight:yay for baby hats! so fast and easy and cute. I'm debating if I should make the little seed stitch strap to tie under the chin that the pattern calls for, or use a ribbon or not do anything at all. I suspect isa will not tolerate having something tied under her chin, but it would be so cute, wouldn't it?

deja vu 5.22.2006 |

seems like this happens a lot to me. where I "forget" to swatch and then end up with something not quite the size it was supposed to be... you'd think I'd have learned by now. this time, it ended up being too big. like, seriously, way too big. like I could wear it as a skirt. which I didn't. I don't quite have the self esteem to wear a four inch long skirt and I don't think those around me have quite the stomach to witness it either. plus, I think my picots looked like snaggly crocodile teeth. grrrrrr. or whatever sound crocs make.

I was marveling at how far I'd gotten before I came to my senses and admitted to myself that the hat was indeed too big. I think it's because I had no idea how big the brim was supposed to be. it looked all big and floppy in the picture... at any rate, we quickly went from this:
to this:
and then back to this:
and that's where I am now. and the picots are looking better. and I think it has much to do with sl1-ing kwise instead of pwise. I guess when I read through the directions, I thought it said to put the stitch back onto the left needle, but really, it said to slip it (way to read directions! way to check gauge! F- for me!).

but regardless of all that, for the record, picots take for-freaking-ever. and knitting with cotton sucks. well, this cheapo cotton, anyway. how not stretchy and fuzzy and slippery it is. I can't believe I had previously made another hat and a baby sweater (which I was too lazy to seam before it isa outgrew it and ended up frogging for this current hat) and didn't remember what a pain it was. it does make for a nice, soft fabric, though. I hope other cotton, specifically blue sky, isn't this yucky to knit with, since I was planning on making a sweater for myself out of the 6 hanks of it that I've had sitting in a plastic bag under my dresser for the last 6 months or so...

craving... 5.19.2006 |

you ever get really random cravings? yesterday, I was just sitting here at my desk, minding my own business, when all of a sudden, this intense desire for cotton candy just overwhelmed my senses. it just came out of nowhere and nothing I did would make it go away. not coffee, not chocolate, not buying yarn online. nothing! I'm not even all that fond of cotton candy. or, if I am, I hadn't been aware of it until yesterday. I had to put that all out of my mind anyway, because where does one get cotton candy in the middle of suburbia on a random work day? that, and I had a dinner date. here.

sadly, a lot of the pics came out not so great because it was dark inside. but here are some highlights:
no actual pics of the entree... it was all blurry. but, trust me, so tasty. mmm. but, look, people, none of this was what made this an amazing meal. because, oh my goodness, someone out there is some freaky mind-reader or something. the stars really came into alignment for me. I mean, really, now. what the..?!
oh, I mean, what made this an amazing meal was the amazing company I had. hi, friends! thanks for the yummy food and the good laughs. you guys are the best!

quickie 5.17.2006 |

I think I need something quick and satisfying to get me moving again on my lagging ufo's. I have so many excuses, but, seriously, we all know it's because I'm so freaking lazy. but I love to knit! I really do!! so I've decided that the problem is that everything I'm working on is just too slow and if I finished them now, I probably still wouldn't put them to use for a few months. I mean, the shawl (judging from current progress) looks like it's going to take about 5 balls of ksh to complete. that's well over 1000 yards to knit through. plus, I've already discovered that sweat and mohair don't go together very well, so that rules it out for summer wear.

anyway, I want to make something that's just going to take a skein or two - just a couple hundred yards. something not boring and something from which I can get immediate satisfaction. well, as immediate as immediate gets around these parts.

so, after some nice wednesday not-working this morning, I decided to make this for isa. she needs a cute sun-hat, doesn't she? I think I'm going to use some pink cotton I have lying around (somewhere...), I hope the gauge works out ok, because I don't even remember what the brand is, but I think it's a dk weight... or something. maybe I can get this cast-on before lost tonight. I've never done a picot cast-on before, so this should be fun. whee!

sun! heat! sweat! 5.16.2006 |

it's officially feeling a lot like summer around these parts. like seriously. I'm melting, I tell you. my hands feel like they're constantly leaking sweat, which is making it really difficult to make progress on the reversible rib shawl. I knew there was a reason people don't wear much mohair in the summertime. it sticks to sweaty hands! big time.

also, it's may, which we all know means it's big season finale time all across the board. I haven't knit for evenings on end, because my fingers are too busy making sure my teeth can reach my fingernails. hello, grey's anatomy! hi! lost!! *faint* how do I get so emotionally involved in the lives of these fictional characters?

anyway, back to knitting. I was just talking to my good friend (hi, friend!!), who just got back from a trip to china, where she bought some crazy cheap yarn. and saw lots of people knitting away, sans pattern, making awesome stuff. we've talked before about how some people are just so creative and it seems so amazing that they can just come up with their own incredible designs and, omg, how did they do that?? and then you go to a poor country, where they don't have access to the patterns and stuff that we do here in the land-o-plenty and everyone seems to be able to just come up with crazy stuff all on their own. just regular everyday people! makes me wonder if the laziness and lack of creativity that we suffer from stems from our wealth as residents in a place where you can just buy whatever you need. it's too much work to try and design a sweater on my own, but no prob! I can just buy one by searching on the internet, or buying a book or a magazine. or just buying a sweater in a store. so is it that I just don't have the capability to write my own pattern or come up with my own design because I'm "not that kind of person" or is it that I've been so conditioned just buy whatever I need? like there's no need to be creative anymore because someone else has already done it for me? I can just spend $5 for a piece of someone else's creativity. it's like everything has gotten to be so damn easy. no thinking required. I don't know why I feel like that's so crazy. but I do. there is definite boggling of the mind going on right now. aren't we, as humans, creative beings at the core? I think we are. and it all comes back to this: I need to move to china.

