Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Something a little different...

So, I know I've been a bad blogger! I have a quick update that isn't knitting- or literature-related.

But one quick thing first...

For New Year's Eve, my handsome boyfriend and I went to this awesome bar in West LA called The Wellesbourne. It pretty much looks like an old timey library. But the best part? THEY HAD A COCKTAIL CALLED THE MACBETH. I know. I KNOW. I died.

So anyway.

I haven't had much time for knitting, but my latest obsession (well, it's really a recurring obsession) is nail polish. I've been getting obsessed with the nail polish blogs out there, and I just found a great one tonight, Colour Coated. And lucky us, she's having a giveaway for her blogiversary! So head on over there and enter the contest to win some sweet prizes, like the entire Finger Paints Special Effects collection (swatched by The Polish Aholic, another favorite blog of mine)! Plus some freakin' Cult Nails! Drool.

Entering is easy; just subscribe to the blog, follow Colour Coated on Twitter, tweet about it, and/or blog about it! Hee hee.  And the best part is each one counts as another entry! Do it!!!!

What I love about nail polish, much like my mad love affair with yarn, is the gorgeous drop dead colors. And I love how pretty a new coat of nail polish can make you feel. If I didn't have a million other things to do, plus a much-neglected knitting blog, I would totally start a nail polish blog, like my other literarily crafty friend, Jill! I love how many bloggers are just normal gals like me! Way to go, ladies! And gent?

So mosey on over and enter the contest!

Now go read some poetry,

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Holden Shawlette Knit Along! AND BOOBS!

My dear, dear knitters and poets! Today is October 1, and that means it is International Breast Cancer Awareness Day. I, personally, had two aunts pass away from breast cancer, and my grandmother was a breast cancer survivor. I know many of us have been affected by this horrible disease. And we knitters, being the awesome people that we are, have put forth a lot of effort to raise awareness. Your LYS probably collects pink scarves, shawls and hats to donate to breast cancer patients. And if you’re extra rad, you may have participated in The Big Breast’s Global Tit Knit. That’s right, all of our bad ass yarn bomber friends out there kitted up adorable little boobies, attached breast cancer info to them, and bombed their towns with them. How awesome would it be to find a cute little boobie at the post office, or at Starbucks? I love the idea, and am definitely going to try to participate next year (we’ll see if this grad school thing still has a choke hold on me).

Knitty titty! (Photo courtesy of Kim Hartmann)

Boob bombed! (Photo courtesy of Kim Hartmann)
So, when she was out performing her yarn bomb bad assery (or should I say “boobery”? No, that’s just silly.), my friend Kim’s (of At Knits End Yarns) car went kaput. To that end, she is having a 20% off sale in her shop to fund car repairs. It ain’t easy being a yarn bomb desperado, traversing the mean streets of New York, putting tits here and there. Go buy some of her yummy yarns and help this gal get her transportation up and running (Coupon code: BUSTED). After all, this happened while she was YARN BOMBING FOR BREAST CANCER AWARENESS, people. She is practically eligible for sainthood at this point. I’m pretty sure.
After day of yarn bombing and car breaking, my dear friend wanted to start a new project, and after going back and forth on Twitter, several of us (notoriousjwc, knittynatter) realized we all have the adorbs Holden Shawlette in our Rav queues. IS THAT A KAL I SMELL??? Yes, it is! We decided to have an informal, impromptu knit along. Details below!
Holden Shawlette Knit Along!
Starts: Monday, October 10
Materials: 430-450 yards Light Fingering Weight yarn (Pattern uses one skein Malabrigo Sock)
                US 6 needles
This is a free pattern and super cute, so join us for the KAL! We’re even going to have PRIZES!!! I’m not sure what, yet, but definitely some yarn! Additionally, I will be donating $10 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. I know it isn’t much, but remember guys? Grad student? It’s the best I can dooooo.
So dig out your sock yarn (I know you have a shit ton in your stash) and leave me a comment that you’re gonna join us! You have a little over a week to prepare yourself! Getting gauge shouldn’t be necessary unless you have a limited amount of yarn, but I know some of you will want to swatch anyway. (And if anyone is wondering, I'll be using Knitters Brewing Co.'s Sock-Aholic sock yarn in the awesome girlie colorway "Foo Foo Drink.") Send me a pic of your unknit yarn and I will be blogging everyone’s progress here so we can all ooh and aah over the cuteness. Ready? 1, 2, 3 KNIT ALONG!
Go read some poetry! I don't have any for you today, though. Too busy getting ready for the KAL!
PS-- The sale at Kim's shop goes through tomorrow. Coupon code: BUSTED. After tomorrow there will be a coupon code for the KAL knitters, also! Thanks, Kim! Sho your appreciation by buying some of her yummy-smelling yarn!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Knitting and Dirty Talk

