Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ye Gods.

I found out yesterday through the Grapevine (to which I thought I was no longer connected) that a former coworker died on Friday. Even worse, she was my age (or fairly close). Granted, it wasn't as if she was the queen of health habits, and she'd had some health problems in the years prior, but, yeah. It's makes me feel odd. Worse yet, I've discovered that while I may think I've gotten over the trauma of my layoff and the stressful year proceeding (we all knew it was coming, but not when or for whom), I'm really not. I think I may have to have a nice, therapeutic cry at some point. And then get my health back in order, because whoo, doggie. This hit me hard. Yeah, she wasn't really the poster child of health, but she wasn't old. I guess it really doesn't take long for the self-abuse to tell....

Anyway, emotional trauma aside, the Success of the Sweater has inspired me to enter the Berroco Sock Star competition. I don't do socks, so I'm going to go for something a bit more in my style. Granted, it's probably massive hubris, and I doubt I'll win, place or show, but eh. It's keeping me off the streets and Nieceling gets another item for the closet out of it. And it's fun. I'm doing my swatch today, along with some of the maths (when the swatch dries) and then starting up on it before the week is out. Scary, but I can be dumb like that.

I've also decided that if I'm going to start freelancing, I really need to get in the habit of financial prudence. To that end, I'm again declaring at least one month of not spending, in the spirit of the MSN 30 Day Challenge. I've got two 'committments' to spending in the form of attending movies with friends (and I may have to tuck up $10 per week into my budget for discretionary movie attendance), but I can certainly stand to go on a yarn diet. I've been bulking up lately, and that needs to stop. I've also got a blue dozen patterns in my head that need to be made manifest, and I already have the yarns for them, so it's not like I won't have something to do to keep me busy that doesn't require spending.

The biggest problem to this end is that one of my friends is a massive spender herself. Anything we do together typically costs. AND she's always asking me to go shopping with her when her sister won't go. It's not her fault that I'm a recovering shopaholic and that this is tantamount to asking a recovering alcoholic to hang out in a bar, and it's also not her fault that I find the fact that she just legally made a large chunk of unsecured personal debt disappear and so has a disposable income while I spent five, long, miserable years paying off my spending sins only to end up unemployed and floundering, and I resent it. She had three times the debt I did, and there are those who have no sympathy for me, saying that with two college degrees, I should be doing better for myself than I am, so perhaps what we've got here is a six or half dozen type of situation that I should just get the hell over. Regardless, she loves to shop and eat out, and I no longer enjoy either (although I dislike eating out for a different reason), and there's a part of me that worries we'll have nothing left to bond over and just that likely to spend without really needing to do so, in a sense of accomodation.

So, the whole point of that paragraph long rant is that I really, really, really need to sit down and craft my own personal Manifesto. That way, I know what is important to me, what my priorities are, and can refer back to them personally when I need guidance on things like spending or activities. I like to have things written out clearly and concisely so that I can refer back to them at will (I like to think it is a residual affect of my OCD, this mental tidiness, and not incipient schizophrenia, which also counts compulsive writing as a symptom). If nothing else, it will give me a better sense of my self and my direction, which is all good when someone asks about my elevator speech. After all, if I know where I'm going, then I can spin anything in my direction.

I'm a writer, we're good like that.

Friday, July 10, 2009

My God, I'm better than I knew!

The sweater has been delivered to the Nieceling. Here's a detail of the sleeve, which can be folded over and pinned back, or hang completely over the hand in a tube:

This detail turned out better than planned, actually. Even when pinned back, they sort of bell out and flare, like an old-fashioned collar. I'm fairly surprised by that, myself.

And here she is, making a really cheesy face (and pose) for the camera:
Just as planned, the sweater dropped down to tunic length, which completely covered what she was wearing (t-shirt and shorts). She was enjoying it, even though it had to be sweltering hot--wool sweater, even a loosely knit sweater, on a monstrously hot day....

Yeah. She's good to her Auntie. :-)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Where has the time gone?

Yeesh. June. Yeah, let's not talk about June. It wasn't the best month I've ever had. Not the worst by a long shot, certainly not, but not the best. Let's just discuss what I've been doing in terms of knitting.

Here's a clue.

Here's an even bigger one....

I made a sweater! My very firstiest-first one, and I did the maths and designing (such as it is) all myself. My pride is enormous and probably completely out of proportion with the actual accomplishment.

I decided, since I am such a sweater newb, to design and knit the sweater for the Nieceling, as she is about half as large as me. Granted, it's a bulky yarn knit on large needles, but half the time to knit is half the time to knit, as well as less effort if I screwed up. I don't think I've done too badly; when I get Nieceling into it for fitting and photos, we'll see.

I still have to put the buttons on, but that's just housekeeping. Now that I've done a whole sweater and have a feel for the maths involved, I can make myself my spencer-style half sweater thingie. Maybe. I went back to the museum today to look at the potential sleeves, and I realize I'm going to have to re-think how I want to do the sleeves. The ones on the museum dummy are slightly different than I remember, and I like them better than the ones I sketched lo those many months ago.

I hate rethinking. It's typically the way I screw everything up.