Knit-aversary 1 Wednesday, Nov 25 2009 

I have been knitting for over one year now!

Last September-October, I decided to challenge myself. I always thought of knitting with a bit of a wistful “I wish I could do that” knowledge that I COULDN’T do that. And that is just silly, so I decided I would just learn.

Similar to when I stopped biting my nails, I don’t know any turning point or even how I did it. But it got done. My aunt showed me how to cast on (a knit on cast on) and how to do a knit stitch. I wrestled with that on my dollar store yarn for a while before I taught myself everything else with the internet and library books. I’m really really proud of myself. It’s a big accomplishment. I hope, when I move, to get more knitting friends, like a usual gang at a yarn store, as it is, I have a hard time finding anyone who appreciates that what I am doing is difficult and awesome.  Dr. Boyfriend doesn’t get it 😉

My 2010 knitting goals are to learn some form of color work, I think it is high time I gave intarsia or fair isle knitting a go, and to do my first socks. I think I am ready!

 

For my first Knit-aversary, my rpesent to myself was some Mirasol Miski: http://www.paradisefibers.net/Mirasol-Miski-Yarn-p/470837.htm

3 skeins in Jade, 1 in Bluebell. It is baby llama yarn, and so soft, so I want to use it on things that will be next to my skin. Probably a pair of peekaboo mittens for myself and another cowl so it will be on my hands and I can rub my face in it.

Notes and Books Tuesday, May 5 2009 

Want some bad advice? Ask U.S. News and World Report.http://www.usnews.com/articles/business/best-careers/2008/12/11/best-kept-secret-career-prospect-researcher.html

IT’S LIES, I TELL YOU. LIES!!!!

The best thing about Research? Your husband getting 85% off medical school tuition. Hey, that’s about it.

My office is moving slightly to the right in a few months, literally accross the street so it will be marginally shorter for me to walk here in the mornings, and if rumors be true, we will get a window. So, obviously, we are excited. I am also amazed that I have worked here for six months and it looks like I have lived in this cube FOR YEARS. Six pairs of shoes under the desk, Emergency blazer, pashmina, and blanket for when it gets freezing in here (every day). Emergency food for when the zombies attack and we barricade ourselves in. Christmas lights.

I also have all these scraps of paper, because this is a beauracracy and I get lots of random papers and I usually keep them to doodle on the back and sometimes I leave myself notes but I never remember what they mean. “Soluble Fiber FTW”. I believe that has to do with  Soluble fiber being the sort that lowers your cholestrol, which I care about. I have a post it that just says “muffin tins”. I don’t know what that’s about. I don’t own any.

I also have a list of topics I am interested in for further research. Possibly books to write if I felt like it or if Dr. Boyfriend and I move to England for a year so he can do a fellowship.  The heading (written on an Office Depot legal pad) is “THESE BOOKS NEED TO BE WRITTEN” and contains these items:

Joe Carstairs and Lord Tod

In the early 1900’s, Betty “Joe”  Carstairs was pretty effing shocking because she dressed in dude’s clothes, had lots of tattoos, was a race car and ambulance driver, and an open lesbian who dated many notable women. Oh, she also had a doll named “Lod Tod Wadley” who she carried everywhere except on boats (for fear of him drowning). She seemed awesome.

William Moulton Marston

Popular psychologist and inventor, he and his wife came up with the systolic blood pressure test leading to the polygraph. He did a lot of work with sorority initiation rites, and was a vocal feminist. He had a polyamorous relationship with his wife Elizabeth and a former student, Olive.  After his death, Elizabeth and Olive continued living together for forty more years, until Olive’s death.

And, he created Wonder Woman. Based on the idea that a superhero can use love instead of fists, can be everything that the male superheroes are but be an  attractive woman too, Marston strived to create a new female archetype. He based WW on his two lady loves, had her come from an all female utopia, and played with themes of submission and bondage that later writers had to  tone down.  In a delightful bit of TMI, Marston vocally believed in submission to women, that a matriarchy was the perfect government, and “submitting to other people cannot possibly be enjoyable without a strong erotic element”. He thought men would be chill with this, as Give them an alluring woman stronger than themselves to submit to, and they’ll be proud to become her willing slaves!”

