Knitting

Ribbit! Ribbit!

September 28, 2014 :: 12:17 PM

*sigh* all that work… headed to the frog pond

So… yeah.

My first socks done toe-up and TAAT are headed to the frog pond. Somewhere, somehow, I screwed up pretty badly and there’s laddering up the borders of the pattern. It looks terrible on the needles and even worse on the foot. I’m not sure if it was because I did them two-at-a-tme, I counted completely wrong, or if I managed to drop a stitch on both socks in the exact same spot. All of which are, sadly, very likely to occur and may have even happened simultaneously. That’s how bad they are.

I don’t want to frog them, but as I looked at how fucked up they were, I realised that - more importantly - I hated knitting that fucking pattern. I mean, REALLY hated it.

I love the way Hermione’s Everyday Socks are knitting up, even though I’ve just started a pair in that pattern. (Socks for a friend, unfortunately.) I think it will look equally awesome in that red. And HES isn’t nearly as boring to work on.

It’s really weird how that happens - both are four row repeats, both are relatively simple combinations of knits and purls - but one is infinitely more fun to knit than the other.

——

I ended up buying a new Forester last Friday and broke it in by heading to Woodstock for Black Mountain Symphony’s record release party. 492 miles from the Subaru dealership, to Seabrook Town Hall, to my house, to Woodstock and back to my house - I’m already at 1,000 miles.

Have I mentioned I’ve only had the damn thing a week?

It was a hard decision and one I didn’t make lightly, despite how it may seem.

My dream car - my BMW - doesn’t come in a stick until you get to the 335, and I need an X-Drive (all wheel drive). When I found one, the sticker on it was $51K. FIFTY ONE THOUSAND. FOR A CAR. I still can’t get past the fact that my very first house was only $32K and I still can’t justify buying a car that costs more than a house. (Even though my current house has an insurance replacement value of $289K, I can’t use that for comparison. I just can’t.)

I know, I know… and I did know it was going to be ugly. I could go down to a 320 / 328, but I don’t want an automatic that thinks it’s a stick. I refuse to drive anything but a stick.

So… my car had had these ongoing issues with the fuel line. It kept throwing up “Check Engine” errors and the dealership was kind of playing hit or miss with the repairs. The first time, it was $500 for a new gas cap and some kind of fuel container thingy. This last time, it was $300 for a stupid gasket. (There were some tests, but seriously? $300 for what ended up being a $6 part.)

When I got it back, the car stunk like gas, but I was told that it was natural and the smell would go away. I didn’t have anything to worry about unless the check engine light came back on.

I don’t know about you, but worrying if my fuel line was going to go while I’m on the backwoods of MA / NY isn’t my idea of a good time. Worrying about whether or not the car would spontaneously combust wasn’t particularly enjoyable, either.

Maybe those are stupid concerns… but the car was paid off. If it hadn’t been, I’d probably still be scared shitless to drive it, but sucking it up until I could afford to pay it off.

I got a brand new 2015 Forester - approximately the same exact car (minus the horizontal roof rack thingies), with technology befitting a car seven model years newer - for the same exact payment as my old car.

I suppose I could have done a lot worse.

I have mixed feelings about it, which sounds completely weird, right? I love it - I really do - but it’s just that I didn’t want a damn car payment.

*sigh*

——

I have mixed feelings about Black Mountain Symphony’s new album. It sounds ‘flat’. I thought it was my speakers in the new car because I hadn’t tweaked them, but my iMac, iPhone, and Jamie’s car confirmed that it just sounds flat and shitty. Maybe it’s because I’ve heard the songs live a bazillion times and that energy didn’t carry over? I don’t know, but the first album sounded so crisp and clear that the mix on this album is really disappointing.

My other complaint with this album - and it’s definitely petty - is that I wasn’t listed on the liner notes, but someone’s dog was. We all joke that I’m the #1 fan, the miles I’ve put on my car, the amount of money I’ve put in tip jars, the fact that I’ve let them stay in my house (not once, but twice)... all of those are testaments to my dedication to them. I know they sincerely appreciate me. I’ve NEVER doubted that. Not for a second.

But.

It would have been nice to get a public thank you… and there are quite a few others who are surprised that I was left off.

Especially in light of someone’s fucking DOG being thanked.

I’m not going to lie. It hurts.

I’ll get past it because it is so petty and minor in the grand scheme of things, but for now, I’m just going to let it bother me so I can get it out of my system.

