Thursday, May 31, 2007

Only 34 rows to go!

Well, knit 4 rows, pick up 66 st, knit 30 rows, sew all seams and I am done. I'm so excited. I can start a new project soon and work on my afghan until I find something new. Wheeeee!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tough curves

The final trim of the shrug is proving harder to knit than I imagined. Because the entire neck, front and bottom-front edge is worked in one piece, the relatively sharper "corner" at the bottom is quite difficult to maneuver. The yarn is either too tight or I don't want it too loose either causing larger holes in the pattern. Also, strangely, the pattern calls for 66 stitches of Open Stitch for 1 side of this trim. Open Stitch as defined by the pattern is supposed to be *k1, yo, k2tog*, repeat * to last st, k1. In all other instances where Open Stitch is worked, the number of stitches always fit this pattern (eg. multiple of 3 + 1, 39 + 1 = 40, 51 + 1 = 52)

For the neck/front trim, it calls for 66 st on each side. I suppose if it's still a multiple of 3, it doesn't really shift the pattern but somehow when I was knitting last night I kept thinking that 1 missing stitch would make a huge difference on how it looks. I wish there were pictures of this shrug that other people had knit for me to reference but NOT the one on the Lion Brand site.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Japanese balloons

I subscribed in Google Reader to Japanese Word of the Day. Looking through it's archives, the featured word for May 22 was balloon. The word for it is fuusen (ふうせん), which in Kanji looks like 風船. The literal meaning of those characters in Japanese or Chinese is "wind boat". How interesting. Does this mean there are only helium balloons in Japan?

Oh wait! Maybe they meant more like a vessel of air. That makes more sense.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Shrug it off

Thought I'd show the world my progress on the shrug. As you can see, it's only missing the trim along the neckline & down the front. I tried to take some close up shots to show the fuzz that I was talking about but I don't think the details turned out too well. Also, my dog kept trying to get into the picture. She's thinking, "You ignore me when you knit, now you're taking pictures of your knitting and ignoring me?!"

I was hoping to finish this tonight so I could give it to my mom when I went over for dinner but she's busy and it also doesn't look like it'll be done. I guess it'll be another week. Oh also, instead of picking up stitches so that the seam is hidden, I did it backwards. I realized it was a mistake at first but I also kind of liked the way it looks. The ones on the sleeves especially, just seems to add a little something. I'm not so sure if it works as well on the back though, seems more pronounced...

Friday, May 25, 2007

First Bite of the Season

It's a little premature to pat myself on the back but the day after my No Motivation blog, I went for an hour long walk with Hurley after getting home. The exercise was not vigorous but I just want to get myself moving. Honestly, I hate sweating so the thought of exercise grosses me out but at least the nice walk around the neighbourhood parks was relaxing. Luckily I only got one mosquito bite but I fought off quite a few. I suppose it's inevitable but I don't really want to spray myself head to toe with repellent either. It would only add to the ickyness of the whole walk which would discourage me to do it again.
Yesterday was another beautiful day and after seeing the smooth paths in the parks the previous day, I figured it would be a good idea to try rollerblading. I'd say it's been about 2 years since I've put on my Hypno Mayas. The last time was just after the downpayment was paid on the house, during the time between that and the closing date. We thought we would spend time in the neighbourhood parks to check it out. I fell backwards that time and probably had a very mild concussion. I could not remember the walk from the fall to the car.

The time before that when I really tried to skate was probably another 3 years before that. I can remember being decent on them but now, I am terrified of going fast, or down mild slopes. It's pretty embarassing to be in a neighbourhood full of kids and growing teenagers, you don't look much older than them, but you're struggling to move or always on the verge of smashing your face into the sidewalk. I only went for 30 minutes yesterday, didn't cover much ground either as I didn't know how to stop properly. Today, I will try to drag my roommate and boyfriend out with me. Maybe we can do this every week.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

No Motivation

After work yesterday I was supposed to exercise. It has been a whole week now. Yesterday was also my weekly grocery trip after work. I left work at 5:30, traffic jam up to the store took almost 45 minutes, which is preposterous, considering how close it really is. Spent an hour grocery shopping including line ups. Dropped by the bank to deposit $ and dropped off a bag of clothes for donation in the same plaza. By the time I got home, it was 7:30.

