Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Saturday, August 15, 2015

No Longer Drugged

I've spent the last two weeks in a state of drug-induced mind fog due to the small pharmacy I took to treat some muscles in my back becoming stone.

I'm much better now.

During my more lucid spells, I knit things. A couple of which look delicious.

Mochimochi Land Knit Mochimochi Land Knit

There were other things, but I don't really care about pictures when I'm on the good stuff.

I've also recently finished a pair of crazy bright socks. Pictures coming... eventually.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Book Number Who Cares?

So I like Haruki Murakami, right? And I've seen suggestions that if you like Murakami, you'd also probably like Kafka.

They lie.

According to my e-reader, I made it 72% of the way through a book of his short stories, so no, I didn't finish the whole thing but I only had three short stories (and their related endnotes) left.

My conclusion? While Murakami is whacked out and weird, there is a deliberateness to his work that makes the WTF-ness intentional. Reading Kafka, however, is like listening to someone tell a story when they've spent the last three days combining meth, mushrooms and LSD. It's manic, confusing, and I came away thinking that every character was insane or in the midst of a psychotic break.

Yeah. No more Kafka for me. Ever. I'm actually having to cleanse my reading-palate by reading non-fiction. I'm going to be too judgmental of weird right now.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy Birthday Unicorn!

(Yes, I made a tiny knit unicorn. It's awesome.)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

And Another Thing

Minimochi Alpaca

I Made a Thing

I've needed some palate-cleansing knitting after my sock-related difficulty. So I've been knitting some tiny, cute, and ridiculous things. Such as a fox.
Tiny Fox
Ridiculous things are so fun to knit.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Finally Done With Socks!

Okay, I'm not 'done with socks' as in never knitting another pair. I don't think I could deal with that. Instead, I mean I've finally finished the pair of socks I've been working on.
Peacock Socks
These took me over a month to do. My average lately has been two weeks so yeah, these took a while.

The slowness was a combination of factors, including the fact that I've knit this pattern three freaking times. But mostly it was the fact that I used a smaller needle than normal which created a pretty thick fabric and that combined with the massive amount of purling required, my hands weren't always up to the challenge. But I did get it done and they are obnoxious and lovely!

And even more fun, I tried out a new heel - a forked short row heel. It's a neat little heel that fits my high instep, protruding heel bone like a second skin.

Forked Short Row Heel

I'm definitely going to have to try this heel again. (For more detail about how I actually did it, I tried to explain it on my Ravelry project page. It's kind of babbling though so not all that non-knitter friendly.)

I'm not sure what big project is up next. I think I need a mini-break from knitting to recover from this pair of socks. Not an actual break from knitting, just a break from knitting serious projects for a few days. Maybe I'll turn out some ridiculous tiny things. I do love that.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Book 1: It Took Forever

Yes, still alive here. I know, I've been quiet. In my post-glutening recovery, I managed to catch a stomach bug which squashed me for an additional week. But this week I finally seem to have mostly defeated everything and am back to normal-ish (or what passes for it currently).
"And also," the driver said, facing the mirror, "please remember: things are not what they seem...."

The driver chose his words carefully: "It’s just that you’re about to do something out of the ordinary. Am I right? People do not ordinarily climb down the emergency stairs of the Metropolitan Expressway in the middle of the day—especially women....

