12 December 2008


So! New pattern! This object has existed for quite some time, but I'm trying to get the pattern up so that someone at knitting circle can make it.

Dark Mark Armwarmer

This is a gauntlet with the Dark Mark (a symbol of evil from the Harry Potter series) shadow-knit on the inside. It's the left arm only, as that is the appropriate placement for the Mark. If you want to make a (plain) right arm, you're welcome to, but you're on your own for switching the thumb around to the other side. I might make a match for it in the future, but not any time soon.

Gauge: 6 sts / 9 rows per inch in stockinette

U.S. 4 dpns
worsted weight yarn – 2 colors (I used Wool-Ease.)
MC – Black CC – Green

The chart, which covers the inside of the arm (the part that's shadow-knit) can be found here.

w/ MC, CO 56 sts, join in round.
work 6 rnds in 2x2 rib

Next: (k2, p2) 4x, work next 26 sts of chart, (p2, k2) 3x, p2.
work entire chart in this manner

Thumb Gusset:
next: (CC) (k2, p2) 4x k 23, m1, k1, m1, (p2, k2) 3x, p2 (58 sts total)
next: (CC) (k2, p2) 4x k 28 (p2, k2) 3x, p2
next: (MC) (k2, p2) 4x k 23, m1, k3, m1, (p2, k2) 3x, p2 (60 sts)
next: (MC) (k2, p2) 4x p 23, k 7 (p2, k2) 3x, p2
next: (CC) (k2, p2) 4x k 23, m1, k5, m1, (p2, k2) 3x, p2 (62 sts)
next: (CC) (k2, p2) 4x k 32 (p2, k2) 3x, p2
next: (MC) (k2, p2) 4x k 23, m1, k7, m1 (p2, k2) 3x, p2 (64 sts)
next: (MC) (k2, p2) 4x p 23, k 11 (p2, k2) 3x, p2
next: (CC) (k2, p2) 4x k 23, m1, k9, m1 (p2, k2) 3x, p2 (66 sts)
next: (CC) (k2, p2) 4x k 36 (p2, k2) 3x, p2
next: (MC) (k2, p2) 4x k 23, m1, k11, m1 (p2, k2) 3x, p2 (68 sts)
next: (MC) (k2, p2) 4x p 23, k 15 (p2, k2) 3x, p2
next: (CC) (k2, p2) 4x k 23, m1, k13, m1 (p2, k2) 3x, p2 (70 sts)
next: (CC) (k2, p2) 4x k 40 (p2, k2) 3x, p2
next: (MC) (k2, p2) 4x k 23, m1, k15, m1 (p2, k2) 3x, p2 (72 sts)
next: (MC) (k2, p2) 4x p 23, k 19 (p2, k2) 3x, p2
next: (CC) (k2, p2) 4x k 23, place next 19 sts on holder, CO 1 st (p2, k2) 3x, p2 (54 sts)
next: (CC) (k2, p2) 4x k 24 (p2, k2) 3x, p2
next: (MC) (k2, p2) 4x k 24 (p2, k2) 3x, p2
next: (MC) (k2, p2) 4x p 24 (p2, k2) 3x, p2
next: (CC) (k2, p2) 4x k 24 (p2, k2) 3x, p2
next: (CC) (k2, p2) 4x k 24 (p2, k2) 3x, p2
next: (MC) (k2, p2) 4x k 24 (p2, k2) 3x, p2
next: (MC) (k2, p2) 4x p 24 (p2, k2) 3x, p2

work 4 rnds in foll rib:
(k2, p2) 9x, k2, p1, k1, (p2, k2) 3x, p2
BO all sts

Thumb: place 19 sts onto dpns, pick up 1 st in gap (20 sts)
knit 3 rnds even
2x2 rib – 3 rnds, BO all

Weave in ends; summon Voldemort.

30 November 2008

the Math of the Moment: in prose

Thanksgiving was awesome.

Wednesday, I spent a good chunk of time playing music with San, which was great. I really rely on other people to make me bust out the instruments and actually play music. I'm so fortunate to know so many musically-inclined people. Also, San is really cool for putting up with my gradual shift away from songs in Rise Up Singing and towards R.E.M. and the Cure. The new strings are fun and jangly; and they've been on my guitar long enough that it stays in tune now. Also realized that I need to play the mandolin more. (I had to look up all of the chords.)

