Addicted Knitter

Gwen is a high school junior stranded on a not-quite-deserted island. (Manhattan.) She's obsessed with knitting and everything japanese.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Well, I don't have epilepsy. Yay! I just have very low blood pressure. I coulda told them that, I'm a laid back kind of girl. :) They did an EEG though - or EKG? something like that - which required putting nodes on my head with this gluey stuff that smelled like oranges. So then I had to shower again. That stuff was really gross. Bob II is scared of it. Here he is hiding behind my Favorites dropdown. Ain't that cute.



But, as I expected, I did have plenty of time to knit. I finished that blue scarf, and I think I'll give it to my friend Barbara for Christmas. Although it's very nice, and I'm tempted to keep it for myself. xD I also mostly finished the Tie One On for my hostess, finally. I just have to weave in the ends. It looks really nice. I have a couple balls of the yarn left, too, which was a surprise.

I'll post pictures later - right now I need some shuteye. Au revoir!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Whee! Peasants!

Erm, presents, I mean. I always used to say 'peasants' instead when I was little. And 'etertise' and 'aminals'. I was a cute kid. ^_^ Anyway! I got a present from an angel a few days ago. Huzzah! I got a very cute card, equally cute stationary and magnet (my mom freaked when she saw the magnet, she loves ladybugs) some awesome green tea scented lotion and body mist/perfume from Elizabeth Arden, a pair of very nice size 10 bamboo needles, and some beautiful beaded stitchmarkers.



I especially liked the needles and stitchmarkers! Here's a closeup of the goodness.



Yay! You rock, Angel! ^_^ (Speaking of rockin' angels, I think it's awesome that one of you is into City of Heroes. Good game! City of Villains is coming out soon, just FYI.) I didn't have any size 10s, so this was perfect. Those are some fine lookin needles. I've cast on a nice fuzzy blue scarf with them since taking this picture. Other than that, I've been on a charity knitting rampage. I made three ubercute umbilical cord hat. I finished the green cat blanket (that's five blankets in all for K4P) and sent off for the bear pattern for the Mother Bear Project. There's also that red hat I made at Mohonk, seen here modeled by my dad. He looks like he's in the Life Aquatic.



Eddie tried it on too. He's the one with the fro. It might've actually fit him if it weren't for the hair. The guy on the right is John, my dad's cousin. He's requested a hat for Christmas, black or gray. That's kind of boring, so I think I'm going to put some intarsia around the edge...norwegian type patterns...anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself.



Here are the first two umbilical cord hats I made...they're going to TLC for Angels.



And here they are all packed up and ready to go, plus the last one. I've got to go to the post office, I have all sorts of stuff to mail off.



I'm going into the city tomorrow...I had some sort of seizure when I was volunteering at 10,000 villages day before yesterday, so I have to go see some specialist. God, I hate doctors. We really don't need this right now. My grandma is in and out of the hospital, my dad has cancer, I have Crouzon and am preparing for major surgery this time next year, and now I have epilepsy or some shit. Wonderful. Anyway, yeah. Maybe I'll be able to send off my packages from there. I'll definitely have lots of knitting time on the train and in the waiting room, so FO pics will be forthcoming.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

UFOs and Resolutions

School is starting in two weeks. I'm so excited! In honor of the event of my first actual first day of school at BFS (last year I transferred in between the first and second semesters, cleverly dodging midterms at both schools) I have decided to make a few resolutions, some knitting related, some not.

I'm not going to snack in between meals. If I'm not hungry at a mealtime, I will not eat.
I'm not going to sign up for anything I will regret later, especially RPs. I WILL NOT found any more RPing sites, or revive any of my old ones, or agree to co-admin.
I'm going to get out of as many of my RPs as possible.
I'm not going to have more than three WIPs at a time, not counting charity projects.
I'm going to keep in touch with all my friends as much as possible.
I'm going to reply to all emails, phone calls, letters, and posts ASAP.
I'm not going to be so impulsive.

OK, that's that. We'll see how it works out. The RPs have always been a problem for me - escapism is my vice, whoo. Every time I get back into it I regret it about a month later. You'd think I'd learn, but nooo. Of course, none of this kicks in for another two weeks. ^_^

As far as knitting goes...I still don't have pictures to post, but I will soon. I've made another Umbilical Cord hat, and cast on a third - quick charity projects, so addictive. I haven't made any progress on the tie one on or my pink bag. But I have started experimenting with wristbands for my nephew - we picked up some red and black Frog Tree Alpaca today. (I love that stuff!) And I made a deal with mom to make an afghan for my grandma for Christmas. It'll be from both of us; she'll be the yarn, I'll do the work. It'd definitely going to be my biggest projects yet, but the pattern looks interesting enough to keep me going. I'll post a picture when I have the energy to scan it. (It's from Knit It.)

