Today marks two years for this blog. 530 days since I sat back and decided to start this thing. I was on the verge of quitting grad school and struggling to process what it meant to be leaving behind a dream/goal and brave the world outside the ivory tower. Last year at this time I was writing about how the blog has been there, an ever-present component of my life. I wrote about my life as a knitter, spinner and a writer.
In the past year I have experienced as much change (or more) than the previous two years combined. Sure for the first time since getting married we didn’t pack everything up and head out to a new city. I experienced my first car accident, and my first experience with shingles. I started a brand new program, switched my major and then had to step down. I braved attending a new knitting/spinning group and discovered that I don’t completely suck at making friends. I attended my first Sheep and Wool festival and even bought a new wheel. I blogged about epic knitting projects and trying my hand at tour de fleece. I have gone on (and on) about how I want to be this, or do that with my life.
But the most important part has been the fact that there has been responses. You have decided to follow my blog, to like a post and taken the time to comment on something I wrote. I am pretty bad at responding directly to comments, but rest assured I read them and reflect on them and am thankful that you all are willing to write them.
I appreciate each and every one of you, thank you for giving me the courage to keep at this. I can never fully express how amazing it is to know that other people are willing to take some time out of their busy schedule and read what I wrote. So thank you, thank you, thank you. Here’s to many more blogging years.
It’s another cold day here in my little corner of the world. We received more snow this past weekend, which means the view from my window is pretty much the same it’s been for the last few months. Which is to say, devoid of color.
Luckily as a fiber enthusiast I have color at my disposal and I get to share the latest results with you. The latest fresh from the wheel product is some lovely and oh so wonderful BFL. The fiber was purchased from my lys a while ago, say within the last six months. It is Mountain Colors (inc) 100% BFL Top, in the colorway Lupine. Which really translates to jewel tones of blues, some purples and a forest like green. A lovely and squishy concoction that has left me battling to prevent the cats from taking the fiber and running, or more likely laying directly on the fiber and burying their noses in it.
In terms of spinning I made a point of just throwing caution to the wind and spinning it however it worked out. A new wheel, a new batch of fiber and a new me. Okay well, that worked for about 1/2 the fiber and then I realized with a small bit of panic that I needed to figure out what the heck I was going to do. My first thought was chain plying the thing, but the color repeats were not consistent enough for me to feel like it would be worth it. Secondly I am not the greatest at chain plying on my old wheel (Beatrice) and trying to attempt it on the new wheel would probably result in me losing my mind and weeping quietly in the corner. After accepting my lack of skill in that department I considered a simple 2 ply. Five minutes later that was abandoned when I realized that I apparently wanted to try my hand at another 3 ply.
Idea firmly planted in my mind I set to work spinning the remaining fiber. Because I am me, I had to combine the first 2/3 on one bobbin and ended up doing the last 1/3 on an additional bobbin, after waiting for the singles to rest, this is where it gets good, I decided to take the singles off the bobbins and wind them into balls for plying. Now there is nothing inherently wrong with that, in fact it is probably a pretty smart idea. Well smart if I weren’t trying to cut corners, which I was and I did. So, of course, instead of dividing the bobbin with the 2/3 of fiber into two separate balls, I decided to be oh-so-”smart” and just make the one ball, because as I reasoned, I could just ply from the outside and the inside at the same time. Which, to be fair, I have done before (once) and it worked. To be fair (again?) I was working on a 2 ply NOT a 3 ply that time. I also wasn’t battling a cat who is as
obsessed interested in BFL fiber as I am.
Suffice it to say chaos ensued and I ended up breaking down and dividing the larger plying ball into two equal parts. Suddenly life got a lot simpler, (imagine that) and I was able to finish my spinning with little complication. While I know that cutting corners wasn’t the smartest thing to do (is it ever?) I am still extremely happy with the resulting yarn.
208 (ish) yards of beautiful BFL.
Of course after the photos were taken this happened.
