Sock yarn, Tracey Chapman, and Beck's

Thursday, December 15, 2005

In case you're wondering, we're having a wonderful time though the weather doesn't want to cooperate! It's been gloomy and cool, too cool to even go swimming or snorkeling. Mark was kind enough to try to get in the water with me, but we both agreed it was just too damned cold and went home a bit dejected. However, he's gone out with the boys, which is great. He can have fun and let loose a little, and I can work on a knitting project in peace.

As for Christmas knitting, I finished all my family's gifts. For mark's family, I've thus far finished:

Liz's lace scarf
Dan's striped merino hat

Started but not completed:

Sue's lace scarf
Carol's stole
Anna's Seaweed and Shells stole
Mark's sweater (to be fair, I remembered the yarn and needles for the sleeves, but forgot the body at home. Oops. I figure I'll finish the sleeves, then graft them on when we get home...!)

As for me, I'm making a pair of socks for myself out of the Lorna's Laces Springer. It's such a green and fresh colorway it makes me feel sure tomorrow will be sunny.

I hope you're all doing well, we are!

Finally, some knitting content!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Originally uploaded by happyhandpainter.

I actually finished this a couple of days ago, but hadn't had time to upload the photo that Mark so kindly took. I LOVE this tank top - too bad it's a store model for Threaded Bliss and not for me! It fits perfectly too. One odd thing, it only took two hanks, despite the pattern calling for three, and I made the SMALLEST size (28"!!) However, it fit me perfectly! So either my gauge changed A LOT or this thing stretched out a lot for some reason. But I would advise making a smaller size than you would normally wear, and bind off the back stitches loose enough to be comfortable.


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I am a sucker for sales. Especially sales that involve laceweight kid mohair/silk blends. In many colors that I love. Especially blue-green. It doesn't matter to me that I already own Baby Kid Extra in glorious white, or Kidsilk Haze in Trance. Madil Kid Seta is clearly a slightly different yarn, and it's on sale.

I don't like knitting mohair. But I LOVE the chubby little balls of the stuff, and I KEEP BUYING IT. BY THE TRUCKLOAD. You do not want to know how much laceweight I have. Do I love to knit lace? Yes. But not with mohair.

Yet... it would work so perfectly for the lace poncho in Wrap Style... and this delicious pearl grey could be held along with my LACEWEIGHT ANGORA THAT I NEVER SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT IT WAS SO @()$&!&$ EXPENSIVE. Why can my brain not see that I am going on vacation! I know I am getting yarn vouchers for every conceivable yarn shop! I do not have extra money to spend. Yet... here I am... fighting the shakes that come with not buying laceweight for almost a week.

It is a sickness. I vow to never turn anyone on to knitting again. ESPECIALLY lace knitting. *grumbles*

Off and running

Originally uploaded by deborah lattimore.
This a quick post from the computer lab where I'm (supposed to be) writing a paper. I found this photo on Flickr while browsing this week's "Interesting" feature. I hope to see something like this while scuba diving... *happy sigh*

When I get a chance I'll upload photos of the work in progress knitting-wise. I'm half-way through two scarves, and about a quarter done with another. :)

Yarn Party! *swims through yarn*

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

We had an AWESOME sale at Threaded Bliss recently. 35% every yarn on the shelf, and 50-75% bags of yarn! Yours truly stayed just within her budget, and got many yummy things. To see photos of all of it, as well as photos of Mark and Me on a recent excursion to see my grandfather's house, click on the photo.

So, for $100 I got:

Three skeins of Fiesta Zia Handpainted Cotton in the "Moroccan" colorway (seen in photo). Original price: $79.50. On sale: $19
Three skeins Baby Kid Mohair in White (to make a snowy Galadriel-esque shawl!) Original price: $34. On sale: $21
One skein Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere Laceweight in an incredible deep purple/blue colorway. Original price: $35. On sale: $22
And my last, and best purchase: Thirteen balls of Merino dk from Debbie Bliss in Charcoal AND the book to match it. Original Price: $112 On sale for: $30!!!

I also got a knitpicks order a couple days ago, including the delicious Shine, which I would reccomend to anyone, even stodgy folks like myself who don't like cottons!


Friday, November 25, 2005

Originally uploaded by happyhandpainter.
Just a quick note to say.... HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Big sale at Threaded Bliss today, I hope I'll see some of you there!!

photos are uploaded

Monday, November 21, 2005

Hey, for those of you that commented or emailed, thank you! As promised, more photos are uploaded to my Flickr account. (Just click on the photo at right to be taken there.) I plan on taking more photos of individual paintings and sculptures over the next few days, so bear with me.

Also, I was wondering if any of you know how I can get those status bars that fill up that I see on other people's blogs. You know, it'll say "Kiri in Kidsilk Haze, 12% complete," and have a little bar with 12% filled in. I wanna get some for me too!

You'll be happy to know...

That my yarn spending has subsided a lot. Whenever I get stressed I buy, for some reason. It's comforting? Anyway, I need to break that, so the only things I've bought recently I either budgeted for (Handknit Holidays, to make the scalloped bag for several female family members) and things Mark and I talked about. We've been looking for some Mac adventure games for the flight, and when I saw Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb for $9 (the only copy available, sorry) and Alice (a twisted version of Alice in Wonderland, I am hoping it's similar to "Sanitarium") also for $9, I couldn't say no. $35 later I am two computer games richer and the book I need for Xmas gifts is on its way to me.

Not to mention my Knitpicks order from a few days ago, and the Jaeger Lux Tweed I ordered to make the Karabella Lace and Cables sweater.

By the way, I've got about 3 inches done on my Chamonix pullover. I ended up going with a simple bottom-up Sweater Workshop esque raglan, so I know it'll fit and I can shape however I damn well please, thankyouverymuch!

Of course, there's loads of schoolwork still to do, but we'll ignore that for now......


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Originally uploaded by happyhandpainter.
This photo is so blurry it's almost useless to see with. I'll take some better pictures tomorrow, ok? It's one of the seven paintings featured in the show, FYI.

There is going to be a sale at Threaded Bliss on Friday (the day after thanksgiving), with some items REALLY on sale, like grab bags! I already budgeted for at least one item - enough Cascade Quattro in pale orange to make a hooded sweater (probably Rogue.) And maybe some Kidsilk Haze in Blushes to make a Kiri, but I haven't decided yet.

I'm not really making progress on anything else. I need something to take my mind off worrying about my passport tho... it still isn't here and we're leaving in 3 weeks. O_____O


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Part of Bronwyn's art
Originally uploaded by happyhandpainter.

The show went off better than I could have ever hoped, thanks to help from my classmates (Michelle and Sher) and from Mark, my parents, and Professor Koenig. I got a lot of really positive remarks and ideas for how to improve the idea if I get the opportunity to do this again.

I did an underwater theme, with paintings of vague fish things sort of based on real creatures, but much of it coming out of my brain. I also knit and crocheted about 12 creatures, though I planned to make many more and still do.

