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.
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!
So much in my life has been new lately. A few new projects, some new friends, a new job. Yup, an entirely new job, one that’s actually different than the last new job I mentioned here. The other company was just starting to feel more uncomfortable to me, and the job too restrictive, so I took a look around and applied at the place I’m now working. I guess saying, “They hired me,” is rather redundant at this point.
I’m much happier in this new job. For starters, it’s still a call centre but it doesn’t feel like it, since the location is in two revamped studio apartments uptown. It’s still got a nice home-like feel. They’re relaxed on policies, too, and don’t mind you wandering around in slippers, and they actively encourage crafts during slow times (if there’s no other work to do, of course) because a good percentage of them employees (all 40 of them) are cross-stitchers. I feel so good about working there that sometimes it hardly feels like a job at all.
Plus the view from the western windows at sunset is really something to behold!
As for what I’ve got on the needles… Well, I’m still slogging away at those Kertzer basic socks. I go through cycles with those. Some days I’ll knit on them obsessively, other days I won’t touch them. The deadline’s looming, though, so I’d better get a move on.
I also have the delightful One Row Lace Scarf on the needles, which I’m knitting whenever I’m watching something on my computer. It’s simple, but pretty, and I’m enjoying knitting it even if one of my needles is crooked at the tip. (No idea how that happened…)
And I still need to block that dang feather and fan wrap I did ages ago. I’m not counting it as finished until it’s blocked. Well, I have tomorrow off work, and I plan to do some baking in the kitchen for most of the day, so maybe I’ll block it then, where I can keep an eye on it and shoo the cats off it if I have to.
Jakob protests that he’s too sleepy to walk on my knitting right now anyway.
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.
After a monetary gift from my mother, I decided to make a little investment of the yarn variety.
I found all of this at Value Village, all for less than $10 for the lot. Not a bad deal, really, especially when you consider that one ball can be knit up into a scarf, and each scarf can be sold for $5 or $10 at the Christmas craft fair that my workplace puts on.
Assuming they sell, of course. And assuming that I’m still working here by the time that rolls around. If not, well, there’s always the city-run Christmas craft fair, if I can make up enough stuff to make getting a table there worthwhile. (The city-run fair costs money to reserve a table, whereas the work fair is free for sellers.)
And failing all that, then I’m sure there are some shelters around here that wouldn’t mind a donation of handknit scarves around gift-giving season. It won’t be much, but it’ll be something.
I figure that this stuff isn’t going to count towards 2klace, since it’s on ongoing huge project to get a whole load of stuff to sell and/or donate. I’ll eventually show the whole lot of my Ravelry page, maybe show them off here, too, but I’m not going to count each scarf as being an FO here. Too many scarves to be interesting, really. Or if I do count it, I’ll count the whole batch as one project, since it’s all working toward a singular goal.
And the scarves are easy to knit at work, just repetitive knit stitch over and over until the yarn’s gone. Good to keep my hands busy and to make me feel productive.
Though the scarf is a bit too wide, I think, and kinda tight on the US 10s I was using, so I’m thinking I might frog it tonight and cast on again on US 10.5 needles instead, with less stitches. Make the yarn last as long as it can.
My aim is to get at least 20 scarves knit by December. Since I don’t have 20 balls right now, this is going to involve a few more trips to Value Village for more novelty yarn, which I certainly don’t mind. I like stash enhancement, even if it’s just novelty yarn that I don’t normally knit with, me being a big lace ho and all. *laughs*
I ought to do this every year, really; knit a huge batch of scarves to sell or donate in December. I’m sure I’ve probably meant to in years past, and probably just never got around to it, or something got in the way, or what have you. Most likely it’s because I got the idea far too late in the year to knit much. This year, though, I’ve got about five months to knit up 20 simple scarves. That’s a scarf a week. That’s easy, since it’s all in garter stitch!
Jakob approves of my plan, so long as he doesn’t have to do too much to help.
Knit in Bernat Satin yarn, partials balls of red and black, on US 7 needles.