I don’t often talk about my writing on here, I suppose even less so when I started school. The truth is for almost a year I tried my hand at being a writer. Okay in all honesty that isn’t really the truth, I actually was trying to try to be a writer. By which I mean I would think about what it meant to be a writer, how I would be as a writer and dabbling here and there with writing, without ever fully committing to it. Oh sure, I was able to complete two NaNoWriMo challenges (one being the camp version) in the “year of writing” they were different stories, and while I made those goals I never did much of anything with them afterwards. I have a few short stories that are pretty much half-finished. I have notebooks full of ideas of where to go with those NaNoWriMo challenges. I bought books on the subject matter, researched blogs, articles and read about other authors experiences. I debated the pros and cons of traditional publishing. I even shared a few of my writings with family and friends.
But at the end of the day I never felt like a writer. Sure I have mastered the love of coffee, I excel in my ability to wear p.j.’s or comfy clothes and I have a pad of paper and a pen near my side of the bed, should inspiration strike. I don’t know what I was expecting when it came to writing, if I thought that I would mysteriously be bitten by this bug to crank out a novel in a few months, or if I thought that my writing would be so brilliant (in the first draft even) that I wouldn’t have to worry about gaining an agent or landing a contract. One thing is for certain at the end of the day I would either have written something or not, but that didn’t seem to matter to me. I could knock out 1650 words and feel like I was an absolute failure. If I didn’t write anything that day (which became the norm) then I confirmed in my mind that I was a failure. I made excuses and felt like I didn’t deserve to be a writer, that I didn’t have what it takes to produce something that people would actually want to read. I was able to justify my lack of progress, because let’s face it I had never been published, I had never been paid, hell for a long while I had never even shared my work with someone.
When I did brave the chance to share my work with someone I quickly excused their compliments or praises. I was nervous to share anything with anyone, (aside from the limited pieces I have shared on the blog) and so I chose my friends and family carefully. The giant was privy to a lot of work and he was/is encouraging with it all. He tells me that he likes the piece, telling me I am a good writer and that I should keep at it. My best friend got to see quite a few pieces as well, as an English Major and one of the absolutely smartest people I know, I value her opinion very highly. She would read it and provide me with great feedback, also telling me that my writing was good. I even shared a bit with my sister-in-law, who has been by far the biggest cheerleader and advocate for my writing ever.
Despite these three people, who I love, respect and admire I always took their praise with skepticism. Call me cynical, but I always feel like they would lie to spare my feelings. Now I will admit that for the most part I have not actually experienced this in my life (hello critical adults of my childhood) but I still feel hesitant to accept their encouragement. I know most of this probably has to do with the tiny amount of self-esteem I seem to have, but at the end of the day it doesn’t seem to make a big difference.
Yesterday I was reading my blog feed (as I usually do) and came across this piece. Now I have read Kristin Lamb’s blog for almost a year and she has some pretty solid advice when it comes to writing and life in general. For some reason this piece in particular caught my attention. As I read I realized that I am guilty of this exact problem. That self-esteem issue from above? Yeah that usually translates to the rest of my life as well. As I made my way through that piece, nodding along at parts and hanging my head in shame at others I realized that a lot of the time I make a point to talk negative.
I was raised with the idea that in order to be seen as mature and adult like, being humble was key. There was no sense in trying to show off, because at the end of the day it just made you look like a show off. I also learned, quickly, that if you don’t “shine” you don’t get called on, you aren’t forced to interact with as many people and really you pretty much get left alone.
Somewhere along the way I started to take that humility and downplaying of my skills to heart. I internalized those negatives and started believing them so much that even now I have a hard time accepting praise on things. Even when it is on something I know that I did well (knitting for instance) I feel all squirmy when I am complimented on my work.
Okay all of this is a long way of saying I have come to realize that this negative self talk has to stop. “They” say admitting it is the first step, so here I am admitting it. I will try to move forward. If nothing else I just wanted to say to anyone else who might be reading this, you are not alone. Everyone, even those seemingly confident people have doubts, the difference is if and how you move forward. And I am going to take those first steps forward.
It’s that time again, I finally have an FO to share with you. After having the parade of baby items a few weeks ago I started to feel like I was a crazy slow knitter.
The reality is the giant just has large feet. The FO is a pair of socks for him, my first of seven this year as part of New Year resolutions/goals thing. I figured seven would be a week’s worth of socks, and I wouldn’t (theoretically) drive myself mad attempting to hit that goal. So far I took a bit longer than I would have hoped on the very first pair, which seemingly does not bode well for the remaining six, but I am hoping when I am not attempting to “knit all the baby things” that I should be back on track.
