Monday, November 27, 2006

I sat on the roof, and kicked off the moss

Ever put something off for a really long time? Like a really, really, really, really, really ridiculously long time? Then when you actually get down to - let's use the entirely hypothetical situation of writing said essay - you discover that it's painfully easy? Man, I should have taken art history. Apparently in that study you are also allowed to just say "X is Y and that means Z." And you don't even need any sources to prove it! How awesome is that?

Also good: when you have to describe a source, then in the next section explain why everything you just described is significant. Yes, you are being told to repeat yourself!

And to think that I took 5 books out of the library on this topic.

Also, you may have noticed the title of this post. "Your Song": great song, or greatest song?

PS. Happy birthday, little brother!

Go sell crazy somewhere else, we're all stocked up here.

Crazy essay week tally: 1 down, 2 to go. Ernest Hemingway, you can take your delicately crafted objectivity and . . . I don't know what he should do with it. But I know what I did with it: wrote a bitchin' essay (on "Hills Like White Elephants", if you're interested).

Just kidding. I like Hemingway. As a writer. I probably would have shot him myself if I'd known him in person.

Now all I have to do is take what I did to Hemingway, and apply it to American neutrality 1933-1940 and . . . oh crap, I don't know what I'm writing my film paper on. *whistles innocently*

Can someone please tell me why I'm not an English student? They get to take aforementioned 3-page stories and pull theses out of their asses about them, without having to prove a damn thing! Whereas hardworking history students (or, you know, me) have stacks of books like this sitting on their desks. Mocking them.

Please note, the Hugh Laurie book doesn't count. I just put it up there to make me feel better. It's a panacea.

Edited to add on Monday morning: my friends who go to UBC have a snow day today. A snow day! In Vancouver! It hasn't snowed ONCE yet this year here!

Friday, November 24, 2006

88 rows about 44 yarns

It's exam and essay season, and you know what that means: lots of blog posting while I avoid writing/studying! Yay! [waves arms about in a generally ridiculous and Kermit-esque way]

So, what have I been doing with myself? Well, there's this:

Excuse my lamentable photography. You and I both know she looks better than that. Less blurry, too.

1. The travelling sock. Fleece Artist, and it makes me yearn for Fleece Artist sock yarn so bad. Preferably in a pair of Pomatomi or those ripple weave socks from VK. Can you tell I've been thinking about this?

2. Mitres, and lots of em. I was finishing the last square that day. I wanted to see if I could finish the last square with only this much yarn.
I was wrong.
Anyway, it basically looks the same now, except for a very thin (5 garter ridges) on either of the long edges in "Tree Bark Mix", a colour they don't have up on the Patons site yet. And it's only taken me about 10 hours, no joke. Seeing yet why it's going to be a thin border?

3. The wedding shawl. I touched it. It's beyond words.

4. The beaded socks. You know, looking at this setup, my yarn-covered desk doesn't feel quite so wrong.

Stephanie was absolutely delightful. Funny, and talented, and very smart. We (by which I mean the migrating, ever-changing group hanging around the table) even got into a tiny religion discussion and everything was good. She's very, very funny, and had never seen Patons SWS before. She was right excited.

So, other than that excitement, what's going on here? Well, what do you think? Lots of yarn flyin' about. I finished this:

That's one plain ole sock in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, in Argyle. 72 stitches on 2 mm needles. And no, it's not self-striping. You can see it's variegated in that big pool of red in the gusset. The red parts spiraled so it striped. I really, really wish it hadn't - I bought variegated yarn for reason - but I'm very laissez-faire about this sort of thing. But I really do like Alison's socks in this colourway.

Pictured with Tab, nectar of the gods ("it's not Red Bull, so it's OK!").

Expected time that the 2nd sock will be done? Oh, only about 3 years or so. Did I mention the 72 sts? I am also currently knitting the plain jane sock to the right. It's Fortissima Colori. And, to demonstrate just how true it is that my mind doesn't work so well late and on energy drinks? Right now I think it would be the funniest thing if someone did a version of Hello, Dolly!, except it would be Hello, Kitty! Yeah, I know, I think I should copyright that RIGHT NOW too!

This is Danica, knit out of that Fleece Artist Kid Aran I knit a lacy wrap out of this summer. I didn't like how it turned out, but more importantly, I couldn't see where I would wear it, or who I could give it to. So it's turning into entrelac, but only really when I'm so bored by everything else I'm knitting that I feel like it. Which isn't very likely when I'm knitting this:

Oooh. Ahhh. A striped scarf. My, you daredevil, etc.

Wait for it . . .

So. Damn. Cool.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Lest we forget

Friday, November 10, 2006

I try to think of myself as so far behind the times that I'm ahead

Saw Stephanie Pearl-McPhee yesterday, and she was fantastic, even better than in Seattle because there was a much smaller crowd than in Seattle. Too spent (man, that word makes me feel like a brittle dowager) to write about it now, but I promise I will, unlike before.

So now a meme.

48 things

1. FIRST NAME? Sarah

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? No, my parents just thought it suited me. I like it. My middle name is a family name, though. I've grown to like that one better in the last few years.

