Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I've Got the Wanderin' Blues...

Last year, I had this job that provided room and board... except on the weekends.  And the weekends were glorious.  I lived out of my car.  I had a road atlas, and a campground guide with all the free campgrounds in California dogeared, a tiny little camp stove, a kick-ass Northface backpack, and water-proof boots.  Bottles of wine and bags of puffed brown rice cereal I had to move every week to keep the bears from can-opening my car.  And a lot of yarn and books.  All in the trunk of my car.But now I'm all responsible and stuff, with a normal job, and my own bed (which I hadn't slept on in a year and a half), electricity and continuous hot water (instead of the little bits I would warm up to wash my face).  Which is lovely.  But I'm going to post these pictures and mourn it a little bit.

OK.  I'm gonna mourn it a lot.    

Monday, January 26, 2009


For an English major, my life seems to be more and more ruled by numbers.  I spent today filing my taxes; these are all of my W-2s (five), retirement accounts, student loans, and investment returns from 2008.

I thought my taxes from 2007 were crazy complicated, having worked for several non-profits, but those were nothing compared to this year!  Damn complicated.
There is my student loans; in preparation for grad. school, I consolidated my loans and in return, the federal government sent me a lovely pay schedule, with an estimated pay-off date, if I continue to pay the payment I'm making (which, granted, is tiny): April 31st, 2031!
Then there is grad. school: GRE minimum scores, actual GRE scores, application deadlines, application fees, projected tuition rates, cost of living, fellowship awards, fellowship application deadlines.
Numbers stress me out.  If I were from the Kingdom of Wisdom, I would live in Dictionopolis and very rarely travel.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Something is Very Wrong With Me...

I did it.  I frogged it.  I frogged the damned Frock Camisole.
Allow me to share two comments on this project from my Ravelry Project Page:
9/29/2008: ...This will be the first garment I knit that I won't frog, I swear! (For some reason, I knit tops, then frog them, a habit that stops here)...
10/28/2008: ...I am not sure why I am so darn determined not to frog this thing-- as I mentioned above, I have frogged whole tops just for not liking the drape!  I think it's the symbolic meaning of this top, which makes me feel-- contrary to what I normally feel when I have a mistake in my knitting-- very strong.  I am liking this idea of incorporating a "mistake" into the design of my work, instead of freaking out over one inconsistent stitch in that lovely seed stitch tank I made two years ago, which is now re-balled into a million balls of Lamb's Pride in my stash basket...
I suck.  This top, as these comments hint at, was supposed to be symbolic of starting anew, accepting the mistakes I make, and being at peace with them.  Nope.  No such luck.  It wasn't even just the mistakes with this top (there weren't even that many, just a change in the pattern).  After taking a break for some other knits, including my Christmas knits, I picked this top back up, and was just so frustrated and in such a funk, I decided to be done with it.  And now I am-- and I have a huge ball of 30% acrylic/70% cotton hanging out on top of my dresser, staring at me as I put my pajamas on, being like, "What, fool?  What now?"  
I don't know, yarn.  I just don't know.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Crafty Me

Oh, how sweet it is-- a day off, with no errands to run, nowhere to be!  
I decided to take a few pictures of the crafts and baking I have been doing over the last month, but haven't had a chance to post!
I made this earring holder in a couple of hours-- and it would have been less if it hadn't been raining, and the spray paint wasn't drying like... well.  Like paint drying.  I love the color-- it's a new color, Paprika-- and having all of my cute earrings out instead of jumbled in a box makes it easier for me to remember what I have.

Earring Holder
Frame, Goodwill: $2.00
Screen, OSH, 2 yrds.: $1.39
Dowels, OSH: $0.39
Spray Paint, OSH: $3.49
Total Cost: $7.27

I baked this cake from scratch, using this recipe from Family Circle.  Seriously-- this cake is one of the most beautiful I have ever made.  I wasn't crazy about the cake itself, though; it was really heavy, almost like a cheese-cake.  Everyone in my family loved it, though-- there wasn't a single piece left!

This rocking chair is one of the first major projects I took on since I moved back to Clovis.  I got the rocking chair from Sarah and John, when they moved out of their old apartment.  It was pretty badly broken at the join between the rocker and the chair, and the dowel keeping them together had snapped off and was stuck in the join.  They were going to through it away, but since I didn't have much to do, I thought I would make it a project.

It's totally fixed, with new woodscrews and a new dowel to reinforce the old broken join, with new foam padding on the seat, and new adorable birdie fabric.  I also had to do a little creative sanding, because some kitties who shall not be named had been nibbling away on the edges. This is the fabric I used; it's so stinkin' cute!  It's called "Bird Seed," and I love it to death.  JoAnn's has suddenly gotten kind of hip with their fabric choices.

Rocking Chair
Chair: Free (Thanks, Sarah and John!)
Woodscrews, Dowels, and Sandpaper: Free (just lying around the craft bin)
Spray Paint, Lowes: $2.50 (with 25% off coupon)
Foam: $8.99, JoAnn's
Fabric, 1 yrd.: $4.99
Total: $16.48

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Milkweed Project

There is a lovely collaborative art project germinating (hee, hee) over at Stitches and Sticks.  Shan is asking knitters and crocheters to make long swatches of knitting in white or off-white to construct a giant milkweed pod that gallery visitors can walk through.  Her concept is beautiful and just the thought of walking through a soft white pod of fluff makes me want to wrap myself in hugs.  If you are a stitcher, head on over to the site to volunteer.  Pass the info along to really get this thing in bloom!

Friday, January 16, 2009

I Wanna Be Your Fine and Feathered Friend...

And I want these tights to be it in...
What?  Why are they so adorable? And why are they thirty dollars?  There is no way I could wear these to work, what with all the crawling around on the floor I do.  Somebody take me to the symphony and I'll rock these.

It's the Unraveling...

There is nothing like a Joni Mitchell song for a good knitting quote!
No blogging for awhile.  No apologies either-- this girl got a big promotion, and I really like my job, so I'm OK with working ten-hour days and not blogging while I was making the adjustment.
Mostly because I have been a mad, mad knitting fiend to unwind after hanging out with kiddos all day, resulting in a pile of knitted goods.  In total, from December 15th to today, I have knit:
  • 4 hats
  • 2 cowls
  • 1 pair of fingerless mitts
  • 2 cup cozies
  • 1 bomb-ass ornament
Hm.  Well, now it doesn't seem like that much.  I'll post pictures one day, and maybe even add them to my Ravelry projects page.  If I do the math, that's one object every three days.  Maybe it is a lot.  But the important thing is, I have really knit:
  • 7 hats
  • 3 cowls
  • 4 cup cozies
  • 1 pair of fingerless mitts
  • 1 ornament
because I knit and then unraveled, then knit again.  My name is Britt, and I am an unraveler.
I have always been a sweater unraveler-- there is not a single full-sized garment out there that I have knit, though I have knit several, because every time I do, I pull it all apart.  The tendency has never gone beyond garments to accessories until recently, when I cast on the Frock Camisole, and swore I wouldn't unravel it, even if it was all wonky and full of holes (I had to do some creative math for a pattern mis-read in the beginning), as a lesson in being OK with some slight imperfections.  So now I'm unraveling everything but that.  I guess I haven't learned my lesson very well.
If you look very closely at this picture of a cowl I knit for myself out of some wool yarn I bought on sale for a dollar, you can see about six stitches of stockinette where it should have been garter (I was knitting in the round and missed the switch):

Unraveled that real fast.  But here's the end result:


Oh, knitting.  You are a cruel and beautiful mistress.  To end on an even more fiber-ful note, two lovely pictures of two of my favorite knitting-related things from the holiday:

The first is my cousin, whom I taught to knit on Thanksgiving-- she's sporting a lovely Thick N' Quick scarf we added the fringe to on Christmas (the picture's kind of cruddy because I got a new camera and I suck at using it).
The second is this awesome green tea cup Sarah and John gave to me for Christmas, with some delicious Chai Tea (it has the perfect bit of anise).  Yum nummy.  Isn't it the cutest?