Thursday, December 30, 2010

A tribute to the coolest great-gma in the universe

Here is my long promised Christmas post. Plus more! This is what I got for Christmas.
Let's see a closeup of that a-MAZE-ing yarn. (I don't really know why I capitalized maze).
For all of you who don't have superman eyesight let me tell you the yarn I got. Mini Mochi, Manos del Uruguay, and other assorted sock and lace-weight yarn. You may think I have enough yarn in my stash, but I can never have enough sock/mitten yarn. But now I think I'm good for at least another year.

Speaking of Christmas knitting, I'm sure you're all dying to know about if I finished in time.

Before I continue, let me say the next part is sad so you might want to grab a box of Kleenex to put near you.

Two days ago, my Great-Grandma Elsie Thompson died (see the tie-in with the 'dying to know?' The answer to that question by the way is no I did not finish my Christmas knitting). She was 100.5 years old. She didn't teach me to knit, but she taught my g-ma who taught me. So in a round-about way, I have her to thank for my most precious hobby. She was not just an avid crocheter, but also a great seamstress, tatter, and amazing human being. She always went out of her way to help her neighbors and wasn't afraid to do things her way (like shoot squirrels in her yard or drive until she was 90). Not only is she the reason I'm alive today (because if she hadn't had kids, her kids wouldn't have had kids, and my dad would not have had me), but she has made a gigantic impact on her large family (I'm talking great-great-grandchildren) and her community of Sault Saint Marie/the world.

So even though I'm not at the funeral (which was today), I just wanted everyone to know that my great-grandma was the coolest person ever and she will be missed.

RIP Great-gma.

(On the left is my great-grandma on her wedding day. On the right is my dad, great-grandma, my sister, two random children, and me. I'm on the bottom left doing the awkward smile)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A lesson in (CAPSLOCK)

It does not feel like Christmas. At. All.

I'm staring at a Christmas tree, knitting a sock for Christmas, there is a Christmas commercial on tv, and I ate multiple Christmas cookies today. BUT IT IS NOT CHRISTMAS YET. (I know literally it is not Christmas yet,  but I was speaking about how it doesn't feel like December).

Maybe it's because it's still 60 degrees out?

When did Colorado get warm for Christmas. Oh wait, what was that about global climate change?

We had a secret santa at Starbucks and my person LOVED her hat. I took pics. I will put them up on Christmas probably. Because that is the only time I have off this week. Ughhhhh.

This is where my mom would say, "ISN'T IT FUN BEING AN ADULT AND WORKING FULL TIME." (yes she yells). To which I would retort (much more adult word than reply), "I would love to work full time at a job that pays more than minimum wage and puts my college degree to work." I love living at home so much (sarcasm).

Maybe I should name my blog This Is What A Liberal Arts Degree Gets You (now with more parenthesis).

Two more rows until I get to turn the heel on Grandpa's sock! Then for Grandmas! and then boyfriends.

I have a feeling this Christmas will be full of knitting. How magical.

(I apologize for the obscene amount of caps. It was a long day at work. Too much cheeriness.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

The only thing better than knitting is... (sex)

This what I feel like most knitters do the week before Christmas.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! knit. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! cry. knit. flail about most spectacularly.

I am no exception. I almost stayed up all night knitting a hat for a secret santa at work. Around 1 am I gave up and went to bed with the intention of waking up two hours early to finish it. Well, I slept instead.

It is now done (pictures tomorrow), but now I have three socks to finish in four days.

Want to know what the sad news is? It won't happen. Tomorrow I'm spending with my boyfriend and so there will not be a lot of knitting. Oh wait, that's not sad news at all.

I may be a knitting fanatic, but sex > knitting.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

So Young To Seem Such a Mess

My sister is here! So in honor of her, I am going to show you pictures of a cropped cardigan that I made for her last year. It's super awesome (just to warn you).

Unfortunately this saying no longer holds true. She is 1.5 years away from being done with college and has had a paid internship and will most likely get another one this summer. She's incredibly good at looking for and finding jobs and is the most professional writer ever. Also she's not living in her parents house. And she has a job that pays more than minimum wage.

Long story short: I'm the mess, she's the young.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Every bloggers dream

I have been completely obsessed with this song as of late. I'm talking about listening to it three time a day. Maybe I should buy the cd.

IT IS SNOWING!! First snow of the season (sort of. First snow I've seen here). Point is, all I want to do is knit some socks and watch Christmas movies. Unfortunately, I have a real job (at Starbucks). Also, I have to clean the house before my sister comes home.

