Thursday, October 27, 2005

Old McDonald has.... the most stubborn horse alive... ei ei ooo!

Pretty much no knitting has been done this week. Apparently finishing so much last weekend meant that I wouldn't have time to do any knitting this week.... Oh well. I did have a great time yesterday during my clinical lab. We all went over to Old McDonald's Farm (yes, it's really called Old McDonald's could I make up this stuff?) to groom the horses there and get familiar with the equipment, etc.

I'm not sure if I could really explain exactly what was so fun about it, other than these people are great, my professor is hysterical, in that really goofy sort of way (and when I say goofy, I mean it. On our first day out in the zoo, we were walking the paths and he came across a stick in the path, held it up and asked us what it was. Thinking he was looking for an educational answer we'd tried to answer him. None of our answers being right of course.... what was it?... A stick up.... yeah, maybe it's more dorky than goofy, but either way funny). Also, I was out working with animals. It really doesn't get much better than that. Unless, of course, I could knit and work with animals at the same time, then it could be better.

This is all of us... oh and the donkey wanted in on the picture action too. Frankly, I don't blame him.

We all worked in groups and groomed all the horses they had. There were about 20 miniature horses and about 5 big horses. I groomed two of the mini's myself and then worked in a group to groom the dirtiest most stubborn horse I've ever met. I swear this guy didn't want us to clean his hooves because he did just about everything he could to keep his weight on the hoof we wanted to clean.

After about a million tries on our part, my professor comes in and in two seconds had the hoof up. Damn that's frustrating. Well, I decided I'd try it again. I may have pulled a muscle, but I did finally get that horse to put it's hoof up for me. It felt so good to finally get the horse to do it.

So this weekend is the Zoo Boo and it looks like the weather might actully be nice. It's supposed to be in the 50's, sure that's chilly, but it's not supposed to rain and there may even be sun, which is the greatest thing in the whole damn world because I have seen nothing but rain for the last month.

But you know what can counteract the effects of seeing nothing but rain? Taking the cutest picture in existence. Seriously, don't try and tell me any other picture you've seen is cuter because I won't believe you.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

They're Finished!!!!

Finally, I've finished the socks that I've been working on since... um, I want to say July or August. I've just been so sidetracked with so many things since school started. Anyway, I'm wearing them right now and they are by far the most comfortable socks I've ever made. They're not itchy at all and they're so warm, which has come in handy this weekend with all the rainy, cold dampness we've had.

So, without further ado, I present to you my Mountain Colors socks.

Are they not fabulous? Umm, yeah, I'd say they are, but then I'm bias. I love how the striping turned out. They're not identical, which I also love. I know how some people like to have their stripes match, I'm not one who cares so much about that.

(Is it just me, or are socks that you're wearing really hard to photograph without contorting yourself into a pretzel?)

By the way, the sock yarn is Mountain Colors, I don't remember the colorway because it's been that long (how sad is that?) and the patten is from an old issue of Interweave Knits called Priscilla's Dream Socks. I love this pattern because it's very basic. You can do pretty much any pattern on the leg that you want, in any gauge of yarn for any size foot. It's fantastic. Plus, the short-rowed heels are awesome. I don't think I'll ever make another pair of socks that doesn't have short-rowed heels. Not only do I not like picking up stitches, but I also don't really like the look of the heel flap, so short-rows are perfect for me.

I also finished up spinning that 4 oz of Merino/Tencel. This yarn turned out awesome.

Despite how nice this yarn turned out and how awesome the colors are, I just don't think it would be all that suitable for socks. It's a little bit thick, and it's going to be very drapey and not hold it's shape too well because of the tencel. I'm thinking it's going to be destined for a nice scarf or something.

Last night, I spent of bit of time working on the ginormous mitten. I've added a few more rows and I'm almost to the point where I have to make the thumb and attatch it to the mitten.

