October 31, 2012
as gay christmas.
so it feels oh so right
that i should have a happy post.
maybe some life stuff?
and then the rhinebeck post?
ok i’ll keep the life stuff brief.
1 – i gave a guest lecture today. i, apparently, rocked. i presented a scaled-down version of an article i’m working on. prof liked it. two undergrads came to her office hours and told her how much they enjoyed the class.
2 – i rewrote my entire comps proposal this week. committee members find it much improved. i continue on, encouraged.
3 – i have discovered the udon sushi bakery in east lansing. it’s asian fusion in the real sense, pulling from taiwan, korea, and japan. i am obsessed. i plan to eat my way through their entire menu. and the taro bubble tea? divine.
the combination of these three things has turned my frown entirely upside down. maybe the harlot is right about that whole universe balance business she’s always going on about. the thing that’s kept me going is that, while the stress has been nuclear, i can track real results in my progress in the program and improvement in my work. i might actually make it through this thing and become a scholar i want to be. we’ll see.
but now for the official rhinebeck post.
writing a cohesive narrative about rhinebeck is a fools errand.
instead, i’ll give my overall impression
and let the photos guide me.
(but don’t any of you fuckers even think about trying to book it for next year’s rhinebeck. we’ve got dibs. and anyone who tries to snatch it will have to answer to our leader, yarny old kim a.k.a. buttermilf painkcakes)
this is misa‘s epic fucking scarf
in which she has knit four lines of robert frost’s ‘mending fences’
if memory serves.
(so last year there was this moment when i saw him and was sure he saw me, recognized me, then looked away. i realize this is completely paranoid and kinda arrogant since, most likely, he has no fucking idea who i am. still. my insanity requires i now keep my distance. maybe next year i’ll get over my lunacy and ask him to be a part of nips with steVen)
speaking of kinnearing,
that is clara parks.
this is what andrea thinks of the crowd.
this is me with david.
he comes from a land down under. i have a crush on him.
this is andrea and i inducting two new people, dale a.k.a. njstacie‘s gingerlovahhusband & michelle into our rhinebeck tradition of sampling the ghost chili (a.k.a. chili fantasma) pepper sauce.
i don’t know why we do this. it is not pleasant. next year, there will be a new, even hotter chili pepper sauce for us to sample: the scorpion chili.
i’m afraid of next year.
(p.s. after this moment, michelle chugged a large chai to cool the burn and threw it right back up into the cup. sorry to put you on blast, girl, but i refuse forget that memory)
best quote of the weekend:
“ow! my twat. my twat!”
“it’s for art!”
see you next year!
October 23, 2012
October 20, 2012
today is rhinebeck.
say hi if you like.
but please don’t sneak up on me
or come running at me yelling
because last year,
this chick snuck up on me
and i inhaled a piece of me chicken sandwich.
it was not pretty.
if you want to be in ‘nips with steven‘ this year,
all you have to do is ask.
i’ve got the bottle.
October 17, 2012
as i’m sure you all know,
going to rhinebeck is important to me.
there are other sacred knitter destinations
such as webs, soar, maryland, sock summit, madrona, etc.
being in the blue moon barn is an especially religious experience,
but maybe that’s just me?
as we know,
is the holiest of holies.
for me, it is a true pilgrimage.
you may notice it’s wednesday night
and i’m already getting ready to go.
for i leave on the morrow for pittsburgh
dropping off mr. mo at the old homestead on the way.
i will be picked up by andrea
(a.k.a. the best yarn rep/fiber festival buddy ever)
early friday morning and we’ll head for new york.
there, we will meet up our 10 other housemates.
did i not mention i’m not staying at a motel this year?
well i’m not.
twelve of us have rented an big old victorian house for the weekend.
i’m finally one of the cool kids.
the best part?
i get my own room
because, as yarny old kim says,
i’m “the lone swingin’ dick” in the group.
then, it’s rhinebeck proper,
which i defy you to put into words.
but i’m getting ahead of myself.
first i must:
1 – wash every piece of clothing i own so i can pack anything i could possibly ever wear because who knows what may happen at rhinebeck.
2 – pack everything even though i suck at packing and all my clothes end up smushed and wrinkly even though i packed them nicely and used those strap things to hold them down.
3 – put aerobed by the door since my getting the bedroom to myself is contingent on my bringing an aerobed for someone else and i will forget it unless i block my exit with it.
4 – find and fill my knitting bag. i haven’t knit in 8 weeks. i don’t even know if i remember how. i hope i can fake it in a pinch.
(it’s the one with the hook, right?)
5 – dust of the old spinning wheel because you simply cannot go to an old victorian house with the cool kids for rhinebeck and show up without your spinning wheel unless you want to be mocked to the point of tears. i hope to spin until i do myself a mischief!
