Tags: knitting

knitting - retro

Rav love!

Slate has a really great article about Ravelry, the social network for knitters and crocheters. I always get a kick out of seeing outsiders realize how wonderful the site is. I've started using Facebook a bit, but I wish it were as comprehensive and engaging as Ravelry. And as I said in the comments, one of the best things about Rav is the personal, homegrown feel. I really like that it only takes knitting-related ads, which can easily be created both by shops and just an average person looking to sell a pattern she designed. I like that I can buy a skein of yarn and find hundreds of possible projects, or I can use my phone to check Ravelry from a shop and read others' reviews of the yarn. And I love that Jess and Casey run the site themselves and haven't gone "corporate" at all. Best part is that I've made some great RL friends there!

On another note: after weaning myself of Bejeweled Blitz a year ago, I've become addicted again. Sigh. Any recs of similar Facebook games that are quite addictive? Not Farmville and the like, though, as that's not really my style. I prefer mindless games that I can play for hours on end. ;)
*gen - tiffany

I think the Celexa's working, because I've been full of joy this month!

1. The Winnebago lives! This afternoon I headed over to Cobb Parkway, where they're filming The Walking Dead all day. I drove past the intersection four or five times, trying to be all cool and non-gawkerish. Finally I decided to just get over my embarrassment and parked my car to join the dozen or so people watching from across the intersection. Perfect location for spectating! Here's a photo from my phone, complete with my amateurish labels. I could just barely see the actor playing Shane as he tried to shoot a bunch of zombies, and I also saw some glimpses of the actors playing Andrea and Carol sitting in their chairs off to the side. I think I also saw Andrew Lincoln from a distance, but it was hard to tell. I'm surprised they were filming less than 100 feet from a very busy road. It'll be fun to see that scene in the season premiere and know that I was there! And I might go back later this afternoon with a much better camera, though by then they'll probably be done. *g*

2. I've been a very busy knitter! In the past two weeks, I've finished TWO sweaters. First up was Uhura for myself. It's a great summer tank in a sea-green cotton, lightweight enough that I wore it out in today's summer heat. More details on my Ravelry project page. Next up was my sister's birthday present, the Broken Rib Tank (don't click if you want to be surprised, Sis!) It only took 2.25 skeins of The Unique Sheep's Pima Petite in teal, and thanks to the DK yarn and larger needles, it's very breezy and drapes well. Pity you can't see the ribbing around the neck and waistband in that photo. Knitting sweaters has become such an addiction -- I'm now resisting the urge to go buy more (expensive) yarn to make a dozen more this summer!

3. Another nice thing about summer vacation is that it has given me tons of time for reading. In just the past week, I've read five books. At some point I need to type up a list of everything I've read. I'm also looking for more good summer reading, particularly titles I might find at the library. Suggestions welcome!

4. One of the many reasons I love Publix, the bestest grocery store chain ever (or at least in this region)! My local store has a six foot stretch of one aisle devoted to British foods -- biscuits, candy, sauces, baked beans, etc. Last week I used the website's feedback form to tell them that I love the selection, but I was sad that they no longer had Smarties, those M&M's-like candies. I did buy an Aero bar instead, but it's just not the same. Today the store manager replied to my email and said that he's going to special-order Smarties just for meeeeee, and that if I stop by and speak with him in person, he'll try to track down the milk chocolate rich tea biscuits (not digestives) that I love so much and are nearly impossible to get Stateside. Yay!

5. Last night I did the odd trick of watching both the Tonys AND the NBA finals. For the first time since I left TX twelve years ago, I was thrilled to see a hometown team win. Yes, I have very weird ISSues with my native state. ;) I'm ambivalent about the whole "Lebron gets his comeuppance" thing, but I get a kick out of big German guys named "Dirk" (hey, my first Mavs semi-fandom was Detlef Schrempf, now of Parks & Rec!) And although I've never really been into theater, I listened to The Book of Mormon soundtrack on YT last week and loved it. Plus, a big cheer for Coco of Conchords winning Best Actress! Sutton Foster just seems like good people, and she did a hell of a job hoofing it in that Anything Goes number.
*gen - tiffany

Knitting and computer issues.

1. I finished my mother's long-overdue Christmas sweater! This was to replace the first one that turned out to be too small. Here's a photo, modeled by one of my friends. The pattern is Metro, which is simple and classic and has that neat cabling along one side. I splurged on Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted since I didn't want to worry that it would look ratty (as happens when I use KnitPicks for sweaters), and I love the way it turned out. Those colors are right up Mom's alley! And after neglecting it for a year, I finally finished my semi-tacky granny square throw, mostly because I wanted to see if I could crochet something. ;)