My sister is the coolest person on the planet (besides me).

Just think! One day I could be a professional blogger and just write self centered things and everyone would finally love me! and then I could quit my job and just devote my time to knitting! and kittens would worship me! Jesus himself would come down and pat me on the back!

Life would be good.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The correct usage of NOM

I just realized that there are 8 days until Christmas. I still have two and a half pairs of socks to finish. The one grandpa sock that I made took three days and that was insanely good time. This means I am not going to finish in time. But I have a surprise for you...

I only have to knit 1.5 paris of socks total BEFORE Christmas! That means I have the exact right amount of time to finish my Christmas presents.

Wasn't that a great surprise?

So I took a little break from Christmas knitting to test knit a hat pattern. It's fantabulous. The pattern is called Off Center and I used my birthday alpaca (NOM NOM).

Isn't it weird how after you say alpaca you have to write nom nom? Anyways, here are the pictures.

Aren't I adorable in my winter gear inside a heated house? The pattern is pretty simple but beautiful of course. In my experience, ribbed and simple patterns turn out the best. I'm definitely going to add a pom on top and maybe ear flaps? I'm a sucker for ear flaps. Here is a close up of that off centerness.

Enough yelling.

Want to know how I started this morning? Like this.
Coffee. Knitting. Sitting in the sun. Grilled Cheese (not pictured).

Perfect. Morning.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

An Ode to Chai tea lattes.

Oh sweet yet spicy beverage,
please be in my mouth
and then
travel to my belly.

We both know how this will end.
Is it as good for you as it is for me?


I started a new project. A hat for me. To be completed by Saturday. Pictures and FULL DETAILS tomorrow. I bet you can hardly wait.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Starbucks Holiday Rant

I know I'm cynical, but I've gown to realize that there is one thing in particular that I loathe more than anything: shared emotions. I'm not talking about two people sharing a moment, I'm talking about a group of people who exalt in being a part of something.

One of the best quotes about it is from my favorite book "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" by Milan Kundera. It says, "Kitsch causes two tears to flow in quick succession. The first tear says: How nice to see children running on the grass! The second tear says: How nice to be moved, together with all mankind, by children running on the grass! It is the second tear that makes kitsch kitsch. The brotherhood of man on earth will be possible only on a basis of kitsch."

What I'm trying to say is that feelings are only real to you, so it's impossible to share something with the whole of humanity. Ok, that was my sequeway. Know what I hate? When people do good things during the holidays. 

All last weekend people decided they wanted to give back to humanity... by treating people to overpriced coffee. I'm not kidding. Do you know how many times people were like, "I'm giving a dollar towards the next ten peoples' orders."

Do I have to explain why that makes me want to run over Santa? Set fire to choirs of children? Melt all of the Christmas snow with a laser?

It's simple. Instead of doing something that actually matters (feeding hungry people, helping old people, anything other than buying high fructose corn syrup for middle-class suburban people) they do something that will be talked about by upper-middle class people at a company party. The fine recipient of this dollar off special will go home after a long day of shopping and  reminisce about how great their life is.

Meanwhile the person who donated $1 to 10 people (a heady investment of $10) feels like they made a real investment in the future of civilization. They are now secure that they are good people.

Know who are good people? Knitters. Especially people who knit mittens. Mittens that rock as hard as these.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

When you eat a burger you are ingesting 1000 different cows.

This movie I've been dying to watch is finally on Netflix. Maybe you've heard of it? The Human Centipede.

Awesome. The thing is, I'm a little afraid to watch it. I'm a big pansy when if comes to scary movies. So instead of watching that, I'm watching Food, Inc. now.

Now instead of being afraid of some mad scientist trying to make me into a human centipede, I'm terrified to eat.

Turned the heel on sock #1 of Grandpa. Also signed up to test knit a hat. Guess what I'm going to use? ALPACA!!!! NOM. Pics tomorrow if you play real nice.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Answers to your biggest questions

Want to know what your iced drinks from Starbucks look like after you let them sit for a few hours? This.
Time for science kids! That top layer is water, and the bottom is something liquid that comes out of your bottom (more specifically your anus). Just kidding. But this is what those drinks look like and this isn't even a ridiculously disgusting one. If you have any syrup in it usually there are like five more layers in a brownish hue. So remember, think before you drink.

The other big news of today is that I have accomplished something incredible. Any guesses as to what I did? While you're thinking, here is a picture of how awesome I was with my Christmas knitting.
To answer that burning question on your brain, yes I did knit that all in one day. Also, yes that mug is from Starbucks. I think it's the coolest mug I own.