6 – catalogue all of my work that i need to bring with me because i am not delusional enough to think that just because it’s rhinebeck i don’t have a million things due as soon as i come back.
7 – gather all of mo’s things he will need to survive at the home of my youth. he now has another dog to compete for the attention of his grandparents. he isn’t pleased.
8 – make certain i have every possible electronic device and charger i own with me so i can document and blog every single possible thing ever since this may be the only real content i have until christmas time. this includes my vintage european mobile. you never know. i could go to rhinebeck and realize i need to be in france. or denmark.
9 – unearth a fucking tiny darning needle because i have to give misa her bohus hat and i never wove in its bajillion laceweight ends.
10 – locate the bohus hat.
11 – rewash this load of laundry as i realize i never put detergent in and refuse to be that skanky even if i do have a y chromosome and it’s probably fine and no one would notice.
i think that’s everything.
p.s. i’ll be doing two photo projects while i’m there, including ‘nips with steven’. if you’re going and you’d like to be a part of either of them, stay tuned for tomorrow’s post.
p.p.s. here’s an old video to make those of you not going jealous.
2:04. i’m laughing at you, bitches!
August 7, 2012
i am frustrated. (get your head out of the gutter and focus, please)
i have literally been swatching for days for my rhinebeck sweater,
and frankly i’m thinking of throwing in the towel.
i want to make dale of norway’s liberec,
but i cannot for the life of me obtain the proper gauge.
(things might get technical and mathy after this)
the pattern was designed for either falk or heilo,
both of which are listed as sport-weight yarns.
i’ve decided to use blue moon fiber arts bfl sport
(which is amazing and if i ever figure this out,
you’ll get to see my amazing colors).
the gauge i’m supposed to obtain is 24sts/4″ on 3mm needles.
(my needle gauge says that’s a u.s. 3 but the internet says a u.s 3 is 3.25mm. anyway) on that needle, i was getting 30-32sts/4″.
i began to worry.
after swatching 5 times (5 times!!),
i’m up to a size 5 needle (3.75mm)
and i’m still not on gauge.
not to mention the fabric is loose for my taste.
how on earth are these norwegians getting that gauge on that needle?
then it hit me.
it’s not a sport-weight yarn. it’s dk.
ravelry says it’s sport.
the dale of norway website says it’s sport.
but it’s not. it can’t be.
i returned to ravelry. yep. heilo and falk are listed as sport.
then i saw the little ‘comments’ tab and my heart sank a little.
i clicked on it and what did i discover?
ravelers say it’s really more like a dk than a sport,
and even thicker than some yarns that are listed as a dk!
the only thing i can think of is dale of norway is calling their yarn sport-weight because they are knitting a dk yarn to a sport gauge on a smaller than standard needle (which will of course make a lovely thick fabric for skiing and improve stitch definition) rather than look at the actual diameter or wpi of their yarns.
in my despair, i considered just finishing the vest i was knitting/spinning for rhineback last year (and have secretly been working on this summer) since i was unable to complete it on time and has been hibernating ever since. then i remembered i’ve been emailing the designer because the pattern is wrong. i found one big error, and they sent me a corrected pattern. then i went to continue and found another. what really baffles me is how several people have ‘successfully’ knit the vest. how? the pattern it wrong! and it’s not something one can just figure out. i need the information from the designer!
(at what point should they offer me a refund?)
i have a decision to make.
since ravelry tells me the only colorwork sweaters i can knit with sport-weight yarn are by dale of norway, i must either do some math to make this sweater happen at the gauge i’m getting (we won’t even go into the horror of row gauge and color work). or i can just give up.
i have a significant amount of extra yarn for the main color.
maybe i’ll just forget colorwork all together.
i need to decide soon if i have any hope of finishing by rhinebeck.
i could use the advice.
October 25, 2011
because this week’s workload is so intense
that i find myself in moments of catatonia
i’ve decided to evade responsibilities through
excessive knitting and, now,
a blog post.
why read the rest of the hundred and fifty odd pages i need to finish in the next three hours when i could spend the next 30 with you all?
let’s take a trip back in time
to a mere ten days ago,
a time of sheep
rather than try to give you a sense of what rhinebeck “is”
a task to great for this humble writer.
instead i give you random moments,
the idiosyncrasies of
outside the melee that is the the briar rose tenti ran into david of southern cross fibre with his fiber soul twin, helloyarna few things need to be said about this encounter.
1. david is one of my spinning inspirations, so i felt a little geeky (though apparently others are worse, thankfully)
2. helloyarn was one of my main knitting inspirations when i first began knitting, and remains one of my top 5 “people who’s lives seem so cool on the internet that i wish mine was like theirs”. i’ve moved past the nerdy “she knows my name” phase and felt glad just running into her.
