Sunday, December 31, 2006

Defining the Undefinable

As the new year commences and difficult decisions are being shoved down my throat I find the need to define myself. I am a knitting, motorcycle riding, tree-hugging, animal-loving, reality TV watching, vegetarian, hokie. Ya, that sounds pretty good.

I am most definitely a hokie. For those of you out there who are a bit confused a hokie is a Virginia Tech fan, student, alumni, whatever. Maroon and orange are fabulous color choices in my book, if I ever have twin boys I'll name them Frank and Beamer (that is if the hokies can manage to win a bowl game in the next decade), and I don't eat turkey (blah, blah go ahead and argue the VT mascot isn't a turkey it's a hokie bird, but let's be honest it looks like a turkey and's a turkey).

I've been a vegetarian now for 2 and 1/2 years and going strong. I'm not ready for the jump to vegan, but maybe some day. My tree-hugging ways and a seriously convincing, and may I say very attractive, philosophy professor are responsible for my current convictions which my carnivore-like father disdains. I am however a card carying PETA member, and I believe I'll be a vegetarian for a very long time.

Reality TV is a vice of mine. I now that it's stupid and definitely not reality, but I just can't help myself. My favorite's are Beauty and the Geek, Real World, The Duel, Flavor of Love, Biggest Loser and most recently Man vs. Wild (Bear Gyllis you drive me wild). Really though, I'm just a TV junkie in general. I mean come on knitting and TV are the perfect marriage, so it just fits. And now that I can get online and watch episodes for free whenever my little heart desires, I'm in real trouble!

I definitely love animals. I however don't own any myself expect for some pretty pathetic fish. My roommate does have a very cool cat, Adam. My parents have two cats, Pete and Sophie. Pete a fun-loving, good cat. Sophie on the other hand lacks that agile grace that most cats possess. In fact, one day I saw her run into a wall, seriously I really did. Annie is our dog, a Great Dane. She's 150 pounds of gorgeous. If you've ever read the comic Marmaduke then you sort of know Annie; she's goofy, smart, and takes offense at being told what to do.

I also try to change the world one plastic bag at a time. This is my ultimate pet peeve. I absolutely hate it when I buy chap stick at the supermarket and they try to place it in a huge bag. I mean come on we all know it's going in my purse anyway. If they can't grasp this concept you should see their faces when I have a pile of groceries and say, "oh no I have my own bag". They gawk at me as if I'm insulting their polluting plastic bags and maybe I am; deal with it. Since I work in sales, this is precisely the reason I always ask if the customer wants a bag. Ha ha, I've defeated the system!
Motorcylcing has been in my life since I can remember. I started riding with my dad when I was three. We had a side car. That's right I was a badass even at three. I got my license a couple years ago and now I ride a Honda CX500. My sister just got her license, so now the whole family drives. I made us matching t-shirts too. No it's not dorky, I bet you wish you had one.

And finally, I am most certainly a Knitter with a capitol K. I want to own alpacas and angoras some day and learn to spin so I have an unending amount of fiber in my backyard, just in case those terrorists attack. I'm seriously thinking of becoming a yarn rep too, so yarn will truly be my life!

I'm pretty happy with that description at least for this year. Maybe this time next year I will add; thin, sky diving, and gourmet chef to the list. Hmmm, two of those seem to clash, but oh well. I'll leave you with a picture of my lizard ridge afghan. I have 9 blocks seemed together and 2 more finished that leaves 13 to blocks to go!

Swimming in Yarn!

I realized I haven't written about my Christmas presents yet! Well, I got some great stuff. First of all and most importantly, I received from my grandma enough alpaca to keep me in hog heaven for at least a month. It's this beautiful chocolate brown dk weight 100 % alpaca yarn from alpaca jack's (pic on the left). It's fabulous and I found a gorgeous kimono sweater pattern on knitpicks that I think I'm going to use. I ordered the pattern and the needles so I hope to cast on soon. I also got a new hiking backpack and a new joe rocket motorcycle riding suit, which is nylon perfect for the tree- hugging vegetarian! I also received a beautiful cashmere sweater, fabulous jewlery, and some nice knitting project bags. It was a great Christmas!

In the mean time, I started my first sweater, well cardigan really. I'm not a novice knitter, in fact I have no fear of any pattern expereinced or otherwise, but I just haven't taken the plunge with sweaters. I have done lace and other complicated things, but I have to say I'm very excited about this sweater. I am using the Asymmetrical Cardigan pattern from Knitting Nature (pic from the book on left) and I'm using Cascade's Ecowool (which can both be found at Mosaic, though we may be out of the book). It's all in one piece which I love! I cast on almost immediately after Christmas and have the entire left front done and am now working on the right front. Ecowool, be still my heart! I just love it! It's environmentally friendly, no dies and it feels like knitting with handspun yarn. Honestly, who doesn't love a good handspun yarn? Not to mention that it's also very affordable; $15 for 450 yards. Run to your nearest store and purchase immediately!

