Friday, December 31, 2010

Just trying to keep out of trouble for the rest of the year.

Oh, come on! I couldn't let the opportunity to make one of those lame, "next year" New Year's jokes, could I? The chance only rolls around every 365/6 days, after all.

I've done all the stuff that needs done this morning--finished my work, went out and got yarn, actually managed to work in my walk and breakfast, too--so now I'm just sitting back, eating a rather tardy lunch and trying to decide what I want to do with my afternoon and evening.

I'll most likely cast on for the second hat for my aunt with my Great American Yarns Superfine Merino. I need to get that hat done (I'm going with The Flower Bud Beanie, because it's made of all kinds of awesome and topped with awesomesauce), and no time like the present, I say. It's a nice symbolism, too--a hat straddling the new year/decade line--and good symbolism never hurts.

I can also start on the Thorin's Hooded Cowl project I mentioned yesterday because I got my yarn:


Royal Alpaca, from Aslan Trends. Look at that glow. I'm glad I got the gift card from my sister for Christmas, because this is way nicer yarn than I could have afforded on my own for that pattern, I really, really want to knit the pattern and I needed something high end to use.

I've got such sensitive skin on the nape of my neck, I cannot tolerate anything less soft than silk or alpaca against it. I'm not trying to brag or anything; it really gives me the collywobbles to have anything scratchier than that on my neck. The only scarf I can wear for any length of time is my silk corkscrew scarf. Before the silk scarf, I would have said I just don't wear scarves. Now I know it's just wool/acrylic/other fibers I don't wear on my neck.

Here's another shot, just for pure, alpaca-y juice:


Me, hugging my yarn. How fitting for the last picture on this blog for 2010!

Happy New Calender Year to all, and may you find many opportunities to hug you up some stash!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I learned something today.

I tend to procrastinate longer than whatever I'm procrastinating about would take to just do and get over with.

That's counterproductive, right there. I should, maybe, you know, learn something from it.

And, in the good news department, I realized this past week that of the purported 52 Monday nights of 2010 on which I could attend knit night, I made my goal of 50!!!! *throws confetti* *the real kind with almonds in, not the cheap paper sort*

The only two I missed, I was on a cruise. Cry for me, people, cry for me.

Why, yes I do feel good about that accomplishment. I don't get out enough, and at least I can say I socialized this year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I have too many toys.

I have too many toys. Too, too much stash. I've been toying (heh) with the idea of doing a yarn diet, but I'm not sure that will totally help, if you know what I mean. I'll still need the occasional yarn fix for mental health, and I am about as monogamous to my knitting projects as Tiger Woods. I'd go insane.

Soooo, I think what I'll do is, starting on the 1st, open the stashtainer, send someone in with a snorkel and have them choose a yarn. Whatever they choose, I must knit up. When that yarn is knitted, send in another diver and repeat as needed.

Really, they can't pick a loser. Here's a selection:













No matter what they pull out of the box, it's going to be fun, no?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's progress!

I'm very proud of myself. Well, not really, but then I always did have unreasonable expectations of myself. So you could say there's a part of me that's very proud and a part of me that's not so much proud as...waiting, impatiently with toes tapping, for me to catch up to the expectations.

I've been working this week. Oh, it's only Tuesday and I've only gotten my research done and gotten myself ready to write, but it's more than I've done for ages. The best part is I don't really need to be working this week--I've budgeted so that I can start next week and make my obligations. However, I really, really, really want to take advantage of a sale going on with the local symphony orchestra next week without damaging my savings, so I'm writing enough articles that I won't have to dip (and will actually be able to bank some of it.) I should give myself a cookie for being so good, you know? I've also started work on another fiction project--this time to see if the software I got for the cheap this past year actually works as a writing tool. I tried using it before, but I used it on an old story idea. I had a bright, shiny, new idea come to me last week (in a nightmare--I find them the most inspirational ideas) that I thought would make an idea guinea pig for my project.I wonder if the program will work better because I've not fully fleshed out my story in my head yet--there are logistical details and characters still showing up at this point--or if I'm just not novel-length writer material. I'm going to put this under the heading of "oh, now we're going to see what she can really do", and just roll with it.

Anyway, I got started on that, too. I've made progress--not a lot, but it's progress. I'd guess I spent about three hours actually working yesterday (between the articles and the new project.) Of course, my critical side is saying if I were a real writer, I'd have all four articles done and half the novel, too, and it'd be much better than what's in the computer right now. I'm considering telling my critical side to get stuffed. It's such a pain in the left butt cheek sometimes, you know?

So, aside from the writing hysteria going down, I've also caught a cold. I'm not really whining (this one isn't anywhere near as bad as the one I had the first two months of the summer), I'm just explaining. Drippy nose, taking a nap every three hours because my eyes start to cross if I don't...yeah. It's been like that. The fact that I'm upright and functioning (when there really isn't a major call for me to be) is amazing. Cookies, hell, I should give myself some credit. I've never been good at doing things that needed doing without there being a sharp, pointy stick pointed at my backside; two projects voluntarily started in one day, when I'm dripping and aching and sleepy? Yeah. That's progress.

And the finish of my one and only Christmas knitting project has me thinking about what I'd like to tackle next, knitting wise. I mean, my stash is huge. I've got miles and miles and miles of luxury yarns available to suit my every knitting whim. I've even got a mile or two of absolute crap yarn available to me. The possibilities...do I go for the sweater I keep promising myself I'm going to knit, or a shawl--which is what I've wanted to knit since I first picked up needles and was the real reason I got into the craft to begin? Cast on a new project, finish up some UFOs that are languishing in the Cedar Chest of Yarny Goodness so I can have the needles back, or frog the bastards, take the needles and start something new anyway?

See what I mean? Decisions.

I think, I think, I think... I think I'll do a Multnomah, extra large, in either this:






Or this:





both of which I have in sufficient quantity to make two of the pattern as written. Or I could use neither, find another project that will use all the yarn as written, or make one up on my own.

Gah. See what I mean? Decisions.

I'm going to go make myself some soup now. Chicken sausage, leeks, potatoes and some baby carrots. I'll let you know if it pays off.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Pressies!

Both mine and for others.

I had a very nice Christmas this year. I had to be at home because of a commitment in another quarter, so I didn't get to go down to my sister in law's family homestead like most of the family (who still aren't back yet.) It was just me, my mother and father and my aunt, who also couldn't go down to my sister in law's parent's house for work reasons. Number Two brother (not the married one) and my sister came over before they went down to the in law's, but they didn't stay to eat. After they left it was very quiet; the four of us ate our Christmas Dinner (ham, broccoli casserole, corn casserole, mac 'n cheese--which has somehow become a big part of our family holidays--and chocolate for afters), watched the Mythbusters marathon and the last half of A Christmas Carol (at my dad's request, but it wasn't his favorite version so we didn't have to watch it in reverent silence). Then I went to church (I was the only one of our three cantors who could do it), came home, changed into my bendy clothes (aka, comfy loungewear) and am now hanging out on the internet, waiting patiently (sorta) for the Doctor Who Christmas Special to air at 9pm. Overall, a very nice day. Quiet, peaceful, calm. No running around like a nervous chicken, no trying frantically to get everyone in one place.

Sigh. Lovely.

Anyway, pressies:


I made this lovely Spam cozy for my brother. It's a very long story, but suffice to say we have a familial can of Spam that circulates around the family on gift giving occasions, and it started with Number One Brother (the married one, if you need a score card.) I also put a present in there in the form of a gift card from Best Buy, so don't feel like he's being neglected or anything.

