27 January 2008

Where my Knitting Skills Expand

For years, I have been a crocheter. My mother taught me how to do it in 8th grade, and I immediately caught on, making a scarf right off the bat using single, half-double, double and treble crochet stitches. So then, I was ready to learn something new, and my mother tried to teach me to knit.

That did not go quite as well. What resulted was a tangled mess of yarn stuck onto two needles. It took me months to even get the hang of a simple knit stitch, and only recently have I been able to achieve a working level of competency at it.

But now... Oh, but now... I can purl! I can do ribs! I can do short rows!

It's a miracle.

Actually, it's more like a Saturday spent sick on the couch watching movies and repeatedly knitting, frogging, and knitting again until I got the hideous swatch pictured above. Not only is the swatch hideous, but the photo has been sharpened to within an inch of its life in order to make the stitches visible, since I made a bad choice about a yarn to use.

Don't fret, the swatch has been put out of it's misery and is once again just a ball of yarn.

So now I'm in search of a pattern I could tackle with my new skills. I eventually want to make a Calorimetry from Knitty's Winter 06 issue. However I'm thinking maybe I'll tackle a scarf first, just to get more practice and a better working competency.


21 January 2008

Projects 1 & 2 out of 50 in 2008

I am officially declaring this afghan as project #1 out of 50 for 2008, because if I graduate without making some serious headway on it, it's just frankly never going to get done. I worked the next step on five more polygons this weekend, so it's moving along slowly but surely. The question is if this progress will continue. It better, because I'm getting sick of looking at all these half-finished blobs of crochet.

I suppose this should be considered project number 2, although I do it hesitantly because it was so easy and quick to whip up. I used the tutorial for a reversible notebook cover at Kirin Notebook (find it here), although mine is not reversible, due to my obsessive compulsive "fabrics must coordinate with each other no matter what" tendencies, and my lack of any fabric that was fun and still matched. I'm not sure I used more than a fat quarter of material, and it only took me about half an hour total to whip up. The instructions in the tutorial are brilliantly clear.

The only problem I ran into was the conversion from metric, because I am a conversion dunce. I spent fifteen extra minutes sitting at my desk running terribly constructed conversion calculations that never worked. Then it occurred to me to just find a ruler and look at it (2cm ends up being just about 3/4 of an inch, FYI). Duh.

To make excuses for myself, it is January, after all. My brain always seems to slow down in January.

But anyway, moving on from my mathematical failings, this is a cover for my journal, which is just a simple black Mead Composition notebook. I bring this thing everywhere with me when I'm at school because I use it to jot down notes and ideas for... well... everything. It always seems like my best ideas come when I'm sitting in class and can't do anything about them. So anyway, the cover of this little baby was getting destroyed from being jostled around in my bag all day every day, so I took preventative measures before the cover just gave up and fell off.

I think in order for me to fairly consider this as project #2 for 2008, I'm going to have to make a few of them, because as I mentioned before, they were so quick and easy. So I'll probably whip up one for my planner and for my sketchbook because they both get really banged up as well. Maybe I'll even make a couple for my actual "note-taking" notebooks. I forgot to do my notebook shopping at home over break, so I was forced to get mine at our school bookstore this year, which all have our University name emblazoned all over the cover. There is, really, nothing wrong with this, but I take my notebooks and the notebook choosing process very seriously. It's just another neurotic little tic of mine. If the notebook doesn't look or feel right, I have terrible trouble taking efficient and adequate notes in class. The hideousness of what I'm writing on really bothers me.

My OCD is showing again. Oops.

I'm scheduled to finish a few books that are new to me within the next week, so expect some quasi-reviews in the near future.

On a completely unrelated note, it is astonishing to me how much one chair can vary so drastically (color-wise) from photo to photo depending on time of day, sunlight, all that other stuff. You can't see it so much from the pictures in this post, but if you scroll through and look at all the other photos I took of things on that chair, it really is amazing.


18 January 2008

Annnnddd.... We're back.

The New Year has past, and Lunaticraft is back, new and improved.

Expect more books, more substance, more projects, more intelligence, better writing, and less inane babble about irrelevant things.

Here's the run down on the new developments for this coming year:

  • I'm actually doing all my class reading this semester, so there will be more book reviews and opinions on things that actually have some sort of academic value.

  • On the craft front, I've set a goal of 50 completed projects by the end of 2008. Hopefully that afghan will be a part of it.

  • I have started writing a novel, so progress will be documented.

  • By the end of 2008, I hope to be well on my way to a working fluency in Spanish.

  • I have shut down LIFE: Poorly Drawn, and am going to focus more on improving my realistic drawing skills.

  • The novel aside, I will be doing more non-academic writing, some of which I might post here for some feedback (this one is still very much up in the air).

  • I might take one last whack at writing some decent poetry.

  • I will be working on my coding skills, so maybe at some point I'll be able to come up with a nicer working template for this site.

  • Overall, I think it's going to be a productive year!