Mir Ist Kalt and Other Quandaries

Wow, I’ve been away for some time. Well, “away” is the wrong word. Preoccupied is more appropriate.

 

I’ve had my plate pretty full during these past few months. Between making the Hobbes dolls, knitting for myself, crocheting for charity, sustaining my relationships with my guys, and learning German, I’ve barely had time to eat, let alone do anything else.

 

2017-06-30 20.24.38

The Hobbes dolls are slowly being made. As I get a visit from one of the recipients, I complete one. It isn’t due to boredom that these are getting done so slowly but more due to preoccupation with the other subjects. I also may need more orange yarn. I think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew but I’m still, stubbornly, trying to make it all work out for the best.

 

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Mir Ist Kalt is my new blue sweater, though I am not directly knitting on it right now. This is due to the lack of a long enough circular knitting needle with which I may try the sweater on as I knit. The pattern I’m using is by Tin Can Knits and its called Flax. I’m hoping to get my new 60 inch needles by the thirteenth and get back to knitting on that same day. I am presently still knitting the yoke stitches.

 

 

2017-07-10 14.25.08

Between Duolingo, books from the Library, my translation dictionary, and (to a lesser extent) Memrise, I’ve been really drilling the German language into my head. Thankfully, unlike past adventures with languages, this time, it has been sticking. I have only missed three days out of seventy-seven. I consider that a pretty good record. I just hope I can keep up the pace and continue to learn. I want to take classes at some point but I am struggling to find the money. I am hoping that one of those legendary Medical/Clinical/Research studies that pay a lot of money will present itself to me so I can test my abilities and, hopefully, grow in my learning capacity.

 

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Charity wise, I am so far behind. While I am on hiatus for the sweater, I am crocheting this scarf. When I am crocheting the Hobbes dolls, to give myself a break, I plan on crocheting these scarves. When I am in the street, running various errands, I am meant to crochet still more scarves. In a few weeks, I hope to have at least twenty of them to turn in to the charity contact person, if not more. My deadline for this particular project is the end of October. At present, I have one completed and this pink one on the hook. Sisyphus is pushing that boulder uphill in my mind. Nevertheless, I am determined to do this.

 

Not only will I be giving to charity, but I’ll also be clearing my yarn of acrylics, thus enabling me to fulfill my promise of using only natural fibers in my knitting and crocheting. It’s also one hell of a destash if I can get it done like I want to.

 

NaNoWriMo is getting closer and I am still no closer to an idea for this year’s story. I am thinking of delving into my own life either past or present, but I’m wary of digging up emotional landmines I’d rather not deal with. So, I think, if nothing comes to me, I will be delving, just for the sake of change and challenge. Heck, it would be cheaper than therapy. Rolling on the floor laughing

 

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

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Summer WIP Frogging

Apparently, I’m driven to eliminate languishing WIPs and destash my hoard of yarn. Why, I don’t know but it appears to be happening and I’m being quite cut throat, where before I was quite sentimental about my Works In Progress.

 

My listing:

 

Blodeuwedd The Hat for me
Little Boy Blue Blanket (Loading…45%)
Cosmos Doily Madness: Doily Three (Loading…95%)
Child-bearer’s Cardigan (Frogged)
Boba Fett Amigurumi Doll
Rose Doily #804
Bigger on the Inside Shawl
Gloves for myself
Villimarjatar Shawl (Frogged)
Large Pineapple Doily (Loading…50%)
Monster Slippers for Valerie
Volunteer Scarves
Volunteer Baby Hats (Loading…5%)
Cardigan of the Progenitor (Loading…16%)
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Hobbes – Yay! (Loading…53%)

 

If you’re wondering why I’m making five Hobbes dolls, it is due to the fact of a promissory backlog. I promised four people Hobbes dolls as gifts and figured there was no time like the present when, on hearing that the Pharmacy Delivery Driver’s birthday was upcoming, the Maternal Parental begged me to make him a Hobbes doll in appreciation. She actually pleaded with me to put aside the work I was doing on her cardigan and get working on the Hobbes doll as soon as possible.

