See Jane Knit

Monday, August 22, 2005

Oh. My. God. 

"... Becky, look at her shrug. It is so BIG!" This may seem to you, dear reader, like a silly line of that song by Sir Mix-a-lot (twisted into a knitting-related joke) but this could be a scene from my life, IF I am ever so foolish as to wear my latest creation out of my own house. In fact, I don't think I'd even want to wear it INSIDE my own house. It's beyond ugly, beyond fugly: it is SHRUGLY. I've got one thing to say right now, and it is this: F*** THE KNITTING GODS! How dare they mess up my project when I checked the gauge multiple times, measured and remeasured, and even used the recommended yarn?! WHAT WENT WRONG, PEOPLE?! Someone is going to pay for this, and by someone, I mean whoever gets close enough to me to feel my wrath ...

Can you sense that this is a disaster area, folks? Houston, we definitely have a problem. Hell, we've got alot of problems. What caused these problems? Either I screwed up (and I'm refusing to consider that possibility right now) or this pattern was written for people with very. FAT. arms. Elephant arms, I tell you. Now, I'm not hatin' on anyone who does happen to have larger-than-average arms, or even super-ginormous-elephant-sized arms, but I don't really fall into either one of those categories. So instead of looking really cute and flirty and fetching, as was intended, my shrug just makes me look like I recently had an extreme arm-fat-tuck. Seriously, take a look at this thing. "Jenny Craig didn't do s*** for the rest of me, but take a look at my arms!"

shrugly front

shrugly back

Notice my face? That's the "I've spent all day packing for college and this damn thing isn't helping" face. And here's the sleeve:

shrugly sleeve

I've only seamed one side and it's huge. There's an extra 2 inches of fabric just hanging there. It's truly unfortunate. I can't decide what to do with it, other than freak out and curse the day it was born (or written, or knitted, or whatever). It actually sort of works (unseamed) as a weird shawl.
shrugly as a wrap?
But I don't really wear shawls. I could also throw it in the washing machine on hot and see if it shrinks. But knowing my luck (see the rest of this post and the archives of posts on a certain Zelda if you don't believe me) the damn thing will probably shrink to a third of its length while still being too wide. And yes, I know that I could frog it to make something else, but after knitting all that boring, shoot-me-now, 6-row-repeat lace, that doesn't make me very cheery, if you know what I mean. *insert murderous, lunatic smile here*

OK, I'll take some deep breaths here and talk about something else. In other news, I'm back in New York, at Sarah Lawrence College for my junior year. School is all right so far, even though alot of my bestest friends are abroad. It's odd being back, because I think I grew up alot this summer, and I don't think everyone I know here is really ready to deal with that. In addition to that wierdness, it's unbelievably creepy to think about the fact that I am 2 years away from having a go at life in the Real World! Not the TV show, folks: nope, I mean the real thing, with taxes, and rent, and utility bills, and, and, and I need to stop now before I start hyperventilating. It's a scary thought, especially because I have chosen a profession (Music, namely Opera Singer) that seems to go hand in hand with unemployment. For the begining of your music career, you spend alot of money paying people to LET you play. Yeah, you read that right. It's pretty damn depressing, but I wouldn't want to do anything else, so I guess I've gotta bite that proverbial bullet and get over it. And who am I kidding? Screw you, real world! I'm going to grad school! Take THAT!

Before this turns into a blog where I bitch and moan about my real life (and who the f*** wants to hear that? Not even me!) I'd better finish with something knitting related. If you have any idea what I should do with the Shrugulus Hideosus Maximus please let me know. I'd better get a good idea soon, otherwise I'll have to gift it to someone, and I don't know anyone who'd want it. Well, except a few of my strange guy buddies, but they'd just use it to mock me. (sigh) So, do any of you all have a large-armed buddy who'd like a shrug?
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Saturday, August 20, 2005

A small devil, yarn, Osama, and some showgirls! 

I have a treat for you readers! If you really do exist, that is. I sometimes get a feeling that my readership is like Big Foot, or the Lochness Monster; things that look like readers are occasionally spotted on the fringes of the blog, but are they really readers? Or is it all a government hoax, designed to keep us unaware of their alliance with the werewolves to blow up the moon? Just so you know, that last bit was actually based on a headline I saw in the National Enquirer. It ranks among my all time favorites, along with "Lincoln Was A Woman!" and "Osama Bin Laden Hides Out in VEGAS! Bombs, Babes and Burquas!!!" That last one was probably the best, since it featured an obviously doctored cover photo of Osama himself surrounded by some seriously slutty looking showgirls. He looked pretty damn pleased with himself too. I'm telling you, I practically peed my pants, right there in line for the cash register!

Anyway, my treat is this: an FO! I whipped out this Lil' Devil hat in just a couple of days. It was a nice breather from other stuff, i.e. the Unending Shrug. It was really easy, really, fast, and a lot of fun. Except for picking up stitches for the horns. That was kind of a pain in the ass. The rest of it was a breeze though. I made this for my mom's co-worker, Michelle, who is still pregnant with this hat's intended recipient. She's also a knitter, so I thought it was appropriate to knit the baby something. And since it is technically also my mom's present to her, Mom bought me the yarn and a nice new pair of Crystal Palace bamboo circs to knit the thing with. Here it is, folks, along with the important stats:



Pattern: Lil' Devil Hat, from Kittyville.
Yarn: Reynolds Something Or Other (I definitely forgot to save the ball band.) It's 60% Acrylic and 40% Wool. I think. But it's definitely machine washable! I remember that!
Notes: It was fun. It's cute too, and easy. And best of all, it's not overly cutesy like most baby stuff, which I detest.

