Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ok, so maybe not the last...

The last day of 2006 is finally here. When I reflect back on 2006, it was a year with many ups and downs. I had so many great experiences this year, and, lets face it, some not so great experiences, but I'm not discouraged. I know life goes through these cycles and as long as I can roll with the punches, I'll be fine. I prefer not to dwell on the past (though it sure can come out of nowhere and bite you in the ass sometimes) therefore I'm looking forward to my future. One more semester of school and then on to the unknown. Scary and exciting. Who knows what 2007 will bring?

Virginia was wonderful. I may not have mentioned this, but we all were staying in the house my uncles are in the process of building. It's destined to be the "family vacation" house. Every year since I was no more than two years old, my family on my mother's side have rented a house on a lake and we all spend a week or more hanging out and having a great time. Through the years there's always been talk of buying a house or building but it never ended up happening until just about a year or two ago when my uncles bought a plot of land on a secluded lake in Virginia.

This year the house it up, though nowhere near finished, and we were all able to go. The whole family together again... just like old times. It was great. When we arrived, it was as I expected... no furniture unless you count folding chairs and tables and air mattresses as furniture. One working bathroom for fourteen people (I won't get into the joys of that situation...) and a kitchen without a working sink. One thing I wasn't expecting was the eight-foot-tall Christmas tree in the living room.My aunt apparently couldn't let our family Christmas go by without hauling the Christmas tree to the house.

You may wonder how we managed to keep ourselves entertained in a place with no TV, no couches to lounge on and the weather too cold to make use of the lake. Well, one of my cousins had that covered. He brought along a projector, speakers and his Nintendo Wii and we spent quite a bit of time pretending we were bowling...I also can't fail to mention the hours we spent playing dominos. My parents bought my brother and I our own domino sets for Christmas so we would sometimes have three games going at once!We also spent some of the time walking around the neighborhood where we discovered another house (a ridiculous house by the way) that was in the early stages of being built. There's no easy way to convey to you the ridiculousness of this house other than to show you a picture of the main living room...You may think to yourself, how could this be a main living room? For one, you could fit a small plane in there and two, there are three garage doors with automatic openers right there on one wall of it... are you sure we're not looking at the massive garage? Oh no... it is by far the strangest house I've ever seen. It's enormous and it's layout makes no sense at all. Or best guess is that it's a party house, plenty of space for people to walk around with their swanky champange and make snarky comments about everyone else in the room.

Besides all these wonderful ways to keep ourselves entertained, I also brought my knitting. I'm on the leg of the second sock which is still going to take me a bit of time to finish. I decided to knit the leg of these socks until the yarn runs out. This is the result of the first sock.It nearly made it to my knee! I had to stop the pattern sooner than I thought I would because my calf was getting too wide to fit into the sock so I just switched to a K1, P1 rib. That seemed to work out fine, plus the cast off method made it stretchy enough to fit. I don't remember if I mentioned that the yarn I'm using is KnitPicks Gloss. It's awesome!

All-in-all we had an excellent time despite somewhat "roughing it" in an unfinished house.

If any of you have lasted this long, I commend you! I can't remember the last time I wrote a post this long! Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The last before 2007

I mentioned in my last post that I found the perfect sweater pattern. With a few tweaks, I can easily see this sweater becoming one of my favorites.I was thinking since the ribbing goes so far up on the sleeve that I might extend it in the body as well. I have issues when the ribbing doesn't match to this degree. But seriously, this is the exact sweater that I had in my head. The only problem I have now is finding the perfect yarn... sigh...

I spent a good bit of time today getting all of my Christmas wrapping finished. Actually, I should say getting my Christmas presents prepared for wrapping. I'm notorious for finishing a project that's to become a present and then leaving the ends to be sewn in for right before I wrap them up. I don't know why I don't just finish them when I finish the knitting. I suppose it's the slacker in me. It was fun wrapping everything up with the Christmas music playing in the background. I get so excited about seeing how people react to my gifts!

I finished up another project today that has been lingering for a very long time.... The Frog! I went out and bought a couple of frames for both the frog and the butterflies I stitched a long time ago. Both are going to be presents this year.They look so wonderful when they're all framed!

I probably won't get another chance to blog again before the New Year because my family and I are headed down to Virginia for a big family Christmas. I'm very excited because it'll be the first time we've all been able to get together! With the cousins getting older and schedules getting more and more variable, it's hard to find a time when we can all make it out to see each other. Since we can all go, it looks like it's going to be a very good Christmas!

I hope everyone has a very happy holiday and the most wonderful New Year!

Monday, December 18, 2006

What's on the needles?

