Saturday, October 28, 2006

Once I had a dream I stood beneath an orange sky

The December exam schedule came out yesterday. I only have two bloody exams - two! - and when are they? The 16th and the 21st.
So I'm pretty upset. School starts up again on January 3rd. Why do they do this? I know there isn't anything to be done, and there are even those who have exams on December 22nd. It's just not faaaaaair.

Yeah, I'm in a pretty deep funk, more than I'd expect. I love being here, I really do. I'm working harder at school and I have a job and for the last two nights I've been out with people from school, which is the biggest accomplishment of all, really.

But sometimes things just feel empty. There's a wonderful essay in Sarah Vowell's The Partly Cloudy Patriot where she talks about first discovering the fact that you could feel empty, that this happens at all. Then something like this comes along and pushes.

Growing up sucks.

You know, I'm going to blame James Joyce for this. We did "Araby" in English class on Monday. Yeah, I think I'll blame him.

Sorry to be so depressing. As I said above, life hasn't been all staring out rain-streaked windows and moping. I went to the Inspirations Needlecraft show yesterday. It was OK, though not as focussed on knitting as I expected. I mean, I knew it was lots of different stuff, but there was far more quilting than I expected. I quilt, but haven't felt much in the mood lately. So I just concentrated on fibre - not simply yarn. ;)

Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester roving. Gorgeous, eh? It was in a neat braid when I bought it - this is after me playing with it. No (siiiiigh), I'm not going to spin it. I still don't know how to spin. This is going to turn into thrummed mittens. It was $7.50 - I don't know much about the cost of fibre, but it's less than I'd pay for a hank of Fleece Artist yarn, so I think it's not so bad. I got it from the Yarn Forward stall - so I could have got it at my LYS any day, but I got it at the show. So there.

Natural-coloured laceweight wool, from a yarn store about 5 hours outside Ottawa. Each 50 gm hank has ~400m, so I have ~800 m here. Wanna know how much it was? G'wan now, guess!
Less than $9. Boo-ya. It's not the absolute softest yarn ever, but it's softer than Lopi and I'm thinking it'll soften up with washing. I'm thinking of possibly dying it with Kool-Aid. I have a ton of packets of blue and green; I'm going for a gentle handpainted look without variegation.

And you'll note the fact that these photos are taken at home. Yes . . . I didn't bring my camera to the show. I'm disappointed in me, too. I saw some really cool stuff, but the absolute best was the Philosophers Wool stand. They had complex Fair Isle sweaters strewn about like it was nothing at all. My favourite was this one. Sadly the kits were at least double my allotted budget, so it was a no-go. But! One of the top reasons, I swear, to pay the entry fee on these types of shows is to see the people first-hand*. And you can have them show you two-handed Fair Isle, like Eugene (the co-founder) did! How cool was that! Pick with left, throw with right, pick with left, throw with right...

As for knits that are not just yarn in real life, sweaters in my mind, I feel like I've been making real progress with the mitered afghan. I've talked about it before, but never posted a photo yet. Here goes nothing:

Jack Skellington for scale.

I think it's beautiful. It's Patons Classic Merino in burgundy, grey mix, dark grey mix, sage green and new denim. I have 10 balls to play with, 2 in each colour, and I still haven't cracked the 2nd ball in any of the colours. Miters (mitres?) take way less yarn than you'd expect! I love it.

I'd like to say the blanket is based on Berocco's Mu Shu afghan, but it really isn't. It's exactly the same. I mean, it's a blanket! Sure I changed the yarn, and thus the size, but it's not like that really required complex calculations or anything. I love the 41-st miters - when I started I tried a 71-st miter that just crashed and burned. Three hours later I was still knitting the damn thing.

It moves at a decent clip, too. Generally it's my TV watching knit, because I can't haul it around anymore. I mean, look! That's the 35th square I'm working on, right now! Despite that, it's sooo small. Here, look at it as compared to the blanket my granny crocheted for me when I was little:


It feels so big when it's on my lap that it's a real ego crush to see it like that. I keep calling it a blanket because I can't in good conscience call it an afghan at this size. The problem is that it's supposed to be an afghan! It's going to be a Christmas present, and not for a child.
As I said, I've been working on it just about continuously since I got it. My receipt says I bought the yarn September 18, so for just over a month it's not so bad. My original plan was to have it 6 squares by 8 squares, and then I'm going to do a border with mini-miters in the corners. So I'll go to 6 x 8, and see how it looks then. I'm sure not going to run out of yarn at this rate.**

Seeing as it's Halloween soon, I'll leave you with this image of unspeakable horror and pain. Knitters with weak stomachs may choose to look away.

35 yarn ends to weave in. And counting.

* Speaking of which, the Yarn Harlot is going to be at Yarn Forward (both locations) on November 9! Eeeeee!


At 1:45 AM, Anonymous Mom said...

1) Verification word is "shpourl" which is close enuf to a knitting term to be pretty damn cool.
2) Harlot! At your LYS! Words fail me.
3) Pix of new hair colour please!

At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Mom said...

p.s. your afghan is bee-oo-ti-ful!

At 11:09 AM, Blogger Spinny Bunt said...

Eugene is so cool and I think he kinda looks like a sheep. I usually knit the ends in as I pick up for the next mitered square. Saves the pain of darning in all those ends at some point. It's just moving the tail over and under the working yarn as you pick up. Works like a hot damn. Blanky sure is great! Looks really cosy!


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