Thursday, November 20, 2008

Updates in Knitting and My Bladder

You know, I spend waaaaaaay too much time on the internet. Mostly when I am at junior high, but also in general.

I guess I should have left the blog entry I did yesterday until today, because I've basically had nothing to do. Oh, there's still plenty I could and probably should be doing, but that's not what I've been doing. Instead, I've been surfing the net, checking on all the knitting blogs I discovered from reading the Yarn Harlot's post the other day where she was talking about the Noro Striped Scarf. I clicked on all those people she listed as having done it and then bookmarked those pages to check out later, which was today. And then I ended up adding most of them to my following list. My following list is now ridiculous. I mean, I didn't add all of them - bad grammar or writing immediately got the boot, and ones that looked to be too much about random stuff and not enough about knitting didn't get added here, although I may still check up on a few because I also read a few blogs that are actually about something other than knitting (mostly belonging to friends) - but all in all I added approximately one metric ton of blogs to my reading list.

On the one hand, this is fine, because not everyone updates every day, and I do have a fair amount of free time, especially when I am at junior high and have no classes, such as today. It's interesting to read the personal internet diaries of strangers, if creepy from a certain perspective. It gives me more blogs to comment on, so that eventually, someone might actually read this blog. Not that I'm ready for this blog to be read by hordes of strangers just yet, but one or two might be nice. Also, the huge number of hours I've spent goofing off on the internet in the past year has improved my typing, gotten me familiar with a number of aspects of this whole Web 2.0 thing of which I previously knew nothing about, and killed loads of time I would have otherwise spent doing nothing.

On the other hand, this internet obsession is bizarre and destructive. Starting next August, I will have to rejoin the real world. No more spending hours on end reading about other people's knitting projects, looking at pictures and playing word games on Facebook, obsessively adding yarns to my Ravelry stash, reading article after article on Cracked, obsessively listing books and comparing libraries on Library Thing, or getting caught up on four years worth of web comics. I am melting my brain with all of this useless stuff.

On the last hand, at the same time as I won't be doing all of that, I won't be listening to other people talking about me in a foreign language right in front of me. I keep hearing my name amidst a bunch of Japanese words I don't understand off to my left. It's driving me crazy.

Right, so, I'm adding the box that lists my other web obsessions, in case you get as bored as I do (if you're reading this, you really must do).

Last night I worked on the Nebraska Hat some more, but started getting bored already. This might have something to do with the fact that it was so cold in my apartment that my fingers hurt, and knitting was difficult. I decided to finally cast on for the Diamond and Smocked Blanket for Reidy, to give myself a bit of a break. After going to two more yarn stores this weekend and not finding anything that seemed like a better choice than the yarn I'd already bought, I figured it was time to plunge on in. I looked at the pattern and prepared to cast on to the foot-long size 6 needles I used for the Christmas Head Thing, then took a closer look at the pattern and realized that this blanket was supposed to be three feet wide. Um, whoops. So...out came the 24" size 6 circular. Not great, but better. So I cast on the 137 stitches the pattern calls for, then thought about three feet wide. Not very wide, really, for an adult and/or three cats - Reidy has said this is for her/her cats, and since I'm matching this to her living room, I assume it will stay on the couch and possibly be a lap blanket. I just hope she realizes it's not going to be an afghan, because I do not have that in me right now.

I remembered seeing something in someone else's notes on Ravelry for this blanket where they mentioned casting on an additional number of stitches for an extra column. I looked it up and saw that purlygirly had added 38 stitches. I thought, hmm, I should add two columns. That's a total of 213 stitches, then. I looked at the remaining tail of my cast-on - no way. Then I thought, do I really want to take all of these off and then cast on another 213? Um, no. Then I hit on the brilliant idea of a swatch. Of course! That's what I'm supposed to do anyway! So I cast on 48 stitches (enough for a column and a five stitch on each side border, theoretically), and started the seed stitch.

Seed stitch, it turns out, is a pain in my ass. But I was pleasantly surprised with the acrylic and mysterious Vittoria. It's quite soft, or at least much better than the almost-as-cheap acrylic I'm using for the Nebraska Hat. So we'll see how all this turns out.

Also, while I was in the second yarn shop for the weekend, not finding anything I'd rather use for the Diamond and Smocked, I felt really guilty about having been in this yarn shop numerous times and not purchased anything. I decided I needed to buy some yarn to assuage this guilt. Yes, I agree that this was a pretty flimsy excuse to buy more yarn, since even though I am a foreigner who stands out pretty dramatically in Yatsushiro, it's unlikely that they have a log in this store to keep track of my purchase-less visits. It's Japan, though, so who knows? In any case, I bought two small skeins of fingering weight wool, black and teal, that I'm going to use for wrist-bands, possibly to cover the tattoo I'm thinking of getting sometime before I leave this country. I thought the yarns were the same, but obviously I didn't look closely enough, since the kanji are clearly different. I couldn't find either yarn on Ravelry, and even when I had my Japanese teacher translate the labels for me and I found one of the same brand and name, it has different length and weight. Should I add these to the Ravelry database? I'm not sure I have a good enough grasp of the yarns themselves to attempt it. I wouldn't want to mislead anyone, or get it wrong, or whatever vague worries I have about trying something and having it not be perfect. Maybe if the label were in English...

Dammit, now I gotta go pee again. Drinking gallons of hot green tea is a decent solution to the cold, but the frequent trips to the icebox squat toilet are a significant down side.

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