Friday, November 30, 2007

Emily 1, NaBloPoMo 0

Mwahahaha! I have taken on the great NaBloPoMo challenge and I have emerged victorious. In 30 days I have made 31 posts with only a little bit of 11:50 rushing and a little bit of posting just to post.

Today my arm hurts a little from the flu shot I got yesterday and I have a headache but I am surviving. Tonight, I'm planning to hit the Maplewood Mall to attend the Debbie Stoller book signing. Tomorrow, I'm going to see if I can find a place quick to get my hair cut because the length is starting to get annoying. I'd also like to get highlights again but I'll see where I can get in before committing to that. I'm looking more brunette than blonde these days.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My One Concession To Christmas Decorating

I put together this wreath last year when I was home for Thanksgiving from my mom's large stock of craft supplies.

Wreath

I had just moved here and wasn't in the mood to get a bunch of Christmas decorations when I was still bringing stuff back from my parents' house every time I went home. I probably won't do much more this year, either. I might get some lights to put up in the window but that'll probably be it. I'll do some baking which I far prefer to hauling a bunch of stuff out that hardly anyone else will look at only to have to pack it up again.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Snow!

Tonight as I left work there were nice, big, fluffy flakes falling from the sky. These were the real first sign that winter is on its way. I've seen snow falling a few times this season but that was wimpy, wannabe snow. This is the kind of snow that I can look out my window at and see floating down past the street lights and feel like I live in a snow globe. Granted, most snow globes don't contain gas stations next to Mormon book and gift shops, but I'll take what I can get. This is the idealized version of winter I have in my mind instead of the reality of having to clean off the car and freeze my feet off in the morning.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I can has grammer analyzes?

I thought Lisa in particular might enjoy this link, analyzing the common themes in lolcat images. It's not completely in depth and only really addresses lolcats, so no missing bucket discussion.

Link courtesy of passiveaggressivenotes.com, which is also an interesting read since everyone has seen notes like this a few times in their lives. There's one in my work cafeteria I wish I could submit but I can't bring a camera in.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hat Factory

I started the first hat last night.

Hat #1

I've decided to knit them on magic loop. This one it plain black and the other two I'm making will be mainly black with some sort of teal striping pattern on them (not identical). It's going pretty quickly but I think I'm going to get really sick of 2x2 ribbing.

In the background of the picture you can see my new bedspread. Yes, I often take photos of knitwear on the bed. Don't judge.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Home Again!

I've made it safely back to my apartment with more clothing, food, various household items, and probably more weight than I had when I left. I also have more yarn. It's all acrylic as I have been commandeered into my grandmother's Christmas sweatshop. After agreeing with my sister that we would buy our parents gifts together I was down to only one pair of socks for my grandma for Christmas knitting. Then my grandma said that she wished she would have asked my mom and I earlier to knit caps for my six male cousins and my one cousin's foreign exchange student and we stupidly agreed that we could do it. Six of the seven of them have adult sized heads. I've taken three adult sized ones and my mom has the other three larger ones and the one child sized one. My grandma may be getting one finished sock and the yarn for the other one under the tree.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Introducing Barney

I've had my car for almost five months. He's a 2007 Ford Fusion and his name is Barney. Not after the dinosaur or Mr. Fife of Mayberry as my aunt thought. I never named my old car (a 1995 Chrysler Concorde) but I do know that it was female, because she was a cold-hearted bitch.

Barney barney

No, my car's named after Barney Stinson, Neil Patrick Harris's character on How I Met Your Mother, because I feel that I have "suited up" from my old vehicle. So far he has served me well and I figured it was time he was named since I will be spending a lot more time with him now that I'll be driving to my parents' house for the various holiday events coming up in the next month or so.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

I wasn't one of the crazies out at 4 in the morning, but my mom, sister, and I did hit Albertville and St. Cloud today but didn't get their until 11, right when quite a few people were leaving the outlet mall. The two bedding/linen stores at the outlet mall are going out of business so between the two I got a new comforter/pillow sham set, sheets, and a blanket for about $75. I was also able to get a good deal on a purse at Wilson's Leather and got a few other things (including clothes and a DVD). It was a great, if cold day, with my mom and sister and it went better than we could have expected.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This was taken this morning on my way out to my car so I could pick up my grandma. Today was a great day filled with lots of family, food, stories, and minimal crazy violent antics by my male cousins. It's almost like we're grown up now. I've missed my holiday screaming quota.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Conversation With My Mother

I got home this afternoon and my mom was crocheting a sweater for her friend that designs and also puts together the items for the photo for the magazine/book/etc. for other designers. My mom generally helps with a share of this work.

Me: Whatcha making now?

Mom: An argyle sweater. It's by someone called Drew Emborsky. He also goes by . . .

Me: The Crochet Dude? You're making something by the Crochet Dude?

Mom: . . .

I think my mom may finally know about blogs. Do I introduce her to Ravelry or run away scared?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Shut Up, Fox!

I'm watching Bones right now and there was a commercial for American Idol. Now I have every intention of watching American Idol this season. I'm not even going to try to deny that. It's beyond a guilty pleasure show and more like a requirement to be able to keep up with pop culture. That being said, there is no need to advertise a month and a half a head of time. It already gets the highest ratings when its on and since the writers strike is still going on chances are that come January a lot of scripted shows still won't be back on track so reality shows will be all over the place anyways. Seriously Fox, I felt the same as when I already saw the Coke Santa cans the day before Halloween. We know it's going to happen, no need to advertise already.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cop Out

I'm going to have to make a post for the sake of posting without trying to disguise it as much else. I didn't leave work tonight until 7:50. The good news is that I'll be able to head for home early on Wednesday. The bad news is that my coworkers and I all kind of suck. We all did various small things that culminated in me staying so late and tomorrow is going to be another great day since I'll have been away for all of 11 hours. Don't think I'll be doing any knitting tonight because it'll either be tight angry knitting or tired knitting with lots of mistakes.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Link Fun

I thought that since my earlier post was short and whiny I'd add another short one. I know that there are quite a few Project Runway fans out there so I thought I'd share a link to my favorite commentary blog about it, Project Rungay. They provide hilarious in-depth commentary, plus they sometimes call the readers kittens. I heard about it part way through last season but then I forgot about it until I saw a link to it after the premier last week.

And Now Begins the Week of Crazy

Tomorrow morning I intend to be at work by 6:30 so that I can put in a 10 hour day and still get out of there at a somewhat decent time (5:00 when accounting for lunch). Then I want to do this again on Tuesday. This means I can get out of work on Wednesday by lunch time and hopefully not have to sit on 94 like it's a parking lot again this year. Then it's four days of family excitement. Church on Wednesday night (I didn't get back until about 15 minutes after it started last year), Thanksgiving at my parents' with most of my mom's side of the extended family, shopping on Friday, maybe lefse making on Saturday, church again on Sunday and then back here again. I'm hoping this isn't the least relaxing four day weekend ever. I really need to get some knitting done on some of those days. And studying, because I think it's time to take the GRE again if I want to apply for grad school by March.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Eep, Eep, Eep, Eep

They're done!

Monkeys Done

I started them on Sunday so not only did I finish two projects this week, I finished this project in one week total which is some kind of awesome for me. This is the first thing I've knit in Fleece Artist and I am really loving the colors and the pattern's great. More interesting than a basic sock but simple enough that the lace pattern is still visible with a multi-colored yarn like this.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bohus = Complete!

I found the extra yarn while I was gathering my stuff together before knit night last night.

Bohus Done

Instead of working on the Monkey Socks last night I finished the hat and then, under the urging of Sarah, I wove in all of the ends and now it's done.

I did get a little bit of work done on the socks and now I've got the gussets decreased and have just over half of the foot left before I can decrease the toe. They should be completely done by the end of tomorrow.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Quote of the Day

During a work presentation today, it was said that something "looks uglier than the Dickens." I know Hard Times didn't really paint a rosy picture of Victorian Britain but I didn't think that Dickens was on par with the truly hideous. I learn something every day.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Yarn 1, Knitter 0

I went to the Yarnery tonight to get back my German Stockings and to pick up extra yarn for my Bohus hat which currently looks like this

Almost Done and Out of Yarn

I had every intention of finishing it tonight but then I managed to lose the small ball of yarn they very nicely gave me. Now I'm not quite sure what to do. I'm going to keep an eye out for it but if I can't find it I'm going to have to go back an see if I can get more. I' be more than willing to pay a small amount for it at this point because I'm so close to being done. It's just so frustrating to be this close and to have so much of most of the other colors from the hat left over yet not having enough for the last 5 or 6 decrease rounds.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Still Knitting Away

I got one Monkey Sock done.

One Monkey Done

And got this far on the second one.

No Second Sock Syndrome Here

Picture of them together to prove that I'm not just showing you an earlier picture of the first one.

Both Together

My dad called me on Sunday night and said that he was sending me lefsa from my grandma this week. Mmm, Grandma's lefse. As long as I can ignore the lutefisk I'm proud to be almost half Norwegian right now.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Butter Sculptures

There are butter sculptures on Yarn Harlot today! At least the Canadians are smart enough to carve them when it's colder outside instead of making a bunch of dairy princesses sit in a refrigerated display case with their winter coats on in August.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I Swear, I also Grocery Shopped and Cleaned Today

This weekend was pretty low key, so I got a lot of sock knitting done today.

