Gifts from the Internet

I am just a huge fan of how much stuff I can acquire without having to get off the couch, and often without having to pay real dollars for it. Seriously, the internet has done so much for my yarn stock. In the last few weeks I’ve gotten a few little packages that are increasing the sock:other yarn ratio quite nicely.

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There you have some Patons Kroy I got in a Ravelry trade. The bad light in this apartment does not do justice to how neon that yellow is, but some of the entries in the Ravelry projects gallery give you a better idea. This is a yellow, yellow yarn, and I don’t have anything like it, and I cannot wait to introduce it to Cookie A. There’s only 1 of the stripey Kroy because I kind of couldn’t resist and I already knit a sock out of the other skein. One of those things that just happens before you even realize it sometimes, you know? And all those tiny balls are fuel for the Life-Long Blanket. Stephanie over at woolythyme was working on a sock blankie recently and offered to share her minis with her readers, and there is no way I can resist an offer like that.

Common Ground is coming along nicely, after a few false starts wherein my ability to count and follow simple directions sort of took a vacation. I’m past the lace on the body and just a few rows away from the bottom ribbing. Really this would take about 3 good, solid evenings’ worth of knitting to finish, but with my school/work schedule, it will probably be another week. But it will happen, and it will be beautiful!

In life news, school’s OK, work’s OK, my little business venture is more than OK, and over at the other blog I’m getting very close to the end of Alias season 1 and starting to feel almost OK about the whole series. But the real big life news, the most exciting life news, is this:

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His name is Mix Fleetwood. Isn’t he handsome?

We got a really big tax return, so I got a really big treat. I love him and I use him almost every day even if I’m just making scrambled eggs for 2, and he’s basically the greatest thing. And he’s sooooo purple!

 

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Tuesdays & Thursdays

Class from 8-9:15, class from 2:30-3:45. Considering that class is an hour from home and I can’t afford lunch out every day, this means there’s a 5-hour library break in between to fill. I’m getting most of my homework done on campus, which is nice. Lots of reading time, which means the sleeve do-over on the Green Lantern sweater is coming along nicely.

 

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At home, Common Ground is humming along as well. Not good book knitting, since I’m into the lace section and its one row to pay attention/one to knit plain rhythm.

 

Photo on 1-10-14 at 8.27 PM

Other than that, there’s some sock knitting going on, lots of cooking, and very little picture taking. Mostly I just wanted to stop in and say hi, blog, I’m still here and I’ll have pretty pictures for you soon, I promise. I seriously almost have a full pair of socks I think you’re going to like and some new sock yarn I think you’ll be all like WOW over.

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Let’s Do This

It is All Motivation All The Time time chez randipants, you guys. It kind of has to be. I need a job — well, a second job, since I have a part-time one right now — I need to knit, I need to feed myself, and all sorts of other things that MUST happen for life to continue. First, though, I need to do some catching up here.

Where to begin? The semester’s over. I survived! And my grades were decent! Yay me! And I don’t have to go back till late January!! Double yay!!

I started a business! And I’m super pumped about it! It’s an errand service – grocery shopping, doing laundry, house cleaning, that sort of thing. If you know anyone in the seacoast NH are who could use a little help with that stuff, I’m your girl. It’s called A Little Help (because I’m clever like that) and you can find it here: http://www.alittlehelpnh.com/ and here: https://www.facebook.com/alittlehelpnh

I’ve managed to knit a little! I made some ornaments for my  mother-in-law to sell at craft fairs. Little sweaters, stockings, and, of course, (I mean, it wouldn’t be Christmas without some) balls.

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Then I started making little mitten sets and couldn’t stand the cute so I had to take a break.

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I’m partway through the yoke on Common Ground, which I’m knitting on commission for a friend. A friend who’s just about my size, too, which should make getting this one just right pretty easy. The only snag I’m expecting is that she wants buttons, where the pattern is written as an open cardigan, and I’m not sure yet whether to work extra increases for the front after the raglan shaping is done, or if I should just go with super-wide button bands. (Must decide soon, of course.)

