So much has changed since the last time I updated. For one thing, I’m unemployed now. Yup, the company shut down. With no notice. And is refusing to pay us for hours that we worked.
Needless to say, a complaint has been filed with the Labour Board by at least 3 employees, myself included, and we’re mad as hell about it. And really, who can blame us?
So now I spend my days desperately hunting for jobs. You know, in between fibres arts projects.
My old laptop decided it didn’t want to live anymore, so now I have a new one. Well, semi-new. Second-hand, but it’s better than the old one and is working just fine.
I performed on stage last month for the first time in nearly a decade. It was awesome! Lots of fun, and something I will definitely be doing again next year, so long as the theatre company runs the event again.
Summer passed rather wetly, and I can’t believe September’s here already. The weather, however, seems to think that it overslept and now it’s really October or November, because temperatures have been dipping only a few degrees above the freezing mark since mid-August, and we had a frost warning last night.
And joy of joys, my mojo is back! It’s been helped along by a nice package in the mail the other day, from Kristen. She sent me a metric buttload of old swatches, which thrilled me right to death!
My roommate and I went through them all yesterday afternoon, and some of the swatches have whispered to me their desired FO-form. So far I’ve got a hat in mind (really, the swatch itself is big enough for the hat, and all I need to do is seam the top), as well as a pair of wristlets. I suspect a stranded pouch or two may be in future, as well as plenty of yarn to practice tablet weaving with! (It’s not knitting, but I get to fondle yarn, so it gets a mention here.)
I do have a cowl on the needles right now, too.
You can’t tell from the picture, but it’s actually a forest green, not black.
It’s not much to look at right now, but it’s growing. I’ll end up writing up a pattern for it when it’s finished, no doubt. A free pattern, since it’s simple enough to do.
And I’ve also got plans for a pair of knit (and possibly felted) bracers, much like the ones shown here.
Little by little I’m also knitting some leprosy bandages to send off to charity, though these usually get worked on when I’m watched a movie or TV shows that has subtitles. Garter stitch can be done without looking at the stitches.
Yup, plenty of mojo to last me a good long while, if it sticks around!
Jakob seems indifferent to my happiness. Really, though, he’s just worn out from cheering me on.
I’ll make occasional comebacks here, say I’ll post more, and then never do. Mostly this is because I don’t really have much to say. I’m still knitting, but it just doesn’t seem that important to blog about it. I’ll update the project info on Ravelry and be done with it.
Bad blogger. No biscuit.
I will say, though, that I’ve been experiencing a sort of mental shift when it comes to knitting lately. In a way, I’ve been getting a little bored with it. Not bored with the act itself, because I still love the feel of yarn and needles, and I love seeing what I can do with them. But what I have been doing has ceased to be challenging or interesting to me, at least as much as it used to.
That isn’t to say that I’ve mastered every technique. Far from it! But I’ve been feeling that maybe I ought to try going in a different direction with my fibre arts for a while.
Mostly, I’ve been wanting to try more artistic things. Wall hangings. Coming up with new stitch patterns. Trying to create entire scenes, background and all, in varying degrees of transparancy and texture. This sort of thing seems much more interesting to me than churning out another scarf, another hat, a pair of socks.
Don’t get me wrong. I still enjoy doing all those things. But the art bug has really hit me lately, and I’m trying to put less of my energy into making another thing I may or may not wear, and instead put that energy into making something that might look awesome on my wall.
So now you know where I’ve been, and what I’ve been doing. I will return to the blogging world one of these days, probably with about a zillion projects to show. But until then, updates here will likely be sporadic, more text than images, and possibly containing more persona babble that’s related to whatever I’m working on but may or may not actually be of interest to anyone else.
I have plenty of large-scale projects in the works, but sometimes they can seem so very daunting. I have yet to finish a single knitting project in 2009, and the year’s almost half over. Kind of pathetic, really, even when you consider that I stopped knitting for a while.
So I joined a challenge on Ravelry, a challenge to knit 52 projects in 52 weeks. Whether or not I make it through this challenge intact and sane remains to be seen, but I really ought to give myself a couple of FOs soon, or else I’ll get discouraged.
Okay, yes, I have finished the Argosy scarf. Except for blocking. And yes, I will count projects that are finished but still need blocking as projects that are unfinished. If I block them, they count for this challenge. But seeing that so little has been finished makes me feel kind of disappointed in myself, and I start to wonder what I’ve been doing all this time.
Oh, right. Knitting. On projects that never seem to end.