I'll post better pictures as soon as I get a chance, ok? Speaking of making stuff, I'm gonna take a couple of hours today and work on Mark's sweater. It's only two weeks til his birthday and I want him to be able to wear it!! I also have to go get my emissions test and deposit some graduation money into savings (did you hear that, mom??) and of course... buy a little something for me. Probably enough Jaeger Luxury Tweed to make Salina from Rowan Vintage Knits, since I found a gal selling it for $2.50 a ball!!! And... maybe also some Peruvian Collection Baby Silk. But that's it! :)

Folk Socks Progress

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Originally uploaded by happyhandpainter.
For the moment I am ignoring the senior show fears to blog about my current knitting project, the second pair of socks from Folk Socks. It's my goal to knit every pair of socks in this book by Christmas next year. Why? Because I like finishing things and setting goals, and I've bought a lot of sock yarn in the last year. The first pair are the Latvian Lace socks in Lorna's Laces Happy Valley. I think they're going to my mom for Christmas, but right now they're on my feet. See, when I blocked them they were so inviting, with their rainbowy happiness and soft hand... *sigh*

The current pair are the english garden socks (not sure if this is the exact name). I eschewed the color changes at the top, but I may still do a colored heel if I can find some more Jawoll in a matching navy or burgundy. This yarn is sort of scratchy on the ball, by the way, but knit up it forms a springy, even fabric with stripes I just love. I'm now done with the calf decreases and am on my way to the ankle, tho I've not decided how long to make them just yet.

My next pair of socks will either be out of Knitpicks Sock Memories in Cape Cod (to try out a different yarn) or Lorna's Laces Springer.

There's just been a tornado warning so I'm going to go cower in the bathroom with my socks, even though the cat doesn't seem too upset. It is awfully windy and quiet...!

it's getting down to the wire...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Five paintings, seven hours. Can I get it done? We'll see!

The installation must begin at 9:00 pm-9:30 pm depending on how long it takes me to spraypaint the pedestals.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. I'm not even thinking about future projects now, but I did make two dates to give me something to look forward to when the madness is over (besides the vacation, I mean!)

Date 1: My parents and I are going to have a dye party, and dye up all that merino laceweight I have so I have something to knit in NZ. I think this will be really fun.

Date 2: Mark's birthday. I got off work all day to spend it with him. I'm taking him to get a massage, then to the new Cheesecake Factory (must remember to budget for that!) then maybe to a movie? We'll see. Of course, gifts will be involved. And since we're doing Christmas with my parents at the same time, maybe there'll be some gifts in it for me, too!

See ya, I won't be posting til it's all said and done day after tomorrow (oh god!)

stash update!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

jaeger Chamonix
Originally uploaded by happyhandpainter.
I forgot one thing - what I actually got stash-wise!

Cross your fingers for me please, I contacted a girl about purchasing her 10 balls Chamonix. I LOVE angora so I don't mind paying the (already inexpensive) price. The color is Marseille, a pale blue-grey, and I plan to make Cranberry (the sweater below) out of it. However, I am one ball short so I may make the belt and color with one ball of Orleans.

I also bought four balls of "ice blue" angora/wool on ebay. Too late did I realize it's angora GOAT (mohair) not angora RABBIT. If nothing else I'll hold two strands together and make a bag if it's truly scratchy. (1200 yards for $16. How could it not be?)

Of course, the previously mentioned Lorna's Laces, but you gals will be so proud of me - I ended up only buying the sportweight, saving about $14.

Last but certainly not least, I bought a two-pound cone of Brora Softspun from Webs. Mark really wants the ribbed man sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and I ran out of yarn for Saranac. (I can't win lately..!) so, I bought this yarn, 1900 yards to be SURE I had enough, to make it for him. I bought the chocolate color, if you're curious. It should be here on the 10th so I'll make sure to post a picture and a post-washing swatch so you'll know if it's a good buy!!

And believe it or not, there has been knitting going on, just lots of "sea creatures" for the show. I plan on doing a mass post once I get the bag for my class assembled today tho. What I've finished this last two weeks total: one pair of LL socks in Happy Valley, one hat from LL Worsted Bittersweet, and several creatures. Maybe I'll go the Pluckyfluff Nozzlers route and sell them after the fact.

Jaeger Cranberry

Jaeger Cranberry
Originally uploaded by happyhandpainter.

It's been getting really stressful around here lately. At the moment I don't feel like talking about everything I'm trying to do and get done, so I'll just post about things I'm working on and stash additions.

I know I am on stashing overdrive because I am stressed and I seriously nest when stress takes over my life. All the cuddly yarn comforts me and makes me dream of future projects - which reminds me there is a future, and one in which I will have more time to enjoy the things I can't do right now (like knit, paint, or cook.)

Thankfully Mark has been more than accomodating about picking up more chores while I am going through this and I plan on doing something really nice for him to say thanks. Not buy something though - it's my family's way of supporting - by "gifting", but I'd like to not keep that going. I like getting gifts, I mean, but sometimes the excess of "stuff" gets to me. What should I do? He's going to a game this upcoming weekend, and though I'll be super busy, I think I'll give the apartment a good clean and get all the laundry washed for him too.

On to the stash! SInce I'll be gone in December (and my pal is too busy to search for my blog) I'll tell you guys what I got her! Plus I'm mailing it today. So she'll get it before I know it.

I got her a good one to make up for the lack thereof in December:

1. one skein of Schaeffer Laurel one-of-a-kind that I fell in love with at Threaded Bliss. It's 400 yards of handpainted cotton (cotton in winter? Just wait!) in shades of cranberry, hunter, navy, gold, and plum.
2. One pattern from Oat Couture for a lacy market-type bag. This is what the cotton is for, since it's heavier duty, not nearly as stretchy as wool, and more easily washed.
3. One box of chocolate scented incense.
4. One bag of chocolate covered espresso beans.
5. Postcard from where we're going :)

I hope she loves it!!

You knew it was bound to happen...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

LL Mixed Berries
Originally uploaded by happyhandpainter.

Retail therapy, that is. The gal on KR who is destashing her LL to pay off her credit cards (how can I not support such a selfless act?!) dropped her prices. So I bought some sport weight in Cranberries and Mixed Berries (she assured me they would match, too. I see a gift in those two yarns!) I also bought a skein each of Blackberry and Pewter sock yarn, eliminating that from the list. Before you go scolding, I resisted the Happy Valley Helen's Lace. I love Happy Valley! Unfortunately I need to be careful about how I spend money right now. But it seemed worth it to get yarns I wanted anyway and help out a gal in need.

I also have almost all of the pieces for my pal's really "good" gift. I want to buy her something at T.B. but I'm just not sure what. Some new DPNs? The yarn for the pattern I bought her? I just don't know. Of course I won't go into detail, but she's fun to shop for.

Just in case MY pal is wondering, her Shimmer 5 is going to good use as a sea monster in my show. I know I should use it for something for me, but it just looks so... ocean-y and organic. I'll probably frog it after the show goes down tho, and then use it for me.

