Thursday, February 16, 2012

Reasons I Knit

1. To keep my hands busy
2. So I don't stab annoying people
3. Conversely, so I can stab crazies when I'm by myself at the laundromat (I always have a project and corresponding needles in my bag pretty much wherever I go)
4. To have something to focus on during boring/ awkward conversations
5. To make cool things like scarves, mittens, afghans, sweaters, shawls, hats and other interesting things.
6. To keep my hands in shape (just kidding... mostly)
7. To do something productive while waiting in long lines
8. So people won't bother me at the laundromat (just in case you're wondering, this doesn't always work. People tend to ask what you're doing and get really interested in your projects. If you're serious about wanting to be left alone, I recommend wearing goth clothes and big headphones and a scowl)
9. So my cat can't jump up on my lap and claw me to get my attention- my project usually gets in his way.
10. To complete my image of crazy granny cat lady
11. To be a unique as a teenager. It's pretty hard to do since every other teenager is out trying to be unique as well
12. So I'll have a useful skill after the zombie apocalypse. Store-bought clothes don't last forever, but I can always find an alpaca from which to spin wool and knit a sweater. I hear zombies don't like the taste of sheep.
13. So I can be doing something productive while my sister annoys me with Degrassi- if you don't know what that is, count yourself lucky. High school drama t.v. shows are in such short supply, don't you think?
14. So I can think about something during Twilight. For example, Ooh, I wonder what pattern they used on Bella's hat or Alice's mittens? I'll bet I could do that. In case you're wondering, you can replace Twilight with almost any movie, especially if that movie took place in a cold climate or season. It also works with t.v. shows, such as the aforementioned Degrassi nightmare.
15. To get something productive done during a boring teacher's lectures (be forewarned, this cannot be done in every class with every teacher, though they are a little more lenient at college and in big classes)
16. So I have something to Google besides cats
17. For the pure joy of having made something with my own two hands. It isn't store-bought, and it's one-of-a-kind.
18. To create hand-me-downs my children and grandchildren can enjoy- knitting lasts longer than most store-bought clothes. Probably because people don't throw it away when it's no longer in style or it doesn't fit or for whatever reason people throw clothes away.
19. So I don't have to buy Christmas gifts. I hate worrying about how much I should spend on a Christmas gift. If it's handmade, there's no price tag for people to fuss over, and I know it's a good-quality item.
20. For baby shower gifts. Seriously, I defy you to find a pregnant woman who doesn't think a hand crocheted or hand knitted baby afghan is adorable.

I think that's enough reasons for now. I'm sure other people have their own lists somewhere.

I guess I should talk a little bit about what I've been up to now. Here's a list of books I've read recently, or at least as many as I can remember:
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (re-read)
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (audiobook re-read)
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
Stoneheart by Charlie Fletcher (audiobook read by Jim Dale, who read the Harry Potter audiobooks)
Ironhand by Charlie Fletcher (audiobook read by Jim Dale)
Silvertongue by Charlie Fletcher (audiobook read by Jim Dale)
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
Clockwork Angel Cassandra Clare (audiobook re-read)
Clockwork Prince Cassandra Clare(half on audiobook and half in print)
Matched by Ally Condie (audiobook re-read)
Crossed by Ally Condie
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
Virals by Kathy Reichs (audiobook)
Seizure by Kathy Reichs
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan (reading now, recommendation by A at the library, as are a whole stack of books in my room that I haven't gotten to start yet)

So I guess I should also discuss a few of my abbreviations that have been used/will be used in the future:
DS= Dear Sister
DM=Dear Mother
A= Librarian friend and leader of the library knitting club
N= friend from high school, who attends a different college (also the friend who watched Doctor Who with me)
M=friend from high school, still there since he's a year younger
K= friend from crochet group
D= friend from crochet group
J= boss at the shelter where I volunteer
Aunt H= my wonderful and zany aunt
Jasper, Alia, Max and Emmett: the cats- yes, I know there are four, and two have twilight names. I didn't name them, and we never meant to have as many as we do. The kittens came together, Alia was a gift from my dad, and Max just lived at the house when we moved in.
Rhea= my beater car