Wednesday also marked the beginning of the serious knitting progress. I worked on the body and an arm of Blaze while I watched 2 episodes of the X Files (4-D and Badlaa), South Park (Lice Capades) and Firefly (Ariel). By 4:30 in the morning, I was starting the yoke!

Thursday I woke up obnoxiously late (see above paragraph), and went to Thanksgiving dinner at the Andrews', who I know from church. They're moving to Kendal (local retirement community) sometime in January, so it was the last Thanksgiving dinner at their house. Some of their family was over, including an adorable 2 year old named Timothy. Dinner was nice.

Around 6, I went over to Holly's. Holly works at the yarn store in town, and I know her from knitting circle. I arrived just after they had finished eating dinner. Holly and couple of the other guests went on a short walk, and Cory and I sat around and knit. Cory was about an inch above the heel of her second Gentleman's Fancy Sock. Size 0 needles. Teeny. Not long after Holly, John and Elsa returned, these two other guys from town (also Oberlin alums, I think), stopped by. We played Yahtzee (there are too many people who seem to have never played this game, which makes no sense to me at all), and drank wine. We played the game where you tell three things about yourself and only one of them is true (and everyone guesses which one). We drank more wine. There was a really good Shiraz that Holly had us guess the price of. Our guesses ranged from $9.98 - $25. Turns out it cost $3.39 at IGA. We ate pie. And more turkey and stuffing. And drank more wine. Cory and I left around 12:45. She had turned the entire heel of the sock by that point. I was a couple of inches into the yoke of Blaze. I walked with her to Firelands, and she fed a friend's fish.

Friday, Cory came over around 11:30 to work on a paper. She was far more productive than I. Around 2:30 we went to the bead store on our way to knitting circle. We split a sandwich at Subway, and spent a good chunk of time knitting at Smith's. Then Holly said, "So, here's what I'm thinking of doing this evening: I'm going to go home, take a nap, and then wake up and knit and eat leftover and watch junk television. You two [Cory and I] are more than welcome to join me." So we did. More progress on socks and Blaze. Got to see Fisher (Holly's cat) again, who has the most beautiful green eyes. Drooled over Cory's copy of the Winter Interweave Knits. I really want to make the Woven Bands Pullover. (I can afford two skeins of Cascade Ecological Wool, right?) Watched the end of Star Wars: Episode IV, House and Forensic Files. Left at 2:30 a.m.

Saturday, I don't really know. I'm sure I got nothing important done. I walked to IGA and got dumpling ingredients (potato and meat dumplings!). Got a burrito at Agave. Cory came over and we watched the X Files (Field Trip and Improbable) and listened to the latest Stash and Burn podcast while Cory finished her sock (which fits like a glove, except not like a glove at all. Fits like sock. In silly accent). When I say listen, I actually mean that we listened for about 10 minutes, and then started our own conversation on top of Jenny and Nicole. Really, it's better that way. I have a hard time with all of the IK bashing that happens every time a new issues comes out.

Oh, wait. Saturday afternoon, I watched the first half of Pride and Prejudice. I watched the second half after Cory left. I went to bed at 6:30 a.m., but had Blaze totally off the needles. Worth it. Also made a chart for the illusion part of the Dark Mark Armwarmer.

Sunday. Woke up late. Took nap. Ate some cereal. Worked on armwarmer pattern. Did not make dumplings. Did not read Река Потудань. Did not do laundry. DID do underarm bind-offs on Blaze. (Only ends to weave in now.) Did poke around on Ravelry. Did greet returning housemates. Did get another burrito from Agave. Also: blogged!

Well. That's about it. I'm leading my Russian class on Tuesday, and I'm hoping that I won't spend Tuesday morning gnawing my hands off as an expression of nerves. All in all, it's been a good weekend. And I TOTALLY will have a new sweater to wear this week. Heck, I bet by this weekend, I could have some more socks...

the Math of the Moment

My Thanksgiving break =

2 hours of folk songs with San + 13 hours at Holly's + 7 bottles of wine + 4 episodes of Forensic files + 4 episodes of the X Files + 1 episode South Park + 1 episode Firefly + 300 minutes of Pride and Prejudice + 1 trip to IGA + 0 dumplings + 2 burritos at Agave + 7 ends to weave in on Blaze + 3 days in a row of knitting with Cory.

