Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Warning: I Am Going To Complain

Before I get to the complaining, I thought I would give a quick update on my real life (as opposed to my equally as real, yet somehow not real, fiber life.)

I gave a recital on Saturday with my flute-playing friend.  I thought it went really well.  It was my Junior Recital (in order to graduate with a Bachelor of Music in performance, we have to pass our freshman jury - essentially a short recital with additional technical requirements in front of a panel of faculty - we have to pass our sophomore qualifying exam, and then give a half-hour junior recital and an hour-long senior recital.)  I'm well on my way to getting this degree, which is pretty sweet.  I'll try to somehow post a sound link to my recital recording in case anyone is interested in counting how many mistakes I made.  :P  I don't actually have the recording yet though, so that'll have to wait.

Two more weeks left of school (and a week of finals) and then I'm home for the summer!  I don't actually have a job lined up for the summer, but I hope to spend a good chunk of my day practicing so that I'm prepared for my grad school auditions, then I can spend my evenings knitting!

Ok, on to my complaining.  I normally stick rather strictly to talking about my fiber-related life on this blog, because that's what people are here to read, but I'm allowing myself to drift from that a bit today (I promise there is a bit of fiber at the end of the post.)

I'm really a bit frustrated today.  I feel like I have been stuck living through a series of unfortunate events (although those of you who have read the series by Lemony Snicket, don't worry, my parents weren't killed in a mysterious fire that then led me to endure numerous life-threatening situations.)  Back in April my check card number was stolen and someone spent all of the money in my checking account which, ironically, was all of my money period.  Thankfully I caught it the day it happened and I contacted Paypal (through which my card had been used) and they suspended the person's account, then I called my bank and cancelled my card and filed a fraud statement and went through that whole process.  Of course they sent the affidavit to the wrong address, I didn't get it in time and therefore they claimed they didn't have enough information to settle the claim and it didn't end in my favor.  Alright, so I was pissed.

Well, today I got a call from the bank.  Apparently someone has gotten hold of my credit card number (which is different from the check card I had just gotten replaced) and charged quite a bit of money to it.  The card is now cancelled and I will have a new one coming in the mail shortly, most likely to the wrong address again.  This time I didn't have to deal with potentially losing my fraud claim because they flat-out denied the charge and contacted me immediately (instead of the other way around), but still, how annoying is that?  Why can't people just be nice and leave my bank accounts alone?

Ok, I'm done ranting.  Here's some fiber:

You've seen that.  It's the alpaca/angora blend that Anne so generously sent me.  Well, over the past week I spun it all up into a 2-ply fingering-weight yarn.  I didn't take pictures of it on the spindle - whoops!

I also forgot to take pictures of the plying process.  I tried out the "Andean plying" technique, which is essentially plying from both ends of the same single, folding it in half to create a 2-ply yarn.  This process involves a rather painful process of wrapping the single around your hand in a strange way to create a "bracelet" from which you can ply.  It's only painful because I wrapped it way too tightly and it was cutting off the circulation to my middle finger and was bending it in an uncomfortable direction... I'm sure it can be done in a perfectly comfortable manner.

Anyway, instead of plying directly from the bracelet, I wrapped the two ends of the single together around a tennis ball from which I would then add twist to ply my yarn.

Sorry, still no pictures.  I think I added too much plying twist, but I don't think it's too much of a problem.

I wanted to take advantage of the softness of the alpaca and angora fibers, so I decided to try my luck with making a brushed yarn inspired by this post.  Don't tell anyone, but I didn't actually have a brush per se, so I used a toothbrush.  (Don't worry, it was new.)

Et voila, 2 oz. of spindle-spun brushed yarn:

I plan to use it to line a pair of mittens that I have yet to make.  It's going to be so extremely soft, I can wait.

Also, I'm really sorry if people feel like I am giving them the cold shoulder by not replying to comments on my blog posts - sometimes I just have no contact info and no way to get a hold of you.  Sorry!

Monday, May 11, 2009


I haven't really been blogging lately because I haven't had much time to knit this term.  I sort of always feel like blogging is only worth doing when I have an FO to show because how boring is it to look at pictures of unfinished projects?  But then I realized that I love seeing pictures of other people's unfinished projects and then I look forward to seeing the progress they make and so on and since it may be a while before I have another FO to show, I figured I might as well do a jumbled post full of things I am currently working on.

Over the weekend I took all the scraps I had of Noro Kureyon lying around from the Lizard Ridge squares I'm making and I spit joined them all together to make a truly random ball of yarn, and then I knit one more Lizard Ridge square.

Here it is, in all it's unpredictable glory:

Don't worry, I won't be offended if you think it's ugly.

I then decided that I would knit a Turn a Square hat to use up the remaining yarn, which wasn't enough to make another square.  I have a ton of Cascade Eco. Wool sitting around from plans to make a matching hat/scarf/mitten set that never happened and thought the two would pair well together.  I don't have enough Kureyon to do the 2x2 stripes, so I'm doing a 2x1 stripe.  I'm also not bothering with seamless joins because I just put the seam in the back and, well, it's just a hat.

I'm also still chugging along on the lace shawl.  I've now completed 29 of the 40 body rounds and then I can do the border.  Yes, I know, slow progress, but at least it's headed in the right direction.

I also started this Montego Bay Scarf (rav link) a while back as a project that I can work on if I have a spare minute before going to class or going to bed, whatever the case may be.  I'm using SWTC Bamboo that my sister gave to me a while ago.  You may recall this yarn from it's failed incarnation as a Clapotis, but I think this time it may actually make it to the finish line.

The yarn itself has a really interesting construction.  From what I can tell from both looking and pulling it apart, it seems like this yarn is one long, small i-cord.  It's super soft, really drapey, and it actually feels cold to the touch!  I don't know if I'm going to keep this scarf or give it away, but I can guarantee it'll be loved by someone.

...and that's what's going on in my world.  How about you?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I Won!

Ok, I didn't actually win anything, I was just nominated for a One Lovely Blog Award by my sister, ClumsyKnitter.  Thanks sis!

As school has consumed my life lately, I don't really have any knitting to show you, but I didn't want to wait too long before I passed this award along to some other wonderful blogs.  I am supposed to choose five blogs that I love, and bestow this nice award unto them.  There are so many that I love to read, it's difficult to choose five and I promise that just because I haven't given you this award doesn't mean that I don't love reading your blog.  Seriously, why would I read it if I don't enjoy it?  I am most definitely not a masochist...

Well, now that I've filled my mind with thoughts of reading knitting blogs as a form of torture, here are five of my favorite blogs that have never proven to be torturous to read.  They are in no order, except maybe alphabetical:

1.  Criminy Jickets - I don't remember how I was first introduced to this blog.  I'm assuming it was through ravelry, and I was curious what other male knit-bloggers were writing about.  If it weren't for Dave being so patient with me and answering all my beginner questions about spinning, my spindle would still be used strictly for decoration and my fiber would be used for stuffing.  His spinning is all so beautiful.  Thanks Dave!

2.  How The West Was Spun - Anne's blog is one that I only started reading quite recently (well, a few months ago at least) and as I've said before, I love reading about what she's doing with her life.  She was kind enough to recently send me some lovely spinning fiber (see previous post) and I am constantly inspired and motivated by both her spinning and her knitting.  There seems to always be something exciting happening down there in New Mexico.

3.  Mamafitz - I've been following Mamafitz's blog for a while now, and I thoroughly enjoy it.  I'm not sure what it is about her blog that draws me in.  I think it's her love of being a mother and her total devotion to her children that just makes me happy when I read her posts.  I can tell that she's having the time of her life with her kids.

4.  Marginalia of a Habitual Addict - Reading Knitwick's blog is totally a look into a completely different realm of life than the one in which I live.  As someone who tends to simply "go with the flow," I find it extremely fascinating to read a blog written by someone who likes planning, and structure, and has a place for everything.  He is currently recounting his recent visit to Japan in a very neat, orderly, extensively detailed (as he undoubtedly kept a journal while he was there) manner and I love every minute of it.  I feel as if reading his blog makes my life more structured.  Is that possible?

5.  The Happy College Knitter - This blogger hails from Wisconsin and, like me, is currently in college.  We've even met a few times at my LYS because, get this, it's one of her LYSs too!  She was one of the people that really encouraged me to start my own knitting blog.  I love her pictures and think she is tremendously creative and fun.

6.  WhitKnits - This is one of the first knitting blogs I started reading.  In fact, I have been reading her blog for over a year and a half now.  I discovered Whitney's blog during a time when I was suffering from a great deal of insomnia, and when I found it, I loved it so much that I went back to the very beginning and read every single post - it proved to be a great comfort and companion through those long nights.  She is also a very talented knitter, wonderful writer, and to top it all off, she plays the violin!

Ok, so I chose six blogs, big whoop.  I'm just spreading the love.  Adieu!