I think I'm going to wait on that though. I'd like to try it out on my brother's hand before I go too much further. I'd hate to put all this effort in and have it not fit by the time I'm finished.

Nothing irks a knitter more than wasted effort.

This weekend has been awesome. It's been the first weekend in awhile where I haven't gone anywhere or done anything except knitting, sitting on my butt and watching movies (and a little bit of studying for a test, but I'm not going to count that). I have needed a weekend like this since school started. Ah devine relaxation! I'm afraid it's going to be the last one for awhile too.

Next weekend I'm volunteering at the zoo for their annual Zoo Boo. I get to dress up in a halloween costume and greet all the kids, etc. Should be fun. I've decided to go as a butterfly. My mom found a pair of wings for cheap and obviously cheap is good. The zoo has a butterfly house so guess where I've been stationed? The unfortunate thing about the butterfly house is it's more of big mesh tent than a house, so if it's raining, that "house" is going to do me no good. Keep your fingers crossed for me that it's a nice day!

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Everyone has waited so patiently for my Rhinebeck pics and I finally have time to show you. First off, these are the wonderful ladies I went with (minus my mom who was taking the picture)
For some reason, we felt the need to drap ourselves in our fiber/yarn. When you're around that much crack fiber, you get a little loopy. Look at anyone's post from Rhinebeck, people were getting crazy!

I wondered to myself why I even brought the sweater I wore. It was freakin' warm most of the day! Not at all like last year. The weather just doesn't want to cooperate. When half the people in blogland want to show off their sweaters at Rhinebeck, the weather gods decide to make it warm... Not exactly sweater weather. But it's ok, we hadn't seen the sun for quite awhile so it was a nice change.

So you want to see the new additions to my stash?

I ended up with two 2oz hanks of Merino/Tencel roving from the Sheep Shed in colorway Magical and two in Berry. Also, a 4oz bunch of dyed corridale. I usually go for merino just because it's easy to spin, but I thought I'd try something different.

This may not be a huge haul, but, as they say, size doesn't matter... it's what you do with it...

I started spinning this merino/tencel in hopes of making a pair of socks. I'm just in a sock mood, and also Socktoberfest is on my mind. I can't wait to see how this yarn turns out when it's plyed. The colors are awesome and they're going to create some really interesting variegations.

Of course, I haven't got a clue whether this fiber combination will be good for socks, but it's worth a try right?

Again, time is against me. It seems I only have time to do any spinning or knitting on the weekends, and that's only on weekends when I don't have to study for exams... Speaking of exams, I have a bit of a funny story for you...

My animal management midterm was on Monday. My professor stressed to us before the test that spelling was important and that he wanted us to pay close attention to it. That's fine, because normally I'm very good at spelling so I didn't think it would be a problem for me. I study the spelling of animals that I knew would be hard to spell, like Przewalski's wild horse.

So I went through the exam without many problems. I knew there were a couple of things I may have gotten wrong, just stupid little mistakes, but I also knew I didn't make too many of those so I wasn't too worried. When I finished he test, my professor walked out with me to discuss the fact that he thought I would be perfect for the honors program at the school and to ask me if I was interested in pursuing that. Since I was in the honors program at my last college, I didn't think it would be a problem and I thanked him for considering me.

Then I went to my car and checked over my notes just to see if my stupid mistakes were really that stupid. Turns out they were. Remember back when I gave a presentation on the Hippo? I figured I didn't need to study that because I did some major research on that animal and I should know the information... well, I knew the information.... but I spelled hippopotamus wrong! OH MY GOD! Here I was being asked to be in the honors program and I spelled the name wrong of the animal I presented.... I'm thinking maybe my professor should reconsider....

It's ok though, I had a good laugh about it with my friends and it turns out it didn't make that much of a difference because I got a 95 on the test. It was just extremely funny and sort of ironic.

