Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Just popping in with a little something to show you that I haven't been slacking too much in the knitting department.

I've been busy with work and appointments and planning a bridal shower for my best friend who's getting married this summer. It feels silly saying "best friend" when you're in your late twenties but that's what she is so there ya go. The bridal shower happens to be this Friday and I'm a little nervous about it. I only had a couple of weeks to plan - it's sort of impromptu so that a friend of hers visiting from London can attend. But I'm sure it will go smashingly. Like the scarf. The scarf that is completed and beautiful and wonderful and perfect. Teehee.

And as I'm sure you've all been waiting with bated breathe, you can rest easy because I am not, at this time, considered hypoglycemic. Your blood sugar has to drop below 70 to be positive and mine was only 72. Close but no cigar, thank goodness. Either way, the dietary changes are good ones to make anyway: less simple carbs and eating protein when I DO eat carbs or anything with a high glycemic index. My new bento box lunches are definitely helping out in the eating healthy department. It really makes me think about what I'm putting in there. And I know that what I have in there is all I'll have lying around to munch on during the day so if it's healthy, I'll eat healthy. Unless I go to my supervisor's office for candy... I've cut down to one a day and that's something, right?

Okay, gotta go! More soon, I promise!

Sugar and Candy and Socks

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Okay, so I did get to sit at the clinic for 5 hours. But it wasn't a finger prick... it was a blood draw every hour. Yucky. But, thankfully (or not), when I crashed about 2 and a half hours into it, I CRASHED. I stumbled into the lab's backroom where the little bed deal is (you know, where wussies like me get their blood drawn) and fell asleep for the last half, waking only to stick out my arm and squint from the light. But what's worse than all that maybe is the waiting. I still haven't heard from my doctor and don't really know when to expect results.

I did start a new sock while I was there. It's the Cable and Rib socks from the Fall 2005 Interweave Knits. Well, only mine are toe-up with short row heels and toes so basically I'm just using the cable pattern. So far, they look big. In the picture in the magazine, the cables kind of "plump up" and get wider across the top of the foot of the model but on Miss Skinnyfeet Me they're just sort of skinny cables. And I'm worried that if I drop off one pattern repeat and try for 50 stitches, that they'll be too tight. Did I mention I'm doing these on US 0s? So, you know, going down another needle size isn't going to cut it. (As I read through this I thought: "Hey, but what about going up a needle size and cutting them down to 50 stitches?" This might work... if my Knitswap comes through.)

And I completed a few more pattern repeats on the scarf. When I'm done, I think I'm going to write up a quick pattern for the scarf and post it as a .pdf on my site. Not that it's a really innovative pattern or anything, but when I was looking for a cabled scarf pattern nothing really fit the bill and the choices were slim. If I get motivated and pair it up with a hat and scarf like I plan, it might be worth it to someone that stumbles across it.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

The gloves are done. I saw Kurt eating breakfast this morning with them on so I'm pretty sure they're appreciated. I'll take a pic tonight while the suns still up. So cool that the sun is still up when we get home now! And Daylight Savings Time is on it's way again - April 2nd. I think I'll celebrate.

On the downside, I just got back from the doc's office and he thinks I may very well have hypoglycemia. I get to eat a sugary 3000 calorie diet for the next three days and go in on Monday morning, starving, for a 5 hour glucose test. The scarf (or a new sock) will go with me. There I will have my finger pricked (not my knitting finger!) every half hour, from what I understand, and will probably feel like shit. No, I WILL feel like shit because that happens when I don't eat... a symptom of hypoglycemia. Lovely. But, you know, on the bright side, if it IS that, at least I'll know why I feel crappy all the time.

Winter is back

Monday, March 13, 2006

After a few nice days and a heavy snow on Saturday morning, Mother Nature threw winter back at us. It's alright, I guess. It is March, after all, so I don't expect her to just up and let us slide into spring. For all I care we can have a nice long winter so maybe I can actually use my scarf when it's done. I miss my scarf. But the fingerless gloves are almost done, SGS (Second Glove Syndrom) has been averted and the second glove is nearing the finger mark.

In bento news, my box came on Saturday and I actually squealed with delight. I'm not a squealer by nature but when Kurt comes in with great news like that and I'm hunched over the floor, halfway through vacuuming the whole house, it feels good to take a break and jump around like an idiot. Today was my first lunch and, for the most part, it was good. With that said, I'll never again make sushi - even if it is just California Rolls - the night before and expect it to taste good at lunch the next day. The orange and almonds and peanuts were great, however, and made up for it. (And the granola bar stashed in my desk rounded out my morning.)

