Archives for posts with tag: knitting

Omg, you guys. Did you know working two part time jobs is exhausting? It is. It’s exhausting. I started a part time job back in December, as I may have mentioned and was juggling it with an on call job up until April, when I started a second part time job. Now, theoretically, I would be working 41 hours, six days a week. This is not totally ideal, but it’s also not that bad. In practice, I work much more than that. This past week, Sunday to Saturday, I worked 51 hours, over the course of seven days. Also, my one day off per week (that I don’t *always* get) is alternating Fridays and Sundays and always works out so that when I have Friday off, I work Saturday and then have Sunday off. So…I’m working a lot, is what I’m saying. Understandably, I haven’t had much time to write nor much to say that isn’t work stuff.

At any rate, besides working lots and lots, I’ve been keeping myself busy in other ways. I reached my Goodreads annual goal already. I purposely set it a little lower than what I did last year, thinking that with all the working I was going to be doing, I wouldn’t have as much time to read. HAHAHAHAHA. I’m not sure where I found the time, but I definitely did, and the average length of book I read this year versus last is less than 40 pages shorter than last year, so it’s not like I’m padding my numbers with picture books or shorty middle grade books.

I will say, though, for those of you who want to incorporate more reading into your life, the two things I do that I think have the most impact on how much read are: 1. Audiobooks for LIFE. and 2. Reading before bed every night. Also, I’m in a book club conglomerate (Bay Area Book Geeks, for the curious), and I try to read as many of the book club books as I’m interested in. And, I am happy to report, I have relaxed a little with the due date anxiety and am actually reading the books that I want to read, no matter when they are due back at the library! And I am making a more conscious effort to read the books that I buy. I still have a lot of books on my “To Be Read” book case (yes, an entire bookcase. It doesn’t even hold all of them.), but I am trying to read through them.

You know what I haven’t had time for recently? Knitting. Or rather, I’ve been feeling very BLAH about knitting lately. I have a feeling part of it relates to the amount of stupid baby knitting I’ve been doing, rather than the fun, for me only knitting. I’ve made some cute af stuffed animals and about a gagillion duck socks, and I think I’m getting a little burnt out on all baby knitting, all the time. Because, seriously, everyone I know is pregnant or recently had a baby.

Also, my size 4 cable needles met a somewhat tragic demise (surprisingly, shoes + knitting on the floor is not a good mix), and I haven’t had a chance to replace them, which I probably need to do before I can do some actual, super fun knitting. I’ve got some gorgeous mustard yellow yarn that I want to make a shawlette out of, something like this or this. I like the second one the best, but with more of the lace all over. Oh! And it doesn’t require size 4 needles! Maybe this is just what the doctor ordered to cure some knitting ennui.

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GUYS GUYS GUYS. I’ve been SO BUSY, OMG. The fall semester of school just ended, THANK GOD, so I finally have the energy to come say hi. There’s been so much going on lately, you don’t even know.

So in September, I petted some llamas alpacas on National Alpaca Appreciate Day. They were very cute. I also bought some yummy yarn that I’ll some day knit into a really luxurious scarf for myself.
Feeding the Alpacas Adorable! Fuzzy! Baby Alpaca! Punk Rock Alpaca AlpacasMommy & Baby Alpaca Nomming Alpaca Spinning!

In October, Feller and I went to a pumpkin patch and did ALL THE ACTIVITIES they offered, except ride a pony because we are both over the weight limit. But we pet some chickens and a turkey and a goat and a guinea pig and a rabbit. And a duck. Who tried to bite Feller. We also rode on a hay ride and a train that was meant for little children, and we sat in a giant chair for pictures! It was very fun and helped lay the foundations for some friendshipping. Which is awesome.
Hayride! Giant Chair! Giant Chair Cuddles Haunted House Meetup Group The Pony We Didn't Ride The Turkey We Did Pet Feller Petting A Chicken Feller Petting A Goat The Duck That Tried To Bite Train Ride!

We have also had a few parties, and Feller cooked dinner for 10 people right before Thanksgiving. It was a resounding success, resulting in hangovers for everyone (I’m guessing, based on how many empties we had the next day).

I’ve started doing a buttload of volunteering to beef up my resume and gain some recent experience with people who are under 21. It’s been really fun! I’ve been doing some one on one reading tutoring with Reading Partners, homework help at the library, for which I’m now the volunteer in charge, and come January, I’ll be doing storytime at a preschool center in Oakland once a week. I’m so excited! And crazy busy! It’s been a real adjustment getting used to how many things I have going on right now, but I’m really enjoying all my extracurriculars. I’m also starting some sort of “Reading to Children” thing in San Jose. I’m not sure if they’re looking for an actual storytime like in Oakland or something a bit more casual. I guess I’ll find out at training!