Expect a lot of small projects, like facecloths, scarves, hats, lace bookmarks, that sort of thing, to be seen here over the next little while. I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to update on a weekly basis or anything, but I’ll make every effort to post at least once a month. The problem is that I like posts with pictures, and the only way to upload photos is to climb over piles of junk in the crowded back room and upload them via my desktop-that’s-serving-as-file-storage. My laptop has no slot for the memory card, you see.
But regardless, even seeing small finished projects might spur me on to bigger things. Onward, I say! To victory, and to completion!
I promise I’ll be back and updating more, and then I just don’t. Well, part of that was because my camera went AWOL for a while, and it took me some time to find it again. More was from lingering stress.
But the camera has been found and the stress is slowly lifting, partially because I’m now on stress leave. Until halfway through July.
Yeah, after explaining my situation to the doctor, he decided that 12 weeks would be a good start to the time I’ll have off work, so I now find myself with a lot of free time on my hands.
So aside from being able to destress, this also means I have a lot more time to knit. Which I’ve been doing. I’ll get you all up to speed on what I’ve been doing.
I finished knitting Argosy, which only took up about half of the ball of sock yarn that I was using for it. Not too shabby, really, in terms of yardage. Still needs to be blocked, though.
That and the feather-and-fan stole I finished knitting last year. But now that I’m on leave, I’ll have the time to block them both and to make sure that the cats don’t muck it up.
But I can’t find where I put the scarf at the moment, so you’ll have to wait until I do and then block it to see pictures. Don’t worry, you’re not missing too much. :p
Slowly inching my way through my Clapotis. I love the colours of the Noro Kureyon Sock that I’m using, though I can’t imagine who’d use this stuff for socks. Too rough, and the thick-and-thin texture I don’t think would feel too nice on the feet.
But the colours are pretty, and I think they look good for a Clapotis. And happily, all that I’ve knit so far is less than one ball of the stuff, so I’m certainly getting my money’s worth.
I’ve been mentally working on a few patterns lately too, especially after picking up knitting journal with graph paper and a copy of Mary Walker Phillips’s Creative Knitting: A New Art Form. Definitely an inspirational book when it comes to pattern creation and experimentation. So far two potential scarf ideas have come out of it, which I’m going to start working on… When I can tear myself away from the Clapotis, that is. It’s a simple and fun pattern that’s easy to do while watching TV or reading, so I’ve been working on it a fair bit.
I’ve abandonned the Razzle Dazzle hat, and really do need to rip back that mangled part of Butterfly Fields so that I move forward and wirte up the pattern and release it for other people to knit if they so desire. There’s something really satisfying in knowing that I’ve designed patterns that other people end up using.
Kitties think so too. Or rather, Nick thinks it’s satisfying to sleep with his head on Jakob’s butt.
I haven’t disappeared off the face of the earth. I may as well have, though, considering the way I’ve been feeling these past few months.
I’ll be frank. I don’t know if what’s been going on is Seasonal Affective Disorder (also known as SAD) or whether my depression has decided to visit and plans to stay a while, but I’ve been going through a really rough patch since December. 2 pets dying, the general stress that comes with too little sunlight, spraining my ankle rather badly, dealing with a very sick roommate for a while, getting pulled into my mother’s risky little office romance and having to deal with the fallout (and the rebuilding, and the fallout again)… It hasn’t been easy for me.
I even stopped knitting for a while. It worried my roommate when she noticed that I really hadn’t been seen with needlesd and yarn in my hands for about a month.
But I’ll let you in on a little secret.
I’ve been knitting again.
I’m about halfway done an Argosy scarf, and I’m enjoying it, though in retrospect I think I should have made it wider. Oh well. Nothing that says I can’t knit another one later.
The Butterfly Fields stole got tangled and pulled out and needs some serious frogging and redoing. So, I’ll get up the guts to frog and redo soon. I do want to release that as a free pattern, after all, and I know there’s a person or two who’d like to see that happen before the next decade starts.
I’ve got some Noro yarn that I plan to make a Clapotis out of. And if the yardage estimates I’m seeing on Ravelry are accurate, I may have an extra ball with which to make something else, too.
There’s yarn stashed for a peasant cap that will be nice and cozy for next winter.
I’ve picked up a tatting shuttle and am going to try my hand at that soon.
I’m knitting again. I’m planning again. I feel more like my old self again. Not perfect yet. Still got a way to go, and as soon as I can get a new Medicare card, I plan to see my doctor about taking some stress leave to help put my life back together again, but compared to how I was in, say, January, I feel wonderful.
So I’ll start posting to this blog again, with pictures and all, probably in a day or so. Got to show people my new yarn and my half-finished Argosy, after all!