Pictures of completed gloves forthcoming... as soon as they're completed. I'm shootin' for Wednesday.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

So yesterday I bought myself a bento box. Oh heck, I bought Kurt one too. So random. I followed a link on Heidi's blog for this vegan lunch box site and was just enthralled. What a cool idea! What a great way to make sure you're getting lots of healthy food instead of just throwing some mac and cheese in a tupperware and dragging it to work. And all the little containers fit inside a little lunchbox with it's own bag. Then again... it still has all those little containers and a huge problem for us, when I used to make lunches once a week for Kurt, was that he would inevitably lose a lid or container or whatever all the time.

So I googled bento boxes to see what else I could come up with and here is where my stupidity comes in. Or just ignorance. I've always wanted a bento box. Ever since I first saw one (probably in Revolutionary Girl Utena, the first anime I really liked). But I didn't know what they were called and, yes this is dumb, I didn't realize you could just go out and buy them. It's such a perfect idea and way more convenient than the western version. The little partitions are already there instead of being removable (though the ones I bought are both stackable) and it's just a couple big pieces to wash instead of five million little ones.

Ii think we're both way more excited about this than we need to be. We're already planning all kinds of lunches we can fit in our little boxes. And I might knit Kurt a little felted bag with an ice pack pocket to put his in so it stays cold at school. Like I said, way more excited than we need to be.

In actual current knitting news, I finished the first glove last night and will definitely cast on for the second one tonight so I don't put it off like S³ (Second Sock Syndrome). Here's a picture from the other night before I bore you to death.

In that picture, I was in the process of ripping out all of the decreases and about 6 more even rows of the flap. It was much too long for Kurt's fingers and I had just a teensy bit of yarn left (seen rolled up by the glove).

The amount of yarn really perplexed me for awhile on this one. The pattern calls for knitting weight (KW) yarn. Um, duh Katie, Classic Elite Renaissance (CER) is worsted weight. No wonder my gauge is off. KW is somewhere between worsted and sportweight and I'm guessing it's really closer to sportweight. So anyway, these gloves are thick, thick and sooo warm due to the worsted but, like I mentioned before: slightly big. Wool of the Andes, which I'll be using for my gloves is a lighter worsted so we'll see how that goes. I foresee much ripping and math and tediocrity*. But I still can't wait to start.

*I'm not the only one who makes up words, am I?

Tedious, Tedium, Tediocrity

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

No pictures yet but I'm 90% done with Kurt's first fingerless glove. It's a bit big on his hand but he says he likes it that way and I figure he'll grow into it. On the other hand, it fits me just about perfectly and I'm getting some good ideas of where I'll mod the pattern when I make mine. Hehehe.

The cuff and fingers fit both he and I perfectly, it's just the main hand part that's big. I don't quite understand it because every time I've made or tried to make gloves, this happens. In a weird parallel, he was using my fingerless gloves (the ones I made when my grandpa was first in the hospital) to shovel this weekend and got dog poop on them somehow. I washed them, scrunched them up a little before drying and now they're not so baggy. Maybe the answer is in the blocking?

Oh, and the Tedious Title? That's for the fingerless gloves. I really don't enjoy knitting them so much but the end result is sooo worth it.

In lieu of pictures, I have a meme that I took from Marisa's blog. I also used the same online retailer for the book links.

1) Name five of your favourite books.

Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
The Dark Tower 4: Wizard and Glass, Stephen King
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis (yes, I'm counting them as one.)
Lord of the Flies, William Golding

2) What was the last book you bought?

The Penultimate Peril, Lemony Snicket (for Kurt)

3) What was the last book you read/finished?

Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand (I really liked it, not because I completely agree with her but because it really make me think and question my beliefs.

4) List five books that have been particularly meaningful to you (in no particular order).

Our Band Could Be Your Life, Michael Azerrad
Wizard and Glass, Stephen King
Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
Bag of Bones, Stephen King
1984, George Orwell (more intriguing than meaningful maybe.)

5) Name three books you’ve been dying to read but just haven’t gotten around to it?
I don't know because I don't have my list with me. No, seriously though the ones I'm dying to read change all the time. I'm very influenced by recommendations, either by others or through references in what I'm reading. That's one reason I'm such a fan of Stephen King - he is constantly making references to other authors or novels in his books and I end up seeking them out. I never would have read Maugham or Vonnegut if it weren't for King. Okay, I would have read Vonnegut but Maugham? No. And you know what? I liked it (Maugham, that is, not Vonnegut).

