Monday, April 28, 2003

Felting Maniac

When I was a little girl, I thought it would be so cool to be a stylist. I loved doing my friends' hair and make-up. Actually, my friends still ask me to do their make-up when we go out. I'm sure I would've made an excellent beautician except for one small problem: I can't stand the feeling of wet hair on my hands. I could never deal with the idea of other people's wet hair in my hands. I hate it when I get my own hair in my hands when I'm washing it in the shower! It creeps me out. This makes me wonder why I love felting things so much. I like designing them, knitting them and seeing them transform from giagantic monsters into nice, useable finished projects. But I hate taking them out of the wash machine and pulling the fuzzballs out of every crack and crevice. It's sheep hair, you know. I'm felting M's tote as we speak. It was super humongous, so I've run it through the wash cycle 4 or 5 times now. I just pulled it out to check on it and there are hairballs everywhere! This yarn is really hairy. I don't wanna go back down there!

I registered for fall semester. How fun does this schedule sound: microbiology, biochemistry, sensation and perception (psych), human development (psych) and intro to criminal justice. "One of these things just doesn't belong here, one of these things is kind of the same. Can you guess which one is doin' its own thing. Now, before our time is done... (duh-duh-duh) And now our time is done!" For those of you who didn't watch PBS, I apologize for the random Sesame Street outburst. Criminal Justice is taught by a friend of the family. He is one of the most interesting people I have ever met. So when I met him a year ago, I knew that I wanted to take one of his classes. I'm not a CJ major (or even minor) but this class fulfills a requirement and it fits perfectly into my schedule. I'm also applying for entry into the P.A. program for fall 2004. I talked to the secretary at the school today and she said I should go ahead and apply even though I haven't finished all the pre-reqs yet. Never hurts to try. If/when I don't get accepted this time, I will apply again next year.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Decorating ideas?

I have to paint my kitchen. The wallpaper has got to go. I think it may have been white at one point; now it's grey. It is covered in tiny strawberries. Yuck. Here's the trouble. I have no idea what color(s) to paint it. The cupboards are dark wood and I think I'd like to paint those, too. We retiled last summer with a nice neutral ceramic tile. No worries there. I'm leaning towards terra cotta or tomato-ey colors, something warm and spicy. Thank goodness my Mom is coming to visit next month. She's good at this kind of thing. Hopefully, she'll have some inspiring advice.

John and I took a trip to the big city today. That's Sioux Falls, SD for those of you not familiar with my surroundings. I used to live in St. Paul and I miss "big city" livin'. We went to Target (love it, love it, love it!). I got a new summer wardrobe, including two pairs of shoes (aren't these cute?!?). I also got several nice tops... Now I won't have to go nekkid this summer. Happiness abounds!

In the knitting world, I'm so close to finishing M's tote. I've posted new photos, although they aren't the greatest. My camera doesn't like to take photos of knitting unless there is natural light around. These pics were taken at 10:30 last night. I have one strap to finish and then they need to be grafted onto the tote. Then I can felt the whole deal! ETA: tomorrow or Tuesday. I'm working my last overnight shift right now which means that I'll be pretty useless by about 2 pm tomorrow!

The BNS has been placed on the back-burner lately due to M's tote and school hecticness (I assure you, that's a word). I worked on it a tiny bit, as you can see from the progress photo. I'm almost to the arm pits. And, after my successful trip to Target today, I will actually have something to wear with it when it's finished.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

School Daze

I have been a bad blogger and a bad knitter. Next week is the last week of classes and then I have finals. I've been tying up loose ends and getting ready for a hectic two weeks. I have a calculus test tomorrow and two tests next week. The good news is that I only have two finals: one in calc and one in alcohol studies. I met with my adviser yesterday and it seems that I could graduate next fall. I have to decide what I'm going to do after graduation. If I decide to apply to med school or the P.A. program, I'll have to take a few more science courses and I won't graduate until spring. If I decide to apply to grad school in clinical psych, I could graduate in the fall. Now, what do I want to be when I grow up???

