Friday, February 29, 2008

Yay, Beads!

So Holi is soon, and this year I decided to celebrate it. That Wikipedia link doesn't really explain too well... Why don't you go take a look at some videos? Basically people in India celebrate spring by having a huge party, throwing colorful powders at each other and dancing and singing. Sounds like fun, yeah? Well, I can't exactly run around the call center pitching color powder at people, so I'm going to get some colorful stickers and just stick them on people and screech 'HAPPY HOLI!' and run off giggling. I'm pretty sure at least one person will get it, and everyone else, well... they know I'm weird.

Anyway. Notice that in those videos, most of the people are wearing all white with colorful scarves or belts? (My theory is that the white is best to show off all the color you're gonna end up covered with.) I decided that for Holi I'd wear a white top, and that I would make my own colorful belt. And what better yarn to use than that pink Mango Moon I got yesterday? It's even made out of recycled saris! Clearly this is meant to be. (The other skein is for the headscarf thing. I'm still planning that.)

And then I dug in the craft drawer and brought out the beads. Now the gold ones are reserved for the headscarf, but some of the others... Well dang it, they'd look pretty darn good on a colorful Holi belt, now wouldn't they! I even have a pattern all worked out, a slightly rethought version of my Rusty scarf, with beads randomly scattered across the dropped stitches, and huge long fringes at the ends to tie it together, with some beads stranded on those too. Sounds pretty awesome to me! I'm gonna be the friggin' queen of Holi!

So I unwound the skein of Mango Moon, wound it into a ball (which took a long time. Like, half of Back To The Future III.) and cast on. The yarn is a lot more finicky than I'm used to, and I am scared to death of breaking it - it's kind of a thick-and-thin effect, and some parts are wire-thin, which makes me incredibly nervous. But once I got used to it, it worked beautifully - exactly the look I wanted. I haven't got any pictures though, because I ended up frogging the whole thing - I tried one beading technique and didn't end up liking it, so I'm gonna start over with a different technique and see if that helps.

Problem is, though, I kinda set myself a dumbass deadline for a Celtic Cable scarf - sure, I'll enter it in your St Patrick's day contest, even though it means it's gotta be finished by the 14th! Doh. That thing is gonna take for-freakin'-ever, there is no way it is gonna be ready for that contest. So instead I may try for a ... I dunno, headband? wristwarmer? Something. In case you're wondering, this is the pattern I am attempting to make. It's pretty, yeah? F#$!ing complicated, but pretty.

In other news, my new hair dryer is the shiznit! It is so much better than my last one, it cut my hair-drying time in half. More time to get ready in the morning is always a good thing.

Also Crystal got hired! YAY CRYSTAL!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Is There a 12-Step Program for Yarn...?

So I went to Cricket Cove to sign up for the Knit In (yay!) and... well...

Yeah. I bought more yarn. To be fair, it was this:

Yeah. That's Mango Moon Recycled Silk, which comes from saris, people. Saris. This yarn and I were meant to be, you know? When I saw it all I could think of was those gold beads I just bought (see: last post, in the craft drawer) and how freakin' awesome a beaded headscarf made out of this would be.

(No, I'm not telling you how much it was.)

Moving on...

This morning my hair dryer spit out sparks. Yeah, sparks. I had about a split second's warning, a sudden smell of something burning, and all of a sudden the dryer is sputtering and OH MY FREAKING GOD THERE ARE SPARKS SHOOTING AT MY NECK. Thankfully the ... surge protector? or whatever inside the thing shorted out and the whole thing died. Nothing caught fire, and I wasn't harmed. Scared out of my damn fool mind, yes, but not burned or anything. Which, you know, is good, because how insane would I have looked explaining to firemen why, as I was rushing out of the burning building in nothing but a towel, all I could think to save was yarn? ("But look, I could knit myself a sweater! In... a month! Maybe! And look, this is recycled sari silk! This was clearly the important thing to save.")

So I made a detour to Shoppers while on my before-work outing this morning, and got myself a hair dryer. Woo.

Today at work, I ripped out everything I had done so far on Sakura, which is a scarf I am making for one of my coworkers, Monica. (Hi Monica!) I'd been doing just garter stitch, with a dropstitch row near the end... Well, it looked crappy. So instead I am using Crazy Aunt Purl's Magic Scarf pattern, which is pretty freakin' awesome in that it is not a lot of effort, but the end result still looks pretty damn good. It looks puffy right now, but if I pull on it it looks amazing, so I'm hoping it'll block well. Pictures:

Much better.

My friend Crystal had an interview at my work today... I hope she gets it! Everyone cross your fingers for Crystal!


