Sunday, January 29, 2006

Peace of mind

To say the very least, I am feeling and doing much better with the waitressing. I was experiencing a moment of feeling extremely overwhelmed, and then, when I had to be on my own without my trainer something just clicked into place. My first night alone they stationed me to a two table section which I was confident I could handle. And I did. You have no idea how much better that made me feel!

And I guess you could say I must be pretty good at it because last night (my second night alone) I made $50 in three hours. That translates to roughly $16/hr. Of course, it was a Saturday night, very busy and I had three tables in my section (which I felt I handled fairly well). To say my mind has been put at ease now that I've been "tested" so to speak, would be an understatement.

I owe it all to the knitting I've been doing! It's kept me sane about the whole thing. No matter how busy I get, I force myself to put things down for a few minutes and knit a couple of rounds. It's amazing what a couple of rounds can do!

And here's what I've been working on. I know everyone is making these socks. I almost don't even want to name the pattern because you all know what they are!

The yarn I'm using is KnitPicks Sock Landscapes. It's striping so nicely and really showing off the pattern. And I've made sure to try it on because I know the disaster that was my first attempt at Jaywalkers (there I said it) and it's still a little snug getting it over my heel, but not so much that it would be annoying to put them on.

It's kind of funny, I'm really liking how the inside is turning out almost more than I like the outside. I'm tempted to order some more of this yarn and just knit a plain sock inside out to show off how awesome the stripes look from the inside. Of course that would involve me spending money on something other than necessities which I am just not comfortable with doing yet.

Hopefully I'll have more knitting content for you soon, but I've been scheduled to work 5 nights this week, not to mention classes and homework (I already have three quizzes I have to study for and it's only the second week!) So posting is going to be somewhat sporatic for me for awhile. Don't worry though, I'll be around!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The liberating effects of ripping.

First off, thank you everyone for your wonderful comments. I appreciate them all so much. If any of you are wondering, the pattern is from the Rowan knitting magazine #30, modified slightly to fit me better.

School has started and so far classes are excellent. In fact, at this point, I'm more stressed about my new job than I am about school. I feel like I may have bit off a bit more than I can chew. I knew it wasn't going to be easy at first, but I'm a perfectionist and it's really hard for me to accept that I'm just not that good at waitressing yet. My mom brought it to my attention that I've only been doing it for three days and I shouldn't be so hard on myself, but unfortunately, it's in my nature!

I realized today just why I might be so stressed and it has nothing to do with work. It has to do with the fact that I haven't knit a single stitch since I finished that sweater which was Sunday. I don't know about you, but I'm used to knitting at least a little bit everyday and when I go three or four days without knitting anything, my perspective goes a bit haywire.

So I picked up my needles and some sock yarn and cast on for a new pair of Jaywalkers. Ah, it felt so good to knit again! I wasn't even discouraged when I had to rip the whole thing out because of a mistake made almost at the beginning. In fact, it was sort of liberating! I knit all my stress into the beginning of that sock and ripping it out freed me. I'm definitely feeling better. And having a couple days off of work doesn't hurt either.

So next time you get stressed, find out how long it's been since you knit, and if it's been awhile, just put down what you're doing and knit! You may just find it'll be the best thing you can do for yourself!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Last free weekend...

I had a great weekend. I know it's Sunday and it's technically still the weekend, but I have to work tonight so I don't really count today as a weekend day.

Anyway, Jill, Liz and I got together on Saturday for some fiber fun. We went to the LYS where Jill ended up practically buying the place out. Liz is on a yarn diet. I don't know if you've seen her stash, but for those of us that have, we can definitely see how a yarn diet would be beneficial to her if for no other reason than there is no more space! I am also on a yarn diet. Acutally, diet isn't the word, budget is the word. A strict budget which includes, but is not limited to, not spending money on yarn.

Just because I couldn't spend didn't mean that I didn't have a great time drooling over some great yarns! After the shop we went out for dinner for Jill's birthday. We all had a great time. Jill was particularly excited about her salad. Presentation at this place was great.

