Much news to catch up on!!

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to all you Americans out there! To the rest of the world, happy Thursday!

Next: NaKniSweMo.

Since I last post, I have given in to all the guilty voices in my head that are saying "It's almost Christmas, and you're spending a whole month on a project for yourself???" I don't want to think of it as "giving up".....I mean I could possibly finish the sweater by the end of the month if I set my mind to it. But then I start thinking, "Yeah, but if I put that much effort into other projects, then I could get multiple gifts done in the same time." So I start getting into this weird guilt thing.

Yeah.....basically, I suck.

Not that it was particularly hard to tear myself away from this project. I mean, the project is fast and all with the size 13 needles, but I am getting really sick of the yarn. I have never before seen yarn that caused more dropped stitches. The furry alpaca sometimes glues two stitches together so that only one of the stitches gets knitted. So then I get several rows down, and I notice the dropped one. And don't even think about just ripping back to the mistake, oh no. Once a stitch has been....stitched, the fuzz pretty much glues it in place. So you CAN'T rip back to mistakes. Basically, the yarn is a pain in the butt.

I have good news, too, however. Yesterday, I finished an entire Jayne hat in one day. Shiny! (By the way, Jayne is a character in the TV show Firefly. In the episode called "The Message" he receives in the mail a hat his mom knitted for him. So he's this big, tough mercenary guy wearing this cute little hat with earflaps. And thus, a nerdy joke is born.) Here's the TV version of the Jayne hat, modeled by Adam Baldwin (the man who played Jayne):

And here is my version of the Jayne hat, modeled by my brother (for whom the hat was knitted. Though I'll probably steal it from him like every day.)

Pretty cunning, don't you think?

It's a little (okay kind of a lot) bigger than the original pattern intended because 1) it's supposed to look dorky, and 2) I'm sorry Owen, but you have a giant head. Plus, I think I have a disease where I can't just follow a pattern to the letter. I just have to go make some modification. I mean, look at the sleeves I'm doing for the NaKniSweMo sweater. I just HAD to go knit them in the round, didn't I?? *grumbles incoherently about the stupid yarn*

I fully intended to follow the pattern this time, but the urge to modify is apparently too strong. For the hat, I extended the orange section by one row, shortened the yellow section by one row, worked the decreases at the top of the head differently, and increased the width of the earflaps by two stitches. It turned out great in the end, so I'm not complaining.

I've also started another pair of fingerless mitts for my mom's friend Tammy. I'll upload pics of them when they have a little more shape. Right now, they're just garter stitch rectangles with thumb holes.

All right, I think that's all for now. Don't eat too much turkey, everyone!

Nearly there!

I have now completed the front and back parts of my NaKniSweMo sweater!

This is such an effortless project. I haven't rushed myself at all, just picked up the knitting whenever I was watching TV or something. I have started on one of the sleeves, and I decided to knit it in the round on DPNs to avoid the huge seam up the arm, but I fear that I may be making things to complicated for myself. Skinny yarn does NOT want to be knitted on huge DPNs. I only have about two inches done, so I'm going to wait until it's a bit longer to decide whether I should just frog it and restart the sleeve on straight needles.

I will have pictures later!

I feel a little...betrayed

When it comes to music, I'm not really that picky. I'm not a big fan of country music, death metal, or those female pop singers who stretch their words waaaay out (like Beyonce), but other than that, I'm not hard to please.

My favorite genres, however tend to be rock, like the Beatles, world music, and what I like to call "folkish rock". My two favorite bands (besides the Beatles, who are pretty much a given) are the Waybacks and the Duhks, both of which practically no one has heard of. The Waybacks tend to be more of a rock band (especially their live performances; they played part of a Led Zeppelin song at the last concert I went to!), with folk and bluegrass influence. They have a banjo and a fiddle, so people tend to automatically stick them in with bluegrass, but really, they defy categorization.

My other favorite band is the Duhks. They're a band from Winnepeg, Manitoba that plays what they describe as "fusion of traditional bluegrass, folk rock, Afro-Cuban jazz and soul", which really is a spot-on description. A lot of their songs are instrumentals with a marked Irish influence, while still others are folk songs sung in French. It's a great mix of INCREDIBLE musicians (the violin player is magnificent!), amazing lyrics (check out "Heaven's My Home" or "Mountains of Things") and fantastic vocals.

My favorite part of the band was the lead singer, Jessee Havey. She has an amazing, really powerful alto voice. It was a treat to see them perform live, because she would get so into the music and dance onstage. Unfortunately, about a year ago, she quit the band to "pursue solo endeavors" or whatever the words they used were. Just recently did the band release their first album without Jessee Havey, "Fast Paced World". I hadn't even heard the new lead singer until I got an iTunes gift card for my birthday a few weeks ago and decided to download the new album.

These were not the same Duhks.