I'm still plugging away at M's tote. The BNS is on the back burner for now. I worked on it a little bit the last few days. I'm slightly frustrated with the whole thing bc it's taking me forever. I guess that's partly bc I hardly work on it! I'm pretty sure it's going to fit. But I still have to work out the whole stripe pattern thing. Maybe I should just buy some more purple yarn and call it a day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Slow and steady

I had a nice long weekend... The BNS is coming along nicely. I've just past the last increase and I'm coming up on the armhole decreases. Two of our knit-alongers have already finished! I'm not even halfway done. But, there are others like me. And Stefanie (whose shell looks great, BTW) is starting on a second one so she can keep knitting along with us slow pokes. Actually, I think we might be the normal-paced pokes and they are the speedy pokes. I just have to keep reminding myself that it's not a race...

I finished the body of M's tote last night. I hope to finish the straps tonight at work and felt it tomorrow. It is humongous. Enormous. Gigantic. It's really big. I'll post pictures later tonight if I'm not too tired after work. The novelty yarn part looks great. I did that part with the purl side facing out. Someone on KR told me that novelty yarn usually "sticks out" on the purl side. They were right! When I made a tote for my grandma, I just did stockinette stitch all the way through and I had to go back and pull all the little fringy things out to the right side. What a pain in the butt! I still have to do a little pulling on M's tote, but not nearly as much. After this, I don't have another tote planned, but you never know!

The weather here is finally getting gorgeous. I think we'll have a week of really perfect weather before summer gets here and it's 90 degrees every day. I really need to buy some summer clothes. They had a nice looking silk sweater twin set at Sam's Club. How weird is that? Any suggestions on where to get nice, cheap clothes online? I also need a nice pair of summer shoes... Momma needs a new pair of shoes!

Sunday, April 20, 2003

Happy Easter!

Mmmm... I had a great Easter dinner. John and I went to John & Carol's house. They made pork loin and all the guests brought something. I made fresh green beans sauteed with red and yellow bell peppers, garlic, bacon and slivered almonds. Yum! We also had cheesey potatoes, salad and cheesecake for dessert. We ate at 2 and I was full until about 9:30!

I didn't knit on the BNS at all today. I'm almost done with M's tote, though. I have about 10 rows left and then the straps. Then I just have to felt it. That's the fun part. I hope it shrinks down a lot bc it's huge! I guess I always think the totes look huge, but they always shrink down to the right size. I don't have class tomorrow. I just have to work for 2 hours at the B-School lab. My guess is that there will be nobody in there. I will be able to knit, knit, knit.

I have to write a short story for my creative writing class and I have writer's block. It's author's choice, so I can write about anything. Any suggestions?

Saturday, April 19, 2003

Lazy, rainy days

I've been working hard on my BNS. I'm closing in on the third increase. I really need to decide what I'm going to do with the whole stripe thing. I am sure that I'm going to run out of the purple color. I'm thinking some multi-colored stripes across the boobish area and then a totally randomly striped back with all four colors. So far I've just used the purple color,so I guess this is the front of the shell.

My lovely BF complimented me last night, I think. He took my shell, felt it a little, looked at it, flipped it around a bit and said, "This is a lot better than anything else you've done so far." Umm, thank you, I think! He meant it as a compliment. And he wants me to make him a sweater out of this yarn. He likes the feel of the cotton. I told him that it would take me forever to knit him a sweater in this gauge. And he'd have to get me a weekly massage to get the tension out of my shoulders and neck from knitting so tightly. I told him I'd use a little bit bigger yarn and he whined, "No, I like this one!" Okay, honey! Sheesh! He's a 3X tall. Where will I find a pattern to fit him? And how the heck long is it going to take me?!? The big question is, do I really believe in the Sweater Curse? I think I kind of do... But I still want to make him one. Call me crazy!

