15 December 2008

Christmas Knitting Blues

I'm so totally behind on my Christmas knitting this year. It's annoying. Then again, new responsibilities at work, wedding planning, and being generally a social bug, has put a lot of hampers in my plans. That and my determination to make Philip his first sweater (since I have the ring *read: shiney!) knocked out a huge amount of my time to pump through quickie projects that are usually the things I work on for Christmas presents. Hopefully it won't knock out the next birthday present time either, but we'll have to see.

The sweater has been put on hiatus even though it was his birthday present back on the 5th. Mainly because I goofed in a couple places and it has me frustrated. The new goal for the sweater is to be done before January 10th when I want him to wear it at SimTerra... despite my worry of the way the thing needs to be cleaned.

There is still much to be done and I think the stress is finally getting to me. I really dislike stress. :( But anyways, I have a lot of things I need to get done and not a lot of time to do it in. But the week is young and hopefully the bridesmaids dresses will finally be in and I will have at least one less thing to worry about when it comes to wedding planning.

Philip really needs to choose his mens though...

30 November 2008

Interesting Irony

So apparently the government agency D.A.R.P.A. created the internet.

Well you wanna know how you submit a proposal to them?

By FedEx.

11 November 2008


I've always been a geek for a well told story. This is partially why when I was young I wanted to become a writer. Since I graduated college though my muse has been lacking. I have recently joined with some of my friends from the "The Table" for a Writer's Workshop every other Thursday. I'm also attempting Nanowrimo again this year. So far so good as I've made it past the 10K marker (although by tomorrow evening I should be at 20K). I think I'm doing significantly better than I did last year. Perhaps it's because I found a few good novels to read (well told stories) in a style that I'm far more comfortable with writing (first person).

So far I'm pleased with myself, and I will probably spend some time this evening thinking of the next pieces of the story to put together. Hopefully by monday next week I can be caught up with where I should be in my word count (or past it)... but with SimTerra on saturday, my hope for that isn't very high. So I have my work cut out for me the next few days. Hopefully that proposal Dr. Ganguly had me work on today won't be too time consuming. I'm even forgoing some of my knitting Christmas presents to write this story. One of the downsides of being a knitter at christmas and wanting to write Nanowrimo, is that the two don't totally mesh all that well. At least... not yet.

Philip has started writing a very good story recently in first person (not something i've seen him write in before) and it's really good. It made me remember one of the reasons I fell for him in the first place, I have always loved his storytelling style. His style is more that of a spoken style. It comes across in his DMing our games as well as it makes his writing style very distinctive. This new story shows his voice very well.

So I have found I love telling stories and am finally getting around to getting back into shape of telling them... and I love being a part of the story with my friends, whether it be the Tuesday night group, Saturday group, or Sunday afternoon group... or... whenever. And even if a "game" is over... the story never really stops, because I can still keep writing it or speaking it.

I really love all my characters. They're all showing up in my Nano novel. If I finish I think I may even get the nano novel into paperback as one of their free gifts for "winning". That would be SOOO awesome.

03 November 2008


I'm going to attempt Nanowrimo again this year. It's going to definitely be a challenge. I'm planning to go through the evolution of a character concept, my character concept of Ariadne. Most likely I will explore her personality and go through her travels and thought processes during the course between Dasaria and Dasaria 2 and eventually training my paladin for Dasaria 2, Amelia Almaran.

Afterall, I think Ariadne Amon in Dasaria was perhaps my favorite incarnation of her to date... but my memories of all the stories that Ari has been apart of is kind of... lacking. So we'll see how things go.

28 October 2008

Finally took a picture

Of the veil that I've made. It still needs to be blocked and then I must brainstorm how exactly I can use it as a veil for the wedding of which I keep forgetting to set a date (i hate calling folks and i need to call the pastor and i'm nervous cause i haven't seen him in about 8 years).

That's really all I have for today.

16 October 2008

"Health of the Mother"

I may be showing my true blood radical conservative here when I put this one up. I was pleased to hear McCain bring this phrase to the light in Wednesday night's debate. (I didn't watch. for some reason I find it healthy to play violent fantasy video games during debates and other political events so in case I get mad I can smite the evildoer with my paladin anyways).

I am pro-life. I do not agree with abortion being practiced in any case at all, save LIFE of mother. Yes, this is a difference. People can look over the difference between "health" and "life" just fine, but there is a difference. It is the matter of definition and what sort of loop-holes people can find.

You see, health of mother can cover a plethora of different issues from sickness to mental illness... and even "I don't feel good about having this baby." Sure there are actual health problems that one can have when having a baby and the life gets put in danger. That is why there must be a distinction between the two.

My position on abortion is not something I debate often. I have researched the issue thoroughly and I have found there is substantial evidence that life begins at conception/implantation. This is why I believe abortion is wrong. I'm not totally sure about legislating it. If anything, it's the states decision if at all, the government should butt the hell out. If it was me, I'd never have an abortion. In any case. When it is life or death though, that will be where the true decision will lay. That I don't know... and I think I will reserve that judgement when the time is right.

I am not militant. I think bombing abortion clinics is hypocrisy. I think shouting down women outside of clinics like "don't kill your baby" is extremely judgemental and all in all a bad idea (i've heard of a woman who had just had a miscarriage come out of one and had that shouted at her...). It is a very touchy subject and needs to be treated with the utmost care.

But still, arguing over health vs. life of the mother is a valid argument. Health is very broad, life is not. Life is more important in the end. Isn't that the point?

15 October 2008

I am a very bad blogger

Because I don't keep my promises to blog more. I mean, how horrible I am!

So today, as I sit down with my Beef and Broccoli and Code Red Mountain Dew, I contemplate the theories on how to be a better blogger. Perhaps I should share with everyone my latest writing, but as I am always uncertain about publishing such things to the masses without trying to get paid for it first, I delay that possibility. Perhaps I could talk about politics...

Well, yes I could talk about politics, but my mind forming coherent thoughts on the election that just will not end for long enough time to write it down is slim to none. I know who I'm voting for, I know who I'm voting against... and that sometimes I just want Obama to lose to make someone annoying cry... but that's mean of me, so I don't let my thoughts dwell on that too long. I don't like being mean.

I could talk about knitting, but I have a hard enough time keeping ravelry updated with recent pictures of my work and what i'm working on... that and i keep changing up projects frequently lately... oh well.

There has just been too much on my mind lately... how my work status is hopefully going to stay stable, but no real telling... how the economy could even change that... how the election itself could be the make or break of my company and my job stability... and oh my God, I really need to get cracking on calling the Pastor and nailing down the church for the day that I want. *sigh*... probably should discuss with philip and the folks what time would be best in the day to have the wedding and then start actually doing something about it... for once.

*sigh* I really want to blog more, I do. But I can't promise anything about keeping it relatively up to date. I will try, but no promises this time around.

Until the next time...

15 September 2008

My muse returns

I don't like feeling this way. Sometimes events, people, and attitudes just start building up, accumulating to the point I can't take it anymore. But the negative side of me provokes me to allow it to build up, because letting it out could potentially cause more pain than keeping it in. Because sometimes I doubt some folk really care how I feel, or can't even tell when I have been hurt.

I don't like confrontation, but I desire to pride myself in not being afraid of it. But I can't. Because I think it could make it worse.

So instead I need to let it go. Maybe it will go away. But many months later, it still hasn't.

08 September 2008

Just a Note

I indeed did say I was going to try to keep up better with my blog here, but I keep forgetting to take pictures of my work and such. Today I decided on one "secret" project to change exactly what it was and use one pattern and make it bigger. So far, okay, but I think I've goofed up a bit in the 3rd row of pattern... which can just prove irritating... need better light to fix the problem than is provided by my apartment (usually... I can have more light, but it glares through my tv and we can't have this when I want to see the next part of the story in Philip's game).

I started a twitter, but I think I'm going to have that stuff ported to my LJ... other than that... nothing too much new other than finally got the air filter changed in my apartment and I'm going to be swamped tomorrow at work.

05 September 2008

Time to get back in the groove...

Of blogging that is. I probably should try to allot time each day to blog something about what's going on so I remember I have a blog (and a livejournal, and myspace, and facebook (which miraculously I can never forget I have because "PuzzleBee" is bloody addictive)).

Since I got engaged back in July, I have been doing quite a bit of brainstorming for my wedding, only the only work I have actually completed has been the purchase/order of wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses. I started two knitting projects, a garter and a veil (pictures will be in a future blog) for it which are both 90% complete. All I have left is final rows on veil and binding the loose ends together, blocking, and various other needed stuff. I've done a lot of searching things online and came with the only church that I could find to actually have stuff about getting married there on line is Manassas Baptist. Back in the day I did hang out with some of the youth group folks there (when I was that young... yes it's possible), but I never really had a good experience with those folks. Thankfully I don't think I have to worry about that anymore, but I have to wait til October (6 months away from April 4th, the date I want) in order to see about reserving it. I still need to call my pastor (C.J. Benner) to see if that date works for him and if there is a way that I can have Philip meet him and say yes to the prospect of him marrying us. If you're wondering, Philip hasn't said outright no to any of these ideas I am mentioning... in fact he's okay with the date, doesn't seem to care about the other two... but most of all, he's kind of more focused on getting school stuff done, and is not usually in the mood to discuss wedding planning.

I'm thinking I would prefer to go with some local companies when it comes to flowers, invitations and some other things. Philip and I like to support local businesses whenever we can (yeah, this involves me with local yarn shops and splurging too much, but lets not get into that.)

Speaking of shopping, I'm trying to do a moratorium on buying a lot of new things like I have been. No yarn shopping for a while for me (unless it's necessary for gifts and the like) and cut down a lot on my manga buying. I have a lot of money on my two wachovia cards I want to trim down into no debt on before I get married. Unfortunately, the easiest way for me not to spend money on those two cards was me getting a new one to use for gas, groceries and other essentials. I've already broken some of this not wanting to spend alot because of DVDs I needed (well, really really wanted) and probably because there is a manga sale at Borders... oh well.

Anyways, that is all to sum up for now... I probably should get back to my desk to look like I'm doing some work and/or finish the veil knitting. So very close!

04 September 2008

10 Random Things

First - oops, forgot about my blog. I will try to get back in the habit and posting. Have a bunch of rambles and knitting I can show off too! And now for the substance of my silly post.

Once you have been tagged, you have to write a blog with 10 random things, facts, goals, or habits about yourself. At the end, choose 10 people to be tagged, listing their names. You can't tag a person who has tagged you.

1) I've always wanted to write and publish a novel, but every time I get close to the end, either I get bored, can't figure what else to write, or something "semi-traumatic" happens to my work that makes me lose heart... this has spilled over into other forms of my storytelling.

2) I am extremely happy to be engaged to Philip... and hope to get everything figured out and set up to marry him on April 4, 2009.

3) I believe that enjoying and partaking in fantasy is not evil or bad. I believe it is a quite fun release. So long as you are able to separate fantasy and reality, you shouldn't have a problem.

4) I am a compulsive beginner of projects... hardly ever to actually finish. Until I learned how to knit.

5) I plan to knit my own garter and veil. Both are 10% away from being completely finished. They were started within the months of July and August.

6) My company is in a bad financial situation, resulting in at least 3 employees quitting and moving on to different jobs.

7) I didn't care for John McCain as a candidate. I was a supporter of Fred Thompson earlier on. Now I'm actually excited to vote for McCain-Palin.

8) I never thought I would like anime or roleplaying games. I was wrong.

9) I've never been good at making friends, until I started dating Philip and met his friends.

10) I've always viewed being a good friend as not being afraid of telling them the truth whether they wished to hear it or not. This has gotten me into some quite uncomfortable situations that have eventually worked out for the best in the end.

And I tag:

bah, if anyone wants to do this, go ahead... I hate tagging folks

cross-posted to my blog.

09 July 2008

Non-Knitting News

I be engaged now. I have been dating Philip for well over 3 years now. I didn't see the proposal coming. At all. Although I knew that was the goal and that it was potentially to happen sometime this summer I didn't expect it to happen when it did.

It was masked as the Fourth of July party. My whole family was there (immediate, including brother and his family) and a lot of our friends were there. I didn't realize that there was any other reason to have the party than to celebrate the fourth.

Well this also certainly beats last year's Fourth party where Philip was not feeling good the whole day and the next day he had to go to the hospital to get his appendix removed. Well at least we don't have to worry about that (with him) again.

As I would like to say he made a surprise round crit. Status effect: Stunned.

And now I'm contemplating knitting my own garter and presents for my bridal party. So many plans... and no idea how much time I have to plan them.

04 July 2008


I'm a very very bad blogger. Back when I was introduced to the world of blogging through LiveJournal (which I still have one today) I used to post all the time... multiple times a day... whether I had something to say or not. Now a days, all my blogs seem to be lacking the love. It's not like I haven't been knitting... it's that there are so many other shiny things for me to do.

I've found lovely books to read, whether it's the Dresden Files or one of my many manga or novels that I have been collecting over the past few years. I also fell in love with a new game, Mabinogi. I have enjoyed playing as "Honeko" with Philip playing "Kagaea" and playing with other friends in my guild the RPSociety. They are cool folk and I love the freeform feel of this game. I can go whatever path I feel like when it so strikes me. It's fun and pretty relaxing. The beginning of gameplay is free, but if you want special features that's when you shell out the money. I think it's worth it... so long as I have money to spend.

That has been consuming my time, as well as hanging out with friends, attempting to clean room and failing and thus gettting onto Mabinogi or lounging on the MIMIC. My apartment is abysmal in mess, and it is very overwhelming to look at and try to get started on. But I need to get started and finished. Maybe I'm going to have to put down the needles and turn off the computer to get it done. Maybe. If I can.

I finished my "Fire Brigade Cape" back around the 20th of June. I made the little flower and used a snap enclosure. It suited it's purpose extremely well, better than I had hoped. Although after the fact I found that the stitching holding the snaps in place are slowly coming undone, so I think I'm going to need to rework the enclosure before the next time I take it out on the town.

I also made some gloves in the NaturallyCaron.com Spa yarn. It breathes really well and I could hardly tell they were even on my hands during a summer afternoon. I say that is a success in what I was trying with them.

I began a new project from my birthday present "Fitted Knits". This is the "Boatneck Bluebell" sweater. It came out a lot better than originally thought and it was a pleasure to knit. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I still have the seaming of the sleeves to do left. But that can probably wait until I 1) feel like seaming or 2) it gets closer to the proper season to wear a sweater. Lets see if I actually remember the sweater exists by that time.

I hope you enjoyed this sum up of what's been going on in my life since. I need to really get back into a blogging regularly habit because it sometimes helps me sort through my crazy thoughts that I have these days.

06 June 2008

"It's like magic to me"

This is what a man I was sitting next to while waiting for my car's tire to be fixed (it had gotten bowed out and could cause a problem in the future if I didn't get it fixed) said in commenting about my knitting. His wife apparently crochets and he doesn't really know what the difference is, and as far as I'm concerned, I could explain it, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he would remember. But it definitely made my day.

So apparently, I know magic. My magic is knitting. And I'm so much more patient when I have my knitting on my lap.

I meant to blog so many times, but I'm a very forgetful person and I get wrapped up in a lot of things to do... projects, games, books, work, the list continues. So I am finally getting around to posting again and I will give y'all a catch up.

I finished my very first shirt/sweater project. It took me quite some time, but in the end I like how it turned out. I'm also quite amused about taking my own picture in my bathroom mirror and making interesting photos. Well, except for my hair, which doesn't normally behave. But that's not the focus of the picture. The focus is that I made my own shirt that actually fit me quite well. It's a little tighter on the bottom part, but that's one of the things about making ribbing. It makes things slimmer. This shirt is made from alpaca yarn and is slightly itchy against my skin. I attribute that to the fact that is now summer and such things should be put away until the fall. It's a pity though. I guess that's what usually happens you begin a project and it isn't finished until it's out of season. Oh well.

Glamour Capelet

I started a new project back in May. I started with making the capelet in the taupe color (I am using NaturallyCaron's Country for both of these). Then I got it in my mind that I must of messed up. So I pulled the cape off my needles and started the red one. I started the red one on May 28, better known as my birthday (old age of 26). I'm a lot further along than I was on the taupe cape now. THE END IS IN SIGHT! But thinking back, I don't think I actually did make a mistake on the taupe cape. I think what I will end up doing when the red cape is done is picking the taupe one back up, counting the stitches to make certain that I really didn't goof up and then finally finish that one. So I will have two glamour capelets in the end...

I really like the pattern. It's pretty easy at this moment and nice enough to do my editing job while working on it. At least the part where I'm reading the documents and looking for grammatical errors. I hope to have the red one finished by June 21st, where I will be wearing it for part of SimTerra. Most likely the beginning and then at night, because, after all, this yarn is part wool. Wool in summer? Yeah, I'm insane and want to wear my hand knits. Can you blame me?

Don't answer that.

I've been wanting to start the short sleeve pattern for a while and I've been holding onto the KnitPicks Comfy yarn in two colors (dark purple and red) for sometime to make two of these (yes for myself... I'm stingy when I'm not Christmas knitting). So, being my silly self, I started up the project before I finished the Glamour Capelet (a feat that my boyfriend is frustrated about... he's all about me learning to finish projects I start instead of starting and not finishing and starting new ones and the like. Now Yarn Harlot encourages this (and more yarn buying)... and I like her ideas better, but that may not be conducive to a healthy relationship... *shrugg* I will try to find a happy medium. I hope)...

I started this to get my mind off of the tornado warnings that were all over the place here in NoVA on this past Wednesday, but I put it down in lieu of the capelet when I went to roleplay on Dasaria later... When just standing around Cear, I might as well keep my hands busy when not typing or attacking wild mean animals.

Birthday Loot!
Perhaps the most exciting thing for me this past week was the accumulation of new yarn and "birthday loot". I ended up getting some yarn for my birthday directly from friends. The big balls I don't know what to do with yet, but the Jitterbug yarn I will make some simple socks with... once I find some 2.5 mm needles (hard in stores, easy online). Everything else I bought on my own, I knew what pattern I was going to use. The orange yarn on top (Cascade 220 Quatro) I am going to make a sweater from the pictured book with. I look forward to that. Hopefully by the time I finish it, needing to wear it won't be so far away. The red and purple yarn in the middle I will be making the Honeycomb vest with. Oh and don't forget the d20 knitting needles. I so want to use them once I figure out a good pattern for them.

Anyways this is my sum up of what I've been up to. Hopefully I'll try to be more regular. Depends on the traffic, which despite Obama being at Nissan pavilion, wasn't as bad as it normally is for a Nissan event in the rush hour. Part of me wonders if that was just a bunch of hype or what....

16 May 2008


As I finally got around to reading the first book in The Dresden Files, Storm Front, I realized how difficult it really is to try to read a small paperback while trying to knit 4x4 ribbing on my Stargazer shirt. Browsing through my blog roll (and various news/commentary sites) as I am want to do (and knit while reading because sometimes just knitting at my desk without something else going on is just plain boring... I wish I could get some work... well, actually I don't really because "when it rains it pours" is how work comes by here), I found through Yarn Rambles a link to tools you can use if you are silly like me and multi-task reading and knitting because of some weird ADHD tendencies (it could also be the anti-anxiety meds making me more multi-tasking type, but I'm not complaining, I've got a lot of knitting done in the few months I've been on it and I've been a lot more relaxed).

But I keep digressing... I have determined I really would like OpenPage(tm) Book Holders to help me in my reading and knitting endevours. As it is May and my birthday is the end of the month (May 28... I will be at the old age of 26), I think I will hold off on purchasing things (so very difficult... I keep wandering into book stores and yarn stores and coming out with additions to my collection without trying to think of where I'm putting any of it...) until I get birthday money/presents.

I also highly recommend Yarn Harlot's newest book "Things I learned from Knitting... whether I wanted to or not." Had me laughing in Pizzarama while I was waiting for my lunch on Wednesday and I read some of it aloud to Philip to my own amusement. Unfortunately I felt encouraged by the book to spend more money on yarn like it's a good thing to do... and it's okay to start more and more projects while I have loads of things hanging out on the needles awaiting my love and attention... something I think he will be very unhappy about. He encourages me to buy only what I need and can store... unless we're in IKEA and I bring home along with my new EKTORP chair, a Drake and a fluffy black pillow with eyes and a tail. Yeah... well, my excuse is I'm more likely to use the yarn and store them than the fuzzies... the fuzzies I just give personalities and bury helpless visitors under while they're on my couch, also known as the MIMIC who devours everything (even a knitting needle from my very first set... I have not seen it since...).

13 May 2008

Oops, it's been a while hasn't it?

I got a little carried away with things over the past weeks, but I have kept up with my knitting. This past Mother's Day I delivered the following "secret project" to my mother to a delighted response.This pattern is called Andean Treasure Shawl and I used the Andean Treasure yarn from knitpicks (and the pattern is free from there as well).

This shawl I had been working on since February and I just finally got around to figuring out how to block it just so. It turned out so nice I'm considering making a banner for my blog with this picture:
I have also been working on a new project called Stargazer. It was published in MagKnits awhile ago, but since that online mag no longer exists I was glad to purchase it from the designer Sarah Wilson on Ravelry. I love being on Ravelry so much I forgot I had the Facebook Application called StitchBook... it's so much easier to manage things you're working on in Ravelry.

With Stargazer I had to frog the beginning because I did the ribbing wrong and had the wrong amount of stitches in a row... but that's okay... since now I'm almost done with the second sleeve.

I am using elann.com's Pure Alpaca Fina for this pattern. The yarn turned out thinner than I expected, but it is knitting up real nice and I think it is just what I was looking for. I do intend to make another one of these in the future, but I have so many new projects on my backburner now.
I purchased a new pattern that I have been eying for months from StitchDiva called Casual Glamour Capelet. I've been wanting to try it for a while and I think I found the yarn to do it with. I may end up making two with the amount of yarn I just bought (yay stimulus check that I stimulated my credit cards and the Swedish economy read: IKEA... and my yarn collection with). I made the Mary Jane Pithy hat with this yarn, NaturallyCaron.com Country, before and I like it. I think it should make a nice cape. And NatuallyCaron.com Spa will probably make some good Knucks in the future.In the future I hope to post here more often.. but I say this a lot. Other than that, there will be more to come... eventually.

23 April 2008

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

My study of science and evolution vs. ID/creationism occurred about 8-10 years ago, and I really haven't devoted a lot of thought and time into it in quite some time. I never really experienced the anti-ID bias or didn't really notice it in my college biology class but then again it only had a grad student presiding over it and it was very structured to go directly by the book. I prefer classes like that, with more book learning than the teacher/professor pontificating in front of the lecture hall.

Ben Stein's new documentary, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" pulls to the front the obvious bias against ID that is done by main-stream scientists... where that if you even mention it you are ostracized or expelled.

Here are a couple of articles discussing the movie, that puts a lot of my own thoughts down far more elegantly than I could in one day:
Ben Stein vs. Sputtering Atheists
Win Ben Stein's Monkey by Chuck Norris

16 April 2008

Liberal Elitism

I've ceased being suprised about today's liberal elitism. I could have many comments about the Obama "bitter" controversy, but after much thought and web surfing, I think my opinion is better clarified in the following Townhall.com column.

Xenophobia: San Francisco Style

On a different note: I have no Weekly Review from last week yet. I "finished" a couple projects, but they still have finishing touches left. There should be a weekly review for this week (and last) coming up.

10 April 2008

Knitting Pattern Review: Mary Jane Pithy Hat

Pattern Found Here

With the Mary Jane Pithy Hat pattern, there are two separate patterns for hats that Kirsten Dunst wore in movies. I have tried both of them.

Spiderman: Mary Jane's hatI first tried this hat using Vanna's Choice, but it was very rough to my hands and then the hat fell apart after a few days of wear. Whether that has anything to do with the yarn itself or my own failure at good tying off on the top, I am not totally sure. The picture above is of the pattern using Caron's Simply Soft. The pattern worked much easier on the needles with this pattern.

This is not a pattern you can really do without paying good attention to what you're doing, because of all the yarn overs and knit/purl-two-together that you have to deal with. It's a comfortable hat to wear and I intend to make more of these in the future. Recently I began testing out a new type of yarn I found in A.C. Moore yesterday during lunch break (my shopping therapy involves books and yarn, but I don't like to admit this, no). This yarn is called NaturallyCaron.com's Country. It is an Acrlyic and Merino Wool blend that is very soft to the touch and comes in many lovely colors. I look forward to giving this a try because the more nice yarns I can find without resorting to the online buying (although so much fun), the happier I am when it comes to making presents for friends and family.

Elizabethtown Hat
So I couldn't really say no when I got a bunch of red yarn for my Kaylee knitted garments collection (stuff that is washable and okay for lots of crazy activities outdoors). So I made the "girl in the red hat" hat. Using KnitPicks Swish Superwash, it was very easy. This was also my first experience with doing cables. It was easier than I thought it would be, especially easier to not use a cable needle (I didn't use anything but my own fingers to hold the to be cabled stitch) than I had originally thought. I found this pattern very comfortable to work with and relaxing to just sit back and attempt to do other things while knitting.

Also this hat actually suited my need when I had to do a mod outside while it was drizzling. It kept my head warm and the rain didn't seem to do any damage. Good thing I used superwash wool.

07 April 2008

Week in Review: Therapy

Yes I realize last week's week in review is slightly late, but things happened this weekend that were beyond my control. so this posting has to do with something nearly different (but it can tie into whatever I feel like at the time I'm writing this).

For me there are multiple different types of therapy and I will highlight them thus following.

Knitting Therapy
I, like many people, find knitting to be extremely relaxing. Although, when I need to relax, I usually choose my easiest project I am working on (the one that uses less brain power). There's not much more I can go into that, because words usually cannot describe how good I feel when I accomplish something like a project or get a good way done in it. Now, if only that project would be cleaning my apartment...

But I've always felt i need more knitters to talk to about advice and various knitting sort stuff. Yay for being invited to ravelry! Now... to make with the actually getting off my butt and shyness to talk to folks I don't know.

I would've had a nice week of progress when it came to my projects that I'm working on, but unfortunately I got a new baby (Wii) and some new stuffed animals to claim my two favorite hobbies (Wii and Knitting).

Gaming Therapy
Fantasy, games, and the like are a release for me. It is something I enjoy and spend a good chunk of my weekend doing. I have always found reality to be extremely boring and littered with evil responsibility and bills and the like, so reading fantasy, playing fantasy, and creating fantasy has been good times for me. This past weekend I ran a story of pirates and evil fishmen and an evil empire trying to enslave the seas. I also was in a story of transmundane things happening in the fictional city of Roanoke, North Carolina. These things are fun for me and help me relax and escape from reality for a brief moment.

Not to say that I don't live in reality. I have learned over my years that I think good gamers need to have a stronger grip on reality than anyone else because they need to recognize the separation between fantasy and reality. It's the gamers that can't do that that you hear about in the news killing themselves accidentally with a katana.

Cleaning Therapy
Believe it or not, sometimes cleaning makes me feel good. Perhaps this is because I don't do it often enough and that I feel a lot better about myself when it's done because it is one of my biggest sources of self-blame. I am lazy, I dislike having to do a lot of work to get the apartment straightened up. I am much happier with yarn thrown across the house... but that does not work for being a central location for hanging out. It doesn't work at all. So this week I am going to begin the long therapy session that is cleaning therapy. Now if I can just get past the knitting and gaming therapy to focus on that.

Driving Therapy
Even driving in I-66 rush hour traffic, I find the power and control I have behind the wheel to be very relaxing. One day when I was in college I got really hurt and stressed out about something or other and I just left where I was and took my car and drove a circle around Greenville, North Carolina. They had a nice way of doing that and it felt a lot better afterwards. I think I need to do that more often, although now is the day of really high gas prices, so it's not as luxurious and stress-relieving as it could be anymore.

Sleep Therapy
Simply put, you go to sleep, you feel better. That is... if you can sleep.

Talking Therapy
This does not always involve talking to other people, but a lot of it involves talking to myself like I'm talking to other people. I have been able to tell my computer screen exactly how I think about the situation at hand better than anyone else. I have also been able to do the same thing with the walls in my bathroom. It's a little silly, and it may be a sign of insanity, but I come to a lot of self-realization when I'm talking to myself.

Besides, one of the differences between girls and guys is how we cope with our problems and the "talking therapy" is a point of contention. Guys don't usually like to talk when they cope. They usually like to be left alone. Girls on the other hand like to talk about it. This has been a problem in many relationships (including mine) that I have noticed. Pushing a guy to talk about a problem is not usually advised. (hard lessons I have learned)

Fuzzy Puppy/Kitty Therapy
How can you be sad when you've got a corgi puppy licking your face. Even Chicken the sick kitty had his effect on me as well. Some of the best times I bonded with him was when I needed someone after a break-up that broke my heart.

Also connected to this therapy is "stuffy therapy". In the event that you do not have a real pet but instead have a mound of stuffed animals of which you can bury yourself under (like myself), you can snuggle up with a stuffed animal for comfort. For some reason, even at 25, I find it hard to peacefully sleep without a stuffy. It be embarrassing.

Actually seeing a Psychiatrist Therapy
I have Generalized Anxiety Syndrome according to my psychiatrist. She did listen and prescribed me Citrocal. It has helped. It doesn't relieve everything, hence all the other sorts of therapy. It also doesn't prevent new stresses to emerge. But, it's a start.

Biblical Therapy
Sometimes when I'm down and really uncertain what to do, I do turn to God to help me with what to do. Unfortunately a few times I make the mistake to ask for patience and peace, which causes me to be put in instances where I need to feel such things. Sometimes it comes with a small prayer proceeding opening a Bible to see where it leads me. I'm still confused with what He's trying to tell me, but... well, things will work out according to His plan and His own time.

Snuggleupagainst Therapy
Boyfriend snuggles. That's it.

01 April 2008

Punished by a Baby?

Obama said the following quote in a town meeting in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

“Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old,” he said. “I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby. I don’t want them punished with an STD at age 16, so it doesn’t make sense to not give them information.” (emphasis added)

To equate a baby to getting an STD is ridiculous. And punished? This just does not compute in my mind.

I am a firm believer in personal responsibility. Every action has a direct reaction. Everything one does has a "consequence". I don't see a baby as a punishment but as what happens when you decide to have sexual intercourse (especially if you are doing it unprotected). This is supposed to be an understood sort of thing. If you don't want a baby, either be informed and be protected, or simply don't do it. To call a baby a "punishment" makes it sound like you don't want to take responsibility for your own actions even though you know what you did was wrong.

30 March 2008

This Week In Review: "My Phat Lewtz"

I had a splurge since I realized I had extra money due to my tax return finally coming in. I had been meaning to make this sort of purchase for some time now, and I finally did and was pleased to see they all came in within two days this week, earlier than I expected. I did purchase a few big balls of other yarn last Friday at JoAnns, but I forgot to include those in the picture of my "phat lewtz". Also not included is the one ball of yarn that I ordered on Amazon.com this week, but that I don't really expect until next week along with my two new pairs of shoes, Crocs' Alice.

I have plans for just about all of these balls of yarn. Included in the finds are as follows: Knitpicks Suri Dream, Glossamer, Shadow, and size 8 length 40" Options needles, elann.com's Pure Alpaca Fina, Just Bamboo ribbon yarn, and another thing of ribbon yarn I forgot its name already. From an earlier purchase, I have as well KnitPicks Andean Treasure, Swish Worsted, and Swish DK. Andean Treasure, Suri Dream, and Shadow all are used in a "feather and fan" pattern with Knitpicks' free patterns. Glossamer is just the handdyed version of Shadow. As I've learned recently, lace yarn is a challenge to work with... I have never used with such fine yarn before.

With each week in review, I plan to cover a few different things such as different types of yarn I am using, status on projects I am working on, and other things of relative fun (like maybe a small rant about current events or something if I feel so inclined).

Andean Treasure vs. Pure Alpaca Fina
While I was searching online for decent priced sport weight yarns to use in "secret projects", I came across elann.com's Pure Alpaca Fina (PAF). While I had already started using Andean Treasure (AT), I was excited by the many more color options that PAF offered. It also contained more yardage than AT so I figured I would give it a shot as a adequate substitute.

When they came in the mail on Wednesday, I was very excited and opened it up and began introducing myself to it I realized, and did comparison with it. They are both "sport weight" according to their two different sites, but from what I noticed, PAF is thinner than AT. To my estimation it looked more like a fingering weight yarn (it was thicker than the lace weight yarn I also got in the mail, which made me happier). I guess I should pay a bit more attention when studying for substitutes for patterns online. I still have yet to really understand, nor develop the patience, to work with "gauges", or even understand fully that it says 50g, so maybe even though it has more yarn yardage, it may be thinner than the other ball. Oh well. I'm still planning on using it for a pattern that calls for AT in the future, I just have to figure out if I need to change needles or increase the width of the pattern. Those two things shouldn't be too difficult.

HP PoA Scarf

I have been working on the second try with the scarf since sometime in February or January (don't remember), but it has been considered a back-burner or "easy" project. I usually work on it when I feel like it or I am multitasking (watching subbed anime, reading over papers for editing). This scarf uses KnitPicks' Swish Worsted yarn, which is some of the softest yarn I had worked with up to that point (it still is by far one of the softest yarns I've ever used). I like the way this scarf is coming through. As of the time I took this picture I had just gotten to the 11th set of the yellow-red-yellow stripe pattern. The pattern itself calls for 14 of them and one final big block set and then finishing off with tassling. I am looking forward to finally getting to that part, cause I got tired of the first scarf before I got around to it. Actually it was more like I got tired of using LionsBrand Vanna's Choice because it was irritating my fingers, so I finished that one up fast to do this one.

But I never feel quite happy if I only have one (or just two) projects going on. So when I got new yarn in this past week, I started a few new projects, two of which I will detail here.

This will be what I will consider my "first sweater" although it really is more of a "warm-weather" sweater. I'm hoping to have this done enough to be a project I work on at SimTerra (as this and the above scarf are what I call "Kaylee wear"). No idea how it will get there, because I lost a few stitches today in a "packing incident". I will probably fix it later when I get around to working on it.

The pattern itself looks like a short sleeve kimono, and it even has a silky looking band just under the bust to mimic a small obi. I purchased some bamboo ribbon yarn to suit that effect, because I don't really like the idea of spending the time to make my own ribbon yarn. Bah, that's far too much effort. Since the PAF was smaller width than I thought it would be, I'm hoping the particular size I chose to make this with is just fine. Next time I try this pattern I may splurge and get the yarn it calls for and I already have another ribbon yarn around here to put with that one. I'll probably do a pattern review at some point for that and then I will provide the link.

Suri Dream Throw

This is the only feather and fan pattern that I can even show here because the others are... well, *Xellos pose* that's a secret. And I haven't really started it, I've just begun planning it. I intend to use the yarn that the pattern calls for, KnitPicks' Suri Dream. It claims to be a bulky weight, but looking at it closer, I really don't totally buy that. I am also intending on whipping out what I call "the big red and black tribble" (also known as a pound of gradient yarn I got at Jo Ann's) and blending that with the Suri Dream to add an interesting textured effect. I hope in the end I will have enough of that to go along with 10 balls of the Suri Dream, but we will have to see. I probably should do some measurement planning before I get all invested in the beginning.

Here highlights what I've been up to this past week, I hope to have next week's review up sooner than this one, but I get so easily distracted when boyfriend playing fascinating game (Mount and Blade) on my computer or Arkham Horror at Jeff and Mona's. Or even... I get too distracted by my many projects I'm working on to remember to actually write about it. I hope to get better about that, but no real promises... this week at work has the potential to be hell.

Although the knowledge of getting nice packages delivered is still warm fuzzies. I also have a story to work on so I can torture people this coming Saturday.

Coming Soon: Pattern Review: Mary Jane and Elizabethtown hats

27 March 2008

The Audacity

Ever since I was reminded of this word's existence when some of my players suggested we name our ship that in my game, I have been quite fond of it. But it's relevance to today's political scene never quite hit home until the last few weeks.

I admit that I have gotten annoyed by the constant talk on the radio and tv about Barack Obama's pastor, Dr. Jeremiah Wright, but I knew there was something up with his church long before it started making the mainstream media. It is important for us to know the people who are running for president. We really don't know Barack Obama as he's been relatively new to the scene. I have not really been impressed by his "sweet talk"... I nearly fell asleep during his 40 minute or so Chesapeake Primary Victory Speech that was littered with big government socialist dogma. I never understood why the masses go for that. Perhaps the public is just a sucker for a good speaker.

Which George W. Bush really has never been.

But this brings me to my muse for the day. I have always found it important for us to know what sort of man (or woman) is running for the highest office of the country. It boggles my mind that he would sit in a church for 20 years with a pastor who he "disagrees with". When I had left for college and my old church got a new pastor, my parents found disagreement with him over his lack of belief in the inherancy of God's word. So they left the church. When you live in a big city like Chicago, there has to be plenty of other churches to choose from, so why that church?

I don't profess to know what is truly his heart and mind, but it does throw a bit of doubt into his message of "hope", "unity", and "change." If he sat for 20 years under a pastor who spewed messages of hate and racism, things that don't reflect a true understanding of Christ, how can we really expect him to be the person he claims he will be?

Those are just my thoughts...

Other articles/blogs on this subject for your perusal (i do not deny having a bias, no indeed):
"Audacity of Hype" campaign soldiers on
More points from yesterday's "Audacity of Hype" speech on race
It's not Compassion -- It's Wright-Wing Racism
Throw Grandma Under the Bus
Wimping Out: Obama's Squandered Chance at Post-Racialism
Is Obama Ready for America?
OK, Sen. Obama, Let's Have the Race 'Talk'

I realize the majority of this topic is a little late, but I've been pondering over it for a while, and with Rev. Wright's latest comments about Italians, this particular issue for Obama doesn't seem to be going away.

17 March 2008

Recognition and Status Update

I'd like to thank Bearing Drift for writing a blog introducing my blog on the 14th. It had me extremely surprised and blushing for a few long minutes.

Any new readers do that, I should have some new content coming up shortly in the realm of knitting... and maybe I'll write about something else as well... we'll see. I have some knitting pattern reviews pending. I have one outstanding project that has been put as a "secret project". I also have some patterns I'm contemplating starting work on once I get myself ready to do my next online yarn purchase from KnitPicks and my first online yarn purchase from elann.com. I may buy some others because I saw a good deal on some discontinued yarn that the new Knitty magazine has a pattern for. But we will see. In the future I will post up a blog about the yarns I like to use from various sources, in a segment called "yarn review". As of right now I am currently working on only one "non-secret" project, so I haven't really gotten myself around to doing the weekly status report, but I will try to do that sometime starting this week.

There have been a lot of interesting things going on in the news realm and in politics, but I'm not totally certain how to frame my mind around most of it to come up with a coherent post on the subject. I have a "ways to tell a story" post coming up in my head as I type this, so I may be posting something like that in the future.

P.S. Happy St. Patrick's Day to you! I am wearing my green today.

07 March 2008

Knitting Pattern Review: Prisoner of Azkaban Scarf

pattern found here

This scarf is knitted in the round using either size 7, size 8, or size 9. For the first few weeks I enjoyed the simpleness of the scarf, finding it to be relaxing and easy to multi-task with. I intend to make many more of this kind.

I found that LionsBrand Vanna's Choice, after a long period of time, grew too uncomfortable to work with, and perhaps even too big of a weight (even though it "claims" to be worsted weight) to make this pattern with (especially on size 9). The scarf ended up being too big for me in the width sense.

Now I'm also working on the second one already for this scarf using KnitPicks Swish Superwash yarn and size 7 needles (don't have a pic for it online yet, but I will definitely post it up in a following blog when I do). That particular yarn is perhaps the best yarn I have worked with at that point and it and Caron's Simply Soft yarn are probably going to be my "warm stuff" (scarves and hats) yarn for some time to come.

This pattern is fairly easy to deal with, you just need to keep an eye for the row counting and make certain your color changes are good. I have yet to actually do the tassels for the ends of the scarf yet, but it looks simple enough to me.


In the future I think I'm going to try to have a weekly "work in progress" post. At present I think I will time it for Friday evening to Saturday morning that I would do that.

03 March 2008

I Am Picky About My Yarn

I could say I have as of late become "persnickety" about my yarn choices, or what is otherwise known as a "yarn snob". I've become very picky about which yarns I want to use or even buy lately.

This has come about after discovering that a yarn I thought I would like that I got at Michael's, LionsBrand Vanna's Choice, was actually not what I liked... it was itchy to work with and made my head itch when I wore the hat I made with it. I also found that I prefered Wool Ease Chunky as opposed to regular Wool Ease for the same reason, it was less scratchy.

I have discovered that there are very few 100% acrylic yarns that I even like anymore, pretty much limiting to Caron's Simply Soft. There are probably others that I may like, but I'm not totally fond of Red Heart for certain.

I make my choice based more on comfort with knitting. If it makes me itch, then I really don't want anything to do with it. I don't really care if it pills a little. It has to be comfortable to knit with, because if it isn't, it won't be comfortable to wear.

I have some patterns I have tried out and am ready to review soon, hopefully once I get around to getting the pictures online, I will post them up here.

25 February 2008

Where did education go wrong?

Errors Plague Letters from APS Students

Student protest letters full of errors

The assault on the English language has been a thing going on since long before the internet and instant messengers and text messaging taught teenagers and younger children the very fine art that is shorthand. It started for me in elementary school, something I don't really remember myself, but my mother told me. She told me she was alarmed when my teachers said that it was okay to misspell things in a way of "it's how they feel" or "don't want to hurt the children's feelings". I am not totally certain how things went, but I remember that spelling was one of my most challenging subjects when I was in elementary school. But I worked hard. Throughout my years in school, if I had written as badly as these students did in their letters, I would've failed.

And the schools wonder why they're not meeting the testing standards.

I'm not really a big fan of standardized tests, but I am a big fan of actually teaching students what they need to know. Writing clearly is a very important thing that everyone needs to do in order to get good jobs and even get into good colleges. It baffles me that even at middle school, students are writing so poorly.

If these students are indicative of what is plaguing our public schools, I will not be enrolling any of my offspring in any public school. I remember how hard it was to go through school and get English grammar correct and spelling correct, especially when we really weren't taught proper grammar in grade school. I didn't get a proper grammar class until my final year in college as an elective! But I would never have passed middle school if I wrote like that. If they really want their electives, they need to take those remedial classes. And if that keeps them from going to school, sure it could be the school's fault for not teaching properly, but it's really the student's fault for not really trying.

Thanks to Ahab linking this in his blog

15 February 2008

Knitting Pattern Review: Knucks

The first in my knitting posts, I am exploring how I wish to contribute to the realm of knitting blogs or for that matter, blog about my own work with knitting. I am going to probably post up a good bit of my work, to start out review a pattern I have tried and periodically post up other items I have made with that pattern.

The first in the series is a pattern I discovered through Facebook's Stitchbook application (I have actually found a good amount of patterns I like this way, and the first three patterns I review including this one was found through this means).

pattern found here

I first had been trying to make fingerless gloves from a pattern in
the book " Naughty Needles". I wanted to make a pair of these gloves for Philip, but the gloves were far too feminine and they actually didn't really work out the way that the pattern said. So when I found this particular pattern, I was excited because there was an actual "male sized" pattern that I could use to make him some gloves. So I tried it out. I got some sport weight merino wool from Nature's Yarns in Fairfax near my work and borrowed mom's and got my own size 4 double pointed needles (DPNs). They took a bit of time, like it always does with a new pattern and they worked out great. He loved them! These were a part of a bunch of things I put together for his Christmas present. He usually wears his Harley Davidson Leather fingerless gloves, but these I made were more for warmth than for heavy lifting like the others. This is fine by me.

When I bought the yarn for Philip's gloves, I also purchased some cotton-wool mix DK weight yarn in a light teal color thinking of making the Naughty Needle's gloves for Joyce for her birthday, but after trying it out, they didn't turn out the way I wanted so I changed my mind and made her a set of these gloves as well. This was the first time I made a female pair (although as of now I have only made one set of these gloves for a guy). I had to redo it once after accidentally making the pointer finger too big and therefore throwing off the entire glove (and this was the second glove), but through trial and error, they were finished.

I enjoyed working this pattern so much, I made two sets of gloves for myself. I played around with colors for one of them, trying out the idea of having the fingers different colors. For the red and yellow gloves I used KnitPicks Swish DK (Superwash Merino Wool) in Hollyberry and Pale Lemon.

Because I enjoy this pattern so much, I intend to use it again in the future. I will post up pictures of new ones when I do finish them. It's pretty simple for a beginner knitter. I consider myself fairly beginner with hands in a select few intermediate stuff. This was just simple stockinette in the round with k1, pl ribbing for the cuffs. I also recommend Knitpicks's Swish DK. It's extremely soft and comfortable to use and very warm to wear.

12 February 2008

The Lesser of Two Evils

Most of the time when it comes to elections I hear people saying "I'm choosing the lesser of two evils." Why is it that we have to decide between two evils? Why can't we actually have someone who is not evil at all to choose?

This is something that I've been thinking about a lot when it comes to today's "Chesapeake Primary". Since Virginia has an open primary I have heard of multiple folk going to vote for various different reasons. Today I went to vote, but I did not like the choices that were left. So I voted my conscience. My conscience ended up being a candidate no longer in the race. I could not bring myself to vote in the Democratic primary, like other people I know have done or will do. I believe I know of a person who is going to vote "against Hillary", most likely for the reason that she is disliked and we don't want the Clintons in the White House again. I know another person who is going to vote for Hillary because she believes that she is the easiest for the Republicans to beat. I dislike both of the Democratic candidates on more of policy issues. I dislike who is left in the Republican ticket for similar reasons.

It is because of the primary system and coming out with candidates that are not preferred that the choice between "two evils" becomes the way things happen.

But then there are also a lot of people who dislike and/or distrust politicians altogether.

05 February 2008

Super Tuesday

I am not in a Super Tuesday state. My primary is next week in what has been dubbed either the "Potomac Primary" or the "Chesapeake Primary" for it consists of Virginia, DC, and Maryland.

To be honest, I don't know what to expect from Super Tuesday today and whether my primary next week will even be an issue after this one. I hope it will. I'd like to go out and vote and feel as if I can make some difference in the presidential primaries.

I follow the news and I look at all the polls. I don't know which polls are right. The news media was talking all of last week and some are still talking about how McCain is going to sweep and pull out on top. But just recently I heard that Romney is pulling ahead in California and may just have a chance in Georgia.

I was a Fred Thompson supporter. All of his positions were those that fit the conservative mold, but his campaign never really took hold of the party. He did things his own way and perhaps was too laid back for people to really take him seriously. And even then, he might not have even taken himself seriously either. But that is a non issue now.

I think the thing that annoys me most is all the bickering going back and forth within the Republican party. Sure I think McCain is no conservative, but to try to say that you're not going to even go to vote if he is the nominee is just, well, stupid. What about all your local politicians. If more conservatives stay home from voting just because of him, what will that do to our Congress? Instead of not voting, why not vote "write-in" (Ham Sandwich) or third party. You'd get your voice heard that way. But staying home I think is a cop-out and cowardice.

Sure there may be no solid conservative currently in the Republican race. We have a social conservative governor who raised taxes and destroyed the Arkansas Republican Party, we have a security conservative who has pissed off far too many Republicans by legislation that he has supported that go against what we believe in, we have a libertarian who has isolationist leanings, and we have a fiscal conservative who has flip-flopped more than once on his views.

Most of the time when it comes to elections I hear people saying "I'm choosing the lesser of two evils." Why is it that we have to decide between two evils? Why can't we actually have someone who is not evil at all to choose?

When I make a decision, I tend to go with who stands the closest to my ideals out of the available candidates. If the candidates aren't even close to that though, then I may write in or vote third party. I am not to that point yet.

Now if the person who wins the primary for the Republican side were to look at a conservative like Thompson for a running mate, then I would feel extremely strong about supporting them. Until then, I'm going to weigh my options and go for "who is less bad for our country."

I just hope that I will still be able to choose this next Tuesday.

02 February 2008

Always need an introductory post.

I had a hard time trying to figure out what I wanted to name my blog. I never was very good at titles. All the ideas in my head just didn't seem to work.

So I went with "Eleutheria".

Eleutheria is Attic Greek for "Freedom".

I fell in love with this word the moment I learned it. It sounded pretty and I have always had a strong desire for freedom. Freedom is very important when you're in college (when I took Greek) and just getting started out in the wide world. Freedom is very important to this country for the desire for freedom from the British rule began the country. So in essence, there is a lot about freedom that simply, fits.

There are few things that really put me at complete peace and feeling like I am free. I started a blog so I can feel free to discuss more hard hitting subjects that don't really fit a "journal", like trying to take a stab at political blogging. I also am interested to tackle hard question like those revolving around fantasy and what role can gamers actually play in a church setting. I may also talk about anime series as a whole that I have watched and do reviews of them. And then there's this other hobby that I enjoy, knitting. In the future I will post up pictures of work I have done and if I have ever broken into the creating of my own patterns I will post them here as well.

So in essence, I'm trying to break into the world of blogging where I will try my best to intellectually rant about things in the world going on. We'll see how this goes I suppose.