 

So, knowing that I had this backlog growing, I figured I’d eliminate them all at once. I’m currently 53% completed with this task. At this point, I can do this pattern in my sleep, which is good because I have been falling asleep at the desk while working.

 

Onto Villimarjatar. I initially tried to make this shawl in a sock yarn. Until I saw an episode of Fruity Knitting where Romi Hill was interviewed, I was fully prepared to knit eight hundred yards into my shawl using said yarn despite being unhappy with the look of my progress. Let’s hope that the new yarn I’ll be using works more effectively.

 

The reclaimed sock yarn will be going into two projects. One cake will go into the Syncopation socks. The other cake will join my first attempt at Doublefun socks. I’ve been looking forward to making the Doublefun pattern for some time now. Some of the remainder may go into my take on the Find Your Fade shawl. We’ll see.

 

Into the destashing, one of my relatives has decided to rekindle her knitting skills and was fully prepared to go up to Joann’s to buy supplies with which to do so. I just couldn’t allow that seeing as I’ve got all this yarn and all these needles that hardly get use. So, I made her up a box that will, hopefully, make her happy.

 

What made me happy was, on seeing the depth and breadth of the box, the Maternal Parental decided that she wanted a batch of yarn as well. I really hope she means it this time. If they both keep at it, I’ll give them the more expensive yarns once I’ve fully divested of the less costly product. More people need to be knitting, crocheting, and weaving. That’s my philosophy.

 

My other philosophy is that, shock and awe, I’m moving away from acrylic. The more I work with wool and other natural fibers, the more I want to. Also, there is the environment to consider. Wool and natural fibers are…natural and biodegradable. As much as I like being the Empress of Economy, acrylic costs the environment in the long run even if it saves me money in the short term. So, in future, if I do buy acrylic yarn, it’ll most likely be a colorful wig project someone commissioned me for. Which is to say…not very likely.

 

About the only other thing on my RADAR is a story idea creeping on the periphery of my conscious thoughts. I dream it just fine but when I wake, the dream is gone from my mind like someone erased it. I’m determined to bang something out on this keyboard over the next few days. So, one way or another, something is getting into my OO.o Writer.

 

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

But Wait… There’s More

So, I’m already determined to do the Craft Yarn Council correspondence courses. However, the more I read into it (and believe me, I have been reading into it!), the more beneficial it appears to be for me to join The Crochet Guild of America and The Knitting Guild Association because…Networking opportunities and Discounts on all the courses.

 

They also have Master level courses in their respective craft’s proficiency. I would do well to take these courses too. While I get a lot of crafting in, and could certainly practice on my own, having a structured learning environment and someone to ask questions of would be very helpful for my academic growth and professional development. These courses offer both, as well as the Networking opportunities that someone just starting out would definitely need.

 

There’s also the social aspect. I’d finally have a group of people to hang around who share similar interests in Fiber Arts. That is to say outside of the realm of the Internet. I am determined to get this done, one step at a time, and successfully complete these goals. Then, and only then, I will take the Craft Yarn Council’s correspondence courses.

 

Again, this comes back to the big question: Cashy money. Barring supplies for the tests (assuming they don’t provide supplies), I’m just going to have to cut corners somewhere (mirthless chuckle) in order to provide the application fees for these courses.

 

My best bet is to start putting myself out there for neighborhood chores or something. I also have the ability to make afghans and blankets now. Those usually fetch a good price. I’ll just come up with my own take on a simple design like a Granny Square blanket or something.

 

You know, it is times like these that I wish I knew how to effectively knit fine lace? That never goes out of style. One shawl could go a long way towards paying for all of these classes.