Thursday, April 17, 2003


I don't have class tomorrow. And I just found out that I don't have to work tonight! Yeehaw and Hot Diggity! This is good news.

More good news is that the BNS is in full swing and it's going well. A few of us got together last night for a little chat. We found out that most of us either live in or are moving to Washington, D.C. It was nice to "meet" my new friends in real time, even if it wasn't real life. Maybe that will happen at a later date?!? You can see my progress here and here. I'm finding out that I knit much more slowly with cotton than I do with wool. My other WIP is a felted tote and it's knit very loosely. With this cotton shell, I feel like I should be knitting really tightly. My neck and upper back muscles start screaming after about 30 minutes of knitting and I have to take a break. Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon? Maybe I'm just mental. I really hope this thing fits. It's my first attempt at a wearable item where size matters. I'm pretty confident that it'll turn out great bc I have a ton of great support!

In other news, I got an email from Becky at fluffa! the other day. She wrote to thank me for mentioning her blog as one of my favorites in a KR forum. It felt oddly like getting an email from a celebrity. Her blog and her knitting are so well done. I aspire to make as beautiful things as she does. Someday... *sigh*

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

The long and winding road...

I got a new toy.

It's so wonderful. It will be even more wonderful when I get a swift. It's not very swift without it. But it's more swift than hand-winding. I use a special foot-winding technique. I can almost make it through a whole skein without my foot falling asleep.

The BNS is off to a great start. Some of us are cruising right along, while others of us have hit a few snags. Of course, I include myself in the latter group. I had about 4" done (including the ribbing, which I hate doing) when I realized that my finished shell was going to be 49" around. Now, I carry a few extra pounds around my tummy, but I think 49" is too big. I'm going to re-cast-on and aim for 42". I think that might still be a bit big, but I want it to be a little loose.

Monday, April 14, 2003

It's like Christmas Eve

We cast on tomorrow for the BNS. I have one little problem, though. I did my swatch and finally got the gauge right, but I don't remember which needles I used. Argh! What a silly thing to do. I think I used size 7s. They might have been size 8s, though. Do I have to reswatch??? Or should I just wing it?

I need a little guidance on M's tote. I think I know what I want to do, but I would like a second opinion (and third and fourth...). Do you like design #1 or design #2 or design #3? Keep in mind that these are just rough sketches done in PhotoShop. The actual bag will look much less cartoonish. This is just to sketch out the color scheme. The colored dot parts are where I will carry along the novelty thread. It's little squares of color. After I get the votes, I will tell you which one I like. Hopefully you guys will pick the one I like and the choice will be easy. If I do red straps, I thought I would do a whipstitch around the edges in black... So many decisions! And I have to get this done so I can work on the BNS. I don't think it will be done by tomorrow, but hopefully by this weekend.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

What is he talking about?!?

How will you feel if you get beat by a girl?

“I don’t know. I’m just glad I’m not playing,” says Feherty.
“I would be right there on the 18th green
to shake her hand and take it like a man.
And inwardly, I’d go and have a good cry. I’d watch Oprah.
Yeah, I’d learn to knit.”

I watched 60 Minutes tonight and they had a segment about Annika Sorenstam. She's the woman golfer who is going to be in a PGA tournament. It's pretty cool if you ask me. Anyway, they interviewed this sports commentator guy. Leslie Stahl asked him what he would do if he lost to a woman. They guy said that he would shake her hand on the green, go home, watch Oprah and learn how to knit! I don't even know what that means! What a silly man.

John and I had lunch at his mother's house today. She wanted him to fix her computer so we drove up there for the afternoon. He wrassled me in the front yard. It was pretty silly. Then we went to his brother's house and got me a new used car. This is bittersweet news. I really, really, really love my Focus. She's so cute and peppy and new and cute. But I have no money to pay for her. That means I have to sell her. So John is buying this new used can (oops, that's a typo, but it's kinda funny so I will leave it!) from Tim. It's 8 years old, a Nissan Sentra and charcoal grey. The A/C works. I drove it home from Sioux Falls. It's a stick, which I like. I've never owned a stick before. I will only be driving it around town. If I have to go someplace far away I will borrow John's car.