I also have a little list of “pay it forward” crafts that I’ve been sitting on (figuratively) for a while that I’d like to get done in the next few weeks.

I restarted the sleeves for my Green Lantern sweater and the first one is coming along nicely.

Other than that, though, there hasn’t been a ton of knitting progress. Once I’ve got a job (second job) lined up, there will be less time spent job searching, and thus I expect more knitting time. And then I’ll have much more to share here, but for now I just wanted to pop in and say hi.

Hi!

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And Then I Just Did Something Else Instead

OK, so, I think we should all know by now that I’m not great with achieving knitting goals. So, it should be no surprise that, after 2 steady months of trying my best to focus on existing projects, I only got my original list of 16 unfinished items down to 14. For those doing the math along at home, that’s 16+1-1+2-5+1=14.

I started with 16 projects for the knit-along, plus my sock yarn blanket, which I was not counting because that will be done at some point this decade if I’m lucky. I finished my Long & Toasty mitts, then found 2 washcloths I hadn’t finished. I finished the washcloths up. I ripped out 3 sweaters that were just never going to happen as my final entries in the knit-along. Then I cast on a blanket. And here we are.

Do I need a new blanket? Well, I think I do. And it’ll sure clear up some space in the yarn drawers, which has kind of become my entire life’s goal right now. (This new apartment is tiny, so tiny, so very, very tiny, you guys. I need to get rid of some drawers.) If all goes to plan, this thing will clear out 12 balls of Noro Kureyon and 5 of Patons Classic Wool. Plus I had to make up a spreadsheet to keep track of the pattern, and if there’s anything more fun than that, I want to hear about it.

And anyway, even if I don’t need it, exactly, once I could see it in my head, it was so pretty I couldn’t not get started right away.

It’s pretty out of my head, too.

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In other knitting, I’ve taken a break from the Green Lantern sweater because I couldn’t get the sleeve or the neckline quite right and hadn’t decided how to fix them. I think I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to rip out the neckline, sleeve and shoulders, then reknit the sleeve (and, you know, a second one) from the cuff up, join to the body at the shoulders, and finish the whole thing in the round according to EZ’s seamless set-in sleeve instructions. I did the body flat and the sleeves top-down before because I wanted the sleeves to be black all the way to the top. But I’m tired of trying to mess with the numbers and, because I made up the armholes and neckline, they’re not as perfect as they could be, so I think I’ll feel better about the whole thing if I just make the tops of the sleeves green where they join the body. That way I don’t have to make anything up or do any fiddly intarsia-in-the-round tricks. Hopefully I’ll have some progress on that for next time.

In other not-knitting, I’m having so much fun over at the other blog talking about Alias and its various delights and stupidities. If you’re never quite sure whether Alias is the absolute best or the total worst, do please check it out and join the conversation.

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Sort Of A Sleeve, And Other Things I’ve Been Up To Lately

I finished the first sleeve on the Green Lantern sweater, yay! But it doesn’t quite fit right and I changed colors too late for my liking so most of it has to be ripped out, boo.

Also, this is my "why the hell am I in school at my age" face.

Also, this is my “why the hell am I in school at my age” face. It’s my only face now. There are no other faces left.

I’ve knit a bit on a few different socks but overall the knitting has been moving slowly. I’m all sort of tired and weird lately, what with school and looking for a job while very very much not wanting to and trying to adjust to this stupid little apartment I should be grateful to have and all that.

I did find the energy to start up a new blog though! It is over here and it is called Feminism Yes But Also The Robots and it will be for long-winded transcripts of my thoughts on general pop culture, specific depictions of women in film, and whatever Friends episodes happen to be running through my head at a given moment. The first post is all about why Mamma Mia! is way awesomer than you maybe even knew (and I’m assuming you already knew it was way awesome). And if you already knew why it was even way awesomer, well, then, just you wait because I have 2 more Mamma Mia! posts on their way. It probably won’t be a blog just about how much I love Mamma Mia! though. Probably.