I had a bit of an epiphany today. I do phone insurance, and today I took a call from a woman to whom we had sent a defective replacement phone. The person she spoke to last apparently didn't really explain what they were doing, and they put a phone on backorder for her. So she called today, frustrated because she didn't have a phone and she couldn't get anyone to help her. I didn't do much, really - just listened to her and did my best to resolve the issue, and it turned out that this woman had cancer and she was in chemo, so the reason she needed her phone was to keep track of her doctors and in case she needed to reach someone for emergencies. She ended up crying, and I could tell this was that very last straw for her. So I got my sup to send her a phone, next day delivery at no charge, and anyway to make a long story short (too late, right) she ended up crying even more because I had been so nice to her and that was all she needed, was one person to listen and understand why this was so important. I ended up almost crying myself at the end of the call, when all she could say through her tears was 'you are so kind and you took the time to listen, and God bless you'. Just the thought that what I did was enough for her to be that touched - and believe me, I didn't do much! - made me teary eyed.

Anyway. After she hung up, my brain just clicked: knit for charity. Yeah, it's not a new idea, but it's just perfect for me - I don't have much time to volunteer, or money to donate (not enough to make a real difference, anyway - though I do contribute wherever I can), but dang it, I can damn well put my hobby to good use! I love giving away stuff I make, and if it benefits someone then everyone's happy. If me taking time to listen to someone made such a difference in that person's day, imagine what I could do with some effort.

So my plan, such as it is so far, is to talk to my grandmother, who volunteers at the hospital, and see if they take knitted donations; if they do, I'll start knitting chemo caps, baby blankets, preemie hats... and donate them there. I also quite like Project Linus, which takes donations of child blankets for kids in need of some comfort (either sick, or in foster care, or who go through traumatic events). I mean, come on, what is more comforting than a good warm security blanket?

I'm also going to try to knit up a flag for the Let There Be Peace project. I picked the Hindu flag, which is red and white and has an Ohm symbol on it. Go check it out, it's a really great project!

In other news: I finished Rusty! Yay! I am sooo happy with how it came out. I love how the fringe pulls it together really well. Sam's promised me a picture of her wearing it, but in the meantime, my makeshift photo-shoot area will have to do:

Tomorrow I am going to Cricket Cove and signing up for a Knit In! My roommate is coming with me, too. It's gonna be awesome!

And finally, just a few pics of some of my haul from Michaels (the non-yarn purchases!)

Gorgeous needle holder by Knitpickers. I wasn't gonna get this, but then... I caved.

Beads! Whee! I am itching to start doing beaded knitting. Woo!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing

Hm, now I have that song stuck in my head.

So I have mentioned before how I have a yarn obsession. My friends thought I was kidding. How bad could it be, right? Well, yesterday I went to Michael's with my friends Elise and Crystal. I hadn't seen Elise in about a year, which really shouldn't happen, I love that girl. Anyway Michael's had apparently received a whole bunch of new stock in yarn, or I was blind last time I went, or something, so I ended up walking out of there with a huge friggin' pile of goodies. I couldn't help myself. It was all so pretty. I'm actually impressed I didn't get more, to be honest. But I was sitting there in the yarn aisle, tallying up my purchases in my head, and the number I arrived to was... well kinda high. (To be fair I knew I was gonna spend a good chunk of money when I went out, but I wasn't exactly planning to spend it there. I didn't even get to Cricket Cove. Ah well.)

Anyway. Total damage for my escapade at Michael's? Are you sure you wanna know?


Yeah, you read that right.

The cashier kind of hesitated before giving me my total, and my friends both kind of gasped in horror. To tell the truth even I kinda jumped, but it was a momentary thing. I then cheerfully handed the clerk my debit card and paid. I have no regrets! The Patons is gorgeous, okay? But then as I walked out of the store, I remembered I have an order coming in from Knitpicks pretty soon. I almost got dizzy from stash happiness overload. I'm gonna need a bigger organizer...

I ended up spending the rest of the day with Elise and her birdie Kalani, who is adorable and kept cuddling on my shoulder, but goddamn it birdie stop pooping on my sweater okay?

Then last night, I knew I had a mountain of dishes to wash (I'm not exaggerating, I really procrastinated something terrible in the last ... oh, three weeks or so). So, when I got home, of course I... you know... cast on a scarf... and set up an impromptu photo shoot for my stash. I swear I could have my own lolcat caption. Priorities: Ur doin it wrong!

I managed to get good pics of pretty much every kind of yarn I have (except the stuff in the bottom drawer of the organizer. That's the yarn graveyard. Nobody cares about that Red Heart Super Saver in black that's all rolled up in like, six different-sized balls now because I got sick of working with it and frogged the whole damn thing.) Then today I was supposed to go get a haircut, maybe go to the bank, do some laundry, do the dishes (cause, you know, I didn't do them last night)...

Three guesses what I did? If you guessed laundry, haircut, dishes or bank, you are maybe a slow learner.

