.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Brewer Burns

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

(Less Than) 100 Things About Me, Part II

21. I really like notebooks, paper and pens
22. I am an inconsistent diary keeper
23. I am twenty pounds overweight
24. I have been going to the gym five mornings a week since January 1st
25. I have a very messy desk and the mess extends to the rest of my office
26. I like it that way
27. My current obsession with knitting began in October '05 when I picked up the fall issue of Vogue knitting on a whim
28. I have since discovered Interweave Knit and covet that magazine with an unholy lust satisfied only by buying back issues and obsessing over the various patterns
29. My second ever knitting project was the fair isle hat from the fall issue of Vogue Knitting
30. I have already lost that hat and made one more (which I gave away)
31. I swear like a truck driver (or my mom, depends on your perspective)
32. My favorite swear phrase is motherfucking piece of shit
33. When I'm really frustrated I add a "goddamn" between "motherfucking" and "piece of shit"
34. I have a very effective internal censor. I have never sworn in front of a client
35. I often swear at my knitting
36. My oldest cat, Leo, weighs 20 pounds and bites
37. I still love him
38. I refused all efforts to teach me to cook when I was growing up
39. I am a liberal and a feminist
40. I think pornography and stripping is speech that is protected under the first amendment (and for right now, the Supreme Court agrees.)

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Things that No One Tells You...

January 27, 2006
Fair Isle 101 Pullover: The Series
Installment One: Proof of an LYS Conspiracy Against Me or The Top Ten Reasons Why I Bastardized a Perfectly Good Pattern

My current WIP is the Fair Isle 101 Pullover from the Fall IK. I picked this pattern for several reasons. Since this will be my first knitted sweater project, I was intrigued by the fact that it has fairly minimal shaping, which is good on two fronts. First, I will only be required to execute fairly minimal shaping techniques (no short rows, weird cable thingies, etc.) and I won’t have to worry too much about picking the wrong size. In addition, the pattern is basic but not boring in that it has the fair isle, and I have successfully completed a fair isle project (or three) in the past. Lastly, the yarn called for in the pattern is reasonably priced and I thought that it would be practical in that I could totally wear it over a pin-striped dressy shirt with black slacks and look pretty cute. Unfortunately my well-laid plan started to unravel as soon as I committed to a pattern and committed to knitting the pattern exactly as written, using all of the prescribed materials.

To Wit: (and yes I am allowed to use that phrase; I am a lawyer after all) I could not find enough balls of one color of the yarn called for in the pattern to make up the body of the sweater (Dale of Norway, Helios.) Now, I admit that it was close. There were as many as seven of the Helios in black. But not the eight I needed. Admittedly, I did not ask if they had more of one color in the back. In hindsight, I should have. But I was feeling too shy and out of place to do it, so I didn’t. Anyway, I decided that the only way to deal with this problem was to change yarns entirely. After looking at all of the "practical" and classic yarns in the store I finally found what I thought would be a pretty good substitute in three hanks of Mountain Colors Weaver’s Quarters, 100% wool, 350 yards per hank, colorway: Juniper. That’s right, a variegated yarn (make a mental note, it will be important later.) A lovely mix of blue, black, green, brown and gray. In fact, it totally reminds me of the fir trees in my front yard. I did compare the weight and appearance of the Mountain Colors with the Helios in the store, and they seemed to about equal in weight and scritchiness (you know, the roughness of the wooliness of the yarn.)
So, I bring the yarn home. After knitting up a very small test swatch, which I immediately rip out once I’ve calculated gauge, my first problem comes to light. The gauge is just slightly different. ½ stitch more per inch and one row more per inch. I figure that’s fine. I can work with that. Recalculate. Whatever. I’d just rewrite the pattern for the new gauge. So I did. At least up to the end of the front of the sweater. But anyway.

After realizing that the gauge "issue" may effect the "yardage" required (really, we don’t need to talk in real words here, do we?) I decided to banish all worries about whether I have enough yarn to the back of my mind and then way down deep in my belly, past the heart, past the stomach, to the depths of my intestines where it can fester and burn like an ulcer. Which is why, for the duration of the project I will continue to have a niggling worry about a possible yarn shortage until I have either a) seamed the last seam and declared it "done" or b) actually run out of yarn and substituted cap or three-quarter sleeves (depending on the degree of yarn shortage.) But I’m ignoring that right now. That, and the fact that I have never in my life constructed a sleeve, let alone a substituted sleeve (see how it works? Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.)

Next, as you may have guessed from the variegated yarn choice and the lack of a contrasting yarn purchase, I decided not to do the fair isle. I didn’t want to buy more yarn (I’m a dumbass, see immediately preceding paragraph) after already spending my grocery money on the Mountain Colors and I didn’t think fair isle was the way to go with a variegated yarn anyway. Instead I subbed in the Embossed Leaf pattern from the Embossed Leaf Sock, also in the Fall IK, and worked three repeats of it above the ribbing, where the fair isle would have been. All of this went fairly :) smoothly, unless you count the four (or five?) times I ripped out the entire thing because: I had twice twisted the stitches when I joined together to work in the round, once cast on the wrong number of stitches, once fucked up the ribbing so that I purled some of the knits and knit some of the purls (seriously, it’s K1, P1 ribbing, how pathetic is it that I had such a hard time getting that right?), and once forgot to put in the "increase row" before starting the embossed leaf pattern so that I was halfway through the first repeat before I remembered. Then in true Libra with Gemini rising fashion I didn’t rip back to put that row in where it goes, but instead decided that I would rather half-ass it and put the increases in the middle of the embossed leaf pattern. Gee, I wonder why that didn’t work?

Now, I’m not only worried that the gauge problem might result in a huge problem of NOT ENOUGH FUCKING EXPENSIVE ASS YARN* but taking out the fair isle and subbing in a pattern which uses the main color instead of contrasting color for three inches will also result in REALLY NOT ENOUGH FUCKING EXPENSIVE ASS YARN WHICH THE LYS HAS NO MORE OF (last time I looked anyway.) This may end up being less productive and more learning experience. Stay tuned.

*I would just like to say that I love the Mountain Colors.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

(Less Than) 100 Things About Me

In lieu of doing an "about me" section here I've decided to do "100 things about me" except I think I'm going to be adding the things in several posts. Because I'm lazy like that. Or something. So, here it goes, the first 20 things about me:

1. I skipped 5th grade
2. I am married to Stephen
3. I have three cats and a dog
4. My dog, Leah, is a chow chow black lab mix and she is like my child
5. One of my cats, Prussia, likes to lick people, all people, on any exposed bit of flesh
6. My maternal grandmother taught me to crochet when I was 9
7. I started attending community college when I was 15
8. I taught myself to knit the first time when I was about 15 or 16. I hated it.
9. I embroider, sew, cross stitch and quilt (all by hand)
10. I am five feet and three-quarter inches tall
11. I am taller than my mother and grandmother but shorter than my sister
12. I taught myself to knit for the second time in the winter of 2004
13. Over teh course of the next 7 months I knit a lace "shawl" from a 1970's Bernat's pattern book made from a fuzzy chenille yarn called "snowflake." I didn't swatch or check my gauge. I ran out of yarn halfway through and had to choose a different color because of course the yarn store was out of the color I had been using. Now we use the "shawl" as a blanket.
14. I played basketball, volleyball and was a cheerleader in high school
15. I was the valedictorian of my senior class in high school-- in a graduating class of seven (including me)
16. I have an old black and white picture of my maternal grandmother when she was 26 and preganant with my mother in which she looks so much like me (or vice versa) that the first time I saw it I thought it was me
17. I often switch sides in the middle of an argument
18. When I was growing up people often told me that I should become a lawyer
19. I am a lawyer
20. I have terrible handwriting and sometimes even I can't read what I've written

So, there you go. The first installment. Stay tuned for more.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I am a bad, neglectful blogger who is trying to do better. So here I am. I am badly in need of a digital camera to make this worthwhile for those out here who might actually read this.

So, on to me. It is all about me, since this is a blog, possibly the most self centered format for self expression possible. Not only is it all about me but it's also out there so that others can read all about me. As if any of you will be interested. But, of course, that's what I'm banking on.

So, who am I? I am empty space. Or something like that. Mainly, I'm a 20-something woman living in an impossibly boring city obscenely close to Idaho (but still in Washington state, but no, it's not Seattle. Seattle is not boring. Seattle is six hours from Idaho. Seattle has the sound and rain. Where I am, there is rarely ever any rain. I love the rain. I love it even more after five years without it.) I'm too young to really enjoy or even feel comfortable in my chosen occupation and I only sometimes grudgingly enjoy living in this, my chosen city.

So what's a girl to do? Why, she gets some serious hobbies. At the moment I'm totally in complete infatuation with my newest hobby: knitting. I love knitting. I love the yarn, I love the needles. I don't love the price of the yarn but the job that I'm mostly uncomfortable in and the price of housing in the city that I only occasionally grudgingly enjoy living in allows me to afford a serious amount of good yarn. Even at retail prices. Mostly, I love working with my hands. Creating something from scratch.

That brings me to my other, companion, love. Learning to spin. I would say spinning but I can't really honestly call what I'm doing now spinning. But I have some ideas on how to improve my spinning (other than simply practicing) which I plan to implement. (Isn't "implement" a great word? It's precise. And easy on the ears.) I will let you all know how that goes.

Anyway, so that's all for now. I have to save something for my June post, after all.

Locations of visitors to this page

<< *.* >>