December 23, 2004

Off With Her Head

So I have taken to knitting my cabled hats (more cashmerino aran mmmmm…. pattern memorized and adored), but I am also working on Fern. Shhhhh… What you say??? You didn’t tell us that!! Well a few weeks ago I got fed up. It was time in my book to bitch slap that Pretty Wrappy Top into a corner. So I jettisoned it to the “You will be done when I feel like it” pile, and I thought I will swatch Fern.

Fern Back

Did your mother ever tell you that the apocalypse starts with a swatch? Well it does. Next thing I knew it was the swatch which grew into the back. What do you expect from a girl on a “It's mother freaking COLD” Saturday, evading her laundry and in possession of a television? So I went along my merry way. And wow does one ball of Kid Classic go the distance. I like the yarn better than expected, as I am now becoming a bit more wary of Mohair. I think it makes the skin itch. But this one might be ok. *hopes*

As for Fern herself, I am a bit concerned as my “edging” of garter stitch does not stand out against the reverse stockinette of the rest of the project. It does in the photo but not in the reality. Which by the way reverse stockinette, really not as easy to make look pretty and even like stockinette... My perfectionist biddy heart is holding it’s breath a bit on this one. Even worse the pattern has increases all done on the right side. In this case that is the purl side. I have I ever said how I feel about purl increases?? Really I am not a fan. I can do them but boy are they a pigno nel cullo!

Which brings me to the brilliant light shattering idea that I thought up for this post. What are your pattern pet peeves?? We all love patterns and some people do a great job of writing them. Others not so much. Some do but have little bits that grate your ever loving needle tips. So I am going to list my short but sweet list. Feel free to add your own in the comments :)

1. I really dislike it when you don’t tell me what kind of decrease to use. I know there is that whole “make the pattern mine” thing. But honestly I don’t know enough yet about what to do when to make those decisions independently. Put it there and the smart people can decide to fudge or personalize. It is the academic’s motto “write for the intelligently uneducated.”

2. Following the above theme, if you have a specific cast-on that might be the ticket let me know. Up until this year I only knew the long tail cast-on. I have since learned the cable cast on that I decided to use with my cabled hat. Not because I knew the benefits of it over any other cast on, just cause well it said cabled and I was making something cabled. (Yes it turned out ok, at least as far as I am concerned)

3. This is a big one. Not giving me measurements, beyond the generalities. Serious when knitting I do not want to encounter the “can you vague that up a bit” attitude to pattern writing. This is one of the few things I really like about Phildar patterns right about now. This is especially nice since I don’t check row gauge (I like Claudia think that bit is related to the Anti-Christ) and I really am not a mathematician (except after a bottle of wine, then again add another bottle and no dinner and I might just think I am Wonderwoman with a burgundy fleece-i.e. blanket, cape). It makes sure I the non-knowledgeable know a thing or two about the size before I find out I did it all wrong and start invecting everyone’s name in vain.

Now it’s your turn…

And to the rest of the “we lost our Holiday Mojo” people (and the panicking frenetic freaks out there too) the warmest of Festive Holiday season to you all. (Dude I feel like I am ending a Christmas Tale or something) I may or may not be around much for the next two weeks as all shuts down including my internet access. I will try to get a back entered post up about the trip to Stockholm et al. But no promises. However should any of you feel so kind as to send a nice thought or two in my general direction for another contract in January- they will of course be appreciated.

Posted by Stinkerbell at 04:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 16, 2004

Who is Thor??

That is right I say forget Thor (well not forget as much as I am over our blooming relationship). I like having that disease where you forget things right about now. (What is that disease's name- I forgot... oops do I have a disease...) I survived, I knit (second cable hat down 4 more to go), I slept and I am telling him to get his own life. And today's events they helped me to come to this decision.

So that whole dissertation that made my life go a bit into *erm* HELL. The kind of hell that not even knitting took the edge off of... Well two things have happened with it. And I am pretty much doing Itchy Pants Dance again. Seriously me and doing the Itchy Pants Dance(tm) in Institution's bathrooms?? What is up with that?? Actually if I am going to ask what is up with bathrooms, I am going to ask how the French have bathrooms that smell like you have walked straight into the pulp of a citrus fruit. It's weird. But I digress.

