Sunday, February 15, 2015

And... Those Happened.

I watched Whiplash and American Sniper back to back tonight.

Yeah... I'm going to need some processing time.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Socks Of Doom

I finished the socks!  The socks are done!

Today was just one of those days.  I slept on the couch because my grandmother was staying in my room.  Twelve hours, but I probably woke up half a dozen times (awkwardly turn over, go back to sleep).  I woke up feeling somewhat better than yesterday but still just... blah.

I'm taking Vitamin C supplements that are gummies shaped like orange slices.  Marketed for adults.  They're basically like candy for sick people.  It's so great.

In English I got up and started to leave when the professor was readying to hand back essays.  It's the last thing he does in class and I hadn't turned one in on Tuesday, so I figured there was no reason for me to stay.  I got to the door before I realized he was staring at me, so the entire class was staring at me.  I paused with my hand on the doorknob, turned toward him, and shrugged.  "You don't have one of mine, remember?"  He unfroze and I knew he'd forgotten.  "Ah.  Yes.  If you didn't hand an essay in to me on Tuesday, you can leave now."  I realized on the stairs I should've said, "Oh, did my fairy godmother turn in an essay I didn't know about?"  Same result, but with added laughter.

Government was pretty much a repeat class from last semester, talking about good sources versus questionable, bad, and worse-than-nothing sources.  Did you know that watching cable news networks is scientifically proven to be worse at informing the public about political issues than not watching any news at all?  It's pretty sad really.  Also one of the students asked, "What about TMZ?" and half the class started snorting.  The professor actually giggled.

Anyway, I bet you want to hear about the socks.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


I am sick.

I am stressed.

I have a lot to do.

My post for today is:

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Homework Crunch

Today was a fun day.

I had my first round of babysitting for this family today.  The door was open when I arrived because there were workers installing a fireplace (or rather the stone around one) and only the middle daughter was findable.  She remembered my name and seemed delighted to see me, which was encouraging.  I got her to explain her LEGO house to me, and we repaired all the damage her baby sister had done to it.

Everyone else was upstairs.  The oldest daughter made an appearance first, and she was obviously a little more wary of me.  She's a lot less of an attention-seeker and it's clear that she neither minds nor desires my presence.  I like her.  Eventually the mother came downstairs, when the baby was finally asleep.  She made tea -- in an actual teapot, which was apparently the first thing she unpacked -- and spent the rest of my stay moving between the garage and the house as she unpacked and sorted.  The girls "unpacked" some things as well, which stressed her out more.  Oops.

On the way home I stopped at the local Trader Joe's to pick up shelf-stable Indian food.  I also grabbed a box of couscous, which I used for lunch, and a bag of Inner Peas which will probably be gone by Sunday because they are so delicious.

I had a homework crunch tonight:

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Tavern Wench

My family went to Medieval Times tonight, which is this elaborate dinner and tournament show.  Most of my family dressed up.  I brought my spindle and refused to wear a paper crown in an attempt to be "part of the show".  I gathered a little crowd of enchanted tiny kids and was mistaken for an employee at one point, which basically made my day.

My costume was a Halloween pirate dress my aunt bought a few years ago.  We had to belt it so it would fit, and it still draped rather than hugged, but wearing the "corset" I bought for prom two years ago at least made it look like I had some curves.

Notice my adorable half-curtsey that looks as natural as breathing.  Curtseys have been my default "you exist and I am acknowledging you" gesture while in a skirt for years now, so it's semi-automatic at this point.  I was bobbing curtseys to knights, royalty, and little girls all evening.  (The little girls were the greatest because they would stare in wonder and then bob awkward little curtseys back!) I discovered upon returning home that I actually have the balance required to make those deep, elaborate curtseys that require you to go almost to your knee with your back totally straight while spreading your skirts out, and rising back up without wobbling.  It's quite a feat, and one I'm maybe too proud of.

Oh also, our knight won the tournament and defeated the bad guy.  It was a good night.

Let's take a peek at my February Resolution progress, shall we?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Missed One, And Friday Victories

And I missed my first blog post of the year yesterday.  Sad face.  I just totally fell asleep before I remembered to post it.

Oh well.  It's not a big deal, obviously, and I will be fine.  I also missed a day of exercise on Wednesday.  February is starting off shaky.

I guess it's time for some Friday Victories, since I again don't have Adulting Blanket pictures off my camera.  Shame on me.  We'll try to be better organized next week.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

My Favorite Blanket

Short update on the socks before we go into my weird showcase for the day.  I turned the heels!  I'm still somewhat suspicious of this whole Fleegle heel thing, since I ended up only doing 20 rounds of gusset increases rather than 30 and that meant increasing to 32 stitches rather than decreasing after the actual turn.  But they fit okay as far as I can tell, and I am somewhat more cheerful now that it looks like I may actually reach the end of the ball at some point.

The front of the sock is three cable panels, and the back of the leg adds in the outer two cables while leaving the center in stockinette, which I think is pretty neat.  Because I'd like them to be aligned with the cables on the front of the foot I actually started them on round 3 rather than round 1, but I'm probably going to just ignore those first two rounds and pretend I have them.  My plan is to shoot for two full repeats of these cables, so 24 rounds (minus the two at the beginning, but that's fine) so I have more knitting to do before I start getting impatient.  If I feel like I'll probably run out of yarn before that, I can switch to the ribbing.  Otherwise, that's the goal.  Twenty-four rows (I've already completed six, so eighteen to go), and then I can either add another few rows or go straight to the ribbing.

So I did not adequately prepare for Showcase today either.  I am a bad blogger, obviously.  I shall try to have something for you next week, but for today I'm going to quietly show off my favorite blanket ever.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Basics Of Sock-ing

We're still talking about the socks.

Arg, the socks.  The Kick Off The New Year Socks.  The cables that I have to remember to mirror, the toes that are too long, the gauge that isn't tight enough.  Oh, the socks.

