Tuesday, February 28, 2006
The thing that makes me livid, is that we wouldn't know any of this if we hadn't almost gotten evicted last week. In normal circumstances, we'd have told them oh, maybe a month in advance that we planned to renew--it's what we were planning--and we'd have had no clue they were going to slap that rent raise on us. When the hell were they going to get around to telling the tenants about the renovations? When they start complaining about the noise? The lease requires 60-days' notice if you're moving out. Technically, that's today; our lease runs out end of April. I was thinking we're going to have to take an extra month probably, and pay through the nose for it, because there's no way I can make that decision in 24 hours. But if the raise for a year is only up to $610...dammit, I don't want to stay there! The place is old enough to have asbestos and lead paint clauses in the lease, and it's falling apart around us! They talk about refacing the cabinets; they have no clue how bad the cabinet interiors are obviously, because they're gonna practically have to gut the place to bring it up to snuff for the Southside. My God, I hate being in a box like this! We've dicked around on the finances way too long and painted ourselves into one helluva corner.
Sorry about the vent, gang :)
Friday, February 24, 2006
How about a picture, courtesy of the Chinese press...I have 2 cats, Jordan and Figaro. Jordan is a brown and white Siamese mix, age 10; Fig is a black and white short hair demon, age 2. I've been captioning this one: If Jordan Ate Figaro...
Another good one might be: Evidence the Cat's Been Eating Straight from the Bag...
Knitting's poking along...if anyone read the stuff I deleted, please relax--I'm fine. Everything looks better in the morning :)
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Could use it today though...barely 10 a.m. and I'm in a snit. For details, check out My LJ blog.
I know my limitations though, too; have had raging PMS this week so last night, didn't even touch the lace, instead tried to make some headway on B4 (Big Bad Baby Blanket). Not crazy about how Sand Stitch looks different front to back, but I think I'm going to keep going to the blocks before I decide if it's worth it to frog.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Inherited a pile o' Encore from ruthee and decided to put it to baby stuff...I have a niece or nephew making an appearance around July, goddess willing. So I start the Big Bad Baby Blanket from Stitch n' Bitch in a nice sage green (perfect camouflage for poop and puke, I figure), and discover something rather quickly. The above commment.
Embarrassing, but true. I mean, c'mon, Melanie, we're talking about seed stitch...k1, p1, repeat to end or until you pass out from boredom. It ain't brain surgery. But alas, I can't seem to keep them straight, even after checking in the SnB book for the cute little smiley-faced drawings that tell you what's a knit stitch and what's a purl (scarf vs. noose). So I rip it out, try again, rip it out, and consult my Big Book of Knitting Stitches for a cheat. Decide on Sand Stitch, which seems to be working better, but it looks like the blanket will have a definitive front and back now. ::sigh::
Will table Tasha for a bit now, so I can make some progress on this blanket, and will probably start the layette set in the white this week, because the hat and booties are easy, and a nice distraction. Also need to price 2 more skeins of Encore, I think, so I can make Kara's potential critter some baby Uggs--boy or girl, I just know she'd go apeshit over those :)
Made some nice headway on the real SSS last night, almost up to where the chart stops. Gonna let it grow quite a bit more though, before I switch to the 24s. I don't understand why knitting the lace is more relaxing than some of the other projects, but I'm sure grateful for it. I slept too much Sunday, worked Saturday, and thus, got nothing accomplished on the weekend, which usually puts me in a nice dark mood come Sunday night. But I poked along at the lace and didn't want to put it down, it was so much fun, and it actually lifted my spirits. Hope it continues to do that as the stitch numbers climb.
Some of us were tweaked at being called couch spuds in Time Magazine, in that blurb about the Knitting Olympics, but I tellya, when knitting actually helps my depression, I don't give a crap what that makes me, because I know it's doing something much more powerful than the knitting itself. That so means something to me, because while I was always the creative one in our fam, I was also least likely to shine at it, least overt at showcasing any talent. To know in my soul that something is doing me good--can it get any better than that?
Friday, February 17, 2006
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
1) Her blog is not for the faint of heart. If you're currently feeling especially worthless about your ability to start, finish, or create knitting projects; if you spend time staring at your UFOs thinking, "damn, when DID I start this sucker?"; if the idea of knitting with more than one color at a time sends you into a corner in the fetal position, begging for chocolate or wine; then don't abuse yourself by reading her blog. It's unintentionally intimidating. Her subway commute notwithstanding and the fact that she's probably been knitting a helluva lot longer than I have, her projects exude a level of speed and professionalism that I aspire to oh, maybe when I'm around 50 years old.