Nora has also requested a tail to go with her hat, with the promise that I don't have to get/make her a Christmas present if I can get it done in time for Halloween. I'm thinking black acrylic. ::cringe:: I know, I'm such a bad kid. Anyway, I'm going to use the cabled belt pattern from SnBN, and then attach a thick I-cord, at least 7 or 8 stitches, with a double thickness of soldering wire run down the middle so she can twist it however she likes and it'll stay that way. Should be good.

And now I'm going to go watch Adult Swim and knit hats for babies in the ICU. Buh bye!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Well, I've come back home to death and destruction.

Our house sitter killed my fish. My two Oscars, P and Diddy, who were just the most kickass fish in the world, were growing up big and healthy, and could easily have lived another seven or eight years. But noooo. George, the crazy old guy mom insisted would be a FINE housesitter even though all of the people he's lived with so far have kicked him out, fed them a WHOLE CAN of fish food in a week. A whole can! AND he finished the packet of pellets we already had open! That much food should last them months.

From the smell of it, they'd been dead for days. But yesterday he had the nerve to call us and say that the tank was getting cloudy and the fish were looking a bit sick, and what could he do? No shit, Sherlock, when they're floating on the top of the tank they MIGHT be an itsy bitsy bit sick.

F#&%ing a@(*$$#.

He also messed up the microwave and the TV. And my pet desktop panda was dead, too, which is my own fault. (Of course, I got it in Japan, so I couldn't read the directions to know if it kept going while my computer was off, but hey...) Poor Bob. Oh well. Here's Bob II, rolling happily on his tire.



The office (where I upload photos) is in the basement next to the fish tank and currently smells of dead Oscars, so I'm going to postpone uploading for a while.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Vacation, whoo!

So, I'm now back in good old NYC - I've been upstate for the last...um...five days, I believe. Three days at Lake Mohonk, which was the most beautiful and relaxing place EVER. I did lots of sitting by the lake knitting. I also did a lot more exercising than I usually do - swimming, boating, Pilates, horseback riding, rock scrambles...it was good. The rock scramble was awesome, although I now have a huge bruise on my ass from where I fell. At least I didn't fall down a crevasse!

So what did I knit, exactly? One red cotton hat with a pompom on top, accidently made child-sized, which I'll give to charity, and one blue Umbilical Cord Hat, also for charity. I just finished it, it's so cute! ^_^ I've never made a baby hat before. It came out well. Although I did sew down the 'umbilical cord' because I tend to knit I-cord a bit stiff and so it would've been standing straight up otherwise. I also finished one of the ties on the Tie One On - so now I've just got to do one more. It's so boring though - just 1x1 rib, but because I'm knitting it at such a loose guage and with such a slippery yarn I can't just do it while I watch TV or I drop stitches all over the place. What a pain. It's long enough to tie it now, but of course I'll still do the other one, in the interest of symmetry.

After Lake Mohonk we went to visit my Dad's cousin John and his wife Kate. They live waaay upstate, up in the mountains in this little house that they used to heat only with wood until about eight years ago. (They raised three kids that way, can you imagine?) You can only see one other house from where they are, and kate has this amazing huge garden with EVERYTHING in it - black-eyed susans, squash, catnip, potatoes, tomatoes, daisies, soybeans, three or four other kinds of beans, those purple flowers with the really tall centers, red climbing vine flowers...and hummingbirds practically swarm those red ones. It was so beautiful! We went to a county fair. Now that was an experience. I'm about 40 pounds overweight and I felt positively thin compared to most of the people there. Which was nice.

I got a bar of sandalwood-scented goatmilk soap for my secret pal, and a skein of beautiful brown alpaca that I haven't decided whether I'll keep or send off to her. I had been planning to send her some sock yarn, after all. Well, we'll see.

I'll be getting back to NJ tomorrow afternoon (or maybe night) and will upload pictures of all this. As well as a picture of another charity project that I will probably have started by then. I knit a lot of charity stuff on my own, but I'm doing even more right now because I've been told I can count it for the Service Project requirement of a Textile Arts badge I'm working on. Yes, I'm 16 and I'm still a Girl Scout. Yes, I know I'm a nerd. >_< But I want to get my Gold Award. it looks good on college applications!! Really!!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Golden moles are so cute!