 

I am determined to get these goals achieved. So, they will be achieved. Until the next time, have a safe and fantastic journey around the Sun. Take care, my friends. Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

The Colors of the Best Laid Plans…

In Love With Color Throw

First, let me get this out of the way. I’ve finally completed the In Love With Color Throw designed by Jessie Rayot. This pattern took me a total time of six months to make. I got most of it done from 25 November 2016 through 31 December 2016. That was me crocheting the motifs. I then put this WIP down and didn’t pick it up again before May, when the bug finally bit me to get it completed.

 

At first, I was going to whipstitch it together but my more exhausted nature got the better of me and I single crocheted it all together instead. From there came the epic long crocheting of the border rounds. I love this pattern so much! I was up for three and a half days just non-stop crocheting. I was anxious to get it done. I watched documentary after documentary and podcast after podcast on YouTube to get me through. Finally, on the 13th of May, it was completed. Yay.

 

I can’t wait to do the next one. Rolling on the floor laughing

 

Not much else is happening in the Realm of KaliTime. As I said earlier, I have been getting into YouTube more. I may even make a video. Who knows?

 

I’m back to volunteering. Though I will not say where. Technically, I am volunteering at four places. I am waiting for the call from one of the places. Two of the places are pretty much Homebound stuff that I, as a (struggling to not be an) agoraphobic can do with ease. It is mostly knitting and crocheting. The other two places are Brick and Mortar, so to speak, and I’m actually excited about participating with them.

 

Something did come up recently that made me give a second thought to an old idea I’d brushed aside as irrational years ago. I was watching a podcast interview where the interviewee mentioned the teaching certification classes offered by the Craft Yarn Council. I had considered doing this years ago but, due to my notoriously low self-esteem, I immediately pushed the idea away and went for everything else despite everything else not being as suitable. My self-esteem is better now. I’m not doing the Can-Can on a high-wire but I’m not in the dumps either.

 

So, I’m going to save up and do the correspondence courses.

 

I look at it like this:

  • It will be skills under my belt.
  • It will be bankable money.
  • I can work my own hours.
  • I can choose my own clientele.
  • I can get a job at a yarn store.
  • It’ll be enriching mentally.
  • It’ll be a challenge intellectually.
  • It’ll be psychologically boosting.
  • It’ll expand my skills.

 

Now, I just have to find a way to pull this money together.

 

I think that might be enough writing for me tonight. As I mentioned previously, not much has been happening in my life. I’ll come back when something more has happened to warrant writing. Until the next time, have a safe and fantastic journey around the Sun. Take care, my friends. Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Getting Out More

I should preface this with two points.

 

One, I am Agoraphobic. It is not something I choose to do. It is something that hits me like a ton of bricks, usually when I least expect or want it to interfere in my life. I’ve gotten used to it limiting my social life but I’ve been fighting it every step of the way and I’m slowly making progress in the endeavor to defeat this condition.

 

Two, since my father’s death and funeral last year, I’ve been isolating in a major way. Which is interesting because he was much the same in that he isolated from social contact, despite being a reverend.

 

So, yesterday was very good, in that I managed to make it to the meeting of the organization I previously wrote about in the last entry. It was unlike anything I had ever been to before. Everyone was so kind, so warm. It was great to be surrounded by people who weren’t in religious sledgehammer conversion attack mode.

 

I’ve got to say it. I’m really looking forward to attending more talks at this place. It was most invigorating.

 

Also, I was recommended another group of Secular people by a member of this first group. So, I will be getting out quite a bit over the next year. At least, I hope so.

 

Onto other things, I’m having second thoughts about the possibility of volunteering for NAMI. I don’t think it would be a good fit for me after all. Does anyone know of a secular to neutral Mental Health support group looking for volunteers?

 

So, that leaves the Library and, hopefully, a yarn shop. I’ve also found a few more opportunities on VolunteerMatch but they’re a good distance away from where I live. I don’t want to offer myself for something and then be unreliable about getting there. Only a few “in person” positions are open to someone with my skillset. I’m already in one “virtual” volunteer position and I’m teetering on the fence about another.

