Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Transcription of Transpired Events

It was January 9th, a bright morning. Well, it would be bright. In about two hours, if the sun ever decided to do me the courtesy of rising at a reasonable time. (It didn't.)

In the darkness, I walked with my bag slung across my body to the event that I was regrettably required to attend. My jacket, despite being a delightfully neon turquoise that promised to attract birds and small forest animals come the sunrise, did only an okay job of warding off the cold. Poor planning on my part, I suppose, but I didn't really mind, given that I was more concerned with not getting run over by a car. I'd review that concern around finals week.

After a few run-ins with a random armadillo, which all involved me squinting suspiciously at various bushes, I arrived at a sidewalk. It was uphill. I adjusted my bag, patted it to make sure my apples hadn't shifted (there's no strange and unexpected euphemism here, I literally had apples in my bag), and trekked upwards.

An hour after setting out, I made it to the student center at precisely ten minutes before I was required. I signed in to the auditorium and picked up a badge that I then affixed to my jacket. I located a seat near the exit in the hopes that I would be able to escape the confines of the building at the earliest available time. A speaker got on stage.

I spent the next few hours in a comfortable haze of boredom. The room became almost uncomfortably warm from the heat of people seated closely together. I counted the ceiling tiles. Then I multiplied them. Then I squared them. Just as I was attempting to find the prime multiples of the tiles' square, I was interrupted from my arguably dreadful musings by a loud voice emanating from the speaker system.

"If everyone would just go and perform one of the tasks on the sheet you've gotten, that'd be ah-maze-ing. Also, be back by 10:30 or you won't be able to register because we'll mark your name off this list. 'Kay, have fun, y'all!"

Note to self: if you want to stop tardiness and absences: just threaten people! I thought. Being forced into participation really brings out the best in me. I wasn't the least bit interested in "uncovering the rich history of the university" or "experiencing the diversity of disciplines available through faculty and staff". So I didn't. Instead, I wandered around the buildings for the allotted time, probably (read: definitely) into locations that I wasn't supposed to be yet.

The rest of the day followed the same sort of pattern. Hours of lectures, sandwiched between a brief period of respite where I wandered campus, charged my phone, and/or ate apples in the women's bathroom. The bathroom thing was a bit strange. The more apples I managed to conjure up from my bag, the more the other women in the bathroom stared at me like I was crazy. They may have had a point, but I got to eat, so who's the real winner here?

Finally, at 5 pm, the lectures were done and I had only one more objective: get the physical copy of my ID, and leave. I was excited. By this time, I had no more apples, so my bag was light, which meant that I could probably get home in half the time! Yeah, I was that ready to get out of there. Somehow, I was the only person besides staff in the ID room when it came time for me to retrieve it. 

Being the only person, the staff were all super excited to see me. As I was almost giddy from the elation brought by my proximity to freedom, I went through the queue grinning like a fool, and happily chatted with each person as I walked by. 

The last person I had to talk with before getting my ID was a bearded man in a maroon shirt. He began to tell me about all of the functions that my ID card had as a student and handed it over for me to study as he talked. As I looked at it, he subtly mentioned "-and you can also use it for transactions at Wells Fargo."

Not looking up from the card, I asked the first question that occurred to me:

"Wasn't Wells Fargo the bank that had a huge scandal a while back?"

He went silent, and I looked up. As I did, my gaze landed on the bold lettering written across his shirt which read... Wells Fargo.


I panicked internally for half of a heartbeat (WHO BRINGS UP A SCANDAL IN SOMEONE'S JOB?? YOU DID), but somehow managed to do damage control. I don't know what I said. I don't know how I said it. But I made the guy laugh, and the previously tense and somewhat awkward silence was broken. It took all I had in me to casually walk out of the building, though all was now well. I'd be lying if I said I didn't get in a lot of cardio on my way home.

Exercise: a real life alternative to "running away from your problems".

Sunday, February 25, 2018

4 Facts About Crocheting: Number 3 Will Shock You!

      Some people would say that variegated yarn, despite its visual interest, should be used sparingly and carefully.
      I am not one of those people.
      When I use variegated yarn, I use it on EVERYTHING. Making some plain vanilla socks? BOOM. Throw some stripes at it. Making some super detailed socks that should probably be crafted in a single and very particular color so as to avoid excessive eyeball stimulation? BOOM. Slap some stripes on it.
      It's for this reason that my latest finished project, another pattern from the Joy of Sox book, is... A lot to look at. In person, it's just interesting to look at. In this photograph, it's like trying to wash an argumentative octopus in a bathtub with your dog; it's impossible to focus on, and you might just lose an eye if you stare for too long.
      Nevertheless, this project was a joy to make, and the pattern was easy to memorize.

      My next foray into variegation led me to what I can only term as a masterpiece of art. It's the ultimate beauty, surpassing even Michelangelo's David and Beautiful Squidward in its perfection.
      It's beyond comparison to anything I, a mere mortal, can conceptualize or articulate. It's a striped, two-headed monkey.
      You may be thinking, "Why on Earth would anyone in their right mind decide that making a two-headed monkey is a good allocation of free time?" And that's an excellent question.
      As it's made with sock yarn, I won't be able to use my cute little safety eyes to complete it. I may end up using buttons, but that always has the possibility of shaping my creations into nightmare creatures that bask in the glow of hellfire. I mean, they're still cute, but they aren't exactly something I'd want staring at me through the darkness at three in the morning.

      Now that I've concluded my descriptions of the projects that have given me no grief, allow me a brief moment to collect myself in preparation for this next one. I'll begin with some undeniable facts.
Fact #1: Acrylic yarn is bad.
Fact #2: Cheap yarn is bad.
Fact #3: I bought a combination of the above.
Fact #4: I feel absolutely victimized by the atrocity that is this color scheme. 

      This project is something that I started as a sort of "test run", if you will. I was asked to create a one-size-fits-all vest with the back being a bandanna, and the front constructed out of yarn.  I'm going to have to experiment a good deal with this, so I went to Goodwill and grabbed the cheapest and crappiest yarn I could unwittingly destroy without guilt. Or wittingly destroy without guilt. Fire is an option.
      I'm a bit concerned that the vest won't sit well, given that fabric made with yarn is considerably more dense and heavy than that made with thread. It's possible that I could arrange for the bulk of the weight to be distributed around the shoulders, but one small mistake with that method could bring back the shoulder pad look from the eighties, and I don't think the world is ready for that level of high fashion.  

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Oh Hot Reservoir, This Is My Jelly

-and other things that I should never type or say again.

It has struck me that, at this moment, I have exactly twelve hours until my first class of the fall semester. It has also struck me that I've read at least seven books in the last fortnight, and that's a bit excessive. It continues to strike me every day that, if I continue to use the word "struck" in every single sentence, someone is going to lose it, and it's probably going to be me.

Speaking of things that have struck (whoops, there that word is again), Hurricane Harvey has been... rainy and wet and like nature, so I'm not entirely sure where I'm going with this topic. I've enjoyed a lot of time wandering around in the rain and wading in the running creek. True, there could be something lurking down in the depths of the murky water, but you'll never know until you lose a limb, and I'm all about new discoveries.

I spent a significant amount of time stepping gingerly into the water, despite my knee-high boots, just trying to gauge its depth. After skirting the foggier parts of the water and taking pictures of the lush, green undergrowth, I had a moment of reckless abandon, and decided that it would be a marvelous idea to just walk blindly across it.

I. Messed. Up.

Have you ever been wearing an awesome pair of socks, and thought, These socks are great, I'm just going to walk innocently through the kitchen, only to step on the single wet spot in the entire house? Do you remember the betrayal you felt as you realized your sock was no longer performing its sole duty of warming your cold little tootsies, and was suddenly freakishly frigid and damp?
Imagine that horrible instant, and then multiply it by a thousand, because, in my ill-devised plan, the bottom of my sock wasn't the extent of the disaster. Water poured in from all sides around the top of my boot, and cascaded in rivulets down my right calf, forming an almost-delicate pool around my socked foot. Horror filled my soul as I realized what had happened. My beloved sock, indeed, my entire right leg, was... WET. With water. Blech.

Was I ever in mortal peril? No. Was I in danger? No. Had I been hurt, even a little bit? Only in my tender heart.

You can stop looking disappointed any time now.

After squelching back to the double-wide, and struggling to open the door due to a swollen wooden door frame, I finally got the boot off. And immediately proceeded to work on my hat pattern. It's not much farther than last time I mentioned it, but progress has been made, and I've memorized the repeats.

Besides working on my *ahem* if I do say so myself *ahem* lovely hat pattern, I've reupholstered a few chairs. While hacking up the old and disgusting suede coverings, it's been brought to my attention that, if you don't clean up after your cat, or clean at all, for more than a decade, your stuff is probably going to smell like death. And possibly like ammonia. And maybe like felted hair from a sweaty cat anus. 

But what are the odds that someone's going to neglect housework for that long, right?

Vaguely related to the upholstery (such a subtle segue!), is the subject of my loss.

Not of my dignity (good luck finding that), but of a secure handle on my yarn swift. Before you cry with despair, just know that I can fix it (CAN WE DO IT? YES, WE- I'll stop now)! I just have to find some glue that works with metals, as hot glue is all I have at present, and I can't see it being a particularly successful binder.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Drowning in Yarn and Covered with Cat Hair

... Basically, a summary of my life.

In the feverish grips of elation, and finally free from the constraints of academia, I began on a harrowing quest to complete the ultimate amount of garments possible within a fortnight.

Now that I am nearly halfway through my glorious two weeks of liberty, I have been delivered a stunning revelation. 

This was a terrible idea. Help.

It's not all bad, and it began innocently enough. One moment, I was washing an owl cardigan in the bathtub in preparation for blocking, and generally enjoying life. The next, it was 2 in the morning, and I was sitting on my bedroom floor with pins in my mouth and despair in my eyes, staring in horror at the sweater that wouldn't block exactly to size. *knitterly scream*

This is why you double-check gauge. Learn from my mistakes, children.

Mmm. Look at those owls. Hawt.

This is technically not a new finished project, but, rather, an addition to a previous one. Nearly a year ago, I knitted myself an open cardigan. Now, you might that it's not a huge deal that the sweater lacked buttons or a zipper. And you would be thinking wrong, because creating a zipper-less sweater is the most freaking annoying thing that I have ever done to date. Hands down. 

The sides of the sweater would flap around as I walked, like the wings of an angel. If the angel had fallen from heaven, gotten drunk, drenched itself in tar, and decided to dance the macarena while walking down the street, that is.

The more my little angel wings flapped madly around me, the more I began to hate the sweater until, finally, I bought a zipper, and vowed to end the insane flippity-flap-flapping. In an afternoon, the wee flappers were contained, and I could silently stalk- 

Whoa, wrong word. Walk. I can walk. Silently. 

I picked gold for the zipper purely to represent my heart of gold, and not because that was the first zipper that I looked at. *suspicious cough*

I know that I'm already working on a hat design and all that, but I couldn't help but knit this Hermione hat after I saw that I had a yarn that was perfect for it. I actually finished an awesome audiobook (called We Are Legion (We Are Bob), for those of you who'd like to know) because of the amount of time I spent sittin' and knittin' on this hat.

Those cables! So stunning! Those bobbles! So bobble-ish!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Slip a Stitch, Karma's a B-

-ig and influential factor in all of our lives. That's definitely what I meant. Gosh, get your mind out of the gutter.

I can feel Autumn approaching. I can feel it. I realize that it's possible I could be hallucinating from the extreme Texas heat, but I'm going to take the positive route and believe that nature is changing in my favor. When I'm in class and decidedly avoiding any additional participation than what is necessary, I daydream about falling leaves... And then I snap back to reality and notice that in my imaginings I've been staring at a classmate's dandruff slowly drifting down to the floor. Ew.

It seems like I haven't been working on much, but, upon reflection, I have actually made quite a few things (I am a marvelous thing factory. I do things, I create things, I destroy all things that get in my way, etc). Besides making copious amounts of coffee, and drinking it with almost an almost indecent regularity, I've been sewing, knitting, and generally avoiding the pathway of my fellow classmate's dandruff gently wafting through the air conditioned breeze.

But enough about dandruff and coffee, we're here to talk about things.

The first thing I made was a creepy (or cute, if you're into the devil) bunny with mismatched button eyes made out of green fabric with black polka dots. I don't have a photo, but, trust me, it was literally a cuddly Satan.

My next projects (please note that, although this is a perfect blog, completely free of inaccuracies, I may or may not be recalling the projects in the proper order of production) were two dresses for my sisters Victoria and Hannah. A while back, I was given some bags full of random fabric pieces, and I managed to create both dresses completely out of those fragments! Being a remarkably professional photographer, I can tell you that I most definitely did not rush around after my morning study session to find these items and make them look as if they hadn't been squished in a closet. I also didn't take one single picture of each and declare it "good enough". That's just not how we do it here on ATBOTBS (what an acronym).

During one of my many weekly adventures down at our house in Dripping Springs, I discovered a skein of Lion Brand Fettucini that had just been ignored and shoved into the school closet's craft box. Made  out of 100% undetermined materials, I had to use it to make a project that looks like its maker was 100% unsure of what to create. Thus, in an afternoon, the Banana Basket was born. 

I'm also working on a pair of beautifully detailed Coffee Cantata socks, but I apparently lost the entire project somewhere. I have no idea how that happened, or where the heck it is, but some field mouse is probably overjoyed at the prospect of a cabled, socky, dinner. Mouse: 1. Katherine: 0.

Because the sock has proven elusive to me, I've started creating a pattern. That's right, I'm getting creative again (*Don't Hug Me, I'm Scared plays ominously in the background*)! It's in the early stages of fabulousness, but it's getting there, and I'm excited to see where it goes.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

I'm Not Dead, Just Tired

I finished my spring classes! YES! I'm super happy to be enjoying a small break before the summer session, even if I have been kinda sick the entire time (*cough* thanks, Mom *cough*).

I'm relieved to be finished with my biology class, because my professor wasn't particularly nice. At all. Currently, all unfriendly and unpleasant professors I've had have been women, which is a disheartening trend to observe. I'm hopeful that my experiences have been based on chance and aren't an accurate representation of my future time in the workplace.

I've essentially finished the Ginny Cardigan, lacking only buttons, pockets, and seams, but I haven't felt any inclination to do anything with it, so it's been set aside for a bit. I occasionally look at it and think, "Oh, I should work on that," but then I go and make scones with coffee or something.
Speaking of coffee, I have gotten into this terrible habit of making a cup, taking one glorious sip, and then leaving it on the table for five hours while I work on other things. WHY DO I DO THIS?!? I like coffee.

Oh, crap. I just realized I'm continuing the habit right now as I type, because my coffee is still on the other side of the room. One second, I'm going to go get it.

Okay, everything's good now. Crisis averted!

Remember that gorgeous lace crocheted shawl that I started working on back when I was a fetus? No?? Oh. Well, I COMPLETED IT! I'm actually very happy that I made it, because I was using an ivory hook from Grandmother, and I wanted it to continue being used to create things, rather than being locked away in a box somewhere.

My, my, look at that lovely toe. Foot fetish people, this is for you.

I made a sort-of impulse buy (sort-of, in that it was only vaguely premeditated) on Friday, and I got a blanket's worth of Bernat Blanket Yarn (blanket pattern here). It's not for me, and I have to finish it before my first summer class begins on the 30th, so I'm not sure why I thought making it was such a brilliant idea!
Thankfully, I'm good at meeting deadlines, and if I somehow don't, I can always use a later date, although it wouldn't be as smashingly impressive.

I also joined the Pokemon Go crowd this week and made a character. I'm pretty pleased, and I can see why the game became such a widespread success!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Cinco De Mayo??

Hello again, you lovely people.
It's been nearly 5 months since my last post. First of all, how did that happen?? Second, it's finals week and... Yeah, that's how.
I did vend another booth, and this time I shared the space with Dewberry Creek Farms. I've also been keeping up with my knitting; very slowly, but I'm still making progress. 
One of my professors banned my knitting in her class after approving it on the previous class day, which was unfortunate, yet somehow I've managed to knit an entire cardigan! Well... Almost. I've still got to add pockets and sew the underarms and block it and-
Like I said, it's basically done!
I love the curious looks that I get whenever I take out my knitting or crocheting in a public place. It's so fun, because it gives me an excuse to get something done while I'm also being marked 'present' and possibly introducing the idea that maybe knitting isn't just for old ladies. The conversations that have begun in my classes just because I've gotten out my needles have been wonderful to observe, and my psychology professor even used my craft as an example in his lecture.
Maybe this weekend, as I pretend to study, I'll be able to finish the cardigan and start on something new.
I've been thinking of picking up sewing again; I even bought a few (read: way too many) patterns to practice on.