2) That sweater that I recommended you look at, at the end of a recent entry, the black and white fair isle named Rose.....it took her......wait for it.....less than a month to knit.
We now pause so the smelling salts may take affect.
Anyway, frogged the ole SSS again. If I'd continued with it in that fashion, I'd have been blocking a shawl x months from now with a big nipple in the middle. Great for Zoe. Not so great for me :)
Three rows in. So far so good. Definitely wasn't concentrating on that last one, I think I was screwing up already by row 3. Doesn't take much these days for the blonde moments to kick in.
Gonna go Dick Cheneying later for a katcha-katcha (that's where you go hunting for something, but you try to keep it a secret >:)
Dreaming of a world where I can do my job on a voice-activated computer so it frees up my hands to knit.
Feeling a little better today, thank the goddess!
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
This has been kind of a sucky winter. I really can't remember the last time I experienced the delicious oppression of a depressed psyche, which is why my present mood really blows. It's a tricky business, because I'm on all my prescribed doses of medication at present, so it begs the scary questions: has the Paxil's usefulness begun to wane? Do I need to decrease the lithium? Is it just SAD coupled with a horrifically cluttered apartment? Will these feelings abate if I a) get laid, b) rent a storage space and put the entire contents of my dining room in it, c) rob a bank to get Les's teeth done faster, so he can find work that much faster, d) go off my self-imposed, 2-week-old fiber diet, e) shoehorn Les off the couch and make him dig into our closet belongings and make piles......I think it's just winter blahs. Thank goodness I'm physically healthy, haven't caught the flu like everyone else I know this winter, because it's hard enough for me to get outta bed in the mornings of late...
I think I'm ripping out SSS again. It was forming this cone shape (because I still don't own a counter and seem to think that I can keep track of it because I have the pattern memorized) that might look great now, but I'm thinking will cause me problems come blocking time :(
P.S. Check out the February 13, 2006 blog entry for Wendy Knits (her link is at the left)...she finished Rose, a fair isle? of her own pattern making, and it is so completely f*cking beautiful! I want this pattern!!!
Saturday, February 11, 2006
36 rows. Around and around.
And something weird happened.
I didn't mind.
I'll never forget the time ruthee frogged my sock sock back to the heel turn. It was painful, I remember reaching for it once or twice and saying, no, really, you can stop there.
This time, nothing but determination. I started unknitting, but within 2 or 3 sections, I could see the futility. I'm just not skilled enough to unknit that much lace and think it's going to come out ok. There were 3 sections out of 8 that needed work, and I've been knitting exactly what, a year and some change? I've yet to pick up a crochet hook to grab a stray loop, and I barely believe in gauge. I looked at it and thought of the finished product and said to myself, don't you want it to look right? This isn't like a garter stitch scarf in Homespun, where if you make a mistake, no one will ever notice; this is a deliberate pattern and you have strayed rather succinctly. Well, that sounds like me but I doubt I actually had that whole conversation in my head. Heh, well, then again...
So I frogged and after 2 false starts, I have something back on the needles. I can't wait to go home and work on it some more. The weather's perfect, a cool drizzly rain, nothin' to do but clean house, do laundry, and knit once I get done with this blasted half day of work.
Friday, February 10, 2006
Unknitting might be another story however. I was poking along at my buddy Mr. Lace last night. At home because the car was outta gas and the account was outta cash, so I had to bail on KB :( I'm poking along and I realize I can recognize when the K2tog occurs, so I can stop counting every little stitch. Yeah, well, gave myself a wee bit too much credit because to look at it a couple of rows later, it's obvious there are some f*ckups. Great, now what? I was thinking of letting it go, since this is my first lace project and is only getting worn by me, but my knitting pride seems to have been getting the better of me after I sleep on these issues, because I'm pondering it this morning and thinking I have some unknitting ahead of me.
This is good though. This isn't me being a perfectionist (which I always fear, since I was one for a long time); it's, like I said, pride. This yarn color is pretty, the pattern is neat, and I'm enjoying this project immensely; why shouldn't I want it to come out right? Now I just wish I didn't have 7 hours of real work (website editing) ahead of me, because I'd love to jump in on the unknitting. I think it'll only be 4 rows tops. What sucks is I know some sections are perfect while others aren't, so I hate having to unknit the correct sections in order to fix the incorrect ones, but I know I'll be happier with the finished product, so there's that to look forward to. I may go at this slower than some of the other gals in the group, but the finished product is definitely something I'll be proud of. :)
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Not giving myself enough credit? Probably. I did ok with the White Buffalo, and that stuff seems to pull apart out of spite, right when you are cruising at a decent clip.