So until I find the perfect sweater with the perfect yarn, I've decided to resign myself to some sock knitting.I've come to the realization that knitted socks are the perfect project. They're quick, very portable and most of the time you don't have to think about the pattern and can just knit away. I think from now on I'm always going to have a pair of socks on the needles.

This newest pair of socks is for me. I'm finished with my Christmas knitting (it really is a miracle, the first time finishing everything before Christmas!) I loved the pattern of my Grandma's socks so much that I had to have a pair for myself.

My quest for the perfect sweater is coming along. I found the pattern... now it's just a question of yarn (and the fact that I don't have any money to spend on yarn... sigh...Ah well, one more semester and I'll be finished being a broke college student!) I'll post a picture of the "perfect" sweater soon. For now, I'm off!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Back from a hiatus...

It certainly has been a while friends. To say the least, these last couple weeks have been busy. Add lots of final projects together with a crazy work schedule and you get an Erin who's unable to blog... It's a very sad thing. I haven't even had all that much time to knit either and I miss it. Actually, what I miss most is being inspired.

I finished my dad's socks and now... I am projectless... School is finally finished for the semester so I've been searching for a great new project. I've been looking to make a sweater, something hip, form-fitting, something that apparently doesn't exist in any magazine or pattern I own! It's hard to be inspired when you can't find the pattern to a sweater you have in your head. I'd welcome any ideas, send me links to your perfect sweater, who knows, maybe it'll be the inspiration I need.

And if that doesn't work, I'm sure I'll come up with something (after all, I do have a lot of free time on my hands now...thank all that is good in this world!!!)

Here are a couple of random things... If you are looking for music and you just don't know where to start, go to Pandora. It's amazing. It's an online radio station generator. You put in the bands or the songs you like and it finds new bands and new songs it "thinks" you're going to like. Soooo cool. I highly recommend it.

Another random thing... Jill and I are planning a trip to Seattle in January! She's going to look at apartments cause she really wants to move there and I'm going to check it out. It could possibly be the place I'd like to move. At this point, I'm up for anything. I have been feeling like I'm waiting for something to happen when I know I should be going and making things happen! This is all a part of my plan to find someplace new. Even if I don't like Seattle, it'll still be a really fun trip!

Friday, December 01, 2006

The last pair...

I've finally gotten a good picture of the socks I'm making for my dad. We had about one and a half days with a bit of sun, so I was in luck (considering we're about to get that mess of a front coming in from the midwest. Though I have to admit, I'm sort of looking forward to the snow)I lightened the image a bit so you could actually see the ribbing I knit. They're just a plain old pair of black socks. I think they'll appeal to my dad quite a bit. Also, instead of a regular bind off, I sewed the end so that it would be more stretchy. My dad has big calves and I wouldn't want him to not wear them because they wouldn't fit.Again, the black makes it hard to see, but take my word for it, the sewn end looks great and it's definitely stretchy enough!

I'm also happy to report that this is the last pair of socks I plan on making for Christmas, in fact, it's the last Christmas project I had in mind period! You can't see it, but I'm dancing over here! I think this is the first year where I didn't overburden myself with knitted Christmas presents. Now that is a Christmas miracle.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What's in a name?

It's time to clear something up. Something I've noticed for a long time, but just never cared to do anything about until now. Ever since I began to use the internet back in... oh.... '93, I've used the name ErLeCa as my internet identity. It's the first two letters of my first, middle and last name. Not very clever or interesting, but it worked for me. Ever since I started blogging, I've noticed this must be somewhat confusing. Countless times I've been refered to as 'Erica' instead of Erin because just glancing at my internet name gives the impression that Erica's my name. So I've decided to change my blogger name to Erin. Less confusion... and besides... I like my name...

Updated to add: I'm not upset or offended by anyone who may have mistaken my name, it's only a post to clarify.

Monday, November 27, 2006

McGyver and some kitty love...

Thanksgiving was nice, very quite which was great. Yes, I realize Thanksgiving was five days ago, but for a girl with no internet access, oh wait, let me rephrase that, with dial-up internet access, I was not about to blog while I was at my parent's house.

It was very relaxing. My family and I played dominos and I go to spend a lot of time knitting. Dominos and knitting... It's official... I am now an 80 year old woman trapped in a 25 year old's body. Just throw in a walker and old McGyver episodes and I'll be all set *sigh* oh well.

So I finished these:I also started a pair of socks for my dad. Just a simple pair of black socks made out of KnitPicks Gloss. In fact, I finished one of them. The beauty of the whole thing is my dad was there the whole time. I think when it comes to knitting he's not very curious so I can get away with knitting his Christmas present right in front of him. Picture coming as soon as I have some good light. Taking a picture of black socks is tricky!