Ellen Craft

In an amazing feat of “being so effing awesome I want to be her fo realz”, Ellen Craft may the most badass person I have read about. Craft was the daughter of a slave and her owner, born a slave but with skin so light as to pass for white. She was often mistaken for white, which pissed off the white family, and she went away with the daughter of the family when the daughter married. There, Craft met William Craft and got married, but since slave marriage wasn’t recognized was going to be split up from her husband. Being ballsy and possibly too awesome for words, she disguised herself as a white dude and escaped to Philly with her husband. She faked some injuries to cover her body and speaking voice and just faught her way up north, like any arrogant white man.

Later, people recognized that what she did was “too cool for school” but society was so crazycakes that when  she and her husband wrote their story, he had to  take a lot of credit, and do all the talking in person. Being a lady caught up with her, wtf.

Albanian Sworn Virgins

Ok, the long and short of it is that in Albania, women used to be treated poorly. Like, TOTES poorly. Men were supposed to beat their wives. The only loophole out of this crap life was for a lady  to swear off sex, dress like a man, and live like a man as a “sworn virgin”. Seperately, it was dangerous to be a man in Albania due to blood feuds similar to Sicilian feuds. If someone’s nephew was shot, he had to kill the shooter, or the shooter’s nephew, and so it goes, escalating until the whole of both families are wiped out. It got so bad that many men could not leave the house. Enter the sworn virgins, who take the jobs, go to the marketplace, act as the male heads of households because they cannot be used in these blood feuds. Pretty spiffy loophole, huh?

So basically, I have a thesis topic on either cross dressing or the concept of “the third sex” (several Mexican and Native American groups have this idea where people born male become the third sex) that would work pretty well under some sort of bodylore, sociology, or gender studies program.

Will it ever happen? I don’t know. I don’t want to do any more school. But the idea of getting a PhD is pretty sweet, if only for spite reasons.

Oh, and the Underhanded Advertising Schemes too. Thursday, Mar 26 2009 

I am so sick of the sexism, heteronormality, and consumerism of the wedding industry!

Myself included.

Also:  discountknits.com, you have not mailed my yarn yet. I NEED my yarn.

I wanna baby Tuesday, Mar 24 2009 

I’m totally over wedding planning. It’s stressful and money costing and I’m just not excited any more. That means a mandated week off from wedding planning.

I’ve been baby-obsessed lately, I really really want one. Well, yeah, is till get freaked out that you kind of lose your freedom when you have a kid, and for eighteen years you have no time and have to put yourself and your wishes last. Ok, that part sucks. But they’re so cute! Dr. Boyfriend hates that I am going to start doing this, but I’m going to use one of our flat under-the-bed-Tupperwares and start just buying pregnancy and baby clothes when I see them/like them/on clearance them… I also think I may begin knitting for a baby. Well, I’m sure when my age group begins to have kids (aside from all my grade school classmates that already have them) there will be a bunch in a row and I will like that I have pre-made stuff. And anyway I want to knit for a baby NOW.

I don’t think I’m creepy or odd at all!

How Do I Always Do This? Friday, Mar 13 2009 

Long story short for the teal deers out there: The 71C and the 71D go very different places; the 71D doesn’t go anywhere I wanna go.

Pittsburgh is so different from Philadelphia (excepting the neighborhood I grew up in) and I wouldn’t even know how to explain it. There’s nothing difinitively different, nothing that I could state as a cut and dry reason I feel so fish out of water here.  But it is different. It is all  so different. And I clearly only know a very tiny section of it whatsoever.

