shame shame shame

I’m beyond embarrassed at this point by how bad a blogger I’ve been (Emm’s eyes are doing MUCH better, btw). In my defense, I’ve been doing the work of 2 people and preparing for the departure of THREE more coworkers(!!!). One for Maternity Leave (dammit), one for a vacation in another state (waaaah!), and one for school – which I don’t begrudge (much). I’m just slightly panicking, is all.

To cope with all this added stress and confusion, I’ve been knitting every spare moment I can… in some mad, subconscious, effort to lower my blood-pressure or something. I’m even beginning to wonder if I’m knitting in my sleep, because random wip’s are showing large leaps of progress that I don’t remember making. Of course, it could be knitting blackouts…

Not good to think about, really. Moving on. I finished my first skif sweater. It took 3 broken needles (sewing machine ones, not knitting), since I was out of Ball Point needles and even the Denim ones I got weren’t up to the task! Eventually, though, persistance won out as it usually does and I can now add this to my list of 2008 FO’s:

skif-bb-front1

skif-bb-back

If you want actual specs for it, I’m gonna have to refer you to my ravelry notebook.

I also finished these, my Fortress of Solitude socks (c’mon, the name just fit):

P418-socks1

Again, gonna send ya to the ravelry notebook for the details. Sorry. It’s just easier that way. On top of finishing those, I have two sweaters, a baby hat, an adult hat, three pairs of socks (no, wait, four) and… well, a Renaissance costume… in the works. But that’s not knitting and is neither here nor there right now. In other news, I received some BEAUTIFUL yarn from Penny and immediately had a wicked plan for it that is already being implemented, mwahaha.

I also got my prize from Lorna’s Laces for winning 3rd Prize in their design competition. They also sent me three copies of the pattern, and I stole a pic from their site:

architect's sock

My Architect’s Sock. So weird to actually see it knit up by someone else in a completely different color on the actual pattern.

And, in slightly non-knitting news – I went to Patrick’s Commencement today. You’ll all remember Patrick as the model for my Columbia Fisherman’s Pullover. And for those of you females out there salivating (I know you are! I got emails last time), he doesn’t play for out team, girls.

Anyway. He text’d me on Thursday, I think it was, to make sure I was coming. I panicked, said I would and penciled it in (this is the state of my life now, sadly). I even brought a travelling sock, to commemorate the occasion:

Sock at PSU Commencement

And was ecstatic to get a picture of him just after he had ‘walked’:

Patrick at Commencement

(Terrisa and I screamed like banshees to get his attention for a couple of quick photos.)

It was great, even with 90F+ weather. The Interim President of PSU even (rather gallantly) offered to make no speech in exchange for a standing ovation. I liked him. Good man. The service was short, sweet and perfectly to the point. I heartily approved.

After that, we all went out to lunch (great fun that lasted for far longer than I had scheduled for, eep!) and had to rush home. I had planned to meet Laure in Beaverton at 3:30, but just barely made it home at 4:00. She agreed to come to my place instead and work with me here.

See, some months ago, Laura convinced me to join her Historical Recreation Guild and participate in this year’s Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire – because I spin and knit and would be a great asset or something. I (somewhat) foolishly agreed, thinking it would be fun and forgot about it almost immediately after.

With the Faire in less than a month, I need to make a costume very quickly and… well, not panic. I won’t panic. I’m not panicking. Honestly. Even though I’m 4 yards short of boning (guess how I found that out tonight?) and haven’t even started on my blouse or skirt.

I need to go and knit something.

on: that was harder than I thought

The felting part was easy. I am lazy and shouldn’t be left to scientifically DO anything. I just threw the tricorn in the wash for a cycle, forgot about it, threw it in the dryer, and then declared it done after about 30 minutes of rolling around in hot air.

It’s a wonder I even made it past the Scientific Method, isn’t it?

Anyway. It came out perfectly felted. The next part, the really tricky step, was shaping the bloody thing. Getting the three horns (or at least two of them) even is something the ancient Greek geometricians would have cringed at. But, finally, after nearly an hour of pinning, unpinning, repinning and the first 15 minutes of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Mum declared this ‘good’:

(yes, the front horn is wonky, this is due to the T-pin holding it in place)


I decided to go with the a slightly earlier time period than POTC – late Baroque/ very early Rococo. So, the front horn is a bit longer and pointer than the back two. The top curves are gently scooped inward, and the back third is a little bit lower than the front two. I still don’t have a plume (BLAST! I forgot that!), and haven’t sewn on the trim I bought for it – aubergine ribbon and gold braid. I plan on having it done for the show tomorrow night, even if I go in jeans.

The hat WILL be done. Hopefully it’ll be blocked (or semi-blocked tomorrow), so I won’t have to do too much tacking with a needle and thread.

I have some small knitting news. I finished ONE of my Top Secret projects, right before I had to leave for Homework Club. Which went well, all things considered, since there were 5 kids and just Emmos and me between them. I managed to cover Spanish, Health, and Fractions pretty evenly, I hope.

And, that’s about all. I need to find my bodice and work some repairs on it. It’s not even remotely Baroque or Rococo – try early Renaissance. But I doubt anyone will notice.

Maybe I will just wear the hat and some jeans…

that was fast

At 12:45 am, I FINISHED weaving in the ends on my soon-to-be Tricorn hat, whilst Mum and I watched Pirates Of The Caribbean: Curse Of The Black Pearl (for the 467th time). As the credits scrolled, I went upstairs and snapped a picture:


I’m going to felt it later today (gawd, it’s actually after midnight).