Not only was Havey their lead vocalist, she was also the songwriter for the group. The woman who took her place, Sarah Dugas, just doesn't have the same style as Havey did. The very first song, "A Mighty Storm" is a lot more blues-y than their previous CDs. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad, it's just not the same. I actually liked quite a few of the songs. The ones that were just instrumentals are just as good as their old instrumental numbers. But I really can't stand the song "Toujours vouloir". It sounds way too much like pop music, and has too much of that slow, same-y sounding female singing that's heard in so much music nowadays. And I don't even know what to think of the song "You don't see it". I try to tell myself that I would like it if I didn't know it was supposed to be the Duhks. It's a lot more pop and country-sounding than their old songs. It's just so different!

I feel almost childish for complaining about the change. I mean, it's the band's choice if they want to play different music. And you never know, the rest of the band may have hated Jessee Havey's songs, and that's why she left and why they've changed now.

So, basically, I'm indecisive about the new album. I like a lot of the songs, but it's so different that I'm a little bit in shock. It feels almost as if I had a boyfriend, but then the boyfriend went and got a haircut, and I'm trying to decide whether I like the haircut or not. I liked his old hair!

Give me a few weeks to get used to it, and I'll get back with you.

I miss Jessee Havey.


Obama is our next president!!!!!

Yay, pictures!

Since it is so hard to format text and pictures, I'm just going to type all the text up here, and leave the pics in a group at the end. Sorry, my camera is so blurry. Using the flash is the only way to get clear pictures. However, if I use the flash, the color gets all washed out. So, I'm going with the lesser of two evils here and just taking the darn picture with no flash. These pictures are just of what I got done on the first day because I haven't taken any pictures since then. The last picture here is just a view showing how open the stitches are. Seriously, this sweater weighs nothing at all.

A Whole Day of Excitement!

Well, have I got a lot to tell you guys!

First of all, two days ago was the first day of NaKniSweMo! I stayed up until midnight the night before, and cast on just as the clock struck 12. On Saturday I managed to knit almost 15 inches of the back of my sweater!! I have some pictures, but I'm on a different computer today (my brother commandeered the good one for NaNoWriMo) so I can't upload them. But I will.....eventually. So, anyway, this is probably the fastest sweater to knit, ever. I finished the entire back of the sweater yesterday, and started the front. So I'm predicting I'll be done in maybe a week. This feels like cheating! I'm also going to have a bunch of yarn left over, because I'm still on my first ball. I'm taking a bit of a break today because I have to get Death of a Salesman read and annotated by Wednesday...

So anyway, on to the excitement of Saturday!

I had originally decided not to discuss politics on this blog, because I didn't want to offend any of the people who read it. However, I'm such an opinionated person that I should have known that I would be forced to bring up the subject sooner or later.

So, just to start, I'm very liberal, and proud of it! I support Obama for president whole-heartedly. I'm the vice president of my school's Teen Democrats club. So, yeah, I'm pretty passionate about politics.

So, Saturday: There was an Obama rally at Shaw University, which is not far at all from where I live, where Chris Rock was scheduled to speak!!! I went with my parents and my brother to the rally. When we got there, there weren't too many people, and we got a pretty good place to stand where we could see the stage. But then, some guy with an Australian accent (He was a volunteer helping organize the event) comes up to Owen (my brother) and asks him "Do you want some VIP tickets so that you can stand by the stage and meet Chris Rock?" He just randomly chose us to get backstage passes! So of course we accepted, and we went inside this little fenced-in area right next to the stage.

But that's not all! You know how in videos on the news and stuff of people giving speeches how there's always a crowd of people behind the speaker? Well, some other volunteer came up to us and asked if we wanted to sit behind Chris Rock while he was talking! Which means that we'd be in practically all of the pictures and videos of the speech!!! And we'd be like 5 feet away from Chris Rock!!

So Owen and I went up onto these bleachers that were set up behind the stage. The only spots left were on the back row to the far right. Which means that we had to sit, with no back to our seats, with a 15 foot drop right behind us. If you didn't know this already, I'm TERRIFIED of heights. Like, it's the only thing that I'm really horribly afraid of. I don't mind snakes or spiders or bugs, and I actually really like frogs and thunderstorms, but I HATE heights. So here I am, sitting in front of a bunch of television cameras scared to death of toppling backwards off the bleachers. I just knew I was going to make a fool of myself.

We had to sit there for a really long time. Chris Rock was scheduled to speak at about 3:45, but I don't think he even came onstage until almost 4:15. And then, he only spoke for eleven minutes! Seriously. I felt almost ripped off; the whole rally was so anticlimactic. Plus, afterward when Chris was supposed to meet us and give autographs and such, he gave maybe two atugraphs and posed for two pictures, then he left! All the time with this really forced "I really don't want to be here" smile. But, it was still cool to see him speak.

Check out this link to see a few pictures of the event. I'm the person in the top left of most of them.

Alright, that's about all, I think. If you're old enough, GET OUT AND VOTE TOMORROW!! If you're not, TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW TO GET OUT AND VOTE TOMORROW!! My philosophy is, if you didn't vote, you have no right to complain about the government. So, go exercise your rights!