Saturday, July 29, 2006

I hate moving.

(And by the way, I really can't believe it's been so long since I posted!)

Anyway, I'm getting all set for a big move to Louisville on Monday, and I hate moving. See, about a quarter of the population of Iowa City up and moves on one weekend a year, causing a shortage of moving trucks. Knowing this, and knowing that I would be moving halfway across the country on said weekend, I reserved a U-Haul almost a month in advance. About a week after that, I got an email saying that there is a high volume of reservations that weekend, and they would appreciate my patience and flexibility in terms of the location at which I would pick up a truck. But they assured me that they would make sure I got moved! So then I set up the whole move-out appointment with my landlord, etc., and got friends lined up to move stuff. And today, the big day I get to find out when I pick up a truck, arrives. And the time by which they told me I'd hear from someone comes and goes. So I call the company, and the only response I could get, after 20 minutes of being on hold? There's nothing. Absolutely no equipment *anywhere.* Of course, that's got to be an exaggeration, but nothing's budging, except the fact that they say I have to switch my reservation to a day after the original reservation. There's *nothing* they can do, and they'll call if something comes in a day early, blah blah blah.

Well, the only thing I could do was hang up and call my landlord. Who informed me that I can't move out Monday because that's when the new tenant's moving in.

So now I'm on hold again, when I should be cleaning my apartment. And I wouldn't be upset if this were an in town move, I'd just load up my brand-spankin'-new-to-me SUV and move all of our stuff somewhere, and find something to do about the futon. My dad's got a pickup, and he only lives 3 hours away, you know? But it's not across town, it's a 500 mile move across four states!

In positive news, just about everything is packed! And if the apartment weren't filled with boxes and I weren't waiting on hold, I could be cleaning.


20 minutes later: They finally picked up, only to hang up on me. Seriously. Now I'll spend another 20 minutes on hold, I'm sure. So far, I've wasted an hour.

In other news, Birch is 80% done, and I think I'll work on that while I'm on hold.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Everybody, everybody!

I had a nice holiday weekend; I went out of town and forgot that I had a cell phone/email and just relaxed. And knit!

I taught Heather's little sister how to knit this weekend, and also got a big chunk of mitten worked on. And I finished Ainsley's cardigan!

Ainsley's Cardigan

This is the first sweater-type thing I've actually finished, and it was a lot of fun. I used a little over two skeins of Cascade Sierra in color number 19, and size 7 Denise circulars/size 7 Clover DPNs. And, of course, this pattern.

I still have to block it and, you know, make sure it fits. My gauge was about half a stitch to big, but I think it'll be fine, as babies grow pretty quickly. I'm slightly concerned that the hood might not fit as long as the rest of the cardigan will, because my niece has a really big head for her age, but that's okay.

I hope you all had a great Fourth! I'm off to work on Birch now, after seeing some photos of a gorgeous one over at Sweet Georgia this morning.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

I love 1am

Why do I love 1am? Because you can watch the local Senior Center's programming on the public station here at one in the morning. At least on Friday/Saturday. I just listened to a saxophone quartet play Claire de Lune, and it was lovely. Although it'll take a lot to beat what was on earlier this month: a line dancing recital performed entirely by, and this is meant in a nice way, old ladies. It was fantastic, and I really just wanted to get up and dance with the television. I hope when I'm retired that there's a really awesome place for me to go and line dance and play in a wind ensemble and knit for The Preemie Project (they're one of the donation centers).

Speaking of knitting (as this is a knitting blog), I've been working away on Birch, and it's still a gorgeous shawl. Of course, it's not the best mindless movie knitting, since I kind of like to see that I'm really making the increases and decreases, so I pulled out Ainsley's cardigan. Here's a photo, and I apologize for the quality; it's difficult to photograph red in artificial light, you know?

Ainsley's Cardigan

Before yesterday, I was to the point in the pattern where I needed to put the sleeve stitches on holders, so I paused there for awhile. I've never made a sweater before, so yesterday I decided to go ahead and get the sleevey bit over with. I have problems casting onto the right needle in the middle of a row, and you just have to go back and pick up stitches later anyway, so for the underarm I used the provisional cast on that starts with a crocheted chain, and then kept working to the end of the body. This afternoon I seamed the hood and started a sleeve; the provisional cast on idea seems to have worked well.

And earlier this week, I decided to start some Squirrely Swedish Mittens (the pattern is free from Elliphantom Knits) that were inspired completely by mittens at Hello Yarn.

Squirrel Mittens

I love squirrels.

I've never done any colorwork more complicated than a stripe, so these are pretty exciting for me. I like learning new things, and for these mittens I had to learn to knit English style and subsequently learn to knit holding a different color in each hand. Then I got to learn how to strand while knitting, and then I learned how to make one of those nifty braids at the edges of the cuff.

One thing I find interesting: although it's not particularly clear from that picture, the single color ribbed cuff at the bottom is pretty uneven, yet the colorwork seems to be very even. Why does the part of the mitten I've got the most practice at look the worst?

And now, back to my knitting and the seniors' wind ensemble. (P.S.- I really love squirrels.)