We must have looked crazy because we were all taking pictures of our "pretty" food. You'd think we've never gone out to a fancy restaurant in our entire lives! Well, at least we were enjoying ourselves.

Today is actually Jill's birthday so Happy Birthday Jill!

There wasn't just eating and yarn buying, on no, there was also knitting. Believe it or not I finished up the sweater I've been working on. I know it only took me a week and a half to knit, but I was working on 11's. Anything goes quick on 11's! I finished up the seaming when I was home then I knit the collar at Jill's. Once I got back up to the apartment today I was determined to sew in the ends. God I hate sewing in ends. I loathe it. I love to seam, but I hate to sew in ends. Well, I sucked it up because I want to wear this sweater tomorrow for my first day of classes.

So I finished it and tried it on for the first time and I gotta say, I love the way it turned out. It's very me. I love the classic, basic sort of sweaters. Anything too out there is just not going to work for me. But this one, it's pretty perfect. And being in Polar, it's incredibly warm. The original sweater was warm, but it was baggy and unflattering. I love this version ten times better!

So what do you think?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A meme I couldn't resist.

Before I go off on another hiatus, Katie tagged me with a meme that seemed pretty interesting. Basically it's to list off 5 weird habits you have. It might take me some time to come up with all five, but I'll do my best.

1. I'm not a huge jewelry wearer, but I have worn the same ring on my right hand since I was in the 8th grade. It may not look like it to you, but one side of the ring is different than the other. Back when I was in Jr. High, I used to believe that if I flipped the ring, put it on and it happened to be on the way I liked, then I would have a good day. I've long since stopped believing that this would in any way affect my day, but I still wear the ring with the side that I like facing the way I like it to.

I recently aquired a new ring and I've found the side I like on this one too. I just realized I have another weird thing about these rings. I've tried several times to find a ring to wear on my left hand (I'm more of a one ring per hand sort of person) and all the ones I bought for myself never really did it for me. They never lasted nearly as long as the first one from 8th grade. Well this newly aquired one looks like it's passed the test and I'll be wearing it for a long, long time. Why is this weird you ask? Both rings were given to me by my mom.

2. Ok, this one is really weird and I don't know when it started or why but my inner monologue speaks in a British accent sometimes. It seems to come more naturally than my American accent. I think by all accounts that's pretty weird.

3. I think I mentioned this one a long time ago, but if no one is home and I'm alone in the house and I'm in a particularly good mood (it's imperitive that all these conditiong are met) I will dance all over the house to whatever song pops into my head. And if it's not dancing, then it's singing and singing loudly. But again, only if no one is home. That's very important!

4. I've kept a journal since I was in the 8th grade. This in and of itself is not that weird, lots of people do that. What might be slightly weird about it is I've signed the end of each and every entry with my first name as if I were writing to a friend.

5. It's been hard to come up with this last weird habit, because let's face, how many of us honestly think our habits are weird? We don't know they're weird until someone tells us they're weird. My last weird habit is when I'm alone in the car I tend to talk to myself. I think I do this mainly to keep myself occupied so the drive doesn't seem so long!

That's it folks. I'm not going to tag anyone with this meme, however, if you found it as fun as I did then you're welcome to try it!

Short and sweet

School starts on Monday so I thought it wise to take little trip back to the parent's house seeing how it might be my last chance to get down there for awhile. I'll be going down tomorrow morning and staying till Sunday night. Should be fun because I'm probably meeting up with my knitting buddies!

I haven't posted much in the last couple of days because work has started up. There's a lot to know, but I'm sure it will eventually become second nature to me. I actually think it'll be pretty fun once I get the hang of it. On top of work, I've been volunteering at the zoo more too. It's been a blast!

Oh, before I let you go (I realize how lame and short this post is, forgive me) I just wanted to let those who asked know that the pattern I'm using to make the sweater is from Rowan Magazine Number 30. It's made out of Rowan Polar. Good stuff.