They say that the best way to get to know a city is to get lost in it. I actually love a meandering adventure, figuring out where I am as I go along. But not at 5 pm when I am sick and decide I can handle quickly running an errand for my mother. When she visited last weekend, she graciously agreed to crochet me a hat that I wanted, it’s an adorable puff stitch with a bow and I cannot yet crochet. However, my otherwise intelligent mother only bought one skein and not the two required of the yarn she chose. So I will be trotting back to the yarn  store to buy another of the same dyelot (and peemptively spend all of my March paycheck). I am exhausted from head and chest congestion, so I decide to take the 71D to the shopping complex rather than walk to my apartment and catch my usual bus, I have the bus schedule and the map looks right, the bus is due to come right after work, and I remember that before  when I was waiting for my usual bus outside the yarn store that the 71D came right there.

Ok, it doesn’t. That’s the 71C. Fine, I catch on relatively quickly that I have left anywhere I recognize and am lost. No big deal, I will just keep riding the bus and get off where I recognize something, or worst comes to worst,  get off back at work where I started. Except Pittsburgh has lots of odd one way streets (Pittsburgh truely is a whole town of my neighborhood where I grew up, all crazy hills and one way streets and streets that should be one way due to narrowness but aren’t) so the bus doesn’t return the way it comes. The bus turned onto a busway, which is basically a highway for buses, and the driver announces last stop, and I have to get off the bus somewhere I have no idea where I am. I frantically call my friends/scour the skyline for landmarks/ try to figure if I can walk to the yarn store still all while trying to look like I know what I’m doing so I don’t look like an out of place lost scared little white girl who deserves to get mugged. Finally, I wait for and get on another bus  that I have never taken before except I know it goes near my house. I get near home, say “fuck it, I’m tired”, buy Chinese food, and go home. Check the clock, IT IS 6:15. All of this craziness took about an hour! How do I do this? Not only fuck up, but fuck up efficiently.

Today I got out of work at 3:30 as a celebration of our day off tomorrow for “Great Americans Day” (another reason to  enjoy  having sold out to work  for the man), jumped on a 71C, was at the yarn store in minutes, bought yarn, got on a bus, went to Whole Foods and bought cheese, got on a bus, got home and now I enjoy an evening to myself, watching bariatric surgeries on TLC and knitting my CopyCat Yellow Hat. Delightful. Oh, I also am shooting some amazing yarn porn. I am disappointed with my camera, maybe someday I  will spring for a fancy nancy camera like my brother has, only he can justify the cost because he makes money on the side with photography. I am just a geek who wants to take pictures of leaves and yarn  and shit.

I Like Yarn. Wednesday, Feb 11 2009 

I have a crush on every yarn Berrocco produces. I intend to buy the company. Bwahahaha.

It’s getting warmer, just as I am getting proficient at knitting. Well, there will definitely be more cold before winter is over, these 60 degree days are flukes, but I still think I am going to skip over the concept of  “summer knitting” altogether and just get started on my Christmas knitting.

It’s interesting trying to judge why I enjoy knitting. I’m very impatient and want the product to be over already, yet I don’t always want the finished product. I try to convince myself it’s economical to make things myself, but spending $30 on yarn for a vest that I wouldn’t pay $40 at Urban for isn’t worth it… I do definitely enjoy the bragging rights that comes from “Oh this? I just finished it last night! Thank  you” etc. And I like being busy, having a project I am doing.

I guess I liken it to when I am reading. Sometimes, I want to just be finished a book already, because I want to know the whole story, I want it to be in my head, I can’t sit and enjoy in meanderingly. But afterwards, I am sad to see it go, I feel lost and dejected when I am between books. I’m an odd combo of process knitter and finished product knitter, where I want both. Or neither. With books, it’s easy to solve, I’m a re-reader and love to go back to my favorites. I guess the knitting equivalent is to do the pattern again, changing the parts I didn’t like, savoring the parts I did, content in the knowledge that I have done it before and know the full picture.

