Sunday, November 23, 2008

dallying

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A dusting of snow that collects in dried leaves and looks a little like fake snow spray / powder used in Christmas displays. We haven't had much snow here yet, although when I was in London (ON unfortunately) for a few days I got my fair share of it. Fluffy flakes that became wet and soggy and slushy on the ground. (by the way, I have a place to live wooo!) I had never been to London, nor had I really shopped for apartments. Well, I guess I have if you include summer in Exeter - was that shopping? Kind of. Anyway, it was an interesting few days full of puppies and slush and basements. I'm kind of excited to move there in January for another brief taste of independence, or at least a change of scene.

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A while back I decided I had been neglecting the camera so I went out in search of interesting photos in the desolate landscape of suburbia in November. Right. Not sure I succeeded, but I reminded myself that there can still be interesting and maybe even pretty things in bleak November.

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And of course the ubiquitous birds on wires.

I got lots of knitting done on the 6.5 hour ride to and from London: I'm nearly finished the body section of Tempting II. No pictures yet, but it's just a boring 1x1 rib tube in pretty teal. More on that to follow. I've also baked some delicious things that while tasty were not particularly photogenic. Reading Smitten Kitchen has really made me afraid of posting about baking ever again! Nah, mostly it has me copying millions of delicious-looking recipes that I'm sure won't be nearly as pretty once I substitute vegetable oil. But that won't stop me.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Twist collective winter issue, at last!

Gah! I am about 5k behind on my NaNoWriMo novel, and blogging just makes me feel like I'm misdirecting my verbiage. Bad, bad.

But...

I have been impatiently waiting for the winter issue of Twist Collective, ever since I heard a rumour that it would be arriving Nov 1. This was just a rumour; anyway, it was delayed for very good reasons, but I have still been impatiently checking the website, even though I have my next couple of projects lined up already and I don't need to do any more pattern lusting. Or do I?

What stands out for me this issue are coats and hoodies. Coats coats coats. I'm attracted to the idea of knit coats, but I'm still undecided as to how practical they would be for me. Perhaps in the fall rather than the winter. I love Sylvi, though. The flowers and vines on the back stun me. If I find myself with a large amount of big yarn, perhaps I'll make it, maybe in time for next fall.

Heroine also really appeals to me, though I don't know if I could stand felting a coat - it would have to be ridiculously massively huge before hand, I would think. In reality, I think the buttons shown make the coat, plus the model's steampunk-esque binoculars. I probably won't make this, in all honesty, but it is cute!

On the hoodie side, while I love looking at designs for knit hoodies (and I have had Corona by Canary Sanctuary queued for a while), I am not always sure I'd wear a knit hoodie. I have plenty of hoodies, but I don't usually wear the hoods, except when weather and my other layers demand. More often than not I'm inclined to think that these gorgeous knit ones would look as good or better without the hoods, even. But Twist may have converted me, because I can definitely picture myself knitting and wearing some of these, hoods and all.

Vivian blows my mind. I am an unapologetic devotee of Ysolda, and I always look forward to seeing what she has come up with, but wheeee. How incredibly cable-y. I love the look of complicated cables. At some point soon I want to step-up my cable experience by making something with lots and lots of cables, and I think Vivian is now on my list. I love how it looks very fitted and shaped to the model so that it doesn't matter if the cables are stiff or not; my worry would be about whether I could make it look quite so amazing on me. This goes in my queue for the hopefully near future.

Gythafalls into the category of drapey, tunic-y, slightly hippy, whimsical sweaters that I adore the look of and the thought of... but again, not sure if I'd be able to pull it off myself. Eeesh. I think I need to suck it up and make myself a tunic-y sweater and be done with it, because I'm clearly too uptight. Anyway. Gytha is cute and looks comfy, and perhaps if I get over some of my hang-ups and can afford yarn I'll make it some day! It's not at the top of my list, though.

With my idealistic love of cloche-type hats, it's weird that I don't have any. maybe not all that weird since I'm a miser who doesn't like to spend money on style-over-substance fashion. But I have been eyeing MK Carroll's Matilda and Tillie hats for a while. Twist's cloche offering Dietrich is very cute. It goes on the list to sit along with Matilda / Tillie for a while to simmer while I decide which to jump into and go with, likely as soon as it gets too cold...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Startitis, of a kind

I don't usually get the typical knitting startitis. Certainly, I compulsively queue projects, most of which I will never make: I need to get better at using the "favourites" feature in ravelry instead of just queuing everything I like the look of whether I'll make it or not. In any case, while I have "queue-itis" (eugh at vowels), I don't generally find myself compulsively casting on for lots of projects in quick succession. This is because I'm so anal about yarn purchasing these days that I spend ages and ages deliberating about what yarn to buy, or whether or not to even buy yarn at all... So far I'm keeping my yarn purchasing under control, which I'm happy about.