And another thing. Thanks to metamay and g for commenting. It's always nice to hear that non-knitters enjoy my blog just as much as knitters!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Damn that hat!!!

I did finish the socks just in time for my parent's visit. Mom loved them. And of course, as is the case with variegated yarns, the stripes did not match up, but not nearly as bad as some of the others I've done.

So mom was happy with her socks, but my brother and his hat... that's a whole other story. I was surprised when Mom brought it up with her. Turns out it didn't fit him. Apparently it was too short. So all that "winning" energy I knit into the hat meant squat and I'm thoroughly convince that the Redskins lost because I had to take the hat apart at the same time that they were playing. Ah well, I finished it pretty much at the end of the game and now my brother will have it for next season. Of course, hats are meant to be used and there is a whole lot of winter left so it doesn't necessarily have to sit in a box until next season!

So what am I working on now that the socks have been finished? Finally, I'm knitting a sweater. And I wouldn't even call it a new sweater. It's actually yarn from a sweater I made a long time ago that I just wasn't really all that happy with. The fit always seemed a bit off. So I took it out and now I'm re-knitting it to fit me better.

This is the back all finished. I worked on it all weekend. It's on 11's and boy does this just fly. I'm halfway through the front already. Another couple days worth of knitting and I'll be finished with all the pieces! You just gotta love those big needles.

One thing about this though, it's going to need some major blocking because the yarn still had a bit of crimp from when I took it apart. I'm sure it'll be fine, but I may need to do some real hard core blocking, I'm talking submerging the pieces and letting them dry. We'll see though. Sometimes I'm just not patient enough for that.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Warm wrists and cool socks.

Can you believe I've actually been busy for the past couple days? I could hardly believe it either. The sad part is, I haven't been busy with working (this is sad because I could really use the money) but I've been busy with volunteering. Yesterday my roommate and I spent the entire day at the zoo. We really had a great time actually, even with both of us knee-deep in donkey turd at one point. There's nothing like being knee-deep in crap that really puts your life into perspective. More to the point, there's nothing like a days hard labor, labor that you love, to really make you sure you're on the right path. I'll be volunteering again in the afternoon today.

Since everyone seemed really interested about Colorado in the comments I guess I'll clear a few things up. I'll be going out there in February during my school's mid-winter break. My friend lives in Boulder and I've been assured that there are plenty of great things to see and do in Boulder, even in the middle of February. Also, the Denver zoo is only 45 minutes away. I may have to drag my friend there... and possibly a yarn shop or two if we have the time! I'm really excited and I can hardly wait.

I'd also like to thank everyone for you wonderful comments on the hats I made. They were really fun to make. And definitely quick. You know what else are really fun and quick? A set of wristwarmers.

I know the yarn is dark and it's hard to make out the pattern, but it's from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I was thinking to myself the other night as my fingers were nearly freezing off, that a pair of wristwarmers would be just the thing I need to keep my hands warm while I'm working on the computer. Of course, now that I have them finished the weather has decided it wants to be in the 50's. Typical. (though on a side note, this is some of the weirdest weather. It's like spring and it's only January. I wonder how many more times in the next few years I'm going to be saying how weird the weather is being....)

Anyway, mom's socks are continuing right along. In fact, I'm hoping to finish them tonight or tomorrow morning because mom and dad are coming up to visit and it would be great if I could give mom her Christmas present... I'm such a slacker!

So what do you think? Do you think I can finish these socks by tomorrow morning? Keep in mind I have errands to run today as well as volunteering at the zoo.

Yeah, I think I can too.

The other day I was bored beyond belief and you know how when you're bored beyond belief you fell stir crazy and you just need to get out of the house/apartment? Well that was me the other day. It was such a dangerous thing too because I decided to go to the mall to walk around... The self-control I had was astonishing. I bought a belt, which I actually needed seeing how mine deserted me during the move and I spent a good hour and a half in Borders looking over their knitting books. I may be the last person in blogland to buy it, but I bought this.

