Sunday, October 7, 2007

Rough Week

I really just wanted to hide under the covers all week with the cat.*

But I didn't. I sucked it up, I was a big girl, and I made it through. It was a week of three assignments due for school and the final week at one of my jobs. I quit the job because it was making me crazy--I literally developed a twitch in my left jaw, and another one above my right eye. It was really interesting. I was averaging five hours of sleep a night, plus whatever I could grab on the bus. I was always in a bad mood and hating everything, including school, which is part of the reason I took the job in the first place. I was almost in tears about stupid little things, and even though it was killing me, I felt really guilty about quitting this job that I didn't even like.

Luckily, those feelings of guilt have passed. (Thanks in part to the Wool Tour, which was amazing.)

Also luckily, I have been finishing things (I received my yarn for the Secret of the Stole, and I swatched, but I have to pick up beads and needles tomorrow). Tomorrow I will post pictures of the yarn and swatch, and also all the yarn I bought on the Wool Tour, but first, some (finally) FOs:

Never Wimpy Wimple, from Lace Style (A Christmas present for my mom)
Yarn: KnitPicks Shadow in Vineyard Heather, 1 ball (the pattern calls for two, and I only had a little left, so I would recommend you buy two if you are using this yarn--especially because it's mail order. I have more than enough to make a nice lacey fall scarf for myself with the other ball since it has such great yardage)
Source: KnitPicks
Needles: Inox 16" circular, US Size 2
Modifications: (giant dramatic sigh) I knit this entire thing twice. Yes, twice, and it is on size 2 needles. At first I thought I was getting a larger gauge (and honestly, I was getting a little sick of knitting the bottom edging) so I cut it a little short and it turned out too small. So I knit it twice. On size 2 needles. (What can I say? It was my fault for playing fast and loose with gauge the first time, and I love my mother and I didn't want her to have to cram her head into the thing. It would mess up her hair and she doesn't like that).

Flame Wave Socks from Favorite Socks
The stitch pattern is a little hard to see (even in person) but it's still cool.
Yarn: Cascade Fixation, green stripe (not the official color name), 2 balls (I never would have believed it. Those balls are smaller than my clenched fist, but they pack a lot of yarn).
Source: The Elegant Ewe
Needles: Susan Bates Aluminum (I think) DPNs, US Sizes 5 and 4
Modifications: None
For some reason these socks took me nearly four months to knit. I started them in June, a month after I'd picked up Favorite Socks and drooled over it enough to realize I had Cascade Fixation in my stash. Another bonus was that the yarn is mostly cotton (a really soft pima cotton), and it was basically the only kind of knitting I wanted to touch when I was sweating through the summer. It wasn't too light-colored, so I didn't have to worry about getting it dirty, it was small and portable, and (I'm a little ashamed to admit this and now I really don't understand it at all) I didn't really care about them all that much, so if anything happened to them I wouldn't be that upset. I really loved the yarn and the way they looked, but it took me awhile to fix the pattern in my head. I also had to redo the foot of the first one (I decreased too many stitches; the pattern didn't specify the separate needle stitch counts and my math skills are awful, apparently).
I pulled them out from time to time, but it seemed to take awhile for me to make any progress. So when I finished the first one awhile ago, I was happy but I wasn't thrilled to start the second one. Now, I do not get Second Sock Syndrome. For me, the second sock usually seems to go so much faster that I am really happy to get to it. The issue is casting on the second one right away (which can be really tricky, when my first inclination is just to put on the first one and dance around or wave it in people's faces). But when I do, it's that much easier to keep my momentum going, and I'm more likely to bring it with me places because the tricky casting-on business is done.
I did cast on right away for the second one of these, and I knit four rows, and promptly dropped it in favor of other more exciting knitting (I'll show you one of these very soon). Oh well. At least I did come back. (I'm very loyal. And stubborn).

(Don't mind the weird face. I swear I wasn't trying to be cool or anything, I just had to bend at an awkward angle to make it more of a head shot and then I realized the picture was being taken).
I was looking at Amy's blog and she posted a link to this pattern, which I just fell in love with. (I just realized you can't really see the stitch pattern in my picture so you probably want to click the link. I assure you, mine looks like that). I also happened to have two skeins of Blue Sky Alpacas' delicious Organic Cotton (man I miss working at the yarn store sometimes--I don't get fabulous yarn cheap anymore...) that are two slightly different dye lots, enough that I can't use them together. I had already decided to make one of the cabled scarfs from One Skein with one of them, and I was trying to find a hat to go with it when I found this. I used a size J Clover crochet hook (I didn't have a K, at least not in my Clovers, and I am obsessed with them) and it took my whole ball. I finished it in two nights while watching Dancing with the Stars with my mom. I might have been able to finish it in one, but I messed up and had to rip back. Also, since the ball I was using had been destined for another project that I frogged, the ball was in pieces and I had a lot of ends to weave in. Oh well. It was fun and very quick, and I know I'm a hat person and really enamoured with crochet right now, but I highly recommend it (if you're not a hat person, it's a great gift--very quick).

Wow, this has turned into quite an epic entry. Anyway, more tomorrow about the Secret of the Stole and the Wool Tour. Hope everyone has tomorrow off and has a good day. :)

*He got under the covers of his own accord. One of his favorite games is jump on the bed while my mom is changing the sheets and dive under the covers. Then he rolls around and attacks from under the sheets and purrs like mad. He is a strange cat.

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