When I see the colours on the black background of this hat-in-progress, I can’t help but think of coloured sparks, like fireworks.
And so I keep thinking of it as my Razzle Dazzle hat. So that’s what I’m calling it.
It’s my first real jump into using two colours in a single row, and I’m rather enjoying it. I’m knitting it from Paton’s Classic Wool Merino, some leftover colours from various projects. Except for that green; that’s part of a skein of tapestry wool, in approximately the same thickness as the rest of the yarn. I’m knitting it on a US 6 circular, a little tighter than I’d normally use, but I figured with all the colour changes it’d end up a little looser than I’m used to, so I could compensate this way. If it works out, great. If not, then I can rip it back and call it a lesson learned.
I’m fairly sure it’ll fit me. And if it doesn’t, well, I’m more than sure I know a few people who might like it who would fit into it a little better. So that’s a win-win situation.
Jakob is playing hide-and-seek. Can you find him?
First off, the Aran Isle slippers from the holiday 2008 issue of Interweave Knits.
The hardest part of these was remembering to copy the mistakes I made on the first slipper over to the second slipper so that they’d match. As a result, they’re not entirely like the pattern, but close enough. They’re the right size, they’re fairly comfy, and they’ll be well-received.
They’re knit from 70/30 acrylic/alpaca yarn that was frogged from a sweater. Nice soft stuff, but still washable.
Second FO of the day is a hat for my mother’s boyfriend.
It’s just a simple hat, knit from Paton’s Classic Wool Merino, in black. Nothing to brag about. But he said he was looking for a hat, and I didn’t mind knitting him one, so it all works out.
And now, going back to my old ways, I give you a sleeping Jakob.
Before I sign off, though, I’d like to let everybody know that only a week and a half after my beloved rat Sniffles had to be euthanized, our other rat, Silk, was found dead in his cage when I got home from work one morning. Suffice to say that I haven’t been in the best of emotional states this past month…
I’m not going to be around here for a little while. Maybe a week or so, somewhere around there. One of my pets, a sweet little psychotic rat named Sniffles, had to be euthanized on Wednesday morning, and I’m, well, not exactly in the best of emotional states over the whole ordeal.
I know I haven’t been posting much here anyway lately, so me actually announcing that I won’t be posting much may be somewhat pointless, but I thought I’d let people know.
I should be back again come to new year at the very latest. Until then, keep knitting, and keep loving life for all its worth.
That funny tube-looking thing? Yeah, that’s all I have done of the slipper for my mother. I technically knit more, but as it turns out, I wasn’t paying quite enough attention and ending up knitting two right soles instead of a right and a left.
And as strange as my mother can be sometimes, she doesn’t have that particular problem.
So what was there to do but make a third sole, this time the correct one.
At least I have the circular needle now, so as soon as I’m done that sole, I can start knitting the rest of it. The fact that NaNoWriMo is now over also means I’ll have the time to knit at work again on my overnight shifts. Seeing as it how it’s almost always dead for about 4-6 hours of my overnight shifts there, that’s plenty of time to work on Christmas and Yule gifts where nobody can see them.
Jakob thinks I was very silly for now paying closer attention to the pattern.
Or, in this case, abandoning the challenge. There’s no way, by this point in time, that I’ll be able to accomplish my own 2klace challenge for 50% lace projects completed this year. Not with the holiday knitting I have to do, none of which involves even a small bit of lace. So I’m calling it quits, and telling myself it’s a lesson learnt. It’s a bit of a disappointment, but what can you do? Gift knitting take precedence over personal challenges, after all.
Speaking of, I’ve started on one of my holiday projects.
This is the first part of the sole of one of the Aran Isle Slippers [Ravelry link] from the 2008 holiday issue of Interweave Knits. Requested by my mother when she looked through the issue, and since I had no idea what to get her for Christmas, this was the perfect thing. It’s something she both wants and needs, so it works out well.
The yarn I’m using is recycled from a thrift store sweater (hands up, all of you who are surprised at that), and is 70/30 acrylic/alpaca. No the softest yarn I’ve ever used, but it’s still nice, and the acrylic content will make it both machine-washable and harder-wearing than if it had been 100% alpaca. And my mother doesn’t like wool much, so that was out of the question before I ever picked up the needles!
Speaking of needles, I’m using 1 size smaller than the pattern calls for, since my mother’s feet are a little smaller than what the pattern says the slippers will fit best. Hopefully it should all even out in the end.
And if it doesn’t, Jakob will claw your eyes out so that you’ll never know.