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In Which I Cave and Go Mainstream

Perhaps you didn’t know this about me, because why would you, but I make it rain. Not unlike Fat Joe (why yes, yes I did have to look up who does that song. What of it?).

But seriously. I started work this week, which means taking the train into the city, and when I do that, it rains. Every time. Last summer, I brought my rain coat and umbrella every day, even on days when there was no rain in the forecast and it was sunny outside, because I knew once whoever is in charge of the rain found out I was walking from the train station to my office, it would pour (perhaps you remember this post from way back when).

Really all I’m trying to say is that I’m sorry for this bad weather we’ve been having.

My next point is unrelated: I started knitting a Citron. The knitters are all, “so what, everyone’s knit a Citron.” And the non-knitters are all, “so what?” The thing is, I never intended to knit one. Not because I didn’t like the pattern, because I have since Knitty released it. It’s just that EVERYONE knits them. Which is not to say I’m such a little hipster that I won’t partake in a mainstream pattern, because ew. I just got sick of hearing about how easy it was, and how fast it was, and what a perfect stashbuster it was.

Because naturally those are all horrible things. :/

But I had this skein of Cactus Rose Malabrigo Lace that’s just been kicking it in my stash for about a year and a half. I tried to knit an Estonian lace stole from it, but college is hard and I only got about two rows into it before I had to go read Edith Wharton. Not to mention that every time I go to the yarn store, I SOMEHOW end up with another skein of my favorite laceweight merino wool, which is why I happen to have a skein of it that I believe is called Surf that I bought because it looked too soft to leave behind (which is why I’ve never been to an animal shelter, coincidentally).

I have a really big secret project that I’m currently working on, and it’s a bitch to try to take on the train, or in the car, or to baseball games, plus I can’t knit it in front of people, given that it is a secret and all that. I needed a pattern that was small and easy, and that used up my Malabrigo Lace stash.

I think you know what happened from there.

This picture is also helpful if you were ever wondering what my knees look like in jeans. They look like this.

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In Which I am Not a Photographer

Oh hey!  I finished something else:

Pattern: Aeolian Shawl by Elizabeth Freeman, from Knitty, Spring 2009
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace in Apple Green

It’s no secret that Malabrigo Lace is my absolute favorite.  When I bought this yarn in the spring, I was at the yarn store helping my friend pick out yarn so that I could teach her to knit (which never really panned out because neither of us had the time to sit down for long enough to accomplish anything).  I had no intention of buying any (this is not a joke), and was doing good until I went to the cash register with her, and they had a basket of Malabrigo Lace sitting out on the counter.  Which is just a good marketing tool.

The color is super bright.  It kind of reminds me of a crossing guard, but in a good way.  (That is a terrible description, so bad that I should probably drop out of college because I clearly don’t have the skills to be a writer.)  You know what else I don’t have the skills for?  Photography.  Because the above picture certainly does not capture the crossing-guard-in-a-good-way-Apple-Green.  This picture is the best one I have of the color, and even that is pretty bad:

As I mentioned in a previous post, I really hate uploading pictures.  There’s no real reason for it, I just always seem to find better things to do.  Like for this post, I got distracted by iPhoto while I was trying to upload the Aeolian pictures, and looked through every picture I have in my library.  This distraction backfired, though, because it resulted in my finding several gems that I cannot help but share with you here.  Like these beauties, where I was clearly trying to make “art”:

Marshmallow

Elephante

Wow.  That’s  hot.

Or this one, which I took last summer when I went to Cape Cod with some friends, and spied on one of them buying $4 pants from an bucket of them outside a store:

Not only am I bad at taking pictures, I’m also bad at being in pictures.  My pathetic inability to be successfully photographed was formally diagnosed by a professional, namely the photographer who did my senior pictures, who told my mother, while I was changing into one of the three outfits he told me to bring, that I was “difficult to photograph”.  That happened.  Here is an example of me ruining a perfectly good family Christmas picture:

Why yes, my entire family does have cat heads, thank you for noticing. They don't like to appear on my blog, for fear that it will give them an internet presence. Heaven forbid.

And then trying to redeem myself by being “gangster”:

I chose to give them cat heads because in the post I linked to above, I drew a picture of a cat, and that post got more hits than any of the relevent ones I've written. I mean, really guys? Did you think I wouldn't notice that that's where your interests lie?

As you can see, my gangster attempts were a success.  No one’s going to mess with that.

In Which I Limit the Colors Available to Brunettes

I have this idea, that probably stems from reading Seventeen magazine for too many years, that green is a color that looks better on blondes.  I am very much not blond.  And yet, somehow, a recent trip to my yarn lady resulted in my possessing a green skein of Classic Elite Yarns Silky Alpaca Lace. 

Oh.  Okay.

My mother’s best friend, who happens to be blond, came up from Florida this month to visit.  I jumped on the opportunity and made this within a matter of a week:

I am well aware of the awfulness that is this picture.  I finished it with 10 minutes to spare before I gifted it, no one to take a picture, and zero self-timer skills.

I am well aware of the awfulness that is this picture. I finished it with 10 minutes to spare before I gifted it, no one to take a picture, and zero self-timer skills.

Pattern: Flit ‘n Float by Birdy Evans
Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Silky Alpaca Lace
Mods: None
Final Thoughts: The yarn is ridiculously soft.  As for the pattern, it’s nice, but I wouldn’t like it for me personally.  My mother’s friend, however, was very enthusiastic about it, which is really all that counts.

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It went extremely quickly for a lace scarf, but this might have something to do with the fact that my time was limited so I made an effort to fly through it.  Going so fast, though, meant that by the time I was done with it, my wrist was sore and making a pretty impressive popping sound.  I decided to take a week off from knitting.  Um… whoops!

I spent the time that I would have been knitting looking at patterns online, wishing I was making them.  During this time I discovered Craftster.

Here’s the thing about Craftster: I’ve always known that it exists, but I made careful and deliberate efforts to avoid it because I knew that I would pick up about twelve new crafts that I didn’t need.  Yet somehow, there I was, ogling Tree of Life pendants.  Seriously.  Stay away from Craftster unless you’re sufficiently prepared.

By the time I forced myself to quit, I had serious ambitions to start: a) sewing; b) jewelry making; c) mosaic table making (I’m serious.  I can’t stop thinking about them).

Sewing can’t happen right now.  I don’t have the time to learn, and I definitely don’t have the money.  Mosaic tables are, obviously, not going to happen either.  But jewelry making is something I figured I could do.  I read about beading and wire wrapping online, then decided to try it.

It’s seriously overwhelming.  There’s so much stuff to look at and think about.  But maybe that’s how I felt about knitting when I first started, and now I can’t imagine not knitting.  So I waited until Michael’s had a summer madness sale, brought my coupon, and spent a decent amount of time staring at all of the materials, trying to make heads or tails of it all. 

Once I thought I had it figured out, I brought it all home and practiced making simple loops with eye pins.  Not as easy as it looks, as it turns out.  After some pretty sorry looking loops, I finally figured out how to move my wrist, and my loops were of a satisfactory quality.

Then I made this:

Screw this place, I'm bouncing.

Screw this place, I'm bouncing.

SO MUCH GOODNESS!!!

Super fun spirals!

Super fun spirals!

 

The toggle might be my favorite part, even though I didn't make it.

The toggle might be my favorite part, even though I didn't make it.

 It’s based on this bracelet.

The thing I loved the most about it is that I only took me a few hours.  So different from knitting, which is great for a change of pace.  Ultimately though, the lesson I learned is to stay far far away from Craftster.

In Which I Am Unlike Laura Ingalls Wilder

When I was younger, I tried very very hard to keep a diary.  I was really into Little House on the Prairie, and had the idea that if I ever wanted to write a book about my life, I would probably want a record of my childhood to better remember what happened.

This was, of course, not taking into account the fact that my childhood had no noteworthy events surrounding it that would warrant the need for a book.  Laura Ingalls Wilder, for instance, never wrote installments of her books based on diary entries written by her 10-year-old self that went something like this:

“Dear Diary,
Today I played in the snow with my sister.  It was fun until Mary hit me in the head with a snowball and didn’t even get in trouble.  SHE DRIVES ME CRAZY!!!!!
More tomorrow!
Love,
Laura
P.S. I love Almanzo.  Whyyyyyyy won’t he notice me?????!?!??!????”

Which is basically how my diary entries went, with the substitution of her sister for my brother, and Almanzo for whichever 10-year-old was my soul mate that particular week.

The problem with keeping a diary is that there is no audience.  I found that dreadfully unentertaining, and therefore hardly ever kept up with it.  Enter the invention of blogs.  A diary with an audience (supposedly and hopefully).  What a novel idea.  Except for, oh wait, once I went to college, I didn’t update my blog but once or twice.  Oops.  Time for another change.

People change, and whatever form of record keeping they choose to keep should change with them.  Which is why I started this brand-spankin’-new blog.   I used my old blog for about a year and a half, and I really just needed a fresh start.  I worked really hard to put together this new one, and I’m very excited about it.

As this blog will primarily be a knitting blog, I thought it was only appropriate that I start with pictures of a project I just recently finished:

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Pattern: Fountain Pen Shawl by Susan Lawrence (Rav link only)
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Alpaca Lace in Amethyst Heather
Needles: US 6 circulars
Mods: 7 repeats, and left out the border chart all together.  I wanted more of a scarf than a shawl.
Final Thoughts: Severely awesome!  I’m very into lace lately, and this is a perfect example of how lace opens up when it’s blocked.  I’ve knit many a lace accessory, and I was still shocked by how different it looked post-blocking.

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I would say that I can’t wait until it’s cold enough to wear it, but it’s been so unseasonable here that for all I know it could be cold enough tomorrow.  And I don’t wish for that.  That’s a little too bizarre even for New England.