Still, I'm more curious about looms. Of course, any acquisition of materials would have to occur after we've moved into a house, because even a table loom would be too much for our current busting-at-the-seams abode. But they're interesting to me. Yet another thing to take me outside of my head, which right now wouldn't be a bad thing. It's been a bad week, but the calm that comes from working the lace is different than regular knitting somehow. I spent yesterday recovering from a particularly low point, and I knew better than to work the body of Tasha, because it's standard stockinette and would have me bored within seconds. The lace requires counting and accuracy, and working in the round is calming somehow. ruthee, or whomever, picked a good pattern, because I know that's not the case with all lace--ruthee can't even mention the Pi shawl without adding an expletive to the statement :) But the not-quite-repetitive nature of the SSS is giving me rewards when it's still in toddler stage (I only just hit row 36). And right now that's something I need, so I'm grateful.
Monday, February 06, 2006
Meet Alexa and Maria, the only living proof willing to admit that Melanie can knit!
Well, not entirely true, I suppose...my mom just got a shawl for her birthday...whether she's worn it or not though, ...
Granted, there are those who look upon us Florida knitters as needing our heads examined, which is why Alexa and Maria are the perfect models. Hailing from Salem, Massachusetts, where if the snow doesn't kick your ass, then the wind off the water will, this getup may still look a little funny, but I'll bet it keeps Maria snug in her sling. This was a standard rectangular poncho with Vneck in White Buffalo Straw and Persimmon; I cribbed ideas from about 3 different patterns, because it was my first time working with White Buffalo so I was inexperienced at shaping with that type of yarn, and in retrospect, I'll use larger needles next time.
Hey A, would it be warmer if you stitched the sides together and left armholes? The thing already feels like one of those Xray capes, but, just pondering...
The second level of accomplishment I'm referring to is the SSS. Had Imbolc stuff Saturday and Saturday night, worked a couple of hours Sunday morning, and did some baking after a nap Sunday afternoon. Once the Super Bowl started, I finally sat down with the ole SSS and studied/counted whether any damage I'd done was irreparable. Nope, looked ok, only one section off a stitch. Hole in the middle's a little big, but it's nothing I can't fiddle with later. I decided to transfer it to the 16" 7s, even though I was only about 12 rows in, because I really didn't trust myself too well with the dpns--even the 8s have you feeling like you've acquired at least 3 extra thumbs. Transferred and started knitting and something wonderful happened: I started to see the pattern in the yarn! Such relief! I mean, seriously, my first attempt was so funny, it would've been one of those ruthee moments of "here, let me just frog this for you to oh, row 6!" Since I'm knitting this for me, I don't mind if there's some fudgy spots, but I certainly don't want it laughable. But there's actual curves occurring. The tough part is the pattern's so easy to remember, I was forgetting to count my rows--I'd think I was at 13 when I was actually already up to 17--and I never bought a katcha-katcha, so it meant some careful counting once or twice, but I'm not confused by it anymore! ::snoopy dance::
Oh my...I'm a website editor and just came across a slogan that's begging to be shared.
For an old-fashioned soda fountain and ice cream shop:
Friends don't let friends lick alone.
Please forward comments to Robbie & Michelle at www..... :)
Friday, February 03, 2006
Totally cheated, but it's started, and already ready for the 16" circs. Too bad I don't have 'em.
I say I cheated because I did the first 4 rows straight, then joined it and weaved it together using the tail. It'll probably look like crap, and the center hole's a little big right now, but I'm sure I can fix it when the time comes. It's not going to look like anything until I get it on the circulars anyway.
Now just gotta find the 16s, they don't carry 'em in size 8 at JoAnn's @ St. Johns TC, and I don't think my Michael's even carries Clover yet, which I'd prefer. May have to go to AC Moore, because I'm looking for a place that'll exchange an extra set of 13s for the 8s.
Ok, it's official, I'm a bonehead...I have 16" size 7s, I'm almost positive, bought 'em when I made the grey hat. Why don't I just downsize? Slightly smaller stitches will help me recognize the pattern better as it develops anyway. Will investigate further tonight.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Saw two good ones on blogs today...the first one was the term "procrastinatrix." Oh. My. God. So. Me.
