16 June 2007

Scarf for a Red Hatter... I Must Be Mad.

This scarf is unbelievably hideous. If it weren't for my grandmother's delight with these yarns, and the fact that she'll probably love it, I would rip out every last bit of this shiny purple crap and put in some respectable contrast, like a nice smooth black cotton. No one can respect anything that is both shiny and purple. Keep that in mind for job interviews, kids.1

The second part of my beef with this scarf is the finishing involved. Normally I don't loathe finishing knitted items. I might be loath to do it for a time, but I understand that finishing is one of those necessary things that makes it all pretty to wear at the end. But the finishing here... knotting and carefully sewing in a seemingly infinite number of slippery shiny purple thread ends... it's enough to drive one mad.

1 Hey, I know there's at least one of you out there writing down, "Purple pleather miniskirt--ixnay on the ob-jay interview-ay."

15 June 2007

Crochet is for Crap

11:13 AM
I had finished knitting the Emperor's New Scarf this morning, and had started setting in the crocheted borders when I realized that I don't like crochet very much. I know I have to set in these little borders. They're quick and easy... and mildly irritating. They oughtn't be irritating, though, because they're so easy. It could be that my blood sugar's low and I'm getting cranky. After a steak and cheese from the local deli, I may feel otherwise about these crocheted borders. I may discover that they're delightful, marvelous little things and I'd like nothing better than to sit here all day and crochet little border thingies. Ok, I'm going to go try that. Will report back.

11:50 AM
That scarf looks like it needs some work. I'll get around to it in a bit.

11:55 AM (after two spoonfuls of chocolate Ben & Jerry's1)
Think I'll work on that scarf now.

12:47 PM
Have run out of words to describe how much this sucks. I'm not even half way through one end of the scarf... and there are TWO ends. I'm starting to think that the happy little stitchy-face drawing in the Lucy Neatby logo is solely there to mock and provoke me.

Hey, I was working on that scarf a while ago, wasn't I?

1:33 PM
One more. Come on, Courtney. You can do one more. Start the drudgery music. Today's selection is the guards that march outside the Wicked Witch of the West's castle. Oh-ee-oh, oh-OHHHHH-oh. Oh-ee-oh...

2:06 PM
There's three more, plus a lot of reading. I deserve a medal.

This is one of the most dreadfully ugly things I have ever made.

2:43 PM
Ran out of English swear words; have moved on to Italian. French curses are ready in reserve. I have to get this stupid thing done today. Tomorrow I am baking a Dutch apple pie, a coconut cake, and creme de menthe brownies all from scratch. I may make a coconut cream pie if I have time. I do not have time to work on this tomorrow.

2:54 PM
Screw it. I'm going to go home and listen to my Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix audiobook.
Uh, did I mention I'm at work? How did you know it's Friday?

1 This was not commendable self-control. That's all that was left in the container.

10 June 2007

The Backwards Knitter

My favorite flavor, cherry red...

In the effort to combat the stash, and to keep it from taking over, I have placed a moratorium on stash enhancement ventures. This has been difficult for me, as I have made a few stops into my LYS (perhaps just to torture myself). Last weekend I did obtain three balls of yarn--purchased by my grandmother--to knit a scarf for her to wear to Red Hat events. It doesn't count as stash, as it's a project--one in which I am already many rows deep. I am making The Emperor's New Scarf by Lucy Neatby in red Karabella 8 (color 7) with purple accents in Trendsetter "Sunshine" (color Periwinkle). I needed a break from Exchequered. Those endless checkerboards were starting to wear on me.

I am a bit alarmed at how fast I am running through this ball of Karabella 8. Judging by my progress on one ball of it, it will take three balls to finish this scarf. No, I did not swatch. After all, it's a scarf, and size isn't exactly critical. I'm using my Knitpicks Options size 8 on a 32" cord.

The brown stitches are waste yarn, which will be removed to reveal magical ogees to crochet in purple. If it weren't for my grandmother, I assure you those colors would never meet under my watch. *suppresses a shudder* Red and purple. I know, I know, part of their thing is that they can wear horrid color combinations, because they're old and don't care. It's glorious that these women find companionship and empowerment... but red and purple? Must they?