Below is my haul:


I got, from my parents: my stitch markers (better photo below, no worries), my subscription to Piecework Magazine renewed for two years (whoohooo! I have a weird vintage craft fetish), some slippers, a red sweater (not pictured as I didn't knit it) and a mild talking to when I told them I got my sparkly shoes. Hey, they're hard to hide and when I wear them out of the house at some point, they're going to complain. Might as well get it over with now.

 From my sister, I got a Mini Buddha Board (which is so cool, it hurts to look at), a Lantern Moon sheep-shaped measuring tape and a huge gift card for one of the local yarn stores. Not my LYS, because it's a bit far for me to drive just for yarn, but a LYS nonetheless. Considering how much I've got to spend on yarn there now, I think I will find my way to the shop very soon.

Aren't they cute?

Those are my lovely stitch markers, the ones I bought on Etsy that are Doctor Who themed. And the sheep. I think I'll name him Neville.

Here are my slippers:


They are quite warm. And squishy, which is important in a slipper, I feel.

I also got a free pattern on Ravelry as a random present. The designer was feeling generous on Christmas Eve and 'bought' her own patterns for random people on the boards. I got a shawl/scarf pattern called Snow Scallops (don't know if that Ravelry link will work with a picture; if not I'll try again later.) I had looked at it briefly last week, but since it cost and I have no paper representation of work value to trade for it, I let it go by. It was a nice present, actually. I felt all squishy warm inside when it showed up--even if I'd hated the pattern, I'd have knit it, just because. But I do like it, and my aunt (who saw it today when I showed her my cool stitch markers) wants the shawl version.

And this just in: Apparently, my sister in law's sister had a present for me, as well. I see a thank you note to her will be in my immediate future. She gave me a bag of Starbucks Christmas Blend coffee and a gift card, but the best part of the gift was the bag.


Yeah, it's my name. Actually, it's my family's nickname for me, and I don't like it. Very few are given permission to use it and most of them are under the age of 18. If you must shorten my proper name, call me Kate.

Ahem, anyways. The bag was made by my sister in law's sister's son (golly, it gets hard when I don't use names), Nieceling's Cousin. NC is...about 8 or so, maybe a bit younger, and he can bedazzle a gift bag like nobody's business. I'm going to have to find a hook somewhere to hang this bag as a nameplate. It's sparkly, me likey. Even if it does have that version of my name on it.

Never fear, Dog wasn't left out either:


His aunty brought him a present, too. She handed it to me, saying she wasn't sure of his religious affiliation, so she got the Gefilte fish just in case he was Jewish. I reassured her he was Pagan, but would appreciate the toy all the same. I'm a bit worried it's a bit...well, rude--you squeeze it (or bite it firmly midbeam) and it says "Oy, vey!" followed by bubbling noises. Dog doesn't like when it talks, but he finds it handy:


Merry Christmas, y'all. I hope Santa brought you lots of nice things, and I hope you got to spend some time with someone or something you love. 

The kids are coming for their presents, I have an open bottle of blackberry wine in the fridge, and it's less than two hours to WhoTime. God bless us, every one.

Friday, December 24, 2010

I know it's not terribly PC, but....

 Merry Christmas. Or a joyous Whatever You Celebrate. And a prosperous and healthy New Year in which your every (good) desire comes true.

I just wanted to make sure I got you all in there and no one felt left out. :-)

Monday, December 20, 2010

OK, so the surprise is...delayed.

I had planned on releasing my second knitting pattern today, but life got a bit insane this week and I've not done a ton of knitting. Next week I will post it, I promise. In the meantime, I've done other things; let me tell you what.

I managed to get myself a set of stitch markers for the holiday that I wanted. I belong to a Ravelry group with LadyDanio and she posted the entirety of her Doctor Who themed stitch marker line. As I've only just finished the majority of my holiday shopping this morning, I am straight out of blunt, so to speak. The emotional pain (Donna Noble is my favorite companion! J'adore Donna!) of being unable to afford them myself prompted me to ask my mother if she had, by the bye, finished shopping for me. From the first sentence of this paragraph, I'm sure you can figure out that she hadn't. Ten minutes later, the stitch markers were mine, bwhaahahahahahaahhaaa! *cough, cough*


Evil laughter has drawbacks.


For secondly, I got myself a Christmas present.


Do you see it there, all tangled in my Infinite Scarf?


There's a proper view. Squeeeee! Sparkly shoes!
 
I'm not really a girly girl, but I saw these shoes in a shop window a couple of months ago at the local mall and they made me so giddy stooopid happy, I wanted them instantly. I kept going back to visit them, once going so far as to try them on (in the black model--a very secret agent sexy shoe, I must say). Then last week, I managed to get my car's cd player working again (thanks to the rather skillful use of one of the discount cards on my keychain), so the gift I was going to get myself--a new car stereo--became unnecessary. The $80 I had planned to spend went back into the pot marked "Gift To Me For Christmas". And the shoes swum back out of my memory banks, glimmering softly in the shadows of my mind like shiny little piranhas, flashing here and there and then swimming back out of sight when my common sense appeared and opined, "We don't need a pair of $90 shoes! They're totally impractical! We don't even wear heels, much less 4" stiletto heels!" I considered buying them, but in black, a far more sensible color and...well, less visible. Less obviously frivolous. More wearable and less noticeable for a non-social butterfly like myself.

Then I came to myself and realized Who buys 4" platform stilettos in a 'sensible' color? Who buys them with the intent of fading into the background? I'll be six feet tall in those shoes; they could be invisible and people are still going to notice me.

Then I thought of my niece. When she was younger, she had a pair of red sparkly shoes which she loved so much she slept in them (hers were flats, she was all of three when she had them) and I recall thinking at the time, They didn't have these when I was growing up--all we had were patent leather shoes. Yet another thing I lost out on because I'm old! And suddenly, before me, grown up sparkly shoes! How could I ever resist the lure?

So I took my sparkle fetish back to the shoe store, held my breath, pointed at the gold ones and took them home (on sale! They were on sale! $10 off. Still, it's a sale!) Absolutely impractical, absolutely flashier than anything I've ever owned and utterly, completely mental. I've worn them out twice already, which is more than I can say for any other pair of shoes I've owned, other than my tennis shoes and boots. I find them easier to walk in than standard high heels. Granted, you're limited to a rather stately pace, but because of the way the soles are curved, you can't bring your weight down on the heel first; a stride that creates the rather noticeable 'clomp' most women have in high heels. You have to sort of flutter across the floor on your toes--a far more graceful way to deal with heels. Tonight I wore them at knit night and felt a bit like Morticia Addams scuttering around slowly. They also encourage better back posture in me because leaning even slightly to either side results in severe loss of balance. Those heels are very unforgiving, as they only function as gold-foiled kickstands. Actually, considering the build of the shoes, I'm only glad for them when I stop and stand. While walking, they are terribly in the way.

Twice I fell into giggles over the shoes and the walk. I was being graceful. *snicker*

I've been told the shoes are symbolic of my taking back my power (the image of stilettos as 'power heels') and asserting my dominance. Which may be true--either that or they've possessed my mind. I actually came out of the stationery cupboard with my family (granted, on FaceBook) two days after I bought them. I told my family I was freelance writing on purpose, I knew what I was doing and had a plan. I expressed my frustration at my own inability to be honest when pressured, and my desire to let them know so I could take the credit for my hard work instead of having them think it was dumb luck. My family will flip out because they're very traditional, and someone like me (ie, the baby of the family) needs a boss to keep me in line and make sure I get a paycheck. According to them, I'm far too frivolous (oh, if they only knew about the shoes) to take care of myself, I need a minder. But I've put them on notice that I am not incompetent, I know what I'm doing and I'm going to do it whether they like it or not. I've never enforced my will like that before with the family--not even in writing. The shoes, they are doing something to me.Or, perhaps it's more accurate to say, something in me has changed so I bought the shoes and expressed myself to my family.

