Sunday, October 19, 2014

Turkey baster knitting. Because I can't knit like a normal person anymore.

So, someone said they wanted knitting talk. Or, yarny talk. Or something to do with the header of this blog that now seems wildly misplaced.

And I thought, "Yeah. Knitting. What ABOUT that anyway?"

Then I went to Ravelry

Because in times of Maybe I Should Knit a Thing, But What? That's where I go.

Despite the fact that I have a whole shelf full of knitting books full of patterns. And all kinds of shit I've printed out over the years and organized in a binder like an old fashioned knitting lady. And patterns folded up with their yarn, all halfway done and foolishly hoping to be finished in my stash in the closet.

I'm FO-averse, friends. That's one of my knitting problems. 

I get started on something and, unless I'm totally obsessed with the finished object it is meant to become, I get part of the way through the thing and just go, "Meh, I'm over it. Let's play PS4."

Oh yeah, because now we have PS4. Which is another one of my knitting problems. 

Because knitting usually makes me angry and when I'm angry I need to kill things and society says I can't really kill things so instead I play PS4 where I'm rewarded for killing things.

Also in PS4, starting over is a matter of hitting a button and in knitting, starting over is a matter of frogging usually hundreds of stitches during which time drinking is out of the question.

Which brings me to another knitting problem and that is - no drinking.

Seriously. I can not. 

Because when I do, shitty shit happens and then frogging happens and then I'm hauled off to prison on homicide charges.

We can't afford that kind of bail, so I (we?) have decided that knitting = no drinking. 

And since cocktail hour is a much hallowed daily event in this house since graduation and starting a new job and Bubba starting a new job and JMT and and and, the result has been zero knitting since April. Though one might contend that April's knitting project looks like it was conceived and created by a very active drunk.

Which brings us to today and the new knitting project I'm about to start. 

Because despite the fact that I've "Cast on" on Ravelry, I haven't cast shit on. In fact, I haven't even knit the gauge swatch that I'm totally going to do because, brace yourself, I LEARNED SOMETHING.

People, friends, remember when I knit that perfectly awesome sweater for Bubba? And it came out all perfect and awesome and actually fit him?

You remember.
All of that was made possible by me actually knitting a gauge swatch. Because if I'd forged ahead knitting forever and all the while hoping that the gauge would magically come out right even though it NEVER DOES when I don't knit a gauge swatch first, it would have come out unmagically like a pile of shit.

And I've decided I don't want a pile of shit. The dog spends her time preparing those for me on the hourly and that is just plenty, thank you puppy.

Instead, I'VE LEARNED that I want a wearable knitted object that fits and in order to have that I'VE LEARNED that I must always knit a gauge swatch first. And then I'VE LEARNED that I must be for real with the measurements and accurately judge whether my gauge swatch is the size indicated by the pattern or whether it means I need to reknit the swatch with a smaller/larger needle or whatever to get it right.

I'VE LEARNED, is what I'm saying, and for this all of your lives are safer. I promise you.

But that's not actually why I haven't started yet. It's because I've also learned that, for me, starting a new knitting project is a fucking project in and of itself.

I have to first find the bloody project, which this time didn't take too long because HELLO.

I will make that and it will be orange and I will wear it over my long sleeves to work where I will load up those pockets with my two phones because I'm a loser and my greenhouse keys and my pH probe and all the nonsense that sticks out of my jean pockets all the time and really needs somewhere else to live.


But then next I had to figure out what yarn to use because OBVIOUSLY the yarn used in the pattern isn't available on Jimmy Beans Wool and they're really the only place I ever buy yarn so thankfully they have a calculator on the site to help me find a different yarn.

Not that the yarn used in the original pattern doesn't exist somewhere on the internet, I'm sure that it does, but then I'd have to set up an account on another site and wait and see how many hundreds of years it takes to get the shit in the mail and what if it's not right and UGH.


Another knitting problem I have is that I trust no one. 

I won't delve too deeply into that matter as it relates to yarn buying, but let's just say that I've been burned by one too many fruity geocities-esque craft sites that happen to miraculously carry the otherwise unavailable color/make/model/style/material THING I'm desperately hunting for and then the transaction and usually project all go downhill.

Except at Jimmy Beans Wool which is my safe place of yarn.

As it was this time when I got Malabrigo's Rios yarn in Glazed Carrot because ORANGE. I love orange. You know this.

Extra orange is what I was going for. Obviously.

But, in my haste and excitement to buy this so gorgeous I want to eat it yarn, I forgot to pay the extra WHO CARES amount to have the skeins wound into center pull cakes that make knitting with the yarn just way fucking easier.

I assume, if you are a knitter, you've tried to take one of these beautiful wound skeins (hanks? I can't keep all the nomenclature straight. Nor do I care to. So, don't like, leave me a lot of comments about it.) and just start knitting from it. 

Just one of the more horrible ideas I've had in my life. The resulting pain and misery were enough to keep me from knitting for some time, I'll just tell you. Then I had to only buy yarn from the store near my house that wound it all for you when you bought it. 

Then I found Jimmy Beans Wool that offers this service and TEE DAH we don't shop anywhere else anymore.

Then I forgot to have them wind the wool for me this time. 


So, this brings me to the last knitting problem of mine for this post anyway and that is - winding yarn. 

I do not have a yarn winder. They're big and clunky and OH JIMMY BEANS CAN JUST WIND MY WOOL and, if I need yarn wound I can just go back to that knitting shop which OOPS is out of business, DAMN IT ALL FUCK.

But! I had a momentary flash of genius in my moment of BUT I WANT TO START MY PROJECT WITH THIS FANCY ASS YARN WHAT WILL I DO and that was - go to YouTube. 

Not so much genius as common sense, but you can understand how, to me, that seems genius-y. 

And, on YouTube I found lots of nice people who could show me how to make a center pull ball of yarn from a useless skein of yarn using all manner of tools like a toilet paper roll, giant knitting needle, broomstick, turkey baster and probably lots of weirder things that I didn't take the time to check out.

This is the video I followed, though I used a turkey baster rather than a monster knitting needle, and it worked pretty fucking well.

And because I'm a fancy bitch, I used the dye lot tag as the center pull bit. I'm still congratulating myself on that bit of genius. 

Take that YouTube! You're not the only one that can think of things! 

Kind of.

So yeah, I've spent the last day and a half winding yarn into center pull cakes and I have some impressive carpel tunnel claw hands to show for it, but once I can uncurl my aching fingers and uncramp my meat fists, I'll go about knitting that gauge swatch for this, the project that will take the rest of my natural life.

Yay knitting.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

There's a reward at the end of this post. Probably.

I have an hour to kill before I can go pick up Jada from her surprise emergency trip to the vet that's scaring the ever loving fuck out of me, so I decided that this was a good time to write a blog post about...

I have no idea.

I could write about death, since that seems to be a pervasive theme of my 2014, but I don't really dig on morbidity unless you count my phase of loving black toenail polish and listening to Depeche Mode.

Which I don't.

I do, for the record, still love black toenail polish and am waiting extremely impatiently for my two lost toenails to regrow so that I can make all 10 toes look as busted as the few that remain.

My feet are still fucked from JMT, y'all, is what I'm trying to say.

I have two missing toenails, two blackish purplish soon-to-be-gone toenails, one warped toenail and five semi acceptable toenails that would look a lot more acceptable with a coat of shiny black polish.

As Bubba would say, "Oh my goth."

He's hilarious.

I could also write about work, because it's SO awesome at work and I love it SO much and it stresses me out SO much that I need an outlet for it, but I've never been a write-about-work blogger, so it's hard for me to do that now.

You tell me - would that even interest you? To hear about working in a greenhouse on a farm? Keep in mind that it is a farm mostly composed of greenhouses and herb crops and we don't have, say, a bunch of cute fuzzy animals and farm chic shit everywhere and my office is on a loading dock rather than, like, in a distressed red painted barn and I grow crops in a hydroponic system rather than in the dirt like I've been told "real" farmers do.

Just keep all that in mind and then make your decision: work talk or no?

I could write about why Jada's at the vet and how it was so super sudden and extra scary and how my heart has been breaking all day and I'm so fucking worried and Bubba's traveling for work and the two of us have been over-worrying all day long via Chat, but that'd be boring for you guys.

Or sad. And I don't like to write about shit that's boring and sad.

What about the holidays? KIDDING. Just saying that word made me throw up and curse Macy's and Costco.

And if you haven't seen what's happening at Macy's and Costco right now, then you and I could be friends. At least on Facebook. Because my friends have been posting pictures of what the inside of these two stores look like and it's scarier than when I first started watching Walking Dead.

I get scared during Walking Dead, OK, so shuttup.

TV! We could talk about TV! I mean, the series that are on TV and then go to Netflix or Amazon Prime or some other streaming service because we don't have regular TV anymore. Which I love.

I don't know why I held on to DirecTV or cable for so long. It's all a bunch of nonsense and lame content or good content saturated with stupid ads to the point that we can't even watch TV in hotels anymore.

We're spoiled by no commercials and on demand content of our choice.

So what if I watch Bob's Burgers every single day? And I binge watch series after series without going into the kitchen for a snack during the commercial breaks?

Oh wait - those are two awesome things. Yeah - fuck you, regular TV.

OK, so we talked about TV a little.

How about the garden? I mean, it's been so hot here and so dry that the summer garden has been long since pulled out and the winter garden planting is on hold until it's not seedling-melting temperatures anymore, but we could talk about the garden.

That's all I have to say about the garden: It's been hot. The garden can not be replanted until it's not so hot. HOT.

Have you heard that we're having an End of Days level drought out here in California and everyone's calling it the next Dust Bowl even though that kind of doesn't make sense but then if you think about it long enough it kind of does make sense? Yeah. It's hot and dry here and it's been that way for about three years and now shit's getting real.

Like, I've been driving over the same reservoir for the last three years on my way to Santa Cruz every day and that thing is vanishing before my very fucking eyes.

Soon the bridge over the reservoir is going to be pointless and kids being born around now are going to be saying, "Mommy, why is there a bridge here if it just goes over nothing?" And mommy will say, "Shut the hell up back there and try not to sweat because you can't take a bath for three more weeks."

It's dire.

But that topic, too, is sad and boring, so let's skip it.

NANOWRIMO! Let's talk about that.

I was going to do it this year. I even started an outline in Scrivener and started researching shit and behaving like someone who has done this shit before and then...reality.

I have no time for NaNoWriMo this year. I mean, if I wanted to ignore Bubba and Jada, not bathe, fall asleep and drown in my hydroponic system at work and/or alienate myself from all of society in the name of writing something about which I'm only remotely excited still, then yes, I'd have time.

But my response to all that which I just said is, No thank you.

Instead, I've agreed to be a NaNoWriMo mentor for my sister, who's doing it for the first time this year. I feel like that is a good midway point for me so that I don't feel like a complete abandoner of shit I love and also like a decent sister.

Two wins is better than one big bummer, I say.

And now it's time to go pick up Jada from the vet, so thank you for humoring this very long-winded time killer of a blog post and for your reward, I will write about whatever you want next time.


Throw a topic out there and I'll spin some bullshit for you.

Come on. You know you want it. Bullshit that is. Custom written bullshit.