Sunday, June 17, 2012

Alpaca causes musical moments

It should not come as a surprise to you that I am terrible at updating this regularly. Over the past year and a half that I've had the blog, I think I've managed to be regular for two of those months. Maybe I need some blog-probiotics (a ha, yogurt/poop jokes)!

But in all honesty, I've been busy exploring Chicago and working. Oh yea, did I forget to mention that I have a job working 40 hours a week like a normal adult?! I actually get paid enough that I can finally start to think about buying a spinning wheel. Of course, I do have to move out of my boyfriend's parent's house...

Over the past couple months I've been doing a lot of test knitting. I've made a stole, sock, sweater, another sock, and shawl. Apparently I've been obsessed with things that start with the letter S. My current test knitting gig is so freaking awesome. I get sent yarn and a patten, I make the pattern and send the FO back to the designer, she takes pictures and sends me the FO back. Not only do I get brand new yarn all the time, but I get to keep what I make and since the patterns aren't always what I'd knit for myself, I have a stash of christmas presents.

I can finally be one of those knitters who don't wait until the last minute to make 4 shawls, 3 pairs of socks, and a hat for my closest 8 friends.

The yarn I have right now for a scarf pattern is what you would get if Brad Pitts body (super sexy nom) and a perfect summer day (so beautiful!) and Medusa (so pretty you can't look away!) had a yarn baby.

Yes that was a slightly ridiculous description, but I like to think of it as an existential yarn metaphor. EYM for short. Because when you knit with and see this yarn, all you can do is go EEEEEEEEEYM EEEEEEEEEYM.

Of course it's alpaca and even though it's summer and hot as a hornets nest, I am knitting with it and falling more in love with every stitch. This is where I burst into a song and dance routine reminiscent of a Dirty Dancing scene.

Now I've... Had the yarn of my life... and I've never felt this way about fiber...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Interview Winner?

Guess who has an interview today?!
This girl.
In related news, I got a rejection email from Hyatt. Apparently I'm not good enough to work a front desk position.

Wish me luck! Also, listen to this song. It's amazing. Like Abba.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Live blogging: Now, super cool!

I feel like my blogs have been rather boring of late. They have also been pretty focused on knitting.

This is a change of things. For one day at least.

Here is background; I loathe scary movies. Especially at night and especially at new places. But this year I decided to do things that scare me. So I'm going to watch a scary movie and blog about it at the same time. HOW EXCITING.

The movie: The Messengers staring Kristen Stewart.

I started watching it during the creepy part where ghosts are being like, 'WE ARE THROWING THINGS BE SCARED'. I was able to sit through it and actually giggle a little. To be fair, I did giggle even though my insides were like, "WE ARE TERRIFIED."

Oh damn, Kristen Stewart just went into the creepy bad cellar and the floor is staring to be scary. oh man, now there are dead people grabbing at her. But apparently it was all an illusion? Sunflowers make it all ok as she runs outside. But now she is shaking and scared. I bet she wishes Edward was there to protect her.

Now Kristen has figured out that the spirits in the house need her help. Now people, this is a pivotal moment in all scary movies. In order to stop being haunted and having lamps thrown at her head, she has to SOLVE OLD MURDERS. This movie is looking promising. Also, they are harvesting sunflower seeds. and crows seem to be bad signs.

Now the creepy body is leading her to a creepy barn. Oh no! The door is locked. Now she has to find out what has befallen the deadish chick. One thing I like about this movie is they don't do the whole jumping out scary thing. That gets me everytime. I can deal with seeing creepy things crawling in the back, not with things jumping out. Ok. I'm typing a lot. I'm scared.

Why is Kristen Stewart asking the crying ghost if she is ok?! run away! ahhh! now she is going to touch her! Don't touch ghosts!

I think the ghost baby was her little brother. It attacked her. Lesson learned; don't touch crying ghosts.