So someone asked me why I haven't had pictures of Ludo, my cat, up recently. I don't really have a good answer to that. It's not for lack of pictures. I have some great ones. Like this:If you look close enough you can see my roommate knitting on the couch behind him. Did I mention I taught my roommate how to knit? I'm so proud!

Then there's this oneThat's Ludo and my roommate's cat Hemi. She got Hemi right before I left for the summer so I didn't get to know him until after I got back, but Ludo had all summer to get friendly... obviously. There's a lot of kitty love going on right there.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Loxodonta africana among other things...

It's been over a week since I last posted and I have no new knitting to show you. Life has been consumed with work, homework and studying. My mammology professor is making us memorize species names, families and orders of a whole hell of a lot of mammals. Did you know that that the duck-billed platypus comes from the family Ornithorhynchidae or that the scientific name of the chimpanzee is Pan troglodytes? Yeah, neither did I, but now I do.

I mentioned a while ago that there was a trip to the Toronto Zoo planned didn't I? Well we went. Aside from the rain (the cold, chill-you-to-your-bones rain) it was a good trip. We didn't get to tour around the zoo because we had limited time. What we did end up doing was watching a training session with the African elephants (Loxodonta africana). It was interesting to see these huge animals do things like open their mouths and hold them open so the keepers could inspect their teeth. They'd hold them open until the keeper gave the command indicating it could stop.You can see in this picture that the keepers work under protected contact which means no keeper physically goes in with an elephant. Did you know most cases where keepers have been seriously injured or killed have involved elephants?

After the training, we watched a presentation and spoke with a keeper and a supervisor on lots of different issues related to being zookeepers. It was definitely educational.

As for the rest of the time there (we only had about an hour to see things which certainly isn't enough time when you're at the Toronto Zoo) we made the most of it. And when I said "made the most of it" I meant fooled around in some of their more 'child friendly' exhibits. We had fun. I tell ya, if there's one thing I love about this program it's the people and how much fun we have.

In a totally unrelated topic, I'm in a club at school called the ZEW Club (Zoo and Exotic Wildlife Club) and we were doing this fundraiser that all the clubs in school participate in. It's were you raffle off tickets for whatever prizes the school is offering that year and the club gets to keep the proceeds. I tried selling tickets, I didn't try hard, but I tried. When I didn't end up selling any, I just bought a few for myself. I bought a total of 5 tickets. That's it. And guess what? I won! There were four prizes, an iPod Video, an iPod Nano and two iPod Shuffles. I won one of the shuffles! This thing has 1GB of memory in such a tiny little device. Don't believe me? Just look at how small this thing is:
I'm totally afraid I'm going to lose it!

So Thanksgiving is coming up. I have just a few days off since I still have to work, but let me tell you, I'm definitely going to be taking advantage of the time. I plan to knit... a lot. We'll see if I actually do or not because I have school projects that need finishing before the end of the semester which is only... oh... three (school) weeks away! Yikes!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A bit of introspection never hurt anybody

I've been feeling somewhat disconnected with the blogging world recently. I think it has a lot to do with me trying to find my place here (and by here, I mean where I'm living at the moment) After the breakup I was feeling a bit lost. Lost in terms of where I am and where I'm going.

And then it hit me. For the last few years there has been this subtle (and at times, not so subtle) message as to what I need to do with my life. I've been ignoring it because it scares me, but after this last upheaval, it's staring me right in the face and I can't look away.

I need to go somewhere completely new and I need to do it on my own. Once I'm there I need to make a life for myself. The happiest I ever remember being was when I was on my own with no one to rely on but myself and with no one to worry about but me. I've been running away from that sort of life ever since because apparently I have it in my head that I'd be happier being with someone. That has not turned out to be the case.

So I've decided to apply to zoos all over the country. Wherever I'm accepted, I'm going to go.

As for the semester I still have left in school, I'm going to make the most of it, and the most of being here. In the spirit of that, I've started a knitting group. A stitch and bitch of my very own. It started with some word of mouth to see who'd be interested and the response was somewhat overwhelming. Our first meeting was on Tuesday and I ended up teaching two people to knit (my plans to spread knitting love are going along swimmingly) There was a total of four of us there. More plan on being there next week!

I don't know why I never started one before now. I suppose all my thoughts were wrapped up in a relationship I thought was going somewhere and I didn't want to get too attatched to this place knowing I'd be leaving. I don't know what made me think that because I still plan on leaving but why not make my time here at the very least bearable and maybe even fun? And perhaps leave something behind that other people can enjoy?