I took it with me when I went to do laundry the other day (sad that at that point the only thing exciting in my day was doing the laundry, but I digress) and I really had to hold myself back from laughing out loud a couple of times!

It really is too funny because I can totally relate to some of the things she's talking about. Not the stash size, mind you. I could only aspire to have the sort of stash she does. Damn my poor college student status!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Redskin's can't lose now.

Last Saturday night a couple of my knitting friends, Jill and Liz, drove all the way up here just to visit and knit awhile. The funny thing was, the only one knitting was me! They both decided to take advantage of the wireless internet we have at my apartment (no more dial-up for me!!!) and write some blog posts. Despite the highly computer based visit, we still had a blast! They both ended up staying until past midnight and they both had to work in the morning! Truly the best kind of friends! We had so much fun and I hope we can do it again soon.

You may not believe it, but I wasn't working on my mom's socks when they were over. Nope, I decided to put the socks on hold for a little while for a more urgent project. My brother's Redskin's hat. After all, the Redskins did win on Saturday, so to give my brother (and I suppose the team) some extra luck, I knit on his hat. In fact, I finished his hat.

It's actually a bit big on me, but that's a good thing because it's for my brother who definitely has a bigger head.

This hat only took me about 5 or 6 hours to make. I'm telling you, when you've been working on nothing but size 1's for the past few months, then all of a sudden go to 8's it's like knitting magic with how fast the projects get done.

Case in point, I liked my brother's hat so much that I decided to make on for myself, not to mention, there was tons of extra yarn left over. Of course, a few modifications were in order. I'm not what you might call a football fan, so the stripes were out. Plus, I was thinking I'd use this hat for the coming semester where I'd be spending a lot of time outdoors in the freezing cold, so making it longer and folding it up would give my ears some extra warmth. The end result, turned out beautifully, and not a bit itchy!

You just gotta love alpaca and silk. Pretty much the most non-itchy fibers known to man...that is of course, if you're not allergic to them, which, thankfully, I am not.

So my brother's hat is in the mail, it will probably get to him just in time for the next playoff game. The Redskins are totally going to win now. I knit winning energy right into that hat!

As for other goings on, there really haven't been any. You have no idea how boring it is when you have no work, no commitments, no school, nowhere you have to be. I'm barely keeping it together over here. I never thought I'd say this, but I just can't wait until I have a regular schedule at work! I know I'll be kicking myself for saying that once the semester starts, but as for now, it's totally true!

One last thing before I call this post finished. The tickets have been booked... I'm going to Colorado!!!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

For Sh*ts and Giggles

Because I've been so lazy I figure the least I can do is post more often. Even if it is just a meme. This one I found over at the Stoned Knitter. Go check her out, she just got a very cute kitten! I'm such a sucker for the animals. Anyway, let the memeing begin...

Have you ever...?

