Pink Monkey Knits

Using my opposable thumbs to knit up a storm!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Still Thinking about Socks, and Bears and Eyebrows 

The night after I wrote my last post, another of my DPN’s broke. Then, last night, I had
my sock sitting on my couch. I leaned forward to change the TV channel, and as I leaned back, it was right on my knitting. Another one broke! It’s a plague on my house! A plague, I say!! I have broken five needles in probably the same number of months, but luckily I still have five left. The problem seems to be the Brittany Birch needles I’ve been using, which are relatively malleable. I’m looking to take an alternative needle action and here’s my options as I see them:

A) Switch to DPN’s in a harder or unbreakable material. I could grab some metal ones at a craft store. I’m not sure how they would work with sock yarn or if the stitches would fall off the needles all the time. It seems from all of her sock pictures, however, that the Harlot uses them, which I would take as a recommendation. Bamboo is harder and would probably be a good option, as might be the costly ebony needles available.

B) Change to the two circulars method. I’ve been interested in trying this for a while and seeing if it’s any faster or easier. Plus, they’re really hard to break.

Sock knitters, any thoughts? Any DPN preferences or recommendations? Anyone made the DPN/circular switch? I bow to your wisdom.

The sock, she continues to grow.



A Sock Grows

I actually took a short break from her this week because I got a case of sock paranoia. I don’t know if anyone else gets this, but I start get very anxious after working on a sock for a while that the cuff is too long and I won’t have enough yarn to finish the pair. A reliable, even scientific method needed to be used to ensure that I would not have any trouble. So I resolved my paranoia by bringing my sock to work and weighing it and the remaining yarn. The sock itself was 1oz while the yarn ball was 2.6 oz. This seems like reliable proof to me, right? I really hope I don’t have to eat my words later, especially when I’m trying to make my sock pal happy.

In an unrelated note, Cobra and I saw a fascinating documentary this past weekend called Grizzly Man. The main focus of the film is Timothy Treadwell, a passionate man who spent thirteen consecutive summers in Alaska living with and studying Grizzly Bears. Sadly, the bears that he loved also caused his ultimate, violent death. The movie explores the various aspects of his personality but certainly leaves the watcher wondering what he was hiding. The life and death of this man brings up the issues of activists’ efficacy alive or dead, and human relationships with nature.

On a much more superficial note, I also indulged this week in one of my few beauty treatments: getting my eyebrows threaded. This is probably one of my favorite practices I learned about in India. In case you’re not familiar with it, this is a hair removal technique where a cotton thread is used to pull out those unsightly little buggers. It’s good for people like me who can’t get waxed because it pulls off chunks of my skin (I learned this the hard way). It hurts less and is more controlled, leaving a great line. I think she did a good job, yes?

Eyebrow


You can learn more about threading here; you can probably find a threader in the Indian/Pakistani/Iranian/Middle Eastern section of your town. In DC, you can check out Threads on 15th and L, diagonal from the Washington Post, 2nd floor.

Is it too much information to be sharing my hair removal tips on the internet? I’m just so enthused about threading that I want to share it with everyone. Is that so wrong?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

When the DPN's Talk Amongst Themselves... 

They call me the Double-Pointed Executioner.

broken dpn

Unfortunately, my reputation among their kind precedes me. It causes them to tremble with fear when I reach for them. That's when they do things that make me really, really angry.

badthings

Things that require me to document their bad badiness, even when I'm in the Metro station. Fortunately, I love knitting on the subway and, even though fixing lacy patterns is a bit scary since you could potentially throw off a whole pattern and make all your work for naught, all was put into what looks like its previous order. Good thing, or there might have been another small, wooden casualty...

Whoa, apologies for my dark tone. I think I'm just venting because my computer at work is slower than molasses in January. It is constantly freezing and malfunctioning and I, of course, deal with this pragmatically by threatening it and railing about how frustrated I am by it. I think today I may have actually made a bad impression on my boss and co-workers by expressing this frustration - my boss later made an offhand comment that I am "volatile." Woops, perhaps I should try harder to reorient myself to a normal office environment.

Back to the point: I have finished my sock's cuff and I'm working on the heel. Hopefully, the rest of this knitting will go as quickly as the first part so that I won't miss the impending deadline...

But, of course, other knitting does distract me from time to time.

shawl

Even though it will be months before I'll need to cover up in any capacity, I started this fun striped shawl. I was inspired by this Garter Stitch Shawl pattern but instead doing a kf&b on the edges, I'm using YO's around the center stitch to create this spine. I'm using a variety of single skeins I had hanging around the stash. I will specify abut the yarns that I'm using at a later point. I'm looking forward to wearing this in the fall with some dark colored separates and looking totally bohemian.

In addition to the knitting this week, there was a bit of celebrating. On Sunday, there was a family and friend celebration in honor of Cobra's birthday at his mom's house. Isn't it funny that, despite their age, boys seem to be entertained by the same activities?



Heh heh, it go fast. Heh, cool.











Yesterday was his actual birthday, so we went for a fun dinner at Tonic, where we shared a free bottle of wine and had fun drawing on the paper covering the table with crayons. I gave him two gift certificates for massages from the Potomac Massage Training Institute to help relieve all his life tensions. Now that he's all elderly, he gets all kinds of aches and pains. He's older than dirt, but I loves me that crazy boy.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Sockapaltwoza Slacker 

With the commencement of my new job (which I generally feel positive about, but still a little strange) and the prospect of some cash flow, I finally made a purchase I’ve needed to for quite a while:

sock pal yarn

Sock Yarn!

Yes, I’ve been a delinquent Sockapaltwozer, but I finally got my act together by getting this lovely green variegated yarn for my pal. It’s Opal Handgefarbt (I’m guessing that means hand dyed) #15 that I got from this Ebay store. It reminds me of forests or algae or seaweed that is very nutritious and I like to eat it. I hope my sock pal likes it as much as I do!

While I’ve been a sock slacker up to this point, but I’m committed – committed I say! – to not missing the deadline and ruining my sock pal’s day. So I immediately cast on for sock number one. I'm making Holly’s Sock Pattern (PDF) that you can find on the ever-sock-loving Sock Bug's site. You can see a close-up of it, although the delicate pattern makes it hard to make out. I promise you that it’s lacy and pretty. Indeed, I think this is one of my first lace projects and, while it’s requiring a little finagling, it makes my fingers feel like they’re dancing.

Because I have so much foresight and not because I’m weak when it comes to fiber, I bought some supplementary Opal Batik Sock yarn.


cobra sock yarn

The seller advertised it as being shades of red, but it’s more rust and orangey-brown. Because I’m such an altruistic, loving, giving girlfriend, this will be made into boot socks for Capt. Cobra. Sadly, the must be boot height because he got a pair from his cousin last Christmas that he wears everyday. Sigh, boys always complicate things, don’t they? Thankfully, the yardage on this hank is ginormous, so it should be enough to make appropriate coverings for his monster-sized feet. His feet a bit strangely proportioned, so I may have to consult you all later for tips on engineering.

In fall knits news, have you all seen this faaaaabulous pattern? I fell in love with it even before the pattern was for sale. Its shape is perfect for layering with fun summer clothes to make perfect transitional weather outfits! I can already think of leopard-print tank I have that would go with it perfectly. I’m so excited to make it first on my autumn list. Now the real questions: which yarn and what color?

Friday, August 05, 2005

Good News Requiring Risk and Trust 

One of my friends stayed with me this past weekend. I was her last stop before she flew off to Japan to teach English for a year as a participant in the sweet Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. With all of the stress of packing, getting to DC, participating in orientation and coming to turns with having very little experience with Japanese culture, she was understandably feeling very stress and had some creeping doubts. As I was trying to reassure her, she told me a quote that she had found that she felt fit her impending experience. I wasn't smart enough to copy it down or get the source but I'll paraphrase:

All of life's worthwhile experiences require risk and trust.

While I'm not about to go live in a far off foreign country for a year, I also found this quote to be applicable to my life right now. Finally, after months of searching, I have found my new job! Clearly, this is very exciting for me and I feel so relieved to finally be finished with the whole search process. It's also with an organization that does a lot of good work right in my neighborhood - not to mention that I'll only have a 10-15 minute walking commute everyday! The big question mark is that this agency is faith-based, founded by a Methodist minister, and there is a religious element present in the office. From all accounts, the office environment is very respectful to all beliefs, but it's still scary to me since it is an unknown.

Ultimately, I'm realizing that by taking the risk of going outside my comfort zone and trusting in my own strength of conviction and sense of self, I'll hopefully become more open-minded to those of differing beliefs while learning some valuable job skills. Basically, I'm giving myself the same pep talk as Carrie is giving herself. I'm still a little nervous though. I'll let you know how it goes after I start next week.

I was so overjoyed to be moving on to this next stage in my life and at having some spending money that I finished a pair of socks:

koigu socks

Sigh, they are lovely, aren't they? I heart them deeply. Unfortunately, it's so friggin' hot and humid right now that I can't wear them for longer than a minute and a half without risk of shvitzing to death. I finished them at a ridiculously early hour of the morning while watching The Aviator, which was quite good.

Have a great weekend, all! I'll be in Norfolk and Virginia Beach for a bachelorette weekend. But as I told Cobra this morning, I'm sure none of the strippers will be as hot as he is, so I'll be a good girl.