I put up all my pictures on Ravelry. Knit. Organized the stash. Queued a few things on Ravelry. Then my roommate called me and said, Hey let's watch a movie, so... that's what we did! And then we watched another movie! I swear, the procrastination... it's a disease.

But then Crystal showed up and whipped me into shape. She needed help with her CV, and my mama trained me pretty darn well on those, so she said if I helped her with that she'd help me with dishes. But not only did she help with dishes, she picked up the mess that had been accumulating in the dining room/art space, swept the floors, and made me clean out the fridge of any past-date food (there wasn't that much, surprisingly, but we managed to free up a few tupperwares. So that's where they were.)

I am maybe not winning any awards for Housekeeper of the Year soon, but at least now I have dishes/counter space/no rotten food in the fridge! Woo!

In other news, I finally finished the Color Purple scarf. Fringed it at work while on calls and did a little dance. It looks really good, but the camera just will not get a good shot of the color. This picture is closer to it than the last one was, but my camera pretty much sucks.

Next I am almost done Rusty, which is a garter stitch/drop stitch scarf I am making for Samantha at work. Then I will work on Cuddles, which is what I dubbed that scarf I cast on for Elise. And then I have a Celtic Cable scarf to make, and a Palindrome Scarf for Sam again, and a pink scarf for Monica, and then scarf scarf scarf, scarf scarf, then scarf scarf scarf scarf.

Are you sensing a theme to my knitting?

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Color #@!$ing Purple

Look at this picture.

Take it in. Really memorize it, familiarize yourself with it.

Because it is very possible that soon, I will be needing your testimonies for my insanity plea. "I swear, your honor, the scarf made me do it!"

It's not that I particularly hate the scarf, it's a very nice color (hence why I dubbed it the Color Purple scarf), the pattern is a pretty rib with a bump stitch that looks like a cable (which makes it look more impressive than it really is), and the yarn is incredibly soft (even if it is mostly acrylic). The boucle yarn hides all my mistakes, and I've even snuck in a couple of knots here and there in it (shh!)

So... what's the problem?

The damn thing will. Not. END.

I have been knitting on this thing for like two weeks and I am only halfway done! Even today, I sat down and did a marathon of knitting while watching half the first season of Buffy (shut up I have never watched it before, okay? I was kind of behind on the cool things in high school). And I STILL have only done eight pattern repetitions! At six rows each! In something like five hours!

Also, my hands are cramping something ridiculous.

I swear, I'm gonna end up strangling the next person who asks me when I think I'll be done.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Knitting Sticks and Yarny Goodness

Why, hello there! Bet you're wondering what you're doing here, right? Right. Well if you're here, most likely you're one of my friends who I've guilted into reading yet another of my blogs - ha ha, I love you guys! - but on the off chance that you're not, let me introduce myself.

Hi! I'm Nemo! (Everyone say, Hi Nemo!)

What? What do you mean that's not enough? You want to know... more? Well... Erm... I spose I could mention a few things. I guess.

My real name is Elodie. I'm 21 years old and I live in Eastern Canada. (YES, it's cold for most of the year. Shut up.) I live in a gorgeous little flat that I adore, with my best friend and an ever-growing stash of yarn. I love Indian movies and music and jewelry and fashion and men and pretty much anything that has to do with Hindi culture. I watch a whole lot of movies, and I can randomly come up with a whole lotta useless trivia at will. I am a little bit crazy around the edges, and tend to live in my own little happy bubble and not so much care about things like, saving money? What's that? I save money by buying yarn on sale! It makes perfect sense! Cause, see, I'd be buying the yarn anyway, right, so this way, I save money! So I can buy more yarn! Yay!

... I may have recently developed a somewhat unhealthy yarn-buying habit. I blame Chris, I really do. He's the guy who taught me to knit. Well, re-taught me, I guess, since my grandmother taught me a few years back. I didn't take to it then - I knit about a third of a very misshapen, lopsided scarf and my grandmother gave up on me. Now though, the knitting bug bit me hard. I'm still very much a beginner, but dang it, I love making scarves so hey! Everyone's happy! Especially the frillion people at work to whom I have promised various scarves.

(A little aside about my paternal grandmother - she is the fastest, most dedicated crocheter I know. That woman churns out about 50 blankets every month or so, admittedly all with the same pattern, but each made of about ... I don't know, like thirty squares of crochet all stitched together? She is maybe a little bit bored living alone in her little apartment. Maybe. Me, I'd have gone stark raving mad using the same pattern again and again, let me tell you. My maternal grandmother, on the other hand, will look amazed at any FO I show her and say, each time, "Pfff, I never did understand how people do that.")

So. To recap. Crazy lady. Yarn. Some needles. Free blog. Well, what's the worst that could happen?