Kristen Stewart is still bad at acting. And now it's boring time in the movie. Oh shit, little kid is going to make the mom see the ghosts... AND NOW THERE ARE CROWS. I think this might be conclusion time.

Nope. Terribly animated crows just killed the gardener. I think this movie should take a lesson from an awesome horror movie; The Birds. Wait! Gardener is not dead. and I think the gardener is actually the dude who killed the ghost family. Gross. Now it's a slasher movie.

The one thing that can redeem with movie is ghosts helping the troubled family.

Wait, now I'm confused. The house has fingernails? Oh go figure, she is in the cellar now. Now the crazy gardener is trying to kill them with a pitchfork. Ah, the fingernails in the house was just a recreation of the pitchfork going through the door.

Oh shit. Dad got killed by pitchfork. oh shit! ghosts are coming to the rescue!

Moral of the story: don't kill your family because they will become ghosts and kill you when you try and kill another family. Also, pitchforks don't kill fathers and family saves everything!

Thanks for reading folks, this has been a scary movie viewing by yours truly.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Best Friends > Dead Fish

Guess what I did the last weekend? I saw my greatest and bestest friend in the entire universe. Her name is Bekky and you should read her blog called knit happens. During our lovely time together, we watched Downton Abbey, knit, and went on a nature walk. Here are the highlights.
We found a dead fish. It was quite large
This is my impression of the Titanic
I had the greatest time with Bekky. We laughed, we ate Ukranian breakfast, we drank rum drinks at a Tiki bar.

Probably the best thing about my friendship with Bekky is that we alternate from ranting about how awesome feminism is to oogling yarn and talking about gauge/projects/lovely wool.

The yarn shop in Milwauke is top 3 I've ever been to.

One thing is for sure; in regards to my friendship with Bekky, my heart will go on.

(that's a Titanic reference duh)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Beauty and the Man Killing Spider.

Do you think being unemployed is awesome? It's not.

If you think fear of rejection is the worst thing to ever happen to you, don't apply for jobs. I've decided to keep a running tally of my rejections. So far I'm up to 2! Groupon sent me a well-worded and almost-witty-except-for-the-fact-that-they're-crushing-my-dreams rejection.

So how do I console myself? I watch videos of spiders. Big hairy deadly ones.
If you're not too squicked out by spiders, you should find a video of them mating, it's actually quite lovely.

After that, I take a long hot shower and do this.
I sing that in the shower (and no I don't do the whole piano/glockenspiel bit in the shower).

Thursday, April 19, 2012

That, my dear sir, is a pile of yarn barf

One of my favorite knitting quirks (because I know we all have quirks that we favor among others) is that I love spinning a skein of yarn into a ball.

First off, skein is not pronounced skEEn, it's pronounced skAYn. I agree with you that it's dumb to pronounce it that way, but alas, the knitting gods have deemed it so. Secondly, this is what a skein on top of a ball (this specific type of ball is called a cake) looks like:
YOU ARE LEARNING SO MUCH ABOUT KNITTING! If you leave me your address I will come to your house and pat you on the back. At some point during my earliest convenience and in a completely non-threatening way.

Most people think this quirk is crazy because it's a pain to wind the skein into a ball. It involves a solid 15-30 min of sitting in one spot and not moving for any reason. Even if the building caught fire, you'd be amiss to move. Because if you do, then you get something that looks like this.

That, my good blog readers, is one of the biggest knots I've ever dealt with. I'd like to blame it on the yarn, but it's all my fault. The trick with winding yarn is patience. That means going slow sometimes. I don't like to go slow at anything. I read fast, think fast, move in with boys fast, knit fast, finish work fast... you get the jist. Usually I wind yarn into balls as a sort of therapy for me, but I was feeling pretty down about not having a job and worrying about money. Ergo, yarn knot.

The trick to straightening out a honking mess is to gently pull the knot apart. Normally you can find sections that can easily be untangled. I'm really good at untangling knots.