16 November 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen and nongenderspecific good people: the OB-52s!

So my dad and his friend Ed have this church they made up (the Church of Ed and Dave) and the two sacraments are record shopping and live music. Now, I admit that since high school I have seriously been a disappointment on the record shopping front, BUT.

Tonight. Was. Awesome.

For those of you who don't live in my house and have not heard the B-52s on repeat for the last two months, my housemate Linden and I are both part of a B-52s cover band that started up this year. Well, friends, we just played our first show, and it was a BLAST.

I know my education is worth a hell of a lot and is doing me a lot of good, in the way that I need to eat my vegetables (in that it/they is/are good for me and enjoyable at the same time), and I'm trying to make this not sound like a livejournal post by quoting song lyrics, BUT.

In Bruce Springsteen's "No Surrender", there is the following lines: "Well we busted out of class / Had to get away from those fools / We learned more from a three minute record, baby / Than we ever learned in school."

I don't really have the capacity to explain it well at this moment, but this is one of those lyrics that really resonates with me. This band has been one of those things that is technically not related to my degree or what we (my parents) are paying Oberlin for, but it is one of the best and most valuable experiences I'm having.

It has been a great evening. To those of you who came to the Keep party, THANK YOU for your support. It was fantastic to see you. If you didn't come, and you're reading this blog, there's a high chance you live in Minnesota and/or are my dad. In which case, it snowed in Oberlin early this evening (around dinnertime) and I thought of you (you being Minnesotans in general), whenever I wasn't pretending I was in Russia.

So remember those orange and green socks I was making in Pace? (If not, I haven't really worked on them much between this week and Petersburg. Anyway, there's an orange sock with a green heel & toe and the matching sock is the opposite and I'm knitting both of them at the same time.) Anywho, I turned the orange heel today. I'm really digging this toe-up sock thing. Seriously. Not picking up stitches along the heel flap? Call me a convert.

Blaze is about two or three inches from the sleeve/body join. It should be done before November's out, for sure. Maybe I'll shoot for wearing it on Thanksgiving.

06 November 2008

Two-Tone Cables & Ribs

New hat pattern, fresh off the reverse-engineering track. Don't worry; the copyright (OH NO! I just said copyright!) is mine. I made it about two years ago, and winged the pattern. Worked out well, and is one of my favorite hats. I'll get back to you on gauge when I feel like taking out my measuring tape. I poked around on Ravelry to find approximately what size needles might use 72 sts to get an adult size hat and I might also have owned a 16" circular for at the time. My best guess is US 10.5. I probably did the decreases on 9s or 10s. (Didn't have 10.5 dpns.) Not that it probably concerns you, since this about the pattern and not the yarn, after all, but the third picture, while it doesn't show the pattern detail well, is the best depiction of the hat's color.

- 16" circular, most likely US 10.5
- dpns in a similar size (anywhere from 9-11 should be fine)
- 2 skeins (different colors) Patons Shetland Chunky, which in case you didn't notice, is only 25% wool. I did not notice this when I purchased it. It's soft, though. The cream (CC) is called "Biscuit" the blue (MC) had the word "Sea" in the name.
- cable needle is helpful
- aaaaaand get out that tapestry needle

will appear in this space later

C2F: place next 2 sts on cable needle and let rest at front of work. K2 from left needle. K2 from cable needle.
C2Fd: place next 2 sts on cable needle and let rest at front of work. K2tog from left needle. K2 from cable needle.

