Adventuring 2.0

I thought I was going adventuring a few weeks ago… That day has nothing on today.

After my midterm (which went very well, thanks for asking. I know the dairy cow life cycle inside and out), I hopped on a downtown bus and crossed something off the 101 Things list that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I visited my local yarn store.

To say I was overwhelmed and delighted is an understatement. I have never seen so much high quality yarn in my life! Unfortunately, most of it cost more than my weekly grocery budget, but it was amazing.

I’ve never seen alpaca before, and I can’t believe what I was missing out on all these years! I wanted to go and buy all of it… The only problem I have with it (other than expense of course) is that it isn’t washable. What I would give for washable alpaca. Probably my first born child.

The lady working was wonderfully helpful and nice. She said that lots of young people come to their knit nights. My roommate crochets, so she said she would love to come with me sometime. I’m feeling a new ritual coming on…

I showed the lady the pattern I wanted to knit in order to feed my mitten obsession… She blanched and said “Wow, you’re brave”. That doesn’t sound too promising for my first go round with the stranded mitten patterns, but we’ll see how it goes.

Yes, that means I caved, and got mitten yarn. My hands have been cold all week, and it’s not cold enough yet to dig out my real mittens.

The yarn is Naturally Baby Haven, made in New Zealand. It’s 100% superwash merino. I’ve got colours #314 and #315. The pattern I’m planning on making is Chrysanthemum. That’s the plan anyway… We’ll see how long it takes me to get frustrated with all of the colourwork.

Yarn and pumpkins!

I also got some cute yarn ball stitch markers. I’m going to do a row of the sweater just so I can use them!

After my trip to the yarn store, I hopped on a bus and headed to the mall. I really needed a new travel mug, since mine was getting worn out. I picked one up from my favourite tea store – David’s Tea. They sell the greatest loose leaf teas, and that’s where my old travel mug came from. I invested in a sleek glass traveller… Great for someone who loves tea as much as I do! I also couldn’t resist buying their newest kind of tea, called “Stormy Night”, which includes vanilla, chocolate, coconut, and cinnamon. It sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it!

My haul from David’s Tea!

It was quite the adventure. I’m going home tomorrow, and as usual, my biggest conundrum is what knitting to bring! Will it be the mittens, which require gauge and focus; the socks, which are great mindless knitting; or the big sweater, which hasn’t been getting any love lately?

Only time will tell. Either way, I’ll be going home with tea and yarn… Some of my favourite things.

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Sunday Afternoon Tea

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m back in the writing game. I hope you all enjoyed my photo-a-day posts… They helped me to accomplish two things on the 101 things list. I’m now at 50/101!

The week was busy with homework and studying, but I managed to get some quality knitting time in. Unfortunately, I missed my 1 week deadline with the knitting of the Hat-Heel socks, but I guess that’s something I will manage to finish with another pair.

You got to see lots of progress on the Hat-Heel Socks throughout the week, and they are now finished! It’s definitely one of my favourite patterns to date, and it’s on the list of things I’m going to make for myself once all of the Christmas knitting is finally done.

This weekend was also Homecoming for my University. I had a ton of fun and got to display some school spirit, which was nice. It seemed as if nothing went right; people were late, parties were shut down, the bars all had hugely long line ups, our pizza delivery took three hours, and we had a forty five minute walk home in the freezing cold… Still, it was definitely a great day! I’m not sure how a day with so many negatives can actually turn out to be the most fun I’ve had all year.

Next stop, the Fuzzballs. As you may have noticed, I have shown zero progress towards ripping them back and starting over, but it’s finally done! At last, I’ve restarted these socks, and they haven’t taken long at all, so far. I think they will be a quick knit… But then I’ll have to start yet another pair of the Christmas socks, and I’m definitely at a stand-still on that one. I don’t know what I’m going to want to work on next.

I guess you’ll just have to wait and see.

How to memorize amino acids

School work has officially hit. I have my first Biochemistry quiz on September 18th, worth 10% of my grade. Last year, in both of my first year chemistry classes, I did very poorly, which has me nervous for this class. So, I’ve been studying. I have to memorize 20 amino acids, their chemical structures, and their specifics. Our professor is very kind and made them into a deck of cards which I have been studying like crazy.

This feels like a midterm, and I’m already using my midterm-studying-coping-strategies. In other words, knitting. I study for a while, then knit a few rows.

The second Hat-Heel Sock has been started. It’s little more than a nub at the moment, but it’s a great thing to have as a study buddy – the rows are short and don’t take very long, but are still enough to create a break.

How to memorize your amino acids – knitting rewards

At this rate, I’ll be done the heel and the gussets by tomorrow morning… Unless my will to study dies out, which it might.

My bigger study break is the sweater. I tend to work on it before I go to bed, to wind down and enjoy some trashy television. I’ve made quite a bit of progress… I think I already have 7 inches done of 17.5! Doesn’t seem like much if you look at it that way, but to me it’s tons.

The big study break – the sweater

In other news, the 101 things list has a growing list of done items. Last night I also cooked meat for the first time… Chicken! It was so easy that I feel silly for thinking it was so hard. I’ve also successfully made Indian dahl (a spicy lentil dish) and I would have to say that this cooking thing really isn’t too hard. My only issue is ingredients… They cost way too much and cut into my yarn budget!

Now I’m back to my amino acids…

Just a nibble

Just a little taste, a nibble if you will, of things to come.

If you’ve been looking at my 101 Things page recently, you will have noticed that I’m now up to 33/101 things completed. Today saw the completion of two things – my G class driver’s licence, and cast on for a sweater.

I know that the knitters among you are far more interested in the sweater, but I should just mention (since someone will ask) that Ontario has the graduated licensing system, meaning that there are 3 different classes of licence. G is the highest, and that’s what I got today.

Oh, the knitting? You want to hear about that? I have no photos today, but I’m sure some will be coming along shortly. The sweater is cast on and I have one round finished. It looks so simple, sitting there on the needles… Until you notice the mismatched stitch markers that I made when I was twelve, and the dollar store row counter and needle tip covers. I informed my mother that she could get me some nice stitch markers from Etsy¬†for Christmas, but she went on a rant about how she had to make due with spare yarn as stitch markers. I think I’m going to have to start sending her photos. Then maybe she will understand.

So I cast on my 87 stitches and did the first row of k1p1 rib. I have to do that for 21 rows, which is nice and monotonous for watching television. The rows are pretty long though, so once it gets a little bigger it won’t be as portable.

Good thing I now have FOUR projects on the needles, so I always have something to take along with me. Something must be finished before I move back to school. I’m sure the scarf will be… It’s extremely addicting to knit. On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind having at least one of a pair of socks done before I get to school. Hmm…. I’m going to have to start making some choices.

Speaking of moving, the day is fast approaching. I’m taking a bunch of stuff down on September 1st, and then permanently moving in on September 4th. This is my last week of work (thank goodness) and I’ll be done on Friday.

It feels like I have a million things to do before school starts, but I can’t complain. I like to be busy. I’m picturing a couple of days before I move though, lounging at home with the sweater-in-progress. It’s supposed to be rainy too, which is perfect for making a cup of tea and knitting.

That sounds like the perfect thing to do after work.

Listopia

It’s Monday. It’s a list.

1. My job is so incredibly boring that I am practically dying as I sit here. I have exactly 9 shifts left (not including the one I’m doing right now) and the end of it can’t come fast enough. Even though that means no more paycheck.

2. I had yesterday off (thankfully) and I think I knit about 20 rows total. I did read half of a 500+ page book though.

3. I have 27/101 things done on the list. What is going on here.

4. My stats page looks like the Sahara Desert. No one wants to come and read about my slow knitting progress anymore, I suppose. Give it two weeks until I’m back at school and then I will be a lot more interesting.

5. It’s starting to feel like fall outside. This makes me insanely excited. I just want to drink tea and knit things.

6. I think I’m addicted to Twitter.

7. Even though it’s sunny outside at the moment, I still just want to lay on the couch.

8. Is it irresponsible to start dreaming about Christmas yet?

9. People who have kittens make me insanely jealous. I want one, but I know that it’s a bad idea. My house for school is pet friendly, but… My parents are dead against it as well. Hmm…

10. There really isn’t a #10. I just wanted to make a nicely rounded out list.

There you have it…. A disorganized and random list of my thoughts. I’ll be back when I can come up with something interesting to write about.

#54

Today’s post is about #54. On my list of 101 things, #54 reads: Knit a really scary pattern.

This is what I’m working on right now. I started the Hat Heel Socks on Saturday afternoon. It’s the strangest construction of a sock that you’ve ever seen… You knit a little hat for the heel, then two gussets (like ear flaps for the hat) then the foot, then the cuff. Go look. You’ll be shocked.

