Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Netbook!

I am now the proud owner of a tiny, small, portable, shiny, lovely little netbook.  Did I mention it's small?  Did I mention it has a battery life longer than that of my laptop, which is an astonishing thirty minutes?  Atrocious, I know.  This baby has a battery life of five hours.  I am so pleased I could wet myself.  Finally, I can take something somewhere without the battery cord!!!

It's little and I love it.

That is all.

(If I had a digital camera, I could show you a picture of it... but for now, I have a Dell Inspiron Mini in black.  I wanted one in purple, but I'm impatient and Best Buy was having a sale, so I got this one cheaper than the list price.  Not to mention, Boring Black can be remedied by lots. of. stickers!)

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Great Knitathon

I've decided to have a knitathon and knit exclusively until Wednesday.  See you then!

Relocation

My grandmother and I have been having very tense relations as of late, and so I'm staying at my dad's for the time being, instead of with my grandmother.  I don't know if this is going to last very long... but really, I go away to Bloomington on the 25th of August, so it can't last more than six weeks.  Perk?  I can get wifi from across the street.  That means I don't have to go to a cafe to get wifi.

In the meantime, considering my dad doesn't have cable and I'm broke with no job, I think I'm going to be getting a lot of knitting done.  A lot.  I think maybe if I actually finish something, it'll make me feel better.

And no, there hasn't really been much progress on anything.  I've got the Falling Waters scarf with me, though (still planning on giving it to my grandmother for her birthday, even if I have to mail it to her).  Hopefully I can finish that.

Just an update.  Not yet dead.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Strawberry soup and color revelations

I haven't been knitting much, to be honest (and by much, I mean, not at all).  I haven't been home much, either, for the past few days.  But!  I have been up to interesting activities, and why confine to the parameters of this knit blog when I have other material I could blog about?

Admittedly, I am not a very good cook yet.  Mainly because I've never been taught by anyone, anywhere, how to cook anything.  So any culinary adventures I have in the kitchen are strictly under the supervision of moi.  But, today I made strawberry soup!  It's very easy (which is one of the reasons I could make it!).   Strawberry soup is meant to be served cold, and is very refreshing on hot summer days.  And all you need to do is toss...

2 pints of strawberries (2 normal cases at the grocery store)
2 cups of plain yogurt
1/2 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of white sugar
1/8 of some sweet spice that goes with baking  (our recipe called for cardamom, we used cinnamon sugar... it still tasted delicious)

... into a blender, and puree your heart out.  Then pour it into bowls and, ta da!  Instant, delicious, yummy, pink, refreshing strawberry soup.  The measurements above will fill up a normal sized blender, so if you're afraid that you won't fit everything into the blender, it is safe to put one carton of strawberries into the blender along with the rest of the ingredients, puree, and then drop the rest of the strawberries in.  It eased my fears, at least.  Legitimately.

----------

So, I'm going to knit the Heroine coat (someday [before October]), and I've been trying to think of good colors that would go with a nice, off-white.  "Cloud" is what I think the colorway is, so white, but not a glaring white.  I don't favor glaring whites.  Anyway.  And silly me, I thought, "Red!  Red is okay..." and I ordered red yarn.  But then, when I was flipping through a magazine today, what did I spy?  A woman in a lovely white cabled sweater, with a lovely cabled gray scarf and a lovely cabled gray hat.  Gray. The perfect compliment to white.

Not to mention, the gray would contrast perfectly against white for the Anemoi mittens.  To go with my coat.  And perfectly compliment it.

I'll just have to find something to do with the red yarn, it seems!  Maybe my wonderful boyfriend would enjoy something red.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

In which I rant of social interaction

I have an acute problem with people, sometimes.  I know that I have formerly blogged about my hatred of humanity, but it is still here.  And every time I experience what I would deem other people's stupidity, it feels as fresh and damning as if it were the first epiphany.

Except, this isn't good.  Hate corrupts and even if my thoughts don't carry into actions, the insidious thoughts are still there, brewing in my mind and causing troubles on other levels of consciousness.  I only have a handful, a very few amount of friends, and I like it that way.  Being around so much humanity is very trying for me.  The reason why it's so trying for me, though, is shameful to admit.  My thoughts are: that people are clich√©, that no one should air their personal life so blatantly through a social networking site, that whining through Facebook accomplishes nothing and just makes you annoying, and that people posting inane revelations they have are neither new or refreshing.  The lack of intelligence that humanity possesses astonishes me.