Perhaps the shoes are just a sign that my inner Wild Child is becoming stronger, more integrated with my outer Sensible Side. My Wild Child is, after all, the one who wants to be a writer. And the shoes are particularly suited to her. They've got the power image, yes, but they're gold sparkly. Like Nieceling's old shoes. A bit of professional aggro coupled with a hysterically amused toddler.

Either way, they're so very, very fun.


My shoes and the stationery cupboard issue and the stating my purpose aloud have all been big things for me this week. I've also been trying to brainstorm some ideas for writing. I know how much I have to write for Demand Studios to make my monthly bills (one a day, Monday through Friday, every week), and that's hardly enough to keep me busy. It will, however, free me up to take some risks. And suddenly, with some four inch, gold sparkled platforms under my feet, I find I don't mind risky. I'm starting to find risky a bit sexier than I ever have before, despite the fact that my material situation hasn't changed. Considering I never gave half a tinker's damn about any job I've ever held before, I get the feeling that I have absolutely no idea precisely what I'm capable of doing, but I'm about to find out, and that's a very, very thrilling idea.

I blame the shoes. :-)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Big post coming up!

I'm getting brave. Sorta. Well, ok, brave for me. I'll have to come and post about it.But not until Monday. I have some pictures to post, but they will not be taken until Monday (you'll understand why they're special when you see them.)

I hate to be a tease (total lie), but I wanted to check in and just let y'all know I'm thinking about you and planning a Christmas/Yule/Festivus/Hannukah surprise. Winter Holiday surprise?

There's got to be a better way to express that....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I know I promised not to buy yarn.

Let me reassure you, I kept my promise. Really, I did. This yarn:


And this yarn:


Were totally and completely free. To me. :-)

My knit coven had our holiday party last night, at one of the group's home. The evening involved a nice nosh, some light tipple (my own contribution: blackberry mead, yummmm) and lots of yarn getting flashed around. A few of us brought some excess to trade. I've trimmed my own stash down lately, so I had none I wanted shot of at present, but saw instead these lovelies to bring home with me, along with 11 of their friends (I've now got five in the blue and eight in the green).

Now the question becomes what does one do with over 1,000 yards of color co-ordinated yarn in DK weight? It's lovely, yes, but I'm not entirely sure what to do with it, if you see. This is my biggest problem, really: I buy (or acquire by other means fair) yarn without having a plan for it. I buy on the strength of the yarn's potential to please me when knit. I buy the yarn, not the project. 

Which leads to my having a stashtainer full of lovely yarns with out a darn thing planned for any of it. Not a jot. And I love it. As far as I'm concerned, that's the best part of knitting--the yarn, the potential of the yarn's becoming what it will be, the slide show of possibilities when I look at the yarn. That's the most seductive part of the enterprise. 

And that particular philosophy explains, I think, the larger part of my own issues with my life. I'm so caught up in the potential that I never bother with actually making any of it real. Because the potential is so intoxicating! Reality just can't possibly compare.

Maybe that's why I'm procrastinating on getting some work done this week that I need to do. I have a lot of stuff that needs doing and no desire to do any of it--it's no longer potential, it's reality. How banal. 
If only the real world was as interesting as the worlds inside my own head!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hat's away!

My aunt seemed quite excited to get her hat. She and my uncle swung by for a visit on Friday afternoon, after her radiation therapy session. I have to say, she looks very good for the strife she's going through. I have a feeling she'll recover from this.

Anyway, she loved her hat. I'd have gotten a picture of her wearing it for the blog (her hair hasn't yet fallen out; the doctors say she's got a week more with it if it's going to fall out) but didn't, because I wouldn't want a picture of myself on some knit blog an hour after I'd been through radiation therapy. Not that she looked bad or anything, but it's the principle of the thing.

So Hat #1 is off to the races, and I'm trying to choose a pattern for Hat #2. I have got a second skein of yarn for a hat for her.

Great American Yarns Supahfiiiiine Merino/Silk blend. Worsted weight, 143 yards a pop. I let my aunt feel the yarn (to make sure it wasn't too merino for her; it's going on her head, after all) and she approved. So, now, to find a pattern....

I'd like to find a hat with a lacy pattern that's reminiscent of wings or feathers, but I'm feeling no love from Ravelry on this subject.

Anyone got a suggestion? Comments are always open!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Don't know why I'm posting...

other than I'm bored and don't want to do what I have to do this evening before I go toddlersit.

So, anyway. I'm test-knitting a new pattern for a version of the fingerless mitts Hermione wears in HP7.1. I'm using this yarn:

Yeah, it's clown barf. But it's pretty clown barf, and that's why I chose it.

I haven't started yet, but will either tonight or tomorrow. I just hate the casting on bit. I mean, I don't mind knitting (ask me again about my Infinity Scarf; the one I've been knitting since Adams was in the White House. The Elder Adams.) I don't mind casting off and enjoying the knit wear. I just hate, loathe and despise the casting on.

Silly, really. You can't knit until you cast on, can you? No, really, you can't, unless you've figured out some way to magic your stitches onto the needles.

Gah. Just. 96 stitches. I really need to grow up.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I did it! Well, one of my 'it's, anyway.

I did it! I did it! I did it, hoooray! Sorry, just feelin' my Dora the Explorer there for a second.

Anyway:

Lo! It is a hat. 

It even:

 Fits. Sorta. I don't think this picture looks right at all, but maybe that's because I don't look quite right. At least the bags under my eyes have mostly retreated (until next allergy season.)

Hey, I own my vain.

And look what the hat did:
Despite me, it actually did the flower thing on top! I will confess, there were some swears said over this hat, a few hysterical moments when I nearly lost control of my DPNs and a dropped stitch recovered ably by one of my knit coven, but on the whole, it wasn't that bad a pattern (until the decreases).

The finished object is worth the swears.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Scared, scared, scared.

Augh! Too many scary things going on in my life right now! Existential angst, gauge drama (or should I say gauge trauma), and to top it all off, I'm not sleeping at home, which means my back is cranky. Gah. I give up.

So, gauge trauma. I'm using this:

To make this:





Lotus Hat by UptownPurl (Ravlink on that name). It's going well, don't get me wrong, I've only had to tink back once or twice (the second time I had to go back nearly the whole darn row). My problem is...I'm crap at gauge. I have to figure out the designer's gauge, then reason out where I should even begin to start on needle sizes. I started this on US 7 needles even though the pattern calls for US6s. I'm a wicked loose knitter but not so loose that I'd get 5 stitches to the inch with worsted weight yarn on size 6 needles. I ended up realizing I'd have to knit the hat on size 8 needles in order to get anywhere close to her gauge. My concern is that I'm going to knit it too loose (still!) and it will be baggy. It's designed to be a beanie, not a beret.

Oh, well. Bravery. Be brave and the gauge will deal with itself, I'm sure.

