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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.

got myself a gift 9.28.2006 |

heehee. I giggle because it's true.

the moronosity is simply overwhelming 9.26.2006 |

sometimes I really wonder if my stupidity will be the end of me. I would not be surprised if I actually die of stupidity some day. a few years ago, a friend and I took a "we're going to do something fun and crazy" trip to mount rainier national park up in washington state. we flew there, since we live in california. and you can't camp without some sort of fuel, but you can't bring fuel on an airplane. plus, we wouldn't have a car and we didn't want to waste any time, so we weren't able to go to the store and buy any after we got there. since I'm brilliant, I decided I could ask a friend to buy some fuel for us and meet us at the airport, hand it off and we could hop on the shuttle which would take us to our campsite. of course, in addition to the price of the fuel (less than $10), I had to, at the very least, compensate my friend for parking and the trouble of having to go to the airport on a friday night.

so, the shuttle ride was quite pleasant. it was run by a couple who lived in the area and they were really friendly and nice to talk to. (I realize this is turning out to be a really long story, but there is no turning back now... sorry! feel free to skip ahead to where there are actual pictures!) I forget how long the ride was, but I think it was a good hour or two - not a short drive. by the time we get to our site, it's dark, it's late, and we just want to get in a good night's sleep before our day of adventure ahead. so we pitch our tent, get settled in and start drifting off to sleep when I suddenly jolt awake with the realization of "holy crap, I left the fuel in the shuttle." we manage to nervoustly laugh it off, but our cell phones don't work so we can't call the shuttle and now we have no fuel for our stove! we figure we'll just have to find a way to manage and somehow fall back asleep. at some ungodly hour, we are roused from our slumber when we hear a vehicle pull into our site and someone calling to us. I unzip the tent and peer out through very sleepy and confused eyes to see the shuttle lady holding the bag with our fuel in it! I am overjoyed and touched that she came back to save the day! I get about halfway through thanking her before she says "yeah, so you're going to have to give me $35 for the trip back out here." I'm shocked, but there really isn't anything I can say and I'm half asleep and not even entirely sure of what just happened, so I just fork over the cash and watch her drive away. then it dawns on me. I just spent six times the value of those canisters of fuel and we would probably only use about half of it. I came back from that trip with the nickname "stupidity tax sue". my friend came back with the nickname "tuna and luna" steph, but we don't have the time to get into that now. because this story is about me. and my immense moronosity.

so, what am I getting at? I'm an idiot. remember the whole stolen check, money stealing fiasco from way back when? well, I ended up changing banks after everything had gotten cleared up. and (seriously, I am usually super on top of these kinds of things) I thought I had changed all my online payment things to my new bank account. so a couple months ago, ladida, I go and pay my bills, doodeedoo... and I get a notice from one of my cards that I am no longer authorized to use online payments and I need to call them immediately. turns out I forgot to change my bank account and they tried to take money out of my now defunct old bank account. so, not only do I have to send them a check and get suspended from using online services, they also charged me $38! I was really annoyed about it, but decided it wasn't worth it to try and dispute it, so I just paid it and they were happy and let me use online services again. so I go ahead and pay my bill again, thinking hooray, I can pay online again. but then I get another phone call because - hello! how stupid am I?? I still didn't change my bank account and it happened again! *smack self in head* another $38 charge!! I think my death by stupidity is going to be due to me paying all these "I could have and should have been able to avoid this if only I were paying attention" charges to the point where I can't afford food anymore and I starve to death. why do I even bring this up? that money could have - and should have - been spent on yarn. ok. that is officially off my chest. on to the knitting, because, I promise, this is still a knitting blog.
so, koigu sock #1 is just about done. I haven't bound off yet, because I'm not sure what kind of a bind-off I want to do. I can't do the tubular bind-off since I did the cuff in a k2p2. I'm not stressing about it, though. but you know what? it's really kind of hard to get on. I keep having these awful images of ripping a big hole in it trying to get it over my huge man ankles (mankles?). I mean, I can get them on, but it is really a struggle. maybe I can *sob* give them to my mom. or rip it out and start over from the heel area, increasing a couple stitches before the heel and then decreasing again after. or just live with it. I do like the way the foot and the leg fit. I think the tight part is right around the heel/ankle part. which isn't a surprise, because that is the least squishy and most gimongous part of my foot. anyway. we'll see.hey, remember these guys? these are what I call "socks for susan". notice, at most, there is only one sock for each pair and a whole lot of unknit yarn. interesting, isn't it? this was the motivating factor for me joining socktoberfest! well, that, and the beer. or maybe it was this sock shaped beer. I'm not sure. the point is: socktoberfest! how much beer will it take for me to finish these socks? only time will tell. I will keep you updated.finally (we are nearing the end - here is where you can stop crying from boredom because it will soon be over), this is what I'm calling "the big one". this is my brother's christmas gift. yes. it is a sweater. for a man. a small man, but a man who is still bigger than me, so this is officially the biggest project I've ever attempted. I'm really motivated to finish this and do a good job. I only have one brother and he's getting married next year, so I feel like this is kind of our last christmas of just us kids, so I want to make him something special. anyway, apparently this sweater is brought to you by ups. did you know they have trademarked the color brown? how do you trademark a color?

