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Dragon
Ranting, insanity, and just plain nonsense
So, no pictures this time- my camera's battery charger has taken a sabbatical to unknown locales, and my phone's camera refuses to produce halfway decent pictures today. Oh well.

Anyway.

After taking a forced week off of all knitting pursuits last week thanks to a cut on my index finger RIGHT where the left needle impacts with every stitch, I got back in the groove this week.

And finished my Vines shawl! Except I totally didn't, which you should know because it's being mentioned in a WIP post. But I SHOULD have and WOULD have finished, if I hadn't run out of yarn with 20 some odd stitches left to bind off. Even though I had been obsessively weighing my yarn, calculating exactly how much I was using each row, and calculating that even with increased usage due to the two stitch increase every row, I should finish with at least two grams to spare, even if I chose to do a 9th main pattern repeat! But apparently not. And no way no how am I ripping back 34 rows of this damned shawl to remove the offending repeat. So more yarn is on it's way, so I can use one or two yards of the 110 yard ball to finish this bane of my existence. >.<

Limeade Lucy is.... being punished in the corner of my desk drawer. After nearly completing a full pattern repeat, something... Wasn't quite right. Something wasn't lining up the way it ought. Something about the last 3 or 4 rows just didn't look like any of the sample pictures. And not just in an "Oh, I knit at a different tension and the yarn is different" way, but in a "wtf something is hugely wrong with this" way. And I cannot for the life of me figure out what went wrong, even with ripping back a couple rows. So it's in project purgatory until I can face the prospect of ripping back several MORE rows and doing the math and generally fussing with it all without seeing red with frustration.

But wait, there really is good news in this post, I promise!

Surfside Summer is going along beautifully. :) I'm almost done with the first of 2.25 loooong 32 row pattern repeats of the main shawl body. And that was achieved in 2.5 days, only one of which was a work day (which is when I do my most focused knitting). And I've got 4 more shifts to go this week, so I wouldn't be too surprised if this is the last time this shawl is mentioned on a Wednesday.

Unless I get some serious ADD again and start another project. >.<

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I've made decent progress on my Vines Shawl. I'm now halfway through the 8th repeat. At this point, I think I'm just going to keep going until I run out of yarn... I love this shawl more and more every day. I can't wait to snuggle up in it...

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I've also done a little more of my Surfside Shawl hen I want a break from actually thinking about my knitting. I've done the first tiny lace pattern section, and I'm mostly done with the last stockinette section. After I finish that, I'll probably put this aside until the Vines shawl is done... It will no longer be mindless knitting once I get to the complex lace main body.
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I've got a bad case of knitting ADD right now, so I've started another project (which will be my mindless tv/computer knitting once Surfside gets complicated). I'm making a bright and cheery hat for my bright and cheery friend Aria, who's in love with both hats and  neon green. The pattern is Lucy in the Sky, and I'm using Knit Pick's Palette again in Limeade Heather colorway. (I promise, it's just a coincidence that all three of these projects use Knit Picks yarn.. They have so many lovely options, though! I DO have other brands in my stash, seriously, I swear..). Anyway, my Limeade Lucy is just getting started- I've got the ribbed brim done, I've increased, and started the first couple of lace pattern rows. I'm enjoying the practice with circular knitting and Magic Loop. Definitely getting into the swing of it!
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So, thanks to camera issues, FO Friday didn't happen. But I'll get it sorted for this Friday. :)

Anyway, I've made good progress on my Vines shawl. I'm past 5 repeats now, and I'm into the 3rd ball of yarn. Still got a ways to go, especially as each row takes just a little longer as the stitch count increases.
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I also got twitchy and wanted to knit at a time when I couldn't pay attention to the more complicated pattern for the above shawl, so I started on the next project, as it starts out with several stockinette sections and required little brain power. So I guess I have two projects going now. :) This one is "Summerside Shawl" in Knit Picks Palette, Cyan colorway. Interestingly enough, by the same designer as the Vines shawl. So Behold! The ragged beginnings of Surfside Shawl:
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I'm enjoying the palette a lot more than I expected. It's rough on the hands, but it's knitting up into something surprisingly soft, for an inexpensive not-something-fancy-like-merino 100%  wool. I'm definitely looking forward to working more with it in the future.

