Thursday, February 26, 2009

Valkyrie Furies




The Valhalla Sweater is coming along nicely...but I am trying to be overly suspicious...when I say it is going well I invariably add "Perhaps a little too well.." and look left and right shiftily. I worry that if I get to excited about it, it will turn out to be completely unwearable, or perhaps even spontaneously combust. Either way it would leave me sobbing hysterically, drinking a 6 pack of beer, and smoking a pack of cigarettes. Since I neither drink nor smoke (being reformed from both) you can imagine this might be a bit of a disaster... I call it the Valkyrie Sweater, really only because the design is the Valhalla Sweater and it was the first thing that popped into my head (Probably because I wasted 104 minutes of my life on Max Payne.) Not very clever I know, but anythings better than the Kilosweater! So far I love the sweater, I love knitting it, and I can't wait to wear it. I have finished all the rectanlges for the yoke and today am going to do the end triangles. Tomorrow I have the day off so I am going to spend the whole day knitting and eating things that aren't good for me!
I went for lunch with two of my aunts today. It was a lot of fun and involved a rather large amount of french fries. After lunch we went to Twist of Fate and spent some time perusig the shelves. My plan to convert the world to spinning and knitting is coming along nicely and I now have 2 new recruits (plus Kat on Saturday). Eventually I will start my own cult and become fabulously rich. (Not really sure how, but I think it involves tithing...)

One of my aunts gave me a super cool knitting bag, it's a soft tool box that she embellished with skulls and tattooey thingies. It has lots of little pockets and a case for tools! It's going to be perfect for travelling. My husband and I are going on a driving trip across Canada this summer and it's going to be awesome for that!!

Saturday is the Karaoke Bar Wars Finals! I am a little unsure of what to sing, I have to pick 2 songs. I know I am going to sing What's Up by 4 Non Blondes for sure, but my other song I keep changing my mind on. I am strongly leaning towards Jeremy by Pearl Jam...I will be singing against 20 other singers. I think I am going to ham it up, and do lots of rock and roll kicks and sky grabs! And while waiting for my turn to sing, I will be knitting!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tentative Love


I think I love the sweater I am knitting. But I am loathe to admit it fully. I worry that I will love it and it will burn me in the end, just like the fabled kilosweater...I stop every once and a while and just look at it. People that see this just assume I am looking it over and making sure everything is in order, but to be honest I am rather lustfully gazing at it and imagining myself wearing it in a beautiful spring meadow. I imagine that I will look svelte and slim in it. I imagine I will look elegant. I think about how I can't wait for us to be together. Than I remember the Kilosweater...and I start thinking about how it can't really be what it's pretending to be. That it is just being pretty and everything I want to trick me. I think that when I get further along in our knitting relationship I will find that it was all a huge lie and it doesn't love me the way I love it.
But what if it does love me? Then I am doing it wrong by not giving it the benefit of the doubt. So I stroke it and whisper gently "I think I could love you, but it's too soon...too soon..."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Swatches Lie Like a Mofo

So I had got to the point where I was almost finished my lovely Kilosweater. The one I have been knitting forever. I modified it to have 1/2 sleeves, partially as a survival technique, because if I had to knit on it much longer I would probably stab myself in the eye with a knitting needle, and partially because I don't like long sleeves very much... I had one sleeve finished but needed some more fibre to finish it (and bring it up to the fabled kilogram weight). I started sewing it together and once I got one side done I tried it on...it's absolutely HUNORMOUS!!! I swatched, got gauge, followed the pattern for a L/1x-now I am by know means a small person, particularly in the chestly area. I'm 5"10 and a big lady. This thing is WAY to big for me.
OK, let's come up with a hypothetical situation involving me wearing this. Say I get knocked up and have need of a lovely comfortable merino/silk sweater made of $100 worth of hand spun yarn (that's $100 for the fibre, not the yarn) and I suddenly remember the monstrosity I built that I threw in the back of the closet in a fit of rage. I dig it out and try it on in my whale-like 9th month...I then throw it back into the closet, because unless I am the insane octuplet lady the damn thing is NEVER going to fit.
Ironically enough, I have a friend who constantly and jokingly asks me "So when is my sweater going to be finished." and I always saucily answer "Never." I phoned her last night and told her that I knit her a lovely green sweater...since she has seen me knitting at all stages of the sweater she thought that was pretty funny, and she is pretty happy to be getting a beautiful hand knit, hand spun, merino silk sweater in her size.
I was pretty upset, until I sat back and thought about it today and realize that I spun and knit a 4x sweater in 18 days. That's pretty freakin' awesome. Especially since it is not as if I had been doing this sweater and nothing else, at the same time as knitting this I have been working full time.
The bad thing about this is that I constantly joke to my husband that I will never knit him a sweater because he is too big-he's a large fella with a 52" chest. I think my exact words were "I would knit you a sweater, but I don't love you enough." Now I have knit a sweater that is to big or him and I no longer have any excuses. I have to listen to "Oh sure you knit soandso a sweater but not me?"
SO now I am onto my second sweater, a lovely teal creation with an entrelac yoke and hem (look it up on ravelry it's call the Valhalla Sweater.) I was about to swatch, and I stopped and looked at the Kilosweater that was draped obscenely over the arm of the couch (I think it was taunting my in all it's ginormity)... I said "F*!k it!" Cast on , and started knitting the sweater sans swatchin'.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Good Saturday