With CC, CO 72 sts.
Joining in round, work foll 2 rnds 10x:
Rnd 1: *k4, p1, k3, p1*
Rnd 2: *k1, p2, k1, p1, k3, p1*

Change to MC,
Next rnd: *k4, p1, k3, p1*

Work foll 4 rnds 5x:
Row 1: *k4, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1*
Row 2: *k4, p1, k3, p1*
Row 3: *k4, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1*
Row 4: *C2F, p1, k3, p1*

Decreasing for crown
Row 1: *k4, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1*
Row 2: *k4, p1, sl1, k2tog, psso, p1* (56 sts)
Row 3: *k4, p1, k1, p1*
Row 4: *C2Fd, p1, k1, p1* (48 sts)
Row 5: *k3, p1, k1, p1*
Row 6: *k1, k2tog, p1, k1, p1* (40 sts)
Row 7: *k1, p1, k1, p1*
Row 8: *k2tog, p1, k1, p1* (32 sts)
Row 9: *k1, p2tog, p1* (24 sts)
Row 10: *k2tog, p1* (16 sts)
Row 11: *k2tog* (8 sts)

Cut yarn, thread through rem. 8 sts and pull tight. Weave in ends. Adorn head.

15 October 2008

Oh, Russia.

Sometimes I love you; and sometimes I really don't.



We (meaning someone who is not me at all) found Addae. It feels a bit like a collective accomplishment though. Sighs of relief, just in time for midterms.

11 October 2008

MISSING (beloved) CAT

Addae (a-dei) hasn't been seen by her owner since Thursday. She lives in the vicinity of South. If you see her, let us know. She's has a terminal illness, and shouldn't be without her medicine.

21 September 2008

Bumazhnik (boo-mahzh'-neek)

This cute little cabled бумажник (wallet, in Russian) was designed specifically with women in mind, though people of all genders are welcome to find use for it. Just big enough to hug an ID and a couple of bucks and knit at a small, tight gauge for a slim fit, this is the perfect sort of thing to conceal on one’s person (i.e. stash in one’s bra) as they head out to a club, or to any location where a person needs some cash, but might not feel like taking a purse. However, it works perfectly well in a bag or pocket, keeping the essentials together. It can even fit a key (without a keyring attached)!

US size 00 (1.75 mm) needles (2)
cable needle (I used a third US 00)
sock yarn (not much)
tapestry needle

CO 44 sts
First row: purl across.

Work as follows, using the chart:
RS rows: k13, chart, k13
WS rows: p13, chart, p13


8 (WS) - - VV - - VVVVVV - - VV - -
7 (RS) - - VV - - VVVVVV - - VV - -
6 (WS) - - VV - - VVVVVV - - VV - -
5 (RS) - - VV - - VVVVVV - - VV - -
4 (WS) - - VV - - VVVVVV - - VV - -
3 (RS) - - VV - - CABLE - - VV - -
2 (WS) - - VV - - VVVVVV - - VV - -
1 (RS) - - VV - - VVVVVV - - VV - -

V = knit on RS, purl on WS
- = purl on RS, knit on WS
CABLE = put first 3 sts on cable needle, let rest at back of work, knit 3 sts, k 3 sts from cable needle

Repeat the chart a total of 6 times, and work the first two rows again, ending before the row that would contain the 7th cable twist.

Next row: k13, p2, k2, p1, k2tog, k2. Turn work
Next row: p2, p2tog. Turn work.
Next row: k3.

Repeat these last two rows until all sts on the right side of the panel have been incorporated into the edge (16 more rows). Break yarn, leaving a tail to weave in later. Place these three sts on cable needle or stitch holder or spare yarn or another dpn.

Left half of the panel:
Next row: k2, ssk. Turn
Next row: p3. Turn.

Repeat these two rows until only three sts are left.


Using tapestry needle and mattress stitch, fold the rectangle lengthwise and sew a seam up the back (I used a one stitch seam allowance on each side). (At this point you can test it to make sure your contents will fit. It might appear to be really narrow, but it should stretch quite a bit. It’s meant to be a tight fit.) Centering cable on the front and evenly dividing stitches between front and back, sew a seam along the bottom, however you see fit. I picked up stitches from around the first row and used kitchener stitch. Finally, use kitchener stitch to connect the 3 stitch cables around the top edge. Weave in ends. Employ in daily life.

19 September 2008

Today Is A Friday Morning Full of Success

Since Wednesday afternoon: 167 pages of Stalinism. 40 yet to go.

2 miles in 21:15.

