Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spring Break

I drove home today for Spring Break. I'm hoping to get some knitting and sewing done while I'm home, and maybe some pictures of recently finished objects - like my corset!!! In the mean time, my neighbor brought over three garbage bags full of yarn while cleaning out his shed. His wife who passed away last year had attempted to knit at one point and quickly gave up. A few years ago I went through some of the yarn and took what I wanted, but now that Joe has remarried he decided to get rid of the rest of it (there was also a complete possibly never used interchangable needle set - the old metal kind, that I like better than my Denise plastic ones) & possibly there may be a knitting machine headed my way.
In other news I saw this on And She Knits Too! and being the lover of books that I am couldn't resist.

The Big Read ( said that, on average, adults have only read six books on this list. So ... copy this list, remove my yeses and nos, and add your comments (favourable or otherwise) about the ones you have read. Don't forget to include a total.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen - Yes, I started it several times throughout middle and high school, but finally read the entire book freshman year in college during my Great Love Stories class.
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien – Considered it, but haven't read it yet.
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte - Yes, one of my favourite books ever!
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling – YES! Including rereading the entire series in two weeks before the last book was released.
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee - Yes, freshman year of high school.
6 The Bible – Parts of it.
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte - Not yet, I own it though.
8 1984 - George Orwell - No, it was one of my ex's favourite books though.
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman - No
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens - Yes, in 8th grade English
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott - I think I read a watered down version of it when I was little, but not the actual book.
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy –No
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller – Not yet, I own it though.
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare – Not the complete works, but Romeo & Juliet, Othello, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, and the Tempest.
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier - No
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien - I started it once in elementary school, but have never gone back to it, if I decide to read The Lord of the Rings, I'll read The Hobbit first.
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks - No
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger - Yes, required junior year, I really didn't like it, my current boyfriend says it's one of his favourite books.
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger - No, but I'd like to.
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot- No
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell - No
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald - Yes, another one of my favourite books of all time.
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens- No, but I own it.
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy - No
25 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams - No
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh - No
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky - No
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll - Yes, and Through the Looking Glass
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame - No
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy - Not yet, but I'd like to.
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens - No, well maybe a watered-down kid's version.
33 The Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis - Maybe not all of them, but I know that I read at least half of them when I was little.
34 Emma - Jane Austen - Yes, listened to it on audio book during all my driving last summer.
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen - Not yet, but I'm borrowing it from my roommate this summer.
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - Yes
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini - No
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres- No but the movie looked good.
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden - Yes, junior year of high school.
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne – No
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell -Yes, freshman year of high school.
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown - Not yet, I hope to eventually
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Not yet, but I really enjoyed Marguez's Love in the Time of Cholera.
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving - No
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins - No
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery - Yes, the entire series and I loved them!
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy - No
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood - Yes, I really liked it and look foreward to reading more Atwood.
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding - No
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan - Started it this summer but haven't finished yet.
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel - No
52 Dune - Frank Herbert- No
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons - No
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen - Not yet.
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth - No
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon - No
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens - Not yet.
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley - No
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon - Not yet.
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Yes, as mentioned earlier I loved it and the movie was halfway decent.
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck – Yes, freshman year of high school.
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov - I read the first half then it was due back to the library and I've never gone back to finish it.
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt - No
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold – Yes, such a good book but not for those with a weak stomach.
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas - Not yet.
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac - Not yet, but I have it now.
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy - No
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding - Yes, and the sequel.
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie - No
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville - No
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens - I'm almost positive I read the watered-down version of it.
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker - No
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett - Yes
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson - No
75 Ulysses - James Joyce - No
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath - Yes, I adore Sylvia Plath but not in heavy doses.
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome - No
78 Germinal - Emile Zola - No
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray - No, but it's on my to read list, I loved the movie.
80 Possession - AS Byatt- No
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens -No
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell - No
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker -Yes, in Great Love Stories class
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro - No
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert - Not yet
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry - No
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White - I think so.
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom - No
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - No
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton – No
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad - No
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupe – Not yet
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks - No
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams - Yes and the sequel, I loved them both and I can never look at a rabbit the same now.
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole - No
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute - No
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas - Not yet, but Slumdog Millionaire makes me want to read it.
98 Hamlet – Shakespeare – Yes, senior english class

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl - I think so, but I don't remember for sure.
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo - Not yet, but I really want to read it in French (too bad I'm not that fluent)

I've read 22 for sure. I don't know who they are surveying as average adults, but I'm almost 21 and I've read way more than 6 of these.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

GRE and the Search for a New Project

I spent the second half of last week stressing and cramming for the GRE. Jim told me on Friday to just let it go and I would be fine, but of course I wouldn't completely believe him. The GRE is like the SAT to get into grad school. The grad school I'm applying for Physical Therapy requires a 900 out of 1600 composite score on the verbal and math sections. While this never seemed that difficult, especially after three practice test that I consistently scored in the mid-1100s, I still made 200 flashcards and tried to learn vocab. Needless to say, with all this studying the knitting was put on hold. I took the test yesterday at the crack of dawn (ok, it was 8:30), and passed with flying colours. I thoroughly appreciated the math section that allowed me to score 100 points higher than I had been on the practice test.