But I was not in the mood for that yesterday. Instead of being patient and kind and loving with my yarn, I just cut off the knotted part and started with the ball I had wound. It's for a shawl (which is a whole other rant that will be saved for tomorrow).

Do you hate untangling yarn? I'll do it for you for a nominal fee. Because I'm a philanthropist like that.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Booty booty booty booty rockin my booty

I have successfully written two cover letters and finished blocking my super secret test knit.

I was actually stoked to write one of the cover letters. Instead of the usual, "My name is Jen and I am professional and boring so hire me," I got to write a cover letter full of wit and sass and professionalism. It's to be a Groupon writer and I really hope I get an interview. I'm pretty sure it would be the coolest job ever. But since I never get interviews, my hopes are on the down-low.

Do you know what that means?!

It means new knitting project time! Usually I pick out some gorgeous yarn and scour Ravelry to find a sweet pattern. But then I remembered that giant trash bag full of unfinished projects I already have. I'm talking 5 gallons worth of projects. So I dug it out and rooted around (like a badger).

I found this.
That is a pair of booty shorts I started 3 years ago. Literally. On March 10th 2009, I thought it would be an excellent idea to knit a pair of shorts to fit over my rather large behind.

The funny thing with these is that they're almost done. All I have to do is the crotch and a couple rows on the legs and they're done.

This might beg the question, why didn't I just finish them three years ago then? The problems with these are two fold.
1) I'm not 100% sure what size I actually knit when I started this 3 years ago.
2) even if I did figure it out, I have lost like 20 pounds in the last 3 years.

That means even if I do finish these, they probably won't fit.

As you may have noticed, I am rather fond of finishing knitting projects. If I don't finish one, it is usually because of 2 reasons. The biggest reason is I'm not sure if the finished item will fit. The other reason is if I run out of yarn.

Picture this. I'm knitting and suddenly I actually look at what I'm making. It looks massive. or tiny. Point is, it doesn't look right. Instead of doing math and seeing if it will fit, or ripping it out if it's wrong, I start something else. I call this syndrome something super witty that will have you squealing with laughter.

(unfortunately I can't think of something super witty right now, so this is an opportunity to use your creativity!)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I swear I have a larger brain than a dinosaur

One of the perks of me looking for work is that you get to read my lovely blog every day.

I have an issue right now. I've been working on a test knit for a pamphlet (almost the big leagues) and just ran out of yarn with 1.5 rows to go. That is not the issue however. I quickly solved this problem using my sharp needle point wit and frogged one of my gauge swatches to produce a small ball of yarn.

Problem solved right? Wrong.

After literally 30 seconds of handling the ball, it disappeared. From the time I had it, I was in two places. The places are 10 feet apart. I have scoured the couches and the 10 feet between the two places and found zip.

Want to know the other highlight of my day? I found the grocery store!

Now this may sound like no big deal, but I just came from a town of 15,312 to a town of 77,693. Yes I've been in cities before, but that was in Colorado. Colorado has these majestic things called mountains and they are only in one direction. That means you always know which way is west. From what I can tell, Chicago doesn't have mountains (go figure eh).

It is pretty here though. And I get to ride motorcycles.

Worth it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The effects of coffee

It appears that I did not in fact post that picture I posted yesterday in here before yesterday.

Holy hell that sentence needs to be rewritten.

Unfortunately, I have NO TIME for rewrites because I am on a mission to be employed. So this blog post is about that great shawl... IN MORE PICTURE DETAIL!

My old roommate is going to make beer in the barrel. But for now, it is knitting picture barrel!
Yes I have had a very large cup of coffee this morning. Do my uppercase letters show it?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The 8th layer of hell

Applying for jobs is a special layer of hell. You know how the 'worst' layer in Dante's Inferno is ice? He had it wrong. It looks like this instead:

You wake up early full of excitement and vigor. You CAN do what you want to do! (reach for the stars! follow your dreams! if life gives you lemons, rob a bank!) Today is the day you start your dream job. The internet practically sings as you type the illustrious letters into the top bar. G. O. O. G. L. E. The half a second to load is too long so you spend it fantasizing about making billions from your __________ (insert favorite thing ever in the blank).