Well darlings, I must go, but I will leave you with an obligatory kitten picture....
Updated to add: I was informed that I spelled 'pursue' wrong which I've since changed....yeah, ok, so maybe I'm not all that great of a speller after all! Thanks Lynne!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I need what?!?!?!

So... was Rhinebeck awesome? Heck yeah! In a very unexpected turn of events, Jill and Elizabeth joined my mom and I on our fiber expedition. We had a great time going out there together. They definitely made the trip lively! Except, of course, on the way home when everyone started falling asleep in the back seat! Apparently an overload of fibery goodness can do that to a person!

I was very good this year. Last year, after Rhinebeck was over, I swore that I would save up a ton of money for this year and just blow it all on fiber. Unfortunately situations have changed somewhat (ie. school, car payment, saving for an apartment, etc) and I didn't come anywhere close to spending as much as I wanted to. I promised myself I'd only spend about $40 on fiber and you know what? I did! Talk about willpower though! Every single vendor was doing it's best to persuade me to fall, but I didn't. I bought all my fiber almost exclusively from the Sheep Shed. This is mainly because they're what started me spinning in the first place when I went to Rhinebeck last year. However, I am a horrible blogger because I have to wait until Thursday to show you pictures of what I got! So, instead of going into detail about the awesome stuff I got, I'm just going to wait to show you on Thursday.

But I will leave you with that meme that's been going around. You know the one. Where you google "your name" needs... Enjoy!

Erin needs to understand that people don't like to see a pretty white girl with rap talent that would run circles around sir mix a lot.
I don't think anyone should be telling me to dash my hopes and dreams, especially when I can be as great as Sir Mix A Lot.

Erin needs to earn $15000, fast.
Oh dear, this one's true, but I can settle on just a couple thousand.

Erin needs to decide if she should try to work things out with her very hot husband, or get it on with the very hot neighbor.
Is this an episode of Desperate Housewives I'm not familiar with? Because you know it's only on TV where both the neighbor and the husband are hot.

Erin needs a makeover!
You know, I'd really appreciate it if one of my friends would just tell me instead of letting me walk around like it's 1990 and letting me believe big bangs are still in.

Erin needs to roll 3 dice, one for each point of wisdom.
And then I really need to get going because I'm going to be late to my medieval reenactment club meeting.

Erin needs to be more famous
Because clearly, I'm not famous enough.

Erin needs an exorcism, no?
So this is what it feels like to be possessed.

Erin needs to wear shirts
Well damn it! Here's another opportunity for my friends to step up and let me know that it's just not acceptable to go topless! Some friends...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Rhinebeck's here already? Holy Crap!

It's Thursday, and you know what Thursday means right? It means I have my 5 hour break and have time to post! Good stuff huh?

Ok, first off, knitting. I know I've been neglecting that for awhile. In honor of Lolly's Socktoberfest, I give you a picture of the socks I've been working on. (I have to admit I've been working on these things for several months, but you all know how things come up!)
My second sock is actually farther than this picture shows. I'm about a centimeter from turning the heel. I can't guarantee that these will be finished sometime in October, but at least I'm trying. Time is a rare commodity in my house these days!

I've also started another pair of mittens. This time it's a pair for my uncle, who's hands are bigger than my brother's, so I'm making the same mittens I made my brother, but adding four stitches on to the sides. You'd be suprised how much of a difference four stitches makes!
Do you see how big this sucker is compared to my hand? Holy cow, this mitten is going to take me longer to make than the other ones did given how huge it is!

So I probably won't be doing a whole ton of knitting in the car on the way to Rhinebeck considering I'm now going to be the one driving. Plans have changed a bit and now instead of going out there with some blogging friends of mine, I'm going out there with my mom. I contemplated skipping it, but then the call of the fiber got to me and I just couldn't resist (even though I can't splurge on any of it!). Plus the chance to meet all of you is definitely a big draw as well!

In other news my friend's cat gave birth to kittens last week (I was actually there too, which was really cool because I've never seen anything being born before!) And this week, I got to take a few pictures of the fur balls. They're adorable and so helpless. They're eyes aren't open yet, but they do have some lungs on them!

This is them at only a week old. I'll probably be showing updates since I stay with my friend once a week to cut down on the driving. These little guys are killing me with cuteness. I almost can't handle it! And they're just gonna get cuter, I'm not sure how I'll survive!

Last night I went to a presentation on the deforestation of the rainforest. What a seemingly helpless situation that is. I'm the type of person who feels a great responsibility to this world, to the people in it and to all the life on it, so when I hear about this sort of thing, I become almost paralyzed with helplessness and the feeling that hope is lost. I've been grapling with these feelings for awhile and trying desperately to turn my helplessness into action. I've somewhat succeeded in this by becoming vegetarian (which by the way is going excellently, though I find I'm hungry all the time!).

What can I do? What will actually make a difference in this world? I'm only one person, but despite this, I believe one person can do more than they think. I can be the change I want to see. I can conserve and be less wasteful and teach others to do the same. The greatest thing I can do is educate others and spread awareness. I'm a pretty determined person when I want to be and I've never felt more determined than I do now. And I've never felt more like my entire life has been leading to this point, which is exactly where I'm meant to be. If you've ever gotten to that point in you're life, it's amazing. Knowing that what you're doing or working towards is the exactly what you were always meant to do is indescribable. Scary and exciting all at the same time.

I know you guys don't come here to read about conservation issues. And I really don't want to cram it down your throats either. That's entirely not my goal. But my blog is more than just a way for me to show my knitting and discuss the varying techniques that go along with it. It's a place where I can voice the issues that have been on my mind and help to formulate into words the conclusions I've reached. I promise I won't innundate you with all of this stuff, but sometimes I have to get it out of my own head and put it somewhere so I can be sane!

Ok, done with that. I hope to see all of you who are going to Rhinebeck. I'll be there Saturday, probably by noon or so wearing this:
See you there!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Rhinebeck sweaters and penguins...

So I may have been a little premature when announcing which sweater I'm planning on wearing to Rhinebeck. It seems I greatly overestimated how much time I'd have this weekend to sew in ends. I have a back up plan though, not to worry. I unpacked my sweaters today and realized I have my pink cashmerino lattace cabled sweater. That's going to be the perfect sweater for Rhinebeck, really soft, really warm and the best part, it's already made! By the way, I plan to be there on Saturday.

I didn't have a whole lot of time this weekend because not only did I have to write a pretty big research report, but my friends from school and I went to the zoo here in Syracuse. The weather was crappy, but it didnt matter. It seems no matter what kind of weather it is, we're always gonna have a good time at the zoo.

I haven't been to this zoo in years, probably since I was in a freshman in high school (9 or so years ago). It definitely has changed since then. For instance, they have a new penguin exhibit, which was the coolest thing!
Not only did we get to watch the keeper hand feed them, we got to watch them swim after the fish she threw into the pool.

You don't really get a good idea of just how fast they swim until you are right there next to the pool and all you see are blurs.

One of the volunteers were there and we chatted with him for awhile. Once he found out who we were he told us we should have called ahead so that they could have shown us behind the scenes things! Well, there's always next time.

I didn't take too many pictures because the only pictures that were coming out well were the ones that I took outside. I did get this one though...
Just so you know, that tiger was made of concrete, and it was wet... and cold. So not only does my butt have to suffer through 8 hours of car time, but on the weekend it suffers being frozen on a concrete tiger! The things my butt does for education....

Well dears, that's all for now. I do have knitting news, but I don't have patience to post the pictures using dial up here at home! Remember, patience is a virtue!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Promise finally fulfilled!

Did I not promise pictures soon? Or maybe it's the guilty feeling I have from promising on several occasions to post some pictures and still not doing it for a couple weeks. Yeah, I think that's it.

So in case you were not convinced about my tree falling in the driveway excuse, I have proof... Does it look like a telephone pole would have survived this? Fortunately only part of the tree fell on the pole and we should be getting a phone line again by today.

You may be wondering where I'm blogging from today. Well, wireless internet and a new laptop are wonderous things. As is the five hour break I have between classes on Thursday. That almost makes up for the 8 hours of lost time in the car.... almost.

And knitting has been done as well. I know I've been harping on and on about the mysterious baby blanket. Actually, it should be called the incredibly boring baby blanket. I picked the pattern to be easy and quick, but it's so boring I never want to pick it up.

I finally did last night while watching last week's episode of LOST. I will always be behind because I'm the big dork who has to go to bed at 9pm in order be a functioning human being the next day. More questions with that show. They answer some, but just end up asking more. It's slightly frustrating, but obviously addicting at the same time. Way to go LOST producers, way to go.

Tonight Survivor's on and I've really been getting into this one. It's the only show I really make time for. Am I crazy or what? I remember hating the idea of Survivor and I refused to watch it. Then, of course, my mom was watching it one day and I was being lazy and didn't feel like moving from the couch. Thus began me being hooked to watching Survivor.

Oh, right, knitting, I was talking about knitting... Well, last weekend I finished the lining for the pair of mittens I made. Basically you can put a lining into any gloves or mittens you make. All you have to do is fold down the cuff, pick up stitches around the edge where the cuff meets the mitten and knit a mirror image of the mitten or glove. Of course, you have to make the mitten big enough to fit a lining inside, but I can tell you it's worth it!

I finished both linings and sewed in the ends. Aren't you proud? I'm pretty proud only because I know it's been since... well, I don't really know how long it's been since I've actually sewn in the ends to a project. Remember that sweater I made when I went to England? Yep, the ends still aren't sewn in. I think it's mostly because I haven't had a chance to wear it yet. The weather just hasn't been cool enough. Oh! I just had a great idea. I'll sew in the ends and wear it to Rhinebeck! Why not right? It'll probably be cool enough to wear. I might as well. Now I'll just have to find the time this weekend to spend sewing in ends...

Well, I hope everyone has a great weekend. This'll probably be my last post for the week (after all, I just posted two days in a row, that takes a lot out of a girl!) Have a great long weekend if you have Monday off!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Excuses, excuses...

Seriously, just call me the worst blogger in the world. I go from blogging three or four times a week, with pictures I might add, to barely once a week! What's wrong with me???? A few things come to mind...

1. The tree that fell in the driveway also knocked the telephone pole, but before the phone people could fix it we had to get the electrical people to fix the pole because obviously the telephone people aren't responsible for the 'telephone' pole. I realize, this technically isn't something that's wrong with me, just something that's wrong with my situation. So this leaves me the only option I have left which is to blog at work. And at work my horredously outdated Windows98 crap-machine doesn't allow for uploading pictures.

2. I spend two hours a day, four days a week, making it a grand total of 8 hours (though I'm pretty sure it's more than this) in my car, just commuting to school. That's at least 8 hours of good blogging time wasted. And might I add, this doesn't exactly do wonders to my butt which falls asleep quite regularly now during said 8 hours.

3. There are only 81 days (if I counted correctly) left until Christmas. Sure it seems like a long time, but when I factor in the driving, the work, the homework and the sleeping, I rarely even have time to knit the Christmas presents I have planned, let alone blog about them!

4. It's October 5th. It's 81 degrees out. It's sunny and freakin' gorgeous. Though inherently I know something is entirely wrong and strange about this weather, I can't help but want to take advantage of it on what little free time I have, therefore, blogging goes by the wayside while I try to take in the last of the warm weather before the snow comes. Again, not so much a personal problem but a situational one.

So those are my excuses, I hope you can forgive me. I promise I will be doing some blogging with pictures soon!