who? what? where am I? 9.22.2006 |

having to actually do work related things at work has thrown me into a troubling place where I can no longer remember things I need to do in my real life. I don't even know where my cell phone is. I had it this morning, and now it's gone. I think about work during work hours and even occasionally during not work hours. it just isn't natural! I've been too busy to blog properly, but have had moments where I'm like "oh, I gotta blog about that (funny, noteworthy, cute) thing" and now I'm sitting here, actually with time to blog, and I can't think of one interesting thing to say. all those fun things I had in my head? gone! who knows where they went or if they even existed.

speaking of work, the company I work for makes and sells stuff for trucks and suvs (does this make me a terrorist?). I know. so exciting, huh? anyway, every so often, my boss will come in with some new product to see if it's something that's marketable. which is fine, right? that's how people do business. most of the time, I really don't care what it is, because I don't drive a truck and don't ever plan on it, so I'm pretty apathetic about all our products. but this week, he came in with sheepskin seat covers. sheepskin! skin! of sheep! SHEEP! sheep, who produce wool! sheep, who would continue to produce wool for years if we didn't take away all their skin! I kept thinking "omg, all that yarn potential! someone hold me up and get me a drink!" it's just wrong. so, so wrong. is it 5pm yet?

putting the "no" back in quiznos 9.20.2006 |

every morning, someone goes around the office with a menu and lets each of us choose what we'd like to order for lunch. how nice! we get free lunch here. the one and only perk of working in this place. anway. this is what I wanted for lunch.this is what I got. (yes, I am the girl taking pictures of my lunch and then drawing things on it with microsoft paint. no, I am not good at drawing and/or coloring with a mouse. or a pen, for that matter)
granted, "caesar salad" and "chicken and corn chowder" share a few of the same letters, but they don't really sound anything alike. then again, this is not a case of "oops we got your order wrong". no. it was a case of "oh, we were too busy. we just didn't have the time to shovel some lettuce into a plastic tray so we're just going to give you something entirely different and not at all what you ordered". uh, hello! wtf?! perhaps if I were someone who actually liked the taste of white meat or who wasn't trying to eat something somewhat healthy today, I wouldn't mind so much. but I am neither of those people. also, I have tomatoes (which I also don't like - am I the pickiest eater alive or what?) on my sandwich. so I am greatly irritated. ok. I'm done whining now. because, really, if these are the extent of my problems, I've actually got it way too good.in knitting news, the koigu sock (no pic! too boring!) is moving along, following one of those "I can't do simple calculations" moments where I started the heel much to early and had to rip back and add more foot rounds. I did make the peapod hat to go with the peapod sweater. I was a tiny bit confused with the directions when it came to when and where to start decreasing and might have been off by a row or two, which made the leaf panel look a bit wonky right where the decreases start. no biggy, tho. I think it's fine. it's ready for gifting, but I'm supposed to wait until the baby shower to give it to my friend. I've put it on a shelf for safe keeping for now, so I don't accidentally do any pre-emptive gift giving.

you know things are bad when... 9.15.2006 |

I managed to catch something pretty awful this week, which makes it near impossible to eat, drink, think straight, sleep well or (this is how I know how bad things have gotten) knit! I ended up going home early yesterday to try and sleep it off, and when I woke up, I tried to eat something (unsuccessfully) and then I tried to watch some daytime tv (it has come to my realization that if you're going to be home in the daytime, you so need cable tv - there is seriously nothing good to watch in the middle of the day) and knit. I had high expectations. I'd gotten about half of the foot done on the first of my koigu socks the other night and thought that with my half a day to lounge around at home, I would certainly be able to at least get to the heel, right? sadly, no... after just a few rounds, I just didn't have the energy to continue. in hindsight, it was probably a good thing, as I'm sure I would have royally screwed up the heel with not being able to think straight and all.
at any rate, I just want to say that I looove koigu! I love it love it love it! I mean, besides the fantastic colorways, this stuff knits up like I never would have imagined. why did I wait so long to try it? how will I go back to the other sock yarns in my stash? is it laced with crack? it's really hard to stop myself from eating it while I knit. it is pure deliciousness. anyhow, I decided to do these on us0s, for a nice dense fabric and, oh my goodness, it is so soft and buttery and yummy... mmm... don't you think koigu must have some kind of healing power? maybe if I just hold it against my face long enough, it'll help all the sick go away...