 

So, Hidden Figures is now in Theaters. I am going to find a way to see this movie. It isn’t often that I actually want to go to the theater to see a movie. There were few to no role models of a contemporary nature for kids like me when I was going to school. If knowledge of the NASA Computer Program had been general knowledge and taught about in schools, I guarantee you, it would have made a difference in a lot of lives.

 

It would have showed the disbelieving people who mocked those with dreams that people can achieve their goals. It would have given people with goals and dreams something to aspire to outside of the usual channels. My hope is that this movie has a positive impact on people and changes their minds regarding preconceptions they may have.

 

I have to go now. My Aerogarden supplies came and the Mega Cherry Tomatoes are starting to flower again. They have to go. Now. I’m going to install the Sweet Pickle Organic Peppers today.

Later. Have a fantastic day.

New Year, New-ish Things

A modified list of projects. I’ve removed the projects marked completed and deleted. Now, my mission is to finish these off. At the end of last year, I busted out a quick Valentine Teddy Bear with Heart Shaped feet, called Bertie the Bear, for my neighbor, on the occasion of her birthday. I’m not going to include it in this listing as it was finished prior to the New Year.

 

Mommy Sox Junior (Loading…)
Plastic Fantastic socks for myself
AHA Little Hats, Big Hearts Project
Blodeuwedd The Hat for me
Little Boy Blue Blanket (Loading…)
Cosmos Doily Madness: Doily Three (Loading…95%)
Child-bearer’s Cardigan (Loading…messed up but still loading at 90%)
Boba Fett Amigurumi Doll
Yoda Amigurumi Doll
Rose Doily #804
In Love With Color Throw (Loading…90%)
Bigger on the Inside Shawl
Gloves for myself
A scarf for myself
Villimarjatar Shawl (Loading…)
Large Pineapple Doily
Monster Slippers for Valerie
Socks for The Maternal Parental x4
Socks for Myself x4
A Shawl of my own design
Wings for Nightbird Shawl
Dragon egg
Hobbes doll for April
Inishturk Sweater x2
Long Weekend Cardigan
Simple Shells Cowl
Fan Lace Tunic
Revontuli -huivi/Northern Lights Shawl
Scrap Yarn Shiver Stopper 2017

After six months of growing and four months of harvesting, I am taking down the Mega Cherry Tomatoes. Aside from the fact that I’m allergic to tomato plants and have been sneezing up a storm since they’ve grown, I’m just ready for a change. So, I have ordered the needed parts, that being the filters and plant spacers. Everything else, the Grow Your Own kit, the Liquid Nutrient, the seeds, etc. are all here already. All I need do is clean the Aerogarden out on the ninth, when I get the remaining supplies, and set the new garden up.

 

This next garden, I’m planning on leaving in for quite a while. Actually, I may leave it in for upwards of a few years, if the plants last that long. Things in the Pepper family are supposed to last a while and Sweet Pickle Organic Pepper looks like a good plant to have growing for a long period of time.

 

In addition to all the things I’ve been focused on doing, I’m also adding the title of “tutor” to the mix. The Maternal Parental, apparently, wants to learn about computers (again), so I’m going to teach her everything I know about Computer Know-How, Getting on the Internet, etc. She was supposed to take classes at the Library but, owing to a previous day’s extended exposure to the extremely cold temperatures, she was unable to find the strength to get to the class the following morning.

 

Hopefully, I can come up with a lesson plan that is good for her. One that will enable her to learn and take charge of her own learning.

 

As if my plate weren’t full enough, I’m also going to begin attending meetings at a local organization that matches my philosophical beliefs, or at least seems to. We’ll see how much we actually gel once I get there. If we all do get along, it’ll be nice having good, secular voices to talk with for a change. Being agoraphobic and cooped up with someone who is, shall we say, religiously obsessed, is a bit on the tedious side.

