Busy and Learning

I’ve been neglecting this blog. Between all my other obligations and the obligations which have foisted themselves upon my shoulders, I haven’t had much time for the mentally carefree writing I normally do here.

 

*chortling*

 

I currently *shock*gasp*awe* have only two knitting projects I’m actively working on. One is a larger project that I hope to get completed before the end of the year. It’s a sweater for the Maternal Parental of which I am currently into knitting the body portion. I will be knitting the sleeves once I’ve done a few reinforcing rounds in the trunk. The other is the second of two gloves I re-started weeks ago. I have finger number one mostly completed and hope to have this silly thing completed before the end of the week (generous timeframe). Once I’ve completed the gloves, I will get to work…finally…on my much put aside Nomad Hat and Scarf combo.

 

I have so many crafting plans for next year but before I can even think of them, I have to get through this current workload of knitting and crocheting. Party smile

 

In addition to this, I’ve started a blanket for my little cousin. It’ll probably be one of the first things I finish crocheting in the New Year. I’m making another Dreamy Lace Baby Throw in Lion Brand’s Pound of Love/Pastel Green.

 

I’ve also got to make an appropriate gift for my friend and his affianced. They’re both great people and I am overjoyed at their betrothal.

 

I’m in the process of finalizing the knitting/crocheting list but it looks something like this as of right now:

 

  1. Villimarjatar by Elina Urmas
  2. Flax Light by tincanknits (x2)
  3. Ice Queen by Rosemary (Romi) Hill
  4. Ethereal by Lakshmi Juneja
  5. Harvest by tincanknits
  6. Kerti Shawl by Heddi Craft
  7. Bigger on the Inside by Kate Atherley
  8. Lost Souls Skull Shawl by Maryetta Roy
  9. The Hobbit: Bombur’s Travelling Socks by Sue Sedlak

Obviously, this is a lot more Fingering/Sock weight, Lace Weight, and Sport Weight knitting yarn than I’m used to working with. However, I think I’m up to the challenge now given all these years of practice I’ve had. The thing that is honestly giving me the jittery stomach is the whole notion of doing lace knitting. Academically, I know I can do it but there’s something about never having knitted a complete lace project that eats at you.

 

I don’t know. I’ll get it done somehow.

 

I also have plans to increase my weaving and sewing in the New Year. I plan on, somehow, getting my hands on a bolt of Muslin and sewing in practice mode until I fully get the gist of it. Practice makes perfect. With the weaving, I don’t know what I’m going to do with the end results but something is getting completed. I suppose it depends on how well they’re received. I wouldn’t mind making a project bag for myself or something like that.

 

I think I’ll also go for making a pair of socks a month. It is low impact enough as to not interfere with my other knitting and crocheting while giving me the benefit of socks for my hobbit feet.

 

At the risk of making this a three day post, I think I’d better stop here. I do have a tendency to ramble.

 

Until the next time, have a safe and fantastic journey around the Sun. Take care, my friends. Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Chaotic…

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I’ve been pretty busy recently but this chaotic mess on my computer table is my unfinished set of gloves. As you can see, I’m working on finger number two, the ring finger, of this left handed glove. My idea for the pattern, such as it is, is to alternate the colors for the fingers. I’m not very fond of working with DPNs but will do it if necessary. I much prefer to use my fixed circular needles. However, the size I need for this project is engaged with another project at the present. Even so, I’m going to get these and the hat done before November because I must.

I have been very ill and only half engaged in day to day life. Which is not a good combination. I am actively recovering from a very bad cold while essentially holding down the fort for just about everything else. This has given me no time to rest and exacerbated the cold into bronchitis. These past few months have been a lot of pain and very little fun. It has pretty much been a plethora of doctors appointments and traveling around on the bus (how I got the cold) from place to place to place. I’m not going to dwell because it is too depressing.

I’ve decided that I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this year. To be honest, after the last two Camp NaNoWriMo failures, I was considering not doing it. Then, a story idea came to me and bopped me over the head with an admonishment to get thee to the dashboard. So, I’ve got my cover art done and a working title. All I need do is write the darn thing. Who knows? Perhaps this will be the time I finish a story rather than drag it out for several years. I hope so at any rate.

I appear to be working on a blanket the Maternal Parental is supposed to be working on. She made it known that she wanted a Granny Square blanket and sought my help in making said blanket. Given that I am eager to have a crafting buddy, I was willing to teach. However, she seems to be most unwilling to learn.Of the one hundred thirty five squares she’s supposed to crochet up, I’ve done nine. I get bored waiting for her to come learn how to crochet when I can find the time. So, I end up crocheting a few blocks to fill the otherwise wasted time.

