March FOs and Sundry

March 15, 2009

*sidles sheepishly on screen*

Hi.

Been awhile, huh?

1. Things that have been accomplished so far in the month March, specifically, things that are fiber-related.

First up is something I started near the end of February, in an attempt to deal with some of the random cotton scraps littering my Minnesota mini-stash.

This neat pattern is the NunuYaya Washcloth by Jess Marks-Gale, available here for free. After I finished two of these I had the awful idea of wet-blocking them…out on our porch, where it was readily dipping below 0 degrees at night. This is the result – a star frozen solid enough to use as a shuriken.

Here’s one being propped up by the other. I don’t know exactly what yarn this is – some sort of cotton worsted from the knitting club’s grab bag.

Near the beginning of March, I went a little beret crazy. I started the River Tam, by Jessamyn Leib, as a stash-buster. I wanted to use a skein of Classic Elite Yarns Alpaca Sox that I’ve had for at least two years and I knew I didn’t want to make socks. The stash-busting was a failure – I still have enough for another hat – but I think the project was an success.

The pattern is free, and written for sport weight yarn, so I adjusted by casting on 122 stitches instead of 86. The hat is extremely versatile, you can shape it in a variety of ways, such as the beret above, or my personal favorite, below:

I loved this hat so much that I did something unusual (for me) – I knit it again, less than three days later:

The yarn for this hat has a story. Two weeks ago, I attended a class at The Yarnery, my LYS, as I had been asked if I could volunteer my experience with Japanese in a class on knitting from Japanese patterns. As a thank you, I received the ever-coveted yarn store gift certificate. I managed not to spend it that night, but my strength only held out till the following Friday knit-night. A skein which I’d had my eye on for awhile suddenly became irresistible – one of Misti International’s Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Chunky in the colorway ‘Foxtail.’

I loved everything about it – the weight, the softness, every single color…I spent the ride home on the bus petting it while my friends whispered worriedly. I spent about 3 hours looking for a beret pattern, before giving in and casting on another River Tam, this time with only 58 stitches. It took less than a day, considering the yarn weight, and I’ve worn it every day since that the weather has allowed.

2. Yesterday was Pi Day, March 14, also known as 3/14, the first three digits in pi. A groups of friends came over and one of them used his crazy from-scratch cooking skills to whip up a lemon tart and an odd apple pie. I don’t have a picture of the apple one, but the lemon tart couldn’t be missed.

Yes, that is a pi symbol made of crust in the center.

3. I’ve been playing around with a site called Inkubook. It’s intended for people who want an actual book filled with their own pictures and captions. The prices are pretty reasonable, so I’m putting one together with my photos from Japan. I’ll post when I’m done and have received it, since hopefully it will measure up to the quality I’m picturing in my head.

4. My mother and I spent two weeks chiding each other since she was convinced I hadn’t put a photo of Charlie on the blog, knitting, and I was convinced that I had. Well, she was right. I had posted my picture of Charlie knitting…in a private entry that only I could see.

So here it is:

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Ice Skating

February 26, 2009

Just a few photos from ice skating this past Sunday. A lot more people were supposed to show up, but there was such a long gap between the the planning stage and the execution that most forgot and it turned into a housemates-only activity.

Lisa plays hockey, but I haven’t skated since they closed the rink in Tucson and Charlie was a little vague on his experience. His skating was a little vague as well, but he managed to stay upright for the most part.

Sorry Charlie, it was you with your eyes closed or me with a rather unflattering look on my face.

The rink was pretty nice and just right up the street from the house. They have an hour and a half of open skate between al the kids running around for hockey practice. There was also a rather high (and adorable) proportion of fathers with teeny-tiny daughters, teaching them how to skate, as well as a mix of novice to experienced skaters. Just like the roller skating rink back in Tucson, the experienced skaters seemed to be for nothing except to intimidate everyone else by skating just a little too closely.

Luckily, this rink had something I hadn’t seen before – rink guards, there to help you up when you fell, offer skating advice, and keep the sheep in line for the most part.


Night of the Living Lint

February 10, 2009

On Sunday, my housemates and I did something that might be considered atypical of college students – we spent an hour or so our free time cleaning the house. The previous occupants had been a little lax in that department and sporadic cries of disgust were heard throughout the house as one of us or the other expressed our disbelief at some collection of dust or crud. The stove was particularly nasty.

However, the biggest surprise came later that night when I went to move the laundry along. I hadn’t cleaned out the lint trap when I did laundry last week and decided that now would be a good time to scrape it clean.

Here’s what I found:

What’s that, you say? Could it be?

That’s right, it’s a solid centimeter of pure lint. Nobody had cleaned it out in months. Nasty. Also, fire hazard and the probable reason the dryer did such an awful job this past week.

In other news, Charlie has succumbed to the allure of knitting (pictures forthcoming), I finished a pair of mittens and a shawl, and the cat is still cute.


The Bravest Cat

January 29, 2009

Well.

So apparently it’s harder to maintain a blog when all you want to do is knit, sleep, and watch TV in English. Who knew?

Since my last post, I’ve finished four of the items previously featured, my cousin has both had her baby and received the items I knit for her, and I have moved myself, two boxes, and a cat up to Minnesota for the spring semester of my junior year.*

As you might be able to tell, the cat was not pleased.

I’m living in a house off campus this year with two of my friends, one whom I made at college, the other I’ve known since 7th grade. So far things have been going well, save for the house being…slightly chilly. The heater is rather inefficient and the others have succumbed to space heaters. I’m being a penny-pincher and holding out for a bit longer in hopes that it will miraculously warm up.**

Boomer*** spent the first three days or so living under my bed. Her territory has been slowly expanding as time goes on, to the point that she’ll follow me all over the house and occasionally explore on her own if the three humans are out in the common area. She also seems to enjoy being able to sleep on my bed without the interference from our four older cats in Arizona.

Classes started on Monday and seem to be going well, though I was put out to discover that not only is my biology class being taught by the same professor I’ve had for the past two and a half years, but is in the same classroom that we’ve been using for that same time period.

That’s all for now, I’ll try and get a post up tomorrow about the finished knitting and my extracurricular activities.

* Random side note – as I type this in the library, I am not five feet from a text entitled “The Complete Book of Fingermath.”

** The fridge has joined the house in the warm resistance – my tea had ice floating in it this morning.

*** Brownie points if you know where I got the name. No fair guessing if I’ve already told you.