Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Finished: Ishbel

Despite knitting becoming much more popular among younger people over the past 10 years, the majority of the population probably still thinks of little old grandmas sitting in rocking chairs knitting shawls. Well, I am under 30, do not own a rocking chair, and just knit my first shawl! And yes, my friends, it was awesome.

I have been scared of knitting lace pretty much since I started knitting, but after finishing my February Lady Sweater earlier this yarn, I was prepared to try something more complicated. Enter my knitting group, who rightly has formed aRavely group called "Enablers Anonymous", where, unlike other 12-step programs that focus on preventing you from doing something, enabling is downright encouraged. (Witness my recent spinning activity.) All I had to do was mention I was interested in knitting lace, and I inexplicably found myself holding a very long, pointy needle and a triangular diagram.

I chose Ishbel for my first shawl because the stockinette portion was super-easy, and decreased the opportunity for me to royally screw up. (Which I only did once - go me!) The yarn was a silk and wool blend I got at Maryland Sheep and Wool from a random booth - I can't remember the name, and it wasn't on the label. I used size 6 knitpicks options needles.

Because it isn't the 18th century, the shawl in action will most likely look more like this:

I know now why shawls are knitters' crack. The whole time you're knitting, you have an amorphous blob on your needles. Then, as if by magic (magic = blocking), the whole thing flattens out and becomes light and airy and beautiful and warm, even though it's full of holes. You suddenly want more and more, convieniently forgetting the three hours you spent ripping out an entire night's worth of work because you made one extra freakin' yarn over. And when you're done, you'll sit out in your yard wearing a winter coat and a wool shawl in 90-degree heat, trying not to let your neighbor see you, even though he smokes pot in his yard and drives a sketchy van.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Home Improvement: Office

This is probably my favorite room in my house, and one of the reasons why we bought the house. I think this room was originally the master bedroom (it has a full bathroom and skylights), but we are using it as our office. The stairs go up to a loft, which the previous owners converted from an attic.

It's great to finally have most of (notice I didn't say all) my books in one place. Yes, I organized them by color. I like the rainbow effect against the turquoise wall.
My future plans for this room include curtains, a rug in front of the big bookcase, and maybe a different chair and reading lamp. Unfortunately I can't take credit for the wall colors, but I am glad the previous owners did all my work for me!

Next up: the garden.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I'm pretty sure that you all have nothing better to do than monitor the status of my blog, so you've undoubtedly noticed that I've been gone for-ev-er. I have a good excuse: I am now the proud owner of a full-time job and a 1.5 hour (each way) commute.

I have to say, I find my twice daily train ride to be quite amusing. There is the rather large woman who takes up 4 seats and every day can be observed eating something that is no doubt contributing to the severity of her condition (most recently, a giant pixy stix.) On Fridays, the drinking starts early. (I have seen many people drinking single bottles of beer; did they plan ahead for that? At 6am did they put their beer in their lunchbox and then store it in the work fridge all day?)

Oh yeah, knitting. It has happened. I was racing along on my Drops jacket, until I realized that it will still be several months until I will be able to wear a bulky, 100%-wool sweater. So that sort of put a damper on things.

My Catherine socks have been seeing the most action. They are small and portable, and the design is interesting enough to keep me motivated. I'm almost finished with one sock... but again, wearing sandals everyday doesn't necessitate new socks.

I also started this plain 'ol sock, and I'm getting tired of typing this post, so just look at the picture. You'll get the idea.

Ishbel: I is making one.

(I am now spending inordinate amounts of time thinking about random grammar issues; this apparently has impacted my ability to construct coherent sentences outside of work.)
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