Will I Actually Be Able to do That Someday??? Monday, Feb 9 2009 

I look at people’s knitting blogs and finished objects etc and I am so often completely overwhelmed. Will I actually be able to  do that someday? Or is it possible that there is a ceiling that I will eventually someday hit and never be able to get better than? I am still in the stage where I am taking baby steps towards simple shaping, so reading and viewing pictures of someone making complicated sweaters from their own designs is mindboggling. I’m not even good enough yet to make anything with  sizing! Or good enought to change a pattern because I like the idea of one neckline better than another.

I had a break from work this past week. My Grandmother died, and thanks to the fact that I sold out to work for “the man” I had the luxury of a five day bereavement leave so that I could drop work like a hot potato and fly out the night to be with my parents. Sometimes selling out is a really good idea. Dr. Boyfriend was able to petition to take his Friday test early and was able to  make it down for the funeral. All things considered, it was a relatively nice trip. Tragedy aside, somewhere in the hours of visiting with my other Grandmother and watching DVDs of Primeval with my Dad, I finished the back of my circular shrug and was able to make the super sloppy increases back into the ribbing. Somewhere in the mess of travel my ribbing did mess up, but it’s enough at the increase that it is not very noticeable and I left it alone. Then the increases were ugly and may be wrong. I’m not sure. I will care a lot more on my next one, when I make it in a color I’m more likely to wear. Emerald green, perhaps?

i really hope that  if I am patient and take baby steps, I will keep gaining the skills and won’t hit any walls. I should be happy that I’ve only been knitting for 3-4 months and am this far, I just need to be patient and when I have been knitting for 3-4 years I will be making sweaters and knitting organically.

Project Wishlist/Goals Friday, Jan 16 2009 

Before now, as I stroll Craftster and other sites, I have been emailing myself links to patterns or skills I want to learn. It is getting messy. So, for posterity, here is a link list so that I can get to it easily.

Skills to learn in general:

  • knitting continental  style
  • knitting in the round
  • hats
  • socks
  • sweaters/piecing things together
  • vests
  • cables
  • lace
  • intarsia
  • fair isle

Specific Patterns to do when I get time/the ability to do them:

Isn’t it funny that as a supreme beginner knitter, I already have all these lofty ambitions? I have to be careful to monitor my ambition along with my ability so that I don’t just get fed up and frustrated and throw the whole concept of knitting away.

Everything about knitting seemed so complicated at first, but then I grew to trust the pattern for a little bit, until my brain and fingers could figure it out and I learned the theory and then can mess with it. When I first figured out that you keep your work towards the right, and whatever you knit right now actually appears on the opposite side of the work, it blew my mind.

I do my best knitting theory thinking at night, when i should be sleeping. I lay there and all of a sudden it hits me, and I’ve figured out how illusion knitting works enough that I can create my own pattern. (hint: it takes four rows of knitting to create one row of the illusion). I  will nudge Dr. Boyfriend awake simply to tell him “stockinette stitch curls because knits are wider than they are tall and purls are more square, maybe even a little taller than they are wide, so the knit side of the same amount of stitches takes up more space than the purl side!” He does not care, but he also does not remember this in the morning.

The most complicated things because easy when I sit and do them for a little bit, and figure it out at night. That’s how I  was able to sit down last night and figure out double sided knitting. Now, I will be able to design and create the double knitted hummingbird scarf I am making my mother for her birthday (Feb 14th). Ta DA!

2009 Tuesday, Jan 13 2009 

Happy 2009 everyone! Happy new blog, me!

I try to set yearly goals for myself, and this year I decided I would be more crafty, and that I would keep track of my successes. This way, I can look back at everything I have done and feel like I have something to show for it. I can go back and see progress as I learn something new or get better at something.I have hopes for this improving my life. IMMENSELY. Now get to it.

Most of my non-work time (and some work time, I admit) is spent reading, cooking, or knitting, so these are good stepping stones.

Hello world! Tuesday, Jan 13 2009 

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