Sunday, February 26, 2006

Closing Ceremonies

For the last 17 days, I have been hopelessly addicted to the Olympics. Thursday I was at a sports bar, and started screaming when the they changed the channel during the women's figure skating final. It's really a good thing that there's only one set of Olympics every two years. But, after watching the closing ceremonies, I'd like to address a few of the important players in this year's events.

Dear Torino,
Thank you for putting on a good show at the opening and closing ceremonies and being slightly weird. I appreciate that in a city. Your medal is certainly unique, by which I mean looks like a donut. I only wish I could have partied with you in person. Maybe when you bring the shroud back out, I'll come visit you. Until then, you'll just have to hope I have to go to Italy for a conference or something. Of course, I'll be wishing that too.

Dear Joey Cheek,
Thank you. Thank you for existing. Thank you for looking cute, even in tights. Thank you for not taking yourself too seriously. Thank you for not fighting with either Chad Hendrik or Shani Davis. Thank you for giving all your money to charity. Marry me.

Dear Apolo Anton Ohno,
I take back 60% of the bad things I've said about you. However, please, please shave the soul patch. It just looks like pubic hair. Don't do that to yourself.

Dear Bode Miller,
Ha ha.

Dear Dick Button,
You are the John Madden of figure skating. Your insightful comment, "If Joe and Sally Front Porch think they can get up and do this, they've got another think coming," has given me an entirely new perspective on your sport. Thank you.

Dear Snowboarding Team,
No really. How much pot do you smoke?

Dear Sasha Cohen and Tanith Belbin,
I'm sorry you only got silver, but you're still very pretty.

Dear Shani Davis,
I'm very disappointed in you. This should have been about your (admittedly impressive) achievement instead of your bad attitude and catfights with Chad Hendrik. Behave yourself.

Dear Bob Costas,
Go home.

Dear Michelle Kwan, Lindsey Kildow, Zhang Dan, Lydia Ierodiaconou and others,
Ouch. I'm sorry I had to see you injure yourselves terribly on international television. I was screaming with pain in sympathy, but I'm sure that didn't help you one bit. Thanks for trying.

Dear Canada,
See you in four years, eh?

Dear Other Athletes,
Thank you for absorbing all of my attention for the last week and a half. I may be falling drasticly behind on my school work, but at least, for about two more days, I'm extremely well informed on current events. The Olympics really kind of do all that stuff that Visa commercials make me tear up about, but I won't actually admit. Now give me back my life.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Guild Day

Man, I'm lazy. Last Sunday was our Guild meeting at Sit 'n Knit. I finished up a couple of things just in time for the meeting.
Although I didn't technically enter Madalyn's UFOlympics, I did take this Olympic opportunity to finish one up. This Tank Girl tank (from Stitch 'n Bitch) in bright blue Goa was languishing at my boyfriend's house for quite some time. It's over 30" of p2k1 ribbing, which makes me really not want to rib anything again for quite a long time. Then, like anything else annoying, I'm going to forget why I hate ribbing so much, pick another entirely ribbed project, and start this process again, possibly with more cursing. That's me looking thrilled in it. My mom is going to wind up getting it, since I don't think I'll actually wear it. It's just one of those things. (Note to self: next time wear makeup before posing for photos.)
I also finished up all the knitting and sewing for the felted bag. I took it home with me to do laundry, which is fine, because my mom is getting anyway. It's good to be my mom.
In guild news, Elizabeth's handspun shawl is even prettier in person, and Kristine finished her black shrug and better post a picture. Other people were knitting socks successfully and making me very jealous, and one woman knits sweaters faster than most people make scarves. One new woman had an incredible intarsia jacket, and while large Chinese fish are not really my style, it was very impressive nonetheless.
I spent approximately the GDP of Malaysia (okay, maybe not quite $118.3 billion, but close) on 3 items. First are these incredible hand-carved horn needles. I don't have a project in mind, but they were too pretty to pass up. I hear the carving doesn't snag, but we'll see. I'm a huge fan of the wide ribbon between the needles instead of the thin wire that always manages to shrink my stitches. They also came with a little hemp carrying case.
I finally got my hands on another skein of the recylcled sari silk yarn, which is just perfect for a modular scarf pattern I had picked up. I waited until I had finished (the first part of) my homework before I started casting on, but it was really, really hard.
And rounding things off was this month's issue of knit.1 magazine, which has a fantastic knitting translator for many languages, and is largely pirate themed. I appreciate that in a magazine. Yargh.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

What the sock?

Am I socking retarded? I cannot seem to knit a decent sock to save my soul. At first, I thought it was just the pattern, which took the blame for the much-maligned Ugly Sock. But the pattern looked nice on this one. Yet somehow I knit and wind up with this pile of sock. The foot is like sticking my foot in a wool balloon. It's not that it's just too long. It's slightly too long, despite the fact that I decreased exactly 2" short of the end of my foot like it told me to. It's also miles too wide. One of the variations on the pattern called for ribbing all the way down the top, which is clearly what I should have done. The top of the foot seems to be too wide by exactly the amount that much ribbing would pull in. But the pattern doesn't say to keep ribbing! It doesn't even tell you to decrease if you don't want ribbing. My gauge is fine (yes, I even double-checked it). This is not even something extreme blocking could save. I even thought, well, it will be inside the shoe so it won't matter.....
No. There's too much sock to fit inside the shoe. After several minutes of fiddling I can mush all the extra material into the shoe so it's very uncomfortable, then the cuff looks okay. But if that's what I'm going for I might as well just knit myself ankle warmers with toe straps and slap those on.