sweater, sale, seahawks, socks... 9.12.2006 |

peapod is done! altho, it involved quite a bit of reworking. I wasn't happy with the pick-up stitch distribution of the collar, so I ended up frogging and reknitting it. I also was not very smart about seaming up the arm holes, but after a couple failed attempts, I think they came out quite well.
pattern: peapod from interweave knits, size 3mos (but blocked out closer to the 6mos size)
yarn: filati chicco, about 2 1/3 skeins
needles: knitpicks options us7 circular
finished: september 9, 2006
notes: this was an easy and fun knit! despite some difficulties getting started with the lace panel (due mostly to an inability to take my eyes off the tv), this went by really fast. the yarn was nice to work with - very soft and springy. I don't think I changed anything with the pattern, except for the yarn substitution. I got the buttons at joann's. they are little and wooden and perfect. I love the way this came out!

I think I'm probably going to make the hat, too, which I wasn't originally planning on doing, but I have quite a bit of yarn left over. what I don't have is the right size dpns...

too bad I didn't think about that while I was at the yarn sale on saturday. the lys in saratoga had their anniversary sale! conveniently the same weekend I had a wedding to attend just down the road. score one for me! unfortunately, I had just put myself on a "no new yarn" restriction since I've been buying things like what you see below. hello! how excited am I?! isa's first niners game!anyway, so, the sale. 25% off the whole store, including books, needles, bags, buttons... it was a good thing for my wallet that I brought a non-knitting fellow wedding attendee friend to keep an eye on me. not so good for my stash, but I think my stash has been spoiled enough as it is. my wallet certainly deserves some positive attention. so, yes! I was good! but you wouldn't expect me to actually go to the sale and walk away totally empty handed, would you? I don't have that kind of willpower, regardless of what kind of sale it is. I really did exercise quite a bit of restraint and left with just a pair of addis (which I actually need) and... my first koigu! because who can resist koigu! at 25% off! it is a wonder I only bought two skeins.it is a glorious day in a young woman's life when she acquires her first koigu. it was pretty agonizing trying to choose a colorway, though. seriously. so many pretties... I ended up picking this one because it's autumny and kind of reminds me of pumpkin pie, which is totally what I need for some just-for-me socks to keep me happy while I slave away on christmas gifts. I've been wanting make a pair of plain stockinette socks for myself and I think this is the perfect yarn for them. I'm thinking of maybe doing a simple, non-fussy, eyelet lace pattern at the cuff. maybe. we'll see when we get there. I am dying to cast these on. dying. unfortunately, I'm stuck at work.

and once again, yesterday, wendy and I managed to turn another knit night into a dying over cute stuff online night. also, an agonizing over which yarns wendy should use for her upcoming projects night. and, also, a "wendy, why are you such a nerd" night. wendy uses a spreadsheet for keeping track of which yarns she should use for which project, complete with prices, yardage, gauge, and fiber content for comparison. I totally laughed at her when I saw it. then, as we kept looking online for good yarn substitutions for her projects and I kept asking stuff like "wait, so how much yardage do you need for X?" and "what was the gauge you need for Y?" I realized that, while she is a big nerd, she is also really smart (is that redundant?) because, man. it really came in handy. and I'm just a little jealous.

breakfast of champions 9.08.2006 |

I went to the store yesterday to buy a card for the wedding I'm going to tomorrow and left with the card and a package of soft batch cookies. remember these? they were available in great abundance when I was a kid, then disappeared for what seemed to be an eternity and have since made a comeback in recent years. I always thought they were the best cookies, but, seriously, they're not that great. are they? I got them for mainly nostalgic reasons. the best part of the purchase was the small talk the check-out boy felt obligated to engage in.

check-out boy: ooh... these are really good.
me: yup.
check-out boy: they're soft.
me: (yes... hence "soft batch") yup.

I think he wanted me to share them with him. he was caressing the cookies in a slightly disturbing way while he gazed longingly at them.

btw, cookies are great for breakfast. I feel awake already! which is rare for not even being lunchtime yet. it's as if they're packed with some sort of magical energy inducing substance. especially paired with my morning cup of coffee. this could totally be the new breakfast of champions. whee! go me! go cookies! we are the champions!

productive! 9.05.2006 |

the long weekend was much needed and totally packed, but simply wonderful. the bro was in town again with the future sis-in-law and there was a whirlwind of barbeques and lunches and dinners out with family and friends. I don't think I ate one single meal at home the entire weekend. somehow, tho, I did manage to relax, get sleep, and even get the body of my next gift endeavor finished.
this is the baby pea pod cardigan from ik. I'm making this for my friend's unborn baby, who is either a boy or a girl - no one except the radiology tech who did the ultrasound knows which it is... I'm debating if I should just finish this with neutral wooden buttons now (well, when the sleeves are done) or if I should wait until the baby is born and put little pink buttons on it if it turns out to be a girl. but knowing me, I'm not going to be able to wait until december (when baby is due) to give this to her.