3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Oh, probably just a few days ago.

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Print is tolerable. Cursive is dreadful, and it'll never get better because I do it so few & far between that sometimes I forget how to make letters.

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? If I'm making the sammich, turkey. If it's in a deli, Montreal smoked meat.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Ooooh, not a good time to ask. Possibly. My mom and I are a lot alike and we get along most of the time.

7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Depends, what are you reading right now?


9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Maybe. In Mexico I did that thing - I forget the term - where it's like hang-glidingbut you're attached to the back of a motor boat.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? The limited edition Pirates of the Carribean cereal. It's chocolate and marshmallows. I've had Halloweens with less sugar than there is in a single bowl of that stuff.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? No, I believe in efficiency (read: laziness).

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I am fairly strong when it comes to lifting and hauling. Nice side-effect of working in a liquor store; there's always lots of heavy boxes. As for emotionally - maybe not so much, but I have Opinions on emotional strength, so we won't go down that road.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? I'm not much of an ice cream person, but I bear an unnatural affection for anything Ben & Jerry's, especially if it has cookie dough in it.

14. SHOE SIZE? US 10

15. RED OR PINK? Pink right now. I think I skipped over the whole pink stage when I was little and have recently reverted fiercely.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? Right now, my procras(note to self: finish this part later)

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? The whole community effect you get with living in a small town. You don't even realize it was there until you leave. It wasn't some hotspot of Southern-style hospitality, but when you've lived, gone to school and worked in a town for nearly ten years, you are bound to recognize someone at Starbucks.


19. WHAT COLOUR TROUSERS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Jeans, "The Monkey Represents Sharing" t-shirt, and my last pair of clean socks. They're yellow.

20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Starbucks gingerbread latte. Did you know they changed the Cranberry Bliss Bar? It used to have a delicious, moist, spicy gingerbread base and they changed it to bloody shortbread! I'm pissed.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? "Jack's Obsession", from the Nightmare Before Christmas.

22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Bronze. That was always the coolest crayon. The gold one was crap.

23. FAVORITE SMELL? Right now, chocolate-covered ginger.


25. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? I have no idea. Probably different things on different people. Let's politick and say their strongest distinguishing feature.

26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON YOU STOLE THIS FROM? Yes, though I've never met her

27. FAVOURITE DRINK? Right now, Irish hot chocolate.

28. FAVOURITE SPORT? This would presume any interest in sports. Fine, hiking.

29. EYE COLOUR? Blue.

30. HAT SIZE? I have a 22-3/4" head. I wish I knew the old hat sizes. People really should go back to wearing hats. I enjoy hats.

31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Only when I'm feeling like it.

32. FAVORITE FOOD? Thin-crust spinach pizza. I may have, hypothetically, once eaten a whole one.


35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Yuck. Spring or fall. T-shirt and jeans weather.

36. HUGS OR KISSES? Both. Don't be a hater.

37. FAVOURITE DESSERT? Rhubarb pie.

38. WHAT SIDE OF THE BED DO YOU SLEEP ON AND WHY? Dead centre. It's my bed; I'll spread out if I want.

39. IF YOU DIDN'T MAKE THE DECISION TO GET MARRIED AND HAVE A FAMILY, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING TODAY? What? What??? I have Issues with this question. Watch out, they may soon become Opinions. Oops, too late.

40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? At Knit's End, by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee; In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote; a travel guide to Montreal; I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov; A Most Uncommon Degree of Popularity, by Kathleen Gilles Seidel; and a biography of Frida Kahlo.

41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Optical mouse, don't need one.

42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? Celebrity Jeopardy and Grey's Anatomy.

43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Right now it's quiet.

44. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Both. I've always loved the Beatles, but am now getting into the Stones. Gimme Shelter and Ruby Tuesday are on a first-half-of-Abbey Road kind of brilliance. I have yet to find anything close to matching the second half of that album anywhere in music.


46. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Knitting. And boring people to tears with historical facts I find very interesting.

47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Halifax, Nove Scotia. Did you know that Handmaiden (or it could be Fleece Artist) makes a yarn called Scotian Silk? They also have one named Ottawa. Both are unbelievable.

48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Stolen from Jen.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

It's like Blonde on Blonde, but woolier

The Mu Shu blanket is proceeding rapidly.

I apologize for the darkness - it's been raining today so I wouldn't have been able to get enough light even if I took the photo outside. I experimented with some different levels of light, though. There's a slightly lighter, though more inaccurate (the blue is too bright and the red is too orange) pic here, and a downright fluorescent one here.

As you can see, I decided not to go with 6 x 8, and am going with 6 x 9 squares. Incidentally, if I'd just done 6 by 8, I probably could have done the whole thing with just 5 balls of Patons Classic Merino. Miraculous things, mitres. The Berocco pattern uses 4 by 5 squares, but by my eye they seem to be only slightly smaller than your average newborn Clydesdale. *haughty yarn snob sniff* Mine are BETTER.