M's tote is a little more than 1/2 done. I can't remember if she wanted black AND red, or just black. I think I'll put a little red in there. Then the top will have this cool novelty yarn. Funky. The Yahoo group for the knit along is up and running strong. We cast-on on Tuesday. I hope John doesn't notice that I'm starting another new project! He's going to wonder where all this yarn came from! My aunt bought me a ton of yarn last time I was home, and I bought the BNS yarn... I don't have a problem. Really! My Rowan club stuff came the other day and he did notice that. But he buys computers on eBay all the time. Okay, so he's the one making all the money, but, SO! I need fun stuff, too...

Friday, April 11, 2003

Knit Along Update

The Boatneck Shell Knit Along starts on Tuesday! Are you excited yet? Those of you who are knitting along, here's my idea. I'm going to try to get a little forum type deal set up on the knit along page. That way we can check in there, ask for help, etc. It might be similar to KR or it might be on Yahoo. Does everyone have Yahoo accounts? They're easy enough to set up. I will keep you posted.

Last night, I worked like a maniac on M's tote. I want to get it done before Tuesday. I am pretty sure that I am allergic to wool. My eyes are mad puffy today. And i was itching my hands in my sleep last night. They are raw and scratched up today. This makes me very sad. But I will not stop knitting with wool... I'll just have to wear gloves and safety goggles or something. It's strange bc some wools don't bother me much at all (Brown Sheep is usually okay). M's tote is Jamieson and there is a lot of fuzz coming off the yarn as I knit.

I really don't want to work tonight. I work at the Coffee Shop. My shift is from 3-7, but when you close you're there till 8. Unless there's entertainment tonight. Then I won't have to close. That would be sweet! I just want to be home with my baby. And it's the season finale of Ed tonight. I can't miss that! Who will he pick?!? I like them both, although Frankie is getting a little annoying...

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Here fishie, fishie, fishie...

We got a piranha. Yikes! He came with the giant fishtank we bought. I sorta hope he doesn't make it so we can get nice, pretty fish. Isn't that terrible of me? Okay, he's kinda cute, but I don't want to ever watch him eat. John is going to bring home live goldfish to feed him tonight. And he doesn't have a name, yet. Any brilliant ideas? I thought maybe Angry Pete. He always looks mad.

In knitting news, I'm mailing mom's gift today. I posted photos on the sidebar. Mom, if you're reading this: Don't look at the pics until you've received the gift! I'm trusting you not to ruin the surprise! Also, I emailed Becky at There might be an opening for me there in a month or so... That would mean no more Blogger. Awww, wouldn't that be sad? We'll see what happens.

My local knitting meetup was cancelled again this month. Apparently nobody in this area knits. It's very sad. Amanda and I told each other that if it was cancelled, we'd have our own knitting meetup. Just the two of us. I'm not sure why we haven't done that already... We both go to the same school in a town of about 9,000. Can you believe we haven't met yet? Amanda, are you avoiding me? heehee...

Alright, I'm off to the P.O. to mail my mom's gift. Yippee! Now I'll be all ready for the BNS knit along in 5 days!!! You still have time to join if you haven't yet...

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

No willpower, whatsoever. None.

I am the worst. I was unable to talk myself out of my online shopping today. On the way are two sets of Addi Turbos (size 1 and 2), some Regia Jacquard and a new ball winder. I talked myself out of getting the Socks Soar book by reasoning that I can probably figure it out on my own. This website is helpful, I think. I don't need no stinkin' instruction manual! Now I just need a swift. That is one thing I will not buy for myself.

