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 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!
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.
Very recently, I got a sort of promotion at my job. The whole situation is far too complicated and tangled to detail here (if you’re curious, it’s all typed up on my personal blog), but suffice to say I’ve been moved to the overnight shifts with a decent increase in pay, more duties, and also more free time, plus guaranteed hours each week. Considering I’m 3rd from the bottom on the seniority ladder, I’m pleased as punch about this!
Makes the view from my window at work seem all the brighter. (Ignore the lines of the screen over the windows, if you please. :p)
In addition to all that, I ended up getting two packages in the mail yesterday. One contained a professor’s gift from the Hogwarts Little-Bit-of-Everything swap.
It’s a bookmark, with a little Prisoner of Azkaban book cover charm at the bottom. It’s very awesome! (Thanks, Pren!)
I also received a package from a dear friend of mine who goes by the name of Bugen, containing two delicious items. The first was this:
And the second was this:
A box of Swiss Miss French Vanilla hot chocolate mix. Yum! I tried some last night at work, and while I think I put in a bit too much water, it’s still very delicious!
Just in case you though this entire post was going to be devoid of knitting content, here’s the progress on my one-row lace scarf.
Cat paw for… Well, I’d say it’s there for scale, but really, it’s there because Jakob wouldn’t move it out of the way when I tried to take a picture, so in the end, I just draped the scarf over it and let it be.
Speaking of Jakob… He’s a weird kitty sometimes, but rarely so weird as when we’ve just washed our hair with Head & Shoulders shampoo. He loves the smell, and will do everything in his power to rub against our heads and groom us a little more, sometimes with a teensy bit of teeth and/or claws. He never hurts us, but it’s always funny to watch him try to rub as much of himself as kittenly possible over a freshly shampooed head!
Here’s some scary lace for you!
I hate how ugly this pattern looks when it’s not stretched and blocked out. The lacy parts just look all loose and frumpy. It really does look better when it’s all neatly stretched, I promise. It’s just a shame I’m not knitting on this thing nearly as quickly as I want to in order to get it done faster so I can prove it. Too many things taking up my time.
Which reminds me! I probably won’t be around much this coming month. I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year, and I’ve decided to double the challenge. Instead of writing 50000 words in November, which I know I can do, I’ve decided to push it a little further and try to write 100000 words instead. At my current typing speed, that’ll mean I’ll really only have to write for about an hour and a half each day, and then only 25 days out of the month’s 30. Wish me luck!
It’s a shame the foliage isn’t looking this nice anymore. We’ve had a few windy rainy days this past week, and most of the colours have been blown from the trees down onto sidewalks, where they end up doing little besides clogging drains. Shame, really, since I was hoping to get more fall foliage pictures before it was too late. But procrastination is ever an enemy of mine, and so I’ll take my lumps gracefully. Maybe next year!
For anyone who wants to have a little bit of long-term and long-lasting fun (and is a Harry Potter fan), you might want to consider joining the Hogwarts Little-Bit-of-Everything swap. I’m currently a professor there, which means I get all kinds of extra fun work to do. Which, I’ve now noticed, has been updated since I last checked in on it, and so I’ve got a few emails to send off. Oops! I’ll have to remember to be more diligent in the future.
Jakob wishes you all a very happy (and comfy) Halloween! May all the vampires bite you in all the right ways!
My knitting time has been slim as of late, despite the fact that I’ve been between jobs now for a week. It seems I just can’t get my mojo going. This usually happens once or twice a year, where I start to feel a little burned out by one near-constant action, and I take a break. I usually feel a little guilty about it, too, especially now, since I’m behind on my 2klace challenge. And I’ll be even further behind by the end of the year, what with most of my knitted Christmas and Yule gifts not including a single bit of lace. I’ll have to knit lace for every project that isn’t a holiday gift just to meet that 50% goal, I think, and the pressure of that over the next three months just isn’t a happy thought.
Aren’t challenges supposed to be fun?
I am still knitting, mind. Just not as much as I probably ought to be. The baby sweater has been taken off the needles, since the coworker I was knitting it for is, well, no longer able to receive it. I ought to have finished it before I left my old job, I know, but there you have it. It was to be a surprise, and now I can’t surprise her. I’ll put the already finished pieces away, and perhaps finish it some other time and give it to someone else, someone I can actually still see to give it to.
I’ve got a Rabbit Tracks scarf on the needles right now, but it’s not quite the engaging pattern I thought it would be. I wanted something simple but quick, and so cast on for that, but I just don’t like it. Maybe it’s the yarn I’m using, maybe that pattern would be better suited to yarn lighter than worsted weight. I’m probably going to frog it and work on something else. No sense in knitting it if I’m not enjoying it, after all.
No sense in trying to knit 20 scarves for a craft fair I can no longer sell at, either, since the one I was planning on is run by the job I no longer have. And I don’t think my new job does anything like that. If they don’t, I’ll suggest it for next year, perhaps, just to drum up a little publicity and to give people who work there an outlet for their creativity.
I’m tempted to cast on another pair of cotton socks for my mother, since she really likes the ones I knit for her before. If I do a feather and fan cuff, too, there’ll be lace involved and the socks will go quickly, so that’ll be a bonus.
I tell you, I’m not doing any year-long knitting challenges next year. I’m just going to knit whatever the heck I feel like knitting, and to heck with trying to live up to a goal. The challenges are fun, and maybe I’ll do a monthly challenge or two, but not another year-long one, not even one imposed upon myself. I love lace, but sometimes I want to do a little mindless knitting without the guilt of knowing that I’m taking away from a lace FO count.