I also realized (unfortunately, AFTER adding the second ball to my vines shawl) that, for the first time, I'm working with non-superwash properly feltable fibers (alpaca in the first case, wool in the second). So why not experiment with felted joins and forgo all the awkward end-weaving? Except then I got slightly carried away, and felted ALL the yarn together! And then caked it. So now I have GINORMOUS multi-ball cakes of both my Andean Treasure and Palette for these projects. :) 

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So shadowwolf13 as been quietly but persistently poking at me about chronicling my knitting adventures in the form of Work In Progress Wednesdays and Finished Object Fridays. So, Shadow, I give in... :) Even if I don't really have an audience for this right now. The pictures in the future should be better quality- I just didn't have the time to set everything up properly before I had to run to work. So my poor Digital Rebel DSLR is getting abused by taking quick snapshots in crappy lighting

I finished the knitting part of my Trousseau shawl, but it's still not technically finished. Yay blocking! I can't wait to unpin it and model it for Friday.
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I've also been working on this. I am utterly head over heals in love with this pattern, AND this yarn. My first alpaca yarn (Andean Treasure from Knit Picks), and it's like knitting with clouds made out of kittens. A little bit splitty, which is occasionally a pain with this particular lace pattern, but nothing that's a true problem. Except that I'm not knitting nearly as quickly as I could be because I keep stopping and just petting what I've finished so far.. I'm 3 pattern repeats in, and intend to do somewhere in the 8-10 repeat range, depending on how far the yarn I have takes me and how big it seems to be getting. It's starting to get a bit slow going, as I'm adding two stitches every row. Eventually it's going to be huuuuuuuge...

Apologies for the quick and dirty pin job- I was rushing to get out the door to work in 5 minutes, so I didn't have the time to do it carefully. But it still shows off my progress and the gorgeous vine pattern.
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And hey, look at that... I've managed to squeak this in under the wire while it is, in fact, still Wednesday, at least here in Central Standard Time. :)

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In several hours, after my biology lab, I will be going down to the elementary school by my parent's house to vote. As a 20 year old, this is the first presidential election I will have the opportunity to vote for. It will also be the second time I have ever voted, as illness prevented me from doing so when I was 18.

And honestly? I have NO idea what I'm going to be doing when I get down there and stand at my place infront of the voting machine.

Yes, my friends, I am an undecided voter, and it's coming down to the wire.

I have little doubt that, knowing me, or just noting my age, most of you would assume I am an Obama supporter. Others may assume that I would support McCain, seeing as my parents are well off and TEND to lean slightly towards the republican (they're fairly moderate in most elections, but have a history of voting republican in presidential elections).

Now, my undecided status is not born of apathy, ignorance, lack of comprehension of the issues, or even indecisiveness.

I have done my part, researched the issues and platforms, listened to the speeches...And come to the conclusion that I hate BOTH options. And I won't vote for the unknown libertarian who has no chance in hell whether I vote for him or not.

Both Obama and McCain hold values and positions that go against my own core values and intrinsic beliefs. Voting for either of them would make me feel as though I were untrue to myself.

As a whole my political beliefs are very moderate. While my most VOCAL opinions would lead people to believe me a democrat (I strongly support gay rights, abortion, dislike war, and other similar values), my economic values are significantly more republican, and I dislike the democratic ideal of a highly involved federal government.

Now, what it boils down to:

Obama honestly bothers me with all this vague "Hope!" and "Change!" stuff. He keeps going on about redistributing wealth and other similar things, but I have yet to see any plan for such acheivements that actually seems feasible. He is very vocal about very general, and quite frankly inspiring, ideals- but I don't see as much substance behind it as some people seem to. Granted, for all I know, he may pull through and do the things he talks about, but I'm not sure. Additionally, despite being a democratic candidate and babbling about chance, diversity, and acceptance.. He is STILL against gay marriage. WTF?
However, all of that would not be enough to make me truly dislike him. No, the thing that clinched it for me, that took my vote away, was one of the few things he actually DID put forth a plan for, early on in all this campaign nonsense.
His education plan. Now, on the surface, there's not MUCH wrong with it. Restructuring budgeting to pump more money into education, and revamp the "No Child Left Behind" nonsense! How wonderful! Well, except for the fact that pumping money into things doesn't always work, but hey, it could. My PROBLEM with it came when I looked closely at what sort of budget changes he proposed. He wanted to cut funding from the constellation program. For those of you who don't know, my father is on the Lockheed Martin team that has been contracted by NASA to design and build the Orion Crew Transport Vehicle that is the first step of the program. It will replace the shuttle. And the shuttles are being decomissioned in 2010,  whether or not there is a replacement. They just aren't safe anymore. Now, though it would suck to have my dad stop working on the project because it gets delayed due to funding issues, he wouldn't lose his job or anything. But his involvement with the space program for most of my life has left me deeply in awe of the wonderful wide universe out there and all the amazing things that could be learned from it. Continued space exploration is something I value VERY DEEPLY. I cannot countenance cutting funding from a program designed to educate the world and humanity as a whole, to transfer it to another area that's kind of screwed ANYWAY.