Right then I should've done it but the couch was too inviting, plus I wanted to knit some more. I don't think I knitted though. In fact, I have trouble remembering what I did in the next two hours, it's kind of a haze. I know I watched TV but how did those 2 hours go by? When my roommate came home, I was trying to knit while watching On the Lot. We talked for a bit and at 10:30, I had to start making dinner which meant washing all the dishes too. I dragged my ass during that though because we were still chatting and I was kind of distracted.

After eating dinner, I proceeded to make lunch for the next day. By the time everything is done and I sit down in bed it was 12:30 already. What the hell? I didn't even knit a single line (because I picked up stitches from the wrong side) but WHAT THE HELL!? There is not enough time for anything, especially not on the first day back from a weekend. I want and need to exercise but how can I keep myself motivated? I also want and need to knit but for some stupid reason couldn't even do that yesterday.

Yesterday was a pretty terrible day overall. Unproductive at work like always. I guess my time at home was just continuing the trend of the day.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sweater for Mom

I have been working on this shrug from Lion Brand called Barcelona (free PDF pattern) for my mom. It's been about a month now and it's looking alright. The only sections remaining to knit are the edges on the back piece and the front, which also includes the collar. It's probably not going to look as nice as the one in this picture. I am also uncertain as to how it will fit my mom. She is however, very appreciative of the gift. I think it's because my interest in knitting reflects her own and we can bond with this common interest. Although it is a shame that she has no time for knitting now.

My piece uses the exact colour of Homespun as the pattern indicates. The yarn is very soft, economical and quick to knit up but it does fuzz a lot, even when I am not constantly unravelling and reknitting to fix my mistakes. I wonder if there is a way to defuzz or stop premature fuzzing. Should I be wearing gloves to keep from sweating on the yarn when I work too excitedly?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Life with World of Warcraft

Since I have been working a regular 9-5 job, my day after work is scheduled flexibly in neat packets of time for chores, cooking and leisure. After adjusting to this new way of regulated life a few months ago, I needed a hobby. Something enjoyable to fill up my leisure time. For the first 2 months, I joined in on the wildly popular MMORPG adventures of Blizzard's World of Warcraft with my boyfriend and roommate. I enjoyed the gameplay and the entire concept of the game very much but the addictive nature of it kept messing up my schedule.

This is especially problematic since my work schedule is off-sync with the people I lived with because they work afternoons to nights. When they come home at 11pm, they would play for hours non-stop until the early morn, levelling, gaining XP. My progression in the game was always a few levels behind, which would make my character weaker and less effective when I played with them. They tried to close the gap for me by playing my character while I was at work but that only frustrated me because new skills and spells were learned without me actually experiencing the change. In short, I could not fulfill the potentials of my character.

So they continued on without me and at first I solo'd my quests but alas, the game is designed to be played with other players to enhance the gaming experience. It was simply too difficult in many cases to go it alone, especially on PVP servers. After that my WOW life just stopped. My character, forever frozen at level 29 or 30, who can remember. Since I quit, my boyfriend and roommate have gone to to a different server with their guild, started fresh at zero. In approximately 3 months, they are in their 60's. There's never a night when WOW is not running on a computer at home. The soundtrack to my homelife are the clashing sounds of epic weapons, the sound of spell effects and the muffled cursing and yelling over Teamspeak, all overlaying the looping BG music of the World of Warcraft.

I wonder what the total # of subscriptions of active WOW accounts there are in the world. Since the inception of the game, how many waking hours have these players dedicated to playing the game? How much time to they spend looking up information about the game, such as tips, secrets, strategies, etc.? What percentage of their leisure time is strictly for WOW? What percentage of players joined and quit? After how long? How many returned to the game after quitting? I think it would be a very interesting study on gamers' behavior with many implications.