The other part is my unemployment is coming to an end. I'm not as worried as I should be, I don't think, because I did the math and figured out that I could do one article a day, Monday through Friday, and make ample for my needs. I think I can manage such a slow pace. I think. It'll be dull, I fear the editors, but it can be done. It's the other writing projects I'm coming up with that bother me. And the fear that always crops up that I'm being stupid, I'm a crap writer and should just cave in, get a real job and stop being such a child.

Gah. I just cannot get along with myself on that point! Perhaps I'll take myself out this weekend upcoming, to a movie or something, and have a nice chat about it. Something's got to give, and I just hope it's not my mind that snaps.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Finally a post in which there is mostly knitting (and pictures)

I've had an interesting week full of way too much food, way too much family and some strange happenings. I'd tell you about all of them, but honestly, I doubt you'd believe me on some of it. So let me sum up the things I've learned this week:

1. When you ask people for advice and they give it, before you let yourself get too disheartened by what they've said, consider who is giving it. The advice may hold true for them, but probably not for you. Just because they did one thing and it worked for them, just because they believe something, does not mean the same applies in your situation. In other words, your mileage may vary.

2. When poleaxed in conversation by a sudden topic change or a question that is touching something deep and meaningful to me that I'm not prepared to share, my default response is almost always a lie. It's a very child-like thing to do, but I really wasn't prepared for the question in question, I didn't feel like telling that person the truth yet, so I just flat-out lied. Like a cheap rug. I thought I'd overcome that particular conversational strategy, but I guess not. I will have to be better prepared in the future. And I should probably warn people who are important to me that when they metaphorically jump out of a conversational dark alley and club me with an unexpected question, they won't get as much truth as they'd get if they asked me calmly and then gave me time to come up with a response. I might give them a partial lie anyway, but I'd tell them they aren't getting the full truth and give them an estimate of a date when they will get the rest of the story.

3. They may be related to you, but they might not be people you'd voluntarily choose as friends, and that's ok. It helps you learn to get along with people in the real world, so it teaches you a life skill. And if you can be ok enough with them being in your life and your home, you might just learn that you really would like them as friends. Just not...the sort of friends you tell your deepest, darkest secrets to, or share your most intimate heart of hearts. Movie going friends, or shopping pals. 

Anyway, after the overindulgence that is Thanksgiving, I typically lie low on the so-called Black Friday. I worked in retail, so I know what the shopping rush feels like from the other side of the sale counter. I like to think I'm doing the poor clerks a kindness by absenting myself from their lives on this particular day. Bless their hearts. However, today I did leave my warm cocoon of a home for a shopping expedition. My LYS had a Black Friday sale, and as I needed to get some yarn for a chemo cap for my aunt, and my mother was buying, and as I had some extra lolly for cat sitting, I thought I should put on my big girl panties and just go. Which I did. My mother said it was almost as bad as going to the mall, what with the crowd, but the people in the store weren't clawing each other's eyes out, so I think it was far better. Then my mother intimated she wanted to try knitting and my blood ran cold. If she thinks she's going to steal my stash, she's got another think coming! I'll, I'll...booby trap my stashtainer! Pah, steal my pretties, I think not....

Anyway, here's my new stash:

 
Cascade Yarns Eco Alpaca, in a gray marl. I'm wild about the alpaca, as you all may have gathered. Half price, so $8. I only got one as I couldn't really justify two without a project in mind. I may not even make this into anything in particular, just pull it out occasionally and pet it.

Cash Vero for my aunt's chemo cap. This stuff, despite having a wool content and being washable, is hella-soft. I'm going to be making a Lotus Hat out of it. I think she'll like that, don't you?

Apparently, I'm making two hats for my aunt, which is fine--they're super easy to knock out, although I have pernicious problems with gauge and as we all know, when knitting hats or anything else that's fairly fitted to a body part, gauge is vital. But whatever, I will try. Keen eyed readers might recognize this stuff--I already have about...eight skeins of it (Great American Yarn Superfine Merino/Silk) for another project, in this exact colorway. My mother loves it, though, so another skein we got.

 I don't like knitting socks. I've tried them, I just...don't like it. I'm not a sock knitter, I'm sorry, so don't come ringing my doorbell with literature or pamphlets; I'll take them, politely send you away then toss them in the trash. But I do love sock yarn, and this is some of my favorite. I bought some for a Ravelry friend last month but held back on buying some for myself. However, this month I had the disposable so.... This yarn is so soft, again, shocking considering the wool content, I just love it. Love it like buttah.

 This yarn will end up being a hat for a Yule gift. I have a friend who needs a little kindness this year, so I'm going to surprise her with something warm (I'd show you the pattern, but I don't know if she knows about this blog). Thankfully, this is totally washable, so I don't have to send along intricate care instructions. I love the colors, too--pink shading into shades of lavender and gray. Perfect for my friend's coloring. I hope she likes it.

 Aaaand, because I love myself, too, this is for a hat for me. You can't see it well, but the yarn is a woodsy green to deep lake blue that just makes me smile. I had some other yarn (Snozzberry in shade) that I was going to use for the hat, but decided to use that yarn for a gift for another friend who just deserves a gift and appreciates hand made things (so I'm not as worried that the gift will be understood). But this stuff is loverly, and was clearanced out. (My mother--the helpful hand model, can you tell she had professional training?--asked if I minded that the price stickers were clearly visible on this and the sock yarn pictures. Heck to the no, people, I don't mind. I'm proud of my finds!)

This yarn I did not get at my LYS, but at a box store. I got it two days ago, for a particular purpose, but I neglected to get an image of it until today. The outside colors (hot pinks, purples and blues) are nothing compared to the screaming bright rainbow shades inside, where you can't see them--vivid yellows, oranges and a bright red. It's like a rainbow in wool and acrylic.

My mother thinks I'm odd, taking pictures of my yarn, but she accepts that there might be some knitterly reason for it. If she does learn to knit, I'm sure she'll understand. They all learn, in the end, why we do the things we do. Resistance is futile....

Friday, November 19, 2010

Growing Pains

I've had to take some time to myself, mostly to think (for one) and for my Harry Potter Holiday. I attend the midnight showing each time a HP film comes out, and this one was no exception. I quite enjoyed it, and spent the past week in pleasant expectation and a bit of excitement about the event. I went alone this time. I thought I'd be a bit melancholy about that (it was, after all, the first Harry Potter movie I attended by myself), but it really wasn't bad at all--made it easier to get a seat, for one. I didn't have to go at 9pm to hold a set of seats, either. Walked right in at 11 pm, pulled out my knitting and whiled away a half hour before the previews started. Rather nice, actually. I might do that again for the second half next year.

Anyway, the other thing I had to do was think. About my life, my direction, etc. I'm a big one on the navel gazing, as you may notice. I always second guess myself--not always a bad habit, but I overdo it--and am constantly checking and rechecking my life 'status'. It becomes a problem when I'm so busy checking my status quo that I never change it. Which is most of the time, if you want the truth. I think so much I paralyze myself. I need to learn to act and stop thinking about it so much.

I also, because of my habit of thinking myself into a paralytic state, worry a lot about my life going nowhere. Because it is, you know. I don't change a lot of things because I'm so worried about the changes I'm making: Am I changing too fast? Not fast enough? In the wrong direction? What if I'm going in the wrong direction? How will I ever change course again? etc., ad nauseam until I'm ad nauseam. It gets aggravating; don't think I don't appreciate that fact. I know I can be boring with my constant wangsting and worrying and tail-twisting. Gods, if you are bored of hearing me talk about it, imagine how dull it is to have that as a constant litany inside your head! The only time I didn't do this was the six months I was on Paxil (for my OCD), and I can't honestly say I made any good decisions at the time. Granted, I had days on end where fewer than four thoughts total went through my head, so I didn't make any decisions as far as I can recall. In truth, I'd say that was mostly a period of time in which my family could have just propped me up in the corner for all the good I was to anyone, particularly myself (except I must note that after the whole Paxil incident my OCD went into remission. Not sure if there's a connection, but I can touch the laces to tie shoes nowadays without going into hysterics and I'm very grateful for that, so I can't regret it completely.)