Hello, knitters and poets! And knitter and poet enthusiasts!

I know I've been terribly, terribly remiss in posting lately. I had a rough August, fighting off some depression. But I am feeling loads better, and I'm back in school for the fall, and feeling all kinds of inspired to knit, and write poetry, and blog about knitting and writing (and reading!) poetry!

So let's get caught up, shall we? Your favorite Lit Knitter has been knitting up a storm. I'm linking you guys to my project page on Ravelry for each of these so you can see what yarn I used and get to the orignical pattern. Enjoy!

I've gotten on a bit of a shawl kick (it seems to be the consensus among my knitter friends these days), and have completed two with two more on the needles.

Summer Flies
This shawl was quick and so fun! I did most of it while babysitting, and the rest on a road trip up to Chico and back with my friend and her sister. The only thing about this pattern is that I wish it also had charted directions, instead of just written. But the end product was totes worth it.

Earth and Sky
This was so fun! I knitted this as part of Westknit's Mystery Shawl Knit Along on Ravelry. Four clues, one a week for four weeks. It was really fun seeing this progress, and not knowing how it would look when it was all done. The best part is, I probably would never have chosen this pattern for myself, but now that it's all done, I absolutely love it. The Koigu is a dream all knitted up and this is just the right size. Love.

This is a free pattern on Knitty and the Knit Picks is super light and soft all knitted up. The color doesn't show up so well in this picture, but it's called "Pearlescent" and it's all different beiges and off-whites. Very pretty. This is a birthday present for my really good friend whose birthday I forgot. Handknits make everything better, right?! Right!

Oslo Walk Shawl
This is a birthday present for my mom, and since she's so understanding, it has been put on the back burner to make room for other projects. bad picture, but this is going to be GORGEOUS when done. Malabrigo Lace with seed beads knitted in, and laaaace! Love.

I also finished those bad ass Lithuanian colorwork mittens I was testing for Donna Druchunas, and am now working on matching socks.

Rachellynnec's super inspiring blog and Small Knits KAL had me inspired to whip up this ruffled scarf in two days! The grossy heat wave we had got the blocking done quick on this one (106 degrees? Barf.).

Just Enough Ruffles

And I finally got around to knitting a cozy for the Nook Color that I bought my boyfriend for Valentine's Day earlier this year. Good girlfriend achievement unlocked!

Nook Color Cozy


Soon as I finish up the socks and the Citron shawl, I'm cooking up a surprise with Miss Britt Vicious, for her blog Miss Vicious Knits. Check this speedy knitter out, her blog is super fun and she is mah friend, and a big part of what inspired me to get off my ass and blog today!


In literature news, I am officially a first year grad student! My favorite professor emailed me before the start of the semester with the news that she has cancer and is taking a medical leave this semester. I was really looking forward to having her mentor me this semester. She is planning on being back next semester, though! I'm praying for her everyday, and would love any help with those prayers.

There's a chance I will be going to IRELAND next summer for a summer abroad in Dublin and the James Joyce conference! However, I don't know the exact dates of the program yet, and the best bestie's wedding is next summer, and as Maid of Honor, that is my Numero Uno priority. Speaking of which, shawl for bestie's wedding is on hold until I can afford the THREE THOUSAND beads needed. And, I've decided to knit myself a shawl, too, to wear with my maid of honor gown if the evening gets chilly. I'm thinking Torreyana in a silver grey, with lilac beads to match my gown. Lovely? Yes!