What brought on this sudden lack of willpower, one might ask? Well, I am so frustrated with trying to use DPNs that if I don't find a way to circumvent using them, I will never learn how to make socks. I will give up. And I don't want to give up. The ball winder, well, that stems from the many skeins of yarn I have waiting to be wound into balls and the dread I have in needing to wind them all by hand. I hope it works without its buddy, the swift. We shall soon find out.

I don't think I got any knitting done yesterday. I had good intentions to, but I got sidetracked. John's dad called us to tell us that their hot tub was "open for business." So John and went on over and had our selves a hot tub! It was so nice. Their old one broke so they got a new one... Mmmmmm... It has jets that move up and down your back and they're all adjustable. You can make it soft or hard or anywhere in between. And it's so fun to be outside in a swimsuit when there's snow on the ground!

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

It's not dark out!

I love it... It's almost 6 pm and it's not even starting to get dark out, yet. Unfortunately the snow from this weekend's blizzard reminds me that it's not quite spring, yet. It's trying really, really hard to melt away. Hopefully that was the last of the winter weather for a few months. By the end of June I'm sure I'll be wishing for cooler weather, but right now I say, "Bring on the heat!"

This is my latest strangeness. Every time I work in the computer lab (which is everyday except Friday and Saturday) I surf the web for online yarn stores. I fill up the cart with the things I think I need (OK, want) and then talk myself out of it. Here's a list of things that seem to go into every cart:

  • Socks Soar on Two Circulars
  • Addi Turbo size 2 circs (24")
  • Koigu Painter's Pallette Merino
  • Noro Kureyon for more felted totes!
  • Ball Winder (I *NEED* one desperately!)

Some of these things may actually be purchased after I get my tax money. We'll see. I have some bills to pay and I think I'm getting a new car. A new, used car. This is a good thing because it means I wouldn't have a car payment anymore! Yippee! But I would have to sell my car and make up the difference btw what I sell it for and what I have left on my loan. That could be a big chunk of change.

Monday, April 07, 2003

You swatch my back, I'll swatch yours?

Today is all about swatching. I knit up a swatch of the new popsicle yarn. I really like it. The colors flow nicely. There are no muddy areas. The yarn itself is like buttah. It smells really good! It knits up quickly. It is beautiful. Judge for yourself...

John stayed home from work today bc of the blizzard. He drove me to school. What a nice guy. He's so sweet to me... except when he tells me that I can't knit until I've finished my calculus homework. Then I don't like him so much! Good thing I can knit at work... I'm so sneaky.

Sunday, April 06, 2003


I like the kind from DQ. I do not like the kind that is sweeping through our town right now. It was 80 degrees last week and now it's a blizzard. Argh. When will spring come for good? I don't think this snow will stay bc it's still pretty warm, but I think I will have to shovel tomorrow. Yuck.

F.O. Alert!!! The last part of Mom's birthday gift is blocking as I type. I have to seam it up and hopefully it can be in the mail tomorrow. Yippee! I'm still plugging away at M's tote, too. Slowly, but surely. I'm washing the boatneck shell knit along swatch. I hope it comes out nicely. I have to swatch up the popsicle yarn. Maybe I will do that tonight at work. It's Sunday so that means I work in the computer lab from midnight to 4 am. After this semester, I won't have to work overnights any more, ever. That's a happy thought.

On a school-related note, I have to meet with my advisor this week to talk about (drum roll, please): GRADUATION! After nine years of college (off and on), the finish line is finally in sight. Well, sort of. I'll probably be going on to some sort of grad school. But getting my Bachelor's degree is very exciting. It's been a long time in the making. I am definitely ready to switch from checking the "some college" box to "college degree." I'm hoping my advisor will tell me that I can graduate after fall semester. Wouldn't that be a nice Christmas present?

Time for a little cat nap before work... Zzzzzzzz.....

Saturday, April 05, 2003

I have good news...