Anyway the socks are a simple 3×1 knit, purl ribbing down the leg and across the top of the foot. I first knit this for the giant during the hectic socks for Christmas, and he made mention of them being extra comfy. I decided to try it again, considering he made such a point to say something about it. Of course he tells me last night that he likes them just as much as the plain vanilla pairs I make, so I don’t know. The only thing about the ribbing is that it takes me slightly longer to knock them out, but that might just be in my head.
The yarn was a first for me, Knit Picks Stroll Hand-painted, the colorway is called Constellation. I really liked the colors when I saw them on sale last Cyber Monday, enough that I picked up two skeins of this color. I usually check Ravelry to see what other’s come up with before I decide on a colorway, and this one was no exception. Unfortunately with this pair there was a lot of pooling in the cuff ribbing and down the leg, it seemed to minimize a bit when I hit the foot, but it still bugs me a bit. Luckily the giant actually likes the effect, which is a relief. Though I doubt he would complain about much when it comes to hand knit socks. The only real request he has ever made is no hot pink (and I think I might have even gotten him to say that a tiny bit would be fine as long as the rest wasn’t even close.) The man loves hand knit socks.
Anyway back to the yarn, it is a 75% merino with 25% nylon. I had purchased the yarn (two skeins of this and one in Pony Ride colorway) in part because it was on sale, about half (or less) off its regular price, and in part because I was thinking it might be a nice substitute for Malabrigo (which of course I failed to realize doesn’t have nylon in it, until after I bought this stuff.) I will say as far as sock yarn goes it seems to be a nice and very affordable access point to some merino blends. The colors are nice, and I feel like the socks should be able to do their job without falling apart right away (always a bonus.) While I wouldn’t call it a substitute for Malabrigo, it is still something I might consider buying again.
The photos are more than a little blurry/crap because I was a fool and waited until bed time to remember to take photos. So please bear with me on that. The blue is a bit brighter in person, and as you can kind of see on the leg of his right foot, the pooling wraps around the cuff and leg, I promise it is more noticeable in person and I am not just some overcritical ranting person (well at least about that.)
When I first got my new wheel (last week) I was able to bring it to a local knitting/spinning group and have the lovely ladies check it over. They helped me feel confident enough to try spinning on it, which may or may not have happened as quickly (or ever) if it wasn’t for them. Even more fortunate was the fact that one of the woman in particular offered to give me some fiber to practice with. I am new enough to spinning that the concept of giving fiber freely makes me feel a little awkward, I was like that as a knitter, I felt like I had so little that the concept of giving it away was almost painful.
Now of course (at least with yarn) I am completely okay with handing stuff over, take for instance my mother in law, she scored basically all of my acrylic (she makes scarves for charity) and a fair amount of bamboo/cotton blends that I was never going to work with. So I am hopeful that at some point I will be as free with my fiber as I want to be with my yarn.
Anyway, she gave me a fistful of this wonderfully fluffy fiber, I believe it is a Jacob’s wool, which I had never had a chance to try before. From what I can gather with my limited spinning experience it was a long-staple, and provided a bit of tackiness that made me think a bit of my beloved BFL. I began spinning after a little bit of prodding, and was told to not expect it to be super smooth (there was still some VM, and a few nepps here and there) but free fiber is free fiber and it was still really fun to work with. I managed to spin about half of the handful within a day or two and the second one before Saturday. I did a very basic two ply and because I decided to try something slightly different (I wound them into balls instead of just using my bobbins) and as such was able to use every last bit up (which normally never happens when I two ply.) I gave the wool a bath, and as expected the water was a little dirty (it was a very sheepy wool, although the cats seemed to ignore it for the most part, until it was hanging to dry, then they started to meow incessantly at the smell coming from the bathroom) and waited to see what would happen. I had been afraid that I had under plied the singles and was told to give it a good thwack to help fluff it up, I did and it did. I have no real idea on the yardage, but before the bath it was around 75 yards.
It is still pretty scratchy (or rustic) but it’s quite fluffy and I think not too shabby for a first attempt on the wheel.
There is little by way of coherent and logical processing going on here and so I decided to just try to go with it in terms of posting. So today’s blog shall be random notes from a snowy Monday.