So this week, I was watching one of those Biography specials (on Biography Channel, imagine that) about Ian Flemming. The Bond guy. At one point in the show, the voiceover said (right before a commercial, so you'd stay on the channel through the break) something along the lines of, within a year he'd married, become a father and a best selling author. And I thought, Wow! That's a lot of new stuff to cram into a year; imagine where I could be by next Thanksgiving if I do the same sort of thing! Then I thought, Oh, my. That'd hurt.

There's a part of me that would like to be able to change my life that rapidly--just imagine where I'd get to if I did--but then I think about my physical growth spurt. Everyone goes through it, I'm sure you remember yours. The bit around puberty that made you clumsy because suddenly your feet were farther away than they had been just a week before? Most people have gradual growth spurts, say around 4 or 5 inches in a year to a year and a half. Mine was 10 inches in a year. I went from 4'9" to nearly 5'8" between beginning freshman year in high school and the start of sophomore year. I started out one of the shortest kids and before long I was one of the tallest. And it hurt like hell--imagine being stretched on the rack and you get the general drift. My legs, especially, ached all that summer.

Personal growth is like that, too. Yes, it was nice to shoot up to full adult height in such a short span of time (if nothing else, it saved terrifically on clothing), but it hurt like the dickens. I could change my life that quickly, but that will hurt, too. Change of any kind is chaos, and while I'm not morally or philosophically opposed to some tasty, tasty chaos, it's greatly unsettling. Particularly to someone of my rather high strung and nervous disposition.

So, even though I would like to change my life and sometimes think doing it quickly would be best (sort of like pulling off a band aid) I'm not sure I could tolerate it well. I mean, I don't doubt I would adjust, I just think I'd probably be a bitch to be around for the entirety of the life change. I don't do anything quietly, and sharing my personal pain is a hobby of mine. I've only just recently discovered the knack to making friends, and I wouldn't want to alienate any of the very nice people I've met.

Granted, I'm pretty much a pain in the arse most of the time anyway. I'm not sure how much worse I could be if I just...threw myself into remaking my life and getting it over with in one big, ugly blurp of personal growth, although I know I can get a bit shrewish when I'm under pressure. There's a part of me that still thinks it might be the best way to do it (hell, I've been thinking about it for ages, all I'd really be doing is putting those thoughts into action), and there's a part of me that thinks 'yo-yo dieting for the soul'. That the changes I made wouldn't stick because I'd freak out or something and I'd rebound back into my previous life shape out of sheer terror.

I still might try it, though. It's tempting, oh, so tempting, for someone so cautious as I am to think of not thinking. Oh, so tempting....

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ok, maybe time for plan Z.v013245

I have discovered I'm terrible at getting things done. I'm not sure why--it could be a lack of discipline (never having to study for tests in school because you have a near photograhic memory leads to a shocking lack of a sense that you have to work for things) or maybe a hypersensitivity to stimulation (as the psychologists posit is possible for a Jungian Introvert like me) or another side effect of my low esteem that says whatever I do doesn't matter, no one cares but me, so why not just bunk off and finish that book you started yesterday? I don't know, but the effect is the same, I just don't get things done. Or I do the minimum required and never really get ahead--although I can honestly say that doing the minimum required is more easily understandable to me. Sticking my neck out by extra effort never got me anything good when I worked in the corporate world, so I stopped doing it. One lesson I have learned, and learned well. (Hmmm, maybe this contributes to the 'nobody wants to hear it' aspect of my not getting things done issue, too....)

Whatever, I'm getting tired of angsting and the angst getting in the way. But if I divorce my emotions from the writing, the writing is flat and, frankly, just plain bad. So what to do? No, seriously, what do I do at this point? There's supposedly some value in writing through the angst, but I've never been able to do it. I've been able to write freely and well when the project only took three hours or less, but that's about as long as I can go before the angst gets overpowering and starts affecting the words. As you can imagine, this is a non-starter.

I need suggestions. If anyone out there has an idea, no matter how weird or flaky or outer space it might be, I'll listen and probably try it, at least once because for once I'm completely and totally fresh out of new ideas. Even sitting upside down in my chair and watching television (which usually jogs something out) doesn't work.

I suppose it doesn't help that Mater Gloriosa has decided we have to start preparations for Thanksgiving (last year, oh, my God, it's only 12 months away, what are we going to do, how will we get everything done!?!?!??!) today. She busily throwing out everything in the freezer because who knows, we might need sixteen cubic feet of storage for frozen foods for one holiday. *eye roll* Even with 16 people here, it doesn't have to be this big a deal. I don't know how I'm going to cope.

I hate the holidays. I so seriously do. Thank God Christmas is at the brother's this year, or I'd kill someone.

(Sorry for the fractured post, people. I'm trying to type this and my mother is asking me if XYZ thing is mine or if she can throw it out because you never know, we might have to shove a 50 pound turkey in there for a week and a half. Help me.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day, everyone!

Normally, holidays are meaningless to me vis a vis my schedule--working for yourself means you can make your own holidays or take none at all; tradition dictates you take none, but I think I'll just take different ones than the rest of the nation. Maybe...maybe I'll take World Braille Day (January 4) off in observance, or National Bubba Day in June. Do my own calendar of days off, make the holidays personal

Anyway, the fact that today is Thursday and Veteran's Day means I'm at home today. Since all of my volunteer committments are through some state office or another (State Library, State Archives) I can't really go in for my shifts. I've actually got two weeks off this month, today and Thanksgiving. Whatever will I do with myself? Oh, yeah, I've got plans on that second one....

So I've been making lists of stuff I have to get done today. One, call the vets. Dog needs his liver pills refilled and his recurring staph infection (from allergies) has flared up. I've actually just gotten off the phone with them, and they're checking to see if the vet will just go ahead and prescribe something for Dog without an office visit. It's not like I don't know what a skin staph infection looks like in my dog, he's only gotten it at least three times a year for the past twelve years. Update: The vet's office called back, they trust me. His antibiotics will be waiting with the liver pills. Only around $100 in meds waiting this morning for my dog.

Sigh.

Two, deal with my credit reports. I've currently got them frozen (no one can look at my reports at all, not even me, without I call all three agencies and give them my pin first. PITA. Supposedly, there's another option for keeping people from using my credit. Something that doesn't require a pin. I don't remember what it is, I'll have to ask my brother who told me about it. But once I get that dealt with, I need to

Three, look for better auto insurance rates. Hopefully, something I can pay once a year, before my benefits run out. It's cheaper, and it defers until next year (late November or December) further payments to an insurance company. Blech.

Four, get my bonding and get started on the process to become a notary. Not that I think I'll make a ton of cash as a notary in my state, but being bonded is almost always a good reference for the modern freelancer, particularly one who might be doing anything that involves someone's property.

Five, test a pet personal theory of mine and start donating blood. I need to time it properly, though--I have been thinking about my propensity toward migraines at certain points in the tidal pull (ahem), and how it might help to simply have a bit less blood circulating to prevent the excess being shunted to my brain. It may help, it may not, but, historically, bleeding has been a remedy for chronic headaches, and mine do go away when the tide goes out (so to speak), it's basically a charity anyway, so I'll give it a go. If it works, I'll be sure and let everyone know. If it doesn't, it's good social hygeine anyway, so I'll probably keep it up.