Knitting resumed last night while having an Audrey Tautou double feature (He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not and A Long Engagement, both of which I would highly recommend but beware you'll have to read subtitles). Unfortunately I wasn't counting correctly (could have been the celebratory Cream Soda "float") and had to rip out all the progress I made last night this afternoon. I'm also trying to play catch-up with all the classwork I put on hold for GRE studying, so it might be slow going.

Apparently, I didn't completely overcome SSS and SMS because I'm still lacking motivation to work on the sock and mitten and now I'm trying to find my next big project. I don't know that I have enough yarn in the school stash for a sweater unless it's lace weight, so I may have to work on a shawl until I go home at spring break and can get some yarn from that stash. Anyone have any suggestions? A shawl isn't practical for class knitting because all of the patterns I like are too attention demanding. I don't want to spend a lot of money but I really want something that is knit on 5s or larger (these 0s and 1s are killing my hands).

Corset Update: I fitted the mock-up on Thursday in class, it wasn't too far off and I only have to make a few small adjustments. I also found some fabric in my stash that was a tight weave and semi-period appropriate to be able to cover it. I'm going to flat-line the fashion fabric to the coutil and assemble the two sides tomorrow so I can bone it on Tuesday. Progress pictures soon hopefully!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Socks, Mittens and Corsets

I finally overcame my SSS (Second Sock Syndrome) and SMS (Second Mitten Syndrome) and have cast on for both of them in the last few days. The second mitten seems to be going a lot faster than the first but I think that's because I'm not to the hard part yet. I don't think that my size 0 needles will ever be straight again and it seems like each time I try to straighten them out they just get bend the other direction. I cast on my second Anastasia Sock today at work and then basically knit the entire toe during Human Sexuality. I think that the provisional cast on looks a lot better this time, but we'll see in about 2 more rows when I pick up the stiches if they are giant like last time.
The reception of Clover on Ravelry seems to be wonderful - it's been favourited 99 times!! I just wish that I had it up to sell, but I have to wait on Casey to do some magic coding. Since I have no understanding of these things I also have no idea how long this might take. I was super excited when I saw someone who's blog I read favourited it though. I feel like I stalk so many people because I read their blogs and its nice to feel like I'm not so creepy anymore because now she knows who I am in some distant universe.
Today in my Period Patterning class we started our corsets! We had to blow up our patterns from the books their in and try to get them to the right size. I had intended on using the point-to-point method to blow mine up, but then I found out the scale was incredibly wonky, so I cheated and used the copy machine. Then I had to tack on seam allowance and cut it out of muslin to make a mock-up for fittings on Thursday. I haven't sewn it together yet, but that's tomorrow's project (as well as some intense GRE studying).

Monday, February 2, 2009

Knitty Rejected

This fall I designed a sweater dress, not a simple stockinette sweater dress, but an intricately cabled (and in my opinion gorgeous) sweater dress. I had the intention of submitting the pattern to Knitty for the Spring issue and knit as fast as I could to meet the deadline. I spent my entire Thanksgiving break sizing the pattern up and down to fit bust sizes from 28" - 52". The deadline was December 1st and I sent the pattern in a day in advance with a nice note thanking them for looking at my pattern. Since then I have been not so patiently waiting to here back.
Yesterday, I saw in my inbox an email with the subject Re:spring submission:Clover and I got all excited and nervous to open the email. As you can guess from the title of this post and the fact that I'm telling you all this - the pattern was rejected and will not be published. The only reason given was that they can't publish as many patterns as they receive. At least now I can finally post pictures on the internet and I'm going to try to sell the pattern individually on Ravelry once I get the programming figured out. So without further ado . . .

Raveled Here

To everyone who is coming here because they saw the pattern on Ravelry, "Hi, thanks for all the wonderful comments and I hope you'll all buy the pattern once I get it up and running!" It is by far one of the most fun things that I've knit (and I'm not just saying that because I designed it). But I do hope that if you buy it and find any kinks in the pattern you'll let me know, this is the first time I've tried to resize a pattern and write it for someone else to read. Hopefully, this is just the start of something and I'll have more patterns to come in the future (and maybe next time they'll be Knitty approved).

Sunday, January 11, 2009

You Know You Knit Too Much . . .

I am fully confessing that today my roommate, Katie, and I planned out a few of our outfits for this week. It's not like this is the first day of high school where you want to impress everyone and appear older than you are - it's more about saving time and our obsessive-compulsive personalities. I realized that I planned two of my outfits around my hand knitted items - in one case it was my almost finished argyle sweater vest which seems like a pretty typical article of clothing to plan an outfit around. The really revealing moment was when I was standing there planning my outfit around a hat. Hopefully while I wear my new hat tomorrow I can get a picture.