So number one on the dissertation list: Thanks to friends around the world, I have fought the formatting demons and I won. That is right cause I am the Alpha Bitch of All I Survey (and Pay For). So in 3 days I graduate. Yes that is right I am going to graduate. In all honesty it has been known for about 2 weeks but not really believed. Seems all surreal and weird. I am not going to walk in procession or anything (it being on the other side of the pond and all). But I met, faced and won this challenge. Maybe I can do this stuff.

And numero dos: As my graduation gift, I got an email this morning. See back in October before EVERYTHING went wrong I had a bit of a scramble with some applications and shit like that. Of those one was for a manage a president fellowship I was nominated for and the other was a call for papers. I put a proposal for a MAJOR conference together quite hastily (on my dissertation research topic and "findings") and really not that well. I did it mostly on a whim. I seriously was expecting the PFO (please fuck off) letter; if for no other reason that not many papers are accepted from grad students at my stage in the game. I had no hopes, I did it as a kind of joke at the time really. A "why not pressure yourself with one more deadline" thing. And guess what, since they were not aware that smart does not reside here (nor in my research) they ACCEPTED MY PROPOSAL.

Ummm yeah I am Itchy Pants Dancing(tm) in joy and utter disbelief. I think they sent the email to the wrong person. But I got it, I am claiming it and if I can get all the funds and dominoes into a line I am so effing going!

So much for all knitting all the time on this blog, I can't hold my life in check like that :) Oh and if you look back a bit you will see one back dated entry. Next post will have photos too!! Even if I have to sell my soul to Dell (wait already did that- there goes the first born...)

Posted by Stinkerbell at 11:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 15, 2004

Back from Valhalla

But not via the easy road. Bit of a griping rant ahead- sorry I couldn't think of anything more knitterly or entertaining. I apologize as time has not materialized to take those lovely posts I have been in anitquitated fashion hand writing and speed type them into a functioning computer. Nor to mention the photo issues. They are most likely to continue for the rest of the season, but I am going to try. And I will do it (this is reason #1 why I never attach dates to my promises I keep them… on my schedule :) but for now you get another installment of the NO TINK ONLY YOU Series. And a small amount of knitting content.

As some of you know there are things that happen in my life and everytime I ever ask if something like this happens to anyone else the answer is immediately NO TINK ONLY YOU. So I have become resigned to living my life and well being entertaining for everyone else as I am of the firm belief that someone ought to get to laugh at this shit. Even if it isn’t me. See how I am magnanmous and all that!

So I in some inadvertent way, completely unbeknownst to me, have transgressed egregiously against the Swedish God of Transport (Thor, Sven, Olaf, Karl, Gustav… shit I think those are kings). And boy was yesterday’s transport a doozie. I flew Ryanair, really I think the lesson is: you might irritate a Swedish god of Transport by not knowing his name but you will fucking piss him off by flying Ryanair. I normally avoid them like the plague; not just any old plague of locusts but like the bubonic rat infesting plague.

I have a particular beef with them calling certain airports as certain cities. Beauvais is the airport and Paris is NOT the town. The same could be said about Skavsta and Stockholm. When my ass is on a bus for an hour and a half it ain’t no shuttle either. But when the price difference initially looks to be 40 euros v. 180-220 euros you suck it up. And then bend over, cause trying to cut corners is asking to have currency hemmorage from your eyeballs in gushing spurts.

Anyways I decided to use the time to knit my way into some Christmas cable hats. Two were almost completed, until I got so aggitated by the following that for the sake of the lovely Cashmerino aran yarn and it's recepient, I put the hat down. All was going well. I figured when I heard the pilot say we were going to land 35 minutes early, I had repented sufficiently for the trangressions on the way in and at first while in Stockholm.

Boy was I wrong. 5 minutes later he pipes up that there is bad weather (prompting a “Mauvais Beauvais” rhyming commentary from yours truly) and we were going to circle. You know we all do the Yippeee dance in the prohibited aisles when we hear that announcement. But 5 minutes later he intones again, and this time it’s significantly worse. He says we are rerouting to Brussels. Kicker being it’s not Brussels it's Charleroi. Another field hanger airport constructed of corrugated metal siding that you get to hear whack around as you wait to board your flight. And an hour away from Brussels. 4+ from Paris by road.

