Monday, February 27, 2006

Bronze medal, mayhaps

It was a hard knitting week. One night that I didn't work on sweater, I REALLY should have. this put me behind, though I did a SERIOUS amount of work over the weekend (re-knit bum sleeve, knit another sleeve, and sewed all the seams).

so, a buck short and a day late. I will finish tonight, knitting the cowl and blocking.

I don't consider it failure, because this really was my personal best. I knit my little heart out, and I learned SO MUCH while doing it, that I can't really regret not finishing in plenty of time.

Pictures and more detail to follow, but I felt the need to be HONEST and put it out there that I didn't EXACTLY finish down to the last detail, but am so close and did so much that I am just as proud of myself as if I HAD.

Friday, February 24, 2006


To believe i used to board the metro at "woof-gym butt gog"

made by Gene Cowan found via Deaf DC Blog via DC Blogs Live.


I hate you, sweater sleeves

Dear Sweater:

I don't hate all of you. Your front panels and back panels were surprisingly easy. I had to stare at the pattern and go cross eyed for a minute but c'mon. Details, details. You were by the book, simple, straightforward, and most importantly-- DONE.

But you, Sleeves. You are a different story. I am over you a little. At first I decided that you'd be piece of cake, that the hard part was behind me.

but no.

you make a delicate bell shape on the bottom that will be sure to provide me with hours of glee at the sight of my retro-wrists and hopefully you will not itch like the sweater I am wearing today.

(note to self: write letter to French Connection damning them for making itchy sweaters and cc: Filene's Basement for selling itchy sweaters.)

it's the top of you, Sleeves. I can't figure out how to round the shoulder cap. Try as I might, rounding the shoulder parts, your humps, if you will-- is trying my patience.

Remember last night, Sleeves? When after about 25 minutes of googling to figure out how to get all of your stitches off the needles while maintaining a hole for my bicep, I slammed you down on my desk and hot tears sprung to my eyes while I yelled, swore, cursed and then TRIED to have you work with me.


Remember, Sleeves, when I was talking OUT LOUD TO MYSELF, and surely NOT TO YOU, (we are beefing, Sleeves. Silent treatment) about how the pattern just says "bind off" and how when I did that, and then continued with the knitting it made a nice seam CLOSING YOU OFF TO MY ARM which just doesn't fly with me. Sorry Sleeves, it's not how I roll.

but I can't waste tears on you, sleeves.

but at the same time, I can't quit you. I have to knit your twin and do shitloads more before like, TOMORROW and I'm just wigging out. You are making my head spin with complications and you are making the veins in my temples twitch with frustration.

Sleeves, if it weren't the knitting Olympics, I would take my ball and go on home.

so why can't you be like your siblings and just EFFING BEHAVE. Stop falling apart and start looking like a sweater of glory that I can wear and gloat to strangers who compliment me on it.

I have a dream, Sleeves. It goes like this.

Stranger: I'm sorry to stop you, but what a lovely sweater you are wearing!
Me: oh, this old thing? I whipped it up in a week or two some time back. It's one of my own creations.
Stranger: oh my gosh, you're so talented
Me: I know!
Stranger: hey, why don't you quit your day job and knit all the time. I'll pay you for your artistry in the domestic arts arena. Also, I'll buy you a house and get you a dog.
Me: OK!


Whole sweater-- I'm sorry you had to hear this. You are still my favorite. I will block you GOOD when I am through with these other clowns. Here's hoping this kitchener stitch bind off hoo ha i googled works and i'm not just pulling it out of my ASS.


P.S. my hands are very, very white in this picture. add 'get a tan' to to-do list behind haircut.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

something small

can make big changes:

i was in a funk this morning, but then i did what every girl does when they're a little down. buy make-up!

i bought this:

image courtesy of Revlon

As far as drugstore make up goes, this stuff is pretty good. the cream shadow doesn't sink into creases like some cheaper ones do, and it lasts all day! Plus, the colors here are neutral minerals, shimmery, and perfect for looking SOOOOO GOOOOOD! So, happily, so i can start over tomorrow to achieve extra-hottness for impending haircut.

Which is a plus, because

a) you always have to look super hott when you get your haircut, so that the stylist understands how stylish you are and gives you a suitably stylish haircut


b) you know it's a lacking-in-hottness-day when you get up and you realize that your fishnets (nude ones for the office, thankyouverymuch) have cut into the backs of your legs, not due to tightness (i swear!), but due to lack of getting up for about 5 hours.

the extra criss-crossing? not super attractive and surprisingly ouchy. i'm SERIOUS.



Where was the publicity? The advertising?

maybe i don't watch enough Noggin/Nickelodeon/abc family!

I am a proud owner of the first installment, and i can SO show you any day of the week! too bad i own it on VHS and no longer have a VCR!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Oh Shit...

