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

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I’m Baaaaack….

It has been some time since I last posted here. NaNoWriMo was and still is a success. I’m still writing my story. Though there isn’t the pressure to finish within a month like there was previously. I’m seriously considering participating in Camp NaNoWriMo when it comes up. I’ll have to read more into it.

At this point, I’m barely a third of the way into it and I’ve got so much more to write. I’m hoping I’m up to the task as it is building up to be quite a good story.

Among other things, namely my sweater. I’ve been sporadically working on that since the end of NaNoWriMo and have made some progress in the length of the body. I’ve added another cake of yarn to the Mir Ist Kalt sweater and caked the rest of it for processing as needed. I’m hoping to get this thing finished before the end of the year but, knowing my notoriously slow knitting, it doesn’t seem likely.

At this point, that’s the only project I’m working on as I wind down from the stress of November.

During my hiatus from the blog, a few things happened. I found my old hat and scarf set, so no immediate need to make a new set. I won’t freeze in the descending chilly weather.

 

I also managed to finally get my glasses. It is great to finally see things again without using my manual zoom function or having blurry vision. I also took the Sweet Pickle Organic Peppers out of commission. They’ve been replaced by Mega Cherry Tomatoes. Let’s see. What else? Gave one of the pineapple babies away and it is being cared for very well. My home got new windows. Yadda Yadda Yadda.

 

I’ve also been social. I’ve been going to *shock*gasp*awe* events held at local establishments like the Libraries. Finally, I am learning from the Khan Academy and Duolingo again.

 

I’m doing the Computer programming section and struggling through programming languages. I think I’m starting to get an inkling of it. However, only time, practice, and more practice will help me. Right now, I’m working in JavaScript but my ultimate goal is to learn Python.

For Duolingo, I am, of course, taking German. It is remarkable to me how much I’ve retained. I took to the app like a fish to water. My language level may be Beginner/Basic but I retain the words very well. Next step, an academic course in the language.

 

That’s about it. 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?

 

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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

Book Frenzy

I am way behind in my Goodreads reading quota for the year. So, to make up for it, I’ve been reading at least two books a day since yesterday to catch up. Any faster and I wouldn’t derive enjoyment from the books. Any slower and I’d get bored with the material, open something else and basically do for books what I do for knitting and crocheting.

 

Thus far, I’m doing pretty well. I’ve read Sonia Sotomayor’s My Beloved World…finally. I started her book in January. I must say, it was an interesting read. I learned a lot about a few things, mainly those elusive Soft Skills I wasn’t taught, just in reading her book. It was heartening to see that, at my age (thirty-six years), it isn’t unique to struggle in this area. Reading through her life story encouraged me to redouble my efforts at all the things I’m currently working on to better acclimate to the changing strata I’m finding myself in as I navigate these new business and volunteer opportunities before me.

 

Then, for a bit of light reading, I picked up Twilight from the Maryland Digital eLibrary Consortium. Don’t hate or judge. I mainly got it because I wanted something that was cotton candy reading after the meatier offering I’d just finished. So, I’m going to finish all five original books, which shouldn’t take long. If I recall my ancient reading correctly, I didn’t mind the Short Second Life of Bree Tanner so much but it has been a while.

 

Once I finish those, I’m going to read Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling, Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy by Robert M. Hazen. I also have a host of other books waiting in the wings to be read. Most of them, I’ve read before and I’m just going over them again because I’m playing reading catch up with myself and they’re an easier read. Once I get back to where I should be in my reading list, I have quite a few good ones lined up. L’engle, Atwood, etc., that I just have sitting here, collecting dust for want of a good reading.

 

Onto the WIPs Clearout Extravaganza. I am presently on round eight of the doily for my neighbor. Sustained injuries have not only kept me from this blog for an extended period but have also kept me from doing any meaningful crafting owing to the pain. Nevertheless, I’m going to keep trying. My left arm’s elbow and my right shoulder hurt something fierce right now but, long term, I can’t let that get in the way of all I want to do. I am loathe to make a deadline but I am shooting for finishing this Pineapple Doily by tonight. To be honest, it has been long enough lounging on my desk. The other intended doilies may have to take a back seat depending on factors influencing my getting them to their intended recipients.