So now that you have thought and wondered about what I accomplished today I'm going to tell you. Aren't things better when you wait for them? Life lessons from Jen.

Today... I knit while I drove.

Fun fact: knitting while driving is clinically safer than texting while driving.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Where would I be without my extremities?

Today started out pretty terribly. My alarm didn't go off so I was late to work, I screwed this ladies order up so bad it took thirty minutes to fix, and I dropped every single thing I touched.

Needless to say, yarn shopping was needed to fix this situation. The first thing I bought was this.

It's Australian and for my grandma's stranded socks. I had a brain fart (and still do) so I'm not really positive that 800 yards is enough for two socks. I'm thinking I might do them toe up just in case. Because these two skeins cost $24. I don't really have to funds to make a $48 pair of socks. Next up was grandpa.

 Soxx Appeal is my all time favorite sock yarn. It's durable, sproingy, amazingly colored, not killer expensive, and warm. The yarn is a mint green (even though the picture makes it look winter day gray). Total cost for this pair of socks? $17. Finally, I needed pizzaz and passion for the socks for Nick (my unbelievable swoon-tastic boyfriend). Red for LOVE AND PASSION AND FIRE AND YELLING.
So there I was, yarn in hand browsing the store for anything else that looked amazing when I saw the knitting needles. In my head I was like, Jen, do you really need a new sock knitting needle? And because I had had a terrible day and I have three pairs of socks to finish in two weeks I responded with a "HELL YES" and bought these.
Essentially the same as the ones I have now, but with LACE tips. So it will make it go faster? Plus, now I can have a mitten needle and a sock needle. So I can never be without mittens or socks. Everyone knows that extremities are the most important part of the body. Overall I spent $70. Which may seem like a lot, but is totally worth it. And for 6 skeins of sock yarn and a pair of fancy circular needles it's like Taco Bell cheap. Mmmm. Taco Bell.

This means the Jaywalker socks are most likely going to have to chill until after the holidays. If they try and complain I'll just arrest them (HA!! GET IT?! Because jaywalking is illegal? I'm hilarious).

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Tomorrow is my New Years. (this is meant to be metaphorical. I'm not actually changing my clock ahead a few weeks)

This means I am going to blog every day until the end of December. My posts may be just a picture, or maybe something deep, snarky, and hilarious (my specialty). Why the oversaturation of posts by me? Good question faithful reader (and yes, that is singular, not plural (hi Bekky!)).

Tomorrow is the day I buy the yarn to start my Christmas presents. I have finally narrowed down what I am knitting for who, so IT IS TIME. That caps part should be said like the Lion King.

As to what I will be knitting, that is a secret until the day I knit it. This is like the advent calender of knitting blogs. I will not be serial starting projects because I only have one sock knitting needle and therefore must knit one pair at a time. I guess if I wanted to be wild and crazy I could knit one sock of each pair and then one sock of another pair. But I am not wild and crazy.

My other goal tomorrow is to finish my Jaywalkers. Want to see how much I have?

About 3/4 of the other sock. I believe in myself. (also the bag in the background Believes). I'd also like to point out that I made these the exact right size. I have like 4 yards leftover. Also, these are my absolute favorite socks I've ever knit. And not just because I got the yarn from my amazing boyfriend (gush swoon).

Don't like the sap? Can't help it. It's Christmas.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cowl-a-ganza! (subtitle: cock-le mania)

So I never finished showing my WIPs in the last post. That is because I get distracted gushing about my boyfriend. I apologize. So in addition to the sock from the last post, jacob's sweater from two posts ago, and that stupid lace nonsense, I have a mitten in my WIP pile. Here it is.

I cast on for this pretty much right when I moved back in with my parents. It's for my ex-boyfriends mother (who adores me and pink). As you can see, there is only one of them and it is missing a thumb. That's because I wanted to get this off my addi turbo size 1 needle (my absolute favorite thing to knit on) so I could cast on that sock.

The thing about me is I usually don't get distracted from knitting easily. Once I get to about 5 WIPs I can't not finish them before I start something new. That doesn't seem to be the case here though because I decided to test knit a cowl. Specifically, the Cockleshell Cowl.

Unfortunately, I decided to knit it in this Alpaca yarn that I bought last year. I can't remember what it is but I bought it from Michaels and it is disgusting. It sheds like no other, has no stitch definition, and sucks. But I figured it would be super soft and warm on my neck.

A note about the pattern: I absolutely love it. The Cockleshells are genious. I've never knit a pattern where you drop a stitch for a bigger lace unravelling. So pretty. So without further ado, here are pictures.

First: The reason I decided to knit this in the first place: the cockleshells. Only part of the reason I like it is because I get to say COCKleshells.
Now, there is something you need to know about me if you're going to continue to read this. I am a cheap knitter. This means that even though I lust after blocking boards, I usually use cardboard. This leads to many interesting ways that I block things. For example, here is how I am blocking my cowl.
A griddle box and a fake painted pumpkin. Genius.

Here are some more shots of the cowl and you can see for yourself how terrible this freaking yarn is.

See? No stitch definition and you almost can't tell that there are lovely cables along with the stunning lace.

That is why... I've cast on for another. (OHHHH!!!! That was supposed to read like a punchline)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I've found my knitting mojo

Guess where my knitting mojo was hiding? In this sock.
Do you see that yarn?! It is bright and perky and self striping and FAN-tastic. There is a story behind the yarn.

A long long time ago on my birthday (specifically three weeks ago) I received a call from my boyfriend. He said, "I bought you yarn so look for it in the mail fair maiden."

I responded "oh prince charming, my hair is long and I wish you were a frog so I could make-out with you." Just kidding. I actually said, "Dost thou thinksts I am in the fable of Rumpelstiltskin? I can not spin your crap into gold." (I was afraid that he had bought me fun fur or red heart or something incredibly ugly)

"But Mistress, did you not forget how incredible I am?"

"Wait prince dude, you are confusing me with your double negatives."

"Lady, I am awesome. You're going to love it."

Lo an behold he not only picked out sock yarn, but also incredibly colorful, and wool.

My fair maidenhood* was saved.

*My fair maidenhood is not to be mistaken with my virginity. Good yarn deserves a great reward.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Out on the old frontier, the little doggies resisted being counted

It's WIP roundup time! I was originally going to show you all the amazing things I've knit the past couple months and haven't taken pictures off, but then I realized something very important: there is a month until Christmas. Now since we don't know each other very well, I'm going to let you in on a secret about me. Ready?

I am not one to freak out about knitting things in time for Christmas. In fact, I'm not really one to freak out about anything (and by freak out I mean stress freak out. I happy squee freak out all the time for: amazing yarn, harry potter, music, giant dogs, spinning instruments, potatoes, turkey bacon, raspberries... you get the idea).

But this year I think that might change. Because this year I have decided to knit a lot of people a lot of things. Not just my usual sock knitting palooza, but I've decided to make a shawl, a pair of stranded man socks, a pair of stranded woman socks, a pair of mittens, and something for my boyfriend. Plus I have to finish my ex-boyfriends sweater. Want to see a picture of it?
Yes I modeled it on a blender--I couldn't fit it over the back of the chair. I'm about two inches past the armpit and boy has it been slow going. Not because I don't like the pattern (simple custom top down pullover) and not because I don't enjoy eons of stockinette. More because I haven't been knitting at all the past two months. I mean sure here and there I will finish a row, but I used to be a solid two hour a day knitter. The main thing about this sweater that may make it a problem, is that I do not have enough yarn to finish it. In fact, I only have one more ball left and about 15 more inches of body and two sleeves. I bet I know what you're thinking; what sort of a knitter buys three balls of yarn for a sweater and expects it to work?!

The answer: Me. I knew it wasn't enough yarn but they didn't have more of that blue color. So I figured I would be able to buy more later. It's now later and I haven't even looked for more of this. Not that it will be hard to find; it's cascade wool. But I will not be able to find the dye-lot again. I've never done this before with a cascade project so I'm not really positive that this is an issue. Since it is Christmas (technically it's almost Thanksgiving but according to Starbucks, it's almost Christmas) I'm inclined to yuletide joy and so I'm going to say that the sweater will be epically awesome even with mis-matched dye-lots.

Speaking of Starbucks, they are forcing me to be a better person. Because I get an extra 10% off this week, I have to actually do my Christmas shopping BEFORE the last week before Christmas. Gross.

I've also become mildly addicted to Carmel Macchiato.

Also, know what you missed last weekend if you didn't go to Starbucks? Buy one get one free on all Holiday drinks. This is why you should go to Starbucks EVERYDAY UNTIL YOU DIE. Otherwise you miss deals. Just kidding, please don't support the corporate empire.

Want to know how my job search is going?! Terribly. Thanks for asking.

