Ok. I'm in. I have a feeling I'll regret it, but I've already sent the email. I am officially an Olympic Knitter.

I'm knitting Skating Queen from Knitty out of this Rayon/Cotton yarn.
I just ordered it today from Elann. I will do a swatch and wind all my skeins into center pull balls before the opening ceremony. It officially starts at 2pm EST on that Friday, so I will probably bring something to work with me that day, maybe I can start on the i-cord for the drawstring and leave it here for the two weeks during the olympics and work on it whenever I get a chance.

As for school... I am renaming "physics"... from now on I will refer to it as "The Class That Makes Me Cry". I skipped my textiles class last night, partly because I've been sick this week but mostly because I had a bunch of homework due this morning. I started it at 7:20, after dinner and dishes. but of course, I sat on my living room floor and tried to do a lab and homework questions while watching Good Eats, Unwrapped, and two hours of American Idol. at 10:00 I turned it back to the food channel, thinking it would just be background noise, since I didn't care about the show... at 10:30 when only one more question got answered, I turned the tv off and moved to the couch because my butt was numb from sitting on the floor. After getting through almost all the questions on my own, at about 11:30 or so I called Shannon for help on one question that I didn't understand, but ended up going over about half of my homework with her and changing my answers. These are one of the many many times I wish she wasn't 10+ hours away. At least she's still in the same time zone. Shannon, could you tell I was holding back from crying on the phone? I know you wouldn't have judged me for crying, but if I had started, it would have been ugly.

All I can do is just struggle through this class and get at least a C- to pass it so I can graduate. But there is one little brain cell that keeps telling me, "find out when the last day to drop this class is, you can just give up, there's still time" But I WILL NOT GIVE UP, if I give up, I'll just have to take something else in it's place, but then I won't graduate until next FALL!!! that is UNACCEPTABLE! or as Super Nanny would say, "unasseptible". So Shannon, you can look forward to many more calls, and possibly tears. Thank you in advance! You're the best!

And some sad news... I haven't touched my sock or any yarn at all in 3 days. There will be knitting tonight, oh yes there will... and if not... ya'll better watch OUT!


I just finished my first ever sock!!!

As you can see, the left sock doesn't quite keep the toes warm... yet, I will cast on tonight. Promise. No second sock syndrome for me, cuz I have more yarn to cast on another pair after this one is done.

I got home Wednesday to a package at my front door. It's my ebay yarn from The Natural Dye Studio!!!
I love to order yarn on line. When I get yarn in the mail, it feels like it's free, like a present! I love to get things in the mail!

That's my sock yarn on the left, then two different colorways of wool slub (about 90 yards each) and the two on the right are cotton chenille. I am not ashamed to say that I do not have a plan for anything but the sock yarn. It's pretty and it's soft and I need no excuse to just keep it by my chair and pet it. Afterall, I am the only knitter on the planet without a cat, or four.

Speaking of cats, I had a dream last night that my mom bought me a cat. In the dream I picked up the strange plastic and metal mesh container that held the kitten and thought, "My own mother doesn't remember that I am allergic to cats". Then she told me that the woman who sold her the kitten told her that I could train the cat so I would not be allergic to it. I remember saying something next about training it to not sleep on my face all night. I played with the kitten until it scratched my cheek and then I woke up. Strange. I'm a dog person anyway.

If you have a tv that won't have football on it on SuperBowl Sunday, turn it to Animal Planet and watch the PuppyBowl. It's about the cutest thing you'll ever see, next to being there in person of course.

As for my cross stitch quilt, I have 3 sets of 5-value gradations for the background. They are perfect and I am very excited.

Next step will be to take them all to a store that sells paint and pick out some colors that look good and then I'll try to match them with dye. Shouldn't be too difficult, since I'm not extremely picky when it comes to my dye results, and also considering my timeline for this project.


Hump Day

Happy Hump Day everyone!
I haven't thought of that phrase since high school. It reminds me of all the stupid shit that goes on in high school. Things like, "don't you know if you wear green on a Wednesday it means you are gay?!" (of course you know they did not mean 'happy') and the whole "what lunch hour do you have? I have B, do you have B? oh my god, who am I going to SIT WITH!?" Being called on when you don't know the answer, teachers ALWAYS call on the one that looks down at the book real quick to avoid being called on. And of course, waking up when your forehead hits your desk with a loud thud. Unfortunately, I can say that has happened to me, at least twice, well, maybe I am fortunate it only happened twice in all my years of school. All these things are coming back to me this semester. I am taking a physics class, which they covertly call "Physical Science 1" I thought I was taking a science class, you know, chemistry, periodic table, maybe the anatomy of a cell thrown in for fun, but no, it's physics. I haven't taken a math class since 2002 and I got a C in it. (in my defense, I would have gotten a B or better if I had studied for the final) So this morning, I was sitting in my physics lecture, listening to Mr. Physics explain some formulas for calculating acceleration and velocity and some other letters that will some day stand for numbers and then I could see him pointing at numbers and writing letters on the board and demonstrating things at the front of the class, but I was hearing, "this guy's wife must let him dress himself in the morning, his beard reminds me of Ryan, I miss Ryan, I wonder what we'll have to do in lab today, I don't remember putting deoderant on today, when am I going to have time to do my homework?, how many times will I have to call Shannon while I'm doing my homework to have her explain this to me, oh, he's writing something else on the board, maybe I should pay attention, pay attention!!!" That's usually how it goes, at least once per hour of lecture, I drift off to never never land and think about weird things. Another week of physics is over, only 13 more to go.

My textiles class on the other hand, has started off with a bang! wait, does that mean it's good or bad? I am confused about this metaphor. I meant that it is going well so far. My first project is going to be a large wall quilt based on cross stitch. Last night I dyed 10 half-yards of fabric, 5 different values of 2 different greens. and tomorrow night I will dye another 5-value gradation of another shade of green, (or is it a hue of green?) and rinse/wash the first 10 pieces. I am using instructions (modified instructions) from Elin Noble's book Dyes & Paints. These three greens will be the "aida cloth" background, which I will cut into 3 or 4 inch squares and arrange artfully on a piece of batting and fuse them to it. I will also dye lots of other colors to make the stitches. So each 3 or 4 inch square will have an X in it of a different color. The colors of the X's will also be chosen carefully and arranged artfully on the green background. This project will be a test of my ability to let things be planned and random at the same time and a way to give a quilt using the same base block (square with X in it) an interesting composition by manipulating color and value. So, pictures to come as the project gets further along and more picture worthy, all I have right now is wet fabric in buckets.

Yarn Harlot has proposed a knitting olympics, and I am extremely tempted to participate, against my better judgement of course. I don't know when I'll have time to knit, or you know, sleep, eat, breathe. I want to knit the skating queen skirt from Knitty for my sister's birthday. I haven't officially joined yet, because I am afraid to commit to something and then come February, not have time to knit it and then feel obligated to knit instead of do physics homework, or instead of working on textiles or something else important. And, the most exciting use of my time is... drum roll... Chris Roberts Antieau has commissioned me to dye fabric for her work! That is the most exciting thing ever!!! I still have to make up some samples for her and give her a price quote. So if all goes well, that is what I'll probably be spending my weekends doing.

As for my sock, I am past the heel, working on the knit around section until I get to start decreasing for the toe.


The bribery works

Apparently, just the mention of yarn can motivate me. My plan yesterday was to get my errands done and then go to Knit A Round. I returned my stuff to TJMaxx, then headed to the Salvation Army, dropped off all four bags of stuff without a second glance even though one bag was full of shoes and another half full of purses. So I was driving away from Salvation Army, through the back of the one way parking lot when I realized where this little lot was leading me. The Salvation Army drop off lead me right to the front door of Ann Arbor's other knitting shop, Flying Sheep. Well, that must have been fate, so I had to go in. I got a ball of Sockotta and a skein of Classic Elite Silk Mohair in lavendar. I already had two skeins of sage green at home that I thought the lavender would look neat with.

Saturday I started my first sock and I am ready to turn the heel on it.

I just got that sock book from Borders today. I am not thrilled that it is shaped like a sock. I wish it weren't and I almost bought a different one becuase of it, but this one had the most patterns in it that I thought I would be most likely to actually use. I think the sock shape book is pretty cheesy and makes me feel like I am reading a childrens book. Like, maybe it should say "one sock two sock red sock blue sock" in it.

So after I made the requisite purchase at Flying Sheep I headed to the North side of Ann Arbor to Knit A Round. I probably made three or four loops around the store, touching everything and kept going back to the same couple things that were pretty and soft and I had equally no clue what I would make with any of them. So, the logical thing to do, find the really soft lace weight acrylic/nylon that only costs $3.50 for a 350 yard skein, and buy 6 of them. That makes sense right?



After a long and busy first week of school, it is finally Saturday. All I want to do is be lazy today, but I have stuff to get done before another hectic week starts. I have 4 garbage bags full of stuff to drop off at the Salvation Army, mostly clothing, shoes and purses that don't fit or are way out of style (I have such a hard time throwing things away that I still have stuff I wore my freshman year of high school... 1994/95). I have returns to handle at Kohl's and TJMaxx. So in order to get that stuff done, I think I will bribe myself with a trip to the yarn shop. This is one that I don't make it to very often because it is not convenient to where I live or anywhere I have to go... which I guess is a good thing in a way.

Last night I had a nice relaxing evening at home. I watched Bye Bye Birdie on tv and knit this:

a tiny mitten, on tiny needles with tiny yarn. Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha



Just a quick post to prove that I am not lazy.