Then again, there are a lot of people who make decisions that I would not file under aesthetic wisdom. I, for one, will maintain my stance on the... uh... ramparts of the... fortress! Yes, the Fortress of Visually Pleasing Stuff. With big vats of boiling tar at the ready to pour on ugly things, and gigantic paper bags with which to cover them. That's it. I would also like to take this moment to remind visitors to Knit Goddingdom that there is a blanket ban on anything Harvest Gold, Avocado Green or chartreuse. Avvocati, however, are perfectly welcome.

It just occurred to me that I am knitting backwards in terms of project material. Most knitters start with scarves and move on to socks, hats and sweaters. I started with a sweater, knitted some hats, moved on to socks, and have arrived at scarves. Granted, the scarves I'm knitting are a little more complicated than endless hours of mindless stockinette... but when you break them down most knitting patterns are little more than a series of knits and purls, with the occasional YO, SSK, PSSO and other acronyms of yarn acrobatics thrown in for good measure.

Haven't settled on a pattern yet for Bryan's beanie. I was originally thinking of doing a double-sided one, but I changed yarns... The London Beanie looks promising. I've decided to do pattern work in duplicate stitch for the sake of my sanity. I have to protect what little remains of it.

NONPROFIT PROMO: Claudia is in the homestretch of fundraising for her MS ride. Heard about it through Anne at Knitspot. Go on over to their blogs, read all about it, and give if it moves you to do so. At the very least, it will do wonders for bolstering one's faith in the goodness and generosity of others (and knitters in particular).

Am re-listening to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in anticipation of the last book coming out. Will probably also review Order of the Phoenix before the movie comes out.

That's all for now. À plus tard.

01 June 2007

Ride a Painted Pony...

I'd like to write that I've been knitting some stuff that's awesome+1, but I can't.

I haven't been knitting.

I have been spinning... so far I've worked through about 1/4lb of Leicester Longwool. It's a dream to spin. I say that because it's easy. That, and I haven't thrown my orifice hook at anyone (yet). I need to rename my orifice hook. It sounds as though I'm either using an Ancient Egyptian brain-liquefying device or something that's not appropriate to mention in front of under-eighteens and involves a safe word. Hmmm, maybe I'll keep calling it by its proper name, after all. Make people wonder what I'm up to.

Yesterday, while I was burning time before my massage, I ran into various antique stores in the area searching for chandeliers, mantels and dining tables. I didn't find anything I liked--but I DID find a vintage Saxony-style spinning wheel, with all its parts--except the drive belt--intact. It's a bargain price ($95) but I'm skeptical--the cast-iron footman was a bit wobbly, and the spinning wasn't wholly smooth. I don't know whether that's anything I'll be able to fix. Even if $95 is a whole lot cheaper than shelling out $600 for a new one, it isn't worth anything if I don't like the way it spins. The wheel is a bit beaten up, but I could either do a quick touch-up with a pen, or I could strip, spackle and refinish it.

Big changes have been underway in my personal life, which may help explain why I haven't been posting much lately. I'm considering a career change--getting a real job!--as well as pursuing internship opportunities and scheduling informational interviews with professionals in the field. I'm also preparing my applications for grad school and making sure I have all the prereqs for all the schools I'm considering--or at least, as many as possible. Next Monday I begin French classes. For one of the programs, I have to pass a reading competency exam in both French and German, so the sooner I get started on those languages, the better. If only Italian were a prereq, I'd be set! The cool upside is that when I'm finished, I'll be competent in five languages!

These steps are a big deal for me, because in the past I wasn't able to take them. I knew what I wanted to do, but I was afraid to pursue it. It's taken me a couple years and a couple side ventures to figure it out (MS in Chemistry, anyone? No?), but I'm finally here and sure and ready to go. *Whew* So hang on to your britches, this ride's just getting started...

Don't worry; I'll continue posting with all the snark, frivolity and obscure references you've come to love.

Here ends the [sotto voce] very serious entry. And now, back to our regularly scheduled insanity...