This semester in school has been SO STRESSFUL. Last Spring I effed up a little, and I paid for it this semester. I was really, legitimately concerned that I wouldn’t be in school come this Spring, but THANKFULLY, everything worked out all right. I wasn’t kicked out of school, I got okay grades, and I received the kick in the rump that I need to stay on top of that stupid online discussion posts bullshit that I hate so very much. But which always screws my grade over, dammit.

Coincidentally, sort of, today is ALSO the first day of 2013. Since I was going to post this earlier (and forgot), I am hereby including my 2013 Get Shit Done’s

*One race a month. Not JUST 12 for the year, one a month. This will keep me running and on track for the THREE half marathons for which I’ve signed up.
*Finish my damn WIP’s. THIS IS THE YEAR for the Medallion Travel Bag. I got a couple other lingering WIP’s taken care of recently, and WHAT A RELIEF. Having projects on the needles for 5+ years is not only RIDICULOUS, it’s a fucking burden. That I DON’T WANT. Medallion Travel Bag, THIS IS YOUR YEAR.
*Ukulele mastery. This involves practicing more than once every two weeks. (BTW, I got a ukulele for my birthday.)
*Knit, knit, knit. Seriously, when I’m just sitting in front of the tv, I should have some knitting in my hands.
*Straight A’s in school. For reals this time, guys. This is my last year of my Master’s, and it’s time to go big or go home. No more fucking around for half the semester and then scrambling for a B. A’s all the way. Because it’s totally doable if I would just suck it up and write some dang discussion posts.

In completely different news, Feller and I (still married, still in love) are going on vacation and couldn’t be more excited. It’s HIGH TIME we had some free and easy relaxing time together. Life has been really stressful, and it shows. We’re both ready for a break.

Well, I was sort of on the ball and had this written on New Year’s Eve, but our internet was totes broken until … now-ish.

The school semester wrapped up really nicely. At the beginning of the semester, I thought I might try for straight A’s, but then I got LAAAAAAZY. And I also forgot until a couple of weeks before classes ended that the Library & Information Sciences school has an annoyingly effed up grading scale, so in order to even get a grade high enough to get credit for the classes, I needed an 88%, which is really, REALLY HIGH, guys. So then I spent two weeks worrying about whether or not I participated enough in the online discussions, which by the way, are UTTER bullshit, and then came the final projects. As I told one of my friends, my intention was to three quarter ass my three final projects, and I think I managed that pretty successfully. One of the assignments was WAAAAY too short (all three actually, but I think it only mattered in one case), which I am pretty sure brought my grade down significantly. I didn’t look at the teacher’s comments on the paper because once classes were over, I pretty much stopped going online for anything significant amount of time. All this to say, really, that I ended up with a B and B+ in my two classes this semester, which is exactly what I needed to not ever have to take either of these classes again. Mission accomplished! On to next semester, which holds another required course and a class all about GRAPHIC NOVELS. AWESOME.

I’m not super into making resolutions for the new year, but it is such a good time for reflection and thinking about how one wants to improve oneself. In 2012, I’ve only got three Ways in which to Be More Awesome. Or at least, I’ve only thought about three things on which I want to focus.

1. I am only reading books already on my Goodreads “to read” list. I rarely get to mark books off that list because I get so distracted by all the other shiny, happy books at the library, and I really would like to whittle it down some. Of course, since deciding this, I have been frantically adding ALL THE BOOKS to my To Read list, you know, just in case. And so it has doubled in length in the past few weeks from 250-ish books to 500-ish. Just trying to keep my options open. Though, now that we’re four days into the year, and I’m already thinking about how I’ll break my To Read List Rule, this is going to be more of a guideline than a firm rule. My focus is more intentional reading rather than just picking up random books; that strategy has often worked for me, but, for this year at least, I don’t want random books to take away from the books that I KNOW I want to read. Does that make any sense?

Additionally, Feller gave me a Kindle Touch for Christmas (!!! love it), and I’ve been scouring Amazon for cheap ass books that I might want to read. I have added about 40 books to my Kindle since Christmas, and the most I’ve paid for any of them is five bucks. Most were ninety nine cents, so I’ve got about half a year’s worth of reading just sitting my Kindle waiting for me. And once I decide how I’m using various gift cards, I’ll probably have a few more books.