I have started this Branching Out at least three times and finally got all the bugs worked out and I am about 4 or 5 pattern repeats into it. It is so much fun to knit!!! I can't do it while anything else is going on around me though, because there is so little repetition in the pattern, but that is what makes it fun! I'm using Decadence (100% Baby Alpaca) from Knit Picks. Which is much thicker than laceweight, but I want this to be a warm and useful scarf when it's done, not just a pretty one.

I also finished all the baby things I was working on. Here is the roll brim hat (Yarn Harlot pattern), for Kahner and the pink pixie hat and baby booties for the new baby in the family.

Also, I am uber-paranoid that my new iPod is going to get all scratched up from being in my pocket, or in my purse or in my car all the time, so I had to knit a little iPod Cozy. I made the pattern up as I went along and I am quite pleased with the way it turned out. So much in fact, that I've cast on one for my sister's mp3 player and am planning one for a digital camera too. It's a good way to use leftover yarn.

Today was the first day of school. I got up at 7 so I could leave here at 8:15 for my physical science class that starts at 9. Class goes until 10:50 and from there I went straight to work, worked through my lunch break and stayed at the office until 6:00. Tomorrow I get to go to work from 8:30 till 5:00 and then right to school for my textiles class that goes from 5:30 till 8:20. I am anticipating a very stressful and hectic four months. But, it will all be worth it, becuase these are the last two classes I need for my bachelor's degree. Does "bachelors" get an apostrophe or no? Which expensive class should I have learned that in?



Have you ever received a hand made present from someone and had to feign excitement, love and appreciation? I have, and it made me think, what if I am making all this stuff that makes me happy, but giving it to people and they have to say, "oh... uh... great Candice, thaaaaaanks."

This thought was quickly washed away by my favorite person to make things for, Leah.

Shown here, wearing her Christmas present.

She sent me this picture along with these words:
"yesterday night I got out the other gifts from you and just threw the new weaved scarf on.
Just for a place to put it till I got to where it goes, well I was wearing black and it just looked soooooooo beautiful.
You see I thought I would only wear it for super fancy but no, I realize now I love it just so much that I wore it to lunch with my aunties and Grandma. Well boy if they did not have a fit about it! and then to learn that you made this TOOOOOO........on top of all that you can do, boy they are floored. Then the cash out lady had to love it up too!
So now I came home and thought I would send you pics of me wearing it. Photographs photographed by Jon Wheeler Jr.
LOOOOOOVVVVVVEEEEE you and your amazing care and creativity. It is so fun that I am getting such a huge Gigi collection, really fun when people come over and observe something and then I get to go on the tangent showing them everything that you have ever made!
Now I have one more thing to add to the list!
you amazing girl you!"

Leah knows by now that not a single holiday can go by without her receiving something hand made from me. She has said a couple times that her gifts to me don't compare to the ones I make for her. What she doesn't know though, is that I would make a hundred more quilts and weave a thousand more scarves for her, even if I never received another gift from her ever, hand-made or not. I love her that much.



I have a thing.

I think we all know that I have a "yarn thing".

"yarn thing"

"yarn thing"

I don't understand how anyone can NOT have a "yarn thing".

I also have a "fabric thing" but that has slightly subsided since I began knitting over the summer. I could post 3 or 4 more pictures of my fabric stash, but I'll leave it to the imagination.
But I have an excuse... I'm a quilter, I'm a knitter, I'm a weaver. I do NEED this yarn and this fabric. and I will always need more and want more. That's just the way it is. I can't and WON'T feel bad about it.

The one that I don't quite understand though, is this need I have for pens. I have this need to buy pens. Pretty on the outside pens, pens that write really smooth gel ink, pens that are shaped different, pens that write but also do other things. I always have a pen or two in my car, I have two pens in my purse right now, and I even went out and spent $13 on a set of colored pens yesterday, even though I already have a set that is so similar to it, it scares me. I don't really write on paper, except maybe to plan out a quilt pattern or some other art work. I don't write letters to send in the mail. I haven't been taking academic classes in school for the past couple years, so I haven't had to take notes in class. I have no explanation for this "pen thing".
This is just one drawer full as an example. Yeah, that's right, I even have pens that are shaped like frogs wearing boxing gloves that REALLY BOX, and you know what? I don't just have one, but THREE of them.

So I think this is just an example of overabundance and obsessiveness in my life. When I like something, I REALLY like it, to the point of obsession. This goes for yarn, fabric and pens, but also with food and of course, shoes and purses. I think I need to work on that this year. Less shopping, more working in the sewing room. I predict now through mid-April will not be too hard to accomplish this though, I will be too busy with work, school and homework to shop.

And I am afraid to actually say this out loud, becuase then I'll feel the responsibility of actually doing it, but I need 25 pounds to be off my body. That is the weight I've gained in the past three years since I've been living on my own and working at a "sit at the computer all day" job. Now I've done it, I said it, let the work begin. It is, afterall, 4 days into the New Year. Let the betterment begin!