By the way, I've assembled almost all of my vacation knitting now. The grey angora and pearl scarf, a pair of socks out of Jawoll (I already started these. Bad me, put down those DPNs and back away slowly!) as well as two sets of LL sock yarn and the sportweight which I think will become a bag for Mark's mom for Xmas.

Can you tell I'm counting down? Keep me in your prayers, you're all in mine.

maid service

Friday, October 28, 2005

I think we are gonna talk seriously about getting a maid service when we get back. I'll be working full time and doing other things on the side, so I think the money will be there for someone to do vacuuming, dusting, mopping and wiping down once a week. I know it doesn't sound like a lot, but these actions take up so much of what little free time I have that it would feel wonderful to have them done for me/us.

Work is going better on the show, I put in a few hours on Wed. night and had a crit today, it went well even with the hypercritical prof that everyone is scared of. I keep vacillating betweens fears of "my environment will not feel oceany enough,"; "I will not have enough creatures"; and "my paintings will look like garbage."

We'll see.:)

Mark's gone til Sat. night on a rugby trip. I'll miss him a lot, but it'll also give me time to actually clean without him asking "why are you doing that NOW?" (A: "Because *I* have to do it sometime, *I* might as well do it now.") Of course I don't say that. But I'd like to.

Love! :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I am on some kind of Lorna's binge right now. It is so sick! I didn't buy any more, but I want to. So, to make myself feel an eensy smidgen better, I thought I'd make a list of all the colors I plan to buy in the sometime future. (Note that the Happy Valley socks are decidely unhappy right now. Still stuck on heel two. Ugh!) At the moment I'm mostly into socks, but I wouldn't say no to some worsted. Imagine THOSE socks! :) Did I tell you I plan to make every pair of socks in the Folk Socks book? No? Well, it's my New Years resolution, except it will start on vacation.

Nearly solid:

two skeins Pewter (I LOVE this color. It's the next purchase... when I actually have money anyway.)
two skeins Carrot
two skeins Douglas Fir
two skeins Blackberry
two skeins Lilac
one skein each of Chocolate, Denim, and Cranberry for fair isle socks


two skeins Springer (just purchased, one down!)
two skeins Georgetown (love this color...)
four skeins Baltic Sea (a pair for me, a pair for him.)
Two skeins Bee Stripe. I love Bees.
Two skeins Lucky Stripe. I love pink and orange together!
Two skeins Desert Flower
Two skeins Gold Hill
Two skeins Mineshaft (for him)
One skein each in Lakeview, Seaside, and Pioneer.

T told you it's a sickness, okay? At least you know what to get me for every holiday for the next three years... maybe I'll cross these off as I get them too, that'd be fun. I also thought I might buy two skeins a month, or as a treat for finishing a pair of socks in the previous month's LL, whichever happens first. A massive stash of LL is not a bad thing. Just ask Annawolfsong on Knitter's Review, who is selling more LL than most LYSs! (I bought what she had of colors I wanted. Of course.)

Based on some small calculations on my handy mathemetizermajiggy, it'll only cost me... oh... $315. That's a lot. But not as much as I thought it would be, oddly. And HEY!!! I just found two unused skeins of LL sock in Motherlode! How timely is that? Now if I can finish my HV socks, I can cast on for the Motherlode ones for next month! Rock on. :)

(Yes, I am working on Saranac here and there. HV socks do get slight priority since they're almost done.)

Stash enhancement update

Monday, October 24, 2005

This last few weeks have been really hard. It sounds stupid, I know, because we've had a good time visiting different places, renting movies and stuff. But my show is always on my mind and it's like a can't relax, I feel like a caged animal, just pacing and waiting to be let out. it doesn't help I put off a lot of other classwork to work on the show, didn't get as much done as I thought, and now I have this mountain in front of me. Any words of encouragement you guys have would be appreciated today.

Not surprisingly, I turned to retail therapy to assure myself all was well. TO be fair, it was on sale, and only things I wanted anyway so I don't feel too much like an ass. From a gal on Knitter's Review I bought two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport, one in Aslan (I love Chronicles of Narnia!) and one in Sand Ridge, which I think I will give to Emily at work since she really likes that colorway and she's knitting tons for her nephew. I also bought, FOR ME, two skeins of Shepherd Sock in Springer, which I liked because the colors seem sort of zen. I had to fight myself to keep from buying the single skein of Pewter that she had. PLUS my mom is bringing me a skein of LL Worsted in Happy Valley (my favorite!!) to make my class model out of.

I'll post a picture of the Saranac I am knitting for Mark as soon as I get a couple more inches done. It's going slowly. The Happy Valley socks (for my mom, oddly) are stalled at the second heel. Why, I don't know. I guess I hate picking up stitches more than I realized.

It just seems like a lot right now. I should have a cry and a nap and get back to it.


Originally uploaded by happyhandpainter.
I know I haven't been posting much... as you can see I've been hard at work on my show which goes up in three weeks!! I am scared to death and still not able to motivate myself to paint much. To make matters worse more fiber arrived in the mail today that is STUNNING - silk/merino, merino/tencel, and handpainted merino. I'm not touching it til school's out though. I just can't!

Chattanooga souvenir yarn

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

This is a bit late in posting, but we visited Chattanooga this past Saturday on a lark. Mostly we laid out in the park there near the water and it was perfectly cool and delicious. We also did a bit of shopping...!

In a small shop selling everything from tea pots to postcards to wind chimes, I found a small display of beads, including the lavender pearls you see at left. I only had a little money with me, so I bought a dozen, knowing I wanted to knit something with them but wasn't sure what! Later that day we visited Genuine Purl, a really nice yarn shop on North Market. They were exploding with yarn, especially new Rowan, Diakeito, and handpaints galore. I had to buy some souvenir yarn, of course and I fondled lots before I settled on this little Japanese laceweight (you can just see the edge in the photo). I am pretty sure it's angora/silk/wool, but as the label's entirely in Japanese I'm not sure. Score, it matched the lavender pearls SO nicely!

Now to find the perfect pattern.... ironically, I found it at work (Threaded Bliss Yarns, come see me!!) It's a Fiber Trends pattern, called the Cocoon Lace Wrap and is sooo perfect! It even has six little points on each end, good for the dozen pearls I have.

I want to work on it NOW, but instead I'm putting it all in a bag together to be my vacation knitting. Now, of course, I'm debating whether or not I should spend $21 to get two balls of Kidsilk Haze in Smoke to carry along with the lace... since it's pretty fine, but not the least bit fuzzy. I like fuzz!

Secret Pal 6 gifts 1 + 2

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Originally uploaded by happyhandpainter.

I admit, I have been an unappreciative Secret Pal. I didn't post the last gift, even though it thrilled me, because I just didn't feel like blogging at that time. Now I feel a little more balanced, and I got another gift from her in the mail, so here's the entry.