As we part, I'd like to leave you with a picture of the shawl that needs to be done for Christmas. I'd usually be all over knitting this right now, but I screwed up the pattern hardcore. So I have to frog all this. Sadface. So here lies the shawl I started four months ago and have to start over and complete in 31 days. Cheers!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hat Frenzy

Usually when I get obsessed with something knitting related, I know it. If I've been making socks for two months and all I can think about knitting for the rest of my life is socks, it's pretty safe to say that I'm in a sock rut.

But for the past three weeks, I've been obsessed with something and haven't even realized it. What is this elusive creature? The hat.

It started two weeks ago when I decided I needed something quick to knit and did the bonnet. Then I decided my boyfriend needed a hat that said "Rock Daddy" on it. Then I decided the hat my friend Jacob had been begging for the past few months deserved an existence. And now that I'm done with all of those, I'm aching to create a pattern for my birthday yarn (alpaca... nom). Unfortunately for you, my visual viewer, I only have a picture of the Jacob hat. I used cheap acrylic yarn and knit the fabulous pattern of Square Circle Hat. My only regret is that I was mildly retarded and had to bind off twice because my brain went mildly retarded.
.Since I do not have pictures of the rock daddy hat, here is a picture of a hat I made for another boy.
I don't really understand why I like making hats so much lately. Maybe it's because Starbucks is getting all Christmas ready with drinks and cups and music and holiday cheer.

It's enough to make me want to block out all sound from the world. Hence: hats.

Also, they keep your ears warm. Baby, it's cold outside.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trained and underemployed

I've officially completed my training and now know how to make drinks with the greatest of ease. Granted I'm still terribly slow and mess things up a lot, but at least I know how to make a Carmel Macchiato.

Don't get me wrong, working at Starbucks is probably the best job I've had ever, but it's not satisfying at all. Maybe it's just me, but when I see the quantity of money we take in on a Saturday, it makes me want to punch babies. Luckily there are some babies that come to the store.

The problem I have with saying that I am underemployed is that it's a BS term. What does that even mean? That I'm not using my college degree? All a college degree means is a bunch of debt and a piece of paper; I'm not any smarter than I was before I went to college. Another bad thing about working a terrible job is that I don't have as much time to knit. This is probably the biggest tragedy of the capitalist structure.

However, I have managed to finish a project. It's the pattern Pauline and I made it out of Malabrigo. It was a super easy pattern and just what I need for winter--because I lost my favorite hat. Since I'm living in Colorado instead of Wisconsin, I luckily haven't had any reason to wear a hat yet.

That is one great thing about moving back in with my parents: heat.

I have three other things on needles and hopefully within the next week I will have finished one (mittens... drool). The other two projects are massive: a sweater for an ex-bf and a shawl that I screwed up on hardcore.

In weathergirl news, I've applied for two jobs today. The first is in West Virginia and the second is in New York. I also called the Duluth station to see if she got my application. I should know about that job by the end of the week. I should set up a counter for how many weathergirl jobs I've applied for. I think so far I'm up to 30. Guess how many I've heard back on (all rejections)? 6.

Monday, October 18, 2010

And the blog begins, with a song of rebellion

After two months of fruitless job searching and obsessive knitting, I have finally landed a job at the most coveted of corporate positions: Starbucks Barista. Sure my degree might be in Meteorology and I went to a college where students did typical things like loving the environment and wanting to live in communes, but apparently I'm not very good at being a weather girl. This means I'm living in my parents house and starting Wednesday, I get the opportunity to earn a paycheck.

For the past two weeks that I've been living in my parents house, I've been applying for everything. Target, AMC, Borders, PacSun, Forever 21, etc. etc.

So blah blah blah. I learned about veganism and how capitalism is destroying america and how the whales are dying in college. Now I am going to be making overpriced coffee drinks for suburban moms. But the coffee is fair trade? They are not Walmart?

I guess I should actually work for them before I judge them.

Here are a few things that I am excited for.
1. Being that coffee shop girl.
Maybe I can pick up a deep sensitive brooding dude. Then after I get an actual career, I can support him as he mysteriously glances at me from the couch. A dark and handsome sort of mysterious glance.
2. Money for yarn.
I can compulsively make my mooching mysterious husband socks .

Over the course of this blog, I will describe my knitting adventures, weathergirl job offers, and barista anecdotes. Most likely I will describe my romantic adventures too because I am somewhat of a girl.

So here is a toast to paying 30,000 a year for four years for the chance to work at starbucks.