I Love Spinning

I love my spinning. I’ve been quite addicted to it lately. The rolags are fluffy, and soft and the little bits of Sari silk that show up every now and again are just so exciting. (I might be easily amused).

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I’m making progress now that I have a whole ‘bobbin’ full of 46.9 grams of singles. I have 7 rolags left and I’m spinning away on my Aaronmakesstuff spindle.

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However, I have to admit something, I’m cheating on my fiber. Okay, okay, I hear your indignant protestations (unless, of course, you’re on my side?),  and I know there’s no excuse for cheating on really nice rolags, but at least let me try. Exhibit A: I took knitting and spinning with me when I was camping (see? I was trying), but it turned out to be way easier to knit around the campfire than spin, and the stitch pattern was addicting, and the yarn was handspun BFL singles I got from a friend on Instagram a few years back, and I had never knit with BFL before.

Anyway, I got a bit carried away and I now have a whole cowl (minus the buttons) for when I go to Peru (I didn’t tell you guys about that yet, did I?), since it will be winter there.

Exhibit B is also rather compelling. I’m way behind on this month’s socks for the AK Sockness (the theme this month is Fairisle) and BoxOSox KALs. They are a pair of socks that I am designing I go, since I couldn’t find any patterns that meshed with the yarn I had left at school. While I was distracted with my spinning I fell behind and now I’m half a sock behind.

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They are pretty though, the main color is Lazy O’ Ranch in the ‘Geometry’ colorway. the contrasting colorway is KnitPicks Stroll Solids, Heathers & Twists in the ‘Saphire Heather’ colorway It’s the yarn I used in my mom’s Squircle socks this Christmas.

My mom also asked that I knit her some washcloths for her, and I’ve been putting that off since January because other things (SPINNING?!?) were more interesting. Now, she wants one for Memorial Day weekend (the 26th-28th for those of you not in the US), which means I have to get it done by Saturday, since Sunday I’m headed to Philadelphia for 2 weeks (I didn’t tell you guys about that either, did I?). That’s Exhibit C, by the way.

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So, yeah, cheating on spinning is inexcusable, but maybe now you understand why I did am doing it?

A Herd of Socks

As we march through April, toward finals I’ve had some weird hiccups of free time. Don’t tell anyone. I thought, since I just finished my ‘April Socks’, I should do a roundup so you guys can see what I’ve done so far for the BoxOSox and AKSockness KALs. (Click the links for all the info!)

January was my Katzen Bites Back socks. The theme for AKSockness was lace.

February was my Heal Boy! socks. The theme for AKSockness was funky heels.

March was my Aquaphobia socks. The Theme for AKSockness was cables.

April is my now-finished, Rainbow Socks. The theme for AKSockness is stripes.

Hope for Facts

I have been working like a whirling dervish the past few weeks. I’ve had so many school assignments and I was also trying to get ready for the March for Science in Washington DC. I’ve thought about how to write this post several times. I’m not really, very sure what to say. It was wet. It was cold. It was surreal.

We got up at 4 am Saturday morning and were on the bus by 4:50. The Geosciences club at our school had received funding to book a charter bus, and it was only $5 for each of us to go. We were off and underway before I was even properly awake. As we neared D.C. (Our nation’s capitol for anyone abroad who might not know) I pulled my costume on over my shorts and tee shirt.

I had decided some months back that I was going to dress as Ms. Frizzle, the wild, wonderful, and wacky science teacher that takes her students on magical field trips in the book series and television show ‘The Magic Schoolbus’.  It was very popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I also was planning on carrying a sign that said ‘Science in Schools is Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead!” (STEAM is an acronym that means science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). I had spent a lot of time preparing this costume and. if you want to see how I made the costume, there will

I had spent a lot of time preparing this costume and, if you want to see how I made the costume, there will be links to the other posts as soon as they go up at the end.

Back to the March, our bus dropped us off just next to Arlington National Cemetary and we walked into D.C. and to the national mall, where the Washington Monument was, and where the rally before the march was being held. (Yes I got to hear/see Bil Nye speak!)

It rained the entire day, turning everything quite soggy and cold, and rendering the special sunscreen I bought (my face breaks out quite spectacularly with certain types) useless. The main way this affected me, however, was that my camera had to stay dry and that meant that it had to stay in its case and that meant that I couldn’t take many pictures.

These first few are the ones I did manage to take in the 5 minutes that the skies halted their precipitation.