"And after you do something like that, the everyday look of things might seem to change a little. Things may look different to you than they did before. I’ve had that experience myself. But don’t let appearances fool you. There’s always only one reality." (p32)
And now that we are solidly in the middle of the year, I am happy that I can say I've actually read a book! Yeah, it took ages but in my defense, it was over 1200 pages long. Of course, I could have finished it sooner if I had actually read it consistently instead of ignoring it for a couple of months, but oh well. I'll admit, I put it down for a while because I got too attached to the characters (well, Aomame really. She's kind of awesome. Tengo was a bit boring.) because I assumed one of them would be killed.
Constipation was one of the things she hated most in the world, on par with despicable men who commit domestic violence and narrow-minded religious fundamentalists. (p166)
The book was 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami and it seems like this is either a book you love or you hate. I fall in the "love" category. I didn't get it, but I did really enjoy it.
It was probably Chekhov who said that the novelist is not someone who answers questions but someone who asks them. (p351)
I kept finding myself second guessing what was going on and what would happen and what things meant something and what was just a distraction. Honestly, I'd kind of like to read it again now that I know what happens to see if I could pick up hints as to what it actually means.
As a story, the work is put together in an exceptionally interesting way and it carries the reader along to the very end, but when it comes to the question of what is an air chrysalis, or who are the Little People, we are left in a pool of mysterious question marks. (p496)
And why yes, this book does fit in with my pattern of reading really random and confusing fiction. Apparently I like not understanding what the heck is going on. I'm pretty sure this is the exact opposite of when I was in school. Whatever. I'm embracing it now.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Yay! Boo!

In my last post two days ago, I mentioned that our a/c went out. Well, we got it fixed before the house got too hot and afterwards the a/c seemed to be running better than ever. I even had to turn the thermostat up a tad because it was cooling so well and so quickly. It was pretty nice.

Well, that joy ended this morning. The air conditioning started making a weird rumbling noise and stopped cooling so now we are without a/c again. Sigh.

Last time it was a capacitor. Dan says this time it seems more like a fan motor issue. We've got a call in so hopefully we'll be up and running again soon.

Of course, worst case scenario, I'll just have to convince Dan to knock off of work early and drag him out to the pool. It's much cooler out there. Well, if you are wet. Dry and it feels a bit like an oven. (A wonderful, wonderful oven.)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Peacock Redux

I know my blog has been kind of quiet lately. I ran into some food issues so that's thrown me all off. But I think I'm starting to feel a bit better, so yay! Not that feeling better will necessarily increase the frequency of my blog posting. There are pretty things in the yarn but I haven't taken many pictures to share (though I probably should!) and otherwise there's not too much going on other than knitting, and knitting takes time.

There is a slight bit of news today, though. Our air conditioner is broken. Oh dear.

It's currently 82°F in the house and getting warmer. I might have to escape outside soon - the pool makes hot weather much easier to take. Hopefully the a/c will be back up and running soon. With seven cats, I dare not open a window and honestly, doing that would just mean we'd get hotter inside faster. (It's easily ten degrees hotter outside.)

The only other excitement here has been knitting related, and honestly I'm not sure how many people will actually find it exciting, but I'm going to share anyway because it is a bit of a triumph for me.

In my last post I shared a picture of the yarn I had picked for my next sock project. Well, I knew the pattern I wanted to do (Jaywalker) because I had seen someone else make some chevron socks with this yarn and it looked fabulous. However, it didn't work out so well for me. Unfortunate color pooling was the result, not the fun mishmash of random colors. Boo.

So I tried another pattern (Hermione's Everyday Socks) and while the blocks of color were smaller, the pooling was still rather unfortunate. Double boo.

Then I tried another pattern (Dalekanium) and that one almost worked but not in an exciting way. More of a meh then a boo, but still.

At that point, I was kind of stuck and frustrated. Then Dan (knitting genius that he is) said 'wouldn't it work to do something where you knit in wedges so the pooling couldn't happen, like the ones you just did?'

Peacock Socks

Why yes, yes it would! See, he's a knitting genius.

Of course, this means that this is the third pair of socks that I will have knit using this pattern. Rarely do I ever enjoy a pattern enough to knit it twice, but this pattern seems to be one of the few. (Though really if you think about it, to make a matching pair of socks, I have to knit pattern twice, so maybe I don't have the dislike of repetition when it comes to socks? Which is good since I like matching socks.)