You type. knitting jobs in chicago.

No luck.

You type. writing jobs in Chicago.

They require 10 years of experience and four arms.

You type. any job in Chicago?

This is where the internet laughs at you and you fall to the floor in convulsions.

Happy days of Ye Olde Times
This is where I take a deep breath and look at old pictures of knitting and how happy I was in the bright Colorado sun. I'm not entirely sure if I've posted this picture before, but that lovely green thing is a test knit. Want a link to the pattern? Yasmine.

Now back to writing vague descriptions of how awesome I am at everything.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hooker shoes, spiders, and packing... oh my

 This is what my life looks like. That is a picture of all of my possessions before I loaded them into my car. I am pleased to announce that approximately 1/3 of my stuff is related to knitting.

The other 2/3 is clothes and books and such.

I think this is pretty awesome. Not only because yarn is super easy to pack, but also because if I ever wanted to pack up and leave, all I have to do is throw stuff in my car. I don't want to be defined by my possessions. Unless, of course, I am defined by my yarn possessions. I'm ok with that.

Speaking of how awesome I am. I recently finished a pair of knee high socks that are beyond fabulous. I test knit the pattern for Atalante.
I have never worn these shoes out and probably never will. But they make awesome sock model shoes.

I added this picture because you can see my retarded dog.  He's adorable, but retarded.

That's right folks, there are spiders on the back of these.

see, spiders aren't scary
Little known fact: When I was a child I wanted to be an etymologist** (bug scientist).

** and by etymologist, I mean entomologist. (thanks to Lizz for catching typos!)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Domesticity and Mistakes are the Devil

The worst thing about being a knitter is making a mistake. (Although I'm pretty sure hearing comments about how I'm so domestic are a close second)

I just started knitting one of my test knits where I had to cast on an ungodly number of stitches. Lo and behold, I messed up. So I am now in the process of doing it again. AHHHHHHH.

(this is the part where I yell a lot. so yell yell yell yell yell)

I also have big news. I'm moving to Chicago. That's right folks, I am going to join the rat race in the big city. So until I get moved and unpacked, you get no pictures and instead you get witty banter.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Hippy Distraction

Remember how I was going to show you all my unfinished projects? I got distracted by something else.
That, good people who read my blog, is a drop spindle. You use it to spin yarn. That stuff you see on it is yarn.

I've also been distracted by the obscenely good weather. It's been 70 most of the week and it's MARCH. This is Gunnison, the coldest place in the nation. I am not complaining though. At all.

(For all you people thinking right now, 'I guess that global warming thing is real.' Here is a rant.)

First off, it's global climate change. This means that yes it will be warmer, but there will also be more floods, more tornadoes, more droughts, more deep freezes. It basically means the climate is going to shift. So if you usually get all your snow in April, you might get some of it in November and none in April. Also, yes it is happening. The vast majority of scientists agree and now the main disagreement is whether or not it's caused by humans.

Guess what all the research points to?! It's not just because of humans, but humans are a contributing factor.

If you want specifics, feel free to ask. I do have a degree in meteorology that I would like to put to use.

Anyways. I've been spinning yarn and becoming addicted to that. I love it because it feels more like painting and less like knitting. I can do other things while knitting and it mostly just keeps my hands occupied; but with spinning, it keeps my whole being occupied.

Great now I sound like a hippy. OH THE HORROR!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mittens make my heart attack

As I was saying two days ago, I have discovered a treasure trove of UFOs (Unfinished objects).

Before I go on, let me talk about three common knitting terms that I will use and you better get used to.
Frog-This means to rip out your work (usually to correct a mistake). Know why it's called frog? Because you rip-it rip-it.
UFO- Un Finished Object. Something you started and then ...
FO- Finished Object. Self explanatory I hope.

Now that we are all up to date on the knitting lingo, let me continue.

I adore two color mittens. Not just like, but like like. The thought of starting a project and then actually starting a project makes me faint (like old school Victorian dames). I lustily look through patterns and my heart skips a beat when I knit them--which probably makes it seem like I have a constant heart attack while knitting mittens. I think this knitting heart attack is called a love attack?

Yea that was cheesy. I was trying too hard to be funny.

I started this project in October-ish. It was a super fast enjoyable knit (like all mittens) and I was super pleased with how the colors worked together. But then something happened. I vaguely remember being distracted by a pair of socks (but for the life of me I can't remember what they were).

There is something you should know about knitters: we are ruthless. We only have so many knitting needles so sometimes we cannibalize the needles from one project to start another. That is why I made one mitten without a thumb.

My face shows the horror of needle cannibalization
When will I finish these? Time will tell.

But until that illustrious time, I will continue my confession of the UFOs.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The room I want to die in

Last week here was beautiful. I'm talking mid 50s. Now I know what you're thinking, you're thinking that mid 50s is not YOUR ideal temperature. I am here to tell you (as a professional meteorologist) that you are not entirely correct. Mid 50s for March in Gunnison, Colorado is the scientific ideal.

But today it decided to snow. That means I decided to do this.

I'm pretty sure fireplaces were invented to keep knitters knitting on cold days. Because if it wasn't for this fireplace, I would have given up on knitting and just hid under a blanket and sobbed.

Yesterday I said I had big news, and I do! I've recently acquired two new roommates so our house has been re-arranged and re-done about a million times. Let me tell ya though, it looks a bazillion times better. Not only does our house actually look like people live in it (instead of animals), but it looks like classy people live in it. The absolutely best part about the house is this:
Yarn, knitting books, man fitness eye candy poster, what more can a girl ask for?

THEY MADE ME A KNITTING ROOM! Now instead of scouring the house for needles and yarn, it's all in one place. The room gets tons of sun so I can just stretch out on that couch and knit until my hands fall off. It's the most beautiful thing anyone has ever done for me.

Now the bad news. Since I was able to re-organize my yarn, needles, and UFOs (un-finished objects for you non-knitters), I realize I have a problem that needs to be remedied.

Those are all of my projects that I started and never completed. I didn't count, but there are at least 8. They were forgotten but not for any longer. Starting tomorrow, I will be giving each unloved heap of stitches some love. Not just yarn love, but the best sort of love: blog love.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Luck of the Irish

Big news blogger-sphere, I got laid off from my job! That means I've spent a lot of time knitting (in between the crying).

I'm not completely unemployed though because I got a part time job at a bar two weeks ago. That means I am still a knitting weather BARista. Without the ista. Bartending is easy, but difficult. You know what sucks about it? Having a creepy 50 year old alcoholic say that you have a nice frame while he eyes you like a bowl of jello.

But the money is good and that's all life is about: making money. It's about making money and buying yarn and making beautiful socks for your bass playing friend.
I'd like to thank my male foot model roommate, Collin
 As you may know, last night was St. Patrick's day (St. Patricks? Does he own the day?). Because people like to drink copious amounts of alcohol and hit on girls, I decided it would be an optimal time to get dressed up and festive. So I present you with a rare picture of me all dolled up. I call this outfit, "Jello Shot Girl."

You should see what I have in store for you tomorrow. So much awesomeness your head will explode.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Remember that awesome feat of knitting prowess that was the last post? Well here is the finished result. Those bumps are called nupps and are just a bunch of stitches knit together. Nupp should be the national word I think.
The only thing cooler than making nupps, is saying nupps (those bumps are nupps by the way)
Blocking lace is so essential

I call this one. Art.