——

I contacted another immigration law firm this morning. I laid out the reasons why I think I can claim citizenship and asked them simply if they thought I could and how much it would cost for that privilege.

I guess we’ll see…

 

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Obligatory NYE post

December 31, 2013 :: 12:01 PM

sherlock returns tomorrow!

Last year, my #threewords were self, create, and family.

I think I did well -

SELF: despite being unemployed for most of the year, and dealing with a serious, debilitating, case of depression, there were days when I was able to pull myself out of it and function.

There were also days when I excelled at being a functional human, despite The Ick.

This was probably the worst bipolar / depression episode I’ve ever had, if only because of the length of time it lasted. 

But I survived it, no matter how hard it was to remember that depression lies.

CREATE: I published four pieces of fan fic on AO3. While I’m not a superstar, I’ve gotten some kudos, some nice comments, and a proofreader out of it. If I grow some balls, I might even have a brit-picker.

And I’m still writing - I have a Cabin Pressure 30 Day OTP Challenge I’m struggling with, the NaNoWriMo Case Fic / Johnlock disaster that really needs some serious editing, the Sherlock 30 Day OTP Challenge I started as a warm up to NaNo, and I’ve got an idea for another Johnlock fic that I toyed with a long time ago. It never came to fruition because I didn’t know the best way to handle it. After reading a similar Cabin Pressure fic, everything clicked and I can see that those first two pages have a lot of promise.

I didn’t do nearly as much photography as I wanted to, and I never learned how to sew, but I think the amount I wrote more than makes up for it. I also got some quality knitting done, so all things considered, “create” was probably my most successful word.

FAMILY: I spent a lot of time with my Albany family and managed to expand it. I knit a sweater for L. I managed to create/strengthen relationships with high school and college friends that previously didn’t exist in anything similar to their current form. I let go of close friends that I considered family when their behavior turned toxic.

... and finally, oddly, I managed to piss off a member of my family with my deeply rooted belief that I am Polish. Only the National Archives in Warsaw know for sure… but I’m still holding out hope.

This year, I’m not sure what my three words should be. I have a rough idea, but I don’t know if these three are final yet.

I came up with the lame “happy/happiness” for the first one. (At least I think it’s lame - the word, not the idea behind it.)  I want to focus on doing more things that make me happy. Whether that’s to write more, spend more time with my family, get my ass to London at least for a visit, stay at the new job, continue to embrace the SuperWhoLock family and the friends I made there, I just want to do the stupid little things that make me happy. I spent too much of 2013 feeling like a victim, “suffering” from the bipolar and really letting it define who I was. That’s not really something I’m proud of - and while the bipolar is something I’ll always have to deal with - I handled it poorly this year, despite my few victories.

The second one would have to be “travel”. I want to visit far away places this year (London, obviously), but there are places closer to home to see as well. I really want to play tour guide when my friend from Cincy finally gets her ass to the East Coast, and sometimes there’s nothing better than being a tourist in your own town. I’d like to spend more time with Black Mountain Symphony. I’d like to spend more time in Connecticut with my friends and family there.

I think the third one has to be “J”. This year has been super rough on both of us, and I know I’ve taken advantage of his kindness and patience several hundred thousand times.  Part of me couldn’t help it (unfortunately, the depression really forced him to step up and be a grown up which I hated), and part of me just watched as he did things that I was going to do later that day, and part of me tried to make up for it in stupid little ways that aren’t nearly enough. He’s been my rock through everything that’s happened since January 1998 and I can’t imagine my life without him, so it’s probably time that I let him know that I’m sorry for 2013 and 2014 will be a better year for us. My biggest fear is that I’ll lose him. There’s only so much crap I can put him through before he gets fed up, right? Shit, I hated myself for most of this year. I don’t know how or why he’s still around… I would have left me a long time ago.

No - there hasn’t been any sign of things going that bad between us, but it’s a very real fear that’s taken root lately. He really is the Hubby of Wonder because I wonder every day why he’s still here.

These kind of overlap with last year’s, but I’m OK with that.

Happy end of 2013, everyone… may 2014 give you everything your heart desires.

 

Link to this post   •   #threewords   •    •   bipolar   •    •   Friends   •    •   Knitting   •    •   Travel  

I love London…

May 22, 2013 :: 10:49 AM

image

and the hipster-fandom war continues

THE HIPSTERS HAVE THE CREDITS

I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard at a hipster post…

And they wonder why we don’t like them.

——

It’s a “Hunger Games” morning over here. Apparently, I need a reminder that I can survive being unemployed and bored out of my mind. And alone. We can’t forget alone.