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I understand that some of these pictures might not be to your liking, particularly politically, but this is what was around me, this was my experience as we all exited the area in front of the Washington Monument and began our march.

The march itself was slow moving at first, I believe we were being held up by a traffic light. We were all cold, we were all wet, and we were all united. Chants were taken up by marchers and cries such as these could be heard:

The call and reply of “What do we want?” “Science!” “When do we want it?” “After Peer Review!”.  The repetition of “Air pollution is not a joke! Air pollution will make you choke!” There were a few that were picked up from the speakers such as “science not silence,” and “no science, no chance!” The most chilling, however, was “Save the EPA!” as we passed the building that housed the Environmental Protection Agency. (This agency is in danger of being defunded by the current administration)

At the very end of our march, we encountered some counter-protesters just before the steps of the Capital building. They were chanting something to the tune of ‘if you believe in science, you can’t believe in abortion’, now I am stressing that I am paraphrasing here because I could not hear the counter protesters over the counter counter protestors and their chants of “My body, My choice!”

These next pictures were taken by the other members of our group during the march from the Washington Monument to the United States Capitol building.

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I did crop these pictures because I was not sure how comfortable everyone was with being thrown up on my blog. You can see how wet we all were. The picture of Jake and I at the Lincoln Memorial was at the beginning before we went to the rally. We get progressively soggier from there.

Also, my friend was dressed as Sans from the game ‘Undertale’. If you know anything about the game you will know that your choices regarding how you treat the monsters in the game change how the game is presented to you during that run, and during future runs (there are pacifist and genocide runs, to give you an idea). My talented friend, she did her face makeup, her skeleton gloves, and her sign on the bus on the way there! Her sign said ‘There’s no reset once you’re killed us all’. Very morbid, but very appropriate.

While we were at the rally beforehand, a man in a hat that said BBC and a press pass stopped and took her picture. (If you click the link the first picture in the video is her.)

This march was… I don’t have the words to accurately describe it, ignoring the wordsmith I try to be. Somewhere between amazing, adrenaline filled, wonderful, and horrific all mixed together. It was a celebration of science, yet the need for this march, this protest in support of facts, created an undercurrent of sadness, anger, and fear, despite the speaker’s best efforts to keep the messages upbeat.

This hope, this love, this spirit is what we will need to protect our wonderful little planet in the coming years. I will halt hear, to stop from becoming too political and from derailing myself, but I urge all of you to hold onto the hope I saw in everyone’s faces, despite the cold and wet. It is powerful.

(I apologize for the length of this post, and the rambly-ness, but I wanted to tell the whole story)

Flyover Post

This post is the equivalent of me fly by at a million miles an hour, throwing some things out behind me and seeing what sticks. Sadly that’s all I have time for today. I wanted to post something though, to let you guys know I am still around, somewhat.

I’ve been busy since I last posted (has it really been that long?) mostly with school, but that’s boring. Let me tell you about the fun stuff. I went to IthaCon and got to meet one of the authors that was most influential to me in middle and high school. I still enjoy her books today. Tamora Pierce. Y’all, I met Tamora Frickin Pierce! I was so nervous that I forgot how to spell my name when she was signing my book. Luckily she was as kind as she was funny and intelligent. I even got her to hold my knitting.

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You can watch the Vlog I made of the whole day here if you want.

Knitting-wise I’m working on an Espeon for Everett, Jake’s roommate. Here’s a picture of the backside of it.

 

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I finished the body and the tail last night. I’d show you the front too, but it’s the same as the back, minus the tail. I’m following this pattern, which I used to make a Jiji for myself a few years ago. However he’s looking a bit stouter than Jiji does, but I’m using the same yarn and needles so I’m not sure why. If there were any modifications done to Jiji I can’t remember them, and honestly, with the amount of braining school is taking, I’m not even going to try.

I’m still on track for the AKSockness KAL and BoxOSox KAL as well. This month’s pair of socks are actually kind of zooming along (I really hope I didn’t just jinx myself). They’re a pair of Vanilla toe-up socks using some KnitPicks Felici that was gifted to my by Kathryn. (The even have the same colorway- Rainbow!)

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This is the second foot and as you can see with the random blue line, I’ve passed the spot for the afterthought heel. I’m loving the way these are knitting up and if had some of that mythical spare time, I would take time off from knitting to just squish them.

I’ve been reading a wee bit too. Kameron Hurley’s Mirror Empire series. I’m on book two of three; Empire Ascendent. It’s a thick classic fantasy novel that’s only ‘classic’ in the sense that it’s practically a tome with each page crammed full of a minuscule font that conveys a heavy plot that requires a bit of thought to digest. Other than that, it’s very modern. I love it.

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The cover is all bent up already as I’ve been hauling it around with me for a bit and finally seem to be making progress on it. I’ll do a full review on it later. For now, I need to get back to my report for Assessment in Education.

Be back soon when I can!

Dreams of FOs

I went a little crazy Friday and knit the last five rows of ribbing on my second Achilles Heal sock all the way through the leg patterning and part of the top of the foot. It helped that I went to a soccer banquet and had no excuse to not knit through the thing. I also had lots of class time that lent itself to knitting.

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I also kind of lost my head when I finished the mitt part of the first of my Fight’ Words mitts. As soon as I cast off the ribbing I cast it aside and Sunday I grabbed my long-suffering inCampside Shawl (It’s been since August??) and caught part of a Minecraft stream by Lapis Lauri while I knitted on it.

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I was under the delusion that I could finish it in an afternoon. I correctly remembered that I didn’t have much less, but the amount itself was more than I thought. Also, I’ve been modifying this shawl as I went, making it larger since it’s a shawl for DK weight yarn and I am using fingering weight yarn.

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I initially had two skeins of Knit Picks Palette in bare so I wasn’t worried about running out of yarn. Then I dyed it. (Why? Because I wanted to.) Now I’m going to have to cut out a bit of the lace pattern to make it to the end. Not really a big deal, but it bugs me that I should have just knit it the way it was written as it seems plenty big now even missing 1 & 1/2 lace charts, but there’s no way I’m unraveling back to what I assume is where I deviated from the pattern.


Also, I was wondering if you guys were interested in me starting my book reviews over again. I’m thinking of releasing one on the first of each month. Let me know!

Jogging so Fast

I’ve been chugging away on my Fightin’ Words mitts as best as I can. I added a round and a half last night while watching Full Frontal (Late night comedy on TBS hosted by Samantha Bee- not a porno), trying to keep my gauge from tightening in frustration too much.

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Gauge is still a bogeyman for this project, a silent spectator lurking in the background gnashing its pointy teeth. It whispers things like ‘they won’t fit’ and ‘all this work for nothing’. Fun stuff like that.  I’m just trying to cross my fingers as I knit, hoping that they’ll fit. Maybe that’s why my progress is so slow.

I’ve also been working on my Achilles’ Heal Socks while in class. I have a night class again this semester, along with a few other classes that don’t require much note taking, I have been almost flying through my first one. Jogging at least.

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Seen here I’ve just about finished the top of the foot. Wild right? I’ll do a post explaining their construction next time. I’ve been loving the way the stitch pattern plays with the subtle gradation of the yarn.

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It’s fun to watch it swing from more purple to more blue and back. The shifts are subtle but I’m easily amused. 😉

Head in Sand

I had grand plans this weekend since I was going to be by myself for most of it, but I seriously underestimated the amount of time and energy I would have. I did get some stuff done, though.

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The Fightin’ Words are continuing as the have, that is to say; slowly. I haven’t had to rip them out since I last posted, though, so that’s progress. I’ve found that having read a few posts and that actually helped. Color me surprised. I’ve switched to using just 2

I’ve switched to using just 2 dpns, something I sometimes do with socks. I don’t know if it’s helpful with the colorwork, but I’m under the delusion that it does. I was planning to actually commit an blasphemy try something new and switch to magic loop, but all my circulars seem to be like 2.5 US, even though I think they were originally 2 US. I’m keeping my floats loose and praying for the best. I haven’t tried it on since the ribbing. I’m not even considering it won’t fit.

I’ve also started my February entry for the BoxOSox KAL and the AKSockness KAL. The theme for February for the Sockness KAL is ‘Funky Heals’. I chose the pattern Achilles’ Heal. It’s a knitty pattern I’d never heard of.

I spent some time playing with what little light there is in my dorm room and was still unable to capture the light that I swear to you is in my room.

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I took pictures from another angle and was able to capture the essence of the sock so far.

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There isn’t much to it yet, I’m not even done with the ribbing yet. The yarn seems to be a very round, robust fingering weight and the ribbing seems to be almost choking itself on my new US 1 (2.25 mm) Chiaogoo needles. I like them they’re slick and pointy, almost too pointy. I’m waiting for me to impale myself through my purse or something. I’m using
Patons North America Kroy Socks FX in an unknown colorway. I received it during the #getyouryarnwishesgranted from @knittersgonnaknit. I’m liking it so far.