1. I am enjoying my new wheel immensely, I have spun all the “crap” fiber I was given and have started on a beautiful jewel-toned four ounces of, be still my heart, BFL that seems like it might last forever. This might have something to do with the fact that I seem to be defaulting to a rather thin single.
2. I spent the majority of my weekend spinning, which has left me a bit sore this morning, a fun fact I realized when…
3. I was awoken by a knock on the door by the apartment maintenance guy. He was there to fix our oven, which blew a “fuse” this past weekend.
4. I am actually surprised at the sheer amount of baking the giant usually does on the weekend. He’s been improving his mad skills for last few months and I am willing to admit that it has become somewhat routine to have the smell of baking bread wafting around the apartment. Luckily the oven is now fixed.
5. I am having a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich for lunch. I am not usually a fan of peanut butter, but when I have a PB&J I have to have the peanut butter on both pieces of bread. Which always makes me shake my head.
6. I am still working on a pair of socks for the giant that I cast on back in January, I think the spree of baby knitting interfered with my ability to knock out socks.
7. My absolute dream job would to be a (paid) writer, preferably fiction, to that end I finally submitted some writing (creative non-fiction) to two journals. I won’t hear back from them for at least three months (if ever.) This has felt like a real step to becoming a published (and paid) writer.
8. I was more nervous about submitting my work than I was on my wedding day.
So as promised I am here to show the latest FO. This hat was made to go with the adorable little cardigan I showed off previously, same yarn, (KP Felici Sport, Streambed) with the Woodsy Baby Hat pattern. The pattern is a straight forward baby hat, with a fun little tie closure at the top, perfect for a quick gift.
I made no mods to the hat, but if I were to do it again I might knit a bit more on the top, and try a different method for making the tie. The tie was a simple i-cord, I made a point of making it as long as one color section of the yarn and while I think it looks good, it is a bit bulky for my tastes.
Overall I am pleased with the hat and how well it plays with the little sweater, it should be a fine gift to welcome my newest niece into the world.
In other news the new wheel and I are still getting acquainted. I was fortunate that I could bring it to a local meet up last night and the lovely ladies there, helped me not only test it to make sure I didn’t completely fail in putting it together, but also encouraged me to actually use it. I am doing better in terms of treadling, as long as I don’t start to think about it (which was how I was with Beatrice in the beginning) I do find myself putting more weight on my right foot which makes sense, considering it’s what I use for the Prelude. Hopefully the learning curve stays this easy, although plying should be an interesting go.
I was going to talk about waiting, and share my latest FO, but the waiting part (at least for me) is over (you all will still have to wait for that post.) I promise the replacement is a good one.
The waiting I was going to discuss was the fact that I bit the bullet last week and ordered a new wheel (after selling Ferdinand I had enough to get it.) I was waiting for its arrival, but as I mentioned a little bit before, the wait is over!
Without further ado, the newest wheel to my suddenly growing herd:
A Blue Bonnet Honeybee. It arrived a little while ago and in less than a half hour it was all ready to go. I have attempted a few minutes of treadling, but going from a single to a double will require a little bit more adjustment than I thought. The Blue Bonnet wheels can be found on the Woolery (where I stumbled across them) and at their etsy store. They are a great low-cost, high quality wheel and just right for me at this time. I did end up getting a custom-made whorl (15:1, 20:1 ratios) in addition to the one provided (6:1, 8:1.)
As of now (since there hasn’t been any luck selling the Prelude) I am now the owner of a tiny “herd” of wheels. Considering that both are smaller than a lot of other wheels I am not too worried about it (yet.) Though I can see where the desire to have more can come in, they are just so beautiful (and useful, because while I appreciate the pretty it takes a lot for me to keep it around if it’s just for looks (at least I am breaking away from my parents in that respect.)
There is still no name for the newest edition, my first wheel is named Beatrice (because I apparently name my craft items, anyone else?) For now I will just keep practicing the treadling (because boy is it fast) and thinking of some names.
So while I am sorry I postponed the post about the FO I have to say it was worth it.
So the thrill of baby knits continues. I think the sheer fact that they are so easy combined with the fact that they are darn fast is making them my go to right now. I ended up knitting another Puerperium cardigan, this time in the KP Felici sport weight of Stream Bed. I think I may be more taken by this colorway knit up than the last one. I did opt for no mods and knit the seven buttons on, I think it looks fine, but I haven’t decided if I like it more. This one was forced to have a reknit because I some how messed up a stitch count and had to frog half the thing. But even with that, it was still a pretty short knit time. I am really enjoying the ease of this pattern and the possible varieties.