I’m getting really tired of people taking advantage of my skills and good nature. I am not crocheting another block until she picks up the hook and does nine blocks herself to match my own work. If she doesn’t, then that’s 3,060 yards of yarn sitting there collecting dust.

I really need to crack open a few books. I am desperately behind in my Goodreads reading list quota. I am eight books behind schedule with exactly eight books in my queue. Things in my life have been so hectic recently that I haven’t had time to read much beyond day to day life reading. Sitting down with a good book has been a luxury I haven’t been able to afford. That changes tonight, I’m going to knit and read at the same time. I hope I don’t mess anything up in the process.

For languages, I am now learning two languages instead of one. While practicing German last night, I thought to myself that I wasn’t stretching myself as far as I could linguistically. So I decided to open up a Spanish language tree on Duolingo. I’ll also be purchasing a Spanish/English Dictionary when next I can find the money. Admittedly, this is the more practical of the languages I’ve attempted. Especially now.

Well, I’d better get to knitting and reading. I’m going to be diving into Singer: The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing by Nancy Langdon for my first choice. I hope to finish my gloves at the same time I finish this book.

Until the next time, have a safe and fantastic journey around the Sun. Take care, my friends. Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Finished My Second Sweater!

I’ve blocked it and it is currently drying out now. This is what it looked like when I first finished it though.

 

2018-09-03 17.37.30

It still looks more pink than the wine color it actually is. Oh well. I think it will actually fit the intended recipient too. Which is a positive. I would have been highly disappointed to do all that knitting only to have the item not fit. I started this sweater on 11 July and finished it today, 3 September. I think I can do better with the timing but other than that, no complaints.

 

Which brings me to the next item on my agenda. My hat, scarf, and gloves. You know, after buying the magazine which featured the pattern for this hat/scarf set, I actually had the nerve to get cold feet about knitting the Nomad Hat and Scarf? Then I thought to myself…what am I going to do with all this yarn I stashed away for the specific purpose of making this hat?

 

I am making the gloves first using the Men’s Convertible Gloves and Thumbs pattern by Steph Thomson for the sizing. With the right needle size, they fit my hands…well, like a glove. Having large hands makes it difficult for me to find a good pattern in women’s sizes, so I usually go for a men’s medium to large to compensate.

 

Anyway, this set of winter accoutrement is going to be very interesting. I’m starting the gloves off with mostly black but the fingers are going to be alternating colors with my standard black thumbs. The colors I’m using are Lion Brand’s Superwash Merino Cashmere in Green Tea, Wine, Black and Knit Picks in Wine Tasting. The hat will reflect this as best as I can manage but, as I have to hold the yarn double on larger needles, I don’t know how much yarn there will be to go around. The Lion Brand’s Superwash Merino Cashmere was discontinued years ago.

 

If I make a dog’s breakfast of it all, I’ll just frog the hat and reknit it as something more simple.

 

I made a little pledge to my good friend when telling him of my plans for the next few months. Once I get these two projects out of the way, I’m not going to knit for a while. Instead, I’m going to focus on my sewing skills. I’m really learning a lot from my studies but I feel as though my time is fragmented into too many segments for me to focus on any one thing for long enough to properly retain skills. So, I’m going to rework my schedule. Anything that hasn’t gotten my focus is getting eliminated. Anything I’m doing well enough in is getting more focus. So, German is going to get more time while other things will be replaced.

 

In the realm of the Aerogarden, I’ve eliminated the Basils and put the Spearmint in a cup to sit with the other potted plants. I’m really hoping that it’ll survive but if it doesn’t, I can always buy more seed and grow it in my windowsill. In place of the herbs, I am growing yellow tomatoes. They’re called Patio Choice Yellow and I’m looking forward to tasting them. They’ve got a forty-five day maturity rate.

 

Not much else is happening in my home. I’m listening to and liking a band that came up on a YouTube recommendation the other day. I’m hoping to get to see them in concert in November when they come to DC. It is rare for me to feel compelled to see someone in concert. They’re that good though.

 

My legs are swelling up like tree trunks but that’s not really good news or fun, so I won’t focus on that.

 

If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go onto YouTube and watch Beginner’s Guide to Sewing. Until the next time, have a safe and fantastic journey around the Sun. Take care, my friends. Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Sunday Random Ramblings

So, having many other things on my plate and not a lot of time to get them accomplished, I decided to cast on for this baby sweater on 11 July 2018. In truth, I don’t think it’s going to fit the intended recipient but it has been cathartic knitting on this adorable little thing.

