green? seriously?

The colors here aren’t totally accurate, but close enough

So I think what happened here was I was talking to Lancelot and made some flip comment about how I can wear pretty much whatever color I want to since my hair is silver now.

WTF???

I’m not usually much of a “green” person so I have no real explanation for three of those five. I seriously can’t explain the big ass cake of green mohair. What in the name of all that is holy was I fucking thinking?

At any rate, I’m sure this will be fine. It’s yarn. I like yarn, I can find a way to use this yarn.

If anyone has a pattern or a suggestion for 612yds of mohair, that stripes, can you send it my way? Thanks…

out of my ever loving mind

You missed a spot Dad

Garth apparently thought Lancelot needed some sort of bathing this morning, which is entirely possible since he gets home from work around 7:30am and is frequently in need of a shower. But he’s never done this before. It was rather cute, and at least he didn’t bite.

It’s been quite the week and the week ain’t over. I’m almost afraid to see what fresh hell tomorrow has in store for me.

I have started the blood pressure medicine and so far haven’t noticed a difference, which I’m going to take as a good sign. I’m having one hell of a time getting comfortable temperature-wise right now but I’m chalking that up to it being freezing cold outside and dark. Things are supposed to warm back up over the weekend which is good. I’d like to get our outdoor holiday decorating done before there’s a foot of snow on the ground.

The holiday knitting is still moving forward. Today I got a package of yarn in the mail that I kind of remember ordering, but not exactly what projects this is for. (AHA! it just came to me!!!)

The good news is that I think the one skein is for R’s holiday gift. I think. And for some reason there’s another package of yarn being delivered tomorrow, and I really don’t know what’s in that. (seriously, I got nothing this time) There has to be a pile of printed patterns downstairs that will give me some clues…

Apparently these beautiful orchids are dual purpose. L knows damn well what a week I’m having and wanted to cheer me up. Today is also our three month wedding anniversary. And he got to deliver them to me himself (which is a bit of a trick). The florist delivered them while he was still awake so he answered the door and then pretended to be all surprised when he brought them up to me. Slick.

But yes, it’s been a week. Eric even decided to love on his mama last night.

Silly fluff-butt

because I have so much free time on my hands I think I’ll knit a few holiday gifts… that should be fun, right?

Lancelot and I on Halloween, waiting for our friends to arrive

So it’s pretty well impossible to tell from this picture, or any picture we took, that I had on these very lovely monarch wings that looked great with my headband. I picked them up at Target for $10. They were perfect. And the “party” was wonderful. We had three friends come over and we spent most of the evening in the garage. We ate good food and had wonderful conversation. It was precisely what I needed. And we did it in a way that legitimately seemed pretty safe.

We managed to get some stuff done around the house this weekend, which was very good, though it always feels like there’s more to do. I still need to attack the file cabinet in my office and finish the laundry. I would have been finished with the Off Kilter shawl but my yarn cake (what little of it is left) decided to explode and I had to rewind it by hand from the wrong end this morning. With feline help. I’m anxious to have it done in part because I did not end up having enough yarn for all of the repeats of the body; I think I got something like 18 out of 25 done. It should be fine I’m just not 100% sure what the edging is going to look like, but again, not super concerned.

And so now I think I have AMPLE free time to make some holiday gifts. Keep in mind that the holidays are next month. Towards the end, but still. Oh yeah, totally enough time.

In my defense, three of the patterns are ones I’ve made before, quite successfully. All of the gifts go to friends who live here in the metro and can be delivered by me. And I have the yarn already in my possession for all of them.

Also, Lancelot turned 50 this year which means he gets to have super exciting medical screenings (you know the one) and I’ll be taking him in for that on Friday. Nothing as wonderful as enforced quiet time in a hospital waiting room to help make progress on a knitting project.

I do have to ask – has anyone actually spent time waiting for someone like this since the Rona started? I know how I would have done this in the Before Times when I’d take my Mom, and I think I’ll plan what I take on part on what I used to do, but what tips do y’all have?

stuff and things

I’m trying to keep from losing my proverbial shit, but it’s a struggle some days. Actually, lately, it’s a struggle every damn day, it’s just worse on the days that end in Y. Thank you Rona, you bitch.

Why yes, I did knit that shawl, thanks for noticing!

Anyway, today has been a better day. Oddly enough I have to give thanks for a webinar that wasn’t a webinar (but still sucked) for giving me nearly an hour of time right smack ass in the middle of day during which to knit. I got several rows done and I feel good about that. (the shawl is getting bigger every row so you get the idea)

I’m also at a point in the semester where my workload just isn’t that bad, and I’m always grateful for that. I did some office-y things today that have been neglected during busier times and getting that stuff caught up feels good. I was also able to throw in a load of laundry this afternoon, another bonus. And I have a sorta plan for dinner tonight.

I might just regain my momentum, things are looking promising. The other thing looking promising was today’s delivery…

Ah yes, yarn and dissent… And the goat screams if you press on his stump…

That’s two skeins of Cascade Alpaca Lace, two skeins of Cloudborn Merino Worsted Twist, and a single skein of Cloudborn Highland Fingering. I have shawl patterns picked out for the lace and the worsted, the skein of black fingering weight was kind of a bonus that I’m thinking might work really well with a skein of something wild in my stash.

But none of that for a while. I really do want to (try really hard to) finish the projects I’m currently working on. I’m totally willing to admit that I get bored with projects easily, especially when I get that itch to change something. In a past life it would have been my hair, but there’s just not a ton I can do with super short silver hair. So knitting it is.

trying to get caught back up and then doing something that felt really brave

I have some kind of health care savings account thingy at work that I put money into before taxes come out and then I can use it to pay for doctor type stuff. Don’t ask me if it’s an FSA or HSA because no matter how many times I try to figure it out, I can’t. So whatever. I have this magic Visa card, let’s leave it at that.

My issue is that they get all pissy about the charges I make, charges that are 100% legit. What it means is that I end up having to get digital copies of what I paid and a copy of the explanation of benefits from the insurance company – assuming I have those things. It ends up meaning a bunch of scanning for me. Sixteen transactions worth, so far. Normally I wouldn’t have this many, and normally their website where I have to submit all of this nonsense wouldn’t be powered by a hamster with gout in all of his toes.

Such is life I guess. In the time it’s taken me to write this short bit of text I still haven’t been able to successfully attach and submit the two PDFs necessary for a single fucking transaction. Frustrated does not even begin to cover it. I started doing this yesterday and managed to get almost everything scanned and four transactions submitted. FOUR.

In other, more interesting, news, Lancelot and I are hoping to get new nightstands for the bedroom at the end of the month. Hoping. They’ve been ordered but furniture orders aren’t always timely right now, so we’ll see. But in an effort to get ready I decided to move a few other small pieces of furniture around and am quite pleased with the results. I still have some fussing to do in my office but things are progressing nicely. On Friday I managed to get the closet in here cleaned out and straightened up and that made me feel wonderful. I also got my filing caught up which is always a good thing.

I decided that the best way to keep the “good thing” feeling going was to make some decisions about those lingering projects. In the spirit of full disclosure, my list of projects was:

  • Shell Scarf, knitted but in need of assembly
  • Ilo shawl, started
  • Fingerless mitts for a friend, started
  • Crochet shell blanket for Mom, started and a few skeins in
  • Off Kilter shawl
  • Knit shrug, my own pattern, probably 1/3 of the way down with the first half

I looked at all of them, thought about how they made me feel, what all needed to be done, and whether I was still willing to do it. The Shell Scarf bit the dust.

(the submission I started before this post JUST NOW finished processing everything… oy…)

Anyway, that scarf wasn’t what that yarn was supposed to be anyway. It was supposed to be a shawl but I ran out of yarn and what I’d come up with was a “punt” anyway, and I kind of hated it. I certainly didn’t love it. So it’s in the trash, literally. And I don’t feel the least bit bad about it.

This morning I started working on the mitts for my friend. They should go quick though the pattern involves cables. I don’t mind cables, they just slow down the process a bit. But the yarn is nice and I had worked the cuff of the first one already so that helped. Ribbing is boring.

I don’t think Off Kilter is going to take too much longer. I’m starting the 13th repeat (of 25) and then I’ll just have the edge to do, so I’m pretty optimistic about that one.

I haven’t worked on Ilo since before L moved in with me, so easily sometime in January or February, and I don’t remember how far I got, other than “not too damn far.” The yarn is lovely though, so that will help.

The knit shrug I’m working on is BASIC. I’ve got two balls of the same yarn, I started by having L measure the distance across my back from shoulder to shoulder and then the distance around my arm up at the top (chubbiest spot). I did a provisional cast on of 50 stitches and worked stockinette flat until I hit half of my total back measurement, which ended up being 12″ for me. Then I joined and started working in the round. When I reach a magical number, that I have yet to decide, I’ll switch to working ribbing and incorporating size 6 seed beads. So it’s fun but it’s kind of boring right now. The yarn is beautiful and the beads will look great, it’s going to be a really nifty piece. But the knitting is putting me to sleep.

And last but not least is the blanket for my mom. The yarn is Red Heart Super Saver and the color, I think, is called Desert Paint, or something like that. The pattern is a super basic single row repeat that works up pretty easy and doesn’t require any thinking. It’s a fantastic TV project. But it’s a blanket, and it’s really just started to get cool enough here to work on a blanket. I suspect this will start to see more love here shortly.

Speaking of cool, we’re in line for snow tonight. Not the first snow of the season, but possibly the first measurable snow. I’m not excited.

I don’t think the boys really give a damn about snow. They’ll sleep in any kind of weather.

so there I was, hip deep in empty Red Bull cans, fighting a rabid squirrel on one side and knitting socks on the other side, when suddenly…

Actually, nothing that exciting happens to me. About the most exciting thing to happen today was Garth deciding he needed to sit in on my therapy appointment, quite literally. He walked back and forth on my desk for several minutes before trying to decide what I had that tasted good, like pens. But hey, what more can you ask for?

The shawl as of this morning

I’m into the 13th repeat of the main body; there are 25 total. I still love the yarn and I still love the pattern. I’m already trying to decide what to work on next. I do have several projects that I started and fell out of love with that I really should just finish.

What’s your policy on “lingering” projects? I’m thinking I should require myself to finish something that’s been hanging around for a while before starting the next new thing. What do you think?

one day at a time

Today is the day I go for my latest blood draw, get the stuff to do my 24 hour urine collection, and have an ultrasound of my kidneys. You’re jealous, I know you are. At least I don’t have to go to the hospital to have this done, and that’s good. We’re still a red state, and this is a red county, and that goddamn Rona got me all twitchy. And that’s mostly because not everyone around here is taking this seriously.

Moving on…

I’m still working on Off Kilter, 10 repeats of 25 done on the main body, so that’s good. I took the time to print a few more patterns I had saved the other day and put them in my little tote bags along with the yarn I’ll be using. I also spent a few minutes updating my yarn inventory. And now we pause.

Does anyone else have a spreadsheet of their yarn or is that just something odd that I do?

It actually started because Lancelot made an off-hand comment at one point about how much yarn I had and didn’t I have enough already. (and yes, I did still marry him) So by way of proving that I did not actually have too much yarn I did what any reasonable knitter would do and drug every last skein and ball out of storage and cataloged it. (maybe I should mention that my undergrad degree was in Library Science, but I’d have cataloged it anyway)

I seriously recommend doing this, for whatever craft or hobby thing you’re into. You’ll come out with a much better understanding of what you have and you’ll likely notice some trends. Like for me, I have WAY more sock/fingering weight yarn than anything else and a lot of that is from Knit Picks.

That’s a piece of my spreadsheet. Ain’t it purty?

I really do find it helpful. I try to add the information about new yarn when I get it and then once I use a skein I highlight that row and make a brief note about what I used it for and when. Ideally I would love to go back and get pictures of the things I’ve made and be able to tag the photo with what yarn I used and when the project was completed. I know a lot of people do that and I think it’s a great idea. It definitely appeals to my desire for order.

And since we’re talking about new yarn…

Wooly Wonka Arianrhod Sock yarn in Peacock

That lovely yarn arrived earlier this week. Lancelot picked out the color and it’s so stinkin’ pretty. I took the picture right next to the window so the color is pretty close. The two skeins I got of this are going to become a Sunset Lights shawl. I think it’s going to be absolutely stunning.

So yes, I desire order. I think I’ve mentioned this before but I don’t deal well with chaos, not in my physical surroundings and not in my head. And unfortunately the more chaos there is in my physical world the harder it is to control what’s happening in my head. The one feeds the other. This is part of why every morning (except Fridays) I make the bed. I also usually take time to straighten up the house (if I didn’t the night before) and I try to run a load of laundry as soon as there’s enough to do so.

If my home, and now my office at home, are tidy and orderly then it’s easier for me to feel like my head space can be more orderly. Knitting, and cooking to an extent, are also part of that. Having that time to relax with something I enjoy is crucial.

I know it’s hard for all of us right now with everything being different and scary, but my tiny bit of advice is to control what you can and roll with the rest of it.

Or you can be like Eric and bury your head in your paws while you nap

it’s a sickness

I’m one of those people who pretty well has to be busy all the time. I have this sort of compulsion to be doing things. I love lists and that feeling of crossing things off of them. My idea of a good day off is getting a ton of shit done.

Seriously, I wonder if there’s some kind of medication for this?

I’m only partially jesting. I know that part of my compulsions could easily be tracked back to the bipolar, so I keep a close eye on that shit. When I get to the point where I feel like I need to do ALL the things all at once, I call the good doc.

Right now I think that more than anything this is a need to have some kind of control over my world in an effort to experience some normalcy. And who doesn’t need/want that these days?

So this weekend we spent some time getting ready for the Halloween party, in addition to getting things done around the house that had been put off for too long. Laundry got caught up again, the utility room in the basement got cleaned, and we just sort of tidied up in general. And I knit.

I keep thinking I should take a picture of what I’m working on but then I forget until the lighting is just horrid, but this is at least a try…

Off Kilter

This is my Off Kilter shawl, using size 3 needles (I’ll have to switch to longer ones soon), with La Jolla yarn from Baah in the Pink Tourmaline colorway. The color in this picture isn’t quite right, though it is delightfully bright. The pattern suggested a yarn with a nice color change in it, which would be great, but I think this is going to be wonderful. I’m figuring that the unusual construction will be even more obvious in the solid color. And the pattern is a great balance of “mindless” and “gotta count right here.” Just a fabulous project all the way around.

surviving a pandemic is harder than advertised

First things first – this shit is HARD. And by “this shit” I mean “life” right now. I won’t pretend that I had any idea what this whole Rona Plague business was going to be when it all started, but I certainly didn’t figure it would be like this. And I had NO FUCKING CLUE that my fellow humans had the potential to be so ridiculously stupid about all of it.

I think it’s probably safe to assume that we’re all struggling, at least a little. It’s still difficult to get certain supplies, like toilet paper and seriously what the ever loving fuck is up with that? We’re still not supposed to gather unless it’s outside or with people that already live in our homes, and in many places there are still mandates to wear face masks (which I FULLY support). I haven’t seen a movie in a theater in so long that I can’t tell you what the last movie I saw was, we haven’t been to any live concerts or theatrical shows, and I still don’t get the deal with the TP shortage.

And we’re scared. There’s proof now that someone who had the virus and recovered has been re-infected by another genetically different strain. So yeah, WTF?

We need some social interaction that doesn’t happen through a screen, but how do we get it safely? That is a fabulous question. According to my psych doc the time has come to get a fire pit or space heater and a warmer coat, you know, so we can have some friends over but stay outside so that we stay safe. Maybe we’ll build a snowman, who’s in? (no snow yet but it’s coming, oh yes, winter is coming…)

At any rate, we’re a “red” state again (still?) so I’ve decided we aren’t going out this weekend. I’d rather stay home and play it safe than go out anywhere unnecessary. Besides, there’s plenty of stuff to do around the house. We are actually going to have a very small Halloween party in the garage. I purchased an electric space heater and I found an idea for using Sterno cans to make little fire pit things for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. I am very much looking forward to it, and yes, we’ll be keeping it safe.

So there are a few things to do to get ready, and there’s always knitting to do. I’m still working on the shrug I started but it’s just boring right now. I like boring sometimes, but I also like something that requires a little more concentration. With that in mind, and as always trying to find something that was already wound up and would work, I started Off Kilter last night. I’m using a solid fuchsia pink (again, it’s what was ready to go) that I think is going to be amazing.

I’m not typically one to spend money on apps for my phone but I decided to break down and get the Row Counter app (links to Google Play store), in part because I can download patterns I have saved in my Ravelry library right into it. I had been using the free version but the upgrade lets me put in more details, photos, and track not only my row but the repeats as well. So far I really like it and find it to be worth the $9.99/year price.

The boys approve

progress

I’m still here, still kicking. I come here and think about writing way more often than I manage to actually write. Some days I can’t decide what my topic should be, but more often it’s a case of running out of energy before I find the time to try. Work is still busy and, like most people I talk to, I just don’t have the energy I once did.

Part of my difficulty is that we’re changing seasons. I have Seasonal Affective Disorder so I’m starting to feel the effects of not as much sunlight. I’ve got my little magic sun lamp thing setup on my desk now, the trick is to be here and turn it on every morning. Some days that’s easier said than done.

And part of my difficulty is the continued Rona; dealing with the plague is taking a toll on all of us.

I’m behind with the normal tasks I take care of around the house, I’m not eating great, and I just flat out don’t feel like I have any ambition. I am managing to knit, but I don’t seem to get decent pictures of it. Of course that’s due in part to having a whole tote bag full of “finished” projects that need to be blocked and have the ends woven in. That includes Waves of Happiness, so yay. But I ran out of yarn very near the end, so boo. But I had a very nicely complimentary lighter purple that I finished it with and it looks great, aside from looking like a gigantic mess because it desperately needs to be blocked.

The current project is a very simple shrug, pattern of my own devising, that will have beads on the sleeves. It’s my “stupid simple” project that I don’t have to think about. I need to figure out what my new “I need to get lost in something” project is going to be. Not like I don’t have choices.

At any rate, since I can’t show you any knitting the least I can do is delight you with a picture of the boys. This was right after Garth had started grooming Eric and right before he started chomping on his neck.