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A Little Progress

Well, I didn’t make the deadline for the superhero KAL. But even when I missed the deadline, I didn’t just toss the sweater aside and move right on to something else. This is either a sign of knitting maturity or a side effect of the Finish All The Things-along I’m also participating in. Either way, it’s gotten me here:

Photo on 9-7-13 at 9.40 AM

I basted this together  just to make sure I got the arm holes right. This is my first knit-flat-then-seamed sweater and I was a wee bit worried but I think they’ll be just about perfect.

I finished and blocked the front last week. I finished the back this morning and it’s now pinned out and blocking. I squooshed the water out in the sink as hard as I could, then gave it the towel-squeezy twice and I’ve laid it out in front of the a/c because I feel like if I do all of that it will magically be dry by dinner and I can seam it, knit the collar and start on the sleeves tonight (I’m doing the sleeves top-down so I can’t start ‘em until the body’s done). This will not happen. I know it and you know it. But what would we be if we didn’t have dreams?

In other ways I’m out of touch with my own reality, remember my 16 unfinished projects, which I had brought down to 15? I…um…found 2 more. But! These were just washcloths, so it took a total of maybe 20 minutes to finished them. I just had to knit 11 yards and weave in 4 ends, so it’s down to 15 again. Really. That’s it. 15. There cannot possibly be another unfinished project in this apartment. I just won’t stand for it.

Now I’m off to work on one of the 15 while I wait for the sweater back to dry. Or, well, it’s already been a few hours. Maybe I’ll just go check and see if it’s dry already.

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Long & Toasty

The first of my 16 unfinished projects is done and warm and lovely.

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Pattern: toasty by Leslie Friend
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in color 46
Needles: 4 mm
Started: August 2009
Finished: August 18, 2013

In other knitting, the front of my Green Lantern sweater is so close to done.

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I can see the emblem’s a little wonky now that it’s done. I’m going to try some duplicate stitch to fix my mistakes before I knit any further. If that looks less than awesome, I’ll have to rip back and reknit this section. I’m not exactly looking forward to managing all those strands again but I think any mistakes in the emblem will just bug me too much if I leave them in.

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16 & Counting

In all the optimism and excitement that the end of a semester inspires, I’ve joined up with a second KAL. It’s not really adding any new knitting to my plate, though, and in fact it fits in quite nicely with the superhero KAL I’m already in. The idea is to take every project that was on the needles, in need of ripping, or in need of finishing (the weaving in ends, sewing on buttons, etc., type of finishing, that is) before August 15 and get it done by October 15. You get points for every 100 yds you knit/rip and can earn more points depending on how long the project has been on the needles.

When I first read about it I thought, “Meh, sounds like fun but I don’t really have all that much in progress. Well, maybe I’ll just check out my projects page and see.” Turns out I had 11 projects in progress, including 4 sweaters and a shawl. Then I went around to gather them all up, estimate yardage knit and yardage left to knit, and get some pictures (the KAL requires an on-the-needles picture and a finished one), and, well, I found 4 more projects that weren’t on my projects page, some of them dating back to 2009.

So, yes, this is the KAL for me, I think. Here’s my list (so far; I’m not entirely convinced I’ve found all the incomplete projects yet), in no particular order:

1. Handspun-Tho-Not-By-Me Socks

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So, spinning just isn’t my thing after all. But yarn-based bartering over the internet totally IS my thing, so I was still able to make arrangements for this Mad Color Fiber Arts Superwash Merino/Bamboo/Nylon Top that had been sitting on my spindle since April 2012 to be spun and plied into 295 yds of 3-ply sock yarn. Now it can finally become the socks it was always meant to be! These will be toe-up so I can use every last yd of the yarn. Yds down/yds to go: 62.5/232.5