2. I am super getting serious, for realz, seriously, about getting in shape. I always say I hate to put a number on it, but then I just end up slacking off and getting nowhere, so here it is, officially, I am going to run three times a week. Feller and I are going to the gym together three times a week. I would also like to take at least three fitness classes at the gym per week, but I’m a bit more flexible on that. Ultimately, I want to lose forty pounds. I remember being at that weight for about five minutes in 2007, and it was nice.

3. Imma start going to church again. I haven’t in ages, and I miss it.

4. I just thought of another thing! Number four is knitting goals: I am going to knit at least one pair of socks, of real socks, not just the baby practice socks, from Cat Bordhi’s sock book. I am going to start working on my sock yarn leftover blanket, either this beekeeper quilt or this mitered squares blanket. I am going to finish that damn Medallion Travel Bag.

5. Oh also, I’m TOTALLY going to write more often.

So, there we go. 2011 was an awesome year. Feller and I went on a great vacation, I quit a job I hated, got a job I love, started school AGAIN. I’m hella looking forward to 2012. I really think it can only bring even better and brighter things.

I have just finished my most ambitious project so far. No, not that damn Noni Medallion Travel Bag, though if I had been thinking, I might have tried finishing it before Hawaii, although I am JUST RIGHT THIS SECOND inspired to perhaps work on it some. We’ll see. I finished Shipwreck.

Spread out

This pattern is AMAZING. It’s so fucking gorgeous, I can’t stand it. The center went quick and easy and then you get to the netting. Dear God, the netting. I might have nightmares about that shit. Because not only are you doing 56 rows of yarn over, knit-two-together for 580 stitches on 6 different sized needles, you get the added pleasure of prestringing and carrying along beads. SO MANY BEADS. The pattern calls for five thousand. FIVE THOUSAND BEADS. I, thankfully, had the foresight to only buy approximately half that amount, or possibly the good fortune that the bead store only had about 2500 beads in stock in the size and color I wanted. I could EASILY have done with project with even a quarter of what the pattern calls for; just a nice bit of flair every once in awhile.

Do you know how long it takes to prestring 2500 VERY TINY beads? A long damn time. Do you know how difficult it is to knit with 2500 beads prestrung on your yarn? VERY. You gotta pull pull pull some yarn and push push push all the beads down so you’ve got some room to work with and you KEEP DOING THAT for 56 rows. And then your yarn breaks because there are 2500 beads on it and pushing all those beads along the yarn wears it down and you’re on an airplane with none of your usual and necessary knitting accoutrement and you have to spit splice your yarn and pray that it holds long enough for you to knit past it and then your cats get into your project bag and there are beads and yarn and knitting EVERYWHERE and everything is tangled ALL THE TIME and sweet Jesus, who write a pattern that calls for FIVE THOUSAND BEADS?!

And look, the beads look AMAZING with the pattern, and if I were to knit it again, I would probably prestring the damn beads again. They give it a little bit of extra OOMPH, and I’m grateful for that, because if I had done ALL THAT WORK for them to look weird or to be unnoticeable, I’d be PISSED. And so, I’m glad I decided when buying all the materials for this project (Oh, how innocent I was back then. I had NO IDEA the nightmare all those beads would be) that if I was going to the effort having a shitton of beads on my shawl, I wanted to be able to SEE the damn things, so I certainly wasn’t going to buy beads in the same color family as the dye I used. Good decision, me! Not that the green/blue beads used in the pattern are in the same color family as the gray shawl, but they certainly don’t pop in the pictures. And for that effort, I wanted some POP, DAMMIT.

The dye didn’t come out with as many color variations or as weathered or as gray as I’d hoped it would, but that could be because I cooked the dye for like an hour and a half instead of the half hour the pattern tells you to. What? They say OR until the water is clear! The water never cleared! But I love the way it turned out. I think it’s utterly gorgeous, and I’ll be able to wear it with a lot of things. So, yay.

And now that I have this totally awesome shawl, I need a totally awesome shawl pin. I LOVE the top left one here. OO, or this one! I also REALLY like this one. I think I like the second one the best, but I wish it was copper. Decisions, decisions. This one is also really cool, but PERSONALLY, I like my accessories bigger and more…expressive than this is.

(Here are my pictures from this project, mostly taken after completion.)

I want a Gin & Tonic for my living room. Or possibly whiskey. Pictures of alcoholic drinks under a microscope.

This Swiss farm lets you ride cows! I wanna ride a cow in Switzerland!

Old Spice Man Responds to the Internet. I haven’t watched any of these videos yet, but I’m sure they’re awesome.

Ohhhh my. I kind of need a minute here. Bookshelf Porn

Knitting clock!

This is a really great post about what society teaches women about our behavior and how it can result in rape. Another post about rape.