anyway, baby clothes! so fast! I love it. I'm making this in the smallest size, so it really flew off the needles. I had a hard time watching mad hot ballroom while starting the lace panel (what's with me and watching dancing while knitting?), which kept messing me up, and there seems to be a missing yo in the first few rows, but I couldn't bring myself to try to fix it by the time I realized it was there. trying not to let it bother me too much.

so, I've been thinking more about this whole selfish knitting/gift knitting thing. I know, you're all thinking "still?? haven't you got something better to do?" the answer is no, of course I don't. if I had something better to do, I'd already be doing it.

anyway, I love the idea of my handmade gifts being used by someone else. I love going to my friends' houses and seeing their babies sleeping under the quilts I made them. actually, aside from the quilts, I don't think I've ever seen any of my gifts in use... but it really doesn't bother me that much, now that I think about it. I guess I really, truly love the simple act of giving things away. it's actually what keeps me going while I knit or sew or whatever - the mere thought of "when I give this to so-and-so..." makes me really happy. and judging from the number of things in my FO gallery that are for other people and the staggering number of UFOs that are for myself, I'd say the joy of giving is greater than the joy of having something pretty for myself, even though I really really do want cute stuff for me.

actually, I was talking with wendy when I finished orangina about how I felt like I wanted to wear it everyday because I loved it so much, but then I felt so weird leaving the house with it on. I likened it to having to read your short story outloud in class. there's something painfully embarrassing about it even if it's something you're proud of. is it just me? I feel like it's so attention seeking to be all wearing something I made like "look at me! I knit this myself! I'm awesome! don't you want to be me? I feel pretty, oh so pretty...!" there are people that can do that and feel totally secure in it (and rightfully so, because why shouldn't you be proud of something you worked hours and hours on?), but I'm not one of those people. when someone oohs and aahs over something I've made, I get really self-conscious and feel so inclined to point out all the mistakes even though I hope no one notices them on their own. what's up with that?

doing my long weekend happy dance 9.01.2006 |

I am so ready for the weekend. this was by far the most stressful week I've had at work. ever. this week managed to launch my job from it's usual "omg, I think I'm going to fall asleep in my coffee" level to a much more unpleasant "holy crap, I killed the company" level. ok, well, maybe not quite that extreme. but trust me. it was bad. so looking forward to the next three days.

the good news is that I have another FO! the bad news is that I totally just typed like 50 gajillion pages of bloginess (ok, maybe not that much) and mozilla crashed on me. I'm almost finished sobbing, so now I will try to remember what I just typed (which, for a normal person, should be easily remembered considering it was seriously like 2 minutes ago) even though it all completely escapes me at this moment.so here's my mom wearing her new fingerless glove thingies (goodness, look how normal sized her wrists look in comparison to my giant man-wrists). is there an actual name for these things? the glove things, not the man-wrists.

as you may or may not recall, the last time I was here, I was starting to get rather paranoid about the length of my yarn. thank the heavens above that I did not run out before I got these bad boys finished. but I was seriously sweating bullets by the time I got to the thumb. and it's a good thing these guys are fingerless, because, man, was this a nailbiter. I was left with a measly 8" when I finally bound off the thumb hole. oh, the relief that it wasn't -8"! you can see all that remained of the yarn after I wove in all the ends. whew.please pay no attention to the fact that one of the tops is bound off looser than the other. it's pretty obvious I was fairly tense doing the second one. I kept thinking "what if I bind off too loosely and then don't have enough for the thumb?? the horror!"
pattern: fetching from knitty summer '06
yarn: knitpicks andean silk in chocolate, one whole entire skein
needles: (susan bates??) us6 dpns
finished: august 30, 2006
notes: aside from the yarn substitution, I changed the pattern only by doing one less round in the hand part and one less after the final cable row. I also did a k4p1 bindoff in place of the picot bind off. this was all to save yarn. what a great call on my part. I'm so smart! pat on the back! yay me! and I guess I really didn't care for the picot bindoff anyway. oh, and I also didn't block them. oh well. anyhow, if we don't factor in the fact that I was constantly fretting over the yarn quantity, I really did enjoy this knit. it was super duper lightning fast and I love love love the end result! they're really cute and soft and cuddly and warm and my mom loves them, so they are definitely a winner.

I think this is the first time I finished a project and thought I could put it on my "definitely will knit again" list. which doesn't exist. but these are so easy and so fast and cute that I think I could be inclined to make a whole bunch in lots of colors and make a little pile of stand-by christmas gifts. ...or not... actually, I think I have better things to do. like sleep.