...why did you choose to re-appear this weekend? dumb mouse! am i going to look 10 lbs skinnier for cousin's wedding? am i going to look 10 lbs skinnier for shopping for dress with my mother for wedding?

...there are like, 19 steps to applying for a job with your fine organization.

...this is only minorly LESS of a pain in the ass than navigating the federal government job listings

...i should have done this thing for work WEEKS AGO

...i noticed two nights ago that the chain-lock to one of our skylights is dangling procariously un-locked, instead of tight inside its home where it belongs and i've had trouble sleeping just THINKING about it but i am too short, even standing on a chair and a stool with no spotter to reach it. long have i looked like i needed a haircut this bad? really, i'm serious. why didn't anyone SAY anything?

...who knew there were more days in february after this weekend? calendars play cruel tricks. i thought this weekend was march 5!

...the DK's birthday is coming up and i only have part ONE of present

...wait, that means my birthday is only like, 7 weeks away.

...what should i DO for it?

...i am getting SIDE-TRACKED!

...i am only on the beginning of the FIRST SLEEVE of the sweater time of posting i only have 4 days, 20 hours, and 58 minutes left by THE OFFICIAL CLOCK(scroll down a bit, on the righthand side)


...and then i have to seam it, sew the cowl, and block it?

...4 days, 20 hours, and 54 minutes

...4 days, 20 hours, and 53 minutes

...why am i still writing about it and not KNITTING AT WORK?

...because i already did, just enough before i was like

...i could get caught!

...there should be more of you, sweater, but alas, there is not.


Thursday, February 16, 2006


Time goes by... so slowly...
Time goes by... so slowly...

everybody now! Don't she just speak the truth? new madonna make me want to wear a leotard and do 15 hours of yoga in knee-high boots and then hit the disco instead of sitting at my desk and have her songs doing the hustle around my head. I love me some madonna, but she seems to be above pants recently. I understand if you are real rich, and real buff, and have reinvented yourself like 400 times, then why not just do it for the 401st time sans pantalon, me ouĂ­? Freak out the squares or something. I'm sorry, she is pushing fifty, so let's not hope time #402 involves no shirt!

so, i have done a bit of knitting last night, but i couldn't do a WHOLE lot because of effing project runway and their need to freak me out all the time. I just have to let the world know that I love Daniel V. I hope he wins, and if he doesn't win, I hope he figures out that ladies around the world let out a collective sigh at his hipster hair and skinny arms and wish upon their lucky star for a gayboyfriend of that high caliber. He, i feel, is staunchly pro-pant.

ok, fibrousness!

As you can see, i'm about 1/5 of the way through the FRONT panel of the sweater. this is happy news, though i need to churn out the sleeves AND seam AND block-- all within 10 days. (eeeeeppp!) so my goal is to finish the FRONT panel by saturday and then (l'sigh... buy more Double Pointed Needles size 15 and 11) for the sleeves. maybe i'll buy them online. I love buying online from this shop in Oregon, which is a 1 - 3 woman operation (sometimes the proprietor's mom and or partner help out, but mostly it's just 1 woman.) also ordering from Angelika is a lovely experience- it is fast, cheap, and she makes a point of friendly service.

I am pleased that we have a holiday weekend headed our way. I really need to get into the groove of knitting for longer times, instead of an inch here and 10 rows there.

and i'm spent!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Weekend Warrior

Check my progress, yo!

I am very pleased with what I accomplished this weekend. I am JUST about finished with the front panel of the sweater. I am enjoying this pattern, because the increasing and decreasing are spaced out very far, so you get a nice curvy shape. This has been a good lesson in shaping things - The slight increasing and decreasing is every 6 rows 3x. That's it, and look at the majesty! No boxy, man-sweaters for me! Where it tapers out, and then sharply in is the armholes for the sleeves. That is the part of the project that i am most concerned with most-- joining the sleeves to the body of the sweater, but I think that'll be fine. Things are working for me as I go along.

I've never knit something a) huge and b) reading the pattern by the book. Usually i goof with it (and truth be told, I'm going to goof with this one-- I'm thinking of not knitting the cowl). But it's great. As I am going along, the pattern is making sense. I find this delightful and might actually start following patterns instead of measuring things and guessing wildly and knitting small round things exclusively from now on.

I ran into two snafu's.

1.) The measurements for the sizing on this sweater are just effing RIDICULOUS. i'm sorry, but a size small that needs a 30 1/2 inch BUST measurement is for a child. C'MON people. Most bra sizes are at LEAST a 32, and "hello, man-back" i wear a 36 (Hello internets. this is my bra size. I am a sexy, sexy linebacker!)

So the end sum of this rant? I am knitting a size XL. That's right, I'm the man. The bust on the XL is 37 1/2 inches, which is big, but the L is a 34 1/2 and i'd rather knit it a little big and block it DOWN to a wearable size than have garter stitch bursting at my.... ahem... lady lumps.