I was browsing through a book of scarf patterns that I got last Christmas, and saw their Two-Tone scarf. It was knit the same way, to the end of one colour before joining on a second, but it was done in garter stitch. I decided to do something a little less boring, and did it in mistake rib instead. Simple enough that I could do it without paying much attention, and thus could watch subtitled anime at the same time, which was exactly what I was looking for.
So now two more balls are gone from the stash, another scarf can go into the charity bag (it’s a little too short for me to use), and I can cross another project off the list and move on to the next one.
I know I promised pictures of the Bellisle scarf, but I, erm, haven’t knit a stitch on it since the last time I mentioned it, so that’s going to have to wait just a little longer. It will, I suspect, be a free pattern that I’ll be offering once I’m finished with it, so if it turns out anyone likes it, well, naturally you’re all free to knit as many as you like!
Just as soon as I get off my duff and finish it, of course…
Nick likes looking a things from a different angle.
Back in the knitting groove, oh yes I am! It might have something to do with being laid up from an annoying summer cold. You guys know the kind I mean, right? Where sneezing sends that particular sort of chill through your body, despite a warm day, that says quite clearly, “Well crap, I have a cold.”
Yeah, that kind.
But at least resting up frees up some knitting time. First off, I have this:
A two-tone scarf in mistake-rib, inspired by… Well, inspired by the fact that I had two balls of Bernat Satin yarn lying around, and no memory of why I’d originally bought them. So I figured I may as well use them up for something. It’s not like I won’t be able to get more if I ever remember what I bought them for in the first place.
The second project has just been cast on, and while I have no pictures yet, suffice to say it’s a lace scarf that I’m calling the Bellisle scarf, because the patterns used reminded me of spending summers at a camp on Bellisle Bay, in a place I’ll love for the rest of my life. Expect pictures in the next post, whenever that may be.
I also, in my spare time, have been knitting slowly away at my Prairie Shawl. Not sure whether to count this as something for 2klace or not. I mean, it’s got yarn-overs, at least, so I suppose I could make the argument that its got some teensy bit of laciness in the construction, but at the same time, it’s almost purely freaking garter stitch.
I somehow think I’ll end up classing it as “not-lace” in the end.
Nick has been cozying up to that wool a lot lately… Maybe he plans to turn it into a sweater before I can get around to it!
Not actually a purple fluffy laptop cozy, as it looks. It just turns out that what would be good lighting for most projects is actually bad lighting for furry objects. So I instead moved it to a clear section of the floor to take a better picture.
Knit on US size 9 needles and taking two skeins of Bernat Boa yarn, this was just a quick and mindless project for me to knit at work. When I could pull myself away from my video games, that is.
Jakob says I should have been using that downtime to contemplate how cute he is.
It seems I’m not very good at this whole, “posting on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays” lark. That’s twice in a row I’ve been a day late, and there was another time before that when I was late too. One time I had a good excuse, at least, but no, this week it’s been due to sheer laziness. I promise I’ll try to do better.
Still no progress on the crochet front. Maybe on Friday, I’ll remember to take the hook and some yarn in to work and get one of my coworkers to show me how it’s really done.
In the meantime, I’m afraid I don’t have too much to show off, really. At work, I’ve been mostly playing Harvest Moon DS during my shift. For those who aren’t quite so up on video games, it’s a farming simulation game. Yes, farming. You plant and harvest crops, take care of farm animals, and eventually develop a good relationship with a girl so you can settle down, marry, and have a kid. (Or a relationship with a boy, if you’re playing the girl’s version of the game, I suppose.) It may not sound like much entertainment, but I find it incredibly addictive.
Anyway, what little knitting I have been doing at work has been simple, purple, and fluffy.
Just some purple feather yarn I picked up on a whim when it was 50 cents a ball on sale at Michael’s. I thought at first that it’d make a wonderful scarf for a friend of mine, Silvermist, only to find out that I’d mistaken his favourite colour. I thought it was purple. It really isn’t. So instead the scarf is going to be given to Evan, the same person I made the Evan hat for. Purple is his favourite colour, and I know he’d love something purple and fluffy like this.
Slow news day, huh? No wonder I was so late in posting! Even the cats are feeling particularly lazy today!