Smoked a cigar: Can't say that I have.
Crashed a friend's car: That's a no.
Stolen a car: No... are you seeing a trend here?
Been in love: Absolutely! It's wonderful.
Been dumped: Ummm, I'm not sure. I suppose if you count being dumped by a kid in 8th grade after we'd dated for a week.
Dumped someone: Unfortunately yes.
Taken shots of alcohol: This is honestly a question? Ok, yes, I have I was a college student after all.
Been fired: Nope, I'm a good girl.
Been in a fist fight: No, if I was, I know I'd lose
Snuck out of your house: Never needed to. My parents were awesome and really weren't that strict
Been arrested: Can't say that I have
Made out with a stranger: I'm not proud of this, but yes.
Gone on a blind date: Yes, twice. One was good and one was very, very bad.
Lied to a friend: Nope
Seen someone die: Thankfully no.
Thrown up in a bar: No, I've only thrown up once from drinking... I totally learned my lesson that night!
Miss someone right now: Yes
Laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by: Oh yes, as often as I can.
Made a snow angel: Ha! Absolutely, in fact, my friend in college and I would make a regular routine of making snow angels on our way home from going out.
Cheated while playing a game: Not that I can remember, but I may have when I was a kid.
Been lonely: Haven't we all at some point?
Fallen asleep at work/school: Only one time in one class, but I have an excuse. The professor was the most boring teacher I've ever had!
Used a fake id: I've never needed to.
Felt an earthquake: Yes, it shook me right out of bed. I totally freaked out, I didn't know what was happening having just woken up, I was totally disoriented. I laugh at myself now thinking back on my reaction. It was really only a little earthquake, nothing serious at all, but I ran out of bed and to the door frame because that's what I remembered you're supposed to do!
Touched a snake: Many times.
Run a red light: Probably, but I was just trying to make it through the yellow light!
Been in a car accident: No
Hated the way you look: Um, yeah, pretty much every day of junior high and most of high school
Been lost: Spiritually or physically because I'd probably answer yes to both.
Been to the opposite side of the country: No, working on that.
Felt like dying: Yes but I'm so happy I didn't
Cried yourself to sleep: Yes
Played cops and robbers: Yep
Karaoke: I'm too chicken for Karaoke
Done something you told yourself you wouldn't: Oh man, yes.
Laughed till some kind of beverage came out of your nose: Oh yeah. Kind of hurts when that happens!
Caught a snowflake on your tongue: Absolutely, it's tons of fun
Kissed in the rain: *sigh* Yes
Sang in the shower: Oh yeah, especially when I know no one's home. And then it's not limited to just the shower!
Made love in a park: It's on my to-do list.
Had a dream that you married someone: Yes
Glued your hand to something: No!
Got your tongue stuck to a flag pole: Again, no
Worn the opposite sex's clothes: yes, but it was for a play... can you believe they wanted me to play a boy??
Been a cheerleader: Nope
Sat on a roof top: Yes, I used to do that a lot during the summer when the sun was going down...
Talked on the phone all night: I certainly have.
Ever too scared to watch scary movies alone: Oh yes, in fact, I never watch scary movies, ever.
Played chicken fight: Ummm, I don't think so.
Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on: No
Been told you're hot by a complete stranger: Actually yes.
Broken a bone: Does a toe count?
Dipped snuff: Yuck, no
Lived overseas: No, but I'd love to someday.
Ever passed out/fainted: No, but I've come very close. Dayquil is not my friend!

Hope you've enjoyed it! More to come in the near future

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The paradox of having nothing to do.

Yes, I realize it's been a week, if not more, since I last posted. And it's not that I've been incredibly busy... To be perfectly honest, it's that I've been incredibly lazy. After all, I've only "worked" one day at the new job and am not scheduled again until the end of next week. I say "worked" because it was only orientation with a lot videos to watch, papers to fill out and computer learning stuff. Also, school doesn't start again until the 23rd so I have no studying to do. There's only so much daytime TV I can watch (in fact, I don't watch it, I'd rather the apartment be silent than watch soaps)

It's one of those crazy paradoxes where the less you have to do, the less you want to do. But the busier you are, the more you get done. So I've had very little to do and therefore have wanted to do very little. I spend my days trying to decide what to do, sometimes what to cook for myself. Seriously an entire day is planned around what I'm going to cook and whether I need to go to the grocery store for anything. Though it's great to cook for myself, it's sad that that constitutes my entire day. It better be one fantastic meal!

So you wonder why I'm not jumping for joy because of all the free time I have to knit right? Well let me tell you. I'm an thoroughly uninspired by what I'm working on. Mom's socks... completely unispiring. After all, I've knit a much cooler version of socks, only to rip them out. These are just plain, slightly boring and not nearly doing a good enough job keeping me interested.

I just want to knock them out so I can move on to something different. Preferably non-sock. Though I have a ton of sock yarn left, I think I need a bit of a break from the socks.

Lucky for me, my brother requested something while we were home for Christmas. Take a look at the yarn, it just came in.

Some of you might think "well, those are Harry Potter colors so you must be making one of those new HP scarves." Oh, dear reader, I wish that were true.

