Live and Learn

I made two boo boos with this cardigan.

 

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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.

 

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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.

Interesting Turn of Events

Several months ago, my laptop died on me. It was a Dell Inspiron 17R for the people keeping score. Luckily, I’d backed everything up and had started using my Desktop (Dell Inspiron 560 for those keeping score) by the time the laptop became problematic.

Fast forward to last night. We had a power surge/outage that lasted several minutes. By this time, I’d backed up to various Cloud services and was still in the process of saving to get a new computer. I woke up this morning to the Amber Light of Death. I’m really hoping against hope that this can be fixed by a small replacement part. Otherwise, it’ll be months before I can save up enough money to get a system that can handle my needs.

In other news, my Equality Salsa Garden of Hope is really taking off.

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Seriously hoping that html takes. I am currently working on a tablet and cell phone for all my Internet access. Could be worse. At least I’m not completely cut off.

The Equality Salsa Garden of Hope is currently twenty-four days old. All the plants are growing in a healthy manner and I look forward to having tomatoes and jalapeño peppers in a few more weeks.

Not much else is happening here. It’s hotter than hell, so I’m pretty much staying indoors with my DVD/Blu-ray collection. Going to go downstairs in a bit to watch a marathon of Doctor Who, Marvel movies and whatever else I can pull from my media shelf.

Take care, Peoples of the Sun. 😄💚🌈

Say Hello To My Little Friends

As you can see, I’m making a voodoo doll…no. Just kidding. Actually, this is the as yet unfinished Birthday Buddy Bunny for my little cousin. I’m hoping to get her finished by tonight and mailed off by Saturday. I’m incredibly tired right now though. So, I may have to ship it Priority and hope it gets there on or before her birthday.

 

In other news, my Aerogarden has shown quite significant growth among its plants. It’s almost unrecognizable from three weeks ago. Surprised smile

 

 

The Chives haven’t changed much but everything else is shooting up quite nicely. I will admit to eating a few…or more…of the leaves off of these plants over the past few weeks. Part of it was pruning, part of it was my being hungry. That’s all about to change though.

 

Starting today, I am not going to do anything to the Aerogarden of Hope except give it water. I want to see how far this machine can go as far as sustaining plants. Better to find it out now with the much less fickle herbs than when I get the tomatoes and peppers sitting in the Aerogarden.

 

I did a vlog on the Aerogarden of Hope’s progress tonight but I’m really not happy with the quality of it. So, I’m going to shoot another video tomorrow once I’ve gotten some rest. I’ve been up the past day and a half transferring most of the media on my computer to BD-RE disks. It is exhaustive, mind numbing, boring and tiring work but someone’s got to do it. Now that some 300gb of space is free on my computer, I can relax and enjoy how much more quickly it goes. I can also take my now portable media and look at it on a Bluray player if I so desire to.

 

Is everyone else ready for the upgrade to Windows 10? Apparently, I am. I got a special message from Microsoft offering me the opportunity to upgrade to WinX for free. Yeah, I know. I thought it was a scam or something too but it’s apparently genuine. I guess they got sick of the people holding on to 3.1 all these years. Joke. Hopefully, it won’t be a total cluster… of a situation with the upgrade. Embarrassed smile

 

This is actually the first time I’m keeping up with everyone on an upgrade in Windows. Normally, I stay on an OS version for years…possibly a decade or more. Don’t ask me about Windows 98…please. Crying face

 

Oh yeah….confession time. I recently bought some stuff from Knit Picks. Now, given both my yarn and book diet until 2017, I’m pretty ashamed of myself right now. I was supposed to refrain from buying either of these things until January 2017. The only thing I could have sort of justified was the purchase of the Shawl Pin I got. Though, I’m giving serious thought to re-evaluating this whole Yarn diet thing. I make regular trips very close to my LYS now and it would be a shame to wait until 2017 to go there when they have such good reviews and yummy yarns. So, I think I’m going to cancel the yarn diet and keep the book diet. Party smile

 

Got the Maternal Parental the three part series That’s Entertainment! and it’s a combination birthday/Mother’s day gift. This is her first Bluray.

 

Oh man, I am so tired.

 

Good night, Peoples of the Sun. Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Update On The Birthday Shawl

As you can see, I’ve been quite busy. I went from ten completed rows to twenty-nine. The October Rust Birthday Shawl is coming along quite well in my opinion. In all honesty, I am hoping to have it completed by the end of this month, which would fit quite nicely with my schedule.

 

I have been alternating crocheting this shawl and writing the Untitled Melusine Gordon story while listening to music during the nighttime hours. An odd thing for me, I haven’t felt the urge to turn the television on these past few weeks. That really does make a change from what I’m used to doing. The television is usually my default background noise or high altar depending on what’s on it at the time. Yet, within the past few weeks, I’ve hardly had it on. I’ve been getting my news from the Breaking News App and my weather reports from Accuweather’s App. Could this be one more thing that aging has changed for me? Confused smile

 

Last night into early this morning, I eliminated the adverbs from a part of the as yet untitled Melusine Gordon story. All these years, I’ve been writing with adverbs and weakening my stories in the process. That changes now and it’s thanks to last night’s writing assignment. I will complete the first draft of the story I’m working on now but, in future revisions, I will be eliminating as many adverbs as possible. They are now the enemy to my writing.

 

Tomorrow, I’m considering filming my first proper vlog. I am still unsure about just what I’m going to put in it but tomorrow has presented itself as a good time to do it. I might read from one of my books for part of it. I’m partial to my one Ellis Peters book, The Virgin In The Ice, as a potential filler. It’s semi-historical and it’s a mystery as well as being a very good read. Well, I’ve got the rest of today and early tomorrow morning to figure it out. The finished video should be live by tomorrow night. What on Earth am I getting myself into? *sigh* Embarrassed smile

 

The thing is, I’ve bought the stuff to film with, so I might as well do it. Wish me luck!

 

Later, Peoples of the Sun! Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

How I Lost My Fear of Crafting, Part Two

Note: There was no prompt for me to post this today. I just felt like it. Call it me getting ahead of the assignments, if you will. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do all the daily prompts in addition to the Writing 101 prompts with no problems. Anyway, back to the story.

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One day, around the time of my twenty-fifth birthday, I decided I must learn to knit. By then, we had moved into a stable neighborhood and I was mentally stable even if still ragged around the psychological edges. I had come a long way from near complete mental breakdown up to this point and I was determined to treat myself with a self obtained accomplishment. Knitting was to be this accomplishment even if I had to bleed for it.

 

So, taking my meager savings, I bought a pounder skein of black yarn from Amazon along with the cheapest straight needles I could find. I ended up with a pound of Caron’s One Pound Yarn and a pair of 10” size 8 Susan Bates knitting needles. I was overjoyed to finally have the implements of knitting but I didn’t know the first thing about how to knit. I searched high and low on the internet but to no avail. This was 2006 after all. There was nothing there excepting a few sites and a few videos online.

 

Not having luck with searching online, I decided to go to the library website to see if they had any materials related to knitting. Wow, am I ever glad I did. They not only had materials relating to knitting but they also had an upcoming class at the Catonsville Library being taught by a famous knitting woman. I had no clue who she was but the words “Free Knitting Class” had me rushing to register. Lucky for me, there was still room in the class for a few more people. I was given the requirements for the class as well as the date and time to show up at the Library.

 

I showed up at the appointed time in the neighborhood I was barely familiar with. I was about twenty minutes early, so I spent my time fiddling with my needles and yarn while waiting for class to begin. Once I got the all clear to go to the classroom, off I went to my first lesson with sweaty palms and a leaping frog in my stomach.

 

The class was comprised of all women of varying ages and backgrounds all there for a single purpose: To Knit. One of the Library staff was there to introduce the Famous Knitting Woman whose name I cannot recall beyond “Knight” as her surname. In addition to Famous Knitting Woman, there were three teaching assistants who did most of the teaching.

 

Once everyone had been introduced, class was started. There was a knot in a skein of yarn being use for demonstration purposes and I was given an opportunity to show my party trick of getting near impossible knots out of bits of string. Famous Knitting Woman had gone to retrieve the scissors and before she could make it across the room, I had already gotten the knot out. She could hardly believe her eyes. I just shrugged and said that it was my talent before getting self conscious.

 

The class went well and, after the last two students (a mother and young daughter) showed up, we all settled into casting on the initial stitches. I was so nervous about dropping my needles that I held on for dear life and casted on stitches so tightly, they could scarcely be pierced. After a few tries, I managed to cast on reasonably loose stitches via the Long Tail Cast On and began attempting to knit. Famous Knitting Woman saw how I was knitting with the stitches far from the point and suggested I move them up to the very tip to aid in my knitting becoming speedier. However, I was so nervous, I kept dropping stitches and eventually fell into a habit of keeping them back which has stayed with me even up to today.

 

Soon, the class was coming to its end and Famous Knitting Woman made suggestions of things we should buy, books we should read and tools we should consider acquiring to aid in our progress as knitters. By then, it was dark and, after saying goodbye to everyone, I walked back to the dark bus stop in a daze that I had finally learned something of the basics of knitting. However, on getting home, I began doing something wrong and I knew it but didn’t know how to fix the error. It would be from 20 June 2006 until 6 August 2006 until I finally found a fix for my problem.

 

All during the Summer, I focused on reading knitting books and practicing by knitting on “the Object” until my hands bled. I’m not kidding, my hands got blisters and bled from the amount of practice I got in on those needles and yarn. Yet, try as I might, nothing I did seemed to fix the problem of the extra stitch. I didn’t know what I was doing but, for some reason, I went from ten stitches to eleven and onwards until I had an unwieldy project sitting on my aluminium needles. Still, I kept at it even as my hands bled and my eyes turned bloodshot from so many hours of staring at the same project. I didn’t give up.

 

One day in August, we got a call that my Maternal Grandfather was in the hospital. Apparently, my uncle from my Grandfather’s second marriage contacted the family via my aunt. We were invited to a cookout to give the family a chance to know each other. Less than one week later, my Grandfather was dead from his illness. The stress of having to deal with so much during that time drove me to escape into the world of knitting.

 

Giving up on “the Object”, I searched high and low on the Internet again until I came across the KnittingHelp website. Amy Finlay’s videos quite literally kept me sane as I learned to properly knit for the first time since June. I practiced throughout the night until the morning of the Wake. Once we were at the funeral home, I retreated further into my knitting and managed a pretty decent looking beginner’s scarf. For the first time, but not the last time, knitting kept me from blowing my top at an inappropriate moment.

 

Part Three, the final installment comes tomorrow. Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Keeping Up With It

It is currently three days into this writing project and I’m doing very well. I’ve managed to put something up on my blog for each day of the project. I haven’t missed a day yet and I hope not to miss a day.

 

Today’s prompt included a secondary goal. I am supposed to commit to a writing practice to free write for a minimum of fifteen minutes a day. I think I’m up to doing that. I am familiar with the format of Free Writing, as it is the means I use to write most of my stories. I am hoping to get something coherent out of what I put out. There was also a secondary prompt in that I’m supposed to find a new article to include in a blog post. Oy…

 

In case you were wondering, this is the Free Write for today.

 

I haven’t knitted or crocheted since Sunday. I’m hoping to get something done tonight on the October Rust Birthday Shawl. Picking my brains for words has proved exhausting to say the least. I am thankful that something is coming out. However, it seems to be sapping my creativity in other areas. I’m hoping that tonight will be different.

 

A joyous thing for me, I’ve gotten three series of Knitting Daily (500, 600 and 700) in the mail today with four more (800 through 1100) coming in tomorrow. Thanks to those sales, I got it all for really cheap. I only wanted the first eleven series as I don’t really have a fondness for the format of the show after series 1100. Even with my favorite designers, I couldn’t warm to series 1200 and afterward. So, I’ll be watching my DVD collection for information and inspiration as far as Fiberarts are concerned.

 

Aside from that, I’ve got a tripod and such coming. The tripod is for me so I can do vlogs and upload them to YouTube. Goodness knows why I want to do this, but, for some reason, I want to make video blogs about what it’s like having agoraphobia, bipolar disorder, PTSD, anxiety etc as well as other things in my day to day life. It’ll all be on my YouTube channel for *gulp* everyone to see.

 

Why am I doing this again? Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be stretching my boundaries to further aid my recovery. Crying face

 

Most likely, it’ll be me reading from one or more of my books to start off with. Then, I’ll field questions. Hopefully, I won’t fall flat on my face.

 

Tonight’s agenda is to do the next writing assignment and prompt, do some crocheting, watch some Knitting Daily and get ready for tomorrow.

 

Take care, Peoples of the Sun! Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow