Ice Queen 101– Lessons in Cold

Perhaps this is a cold thing to do but I no longer have enough emotionally invested to care.

 

fishermanswoolhatiii-complete

 

Prior to this year, I’ve been willing, nay, eager to gift things I’ve knitted or crocheted to people I considered friends and significant others gratis. I haven’t asked anything of them other than that they give me a place to send said gift once it is finished. Despite repeatedly putting my divestment of said items on hold by swearing they were coming for it themselves, in person, almost no one showed up. When I asked for an address/PO Box to send this growing accumulation of items, save for a few, all I got were the sound of crickets.

 

fishermanswoolhatcomplete

 

Now, I have put people on hold who were willing to pay for said items or who needed items more. I did it out of love and concern for the people I thought were my friends. Well, 2017 is a new year. I have been slowly giving away the items I’ve made. Just today, I gave away two very nicely made Fisherman’s wool hats and a Fisherman’s wool scarf I made for someone in April 2013. Yes, you read that right. I made it in 2013 and despite several attempts on my part to get it shipped out, with the response being to hold it until an obscure future date of visitation arrives, no one has come to get it or given me an address or PO Box to send it to.

 

fishermanswoolscarfiii-23rows_medium2

 

So, it is gone. I just gave it all away today. I’m sick of living with the virtual clutter of a failed relationship’s pieces in the form of completed works overflowing my finished projects box. This is my tangible effort at moving on.

 

For this year, as far as Knitting and Crocheting are concerned, I’m going to focus on charities, select friends/family, and myself.

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.

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.

—————————

 

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

Drachenwolle and a Finished Scarf

Okay, so I have a new obsession. Drachenwolle Sockenwolle Handgefärbt in the colorway Gewitterwolken Regenbogen.

I have no idea what some of that means but I love this yarn. Google it. For pity’s sake, Google the hell out of it so you can see its wonderous loveliness! I love the other colorways and yarns as well but that particular one really caught my eye.

Lucky for me, I happen to have a good friend who is also German. I also have other very good friends who are fluent in German. I’m, hopefully, going to get help from one or more of them in ordering this yarn as soon as it becomes available again. Right, my dear, sweet, kind, noble, generous friends? 😀 😀 😀

Speaking of my friend, I’m currently knitting his hat. I’m about ten rounds into it and have plans to take it with me when next I’m out on trips around the Metropolitan area. I’m hoping to get this hat finished in a much quicker timeframe than the last one. So, hopefully, a week’s time will be more than enough knitting time for me to do this.

Oh yeah, I finished the first scarf. *fanfare*

I finished it Sunday morning, 7 December 2014 at around 12:30am/00:30. Now, I just have one more scarf in that project to do. I’m thinking of switching the yarn used from the colorway Supernova to Theatre. First, I must consult with my friend for that.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m tired. I’m going to bed now. Good night! 🙂

Unbelievable!

Would you believe my schedule of going out by myself is getting so busy that I need an itinerary? You see, I’m expecting packages over the next few weeks and the Maternal Parental can’t make the distances I want to travel. So, she’s staying at home to wait for the packages while I go out there to make these appointments. We’re not talking interstate or international travel mind you…yet. We’re talking mainly both city and county and, this one is a long time in the coming, Bethesda. I haven’t been there in years.

Darn agoraphobia.

Well, hopefully, I won’t freak out on any of these upcoming occasions. DC/Bethesda is a long way away. Yet, I have to try for my own good. If I can survive Baltimore City, then surely I can survive DC and Bethesda. Right? There’s that nervous feeling again. The traveling aspect is not right upon me, so there’s no numbness this time. Just a blind panic felt deeply in my core. All I can do right now is breathe deeply and try not to hyperventilate.

A few days ago, I repotted some plants. It feels so weird in my room with everything shifted around. My four foot tall Snakeplant is currently downstairs recovering but, tomorrow, I will bring it back up here and put in on The Rolling Stand in its new permanent location. Since the plastic container Coleus cuttings were done flowering, I threw that away. I may keep the potted Coleus to see how long it will survive once they’ve all flowered. Still waiting on the Geraniums to bloom. The Lemongrass is growing like crazy. I had to hack my cousin’s and my own Aloe Vera up as it was all in danger of tipping over. The orange trees, spider plant, African violet and pineapples are all doing well too.

Not to sound like an echo, but I’m finishing the Windows for my friends scarf for Ari tonight. I was sick yesterday and the early part of today and too tired from potting plants the day before. I have no excuses now as I’m feeling better, haven’t traveled anywhere and haven’t done much today besides throw up. 😀

So, it’s getting done to music. Specifically, Tori Amos, The Decemberists and various others. Yay.

By the way, I will be making these socks. I’ve long wanted to work with this yarn and the pattern displays it so brilliantly. It’s a truly good match of pattern and yarn.

The cool blog for today belongs to my newest Ravelry friend. I’m a complete loon and go around randomly friending people regardless of familiarity. If they seem cool and they have a great profile, I’ll generally friend them. Anyway, this is the blog of my newest friend. It’s called Eat, Knit, Love… and it’s pretty awesome.

Okay, that’s enough rambling. Later! 🙂

I Came Out As Polyamorous Today

Hello, World!

I mean, I haven’t exactly been secretive about it but nor have I been all “in your face” about it either. I suppose today was my happy medium between those spheres of existence.

The person I came out to was my therapist. I gave her a copy of “What Psychology Professionals Should Know About Polyamory” and I also answered any questions she had for me personally or about Polyamory in general. She seemed intrigued and receptive to learning more and not judgmental at all. I suppose time will tell with that one though.

Now that I’ve disclosed this information, I feel relieved. I didn’t like using subterfuge to mask parts of my life. Especially considering its parts that are so important to me.

On the crocheting and knitting fronts, I’ve got a few more yards to go for Ari’s scarf. I should have it done by tonight for sure. After that, I’m going to get a hat started, so I can take it out with me for a project when next I go out.

It was quite chilly today. I need to bust through these projects so I can get to making my own stuff before it gets too cold to go out. My hands were freezing today.

Oh yeah! I finally got a new thermometer! It only took me eighteen years of using the same thermometer I got from the cool Nurse at my old high school. This is the Braun Thermoscan 5 and it’s an ear thermometer, so no more “under the tongue” crap. It’s nice, fast reading and it’s easy to use, so the Maternal Parental should have no issue with taking her own temperature.

I figured after the last illness fiasco, I should get some certain items in the house. At the top of that list was an ear thermometer and a huge bottle of ibuprofen, check. Next on the list is a first aid kit replacement. Considering how much some kits cost, I might just buy the items individually and put my own kit together. 🙄

I might as well admit it now. I got more yarn. It was all going fine and dandy until… Knit Picks. KP and their damned sale with 84% off of their yarns.

*sigh*

I’m weak. Yes, I am.

I got the following:

  1. Nickel Pltd FC US 5 (3.75mm)16in
  2. Carnival Chroma Fingering
  3. *Diamond Diadem Color Injection
  4. Emerald Diadem Color Injection
  5. Winter Night Gloss
  6. Wine Tasting Stroll Tonal

I needed a new set of 16in circulars to make hats with. So, that’s justified. I wanted to replace the hank of yarn that got tangled up beyond all salvaging. That’s Stroll Tonal – Wine Tasting. I want to make the Bigger on the Inside shawl, so that sort of justifies Gloss – Winter Night but the rest is just me losing my mind. Really. 😥

*whispers*

I think I need a yarn intervention. o_O

Okay, that’s enough typing. Back to work I go! 😀