Monkey Sock, 1 day later

I don't think I'm knitting any faster than I normally do, I think it's that because it's a fairly quick lace repeat (11 rows) that it's pretty easy to tell myself, "One more repeat, just one more." That, and I had the last disk of Six Feet Under from Netflix this weekend and I really wanted to finish it. I just did and it was brilliant. One of the most well-resolved series finales I've ever seen. Now I'm watching The Amazing Race which was only delayed by about 7 or 8 minutes due to football this week so I didn't end up watching almost half of 60 Minutes waiting for it to start.

And yes, I'm already starting to feel a posting burn out at the beginning of the second third of the month. That's why you get a post about the same sock two days in a row.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Continuing Saga of My Knitting ADD

I started a Monkey sock tonight.

Monkey Socks - Half a Leg

I'm through three of the six lace repeats already. These go a lot faster than Pomatomus. I think I'm now required to be working on a Cookie A pattern at all times. They're out of Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 and they're going to be a gift.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Last Minute Quiz

I finished a project; however, I couldn't find my camera because I shouldn't be trusted with nice things. Because of this, you all get the first quiz that came up when I searched for "knit quiz." Enjoy! I might be back with a real post tomorrow. Which starts in a few minutes.


What Kind of Knitter Are You?





You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer. You are through those knitting growing pains and feeling more adventurous. You can follow a standard pattern if it's not too complicated and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've started to experiment with different fibers and you might be eyeing a book with a cool technique you've never tried. Perhaps you prefer to stick to other people's patterns but you are trying to challenge yourself more. Regardless of your preference, you are continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as well you should since your non-knitting friends are probably dropping some serious hints, these days.http://marniemaclean.com
Take this quiz!








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Thursday, November 08, 2007

A little of this, a little of that

Fall Knitty surprises are up. The hat in Intarsia Fun is kind of cute. I like Juno Regina. I don't know if I'll ever make it but it's nice to see that the popularity of lace knitting is sticking around. My main complaint with Oblique is that they never show it with all three buttons done up. Either open or with one button. It'd be a little easier to make out some kind of shape if it were shown buttoned up.

In Bohus news, I was almost done with the decreases (about 5 or 6 rounds left) when I ran out of yarn. I know that if I contact the Yarnery they'll give me more since it just means the wrong amount was included in my kit, but I really wanted it done today. Excuse me while I go to my corner and pout.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ravelry Stuff Has Arrived

When I got home from work today there was a lovely plastic envelope in my mailbox. It contained my Ravelry beta shirt and buttons.

Ravelry Shirt Front Ravelry Shirt Back
Ravelry Buttons

Now everyone can know that I'm a knitter that likes to know how to say "no" in a lot of different languages.

Tonight was the last night of the bohus class. I'm done with all of the colorwork and am now decreasing the top. Picture of completed project should be up tomorrow unless I wimp out on weaving in the ends.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

My Favorite Non-Knitting Podcasts

I listen to a lot of podcasts. I'm listening to one right now. I thought I'd share a few of my favorite, non-knitting ones.
  • Broadway Bullet. This one covers Broadway and Off-Broadway theatre. There are a lot of good interviews from various actors, writers, and directors. They did an entire month covering Spring Awakening, preemptively landing a musical that landed 8 Tony awards this year. May only interest drama freaks.
  • Coverville. This one puts out about two or three shows a week and is put together really planned. It's all cover songs (songs by someone other than the original artists). There are request shows, shows that cover an entire album, and other theme shows like a cappella and ska.
  • MPR: The Current Song of the Day. Every Monday through Friday, the Current gives you a free song. It's a really good way to collect some new music mainly by indie performers and groups. I believe it is every Friday that the song is by a Minnesota artist.
  • NPR: Wait Wait. . . Don't Tell Me! Wait Wait is the weekly news quiz from NPR and they release it in podcast format. Panelists answer questions and people call in to play for the prize of having announcer Carl Kassel record their voicemail message. Yes, people actually want this prize.
  • The 10th Wonder. This is a Heroes podcast. They break down the episodes into topics and are pretty helpful in being able to keep track of multi-episode arcs. Much like Broadway Bullet, this one is only going to appeal to certain people.
  • This American Life. Another podcast release of a weekly radio show. This American Life produces essays, field recordings, interviews and other journalistic stories. Well known contributors include host Ira Glass, Sarah Vowell, and David Sedaris.
These aren't all of the non-knitting podcasts I listen to but they are definitely among my favorites.

