Monday, January 25, 2010

A Change Of Scene

I was very lucky this past weekend to have the opportunity to escape this:

which, let's face it, gets a little old after a while.  I got to spend a whole 36 hours in much more welcoming weather.

Ahhhhhhhh... doesn't that look much better?  I was in Los Angeles this weekend playing an audition for grad school and was so glad to have timed it perfectly to catch the day or two of sun between all the rain they've been having in California (although I don't actually know if it was as far south as LA).  It was nice to enjoy the warmth, to see hummingbirds and palm trees, to walk on grass again, to hang out with my favorite birds ever*, and to spend a day in the company of my sister and brother-in-law, who were kind enough to drive up to LA for the day and accompany me to my audition (and take me out to lunch, and to dinner, and keep me company, and take me to Unwind, etc...).

I even brought some knitting on my day-long trip.  Normally I'm not a public knitter because I think it draws too much attention to myself and I don't like being in the spotlight, and I tend to be patient enough to not need it to keep me sane.  However, I knew that I would be spending plenty of time on airplanes and that I have a lot of knitting projects that have been on the needles for months that I want to get done.  I actually almost cast on a pair of socks to bring on the trip, but at the last minute - because I couldn't find my swatch measurements anywhere and didn't want to knit yet another swatch just for a pair of socks - I instead grabbed my Fernfrost and went on my merry way.

and look!  It's almost done now.  And yes, you get a B&W picture because my camera wasn't cooperating.  The yarn is white anyway, so it's not a big deal.  That there I think is 9 of the recommended 11 repeats for the scarf.  I'm a bit worried though, because the finished measurements say it should be 48" long, and I don't think mine is anywhere near that.  I'm just going to knit until I run out of yarn anyway (which most likely will be in about two repeats, go figure) and block it to death.  Sound good?

Oh, and I know I promised more pictures of Brigade, but uh, don't hold your breath, ok?  Thanks.  He was actually lost for a while, but then I found him (on the way to the airport, he was in my back seat) and, well, I just don't think I'll ever get around to taking more pictures of it.  Sorry.

Also, I'll probably continue to be relatively absent from the blog for the next couple of weeks.  I'm only back in town for two days and then I have to drive to Michigan for another audition, and then another city in Michigan the next day, and then I have to drive back to Wisconsin and fly out to Pittsburgh and, well, I don't predict there will be much knitting to show in the near future.

*My sister likes to make fun of me for being so excited about my favorite birds being in the tree outside my audition building in Los Angeles, but really, it was wonderful.  Cedar Waxwings I think are both really beautiful to look at, and their talking (I wouldn't call it chirping, and I don't think you can call it singing, I guess it's more like whistling) is so relaxing and peaceful.  They're not loud or piercing, it's just a gentle background chatter they have going on and I love listening to them.  (Although seagulls - more accurately I suppose I should just say "gulls" as those of the "sea" variety are just one of the many kinds -  are a close runner-up because I love watching them fly.)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things...

Really I just woke up with that song running through my head.  I must have had a good dream, I just love The Sound of Music.

...but I digress, this blog post is not about musicals.  Don't worry though, it's still exciting!

I know there are many of you who also read my sister's blog, but for those of you who don't, I'm really really really excited because (drum roll please...) she just recently opened up her own online yarn shop - Flocks of Yarn!  I've had to be all hush-hush about it for the past nine months, but I can finally mention it here and talk about how excited I am for her.

and get this, per my request, she has included a function in which you can search the yarn in her shop by color (!).  I will never buy the wrong color yarn again!  Thanks, sis!

Really though, and I know I'm a bit biased, but you should all check out her shop.  All of the yarn she carries is really nice, and I love her rewards program.  I was hoping to be her first customer, but someone else beat me to it.  Bummer.

Also exciting is that I finally sewed the zipper into my Brigade Pullover.  Here's proof:

Don't worry, I plan to take real pictures tomorrow.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Zipper Installation Take 1

Failed.     Just, failed.  I'm not even going to include a picture.

I'll have to come up with a different approach.  This shouldn't be this hard!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Almost There and Oh My God

The knitting on Brigade is done, but I forgot that sweaters need to be blocked and now it's currently drying (which will for sure take days and days), but I have the zipper all ready to install, all ends are already woven in, and pretty soon this guy will be all ready for his public debut.

and now for the Oh My God portion of this post.  You guys will not believe what I found in my closet the other day!  Remember how I just showed you all most of the UFOs I have sitting around?  Well this one trumps them all.  It goes way beyond any of my knitting projects.  In fact, I started it 5 years before I even learned how to knit, that's how old this thing is.  Ready?

It is, or at least at some point was, destined to become a pillow.  My parents have moved twice since I started it.  I personally have moved to a completely different state and have lived in at least 7 different dorm rooms and each time I pack up and move, this thing comes with me.  It has been in the works for EIGHT YEARS.  I think this wins the award for UFO Of The Century.  If I ever decide to go back and finish it, I'll let you guys know (I haven't actually worked on it in probably more than 7 years).

Monday, January 4, 2010

So Here's The Thing...

...I sort of have a lot of projects on my needles.  This is what I entered the new year with:

That's a sweater, a blanket, a pair of mittens, a pair of fingerless gloves, a sock, two lace shawls, a lace scarf, and a less-lacy scarf.  Not pictured is Brigade and another pair of fingerless gloves.  Normally I'm ok with having this many projects on the needles, but the problem is that these ones just sit around with their fingers crossed hoping that I'll see them next time I walk by.  You see, the mittens, the sweater, and one lace shawl haven't been touched since this summer. The blanket, the blue scarf (not to be confused with the blue shawl) since last May.  The blue shawl has been hasn't been worked on since June of '08.

Countless other projects have just come and gone with more priority than these, which makes this pile of UFOs more substantial than it may seem if I were actually working on these things.  However, there's still a large queue of things I need to do before I can get back to these projects - a blanket for a brother, a hat for a brother, one or two other sweaters, maybe another lace shawl and a pair of socks... and I guess that's ok.  I do love all of these projects, so I don't think they'll fall forgotten by the wayside, but ooh, hey!  I just thought of something.  What if I made it my resolution to finish all of these things before the year is out?  Maybe I can do it, I won't hold my breath, but maybe.  Except for the blue shawl which I think I'll rip, the blanket which is an ongoing joint project with my sister, and the socks which may also get ripped.

There, I now have an impromptu resolution.  Make way for new projects in 2010!

(Brigade is almost done, he just needs a collar and a zipper.  Hopefully I can get most of that done today.  Classes start today and I want to get him out of the way before I get too busy... or cold.)