Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Best team ever

Now for the non-knitting part of my blog title.

I got my Yankees Universe Membership Kit today and it's pretty awesome.  It has a hat, a porcelain travel mug, a bumper sticker, my membership card, a DVD of the series, a little portable speaker and a USB stick with tons of cool stuff loaded on it - all bearing the NY, of course.  Seeing the material on the stick brought back the feelings I had last November 4th: pride, excitement, chills.  I can't wait for this coming October!  So far, the Yankees are still pretty dominant, having reclaimed the narrow lead over the AL East.  Tampa Bay and Boston are close behind...only half a game behind, in fact!  I'm not nervous at this point, though.  The Yankees usually pick up even more steam after the All Star Break.  I'm excited that my mom bought Yankees/O's tickets for my dad for Fathers' Day.  We'll see them play during the September race to the playoffs.

As far as knitting, I started the Presto-Change-o Cardigan/baby sweater for my colleague.  I really hope she likes it.  It's knitting up fast.

And now, since a picture speaks 1000 words, her are a couple thousand words for you.

Yogi, Jill Biden and Michelle Obama.
Love a man who takes his parents on his celebratory parade.
Nick Swisher gets a pie in the face after a walk-off.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Crocheting Coral

I'm really getting into this crochet coral thing.  It's such a good way to use up some of the "dregs" of yarn I have left over from other projects.  I've already finished off three colors of remnants!

The best part about the creations is that there is no pattern.  It's all simple single crochet with some increasing.  That's IT!!!!  I have to pace myself, though. I have until August to do all these crochet pieces, and I have a bunch of knitting to do as well, so I need to find a good balance.

Smithsonian, here I come!

My favorite:

My Next favorite (so far):

Monday, June 14, 2010

OT: Dreams are funny things (with an appearance by Crochet)

I had the craziest dreams over the weekend.

On Saturday night, I dreamt that my sister's dog had died in December and no one told me.  They instead had a weird looking red and verdigris colored lab mix named "Copper."  I was so angry that no one had told me and that I had to find out six months later through a friend of the family.  While I was still in the dream, I knew it was just a dream but couldn't wake up.  I was so upset.  I kept telling myself that it wasn't real and that Newton was just fine and got the confirmation from both my sister and my mom later in the day.
I'm thinking the dream was set up by at least one of the more recent Doctor Who episodes I had seen entitled "Amy's Choice."  In it, the Doctor, Amy and Amy's fiance keep going back and forth between dream states and Amy has to decide which one she wants to preserve.  Don't know where the Newton part came in, but the dream is still shaking me up.  The only good part about it was when I got so angry, I started throwing food at people.  I remember picking up a whole bunch of melon balls and flinging them at my cousin.

The dream I had last night was not as dramatic, but still unsettling.  I've been saying for a while that I'm happy with being single, that I have my friends, and my dog, and my family, and my hobbies.  Having a man in my life would just be an added bonus.  I guess subconsciously I'm not ok with it.  I dreamt that I was dating someone and we were happy.  We were being all cuddly and cute outside an ice cream shop in some city somewhere.  Suddenly a girl who looks like Sofia Vergara (Gloria from Modern Family) fell off her bike in the parking lot.  My guy (don't remember his name) loaded her into his mini (!?) and yelled out the window that he was taking her to the hospital.  I grabbed all our bags - apparently we had gone shopping - and went to chase after him, but he and the chick were nowhere to be found.  I woke up feeling profoundly heartbroken and hurt...and very alone.  UGH.  I HATE feeling like that.

Anyway, if I could've, I'd have just taken a mental health day and stayed home working on my current knitting projects and the crochet coral reef.  I went to a seminar and workshop about the Crochet Coral Reef Project yesterday afternoon.  It's a really cool community art project where fiber artists work on hyperbolic crochet pieces and donate them to the collection, which creates a fiber replica of a coral reef.  The DC community version is being worked on now and will appear in the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum from October 16, 2010 - April 17, 2011.  The best part is that only basic crochet skills are required, other than that, anything goes!  It's a quick and easy way to use up some of my scrap yarns and leftovers from other projects.

I finished the entrelac scarf for Valli and the Oceane (picture) for my Aunt, so those are two big projects that are out of my way.  Of course, I'm about to start on a Presto Change-o for my colleage who's having a baby in September.  I just cast on knitty's Sunday Swing socks in Sweet Georgia Tough Love and have a request for some kind of pink socks for my friend, Abbe, as well as blue socks for my mom.  Busy busy busy.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Hand-knitted socks will change your life....

I can't remember which of my friends said this to me, but she was definitely right.  Hand-knitted socks are changing my life.  I've been bitten by the sock bug.  There are many reasons why I now thing that sock knitting is the best kind of knitting you can do.

1. Sock yarn
Sock yarn is awesome.  It's a yarn enigma.  It's fine and thin and seemingly dainty; but it's really strong, soft and - best of all - machine washable!!!!! (mostly)  An average skein has well over 400 yards of yarn - for those of you watching at home, that's over FOUR football fields.  The colors are divine.  People get really creative with sock yarn colors - you can find them in pretty much any sports team's colors, any seasonal color, basically any color combination you want.  Socks are what variegated yarns were made for (in my opinion) because they stripe so well.  Solids are awesome as socks as well - especially for ones to wear to work.

2. (almost) Instant Gratification
Socks knit up so fast.  I can turn out a pair in about two weeks - one if it's an easy and/or repetitive pattern.  So much better than doing 15 inches of stockinette over 300 stitches for a sweater!  Or making yet another hat that nobody will wear.  Remember my sister's wrappy cardigan - it took me over six months to finish it!!! SIX MONTHS!  I've been working on my world champ sweater since January.  I know that when I'm done with it, I'll never want to see it again.

3. Maddd Skilllz
Socks incorporate a myriad of knitting techniques.  I've only done cuff-down, so I haven't experienced short rows yet, but just in the pairs of socks I've done so far, I've had to do: knitting in the round, rib, lace, increasing, decreasing, slipping and picking up stitches, turning a heel and grafting using kitchener stitch.  It's a little overwhelming at first, but once I understood that everything had its time and that socks are broken into sections, it was a lot more manageable.  Also, sock projects are incredibly portable.  I can throw my sock project bag into my purse and pull it out anywhere, anytime!

4. The incredulity of your friends
So, this mostly applies to your non-knitting friends, but every once in a while, there will be a knitter who marvels at your ability to turn a heel, kitchener stitch a toe, or to actually finish more than one sock in a pair.  My  mom and grandma have been knitting for years and they don't have confidence in themselves to try knitting socks.  To my non-knitting friends, I usually get a "but wait...how did....what?"  I've already got orders from friends and family for their own pairs of socks. :D

5. Functionality
Lastly, my favorite thing about socks:  they will actually get worn!!!!  They're functional.  Usually when I make someone a blanket or scarf or something, they only get worn/used a few months of the year, and only for special occasions, or they go into a hope chest.  Socks get worn

So yes, this post does make me clinically insane, but I just wanted to share my newly formed love-affair with all things socks.  If you want me to make you a pair, just let me know!!!!