In other news: We went to visit my in-laws this past weekend, and being in a shingle induced haze of pain I attempted to start a toe up sock. It was going fine until I realized I must have messed up the cast on stitch count (it was way to small in the toe) so a question for you other sock knitters. Can I not cast on the same number of stitches that I end up with if I were to do cuff down? In other words when I make cuff down socks I decrease at the toe until there are x number of stitches and then seam close. My question is can I not use that x number to cast on if I am to do toe up? Any thoughts? Send me a response in the comments, and you will have my eternal gratefulness.
Well depending on which one you believe, Knit Picks beloved Felici is being discontinued (in fingering weight this time.) Now if you believe some others, all this panic is for naught, because like every year around this time KP is just letting their limited edition colors be snapped up, in anticipation for the newest round of yarn happening in the March/April time frame.
Regardless of the realities, whether you believe rumor A or rumor B the fact remains that at the absolute very least the Felici colors listed on the site are discontinued/limited edition. Now I have a weakness for self striping yarn, I love watching the colors develop, and I will often knit for a longer period because of it ( I am not sure what that says about me being that entertained by a yarn, but let’s save that for another day.) I was fortunate to pick up some Felici a year or two ago in the Botany colorway (pretty fabulous IMO) and made some wonderfully soft socks for me (mine, all mine!) I was also a bit less fortunate to pick up some Felici in the Minty colorway (to be fair I am still utterly in love with it) the unfortunate fact was the yarn had a bit of an extra dye problem and my poor bamboo needles looked pretty gross after I knit with it. Fun side note that yarn ended up getting frogged for a different reason and now it sits in my stash waiting judgement.
Anyway having realized my penchant for self striping and making socks I fell down the rabbit hole and purchased some skeins. To be fair with the exception of maybe one set of skeins the yarn is actually helping me fulfill a New Year’s Resolution (aka have items in a long-range planning box. So come the Holidays I am not running around like a headless bird.)
Of course you do.
Upper Right: Lighthouse (4 skeins)
Lower Left: Foxglove (2 skeins)
Lower Right: Maple (2 skeins)
The colors are a little different from what I expected (what with computer screens and all) but I still think they will be great for LRPP (long-range planned projects.)
Oh and one more note, Warning Enabler Alert: KP is having a sale on the colors right now.
I am here to share a very fond farewell to Ferdinand my rigid heddle loom. He came into my life in December of 2012 and we were happy. I was interested in learning how to weave and he was there at the right time and at the right place. We began as most relationships do, with a wild abandon and a desire to be together at every chance we could get. I managed to produce a handful of scarfs with him, many that were given as gifts and cherished by the recipients. Unfortunately our time together would be brief, the infatuation with weaving waned and I returned to my first loves, spinning and knitting. Poor Ferdinand lived the majority of his life on a shelf in my closet, surrounded by a boxed up wedding dress who was too stuck up to be much company and a variety of books that were left over from my grad school days. He would be picked up and carefully warped and woven on every few months, but his FO’s became more and more infrequent.
In January I knew our time was drawing short. My eyes were already wandering to a new wheel, and I realized Ferdinand would have even less of a shot at getting out much. I made the decision yesterday to look for a new forever home for him. I took him out, dusted him off and removed the WIP that had been there since November of 2013. He was displayed as the beautiful loom that he was and took to his photo shoot like a champ. I posted his details on Ravelry and within an hour I had received word of a potential new home. After working out the details, it was decided Ferdinand would leave my home that evening. With a small sense of sadness at what might have been, he was packed up and taken to the store to be shipped to his new home.
I wish him well, and hope that he and his new owner will be very happy together. As for me, there was a momentary loss but that was replaced by the purchase of a brand new wheel. Details on that once it arrives. For now I just want to say Farewell sweet Ferdinand, farewell.
Shingles watch 2014 is still underway, but thanks to some pain medication it isn’t nearly as bad as it could be. Knitting content is a bit light thanks to the pain/ the fact that I seem to have rubbed my poor finger raw (I knit continental and the yarn crosses over my left forefinger and apparently I have been knitting too much or too tightly and have produced a painfully raw spot.) Rest assured that I have taken necessary steps to help it heal and allow myself to still knit (bandage to the rescue) but I am still refraining a bit from the process.