here, piggy piggy! 5.10.2006 |



oink oink! I took a piggy test (click on pig for results). I forgot how hard it was to draw with a mouse. oh, the memories of the olden days, when I used to draw on our family computer. I thought I was so hi-tech.

draw your own pig.

a new beginning 5.08.2006 |

no, I didn't cast on for any new projects this weekend. that would have been great fun, though! and a welcome distraction from lots of stuff. but, what I did do was (finally!) rip out the inch or two of magic loop sleeve that I'd done on the sweater who secretly never wants to be finished and made an executive decision to knit it flat and seam it up instead of attempting to knit it in the round. I came to the conclusion that I knit tighter in the round than in-the-flat and that it would take much more time and precious brain power (which I'm quickly running out of) to attempt to get gauge at this point than just doing it flat. as much as I hate seaming, it appeared to be the logical choice. I thought about doing both sleeves at once, but then I remembered that I have to do all those damn stripes and it would just be too big of a mess to deal with.

so! all that to say I've got a whopping 3 rows of sleeve #1 done last night during grey's anatomy. not much, but things should be pretty smooth sailing from here. at least until I have to do the edging - I don't even want to think about how many stitches I'm going to have to pick up and/or whether or not I have any needles long enough to fit them all. but before I even get there, I'm also looking at how much (little!) dark green I have left and hoping that it will make it through both sleeves. should I get another skein now, for insurance? or just hope and pray that I can make it?

in other knitting news, the shawl is moving along at a leisurely pace and I'm liking the pattern more and more as I go along. and the ksh is pure yum! it's so soft... I can't wait to have it done so I can wrap myself up in it and go to sleep. I mean, go to some weddings. whatever. if I didn't have a baby in tow 90% of the time I left the house, I would totally take this out with me everywhere. except, knowing me, I'd probably get like bbq sauce or melted chocolate on it and then I'd be really sad.

all other knitting projects have been temporarily (and some probably permanently) abandoned. I wish I could be working on butterfly, but it seems as though I can only focus (and pretty badly, at that) on two projects at once these days.

also, one of my old college roomies was in town this weekend from michigan, so another college buddy and I took her and her husband out to play. here's isa saying "ok, mom! I'm ready to go!"

foiled again! 5.05.2006 |

segway/scooter guy got me again! all week, I've been trying to keep an eye out for him on my way to work, but no luck. then, today, I see that same gleaming helmet fly right by me! this time, though, on a motorcyle - a motorcycle with a handicapped license plate. what? exactly - they make handicapped plates for motorcycles?? am I the only one who thinks there's something wrong with that? anyway, sorry, folks, I tried really hard to get a picture, but I just couldn't catch up to him.

as I have mentioned previously, I like to keep a steady supply of chocolate at my desk. preferably ghirardelli, and preferably dark. I was in desperate need of a refill this week, so I trekked down to the local target, only to find, to my dismay, that they don't carry them! I reluctantly settled for some dove instead. can I just say that their "dark" chocolate tastes like milk chocolate? very very disappointing. furthermore, each wrapper is printed with a "promise". I'm not really sure what the point is, but I don't think I'd call these little messages promises. they're more like commands. I don't think I like being told what to do by a candy wrapper. I'd rather my candy wrapper tell me that I've won a million dollars.

anyway, look what my chocolate had the nerve to tell me yesterday:


so demanding. and I wasn't really sure what the point would be of this exercise, but before I had much time to mull it over, the next piece tells me:


it not only tells me what to do, it tells me how to do it! really, I think I prefer fortune cookies. they always make me feel better.


happy weekend, everyone!

what the may? 5.01.2006 |

it's may already? does this mean we already did march and april? where has the time gone? this is turning out to be an even sadder knitting year than 2005. I'm going to try not to whine about it too much, because, really, I brought it upon myself.

but I've been making constant progress on the shawl - slow, but steady... I am confident that this will be done before I know it. I just have to stop thinking about it so hard. I'm about a row or two from finishing off my first ball of yarn, which, ignoring the fact that it took forever to get here, is pretty exciting, isn't it? judging from how much I was able to get out of one ball, I think I'm going to be using about 5... maybe. we'll see how it looks when we get there. this means I've got (probably) 20% done! yay!

I'll have plenty of knitting time coming up since I'm going to be spending many an hour in front of the tv in the coming weeks. all those commercials about ALL NEW EPISODES!!! have got me pretty dang excited. I will be sad when they all go on summer vacation, but I'm actually rather looking forward to all that free time. the weather is getting so nice too! I spent more time outdoors this weekend than I have in months and maybe the color might be thinking about coming back to my legs sometime soon. otherwise, look out world, get some sunglasses, quick!


I made a banana bread muffin sampler last night. we got some plains, some walnutted and some chocolate chipped. there is a lot of banana bread in my house - I've got quite the knack for not finishing bananas before they get dangerously close to rotting. luckily, nasty blackened bananas turn into yummy banana bread!