 

The pattern is the Flax Sweater from Tin Can Knits, I just omitted the garter stitch panels on the sleeves to speed up the knitting process. The yarn is Swish Worsted from Knit Picks in the colorway Bordeaux which reads as pinkish on my monitor for some reason. It is actually a purple/wine color.

 

2018-07-16 23.05.11

 

In the Aerogarden, I have three Basils and a Spearmint. I’m giving serious consideration to taking cuttings of these, letting them go to seed, growing them in my window or under a grow light and replacing them with edible flowers. They’re lovely plants and I enjoy the mint tea immensely but they’ve been in for ninety-two days now and there is a bit of Basil fatigue. I forgot how quickly hydroponically grown herbs grow despite regular cuttings.

 

I’m considering growing Nasturtiums as a replacement or something new that I haven’t grown before. At this point, I’m open to suggestions on what to grow.

 

2018-07-21 14.09.43

 

In other news, the leg/feet swelling finally has a diagnosis. Chronic Venous Insufficiency. Yay, not. I have to see a specialist for multiple visits to treat this issue. While I’m happy to finally know what’s causing all the problems, I am greatly disturbed at the prospect of surgery however minor upon my person. Yet, pain is the greater motivator and it hurts like everything when my lower extremities swell up. This diagnosis is in addition to the bilateral bonespur/Plantar Fasciitis issue. Don’t you wish you were me? *duck lips* AnnoyedSarcastic smile

 

Thankfully, one of the treatments is something I was already doing prior to the mega-swell up event from a few weeks ago. I will be resuming walking my eight plus miles five out of seven days a week within one week. Party smile

 

Until the next time, have a safe and fantastic journey around the Sun. Take care, my friends. Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Facing Fears – Trying On A Different Hat

I have two things I’m reticent to face. Dating and self improvement. As an agoraphobic with a host of other issues, it has been difficult to do more than basic things to put me on the road to where I’d ideally like to be.

So, I’m going to face my fears. I have been approached by someone who is way beyond my capacity to imagine as a potential partner. Yet, they genuinely appear to be interested and, unlike normal, don’t seem to want to attempt taking advantage of myself or my situation.. Instead of running away from it, I’m going to run cautiously toward this and see what happens.

 

With regard to my own social and academic self-improvement, that’s a bit more problematic but the very least I can do is take the first steps towards clearing the way for me to further myself in this goal. As I examine the possible consequences of any action I take, I realize that what really is stopping me is fear. Fear of failure and of getting even worse in my conditions as a result of my own actions and in both instances that fear is prevalent and justified. In my particular case, a fear of destabilizing the calm and order I’ve managed to maintain for so long is also present and causes a blockage when I think on plans of the future. I want to move beyond this into a more productive and fertile phase. It’s quite a catch-22 to deal with. Yet, without risk, I won’t have the rewards I desire.

Plus, I have my own past history to consider. I slowly, with a little help from my friend, a Home Health Aid, and a lot of writing, worked myself out of being housebound agoraphobic after three years of isolation. That’s something to be proud of.

 

Until the next time, have a safe and fantastic journey around the Sun. Take care, my friends. Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Finished the Sweater!!!!!

2018-07-03 11.58.43

 

So yeah, consider this one completed. I actually finished it at 11 AM on 1 July 2018.

 

I really enjoyed knitting this Flax Sweater. While it took me some time due to the amount of yarn I had to use and other projects which got between myself and the knitting of the garment, I managed to get this done before a year was up. Only just but still. It fits perfectly too. Tin Can Knits design team really know their stuff and I highly recommend The Simple Collection pattern bundle for anyone who wants to learn to knit and/or who wants to knit a sweater.

 

Of all the Tin Can Knits patterns, this is the list of those sweaters I’d like to make the attempt at knitting at some point in the not too distant future:

Flax Light
Spotlight
1999
Harvest Cardigan
Prairie Fire
Lush
North Shore
Britannia

 

This is the list of shawls:

Estuary
Botany
Photosynthesis
Sunflower

 

This is the list of socks:

Seawall
Rye
Granola
Winding Way

 

This is the list of hats:

Precipitation
Prism
Gather
Apple Pie

 

This is the list of blankets:

Malt
Pop
Waffles

 

All of this is contingent upon my completion of my main goal for this year:

 

The Find Your Fade Shawl

 

This is one I’m not giving away. I previously gave all my former shawls to The Maternal Parental. However, if I’m putting weeks to months into this one…no, just no. I’m going to be selfish. Devil

 

I’d also like to finish knitting my two pairs of socks, Eris and Harmonia, I’m knitting on two circular needles. In addition to this, I would like to knit a baby Flax sweater as a sort of review of everything I’ve learned over the past ten months.