Are we reacquainted then? I think you're all caught up on my goings on, but what about you all? Leave a comment, tell me what you want to see me talk about here. And in honor of Joyce, and the fact that I'm a perv, I will link you to Joyce's dirty letters to his wife Nora. They start off pretty sexy, and move into major fetishville right quick. Oh, Joyce. We love you. But seriously, they're pretty dirty, so if you get offended easily, read some Wordsworth instead. I like reading what well-respected, famous authors considered naughty.

Now go read some old timey erotica,


Monday, July 25, 2011

A Montana Wedding

Back from Montana, y'all! 47 billion mosquito bites (and yes, I will continue to complain about this relentlessly everywhere I lurk on the internet until I stop itching), 4 states, 5 days, lots of new friends, and too much booze! And even some yarn! It was a wonderful trip, and I'm so grateful to have been able to be a part of Sean and Sharon Cowan's beautiful wedding. I have a few pics and a poem to share with you.

My boyfriend and I went to Montana because his very good friend from college was getting married, and Andrew was asked to do a reading in the ceremony! It was a big honor, especially when you consider the ceremony was all of 8 minutes long. He fretted over this for awhile; he initially wanted to write something original for the ceremony, and while I am sure it was wonderful and would have brought tears to my eyes (not hard to do), he decided to go with something already written, and picked out a lovely poem with a wonderful sentiment.

So, I looked up the poem to copy it over here, and found an interesting little back story. Apparently this "Roy Croft" fellow may not have existed at all, but may have been a pseudonym. The poem may have come from a German poem entitled "Ich Liebe Dich" ("I Love You"). Crazy! But I don't care, because when I watched my boyfriend speak this poem to his friends in their special day, I was moved to tears and my heart melted. You did a phenomenal job, Andrew, and it made me love you all the more to see how much your friends mean to you and how much you mean to them.

Love by Roy Croft (?)

I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am when I am with you.
I love you,
Not only for what you have made of yourself,
But for what you are making of me.

I love you for
the part of me that you bring out;
I love you for
putting your hand into my heaped-up heart
And passing over all the foolish, weak things
that you can't help dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out into the light
All the beautiful belongings
that no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern, but a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

I love you because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good,
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.

You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign. 
You have done it by being yourself. 


Here are some pictures from the wedding.

The woods outside the cabin where we were camping. The ceremony took place at a lakeside cabin at Little Bitterroot Lake, in Marion, MT (near Kalispell).

Our new friend, Bertram Woofster. He is a poodle/lab mix, but his mom described him as more of a "pooderdor" than a "labradoodle." He is handsome, and neurotic, and wonderful. His family are my new friends, and they're pretty awesome, too. 

I wish I had taken a picture of the tents after it got dark. But it gets dark so late in Montana that by the time that happened, I was wayyyy too drunk to think of it. The wedding was beautiful. It was simple, but in no way cheap. It was lovely. I am an especial fan of the pinwheel decorations that the groom's mother made out of paper lunch sacks!

Here we are at the reception! Little did I know I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes the whole time. I love this picture of the two of us. 

Relief! Reading is over! Now we party!

Lakeside brunch on our way back to Spokane. 


More gorgeous scenery! Montana was breathtaking. 

Aaaaaaand, you know I can't end without some fibery goodness. I visited a lovely yarn shop in Kalispell called Camas Creek Yarns. I picked up some Noro Kureyon Sock in a super fun hot pink and black colorway. And outside the shop, they've been yarn bombed!!! Well, I suppose they did it themselves, but fun nonetheless, and an improvement over plain old metal rods. 

Oooh, and that's our rental car in the shot! We got upgraded to a sweet little brand new Ford Escape SUV. It was nice because we were able to drive other people to parties and stuff, which was advisable on those twisty mountain roads. Loved the car! 

In the end, it was a trip full of friends and love. I am so happy to have gotten acquainted with some of Andrew's not-LA friends, and to see the love that they have for him, and for each other. It was a wonderful trip, and I am so happy to have been part of the festivities. 