So now I have a dilemma. Do I:

A. Rip out this entire thing and try to figure out what the sock is wrong?

B. Knit the other piece of sock to match and give them away/hide them forever?

C. Knit the other sock in a different way and see if it comes out better, redoing the first sock if it works and turning both into cat toys if it doesn't work?

D. Give up on this whole socking thing altogether?

Your comments/magical solutions are greatly appreciated.

No news is no news

Not too much on the knitting front. I made a pair of baby booties with the leftover Blizzard, but they don't have buttons yet, so no picture for you. I'm finishing some embroidering on a little crochet baby sweater, then it needs buttons too. I don't actually have children, or expect to have any time soon, but baby items are just so quick to make. Then I like what I make and can't bear to part with it (which doesn't actually bode well for my future children). Well, I'm storing it all up in a hope chest for use someday. But that someday is going to be a long time from now.

Worfy was a good guard cat yesterday. There was a little brown and black cat outside my window. I thought about trying to go save the cat, but Worfy got all fluffed up and scared it away. I don't really get how that works. I think it's incredibly cute when cats fluff up, and being cute doesn't seem like a particularly good defense mechanism. One of my friends cats fluffs up when she's happy, which is ridiculously cute and makes much more sense to me. Maybe it works against humans. We start melting into a little pile of "awww, kitty" because we can't handle that much concentrated cuteness. But aparently it's scary in cat terms, because the other cat really did back off. I think Worf was rather proud of himself.

Watch the Olymipcs! All of you!
(And especially watch Joey Cheek, because I'm developing a crush on him. )

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Shaker Rib Shakedown

Isn't Worfy the best model ever? Even though he just stepped on me and left a cold, wet, paw print. Today he's wearing the scarf I made this evening (yes, one evening) after learning a new stitch at Sheep's Clothing. They had a shaker rib workshop today, and I drove out with a couple of ladies from my knitting guild. Turns out, it's pretty easy, but I totally wouldn't have gotten it from the directions. But, if you're braver than I am, here are the directions if you want to try:
Cast on an even number of stitches
Set up row: *YO, sl1, K1 *, repeat from star
Second row: *YO, sl1, K2tog*, repeat from star
Repeat second row until second coming of Christ or desired length. Cast off as *P1, K2tog*, repeat till end.
I only used 8 sts on size 15 needles for this one.
The yarn is really cool, a bulky called Blizzard. It's 65% alpaca, 35% acrylic and super soft. I only used 1 1/3 skeins for this, ~66 yards/ skein. I would have made it longer, but I got greedy thinking of the cool things I could make with the leftovers. I've got a great pattern for bulky baby booties.
I'd never even heard of shaker rib before, but you can see what it looks like (also, Worfy's belly) in the close up. Paula, the owner of Sheep's Clothing, describes it as spongier then regular ribbing, which is guess is appropriate. It's got a much better rhythm to it than k1p1 too.
Guildies can see it at the next meeting. The rest of you are on your own.

Monday, February 06, 2006

A few objects finished - and a few more begun

During blocking:
Have you ever noticed that when you're working on a project during a movie, or while you're thinking about something, whenever you pick it up again, you find yourself reminded of what you were doing before? Branching Out scarf #2 was finally blocked during Miss Congeniality on Sunday. Therefore, Branching Out scarf #2 is now going to be associated with Miss Congeniality. Hope you like it, Mom.

After Frankenstein's pins are removed:

And here's Worfy, modeling the finished baby hat. I lost my good #7 double points; they could be anywhere in the black hole that is my apartment. I stopped by Erica's today and picked up another set, plus the second set of 9's I need for that tank. And that was all I bought. Technically. Although, like any other sin, the purchase of further yarn has already been committed in my mind. That hand -painted cotton is practically mine....

Now, if you were naive, you'd see these two finished object and be amazed that I narrowed down the number of projects I'm working on. But you, dedicated physicists that you, know the second law of thermodynamics better than that. The entropy of any Sarah always increases.

Now, the felted bag could be done. I've finished the body and the strap, but I've decided to knit all four of the optional pockets. Hey, I've got the yarn, and who doesn't like pockets? Look! A pocket!

Two other premeditated knitting crimes have finally been cast on as well.
First, socks from a fantastic sock yarn I got in Germany. I finally found a sock pattern I liked, because it's customizable for yarn weight, style, etc. This was great, until I wanted a ribbed sock, and promptly followed the pattern for the flat one. I pulled back about 2" to get back to the 1" of ribbing I had knit, and reworked it. Now, they make me cackle with glee. I will knit both. Take that, ugly sock. May you forever remain single.

The other was a pattern I picked up on an unscheduled trip to Sheep's Clothing. I've wanted to try double knitting for a while, and it is really, really cool. I'm knitting both sides of the fabric at once. I'm having visions of an entire sweater knit, both sides at once, with its lining in place. Then I realized that once the novelty of double knitting wears off, it will combine all the irritation of ribbing with all the twisted yarn of fair isle. Then double knitting will become that "it" shirt from last season, sitting in your closet, begging to come out, but being just so popular six months ago, you can't wear it until it's cool again in 5 years. (Except for ponchos. I never did that. Never will.) But for now, it's still really, really cool. And it will also remind me of the Super Bowl when my dad's team finally won. Yay, Jerome Bettis.