 

On the Crochet front, I would like to complete the Hobbes dolls I promised as gifts a lifetime ago it seems. I keep oscillating on who to give the last doll to. I may just keep it for myself. After all, I have wanted one and I keep putting off the making of mine for the benefit of others. Maybe it’s time I thought of my own needs and wants for a change. Ten to one, someone will tug at my heart strings and that doll will go flying out of this place.

 

I also have plans to make another Granny Square Blanket. I’m definitely going to do Granny’s A Square. However, I’m doing mine with an abundance of Lion Brand’s Fisherman’s Wool. I only have about five skeins of Lion Brand’s and no money to burn at present. Plus, with my stance on using only natural fibers, I’m not likely to get the range of colors I want at an affordable price unless I dye them myself. Which I can do. It’s just that the expense of buying the yarn is also prohibitive unless I can get the yarn on super deep sale conditions.

 

I do have that remaining Wool of the Andes sweater wool sitting in my yarn bin. I also have one of the hanks  I dyed previously sitting in the yarn bin. In total, this brings my yarn cache for the blanket up to 3,382.5 yards of yarn. That includes 825 yards of Wool of the Andes, currently 232.5 yards of Redshift (my own solid color dye experiment), and 2,325 of Lion Brand’s Fisherman’s Wool in the Natural colorway. I need around 4,360 yards of yarn for this to work, meaning I’ll need to get 977.5 more yards either dyed or repurposed for this monumental task.

 

So, this may, in fact, turn out to be a Frankenblanket. I’m just itching to do another one and complete it within a rational amount of time and this time I promise to weave in the ends. Plus, I love the pattern.

 

Assuming I decide not to go with the Frankenblanket, the numbers work out a bit differently. To ensure longevity in the crocheting, I’d need to dye two skeins per color which should give me an extra 2,150 yards of yarn to, I don’t know, make accessories? Give away? It’d be interesting to see.

 

However, for reasons of practicality, I think I will go with Frankenblanket for this particular project mainly due to the fact that I already have a bunch of wool at the ready. I was going to make a Frankensweater or something out of it but this is just as good and like with my first blanket, it’ll be a reminder of the projects I worked on, dyeing techniques I taught myself, etc.

 

I need to iron out more details such as which colors I’m using and in what combination. I want to be completely happy with my creation.

 

It has been a rather long day, to the point where this blog post had to be broken up into chunks. I’m going to eat dinner and then, try to get some rest.

 

Until the next time, have a safe and fantastic journey around the Sun. Take care, my friends. Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Ridiculously Happy

First things first. I’m almost finished my Flax Sweater, Mir Ist Kalt.

 

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I am a little further along in the cuff but this is sleeve number one in the process of being knitted to completion. As I said in the title, I am ridiculously happy over this. It has been nearly a year since I started this wool sweater and I’ve had relationships fail, other projects peter out, trials, tribulations, ups and downs, but I have been steadfast in my goal of knitting this Flax sweater.

 

I am so enamored with Sweater knitting now that I want to make at least one a year.

 

Onto other things. I am again participating in Camp NaNoWriMo. This time, it will be for the month of July. I am going for fifty-thousand words added to my most recent NaNo endeavor and I’m hopeful that this time there will be no distractions. I love the story I’m writing and I’d really like to finish it.

 

In the tradition of my NaNo experience, I have also posted a story to a site in anticipation of writing non-stop again. It is one of my older stories, started in 2007 and completed in 2015 after the worst case of Writer’s Block I’ve ever experienced. I cleaned it up a bit from the original finished product so that it would be accepted for publication on the site I submitted it to and it was accepted.

 

This is technically my second story on the site. I had  the first removed out of an abundance of caution over the possibility that the subject matter might have been divisive.

 

In other news, I am meeting a new friend today. So, the Agoraphobia is taking a good kick to the teeth and an uppercut to the jaw. I am hopeful that this new friendship will flourish as a result of our meeting. He seems like a nice person from our conversations. Only time and meeting can tell.

 

In a furtherance of pain for the Agoraphobia, I will be attending a concert at one of my local Libraries. A band called SandJoe Productions is performing tonight. I’ve never heard of them before but the fusion blend of Reggae and Jazz sounds like it’ll be a cool experience. I’m looking forward to this new experience.

 

Last but not least, I finally fixed my old Laptop. I’m currently installing updates until I can get an OS installation for it that’s more modern. I’m on the fence between keeping Windows and trying out Ubuntu. I will have to see what my options are.

 

Until the next time, have a safe and fantastic journey around the Sun. Take care, my friends. Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow