The Horror…

I’m back to posting on my Language Practice Blog. I would like to apologize in advance for my horrible translations of the German language. At the very least, I’ve gotten the essen/fressen thing down to memory. I won’t make that mistake again… Embarrassed smile

 

My reason for getting back into this is mainly due to the challenge set forth on Instagram for the month of May. A nice person who goes by the handle JoyofLanguages put a challenge out there to be seen using a language diary or be seen speaking/writing the language we’re learning. Since I’m giving German my best effort, I figured I’d join in on the fun. Things like this are better together rather than alone. Plus, there’s a degree of accountability with having to report every day. I’m less likely to slack off if I know someone is watching.

 

Speaking of…I need to get back on Duolingo. I sense a disturbance in the Force. My ranking is in jeopardy. I’ve awakened the sleeping giants by passing them in XP points and suddenly people who haven’t been on the site in weeks to months are coming back to reclaim their titles. The more the merrier says I. Party smile

 

About the only other thing I’m doing is knitting that blanket still. Thanks to the music of Die Ärzte, I’m a little over fifty percent done with it. I still need to get the remainder finished though, so it is back to the needles tonight and every night until I bind the stitches off. I am so sick of knitting pink acrylic yarn. Under normal circumstances, this is just yarn to me. Right now, in this project, this is a vile abomination. I’m just going to get lost in the music and relax my way to the finish line of this project.

 

Speaking of the Best Band in the World…I’m making it my mission to get at least one T-shirt of theirs before the end of twelve months. I’m going to scrounge and save every penny I get until I have enough to cover the Cost of Product, International Shipping, and the Customs fees from Germany to here. I love their music that much and I love that I’m picking up more German words as a result of listening to them.

 

It is currently 86F in my locale. Too warm too soon. I could really do with one of those freak snow storms. Ha ha. Just kidding, people. Relax.

 

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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Not Much But More Than I Thought

Due to a combination of recent health issues and a tremendous lack of personal time in my life, I do not believe that I’ll achieve my goal set forth for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo. I will do my best and write as much as I can but at this point I do not believe that I’ll cross the threshold I set out to cross within the timeframe allotted.

 

Rather than run myself ragged trying to do all the things, I’m going to focus on a few specifics which need to take priority. So, if you hear from me even less than usual lately, that’s why.

 

I am determined to pick up where I left off at the next Camp NaNoWriMo event later in the Summer.

 

Aside from that, only a few things are happening here.

 

I’m just living on soup, Duolingo German, as well as the music of Die Ärzte, and Farin Urlaub Racing Team. I’m almost at the point where I know the lyrics to some of the songs. I’m happy about that.

 

To be honest, probably sixty percent of the words I’ve listened to over the past ten days have been German. I might consider switching my profile language preferences to German to get me to use my linguistic translation capabilities more.

 

I’m considering becoming a vegetarian again. Between the fact that I do actually get ill from eating some forms of animal product to the fact that there is a health benefit to being a vegetarian for me to the rising cost of food prices in the supermarket, I’m definitely looking into this one. This time, I’m going to do my research and find the appropriate methods for me to do so.

 

I’m dyeing yarn now as a hobby. This is part pain reliever/part stress reliever and it works on both fronts. Thus far, I’ve managed (with the help of the Maternal Parental on two of the four ounce dyes) three hanks and one cake of four ounce yarn in Lion Brand’s Fisherman’s Wool, in addition to the two cakes of four ounce yarn I dyed previously. I’ve also dyed a hank of Cascade 220 Superwash and a hank of Red Heart’s Heart and Sole Sock yarn.

 

2018-04-07 21.36.41

Cascade 220 Superwash

2018-04-07 21.38.02

Red Heart’s Heart & Sole

2018-04-13 12.41.39

Lion Brand’s Fisherman’s Wool

2018-04-13 12.45.57

Lion Brand’s Fisherman’s Wool

2018-04-13 12.46.26

Lion Brand’s Fisherman’s Wool

2018-04-13 12.42.48

Lion Brand’s Fisherman’s Wool

 

 

The end result of the four ounce dyes will be a sweater. I don’t know what I’m going to do with the Cascade and the sock yarn.

 

 

Starting next week (I hope!) there will  be Basil and Spearmint in the Aerogarden. The tomatoes are making me sneeze entirely too much to hang around for much longer. Plus, they’re coming to the end of their cycle. I got another good crop of tomatoes off of them but it is time for them to go.

 

 

The Basil I’ll be growing will be Genovese, Cinnamon, and Lettuce Leaf. In addition to this, I’ll be growing Spearmint. I really have missed growing it and look forward to having it in my room again. I’m also going to attempt growing Lemongrass again. Hopefully, it will thrive with the hot summers we tend to get nowadays even in my window.

 

 

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

Random Rambling for October 2017

Waiting for someone to return a DVD to the Library is such a test of patience. It was due back on the twenty-first and hasn’t been returned yet. I’m hoping that whomever is holding Intro to Lace Knitting it is alright and in good health.

 

  • 45+ knitted cast-ons & bind-offs with Ann Budd (Held)
  • Knitting daily workshop : one knit design, many versions : a guide to knitwear pattern and garment making (Held)
  • Aran lace knitting (Held)
  • Knitting daily workshop : getting started, basics and beyond, with Eunny Jang (Held)
  • Yarn to fit : keys to successful knitting. (Shipped)
  • Continental knitting (Shipped)
  • Join as you go knitting (Shipped)
  • Knitting workshop (Shipped)
  • More than two : a practical guide to ethical polyamory by Veaux, Franklin (Shipped)
  • Intro to lace knitting Active (since 10/19/2017) (Hold in Waiting)

Not much else is happening in my life.

 

I have read almost fifty books this year. I’m presently at book number forty-eight.

 

Tomorrow, I’m making a telephone call to start the process of re-entering college after untold years of being out. To be honest, I am not looking forward to this but my life cannot move forward without facing this. In order to get the jobs that will pay for the medications which keep me functional AND in the lifestyle I’d like to maintain, I need to go to college or trade school. Living the way I am now just isn’t sustainable in the long term. Doing studies, while fun, takes a toll after a while, especially regarding traveling. 

 

The second call I make will be to get my eyes checked by an eye doctor for the first time since I turned eighteen. I’m now thirty-six. My primary care physician was insistent that I do this. My vision has been blurry for going on two months now only I didn’t notice it until I started knitting the sweater. I was spending so much time being uncharacteristically happy and outside prior to then. It didn’t dawn on me that everything was getting hazy. Thankfully, as best as I can tell, there are no blind spots in my vision, so it could just be a matter of my age catching up to me and me needing glasses.

 

In the meantime, I work as best I can. I’m taking a short break from working on the Flax sweater to work on a Hobbes doll. The Pharmacy delivery guy will be coming within the next two to three days and I want to have his replacement gift doll ready for him before tomorrow is over. Seeing the stitches is a bit of an issue but, thankfully, I have been able to use a combination of feeling for them and seeing the light coming through the holes in the crochet work.

 

Mind you, look at the progress I’ve made on the Flax sweater. I still think that I’m going too slow for what I know my abilities to be but considering the distractions I’ve had over the past few weeks, I think that this is pretty good progress. Not bad for an English thrower, eh?

 

20171020_214407

 

Speaking of my knitting style… that’s about to change. As soon as the library gets that video on Continental Knitting in, I’m switching on all projects except this sweater for tension reasons. I want to knit faster and more efficiently. I’m also sick of getting this callus on the tip of my index finger on my left hand whenever I knit. Hopefully, learning to knit in the Continental style will eliminate the appearance of said callus. Once my tension matches, if I haven’t finished the sweater by then, I’ll switch hands.

 

My plants are all growing well and my plan is to give one of my Pineapple babies away. I’m just hoping that it isn’t too cold outside when I’m due to give it away this coming November.

 

Oh yeah, I’m back to posting videos on YouTube with a new and improved introduction and a video about…my Flax sweater…up so far. I don’t really know where I’m going with this. Everyone is pushing me to do a podcast but I’m lacking in ideas and stamina to keep it going by myself. Now, if I had a partner or a regular interview segment or something, maybe it would work. I’m not sure but I’d be willing to give it a try. I’d be the first to admit that I’m not the most charismatic person on the planet but I can learn and am willing to try.

 

If I do start a show, I’d be spoiled for choice on subjects. I have so many things I’m interested in or involved in. From Gardening to Fiber Arts to Linguistics and beyond, I’d never run out of topics, that’s for sure.

 

Well, I can’t blog all day. I’d better get cracking on this Hobbes doll.

 

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

I’ve Finally Found It…

My second language has finally been discovered. True, it took trepanning and a good deal of mental excavation to find it.

 

That language is…German. In truth, I should have known better. I did try to teach myself this language when I was ten. I have been practicing daily, about three hours per day, for thirty-seven days now. If you’d like, you can follow my progress on Duolingo. I’m now at the point where I can just barely make out what people are saying or what is written down. I definitely need to practice more if I’m going to be fluent but it is a good start.

 

I just need to find some Germans. Yoo hoo. Germans? Are you out there?

 

For that task, I’ve done the unbelievable. I’ve opened a new OKCupid account. This time around, my task isn’t really dating. It is finding a language pal/study buddy, so hopefully, I won’t have any trouble with anyone at all. Wishful thinking, I know. It is the seat of comedy but I’ve gotten rather a lot of matches to Dutch people. I don’t mind. It is a bit mentally rich carrying three languages around in my head at once in the name of politeness but you do what you do.

 

The friends I’ve made have gotten a hilarious chuckle out of this one. I’ve been learning a lot of German from the lyrics of Rammstein. Someone…might listen to them for more time in the day than they study on Duolingo. Angel 

 

Those same friends suggested I expand my musical tastes, so they gave me a small listing of artists that they liked. I then combined their favorites with the Get Germanized listing of popular German music artists (YouTube Link) for later exploration. Some [who I won’t name] I really didn’t like, but others sound very good.

