Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Me, 0. Basic knife skills, 1.

Well I was going to film a small video of myself doing lever knitting (partly to show off to friends, partly to ask for help from people smarter than I on how to refine my technique). Before that though I went to get some lunch. I grabbed an avocado to cut up, picked up a large butcher's knife, and went to slice it open.

Suffice to say that the knife made contact with my left index finger. It didn't bleed very much but it hurts like shit to do anything with that finger. Surprise, surprise, I can't knit lever style with a bandage on that finger with any sort of speed unless I like the needle getting stuck in the adhesive and then getting the yarn all sticky while I yell obscenities out of pain.. So it looks like my little video will have to wait until my finger recovers. I can knit still but it's very slow and not very interesting looking.

Purling and ribbing can both still blow me but we've managed to work out a bit of an agreement. They suck less and I stop ignoring patterns because I hate them.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

It was like really awful porn.

Did some vacuuming today and the vacuum cleaner wasn't working very well. Didn't have much suction power and I could smell something burning in it. We flipped it over and nothing was smoking but we could smell it; it was like dust was getting hot and singing a bit. So we open the intake and find the hose entirely clogged (not surprising considering Dad's wealthy, spoiled brat of a boss threw the thing away and we snapped it up for free). We tried to shake it loose but only a few puffs of dust would come out. Not even water, poured into one end over a sink, would flow through the mass. So for the next ten minutes, me and Dad had to "massage" it out.

We stood over a large plastic garbage bag in the kitchen, Dad holding one end of the hose as high as he could, the both of us vigorously jerking off the huge black rubber dick of a vacuum hose, yelling such things as "Find the lump and rub it!" or "There, some just came out!". Dad even tried using his mouth at one point to blow some of it out. And then several huge clumps of hair and dust and debris shot out of the end and into the bag in two or three spurts like the world's biggest money shot short of Animal Planet's elephant, whale, and rhinocerous mating habit special.

I'm not sure I can look Dad in the eye for a while.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's like expecting a new baby.

9 months.

Estimated date of moving out of Shitcago and to Missouri with two of my best friends in the whole damn world whom I have never met in person.

9 months.

Holy shit, the entire rest of the world is out there. What do I do? Do they eat with the same utensils as us? Do I have to learn another language? Are my manners good enough? What if I act like a huge doofus and my friends hate me and fling me back here in a trebuchet?

I'm scared.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Things I learned today, volume 1.

1: I love fingering weight yarn and 2.5mm needles. Love.

2: I have, for the most part, gotten the hang of Irish cottage/lever knitting.

I have moments of being as fast as my beloved Yarn Harlot, though I make some mistakes. My first few rounds on my sock cuff have some dropped stitches I had to pick up.

3: My cat Leo is a brick shithouse. My other cat, Malachi, is delicate and dainty. He will open my door with his front paws and eats his food slowly, chewing every bite a few times. Leo plows my door open with his face and inhales food and treats as fast as he possibly can.

4: DPNs are awesome. I need more. My previous love for circulars is dying. While you can knit 2 socks at a time on one or two large circs, you can not use lever knitting on them very effectively.

5: Chicago is ass. I want out of this city.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I hate Layne Staley.

Layne Staley, vocalist of Alice in Chains, was one of the greatest singing voices I have ever heard. His ghostly harmonies, the exposing and depressing lyrics, the spine tingling vibrato...I have yet to hear anyone that can grasp these qualities like he did, only come close (David Eugene Edwards, Warrel Dane, Mikael Ã…kerfeldt). So why do I hate him?

He killed himself with drugs.

One of the greatest artists and singers of this generation and he destroyed it. He injected poison into his veins and deprived the world of his voice. I can't forgive someone who could ruin something so amazing.

Now, there's this.