And while this all may be very true, I think I've been going about this the wrong way.  For a time, I've been trying to persuade myself that all of these qualities that I've been fuming about should be accepted.  But now, I don't really think that.  Those qualities shouldn't be accepted.  It is true that people posting inane revelations they have may be revelations for them and not me, but why should I get my feathers in a bunch about it?  I think it's annoying and wrong, but it's not to those people.


A part of me thinks that I just have to wait for everyone to mature to the point where I'm at.  It's a despicable thing to think, really!  Who am I to say that I'm mature?  It's certainly not the right opinion for me to have, considering that I've only just wedged my toe in the door of life, I have a millions roads to walk down, a million experiences to shape me, so many lessons to learn and hardships to endure and joys to be had.  The path to wisdom should never be started with a goal of an end; the path doesn't have an end.  The quest for wisdom is endless, and those who think they've found an end are wrong.  There is, however, a difference to those who have stopped looking because they are content with where they are.  I know for a fact that some adults will never go very far down the path of maturation, and that (I think I can state this as a fact of life) I will go farther than they.  But to be fair, thousands of others will go father than I will.


I swear, when I look at some people's blogs or profiles or other such sites, I get genuinely furious.  And I can't see why.  It's all fine and dandy for them, and even though I don't agree with it, what's all the pish and tush about?


Now, I just need to act like I don't give a pish or tush.  Easier said than done.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A flit of thought

I realized last night that I have to finish the Falling Waters scarf in order to make my blanket.  The needles that would be ideal to use, my 10" bamboo straight, size 6, are currently employed with that scarf right now.

The idea of the blanket is to knit different colored squares and just sew them together in a blanket.  Knitting with worsted weight on size 6 needles, in my gauge, will definitely produce a thick enough fabric to see me through the winter months.  The blanket is going to fashion as a quilt of some sorts for my dorm bed in college.  I really want to get started on it, because how hard is it to knit a square or two when you get bored with a project?  Or if I'm really fired up, crank out six or so in a day while I'm reading or watching a movie?  It should go by quickly and would be a good project to work on while I work on others.

So if you need me, I'll be knitting on the damn scarf.  I messed up a WS row and I have to rip it back.  Again.  I hate ripping back work.  I need this thing finished anyway, though, because it's meant to be a present for my grandmother for her birthday.  She'll love it.  It's soft and blue and feathery and has a wonderful design, and she tends to go for things that are "fancy."  Add the handmade charm, and voil√°!  Instant success.

If, you know, I could quit yapping and knit the thing.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Independence Day to all of my American readers.  And apparently in Canada, it's Pride Day.  I don't know what Pride Day entails.  It sounds like a movement for gay rights.  If so, more power to them!  If not, it's good to have pride in other things, as well (a Google search has confirmed that my instincts are right).

Most of my Independence Day was spent bonding with relatives, napping, and reading.  All in the interests of national pride, of course, because without our dear founding fathers and the efforts of the American soldier to preserve their ideals, I might not have been able to do the things I've done today.  It is much appreciated.  And of course, some fireworks managed to work their way into my agenda.

Happy 4th!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I am a bad, bad knitter

In more ways than one.

I started a new sweater.  For moi.  Because... well, I don't know why.  Right now I've got a scarf, two pairs of socks, and a sweater on the needles.  Clearly I need to be finishing something.  And yet.

Enter the Newcastle Pullover, brought to you on the free market by Lion Brand.  Lion Brand is okay... their patterns are average (but their free-ness is nice) and I don't normally knit with acrylic, so I don't generally tend to go their way.  But this seems like a very nice sweater and a well-written pattern, so who's to discriminate?  Especially when I am being such a lazy knitter.

I made a gauge swatch!  I swear!  Except instead of the regular 17 sts by 24 rows = 4 inches on size 8 needles... my gauge ended up being 21 sts by 27 rows = 4 inches.  I have a tight gauge.  Can you tell?  Instead of adjusting the pattern, because for once I just want to blindly follow something instead of putting in work to modify it to my needs (when it comes to a sweater, at least).  So I'm knitting it in a size large instead of a medium, and I think that it will come out to my proportions.  Hopefully.  If not, it'll fit someone, at least.

Modifications so far: only two inches of ribbing (three inches seems a little ridiculous, no offense to any designers...) and some waist shaping, because I have an exaggerated version of the classic hourglass figure.

