Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dementor Weather

So here we are at the close of the year, and I am finding it challenging to look back on 2008 with a friendly eye. But then with the weather we are having right now, it is tough to be upbeat about anything. It is clammy and grey, the roads are slick from an old rain that won't evaporate properly as any respectable rain should have by now. I can't even conjure a decent patronus, which is real trouble in dementor weather.

Fortunately, I can still perform the odd transfiguration,

(no, this is not the cat who chewed holes in my hat. Nor is it the cat who clawed my Coronet hat to pieces or who knocked a small but agonizing hole in Irtfa'a. Because we all know transfiguration should never be used as a punishment. This cat is, in fact, the only cat not under suspicion for the above crimes, as she was always in the bedroom when the atrocities were perpetrated. She also frequently volunteers for transfiguration practice, and particularly enjoys being turned into a pillow or a doorstop.) The old swish and flick is still working, too,

so I suppose all is not lost. I even made a hat in a day when I was in New Orleans for Christmas (the high point of my whole holiday season experience). It was a really enjoyable pattern to knit, and I needed a new hat (ahem) so I present Rose Red by Ysolda Teague, in STR Heavyweight "Pallas Athena".

I love those Raven Clan colors, I really do. But hold on a minute, you say. This is a beret! What's up with that?

You know, I never would have thought myself a beret person, but this is no ordinary beret. This is my power beret. It looks too cool on me, and that's just wrong in my world. And yet, there it is. No denying it, with the right beret, I am awesome. Still, even with a beret awesomeness power-up...
crap for Patronus.

What's a witch to do? I feel the dementors there, closing in. When I set out to make a list of things I'd like to knit in the new year, it ends up being titled "Stuff I will fail to complete yet again in 2009" When I look back, my list is titled "Crap the cats destroyed in 2008" Because that's a longer list than "Items completed in 2008". I would not be surprised to find a summation of my knitting year as an entry on Fail Blog. And I have crap for a Patronus. W00t.

And worse, I have rants in my pants. I really want to go off on designers with whom I have issues and with unknitterly behavior I have seen recently displayed, but it hardly seems worth the rant. And none of my friends are to be allowed to go out of town again, unless I am out of town too, because I miss them. I know they're on their way back, but they need to drive faster. So there. I will rant on a sunnier day, when dark creatures are not sucking away my will to rant, when I can strike while the irony is still hot.

Until then, I will leave you with my 2009 list of stuff I will fail to complete.

February Lady sweater
Isobel of Mar
Come Together
Magic Carpet Ride
Some socks.
Kauni Sweater (pattern TBA)
Some more socks

I think that's a good start. I will undoubtedly get derailed by at least 5 or 6 new projects, and that's being optimistic. I could really shoot myself in the foot and say I'll do Christmas knitting as well, but that would be thoroughly ridiculous and completely unbelievable, so I won't.

Now, I realize I may seem a little down right now, but there are many things I did set out to accomplish over the past year that really worked out well. The job change has done wonders for my life, and the surprising discovery of change ringing added a new dimension of enjoyment to my extracurricular life. So all is not lost by any stretch of the imagination. The only thing that is lost is a pair of estonian mittens. And if I find out those got eaten too, well lets just say don't be surprised if you find me with a few less cats and a bit more in the glassware department and with a revised opinion of the use of transfiguration as a punishment tool. Verre verto, you furry motherfuckers.

I'm just sayin' is all.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Am Speechless

My Fair Isle Sampler Hat was discovered today to have been destroyed. I don't even begin to know how to deal with this, except to place an order with Schoolhouse press for more yarn to knit a new one. Right now, I can't breathe.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory of Everything

Hewlett Packard hates me. I know it. They probably have a dedicated department of developmental technology with specific focus on computers for my house that will self destruct in every possible manner at the worst possible time. Motherboard, we hardly knew ye.

So, after 3 HP purchases all ending in tears, I am posting from a Gateway. Do you have any idea how tired I am of setting up computers and transferring data? By now, I'm good at it, at least. And I have acquired new skillsets, like replacing power sources and putting hard drives in external hard cases. I mean, I know what Serial ATA is now. This should not be happening to me, but my tech friends are probably meeting even now, making yet more plans to widen my knowledge base so I'll have to call them less every time my computer glitches out, which, of course, probably won't happen now that I have finally wised up and not bought another HP.

ANYWAY, on to knitting, right? Uh, no, not really. I mean I have been knitting, it's just that I'm doing something else now as well, something new, and something somewhat related to knitting, at least in about 5 different ways I can think of right now. You see, apparently a few other of my friends decided I didn't have enough hobbies, and introduced me to change ringing. Now any of you who have been following the Tsarina's blog will be familiar with the activity, but for those of you who would like to see some (and undoubtedly mock me) I am sharing the following video of me (and the Happy Goth's husband, who is my primary teacher).

So, you say, didn't I say just a minute ago that I thought this was somehow related to knitting? Why, yes, I did. Because ringing and knitting are both math based, and can have a mathematical relationship to each other. Check out these socks for instance:
which is available from Holiday Yarns here. There is also this scarf (Ravelry link) which I haven't knit, but I will one day, for certain.

One of the other things knitting and change ringing have in common is that you can spend your entire life doing each of them and never learn all there is to know. I love this. I love learning, and the pursuits that have stayed with me all have this quality. I tire easily of anything once there are no more challenges, and although I have learned about lots of subjects that initially appealed to me, there are few I stick with. Don't get me wrong, it isn't that I master them all, but too often I learn enough to know that I have hit the ultimate depth of knowledge of something and mastery is only a matter of repetition from then onwards. Can you say boring?

Speaking of boring, I always thought knitting scarves would be boring, so I always avoided it. If for no other reason than that the universe usually conspires to prove me wrong, I present the scarf I'm currently working on. I can't stop knitting this.

Three guesses as to why...

Two colors of Silk Garden, 244 and 267

One scarf to rule them all.

The color changes keep me obsessed. Three days before Thanksgiving my Dad had successful carotid artery surgery. I thought he might appreciate some warmth for his neck. Scar tissue can hurt like hell in cold weather. So I thought about this scarf, which Jared made famous here. Picking out the colors is the hardest part. I wanted something masculine but not too drab and with colorful bits here and there. I think I've succeeded. I couldn't help buying a few more combinations for future scarves. Check these out:
This will be for me.

And possibly this for me too. Because apparently I had no other projects going on and had no yarn in the house.


Then the mail came. Oh, my God.

Need I say I'm on cloud nine?