Anyway, enough with the deep thoughts. If you've stayed with me through all this reading, I commend you. And you get a little reward. I finished one of the socks I'm making for my grandmother.I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this sock and how perfectly it fits.... me. I'm hoping my grandmom's feet are similar enough to mine that they'll fit. There's still some room to give so I think it'll be fine. And I have to admit I totally covet this sock and want to keep it, but I can't. It was made for Grandma, it's going to Grandma!

Friday, November 03, 2006

November, I'm so glad you're here.

I can, without a doubt, be said that October was the worst month this year for me. Aside from Rhinebeck, nothing good happened. That is why I welcome November with wide open arms. And so far, November has been great.

Laurie sent me a little care package:It's some cross stitch patterns and some chocolate (If I didn't know better I'd think that everyone was trying to fatten me up!) Thank you, Laurie, I really appreciate them!

My mom and Jill came up to visit me on Wednesday and for no reason at all Jill gave me a gift. Some very cute picture frames.Gotta love the jungle theme! She also gave me some aromatheraphy things from Bath and Body Works. Mmmmm. Thank you Jill!

I'm telling you, everyone has been so supportive. It's overwhelming and I'm so grateful. I'm not sure I would have made it through October with out you!

School has been very crazy. We just found out we'll be going to the Toronto Zoo in two weeks and I can not tell you how excited I am to go! As far as the zoo on the homefront goes, I've done some really cool things this week. The highlight being catching up the birds of prey to have them weighed.This is me and our American Kestrel, Odin. Boy did he make some noise when I tried to get him, but he calmed right down once he realized I wasn't trying to hurt him. Catching the birds was by far, the most exciting and fun thing I've done this year.

As for the knitting. Well, I may not have mentioned this, but I finally caved and bought myself some Knitpicks Options needles. Oh how I love them. They arrived on Wednesday and you'd better believe I already have a project going on them. Love, love, love these needles. This lace thing I'm doing is going so fast now that I have needles pointy enough to handle it! Sorry this is such a brief update. Hopefully things will calm down enough so I can write a proper post.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Is there a doctor in the house?

Because I have a major case of startitis. I have about five projects going, all of which I started in the past two weeks.

There's the rainbow yarn I'm spinning. I'm about half finished with that. Then there's the secert sock that I'm working on (or should say, started but haven't worked on in a while)

There's this sock that I started on the way to RhinebeckI'm actually planning on ripping it out because I am just not happy with the way it's turning out. I think it has to do with the yarn (Knitpicks Gloss) and the pattern (Sensational knitted Socks) not working together. To say the least I haven't worked on this sock since I got back from Rhinebeck.

Then there's this lace project I startedThe needle I'm using just isn't doing it for me so I'm waiting on some Knitpicks Options for it. To say the least, lace is not easily made with dull pointed needles.

Then there's these socks I started for my Grandmom for Christmas:It's some of the yarn I bought at Rhinebeck and the pattern is from Hello Yarn called Cable Twist Socks. I saw that Grumperina used this pattern and it just turned out so awesome that I thought it would work well with the yarn I got. Of course, I had to rip it once because it was a little too tight, but now it's perfect.

So what do you think, Doc? Am I gonna live?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rhinebeck this, socktoberfest that...

I'd like you all to meet Bernie:He's my new boyfriend. He directs traffic at Rhinebeck and I just think he's so dreamy. (ok, I admit it, I'm only using him for his Rhinebeck connections... can you blame me?)

So I'm still coming down from the Rhinebeck high. I really had a great time. I've already spun up a whole hank of yarn from that rainbow pencil roving.It was so much fun I just couldn't stop myself. And if I had more time there'd be two hanks there. Unfortunately it's not all fun and games here. I do still have school work I have to think about.

I started a pair of socks. I'm not totally forgetting that it's socktober just because I went to Rhinebeck. I wish I could show them to you but unfortunately the recipient just might see them here. You're just gonna have to wait till after Christmas.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Where do I even begin?

I have so much to post about, it really isn't even funny!

I suppose I'll start with something that's last. I returned home from Rhinebeck to find a package sitting on my computer desk. Ellie sent me a care package!
Dark chocolate to bring out those happy-making endorphins (always a good thing!) Some very awesome stitch markers which I love, and a really sweet note.

I'm telling you if knitters (or fiber-loving people in general) ruled the world, it would be a much happier place. We all seem to care about each other even when we've never met! It just doesn't get better than that!

Thank you Ellie! I am touched by your thoughtfulness.

Speaking of knitters taking over the world (which they should) the knitbloggers meeting at Rhinebeck was enormous. I haven't got a clue how I missed it last year. I must have been looking in the wrong spot because 100+ women all gathered around like they know each other is hard to miss.