That isn't to say that I necessarily look forward to doing a pattern three times, especially twice in a row like I am doing right now. But it does help that I think this time I've finally cracked the code of what you are supposed to do at the end of a round in this pattern. (I think the first rows should be K2, w&t, P4, w&t and then you continue on working 4 sts past the last w&t until you work the last w&t 3 sts after, leaving 4 sts between the final wraps. This seems to lead to neater ends to the round and matches up the tall bit and the short bit of each wedge better. And even if it isn't what you are supposed to do, I'm liking it so I'll keep doing it.)

While learning something new does make repetition easier, I do think it will be a while before I do this pattern again. I'm pretty sure I will do it again, though - Dan expressed some interest in some of his own and I really can't say no to that.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

They Make Me Smile

I love ridiculous knitting projects. Though most of the ridiculous things that I knit end up being not so strong on the functional side of things. (I mean really, what sort of function does a knitted guinea pig have? Other than to be ridiculously awesome? None.)

However with my latest project, I think I have a lovely balance of ridiculous and functional. Shorts!

Shorts!

I'm wearing them now and they are so fabulously comfortable - and cute! But you can't say that hand knit shorts aren't a little ridiculous. Which, honestly, point in their favor.

I'm totally gonna make more. Because they are awesome! Their awesomeness has also encouraged me to think of knit pants. And maybe underwear. (Yes, there are patterns for that. No joke.)

Before I do all that, though, I'm (unsurprisingly) going to knit another pair of socks. Well, hopefully. I'm not too far into them right now.

MadTosh in Peacock

You may notice that "not too far into them" actually equates to "haven't actually started them". But I've wound the yarn and picked the needles so actual knitting isn't too far away!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Knitting Irony

May was Celiac Awareness Month. I had intended to make a pair of green socks for it (since green is the ribbon color used, because everything has a ribbon now). I didn't quite succeed.

Well, I made the green socks, but I didn't get them actually done during Celiac Awareness Month. In part, ironically, because I had a run in with some gluten and had to die for a week-ish or so.

But now they are all done and ready to wear!

Socks

Astute observers will notice that these socks are pretty much a slightly less obnoxious version of these. Yes, I actually did the same pattern more than once. Shocking. The knitting didn't seem to go quite as quickly as the first time around, but since the first time I did this pattern I cranked out my fastest socks ever (four days!), I suppose that isn't too much of a surprise.

Of course, it is a bit too warm currently to wear socks. (Finally! I've been waiting for sunbathing weather for ages! But it looks like the rain has finally stopped and now the tan lines have begun!) I don't think that will stop me from making more socks this summer, though. I wear them at least one season of the year!

But due to the (lovely, fabulous, delightful) summer weather now upon us, an argument can be made that my current (non-sock) project is more weather appropriate.

Future Shorts

It doesn't look like much right now but it will eventually be a pair of shorts (see the holes where the drawstring goes?) It'll be like a sweater for my rear.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Still Breathing

I realized I've been quiet lately but contrary to recent speculation, we have not drown in all the recent rain. While there has been a ton of rain, the only issues it has caused us is unbalancing the pool chemicals, making the pool too cold to swim in, and making the grass grow really quickly.

Not much actual news going on here but I did finish a new knitting project: another sweater!

On the Beach Sweater

It was a nice, educational experience in that I learned a new way of doing contiguous sleeves. Sadly, the new sleeve method is not for me as it makes me broad shoulders look even broader, but not all sweaters can be perfect!

I'm working on a pair of socks that I had intended to finish last month but (obviously) didn't. But I've only got a little bit more to go on them so I'm sure I'll be posting about them soon!

The only yard news I have is from our front porch (because there has been too much rain to go tromping): we have more baby birds!

More Babies!

I've waffled a bit but I'm still thinking they are Eastern phoebes. (Eastern kingbirds are the other options, but it looks like the babies are all gray (no white chest) so I'm back to thinking they are phoebes.)