Now, Obama has more recently retracted some of those plans, amidst criticism and public outcry, but he still thought it was a good idea. I cannot allow a man that thinks that way to be MY president. I cannot bring myself to vote for him. Honestly, I'd probably lean towards him otherwise. I'd not be a rabid supporter, but he'd still be better than McCain. Except...>.<

On to McCain. There's a lot less to say on this one- He's Bush Lite. Most of his social and moral values go against my own. Gay marriage. Abortion. War. Etc. While he MIGHT be closer to my values regarding economics and such, he's still in violation of other core values.. I cannot allow myself to vote for him.

Plus, the man is old as sin, has skin cancer and might drop dead in office. And Palin's a *#@%ing idiot.

So what the hell do I do?

Two days ago, I had resolved to not even bother with voting at all. I knew very little about any of the other elections besides the presidential, so I would be incapable of making an informed choice.

Then I found out about the District 6 State Board of Education Trustee candidates from my parents. Now, neither of them exactly shine out... But one, Terri Leo (R), is a batshit crazy creationist, and is on the board that decides what textbooks are used. Being a scientist, and the CHILD of scientists, I must do my part to prevent this woman from being elected. Even if it means voting FOR the completely nondescript libertarian candidate that is running against her, Mary Ann Bryan. I plead with all you out there who have NOT yet voted to take this bit of information with you to the voter's booth, and do the right thing. For science. I will not quibble with families that choose to teach their own children creationism, no matter how fervently I disagree with the viewpoint, but PLEASE keep it out of science, textbooks and public schools. It's only place is in church or private living room discussions.

But seriously....The way it's looking, that's the ONLY race I'll be voting in. How wrong is that? It's a presidential election year, and the only race I actually feel passionately about is... State Board of Education Trustee?

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Oh Emma, Emma, Emma.......

I know we drifted apart and went in different directions in our teens. But NO amount of drifting can completely rip apart all those years of friendship, laughs, and games. We spent so much time at each other's houses that it was sometimes hard to tell which house belong to whom. We had each other through all the wonderful parts of growing up, all the awkward parts, and the inevitable social issues that people like us are beset with when the teens hit.

I STILL have dreams about the fantastic worlds we let our imaginations create...

Damn. I KNEW you were sick, but only vaguely. I kept thinking "I should find out more, and go visit her. It's been too long since we've seen each other, and I miss her." but somehow I just never found the time. I know I'll always regret not going. How could I have been so lazy and selfish? I was afraid that things would be awkward after all this time, or that you'd be disappointed in the person I'd become, with my issues with school and crazy hair and tattoos... So there was always something ELSE I ended up doing. I should have made the effort, though. I think we had finally reached a point where our thoughts and interests might have drifted BACK together, but now we'll never know.

I guess I never thought that someone like you could be taken away, after all the battles you'd fought and won over the years.

Oh, Emma.... You sweet, beautiful, angel.
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Damn. I mean...God DAMN.

The opening ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics. Seriously. So, SO beautiful.....

I can't imagine how ANY other country will top this in years to come..
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Posting because I replied to bindusara:

1. Add a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It’s actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I’ll assume you’re playing the game and I’ll come to your blog and leave one about you.
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*contented sigh*

The world is full of sunshine, kittens, puppies, and happiness, all living in perfect harmony!!

Current Mood: ecstatic ecstacied ;)

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Happy MLK day!

And yes, those is my kitties.

Nightingale and Ivory. Betchya can't guess which one is which. :P
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