Tuesday, May 31, 2011

No Longer Temping, More Knitting, and the beginning of Nerd Wars

I'm super stoked for nerd wars. Like, I'm giddy about it. I'm doing a dissertation (a large, 3 month long project). If I had been more on the ball, I may have been able to order my yarn and complete my swatch before the tournament begins in about an hour, but I'm a slacker, so I have to wait for my yarn to come in the mail before I can cast on. I'm making this shawl with this yarn. I've never made a shawl before, so that'll be interesting. I also spent several hours today bookmarking patterns and projects that might prove useful during the tournament. And I bought the book Vampire Knits. Like I said, I'm giddy.

In addition to my Nerd Wars insanity today, I also worked on blocking 3 projects that will be for sale on Miss Anthropy Knits. Here are photos of my adventures in blocking:

They're all wrong-side up for the blocking process, so it's not really a pretty sight. I'll post pictures when they're all finished. In fact, I'll be listing them on Etsy once they're all finished.

I also have pictures of Sarah Bee's messenger bag, finally:

If I made one of these again, I'd probably make it taller and narrower. Not by much, but the proportions seemed a little off to me. My first adventure into fulling went well regardless! I'm proud of the finished product!

Well, that's all for now, but stay tuned for updates on Nerd Wars and Miss Anthropy Knits. 45 minutes until the tournament opens!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Quick Friday Post

I only have time for a quick post, but it is of upmost importance that I discuss my team posting for Rav Nerd Wars. I applied for team Hellmouth (Buffy & Angel) with team Browncoat (Firefly/Serenity) as my back up. Clearly my loyalty to Joss Whedon runs deep. In the comment box I also listed a number of other teams I would be happy to be on (Dr. Who, Harry Potter, Battlestar Galactica, Bones, Psych...) but I don't think I listed Team Bite Me. Maybe I did. But pretty much everyone who listed Hellmouth as their #1 choice and didn't make the cut got Bite Me instead. So anyway, I was marginally bummed when I saw my placement.

Then I got to thinking, the new season of True Blood starts this summer. And they're doing my favorite story line from the books as the major theme for this upcoming season. And I'm almost as obsessed with the Southern Vampire mysteries as I am with Buffy. So maybe this isn't such a bad thing after all. I was bummed because the group category isn't as specific as I would like. I prefered Hellmouth to Bite Me in the first place because I love Joss Whedon and the characters he created and wanted to showcase my fangirldom. However, the broad category is likely to be a boon rather than a burden when I'm trying to come up with project ideas that are not only fitting for the competition, but also sellable. And not all vampires are red and black, although I have plenty of red and black yarn. So I've rationalized myself into approving of my team assignment. And you bet your ass I'm gonna knit like hell to beat the pants off of team Hellmouth. Bam.

Okay, it's Friday afternoon and I'm leaving soon, so that's all I wanted to post. Look for future vampy knittings!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

85% of College Grads Moving Back Home

Saw this story on this video on PJTV about how 85% of college grads are moving back in with their parents. I did that for about 2 months and I was ready to kill myself. My life is no bed of roses and it certainly hasn't turned out the way I expected, but I'm am really fraking proud that I'm doing better than 85% of my peers. I'm working my butt off to have my independence and self worth and pride. I may not be doing what I want with my life yet, but I'm certainly moving towards it a lot faster and effectively than 85% of people in my same circumstances.

On that note...BOOYAH!

This whole waitressing thing ain't so bad

I'm going through an optimistic phase. Probably because I'm actually succeeding in my waitressing job. It's amazing how much succeeding or not will affect my mood. I don't like not being good at something...it's not a bad foible to have.

That being said, I do have two days off from O'Charley's in a row, starting tonight. Additionally, this is my last full week at my temp job. I'll probably work one or two days next week. Then it'll be summer! And I'll be waitressing, and hopefully bartending, full time. So it's easy to be optimistic.

Let's see...this is a knitting blog, I should probably put some knitting stuff in here... I'm currently working on this tunic from Stefanie Japel's amazing book Fitted Knits. I'm so glad I picked that book up. In the grand scheme of my evolution as a knitter, books like Fitted Knits are a huge help in my eventual goal to become a published designer. I'm enjoying making the tunic too. I'm learning a lot about short rows and how they shape a garment, as they're used to shape the hips and neckline of the tunic. I'm also enjoying the nontraditional construction, as it's knit lengthwise instead of top to bottom or bottom-up. And what shapely girl doesn't love vertical lines?

Sarah's messenger bag (see last post) is still drying with my books inside it, and as I left my camera in my car, I couldn't take pictures again this morning. They will happen eventually though, I promise! I messed up a bit by sewing the inside pocket in before fulling, and I didn't sew it in very straight (I kind of suck at the whole construction thing...) so there's a bit of a wonky line in the back. I'm not too stressed though since that's the side that's closest to your body, you'd really have to be looking for it to notice. Overall I'm pretty proud of the bag.