In an effort to maintain my sanity as well as allow for some creativity I have decided to start prep work for my sister in law’s upcoming baby shower. Now I will be throwing the event (first time for everything) and have decided (because the mom to be gave me the option) on a Savannah kind of theme. Essentially it will be cute little animals, prints and what have you. I am not the world’s biggest fan of pastels nor am I prone to favor the pre-described gender colors, so the Savannah theme seemed like a good way to say “yay baby” without being overwhelmed by pink.
Here are the results of my attempts at wall decorations from last night. They didn’t take very long (maybe an hour at most) and I think they will add a festive addition to the shower.
I ended up having to miss the baby shower this past weekend because (my luck is such that) I ended up getting shingles (again.) So cue me stuck at home, hiding out on the couch as I attempt to distract myself from all that is this mess. I did however finish the baby gifts and thanks to the wonderfulness that is the giant, they were sent out Saturday afternoon and should be winging their way to the mom-to-be as we speak.
If you recall from previous posts I ended up with an adorable little sweater knit out of the (sadly) discontinued Knit Picks Felici sport, in the color way sunny day. I had about three skeins of the yarn remaining and one went to the sweater, and another one ended up going to matching (in color at least) hat and booties. I ended up using a new-to-me pattern for the hat, the Norwegian Sweet Baby Cap with mods by the user sammlyn. I think it turned out pretty good, I ended up tweaking the top just a bit with the decreases.
For the booties I ended up using the old standby of Saarjte’s Bootee pattern. I made the smaller size and omitted one of the straps, and after a little bit of a trial and error because I am apparently unable to read my left from right, I made the straps opposing. They required me to dip into the beginning of the third ball of yarn because I needed the blue to match, but otherwise the hat and booties would have taken a little less than one full skein.
Not too bad considering the time needed for the entire gift, and the end results. I am just hoping the tiny human and her mom enjoy the gift.
I mentioned last week that I was struggling to count and that I may or may not have been getting my butt kicked by a baby sweater. Well dear readers, I am here to tell you that I went to battle and vanquished both foes. My prize?
Well, there seems to be a competition going around in my FO pile, of the cutest thing I have ever knit. You may remember the reigning champ , but it seems a new challenger has entered the arena.
I present to you the challenger: Puerperium Cardigan (ravelry link ) and proof that I can count..sort of.
The sort of? Well it seems that I must have missed a few rows while counting and ended up with the final button being a bit lower than expected, but I actually like it more this way.
Yarn: Knit Picks Felici Sport (Sadly discontinued) in Sunny Day
Needles: US 6
Mods: only the slightly off on the counting for the button holes.
So what say you? Can this upstart defeat the reigning champ? Is this now the cutest thing I have ever knit?
I am back among the living today, whether I really wanted to be or not. I had my first exam in one of the classes that required me to suck it up and head to campus. There may have been a bit of wishful thinking on my part that I would wake up and have an email waiting for me stating that classes had been cancelled from some completely arbitrary reasoning. Alas my wish was not granted and so off I went. This was followed by trekking to my next class of the day. Suffice it to say that I remained wishful that I would be granted reprieve, yet it was not meant to be. That leaves afternoon class and I am starting to think that my wishful thinking is getting me nowhere.
Speaking of wishful thinking, we are finally expected to get snow. Now we have had a few snowfalls since winter began, but for the most part we were fortunate to have missed the majority of the slushy mess. My wishful thinking is that we will either have enough snow to cancel classes (which I am told pretty much never happens at this school) or we don’t get any. I am not the biggest fan of snow, well that’s not true I don’t mind it, when I am able to stay inside my own home and watch it through the windows, otherwise no thanks.
Finally my last bit of wishful thinking, I posted on twitter today (shocking I know…I may fail on the whole tweet thing) that I wish someone would pay me to just stay at home and knit. Now I realize I have spoken on the subject before and commission knitting isn’t always a viable option for people and in reality I am sure at some point I would want to say stop, but right now it sounds like a great thing. I also have this wishful thinking about being paid to write about knitting, but again not a really viable.