 

One group I’m going to be giving my ears next is Die Ärzte. They came up on multiple lists as highly recommended. Anyone out there have any other recommendations? Please, leave them in the comments. Smile

 

Aside from the above, it has been a summer of Plantar Fasciitis in both feet, crochet, strange propositions, lather, rinse, Repeat.

 

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

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!

Blodeuwedd The Hat…

…and various other things.

 

Since NaNoWriMo is now coming to a middle, I thought I’d get in high gear in finally planning my own Winter accoutrements. Long has the project page for Blodeuwedd The Hat sat in my Ravelry projects, uncompleted. Up until now, I’ve been making due with the hat pictured below that I crocheted years ago.

 

Crocheted Mexicana Hat v2_00006_001

Now, I’m not saying that this current hat hasn’t served me well. It has. I am just looking for something warmer and more air tight/heat trapping.

 

So, using the Beanie 212 pattern, I’m going to go completely off the rails with the color design, to the best of my abilities. This new hat is going to be made of washable wool. It’s going to be at least three different colors. I am going to get more in if I can via scrap yarn. Topping this off, the scarf and gloves I’m making to accompany the hat will match it, again, to the best of my abilities.

 

I can see it in my mind. I just need to figure out how to design it properly.

 

In other stuff, I am teaching myself to write knitting patterns. It’s the next step in this journey I embarked on a little over ten years ago. I figured it was time to take it to the next level and get my feet wet with learning how to properly write patterns. I have two books on the subject, both of which are very informative. The two books are:

The Beginner’s Guide to Writing Knitting Patterns by Kate Atherley

Teach Yourself Visually Knitting Design by Sharon Turner

 

I know that this is, by no means, the entirety of knowledgeable literature when it comes to pattern writing and knitting/crochet design. This is just the beginning of my long-term exploration of the subjects. There’s a lot for me to learn but I’m up to the challenge.

 

Also on the topic of new books and on the subject of personal challenges is my acquisition of a cookbook. I have Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking and I fully intend to use it. This is the first cookbook I’ve purchased. I’m hopeful I can get some food to make all these wonderful dishes.

 

Onward to present projects. Villimarjatar. I brushed against it the other day on my way to the keyboard to do some NaNoWriMo updating but, other than that, I haven’t touched it. I’m presently on the third row of the second pattern repeat. I’m hoping to get quite a bit done tonight since I’m finally ahead in other things. I live in hope.

 

As to NaNoWriMo, it doesn’t look like I’m going to get to the end of my story this year either even though I will exceed the 50,000 threshold. Still way too many characters and too deep a plot. Still, I like the story enough that I’m going to keep working on it beyond NaNoWriMo. I hope anyway. It’s a good bet my friend will be on me to write it because he wants to see it come to fruition too.

 

I’ve got to go now. My Aerogarden is whining for water. The tomatoes drink the level down almost daily now that they’re bigger and fruiting again. Later.

Ugh, My Memory…

When I first learned to knit in 2006, I was clueless about every aspect of the crafting world. I didn’t know who was who or what was what. So, I signed up for a class at the Catonsville Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library system to expand my skills.

When 20 June rolled around, I was frightened but determined as I sat in the Library waiting for access to the meeting room where the class was to take place. The starting time finally came. Panicking the whole time, I took my Susan Bates #8 straight needles and pounder of black Caron yarn and followed everyone else to the makeshift classroom.

We were, apparently, going to be instructed on the fundamentals of knitting by a famous knitting person and her three volunteer helpers from the local yarn store. I must admit, it was quite intimidating seeing one of the volunteers do what I now know to be knitted cast on so quickly. With a quickness that belied physics, she casted on enough stitches to make a scarf.

I digress. Anyway…

Once we were all settled in, we began the lesson by casting on. Famous Knitting Woman went to show us how to do a cast on row but there was a knot in her yarn. That’s when my special talent finally came to the fore. I can usually get the near impossible knots out of things. Faster than she could get the scissors, I had the knot loosened.

From there, the lesson began. She demonstrated Backward loop cast on, Longtail cast on, and Knitted cast on. Knowing nothing, I was struggling from the start but managed a rather tight Backwards loop cast on before switching to a more difficult to knit but stable Knitted cast on.

The entire time I was learning, I never got the name of the woman teaching us. She had a few books out on the table and a few magazines, but I didn’t pay much attention beyond making a note to get them later to learn from. Dense as I am, I might have made the connection that the books and patterns in the magazines were all by the same person.

After two hours, the lesson was over and the class drew to a close. I walked through the darkened streets of Catonsville on my way to the bus that would take me home. The moment I got home, I promptly forgot everything, absolutely everything, I learned. It took me until the beginning of August before I was able to successfully make a scarf. The thing I had started that night became a sort of weird sleeping cap due to my accidentally adding stitches to every row.

Over the years, now decade, I have kicked myself for not remembering the name of the Famous Knitting Woman. I’ve a great memory for faces but I’m terrible with putting the face to a name. For a while I thought her last name was “Knight” but I just had a memory jog. It was Nicky Epstein. Like a flood, all the memories came back into my head of the book titles.

So, for what it’s worth, wherever you are, thank you and the three volunteer knitting teachers for the knitting lesson. I can honestly say that it has changed my life for the better.