It's been so long since I've knit anything flat that it's a little weird.  What is this purl stitch you speak of...?  (The Falling Waters scarf doesn't count.  Ahem.  It's lace.)

OH AND I WANT TO KNIT LACE.  After... Jesus, after everything I want to get done this summer (two pairs of socks, two sweaters, that scarf, and a block-by-block blanket...) I am going to knit the Vernal Equinox Shawl, because it is beautiful and I will be using it for a very important purpose sometime next year!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Goodbye, June

Status update:

(1) I'm quitting my job.  There is a multitude of reasons for this, but it is safe to say that there are several things about that job that are illegal.  I've had enough.  This produces complications, however, because I kind of need a job.  Those dorm room items aren't going to buy themselves.  The good news, though, is that I've got two job opportunities lined up at Bloomington.

(2) The other good news is that with my new (possibly) restricted budget, I can't buy more yarn to fuel my knitting fantasies.  Which means I actually have to use the yarn I have to knit projects I've actually planned.  The amount of yarn I have, coupled with my new-found free time, should result in some finished objects around here.

(3) This also means I can't buy more books.  This should also result in me reading my bookshelf.

(4) Ryan is still here and tomorrow we are going to Chicago to look at sheet music and visit Myopic Books.  It's a wonderful half-price bookstore.  He's going to go crazy and buy their entire stock of French books.  I don't know what I'm going to do.  Until then, I'll be knitting.  (Oh!  Maybe they have some knitting books?)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Good thing he's not allergic to Happy Socks

Still working on that scarf.  I've got about four and a half of the twenty-seven repeats done.  At this rate I'll have it done by Christmas.  (This is why I say I need to knit more.)

Ryan is here and I'm happy as a clam.  I always am when he's here, and I suspect it's probably due to the whole distance thing.  He enjoys taking the random French books I have off of my bookshelf and going through them.  Sometime he's going to teach me French.  Sometime.  But Ryan's arrival heralded a fear which I have held ever since my box of yarn came from KnitPicks -- he's allergic to the yarn I ordered.  He says it's green, and it kind of is (for those of you who don't know, he's allergic to blue dye [this means anything blue, purple, green, and the majority of the time, grey {what do I expect from a colorway named thyme, at any rate?}]).  So I guess I'm going to have to take the thousand-odd yards of yarn I have and turn it into something for myself.  Which I don't mind because it's a nice enough color.  I could wear it.

I started some socks.  It's kind of a recurring theme around here that I never finish anything and always start new things.  I'm thinking that a nice, plain stockinette sock with that gorgeous golden yarn I ordered will make me happy.  Ryan's not allergic to yellow, so he can have the socks.  They're very happy and glowing and sunshine-y.  That's why I'm calling them the Happy Socks.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A pointless post induced by sleeplessness

This morning around 5:15 a storm woke me up.  Again.  This is the fourth storm we've had in five days.  I feel sorry for my sister-aunt, because she's having a yard sale today and she left all of her things outside overnight.  At least some of it's covered in garbage bags, and it's not windy.

I can't sleep and waking up sometimes when it's dark and huddling in bed with hot chocolate until you do fall asleep is nice (if you almost never have to do that).  Or you could just be like me and wake up and post on your blog, because it's too dark to knit and starting a book at this hour is unseemly for someone like me.

It might be nice if for once I actually woke up early and did a whole bunch of things (laundry and cleaning, actually).  But today I have to work a ten hour shift and I'll be damned if I'm doing that on five hours of sleep.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Book review

A lot of my family is over at my house right now, frolicking around in my pool.  My sister-aunt and my two nephews, my aunt and my two cousins, my cousin's friend, etc.  Every summer we always have these days where my aunt brings over chicken and potato wedges and we all veg out on my deck or frolic in the pool.  And it's usually a good time.  Except this year Abby's not here because she's off to God knows where, and it's kind of depressing for me, so I went into my room.  It's cooler in here anyway.  I've mastered the art of keeping my room cool without the use of AC.

I was thinking of blogging about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, by Mark Haddon.  I just finished reading it on Wednesday and it is one of the best books I've read in a really long time.  The book is told from Christopher's point of view, who is 15 and mentally challenged.  Christopher's an idiot savant, I guess you could say, because he's very gifted when it comes to logic, math, and science, but he can't figure out emotions.  It's a condition called Asperger's syndrome, which I suspected that's what Christopher had when I was reading the book, but a little research confirmed this.