Today I am going to be finishing up the second front piece for my Kilosweater. I spun another 200 grams so I can knit non-stop for a while without having to stop to make more yarn. I know I will have to spin another hundred, but would rather get some of this blasted knitting done!
I am working at the Yarn Store today and yesterday. Yesterday I spent the whole day watching movies, knitting and spinning. Today I will spend the whole day watching a movie, knitting, and teaching a friend how to knit. I am pretty excited. She is a lefty like me and hasn't been able to learn from her Mom who is a righty, so I am going to teach her continental. I had so much fun last night going through my stash, finding yarn for her. I wanted to find a colour that she would like that will be the right weight for knitting needles I am willing to give up so I can give them to her and convert over to the dark side of the Force! MUWAHAHAHA! I have most of a full ball of Red Tekapo and a skein and a half of wine coloured Mirasol Sulka, which is amazing peruvian yarn that is 60% Merino, 20% Alpaca and 20% Silk. It's almost a test to see which one she picks. the Tekapo is nice enough, and is a bright colour, but the Sulka makes me want to unravel it and roll in it. Maybe build a nest with it...
Tonight is the Semi-Finals for the Karaoke Bar Wars. I qualified in the first week, so I have been waiting 6 weeks for the Semi's, The top 3 contestants get a place in the Finals. First place in the finals is $1000 and 4 hours studio time at a loca recording studio. I want the recording time more than I want the money. But right now I am going to for small goals, my goal today is to qualify. I think I can do it, as long as I don't flub anything. I am really hoping my friend Adam qualifies too, he is a really good singer, and I think he deserves it. It would be really great if we both made it!
Today I am going to watch a movie called "My Name is Bruce" it's a Bruce Campbell movie and he is one of my favourite actors. He is most famous for his character Ash in the Evil Dead movies where he plays a saucy department store clerk that saves the world from zombies. In this movie he plays himself in a small town that has a zombie problem and everyone expects him to save the day because he is Ash, but he say "No! May name is Bruce! Those are just movies!!" Should be pretty horrible (in a totally awesome way).
Off to knit, I have a totally unrealistic goal of finishing my sweater this weekend...only 2 sleeves to go!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Neverending Story


Atreyu!!!
That's how I feel right now with my current project...it...never...ends...
Yes my first sweater, and I decided on a simple pattern, not really noting how much yarn it took and the connotations to said yarn amounts. I know, crazy. Crazy to start a sweater without paying attention to yarn amounts. What can I say, I am spinning the yarn myself, so the sheer volume of yarn needed didn't really catch my eye. You could say that I totally freakin' ignored it. Although I have named the project now...it's the Kilosweater. Because when I am done it's going to weigh at least kilogram. By the time I am finished spring will have sprung and I will have no use for the -40 winterweight sweater for several months.
The first part of the sweater went like a breeze! The piece for the back which is hunormous (I just made that word up 'cause I am a genius) had six million miles of stocking stitch. When I finished it, the sweater was over a third done and it had only taken 3 days... The 2 front pieces are hideous vortexes of mind-numbing knitting. Millions of miles of yarn have passed under my fingers, all for a sweater I merely like. I don't love this sweater. I never have. It's not like I started out in love and after all the work I had to put it into it I said "meh" (although that does sound like a past relationship or two I have had). I knit it because it was easy, and I didn't HATE it. I have several sweaters that I want to knit next, but I didn't think I should jump in and knit complicated sweaters immediately. This was a huge step for me. Usually I dive in headfirst and then realize I don't know how to swim very well. For once I was good, for once I followed logic, for once I tried to walk before I could run. How has that worked for me? Imagine me sobbing, drinking gallons of Dr. Pepper, desperately trying to find shows or movies to watch while I knit miles upon miles of stocking stitch for a sweater I like. Just writing about it is making me...ancy...
I have been knitting swatches to take the edge off. SWATCHES! EGAD I MUST BE LOSING MY MIND!! I have been knitting entrelac swatches and I find them exciting and thrilling and beautiful. All it takes to break up the hideous monontony of stocking stitch is to do multidirection stocking stitch...
Excuse me, I have to go knit some more now...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Art, more than foofty woofty

This is an article I wrote for the local paper about how supporting the arts improves the economy

With the current downturn of the economy more Canadian are becoming purchase conscious. Wallet snaps and zippers are closing, belts are tightening and budgeting is becoming the latest couture. More people are making an effort to buy locally in order to foster positive change in our local economy and there is a spreading realization that sending our money to other countries does not help Canada. Through difficult times there is a part of the local economy that is often overlooked or deemed as frivolous and that is the arts and culture sector. Indeed, our own federal government recently made cuts to arts and culture funding. What people don’t realize is that spending money on local arts has an immediate and significant impact on the local and federal economy.
Kamloops is alive with art. The arts community in Kamloops includes virtually every style of art and artist imaginable. A Kamloopsian can furnish their home with locally made furniture and objet’s d’art, wear locally made clothing and accessories, read locally written books and poetry, and fulfill their other entertainment needs with local music, theatre and dance. Every year Kamloops art is coming closer and closer to the forefront of our community. Buying local art does not just improve our community spiritually it also improves it economically. Buying mass-produced or import art sends a huge percentage of your money out of our country. When you go to a big box store or a large-scale importer, a tiny portion of your money spent goes to local wages, rent etc. The mass of it flies out of the country never to be seen again. Buying local handmade goods keeps the majority of your money not only in Canada, but also in the Kamloops area.
The impact of fostering local arts can be seen in any well-known arts-tourist destination in Canada. Cities and towns that promote and nurture arts are strong economically. They are socially and economically healthy, and pleasant places to be. Arts rich communities not only keep more of their own money in the local economy, they bring in more money from other places. Artistic communities are places were people enjoy being and people visit such places with the expectation of spending money.
Buying locally can be daunting for some, there is the belief that local handmade goods are significantly more expensive. Sometimes this is the case, although the price almost always reflects the quality. There are many instances where buying local art is comparable or cheaper then buying from a large retailer. It is not difficult to find paintings, drawings, and prints that are similar or less in price then mass-produced home d├ęcor “art” from department stores or furniture retailers. Next time you redecorate your living room, consider purchasing a local painting-you will be supporting the local economy and be making an investment. Mass-produced “art” only decreases in value over time; unique art can increase and become a family heirloom. Another easy way to support local art is through gift giving. It is not difficult to find a reasonably priced piece of jewellery or scarf, and you are giving something truly unique. The next time you have a night off, consider going to a local theatre production or music performance, it won’t cost you much more than going to the movie theatre, and will almost certainly be worthwhile entertainment.
Buying locally is a proactive approach that has almost immediate positive impacts on the local economy. When you purchase a local piece of art your money not only stays in our country it stays in our community. This has a huge positive impact on our community. The Kamloops Arts Council and countless other local art supporting groups and societies help to improve not only the cultural well-being of our community, but also the economic climate. Take the time to check out local galleries, shops, and shows. You will enrich not only your life, but the lives of everyone in our community.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Precious...

Holy mother I have been frightfully neglecting my blog!! I have been too busy actually knitting and spinning to write about it! I have also been going to karaoke 3-4 nights a week...I don't care if that makes me sound like a loser, I am just preparing for when I become famous and do a world tour-I won't get burnt out because I will have had my multiple karaoke night warm up!
I've got a horrible case of startitis right now! I have started multiple projects but can't seem to finish any! Some of them I drop because I realize they aren't working (I am a process knitter so actual patterns are rare for me...that means I get halfway projects and realize they are way to big/small/ugly) other times I get distracted by new shiny things. So I am putting myself on house arrest and not starting anything else until I get everything finished...OK everything that isn't going to turn into crap-everything that is going to turn into crap I HAVE to frog.
It's all for the reward knitting...I really want to knit a fabulous project but I am not allowed to until I finish what I have started...one way that will make this work is that I don't have the pattern for it...it can't be bought online. My friend has it and has strict instructions not to give it to me. Not even if I show up in the middle of the night dishevelled and weeping staring at her from sunken eye sockets..."...please...I just want to knit a swatch...that's all I want...just a little bit so I can get gauge...I am not going to start it...I am going to knit a swatch and then stop...sob...just a little biiitt..." There's a picture of it here. I am going to do it in red...
So right now I am knitting like a crazy mofo-because all I want to do is knit the cropped hoodie...I have the yarn and needles sitting together just waiting to be knit...I keep pulling them out to look at them and talk to them...
So gotta go and knit...not time for blog...must finish knitting so I can knit something else!