And I have bad news. Let's get the bad news out of the way first. I had a calculus test on Friday. It didn't go so well. I don't know what I got on it, yet. I know I always say that I did poorly and then it turns out okay, but this time I really think I did poorly. It was very difficult. For those of you who know calculus, we were doing infinite series and Taylor series and Maclaurin series... I admit that some of it is pretty cool. I just don't want to be tested on it.

The good news is several things. John and I had a lovely date tonight. We had dinner with another couple. John used to work with Joe at the University. We went out with him and his wife, Molly. They are very nice. And then we saw "Old School." It was hilarious! I love Will Farrel. He reminds me of my John. So we had a nice time tonight. Also, my Crafter's choice books arrived. I got the Twisted Sister's book, Knitting Fair Isle Mittens and Gloves, The Knit Stitch Bible, an afghan squares one (really cool) and a knitting journal. And they threw in a free tote bag. It's pretty cheesey, but it was free! I also ordered the Vogue Knitting Reference but it's back ordered so it hasn't arrived yet. I'm going to make some swatches from the KSB as soon as I finish M's tote and Mom's b-day present (which I think I will finish this weekend). I also got the eBay yarn (popsicle). It is lovely. I haven't swatched it yet, but I think it will work well for the Knit Along. I haven't decided yet. It was a good coupla days at the post office!

I got an email from my good friend Jaime. She lives in St. Paul and I got to see her over spring break. I taught her how to knit (see photos of the yarn on the sidebar). She sent me the following statement in an email:

     Dearest Jen, You have created a monster. I didn't cook tonight.
     I didn't do my laundry tonight. I didn't iron the shirt I want to wear tomorrow tonight.
     I knitted. I've been learning various ways to cast on, because I kind of suck at it
     and need to get better, so this is what I've been doing. This scarf is dedicated to you.

Isn't that cute? I made a new addict. I'm so proud... Friends, Family: Beware! You could be next!!!

Wednesday, April 02, 2003


There are some really good blogs out there. I added a few new links to a few that I like. The thing about liking all these blogs is that I'm disappointed when they don't update everyday bc I check them everyday. And I have been sucked into blog-mania. I think I "blog" more than I knit now! Yikes! No, that's not true. I knit a lot.

Last night I had a very strange dream. Those of you who know me won't be shocked by that. I have very strange dreams, a lot. And I remember them, a lot. Last night in my dream, I was taking the MCATs (med school admissions test). I got all the way through the test, no problems. We got our scores back and I got a 37 out of 39 (I don't know where these numbers came from). I was so happy... until the exam proctor realized that he had given me the wrong test and I had actually taken a PSAT test. That's the test you take in 9th grade, I think. I guess the moral is: don't count your chickens before they hatch? Strange.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Sunny days, sweeping the clouds away...

It is so unbelievably gorgeous outside today. And I agreed to work for someone on my afternoon off. Aren't I nice?

I really like this warm weather, but there is a downside. I have no summer clothes. Well, I take that back. My summer clothes no longer fit me! So I've been looking online for good deals. Then I have to get the OK from the man with the money... That sounds like I'm a kept woman. I'm not. I'm just a broke college student. I am going to have to buy some clothes or else I'll be a naked college student. Lord knows there are already enough of those! They are everywhere on campus! And the amazing thing is that they are all tan. Yeah, you look incredibly natural when you've spent the winter in South Dakota like the rest of us yet you are bronze like the natives of South Beach. And they're all skinny, too. I hate them all. But I take comfort in knowing that they are the same silly girls who freeze their butts off all winter in the name of fashion ("I can't wear a hat - it'll mess up my hair that took me 2 hours to do this morning! I can't let the frat boys see me with messed up hair!") while I was snug as a bug in my hand-knit, gloriously fashionable hat and scarf ensembles. Maybe that's why they're so skinny - they froze their butts off.

Not much news on the knitting front. M's tote is comin' along. I have a busy week school-wise this week so I may not be posting every day. And I think that's all I have to say today!