Sunday, April 29, 2012


Since it's the middle of the night and I have work and a concert to go to tomorrow, here are some pictures.
First up, DS's Clown Lace Socks:

They've been done for about 2 weeks now, but getting DS to let me take the pictures was like pulling teeth. She kept saying she was too busy or that she had somewhere to be. They turned out great though (the pictures and the socks). The socks even match perfectly, with absolutely no work on my part.

Next up, the Hello Kitty Afghan:
 They came off the needles the night before last, I finished adding fringe last night,
And I began braiding the fringe this morning. I just finished, and I cut off all the excess yarn, which weighed like a whole pound all on its own. Between cutting, looping and braiding, the fringe took me like 5 hours. I enlisted a few extra hands though. DM worked some of the braiding, and NB helped me with the cutting and braiding.
The only thing left is the backing.  I bought a yard of thin flannel that's white with pink polka dots, and it needs to be cut to size and sewed on.

Because I'm excited about it, I'm gonna tell you one last thing. I went to the LYS this Saturday, and I picked up lots of yarn. Cascade 220 in a wooly yellow for Erin's owlie socks, Mochi plus in a purple, blue and red variegated colorway for DS's hat, and best of all, Madelinetosh sock yarn in the fathom colorway. IT'S THE TARDIS SOCK YARN!!!!!!!!! I've literally hugged it to my chest every time the nasty afghan started to upset me, and I'm dreaming of the day when I can start working with it. It's perfect, though it's super expensive. There's only enough for about one pair of socks, so I'm basically spending $30 per pair of socks, and I'm making 3.
That's it for now, but I'll keep the Blog posted

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


So just as a little update to my life, since it feels like it's been forever since I've blogged, I've decided to take a short break from my massively full schedule for the day and inform the Blog that I have an FO to showcase (DS's Clown Lace Socks), but I have to take some pictures, so hopefully I'll be able to post on it tomorrow. (No, it's not the Hello Kitty thing, I'm still about 2 stripes from being done, and now she wants fringe, which is gonna kill an extra 3 hours of work measuring lengths, looping them through the YOs I now have to create, and braiding the loops so the baby can't rip them off the blanket and hang itself or something. It's just about 65% done considering all of that.)
I cast on a pair of socks for me, and I'll post pictures of that tomorrow as well. Today I had like 5 tests due, 3 of which were finals and 2 were post-test survey things, plus a short essay. Despite work, I managed to complete 1 exam before work, 3 during my lunch break, half of the essay during naptime, and the last exam after work. I've also just finished a load of laundry. On top of all the homework, it also happens to be laundry day, so I've gotta wash all the laundry here at home with my awesome washer, then cart it all to the laundromat to do the drying and folding since I don't have a dryer. I never get done before 10 p.m., but I guess thems the breaks for choosing a weekday for laundry day and getting a day job.
In other news, I chose some yarn from the stash for a pair of socks for DM's birthday gift since her birthday is in June and I'd like to finish her gift early and not have to worry about it too much. I'll probably make her another pair for mother's day.  I'm obsessed with the pattern I used for DS's socks because it's interesting but not difficult and it only requires one 50g skein of yarn, so I think I'll make a few more pairs, 2 for DM, one more for DS's birthday since I fudged up and already gave her the Clown Lace ones, and at least one pair for me, since I never get to make anything for myself.
I also finished a novel, which counts toward my monthly goal. I read The Iron Knight, by Julie Kagawa, which was interesting, but you can definitely tell that the author didn't intend to write it, and that she never meant for a happy ending. I read it in the interests of finishing the series, which sucked me in the way silly vapid teenage supernatural love stories seem to lately. I definitely love the fae theme though. I loved the Wicked Lovely series, and this seemed along those lines, though a little more vapid. I'm getting to the Cleopatra book, and I have two other weird supernatural teen books in my queue, Out of the Shadows by Sarah Singleton and Shifting by Bethany Wiggins.

Random things (In list form, since I like lists)
1. NB and I have been watching mad crazy amounts of Doctor Who lately (which for us is like 3 episodes a week), so I've nearly gotten to the current season, and I so love it.
2. My car's acting super funny, and I'm pretty sure it has a transmission fluid leak. I'm hoping it's something simple and easy to fix since I can't afford another, even a clunker, but it's been worrying me for a few days.
3. Today is pretty much the last day of the school semester, and I'm so glad. Balancing school and a full-time job has been crazy-mad-strange, especially considering that the hours I'm supposed to be working are 8:30 to 4:30, but I'm usually there later (sometimes only 15 minutes, sometimes an hour) and I only usually take about half of my lunch break and spend the rest watching kids nap since I haven't got anywhere better to be. I've been seriously exhausted, so I'm excited to take one thing of my mental checklist.
4. I got an insanely disgusting and persistent coldy-thing which left me just able to claw my way out of the sheets, get dressed and go to work, but unable to do much else for 3 days straight. It's been a week and I still haven't kicked the cough. 
5. I've neglected housework for a few days, so DM's pretty pissed with me, but in my defense, it's finals week (though I'm about 99.9% sure she doesn't know that since we only rarely speak anymore because she works til 10 pm and I'm asleep by then most nights).
6. I'm the proud owner of a new cow.... Well, actually, it's a pillow pet thing, but it's still pretty awesome.
7. I thought about taking said cow to the daycare for naptime, but there was a case of head lice there, so I don't want to risk leaving anything there to get infested with lice. I've taken to tying my hair back tight and not letting anyone's blankets or heads get near me or mine because of it, even though the mom said the kid only had 4 nits, which are gone now. I'm not freaked out about lice, I just know that they would be insanely difficult for me to get rid of. My hair's grown like 6 inches in the last 6 months, for God only knows what reason, and combing through it for nits would be just about the most annoyingly time-consuming task I could think of. Wow, all of that sounds super embarrassing now that I've reread it.
9. Since I have an essay to write and I only really meant to catch up, I think I'll go finish that (and the laundry, where I still have another 2 loads to wash, ugh), but I'll be here tomorrow hopefully with pictures of DS's feet.

Quote of the Day: I think you pocket dialed me, but all I heard was you saying, "Give me a hug, where's my hug?"

Ah the joys of pocket dialing from the daycare.

Monday, April 16, 2012


I have an FO to showcase today: DM's Paprika Toe-Up Socks

DM graciously agreed to be a foot model for her own socks, with the stipulation that she get to do suggestive poses. I said sure, since the only things being photographed were her feet. We had lighting issues, so these were the best of about 20 different photos I took.

I bought some extra size 6 needles for the HKAD, which has only 3 and 3/4 stripes left to go. This is what it looks like with all 4 sets of circs:
I thought it would be difficult getting used to working with that many needles and not confusing them, but I was smart and I put the two new needles that were both the same color on opposite sides of the work so I wouldn't mix them up (Happy accident actually, but I'll take what I can get). Anyway, it's been super easy so far, aside from the miles of stockinette in the round that kill.

I also bought a set of size 7 circs and all of the yarn required for DM's Christmas afghan, the Lace Panel Throw:
That yarn-eating project requires 7 6 oz skeins of worsted weight yarn. I chose Caron Simply Soft in Autumn Rose colorway for DM, who is a vegan and requested that I not buy any more with wool content for her. 100% acrylic it is! Caron is actually wonderful to work with, and I'm not really too picky about my yarn. I cast on and started working on it, but I cheated and did a backwards loop cast on, and I dropped like 8 stitches working the first row and had to start over. I measured out the right amount of extra yarn for the long tail cast on and just started casting on for the second time. I think when I'm done with the HKAD, this will be my naptime knitting project because I can't work on it at home or mom will see it. I'm a horrible secret keeper, too. She already knows what color I chose because I didn't want her to hate it after all my work, but I was careful not to show her how much yarn I bought because she could probably figure it out from there.

I picked up DS's Clown Lace socks this morning and knit 2 rows of the heel flap but I'm stumped trying to decipher the pattern. It says to work the heel flap in the lace pattern on the RS and work a plain purl row on the WS, but the lace pattern has a plain round for every even round, which I would think equates to the purl row on the heel flap, so I'm not sure if I'm supposed to include the plain round or not. I'm gonna look up the book's errata and see if there's a note on it. Those socks need to be done by DS's birthday in May, and I may make her another gift to go with them since she already knows what her socks will look like.

In my personal life, my car's exhaust pipe fell off on Friday and I had to get some random stranger's help to fix it enough that I could drive it home. The whole experience was trying because my sister and her friend were there and they knew how to fix it but the stranger wouldn't listen to them. Anyway, the next morning DM and I drove the 5 feet or so to the nearest mechanic, who charged me just under $60 to fix it. I was ecstatic because I thought it would be a $500 fix. I also managed to get the car fixed and the stranger's ratchet strap returned to him before 1 p.m.  and I had the house cleaned by 1:30. (Sidenote: Strange men who call me 'honey' and 'sweetie' are totally and completely not okay in my book) All in all, it was a productive day. Life never goes that smoothly for me, so I feel like it needs mentioning when things go well.

Quote of the day:
Kid: Where are my cookies?
Mom: Maybe your dad took them
Kid: That a**h**e took my cookies?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


So I've taken to staring at my Ravelry queue while knitting the Hello Kitty Afghan of Death. I'm itching to cast on or work on something else for once, but I promised myself I would finish this by June and it keeps getting more difficult to crank out a row (which is obviously what happens when it gets wider every other row- I still don't know what I was thinking. Probably Ooh neat technique, I should try it cause it looks so cool). I did retrieve DM's sock from my aunt's house yesterday, but I haven't picked it up yet. I know, I know, one of my monthly goals was to finish 2 socks, but like I said, I'd really like to get this blanket done by June. Actually, I want shot of the giant pink monstrosity by the end of this month, but that probably won't happen. I probably will work a little more on DM's sock when the blanket gets to be too big to bring to the daycare for naptime knitting. It's definitely getting there. It gained a stripe (and another 80 stitches) since I last blogged, and when I stretched it out for this photo:

I realized that it is getting pretty big, though it looks small while I'm knitting it. It needs about 6 inches more, which pretty much translates to 6 more stripes, which means adding another 480 stitches. Ugh, that does it. I'm definitely doing some sock knitting tonight.

Some very lovely people on a Ravelry forum helped me to solve the dilemma I'd been having about needing more or longer needles. I was told that I could use any number of circulars in the same manner as using two circulars and still be able to knit in the round. When I joined Ravelry, I never thought I'd use it for anything other than the odd pattern here or there, but I'm finding it to be the greatest resource for all knitting related queries. 

In other knitting news, I've added all of my Christmas projects to the top of my Ravelry queue. I've got a lace panel afghan for my mom (who won't wear anything I make her but loves her aghans to death), a pretty Noro beret  for my sister, some nice socks for Chris and Jeff, an owl cowl for Erin, a pair of bright green wristwarmers for Renee, a moebius scarf for NS and a present which shall be undefined for NB, since she has access to this blog and might find out that I found THE GREATEST PRESENT TO GIVE HER THIS CHRISTMAS!!!!!!! I wish I could tell her what it is, or give it to her early. Maybe I'll find some other holiday sooner in the year to give her a gift and come up with something else for Christmas. Seriously, it couldn't be any more perfect. (For any Ravelers who are curious, I'm yellowhairedgirl on Ravelry and NB's gift is 8th in my queue.) Sorry about all of the Ravelry links. Most of the patterns I found were only available there.

I gave up on the double knitted blanket idea. Remember this swatch?

I frogged the swatch, that's how annoyed I was. Double knitting isn't difficult, but I haven't found a way to hold the yarn that feels anything less than cumbersome. 

In my personal life, since most everyone I know is soooo keen to hear about it (I've convinced myself that's what my blog is for. Here is where I vent. Rant to follow), I had a strange thing happen to me at work yesterday. I don't know if I've ever mentioned it, but at the daycare, I'm an assistant. I'm basically a glorified janitor. I clean messes, sweep and mop, and occasionally get to interact with the kids (maybe more than occasionally, but mostly I yell at them and tell them to stop climbing on things or biting each other). Yesterday I walked in and my boss gave me a choice of working with the ones or the threes for the day. I said threes, which are the worst class but also the one I'm more familiar with. Then she informed me that both NS (who is also the threes teacher) and her assistant were out that day. So I kind of looked at her blankly and said, "I'll be there by myself all day?"
The day was pretty bad, but not much worse than a normal day, other than the fact that I had to do everything myself. I didn't teach anything though, and I felt bad about that, but at least the kids got fed and had their naps at approximately the right times. We had minimal bathroom accidents and I was on top of their care all day. When I got home I had to do the laundry, which meant I was at the laundromat at midnight. Then I had an assignment due during work the next day so I had to work on it in the middle of the night. All in all, a very long day. Rant over. 

Anyway, gotta go. Sleep awaits and I've got an audiobook to finish listening to. Funnily enough, if you listen to an audiobook before bed every night, you tend to fall asleep and it takes forever to finish it.

Quote of the day:
Kid: "Scu me."
Me, frazzled: "What?!"
Kid: "I love you."

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Let's talk about death knitting, knitting of doom or knitting that kills. Miles and miles of stockinette stitch kill. Miles of garter stitch are even worse, and in my opinion uglier. Though I love it and would happily kill myself for it, lace knitting is knitting of doom. So also is a blanket which increases 8 stitches every other row and one which is worked in the round so you're knitting the entire perimeter of the square. I don't know what I was thinking at all.

Well, let me preface the story by saying that I am a genius, and that definitely needs to be said more often. When I got the commission (I just love using that word) for the hello kitty afghan of doom, from here on referred to as HKAD, I thought it would be super simple to find a pattern for a hello kitty blanket. No such luck. Hours of googling and nothing (and by hours I mean about 2 before I gave up). Then I tried finding anything hello kitty related that I could turn into a blanket. My one stipulation for this was that I did not want to work a complicated colorwork chart the very first time I tried intarsia, but I was pretty sure I could word color stranding. I found a chart of hello kitty for a dishcloth, and decided I would use that. I tried to use color stranding, but the piece just wasn't working out (in hindsight, I think the problem was that the black I used for the outline of the kitty was about 2 plies thicker than the other yarn I bought). Anyway, I scrapped it. I thought about the whole project for a minute, cursing hello kitty all the while (sidenote, I have always hated hello kitty ever since she got popular in my third grade. I just don't get it, no offense to those of you who do). Then I remembered that there was one more technique for adding color that I hadn't considered: duplicate stitch. So I happily knit away at one white square 37 stitches by 44 rows and finished it in a few hours (I said I was a genius, not that I was a quick knitter).

Then I began the duplicate stitch, which went well for a while. I started at the bottom and worked my way around for the outline of the kitty and everything was going good until I got back to where I started. Then I realized I didn't have enough stitches to duplicate, which was weird since I had enough on the other side. So I left the embroidery for a little bit, and decided on how I would turn this little white square into a full-sized afghan. I knew that people knit afghans in the round sometimes, from the center out, increasing stitches at the corners on a fixed interval but I'd never done it before. I was also pretty sure it could only make a square but my embroidery looked almost exactly square. So I pick up 37 stitches on each side of the square, joined for knitting in the round and began the afghan part. It went quick for the first few rows, but of course the pattern calls for an increase row every other row. 8 stitches may not seem like a lot, but 10 rows in I had added 80 more stitches and it was taking longer and longer to complete a round.

As part of my job, I have to watch a classroom full of sleeping kids every day at nap time. This has proved immensely handy for getting my knitting done, but I've noticed that the 45 minutes I have to knit before someone wakes up and starts terrorizing me (I have to keep all the children quiet until a specific time, and that's seriously difficult for the ones, twos and even threes to manage) seems to get me nowhere in the HKAD. I don't think I can even make it one round in that period of time.

I did eventually go back and do the rest of the embroidery. It had to be done at home, because the chart was on the computer and because I didn't want anyone to walk into the classroom and see me holding a giant pointy needle near small children. I had to fudge the stitching around the bow a bit, so now hello kitty has one ear and a bow. The bow ate her other ear, apparently.

And since you asked so nicely, here is a picture of my progress on the HKAD:

I switched to two circular knitting needles because the blanket was too big for one, but it's fast becoming too big for 2 circs as well. I wondered if I could work 3 or 4 but I've never seen anyone do that, in person or online. Google had no answers for me either, and I would really prefer not to have to but an expensive needle just because I need a really long cable, which is my only other option

In other related knitting news, I realized when I started the HKAD that I had bought too much yarn. Like, 3 times too much yarn. Like I said, I have no idea what I was thinking. Too much yarn, all acrylic, wonky annoying pattern, stupid kitty on it. It's like I wanted to hate it. Anyway, I've been thinking about what I should do with all of the extra yarn, since I don't really want it lying around forever. I'm still trying to stash down in spite of this setback. Then I saw the blanket one of the little girls was using during nap time. It's double-knit with palm-sized hearts worked in. When I examined it, I instantly decided I wanted to make it. It happened to be two shades of pink as well, and that gave me a good idea where to look for yarn. I started a swatch the other day when I couldn't stand looking at the HKAD anymore. Here's a picture of the half-finished swatch (I've tried to devote all of my knitting time to the HKAD since recklessly swatching something I couldn't start until it was finished anyway):

I've put NS's ripple afghan on hold for now, and replaced my nap time goal of 2 rows daily on it with 45 minutes of HKAD, but I expect to return to that as soon as I'm finished my HKAD. I've also left DM's barely started second sock at my aunt's house and haven't gotten it back yet. I think that was over a week ago. I also have DS's clown lace sock, but I have to turn the heel on that and I'm not sure I have the patience to read through the directions in the book and decipher the mistakes at this point. I do love my sock knitting book, but it has a lot of errata.

