Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Oh. look! A blog entry! It has been a while, hasn't it? And my little blog is supposed to be a nice place for me to babble at my leisure. And I haven't been babbling much. Bummer, man...

Things have been up and down. We're going to gloss over the downs and focus on the ups, because it does make life seem a bit sweeter that way!

One nice little up - I broke down and bought myself a new portable computing device. Now, I know that I should have invested in a laptop, but so many of the ones I've found out there are way more computer than I need. I just want a little bit of power, not a huge honking chunk of it. (Well, no... world domination wouldn't be bad, so long as I had good underlings...). Enter the Acer Aspire One. This thing is so darned cute! The keyboard is wee, but it's not really that much more wee than the ancient laptop I had been using. So, not a problem. The screen is wee. Ancient laptop. Need I say more? And really it has a decent amount of memory and disk space. And I found out that, yes, I could connect to the internet via the Ohio University wireless network in my office. That doesn't suck. Not one bit. And, did I mention it's cute? I did try to mitigate the cuteness factor slightly by going with the metallic brown (they say it's copper, but...). Anyhoo, I'm typing this entry on the wee net book whilst relaxing in bed. Can it get much better than that?

Knitting. Oh my friend, my enemy. Somethings have gone really well with knitting, and somethings have gone poorly. And somethings which have gone poorly have in fact gone well. The socks I was knitting for my niece Ashley are now the socks I'm finishing for me. The foot seemed a bit long when I was working it, but I just kept going. Now that the heel had been done (and I made a mistake there by accidentally doing the heel flap in stockinette), I have found that the foot is in fact too long for a women's size 7 foot. But, it's just about perfect for a women's size 9. That would be my foot. Things I find that I"m not liking in the pattern: you're supposed to do slip 1 knit 1 on the heel flap, and continue the resultant ribbing-like pattern up the foot. But... there's an even number of stitches. So, there'd be a "purl" on one side of the flap and a "knit" on the other (corresponding to the knit and the slip, respectively). This does not appeal to me. Also after 5 rows, you're supposed to start ribbing on the instep stitches. Also an even number. So, I'm going to do a second pair for Ashley and keep these for myself. On Ashley's socks, I'm going to put an odd number of stitches where the flap and instep are (between cable patterns). And then I won't have these problems. I'm knitting most of the ankle on my socks in stockinette, and I'll figure out how to do groovy ribbing when I get there. I'm supposed to add a stitch in the cabe pattern portions; I think I'll just subtract one from the instep and "sole" stitches...

I haven't finished Dad's argyles. I think the fack that I have to start out with 4 frelling inches of ribbing is somewhat off-putting. But, I intend to get over that very soon...

So, what have I been doing? Playing. I knit another pair of camo mitts to replace the ones I left behind in a Subway restroom somewhere in Maryland. I knit a pair of mitts out of a really groovy yarn that had a navy chenille strand and a variegated eyelash strand for my friend Karen. They are lovely, fluffy, and toasty. I started a baby blanket for one of my office mates, because I could.

And... I started a net book bag! I'm kind of winging it on that one, since I couldn't find a pattern that mostly fit the dimensions I wanted (this sucker is 9 inches across its largest dimension!). A lot of patterns for knitted bags that I have are worked in stockinette, but since I prefer knitting to purling, I decided that garter would be just fine. And. I bought the knitting edition of Piecework. (Finally!!), so I have printed instructions for Portuguese knitting. Which is kind of funky and fun. I tried a couple of times, and it was okay, but not great. However, for some silly reason, reading the article and looking at the minimal pictures included (really... no cast on, just how to knit and purl), suddenly things clicked and made sense. And I even managed to do a knitted cast on! Anyhoo, by knitting this bag entirely in the Portuguese method, I hope to learn it. I'm having problems with keeping my right had relaxed. It's so used to doing so much of the work (I knit English style, just in case you were wondering). My right forefinger keeps wanting to crook to get ready to throw the yarn, which is the role of the left thumb in Portuguese knitting. And once that happens, I develop a death-grip on the yarn which really messes up the tension. But, I'm persevering! I'm going to do this whole bag via Portuguese knitting. So there. Nya!

I've also started working on other things I shouldn't be working on - mitts for a friend of Karen's (who saw Karen's mitts and thought they were awesome... and who has problems with circulation in her extremities, so these might help...). And I'm working on the socks that correspond to what my "students" are (or will be) knitting. Sort of. Corinne showed me a different heel turn which is very boxy but simple. And I think I'm going to suggest the the students use that turn rather than the tapered one I always use. Will I also do that heel turn? Only time will tell. I'm still pretty far from the heel flap right now.

I've also been smittien with the fountain pen bug again. I found a seller on eBay that has some dirt-cheap, made-in-China pens. And they're actually not bad at all. Bought two pens for the whopping sum of $2.49. They're nice and weighty, though the nibs could be a little smoother. Still, pretty decent writing implements. Also, from same seller, 50 cartridges of brown ink that will fit any of the fountain pens I own. Decent, though not permanent, ink. I'm digging it. I'm still waiting on a glass pen I ordered to arrive. Had to try it. Couldn't resist. And found a pen that came with two bottles of ink for a reasonable price. Also bought scented ink sampler. Hopefully, the synthetic scent won't mess with me. If so, then I already know who would like them!

There's still more stuff to write about, but I'm finding that I'm starting to get drowsy. The old eyelids are trying to close. And yawning has commenced.

But, I had so much fun writing this in bed, that you can be sure there'll be another blog entry soon!!!