2. A Little Something on the Side Socks

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Yds down/yds to go: 156/134

3. Daughter of the Regiment

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When last we saw the first DotR, her skirt had just been cast on amidst much fiddling and she had just broken her second needle. I may need to get a long Karbonz circ to finish these, or I may just finish them on a million Karbonz dpn’s. Regardless, they will be finished on Karbonz and hopefully by October 15. Yds down/Yds to go: really not sure at all

4. Baby Sweater That Just Needs Buttons

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Whether I finish this depends on whether I have buttons that will work. This one took a little longer to knit than the baby took to grow, so I’m not totally sure what I’ll do with it now.

5. Too-Big Leyburns

Why so big, Leyburn? Why?

Hoping I can figure out my mods on this but if not I’ll have to rip the first one back to before the heel and just follow the pattern this time. Yds down/yds to go: 152/152

6. Moonlight Lady Mittens

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To match the Moonlight Lady hat and scarf. Yds down/yds to go: not sure, things are a bit too tangly to weigh and measure right now

7. Garter-Stitch Scarf

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Yds down/yds to go: 108/362 or until I get bored

8. Improvised Fibonacci Stripe Cardigan

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Yds down/yds to go: haven’t measured/don’t know what this will take because I’m not working from a pattern

9. Kristi

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Yds down/yds to go: 195.5/110.5

10. Conference Call Socks

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Yds down/yds to go: 122/not sure ’cause I have to rip out the toe and make this one a little longer

11. Striped, Seamless Set-in Sleeve Sweater

Yds down/yds to go: um…I don’t actually know where this one is right now, so I’ll get back to you on that

12. Plain and Simple

Photo on 8-15-13 at 2_Fotor

Yds to rip: 455

13. Francis Revisited

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Yds down/yds to go: don’t know but I will – I swear! – get around to lengthening the body and sleeves so I can wear this one this fall

14. Oceania Shawl

Yds down/yds to go: don’t know/until I can’t stand it anymore

15. Toast

This is not the most exciting pattern to photograph.

This is not the most exciting pattern to photograph.

This sad little mitt has been sitting around for 4 years because it fits fine but just isn’t long enough for me and stockinette tubes are apparently so difficult to knit that I’ve never found the time to fix it. Yds down/yds to go: guessing from the pattern specs, around 60/more than 60

16. Green Lantern Sweater

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Yds down/yds to go: 59/not sure but I bet it’s a lot

I know I said earlier that I started with 11, then found 4 more, but I just listed 16 projects. That’s ’cause I found another one while I was writing this post.

This is definitely the KAL for me.

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It’s Like All I Do Anymore Is Avoid Homework

And I’m not even avoiding it with knitting most of the time.

So, we all know homework is bullshit, right? I mean, I get that teachers don’t seem to know this, but the rest of us do, don’t we? This is my first school experience in 15 years and so much of it is the same as it was back then that I’m a little disgusted with the world for not having fixed this stuff by now. 15 years ago, teachers would pull me in for a conference near the end of the semester and show me some fancy math they did that proved I would be getting an A if only I had passed in all my homework, even if I hadn’t gotten anything on it right, and they would wonder why I didn’t seem chastened, why I didn’t apologize and say I would do better. I would point out that I thought the point of homework was to help you develop an understanding of the material or practice and improve in your trouble spots and if I felt I understood the material and didn’t have any trouble spots, well, then, I didn’t do the homework. I would further point out that I had gotten 100% (plus extra credit when it was offered) on every test and quiz (except when we read Dickens, ’cause fuck Dickens, seriously) so clearly I did understand the material, so wasn’t my point kind of valid? I would finish with something along the lines of, “And, I mean, I’m finishing this class with a C. C’s passing. Why would I care that I’m not getting an A as long as I’ve shown I understand the material and I don’t have to repeat this class?” I’m sure you can imagine how well that went over.