I haven't been up to much lately. Lots of homework though. I have to say, having taken both online and campus classes, online classes assign 8 times as much work. Not all is hard, but keeping up with deadlines is fun. It's been pretty easy for most of my classes because they're consistent. Something is due every week on the same day. One class a really whacked out schedule though; it isn't consistent at all. None of my classes require too much brain power this semester. I haven't got any history, science or math classes. Just classes required for gen ed: Communications, Intro to Tech for Educators, Theatre Survey (weirdest class every, and totally not my thing BUT I discovered last week that the cover features David Tennant, the 10th Doctor), and American Government, which is the one with the whacked out schedule. I missed so many deadlines at first, that I'm worried I'll flunk even if I get A's on all of my other assignments. The university allows us to retake one failing class though, so I won't lose my scholarship because of it.
In terms of knitting, I've mostly been working on my sweater. I haven't really touched my laceweight shawl lately. It requires too much thought to be able to work on it while doing other things, and I tend to mulitask while knitting, so it wasn't the best project for me. The pattern is called Birch Leaf Shawl by Susan Gutperl, and it's a free Ravelry download. I also started another pair of socks. At first, it was gonna be based on the toe-up Jaywalker pattern by Grumperina, but I didn't like the toe pattern so I modified it to use Judy's Magic Cast-On. Then I started the pattern and ended up with the wrong number of stitches between repeats, so I scrapped it and frogged back to the end of the toe. Then I started designing my own eyelet pattern, a  Sl1 K1 PSSO, YO pattern, but I increased too many stitches and had to frog back about 2 inches when I realized it was about an inch too wide for my teeny feet. I'm only about 6 rows into the pattern this go-around but it seems to be about the right size, maybe a little smaller, which is good for socks cause they stretch in the wash and you can't dry them or they'll shrink way too much. That's especially true for this pair which is 75% new wool, not superwash wool and acrylic like my other pair, which has ended up in the dryer a few times with no dire consequences. I haven't touched my HP scarf in months, but I did pick it up today and noticed that it's gotten really long since I last measured it. I think it only needs maybe three or four more pattern repeats. I finished the torso of my sweater, and a sleeve, but when I started the second sleeve I read the pattern a little more closely and noticed that I had seriously messed up the increases so I frogged back to the owl cables, which was where I began the increases. At least I don't have to re-do the owls. They suck to do in the round. so now I have one sleeve half-done and the first sleeve only just begun since I frogged it.
I've been job hunting lately and haven't had much success. I got two interviews with Cracker Barrel but they never called back. I called twice but couldn't even get my interviewer on the phone. I also talked to a man at a Sweepstakes place who said he'd call me next week when the owner returned but I'm not counting on it. I also filled out an application at Publix and asked around at a lot of places but most of the applications are online and I almost never hear of anyone getting hired that way. I guess I jsut have to cross my fingers. I think I'm gonna go ask at a few restaurants in a minute, then I have to go pick up a book at the library before they close. I hate this sleepy county. Our libraries close at 5 most weekdays and they aren't even open on Sundays. When I lived in Orlando, libraries stayed open til 10, I think even on Sundays.
Other things of note:
Recently, N and I have been keeping journals to exchange on the weekends since we don't get to see each other often anymore. It's fun to read about her life, and I found that I enjoyed writing to her so much that I decided to try blogging more often, which is why I'm here. I'm aware that probably no one reads this, but it's nice to think that someday someone might. DGAM probably never thought his blog would be famous, though I highly doubt mine will ever be either.
I switched laundry day from Sunday to Thursday, with much complaint from DM and especially DS, but I ALWAYS have homework due and trivia night on Sundays. It was getting a little packed. Nothing ever happens on Tuesdays, except that apparently the Construction crew for the apartments behind the laundromat broke the water main and had to fix it while I was there. I lucked out though because I have a functioning washers so I only had to dry my clothes (plus one small load that needed to be washed. I usually only wash two loads at home since it takes forever and I don't want the clothes mildewing while I wait. Whatever is left over gets done at the laundromat. They fixed the main while I was there so I was even able to wash the leftover load).

I found out my car's roof leaks. I guess we haven't experienced any big rains since DM bought it last June.

I have the Echidna of throat aches, and I think I must have a cold or something. Sniffly nose and sneezing plus throat ache equals unhappy me. I went to the drug store today and got some lozenges and cold meds so I should be fine by tomorrow.

Jasper had some sort of eye problem that really freaked me out two nights ago but it cleared up over night so, miracle of miracles, he didn't have to go to the vet. I hate taking him there anyway. They always suggest some sort of major procedure, and they don't listen to my protests, however valid but that's a blog for another time.

I have been meaning to go see that Chronicle movie for at least a week now, but I keep getting hung up with homework or family nonsense.

I went to see the A Day To Remember/Rise Against concert a couple of weeks ago in Orlando. It was awesome. My friend, whose name also begins with N, and her mom and I all drove up there to see it at the university. It was pretty awesome, even though I barely knew any of the ADTR music at the time. N and her mom knew it all, and I knew all the Rise Against so I guess we balanced each other. I've been listening to ADTR ever since, cause they have another concert in a few months that we all want to go to together.

My DS got really good grades this semester. She's been struggling to not flunk out so we're all proud. There was even a celebratory dinner involved, which meant driving a half-hour to her favorite restaurant at night, in my lovely Rhea which has no a/c to speak of. We cranked the music up and the windows down and drove the whole way like that. DS refused to drive home with me, instead going in DM's car. She had to meet us there after work.

I guess this is the only one this week. My toe-up sock WIP with self-designed eyelet pattern, second attempt.