It was really nice to finally put faces to names, but I have to admit, I must read a lot of peoples blogs who don't go to Rhinebeck because I didn't meet even a fraction of the people that I read (I realized later that many of the blogs I read are midwestern knitters or Canadian knitters!) Despite all that, it was still very, very cool.

I didn't get to meet the Yarn Harlot though I did see her from far away. (I'm a bit of a chicken when it comes to approaching psuedo-celebrities!)

After the big gathering, I met up with my bestest knit buddies, Jill and Liz. We had a great time going through the buildings, drooling over fibers, yarns and all sorts of other goodies.Here's Jill and I... and some yarn.

So are you wondering what I ended up with? Well let me just tell you, this particular form of retail therapy was very sweet.DSCN3009
This photo is from my Flickr website. I've put notes all over it to show you know what all of it is. Just click on the picture to read the notes... I'll wait.

I may have mentioned earlier that I was supposed to go to Rhinebeck with Gabe's mom, Diane. Well, we still went together and I had the best time. She is such a sweet lady. In fact, she bought me the niddy noddy for my birthday! I really do love her and I'm glad that she and I are friends despite everything that happened between her son and I.

So, do you think I could resist spinning some of this gorgeous stuff as soon as I got home. You better believe I couldn't!This is the Northern Lights roving that I got. It's sort of like pencil roving but not quite as thin. What a ton of fun this stuff is to spin! I have a feeling I'm going to be spending all my free time working on this because of how fun it is and how awesome it's going to look when I finish!

You might have noticed there was a drop spindle there with all my goodies. It's a Golding drop spindle. I just could not resist. I've been wanting one of these ever since I learned to spin. I took it out for a spin (yes, the pun was intended and I've once again demonstrated what a huge dork I am) and I cannot believe how wonderfully this spindle works. I swear it spins forever! Look at what I've done so far with it.I can spin lace on this thing! Or at least fingering weight which is what it's turning out to be thus far. Absolutely amazing how balanced it is. You may wonder why I bought a drop spindle when I have a spinning wheel. Well, there's just something very relaxing about using a drop spindle. Plus is portable. I would never use it for big projects, just for something quick when I need a spinning fix.

Ok, I think that's probably enough for now even though I have much more to post about! I'll post again sometime this week to finish it all up.

Friday, October 20, 2006

So soon?

So I wasn't planning on posting today, but a little something happened I think you'd all be interested in seeing.

I ran a bunch of errands today, never fun when it's cold and rainy, but they needed to be done in preparation for Rhinebeck. I still had a few hours till I had to go to work so I popped in a movie and knit for awhile. When the movie was over, this is what I saw:That is my poor car covered under at least two inches of snow. And yes, it is sticking to the roads and yes, I do have to drive down to my parents house tonight because I'm leaving from there to go to Rhinebeck. It's coming down in big, fat flakes. Definitely the kind of snow I like to see in... December, January. Not so much what I like to see in OCTOBER!!! Looks like I'll be pulling out the winter gloves for Rhinebeck!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A quickie before Rhinebeck

I finished my brother's socks. So there's a huge end that needs sewing up, whatever. I still consider them finished! I really liked working on these. The yarn is the new Knitpicks Gloss. It's really nice, it has great drape, but I wonder whether it's ideal sock yarn or not. I'm interested to see how they hold up. They're merino and silk... I guess we'll just have to see.

Today was an interesting day in class. We got to shot dart guns into a cardboard cutout of a deer so that we could learn how to tranquilize an animal from a distance. We were working with the real thing too. Real darts, real needles. To say the least we had to be careful. Here's me loading the tube with the charged dart.I'm all business.

And of course the shooting picture.Little did I know that I'm actually a very good shot. I've never shot a gun... ok, I take that back, I've gone skeet shooting once and never hit a single skeet. Not one. With the dart gun however, I hit exactly where I was supposed to. We had to aim for the rump because that's where a good bit of muscle is. I was so proud of myself. Dead on, both times.

Sometimes I really do get to do some pretty cool things.

Well, for those of you going to Rhinebeck, I'll see ya there and those that aren't, I'll be thinking of you and wishing you were there too!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Three more days people!!!

Wow, thank you. Thank you all a million times over. The support has truly been amazing. I particularly wanted to thank 'Anonymous' who left me some amazing insight (from a man's point of view no less!) Ladies, you really should read it!

I am doing a million times better. Once I mourned the loss of the relationship, which turned out to be more the loss of what I thought the relationship could be and less of the loss of him, I felt so much better. Those first few days were rough. I didn't really think I'd be ok again for a long time, but here I am, not even a week later feeling back to normal and ready to move on with my life.