I also keep having unfounded minor panic about my no spending challenge next year. How could I possibly have enough yarn to knit through the year without buying more? What if I need yarn for a specific project and I don’t have anything that will suffice? Then I remember that I have about 13 sweaters right now in various stages of being frogged and used, have 5 more being shipped from someone I met on Ravelry, and still have other commercial yarns to use too. I’ll be fine.
Sure, some of those sweaters are going to be dyed and sold, or at least I’m going to attempt to sell the yarn. But I’ve already rationalized that to myself. I can still buy sweaters to frog for yarn provided they’re the ones that will be for sale later. No personal spending. I’m having to revise and be specific on a very general rule that I gave myself, but I think the spending challenge will go just fine. I’m not in any danger of running out of yarn, even if I go for a whole year without buying any more.
Heck, I probably have a large enough stash that I could go for two years without having to worry. The pickings may be slim at the end, but I’d still have enough, I think.
I expect my knitting mojo to come back soon after I start my new job on Monday. I’ll be working full-time again, no options of going home early like in my old job, and so the familiarity and relaxation of knitting will likely make me pick up the needles and yarn and get back to work on the various projects I have lying around. When I’m stressed, knitting really does calm me down. Cranky callers are handled with greater efficiency and politeness, I find, when my hands have something to do but my brain can still keep focusing on what they’re telling me. Mindless knitting is good for work, even if technically I’m not supposed to knit on calls.
I’m not even sure if my current job will allow me to take knitting in with me to work on between calls. If not, you can be sure my knitting mojo will go up hugely. Nothing makes me want to do something like not being able to do it. I guess I’ll just have to see, though.
Okay, I’ve babbled enough without general purpose. I’ll go now and find something constructive to do with my time.
Howdy, all! Did you miss me while I was away?
(Warning, this post will be more photo-heavy than usual!)
My little holiday in Dartmouth went wonderfully, and I had an great time! Though we didn’t get to do all that we’d originally wanted, three nights away from home was just about right for us. Neither my roommate nor I sleep quite as well in unfamiliar places, and we missed our pets something awful, so coming back home was also a good thing.
To start with, I’d like to say that I can’t praise the Days Inn in Dartmouth enough. It was a very awesome hotel that was clean, well-staffed with friendly people, and allowed us both an early check in and a late check out. The restaurant attached to it, Favourite’s, had so much good food that I could have eaten there for weeks and not gotten sick of it. If you ever go, I recommend the potato skins for an appetizer, chicken florentine for a main course, and/or the apple cinnamon pancakes for breakfast!
Nice room, huh? King size bed, right on the corner of the building so it’s by default larger than the regular rooms, TV with all local cable channels… I liked it there!
At the Museum of Natural History in Halifax, we saw butterflies:
Including the above blue morpho that was kind enough to pose on a girl’s butt while we took pictures. (Also thanks to the girl for letting everyone take pictures of her butterfly’d butt!)
We saw cool preserved animals and birds:
And we saw some lovely scenery at the Halifax Public Gardens:
And just to let you know, I didn’t get to go to the yarn store in Dartmouth, because there wasn’t really enough time and we weren’t familiar enough with the bus routes to properly plan a trip out just for that. I did, however, get to go to another yarn store in downtown Halifax.
Yup, I went to The Loop, where the person working there was very kind and helpful, and let us use their swift and winder to make this:
It’s a skein of Skacel Merino Lace, wound into a ball. 1350 yards of delicious laceweight wool, in a beautiful forest green colour, and it only cost $17! I couldn’t get over how good a price that way, considering this was enough yarn to make a full-sized shawl from!
And just to make sure I had a shawl to make it into, I also picked up this:
The Arabesque stole, by Dorothy Siemens. There were more patterns there that I wanted, but since I was limited by credit cards, I decided to just go with the one,and one I could knit on straights instead of needing circulars or to bunch all the stitches up trying to knit a triangular shawl on straights.
So those are the highlights of my vacation, at least the yarny parts! More was done, of course, and plenty of fun was had, but this being a knitting blog and all, I’m keeping it short and sweet here, and doing a full post over at my personal blog soon, if anyone’s interested. (Just keep checking back if it’s not the first post there when you see it. It should take me an hour or so to finish typing everything up.)
I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here yet, but I’m participating in the Ravelympics this year. It’s the same general idea as the Knitting Olympics, really. Cast on at the start of the summer Olympic games, knit, and finish before the torch goes out 17 days later.
What am I knitting for it? This. Top Secret, from Knitty. For my roommate. I got a bunch of bulky wool from her mother, something that was originally intended to be a sweater for said roommate’s father, but her mother admitted she probably never would finish it and thus gave the yarn to me. I have three different colours of it: black, grey, and white. I have the most black, so the background will be that colour, and I’ll use the grey and the white to do a few Fair Isle motifs on it, to give it a splash of patterning.
A simple pattern, according to what Knitty says, but I’ve never knit a sweater before, nor done much colourwork, so this definitely falls under the category of “something that’s a challenge to knit in 17 days.” I’m sure I can do it, if I put my mind to it, though.
For the curious, I’ll be away from the blog for four days or so at the end of July/beginning of August. I’m going away on vacation! To Dartmouth, Nova Scotia! (Not exactly Paris, but heck, I’ll take what I can get.) I can get hotels cheaply with my work discount, and there are more than enough things there to keep us busy for the few days that we’ll be there. I’m looking forward to it. I expect to return with plenty of pictures, and some new souvenir yarn, because yes, there is a yarn shop there and yes, I will drag my roommate to it. When I promised I wouldn’t spend too long there, she countered with, “Yes, but for you, ‘not long’ might be two hours!”
She knows me too well!
And thus ends this pictureless post!