Anyway. I had to learn how to do the magic toe up cast on for these socks. I did it! I was so excited. I did the heel “hat” and the two gussets by Sunday night. I then proceeded to try it on, and…. It was too small. I was so upset. So, I ripped it out and started over, this time a size up.

These socks are going to be a gift for someone, so I want them to look perfect. I feel as if I will be ripping them out again. Regardless, I haven’t made much progress with this new size yet. You’ll see:

Some blurry progress of #54, knit a scary pattern.

It’s just a tiny little nub, so far.

The blurry Nub that is the Hat-Heel Socks.

My camera didn’t focus in for this picture very well, but you can see that the socks are just a nub so far. After more Olympic viewing this evening, they will be much larger!

That wasn’t all that happened this weekend. I’ll show you what happens when you have two days off and non-stop Olympics.

This is what my coffee table looks like after a weekend with two days off and non-stop Olympics.

It isn’t a pretty sight, but it means that knitting was accomplished. Even needle rolls have moved on from the planning stage… I now have fabric!

Those pink blobs that you see there? Those are what I have dubbed “The Fuzzballs”. Remember those tube socks I was going to make for my sister, out of that crazy soft yarn? Well, I’ve started. Just a little ribbed cuff at the top and then straight stockinette from there on out. They are quick and easy, if I can just get over the bits of fuzz that end up everywhere.

A closeup of the Fuzzballs.

These are going to be super quick, but I’m glad I decided to go for tube socks. I don’t think I would even be capable of seeing the stitches to pick up.

The Fuzzballs.

They’re also a little strange… The fuzz tends to come out more on the purl sides. So the ribbing is just a mess of fuzz, but then the inside is fuzzier than the outside when you get to the stockinette part. I guess this is a good thing… It means the warmer, fuzzier side is the inside.

I also spent a little quality time with the weaving in box. The products? Hat: finished. Sampler Texture Socks: Finished. My sister’s socks from the beginning of the year: not quite finished.

This is what happens when you spend some time with the weaving-in basket.

There they are! I just have a wee bit more to do with my sister’s socks… I think there’s literally 3 more ends to weave in and then the box will be empty! For the time being, anyway.

I also realized that I have yet to show you the hat, officially finished.

The hat!

Don’t you just love when I’ve had the day off? I come back with photos!

Gosh, that photo of the hat turned out really well. It’s a little small, so I’ve decided that it will be for my sister. She’s going to have a pile of knitting for Christmas this year!

PS. 101 things list: I’m up to 17/101, with many in progress!

One of Those Lists

I haven’t made list-post in a long time, so today I’m going to. My thoughts are far too disorganized to write something coherent, so here’s a list of what’s going on in my life.

1. Hat isn’t finished. I knitted one row last night, then got bored of the Olympics and made nachos. I’m not sure how boredom led to nachos, but it did. For the record, they were delicious.

2. I’ve been working on my 101 things list, and I’m now at 5/101. That tiny number feels laughable. Today is dedicated to 101 things. So far today I’ve sent a letter to someone in another country… Pakistan. A friend I found on the BookCrossing website.

3. I’m going to compete in one more horse show this year, at the very beginning of September. I’m super excited, so I hope that my horse isn’t a crazy psycho again!

4. You thought PMS was bad in women… Try dealing with a horse who has it. Let’s just say it’s exceptionally frustrating.

5. I’ve started writing yet another book. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I have absolutely no ability to maintain something. I think it’s because I have the attention span of a gnat.

6. Half-marathon soreness was gone after yesterday! I guess I must be in better shape than I thought…

7. Family vacation to Florida in 10 days. I can’t wait. I need a break from my job.

That’s all I can really handle at the moment. My thoughts are going every which way, so I need to corral them. I’ll update the bottom of this post as I complete items on the 101 things list!

Update: 11:22 am. Realized that I have already completed #99, window shop at a mall, in Windsor after the half marathon. 6/101!

Update: 12:o1 pm. #43, wrote a letter to myself. To be opened on February 27, 2013, my 20th birthday. 7/101!

Update: 12:25 pm. #90, create an ongoing list of things I want/need for the barn. This wasn’t too tough, and was surprisingly short. I’ll update the list regularly. 8/101

Update: 12:50 pm. #46, re-write my resume. Done, but it will need to be critiqued by someone prior to using it. Looking at you, older brother!

Update: 1:25 pm. #26, write an article about fear. Done. The article is bare bones, stream of consciousness, and in major need of editing and refining. I’m going to add another number on the list for this, then I’ll maybe work on sending it into somewhere to be published.