In the spirit of moving on, I'm 100% ready for Rhinebeck. I was going to post about a little something I made for it, but then 'the incident' went down and I never got to. Please don't laugh, I realize I am a huge dork, and I mean huge. I think I had seen some other blogger do something like this awhile back and I thought it sounded like a fun idea. So without further ado, I present to you my Rhinebeck blog bag:Ever since someone posted, I think it was Grumperina, about freezer paper stenciling I've been wanting to try it and this bag gave me the perfect opportunity to do it! It really was so much fun! I highly recommend it. So I'll be carrying this baby around with me at Rhinebeck (hopefully it will be overflowing with fiber purchases!) I just thought it was a great way to put a blog name with a face, you know?

If you have the time between now and Rhinebeck, try it! The bag was super cheap at Micheals, as were the paints. All you have to do is trace the image on to the non-waxy side of the freezer paper, cut it out with an X-acto knife, iron it on and stencil. Super easy and lots of fun. I think the total cost for all the materials was something like $10. Cheap, cheap, cheap! (I'm an enabler, what can I say???)

Three more days to Rhinebeck!!!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Thank God for Moms... and Anger

My mom in particular. What other person in the world would be willing to stay up with you on the phone at 1am while you drive down to their house because you and your boyfriend broke up? And then once you got there, would stay up with you, comforting you, until you were able to fall asleep?

Yes, you did read that right. Gabe and I broke up. I have to say, I was completely sideswiped. I had no idea he was feeling the way he was. That is to say, I had no idea the "C-word" would rear it's ugly head. Commitment that is. Had I known he was so terrified of any sort of commitment, I never would have emotionally invested myself the way I did. But on the other hand, I was given nothing but postitive cues. After all, it was he who said "I love you" on my first trip out to Colorado and it was he who invited me out there to live with him for the summer.

Until this moment, I had never truly understood just how helpful an emotion anger can be. In the right situation, namely this one, it can actually be a healthy outlet for the emotions I've been feeling. Anger, when I let it, drowns out the pain.

One thing is for sure. I'm tired of dating children who don't know what they want but who are willing to drag you along until they figure it out. Even if figuring it out means they've figured out they don't want any commitment (or in someone else's words "aren't willing to share their lives fully with someone else and just want their independence." Selfish and egotistical don't even begin to describe it). I'm tired of boys... what I want is a man.

Don't worry about me though, I will be fine. After all, I've done this before. I know how it works and I know that I will eventully heal. I will also not let this ruin the fun I plan on having at Rhinebeck.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It's all about the socks.

In honor of Socktoberfest I've created a slideshow of all the socks I have pictures of. I can't say that these are all the socks I've ever made because I know for a fact there are quite a few that never had their pictures taken.

Socks are one of my most favorite things to knit. They're quick and easy and when you're finished you get something awesome to keep your feet warm. This is definitely a plus when you live in a climate where it snows before Halloween (yes, it's suppose to snow this Friday...)

I wasn't always good at knitting socks. Like every new knitter, I was terrified of the idea. They just looked so damn complicated that I wanted to stick to things I knew how to make... like scarves. Then I started working at a yarn shop. I was told in no uncertain terms that I'd better learn to knit them because not only would there be customers coming in asking for help on how badly they screwed up their sock, but I'd also be expected to teach a class on sock knitting. I was given a pattern, a pretty basic one as sock patterns go. I remember it called for worsted weight yarn so you can imagine they were super quick... if you knew what you were doing.

I remember after I'd finished my first sock that they really weren't as complicated as they seemed. Even the dreaded kitchener stitch wasn't nearly as terrifying once the rythmn of it became clear and I could see what it was doing. Many aspects of knitting are this way. It all appears complicated, but everything is just a variation on either a knit or a purl... simple as pie.

Even though I'm now a sock knitting veteran there are still so many techniques I've never tried. It seems with socks the possibilities are endless. Just yesterday I bought this book.
(I couldn't believe they had it at A.C. Moore and that they'd let me use a 50% off coupon on it!) Leafing through it is enough to inspire even the most beginning knitter into wanting to make a pair of socks! In fact, it makes me want to abandon the pair of socks I'm working on so I can start a new pair out of the book. It's funny that the prospect of a new pair of socks is enough to make me want to quit the pair I'm working on, but I digress. There is a downside to sock knitting and this can be a real problem if you're as indecisive as I am at times and that's choosing a pattern out of the thousands of possibilities! Decisions, decisions.

Friday, October 06, 2006

I'm seeing green...