Instead they are the colors of my brother's favorite football team, the Washington Redskins, and he'd like me to make him a hat. I must be bored with socks, because I'm actually looking forward to knitting this hat!

Hopefully after the hat, I can move on to knitting a sweater. It has been far too long since I've knit myself a sweater! It is winter after all, I should be knitting a sweater.

Anyway, when I ordered this yarn from Knitpicks, I also ordered a bunch of their color cards so that I know what these colors actually look like in person. The computer screen is such an unrelyable gauge of color.

Look at this one for variegated sock yarn. Isn't that awesome how they knit up a swatch for you just so you can see how the colors look together. I may not be buying yarn from any other supplier! Ok, who am I fooling? There are so many good yarns out there, I can't just buy from one. Though I can when my yarn budget is next to nothing for the next year and a half. Ah, the joys of being a broke college student!

So I have some really exciting news. At least, it's exciting to me. But nothing's final yet so I really don't want to jinx it. Ah, what the hell. A plan is in the works right now for me to fly out to Colorado in February to visit a friend of mine! How cool is that? I've never been that far west. Though I've been all the way around to the other side when I went to China, I still haven't even seen the western part of the country I live in. Well, this will be my chance to go farther west than the Mississippi. Woohoo!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Mom's socks Update and various other things...

Well, I had to totally rip out mom's socks. If my intention was to totally strangle the life out of mom's feet and ankles, then I definitely should have left it and went on to knit the other one, but since I value my mom's good circulation, I decided it'd be best to just rip it out and start again. The only thing is, that wonderful elastic that's in this sock yarn is throwing off my gauge. Not only that, but the Jaywalker pattern is not very stretchy to begin with. So, after talking it over with mom we've decided to go with a plain old, plain old pattern and perhaps with some different yarn I'll give Jaywalker another try. Ah well...

In other news, I recieved the coolest gift from Amy. Turns out I won one of her twelve days of Christmas contests and just look at what she sent:

Not only did she send hot chocolate, but it's white hot chocolate, I can't wait to try it. There are also little candy bags, YARN (which you really can't go wrong with, though now I have to think of what to make with it!) and her very own Limited Edition stitch markers. Look at how cute these things are:

Seriously, how can you deny that these aren't the cutest things you've ever seen? I tell you, the girl is too creative for her own good! Thanks so much Amy! I absolutely love it all!

My new year's was certainly the most uneventful new year's known to man. New Year's eve was spent in a car, driving back up to NY. By the time we got home I was dead tired. I didn't even stay up to watch the ball drop. Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to 2006, I just wasn't willing to be awake for the first few hours of it.

Today I moved the rest of my stuff up to the new apartment. I was convinced that I only had a little bit more left to bring up. Turns out I was wrong. When did I accumulate so much crap? Ok, so not all of it's crap, but seriously, I have a lot of stuff. More stuff than I probably should have. And then I think to myself, I just threw out and donated several boxes worth of stuff... How is it possible that I still have so much? Crazyness...

I've been unpacking all day long. It always takes me a long time to unpack because I'm a total nerd. Not only a nerd, but an anal nerd. I'll unpack things and figure out where they will go, carefully deciding what the optimum spot would be based on usage. Once it's put in it's spot that will bascially be it's spot forever (or at least until I get tired of it). Serious nerd over here! But anyway, my room now looks like someone actually lives here. With all of my decorations out and posters up, it feels more like my room, comfortable and cozy, just the way I like it.

I did promise pictures of the drapes, well here you go: I think they look so fantastic. They're another thing that makes my room feel nice and cozy. I just gotta love my mom for that!

My room looks crowded from this picture, but actually it's just the angle. There's quite a bit of room around my bed and between my bed and dresser. Speaking of my bed, I'm so looking forward to sleeping in it. Couches have been my horizontal surface to sleep on for the past week and half. Sure, couches are fine sometimes, but I definitely missed my bed and the million and one blankets on it! I'm getting sleepy just thinking about it...