Also, I have been working on some socks for me! My favorite knitter, Sandy, brought me back some gorgeous sock yarn from stitches as a gift. I cast on Christmas for these as well and have completed one beautiful sock and am fervently working on the second. No SSS for me! I love, love, love them. They're fabulous in every way =>

By the way, I completely agree with Gina! This silly knit from your stash movement must be stopped! I mean come on! Why should anyone deny themselves the shear pleasure of entering a yarn shop and imagining the endless possibilities of projects, buying the yarn, and getting the greatest high there is for a knitter; casting on? Not to mention knitters have stashes for a reason! We love being surrounded by yarn! Life would be terribly boring if I didn't wake up every morning drowning in yarn. Honestly, the whole concept is ludicrous and I simply refuse to think of it any further. With that soap box statement, I'm off to bed!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas is Done!!!

Don't get me wrong I absolutely love Christmas, but I knit almost all of my presents this year. I of course have been warned that this is a terrible idea, but I thought " oh no, I'm not like those other people, I won't procrastinate. I love knitting and I love my family so my presents will surely be done weeks before Christmas". And guess what, I did it! I finished all the knitting on my fabulous presents. Here's the list: Teddy bear - grandma, Huge socks- grandpa, knit wall hanging- sister, motorcycle polishing cloth- dad. My mom, got a skein of qiviut that I bought her in Alaska over the summer.

However, I did not finish weeks ahead of time. In fact, on Christmas eve I stared down at 17 teddy bear pieces that needed to be seamed together, not to mention finishing on other presents. I stuck it out though, I spent almost the entire day with that teddy bear and she got finished! My grandma cried when she opened her so I guess I did well. Teddy was done by about 8 on Christmas eve. I quickly went downstairs and asked my dad the question all young knitters ask at some point in their knitting career. Yup, that's right: Dad, where's the gun?

No, I was not about to shoot myself after hours of insanely seeming together ridiculously tiny pieces and an unending procession of weaving in ends (oh, intarsia you give me hours of such fun) . I actually, needed the staple gun to finish the wall hanging for my sister and was shocked when my dad refused me the satisfaction of finishing that last project. I pleaded, "Please, I need it what am I going to do without it! Christmas is doomed, I need to finish!! Months of intarsia need to come to an end! TONIGHT!" He, of course was confused and meanwhile my mom was staring at us, probably trying to contain herself. She was watching this argument go back and forth like a tennis match. Finally, she screamed "staple gun, she needs the staple gun". My dad and I quickly understood the confusion and thank goodness, Christmas was saved and Kate, my sister, received her intarsia masterpiece!

As far as presents I recieved, I guess this blog worked! I got a fabulous present from Gina! (She did technically give it to me before I started the blog, but I still think the blog helped.) I got a silk Lantern Moon backpack. I haven't gotten a chance to take a picture yet so here's one from the Lantern Moon website.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Hello fellow knitters and welcome to my blog! I was provoked to start a blog by my boss Gina. (I'm hoping for a good Christmas present) I'm a student at Virginia Tech (that's my parents and I with the hokie bird!), where our moto is "We're a drinking town with a football problem". Thus, freshman year I developed a terribly addicting habit. (Dun dun dun, scary darth vader like music) That's right knitting! Not the worst habit, yet my wallet became seriously light. Something had to be done, so I started work at a knitting shop, Mosaic in Blacksburg, VA.

For all of you who have yet to visit this beautiful town nestled in the heart of Appalachia, you must come visit! Definitely come visit Mosaic too. It's truly my favorite yarn shop and I have seen my fair share. (Happy Gina?) No seriously, I love it and am usually there even when not working. Anyway, not only do I get a sweet discount which supports my habit I also get valuable advice from the resident knitting guru of Mosaic, Sandy. Sandy is a virtual knitting machine, turning out entrelac shawls, intricate lace, sweaters in mere weeks and Lord only knows what knitting tricks she has hiding up her sleeves. She's good for gossip too, my favorite combo in any knitting pal.

Well, it's getting late and I need to finish those Christmas knitting projects details and pics soon to follow, but if I post it my nosy family will definitely find out what knitted treasures await them under the tree. Ok, well they're mostly on the needles now but eventually they will be under the tree...hopefully