I know one shouldn't be married to size, but now i feel like this sweater is mocking me. How can something i am creating (for myself. As a treat, no less) make me feel bad about myself? SCREW YOU, PURPLE SWEATER.

2.) said decision was DUMB to make right after casting on, holding up the first few rows and going "oh no. no way in hell" and frogging (read: ripping it out. Get it? Rip it? Frogs? Rip it? knitters are HILARIOUS, people) bitterly, because I had counted on making the Large without really thinking.

I bought 6 skeins of this particular yarn as the M and L sizes call for 6. However, the "Sweater for ye who hath a back the size of Montana" calls for 7 skeins. PROBLEMO. So far the front panel which i've knit has taken up a skein and like, an 1/8th. so i'm hoping that if i don't make a big deal of the cowl, then i'll have enough yarn.

which is totally fine, the cowl on the picture is what i'm not wild about. I do love the long bell sleeves, and i've made the body of the sweater precisely 1/2 an inch longer than called for because i hate when things are short torso-ed and ride up on you.

Having just written "ride up on you", please let the brokeback jokes commence. I'll be listening from the corner, where my huge-man-back belongs.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Looking Forward

Bring on the Knitting Olypmics! Tomorrow night baby, is when I begin!

You know it's a sad, sorry state of affairs when you are this excited to start something new. Maybe it's just because you're faced with your quarter-life crisis, and you're desperate for something to challenge you, make you feel like you're accomplished. You know, the one where you're in your twenties and all of a sudden you go, JESUS!

My friends live all over.
Hi friends I don't talk to enough! I miss you!
Do I watch too much TV or not enough?
How can I make my job more interesting? (blogging at work, mayhaps?)
When will my checking account balance not distress me?
I don't know what I want to be when I grow up!
Am I grown up?
Do I have to grow up?
When will I KNOW THINGS?
When will I figure out what I'm supposed to be doing?
Where is my direction?
Where have all the cowboys gooooooonnnnnnne?

I have 1500 questions and three answers.

1.) something lovable who needs me to save it. Any breed.
2.) having one is just mean.
3.) nacho cheese.

In 6-year-old Kat's life plan, I was supposed to be married, a cowgirl, and have 2 children who thought I was awesome and who I let eat ANY TYPE of junky cereal that they pleased because I UNDERSTOOD THEM and knew how to braid, which made me THE BEST.

Don't get me wrong, PHEW on not being
a) married yet or
b) a cowgirl

(with my set love of over-adornment, imagine the things that would have fringe!)

This Knitting Olympics hoo ha, yes, is nerdy to an extent but something I NEED. What I'm wondering is whether or not I'm a bad person for being excited about stepping up to a CRAFTY challenge. On one hand, go me for seeking out a challenge, any challenge, SOMETHING THAT I HAVEN'T DONE YET. SOMETHING NEW. Just because I'm crafty (and oooh JUST YOUR TYPE) doesn't mean that I'm not intelligent. Why should I feel inadequate that the only challenging prospect in my for my brain and hands are making a sweater that would be $24.99 at H & M and perpetually on sale.

People seem to think knitting is cute. It's not all serene clicking of needles as I contemplate my navel. It's rigorous in it's own right. You have to think about size, pattern, shape, color, tension, and uniformity thereof. You have to know how to read a whole other language, know yourself and your technique, and have clear goals and vision.

Sure, I'm not being academically challenged, but who gives a fuck? A challenge is a challenge!

Am I a bad person for thinking that? Give me some sticks any day-- I'll make things. There is no shame in making things. All the kiddies on the fabulous Project Runway have amazing brains to figure out how to do all the things they do. They are really smart, to be able to think like that. But who's to say that is less valuable than other sorts of smartness? I would rather be smart like them, in a tangible way than be good at arguing about politics.

Shoulda thought of that before I went to college to learn about politics, but OH WELL. Shoulda thought of that before I sunk so deep into the squishy comfort of DC and learned to love it for other reasons aside from people's egos barking at each other in big white buildings. I learned a lot of things in college that don't belong in books or classrooms that are worth more to me than anything I read in a book about other people doing things.

It's like the Grey's Anatomy episode from Sunday night. (ew, yes, I'm going there) There are doers and there are watchers. I'm really sick of watching (and reading, and looking, and staring at the wall because OMG it's not even THREE PM YET) and ready to do! To make! To create! To live!

TO KNIT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tangentially inclined

Oh, right. wasn't i going to babble on about KNITTING here? rrriiiiggghhhtttt.

well, it's ON bitches! it is ON!

i went to Knit + Stitch = Bliss to buy the yarn that i needed for my undertaking of greatness. Stitch DC doesn't carry this brand (boo!) so i had to trek out to MARYLAND on my lunchbreak (i hurried, it was manageable) and bought $42 worth of Brown Sheep Company's Lamb's Pride Worsted.

I was pretty pleased with my experience, i have to say. The shop has ssssoooooo many nice things that once i found the right yarn i just ran my fingers along all of the pretty (read: pricey) stuff that i can't afford right now and just oohed and aaahed and hand-dyed yarn, stacks of mohair, and silk ribbon-y goodness, but i'm not really there yet, in terms of skill. For now, the $7 a skein (but ooh!! 15% mohair!) is a huge step up from
lion brand homespun that i usually mess around with. the store was bustling when i walked in (with an older clientele, but younger women floated in and out) and they were all talking knit-speak trying to impress each other and i got a little intimidated and paid and fled to catch the metro and got serious double-takes for riding the metro with a HUGE clear bag full of purple yarn. Knitting is the new yoga, people--i don't understand why people still think it's strange to be seen Knitting in Public.

anyhoo-- here is a picture i snapped from my copy of Stitch N Bitch of the finished product. i am not SUPER wild about it being knit in bulky garter stitch, but i am going to work with it. Also that will keep me focused on shape and not distracted by ribbing or cables or whatever.

the challenges here (though the sweater is pretty basic)

1) shaping the fitted body of the sweater to not look like a rug hanging off me

2) shaping the shoulders

3) to make the cowl, you have to pick up stitches from a regular neckline and then knit with them, which is hard to make look neat

4) blocking the sweater (getting it wet and shaping it)

5) oh, i have SIXTEEN DAYS.

I start Friday! good thing i am going home for the weekend, and i have bus rides to take care of some business.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

But we're never gonna survive.....unless, we get a little....

Last night, over dinner with Brett, we were talking about how we both, in our own way are crazy. Hello, my name is Katherine and I am crazy because I am overly sensitive, often incorrectly assume latent meanings of the most benign sentences, and operate on precisely two speeds: lethargic and panic attack.

people have interesting habits for holding it together, mostly by weird control mechanisms. It recently dawned on me, after A.) reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and B.) watching Mtv's True Life: I have OCD that rituals matter in daily life. Ever since I was a KID, rituals have mattered, though I don't feel crippled by them by any sense of the word. Or maybe it's just the Taurus in me, being bullish about habit.

As a kid, after I brushed my teeth (which takes as long as singing "happy birthday" to yourself, as Oprah once told my mother, and anything Oprah says my mother holds as law) I would take a little paper dixie cup, swish with water and then spin around quickly and toss it into our family's miniscule bathroom trashcan. If the cup went in immediately, I was going to have a good day. If the cup bounced off the rim or didn't go in, bad times. Then I would scoop up the cup and keep trying until it made it in. As you can see, as a kid I was already in charge of my own destiny.

Now, as a (oh hee hee this is hilarious) "grown up" they haven't left me. On 18th street, right at about California street, someone else with my initials (KAS) and some balls had etched them in the freshly laid cement on the sidewalk. Without altering my pace, if my right foot lands on it, good day for me! If my left foot does, bad times, and if I miss it altogether? Then I'm blogging on my "lunch break" because I AM BORED.

It makes me want to make a face to think about showering in a different order than I have now. It's been the same since I was allowed to shave the legs in 6th grade (a more worldly friend had to kindly be like "um, I know that you just came from catholic school, but I think Jesus, Mary AND JOSEPH would appreciate less fuzz".)

I firmly believe that the number of dogs I see in the morning leads to good fortune. Case in point, one day the daveklein had an interview for a job he was super interested in and I saw not one, not two-- but THREE BASSETT HOUNDS that morning. I thought to myself "on this most fortuitous of days, something will happen for the DK" and it did. He got that job. CUZ I WILLED IT. WITH BASSETT HOUNDS.

Everyone has their things. Rituals can be small-scale. Some people put mugs fresh from the dishwasher upside down, some have to have them right-side up. Some people alphabetize their CD's and color code their closets and have colored folders for different types of bills. People are staunchly "TP hangs OVER" or "TP hangs UNDER". Human beings are creatures of habit, no matter how fabulously you think you roll. I think everything in me depended on how fabulously my mom rolls.

It's like we hold onto these ridiculous little rituals as crazy people, because being in control of these small things is our personal gravity-- my color coordinated closet is what keeps me from being pulled off the ground into my "ooooh-shiny-things" outer mental sphere. I may suck a little at life-- I might not have total control of my situation all the time-- but damnit, my closet is left to right, black to white, and sometimes I feel better for it. And perhaps not having total control is what's freeing to be able to color code your bills and be able to speak about the joy it might give you.

but god forbid I ever wash my face before I condition my hair or I might just be flung from my shower into outer space.