Monday, September 25, 2006

Turning a New Leaf

After I posted on Thursday, I realized how much of a complainer I am. I realized that doing that on the blog wouldn't be good reading for you guys on a daily basis. So I've decided to stick to what I love more than anything in the world -- Knitting.

FO's and New Book

I finally finished one side of these rainbow socks I've been working on this past week. I took a picture of them but my computer is not recognizing my camera and so just pretend you see a simple stockinette, short row heel and toe sock in Lorna's Laces Rainbow colorway.

I tell you, knitting this thing during boring/useless classes really made a difference in how quickly the sock was going to be finished. It fits like a dream.

I've also gotten a new book to read (like I need anything more to read right now!). It was written by this broad and you can buy it here if you like.

So far the book seems to be pretty funny. I still think she's a little crazy but I like the fact that I'm supporting this woman and her yarn habit by buying her books. One day, I too hope to be able to earn money just for being who I am and have people pay me for it.

Other knits

No progress on the red vogue socks yet. They require alot of attention to detail and right now I like the simplicity of stockinette. In addition to what I said about not being able to knit as much last Thursday, it is also because I have so many half way done projects that all need tending to and I only get a row or two in before it's time for bed at night. Seeing that most of them are stuff for me, I'm in no rush to finish them. Two of my many projects are gift knits, though, for this Christmas. Fortunately, a 4 day long break is coming soon at school and I plan to use it not only to catch up on homework but you guessed it, knitting!

This Weekend

In not so knitty news, I got all of my homework done yesterday! Now I don't think I did some of it correctly but the fact of the matter is that it is done. I am so proud of myself! I haven't been getting anything done lately, and finally I decided that if I discipline myself enough, I can get everything I need to get done in the time alloted to me. Besides. We all got 24 hours in a day. It's what we chose to do with those 24 hours that make the difference.

It's Fall Baby!

Before I was a knitter, I use to hate cold weather with a passion. I think it was because I probably wasn't properly dressed for the cold. I was wearing store bought acrylic crap sweaters and wondered why everything was cold. Now I'm excited it's Fall in Michigan because now I can wear the stuff I make! For those of you that hate cold weather, turning a new leaf is sometimes a good thing!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Why I Don't Get Much Knitting Done Anymore

Yesterday, I realized why I haven't been getting much knitting done lately. It's my job! Let me explain.

Back in May, I used to work at a call center in which people would call in for a "free offer" that they saw on a program of one of the organizations that we serviced. My job was the perfect example of outsourcing because the organizations that we serviced could not afford to have their programs and support a full fledge call center to answer their viewers' questions or give them a free offer. So they paid us to do it for them so that they wouldn't have to worry about equipment and employees and budgets.

Sundays were our busiest days (it was a religious call center) so we'd always be talking on the phone in whatever language we knew how (We received alot of spanish/french/portugues speaking callers. Ocassionally we'd get people from Europe or Africa too). During the week, however, it wouldn't be as busy but I still had to work. So I would have 3-4 hour shifts every other day and pick up some hours on Saturday and just knit and knit and knit because barely anyone was calling.

It was great having a job that I could knit for hours on end, do homework or whatever else that needed to get done in my life. My last job I was allowed to multitask my responsibilities, just as long as when the phone rang, I answered it according to protocol. And though my Sundays were pretty much taken away from me (my shift was 11:30 am to 5:30 pm), I still loved it for the fact that I could do what I wanted if call volume was down.

This past June I took a job working at a shipping warehouse and now I don't even have time to take a shower some days! The job requires me to be fast, efficient, and focused. I can't do anything else but work. I can't do my homework, can't write articles for the school newspaper, and worse, can't knit as much as I did before. That's why I didn't post on Monday like I said I would last week Thursday. I was too busy doing homework! I did get some knitting done but not enough to show you guys my progress.

Though I'm terribly busy this semester, there are some benefits to this crazy life that I live. For one I am ever more grateful to be alive. Seeing that I don't have much free time anymore, literally every minute counts. Time is so much more valuable to me than ever before.

