Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What are you doing New Year's Eve?

I haven't a clue how it got to be after Christmas already. Surely some sort of quantum weirdness--a freak wormhole, perhaps--is responsible, because there is no way that 2008 could possibly have passed this quickly and shuffled us all into the tiny space between Christmas Day and the dawn of a new year.

I understand that some people like New Year's. I don't. When it comes to a new year, that "brand new start", I am not a glass-is-half-full sort of person. I am a "how the hell did the old year go so fast, and how did I do such massive amounts of nothing?" sort of person. I think part of the problem is that it's a human tendency to look at other people's accomplishments and measure our own against them. This is, of course, one of the greatest follies of humankind, since what we accomplish is unique to each of us, but I think a great many of us do it anyway.

Maybe that's why we take stock at the end of the year. The advice to count our blessings may not be as cliché as it sounds.

In lieu of any sort of "this was the year, this was what happened, wasn't it grand?" sort of blogging...let's move on to the knitting.

The cardigan is finally, finally done!

I checked my Ravelry queue...that thing had been on the needles since July. July! I knew I'd taken a few little breaks here and there, but I had no idea that it had been quite that long. But it was worth the wait. The yarn is great, the adaptations I made to the pattern worked out just fine, and it looked perfect as it was sitting there, blocking.

After blocking, it fits like a dream. It's rare that a women's pattern has the proper armhole and sleeve sizes for me, but between the pattern and the cooperative nature of the yarn once it was wet, everything worked out great!

Modifications: only one, which is the obvious hood! I was using this yarn for another pattern at one point and, due to a miscalculation of gauge, ran out before I finished. I was afraid of the same thing happening with this, so instead of adding the hood to the left and right fronts, I bound off, then added cabled edging around the neck, picking up stitches as I went. It was the first time I've ever knitted an edging onto a finished piece that way, and I think it worked out well!

All I have left on the needles is the second Trystero sock, and then I'll be ready to pursue new and exciting patterns! And also make a pair of Broadstreet mittens for my mom, because she loves mine and thinks it's a great idea.

For those of you who can manage it better than I can...Happy New Year. :)

Mood: disappointed
Music: Savage Garden - Promises

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Personal accomplishments

Holy foop, I can't believe that I haven't posted since Rhinebeck! I guess I haven't been in a bloggy mood. That, and my body has been demanding more sleep than I feel is strictly necessary, so my usual online night-owl activities have been kind of lacking.

But I'm back now! I am here, I am alive, and I have been knitting!

First, though, one other reason that I haven't blogged much: this year, I once again participated in the insanity that is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. And I wrote about...wait for it...knitters! Well, knitters and quantum physics, but knitting was a big part of the story. I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with it, but I am proud to say that I worked hard enough to be able to display this here:

I feel strangely less accomplished than I did last year, maybe because I wrote a great majority of my novel in bizarre chunks using Write Or Die, an online application that gives you a variable grace period after you stop typing before it starts playing annoying sounds at you. Yep, annoying sounds like squeaking violin practice, noisy goats, and Hanson singing "MmBop". It's amazing. If you suffer from writer's block at all, I highly recommend giving it a try. It gets you typing, and I found that I was more inclined to roll with my crazy ideas rather than spend inordinate amounts of time debating about whether or not they would work.

Now for the yarny stuff. Remember that multicolored merino I got at Rhinebeck?

The blue stuff is yarn now.

I think I've mentioned that I love spinning merino. I'm a compulsive predrafter, so once I'm done with that, the roving practically spins itself. This spun up into a beautiful blue-purple two-ply with occasional slubs of yellow.

And, due to a silly incident that wasn't comical at all and which left me with only one glove, that yarn became these:

Broad Street, from the young days of Knitty.

I gave them a test run last night, and I have to admit that I don't miss my old gloves at all.

(They're less purple and more blue in real life.) I'm still not sure if I'll sew on a button to keep the mitten flap down when they're open, or just skip it. For now, they seem to work well without one.

Other things that have been giving me those little moments of joy lately: the Twilight soundtrack, hot cinnamon spice tea, and Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot. Plus I'm knitting another sample for the local shop, and finishing the mittens gave me a big boost of energy with which to attack my other WIPs. All in all, knitting and life are good right now.

Mood: decaffeinated
Music: Iron & Wine - Flightless Bird, American Mouth