Monday, November 05, 2007

More Bohus History

To answer Lisa's question from the comments yesterday, I'm going to try to explain more about Bohus Stickning. Pretty much all of this info comes from Poems of Color by Wendy Keele. Bohuslän is the province of Sweden that the industry began in. Some women approached Emma Jacobsson, wife of the province's governor, to create a product that women could produce in the home to be able to generate income during the depression of the 1930s while caring for their families. Eventually knitting was settled upon, with plain, sturdy garments being produced.

Jacobsson commissioned a few women to assist her in creating the designs that are most associated with Bohus knitting. There are a few things that distinguish Bohus designs from Fair Isle patterns. One thing is the inclusion of purl stitches to add texture to the design. In some places on the pattern there are more than two colors used in the same round which is avoided in Fair Isle knitting. Although the hat I am knitting is knit in the round, the yoke on Bohus sweaters is traditionally knit back and forth whereas Fair Isle is exclusively in the round.

While Bohus Stickning began as a way for women to generate extra income many women began knitting for the company in order to be able to knit the intricate designs. The Bohus patterns were highly protected and Emma Jacobsson stipulated that they not be published for the public until 40 years after her death. They were high fashion by the 50s and 60s worn by no lesser icon than Jackie O. It is possibly one of the most beautiful examples of unintentional female empowerment I have seen.

P.S. - I'll bring the book to knitting on Thursday. It explains it way better than I have here. I really just wanted an entry for the day.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Bohus Class

I've been taking a class to make a Bohus hat at the Yarnery for the past few weeks. This Wednesday is the last class and I'm almost done with the colorwork portion.

Bohus progress

We're using Poems of Color by Wendy Keele for the patterns which is an interesting read all on its own. It gives the history of Bohus Stickening which began as a way for women to earn money from their homes during the depression of the 1930s and lasted as a cottage industry through the 60s. Someday I may even get up the nerve to get a kit for a sweater but until then I'm really enjoying the hat class.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Winter Interweave Preview

The preview of the Winter 2007 Interweave Knits is up and there are a few things that I like without seeing the pattern. The Refined Aran Jacket (on the cover) and the Henley Perfected stand out the most to me in what is mainly a sweater issue. I don't see as much in this one as I did in the Fall and Holiday issues but it still looks pretty good.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Remembering Bertie

This post may have been more appropriate yesterday but reading Sarah's post from yesterday made me think of it today. Last December, my grandma Bertie died. She wasn't my biological grandmother but I consider myself lucky to have gotten the most awesome third grandmother a girl could have. She never married or had children and over the years she was enveloped into the large Johnson clan. Myself, my sister, and our cousins called her Grandma Bertie and she always had great stories.

Last Thanksgiving, shortly after I had moved into the St. Paul area she had to explain where she used to live. She had worked at First Grand National Bank and lived near Lake Phalen. Once, when there was a bank robber, she dropped the key to her cash drawer down the front of her dress. Having got the height gene from my dad's side, she was the only person over the age of ten that was shorter than me at family gatherings, even if I was the oldest grandchild.

From Bertie, I have a throw pillow from her old house, a savings bond, an egg timer that hung on the wall in her kitchen that I'd play with every year when we had Easter at her house, and a small collection of old books that had belonged to her, her sister, and her brother-in-law. She passed away at the age of 94 shortly before Christmas and her 95th birthday that would have been in January and we miss her dearly. Whenever a family gathering got a little chaotic you could always count on finding a quiet space near Bertie to sit down and talk for awhile. After only a few family gatherings since she passed away I already miss that.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I'm Building a Log Cabin

Or at least knitting one.

Log Cabin

I've mentioned this before so I figured I'd better show photographic evidence that it really does exist. I started this almost three weeks ago and it's going quicker than I thought it would considering that I've spent most of my knitting time lately on the German Stockings or taking a Bohus Hat class (which is really fun). The garter stitch makes great TV/movie knitting and I actually think it's a pretty good exercise in increasing my knitting speed since I don't have to think ab out what I'm doing and also good practice in picking up stitches.

I'm making the afghan out of six colors of Caron Simply Soft that I got on sale at Michael's on an impromptu side trip from grocery shopping at Cub. I'd been wanting to make one for awhile and glance at the pictures of them in Mason-Dixon Knitting occasionally. I figured a discount on one of my yarns of choice for it was as good of a reason as any other. I wanted it to be washable and not too expensive and Simply Soft isn't bad, especially for an acrylic (Red Heart Super Saver, I'm looking at you).

I'm trying to avoid just posting for the sake of posting for NaBloPoMo so expect lots of knitting updates for the next month. Good luck to all of the other bloggers that have undertaken posting every day for the month of November. I predict a bit of a problem in the days surrounding Thanksgiving.