Other news? Mum and Dad are sick with some respiratory infection (joy be unbounded), and Dad’s been prescribed FOUR different medications – coinciding, funnily enough, with the fact that he’s had pneumonia FOUR times in his life. I made him go to the doctor yesterday (I am such a good daughter, I know) because he nearly fainted from a coughing fit. It turns out he had been sleeping in a recliner for several nights prior, because he couldn’t breathe if he laid down.

I just sort of stared at him when he admitted this. ONE night like that would have sent me to the doctor. The man clearly doesn’t learn as quickly as he should.

Ohwell.

More news? Erm. Not much. I’m working on knitting some Secret Items. Top Secret.

And, uh, that’s all I can remember at 1 am.

Basil curry

Well, no, not really. That’s the “colour” of the yarn I’m working with on my new and improved Spox. I’m currently working on the gusset right now of the left one. And, uh, I was wondering if anyone was terribly interested in doing me a favor and trying out the pattern? I’m working out the math and should have it ready in a day or two… any completely crazy wonderful takers? (actually, it’s not that bad, the sock’s knit flat for most of the pattern, and only requires two intermediate/ advanced techniques: picking up stitches purlwise and p2tog tbl,. both of which are very easy to learn – I taught myself)

Other knitting news? I finished the back of the peacock pullover tonight! And, even better, it actually matches up to the sweater I modeled it after:


The neckline is curling so, even though it doesn’t look it, I swear it does match. I was so pleased with myself for several hours, because I had finally cracked the armhole/ sleeve cap code. I couldn’t just copy the red sweater, since the gauge is tiny and that wouldn’t have taught me anything. But, after a costume construction class and many a failed sweater (my own and others’) I figured out that the curve of the sleeve cap is the same as the armscye and that the armhole measurement corresponds with the sleeve width. (yes, I am a slow learner)

Now I just have to figure out how to standardize it. (read above in parentheses)

Right-O. Once I understand that, I can get Sauci started. And, just to mix things up a bit, here’s tonight’s quote at the end of the post…

“Experience is the best teacher, but a fool will learn from no other.”
Benjamin Franklin

verdamnt A

“There ought to be a room in every house to swear in.”
Mark Twain

I just let off a string of words I shouldn’t even know. Today was just one of those verdamnt long days (and, look, a German curse). I let myself relax and completely ignore all the complete insanity around the house yesterday. Today I tried to fix some of it. Stupid idea.

Even worse, I tried to get things done.

I can be quite idiotic when I put my mind to it, honestly.

I cleaned up the disgusting mess that was the front room, as St M was coming over, so she could have a clean floor to lay out her fabric on. It took me over half an hour to vacuum a nearly empty living room. Seriously, that is the level of nasty the males have left everywhere.

3 damn weeks, and they’ve made a mess that I can’t even describe.

Anyway. I got the front room clean. I brought out my spinning wheel and other bits and bobs I’d need to get a start on the Solstice-Equinox Challenge. As I was grabbing things from my stash, I paused. What the heck was that??

A hahaha. The pile of yarn and needle rolls I had been digging in had, oh you’ll love this, GIANT FREAKING PANES OF GLASS lying in them. Apparently, whilst I was cleaning the front room one of the workmen had broken my bedroom window. Yes… BROKEN.

Had anyone told me? No. Cuz, hell, why would I notice something like this:


I mean, c’mon, it’s such a paltry little thing. Right-O. I came storming downstairs, pissed off (there were shards of glass in my yarn, dammit), and Dad just shrugged, “Oh, yeah, J mentioned that.”

“Oh,” I said, trying not to hit him, “Did he?”

MEN.

I am so seriously considering the positive aspects of lesbianism right now, you have no idea.

Anyway. *Breathing*. I went on, after all this, to go and clean the kitchen. I don’t want to think of what’s been growing in there. I found two opened cans of food that had been left out on the counter for so long…

(shudder)

((and the men wonder why we have ants? and they treat me like I’m stupid.))

It took me about an hour, but I got the kitchen almost clean. I say almost, since we’re out of sponges (I think, since everything’s been boxed up, I have no idea) and I had to use a dish towel. Also, the fact that the kitchen is also in the middle of the renovation process… oy. I got it clean enough to cook a decent meal (which I still need to clean up) when St M showed up. I took a break from cleaning, and we went to other “feminine” pastimes:


She’s cutting out a cotehardie (no pattern!) and I was spinning for the Challenge. I got all the singles spun before I had to make dinner. I got dinner made and somehow a table and chairs were rustled up. Dinner went relatively well, I guess. Don’t get me started.

We set up the sewing machine on the table for St M to sew up her cotehardie while I got the yarn ready to ply. Hereupon I made one of the stupidest mistakes I’ve ever made with yarn preparation. Somehow I convinced myself that it’d be easier to wind the singles with a thread and beads on and ply it on itself than to just ply it with the thread and beads.

Right.

I am beyond stupid.

By about an hour ago I was nearly shrieking with frustration – everyone got as far away as possible. So, finally, I gave it up (I have 2/3 of it plied, and that’s bloody well enough – I’ll give my target some other stuff to make up for this) and went to work on “that-” verdamnt “Judaica thing.” I got a line and a half embroidered tonight. Yay, me.

If you’ve made it thus far, I need an opinion. I am so damn sick of working on “that Judaica thing”. It’s been as difficult as the bloody Challenge, and not half so satisfying. The pattern calls for handknit lace around the edge with a handknit braid over the seam. I have taken near three months to get this far. Should I just attach bought lace and braiding, so the recipient can finally have the verdamnt thing?

I just want it done. Is that so wrong?

And, and look, it’s 42F out and I have a broken window. Lucky verdamnt me.