I'm halfway through the gusset increases and I'm ready to -- quoting Ian -- punch a llama.  I am so tired of these socks being un-sock-like.  We are having a rocky relationship and the end is not in sight.  I am skeptical of this whole Fleegle heel thing.  What kind of a name is Fleegle, anyway?  Not one that sounds very trustworthy, that's for sure.

I don't know what I'm doing for February's socks.  I kind of want to make heart socks out of hot pink yarn, but I don't want them to take forever.  It might end up being basic toe-up socks I knit tiny reverse-stockinette hearts into everywhere.  That sounds cute, right?  But first I have to finish the stupid New Year socks.  ARG.

Okay.  That's enough WIP Whining for today.  Let's talk about something else sock-related, shall we?

Bad Planning, Good Day

So... today was a long day.  Told you this one would be late.

I slept for less than two hours and really only got up on time because I told a friend I needed to be up by then and had incentive to let him know I was.  I managed to forget to bring my water bottle and a pillowcase in which to stealthily hide a quilt (more on that later), but nothing of importance was left behind.

There were practically no people on the road.  It was awesome.  It was 3:00 in the morning.

I got an agenda when I got there and my heart sank because it didn't look like there was going to be enough free time to do anything, and we were leaving at four in the afternoon.  This felt stupid all day long.  I had to text Ian and let him know that I couldn't go to dinner with him and the friend he'll be living with next school year, seriously disappointing all of us.

When I got on the bus I went straight to the back and ended up in the "multicultural cheer" section, somehow.  Black, Hispanic, Arabic, and me the white girl.  It was pretty cool.  On the way back the Hispanic boy and I had our seats stolen by a couple of Asian girls, so the aggregate diversity went down in an amusing way.  There are a lot of different people at my school, and I find this to be really awesome.  Anyway, we chatted or slept for a few hours as the bus left at 4:00 AM and we stopped for breakfast at 6:20 AM.  At some early time of the morning Ian called, and it's weird that my phone has no idea of either this call or the next call but it has the third one.  Anyway, we figured out a plan for when he could come pick me up that would work as long as my professor didn't require that I stay on the capitol grounds (which he didn't, because he knows both of us and is a pretty chill guy).

Rallies are boring.  Cheer cheer speech speech speech introduction cheer speech speech introduction cheer cheer speech speech speech cheer.  Basically.  It was really boring, and it was sprinkling, and my feet were unhappy from standing in my new shoes.  When Ian arrived we were waiting in the school picture line, and he thoughtfully snapped one for me.

It's not very good, but that's the school group I went with.  I'm a tiny red set of pixels on the right side middle row.  Ian's standing pretty far out of the way holding my umbrella, and I wish I had a picture of this because he's a 6-foot ginger boy in a suit jacket holding a black umbrella with purple and blue flowery patterns on it.  So adorable.

He lives within walking distance of the capital and doesn't have his car in the city anyway, so we had to walk.  It was so painful I eventually took off the shoes and just carried them and walked in my tights (I need to wash them now).  Not my favorite thing.  His apartment is tiny and funny-shaped, but apparently bigger than most 4-person apartments (all I have to say is: yikes).  I was cold the entire time I was there, which concerned him because the air was on as warm as it would go.

We grabbed lunch at the cafeteria, which is I think where this picture is from:

Monday, February 2, 2015

What A Day, and 3GT

Today has been long.

I wrote a 400-word response paper for my English teacher, which took way longer than it should have because all my English-class-writing skills are rusty.  Then I stopped at Payless to buy grownup shoes because I need to dress professionally tomorrow (though... I am wearing bright red tights as socks...) only they didn't have them in the right size so I had to go to a different Payless to find them.

When I got home I had to do English class with my youngest brother.  Then it was review-the-terms time for my psychology of sexuality class because we had a quiz on female anatomy.  On my way home I picked up bright red tights at Target and lipstick at Walmart, only to discover that someone with a sense of humor decided to smash the lipstick so now I have to try to return it -- not likely!  Great fun for me.

I have to get up in three hours to get on a bus for Austin, so if there is a post tomorrow it will either be automated or come in after midnight.  Probably the latter.  Apologies in advance.

Because I don't have too much more time to talk, let's hit 3 Good Things real quick before I head to bed.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

2015 Resolutions Update, And February

Want some good news?  We all survived the first month of 2015!  Go us!

Here's some more good news:  A lot of us did a lot of things!  There was a lot of productivity in this first month of 2015, even with a few major setbacks for some people.  Hopefully we all keep up this great momentum all year.

Let's start with a bit of a review of how I'm doing with my 2015 Resolutions, and then we'll start the February Resolutions.

1) Keep up with 3 Good Things all year
I'm doing really well with this one!  I'm a few days behind writing things down (I think I need to write down Friday and Saturday), but I am taking time to think about them every night.  I just don't always have the mental energy to write them down!

2) Exercise for at least 10 minutes each day
This is working out as well (pun unintended).  A lot of my exercise has just been ten to fifteen minutes of basic yoga, but it's definitely making a difference for me already.  This month I'm going to start trying to get some more serious exercise in.

     a) Bonus points for actually completing C25K this year
          I have not started this yet because I don't feel that I'm in shape enough to do even that.  Plus, it
          was January, and that means it was cold.  This is a resolution for spring/summer months, not

3) Put up one blog post a day
This has been happening as well, as long as you consider "day" to be "before I go to bed".  Some of them have been very late, past midnight, but I'm going to work on getting them in earlier as I get more used to my schedule.  Having some weekly elements is going to help that a lot, I think.

4) Complete my Year Of Adulting Blanket and accompanying journal
This is sort of working... and sort of not.  There are 32 squares, which means I'm right on top of things as far as squares go, but I'm a week behind in the journaling.  Hopefully I can catch up this week, and then I'll be right on target again.  That's the goal here!

5) Read all 24 of my MERaT books
I got off to a good start by reading both of my January books.  They were really short though, so that wasn't very challenging.  I'll have to plan a little bit better to do as well with February's books.  More on that in a bit.

6) Knit 12 pairs of socks
I'm so disappointed that I couldn't finish my "January" socks in January.  It just didn't happen this time.  But, I'm confident in my ability to catch up and finish them within a few weeks.  More on this in a minute as well.

7) Make sure more yarn is going out of the house than into it
I'm really not sure how I did on this.  I haven't calculated my yarn usage for January yet.  I'll get back to you.

Looks like I'm making some good progress on the 2015 goals.  Ready to see February's?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

January Resolution Wrap-Up

Well, I don't have all the right pictures for my Adulting Blanket at this particular moment.  But January ended on a Saturday so it makes sense for me to wrap up my January Resolutions and start in with February's resolutions tomorrow.

I did okay-ish in my resolutions this month.  I think next month will consist of a lot more smaller goals so I have things to triumphantly check off a lot more often.  It's way more satisfying than slogging through some of the bigger ones.

A Few Major Victories

Sorry this post is coming in so extremely late that we're already almost four hours into the following day.  It's been a bit of a long evening, which relates to the second victory.

Victory: This teddy bear!

I finished it!  Yesterday, in fact.  As you can see, M is delighted.  She has a purple stuffed heart among her stuffing (it's just barely visible from the right angles and in the right light, but it's definitely obvious to the touch), and red features.  She has no name yet, but I'm sure one will be determined soon.  I'm really pleased with her.  I did not expect the camouflage yarn to turn out that awesome.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Lamest Showcase Ever

Today's the first day I'm doing this, right, so it stands to reason that I'd be totally unprepared for it.  Blame the fact that I'm still not into the swing of being a diurnal person again.  (Free vocabulary word for you there: diurnal is awake during the day and asleep during the night -- the opposite of nocturnal.)  In any case, I haven't exactly asked anyone yet if I can feature their projects on my blog, so I'm forced to, uh... not.

Since I don't have permission to use anyone's pictures for anything (standard practice; makes total sense), I'm sort of limited in what I can put up for today's post.  My solution is to feature patterns rather than projects, and only patterns I've made, so I can put up pictures that belong to me!  I think this is a pretty genius (and laughable) solution.  I also think I should be way more prepared for next Thursday.

So we're showcasing amigurumi patterns today, because I have amis on my mind lately and I've done several cute ones.  All these patterns are paid, but all are under $5US.

Ready for cuteness?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WIP Wednesday!

In order to make it easier to post every day, I've come up with some elements to add to each day's post.  Having some regular content will help me have enough to say, and give some regularity to my posts.  Here's what I'm thinking.

Sundays will be Resolutions, where I review what I've resolved to do this month or year, and how I'm doing with them.  Having regular reviews will probably help me get more things done!

Mondays will continue to be 3 Good Things.  It's a good bit of positivity for what tends to be a bad day.

Tuesdays is going to be a food thing, which I don't yet have a title for.  (I'm contemplating "Tasty Treats, but that sounds like either dog food or dessert.)  Essentially I'm going to post something I made for myself in the last week that I really liked.  I'll for sure either post or link to the recipes so you can all make them for yourselves!

Wednesday will be Works In Progress.  Mostly fiber projects, but other things can also make an appearance like books I'm reading.

Thursdays are going to be Showcase.  This is strictly fiber-related, where I show off crafts done by friends or even perfect strangers (I'll ask first, obviously).  Essentially, if it strikes my fancy, I'll put it up.  (This will probably also give those people some publicity, which the ones with blogs or charities would appreciate.)

Fridays will be Victory days!  This is like FO Friday, but more inclusive.  Anything I consider a victory can be added to this one.

Saturdays are going to be Adulting Blanket days.  A nice overview of the squares I've made in the past week.  It'll give some great color combinations, at the very least!

Now that we've talked about this, let's move on to today's element, Works In Progress!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

College Tantrums

Okay, so normally I think it's rude to gossip about strangers, and that's because it is, but sometimes, they really truly deserve to be talked about.  I feel like today is one of those days, and this is just one of those things that man, this girl was asking for it.  So we're going to have a little lesson here.  Gather 'round, children, and we're going to learn how respectable college students don't act.

My English teacher has a fairly strict attendance policy.  He takes roll exactly once per class period, when class is supposed to start.  He goes through the roll alphabetically, calling each name up to three times (last name -- last name slower and clearer -- full name) before moving on to the next.  If a student does not answer their name, they are marked absent.  Five absences is an automatic "F" in the course.  This is a big deal.

(It also caused me quite a bit of stress my first semester, because for religious reasons I would be missing, you guessed it, five days of class.  He annoyed me to no end with his insistence that I run around campus and find all the hoops to jump through, but I'm now grateful that he made me learn exactly what I had to do to get an excused absence for religious observance.  Once we figured out the legal and administrative bits, he was happy to not count me absent -- it's illegal to do that if the absence is religious, in this state -- and work with me on how to make up the work I missed.  He's pretty cool.)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sex Class And 3GT

My Monday night class is a psychology/sociology course called Human Sexuality, and tonight was my first night.  Holy cow, am I going to love this class.

The teacher is funny, sarcastic, and very chill about everything -- including the fact that he routinely annoys the professors of neighboring classes by talking about sex while they're trying to teach math or English or other innocuous subjects.  The students were all there and most of them seemed comfortable.  There are plenty of students there because they're majoring in psychology and practically have to take it, so those are the ones to be wary of, but as a general rule I think we should be okay.

It's a hybrid class, which means it only meets every other week on average (out of the 15 Mondays in the semester, we'll be meeting on 8 and staying home for 7).  This probably means better discussions where the two or three other too-comfortable people and I don't totally dominate -- although I have some mad typing skills and don't mind long responses so I'll probably dominate anyway.

In the interest of not squicking out or boring my readers (or reader, as the case probably is), I'll likely not talk too much about this particular class.  I'll try to limit myself to long discussions with Ian and some of my more open-minded friends!

And now, time for the return of my weekly series, 3 Good Things!  This list is for January 19 - January 25, so Monday-Sunday.  It's confusing because I can fit an entire week on one page, but my week starts on Thursday because New Year was on a Thursday, so I'm basically doing halfway through one page to halfway through the next page.  It's kind of awkward, but I like adding the positivity to my Mondays, so we're sticking with it.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Making A Sort Of Progress, And Other Nonsense

Last night I slept on the couch because my room is also the guest room for lone guests, and my grandmother was here.  I really dislike sleeping on the couch.  My hair is always a rat's nest in the morning and all my bones creak and click when I get up.  It's very weird.

I went to see a play today.  Well, actually I went to see a staged reading of a Shakespeare play, where there's very little in the way of sets, props, or costuming and everyone carries a script.  They're usually a lot of fun but I think I'm going to have to start reading the synopsis before attending because these history plays are absolutely killing me.

Today's production was Henry IV, Part I, and I understand it way more now after reading the Wikipedia synopsis than I did at any point in three hours of watching it.  Apparently that scene at the beginning was a fight over prisoners and the former ally of the king decided to depose him.  Just knowing that makes the whole thing make a lot of sense.  I really disliked the comic relief character, which is a bad thing because he evidently gets a much bigger part in Part II, as well as another of Shakespeare's plays.  Something to steel myself for.

In the area of Adulting I did something very successful today.  I got hopelessly lost.

I've been going to these readings for several years.  I've been driving myself to them for several months.  So I reasoned that I didn't need a map this time because I should be familiar with the way at this point.  And yet, I got to downtown Dallas and I got hopelessly, miserably lost.  I had absolutely no idea where I was, or where the arts center was, or where anything was.  I drove around for fifteen minutes, reasoning that I was at least within a few blocks of it (I knew I had the right highway exit, more or less) and I should be able to find it without calling someone with access to GPS to figure out what I was doing wrong.  I eventually found a street I recognized and followed it until I found another street I recognized and followed that until I knew where I was again and could locate the parking garage.  I was two minutes late for the introduction to the play and had to sit in the back.  For a woman used to front row seats (It's general admission; I try to be first in line), this was bad.

Anyway!  All's well that ends well (points for Shakespeare reference), and I successfully did an adult thing.  Now, let's see how I'm doing in Resolutions, with only one week left.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

"Fun" Show

It has been a long, long, long day.  And a lot of what happened to lead up to today I don't want to talk about.

The summary is that a friend of mine was going to perform Chasing Cars in my dad's church Fun Show and enlisted me for a backup vocalist because I can invent harmonies on the fly.  Then the parents of the lead vocalist decided to change some of the words so that no one could "take them out of context" and get upset about them (said lead vocalist and I later went through the entire song together and pointed out to each other how the entire song could be read in ways that could potentially offend people in the congregation; we're awesome).  Then I spent at least an entire day trying to decide whether I felt okay singing the new lyrics and decided I didn't, and then everyone's parents got mad.  I didn't care.

But it sort of ruined the event for me, understandably.  I recorded the performance for them, and I was wistful and annoyed the entire time.  I wanted to be singing.  But I wanted to be singing the actual song, not what it became.

There were some really great acts though.  Some of my favorites were:

Friday, January 23, 2015

Milestones And Designs

In that order.

So a few milestones have just come up for my little blog here.

The first one is post count.  My post on January 20th, the one about school, was my 100th post.  Which is kind of cool; a nice round number with zeros.  And I've come rather a long way in 100 posts, from long exhaustive posts to these short little snippets of my life.  And I've grown up quite a bit too, since those earliest posts were published in October 2011, over three entire years ago.  Hopefully I'll do a few more than a hundred posts in the next three years, with my goal to do a post a day this year!

The other milestone is in blog views.  This one's a bit silly, granted, but at the time of writing I'm just 3 views shy of 10,000 -- another nice round number.  An overwhelming majority are on one post, but I have a few other stand-out popular posts as well.

2,900 views on Diagonal Two-Color Squares Tutorial
170 views on Octuple Rainbow: Reminiscing (I'm pretty proud of this post, so I'm flattered it gets second)
155 views on Knitting While Drunk (this is fair; I deserve to be widely laughed at/with for that one)
135 views on Unexpected Toothy Guest (this post is over three years old; I have no idea why it's so popular)
120 views on A Little Spinning Story

Also lately I've noticed that there's always at least one pageview on every post I make, which means I have someone regularly checking the blog and reading all the posts. (I admit to using the jumps to force people to go to the post page to read the entire post, so I can track the view numbers.)  I suspect my regular reader may be Corrie from Plutonium Muffins, but I'm not sure.  I'd love to find out who my readers are though, so please do leave me comments!

Now, after my sneaky pageview-tracking jump break, let's talk about designs.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sock Update

These are the socks.

They are lovely socks.  They are soft, and the cables are fun, and the colors are amazing.

Right now, I do not like the socks.  You want to know why I don't like the socks?  Let's make a list.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Words Of Advice, And 3GT

I have three "words of advice" from today:

When you turn off one of your alarms, make sure the other one is still on.

When you do an MKAL from a new designer, expect mishaps and weirdness.

Walmart will have no exercise clothes in a size small, because people who are already a size small are the ones who do the most exercise (this is my hunch).  Also, there are a million size mediums.

On which note, check out my new yoga gear!  The teacher assured us that we "all have something in our closets", but I... really didn't.  So I needed pants, and the hoodie was on sale and had thumbholes and I need something lightweight.

(I sent this picture to Ian without comment and his reaction was, "Woah, what are those?")

Three Good Things is next, but I'll only do through Sunday to stay on track for next week.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Last First Day Of School (Here)

My last semester at my junior college started today.

I feel weird about this.

This is my fifth semester, technically, although I've only been full-time for four of them.  The first semester was a dual-credit class (I took General Psychology from the best teacher ever, who I'm going to make a concerted effort to go visit sometime this semester), so it doesn't really count.

I had four of my five classes start today.  The last one starts on Monday, and is a hybrid course so we'll only be meeting on campus about every other week.  The rest of the time will be online work and discussions, which is great.  That's the psychology class, Human Sexuality.  I'm excited.  The professor seems to be a ton of fun, from his website and introduction to us.

If you're interested, I'll give you a little blurb about each of my classes this semester.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Surrealism And Strangeness

I can't say much today.  If you'd like to avoid sad things, just go ahead and skip today's post.  I'll be back tomorrow my usual bubbly self.  Classes start tomorrow and I'll have plenty to say about them.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

One Full Row

Yes!  It's the 18th!  That means I have one full row finished of my Year of Adulting Blanket!

I did my last square of the row today while having coffee with my dad, which brings me up to my full width.  It's wide enough to sit on my bed with about 6 inches (2 squares) off each side, so basically just perfect.  It's too bad it won't be long enough for a bed blanket by any means, but it's not really meant to be one anyway so that's fine.

Notice my neon-green-sock-clad foot in there for scale -- although my foot is a US size 7 at best, so don't be too impressed by the size of those squares.

I took a few closer-up pictures too, of each week's progress.  Obviously eighteen divided by seven isn't a round number, but you get the gist of it:

Saturday, January 17, 2015

I Am The Most Excited

I have the most exciting news for amigurumi crocheters.

Has everyone heard of PlanetJune?  If you have not, go over there and check it out right this second.  She's an amazing crafty lady who designs adorable amigurumi animals and plants.  She does tons of research on each of her designs and goes through several prototypes before landing on her favorite.  She's invented (or unvented) several sneaky techniques to make her amigurumi neater and cleaner, or striped, spotted, and patchy.  They are absolutely amazing and I want most of her designs.

Her first pattern of the new year came out yesterday, and I am bursting with excitement.  I have been waiting at least two and a half years for this pattern, and I could not be happier with what finally arrived.  Ready?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Ten Stripes In

I don't have a lot to say today, so please enjoy these pictures of my brother's graduation present, Flow Ripple.  I plan to make a stop-motion-esque video with these when it's done.

Flow Ripple is an Attic24 Coast Ripple Blanket in 15 shades of Stylecraft Special DK.  I'm just following the pattern on this one.  No fussing about color order this time around; I'm just going with the flow.  It's one repeat shorter than written because as-written I was going to run out of yarn for sure -- this way I'll just probably have enough yarn.  It's possible my 4.25mm hook has something to do with this.

Onward for pictures!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

January Resolutions Mid-Month Update

I promise some of the things are getting done.

First, though:  Today was good.  I spent almost the entire day with Ian, sort of trying to stock up memories so I won't miss him quite so much when he goes home.  Today was my last opportunity to see him until about the middle of February, so we made the most of it.  Plenty of snuggling and discussing schedules so we can for sure stay well-connected this semester.  I also helped him clean out his car, accompanied him on a few errands, and told him stories while he did some packing.

His response to the deck of cards was more than positive.  He read the title card and understood immediately, but asked if he could wait to read them all until he returned home.  I said that was fine, but asked if I could show him the one card I hadn't assigned randomly.  I don't have a picture of this one, but it says "Out of all the girls you know, you still want me", and it's the queen of hearts.  He said he would make the obvious pun, but I'd already done it for him by making the card in the first place.  He also commented that 52 is a lot of reasons, and he was impressed.

Okay, anyway.  Resolutions.  Although I've only marked off one (and a half), things are actually progressing.  Here, see for yourself.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

52 Reasons I Love You

Some things happened today!

Clue #2 of my MKAL was released today, and I got to look at the cable pattern.  I'm sort of pleased because it's as complex as promised, and sort of unhappy with it.  It's a wave pattern, not a "knot" pattern.  The cables won't spiral so much as wiggle, because the same threads of the pattern are always "on top".  Even more disappointingly (and the wiggling thing makes this twice as bad because it'll be really obvious) the socks are identical rather than mirrored.  That means, basically, that they'll both look like left socks.  I'm trying to decide whether I want to keep knitting them (as I'm already five rows in) or whether I want to frog back to the beginning of this clue and figure out how to mirror the pattern on the second sock (I think perhaps reversing the chart would work, but this requires more thinking).  I'm leaning toward frogging and reknitting, because dammit mirroring is important to me.  Identical socks are annoying.  Symmetrical socks are nice.

I'm a little OCD with my crafting.  Just a bit.

In other news, I finished something!

Tada!  It's that cowl I was working on yesterday!  It's lovely and snuggly, and it also works weirdly well as an earwarmer.  I have blue eyes and red hair, so if I put it where the blue end is around my face and the red end is around my hair, it looks amazing.  I love it a lot and will probably wear it a lot.  It's also completely flat because of the moss stitch (UK: double moss stitch), with no curling at all and plenty of texture.  Moss stitch is my favorite right now.  For some reason the "k1, p1" pattern doesn't bother me in this particular stitch.

My bread from yesterday was delicious, and I did make my soup today.  Aside from the cup of beans, I added two carrots, two sticks of celery, one small onion, one baby zucchini, and half a yellow squash.  After I cooked them in butter and oil for about a minute just to give them a little buttery flavor, I filled up my pot the rest of the way with water (I think it was a 3 quart pot?) and let it simmer a good two hours.  No need for broth, because the vegetables did it for me.  It did need salt at the end, and I should have added some spices when I cooked the veggies initially (but I know for next time).  It was delicious though.  If you don't like smooshy vegetables it would not be for you, but I happen to like them all soft and smooshy, so it was great.  I have a ton left, so I'll be eating it for lunch for the rest of the week.

Okay, time to explain the title.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Yoga And Bean Soup

Today's been a bit of a quiet day.  I got up at a regular morning time (which resulted in my mother inquiring if I was accompanying her to the park this morning; ha, ha) and pulled out my yoga mat for some sun salutations.  I haven't done that in over a year, and today reminded me exactly why I signed up for a yoga class: I love it to bits.  It's so relaxing and energizing.

I spend the better part of the middle of the day (11-3 or so) with Ian.  It's the last week he'll be here before school starts again so there were a lot of really tight hugs.  Both of us started crying at different times, which made the other one cry.  (His was really disconcerting; he just stared at me from about a pace away for a good thirty seconds before finally saying "I'm going to miss you," which is when I realized he was trying really hard not to cry and failing.)

The afternoon was quite a bit more productive.  I started making a cowl from some gradient merino handspun I did over a year ago.  It's a really nice skein and I'm sorry there's only 66 yards of it.  I dyed the fiber in five sections in ratios of red to blue: 100/0, 75/25, 50/50, 25/75, 0/100.  Those ratios don't give a perfect red-purple-blue gradient (especially not on grey and brown fiber), but it's actually gorgeous.  In the spinning and plying the transitions got even more muddled than they were already, which makes it very gradual indeed.  I'm knitting the thick-and-thin mostly-worsted yarn on 10.5mm needles, so it's pretty loose, and it's in moss stitch to give some texture.  It's turning out quite nice and I look forward to finishing.

Red, red-purple, purple, and the very beginning of purple-blue.

I also took some time to make a strap for my yoga mat, since I expect to be hauling it to school twice a week (then back into my house for practice).  I still have some ends to weave in somehow, but it looks excellent and functions perfectly so far.

I used the brightest rainbow variegated yarn ever, but held it with black to tone it down a bit.  It worked wonders!  

In addition to the fiber-type crafting I did today, there was some food-type crafting as well.  I've had a bit of a craving for both the process and the finished product of homemade bread, so I finally just went to the kitchen and did it.  I was a bit freaked out by the refusal of my dough to rise in the pan, but a bit of poking around on the internet informed me that it was probably just too cold, so I put it in a warmed (but not on!) oven and it promptly puffed right up.  See?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Kiss A Ginger Day (And 3GT)

Did you know January 12th is Kiss A Ginger Day?  I learned this today, and it made me laugh.  I'm a redhead by choice, which I call "ginger with maintenance" for giggles.  And my boyfriend is a natural ginger, though it's intermittently fading to blonde.  It's not a really good color for him and I keep contemplating suggesting he get in on the whole henna thing.  (I don't think he will.)

Anyway, the other thing it is today is said boyfriend's birthday, which is just extremely appropriate and ironic.  I find it absolutely hilarious.  (Although my mention of it on Facebook makes no sense, since he accidentally put his birthday in wrong and has never bothered to change it, so pretty much everyone he knows thinks his birthday was a few days ago.)

Because it was his birthday, I said he could pick the colors for today's square in my Year Of Adulting blanket, if he liked.  He was very excited about the prospect.  His options were to pick the colors themselves, or to pick three numbers (1-15 inclusive) and let the system I set up pick the colors for him.  Being a geeky sort of person he opted for the numbers, and chose the numbers 6,7, and 15.

This came out to Red, Grape, Ocean.  I started giggling like mad and informed him that he had chosen a red and a purple, which are (as you may recall from the Friendship Star) our colors.  He rather proudly asserted that he was "too good", a sentiment with which I readily agreed.

So today's square looks like this:

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Golden Globes

I don't have too much to say today!

Tonight is the Golden Globes and I'm sitting in the gameroom with my mother, grandmother, and aunt listening to them watch the end.  They're being very loud and my mom is doing a lot of giggling, which is probably good for her.  My aunt is wearing my mom's sweater and plastic Mardi Gras beads, while her voice alternates between very shrill and very calm.  My grandmother is quiet and happy as usual.  (I keep pausing to admire pretty people and enjoy the fact that I know a lot of their names.)

I'm staying with my aunt tonight as well because my grandmother is staying in my room another night.  Thanks to the Golden Globes we have a bunch of movies to watch, so we'll probably watch one tonight and another tomorrow.  (Aunt is squealing.)  It'll give me time to work on her sprites.  Have I shown you her sprites?  Here.

2014 In Spinning (And Dyeing)

This one's coming in a little late and I apologize, but it's been sort of a long day.  I'm actually sitting in the living room of my aunt's house watching Mulan (which we just realized is about gender dysphoria and explicitly mentions cross-dressing and drag shows!) and we haven't gone to bed yet so it counts for today -- er, yesterday.

Anyway.  The last part of my review for the last year is in spinning and dyeing, which are usually pretty similar.  In fact there's only two exceptions where I dyed yarn (one for me; one for someone else).

Shall we get started?

Falling Ungulates

This was the dyeing part...

And here's the spinning!

This was all done in February for the Ravellenic Games.  I named it Falling Ungulates because of the events it was for -- Flying Camel Spin and Downhill Dyeing.  I knit it up as well, but the pattern wasn't working.  You may recall the hat from the knitting wrap-up.  That's this stuff.

Friday, January 9, 2015

2014 In Crochet

This is Part Two of my new annual project roundup.  Today is crochet projects!  If you'd like to see the seven projects I knitted in 2014 (the ones I recorded in Ravelry), you can find that here.  I'm hoping to put up a third post for dyeing and spinning soon, so stay tuned for that one.  With that, let's get to the crochet!

I finished five crochet projects in 2014 (again, only projects I actually recorded on Ravelry count).  All of them, amusingly, were blankets.  They ranged in size from 27" square to nearly twin-bed sized, and were given to everyone from church acquaintances to my own family.  Three were baby blankets, one was a birthday gift, and one was a graduation present.

Granny Ripple

Finished in April 2014, just over a month before the baby was due.  This is essentially the third in a series done for three of my cousins, all brothers.  The first was granny squares (my first big crochet project ever, in fact), for the middle boy when he was born.  The second I made two years later for the oldest, in rows of granny clusters.  This one was for the youngest, and I combined squares and rows to make something I really loved.  The border ripples a bit, but I don't mind.  The order of the squares was very carefully chosen, but the order of the stripes was random (I used four playing cards and assigned a color to each card.  That meant I had to use them all once before using any again, but I could still end up with two red ones in a row).  It created some very interesting patterns!

The Zoomies

Thursday, January 8, 2015

2014 In Knitting

I think I'm going to start doing a yearly review of my crafting accomplishments.  Because I've taken up so many different crafts, I'll probably split it up into pieces.  This year we're likely going to do knitting, crochet, and spinning.

So today we're going to talk about what I accomplished in knitting.  (At least according to Ravelry.  Anything not on Ravelry doesn't count because I don't remember any of it.)

I knitted seven projects in 2014.  These were projects for me and for other people.  Big ones and little ones.  Fingering weight and worsted weight.  Garter stitch and lace.  It's a wide range and really makes me proud.

Colorwork Teddy

I started this one in August 2013 and finished it in February 2014.  I'm so happy I actually got it to work, because I had tried doing alternating stripes of brown and rainbow and it just wasn't... working. This is just white worsted yarn and rainbow thread held together.  It was a birthday gift for my boyfriend's younger brother, following my tradition of giving people a teddy bear for their fifteenth birthday.  He actually turned sixteen though, so I was a bit late.  I expected him to just hide it away somewhere, but as soon as I handed it to him he figured out how to balance it on his lamp.  I don't know if it's still there, but the fact that it was put up at all made me very pleased.

Irish Roots Socks

This was one of my projects for the 2014 Ravellenic Games, so February.  I used a toe-up recipe and added two small cables to the top of each foot.  The light green I hand-dyed as a tonal (which was fun but a challenge) and the darker green was a hand-dyed yarn I picked up on a trip to New Braunfels, which was great fun.  (I had used the rest for a shawl in 2013).

Golden Roses For Christmas

At Christmas 2013 my boyfriend's family gave me a gift card to the local yarn store.  It wasn't until May that I went to use it, because the store was closing!  I picked up this lovely laceweight yarn in a cashmere/silk blend (with a bit of merino wool).  It was the only skein left so I was sort of stuck with the pink color.  I added a container of gold beads and this is what came out.  It took me just over two weeks, mostly because I was recovering from wisdom tooth removal and all I was doing was watching Netflix and knitting lace (I didn't take anything stronger than ibuprofen, so I made no more errors than normal).

A Gentle Jab

There's actually a blog post associated with this one somewhere.  I made this in an evening in June to add to my boyfriend's graduation present, which was a small set of good-quality kitchen tools (my mother sells the stuff).  Apparently over the course of the semester he used everything we gave him except this -- because his roommate washes the dishes!

Wibbley Wobbly Timey Wimey

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

MKAL Clue #1 And The Return Of 3 Good Things

My MKAL has officially started!  Ahh!

As you may be able to tell, I'm a little too excited about this.  The thrill of mystery and all that.

So my first swatch on my 2.75mm (US2) needles turned out with 8.5 stitches per inch, which is pretty common for me.  I did the math for the size of the socks and figured out that the small would be 6.5 inches and the medium would be 7.5 inches.  I need about 7.2, so neither of those would work.  Thankfully, I have 3.25mm (US3) circular needles that I can use to make them two-at-a-time.  That swatch turned out with 8 stitches per inch, which would give me a 7-inch small or an 8-inch medium.  Small it is, I guess.  They'll be a little tight but there's not too much I can do about it.  I needed smaller needles so I could get 9 stitches per inch, which would have been about 7.1 inches, but I don't have any.  So I'm settled.

This week's clue is just the toe portion.  It uses Judy's Magic Cast-On with 8 stitches and increases up to the 56 stitches for the foot, which is a type of toe I've never done before.  It's going to be a challenge with the magic loop two-at-a-time thing going as well.  I'm super excited.  I've already ripped it out once, so hopefully the second round goes better.  I'll be working on it while watching anime with a friend for the next couple hours.

One of my New Year Resolutions was to keep up with 3 Good Things all year, so periodically -- when I don't have enough material for a regular blog post -- I'll be posting [some of] my 3 Good Things.  You obviously don't have to care, but I'd like to share the little bits of positivity I can drag out of my life.  Read on if you're interested.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Flash Your Stash 2015

I'm on time this year!  Look at me!  Hooray!

So a brief explanation of what this is for those of you joining me for the first time this year.  Every year there is a thread on Ravelry called Flash Your Stash where everyone pulls out their stash and takes pictures.  It can be great fun to watch stashes develop and change over time.  It can also be funny to see just how much yarn other people have.  It covers king-size beds, entire rooms of floor space, shelves everywhere... it's great.

I've participated the last two years, as I mentioned before.  If you'd like to see my meager beginnings, check out 2013.  For a more in-depth tour of a much bigger stash, pop over to 2014.  And to see where I am now, just keep scrolling.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Whiplash Day and January Resolutions

So I've dubbed today Whiplash Day.  I got a call from my manager this morning informing me that he was not going to keep me because he'd had more resignations and needed full-time workers.  So three days of training pretty much wasted.

I spent most of the afternoon watching Once Upon A Time with my mom.  Then I got an email from the library where I volunteered all through high school requesting that I call to set up an interview for the page position I'd applied for early in December.  So I have an interview for that on Thursday.

At about five -- when I should have been going to the shop for training -- I messaged Ian to ask "If I wanted to go out and do something tonight, would you have any ideas?  I don't want food, I don't want to see any more movies, and it's too cold to be outside.  This basically exhausts my ideas of what to do with myself."  He offered to find some live music, picked me up (for which I felt guilty later when I realized I could have driven to his house), and took me downtown to a coffee shop that I swear is in a basement.  Where we discovered that a friend of his was playing that night at that particular shop.  Ian had gone to see a show of his last night.  It was great.  I enjoyed myself in the quiet sort of way that comes from just listening to good music for a while.

So!  That's been my day.  Ready to see my month?  I have six resolutions this month, and five of them are yarn-related.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2015 Resolutions (And 2014 Wrap-Up)

Okay, so I didn't do so well with my resolutions last year.  Partially because I fell off the blogosphere, and partially because I stopped resolving to Do Things and that meant I stopped Doing Things.  Let's give them a look anyway.

