Friday, February 27, 2009

Eye-less owls

Here's a quick shot of an almost-completed Owls, taken pre-blocking and looking a little stiff. It relaxed a fair bit after it was washed. I don't think the fit really changed, but the hand definitely did, becoming a bit drapier and softer. And I blocked the neck a bit lower in front. The yarn, Louet Riverstone Bulky, is one I'd definitely use again, especially because it's really inexpensive for good, basic wool in great colors. It's spun and plied pretty softly, so I wouldn't use this yarn for serious cables, but it was perfect for this: soft enough to wear next to the skin, strong enough for a workhorse sweater. I had to break into the fifth skein to finish this sweater, but not by much. So that's less than $25 for a sweater's worth of yarn. I'm actually looking over my queue today to see what else it would work for. (Thinking about this, with a more elegant edge treatment and some waist shaping. Maybe in strawberry, which seems like a good, cheerful spring color. And that navy is a particularly good one, should maybe squirrel a bit of that away as well.)

A caveat: I found the recommended #10 needles to be much too big for the yarn and used #9s. This was a little annoying, since I'd bought the yarn specifically for the sweater, but not impossible to work around. I followed the numbers for the largest size in order to end up with a 34" bust and increased the number of rows by about 20% (so, anytime the directions said to increase every 4th row, I'd increase every 5th).

After I was a ways into it, I started wishing I had turned it into a cardigan, but I hadn't included any steek stitches, and didn't really have room to do much about it without slicing into some of the owls. I figured it wouldn't hurt to do a little sampling and see if I could make something work, so last night I worked up a little swatch and cut it without stabilizing to see if picking up stitches immediately would be enough to keep it from falling apart. It wasn't. And I don't feel strongly enough about it to look into any more labor-intensive options. So it'll stay a pullover, which is totally fine.

This weekend, sewing on all those buttons and taking some more photos...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lazy blogger, no cookie!

Photos taken since I last posted, offered with no commentary...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Comic Con

I didn't wear a costume, though if anyone asked, I said I went as Rose Tyler.

Zombies were big:

The crowds were dense and largely uncostumed. (I'd say maybe 5% of the crowd was in costume.)
And you couldn't tell it from that shot, but from what I saw, I'd say it was pretty evenly split between ladies and gents.

I don't know, is this a thing? I didn't recognize most costumes, but I liked them!

Oh, hello! Now put your glasses back on.

He wore that gigantic costume on the show floor for the entire time. If I could have high-fived you, I totally would have, dude.

I don't know what's going on here, but I like to pretend she's telling them about the fight she had with her boyfriend that morning.

See? Don't they look like a couple that had a big fight before they left the house?

I wanted to put this guy in my pocket and carry him around all afternoon.

I have absolutely no idea what was going on here.

These are more my speed.


You know how sometimes you're walking along at night and look up at the moon and are just staggered by how spectacularly gorgeous it is, so you try to take some photos and then are disappointed because the pictures failed to capture that elusive magical quality that drew you in?

That was not the case with these.

I cropped the photos a little to take out some of the black sky around where the clouds were breaking, but otherwise they're untouched.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Things that I love today

161. When someone with a Scottish accent says 'cooties.'
162. The whole Goya family of products: their deliciousness, ubiquity and cheapness.
163. The crossing guard I passed yesterday who was singing Jimmy Soul's If You Wanna Be Happy at the top of her lungs.
164. Sarah Haskins' Target Women segments. If she's new to you, start with the cleaning or yogurt segments and then watch ALL OF THEM. God, I love her.
165. Chocolate-covered toffee pistachios
166. The way adding a monkey makes a mundane plot awesome. To wit, from a review of Y: The Last Man I just edited: "Every Y chromosome is wiped from the Earth with the exception of just one man, Yorick Brown, and a monkey." Without the monkey, I'm bored senseless. With the monkey, however, I'm at least mildly intrigued.
167. Flirty IMs
168. Late-night phone calls
169. Implementing secret plans
170. Dogs named Pork Chop

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The power of ten

I've been spinning more lately, at least some credit for which goes to the Communicatrix. While life-improvement-type blogs aren't really my thing, this is a good one, with plenty of doable tips for jumpstarting your productivity. [ETA: Does that even make sense? It doesn't really, does it? I just meant tips for being more productive, didn't mean to imply there was any sort of jargony overwriting. That part was all me.] My favorite is her idea about picking one activity you want to get better at and doing it for ten minutes every day for three weeks because, as she says, "habits breed habits, and accomplishments spur on additional efforts." She writes about it here and here.

I really want to get in the habit of spinning more regularly. It's an activity that I tend to do A LOT when I do it, but then I'll go for months and months without touching the wheel. So, consider this my declaration of intent, Internet. I've been playing around with it for the last couple of weeks, but now I'm serious: ten minutes of spinning per day for the next 21 days.
(re-enactment, obviously. I'm not even treadling.)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Some Amelia progress

One of the things I don't like about knitting garments seamlessly is the gaping maw of the reserved underarm stitches staring up at me like a big, sloppy chasm of despair.
It makes the piece hang strangely, even as I'm just knitting on it, and the whole stupid look of it fills me with ennui and makes me not want to work on the project. (Perhaps that's why TMW finished her Amelia before me... Yes. That must be it!)

So, whenever I'm in this situation, I soldier on through the first few inches, then graft the stitches as soon as I can. In this case, last night. I'm terrible at describing techniques ("you know, you just kind of do it,"), but there's a good description of grafting here.
Much better!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

At least my language is colorful.

I'll write more about my current projects as the week goes on.