I begin to wonder if I'm not coming down with something at present. My lungs feel heavy, have done all week, my migraines have been playing me dickey and I'm just so tired. Granted, the migraines could be contributing to the tired part, but not the lungs. Also I just feel sore all over. Perhaps it's the weather change, but either way, I need to restore myself somehow. A tonic. Perhaps it's time to get the Drambuie out and make some toddies. I just need a lemon and I'm good to go.

I better get off here and get to work. I've been on the cusp of a migraine all week, and too long on the computer makes it worse. I'm going to do some work on my poetry this morning, then I have an appointment, then I'm going to the blood center. Wish me luck on the curative aspect of my experiment!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Oh, I should just go to bed.

It's awful late for me to be on here, trying to post. It's been a busy day, too, although it didn't start out that way at all.

I actually got a relatively early start, walking between 8:30 and nearly 10. I like to get that out of the way early so I can (maybe) do some writing. Today...not so much. Walked, brought home breakfast, had to turn around and go back out again to run some errands that came up, got a migraine, tried to take a nap but the shrieking baby didn't allow that, bathed the dog (I kept saying I was going to wash him, wrap him in tissue paper and tuck him up in a drawer for winter, but he wasn't impressed) then got the news my aunt has cancer. We don't know a lot yet, other than my uncle is torn up and not in an optimistic frame of mind, but with what little I was told (and what I know about the tendency to catastrophize in our family) I won't give up hope just yet. After that, it was all just keeping heads above water, really. Dinner, laundry (which I have to bring upstairs) and some snuggle time with Dog. Now I'm here, and I don't really know why.


I can't really think straight on the issue yet--early days, and I am such a slow thinker. At least the Advil got rid of my headache for a while, so there's that to be glad of. After the nice week I had last week--relatively peaceful and pleasant after the October I had--it's a feeling as if life was just joking, Oh, haha, you believed it when you had that nice week! Just teasing! I'd almost thought I might be heading out of a period of bad news and emotional roller-coastering into something a bit more calm, more...ordinary time. But no, Life has other plans.

Shenanigans! I call shenanigans. And, frankly, it's quite fatiguing to keep the emotions on 10 all the time. I'm not asking for an extended streak of excellent luck, but...it would be nice if Life would just pretend I'm not here for a little longer than a week so I can have some peace and quiet and time to recover some resources. Sort of like how I felt when I was a kid and the other kids would bully me in grade school; after a while you don't even want to be popular anymore, you just want them to leave you alone. It's a drastic re-tooling of priorities for a social animal, but most people who take their turn at the social whipping post understand the feeling. I'd hermit a bit as that usually makes me feel better, but since I don't have a day job anymore it's almost redundant. There's really nothing to escape from anymore.

And it's at this point that I realize the only thing I'm fleeing is life itself, and I've spent years and tons of money trying to stop my continual fleeing of life.

Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. At this rate, if all I get done this week is the next two poetry exercises I've been working on, I will count myself very lucky.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pressies!!!

OK, I'm trying to post before this:
hits my system.
Gods help us all, it might, even now, be too late! Yes, that's wine. Hey, I had a tough week. And it's sweet wine, I could drink the whole bottle and be more clear-headed than if I did a Heineken. (Memo: To: Them as what knows me, Subject: Holiday gift giving:: I like Heineken. And Glenlivet, but if anyone would do the holiday thing like in the commercials where the dude wraps the six pack and then takes out one and puts the bow over the hole, I could totally afford more Glenlivet on my own. Thank you.) 

Anyway, I got two totally sweet boxes in the mails today. One was paid for by myself, one was a thank you gift from someone I bought and sent yarn to--seeing as the yarn in question wasn't available in Great Britain and she needed it to make a particular pattern. I'm nice, mostly, and really, any chance to enable a yarn addict, right? So I send off the appropriate yarn. She even paid me for it. But then, today, I get this:


  This is the whole shebang from the box. OMG, ain't it grand? I mentioned I liked Kinder Eggs (and I do--candy + chocolate = awesomeness that cannot be contained by Newtonian physics) so she sent me the Happy Hippos (cookies with hazelnut and some gooey milk creme inside and little meringue puffs on the bottom) and Kinder Chocolates, which, I can tell you from direct personal experience, are fabulous. And then, oh, children, and then, she got really creative. In addition to the teas (two varieties! One in adorable little English-themed tins! Have I told you all what a sucker I am for touristy tchotchkes?) I find:


NEVER seen anything like this before, which might just be showing how very little I get out, but I loves it. The colors are cheery, the yarn itself is very pleasing. I'm going to have fun with that.


This stuff is gorgeous. No other words. And soft as puppy fur! I've never heard of Kaalund Yarns, but now that I have, I might have to Google it and get more. Beautiful color.

I've been having fun poking around in my new toys and candy. Oh, and there is a lovely little notebook, too, which is so me. How did she know that?

I also got:


A beeswax candle I bought at RenFaire in Ohio last month. They didn't have the plain beeswax in jars (and I preferred the jar versions to the free-standing, if only from a drip standpoint), but they offered to ship as soon as they had them made up. It's been, what, six weeks since I was at RenFaire? Maybe only four, I can't count right now as I'm cross-eyed, but it finally arrived. I was just about to email them and ask where my candle was when this arrived. 

Oh, what a full day. And totally cheerful, at least right at the end, although I don't recall the early bits being all that unhappy. It was a fairly nice day, actually, right all around.

Now the wine glass is empty, the buzz is fading and my soup bowl is empty, too. The bowl needs filling, I'm switching to Sierra Mist and I think I'm going to go watch television now as there's not really a whole lot going on in my head. I rather like it.

May you have a lovely evening yourselves, and may wonderful things come in your mails!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Time Wasters

Today is Thursday (duh), which is typically a day I take off the writing because I'm busy doing other things. I volunteer at my state library/archives, and I love the 'work'. In the morning, I do paper repair in the archives, then in the afternoon I go to the library and record books for the state's books on tape for the visually impaired program. I like most of the materials I read for them, but on occasion, since the program's grant specifies they must record in-state authors, the self-published nature of the books gets me a bit down. Then I think, ah, but there's a market for some free-lance editing! How can I profit from this? Mine is a buoyant temperament, by nature.

I then hopped online to job search (mostly for my benefits, but in the hope that someone, somewhere will post a need for an over-educated, overly-literary business writer. No love yet.) After the heartbreak that is Monster.com, I decided on my 'to do' list for the rest of the week. It is, alas, short on fun.

1. Take care of friend's baby this evening. Not a bad thing, really. He likes Poirot, so we tend to watch PBS after they leave.

2. Pick up x-rays from my real dentist's office to take to the local dental school tomorrow, so I can get some cut-rate work done on the crown that needs replacing and filling. I'm kind of scared of this, but the crown has got to go, and soon. I can't wait to save up the $1,000 my dentist will want paid.

3. Get some ink for my printer so I can print the release of records form I'm going to give the dentist when I pick up my records. They say they don't need it when I'm picking them up, but I do like to cross t's and dot i's.

4. Start my new voice lessons tomorrow night. I hope I do better at this style than I did at the more operatic style. I haven't got a big voice, alas.

5. Then, get some rest. I've been running around all week, and it's tiring. I just want to relax this weekend. I think I can; I don't recall much on my calendar this weekend. Let's hope my memory is excellent.