Alas I am stuck here wondering about the possible flakes in the sky and wondering just how much wishful thinking would it take?
It’s Day 4 of my self-imposed isolation, due to illness. I have gone out a few times, but not for very long, not for anything interesting. In these past four days I have discovered how annoying it is to be worn out from making the bed (seriously, just making the bed!) I have also discovered that I may be a wee bit over zealous on my whole MUST GET ALL THE THINGS DONE mentality (hence the finding out that I can get tired making the bed.)
Now I like to be productive and I enjoy making lists to help mark this productivity, but unfortunately the past four days has left me woefully (in my mind) behind on things and therefore I am starting to get a little edgy. In my edgy state I would like to share with you a list of some the things that have been brought to my attention.
1. I have been unable to cast on anything. No, that is not true. I have been able to cast on quite a few things, but none of them have worked out, I either can’t count, can’t follow a pattern, or in a wonderful display of intelligence can’t do both. Now I understand this more than likely means that I am just tired, and stressing myself out over nothing. I also understand that there is no point in fighting the
plague part 2 illness that has taken hold, but seriously how hard is it to count to 100?
2. As part of the whole casting on episode(s) I attempted to start another sweater for an impeding tiny human. I had carefully wound the newest skein and was getting ready to cast on, when after a few rounds (of very badly counted stitches) I decided to answer that odd feeling in my gut and triple check the ball band. I almost threw the (badly knit) beginnings of a sweater across the room. The damn yarn which I had spent a good long while in the lys for, was not in fact superwash like I anticipated. (The only upside is the fact that I didn’t have a finished sweater in my hands when I decided to make this trek into wisdom.)
3. I can’t seem to knit a cowl. I have considered making one since it started getting chilly back in freaking October. I tried a few times, but never felt I had the right yarn (whatever that actually meant) I finally picked up some yarn near the beginning of December and was all set to start, and got side tracked by the holidays and finals. Like most of the US, we have been having some serious weather whiplash and during one of the frigid periods I decided I should try my hand at a cowl again. Since being in self-imposed isolation, I have cast on for no fewer than four cowls (and more in terms of attempts on said cowls) with this yarn and the only thing I can say that is remotely positive, is how well the yarn has held up to the punishment.
4. My cats are crazy. To those of you who have fellow feline companions I am sure you can relate. Since being stuck at home, I have become reacquainted with my cats random bursts of energy (at 4 am) and there spontaneous naps (at 4:15 am.) They seem to make it a mission to tag team me awake at random hours for food and then after filling the dish and checking on their various water dishes, they decide to make up for it by attempting to sleep on my pillow, or shove me off the bed by flopping against me.
5. I don’t do sick well…I have been attempting to force myself to just stay on the couch and knit (ha ha, yeah right) or stay in bed and sleep (that one is a little easier) but for the most part I keep thinking of all the things I should be doing. Study for upcoming tests, homework, readings for classes, discussion boards to post on, programs to write, and papers to begin on. The reality is that very few of these things need to be done by this weekend, and none are due today. As someone who hates to be behind, and has found a way of combating procrastination (by working ahead) I am struggling to find that balance between getting it all done and just relaxing. Guesses on which one is winning?
So there you go my whine for this Friday. Thanks to all the well wishes for getting better and for all the lovely comments on the hand spun. I kind of fail at the responding to comments thing, but I do want you to know I read them and enjoy hearing your replies to my ramblings from this little corner of the internet.
I hope you all have a great weekend and stay warm!
It has been over 2 months since I last showed off some hand spun, for those of you new to the blog, you may not have realized that I spin, well I do, and I did fairly recently.
The fiber has been in my stash since June of last year. I bought this yarn at a fiber festival on request from my husband, he was interested in the possibility of a hat or even socks. I was a bit unsure of the possibility of actually spinning the yarn into a viable sock option, so it rested in my stash, waiting.
The motivating factor was born out of a recent development in my spinning life. I decided to sell my dearest little Kromski Prelude, as a way to upgrade to a new (to me wheel.) I placed ads on Ravelry and with the local knitters and crochet guild and it took about a week before anyone even responded. Right now there are a few interested parties, but no firm offers. All of this is a long way of saying the motivation for finally getting this spun up was the fact that I had spun about 1/3 of the fiber before the holidays (way back when) and knew I wanted to knock it out before I ended up selling the wheel.