Now, I'm all for a new Alice in Chains song. But there's no Layne. Willian Duvall is not Layne. Try as I might to understand why people claim that he does, Duvall does not sound like him. They do not have the same voice. People are trying to say that this is like the old Alice in Chains and it isn't. This is Jerry Cantrell doing the same things he did before but without the second half of the dynamic duo that made up the majority of Alice in Chains' qualities. The emotion isn't there, the self-defeating loneliness isn't there. How people can say this is an Alice in Chains comeback is beyond me.

This wouldn't aggravate me as much if they used a different name. I'd probably enjoy it if they pushed it as a new band featuring the surviving Alice in Chains members. But no, they want to ride the popularity train as hard as they can and I truly think they're going to fail for it. This is just disappointing. It's insulting to people like me who really appreciate Layne Staley's talent. Until I hear Layne's voice coaxing me into a sweet depression, Alice in Chains is gone. This new band is something different that I don't recognise.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ribbing can fuck off.

I hate ribbing. I hate it so. I have yet to do any project with more than 2 inches or so of ribbing because by that time I'm ready to run myself through with a DPN. I think it's a combination of how I hold the yarn and pull it from the ball and the fact that I'm a thrower. Changing sides with the yarn is a pain, and purling is a pain, so combine the two and ribbing is a nightmare.

I'm trying a few different methods of holding the yarn in my right hand since any attempt to learn continental just leads to frustration and sloppysloppy stitches. I also saw the pretty interesting Norwegian purl and Cat Bordhi's purl which are both very similar. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to mesh well with throwing; trying to purl like that is extremely awkward and sloppy and slow. I dislike the Norwegian method because it really stretches out the stitch, and one of the reasons I tried it was to tighten my purls, and Cat Bordhi's has you bending the needle in a very tight space to pull up the loop and I just can not manage to do it properly as a thrower.

Sigh. My sock knitting stuff should be here Monday. Size 1 DPNs and a few balls of tweed sock yarn. Then after I get my size 7 DPNs I can start knitting hats again. All I have left are smaller size ones that don't fit on my circulars.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I'm not sure what it is about knitting that's entranced me so. I started less than a month ago and I'm absolutely gone now. Nothing can save me from the grasp of the fiber arts. It's not even so much the act of knitting I adore so much. In fact I've spent more time reading about knitting, browsing for needles and yarn and books, and talking about knitting than actually knitting. My list of completed projects hasn't even reached double digits yet. Maybe I'm more of a process and preparation person than I thought.

I'm the kind of person who has huge issues finishing things I start so I've had pangs of worry a few times about whether I'll actually stick with knitting. Is all this money I've spent going to waste, I've already told people I do it so what will they think of me, I'll have wasted all this time and effort, why should I even bother, I'm an awful person....then my YouTube subscriptions show a new knitting video from Judy Graham, my heart skips a beat, and I remember that knitting will probably be in my life until I'm buried in the ground, and even then I better be buried with my at least one pair of needles and some yarn or I'm going to have to haunt some people. And I don't want cheap plastic needles and scratchy artificial yarn either, it better be Addis and some nice merino.

Maybe it's not so bad being that kind of person though? Sure, I might not accomplish a huge list of great things that someone who spends their whole life reaching for a single goal would, but I'll have a much bigger list of experiences and hobbies. I might not ever actually finish learning another language, or finish High School and College, or become a virtuoso guitarist, but if I had fun with things like knitting or language study while I was doing them and then they're not fun any more...maybe that makes the time I spent worth it? Maybe the value of living your life happily toward a single large goal and living your life happily toward many small goals are both equally valid and fulfilling. I guess I won't find out until I'm dead. If I'm not fulfilled I'll just have to say "Well fuck, maybe I should have stuck with that guitar building school.", croak off, and curse myself after I'm no longer corporeal.

It's far too late night for philosophy. I need to turn on Blackwater Park on my iPod and finish moving boxes into the basement. Then I can cast on my third camouflage hat without feeling guilty. Ugh. I hate casting on. Someone invent a cast-on machine and send me one please, I'll make you a hat.