I'm watching Animal Planet. Golden moles are so cute. They're like little puffs of fur without heads or legs or ANYTHING except little bumps that are either noses or penises. Who knows.



Now, onto more knitty matters. I got another card today!



It made me happy. And gave some good advice. ^_^ But I'm confused - the two cards are definitely from two different people. Do I have more than one angel? Not that I'm complaining, of course. Anyway, as far as actual knitting goes, I've been working on that green cat blanket I started, and I have to say it's coming out pretty well. It'll be great, if I can scrounge enough green yarn to finish it. Ah, the joys of knitting with scraps.

While I have been busy with knitting, Xbox, cross stitch, cooking, and all my other stuff - and my nephew Eddie, who's here for a few weeks - I have found a reminder of my wish to learn how to crochet.



Isn't that beautiful? It was done by BlackDog and is just rocking my socks right off. I can't believe the colors in it! SO amazing. I want one. The pattern is from Toast & Marmalade, which isn't on Amazon.com, or I would put in on my wishlist. I have a feeling that if I learned how to crochet, though, I'd how to do that whether I bought the pattern or not. And I don't really like most of the other patterns in there. Although that could just be because they're using such dull colors...I like bright stuff. :)

I was very bitchy today. I'm sorry, Mom! I don't think she reads this, but it can't hurt. I was PMSing. So I went out and got myself a bar of fair trade Divine chocolate from Ten Thousand Villages, where I volunteer and where you should shop because they do good work. I also picked up a bar for my Secret Pal, who I think I will send another package before SP5 ends. I'm thinking sock yarn and Hello Kitty, but I don't have a lot of time - signups for SP6 have already started! And I've signed up, of course. ^_^ I'm going off on vacation tomorrow, though. Up to Lake Mohonk in upstate NY for a week, with my parents and the Edmeister. Should be good. I am looking forward to much swimming, massages, and of course knitting. :) Ah, man, I could use a massage right now...see, this is why I need a boyfriend. Someone to get me fair trade chocolate and give me massages. I'd be a good girlfriend! Hm. Maybe I should have Rod lend me one of hers.

Nah.

Okay, I'm off to sleep, and the upstate. See you in a week!

Friday, August 12, 2005

w00t!

I have had a very good couple of days.

First off, I went to the mall yesterday and picked myself up an Xbox. Score! I wanted to get DDR, but the Box, pad, and game all at once were too expensive, so I got Blinx the Timesweeper until then. Good game. But an Xbox wasn't the only thing I got at the mall. Oh no. My niece Moira's birthday is coming up. Now, I am a very cool and generous aunt, if I do say so myself, and will probably spoil both my nieces rotten by the time Moira is 7. But right now she's turning four, and is totally into all the Princess stuff. So, check this out.



How kickass is that? Every princess needs a bright pink electric guitar. I want one, too. ^_^ I might give it to her for Christmas, though, since it's supposed to be for 5 year olds and up, and I got her a Totoro plushie from Japan, but...eh. ::shrug:: it's all good. I just love that you can get one of these. It was on the shelf next to the Princess Magic Mirror and Princess Phone and Princess Nailpolish Set and all that, hooray for feminism! Maybe she'll be a punkass rocker someday.

I also found out what my friend Emma's dad does. This has always puzzled me. Her mom teaches Spanish, which isn't a very high-paying job, but despite that, and having five kids, they never seem at all worried about money. Quite the opposite. I went to babysit for the little ones while they went to a Barenaked Ladies concert, and there were tickets on their bulletin board for Coldplay, too. So guess what he does? He works in publishing. And his company just bought Tokyopop. I am SO jealous of Emma - she gets free manga, models, and plushies all the time. But she came over and shared the wealth. ^_^ I got five free manga, and I've only read one of them before. Score again!

And to top it all off, today I got a postcard of Grand Central from my SP angel. Yay! This is cool on two counts; 1) it's the first actual object I have gotten out of this whole SP thing, and 2) it's Grand Central! Fun! It's a cool picture, too.



Oh, and I got a haircut, too. Which is good because my head was starting to look thatched.

As far as knitting goes... I have mostly been working on cat blankets, which are addictive. They're quick, they use up scraps, you can make them up as you go along, and you can try all kinds of stuff you haven't done before without worrying about making mistakes. Homeless cats don't really care, I think. So, I've been trying out diagonal knitting. I finished this one this morning...



I need to sew in the ends, but other than that it came out pretty well. The black there is actually dark green, so it has a kind of Jamaican look, which I didn't do on purpose but is okay. I like diagonal knitting. It's fun. ^_^ So I started another one this morning.



The variegated yarn looks good, I think. I don't have enough to finish a whole one, though, so I'm putting in a few stripes of the dark green. Should be good. Of course, this is all taking time away from the project I ought to be working on, which is the Tie One On for my hostess in Japan. She's going to be back in the States on the 17th, and I want to have it ready for her then. I should be able to do it, I'm just working on the ties now.



It's longer and shorter than I thought, but it actually works pretty well when I try it on. And she's short anyway. :)

EDIT: Longer and shorter. Yeah, that makes sense. I meant longer and thinner.

Monday, August 08, 2005

I'm back! Miss me?

So, does my neglecting my blog mean that I'm busy with other things? Well, obviously! I have been knitting, traveling, cleaning, cooking, all sorts of stuff. Before I left for Japan I knit a catear hat for my friend Nora, out of some cheap cotton I've had lying around for forever. I've never knit with cooton, but I really liked the way it turned out. It was warm enough for the fall but cool enough for the summer, since I knew she'd probably be wearing it around the clock. (She is.) It was also very quick and gratifying. I used the pattern from SnB, minus the ties. Definitely going to have to make another.



And here is Nora modeling and laying out my fortune - I'm teaching her tarot. The whole shebang, as you can see, not one of those wimpy three-card layouts.



I also did a bit of stash enhancing. I found some beautiful lace-weight merino in this ubercute colorway called 'tutti frutti' - and it was on clearance, no less! I only had the money for one skein, but I went back and grabbed the last one the next day. It's kind of hard to get a picture that does the colorway justice, but here's an okay one;




I have no idea what I'll do with it, since there's very little, but I'm sure something cute will pop up sometime. Then I knit this:



Yet another cat blanket. It's not the prettiest in the world, but it's very soft, and I doubt homeless cats will really care. Not bad for an hour of knitting in front of the TV, though.

Now for some real projects...remember that Letter Have It bag I've been working on for all of eternity? Well, I felted it and blocked it, and it came out pretty well, except that the blocking was a bit wonky.



So then the next thing to do would be to install a zipper, right? I got a nice pink one from the cheap-o craft store. It was a little lighter than I liked, but not bad. The only problem was it was too long - so i did something stupid. I held it up to the opening and measured it. Anyone with half a brain would've pinned it in and measured it that way, but obviously I've only got a quarter. So it went from being too long to too short.



I'm going to wash the bag again and see if it shrinks any more, since I've only done it twice. That way I can fix the blocking, too. If it doesn't get small enough to fit the zipper, I guess I'll have to get another one. That's okay, they're pretty cheap. It's just a pain.

And now I would like to take a moment to acknowledge one of my other hobbies and complain about being underappreciated, all at the same time. What a multi-tasker I am!

I am very odd for a teenage girl. My hobbies include knitting, shouting orders at middle schoolers, and, of course, cooking. I am a fledgeling gourmet, if I do say so myself. During the school year my mom complains that she cooks too much, but during the summer the kitchen is my domain. Now, a few days ago I decided I wanted to make veggie quiche and herbed flatbread for dinner. Mom was going grocery shopping, so I asked her to pick up some cheddar, and she reached into the back of the fridge and pulled out this:



This is not CHEDDAR! This is CAMOUFLAGE CHEESE! Geez, I'm making dinner all the time, you could at least pick me up some decent cheese. I made do, but let us highlight the phrase 'fledgeling gourmet'. A beautiful crust, free-range eggs, organic veggies and full cream deserve some nice cheese. Meh. Then when she got back from the store she hadn't gotten basil, feta, yeast, or sundried tomatoes, so no herbed flatbread. Gah! But today I made two loaves of nice white sandwich bread to console myself, so it's all good. Maybe I'll make some herbed flatbread, too. Just for the hell of it.

Now, what else...Japan was amazing, of course...it's the last month of SP and I haven't gotten anything, so I'm officially in the 'Needs an Angel' folder unless I get sent something soon...meh. I've also gotten interested in cross stitch a bit, so more news on that when I've made some progress. I think that's it.

Au revoir!