 In terms of my monthly goals, I wanted to provide a review for the two books I read last month, and the one I finished for this month's goal. Last month I read Unearthly by Cynthia Hand, and this month I read its sequel, Hallowed. These books were an addicting read, but mostly predictable in the love story plot department. Like, oh no, two boys like me and I can't choose which I want. Now seriously, if that ever happens to me and I start complaining about it, feel free to shoot me. Conflict resolved. The one thing I don't understand about that is that the girl always chooses the bad boy. Why would you choose someone who treats you like crap? How fun is that on a daily basis? In real life, that relationship would last like a week before huge blowout arguments ensued. A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies was also along the same lines, without much of a secondary plot. I wouldn't really recommend this last, but the other two were good. All three had an angel theme, and I'm not sure if that was on purpose or not, as they were recommended to me and I haven't asked.

I'm gonna go kill myself knitting some more of that blanket and I'll pick back up with you guys probably next week.

By the way, Happy Easter everyone!

Quote of the day:
Kid: Why do you drive a midget car?
Me: Because I'm a midget
Kid: Blank stare

Monday, April 2, 2012


So I'd like to shortly tell you what's been going on in my life, with many more and longer posts to follow (it's late and I should get to bed soon so I'll be able to wake up for work in the morning). I would like to review my March monthly goals and let you know how well I did on them.
I said I wanted to do 2 rows daily on NS's afghan. Until today, I have kept that up faithfully, so I do believe I get a gold star on that one since I made it through the end of the month. Here's a couple of progress photos:

 (I added quite a bit of length, and two new colors: gray and acid green. I actually thought they would look ridiculous together but I like it. The gray highlights the brightness of the green.)

I also said I wanted to do 1 and 1/2 socks by month's end, which didn't end up happening. I managed 1 and the toe of a second. I actually can't even remedy this situation right now because I left the sock I was working on at my aunt's house. My next goal was to reduce my stash by 300 yards of worsted weight, which I did with NS's afghan, but I purchased lots of new yarn the other day for a new project, so I guess no gold star for that. I also said I would read 2 books by month's end and I managed that. I actually read 3: Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones, Unearthly by Cynthia Hand and A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies (I'll blog about those last two another time). Another gold star! I wanted to get my homework done the night before the day it was due for the rest of the month but I definitely failed on that one. My last resolution was to blog at least once a week, and I do believe my last blog was exactly one week ago today so I'm still on track for that. Yay, my last gold star!

So all in all, I have a good idea of what I need to change about my monthly goals. Here's my updated list for this month:

First, I'm scrapping that idea of getting my homework done early. With the new job, I'm lucky if I get the right one done at the right time. In fact, this week I had an incident where I worked on the wrong assignment all day and had only about 2 hours to do the right assignment before it was due. I'll settle for homework done by the due date, as early as I can manage.

I think I'll replace 2 rows daily in NS's afghan with 45 minutes a day spent on my new project.

I'd like to get 2 books read this month, but I have a sneaking suspicion I'll have a little trouble with motivation for that since I ran out of books I'm seriously interested in. I picked up the sequel to Unearthly but I read the first 2 pages and thought, Ugh I don't wanna anymore.  It's probably something about the angel theme, because the sequel will be the 3rd in a row. I also got a biography called Cleopatra, A Life by Stacy Schiff, that I've wanted to read since I saw the interview with the author on the Daily Show nearly a year ago, but I haven't started that yet.

I want to get mom's socks finished by the end of the month, and maybe one more sock (probably a Clown Lace Sock for DS).

 I'm also going to keep up with the blog by posting at least once a week. I definitely enjoy documenting my progress on my knitting projects, and talking about my life and the crazy stuff that seems to keep happening to me.

I also want to talk about my new project. The other day, I went to my aunt's house to hang out with her and a few of her friends. I brought my projects of course (NS's afghan and DM's sock, which I promptly left there). One of my aunt's friends saw me crocheting and said that it was a dying art, blah, blah, blah. Then she asked if I would make her a hello kitty afghan for her niece's birth. She said she'd pay me. We discussed price and she quotes something insanely high and I nearly did a double-take, then said sure, I'll get that started right away. I quoted her an estimate the next day, after doing all kinds of research and not finding anything acceptable and finally having to improvise a pattern, and my estimate was a lot more fair but still more money than I've ever gotten for any of my work, ever. The project is under way though and must be done by June or so. Here's a progress photo of that:
Obviously the kitty is unfinished, but you can see the general shape of her holding a heart. I bought 3 Pounds of Love skeins thinking Its a blanket, you'll need lots of yarn but those things are meant to make a baby afghan each so I definitely overestimated. I guess I'll be making girl baby blankets for a while. Maybe I can find some sort of charity to give them too, but the yarn is 100% acrylic, and I know charities won't take that for babies cause of the risk of fire and burning synthetics. I don't know. Suggestions?

Anyway, that's about all I can manage for the day.

Quote of the day: "Hey, Ms. F----ker!" (Seriously, a kid said this to me as I was walking past)