I decided to take the advice of spinner’s who are far wiser and more experienced than I and branch out a bit. I had some Knit Picks Full Circle roving in the granite colorway and decided it would probably pair pretty well with the smoky (technically potash) of the fiber. So I set about spinning the rest of the fiber shown above. I ended up winding one of the bobbins into a center pulled ball and for the first time ever I tried to make a three-ply yarn.
It wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected, although I did have to keep a better eye on it than I normally do. I ended up not having enough of the Full Circle singles to complete the pile so I finished what I could and transferred it to my niddy noddy and gave it a little bath. The result was better than I hoped. It is right around 180 yards which is quite shy for a pair of socks, but I think I can managed another spin with the remaining Full Circle and hopefully get enough to manage with contrasting cuffs, heels, and toes.
I will have to wait on the whole spinning things, because thanks to the wonder that is my immune system I have been struck down with the plague part 2. This time it is a sinus infection and what has been called possible early stages of pneumonia. I have had to sit out on classes for three days, spending the majority of my time sleeping. Can I just say I think it is ridiculous that I can sleep for close to 16 hours in one day and wake up feeling more exhausted than I did when I first fell asleep? I know, I know the body needs time to heal and rest is the best thing right now. I just feel bad because of the whole missing classes and what not. I also had to cancel plans to hangout with my bestie this weekend, which has left me in a bit of a sour mood.
I have been to the doctor and am on antibiotics, so fingers crossed I start to feel better soon. I have managed to stay relatively on top of my homework, but I still feel like I am falling behind (not true, my husband likes to remind me.) I have made a feeble attempt to relax (when I am not asleep) and have gotten in more than a few episodes of Law and Order (Original.) I haven’t seen the series itself before, I was an SVU fan for the longest time, but fell out of it after a few seasons (reruns for the win!) I am definitely enjoying this version so much more than SVU (don’t tell my old self who definitely had a thing for Stabler) and have really taken to the Executive ADA- Ben Stone from the first four seasons (I am only on season 2, but I know he leaves around season 4.) I think the show is a bit better written, or at least compared to the later episodes of SVU (or as it might need to be called…the Benson show.) Anyway I am still struggling with the whole relax thing, but hopefully it won’t be needed much longer.
Okay back the spinning, pretty no? I like it, and while it was not my smoothest spin (fat and thin for the win?) I thought it produced a nicer yarn over all, so I definitely see more of this type in the future.
The other thing I get to consider in my forced relaxation time, which wheel do I want?
In class the last few weeks I have heard quite a few gems concerning introversion. I thought it might be fun to share some and give you the things I think to myself in response. Because apparently Introversion is:
1.” I am not an introvert, because I’m not afraid of talking to anyone.” Wrong, wrong, wrong. Yes you can be shy if you are introvert, and yes you can be an introvert if you are shy. But you can also be an extrovert and shy or shy and an extrovert. They are two different aspects of personality. On a particularly bad day I felt tempted to respond (but didn’t), “It isn’t that I am afraid of talking to people, I just don’t like to.”
2. “I used to be an introvert, but I realized I needed to just suck it up and talk to people.” This classmate seems to believe that introversion is like a bad habit, something you can change with discipline.
3. ”I am only introverted about a few topics.” Seriously? This goes back to point one, shy does NOT equal introverted. Also introversion is not some random on and off switch. You can’t be introverted about a topic, you can be shy about a topic.
4. “I can’t be an introvert, they are too quiet and never talk.” Because if you are an introvert you never talk? This one bugs me a lot because it implies that introverts are anti-social. The reality of course is that often we don’t want to waste time on inane small talk. Also a lot of us aren’t actually that quiet once we are in a small group.
5. “Everyone seems to be an introvert, all they do is stare at their phones all day.” First off, staring at your phone has nothing to do with being introverted, being hyper-connected and possibly a little addicted to technology does. Secondly, don’t sit there, complain about not being an introvert and WHILE on your phone.
and the last one that just makes me develop a twitch over my left eye.
6.”Being an introvert must be a sad life, they never do anything!” I just…head desk, head desk, head desk. Glad to know my life is sad and boring.
So there you have gems from classmates concerning introversion.
What are some misconceptions you hear about introversion or extroversion that make you cringe a little?