The only way it could get better: omlets. Oh, well.

New Innovations in Vocabulary

How many ways can you think of to spell a basic egg dish? I can think of three.


I had never seen the third spelling until today, as I was reading about Soviet collectivization and dekulakization in the 1930s.

Where, you ask, do 'omlets' factor into basic political movements under Stalin?

Any guesses?

"In Belyi raion, members of one brigade 'took eggs and cooked themselves an omlet' while expropriating one prosperous peasant."

Thank you, Shelia Fitzpatrick (author of 'Stalin's Peasants: Resistance & Survival in the Russian Village After Collectivization') for the new spelling of omlet. It's cute.

Also new to my vocabulary is the (apparently) Russian measurement of grain, the 'pud'. My northern Virginian roommate says it sounds like the name of a sort of large footprint. Research (Googling around) confirms that a kilogram is about 6.1% of a pud. Cool.

ALSO if you flip the second letter of 'omlet' upside-down, you get another word I really like.

15 September 2008

Small Victories

Today, on a cross-trainer, I ran 3.5 miles in 50 minutes, and I wasn't even exhausted by the end.

This was, of course, after the full-body workout in my strength-training class. (I know it would be better to do the cardio before lifting, but that would involve me being out of the house at 7 a.m., which, if you know me, isn't going to happen. 7:50 is miraculous enough.)

For some people, 3.5 mi/50 minutes might not seem to be that big of a deal. I've always been terrible at running. I was one of those kids that maybe squeezed the mile run in under 12 minutes. So for me, this is pretty cool. And I'm doing it again Wednesday.

13 September 2008

Mission Undesireable pt 2

Time for some updatez up in heah!

SO. I have two knitting goals for the new year. The first is Mission Possible 2008. Here's the list:

1. Backwards Ribs Socks
2. Ravelympics Camisole
3. Glengarry (hat)
4. getting rid of a bunch of acrylic yarns I haven't touched in a year

1. Stuffed Penguin (assembly)
2. Mosey (legwarmers)
3. iPod cozy
4. Dark Mark Armwarmer pattern
5. Totoro Sweater pattern
6. Blaze (sweater from Knitty)
7. prayer shawl
8. Ravenclaw scarf

Well. I've made significant progress on a few things that are still unfinished: mainly the legwarmers, which only need a couple more inches and then I-cord ties/pom poms. And the Ravenclaw scarf now has HALF of the ends woven in. Almost there! Perhaps there will be more motivation to finish those soon, now that it's starting to cool off a little bit. (I'll be motivated to wear them.)

The second goal... finishing ALL of my WIPs before the new year, with maybe one project carrying over. This is not looking so good. It would be so liberating, to feel like I can just knit whatever I want, and to not be tied down at all. I could even try to get into the habit of not having WIPs sitting around unfinished. I could start out every new year like that!

But in order for that to happen, a lot of knitting needs to get done before the end of the year. I figure if anything carries over, it will be Laminaria (the Estonian lace shawl), because I've had such an up and down time with that, I don't know how long of an investment that project will turn out to be. Other projects on the needles not listed above are: two pairs of socks: the Diamond Waffle socks from Knitty in green and orange Pace, and the socks I just started for the ExCo in orange Araucania Ranco, which I LOVE knitting. Also, the matryoshka mittens that I just started. I'm going to be making Fetching along with the ExCo later in the semester, and will be tempted to make some Selbuvotter-inspired fair isle gloves, and the newsboy cap from the Fall Knitty (Kirinlemon and I might do a Knit-A-Long on that hat). And MP2008 still requires that I start Blaze, a prayer shawl, and an iPod cozy. AND NONE OF THAT EVEN FACTORS IN CHRISTMAS GIFTS.

In other words, I've got my work cut out for me.

Here's a good question: Why am I blogging instead of knitting?

12 September 2008


The week is DONE! Well, I have a seminar on Stalinism this afternoon, actually, but the assignment was due at noon. Know what that means? I can cast on for the матрёшка mittens!

Today is still hectic, though. I really need to head over to Tank and get some lunch, and after that, I'm sticking around to lead my first crew training! I happen to be the only current PoCo (People Coordinator) in Tank, as my CoPoCo was accepted into Old B. But as of last night, I'm fully trained, so I can actually do my job now. Sweet!

