Woohoo, Kerry

Now, I have to be perfectly honest and mention that I still want Dean for president. I just haven’t been a huge Kerry fan. However, the guy is growing on me, and I thought that he was utterly eloquent, interesting, and impressive at the first debate tonight. I think the last hour and a half marked my transition from Anyone-But-Bush to pro-Kerry. Bush, as usual, was difficult to listen to. I try to give him the benefit of the doubt, but he just comes off as such an inept person, and I disagree so strongly with his policies and his rationales. Moreover, he’s just factually incorrect so much of the time. Difficult to listen to.

Anyway, congrats to Kerry for a job well done.

PS. If you enjoy political cartoons:

http://www.johnkerry.com/features/debate_pdb.html

Zoom Zoom

I bought my first car about a month ago. :-) It’s a 2005 Matrix XR, in silver (I wanted light blue, but there weren’t any on the lots. Silver works too.) I bought it because the gas mileage is decent, I like that the seats all fold down, I like the shape, and the price was manageable. So far, I’m reasonably happy. The six-disc changer strains the limits of my coordination while driving, but it’s a fun car.

The major blight on the poor thing has been the dealer plates (bright red “Michael’s Toyota”). Today my REAL Washington plates came in, and I finally got to take those off. The delightful part is the number that I got: 316 SUZ. It’s practically a vanity! I just need to figure out what the 316 stands for. :-) 311 was my room number at Brown junior and senior year, so almost. Area code 316 is in Kansas, so that doesn’t apply at all. Kevin suggested Genesis 3:16 or Revelation 3:16… obviously I was amused.

Oh, they rock.

The Red Sox played the Yankees this morning… and wow. Friday night’s game was obviously disappointing, Saturday’s didn’t get broadcast in the Seattle area (travesty!!), but today made up for it all. I only wish I was still living in Fenway, to listen to all the car horns beeping in time to “Yankees Suck.” :-) Boston rocks.

In other news, Kevin missed his flight back, so he’ll get in late tonight instead of 3 hours ago. :-( Bummer.

In an apparent attempt to cheer me up, however, the Hallmark channel is playing the Parent Trap, followed by Pollyanna. I have never seen the full Parent Trap. My mother thought the mother was simpering, the father was browbeaten, and Susan & Sharon were irritating, so I don’t think I ever saw the whole thing. (sidenote: My younger sister’s name is Sharon, and we both used to be blond as could be and have the bowl cut. endless comparisons.) Pollyanna is one of my long-time favourites, so it was fun to see that again.

I’ve been Roguing away, working on the pocket. I keep having to frog it, after not matching up my decreases. Roar. Third time had better be the charm.

Also, has anyone else had trouble with the hem facing? It’s a twisted stockinette stitch, and my understanding was that it shouldn’t curl. However, mine’s rolled up about as tightly as could be. Any ideas how to mitigate this? I really like the way it looks flat, it just won’t stay that way:



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My First Sweater!!

This is going to be a long post because I’m finally done!



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The sweater is a variation on the Grayson pattern from Berroco’s Connoisseur Collection, vol. 1. I bought both the pattern and the yarn from a store in Providence in February, 2002. I’d decided that I wanted to learn to cable, and so decided to do it with a bang. The pattern was reasonably ugly but the best I could find in any of the pattern books, so I chopped about 8 inches of stockinette off the bottom, changed the sleeves, and didn’t use the contrasting yarn on the hems. The picture from the pattern book should give you an idea of where I started from:



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I used Aurora 8 from Karabella because I loved the way it felt. It’s truly a gorgeous yarn to work with, though the sticker shock is still there for me 2.5 years later. I learned a ton while making this sweater:

  • Bring a calculator with you to the yarn store. Divide the number of yards in the pattern by the number of yards in the ball, round to the next whole number, add one, then multiply by the price of the yarn. If the cost makes you want to die, find something else.

  • Cables are actually really easy. Cabling without a cable needle is also really easy.

  • Decrease at least two stitches in from the edge. (I didn’t do this on the back, and the difference is amazing.)

  • Get a book. I finally broke down and bought Stitch N Bitch for help with all of the finishing, and I have been glued to the thing since. I never knew what I was missing.

  • Get a group. Knitting with other people is wonderful.

I think that if I did the sweater again, I’d make two big changes. First, I’d make it narrower. I actually cut (with scissors, eek!) about 8 stitches off of each side of the back, then went and knotted up all the loose ends. Steeking may have been a better choice, but this appears to have worked. If I knit it again, I’d make the side pattern on the front and back only 6 stitches wide instead of 13. Also, in addition to changing the shape of the sleeves (the originals were too poofy), I added a little [p, k1below, p, k1below, p] racing stripe. I didn’t like that the body was so busy and the sleeves were just blank. While I like the way it turned out, I think the stripe should have been wider (and possibly included a cable?). On the whole though, not bad. Not bad a’tall. :-)


Such a little cheat

I’ve bought my yarn (Cascade 220 in a lovely green, #9428), and I’m ready to Rogue

But, I promised myself that I wouldn’t have two sweaters on needles at the same time. I started my first sweater two and a half years ago, and in a furiously productive last three weeks (yay, unemployment) have almost finished. I just need to pick up and knit 6 rows of k2p2 around the neck for the collar…

However, tonight’s the Eastside stitcher’s group, and obviously I can’t pick up stitches and talk at the same time, so Rogue it is. :-) Wheee!

Other people’s fish waste

Well, the plan to save thousands by buying used fish equipment is in effect. We found a protein skimmer (a EuroReef ES5-2) for $100. It retails online for $250, so we were feeling pretty proud of ourselves. However, now the thing is sitting in the tub (thank goodness for two bathrooms), looking gross and waiting to be cleaned. Yum.


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In other news, Kevin just left for a 5-day recruiting trip to Boston. :-( Not only will I miss him, but I am ragingly jealous. I miss Queensberry St. He’ll even be there for the Yankees series.

Finding Nemo

Because our lease strictly forbids pets, and because fish really are just cool, we’ve been looking at starting a marine fishtank. My fish experience thus far has consisted of 3 ill-fated betas in college, and Kevin has none. However, it’s amazing what the internet and a library card have to offer, and we’ve been reading like none other. Our bible for the moment is Robert M. Fenner’s The Conscientious Marine Aquarist. What we’re looking at for set up is a 55 gallon tank, a stand, lights, heaters, a protein skimmer, a sump, lots of buckets for aging water and mixing in the salt, sand (I think gravel is cooler, sigh.), live rock, little crabs to eat the algae, and some fish. The stunning thing is how expensive all of this is. To set up this aquarium is supposed to run close to $2K. Heart attack. Especially for the unemployed girl with the new car. Kevin thinks that we could save some money, and “it would be fun” to make our own lights and heaters. Even though I don’t tend to give his EE degree enough credit, I’d still rather we buy them. Homemade electronics and 55 gallons of water give me the creeps. So now we’re looking for used tanks and gear…