The other one's a joke...hear the one about the argument between the masochist and the sadist?
The masochist kept saying, "beat me, beat me!"
The sadist said, "no."
That one reminds me of one I heard in college...
How many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
"No, she's not a Picasso. If she was a Picasso, she'd have 3 tits."
Billy Crystal, City Slickers
Yup, definitely feeling better. If I can't get the cast-on tonight, then darn it, I'm going to try a different pattern. I've never been one to follow the herd, well, not on my current medication anyway, so maybe I should try a different shawl. The book A Gathering of Lace is just gorgeous and offers a lot of options for all levels of expertise.
My name is Melanie. I'm in a rut.
It's only partly of my own making at present. The apartment complex I live in decided to give us washer/dryer connections about 6 months ago. About 2 months ago, they got down to brass tacks and sent independent contractors in to tear up drywall and rewire the joint. This meant taking 7 years worth of detritus from our bedroom closet and placing it elsewhere. We live in 800 square feet with an above-average amount of furniture and 2 cats. Needless to say, it's feeling a little cluttered.
Now, apparently, the rewiring was done incorrectly and needs to be redone before the city inspectors come to give the go-ahead for placement of said washer/dryer. The complex keeps sending us letters warning us that the contractors will be coming to work, and then they don't show. Meanwhile, we're supposed to keep the closet reasonably empty so they can work.
I've already done one Goodwill run, well, Hubbard House, and it's obvious that another purging and reorganization needs to occur soon. I dabbled with the idea of getting rid of some of the furniture, but it's all good stuff that just needs a replacement cushion here, some recovering there...Quite simply, before this closet mess occurred, we were already outgrowing the apartment. We have a couch, a loveseat, 2 upholstered chairs of sorts, 3 bookcases, the dining room with computer table, 4 end tables (2 of which I loathe because they're nothing but dust catchers), 3 coffee tables (because Les and I are dumpster divers), and various other sundries. We received a king-size bed last year from his folks, and now with the way the closet clothes have spilled into the bedroom, it's no wonder I feel like I can barely move in there.
And it doesn't help that Les and I have turned into a couple of lazy slobs.
What brought on this rant? This week I've been reading other people's blogs. Exciting, interesting tales of busy lives replete with kids, spinning, knitting, working with a loom, raising bunnies for the fur, graduate theses, law school, and starting seeds for gardening, and it's brought home full-force how much I want to do in this life, and how much I'm allowing this rut to take the place of those dreams. It leaves me restless and ornery, but doesn't leave me energized enough to do anything about it at the end of a mind-numbing day of website editing. I got home last night a little later than normal, made dinner, contemplated baking some bread, came to my senses, pulled out the knitting to try casting on for SSS again, gave up after 2 tries and switched to Tasha, did a handful of rows and moved onto starting Tasha's cable edging in Heather Rose, which required working from both ends of the skein because I'm double-stranding it, which resulted in a hellish tangle that I spent the better part of an hour trying to remedy while watching "Lackawanna Blues," only to have it frustrate me to the point of cutting it and giving a ball of knots to the cat to play with.
I feel so spent sometimes, and I don't even have kids. Part of it may be my body still rebounding from 2½ days without one of my meds last week, and we won't even go into how much more energy I'd have if I'd just get out and walk every day...
So when you're this cluttered in your home life, it stands to reason that you're going to feel cluttered elsewhere in your life too. And it's not like I'm overextending myself. I go out exactly 1 night a week, and my weekends are usually clear. But I don't make good use of the time I have, and I'm losing patience with the fact that I need to hang onto my patience just a little while longer. I completely understand that Les is afraid to look for work; if I had his teeth, it would pain me to leave the house. And with a little luck and a lot of Grandma's money, we only have to stand on our heads, as my dad would say, for another 2 months or so. I can certainly handle that. Just need to remind myself of that a little more often, I guess. And knit up a storm in the meantime, to keep from eating my frustration.
Personal ritual for Imbolc tomorrow night
CUUPs ritual and potluck Saturday night
Super Bowl Sunday
If I can steer clear of OT at work, Saturday day is clear except for throwing together something in the casserole department for that night. And Sunday's wide open til 6ish and even after; it's not like I need undivided attention on the game. Time to stop whining and get a little work done.