Also! Monday I start working at the Religious Life Office!

But back to today. After lunch/crew training, I'm coming back to plan some worship for tonight's ECO retreat! Which leaves Oberlin at 5:00! Which is only 40 minutes after my seminar gets out!

Which means no knitting circle today. But who cares. I love my socks and am starting mittens.

ps. It's raining. I hope it clears up by the sitting on the dock watching the sunset part of the retreat. But hey, I have a raincoat.

10 September 2008

holy cow you guys pt. 2

So. I have haystacks of work to do, BUT. The fall issue of Knitty is out. It came out this morning, and due to the tons of Ravelers who pounced on it, we kind of shut the server down, I think. Or it might have been a bug with the new printer-friendly format. Anywho, after being really impatient and unproductive (not academically productive; I did clean up my room a bit) for 45 minutes or so, it came back up. And I looked at all the patterns. First, I thought (going through them in the order on the pattern page), that the newsboy cap would be the best, as there was a point in time during which I wanted really badly to knit a newsboy cap, but all of the knitting patterns thus far published were CRAP. However, this looks awesome. I mean, WHERE can I buy some sew-on snaps.






Whoa. Whoawhoawhoawhoawhoa. Reasons why this is awesome:
1. I was planning on challenging myself with some colorwork gloves/mittens this semester. FITS INTO PLAN.
3. I don't have size 3 dpns, for some reason, but 7.75 inches is a little too tight for my liking, so I can make them on size 4s, which are CURRENTLY PROJECTLESS.

So. Right now, I'm going to go give a bag of black, white, red, pink, yellow, and gray yarn and some size 4 dpns to Danielle, and instruct her not to let me have them back until noon on Friday, when my first working paper for my seminar is due. I may not have the self-control, but at least I've got housemates to help me out.

Um, yeah. Other than that, tonight's the first knitting ExCo. I'm excited, and a little nervous. But mostly excited. And maybe there will be tea at Russian house after that. And then lots of work.

Also, Danielle made 4 loaves of French bread yesterday. With rosemary! (No parsley, sage or thyme, all you folk song addicts!) It was delicious. I have a photo, but not the time to post it now.

Have lovely afternoons.

ps. The links aren't working at the moment. The site might be down again, but they should work when the site's back up.

30 August 2008

Fall Schedule: Ups and Downs

Today I decided to actually take a look at which classes I'm registered for, and what my schedule is going to look like. There are still several changes I have to make during add/drop, but I'm getting a clearer picture. Unfortunately, it's far from the happiest picture in the world.

The biggest change is with Russian. I'm planning on taking Special Topics, which is a 400-level course. It was going to be taught by Kaminer, who I had for first and second year Russian. However, she spent the summer in England, and found a new job (she was only a visiting professor at Oberlin), so she's not going to be around. There's a new Russian professor teaching it, and the topic has changed favorably. (Used to be Women in 20th Century Literature, is now on the reactions of writers to the Revolution and new Soviet regime.) But it makes a conflict.

Some of you might remember that I got really excited in the spring when I realized I could finish off my natural science requirement by taking another computer programming course. Well, the one I'm taking has a lab, which is either Wednesday or Thursday afternoon.

Problem Number One: Wednesday afternoon conflicts with Women's Chorale. Thursday afternoon conflicts with 400-level Russian. Damn.

Tentative Plan Number One: I'm going to talk to Dr. Kerchner and see if we can work something out where I come to choir on Mondays, and maybe Wednesdays if I have time, and look over stuff on my own.

Then! there's the not-so-awesome-but-survivable situation with my history seminar on Stalinism. Basically:

Problem Number Two: It meets Friday afternoon, which is also knitting circle at my LYS.

Plan Number Two: It's not that big a deal. I'll come afterwards. Also, the Fearless Knitting ExCo is going to involve a couple more evenings of scheduled knitting circles, too. It'll be fine.

On the plus side, this opens up some of my mornings for KPing or cooking at the co-op, and leaves some afternoons open to get a lunch crew out of the way. Yeah!


Problem Number Three: Is signing up for 8am MWF strength training a really bad idea? I could do 10am, but it would run right up against another class.

27 August 2008

Wednesday Has Been A Good Day.

Today was good.

It didn't start off the best, meaning that it started at about noon, but hey, sleep is good, too.

Linden and Liz got in yesterday, so they've been around all day, and it's really nice to have some company after spending several days alone in the apartment.

Probably the lowest point were the two times that I had walked to the mailroom to pick up my new license, and realized that I had forgotten either my package slip, or my ID. But I got it eventually, and I like it.

Early this afternoon, Liz and I did a short lower body workout, which felt good. I haven't gotten any exercise all summer that wasn't walking. (Though I did walk a lot.) I'm excited about strength training, and hoping that I can keep up a fairly consistent schedule of it this semester, even though I'm not planning to take the class again. I also have my tennis racket with me. I might take Tennis II. I've got beautiful new shoes that are really good for wearing in the weight room (I haven't worn them outside), and they're supposed to be non-marking, which means they'd be good court shoes, too.

This afternoon, Danielle got back. I ran out to meet her in the very light drizzle of a rain that lasted most of the day. Liz and Linden came back from storage, and everyone except me is still in various states of unpacked-ness.

For dinner, Danielle and I headed to the Feve, to meet up with the group of knitters that meets there twice a month. I saw some vaguely familiar faces, and David (the pastor at my church), and we ate delicious tater tots and sandwiches (I had a BLT with Danimal (spicy) tots), and I had a Rolling Rock, which I think (unless I'm missing something obvious) qualifies as my first domestically-purchased alcoholic beverage. AND I got to show my snazzy new license to the waitress.

THEN (this is where it gets super awesome for me and probably not that interesting for you), David Hill drove me back to the apartment, because he'd brought the three-drawer cart full of woolens that I stored at his and Vicki's house. Yeah! I have all of my yarn back in my possession, and I found space for it in my room. It's easily accessible space, which is even better. And now! I get to reorganize all of my knitting things.


Also, since I've jettisoned a bunch of the Red Heart, etc. that has been in untouched in Minnesota over a year, I think it calls for a recount of the stash numbers.

All around, it's been a good night.

26 August 2008

Russia: the Finale in Pictures

Well, here we go. The rest of the Russia pictures. You won't see any more for a while, but TRUST ME. This was the first, but NOT THE LAST trip to Russia. Maybe next time, you'll get to see pictures of Moscow!

So, here is Emma, and there are several of us not in the shot, trying to figure out how you're supposed to look at the sun in a partial solar eclipse without killing your eyes. We knew there was that thing you could do with poking a hole in a piece of paper and ... we didn't really know the rest. It clearly isn't holding the paper up to the sun and looking at the sun through the hole. We tried that. (We've figured it out by now. There's two pieces of paper...)

So I tried to take pictures of it. Then I tried to take a picture through my sunglasses, which worked pretty well.

Here is the Blagoveshenskii Most', which I walked over to get to school. I like bridge pictures. Brace yourselves for later in the post.

Friends, family, and other people I may or may not know, meet Pushkin.

We had a picnic on this island. So, thing is, there are a lot of stray dogs in Russia. This one, in particular, was kind of friendly. By 'friendly', I mean, he really wanted to jump on our food. So Adams, who is able to befriend any creature with stunning ease, played with him. Emma noted that it looked a little like a scene from 'Little House on the Prairie'.

I saw this truck a few days in a row. All of the letters are letters in English. It takes me about four attempts to pronounce this the way a non-Russian understanding American would. Kind of like that Hecla sign in Pennsylvania.

Adams and Hart, pretending to be in the Russian Navy in their Russian Navy shirts.

Aaaaaaand then, I walked around the night before I left and took 8 million pictures of bridges. Behold.

Dang, I just realized how blurry almost all of these night photos are. Dang. But here's some more anyway...

Don't ask me what these buildings are.

Did I successfully capture water texture, or no?

ZENIT! Dave has a Zenit scarf now, noting their championhood of 2007. Now he's a real football fan.

My favorite string of Firecones in all of Piter:

The stairwell of the apartment building. Not actually this dark.

The last day: a trip to the Hermitage. Outside.

Inside, with Rembrandt. I overheard a tour guide saying that there are Dutch people who come to the Hermitage just to see this painting. They might even come to Russia to see it. Next time I'm around, I'm going to try to go on a Wednesday so I can see that magnificent peacock clock in full glory. I know it's crowded, but that's got to be cool.

Now we're leaving the Hermitage. This is the big square.

Then I went and took more pictures of my favorite cathedral, the morgue/vegetable fridge cathedral, with pretty mosaics and towers that beg to become knitted hats. Here's more pictures of it. I'm pretty sure it was on about half of the postcards I "sent" to people. (For those of you who haven't gotten them yet - they're coming... via U.S. post.

Some closeups. I love it when architecture is pretty on the outside, too, and not just ornate inside. COLORS!

Meet Popugai. Popugai means parakeet. The parakeet is named Parakeet.

Meet Mish'. Mish' means mouse. The mouse is named Mouse.

Look at these fabulous stickers in the hallway. They're all over the apartment, and they're wonderful. Best decorating job ever.

The kitchen table.

Some more walking around, a few hours before they picked me up to go to the airport. I walked past a wedding reception, and they were pretty riled up and having a good time, and I wanted to tell them congratulations, just a person walking down the street, but I wasn't cool enough to do it.

I bought chocolate!...

Kay, guys. Four more. You can do it. Only wonderful people left (pictured with me, anyway), and some crazy firecones.

Me with my host sister, Inna.

Me with Tatya, one of the tutors.

Me with my head blocking Vika. She led a group about the mass media in Russia. I was really the only student in attendance most of the time, but it was still really neat.

AND. Not actually in Russia. In Germany. Frankfurt airport. GREEN FIRECONES, guys. GREEN FIRECONES.

After that, there's just nothin' more to say.

25 August 2008

Hey blog. It's been a while since we've talked.

Just for Ss & Gs, lets make this a list, kay?

1. A recap of the last two months: Russia was awesome! I have a few more pictures to go up, but I'll get those up in the next couple of days.

2. I have a Kodak coupon, so I can totally get 10 cent prints. Photo party!

3. Here's one more photo to tide you over, though my intent is more Ravelry-related, rather than providing you with information. It involved a leftover tomato that I carried home with me on the metro and made into a (heavily) tomato sandwich. Check out the vertical ratio on this baby:

Enough of Russia (for the time being). Now let's break it down domestic-style:

4. I'm 21. Which is all right. It feels kind of like 20, to be honest.

5. My new license photo doesn't suck!

6. Upon arrival in MN (three hours later than intended don't fly Sun Country out of JFK), I spent four days home with my family in our new house, which I love.

7. Remember the non-Russian non-pie Choco-Pies? Guess who's mother thought it would be funny to buy her daughter two boxes of them for her birthday. It's a good thing she found them at a Korean grocery store. She was going to order them online, if she had to.

8. The Dark Knight, if you haven't seen it, is a really good movie. I biked about 16 miles (round trip) to Amherst to see it this afternoon.

9. I made more vareniki! (= Ukrainian dumplings!) This time, I was smart and didn't stack them on top of each other, so they didn't stick together, and I won't have to cook fistfuls of dumpling matter instead of actual dumplings. Everybody wins! Everybody who eats them anyway. I guess the dumplings don't win.

10. Some friends and I watched 'I Know What You Did Last Summer'. Next summer, you will be able to say that, because you will know that I watched this movie, and then we can listen to Guess Who?, the Who, and Yes, and talk about it.

11. World of knitting: Ravelympics project is a little late. I could be finishing it right now, but I'm blogging instead. I could have finished it earlier, but I made dumplings instead. I only have some ends to weave in, the gathering at the neckline to do, and the single crochet around the neck and armholes. But to be fair, I didn't have the needles with me to start this project in Russia, so I couldn't start until the 11th. And then I was so exhausted/busy I didn't start until the 13th. So I'm not that behind. I joined the race a little late. It's still Sunday in California!

12. I've been seeing lots of people I know in town. Especially today at the Feve! This is always fun.

Well! A dozen things about my life. How is yours?