In other news, I got some loverly new yarn! It's actually from an unraveled vintage sweater that I bought for about 20 bucks. This is truly the gold mine of sweater unraveling. This baby is 100% cashmere, in a size extra large (and it's an 80's extra large, so it's really just frikkin' HUGE!) knit in brioche stitch with laceweight yarn. There is so much of this stuff, I'm probably going to have to give some of it away. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to hang them out in the open in the comments section. Here are some pics.



The color is less drab in person. It actually has more blue and green in it and not so much grey. It is desperately soft, as cashmere is wont to be. I think I must go back to the store I found it in, to make sure they're not hiding any other bits of sweater-y goodness from me.

In other OTHER news, I've also finished (FINALLY!) the second sleeve of the shrug. I've got to say: CHRIST ON A HARLEY! That thing was getting so boring I was ready to claw my own eyes out with a crochet hook rather than knit another repeat. Note that I said a crochet hook, people! That's true knitter's desperation! (Joking, joking ... mostly.) Tonight I think I'm going to attempt to graft the two halves together. This will be my first time grafting, and to be honest I'm a little freaked out. Unfortunately, I'm still at home (not at school), so I can't have a stiff drink to calm my nerves. Come to think of it, that's probably not a good idea anyway, given my absurdly low tolerance of alcohol. It's cotton yarn too, so this might be getting very ugly. I guess I'll have to make an offering to St Kitchener, the Patron and Protector of Those Who Graft, and then just go at it. If you hear screaming from far off tonight, don't be alarmed. It's only me.
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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Meme + Photos = ... Something. 

Warning: Long Post Ahead. I've finally got some more pictures to put up here. But first, I've been tagged by Elizabeth with this meme. Which brings up the question of how to pronounce the word "meme." But I'll leave that to be pondered at a later date.


Write down 5 of your own personal idiosyncrasies, then, if you want, tag 5 of your friends.

1) I have hated cheese since I was a kid. Really. Parmesan is the worst; I gag just from the smell of it. After all these years I've started eating Mozarella and some Brie, but that's it. My parents still think that someday I'm going to come home and love it as much as they do. Heh. They're going to have to wait a while for that one.

2) I don't give a shit about how messy my room gets, but if my kitchen isn't clean enough to eat off the floor, I will freak out.

3) I often confuse things that have happened to me with dreams I've had. This usually happens because I have a lot of recurring dreams. I literally have the same dream over and over (during the dream I can remember having it previously) or I visit the same place in many different dreams. There are a few dreams I've been having since I was 5 or 6.

4) I usually dislike going out to eat with other people, because a) most people's eating habits disgust me, and b) very few people enjoy eating as much as I do. I don't mean I eat a lot; I mean I enjoy and savor every bite. I have a high appreciation for excellent food, so when I go out to a really nice restaurant, I don't really go to socialize per se. I go to eat. And honestly, if you don't, you really shouldn't join me.

5) I hate to throw out my old toys because part of me still believes they're alive.

I should also let you all know that I am not crazy. At least not since the last time I checked. And since I'm so late on this meme, I doubt there's anyone left to tag. Anyway, on to the photos! I made them all thumbnails because there are quite a few of them. First of all, the progress on the Chainlink Scarf. It's looking ok. I guess if it doesn't live up to my standards I can gift it to someone.

chainlink scarf in progress

Secondly, the yarn I'm using. I love it.

brushed alpaca

Thirdly, the little needles! With my hand, for size comparison. Note that I do NOT have abnormally large giant hands (not that I'm hatin' on those who do); the needles really are that small.

tiny clover needles

Fourthly, one sleeve of the Good Bias Shrug.

good bias sleeve

Fifthly, the amount of yarn I had left over. I managed to squeak by with only three skeins for one sleeve. The pattern claims that one needs 7 skeins, but since my row gauge seems to be a little off in my favor, I think I'm going to make it with 6.

sleeve and remaining yarn

And one large photo: my arty photo of the vast expanse of the sleeve! With the mountains of my unmade bed on the horizon! Tee hee!
the vast sleeve!
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Monday, August 01, 2005

Quick Update 

I'm at school right now, but I just wanted to update my vast readership (is that a word? more importantly, vast? Am I delusional?) on the goings-on in my knitting life.

I've finished one half of the IK Good Bias shrug, and have started the second half. It's stalled a bit because it's frustrating to finish one half of something, pat yourself on the back because you memorized the lace repeat, and then realize "Sweet Lord, I have to make a SECOND one." It just doesn't motivate you to go and knit away on the second half, you know? Plus I'm having a harder time memorizing the lace repeat. I have this bit of dislexia that surfaces every now and then, and oh baby, is it surfacing in this pattern. I keep doing everything in reverse. Blech.

On a more positive front, I started the Chain Link Scarf from Loop-d-Loop! Instead of Classic Elite La Gran, which I had a hell of a time trying to find, I picked out some deliciously fuzzy Plymouth Brushed Baby Alpaca. I'm telling you, it's a match made in heaven. There was an error in the pattern (and a really obvious one too - clearly the editor was out to lunch when this pattern came through) and I had to order a special pair of Clover 12'' sz 10 circs from PurlSoho, but it was worth it. I've already done two links, and it's looking great. I will post pics when I get home and have my camera at hand. The short needles are easy to use (more on this later) once you get past the cast-on row, and the yarn ... words fail me. Its fuzzy lusciousness knows no bounds. And it only cost me SIX. DOLLARS. A SKEIN. For 110 YARDS. Now that is sick. Sick and wrong.

But in a good way.
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