Go read some wedding poetry

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Bittersweet

I hate bittersweet shit. I mean like movies. Not like chocolate. I like all varieties of chocolate. But I have bittersweet sentiment in movies and television and songs. I fucking HATE The Notebook. I know this makes me not a real girl apparently, because every girl I know LUUUUHUUUHUUUVS this movie, but it makes me want to punch someone in the face. I don't like movies that feel manipulative to me, like they are willfully trying to illicit an emotional response from me. They are TRYING to make me cry and I don't appreciate it.

The only kind of bittersweet I like is poetry. I don't like bittersweet books, they piss me off. But I like poetry. Maybe it's because it doesn't have such a lasting effect on me. But that isn't quite right, either. For the most part, poetry does stay with me longer than a book or movie. Certain lines will continue to run through my head, like getting a song stuck in my head, only more potent. Sometimes I get certain poems mixed up with others, because I have a mash-up going in my brain of one line from Yeats, and two lines from Wordsworth, and one line From Eliot, and a line from Dickinson, and a dash of Keats, and always a healthy helping of Hardy. In fact, my term paper for my Contemporary Poetry class was a series of mash-ups that I "wrote" ("compiled" might be a better word) of two or more poems we had studied. It was fun, and helped me study these poems in unexpected ways.

But back to the thing with lines of poetry running through my head. And the bittersweet. I've had these two lines from Yeats's famous poem "When You Are Old" running though my head: "But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, / And loved the sorrows of your changing face." I love this line. I get a little lump in my throat and a knot in my heart when I think about the kind of love Yeats is talking about. It's beautiful and something people dream about. But I'm talking about bittersweet poetry today, and this is definitely one such. The rest of the poem breaks my heart every time I read it, but I relish that heartbreak, instead of getting angry like I do when I watch The Notebook.

When you are old and gray and full of sleep
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true;
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead,
And his his face amid a crowd of stars.

Now I try not to be a sap. I really don't like romance movies. But I love love poems. And I love this one. Even though it makes me cry every single time. And I would take the sadness. I would take Love fleeing, and hiding his face amid a crowd of stars, if I got to have someone who loved the pilgrim soul in me. And somehow I know the only way you can have that kind of love is to pay the price of that kind of heartbreak. They go hand in hand, and if you want one you have to accept the other, too. It's bittersweet.

Now go read some poetry. You'll be quizzed later.

Jillian the Sap

Friday, July 15, 2011


So, Carmageddon is this weekend. I had renamed it Carma-Bed-In, as a make love, not traffic type protest, John Lennon and Yoko Ono style. But since my boyfriend hates traffic more than anything (ANYTHING), I doubt he will be coming over to participate in my bed-in. So I'm changing it to Carma-Knit-In, as in, I'm going to stay home and catch up on knitting and designing. IT'S FOR PEACE, PEOPLE. Less traffic = more peace.

Today is the first day I've really felt 100% after the strep throat debacle, so I'm hoping I can sit down to knit withOUT falling asleep. We shall see.

Point is, more knitted goodness shall be available for you, HERE, over the weekend sometime.

Stay safe and stay off the roads and have a rad weekend. Leaving you with a little Dickinson. This is one of my favorites and it's been on my mind lately.

Go read some poetry.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Emo Poetry Time

So, I've been feeling blue lately. You don't have to be suicidal to appreciate Sylvia Plath. And her life was fascinating even without the suicide. I busted out my contemporary poetry anthology (a Norton anthology, thank you very much. I don't fuck around.) and I wanted to read this poem. Tulips. It's...unexpected. It's scary and sad. It's how I feel today. I was going to copy it over, but it's long. So I'll put some lines that I particularly like, but you can read it in its entirety here. And you really, really should.

"I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions."

"I didn't want any flowers, I only wanted
To lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty.
How free it is, you have no idea how free--
The peacefulness is so big it dazes you,
And it asks nothing, a name tag, a few trinkets.
It is what the dead close on, finally; I imagine them
Shutting their mouths on it, like a Communion tablet."

"The tulips are too red in the first place, they hurt me...
A dozen red lead sinkers round my neck."

The whole thing is better. Read the whole thing. You'll like it.

Go read Tulips.
Emo Jillian