2. From the NYT: Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter. Not sure how I feel about the article. I do really like Twitter for instant blather. I have a Facebook account that I never touch, though I can see the appeal. I've been on LJ since 2002 and don't plan to leave, though coming up with things to post is difficult, especially since I'm not that active in fandom. I tend to see Facebook as a RL thing, whereas sites like LJ are much better for fandom and when you want to maintain some semi-anonymity. As for the article... the primary reasoning seems to be that teens prefer the instant gratification of those sites, rather than sitting down and composing a blog post. Which, again, I totally get, but there's something to be said for writing. Hopefully the young people in the article do reflective writing via other methods, but I hate to think that it would go away. (But I'll admit I'm becoming more "Kids these days!" as I get older. ;)

3. I only have a trial version of MS Office on the new computer, and even the student/teacher license is a bit too pricey for me. I might eventually get it, but right now I'm exploring other options. I tried Google Docs last night but the web interface was too clunky and without some of the features I like. Plus, I prefer a standalone program rather than via my browser. A couple of years ago I downloaded Open Office and used it for a few months, but I remember it being a bit of a pain in the ass. The only parts I really need are Word and Power Point (for school), or their equivalents. Any suggestions?

4. One more computer question! When I got the new laptop, I immediately downloaded Firefox. All week it's been a bit sluggish, but the main problem is in loading pages. Most of the time they stall on the first try -- I get the spinning circle and a blank tab while they load -- and I have to refresh several times to get them to work. The only add-on I've installed is AdBlock. I downloaded Chrome to see if it was just a Firefox issue, but I had some of the same problems there. (Plus, after trying it for a couple of days, I'm not really fond of the Chrome interface. It's just a personal preferences thing!) Do y'all have any ideas of how I can fix this?
*gen - tiffany

More wintry stuff.

It's been snowing all day! Little more than flurries, but it's still a lot of fun to see. We only get a dusting snow a handful of times a year, so I'm sure the kids will be wild about it tomorrow. Plus, Monday's low will be 10F. I love the chill, but I'm not quite equipped for it. ;)

Last night I went to a lovely party. I also spent most of the day finishing up the fingerless gloves I'm giving to my partner at work... only to discover that I'd foolishly put the thumb on the wrong side. GAH! I'd wanted to have them finished to give her tomorrow, and I *could* just substitute another pair I recently made. But since I bought this yarn specifically for her -- turquoise isn't exactly my color -- I decided to just suck it up and start over. I hate those stupid mistakes!

A heads-up: hackers have gotten hold of Gawker's user account passwords and email addresses. This would affect you if you have an account on any of their affiliates. From what I can tell, changing your password now might not make much difference, but if you use the same PW across multiple sites, you should probably change them. Heck, change 'em anyway. I've been guilty of that, so I'm trying to come up with dozens of new passwords.

Also, Collapse )
*gen - tiffany

Four for Monday.

1. I am full of knitting success! Yesterday I finished Mom's Christmas present, nearly a month early. Here's the Ravelry page, though it's more of a reddish-purple eggplant than in that photo. It turned out pretty well, but I'm worried that it might be too small despite knitting a slightly larger size than her measurements. And tonight I finally finished a Clapotis that had been lingering in my WIPs pile for nearly a year; last week I picked it up and realized I was closer to the end than I'd thought. Mmm, it's gorgeous, luxurious, emerald green Karabella Aurora 8. It's scarf-width (and in Clapotis terms that means nearly 9" across), but seven feet long. Now I have to decide whether to block it. I've made two other Clapotis, and I generally prefer the way they look stretched out, but the problem is that once I block it, I can't go back to the waves. Hmm!

2. I cleaned out my hall closet and took out my tiny Christmas tree. Of course, the moment I put it out for display, my cat started gnawing on the branches. He's going to knock it over eventually, even though I tried to move it out of reach. And once again, I am feeling a lack of holiday spirit, which I really want to get back. Any suggestions for how to do that? :)

3. One brief rant: I really, really hate the term "Cyber Monday". Hell, I just hate the word "cyber", along with "surfing". They sound so darn cheesy.

4. Yeah, broken record, but I have to geek out about Collapse )
knitting - retro

Incredibly cute baby stuff!!!

[A warning to my sister: this post contains SPOILERS for everything I've made the baby! I suppose none of it's a surprise since I've told you about my baby-knitting craze, but read at your own risk. *g*]

So. My second nephew -- hereby dubbed NephTwo -- will arrive in a few months. This means that I get to knit tons of really adorable baby stuff! If I spend my nights knitting baby booties, does that make me an old maid? ;) And of course I have to post gratuitous photos of it all. Collapse )
*gen - tiffany

Heat and wool and beans.

1. You'd think that after spending my entire life in warm climates (aside from a year in London), I'd be used to summer. I'm not. Hate the heat, especially on typical days like this afternoon with "only" 90 degrees but with 58% humidity. When I ran to Publix earlier, I came back with an itchy scalp and freshly-washed hair soaked with sweat. I should apologize for my A/C overuse, but I'm a wimp who needs a steady stream of cool air. One thing I miss about TX is that although the temps were high, it was a nice, dry heat. (And yeah, I know that neither place even has it that bad compared to many others!)