It's hard trying to get your life in order when all you want to do is knit, but that is what this college student will have to do.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I'm Still Here

I feel somewhat bad because I've been neglecting this blog lately. I'm just so busy with school and work that my knitting time has been cut greatly and as a result I don't have much progress to show you guys today. This weekend looks promising, however, as I do see some free time opening up. In the mean time, I got a test to fail tomorrow, 2 articles to review and a quiz today. Life as a student isn't hard, just busy.


So remember these socks?

I finished them prematurely because I felt like they were taking ages to be done (ribbing on the leg of 10 stitch to the inch socks gets pretty boring). I don't have a picture of it but I don't think you want to see it. It's either I didn't follow the pattern properly or the pattern is written poorly. Either way the socks are too big for my feet. At first I was contemplating on making it's partner and giving the pair away as a gift to someone I loved. However, after thinking about it, I realized that I deserved the socks and could not part with the beautiful yarn (no matter how much it bleeds in a bath). So I was flipping through the new vogue yesterday and there was my pattern right in my face. Here's a picture:

Now when I got the issue back in August, the first time I saw the socks it reminded me of Pomatomus but I thought that the pattern would be easier to follow. After actually reading the pattern I found out that I was right on gauge for this project (which doesn't happen very often. I think I knit too loosely or something). I haven't ripped out the other side but I've still started this sock and I will show you guys some progress pictures (if there is any) by next week.

If you've been living under a rock for the past week, the new Knitty is up. Many of the patterns look beautiful yet fun to knit. I'm very interested in the skirt, the man sweater for my boyfriend and the little toddler sweater for my twin nephews. Serrano is gourgeous but I don't have the guts to knit an adult sweater on such small gauge (the pattern calls for size 2.5 US needles). Besides it is my belief that knitting anything more than socks on small gauge is foolish. I'd rather buy the sweater if the gauge will be that small than knit it myself and risk mental insanity.

My only complaint, I guess, would be the designer of the cover sweater. Suss Cousins is pretty famous for her yarn store in Hollywood, her line of yarns, and her many pattern books. I'm not complaining about the design of the sweater she created. I think it's beautiful and used nice lines that would flatter most figures. What I'm complaining about is Knitty's somewhat visible move from using "unknown knit bloggers" to big time knit pattern producers. Knitty when it started was seen as this haven for inexperienced pattern designers to come in and get some clout for their designs. I guess in a way the knitting community has "grown up" and we're more concerned with celebrity than quality, just like the rest of the world's population.

Lately I've been dabbling in some designing without much success. I always dream about having a really cool pattern to submit to Knitty but with Suss Cousins and other more "famous knit bloggers" on the scene, I'm afraid that little old me won't even make a splash in the water.

Despite the notion that a pattern that I make may never grace the pages of Knitty, all and all this issue of looks pretty promising with lots of classic type items I'm sure the online knitting community will enjoy.

So what do you plan on knitting from Knitty this fall?

Monday, September 11, 2006

A Familiar Feeling

Sunday was a cold and miserable day in Michigan. The sky was dark and dreary and for the first time in months my boyfriend had to put on the heat in his apartment. It became so cold that I had to slip these on my feet:

This is my first pair of real socks that I knitted for myself last winter. The yarn is from KnitPicks (which I think is discontinued last time I checked the website) and knitting these was so much fun. I was trying to knit some Jaywalkers (no need to link; I think you guys have seen enough of them) but I wasn't getting the right gauge. So I found this one sock pattern at this website that appeared like the stitch pattern of the Jaywalker socks and I casted on. It took me a week to finish the pair. I was so happy to try on the socks and they fitted perfectly.

Today when I placed the socks on my feet again, all the familiar memories of warmth on my feet in the coldest of temperatures that Michigan had to offer, having my friends envy my handiwork, and the comfort of hand knit socks came flooding back in my brain. It was a good feeling. Putting on those socks was like taking a relaxing bath with candles and nice bubble bath, like sipping on a cup of hot chocolate on a quiet afternoon or enjoying a candlelight dinner at a fine restaurant. It was soothing and beautiful.

Does that ever happen to you? Do the memories of things you've knitted come back to you whenever you put them on? Are they good memories? I hope so because whatever I knit for myself that I don't like ends up being a gift for someone else to enjoy.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Something to Contemplate on

I know that much of my content lately hasn't been about knitting but the information I have for you today was too good for me to keep to myself. My mother sent me this powerpoint presentation a couple weeks ago. I thought it was good enough to share with you guys. Here is what it said:

Instructions for Life

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

3. Follow the three R’s:
Respect for self
Respect for others and
Responsibility for all your actions.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a
wonderful stroke of luck.

