Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Finished Object! Finished Object!

I love finishing projects. Especially when they are projects for myself. Not only do I get a sense of accomplishment and excitement from seeing something I’ve created stitch by stitch, piece by piece, yard by yard – but I love the excitement of choosing what to start next.

Yesterday after my first-of-ten yoga class, I took my sweaty body and red face to High Fashion Fabrics and picked up these
so that I could do this

I’d like to present my complete Damson shawl {rav link}, pattern by Ysolda. Knit with 80’s Black Out superwash merino from Light Brown Hare’s Etsy Store. This took (I’m guessing) a little over 500 yards of fingering weight. Since the pattern calls for about 440, I’m glad I took the advice of Ravelry knitters and KnittingReader and overbought. This pattern uses more than 440 yards of yarn and I would have been FURIOUS if I had reached the 547-stitch bind-off only to discover that I didn’t have enough to actually bind off.

My first shawl, and I’m very pleased. I’m enjoying wearing it today and I think it will be a lovely accessory to take on the plane with me to Vail in a little over a week.

Now the other kind of excitement: the excitement of the next WIP, also to be my travel-knitting. I have this

to make a ribbed beanie for Dear. (Spud & Chloe Sweater in some kind of olive-green color.) Could be a quick plane knit and would be nice for him to have in Vail if it’s chilly at night. I know he won't need it in Houston for the next 7 months at least, but it’s also a quick vacation project that will leave me satisfied and I can’t wait to try out the Spud and Chloe. There is also this

to make the Takeout for Two {rav link} socks from my Joy of Sox book (all the stuff towards the left). This is Debbie Bliss Amalfi, a nice cotton/rayon/linen blend that I’m hoping will be good lounging around the house socks even in the dead heat of summer in Houston -- three colors: light blue, a darker blue and brown. Aaaaaaaand I've got this

Knit One Crochet Two Ty-Dy. I want to make a pair of socks out of this, but I’m thinking they’d look great with a funky insole from Cat Bordhi and I want more mindless knitting than that for vacation.

In a totally unrelated subject, I’ve got yoga class #2 tonight. I’m doing Hot Yoga for ten consecutive days. Yesterday was true Hot Yoga – they heat the room to between 102 and 105 degrees with about 80% humidity. Today is Flow Yoga – slightly cooler with the temperature between 95 and 98 degrees and 40% humidity. While that still sounds fucking hot, it should be a little easier and hopefully I’ll avoid the dehydration headache that I had all last night. Then it’s off to buy new athletic shoes for running and hiking. Lord help me, my boyfriend is turning me into one of those outdoor athletic types, totally against my will. I wonder if I can learn to knit and hike at the same time?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Take the Edge Off

This weekend was a busy whirlwind of family visiting (Dad from Illinois), moving (my brother), working (me representing at the Annual Boy Scout Fair), baseball, fireworks and eating (ball park food, Italian, jumbo pretzel, kolaches, Mexican brunch). In the midst of all that, I still found time to buy yarn.

Five more skeins of Lion Brand Thick & Quick in black for Big Brother’s Never Ending Humongous Yeti Cabled Afghan. Purchased with the aid of visiting Dad – he brought Big Brother a baseball glove and me a Michael’s gift card. Given the sad state of my current bank balance, I re-gifted (something I don’t usually do with gift cards) and purchased as many more skeins as I could, and a little something for myself.

Since when do I cross-stitch? I’ve never really had the desire to, but for some reason on the way to the store, the urge hit me and I decided to run with it. I went for the cutie-pie pillow case (Eeyore is hands-down my favorite terminally depressed children’s literature character) and figured it was as easy starter-kit as could be managed. Everything is included (even the needle!) except the embroidery hoop, of which I have my Nana’s. Not sure when this will commence, but it’s kind of nice to have something else on the horizon, if not on the needles.

All of this was a direct reaction to this:

BassPro Outdoor World. A somewhat terrifying experience for my non-camping bug-attracting personality.

Let me explain something. I don’t camp. I’ve been camping twice: once for Girl Scouts where I slept on a stable floor and my mom’s allergies were so bad she sounded like the teachers in Peanuts cartoons. The second time for a week with my 8th grade class, called Outdoor Education – kind of like a field trip, but with tents and campfires and more psychologically damaging. Now I live with an avid camper who has reminded me on an almost daily basis that he wants to go camping. SOON. With a tent. And sleeping bags. Outside. Away from home. I’ve done everything I can to put this off, but he keeps buying supplies (gas for the camping stove, pots and pans, silverware) all meant for camping. I’m afraid I’m running out of weekend excuses, all commencing at the worst time of year in Houston –soon the temperature will not drop below 75 degrees even after the sun sets. Humidity is thickening and the bugs are getting bigger. Please keep me in your thoughts, fellow blog-readers … I fear the end of my non-camping persona is coming to an end, and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it.

Coming up next: Adventures in Blocking, or I Hope I Never Have to Bind Off 547 Consecutive Stitches Again (the Completed Damsen).

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

In Which Nearly Invisible Progress Is Made

I swear I've been knitting. Girl Scout's Honor. I just seem to have very little to show for it.

I've reached the stockinette portion of Damsen, and it's really turning out quite lovely. The color is blackish with greyish bits in some lights, dark blue with greyish bits in other lights, and even has tints of green in bright sunlight ... so it will really match anything.

It's actually much bigger than this ... it's just too big to lay out flat.

The goal is to finish before we go to Vail (t-minus 16 days and counting) so that I have fabulous neckwear to wear around and be effortlessly fabulous. And I have the added bonus fun of choosing a new vacation project (re-start the frogged tye-dye socks?). One would think with the small amount that I have left that I would be able to crank it out in 16 days, but there is Dad-visit looming (this weekend!) and this pesky thing called "work" that seems to suck up a fair amount of my time and energy (who does that?). Let's just say I'll be pleased with myself if and when it happens.

The other thing sucking up time and energy? My lovely Dear. As much as I love him (and I do), the fact that I am now 10 lbs and a size bigger than when I met him is not putting me in a happy mood. Now that our twitterpation has worn down a bit, we're both realizing that we need to get back into our somewhat physically active habits and maybe cutting back on the booze during the week wouldn't hurt either (but it sure is kind of boring). We've had some lovely bike rides on the weekends, but now running has entered the conversation. I'm willing to give this a try, but I have not forgotten the near-crippling shin splints that I experienced the last time I was a runner. My running career lasted about 6 months before my shin splints were so bad I finally went to see a professional sports trainer ... who then informed me that I had multiple hairpin stress fractures on both legs and I sure as hell better stop running if I didn't feel like spending the next 6 weeks in double leg casts. So I switched to low-impact and haven't had too much trouble with that ... but now it's time to step up the game. I'm hoping a combination of starting out slow, hot yoga supplements and serious stretching before and after a run will save me from the horrible pain I experienced previously. Mostly? I just want to be able to say I tried.
Have temporarily put the BSJ and Rob's Monster Afghan on hold. Damsen took over my interest and I'm not looking back. Sure hope that afghan gets finished by July, though .....