2. And I segue from heat to ... sweaters. ;) It really is funny how I avoided them for so long because I didn't think I had the patience or money, but now I'm addicted. Just finished my sixth this year! Collapse )

3. I'm now a little over halfway through S4 of The Wire. The first handful of episodes were just as hard to watch as they were when I tried as it aired four years ago. I have enough stress and dejection teaching at a low-income middle school -- though in conditions a bit better than Tilghman's -- that I can't really stomach seeing it play out onscreen. It cut way too close to the bone. But I'm enjoying it a bit more now that things are improving a bit for Prez and his classroom. This might be the best season, but it probably won't be my favorite!

Oh, another funny thing about it: I hadn't read the actors' bios, so I had no idea that Aidan Gillen is Irish until the other night he slipped up and said "been" to rhyme with "bean". Popped over to IMDb, saw his place of birth, and laughed aloud. Works every time! (Silly, but my favorite line on BSG is when Lee says "This next group has never even bean in a cockpit!") And I got a kick out of the cast's mini-reunion last weekend at Dominic West's wedding. Great photos! Ah, from Baltimore drug dens to an Irish castle. :)
knitting - retro

Swimsuits, sweaters, soccer, zombies, and disappointment.

1. Per the suggestions on last night's post, I dropped by Old Navy and was surprised to find a swimsuit that fits fine, if not perfectly. And if it fits *me*, then that's further proof that ON sizing is screwed up. ;) Even better, I found out at the register that it was 30% off. That's the third time in as many days that I've gotten a surprise discount at checkout. I'm on a roll!

2. I finished another summer sweater today -- my fifth one since January! Funny how I never liked knitting sweaters because I didn't have the patience or the money for all that yarn, yet now they're all I want to knit. Collapse )

3. I had fun watching the two World Cup matches today, though I had to keep it on mute for much of the time due to the incessant buzz of the vuvuzelas. I'm not really interested in the soccer itself, but the sheer breadth of the worldwide competition is really neat.

4. AMC has released a video of the "zombie school" for The Walking Dead. It's such a pity that I won't be available for some of the dates in the casting call for extras here in town, because it looks like SO much fun to learn how to, well, stumble around like a zombie.

5. Day 11 - Collapse )
*gen - tiffany

There's nothing offensive about that hand gesture.

1. All my knitting this week seems to have given me a touch of tendinitis in the middle finger of my right hand. It's fine when I curl my fingers slightly in a natural position, but I feel shooting pains when I make a fist or extend it. (Guess I won't be flipping anyone off soon!) It's not serious enough for the emergency room, and I can't get in to the doctor until Monday. Any suggestions? OTC stuff is fine since I need to make a Rite-Aid run anyway. A caveat: for some stupid reason, using ice as a numbing agent really freaks me out, so that's not an option! (ETA: Icing it plus some ibuprofin seems to have helped for the time being, knock on wood.)

2. I love that my local Publix carries a fairly large selection of British foods. I will finally concede that Smarties are WAY better than M&Ms. They also offer several varieties of tea biscuits; however, they don't have the milk chocolate ones that I loved way back when I lived in London. Chocolate McVitie's are just too grainy for my tastes, even if they are probably healthier.

3. Scholastic has a write-up of the Mockingjay event at BookExpo, including a vague and not-very-spoilery description of the opening scene of the final book!

4. I've mentioned it before, but if you're looking for something fun to watch this summer, check out Starz' sitcom Party Down. All of the episodes are available for streaming on Netflix, and I think it's also at OnDemand. Really bawdy and funny and free!

5. While I'm a bit suspicious of its veracity, I laughed at this voicemail from a woman who is furious that a weather bulletin interrupted the season finale of Criminal Minds.
*gen - tiffany

Nerdy Lost Monsters Wearing Sweaters.

1. After too many restarts and a horribly-written pattern, I finally finished the new sweater. Collapse )

2. Even though I'm so goddamned tired of all the Lost hype, I'm still tuning in for tonight's finale. The big dilemma is whether to watch live or build up a tivo buffer to skip commercials... and then avoid Twitter and the rest of the internet until 11:30. Ugh. I love LJ for spoiler cut-tags and how everyone's so considerate; too bad it's nearly impossible to do the same thing elsewhere. (ETA: Oh, lovely. The ABC HD channel is out, so I have to watch on low-def... and Lost is one of the few shows that looks amazing in HD. Screw you, Comcast.)

3. I downloaded a few Nerdist podcasts because I kept hearing about how great it is. Are any of you familiar with it? I've listened to three so far, and I'm pretty disappointed. Great guests, but the overall vibe is very geekboy -- emphasis on "boy" -- with too many jokes about hot babes and techy stuff. Reminds me a lot of, well, G4. Guess I shouldn't be surprised! Maybe it's just not my style.

4. Last night I finished reading Monsters of Men, the final book in Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking Trilogy. I thought I'd type up my reactions to it, though I've kept this spoiler-safe for those who haven't yet read it. Collapse )