1) Get a job
Ironically, I actually got this one done.  On December 30, I was hired as a barista at Saxbys Coffee immediately after the interview.  I'm still feeling surreal about this.

2) Get into a schedule
I failed miserably at this.  It's preposterous how unscheduled I am.  I sometimes go to bed at 3 in the morning.

3) Find and apply to university for the 2015-16 school year
This only... half happened?  I have applications in progress but they are not finished by any means.

4) Complete C25K and begin running regularly
This was such a laughable failure.  I think I started it three times last year, for an overall total of like... five.

5) Read at least 24 books
I have no idea, honestly.  I suspect I managed to do this one because of my December "Whee, finals are over and I can read again!" library hauls, but I can't honestly say.

So that's one, maybe two I did.  One I made some progress, and two I didn't do even a little bit.  Oh well!

Onward and upward!  Here are my resolutions for 2015 (at least some of them -- there may be more.)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2015 MERaT Reading List

Every year, my mother and my aunt and her best friend do this thing called the Moste Excellente Read-a-Thon.  The rules are simple, and I'm going to copy them over from our private Facebook group because I think my aunt says them better than I could.

1. Each reader shall compose a Moste Excellente Reading List, or MERL, of 24 books to read in the current MERaT year. Both new books and previously read books are acceptable for inclusion. Readers may modify their MERLs freely until January 10 of the current year, at which point they will be considered "locked in." Locked in MERLs may not be modified in any way.

2. Points for books read shall be awarded as follows. For each book read from a reader's MERL, that reader shall receive 3 points. For each book read that does not appear on the reader's MERL, that reader shall receive either 2 points (for books ≥ 150 pages) or 1 point (for books < 150 pages). All points shall be recorded on the reader's MERL in the forum. In addition, for each book ≥ 500 pages, the reader will receive one bonus point.

3. Exception to #3: For exceptionally long books that are divided (by the author/publisher) into volumes ≥ 150 pages each, the reader may choose -- pending majority agreement from the group -- to count each volume as a separate book and receive points accordingly. However, note that if the book is a MERL book, the reader may only receive 3 points for the first volume and must count following volumes as non-MERL books.

4. Each reader shall post his or her MERL to this group and shall keep count of points earned throughout the year.

5. On or about New Year's Eve, each reader's points for the current MERaT year shall be tallied, and the reader with the most points shall receive a Moste Excellente Reader prize (TBD)!

I didn't participate last year because I didn't feel like I'd be reading too many books anyway, making the list was daunting, and I had done a terrible job of keeping track the previous year.  This year though, I decided to give it a shot.  This round, I used the master list for one of the book clubs my mom organizes to make my list.  Each month has a category associated with it, so I basically just picked two I hadn't read out of each category.  If there was only one I hadn't read, I came up with another book from the category.  For the months that book club doesn't happen (June, July, and December) I invented my own categories.

Want to see my list?  Read on.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Year Of Adulting Blanket

I did a dumb thing.

I offered help to someone trying to figure out how to do a temperature blanket in squares because 365 will not make a rectangular shape.  (In case you're wondering, a temperature blanket -- or scarf -- consists of assigning a color to a temperature range and working a number of rows or a square in the color corresponding to the day's high/low/average temperature.)  I admitted that perhaps I knew all the math because I was eventually planning to make one.

"But not this year," I said, "Too much is happening this year for that."

Too much is happening this year for me to make the blanket that is supposed to help me document an entire year of my life.


It makes way more sense to pick an important, dynamic year than a year in which only minor changes occur.  For instance, doing it last year would not have been very interesting since the most important things that happened all year were my grandfather's death in April and getting a job in the last week of December.

Which brings me to this year.  I have dubbed 2015 "The Year Of Adulting".  I'm moving out this year, leaving my first college, getting my own car, and various other adult-ish events will also occur (incidentally, at the end of the year I'll be legally allowed to celebrate these events with alcohol).  This is an important year for me, and it makes a lot of sense to record that.

So I guess this is the year for the one-year blanket.  Here's how that'll work.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Leaf Said BLOG!

"Time to turn over a new leaf," I thought, so I did.  The leaf said "BLOG!" and I said, "Oh, yeah, I have one of those.  I should, uh, do that."  So here I am, hopefully to keep up with regular (daily?) posting for at least a while.  What's with the leaves?  Well look at the date: it's January 1st.

Happy New Year!  It is currently about 2pm on New Year's Day here just north of Dallas, Texas, where the weather is frightful.  It's been gloomy outside, to be sure, wet and rainy since last night (it seems to have cleared up now).  The chill and the damp don't seem to have chilled or dampened anyone's spirits -- although their bodies are a whole 'nother story, as we say around here -- and there has been much celebrating and running around.

I, for one, am quite exhausted.  Not because of the partying, but because of the work!  Yes!  About 48 hours ago I walked out of a coffee shop with a job I had applied to the night before.  It's been so surreal.  I applied on Monday, got the job Tuesday, and had my first day of training Wednesday -- which became about 50% working when a rush hit and a coworker said "Hey, Lissa, stir and lid these and put 'em up on the bar" and suddenly I was running drinks to the drive-thru and grabbing milk from the fridge in back.  Even though I knew only the barest minimum of what to do and how to help, I felt the flow.  It was magical.

It was also terribly painful and tiring.  As soon as I got back I had to soak my feet in a sinkful of water with a handful of Epsom Salts, which must have been pretty funny-looking considering I was eating lunch at the time.  I was also so tired I went to bed just past midnight, so I could get up this morning to do another shift (I worked the drive-thru register toward the end and my goodness were we a smooth team).

Before I got to sleep though, I cast on for my first project of 2015, the Kick Off The New Year socks!  These are for three different knitting... things.  Two are knit-a-longs and one is a personal challenge, so I'm not sure how to categorize them all together, but there you go.  Here is a picture, and then we'll talk about the "knitting... things".