 

My problem isn’t with the religious aspect. I’m fine discussing religion as I am fine discussing non-religious subjects. However, when one begins using it as a sledgehammer to try to convert people one feels aren’t living up to the ideals according to ones own beliefs, then we have a problem. I’ve stated myself as plainly as I could regarding not joining a religion, not having a specific belief structure, etc. but it is still attempted, in spite of my kindness or perhaps because of it. I don’t want to be rude or derisive but it is irksome to keep getting that.

 

In trying to understand, I’m guessing that, perhaps, people have an idealized vision of what I should be like, based on stereotypes and assumptions, and balk when I don’t fit the mold of what they think someone like myself should act like. Well, limiting expectations have never been my cup of tea.

 

Another “as if my plate weren’t full enough” thing is actually mentioned in the listing of knit and crochet projects in a sort of roundabout way. I’m getting back into volunteering. In this era of fear and greed, I need to do something brave and selfless with my time to counterbalance the aforementioned. I’m looking for “out of the house” positions but I am not opposed to doing an “work from home” position if it does good works and keeps me busy.

 

Right now, I’m making baby hats for the American Heart Association’s Little Hats, Big Hearts drive. Basically, you make a lot of little red hats for babies, send them in before the deadline, Lather, Rinse, Repeat. I am fully prepared for the making of hats in 2017. I have a skein of Lion Brand’s Pound of Love yarn in Cherry Red and a few patterns with plans to get more of both. I actually love making little hats. Squeeeeeeee!

 

Other volunteer positions I’m looking at but still on the fence about are NAMI, the Library, and a few local yarn shops (if they’ll take me!), etc.

 

Speaking of the Library, I’m upping the ante on my Korean Language learning saga. Up until now, I’ve been learning words and a few phrases. I just put a bunch of language Audiobooks on hold at the Library so I could not only study the language more but also so I could learn sentence structure. My next step, after this, is going to H-Mart to get a newspaper to study.

 

Well, I think that’s enough writing for one day. I have a lot to do and not much time in the day to do it.

 

Have a fantastic New Year. Later!

Live and Learn

I made two boo boos with this cardigan.

 

2016-10-12 20.20.18

Brace yourselves.

 

I didn’t check my gauge. I have two Knit Checks and I didn’t bother because I usually always make gauge. As far as I can tell, I did this time as well but, when making garments, especially when so much effort is invested, it’s a good idea to take the time to make sure everything matches up.

 

The second thing I think must have happened was the omission of some pattern repeats in the pattern itself. This cardigan is tiny. It would barely fit on a six year old child. I’m thinking of dressing it up as a “play coat” and giving it to the neighbor’s granddaughter. Prior to this epic fail in fashion, I’d never made a cardigan before. However, I have made shawls. Something about the rhythm of the pattern screams out for a multi-row pattern repeat or two.

 

My suspicions about this are even further validated by the sheer length of the other cardigans made by fellow members on Ravelry. One couldn’t possibly block something out to those dimensions without there being more than was written on the paper.

 

So, lessons learned. I am, instead, focusing on making myself (what I hope will be) a quick shawl before NaNoWriMo begins. I need a crocheting accomplishment prior to writing. It’s going to be one of my NaNo traditions. Since the cardigan didn’t do it for me and I am sick to tears of sweaters right now, I am focused on making the Sidewalk Shawl. Yet, I’m also wacky and complex. So, I’m making the shawl in Knit Pick’s Diadem Solid fingering weight yarn. Weeks from now, the avalanche of “I told you so” messages will be unwieldy.

 

2016-10-14 15.03.23

 

I’m going to get back to crocheting now. Getting this shawl done will free my mind up to be creative in writing. At least, that’s the hope.

 

Thank you for reading. Have a fantastic day.