THANK YOU SECRET PAL! I AM THE LUCKIEST PAL IN THE WORLD! Whew, that was tiring. But here's the deal - I really am so lucky. Not only does my pal give me gifts that suit my taste, but she also writes a very kind note always and it made me smile a lot today. In my first package, she gave me two balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran (which you're right - I love it more than Cashsoft). I am now so crazy about Cashmerino that I'm buying it as it's on sale at the LYS I work at. I couldn't resist casting on with it, and you'll be relieved to know that I finished my project already - the fingerless handwarmers from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. She also gave me a Rowan pattern book, Classic Weekend, from which I'll be making the little wrap sweater in the near future. Also included in gift one was some handmade soap from a Farmer's Market that my boyfriend immediately sniffed and declared acceptable for both man and woman use, and has thus been used. :)

In the second round, my pal outdid herself even more. (Are you sure you're staying in the $50 limit?? *grin*) She sent me a skein of Colinette Shimmer in colorway Morocco. This is how magical my pal is- normally I dislike shimmery stuff. I generally dislike Colinette (with the exception of Giotto and occasional colors of Point 5) but she managed to pick the exact color I would have chosen for myself. And not just in the Shimmer - she also sent me two skeins of Alpaca Cloud in Peppermint, my favorite color in that yarn! Last but certainly not least, an awesome mix cd which we listened to in the car on vacation.

You see what I mean about being lucky? My pal is SO getting something sent to her from New Zealand when she reveals herself!

sorry 'bout that.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Hey, just wanted to say sorry for the super negative posts the last couple days. I am feeling much better after my first day at work at the LYS!!! I did really well I think, enjoyed it, even though I totally screwed up the in-store model I am trying desperately to make. After thinking I finally had it cast on, I get home, get through one repeat of a lace pattern I've ALREADY DONE, RECENTLY, and think "Hey, this looks a bit wonky." Well, I count a couple times and I have 3 extra stitches. And somehow my marker's wandered. *sigh*

Tonight I will have a picture of the cast on and CORRECTLY DONE lace repeat. Scout's honor!

Also a picture of my secret pal's gift, which has become that secret bar of dark chocolate hidden in the freezer for when you are about to start screaming if you don't have some mindless knitting right this second!!!


Saturday, October 01, 2005

Well, now I feel put upon. It's my own fault, of course. I said I'd clean, and then took yarn out to do ebay auctions and now there's yarn everywhere and I'm stressed and what the fuck am I supposed to do with all this shit??? Why do we have so many goddamn computer cords?! I swear, there's fifty of them!! I can't tell you how tempted I am right now to just start chucking stuff, but that seems unwise. Add to that I want to work on school projects, knit, cook dinner for Mark, ... and.. and... I'm just overwhelmed. I'd like to have a good cry but that seems like even more time wasted. How is it 3 pm when I got up at 7 am?! Granted I got some stuff listed on ebay, and read an entire book, but now the apartment's a wreck and I just plain don't want to clean it.

Add to that money troubles. It's tight, man. I need to buy maybe three things from the grocery store, but I don't want to do it. I want Mark to do it, cause I spent like 30 bucks this weekend already on grocery AND I paid for date night. Granted I offered, but still. It should not take a rocket scientist to figure out, "Hey, maybe my girlfriend is tired of buying food and toiletries and stuff all week!"

This is not Mark's fault. He does not have ESP, and he's miles and miles away playing a rugby game. Maybe that's why I'm so frustrated and upset; he goes out to play (granted, it's a very hard game) and I'm at home, wanting him to HELP CLEAN and DO STUFF FOR ME. It's shitty being home all day alone because I get nothing done, am bored and lonely, and when he does get back, my first thought is "Whew, now I can get to work." WTF?? It would make more sense to get it all done while he's gone, but no, I am just plain being bratty.

Okay. Now that I've got that off my chest, I'm going to put on the tv, clean til the episode's over, take a shower, go to the store, get the soup on (Mexican Butternut Stew and Quesadillas), and then write. For school. It's strange how the thought of just sitting down and doing schoolwork gives me a sigh of relief... (As in, "My god, the crushing load I put on myself has lightened considerably! Oh, happy day!")


Well, now I feel put upon. It's my own fault, of course. I said I'd clean, and then took yarn out to do ebay auctions and now there's yarn everywhere and I'm stressed and what the fuck am I supposed to do with all this shit??? Why do we have so many goddamn computer cords?! I swear, there's fifty of them!! I can't tell you how tempted I am right now to just start chucking stuff, but that seems unwise. Add to that I want to work on school projects, knit, cook dinner for Mark, ... and.. and... I'm just overwhelmed. I'd like to have a good cry but that seems like even more time wasted. How is it 3 pm when I got up at 7 am?! Granted I got some stuff listed on ebay, and read an entire book, but now the apartment's a wreck and I just plain don't want to clean it.

Add to that money troubles. It's tight, man. I need to buy maybe three things from the grocery store, but I don't want to do it. I want Mark to do it, cause I spent like 30 bucks this weekend already on grocery AND I paid for date night. Granted I offered, but still. It should not take a rocket scientist to figure out, "Hey, maybe my girlfriend is tired of buying food and toiletries and stuff all week!"

This is not Mark's fault. He does not have ESP, and he's miles and miles away playing a rugby game. Maybe that's why I'm so frustrated and upset; he goes out to play (granted, it's a very hard game) and I'm at home, wanting him to HELP CLEAN and DO STUFF FOR ME. It's shitty being home all day alone because I get nothing done, am bored and lonely, and when he does get back, my first thought is "Whew, now I can get to work." WTF?? It would make more sense to get it all done while he's gone, but no, I am just plain being bratty.

Okay. Now that I've got that off my chest, I'm going to put on the tv, clean til the episode's over, take a shower, go to the store, get the soup on (Mexican Butternut Stew and Quesadillas), and then write. For school. It's strange how the thought of just sitting down and doing schoolwork gives me a sigh of relief... (As in, "My god, the crushing load I put on myself has lightened considerably! Oh, happy day!")

A whole bunch of crap!


It's been a long week, to say the least. Nothing exploded, nothing melted over... it was just long. But I read a really good book today, in one sitting like I used to and it felt so good I can barely stand it. Not to mention it was good in itself -called Julie/Julia about a woman trying to make every recipe in Julia Child's cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year in her cramped apartment kitchen. It was funny, insightful, sometimes irritating (why does she hate vegetarians?? Can't please everyone I suppose). But I'd reccomend reading it when it comes out, this month I think, as I've got the Advanced Reader for it and I'm not letting go of it!

But it did make me think a lot. My life is really full, overly full if I think about it hard enough. All my life I've tried to do everything and do it right and get nothing done or fifty things half done. The truth is, I'm cheating the things that are important by expending excess energy on things that don't matter to me. And while it's not killing me now, I want to have kids some day. And actually, you know, be an artist full time. And be a good partner to my boyfriend. And I can't do those things when I use the energy I'm allotted for worrying about the most trivial crap ever. So here's my list of things I'm going to give up. I might need your help, readers, when I get caught from time to time. And I can't change a lifetime of habits in a few days. It'll take a long time for some, I'm sure. But now I know what I want, and that's a first for me.

1. Housework is not going to be a political debate any more. I say this, but Mark has never argued with me over what I "should" be doing. But I do it in my own head, and it's pathetic. The truth is, I enjoy cleaning. I like that deep breath one takes when you come in the door and everything shines. I keep thinking though, about all the advice women who are married ever gave me. "Men will only do as much as you expect them to." Well, I think this is crappy and I don't want to think of my boyfriend that way. When I ask him to do things, he does it. So why do I meanly leave the dishes unwashed when I have hours of free time in which to do them, just because I think "Hey!! He should do something too!!" He does do something.

2. I give up on amassing an amazing yarn stash, as least for now. That will come later, when I have a studio of my own with cubbies to fill with rainbows. Now I need money , and stability, and security. I will still be envious of knitters who can go to their stash and pull out enough amazing cashmere for a sweater. But that kind of clutter stresses me out, and it's not like I don't know the most amazing online shops and LYS who are GLAD to help me find that yummy project yarn. I am a damned good online shopper; I'll find it when I need it.

3. I'm going to cook and clean when I want to and when I feel like it. I won't feel guilty or taken advantage of. If I don't want to or don't feel like it, I'll ask Mark to, and I won't feel guilty about that either.

4. I'll paint and draw and knit when I feel like it. My boyfriend will not leave me if I don't produce a masterpiece. I haven't done it yet, and he's still here. I think I'll produce more this way anyway.

5. I will not get an A in every class. I will put on as good as senior show as I am capable of, and I will not feel horrified if mine is not the "best" work. I will work and enjoy the classes that interest me; I will do the necessary work for the ones I don't. I won't spend all my energy on a project that bores me. I will not quit it either.

6. I'll knit for enjoyment and to show love, rather than to win favors. And as a way to use up my ridiculous stash.

SIgning off for a few days. My secret pal sent me a great gift that came at just the right time. I'll photograph it in a few days, before I open it. (Except for the soap. I'm already using that in a delicious smelling bath. I may have to order more...!)

WIP update

Monday, September 26, 2005

I gotta finish some WIPs at this point, since my size 7 circular is in use in Mark's sweater, and it's just the one I need for a shop model in Fiesta Yarns' La Luz Multi (am I lucky or what??) I got 1.5 pattern repeats done on the second Happy Valley sock, but since I am having to knit on it when I get time here and there, it won't be done til this weekend I'll wager. But then I can wear them! YAY!

I think the corkscrew scarf will be put on hold as a christmas present, as it's also on the 7 circular. How embarassing... ;; I keep taking the needles off the cord (it's a Denise, of course) and leaving the project on the cord so I can start a new one. So I have two projects on the same needles, just moving the needles from cord to cord. Ugh.

As for Mark's sweater, I haven't gotten past the ribbing but I found the pattern again. I guess I should work on this over the socks, but I'm sooo close on the socks and this has miles to go before it sleeps and is worn. :)

We found a perfect apartment; cross your needles that we will be able to get it in November!!

Handpainted silk laceweight

Thursday, September 22, 2005

This is the laceweight previously mentioned. Don't you just want to eat those colors?? It's 400 yds, I don't know what I'll make with it. Something for Anna?? Or maybe Liz?

WIP guilt list

There's been a slew of people going through their WIPs and trying to finish them or frog them, just to clear the air a bit. And while my WIP pile is fairly small (not including school stuff) I still think I'd rather work on one or two things at a time, rather than a bunch. So I just thought I'd post the progress of each WIP, then spend 30 minutes a day working on whichever one appeals to me at that time (no "slogging through" a single one, in other words).

1.) Happy Valley Socks I actually enjoy working on these, but they're the first things I've ever knit on such small needles (sz 1) and it's taking a long time. My attention span is usually about three weeks, and these've gone beyond that so I've lost some interest. What was very smart of me though was to cast on a knit the picot cuff immediately after finishing the first sock. I hate picot, it's a pain, and I probably never would've gotten around to it. Now I'm working on the second sock, and got about 1.5 more lace repeats (about 15 rows) done today on it. I still have a ways to go, but the end's in sight.

2.) Corkscrew Scarf I'm making this out of Berroco Quest, and while it's fun to look at and the yarn feels good (shocking for Berroco!), it is BORING. And SLOW. Thusly I will probably lay this aside except for during long lectures, movies, or the dentist's. It is just so boring. Can I say that one more time? Boring to knit, even with the short rows...

3.) Saranac for Mark The pattern has not become a 'problem' yet, just because I've only knit the 2" of ribbing on the bottom. I'm sure when I get to the armpit I will never want to see ribs again ever. At least I don't have to seam anything but the zipper. I do think that I have to pick up stitches for the collar, and we all know how I feel about that. Looks like David will be doing that part, that is, if Mark ever wants his sweater before it's summer....

Oh, that wasn't too bad. I guess it's all the planned projects floating around in there that makes it seem like so much. It doesn't help that I got some gorgeous new laceweight (picture forthcoming) and the library emailed me to tell me my copy of Gossamer Webs is in. UH OH!

Oh lordy, christmas knitting.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

So, I decided on some Xmas knitting for the fam and friends, and I won't really be able to start til the show's over in November, but I thought I'd post here anyway (just to remind myself if nothing else!)

A simple 2x2 ribbed scarf in Trance Kidsilk Haze for Mark's not-so-much-younger sister Liz (I started this today in class. It's turning out beautifully but I'm thinking of doing some experimentation with random cables interspersed. What do you think?)

A cabled changepurse for his younger sister to match the pretty striped handspun bag I sent her when we started dating. I've been buying handspun like mad from a seller on ebay that I love, and I got some pretty pastels to make this bag with. It will be small, so probably a quick knit. I'm thinking a shell or imitation bone/horn closure?

The Saranac sweater for Mark (his birthday is early December, and I'd like to give him his sweater before that!) in a nice olive Alpaca. I'm about 1 inch through the ribbing right now.

I'd really like to make some mittens or fingerless gloves for mark's brother's girlfriend Anna (what a mouthful!) in Fiesta Yarns' Australia colorway, since she's from Australia. I even thought about knitting them in wool, then putting some simple intarsia with the same colorway in a different yarn from them, like a boucle. I can't see her wearing fun fur type stuff, and I hate knitting with it! I'll have to save my pennies to afford this yarn though.

A felted laptop bag out of Big Wool for Mark's actual christmas present.

Hmmm, on his mother's side that leaves his brother and his mom. I knitted her a scarf already and her pretty curly hair wouldn't go under any hat, and it isn't cold there at that time! Maybe a cotton lace cuff with a ribbon lacing it shut? That would be pretty, and she's very fashionable. It would also be a quick knit! As for his older brother, maybe a cabled hat that matches Mark's in a different color, like blue?? Not sure on this one.

Then there's his father's family. Oh Lord, you see why I'm starting now?! Maybe some Hyperbolic Plane christmas ornaments for his two younger brothers (boys like funny shapes, right?!). No idea on his father, as I've never met him, only seen pictures. No socks though... I only knit socks for me, Mark, and my mother. :P They take forever! For his stepmother, don't ask why, but I just thought a knit lumbar pillow for a desk chair would be cool. Or is that lame? Maybe I'll knit some cool dishcloths and be done with it.

For my family...! My sister and brother-in-law will get purchased gifts. They are too hard to please and not crafty at all. My sis does b&w photography so a book of photographs is a possibility. My brother in law deals with cars and plays golf. I really hope he has picked up some new hobby because I don't think I could bring myself to buy a golf gift! My niece and nephew are more fun, I can knit them stuffed animals. Perhaps a seal for my niece, but what about my nephew? He is all into cars but I don't give traditionally 'boy' or 'girl' baby gifts. A turtle, or how about a polar bear? We'll see.

As for my mom, I'd like to knit her a pair of socks. I don't know that that's realistic though, so perhaps I can finish some of her UFOs as a gift!! And my dad? Well, I know what he's getting from my mom for Xmas (it's a really good gift!) so I'll knit a matching cushion or something!!

WHOA that list is long. Guess I'd better get started!

Corkscrew Scarf

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Originally uploaded by happyhandpainter.
This is one of the ONLY novelty yarns I have ever liked - Berroco Quest. It's sparkly, the "fur" isn't long enough to be noticeable, and it's actually quite soft. My aunt lost her husband over the weekend so I'm knitting this beauty for her to let her know I care. I thought the shape was a bit cheerful too.

It's a surprisingly fast knit too, and I'm learning about short rows. Perhaps I'll make a beaded one out of the Kidsilk Haze I bought online (color Trance) for one of Mark's sisters for Christmas....

One Skein Wonder

Friday, September 16, 2005

One Skein Wonder
Originally uploaded by happyhandpainter.
Finally, some knitting content! Until I figure out how to blog multiple photos in one post, I'll just be showing this one. This is my first One Skein Wonder, and I must say that I enjoyed the pattern.... EXCEPT for picking up the stitches! I'm horrible at it. I have books on finishing, but I just can't seem to do it. :\

I wasn't having too good of a day yesterday, and it was much cheered up by the fact the Mark's mother sent me a nice note all the way from New Zealand. She is such a kind lady; did I mention how lucky I am that his family is lovely?

I'm thinking of going to a gallery show of knit objects at the Barrett Gallery at Vanderbilt today... maybe meet my mom and aunt for lunch and do a little shopping for my secret pal. I'm hoping I'll find a place that has what I'm looking for so I can feel it and pick out exactly the color I want. I won't say any more lest I give myself away. :)


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Mark moved in with me last night, how exciting! The apartment's a mess, of course, but hopefully we'll be able to get most of it squared away. I definitely want to make sure it's our apartment, not just mine, so I'm sure we'll be moving some things around. I also ordered two books from (THE place for used books for cheap!) abou decorating small spaces/apartments; maybe that will give us some ideas.

One other exciting thing is that I listed some graphic novels I had collecting dust on ebay (Blade of the Immortal volumes 2-4 and 7-10 if you're curious) and another ebayer helped me figure out that they're almost all first editions! Maybe now I'll make enough for the whole enterprise to be worth it.

I also listed some Noro Silk Garden, and I'll be adding other things when these sell. I've got a lot of little amounts of things, and while one-skein-wonders are cute, I don't want to make anymore of them!!

Secret Pal 6 questionnaire!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?

Yes, I'm afraid so! I have a legitimate reason though, many types of acrylic cause me to break out with angry red welts and rashes. It goes away after a while tho.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?

I do spin. I don't know how to crochet though!

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)

Acrylic and some foods like meat and eggs.

4. How long have you been knitting?

About one year. I knit constantly though.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Yep, just search for my email (beh2g AT mtsu DOT edu).

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

Anything soothing and not overly sweet. Vanilla, citrus, leafy things, and laundry detergent!

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?

Kinda, but I don't eat things that have egg products in it if I can help it. Milk is ok though.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?

I paint, draw, sculpt, cook, and occasionally write.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I like singer/songwriter stuff. Bright Eyes, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Talib Kweli (ok, so he's a rapper/songwriter.)

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

I look hideous in anything yellow or yellow green. I like peach, deep blue, anything blue-green, cream, dark brown, and occasionally a pale, leafy green.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I have a boyfriend and one spoiled little cat. (Her name is Electra.)

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)

To move overseas (hopefully to New Zealand:) create knit sculptures, drawings, and paintings. Also maybe own a cafe.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?

Right now it's Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora (but we have that on a good sale at our LYS), Rowan Cashsoft DK, and some handspun that I buy on ebay. I have some Kidsilk Haze on the way too, but I've never used it. We'll see. OH! And BIG WOOL. I LOVE BIG WOOL.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

Anything scratchy or really textured.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?

Cables and lace.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Sweaters and socks. And stuffed creatures?

17. What are you knitting right now?

A Cotton Angora One Skein Wonder, the second sock from a pair of Lorna's Laces (color Happy Valley), an alpaca sweater for my boyfriend.

18. What do you think about ponchos?

They are extremely unflattering.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?

Circular, but it depends on the project.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

It depends on the project. I don't discriminate :)

21. Are you a sock knitter?


22. How did you learn to knit?

I taught myself from a book.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?

Maybe 3 months? It's a tank top where I lost my place in the pattern. Ooops....

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?

I love rabbits, chinchillas, or anything else related to the lapine family. But I don't collect rabbit "stuff".

25. What is your favorite holiday?

Thanksgiving. All that food!

26. Is there anything that you collect?

Besides yarn?? Isn't that enough?! :) Books, I guess, especially graphic novels.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

Interweave Knits.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?

Rowan Mag 37. The Barbara Walker knitting series (4 books, I believe??) "I Don't Mind if You Forget Me" by Yoshitomo Nara (this is out of print and very hard to find at a reasonable price however.) Also any Agatha Christie mysteries. I've only read two, "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd" and "Ten Little Indians" but I'd like to read more.

29. Any patterns you have been coveting, but haven't bought for one reason or another??

Any of the Rowan pattern books... I can't afford them!


Monday, August 22, 2005

Originally uploaded by happyhandpainter.
Now you see what we've been up to! Despite my false starts for the last month, Mark came over the other night, watched while I fumbled with the wheel (pathetically, I think) and then decided he wanted a try. A few minutes later, he was spinning and I was oohing and aahing. He had to actually show me how to do it! He's a natural, I tell you. I WILL bring him over to the soft and fluffy dark side of fiber arts.

This is our very first collaboration, a thick-n-thin christened "Pumpkin". Something laceweight maybe?

it's been one of those days.

Friday, August 19, 2005

I really don't want to complain since there are so many people in the world who are far worse off than myself, but I am irked at the series of events that's occured yesterday and today, so I'll just let it off my chest with the understanding that it's not all that bad, just annoying and tiresome. Bear with me til this evening, ok?

I tried ordering dinner for Mark and myself last night, only to find out my card has been reported stolen. Yes, that's right, stolen. The card that has been sitting on my desk, in my apartment, unused for almost a week. By who? The credit union, apparently. Why? They can't say. They can't tell me why they told Mastercard my card was used fraudulently, and it should be cut off. I can't "turn it on" again, so I have to drive to the Credit Union tonight, and order a new card which will take 7-10 business days. Note that I have no checks or credit cards, so ATM for the time being it seems. Except, oops, my paycheck was lost in the mail! We didn't deposit it, of course, so that means my Gapcard payment bounced, slapping me with a $25 late fee. AARRGGHHHH.

So now I have no working card, Am $9 in the hole, And no money to take out of the bank. What's a girl to do? Call her mom, of course, and beg a cash loan til the wandering check arrives. Now, guys, I really try not to borrow money if I can ever avoid it. I hate credit cards, and have been trying to pay off the one that I had at Christmas since well... Christmas. So I hate borrowing money from my mom. :
On top of that, I emailed Annie offering to knit a sample sweater for her. As I was taking pictures of things I've finished recently to show her what I can do, my batteries died. Not a problem, I thought, I'll just run to the store and buy more. Wrong! No money, remember?

At this time, Mark is home for lunch, hungry but affectionate. I make the only thing left in my semi-bare cabinets (Noodles that were actually pretty good). I felt guilty that I didn't have time or money or togetherness to cook him "actual" food, but he was thankful and snuggled me and told me it would be ok, and even brought me my favourite instant coffee treat (chocolate suisse, if you must know). Thank you, whoever is in charge of these things, for giving me somebody so understanding and wonderful. *grin*

I'll take those pictures tonight after I meet with my mom and show you what i've knitted recently. Because I haven't posted any pictures in a while....

who DIDN'T see this coming?

I took the coffee quiz that I read on another blog. I'm sorta pleased at what I got. :)

You Are a Soy Latte

Yeah, you've got a bit of that healthy hippie thing going on

But you're more Kate Hudson urban bohemian than Phish groupie

You're worldly and well traveled... and you know where to get the best coffee in town.

All your experience makes you a compassionate person - and a caring girlfriend.

What Kind Of Coffee Are You? Take This Quiz :-)

Find the Love of Your Life
(and More Love Quizzes) at Your New Romance.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Normally I get up when Mark gets up for work, but today I was so sleepy that I turned off the alarm and went back to sleep. Thankfully I woke up a minute later, realizing he needed to get up, so I let him know it was 7 and went back to sleep, expecting him to wake me up when he got out of the shower.

Well, he woke me up as he was leaving, with snuggles and a kiss, and told me to go back to sleep. I thought it was nice of him to sacrifice, since I'm the one that starts the coffee maker and toaster, so he had to do it himself this morning. You see why I knit all these things for him? :)

I finished the Seaweed scarf, and it's blocking now. I'll post a picture when it dries, before I mail it off. If you want the pattern, just ask once you see it (obviously).

Now I'm working on the Latvian Folk Socks from the "Folk Socks" book in Lorna's Laces (the Happy Valley that I ordered last week). I am really loving this yarn, but the colors are more pastel than I expected, so they may end up gift socks for someone. I am thinking the Mother Lode that I bought will become socks for me. The colors are more subdued and Fall-ish. Now if I can stop knitting useful items and start making some art, I'll be set for when the semester starts in two weeks. Eep!

Yay! Dvds!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Originally uploaded by happyhandpainter.

Well, I can't really afford it right now, but I really want Jacques Cousteau's Pacific Explorations. I am a true water baby, despite living in a landlocked state. This is doubly necessary, since there are three programs about New Zealand.

Did I mention we got the money for me to go in December? What's that you say? Only three thousand times before noon. Oh, spoilsports, I'm just excited to see Mark's home and get an idea of whether or not I could live there permanently.

Of course, life's not all scube diving dvds and plane tickets... I can't afford my rent this month. It's two weeks in and I've not paid a red cent. I've got about $150 in the bank, and thank god I'll be getting some money from the yarn I sold. That'll help some, but what would really help is if I could stick to my yarn diet and for gas prices to go down. Gas is eating me alive, I tell you! perhaps this latest business (which I won't discuss here) with the job is just another encouragement for me to find a local job. But where? Starbucks? No thanks, man.

yarn destash!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Hey, I'm having a yarn destash sale right now. I didn't bother to put up any junk yarn; it's all name brand and with the exception of a mystery yarn and two skeins of Lion Brand landscapes, it's all "good" stuff (i.e. Rowan, Noro, etc.) I take paypal payments and e-checks, as well as money orders and cashier's checks. No personal checks or cash, since I'd hate for your money to get lost in the mail :\. Please email me if you're interested in anything.



Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Originally uploaded by happyhandpainter.
I broke my yarn diet AGAIN and ordered the Lorna's Laces I've been slobbering over for some time. I really love this colorway, and since we've been talking about really happy things recently, I thought I needed some beautiful, happy yarn to reflect my feelings. I don't know if this will end up as socks or something else, but maybe so! Someone even made a stunning Kiri using this same colorway, so that's a thought too.

I feel really bad about breaking the yarn diet though... I'm not sorry, but my landlady will not understand when I tell her I am late with my rent AGAIN over something like yarn. I was planning to buy some Jaeger Luxury Tweed in Kingfisher or Robin, I guess I should be thanking God I resisted that at least.

And Sheila, Lorna's Laces is the exact reason I won't be in Threaded Bliss til I've got some money. Because I just can't say no. *sigh/grin*

whew :)

Hey, so we got back Monday night/Tuesday morning at about 1 am. The trip was really fun, but Chicago is not where I need to be. Now that I know that, we're looking more seriously at New Zealand. Maybe. I hate to say "yes" and then it turn to "no", so I'll just say that it's something that I'd like if it's in the cards for us.

I didn't get to go to any yarn shops while I was there, as the one I could find without help was closed on Monday. They're also closed Tuesday and FRIDAY. How can a store stay open only four days a week, especially since Sunday is just 12-5?? If I ever own such a thing, I'd be a little more sensitive to what's comfortable for consumers, rather than just my own schedule. >:|

What that did mean is I had a bit of spending money left over, and with Jimmy Bean's Wool having a sale on Rowan (among other things) I ended up buying a few things to try. Two skeins of Rowanspun DK (one each in Catkin and Snowball) and winging their way towards me, with their smaller sibling, a skein of Rowanspun 4-ply in Sugar (LOVE that color, but I've heard it's scratchy. We'll see.) I also found out a yarn shop in Memphis is offering free shipping til September 30th on any order of any size. Now, since they don't discount I wouldn't normally buy from them, but since I've been wanting to get my hands on a skein of Rowan Cashsoft, it was the perfect opportunity. I ordered it in Clementine, in case you're curious, since I've got loads of blue, green, and neutral yarn. I thought I ought to get something a little wilder, and the orange will make my blue eyes pop. :) Now what to do with one skein....

While in Chicago, we did some shopping at some great local stores. CB2, the extension of Crate & Barrel for the college set, had really cool, inexpensive housewares, so I bought a pink rubber container for all my doodads in the studio, along with an awesome two-sided picture frame that rocks like a boat. I could've furnished my whole apartment there, I tell you! I also bought a gorgeous ocean book at Bookworks (no website) for $30 - signed, and the list price is $75! I also bought some candles at WaxMan candles (no website) and... um.. that's about it. We love Trader Joe's as well.