Then comes the barrage. The flight attendants don’t know a damn thing about how we are going to get home. There is going to be a shuttle we are told- to where or with/without connections? They don’t know. Goodie. Again my "getting older means getting more motion sickness" ass sitting in a bus for 4 hours screams- not a fucking shuttle. Semantics it means something when I am irritated. Flight Attendant makes the large mistake when someone asks something as we got off the plane of answering with of course there will be representatives on the ground to help you (there were NOT). And says the following stick your ass in a frying pan phrase. “Now you don’t think we’d just leave you here do you?” I the eternal smartass looked him straight in the eye and deadpanned- is that a rhetorical question or do I get to answer honestly? He didn’t know what to do.

So I proceed to recuperate my luggage, and shuttle myself over to the bus. Once there we find out that the bus is going to take us straight to Paris. Which was a relief for most of us as we all were actually wanting to go to Paris. And those who had people waiting at Beauvais charged up the mobiles and adjusted accordingly.

Then start the “manifestations,” two people make a fit and ruckus. But they do so quietly and out of the whole buses sight. Next thing we know bus driver is screaming about how we are ungrateful idiots that in direct translation- make him shit himself. And we are now going to Beauvais. Thanks to the smirking Frenchman. There is one in 20 like him but he gives the external image and I want to kill him. Violently. Stick appendages on pikes on the four gates of the village violently. The rest of the bus stage an uprising/riot and our “I hate life and you” bus driver tells everyone get off the bus we can walk to Paris.

Now mind you the problem wouldn’t have “manifested” if they hadn't arbitrarily changed their minds from the initial assessment but WAR has broken out and I am in the protesting bus. The one that has smart protesters, one does a survey of the bus, one goes to get the local people, and 5 others stand in front of the other bus blocking it.

Great we are all back in the bus- it's fucking cold out people! So much for democracy- bienvenue to autocracy, despite our organization we are going to Beauvais... Beauvais that is fogged in like pea soup and has iceicles hanging from the trees. We get to Beauvais at 12:45am, our plane was supposed to land at 7:50pm.

Great so we then do the fun bus migration and I restrain myself to only calling the smirking Frenchman names in English. Really good creative ones too and out loud. I hope he understands English. Sorry I lost my buddhist zen by this point, impure mind and all. Lovely, so after the great bus migration where we all get out of one bus and take our luggage over to another bus and then wait and wait and wait, we finally go back to the auto route we came in on to continue to Paris. Only adding an extra hour delay. At least they didn’t charge us for the bus to Paris- Golly gee willikers that is nice of them Goober.

Now the first bus at least had heating, the second bus was cold. And when I say cold I mean “I don’t feel my toes” cold. Thor, Baldur, Gunther- what the hell did I ever do to you??? Please just TELL ME. I will be so sorry you won't know what to make of it. But no...

So I kindly ask the nice gentleman driver to put on the heating. Cold air shoots out at us and continues to do so for the next 45min. Really I have a hard time convincing him that cold air is air conditioning, warm air is heating. This was NOT heating. Finally he turns it off, which was better and an hour and a half later (as we all know those of us who have lived in foggy land that driving 40 km/h on a 120km/h autoroute with your brights on is the way to go when you have mild fog and visibility for over 70m).

We finally get to Paris where the large part of us are screwed as- hi it’s 2:30 am, it's 6 hours after arrival time. There is no public transport and this isn’t exactly prime taxi time or location either. I luckily have offered to make an altar and atone at it every day for my transgressions and this must have appeased Thor (hey I had to chose a name, even if it could be wrong). I got a ride to my flat saving me the raping of a taxi at that hour and that distance, from one of the other nice passengers who had someone waiting for her.

But the story wouldn’t end there... no if it did it would not be worthy of an installment in the NO TINK ONLY YOU series. So I get home, and dude did I PISS Thor the fuck off, cause he has sent an internal memo to the Swedish God of Sleep and Dreams (Drömmen). When I get home at 2:45am I find out what goes on at night in my building. First I find out that even though I left the windows open, the idiot who patched the hole in the ceiling of the shower, closed them. Welcome home- you are dehydrated (therefore already have slight headache going), exhausted but on the brink of your second wind, and hey have a toke of those fumes and a spackle spatula too. Awesome!

Having paper walls and all I get to hear too. Hey it is the night of the senses- no feeling in the toes, no smelling thanks to fumes and no silence either. See I sleep like a rock, and normally 3am is well past sleeping time. So if these are regular occurances- I know nothing about it as I don’t hear these things. But last night I was honored with the experience, it’s a real adventure ride let me tell you. No theme park I know of has anything close to this. Turns out I have a super fantabulous multi-orgasmic neighbor with vast amounts of stamina or impressive levels faking power (I am guessing numero dos).

I spent the next two and a half hours wishing there was some way short of plugging my ears with the cheese I forgot to throw away before I left to avoid hearing it all. And hear I did- moaning, groaning, bleating, panting, shrieking and every other kind of vocalization you can imagine. Until finally at almost 5am I took a cue from a story of a friend and I threw all my shoes at the wall. It stopped them thank god and I finally fell asleep, for three all too short hours before having to recycle to face a day of filing.

See you get to laugh, me I can't wait to get home and crash with some Fern or hat knitting and my warm blanket- cause all of a sudden Jack Frost is all about nipping parts that well would be much more pleasurably nipped in warmer weather- or with a bath of Cashemerino Aran (trying to make this knit related. Trying.) More knitting content and photos tomorrow.

Posted by Stinkerbell at 04:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 08, 2004

I am in L-O-V-E

Beloved Basic Cables Hat
Sitting in the tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G.

I am in love, and with an inanimate object. Nope not ashamed to admit it either. And I am here to attest that any man I marry is going to have to accept second seat. To Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and my new hat.

I Love, LOVE, LOAVE my cabled hat with all my beating heart. I heart the cabled hat. And is it thus with great pride that I give you my blogs FIRST FO. Believe it or not for all my prattle, stop and go projects, or dreams- I have not finished a single thing but this hat since I started this blog. So here is the story of my recent brief but lifetime love affair (photos WILL be posted tomorrow to this entry, along with some links I don't have the immediate time to track down)

I have had it in my head for a long time to make myself a cabled hat. Nothing fancy like Shedir (p.3)- that is for a later date. I have also wanted to make a hat out of the cashmerino aran my mother bought me three years ago as an "I am sorry" gift. Her rat on acid (Chinese Crested "dog") pulled out my Brittany DPNs from the sock I was making her and used them as her toothpick. Mimi shredded them like an old man whittles the day on the porch away.

First though to get the confessional out of the way (catholic guilt- it never leaves you) I am rilly rilly bad! While in DC on my Spend but Scrape mission I went to the BOOKSTORE. Ahhh how I love me a good bookstore with reasonable prices... Enough reminiscing, anyways, I saw and liked the SnB Nation, but not enough to trade Reasing Lolita in Tehran or John Adams for it. Sorry but I haven't seen the light of a non-research related book for MONTHS!! But (cause there always is one!) SnB Nation had a pattern for a simple cable hat in it. BUGGER. Can anyone see into the glass ball?? Yes you are a psychic- I knew I had to make it, so I broke the law and ethics and I copied the pattern. In my defence I do intend to buy the book soon.

Ok now that that's out of the way and having convinced everyone I am the copyright antichrist... it is time to continue. So this week when I found myself spending inordinate amounts of time on the Metro, I thought... Self that collar is MOCKING YOU. I think it is time that you teach that collar a lesson, show it how much of an infidel you really are! Find yourself another portable knitting project. That is right take control you control freak and show that knitting who is the boss! And since it is well documented in your life that ALL converges AT ONCE... and you have that whole trip up to the Land of Cold coming up this week. A warm wool hat sounds like a smart idea. Take charge- they don't happen often round here. As you will soon see though, smart idea has nothing to do with smart execution of said idea or of me being smart. Remember THAT adjective does not exist here. Nope no residence Chez Tink for smart.

Enter simple cable hat. Now I need to admit that I have fudged with this pattern a bit. Hence the not smart- since I don't know how the hell to really fudge in a "this is the right way to fudge" kind of way. Hence the NOT smart part coming up. I changed the gauge (stitch and row- row mattered this time, that Bitch), I changed the yarn etc. And I ended up knitting the crown of the head THREE times. See TOLD YOU- NOT smart!

Should you be smart, you would look at the photo and notice that the hat in the photo looks a bit on the short side (if you want your ears covered and when its cold I DO). Or it does when you look at it online and even more so when I tried it on. V 1.0 when on brought the words Yarmaluke on oversize to mind. Try try again being my philosophy, I went back and figured that an extra cable would solve the problem. And extra cable is supposed to work miracles don't you know. Don't pay your life inheritance to a cable- they don't live up to the billing. Insert hat "finished" again, me excitedly putting it on and thinking to self. Self why do you think the Kossack look is coming back into fashion?? Not even close to being long enough. That length is a negative ghost rider.

Note at no point (like smart) did I sit with my calculator (that I keep in my notions bag- why I don't know) and do any handy calculations. NO! Nor did I insert any lifelines. No my friends it was all about insanity and learning (but not succeeding) to rip cables without terror. BWAHAHA

So third time FOR ONCE was the charm. I ripped back to the point of previous shaping and then arbitrarily decided if adding one cable doesn't solve all, two should do the deal. I crossed my toes that it wouldn't turn into an eyeshade hat and continued to persist on my mission. In no small part because Cashmerino Aran is a delectable yarn to knit with and reknit with.

So it is finished and have I told you lately how much I love it?? No... Ok I LOVE it soooo much that this hat is going to be made a few more times this month as Xmas gifts. It is fun, it is easy (but not stockinette easy), quick, and about 1-1/2 balls of yarn- thus reasonably priced I'd say. Even better I have the pattern already worked out of my "kinks."

But really I have to profess how much I love this hat. I love it SOOOO much that the second I finished weaving in the ends I put it on and have not take it off since. Yup I am wearing my cabled hat INSIDE and TO BED. It makes me SMILE from ear to ear. This, this is that sentiment I had heard people talk about but never experienced before now in regards to an FO.

See in my knitting youth, I didn't really make things for myself. I made sock hats, scarves, baby items, socks; mostly all for others. I hadn't really been introduced properly to the "knitting things for yourself that you would wear" concept till I started reading blogs. Sure I have scarves, socks and my lopi that I made and use to varying degrees, but they don't seem to excite me THIS way. Don't get me wrong I like them lots but I am enamoured and adoring my hat.

Anyways I am off to frolick with my hat in the gardens before taking it up to the hinterlands. I am also placing a sweater out of Cashmerino Aran on the HELL YEAH list of must do soon.

I also extend my apologies for the end of the post. However as the social antropology part of this post. Or the lesson why lazy never results in good. I can only say I was subjected to a Robbie Williams interview on the télé while the remote was across the room. I have to say that twat is an utter prat. serious IQ of about 2. Actually I have to take that back, he takes prat to a whole new level of needing to have his lips stapled shut for the good of mankind. I also have to say he is extremely UNATTRACTIVE. The songs aren't that great either. I guess for me, stupid men are NOT that "hot."

I am off to the hinterlands, behave while I am gone and I will post once back.

Posted by Stinkerbell at 11:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 06, 2004

Currently on Trial

For Falling Off the Face of the Earth and Sufficient Blog Neglect.

Brief of case for the defendant and motions:

Life has flipped even further upside down, with ensuing exhaustion. All in the name of a good cause which will further be reported- see below.
Computer and internet access this past week have been severely restricted. However once access is restored for more than 3 minute intervals twice a day, the defendant has three quality posts to back date and enter.

In light of the defendants impending transit (in two days) into the custody of mörkt and FREAKING COLD Hinterlands (Stockholm) the defendant would like to request the following:

A) Change in venue for the preliminary hearing and
B) Should any one in the gallery have suggestions for HEATED yarn locations where she can attmept to make retribution by taking virtual tour images or in particular touch Garn Studio Angora Tweed all amicus briefs will be accepted (either via comments or the new fangled email me link that the defendant HOPES works and is located in the side bar in the About Me section labeled amazingly enough- Email Me).

The defendant thanks the kind court for its time, consideration and leniency in these chaotic moments. Regular knitting and blogging WILL recommence shortly.

Posted by Stinkerbell at 11:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack