Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dark Music for Dark Nights

Happy Halloween! Stella is barking with the force of a thousand Great Danes at small bands of smaller children who, quite clearly, are planning to invade our home, las Hermanitas are costuming for a party and door-answering, and I am planning on sitting down for a night of my favorite fall music and some knitting.

Most people would agree that music has moods, but for me, music also has definite seasons. Siamese Dream is the perfect October album. Not just fall, October. On cold nights especially, this is one of my all-time favorite dark albums. "Today" is the song that most people know, but "Mayonaise" is also fabulous (I'm in love with autumn feelins).

New on the list is the Silversun Pickups. Their music has a deliciously dark quality to it. "Three Seed" (Carnavas) and "Catch and Release" (Swoon) are two of my favorites, hanging somewhere in the balance between absolutely beautiful and absolutely creepy. *Shiver*

It may not be cold here in the low desert, but it *has* been getting dark pretty early. Driving home from work, I've taken to playing snippets of Noel Gallagher's Dreams We Have As Children. If I only have time for one song, it's "There's a Light That Never Goes Out." I've never heard the Smiths' original version, so I have no preconceived notions about what this one "should" be--I just know I like this melancholy, orchestra-backed version.

The nights are getting longer--what are your favorite songs for the dark?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Week 10: Do Not Tell Me It's Week 10

...Because if this is week 10, that means I need to start working on some class projects.

Moving on to happy thoughts: Sunday was Stella's Adoption Day!

The day was nothing out of the ordinary--she threw up on my carpet at 5 in the morning, sat and watched Sunday Morning with us, the usual Sunday things--but it's so strange to think we've had her for a year. In that time, she has developed a ridiculously large vocabulary (eat, sit, and walk, but also bed, dressed, cheese, shoes, and kiss, to name just a few) and an affinity for nesting, as pictured above. I was changing the sheets on my bed, and she came over and plunked right down in them, nevermind that they were right in the entrance to my room.

I love having a dog, for all the barfing in beds and on carpets, and will say it loud and clear: if you want a dog, rescue dogs are the best! Mutts have excellent personalities, and there are too many dogs out there without good homes and loving, responsible owners. We were lucky enough to find Stella by chance (literally, the first dog we saw when we went to the pound), but Petfinder is another great resource that will show you how many dogs (and cats) are out there in need of homes.

In knitty news, I am taking a day to do some stash-diving (and me knitting) while waiting for the back of Mum's Thundercloud cardigan to dry. If it shrinks to the right gauge, I'm done with that piece, if not, I have to rip out the last dozen rows and bind off from there. For all I think this is a brilliant pattern, I'm really hoping it dries to the right size, because I'm kind of getting tired of obsessively measuring my knitting.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Week 9: Old Knits

I was hard pressed to come up with a topic for this post. Lots o' projects and lots o' dry, precise writing (I can never be interesting and precise at the same time) does not make for good blog fodder. Enter Lolly. This blogger is always filled to brimming with excellent ideas that other knitters can get in on. Her latest idea is to revisit old knits, which was quite apropos, because the weather has just gotten cool enough for me to pull out my beloved Gigi.

(Sad, isn't it, when one has to wait until late October for it to be cold enough to wear a summer sweater?)

A little over a year since her completion, I still adore Gigi, and I still feel mahvelous when I wear her, but the yarn is starting to look like an old sock. It is sock yarn, after all, and either the nylon part or the merino part of the Panda Wool I used is starting to fuzz. This is most apparent in the ties:

A little stiff, a little fuzzy. The color has faded a tad, too. Sniff, sniff. The sweater will hold up for a while to come (especially at the rate I can wear it), but I would not call the yarn's performance stellar. This has been my experience with many sock yarns--even my favorite, Sockotta. Anyone out there know a really awesome sock yarn that holds up to wear and tear and still looks good enough to knit a whole sweater out of?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Week 8: Delurking

This is really terrible--one should not have to delurk on her own blog. But the weeks have been flicking past, and I cannot in good conscience leave my poor little blog (and readers) neglected. Last fall I did week-by-week updates, with success, so let's try that again this semester.

Knitting--I had terrific success with my spate of baby knits. Baby Blue Ears and the coordinating Preppy Toadstool Rattle (Ravlink!) were happily received by our head of adult services (Her first baby received the inaugural Nautie, and she still has it!). Jacques the Octopus, pictured above, went to a fellow Circ employee, and given his success among my coworkers, I can only hope that he is not kidnapped by the baby-to-be's older sisters before the little one arrives.

This picture of the Thundercloud cardigan is about three weeks old, but don't signify because I had to rip the back almost all the way back to this point following a little gauge mistake. Rawther, following my discovery that I hadn't gotten gauge, circa where I was set to begin armhole shaping. Augh.

School--In a few short weeks, I have gone from being able to fit everything in one 2" binder to needing three 2" binders. We will not go into detail on this one.