5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.

7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate
steps to correct it.

8. Spend some time alone every day.

9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and
think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.

12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for
your life.

13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the
current situation. Don’t bring up the past.

14. Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.

15. Be gentle with the earth.

16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.

17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your
love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

Think about these things as you knit or spin or do whatever it is that makes you happy this weekend.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A Sad Realization


These first 2 weeks of school have been very hectic for me. Mainly because I like to make things seem worse than they really are. After writing everything that I needed to get done on paper and working out my schedule in my head yesterday, I realized that I would have enough time to do everything I needed to do and not much time to do anything that I wanted to do, including knitting (yeah, I was crying too!).

This past Monday I signed up to work for my student newspaper. I attend a Seventh-day Adventist school (Christian) so they have a religious section of the newspaper and the editor wanted me to be in charge of it. I agreed to it. Though I have to admit that I’m not a very religious person, I had a lot of ideas to write about concerning religion and I figured that the job wouldn’t be too hard. Plus getting paid was a nice bonus (extra cash baby!). Then Tuesday came along and everything changed. On Tuesday I had to drop a class I didn't need and ended up picking up another 400 level history course. The class is not difficult at all. In fact it's pretty simple. We read almost 30 pages every 2 days, discuss what we’ve read in class and turn in some papers from time to time. Seeing that I already missed 4 classes for not being there last week, I have over 150 pages to read to catch up with the rest of the class. I like reading history so this should be fun. Unfortunately I'm going to have to drop the newspaper job if I plan on doing well in school.

So I feel somewhat guilty for agreeing to a position on Monday that I can't do anymore. I know how the editor will feel when I tell him the bad news. I was an editor twice in my life (once in high school for a print newspaper and once in college for a website). I know how it feels to depend on someone to do something for you and they drop out on you, not caring about the outcome.

My problem is that I think I'm superwoman. I think that could do everything that I want to do in a day. I told myself that I could work on the newspaper on Mondays, do my research on the weekends, get my homework done on in the morning, go to work at night, hang out with my friends, call my family up and still have time to knit and blog about it. Lately, however, its been getting really busy at the job and now we’re getting out at midnight or 12:30 am instead of 11:30 pm. This means that my sleep and eating schedule will be thrown off and life will become more hectic for me.

It was yesterday that my perception of myself being superwoman died. The dark cloud of reality slowly came over me and I realized that I work now. My school is way more important to me than ever before and now that I take care of myself, I can't be playing around.

So today I'm going to my editor's office and tell him the truth. That way I'll have more time for school, work, and of course knitting and this blog.

I'm not looking for sympathy today. I just like writing my thoughts down so that they are more organized in my head and I could sort them out easier.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Out of Touch

It has been almost a week since I posted anything. I've just been so busy with school and work. I wish I had more time to work on this blog and knit but I simply don't right now. It's only the second week of school and already I'm stressed and have no time for anything.

Thankfully I've been knitting on my socks. I decided to give the surprise Knitty pattern a try. Here's my progress:

This is just sock number 1. The sock is simple stockinette in the foot and a 4 x 2 rib on the leg (cause stockinette gets so boring after awhile). So far I am satisfied with the results and now I am able to boast that I have the technique of a short row heel and toe under my belt.

My other knitting projects have fell to the wayside for now mainly because they aren't portable. Once I get my life under control, I will be working on them more often at home.

Resurgence of Knitting

Now that Labor Day has come and gone in the good ol’ US of A, it is now prime knitting season. Thank God! It was a pretty lazy summer and cotton and silk blends aren't my favorite materials to knit with. I love the new styles and current trends like cables and knitting focused on the stitch rather than the material. I remember looking at many pattern books in Argentina. Hand knit sweater are only cool because of the type of stitch you use (the more intricate the better) not the material you use (many yarns in Argentina are synthetic based or blends with synthetic materials). The trend is more comfortable than flashy, cozy not stiff and still very appealing. It should be a good time knitting this season everyone!