Now my Blogger is malfunctioning, or maybe it's the laptop. Even odds. But I'm going to go have some dinner and watch an episode of Poirot before leaving for babysitting.

Now that will be fun.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I *really* need to get over myself.


Well, not really. Sort of. See, it's like this...

I've been thinking. Which is always a statement prelude to trouble, but hey, whatcha gonnna do? I have been thinking about how I organize my life--my work, my hobbies, my other doings--in an effort to streamline my life just a little bit more and I realized: One of my blogs has got to go.

I keep three blogs. Four, if you count the little writing exercise blog I started with a friend and abandoned this summer when I realized I'm too stubborn to compromise in fiction writing. One is my poetry exercise blog (which I update when I've had time to get to my poetry homework, you can find it through my profile if you need a laugh), one is this blog and the third major blog is one I started just last month in an effort to write a blog that focused more on...my General Thoughts On The Matter.

Originally, there was a whole lot of bollywoggle in this space about my issues and my blogs and junk. I'll be honest, it was pretty boring, even to me. So let me sum up: Last December, I promised to keep this a blog just about knitting, nothing personal or 'psychobabblish' or anything like that. And that's all well and good, but frankly, I'm not just about knitting. I'm about a whole heap of things, including (yes, I have to say it) ten-cent psychobabble. And I can have a multitude of blogs, but really that's just making my blogging a copy of my personal life. I don't self-edit only in the blogosphere in the interests of not boring people half to death, I do it in real life, too. It takes a lot of effort, it's boring and I've decided to stop the self-editing (really, it's arrogant; it's like saying I know better than the person I'm talking to what they'll like or dislike--I think for them, which is greatly disrespectful.) In order to reinforce this decision, I'm going to stop self-editing (aside from grammar and TMI issues) in the digital world as well. I'm going to be self-disclosing about my whole self and my thoughts, even when they stray from all things knitterly, and let the chips fall where they may. God help us all.

I like this blog. *sound of rustling as if settling into upholstery* I'm comfy here. I write better here. My other blog is going invisible at the end of the month and I'm glad, honestly. It sucked. I'm going to start posting more on this blog, and I hope I don't lose my small readership for it. If I do, maybe I'll find some others and convert them to the Faith of Yarny Goodness. Who knows? But it's silly to separate myself out like this; I'm one person. Why have eleventy-billion blogs? If it helps any, I'll be using my post labels now--if you prefer not to hear me go on and on about the lint in my navel, search only for posts labeled "Knitting". Avoid the "Pontificatin'" posts. They'll just give you heartburn.

It never worked anyway. I just can't keep from blathering on about random things, even here. I'm so weak. ;-)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy New Year's! Ring a (Door)Bell!

Yes, I celebrate the harvest year's cycles. I don't like the timing of the Roman one--right in the coldest heart of winter, right before the weather takes a truly nasty turn. Blech. I'd rather start my new year in abundance and (some) warmth.

Anyway, I did not make resolutions on the Roman new year, largely because I didn't 'celebrate' it like most people I know--for instance, I've never been slobbering drunk, never gone home with a stranger because I was drunk and he was (as far as I could tell, being cross-eyed drunk) cute. Ish. Or going out, drinking a lot and then not remembering how I got home but finding a homeless person crashed through the windshield of my car. It seems a nonsense holiday to me, a party person's ode to senseless over-indulgence in preparation of some form of self-punishment.

Most of the 'self-punishment' association comes from the habit of making resolutions. There's almost an air of "Next week, I'm going on a diet/quitting smoking/cleaning up my life, so I'm going to tie it on and ride my bad habit like a pony until someone takes it away!" to it, which seems just silly to me. How often does that practice lead to anything like a lasting change? There's too much of a hangover (from overindulgence of any sort; alcohol, chocolate or cigarettes) to make a proper start of it.

So my new year's celebrations, which I decided to move on my personal calendar in order to make the difference in my mind, involve drinking several glasses of water, getting to bed early or at least on time and planning a full, nutritious breakfast so I can get a good start on the new year. Makes a bit of sense, yes? Hard to break a habit when you're broken from over indulgence the night before.

Anyway, here's my New Year's Resolutions for the next calendar year:

1. Knit from stash before adding to it. I will do a one for one exchange--I knit one ball/skein/bit of yarn/project, I can add that much more yarn. Not that I'm obliged to do so, but I can. I hope to have some breathing room at the top of my stashtainer by next new year's.

2. Knit myself a sweater. I keep talking about it, I never do it because I'm a pile of chicken excrement, but this year, I will.

3. Be braver. This covers a lot of ground, with some bullet items to indicate I'm brave. To whit:
  • Using a knitting technique I've never used before. For me, this covers cables, entrelac and crochet borders.
  • Finish up my first novel. It's going to be crap, but you have to write your first, crap novel before you can write a good one. I really need to get this one off my desk so I can get on with the good stuff.
  • Start my self-employment gears actually going. I did some hobbyist writing this summer, I need to start acting more professionally as a writer. Also I need to come up with multiple income stream sources (income springs?) and start working on those.
  • Restarting my music gears. I've already chatted with my creativity teacher about trying again at the voice lessons, only learning a new method of singing (there are several; bet you didn't know that. God knows I didn't, either,) and getting going on my piano practice.
  • Dating. I hate to add that one because it means I will actually try to add it to my calendar and the thought of dating gets me about as excited as the thought of dusting my room. But it is a means to an end, and since I want the end, I will have to suffer the means. I'm an Introverted Intuitive, we're not about the process, people. If I could just find a guy who is not physically repellant, good natured and willing to put up with me, I'd probably marry him in a heartbeat. I'm so not picky, it's unnatural.
4. Take myself more seriously, just in general. It ties into the need for professionalism. Even when I worked in an office, I wasn't very professional, and I think it's because I've never taken myself seriously. I never valued myself properly, I never thought others would, either, but now's the time to start, I suppose.

5. It's trite, but I'm going to try losing weight again. I hate to do it (mostly because it's both boring and it trips my crazy triggers, since weight loss is all about numbers and my crazy is all about numbers, too) but it's expensive to be fat. Jesus. They get you coming and going--wages for overweight people--women in particular--are lower, clothes are more expensive, insurance is more expensive, so we just don't feel the financial love anywhere.

It's pitiful. I won't lose weight for possible health benefits (I have no health negatives from my weight, sorry, and I am, technically, middle aged so I'd think I'd have one or two by now), I won't lose it for social congruence, but I will lose weight because I'm just that cheap.

I worry about my priorities.

So, tomorrow, on the first day of my new year, I have set myself a schedule. I'm kitty-sitting during the days, so I'm going up early, writing on my novel for a few hours, taking a walk in what I hope is mild warmth, working on some geneology research on my family, making religious observance to celebrate the new year (even though, technically, it's All Saints/All Souls) and then off to knit group. It will be a long day, but, I hope, a rewarding one. I may leave the geneology for later in the week, when I'm home (not at kitty house), but I'll have to see. I may just do more research on how to do my research. There are websites, you know.

And a happy, bright and blessed new year to you all!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Finally, pictures!

I've had a sucktacular month, I must admit. I'm not sure if I'm happy or not that the year (as I calculate it) is coming to an end. I mean, as years go, I've had...well, ok, I've not had a lot better, but I have had much worse. Still and all, this past month has totally discombobulated me. I've had car trouble that made me wish I could move to a city with actual, non-half-arsed public transit so I could sell my metal money pit for scrap, I have dental work that needs to be done by the end of next month and dentists will want paying with money, and I've completely lost whatever confidence I had in myself and life in general. I'm about at the end of some rope or other, although I'm not entirely sure which rope or if it's such a bad thing to be at the end of it at all. At this point, I think the only thing I can do is wait out the confusion and just keep on keepin' on. Sort of like reaching that point in white water rafting when you suddenly realize you are actually terrified of water, the ropes on the side of the boat are slippery and oars are merely decorative at that particular place in the river and all you can do is hold on to your hair and pray you don't fall overboard.

Ah, life. She is a beautiful bitch, is she not?

Anyway, here's some yarn I keep forgetting to photograph:

Some overspun mill ends obtained on clearance from KnitPicks. I bought a bag of ten of the green and ten of the yellow (I think they're olive and semolina), then I traded for some of the gray. I think I have another bag of semolina somewhere in my Cedar Box of Yarnie Goodness.


I've had this for ages. It was a skein I bought to make my $50 for free shipping. Gloss lace in Sterling. Not sure what the heck I'll do with it, but it's nice, so I'll find something.


I have lately become consumed with the idea of making myself a sweater. Then last week, my mother (the woman who constantly complains about the volume of yarn I have stored in my CBoYG) made a point of showing me the Joann's ad--the one with Lion Brand at buy one/get one half off. In the center of the lovely graphic on the front were several skeins of Fisherman's Wool, a product about which I have great curiosity. So I toddled off to console myself (after the first car repair episode) with some Fisherman's Wool for a sweater. I got three of the brown and one of the white tweed (originally I had the darker brown tweed, which had white flecks, then realized that the effect I wanted would work better if the tweed's colors were reversed.)

I have a design in mind, I know the name I'm going to use, I just have to get off my butt, do the maths and start that puppy up.

This is the picture I've been needing to take for the past three weeks--my new Malabrigo lace in Dusty Rose. I loves it, I do. I know what pattern I'm going to make with it. It will just have to marinate in cedary scent for a few months until my queue lightens up enough for me to get around to it.

It's so pretty, isn't it? The cedar chest sort of clashes as a background, but the yarn is still glowy and shimmery and beautiful.

I have such nice toys. I should take consolation in that. This past year hasn't been as good as I'd have liked, but at least I have some nice toys to play with in the new.

I'll have to come back on Monday and offer up my new year's resolutions. I never made them when I celebrated on the Roman new year, but when I started up with the harvest year cycle, I started making them again. Hmmm, I'll have to do some thinking....

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ok, it can stop now. Any time. Seriously.

Again with the car drama. I'm really getting tired of it. Between last month and this, if my estimate holds true on the latest repairs that are needed, I will have spent well over $1,000 on car repairs and maintenance. Don't get me wrong, that's less than I spent when I made payments and he was so new the insurance payments made my wallet squeak, but still. I'm trying to save up money, here, people! That is difficult to do when everyone seems to feel they can claim a portion of it!

Breath in, breath out. Let it go.

I haven't been knitting much, I'll be honest. I'm working on a scarf that's taking for. Evaaar! and can't honestly think of another project to start up with my 'orphan' skeins (the yarn I keep in a smaller stashtainer outside the large, Cedar Box of Joy). I want some of my super bulky, for a quick project that gives me an emotional boost be getting finished and bound off fast, but all of my super bulky is in the Cedar Box of Joy, which is currently covered in sixty metric tons of Detritus of Living in One Room. Books, boxes of knitting supplies, a candy dish, some candy (I got a jumbo box of Milky Ways--biiiiig mistake, but an oh, so tasty one), a bit of yarn or two the moths won't eat and some hand lotion are the better part of my mess. At least the moths can't get into my Cedar Box of Joy--not until they breed their own power lifters. Heck, I can't get in, most days.

Oh, I could dig the box out and get into it. I'm just not feeling the motivation lately. Not feeling much motivation to do anything, really. Autumn is typically my energy season, but this autumn isn't working (yet) to power up my batteries. Bummer.

I have a few minutes before I have to leave for my baby sitting gig tonight, I could shift my crap and just...shift my crap to get some bulky weight yarn. I could take those pictures of my newest yarns I forgot to take before I shoved them into the CBoJ. Or I could write it off as a loss and have a Milky Way.

Decisions, decisions, decisions....

Monday, September 20, 2010

Gah.

Is ignorance bliss? No, Magnus is bliss. Sorry, I've got that commercial stuck in my head and it won't go away. It doesn't help that it's Kevin Spacey doing the voice over (he's one of my favorite actors) or that I find myself giggling over the "Magnus is bliss" line.

I have it running through my head because through various levels of misadventure, willful ignorance and an inability to realize there are questions I should be asking when information is not forthcoming, I had to replace my tires today, 50,000 miles early, to the tune of nearly $500. Ow. Sort of makes my whine about spending $27 on yarn two weeks ago look a bit cheeseparing, doesn't it? At least now I know about proper tire maintenance (mostly) and can be careful with these tires. Considering (yet another thing I learned today, oh, the learning experiences, they just roll on in, don't they) my car has a specialized suspension which means I can only put one brand/one style of tire on my car successfully, I also know that, in four or five years or so, I will have to spend another $500 on the same damn tires. Fabulous. Oh, well. Forewarned is forearmed!

So, whatever. I've dismissed it now from my world and move on. I actually finished a project last week! Huzzah! I actually made the scarf for Nieceling's competitions. It ended up being nearly 10' long and about 5" wide (yes, ten feet long, five inches wide), and the colors actually work well together, I think. I used two skeins of I Love This Yarn!--one called Tangelo Stripes (sorry, no linky on that site) and the other is Navy Tweed. For the scarf, I used one strand of each color knit together on a US 35 circular, cast on 7 stitches then just knit in garter stitch for, well, nearly 10 feet. The fringe is about 10 inches all told, so a little over 9 feet of garter stitch. Fringed it up and voila! Scarf. I had a lot of yarn left after that (over half of each skein) so I did mitts. Garter stitch rectangles with the doubled up yarn on size 13 US needles, seamed up the sides with a hole left for the thumb and then I picked up stitches at the bottom and did a ruffle on each one, so I can fold them over and have a draft catcher at the edge of my sleeve. After all that, I still had a lot of yarn left, so I doubled up again for an inch of 2 x 2 rib on the 13s, then started striping on the body of the hat, alternating colors (still on 13s, so the knit got nice and loose.) Knit for six or so stripes straight (so it makes a tube), seam it up, fold the corners of the seam in to the center and plopped a bobble on top. At that point I had finally (FINALLY) used up all the yarn, except for about three feet that was in chunks because it was ends that had been snipped off after being tied off for whatever reasons there might be.

Maybe it's a little overboard, but the colors are non-specific enough that I can just wear the hat and scarf together as a set and no one need know. Anyway, here's my Ravelry project shot and an extra shot of the hat:


You know, I really like that Tangelo Stripe yarn. Very pretty colors. The colors work well together, though, and I think you get the gist of blue and orange and white pretty well. The yellow may be a bit of a distraction, but eh. It's not obnoxious or anything.

I haven't heard what the Nieceling's reaction is to the set, apparently she had one. I just hope she doesn't think her auntie has gone stalker or something. I figure, hey, my high school experience was such that I didn't get to enjoy school spirit at ball games and the like (I went, to be sure--I like football--, I was just one of those jaded, cynical hipsters who was too cool to cheer) so I get to have a little rah-rah-rah now.

Is that so bad of me? :-)