Lace makes me swoon. Like old tires and arty pictures.
This is my best knitting picture ever. Hooray flowers!
So as you can see, it is by far the most beautiful thing I have ever made. I even contemplated framing it and selling it as art. But after much debating, I gave it to the person who deserved it the most. Bekky my bfffl! As a fellow knitter, she knows how much time and love goes into this. Also, I originally started making this for her as a condolence shawl (because she had a major loss in her life).

Today's lesson is. Knit lace shawls and say the word nupp compulsively.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Today's lesson is brought to you by the letter cockiness

During my absence from blogging, I did something unbelievably cool--I cured world unhappiness.

That is a lie. But I did something completely awesome in the knitting world. I fixed a mistake in a lace shawl. I'm not saying that I ripped out the two inches of lace that I had completed and then tried to pick up the stitches without messing anything up. I instead did this.

 I noticed that I had made a pretty big mistake like 10 rows back. I won't repeat what was said (because there are virgin eyes reading this), but know that it was full of frustration and angst.

Now you may not know this, but I am not a fan of frogging knitting (for all you non-knitters who read my knitting blog, frogging means ripping out the knitting you've done. If you want a full explanation, google it. Also, why are you reading a knitting blog if you don't knit?). Frogging lace is especially hard because you have to pick up yarn overs and knit two togethers and it's just a horrid mess. So I went online and searched for a better way to fix my problem. This involved only ripping back the part of my knitting that I had messed up on. Then I had to find stitches and pin them to a board to try and reconstruct the design.

Just a warning, you probably shouldn't try this if you can't read your knitting. If you're not sure what a yarn over looks like or if you don't know what the pattern is supposed to look like, it all might end in frustration and yelling. Bring good karma into the world, not yelling. (that should be a bumper sticker)
So once I had my spots pinned, I ripped back to a row where I knew where I was in the pattern and picked up the stitches and put them on a needle to work with.
After the stitches were on the needle, I simply worked back and forth in the pattern with a second needle. I say simply, but we both know this takes an enormous amount of skill (cocky knitting prowess is so sexy. Don't you agree?)
I just added this picture because my fingers look dainty and delicate here.

And here is the final product! I am so awesome. GUSH GUSH LOOK AT ME EVERYONE I CAN KNIT WELL!

Friday, February 10, 2012

My head was cold, so I made a hat.

Guess what people of the interwebs?! I finished a project. Finally. I've started and abandoned so many thing in the past couple months, it's a little ridiculous.
But. Here are pictures.
Classy knitters drink red wine from Miss Piggy cups.


Throw up your rock fist.

You probably can't see the lovely cable pattern, but it's incredible. Not only does is swoop and cable, but it cable and swoops.

Can you tell I'm a writer?

My sister got me this yarn and holy hell, it's the most delicious things my fingers have played with. So soft but not as sheddy as normal alpaca. It's a baby alpaca/merino mix. Drool.

Do you think Dan Marino would want to wear merino? Har. Har. Cough.

Yup. Humor coming at you from all sides tonight.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pirate aliens are the worst.

I know you think I haven't been blogging because I've been lazy and uninspired. THAT IS FALSE! The truth is that I was kidnapped by alien pirates for the past six months. They are sort of like earthling pirates except instead of being after booty, they are after knitting. My escape from their clutches was pretty epic (if I do say so myself) and luckily I was able to escape with my knitting. I post them here for your eyes to feast upon.

 This is my cabled dress that I made ages ago and refused to wear. I'm not really sure why I refused to wear it because it's freaking sweet, but I'm showing it the attention it deserves now. Look! I'm cooking! It turned out delicious, thanks for asking.

Is this what the hunchback of Notre Dame felt like?

My first baby blanket. Yes it looks like a scarf. Deal with it.

This is what those giant yarn balls became. Pretty sweet.

So there you have it folks, the past six months of my knitting. Except I knit way more than this and am just saving it for later. I know, I know. I'm such a needle tease (get it?! like cock tease but knitting related).