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Once the doily is completed, I am going to make a genuine effort at stitching together the In Love With Color throw. At the very least, I can get the sewing aspect out of the way, even if I have trouble lifting the actual throw for long periods or stitching the edging.

 

Getting clear of these will enable me to focus on the volunteer work I’ve picked up with regard to knitting and crocheting. I’m also doing other things but this will be eating up the bulk of my volunteer time. I’m going to do my level best to aim for making as much as my yarn supply will allow. I’m hoping to deplete my worsted/Aran yarn supply completely actually without having to buy new yarn. Though, if I run out of a particular color, I may have to buy one more skein of it but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

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The plant babies are growing fantastically. Everything is so verdant, the mood in my room is definitely a cheery one. The Mega Cherry Tomato and Sweet Pickle Organic Pepper are competing for which can out fruit the other. As far as I can tell, it is a statistical dead heat. I’m looking forward to the first true harvests from both though, I have been sneaking peppers.

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I am, somewhat, in shock at what I’m about to type. After years of avoiding makeup of any kind at all cost, I purchased three tubes (Do they call them “tubes”?) of lipstick. I also purchased some nail polish, base coat, top coat, and remover. I loathe the stuff but it is a necessary function to get by on in business settings. So, I found the least offensive colors to me that were still acceptable to the masses. I hope this works. It seems such a tedious waste of my time.

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I guess the next step would be styling my hair. *cringe*

 

Regardless of my feelings on the matter, I have already mixed the hair stuff from available oils and such that I had around the house. It is only a matter that I use it. When I’m earning expensive tastes money, I’ll consider the Carol’s Daughter/Shea Moisture options. For now, it has to be homemade hair cream and Suave shampoo.

 

I’ve somewhat paid attention to the Natural Hair vloggers and bloggers in passing but, given my utilitarian manner, I normally didn’t go for the styles I saw and opted, instead, for a drawn back puff or two puffs. Quite frankly, it is far easier to deal with and enables me to put on my hat in Winter without worrying about possibly messing up my hairstyle. Crap, I guess the Cornrow obsession is going to start again. At least I have a book, It’s All Good Hair by Michelle N-K Collison, to sustain me, as well as countless YouTube videos.

 

I think that’s about it. See ya next month or whenever I can get to writing here! Yay!

Feeling Accomplished

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So, I went to see Hidden Figures on Saturday, 14 January 2017, at the Senator Theater in Baltimore City.

I have to say, it was a pretty decent film in my view. Definitely worth seeing with your family, friends and even your arch enemies, though watch out for their dastardly deeds in the darkness of the theater.

I want to tell more but I don’t want to give spoilers away about the film. I’d really rather you go see it yourselves. I can’t believe I’m saying this about a Fox product after Firefly but go see this film.

Afterward, I went with a combination of two social groups I hang out with now to a local restaurant. There we had an in-depth discussion about the intricacies of the movie and the overall impact of education and career advancement on African American women from a political, social, economic, etc. standpoint. It was quite a lively discussion. I’m glad I didn’t cave on going at the last second.

 

 

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Now that I’ve finished with the viewing of the movie (for now), I need to occupy myself with this book. I’m meant to be reading it for the BCPL Reading Challenge for the month of January. January is almost out of here. It is a little over three hundred pages. I should be able to read it quickly enough. I just like taking my time with a book is all.

 

 

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I “planted” the Sweet Pickle Organic Pepper seeds in the Aerogarden of Serendipity on the Ninth of January. The Grow Your Own kit wasn’t nearly as complicated as I thought it would be to set up. About the most difficult part was the ironing on of the labels using an old cheap iron the Maternal Parental received as a gift a long time ago. Other than that, this kit was not troublesome to deal with at all.

So now, the waiting game begins, though I don’t think I’ll have to wait very long. I believe I saw the beginning of seedlings coming up in one of the pods and the seeds swelling in one of the others. As I only intend to keep two pods active, the third is just for insurance in case one of the others fails to sprout.

 

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Presenting Mommy Sox Junior. These are the Maternal Parental’s socks in the making. I am incredibly behind but I am catching up pretty well. I’m going to knit a few more rounds of the body of the sock before getting into the heel stitches.

 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a book to read.

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!

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.