Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Sylvester!!!

Happy Sylvester/New Year's Eve, y'all!

Today is a day when most people clean the house, organize their finances, and otherwise prepare for the new year. Or else they reflect on the year soon to be over, and on what all happened in the past 365 days.

Instead, I baked.

Two loaves of fine banana bread, which I enjoyed with a cup of English Breakfast tea. It's seriously yumtastic, if I do say so myself.

I also worked some more on my Guido scarf, which is coming along nicely, albeit slowly, and there isn't much progress to photo-document.

Last night I met with Deborah, one of the knitting ladies here in Portland, and we had a wonderful catching up on all the news of the group (and our own crafting triumphs) since Thanksgiving, when I saw them all last. And, as Deborah does, she gave me a wonderful Christmas gift of a scarf, some nice lotion and other dorm necessities, yummy PB fudge, a gorgeous jewelry box, and, of course, lots of lovely yarn.

We have some more gorgeous Yarntopia Treasures Rayon Boucle, this time in the Coral Reef colorway:

And a big hank of the Yarntopia Treasures Summer Cotton Boucle, in the Corsage Colorway:

Deborah has given me a fantastic amount of fine yarns, including lots of gorgeous sock yarn, and some lovely lace weight yarn. Now, I can handle sock yarn, since I always manage to have 2 or 3 pairs of socks on the needles at one time. But I never knew what to do with the lace weight yarn. Which was a shame, since it's all so gorgeous. BUT NO MORE! I went researching last night in search of what to do with the lace weight yarn. I don't wear shawls, since I wear so many hoodies, and those just don't go all that well with shawls worn over the shoulders and back. BUT I saw how a lot of knitters would wear their shawlettes wrapped around their necks like scarves, and it's just gorgeous! SO! I'm making myself a shawlette. More specifically, this this shawlette (Ravelry pattern page). The center is all stockinette stitch, with a gorgeous lace pattern along the two shorter edges, so it'd be nice and warm to wear like the model in the picture does. :-) And I'll make it with this yarn:

That's 500 yards of the Yarntopia Treasures Rayon Boucle (another gift from Deborah) in the "Blue Lagoon" colorway, a gorgeous purple/turquoise color. I wrassled that hank of yarn for a good 45 minutes last night to get it into that lovely little ball. You see, as a poor, starving college student, I don't have the funds for a swift or yarn ball winder, so I wind hanks into balls by hand. My usual method is to sit on my bed/a chair, put my feet up on the bed/another chair in front of me, unwrap the hank, and drape the big, fat, O of yarn over and around my knees so it doesn't get all tangled while I wind it into a ball. Now, this particular hank had been busy tangling in the bottom of a stash bag somewhere for a few months, so it wasn't particularly eager to untangle into a nice, neat ball just yet. 45 minutes, a good deal of cursing, and a surprisingly rigorous ab workout later, and I had this little ball to show for it. Now I can't freaking wait to cast on!

Why not cast on, you ask? Well, I've discovered this amazing social group on Ravelry called the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup , where you join, get sorted, and for each 3-month-term you take "classes," participate in Quidditch, and hang out in the discussion forums of your house (or, for Not-Quite-First-Years, like myself, who missed the sorting deadline, we hang out in the NQFY common room). For each class (8 per month, 3 months in a term), you make something that pertains to the assignment. If you complete it within the month, you earn points for your house (or just kudos and funsies, if you're a NQFY) with extra points for creativity. Then the house with the most points at the end of the 3 months wins the house cup! It sounds like an awesome way to motivate each other to get projects done in a timely fashion (I know I've got one too many WIPs that need the extra kick to get done). Also, everyone I've met in the forums and chat rooms is really nice and encouraging.

Classes start tomorrow, so I've been keeping myself from starting any new projects so I can see if any of them fit the class criteria so I can submit them for that. One important rule is that you have to start AND finish your project within the month of the class for full points.

Anyways. I'm really excited about that! Classes are announced tomorrow, and I can't wait to get started. Also, a side effect of this is that it's motivating me to re-read the HP books by listening to the audiobooks while I knit. :-)

In other news: The brother and sis left this morning for a trip to NYC for New Years, so I've been given the enormous responsibility of caring for Toki, Nora's rat, for the duration of her trip. Also, Mom Dad and I are going for dinner and a movie tonight. We're going to see Tangled, that new Disney movie based off the Rapunzel story, and I am sooooooo excited! :D

One final parting thought: I've been thinking about changing the name of my blog to something that is more representative of what I and my blog are about. YoungKnitter is somewhat apt, as I'm still young, but I won't be young forever (and I'd like to keep up this blog for at least that long), and I knit. But it doesn't say anything about who I AM. And also, I have had the experience that a lot of more "mature" knitters don't take me seriously because of my age. Sales clerks at LYSs will show me straight to the bulky yarn and learn-to-knit books. Even some knitting friends have offered to help me learn to knit, even after I've shown my proficiency in our sit'n'stitch get-togethers. So I'd like to find a name that's more demonstrative of who I am and what I blog about. A thought is that I travel quite a bit. I travel between home and school, I love traveling on breaks and long weekends. I've traveled to lots of places in my childhood, and those places have all made me who I am today. And I plan to travel and live internationally for a living, starting at graduation. So this blog will still be mostly about knitting, crocheting, and spinning, as it always has been, but I'll also start including travel stories and pictures when I have them.

So! With this in mind, I have thought of some possible blog names. In every situation, Knitter and Fiber Freak are interchangeable, as I haven't decided which one to use yet.

Musings of a Mobile Knitter/Fiber Freak
Musings of a Migrant Knitter
Memoirs of a Migrant Fiber Freak
Thoughts of a Traveling Knitter/Fiber Freak
Typings of a Traveling Knitter/Fiber Freak
Tale of a Traveling Knitter
Tales of a Nomadic Knitter
Narrative of a Nomadic Knitter (yaaay alliteration!)
The Wandering Knitter

I'm not sure why I'm so fixed on the "Noun of an Adjective Knitter" format, but it sounds right to me.

Anyways. I welcome your thoughts, opinions, and suggestions, and I hope you all have a lovely New Year's Eve and a great start to 2011!
Signing off for the year,

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