Monday, August 20, 2007

Busy, busy, busy.

I have been knitting and doing stuff, I promise, I just haven't been online to tell you about it. Mostly because I'm still not entirely over the whole labyrinthitis thing, partly because I'm up to no good, so to speak. Ok, ok, it's more like I'm doing a bit of authorized fanfiction, and it's taking a lot of time. I want to get it right, and it's so hard to know how to do so! Anyway, there's some other stuff I've been up to.

For firstly, I knitted a hat.

I was surprised to note the red yarn was self-striping--I just thought it was random. Huh. I frogged it twice, actually, and got tired of frogging it and just finished the damn thing already. Bastard yarn.

It's actually an inch shorter than it was supposed to be, but I ran out of the red. Ooops. Whatever. It's still sort of Rasta, as you can see, which was the intent, and I'm sure once I block it, it will fit better.

For secondly, I rescued a kitten.

His name is Pippin. He was going to go to a friend of my aunt's, but the friend weenie'd out, so he's staying with my aunt. He's mostly staying with her because her elderly cat loves him, and she'd do anything to make him happy. So, Pippin stays.

He also looks rather studly in the hat. When we found him, in the alley between the houses I work in (ha! An actual alley cat!) he was gray. All over. As you can see, several baths have helped. The fur is growing back in where he had burrs stuck in and when I say stuck in, I mean imbedded in his fur. We had to shave him down in spots to get them out. He's got some sort of burn on his back foot where he'll never grow fur again, but he really doesn't seem to mind. He talks a lot, and he's a bit of an attention whore, but he's sweet. He doesn't like dogs, though, which broke my dog's heart, as he loves kittens. Oh, well, he recovered from the rejection easily enough.
Rasta Dog says: Eh, mon, I gots de Malibu, you have de pineapple juice?
Ok, so the true effect is lost by the fact that I had to cut portions of this picture out and it was quite....awkward, but you get the point.
Oh, well. Best to be getting back to my research and writing.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Taking a small knitting break

No, really. I do.

This is the cross stitch I just finished for my boss. She's cool like that, and actually, she picked the pattern. It suits her, somehow. She requested I make the little heart black, but I decided to put the gold in there, too, because if she likes you, she's got a heart of gold. Otherwise, she's a vicious, vicious critter. Rather like a chow that way. :-)

Last weekend, I fell ill with labyrinthitis, which makes the sufferer incoherent as my last post attests and grants you incredible vertigo. It sucked. I developed it, according to the Doc In The Box (as my sister in law calls them--the immediate care clinic)* because of that nasty sinus infection I had last month. Happy, happy, joy, joy. I love my sinuses, they are so good to me!


Anyway, I was doing my cross stitch this weekend because while I was absolutely nauseated and flat on my back (because you really can't stand, or even sit upright efficiently, with your inner ear inflamed,) I tried knitting. It didn't work too well. Well, I could do it, but right now, while I'm still recovering (and brother, let me tell you labyrinthitis is tough to get over--I feel moons and planets and spy satellites better than I did last weekend, but I still feel Better today because I sang at church and all that deep breathing is restorative, but still off) the thought makes me cringe. It doesn't help that the project I'm starting is in the round on double pointed needles and a less pleasant technique I can't imagine. Unless I have to slaughter children and make my needles from their bones. That might not be very fun. Well. Depends on the child, one supposes.**

So I'm working on my cross stitch, feeling rather insecure. I got some oblique criticism on my technique several months ago, and it rather stung. Well, there are other reasons why it bit so hard, but primary among it was the fact that the person who taught me did hers the same way, and her mother worked hers the same way, and I thought I'd been doing it right. One of the few things I thought I could do right, and, frankly, well. So I put my needle away for a goodly while and processed this and went on with my knitting. Today, as I was making the blood red bunnies that flanked the black, black heart, I realized that...I took it completely the wrong way. Ok, ok, I was being oversensitive, too. I should have listened to the criticism and taken a lesson from it instead of getting all defensive. After all, being told we're wrong, or at least that there is another way of doing or looking at something is the way we learn.

I changed my technique slightly on this sampler, and to my surprise, the new way works. And it works better. And I feel stupid. Not stupid, per se, perhaps, but foolish at least. So I feel a little wiser for knowing I was foolish, which is no real consolation, but there it is.

Here are some other cross stitches I've done. All patterns are from Subversive Cross Stitch, which sells some kick-ass patterns, including "of course I care." And her book is priceless, for those who want bunnies and duckies and bears to make do naughty things on the borders of their own patterns. I'm personally in process of creating a new cross stitch pattern, "Perfection is for Pussies", because it really is. There's nothing brave or valiant about being perfect--after all, everyone admires it, seeks it and desires to be it. And gets lauded to the heavens when they are. However, to be flawed, to make mistakes and be human and, more than that, to acknowledge it and show it in front of an audience...that takes nuts. Big hairy ones. If people would acknowledge the bravery that goes into being a mere human in front of others, perhaps people like me could save a ton of money on therapy. As a recovering perfectionist *spits on the ground*, I am considering having this tatooed on my forehead, backwards, so every time I look in a mirror, I remember to always be brave and be myself, with all my flaws and errors.

Anyway, here goes. I'm only including the actual image of one--because it's not vulgar or objectionable. The second is a link, a link I will trust you will not click unless you are an adult, or at least adult enough not to get your panties in a knot over cusswords. It was work therapy--work was killing me (literally; I had one of those bulgy veins in my forehead, it was gross) and I needed to remind myself of something important. Which I then cross stitched to hang inside my desk drawer, but which has yet to be framed, much less hung anywhere.

Yeah, don't, cause I'm crazy, don't ya know. This one may get put on my desk proper. Maybe. As you can tell, I've also figured out the stupid rotation thing. Key is to rotate it first before you post. Sigh. I've got some editing to do.....

Here's the link to my other one. Seriously, if you're easily offended, don't bother. Not that anyone but my friends reads this blog (and there's few enough of them), but if you stumble across here and click on the link, realize please that you have been warned, not once but twice, and don't go crying to Blogger. See cross stitch above for my feelings in the matter. (Update: Give it a moment to load. It'll come up huge and you'll be able to see the color of my couch through the 14 count cloth, but once it finishes loading, it will show up smaller so that all of it fits on the screen.)

I've got to check that it worked and then rotate my other pictures, so if you drop by before I get the link working, come back tomorrow. I'm OCD, so you know I will get it working if it takes me all night to do it!

* I have an actual doctor, but it was Sunday before I got desperate enough to actually get dressed and seek medical aid. Seriously, I thought I was dying. They gave me a shot in my butt--I didn't know they did that anymore--that helped with the vertigo. Well, the room still spun if I tilted my head slightly, but I really didn't care anymore. I think it might have been some kind of illegal to let me drive away so impaired, but I made it home, so it's all good.

**I'm kidding, you nodcock! No matter how poorly socialized and trained a child is, they have the potential to get the shit kicked out of them and straightened out. Sheesh. Now, there are some adults I can name....