We're thinking of going to Asheville before school starts, or at least Chattanooga. We'll need a short break before we go back to the daily grind, especially since my show is coming up! AAA!


Thursday, August 04, 2005

Well, a lot of things got settled about this upcoming trip and I'm happier for it. After three hours on the phone, a place to stay was found for $105 per night. Outrageous, you say? How about it's a bed and breakfast, and absolutely charming. And not in that antique-doily way. It looks like Sherlock Holmes might've stayed there! Did I mention it's two blocks from the Blue Line, which we can take both to the Loop (and the school) and to the convention center? And there's only one other room in the whole place? Go me, go me. Even Mark told me I did a good job, and here I was afraid he'd be frightened off by the antique look of the place.

Anyway, the link is here. It's Joy's Joy, and we've rented the room with the bookcase. :)

We also bought our convention tickets. So now we just have to get there. I'm hoping on Sunday (the off day) we can wander the streets and find dusty bookshops, a cafe or two, walk down to the beach, take some photos and look at some art. Then Monday, we tour the school, the very reason we're there! Cross your fingers for us.

I'm also blocking the Kiri shawl. But I don't want to talk about that :P


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

man, I HATE days when I am emotional and bitchy for no reason. Today I am just frustrated all to hell with everything. I said "Fuck it" to the Kiri shawl, it will now be a Kiri head wrap thing since I stopped at six repeats. I couldn't stand it anymore, seriously. I couldn't find the needles for Mark's mother's shawl, which wil now be a scarf I think since I can't find another fern pattern besides Birch. He got here early for lunch, I was unprepared so grilled cheese it was. I can't get the printer to work, there are still clothes on the floor, and I just feel incompetent and crappy. Yesterday was such a nice evening, why am I so hurt and angry today? I guess just lots of small things have built up and I feel underappreciated, even if it totally isn't true. What DOES happen is I take on things I shouldn't, and try to do things for him, and when he doesn't throw himself at my feet in thanks I get grumbly. But the truth is, I take on those things; he doesn't ask me to. Sometimes I develop a martyr complex, and I'm doing it now. I just need to stop and do my own thing for a day or so, because it isn't healthy to get your self esteem from someone else, no matter how supportive they are.

It does hurt a little when he isn't ecstatic to see me, but that's unrealistic of me too. He's a really good boyfriend, but I expect perfection from everyone and it's getting me in trouble!

Some good things did happen today. My mom agreed to let him get a cell phone on our family's plan, so it will save him some money. I hooked up the scanner that has been collecting dust for two years, plugged it in, and it worked fine - no downloads or anything. The kiri is almost done (though smaller than originally expected, *grin*) and I got lots of genuine, "I'm not happy right now but I still want to be with you" kisses this afternoon. And if I can't make things better all the time and he still wants me, then that's a miracle (in my mind) in itself.

kiri shawl

Monday, August 01, 2005

I haven't taken any pictures recently, of knitting things anyway. I'm still slogging through the kiri shawl for my mother's birthday (IN THREE DAYS). I'm just starting repeat 7 on the second set of charts, so I've got about 6 repeats left, then the edging and blocking. Sound totally impossible? Factor in that we are going to Chicago on early Friday morning (like 1 am early), I've got a presentation I haven't begun that following Monday, and I'm working every day but today from now til this upcoming weekend, and you can see that this is going to mean at least one late night.

I'm also helping Mark clean up the logo that he made for his rugby team, but I hope he won't mind if we do that next week, or at least finish it then. I'd like to use Illustrator to do a really good job, but if it's needed right away, we may have to settle for "really good" rather than "fabulous."

It seemed everyone was cranky yesterday too. That kinda got me down because I was already worried and exhausted, but ya can't expect folks to step lightly around you just because you aren't feeling well. Thankfully when I took Mark the toaster this morning he seemed tiredly cheerful and squeezed me 'til I felt better. :)

I'll post the Kiri this week. I CAN DO IT.

No pictures today~

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Hey all. Sorry I haven't posted in a bit, but a couple things have become interesting and worth noting.

Firstly, we're going to Wizard World Chicago. We moved our Chicago trip to accomodate it (glad we weren't flying). We are also definitely going to visit SAIC, but I'd also like to find a spinning or knitting shop in Chicago that's not crazily out of the way. If you know of something, let me know please!

Also, I've begun designing some bags for Mark's mother's shop. I won't have time to really knit a lot of them til graduation in December, but I've been having ideas and sketching them out. Soon I'll email them to her and get some feedback, since she's on the other side of the world. I'm not too sure what flies there fashion-wise... but I think I use good color palettes and interesting shapes, so it'll be good. I'll show some of the designs to people who ask in person, but I'd rather not post them here. Maybe I'll post finished product photos so people who want to buy them online can do that too.

One of my designs started out as a swatch, and is morphing into a bag for Hope, my friend's wife. She has done a lot for me recently, especially answering questions when I know she's busy trying to make solar prints in her shower (or something?? I just know it sounds exotic.) Anyway, to thank her, I'm sending her a bag made of Artful Yarns' Candy. (if only you had more green, Sheila!)

That's it. no photos, no nothing. I'm so boring :)


Friday, July 01, 2005

Originally uploaded by happyhandpainter.
Today was rainy and cool, so I stayed inside and seamed the first of a pair of socks for Mark. The yarn is Artful Yarns' Jazz, in colorway "Charlie". This yarn is soft and comfortable to work with, though the four plies split easily so you have to watch more than normal. This is the third pair of socks I've made, and this one was without a pattern! I just used the knowledge I gained from Broadripple to do the heel, and the yarn reccomendation and cast-on number from Weekend Knitting. I'll pick up the purple tank and ribbed sweater when I finish these... right now I just want to feel that sense of accomplishment, even if it's from making a pair of socks and not a painting.

I'm not sure why the photos are so grey... I'll try and fix it in future posts.

love affair

Friday, June 24, 2005

Originally uploaded by happyhandpainter.
I found this picture on the internet, and I have to say normally I HATE shawls. I think they look frumpy and I don't want to spend 10000 hours knitting one and then get a snag. HOWEVER - this shawl - "Love Affair" - well, I'm in love with it. Seriously. I don't care if it takes a million yards on size 0000 needles. I want it.

Now if only I could find the issue of Creative Knitting that it's in! We don't have this issue at work, at least that I can figure out.


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Originally uploaded by happyhandpainter.
I've been in a knitting funk lately. Even though I'm almost done with the back of this sweater (The criss-cross tank featured on the cover of Vogue Knitting Summer 04) I just can't get revved up about it. I even indulged in some new fiber (La Luz Multi in Rainforest) but I can't get excited about even that. Maybe I should just take the day off from knitting. :P


After seven years at LIvejournal, I finally made the leap and started using the infinitely more attractive Blogger. :)