As promised, I have a green cabled sweater to show you. I spent some time last night blocking the pieces which started off looking stiff and rolled up and ended up looking quite a bit better if I do say so myself. The wonders of blocking never cease to amaze me. The fabric really softened up after I blocked it and the pieces drape really nicely now.

Today was the first day of October break for me. My school gives us a little four day weekend for Columbus Day. I'm sure you can imagine how much I needed this. Despite the fact that I have to work every single day of this break, I am still going to take full advantage of it and treat it as the vacation it is! Going along with that, I spent the entire morning sewing up my new favorite sweater.I love it. It came together so well and it fits perfectly. The modified sleeves are the perfect length and they fit into the sweater so nicely. I just might have to wear this little beauty to Rhinebeck.

That's right folks, I'm going to Rhinebeck. I am so looking forward to it this year. I'm actually going with Gabe's mom which I'm excited about. She's such a fun lady. She's been to Rhinebeck in the past and was all about going again. (Who wouldn't be about going to one of the best fiber festivals in the country?) This year I plan to make it to the knitbloggers meetup there. I missed it last year and I certainly don't want to miss it this year. However, I'm out of the loop as to the details of when and where it's going to be. If anyone happens to know, fill me in please!

Now that it's October, Socktoberfest is in full swing. Don't worry, I haven't forgotten, but I'll save my sock posts for later! After all, with such a cool sweater to show off, how could I resist posting about it?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Notice anything different?

So I've made some major changes around here. I'm sure you've noticed. I've been wanting to for awhile, I just never got around to it until just now. I hope you enjoy the new look of the blog. I plan on making some additions in the future as soon as I can find some more time to fiddle around with it. Stay tuned because I'm really close to finishing the green cable sweater!

Please bear with me while I change some things around here.

A great big thank you!

Once again, I'm so happy to be a part of the knit blogging community and the knitting community in general. I've never met a more generous group of people in my life. Alex, one of the knitters I met out in Colorado was kind enough to send me a little care package with a sample of hemp fiber in it.
She's been taking spinning lessons (how envious am I???) and as a result got to try lots of different types of fiber. I mentioned in a comment that I've never tried spinning hemp and so she sent me some. Thank you, Alex, you're awesome!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Where have I been all this time???

So, I've been out of the loop... I realize I'm out of the loop regardless considering I live in a town with no LYS to speak of unless you count the Michaels... which I don't. But I am in this wonderful online knitting community so you would think that I would have discovered this along with the rest of you. It's been out for more than a year and I've been clueless. I'm speaking, of course, about Cast On.

Why hasn't anyone told me about this?!?! Or maybe I had heard of it, but just didn't think I had the time to listen to an online radio show all about knitting. Well people, I was wrong. I sooooo have time for this. Even if I don't have time for this, I have time for this. What could be better than doing something you love while you listen to someone talk about the very thing you love so much. I've only gotten through two episodes and I'm already smitten.

Sometimes I want more than watching TV while I knit. Well this is that something. This is what I've been looking for! And for those of you wondering, I have been knitting. I'm on the second sleeve of my green cabled sweater and I'm so close to being finished. I'm hoping within the week I'll be modeling a brand new sweater for you!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Remember me?

I know it's been awhile, and I'm such a project slacker, but I finally finished the front of the green cable sweater I was working on.

I think the main reason why it took me so long, aside from the obvious lack of time, was the fact that I knew I wanted to modify the sleeves but I was very much not looking forward to doing the math for the modifications. Let me just say this, I'm not bad at math, in fact, I'm quite good at math, I understand the basics and I even find some of it fun, but the reason I wasn't looking forward to it was mainly because it felt more like work and less like knitting.

I have enough schoolwork on my plate right now that the thought of extra math work didn't quite appeal to me. Having said that, I did finally get around to modifing the sleeves and despite all my procrastination, I actually had fun. Shocking, no?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Nothin' but socks and hair...

So I've joined Socktoberfest. It's really not going to be a stretch for me since I'm already working on a pair of socks and I have a pair or two in mind after these are finished.

This is destined to be a Christmas present for my brother. Is it just me, or are guys socks huge??? I look at this sock and I think to myself 'that could never fit anyone, it just too big.' Then I did what all knitters do (within reason)... I tried it on. Surprisingly, once it was on, it was definitely loose on me, but not nearly as ginormous as I thought. Admit it, you try on knitted objects that are meant to be gifts too!

Anyway, these and another pair of socks are definitely going to be in progress through October, so I might as well join up.

In other news, I'm sick of my hair. Well, I was sick of my hair... It was flat, lifeless, I couldn't get to do anything nice. The length was weighing it down and it's the same style I've had since high school, just grown out. It was time for a change. (granted the change I made is not too drastic, just enough to make it look different.) What do you think?

Personally, I love it! It short enough that it doesn't get weighed down. I don't even remember the last time I had bangs... I'm thinking freshman year in college, which was, oooh, eight years ago! Let me tell you, I love them!

Don't even get me started on how much I love it in a ponytail... Very Audrey Hepburn.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

In which my family goes out of their way to be wonderful.

Saturday was probably the most jam packed day I've experienced since being back in NY. First of all, there was an annual wildlife exposition at the zoo that I had to volunteer for. On top of that, I had to go from volunteering straight to work. And if that wasn't enough, my mom calls me up to tell me my sister and her family are in town for the weekend and they all wanted to drive up to see me. Wonderful, yes, I haven't seen my sister in two years, but not so wonderful because I had no time to see them.

Apparently that wasn't going to stop them. They came to visit me while I was volunteering at the zoo... Then, when I had to go to work, they went there to eat and left me a $20 tip... you just gotta love your family.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

It's that time of year again...

The weather starts getting cooler, the leaves start changing color and I start feeling guilty if I'm not working on Christmas presents. Fortunately this year I got a bit of a head start. I started the frog while I was in Colorado. Only two feet remain on that and I'm confident I can finish it before Christmas. Then there's a pair of socks for my mom...

Apart from a bit of kitchener stitch for the toe, those are finished! (It's amazing how far you can get while watching an episode of House...)

Even though I'm so far on these projects, I still have many others in the back of my mind! And what throws a huge monkey wrench into all of this is school.

I had seriously forgotten how little time I have to do anything leisurely while school is going. If I'm not at school, I'm at work and vice versa. Any free time I do have is usually devoted to schoolwork. It's so frustrating because it really makes me not want to be in school anymore. I know I'll finish, I'm not much of a quitter, but it's just not as fun and I'm just not as up for the work/school thing as I was last year. I'm just ready to only have to work to worry about and my free time to really be free time. I know this all sounds so pessimistic, but it's rainy and cold outside and that just doesn't make me very cheery.

I do have a funny story though. It's getting to be fall, and the fruit flies are getting a bit bad in our apartment (even with my constant scrubbing and checking for rotten food) so I went online to see if they had any suggestions for getting rid of the little buggers that didn't involve harsh pesticides. One suggestion was to put a piece of banana into a jar and cover it with cling wrap. Make sure it's secured tightly around the lip and then pierce holes into it. It said you shouldn't use a fork or knife because that would tear the wrap, instead try using an ice pick. Honest to god, I thought for a second about the fact that I didn't have an ice pick and I wondered what I had that would be comparable...

And then it dawned on me, what an idiot I was... I am, after all, a knitter.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A little happy and a little sad

As I'm sure many of you know, Steve Irwin, the "Crocodile Hunter" died on Monday. For me, this hits close to home, only because I'm so involved in the zoo world and the conservation of animals in general. To lose someone so passionate about animals and about bringing the message of conservation to the world is a huge loss. Even if he made you laugh and shake your head at how crazy he was, he still probably taught you a thing or two about animals (even the ones no one seems to love, ie. snakes and crocs).

That's where the "little sad" part of my post title comes it. I found out about his death after I got back home from the sheep to shawl contest. This is where the "little happy" part comes in.

I had such a good time at the contest. Not only did I get to hang out with Gabe's mom, two of his sisters and my brother (did I mention my brother was a part of our team?), but I also got to spend four hours doing something I love to do! Here are a couple of pictures...

This one is relatively early on in the contest. Don't mind the look of concentration on my face. I always get that way when I spin. It's sort of like a little trance I get into. Everyone else around me was having conversations, but I kept having to ask them what they were talking about because I was in spinning mode!

Here's a good picture of Amy, Gabe's sister, weaving the shawl.

She did such an amazing job. I may be a little bit biased, but I truly think that our shawl was the best looking shawl there. Or maybe it's the one shawl I would actually consider wearing, whereas everyone else's weren't really my taste.

I suppose I should let you know how we did huh? Well, we came in third. That's mainly because we were short on the length. When it was getting down to crunch time we just weren't quick enough with the spinning/weaving. Not to mention we were spinning the finest yarn so it takes more. We also were a bit wide on our shawl so the extra width made the length harder to reach.

Here's the finished product. Absolutely gorgeous, in my humble opinion! I can't wait until next year when we get to try again. This time we'll get one of those drums to keep the pace!

Down there is a picture of the team. Gabe's two sisters, Amy and Becky, his mom, and my brother, Sean.

It's what you would call, a family team!