I also forgot to mention that I finished a gift for my friend Nick and his wife Rachel, who are expecting another baby any day now. Nick is a huge Cincinnati Reds fan, and wanted to name their second son Votto for his favorite player. Rachel wasn't hearing it, though (no, not even for the middle name), so I made them a little baseball shirt for Caleb Patrick that says Votto on the back. This I do have pictures for:

From Apprivoise-moi

From Apprivoise-moi

I think that's enough to be getting on with. Until next time!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Almost Summer!

Okay, for almost everyone, it is officially summer. I've decided that summer will begin for me once this temp job is over and I'm back to serving (watiressing, and possibly bartending?!) full time. It's nice to have goals.

My summer plans include lots of laying by the pool, lots of knitting, and adventures in techniques heretofore unexplored. To begin this project, I've just felted/fulled my first project.

My washer is the epitome of what not to use for fulling. (I'm going to use the correct term even though I don't really understand the difference.) It's a front-loader, it's a stacked washer/dryer unit (read: really tiny) and it's temperatures settings are: Warm/Warm, Cold/Cold, Warm/Cold, and Hot/Cold. I tried Hot/Cold for about half an hour and only got cold, then switched to Warm/Warm and only got cold. After about 2 hours of starting, stopping mid-cycle, and restarting the cycle, all the while crouched in front of the washer alternating between reading Harry Potter and staring transfixedly through the washer door,  I realized that while my fabric was indeed starting to get the texture I wanted, the bag was NOT shrinking even a little. It was time to take more drastic measures.

Thankfully, I had found this article on felting/fulling on Knitty. It mentions pouring boiling water into your washer. Granted, it advises against it because your washer should produce hot enough water, but clearly my washer was not. So I started another cycle, put some water on to boil, then stopped it midspin, inserted the entire pot of boiling water into the washer's drum and quickly restarted the cycle before all my hot water escaped. I did that a couple of times, got the door lock stuck, and hoped against hope that while I was trying to convince the door to open again that the bag wouldn't shrink too much.

Success! It looked more or less like what I wanted. While it dripped profusely over my (thankfully, laminate) floor, I ran to get my blocking materials. I rolled it up in a towel, then proceeded to stretch and stab until I figured it was more or less what it should look like. Add a couple of Harry Potter books and Atlas Shrugged to give it shape and make pretty corners, and find some almost out of the way place to let it dry for the next couple of days, and I'd finished my first fulling project! Go me!

Alas, it does kind of smell funny. I think that's because of my washer. Every time I walk by, I spray it with Febreeze.

I was going to take pictures this morning before work, but I forgot in my hurry to get out the door. I'll get some soon!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Lately I've had a bout of pity-me, hate-my-life, waaa, waaa, waaa....so I've been actively trying to be positive. Here's a positive: my best friend from college, Miss Cori Miller, will be moving to Lexington for the summer - TODAY! And I don't work at O'Charley's tonight, so I'll actually get to hang out with her. Woo!

Still working on the messanger bag for my sister, and no, it still doesn't look like a bag. However, once I finish the strap piece, I'll assemble it, knit the big pocket that also needs to be felted, and embark on my first felting adventure. That could be interesting ☺

Also, I am the laziest blocker ever. It is a massive pain. I have all my tools, I tried to block one scarf, but apparently there wasn't enough steam. And since I already pulled out the wires, I am really reluctant to do it again. Which of course is what is preventing me from listing anything on Etsy.

Yeah, I really need to stop slacking. Oh wait, I work 70 hours a week. I guess I'm allowed to slack a little.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Weekend!

Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo (which, I feel was totally eclipsed by Star Wars day preceding it, May the Fourth be with you) and I was serving at O'Charley's, like I do. It was insanely busy and we were down a server, so, while I walked out with lots of cash, I was exhausted when I got home and am likewise exhausted this morning as I sit in front of my computer and think about how I need to write these meeting minutes. Not gonna happen.

The point of this story is that it has been a really long week, but now it's Friday and I get to leave a little more than an hour early because I had a late conference call on Tuesday. I'm forgoing the extra $18 in overtime, because, my friends, I have a plan. A very good, Friday night plan.

Patrick's working all day today. I feel a little bad because he's not used to it, and a 12-13 hour day is really rough. I did it yesterday. And roughly 3-4 times a week. The result of his working, and my day off, is that I get to do anything I want tonight. Hence the birth of the plan. As soon as I scoot out of here at 3:45, I'm going to pick up a ridiculous amount of chinese take out (remember all that money I made last night?!), maybe a six-pack or a bottle of wine, and return home to do laundry and block my FOs and watch Battle Star Galactica. Words cannot describe how much I am looking forward to this. Especially considering that it is currently 10:45 (I'm starting my countdown - 5 hours to go) and I am not doing to do those minutes.

My plan is yummy, steamy and dirty, and that's just BSG. Yay Friday night.

PS-I'll probably go out with work friends around midnight or so when they get off, which brings my nerd quotient down a bit, but not a whole lot.