3. though! when i first met her last year, i was not very composed and perhaps too excited. i’m using that as my excuse (that and the campfire lighting) for why i’d forgotten that david and i had been introduced (by adrian i assume) at last year’s rhinebeck ravelry party
4. david reminded me of this fact after my “it’s great to finally meet you!” >minor humiliation<
5. he spun and knit that sweater in record time. i hate him.
6. he’s very handsome in person.
i also ran into amy aka boogie aka spunky eclectic (bitch has a lotta aliases. gotta wonder why) outside the jennie the potter booth free-for-all (adjacent to the briar rose melee). it was odd because i didn’t see her at first, but rather saw beth smith‘s name on a piece of paper in a clear plastic bag she was holding. when i took a second look, i glanced up and there she was. i have no photo, but i got a hug. she’s shorter than i imagined.
the line for the sanguine gryphon was ricockulous. i have to say, knitters are pretty honest. that’s the line to pay. i’m sure people could have just walked off with yarn, but instead waited forever to give them their money. my friend misa was in line for about 2 hours. granted she was getting a sweater-lot of yarn on sale but jesus!
i found out later that it’s author was here to sign copies of it! i had this great fantasy of buying them all, making the author sign them all, then promptly taking them out to a bin and lighting them all on fire.
i satisfied myself by making a catty comment about said author’s attire. i mean really, if you’re going to meet the public, you could put a little effort into your outfit. and for god sakes this is rhinebeck and you wrote a book about knitting. you couldn’t find one handknit to wear?! tacky as your book.
i did however wait in a long line to get stephanie’s new book, and have her sign it. the best part was the hug she demanded of me before i said a word. it’s really nice when a person you genuinely respect doesn’t think you’re a crazy internet stalker because you show up to a lot of the same places and ask her to sign things, but rather, thinks it makes you a nice person. obviously, the yarn harlot is the most famous knitter in the world and has therefore affected a lot of us. but i remember when i first got into knitting, reading her blog made it seem really cool and interesting. it made me want to get better at it. i don’t have a grandma who taught me, or some great knitting tradition in my family. i owe getting into knitting to her (or at least her persona), and i’m glad every time i see her.
but enough with the sappy shit.
the gem of the rhinebeck (in terms of vendors) had to be into the whirled. everyone i know bought something from here, and with good reason.while i cannot remember her name, and my photo does no justice to her or her wares, i encourage you to go buy all of her things, now. because believe you me, soon, you won’t be able to get you hands on her stuff!
on saturday, i tried the wild coyote sauces spiciest concotion, “buried alive.” it’s made with the “ghost chili”, supposedly the world’s hottest. being a foodie, i couldn’t pass up the chance to try it. plus the owner challenged my masculinity which, in any other case, wouldn’t have mattered. somehow, it mattered this time.
needless to say, it was spicy. a yoghurt smoothie saved my life and luckily, it was only a sample, not enough to give me, what andrea calls, “burny butt”.
the next day, my fiber festival partner in crime, decided she too had to meet the “ghost chili”. i documented it. andrea made the festival for me.
there is no better fiber festival buddy than she.
as expected it was totally worth being completely behind in all of my work, a behindness that continues as i write this. catching up may never be attainable, but i wouldn’t change rhinebeck for a 4.0 on my next paper. hopefully i won’t have to!
October 21, 2011
October 14, 2011
there’s a little time left
before we’ll start foraging for food.
so i thought i’d just do a little rhinebeck pre-game.
1. i’ve made significant progress on my rhinebeck vest,but i realize, now, finishing it by tomorrow is impossible. i’m not even sure i spun enough yarn for it. in any case, it’s still my rhinebeck vest, and i’ll be working on it as much as possible this weekend. anyone who wants to knit a courtesy row or two for me tomorrow need only ask. (i don’t have a cable needle, though)
2. like last year, i’m a square for rhinebeck bingo,
and as part of the fun, i thought i’d give away my dustland hat.the first person who a) has me on their bingo card b) stops me to check me off of their bingo card and c) asks for the hat will get it.
3. i have a couple photo projects i’d like to undertake. the first will be “the beards of rhinebeck” since it was so much fun in maryland. the second is “nips with steven”. that project will be photos of my friends and readers who take a nip from my whisky bottle that i plan to smuggle in. are you brave enough to take nip at rhinebeck?
4. is anyone else going to stand in line to get a signed copy of the yarn harlot’s new book? is it worth the hassle of dealing with a frenzy of crazy-ass knitters? i’m on the fence.
5. i plan to go to saturday’s ravelry meetup. is everyone else going? is it too dorky? and if so, do we care?
i think that’s all. coming to rhinebeck is a kind of pilgrimage for me, and, even though this is going to put me way behind for my next week of school work and grading and i might find myself crying by wednesday, it’s totally worth it.
September 11, 2011
my first week as a phd student was rough.
i could tell you all the little whiney stories
that literally drove me to drink.
i could tell you about being behind in my reading,
or how my students were . . . less than talkative in class.
or how i (wrongfully!) received a parking ticket that i have to now appeal.
or how my online rent payment didn’t go through making it 8 days late.
or how mo snuck out of bed in the middle of the night to drop a deuce,
and i stepped in the puddle of pee that accompanied it.
but i won’t.
i’m classier than that,
and no one likes a whiner.
besides, i spent a lovely saturday afternoon with the ladies of the loft
that erased any negative feelings from the previous week.
i’m not really a baby person,
but this one seemed pretty cool.
unlike some asshole babies i’ve met,
i could sorta see the appeal of this one.
but since she’s not for sale
i settled for taking my spinning wheel home with me.
this is mo’s little sister; i can somehow tell she’s a girl,
but i haven’t named her yet.
like any doting father
i think she’s the best wheel in the world.
the wood is absolutely beautiful.
she even has a knot-wood beauty mark.
she’s currently hanging out in my bedroom
until a proper place of honor can be made in the living room.
what’s that on the bobbin you ask?
why that’s what i’ll be wearing to rhinebeck of course!
August 22, 2011
let’s get cracking.
1. i made a knitter. my student on saturday was amazing, a natural, a joy to teach. she will very soon spread her knitter wings and take off. i shall always remember alejandra, the scrub nurse from colombia and my first real knitting student. (actually, i’ll probably forget which is why i’m writing it down here).
2. today was my first day of t.a. orientation. for some bizarre reason i was really nervous about it and only slept for about three hours last night. but of course when i got there, it felt totally natural and, even though i feel really nervous about teaching, i am clearly more competent/less nervous than a lot of people in that room today. and a lot prettier which is of course a bigger comfort.
3. i saw a girl i went to highschool with at t.a. orientation. she either didn’t recognize me, or purposely ignored me. i’m not sure which is worse.
4. perhaps even more random, i saw the guy i bought my new craigslist couch from. he too either ignored or didn’t recognize me. either way, freaky right?
5. i was the only person in the big lecture hall knitting. this didn’t surprise me, but i was a little disappointed.
6. this week, i have been eating, on average, a half an onion and a clove of garlic per day. i am single, and mo doesn’t seem to mind so i’m going with it.
7. i’m getting really close to getting my wheel. i’m waiting on an email about it.
8. speaking of emails, i sent a bunch out to the knitters of the world, but only one responded. i fear that this is because i am a knitting nobody and do not merit a response. worse still, they could absolutely know who i am and have decided not to respond. it couldn’t possibly that they’re just busy people like me and have yet to respond. never. clearly, they either don’t know, or hate me.
9. i have an insane amount of laundry to do. rather than haul my ass to the laundromat, i just keep opening new suitcases to find clean clothes. or else i “sniff test” clothes i’ve already worn, and wear them again. (more evidence of my transition to manhood) this plan has worked for me for three weeks, but i see the end is near. today i had to go commando to my orientation. i made to sure to wear a belt, but kept obsessively checking my fly after the sexual harassment segment of the day.
11. since this is technically a knitting blog, i better show you a picture of some knittingi have embraced the fact that i am a shawl knitter. if other people can be sock knitters, i can be a shawl knitter. give me a triangle and i’m happy. of course, i’m using smaller yarn and needles meaning i’m going to have to do some maths to make the lace section work, but i’m sure that won’t pose any problems at all later on.
12. my rereading of the yarnharlot’s blog continues to be an inspiration. i’m pretty sure that’s why i’m doing a list post right now.
13. i recieved the awesomest of text messages today from a dear friend of mine:
“i’m knitting! also, loved the ‘sleep with as many people as possible’ note.”
what can i say, i’m part knitter, part scholar, part slut apparently (sorry mom). miss you jenny!
14. i thought rhinebeck was out of reach this year, but i may just have found a way to get there. this of course means i must find a pattern i like, and knit a new rhinebeck sweater.
16. i’m toying with the idea of getting my knitting mastery. is this a stupid idea? has anyone done it? help a boy out.
17. now that mo and i are reunited, my mother wants to alpacanap steven jr. i think this is some kind of manifestation of her desire for a grandchild. watch out sally.
18. extra large eggs are stupid.
19. mo has let me know in his not so subtle way it is time to be let out or else i’ll have a date later with the paper towel. later, bitches.