Anyway, cut to 15 years later and here I am in community college wanting to have the same damn arguments over again. Except I’m doing as many courses as possible on-line, so (1) there’s really no fighting with the teacher unless you want to spend your days sending nasty e-mails and (2) it sort of makes sense to me to do the homework in an on-line class because I don’t see how else the teacher is supposed to know whether I’m even attending the class, so to speak.

This doesn’t mean I suddenly think homework is awesome, though. I still leave it to the absolute last minute. I still complain every second of the way over how pointless it all is. And I still do everything in my power to distract myself from getting it done. (Basically, the only difference between then and now is that now I can drink while doing all these things if I need to take the edge off. And, I’m telling you, it helps.)

I have so many homework-avoidance techniques, you guys. For serious.

I’ve been avoiding homework by reading this Narnia deconstruction series by the amazing Ana Mardoll. I was huge into the Narnia books when I was a kid and there’s still a part of me that’s huge into them now. But I’m also a big fan of breaking down all the ways in which the entertainment we love is also problematic while still acknowledging that we can love it. And if you want to talk problematic, it doesn’t even matter what your brand of problematic is — sexist, conservative, judgementally religious, othering & bigoted, or just plain clueless — let’s talk Narnia. Not that I wouldn’t rather have entertainment options which were not problematic, but considering the world we live in, I’ll take some awareness of this stuff as an acceptable alternative.

I’ve been continuing the unpack-and-organize-athon. I’ve just about got the bedroom closet set up in a way that we can deal with.

We started here...

We started here…

...made a brief stop here...

…made a brief stop here…

 

...and now we are here.

…and now we are here.

I’m not sure how this closet thing’s gonna turn out, to be honest. We’ve gotten very used to having all our clothes hanging but that’s just not an option here considering everything else we need that closet to store. But anyway. Back to homework avoidance!

I’ve been hanging out at the community garden.

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I came back a few days later hoping these would be ripe enough to pick and they were GONE. And I hope whatever bastard animal ate them is satisfied. (I mean, yes, seriously, I hope the hungry animal they fed was well fed by them. But still.)

I’ve been practicing my Italian on Duolingo. I’m really liking the way this is set up and feel like I’m learning the language better than I have with most of the other methods I’ve tried.

But, hey, here’s the good news: I only have until this Friday to avoid homework and then the semester is over and it won’t be there for me to avoid anymore. Of course, in a few more weeks the next semester will start and I’ll have a whole new set of homework to deal with, but that’s so far in the future I can’t even. Plus which, when we finally get around to it, I’ll have new things to focus on to avoid that homework. Like how goddamn huge my (XS!) school uniform is and who ever thought that black-and-white houndstooth pants were a good idea to sell to a migraine sufferer.

Clockwise from top left: I don't want to look at my giant pants because they hurt my eyes; but seriously look how huge these pants are; also the coat is very much what you would call not-small; and I sort of don't know how to move my arms when I wear it

Clockwise from top left: I don’t want to look at my giant pants because they hurt my eyes; but seriously look how huge these pants are; also the coat is very much what you would call not-small; and I sort of don’t know how to move my arms when I wear it

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Grownup Bonnet

Even in the midst of the horrid awful moving month, I managed to finish a thing!

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Pattern: Grownup Bonnet by Mel Clark from Knit 2 Together
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Vermillion 24
Needles: 5.5 mm and 6 mm as called for in the pattern…hrmm…you used one for the scarf and one for the hood and I don’t know which anymore
Started: November 24, 2012
Finished: June 23, 2013

This actually knit up very quickly but the scarf as written was a bit short for the recipient’s liking. Lengthening it involved a lot of me making stupid decisions and so took much longer than it should have. But anyway, it’s done now. I think it’s quite lovely. And my friend is quite lovely for modeling a heavy wool scarf and hood outside in July and for doing it with style.

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