I think that Haddon writing from the point of view of someone who's mentally challenged is surprising, brilliant, and piercing.  It's often controversial when an author writes from a point of view that's not their own and through this he creates a strong message to everyone about the mentally challenged's rights.  The last paragraph is Christopher concluding that he did all of these things, and because of that, he can do anything.  It's heartwarming.  I very much recommend it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Oh, and a note to self:

Note to self: write later about how this is summer and you have no obligations, but you are so used to obligations that you constantly have this ghost of a notion tugging at you that you should be doing something.  And it makes your stomach hurt and you don't know why, because you don't have to do anything.

Thoughts that have occurred to me

(1) I really need a digital camera to take decent, color-accurate photos of my knitting to post on here and on Ravelry.  I'm not the type to take pictures of life, so the last digital camera I had was given to my aunt.  My aunt likes to take pictures of everything.  I didn't regret the decision until now.

(2) I don't really stay very true to knitting on this blog.  I've been skimming some other knitting blogs recently because the two I regularly follow (the Yarn Harlot and SamuraiKnitter) haven't been posting much and I've been getting the bug to both read more knitting stuff and read other people's perspectives on knitting.  And in all of the blogs I skimmed through today, most of it is about knitting.  On my blog, however, more of it isn't about knitting than is.  Sigh.

(3) I need to knit more.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Storm love

We are experiencing the mother of all normal thunderstorms, here.  There was a tornado warning for a town nearby but over where I am the storm's not even severe enough to cause a power outage.  In fact, we never get anything exciting where I live.  All of the interesting parts of all storms happen in the town nearby and when Chesterton has huge power outages, I'm just sitting cozy in my well-lit house.  And yes, that did very much sound like I wanted power outages and tornado-force winds.

I'm located about ten minutes south of Lake Michigan and forty-five minutes from the Illinois border.  I was out to dinner with my dad and they had the news on; downtown Chicago is completely blacked out.  The storm that hit them was moving our way.  Storms thrill me.  When my dad and I were driving home, we got to see all the black storm clouds advance and then all of a sudden the cold front came through and it was amazing.

We've been having a lot of thunderstorms lately.  And most oddly, we've been having thunderstorms in the morning.  Yesterday and today I got to wake up in a very pleasant manner to thunderstorms and rain outside my window.  And today, we've had two pretty sizable storms in the space of twelve hours.  Not to mention we experienced a huge storm while I was at nationals, and even in Kansas City there were at least two storms in one week while I was there.  Love it, love it, love it.  The weather should be like this all the time.

Still plugging along on the scarf.  I knit at it a little bit when I was at a cafe today, but then my friend told me Charlotte Russe was having a sale on their harem pants and that was the end of my knitting today.  I didn't even find their harem pants, either.  Feh.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Status report

Good progress is being made on the Falling Waters scarf, except now I find myself wishing that I wasn't working with something so... fluffy.  I'm knitting the scarf in this brushed, soft alpaca.  It's absolutely a gorgeous yarn, all light blue and pale lavender, but it's really fluffy.  I'm waiting for my box of yarn to get here so I can cast on and knit like a mad scientist (on anything).

On the agenda today: take my sister to the park, complete a load of laundry in time for work, and then work.  My life is very exciting (but I prefer it this way).

I'm also set to finish The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time today.  It's absolutely beautiful.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Call me crazy, but...

There's this car.  This car has a habit of stopping at my house around 1:30-2:00 in the morning sometimes, and this is the third time I've seen it happen.  It always drives up to my mailbox like it's pulling over or something and always come from the same direction.  It looks like it could be delivering my newspaper, except our newspaper is delivered around 5:00 AM onto our front porch.  The first two times it happened, I had just pulled into my driveway and was sitting in my car, back from whatever I'd been doing that night.  But a few minutes ago, I just saw it do the same thing out of my window.

I want to know why this car keeps pulling over at my house in early hours of the morning.

Normalcy... I guess

Today was nice.  I didn't do much for Father's Day, considering I never know what to get my grandfather and my father is visiting my other grandfather (the one I don't live with) in Kentucky.  Not to mention, the grandfather I do live with was gone half the day, anyway.  As was I.  But we'll get to that.  I want to wish any fathers that might be reading this blog a happy Father's Day, and I hope it went well for you all.

I went shopping at Target again today for odds and ends for my dorm.  Mostly because I need something to keep my yarn in; it's all in a pile in between my computer chair and my nightstand, and it keeps getting caught in my chair wheels.  Annoying.  So I bought a big plastic bendy purple tub today at Target.  Oh, and remember the Great Purge?  I finally did it today, as far as clothes go.  I got rid of 70% of my wardrobe because I never wear any of it... as a result, all of the clothes I did keep are on my floor and my dresser and closet are empty.  I'm hoping now that my closet is free of all the clothes I never wear, I can put my yarn in the tub and stick it on top of the trunk I have in there.  But they conveniently placed the storage aisle right next to the living odds and ends aisle... and while I was there, I thought, "Oh... I need to get some silverware to go along with my dishes."  And then, I saw these cute little caddies to keep your silverware in, and I realized, "Oh!  I have nowhere to put these spoons and forks and knives!"  So I bought one of those, too.  In lime green.  It's amazing.  I love Target.

My plan is to buy things I need for my dorm little by little, so I don't have to buy it all at once in August when everyone else is.  And also because I have to pay for most of it myself, and I don't have much money, so I kind of need to buy it little by little.  I need to buy sheets, honestly... but that can wait.  I have a whole checklist and for once in my life, I am organized.  It's a little frightening!

And then I watched my little sister for the second half of the day, and she was an absolute angel.  I love her so much.  She is so little, and I love her like I'd love my own kid.  Actually, funny I should say that, because I took her to the Dairy Queen today and a kid I knew that graduated last year said to me, "Huh, I didn't know you had a kid."  He was serious, and I had to set him straight.  You know, a lot of people probably think she's my kid... oh well.  Anywho.  We also went to see Toy Story 3, and IT WAS SO GOOD.  So good.  Damn.  Everything Pixar makes is totally amazing.  Everything.  Amazing.

I'm hoping my box of yarn comes tomorrow.  When my grandmother's not home.  So she won't yell at me for spending more money on more yarn!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

All the world is my oyster

I'm just going to gush for a little bit here, so many ideas are swirling around my brain and I just want to blather forth in joy and wonder and sheer opportunity.  Again, you don't have to read.  It's probably boring.

Okay so I recently finished the book The Friday Night Knitting Club.  Most people think I read it because I knit, and while that is some of the reason why I picked it up in the first place, that's not the reason why I bought it.  I don't really enjoy the style of writing, it's cliche and appeals to the masses far too much (kind of like Dan Brown), but I read it anyway.  The novel has good enough intentions and a heartwarming message, plot issues aside.  Especially because after reading this book, I am feeling so high and giddy and excited, ready to burst, with this idea: life is what you make of it.


I can do anything!  I can do absolutely anything with my life, whatever I want to do.  It's amazing.  It is so amazing and whatever I want to do, I can succeed at.  I have the tools and the opportunities and just plain sheer youth on my side.  Do I want to travel around Europe?  I can do it!  Traveling on a bootstring, staying in hostels with sleeping bags and whatnot.  Living in a country is the best way to learn their language.  Hell, my friend's mother supported herself once by street performing with a guitar.  She is so prim and proper now, I would never have guessed!  If she can do that, I can too.  Hell, backpack around the world, even.  See the sceneries and landscapes of our planet, discover books and friends and food, buy yarn.  Knit.  I really should knit more.  I want some beautiful knitting needles, honestly.  But I shouldn't get beautiful needles until I start actually finishing things!  Which I can do!  Because I can do anything!

So, yeah.  This is me, effusive with glory, aglow with the notion that I have my entire life before me and I can do anything I want.  Truly, truly joyful.

Home again

Here I am, home again.  I never thought I'd be so relieved to see Chesterton, Indiana (actually, I wouldn't have minded seeing What Cheer, Iowa, either, but that's another story).  I've just been homesick and lonely for my friends which were not on that nationals trip and wanting my other yarns and ideas and needles because I scrapped the scarf and I didn't feel like knitting on the socks.  I want to start a garment, damnit, but of course the yarn I ordered from KnitPicks isn't here yet.  So I don't know what I'll do.  Probably start the scarf over again.

Now... now, I have absolutely nothing to do.  No obligations!  It feels wonderful.  I can do whatever I damn well please for the next two months!  Then it's off with school, but I honestly imagine I'll enjoy at least 80% of that.  I really super like learning, when it comes to good teachers and subjects I'm genuinely interested in.

I'm hoping I can make the most of this summer.