Ripit Ripit

Sunday morning Jake and I went into the town on the edge of our University’s campus and had some lovely coffee and mocha muffins. On a whim, I asked him if he’d like to accompany me into the rustic gift/fabric store across the way. They have a small yarn selection as well, and I told myself him I wanted to ‘just look around’. Of course that didn’t happen. There was a large basket and cubby of yarn marked ‘50% off’. After perusing and resisting organizing it it I chose two skeins of Debbie Bliss Rialto Chunky in ‘43014’ and ‘43011’. It’s 100% wool and was $3.00 a skein with the discount. I couldn’t say no to that.

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After that, we went into one of the two antique stores on the main street. He wanted to look at the shelf of video games the one had. I was more than game. The case was no longer there, the vendor having left the store. I, however, came away with two things. A bit of fabric with paper dolls on it (the fabric was also 50% off and cost $1.00).

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I didn’t have enough room to take a picture of it all opened up, so I made a collage of somewhat dubious quality in photoshop. It occurs to me now that I could have made one on it here.

I also found a craft book from the 1980s ($1.50). It has some motifs in it I particularly like. Between that and the new yarn, I think I smell a hat pattern.

What else have I been doing?

I’ve started the Fightin’ Words Mitts and, dear friends, it hasn’t been going well. The first time I ripped it out I didn’t like the striped ribbing I was improving. The second I had forgotten to start one of the points of colorwork. Time three was because I had forgotten to start increasing for the thumb gusset.

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This is where I am right now and, unfortunately, it is waiting to be ripped out again. It’s too small. Not so small it doesn’t fit. Just not comfortably. I planned to take a few hours today and rip it out without any distractions, but the day just got away from me.

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I also did some spinning last week. The amount I managed isn’t so notable as the fact that I spun anything at all. I’ve been working on these rolags since July and I would like to have them finished at some point.

I also did some knitting on the ten-stitch charity blanket, but not enough for it to be worth taking a picture of. It still looks mostly the same. School has been crazy right off the bat and I applied for a new job today and people want me to join or run new clubs. Maybe lots of meeting time will mean listening and knitting time. Maybe not, I’ll squeeze it in regardless.

 

Katzen Bites Back

I finished my Katzen Bites Back socks! I’m so excited that I have no lead-up. They’re just done!

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I apologize for the slightly crappy quality of the pictures, the lighting in my dorm room is, apparently, not the best. These socks are the Mercury Socks by Kim Drotar. I knit them out of Schoppel Woll Ambiente, in the colorway  ‘Katzenbißer’ (‘cat-biter’ for those who don’t speak German like me).

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I also managed to get to the post office and have it be open (I went Monday, and they were closed for an unannounced lunch break. Tuesday campus was closed for a snowstorm and so was the post office). I got my yarn for my Fightin’ Words mitts, also going to be in multiple KALs.

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They are three skeins of Cascade 220 Fingering

After adding them to my stash on Ravelry, the colors are Black, Ruby, and White. So I was close.

Drive-By Blogging

It’s been less than 24 hours since I stopped in here to talk to you all, but I thought I should do a quick and dirty post since I last mentioned my Katzen Bites Back socks I have knit what amounts to a whole sock.

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I’ve mitered the toe shut on the first one with about 10 yards of yarn left. I may have had to fudge the toe decreases to make it work, but, in the end, it did. I’ve started the second sock and am on the foot now, past the gusset decreases. I struggled with the lace a little bit this time. It started with me trying to knit on the leg while watching Howl’s Moving Castle with my mom.

I love Studio Ghibli movies and it had been enough time since I’d seen Howl’s Moving Castle that I couldn’t exactly remember how it went. From there on, I’ve been spotting mistakes a few rows down and having to let the stitches drop down and reknit them up one by one.

Today was the first day of my spring semester. That means that there was a lot of talking and not a lot of note-taking. I got quite a bit of knitting done during my Spanish class. I’m hoping to be mostly done with them by tomorrow tonight because I have two classes in the morning and a three hour night class that I can knit my way through, more or less.

I also found a box for the box o’ sox KAL. One needs a box for their sox, obviously. I bought a box I found in the Valentines Day aisle at Walmart.

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I bought this box because, as many of you know, I am in school to become an elementary school teacher. I’m not sure If I like the box yet. We’ll have to see.