OK, right around square 43 or so I started thinking about large gauge. How Cara had the patience for a sockweight log cabin I have no idea. (Maybe because it's give-up-your-firstborn beautiful?)

Anyway, so photos are all well and good, but unless you know the gauge of the linoleum in my kitchen it's not very useful. How does it fare up against the granny blanket?

Wool squares, on granny squares, on linoleum squares.

Previous scale demonstration seen here. I'd say we're good. It's not as wide, but I think that's OK. See, in my opinion, a lot of baby blankets and afghans are way too short and wide. Me, I like being cocooned. Why do I need a lot of fabric on my left and right if my feet are cold?

Looking at the above photo, I just realized I only have 5 squares left to do. HOLY COW. I have, once again, been unwittingly monogamous. I liked this project so much. Mitres are total zen. Particulerly patchwork ones where you get to use a lot of colours. (I plan to make a dent in those 5 tonight. Celebrity Jeopardy (the real one, not SNL) starts tonight at 7:30, and I'm starting to watch Bones, which is at 8. Bones is really fun - like CSI, before CSI totally sucked.)

Now, after those squares are done, I need to put on a border. I briefly considered picking up all 'round and doing a hyoooge border in a zillion stitchezzzzzz . . . Yeah, not so much. I thought a little bit about log cabin knitting, because I'm doing a charity acrylic log cabin afghan right now in fits and starts. I think log cabin and mitres are perfectly suited. And I came up with the pattern at the left.

Excuse the Paint. I know it's hideous. But it describes my point. Now, imagine the blue is full of mitres. Then I pick up the sides and work the black sections back and forth, individually, for 30 rows. Then I pick up the sides of those and knit grey 31-st mitres in the corners.

Concerns about this plan: What if the black bind-off is too tight? I like that right now the blanket is stretchy in every way. And, more importantly, what about the colours? I've only chosen black because, well, it's basic black. I like the grey corners, because it's a colour from the mitres. I don't want to do the black sections in another colour from the mitres because - Say I chose red. There are red squares on the outside of the blanket. Then the colour would be touching. The horror, the horror. It doesn't bear thinking.

Does anyone have any better ideas?

PS. Harlot tomorrow at Yarn Forward?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

"Don't question why she needs to be so free...

She'll tell you it's the only way to be." - The Rolling Stones, "Ruby Tuesday"

That sums up my relationship with knitting more than anything else. It's not because I love it, or because I like it, or because I have vast amounts of disposable income. It's not because I get bored on the bus or need warm sweaters or need something to do with my hands while I watch TV.

Philosopher's Wool Co. postcard

It's because I can't see myself not doing it. Not because I can't see myself doing anything else, because I read and write and sew and bind books and decoupage and am probably only a few years away from sending away for taxidermy school by mail. But knitting is part of my life, it's what I do.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Men's shirts, short skirts

I dyed my hair! It certainly took me long enough - I've been thinking of dying it this colour only for about six months. Here's the pic:

Excuse the expression, but it was better than the second-best picture, where I look like a puppy who's just been kicked. The notable thing about this set of photos I took (about nine, because I couldn't get anything I liked) is that - at least on my computer - it looks exactly like me. The colours are exact. So if you've only ever seen me in the photos on this here blog, here's proof that I don't actually have jaundice and/or anemia. (Though I am truly delightfully pale; an Irish redhead in all but [natural] haircolour.)

The hair colour's just what I wanted, too. Clearly dyed, but still pretty red, i.e. I don't look like some sort of Crayola industrial accident. Just call me Belle Watling. (I just realized the colour matches my lens frames. If I had realized this before dying my hair would have turned green, I swear.)

As for the craft frontier, I'm not knitting right now. I wandered into a thrift store today, ostensibly to search for wool seaters to pirate for yarn, and I somehow fell into the record section. It's not that I'm some sort of music buff (that would be my brother), but that I pirate records as well as sweaters. I melt the records into bowls and turn the covers into books - I feel certain I've posted pics of these before, but I can't find them. Anyway, the haul today was un-be-lievable. Gorgeous covers in excellent condition, and a bunch of recognizable titles, which always sell better. A few covers can be seen on the right; I don't know who the Three Suns were but I love them. I had to put back more than half of what I wanted because it was just getting ridiculous.
I haggled, too. Managed to knock 50 cents off the Grease soundtrack and 25 cents off the Sound of Music soundtrack. I had to harangue three clerks to get it, but I saved a whole 75 cents! My Scottish ancestors would be proud.

This is all for a juried (that means I have to apply to get in) craft sale I want to be in, and the application date is Friday. I know I can make better, more professional goods this year, and I want to focus on the books and bowls. They're easier, faster, and cheaper to make than anything else, and they sell better too. I tried knitted stuff last year and all I managed to do was hurt my wrists by knitting 10 hours a day beforehand. Not to mention I had to slash my already just-paying-for-yarn prices by half just to move the stuff. But hey, can't complain: it was mostly stuff I had knitted that was just sitting around anyway. Even if I didn't make a profit, at least I got some return.

Well, off to the sweatshop!