Tuesday, January 29, 2008

50-degree difference...

or something close to that - we just had the most massive storm blow through. amazing! i am fascinated by the weather. natural disasters. etc. etc.

first, a quick list of things that i did today:
- i sweared at my computer today. i think it was along the lines of, "oh, shut the f*ck up already!"
- i applied for a job in anchorage, alaska. it scares me because, unlike other jobs i have applied to that seemed like a definite longshot due to a variety of reasons, i think i actually have a chance at this one. anchorage? do i want that? i have no clue, to tell you the truth.
- i ogled all sorts of cheap, plastic, adorable things that i WANT WANT WANT at target. i am a sucker for cheap, cute, plastic things.
- i also searched for a lite brite on ebay. not as easy to find as i had hoped.

okay, on to the knitting already. first off, i started the threepenny sweater from interweave knits, fall 2007 (on page 11 of the e-preview in the link). i am so in love with the fabric being produced by this pattern - seriously, it is amazing, and i can't wait until it is in full-sweater form. pictures soon, no doubt. i'm knitting it up in patons classic wool in a bright olive green. i can't stop knitting it simply because i cannot WAIT until i get to wear it! now that's my kind of pattern.

next, i pulled out a very old knitting book my grandmother had given me years ago. it is chock full of how to make just about any pattern, cable, stitch, fabric you could dream of. i decided to use up some noro i had leftover from my mittens and test my hand at a horseshoe cable. voila! we have yet another luscious, lovely scarflette.
080128. horseshoe cable scarflette.

080128. horseshoe cable scarflette.

i also finished a camo sweater for my boss' 21-year old son. timothy derek is expected in may, and i'm hoping it will still fit him by the time the fall comes around! we shall see. i figured since dad is on the younger side, it would be a perfect stash-busting project to use up this camo yarn i got but couldn't figure out what the hell to do with. or something... was that even a sentence? blame it on the rain. yeah, yeah.
080121. camo baby sweater.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

in an hour...

in an hour, i will be going to a 31-year old's memorial service. it's at a theater - that should tell you how many lives he touched. i feel strangely numb at the moment. i don't know how this will be... but i know i will regret not going over going.

in happier news, amelia and i began planning the trip to europe last night. originally, i was thinking we should fly in july - however, tickets to london in may into june are roughly half the cost of tickets in july. so yeah... may 19 (the day after my birthday) until june 6 are what we're looking at. i just have to request the time off, and then we are going to buy our tickets to heathrow.

so here's the plan:
5/19 - drive up to chicago, have one of my parents drop us at o'hare.
5/20 - morning - arrive in london. hang out in london and spend the night with our friend, adam, who's doing a postdoc there now.
5/21 - head out to oxford. spend the night with our friend, andy, who is also doing a postdoc there.
5/22 - since we've both been to england before, we're going to hop right on a flight from london to paris in the mid-afternoon! or get there some other way.
5/23-5/25 - paris! baguettes and wine and the eiffel tower and the louvre and all sorts of other stuff amelia has planned for us.
5/26 - fly / bus / train from paris to barcelona.
5/27-5/28 - barcelona and costa brava... ah, beach time.
5/29 - get from barcelona to venice somehow (we were looking at ferries, but they're pricey and it would be about 20 hours on the ferry to get to anywhere in italy... then an additional bus or train ride to get to ferrara/venice/florence).
5/30-5/31 - stay with amelia's friend, andrea (a boy, but his name is andrea) in ferrara. take the bus to venice or florence if we want.
6/1-6/6 - this is where we need the help of a travel agent. flights to and from athens are RIDICULOUS. like, $200 to get from athens back to london, and a lot of money to get there in the first place.

so plan a for our last days, assuming the travel agent can find us cheap flights:
6/1 - get from venice to the greek islands somehow, some way.
6/2-6/3 - kick it on the greek islands (i'm leaning towards mykonos and santorini, but i should talk with my parents since they've been there).
6/4 - athens. stay with my cousin, michael, or uncle, ulysses. yes, i have an uncle named ulysses. he used to skindive for octopus in the mediterranean.
6/5 - get from athens to london somehow (or just stay another night in athens and take a flight back to chicago from athens). spend the night in london with adam if we get back there.
6/6 - fly back to chicago.

plan b for the last days:
6/1 - venice to slovenia.
6/2-6/4 - slovenia and croatia. we could hop on a ferry to get down the coast of croatia, which is supposed to be the best way to see it.
6/5 - flight from zadar, croatia, back to london (SUPER cheap flights via ryanair). spend the night in london with adam.
6/6 - fly back to chicago.

so yeah... we have the cities mapped out. now we just need to talk with our travel agent friends and see what we can figure out to get from one place to the next. THEN we need to figure out where to stay (we were even thinking of camping certain places to save money). then... oh, lord, then i need to figure out how to pack less than 30 pounds into a bag, since ryanair is cheap but makes most of its money off of baggage carrier fees. i will be investing in a black knit dress that can be worn for any occasion, is easily washed in a sink, and won't show my inevitable dirtiness.

and so this post isn't entirely non-craft-related... i finally got a very belated birthday gift shipped off to san diego, but as per my usual, i forgot to snap a picture of it before sealing up the envelope.

i also just finished my very first baby sweater and promptly began a second one. this first one is for my cousin, who's having his second little girl in march (well, his poor wife is, but you know what i'm sayin'). knit up with patons soy wool stripes in natural pink. i love the yarn, but i had to shorten the sweater AND use the very last scraps of yarn i had to bind it off, even after buying two skeins of the stuff.
080113. baby boom girlie sweater.

and then i started another for my boss' son. he's 21, and he and his girlfriend were dating for about three months before she got preggers. yikes! so, since he is a little of the young/hip age, i decided to use up this camo yarn i've had in my stash for a while. here's baby sweater #2, very much in progress. oh, and a blurry cat head.
080119. baby boom sweater and blurry cat. WIP.

also? i will yet again profess my undying love for my hairstylist. new haircut, y'all!
080119. new haircut.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

taking stock and some FOs...

i have so much yarn. seriously, you guys, it's getting kind of ridiculous. if yarn were water and i were stranded at sea, i would be struggling to keep from drowning. so my goal is to take stock and begin slogging through some of my desired projects with the yarn i already have. a revolutionary thought, no? to do this, i simply cannot set foot in any yarn-selling locale. sounds simple enough, right? hmmm... we'll see how i fare with that. i might actually post some of my finished objects for sale, too, since all my friends and i and my family already have all the hand-knitted goods they need for a while.

is there such a thing as having as many handknitted objects as one could need? i mean, really.

so anyway... i thought i'd actually post some of what i've been finishing lately. i still need to finish jes' birthday present, which was december 22. i am a horrible friend! it would be perfect for the cooler temps they're getting out there right now (it's hard to knit for a gal who lives in san diego). maybe i'll try to finish it today? maybe?

anyway, on to the photos. here's my big, cozy, cable-y scarf, modified slightly from the sharfik pattern. thomas bought me this yarn for christmas from yarns unlimited, and it's tweedy and warm and simply lovely. he had an interesting time at the yarn store - his first attempt ever at buying yarn was not too pleasant, apparently. i have a bit of both colors leftover... mittens, perhaps? something else entirely? i'm not sure yet, but something good will be made with the (substantial) scraps.
071231. sharfik, all done.

me looking kind of pale in said scarf.
071231. scarfy.

my version of the bold and bulky mini cardi - i give you... orangina! knit up with lion brand bulky in butterscotch and citron. this was the fastest knit ever - i finished the body in about a day over christmas, lying sick on my parents' couch. the buttonhole area is kind of wonky, but whatevs.
080103. lalala.

the devil is in the details.
080103. oranges and lemons.

and one of my presents for christmas was three skeins of noro kureyon, colorway 166. noro = love, lemme tell you (as if you didn't already know). this is my personal fave as of late: the branching out scarf. so pretty!
080106. branching out dreams scarf con bedhead.

me being silly. yes, that would be bedhead.
080106. whadja talkin bout, willis?

can i reiterate for a moment... SO SO pretty!
080106. branching out dreams scarf, blocking.

i've also picked back up rusted root, and it is taking me FOR-EVAH. it'll be one of those long-term, go-back-to-when-i'm-bored-with-other-unfinished-objects object. it's going to be awesome - if it fits. i'm going to be very sad (though not surprised) if it doesn't. i have patience problems, namely in the form of gauge checking problems. it LOOKS like it's pretty right on so far, but the sleeves are, so far, disturbingly full. if worse comes to worse, i guess it can get gifted.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

another year comes along...

i woke up at 1:00 this morning, dreaming about people singing a strange song. when i finally woke fully, i realized the song in my mind was to a very distinct whistling outside. someone was whistling a sad little tune outside of my house at 1:00 in the morning in probably single digit temperatures. i don't think i dreamt the whistling part, to be honest.

days have been very strange lately. i've had moments of total excitement and revitalization to be followed by extreme sadness. i had a breakdown at the bar last weekend. not too attractive...

rest in peace, evan. it breaks my heart to think i'll never run into you on the streets of bloomington again.

i have a lot of photos from christmas and knitting projects to post, but i think for now, i'll leave it at that.