Anyway. A different sort of starting problem plagues me. It seems like every project I start, no matter how simple, starts with a stupid mistake. For example, I nearly always use long-tail cast-on, and even though I know I should be more careful with leaving a long-enough tail, I nearly always have to restart my cast-on because I've run out of yarn. Sometimes more than once. But I'm too excited to be careful and methodical! It's stupid.

When I make it past the cast-on, there's usually something else that goes wrong almost immediately. With Odessa, I mobiused the damn thing. Then I realized I hadn't cast on enough stitches. With Tempting II, I've just started, and it turns out I screwed up the 1X1 rib in the first row. Rather than rip it all out, or just ignore it and let it work itself out (both of which I sometimes do), I decided to go about manually unknitting each stitch and re-positioning it as knit or purl, then knitting or purling the stitch again to be caught up to the second row.

Once I'd realized that it was only about 20 stitches into the round that I'd purled twice, thereby throwing off the entire rest of the row, I didn't think to only undo and fix those twenty stitchs to realign the rib. No, it was only about halfway through the row of fixing that I realized that would have been smarter and faster. Blah.

As I stands, I still haven't finished the fixing row. The knitting is sitting in my living room sulking. At this rate it would have been faster to rip it all out, but if I do that I'm sure to screw up the cast-on. Repeat cycle.

Sigh. I think I sabotage myself and my knitting a little sometimes. I'll get there eventually.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

What am I doing lately?

-Congratulating the USA for not electing another Republican.
-Breathing a sigh of relief that Sarah Palin is not VP
-Fretting a little about the fact that Sarah Palin is not going to go away and probably will turn up again next time around. So scary.
-Volunteering at a library! Super fun and educational
-Working at stupid job, but saving more than I'm spending, so woot.
-Not braiding my hair for a month - this experiment has shown that I am very very lazy. I thought I might figure out more interesting things to do with my hair if I couldn't braid it, but in reality I fall back on buns and ponytails mostly. Oh well.
-Not taking any photos of anything, inexplicably
-Looking for a place to live in London, ON
-Feeling happy that I'm still with my favourite person (albeit long distance) after 2 years. I'll always remember the 5th of November but for slightly less pyromaniacal reasons...
-Writing a novel for NaNoWriMo. (only 6057 words so far, but I'll get there)
-knitting another apple cozy
-waiting for the winter issues of Knotions and Twist Collective

-loving today's knitting-related Questionable Content

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween

Halloween happened! And ever since I've been consuming large amounts of tiny chocolate bars and other terrible candy in a seemingly compulsive fashion. The appeal of tiny chocolate is inexplicable and only seems to occur for me around Halloween. Ah well, we will finish it up soon enough and maybe I'll go for a run tomorrow.

2008 jack-o-lantern

But Halloween is one of my favourite events, commercialized candy peddling aside. I especially like carving pumpkins. Perhaps perversely. In a fit of the absurd, I carved my pumpkin as a pineapple in first year uni. I am inordinately proud of that pumpkin, even if that makes me extra weird. Eh, I don't mind being extra weird. When I was younger, we'd usually take a family trip out to pick pumpkins off huge piles out at a market where we'd also buy lots of apples. This year we only had the one pumpkin, but I had fun carving it.

I went to a party and hung out with lots of hum friends in various states of (geeky) costume. It was pretty great. Only at a hums party will you find Medea, Medusa (me), St Augustine, and various other clergy represented... Heh. I'm graduating next weekend (WOOOOO), and I've been pretty caught up in the relief of finally pulling off my bachelor's degree, but I know I will miss a lot of things about Hums. Geeky costume parties being only one.

Now that I'm not in school, I'm taking the opportunity this November to participate in NaNoWriMo, something I've meant to do for years, but could never justify - there was so much procrastinating for essays to be done instead! My cousin is also writing, so we got together last night to kick off our novels with a bit of competition. It's good fun. We'll see how far I get. I'm not aiming for brilliance, as I'm told this is ill-advised. Mediocrity will suffice for now!