Alright, the list is here. I forgot how easy it is to find online. So, the next three I'm just dying to read are...

The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers because a friend of mine told me it's great.
A Handful of Dust, Evelyn Waugh (also mentioned in King's books)

It's the Weekend. Alright!

Friday, March 03, 2006

My lunch hour today was so productive. I mailed something for work and walked over to my LYS, which is now Ben Franklin Crafts since the "real" LYS closed. I picked up three hanks of Classic Elite Renaissance (which is ironic, of course, because the old LYS was called Yarn Renaissance) for Kurt's fingerless gloves. I was also tempted by a 50% lama, 50% wool yarn but I resisted... and bought three hanks instead of one of the Renaissance instead. I was so proud and feeling accomplished, I now had the pattern from a friend and the yarn and I set off for home happily to find something to eat. I figured I could start the gloves tonight during our Friday Night Movie.

Uh yeah, I don't have any size 3 DPN's. I have one size 3 circular needle but it's the slipperiest damn needle in the world. I have 2's and I have 4's. My friend who provided the pattern said she used 2's for her daughter who is Kurt's age so I'll probably try that... which means no starting socks on the sly (unless I use my US 0's, hmm, I could do that). And I'll order some 3's for when I make my gloves. But I still think Kurt's hands are probably bigger than a girl's his age - or at least that they will be by next year when he'll be getting the most wear out of them. We'll see. Maybe he'll get another pair made with lama and wool. ;)

Meanwhile, I don't think I ever showed the picture I took of my scarf. It's about double this length now and I just finished off the first ball of yarn. The picture was taken Valentine's week, before the craziness of the Olympics, as seen by the Star Wars Valentines strewn about the kitchen table. To a most powerful friend!

Have a great weekend, knitters! Jenna, I hope to see you Sunday!

Needs and wants...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Have you ever wanted to make something just to make it? Ever since I've seen the Hermione Hat and Mittens and Ron's Animal Cracker Hat I've been wanting to make them. But... I don't really need bobbled mittens and Kurt isn't too keen on the Animal Cracker hat - believe me, I've tried to make him keen on it. The realization hit me today though that I don't need a reason to make them, I just can. God knows we could always use an extra hat or a scarf or a veritable PILE of mittens around here. Mittens just like to hide every once in awhile, I think, to take a break maybe from being worn and battered up all the time.

The funny part is probably familiar to knitter's everywhere: when in the world would I have time to knit things I don't really need when there are so many things I do "need" to knit! Let's see what I need at the moment:

Cabled Scarf, fingerless gloves, and hat set for me (in progress)
Fingerless gloves for Kurt
Socks for me (many, many socks for me. teehee)
Socks for Kurt
Mon Petit Chou
Lacy Socks for me
Solid colored raglan top-down sweater

Uh, the list does go on. Maybe this summer when I'm in need of something not socks (hah) that's portable I'll pick up some Harry Potter fun.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

No knitting to speak of. Nope, Lolita has me mesmermized. I've seen the Kubrick film in the past but it was awhile ago so bits of the story are fuzzy or lost to me. For instance, I can't remember if the movie explains that the main reason he fell so in love with Lolita right off was because of how much she reminded him of his first love, little Annabel. I may have to watch the movie again but for now, the book is just captivating. But it's a fairly short book so you'll see more knitting by next week, I promise. Then again I'm going through The Modern Library's 100 Best Novels lists so I may hit on another that I can't put down!

It's so funny though, how so much of my life has become about knitting whether I'm knitting or not. For instance, I think I found that link through In the Pink, a knitting blog. I come across interesting tidbits or articles or whatever in knitting blogs or at knitting group or in knitting magazines and I find myself noticing the connection as I pass them on to others. It's not like this has never happened before with other hobbies, like music or art, but it's just surprising to me, I guess. A little over a year and a half ago I stumbled across some knitting blogs and just didn't "get it". I liked the pretty pictures and was inspired by what they'd done but thought it was sort of boring to read about knitting. Of course, this was before I actually started knitting... Now I'm hooked, to both it seems. But I think it's because I now realize it's not all about knitting - knitting is just the one thing we all have in common. For some blogs I read, that's the only thing we have in common but in others, there are several.

Anyway, just some thoughts.