Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bandwagon

I had another job interview that ended in rejection a few days ago and I've been wallowing in self-pity since. It's not attractive, but hopefully admitting it publicly on the internet will give me a kick in the ass to start doing real things again. My wallowing has taken the form of extreme avoidance of everything productive.

Go for a run? Nah, I'll just sit on the couch and eat chocolate.
Do more more job applications? Nah, I'll just look through all the patterns for semi-circular lace shawls on Ravelry for the 50th time - just to see if there's anything new since I last looked.
Cook dinner? Mmmm instant noodles. I'll pretend they are healthy by adding some frozen peas.
Fill out some bullshit tax forms for the US government that somehow apply to me even though I've never lived or had any income in the US? Hmmm, I'd rather bake some cookies.

Work on my lace cardigan neck-shaping? Knit heels on my stripey toe-up socks? Ugh, no... I'll just jump on the bandwagon.

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Yes, I've started knitting hexipuffs. Wheee!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Stubborn folly, aka WIP

Here's the latest on my Honeybee cardigan. I'm either really clever or really misguided, but I've joined the sleeves to the body without using a circular needle.

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Obviously, this would be super easy on a long circular needle, but since I'm too stubborn/lazy/miserly to go buy one in the right size, I've lengthened the needle by using dpns and a smaller circular on the sleeves. There are so many extra stitches that just appear when joining sleeves like this, that it helps to have some give at the sleeves until the sleeve decreases are finished. The rest of the body doesn't mind being knit on straight needles (look at me, talking about my sweater like it is sentient. This sweater is so awesome it has developed a consciousness on its own).

It's a mess, and it's a bit cramped in places, but it seems to be working. That said, I don't really recommend this unless you're as boneheadedly stubborn as I am. :P

Monday, August 22, 2011

August

August in Edinburgh - the streets fill with madness! Especially the Royal Mile, which becomes Fringe Festival headquarters, but there are Fringe venues all over town. I've spent quite a bit of time in the last two weeks watching buskers, collecting flyers, and dodging performance artists. I think I've seen over 20 shows so far - some free, some ticketed; some brilliant, some terrible, and everything in between. The atmosphere is wild out there. It's good fun, but exhausting!

I realized that I hadn't taken any pictures of the madness, so I went down for a little while today. Here's a little taste. Imagine you're stuck in slow-moving crowds, while people in weird costumes keep trying to hand you leaflets.

(I even have some knitting progress to show, but more on that soon!)

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Sounds like my kind of party...

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Got stripes

It's wet and gray out: a good day for staying in with some super bright sock knitting. The good news is, the construction next door has been less noisy of late. Ah, peace.

Check it out - my self-striping yarn actually stripes! Success!

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(Colours are wrong - it's not quite this orange in real life, and the blue is darker)

I originally intended the blue and yellow stripes to be equal width, but I didn't have two jars that were the same size. When I dyed it, I put blue dye in the smaller jar and yellow in the larger jar - as it turned out, I couldn't fit enough yarn into the blue jar. So the yellow stripes are wider. I'm okay with it.

I haven't followed a pattern so far - just CO 24 with Judy's Magic Cast-on, and increased every other row for a 60-stitch sock.

When I get to the heel, I'm going to try something different. There are a variety of heel options for toe-up other than the standard wrap&turn short-row heel, and I haven't decided which one to try. I'm considering the Fleegle heel and Priscilla Wild's No Wrap short-row heel, but will look at other options, too. Any suggestions? What's your go-to heel for toe-up socks?

(edited to add: this is the self-striping tutorial I used)

Monday, August 01, 2011

water under the bridge

After the unpleasantness during Week 5 of the Couch to 5k, I took a break for a few days, and started Week 5 all over again. I need those days off to get over my mental obstructions to the idea of running that being taunted by assholes created, and it helped. I also changed my running route - it's a little less convenient to get to, but it works so far... I used to use the 5 minute walk built into the training programme to get to a running place where there would be no traffic obstructions. Now, it takes more than a 5 minute walk, or I run to the park trying to time the walking segments to land when I reach stop lights.

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The second time around, Week 5 felt good. I'm proud of myself for managing to do the third workout--20 minutes straight jogging with no walking rests--without cheating. I suspect that even when I manage to run for 30 minutes (hopefully in a few weeks), I won't be running 5k, however; I run really slowly. Sometimes I suspect I can walk faster than I run. Still, once I get to that point, I'll try to figure out exactly how far I run in 30 minutes, and work to 5k from there.

My new route involves more populated areas, and at this time of year, that means tourists. Many people bemoan tourist season, out of snobbery or dislike of crowds, or something else entirely. I don't hate tourists. If anything, I think the city can only do well if it attracts visitors. This is a great city, and it wouldn't be nice not to share it with others! When I moved here last August, I felt like a tourist most of the time, and I still don't necessarily feel like a local. But now when I get stopped in the street for directions by someone saying "Excuse me, are you from here?" I have to say yes. It keeps happening. I was astounded that last week during one workout I got stopped twice, and the next time I got stopped once. I must look extra friendly, even when I'm panting, sweaty, and red-faced. Haha.


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Part of 6 Times by Antony Gormley on the Water of Leith

I always feel awkward when people ask me for directions, since I'm terrible at explaining how to get places. I have no sense of direction at all. When I'm trying to get somewhere I rely obsessively on a map (and still sometimes walk in the wrong direction), and do a lot of wandering around until I find what I'm looking for. Tourists be warned! I may accidently misdirect you.