26 May 2011

If Tuesdays are for spinning, Thursdays must be for staring at the computer, lacking inspiration for writing. If I can write one page on phrasal verbs today, I'll be happy. Actually, that sounds like a possible accomplishment. I can do that. Once I've started some laundry and cleaned the bathroom.

I'm leaving on a weekend retreat tomorrow, and I'm working on figuring out what knitting to bring with me. I'm finishing up my sleeves for Fireside today (on the sleeve caps!), but I'm not sure if casting on one of the fronts is the best idea. The other thought is to cast on Hunter Hammersen's beautiful Afshari tomorrow morning (I bought Silk Road Socks a while ago and have been wanting to start a pattern from there. The difficulty has been picking the pattern, since they're all amazing). I have three hours in the car on the way there, and most of the afternoon on Saturday, if I decide not to go kayaking or hiking. The weather will determine that.

I could also cast on something in stockinette stitch, but I'm not sure if I really want to do that (although striped toe-up socks would be simple). I just ripped out a shawlette that I started on Tuesday because it was going wonky and I wasn't sure what was wrong. The yarn and the pattern were blah together, too. Maybe I should just overdye the yarn and start over. Or I could add beads. That might help.

In the meantime, to the laundry!

21 May 2011

It was one of those days. Quiet, grey, sleepy. The kind of day where I just wanted to sink down onto the couch and not move because I felt so dreary. Fortunately I have J. and he's a little more animated than I am, although he was sleepy, too.

The one thing I managed to properly accomplish today was re-organizing the kitchen cupboards that function as our pantry. We have a lot of cream of wheat that I didn't realize was there. J. doesn't like it so I'm pretty sure I'm going to be the one eating it for breakfast. There was also an additional carton of molasses. Sadly, it's cooking molasses, which tastes too sharp because of the sulphur, but I can still bake with it. I made a list of everything except the spices and stuck it to the inside of the cupboard door so I can check things off as they're used up. And we now have a section of another cupboard which is completely empty. I have a smoothie maker/blender thing to get rid of now (it doesn't work very well for blending and we don't really do smoothies; I'd prefer a proper blender or a food processor, and in the meantime we have this hand-powered thing that works well for smaller amounts of things, or for larger amounts if you don't mind splattering yourself with hummus or whatever it is--I tried to use it to chop up chocolate back at Christmas and was rewarded with chocolate in my eye--turns out the eyes do not have tastebuds so chocolate in the eye just hurts like getting anything else in your eye), and possibly a few extra teacups. Then I can get a tortilla press and not feel guilty about buying a kitchen gadget (it can double as a pastry or pita or naan press, too).

And...I was going to think of something clever to write, but it's not happening, so I'll go make roll dough for tomorrow and then go sleep. Good night, all.

16 May 2011

Today Value Village was having one of its 50% off sales. I went and bought jeans. I tend to buy one pair of pants, wear them as frequently as possible, and thus wear them out quickly. Sometimes I have two pairs. Lately, I have had one pair of jeans and a pair of brown pants which were a little too big. I can take them off without undoing the button or zipper, and I don't have a belt that fits them. So I've been wearing my one pair of jeans a lot and they are showing signs that soon they will rip in an awkward place. I'm trying to wear skirts more but the weather keeps discouraging me.

Anyway, I went and found two pairs of jeans this time, so I can rotate wearings and hopefully keep them longer. I also found a scarf with a wacky woven pattern. Scarves seem to be my latest thing. I love them. They keep me warm, and given that it's cool and wet outside, I'm still in need of warm things.

This is why I should complete my Fireside Cardigan. I'm going to finish the back today and I plan to cast on the sleeves, which I want to knit at the same time so I can be sure I've got the same number of repeats done. I'd love to have it complete by next weekend, when I'm off on a retreat, but that seems unlikely. I am supposed to be doing research and keeping our home clean, and I don't really know if I can knit most of a sweater in two weeks. We'll see.

03 May 2011

where did April go?

April wasn't a good knitting month. The first couple weeks were taken up with finishing papers for school and then marking the last few assignments that came in. There were some days of me panicking about schoolwork, freaking out about the work I have to do over the summer, and being anxious about my schedule change.

The last couple weeks vanished somehow into a vortex where I caught up on sleep (as I caught a nasty cold just before mid-month; I attended a final accompanied by a box of tissues), and read books. I love to read and I always make time for reading, even during the busiest parts of the term, but after I finished my final, I stopped at the library on the way home. I spent the rest of the day in bed, sniffling, coughing, drinking tea to soothe my throat, and reading.

I did some spring cleaning. We hosted Easter dinner at our place. I went to UBC with a friend and did some research (and I have to head back there next week to return books). I'm in the process of settling into a routine where I work on my thesis in the morning and then clean and do other stuff in the afternoon.

The thesis is slowly taking shape. I have a new outline, new sources to look for, and a much clearer idea of where I'm headed. There's a rough draft of the proposal in the works, too. It's going to be a lot of work. I find myself reading articles, checking their reference lists, and adding the odd source to my list of things to find and read. Part of me wonders if I'm ever going to finish it, but the rest of me hopes that I'll have it pretty much complete by the end of the summer.

The knitting, as I said, has been happening slowly. I finished a potholder on Sunday. Tonight I'll finally finish a pair of socks for my grandmother. I'm nearly done with the back of a sweater I started in February. Only two fronts and two sleeves to go! I also started crocheting a lap blanket as a gift for someone, but that's not done yet. I know crochet's faster, but I have a harder time counting my stitches in crochet.

In addition to that, I have two sweaters and a poncho to finish frogging. I picked up a light tan cashmere sweater a while back and had taken it apart but hadn't finished frogging it. Since it's lace-weight, I was going to ply it on the wheel so it would be a fingering weight, and then overdye it. The second sweater is a teal cotton, picked because this pattern I want to knit was designed for cotton yarn. The poncho is red linen and it is unraveling beautifully. Simple seams. Gotta love them. With the cashmere, there's figuring out how to take off the pockets, and how to undo the seams as carefully as possible, and with the cotton, there's figuring out how the collar was put on, since it needs to come off before the shoulder seams can be undone. The poncho, in comparison, is easy. The seams were sewn with thread, not with the yarn itself, and the yarn unravels very nicely.

With my spinning, things were at nearly a standstill last month. I have to finish spinning what's on the wheel right now, I have silk roving on my top-whorl spindle, and silk hankies that will need plying on my takhli. I'm thinking about spinning the camel roving on my Turkish spindle, but I think it's going to stay in its bag for now, until I get some of the other stuff done.

In the meantime, I should probably finish the last four rows on those socks.