I’m not a social person, but I do miss being surrounded by people. Even people I don’t like very much. That makes this even harder.

But I’ve settled into a pattern of sorts: drop Guinness off at day care, watch Doctor Who when I get back, then switch to Supernatural if the reruns are good or watch a movie (preferably an absolutely terrible horror flick on Netflix), and then it’s Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, and then back to Netflix. If I’m somewhere else in the house, I can normally find some trainwreck TV (I’m partial to the judge shows: Alex, Judy, People’s Court.)

Dog, that makes me sound pathetic, but since I mostly just listen to them, it makes me feel a little less lonely.

I did have some much needed social interaction with people who aren’t my trainer last night when I finally got back to my knitting group.

My knitting group! It’s been so long - it was awesome to see the majority of the old crew. There’s not a lot of newbies, and some women have been in the group for almost 20 years. It was nice. I got a lot done on the Wallaby and decided I’m going to finish my red socks and probably work on a Wallaby for myself when the socks get boring, but without the pocket and hood. I haven’t decided about the hood since I’m not there yet, but the pouch isn’t really my sort of thing.

If I’m going to be taking the trail into Boston, I’ll have plenty of time to knit the socks - they travel well. It’s about 70-80 minutes to Boston by train. It would take me that long to drive and probably three times as long to find a parking space around Downtown Crossing.

But back to the Wallaby: I know. I know. I just vented about how shitty the pattern was. Now that I’ve done one, though, it will be much easier. It will just make much longer since I’m not a child’s size 6. I’m afraid to even look at the pattern right now to see just how many stitches I would need to cast on. Right now, I’m working with 188 and that feels like it’s taking forever.

——

My phone interview went really well last night and they told me I’d hear back in one or two weeks. In the meantime, I passed up a part time, temporary bookkeeping job. I had to commit to eight weeks and since I’m starting to get some calls, I don’t want to commit to two months of temp work. Even though I could have started today.

As much as I don’t like the idea of commuting into Boston, the money’s better and this job would be worth it.

Wish me luck. I think I’m going to need it!

Link to this post   •   #threewords   •    •   Knitting   •    •   Randomness  

Bored. Kinda.

May 20, 2013 :: 12:30 PM

image

it’s all cumberbatch’s fault, really

I really do love how Sherlock’s pronunciation of John’s name has become wildly accepted. It pops up everywhere in the fandom. Even my fan fiction.

——

I’ve been sticking to trying to apply for 5-ish jobs a day, at a minimum, and the majority of those cannot be through recruiters. For every recruiter I apply to, I have two find two more positions. I’m aiming high and hoping for the middle. I guess it could be worse… Maybe some of these companies will see my resume and be all “OOOH! SHE’S PROBABLY CHEAP! LET’S BRING HER IN.”

It’s a nice fantasy. Right?

——

I’m currently taking advantage of being (temporarily?) less depressed than I have been by working on craft projects. I have some thank you cards I’m making as part of a wedding gift and I’m working on my Wonderful Wallaby. The cards are easy. The sweater? Not so much. I vented on Facebook that the company that wrote the pattern really sucks. The pattern really does suck, not because it’s hard to knit (it’s actually pretty enjoyable and I can see why they become pretty addictive), but because it’s written in a conversational fashion.

Instead of saying, “knit for a thousand rounds,” it says “So we went to the lake and had a wonderful summer. The kids love to swim and oh, by the way, go ahead and knit for a few rounds. We think it would look awesome if you made it really long… a thousand rounds should do.” OK. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much.

Now imagine trying to join sleeves to a sweater body when the pattern is written so conversationally. Lots of Google.  Print outs of drawings. Falling down the rabbit hole that is Ravelry… to finally have that blinding flash of the obvious and attaching those suckers to the body. Apparently, I’m not the only one frustrated by “After we got ice cream, we knit three stitches, then backed up and moved the six previous stitches to a holder. By the way, I had strawberry ice cream. It was good. Where was I? Oh yeah, then you want to knit all the stitches except the twelve you moved to the holders. Do you like ice cream, too? What’s your favorite flavor?”

Yeah, still an exaggeration, but still very close to the actual pattern wording.

It’s like manic me decided to write a knitting pattern.

*sigh*

ALL DONE!

August 05, 2007 :: 6:35 PM
image

“Child’s Aran Sweater” by Yankee Knitter, Addi Turbos (6 & 8s - I knit tight), Lion Brand Wool-Ease in forest green heather


The Baby Sweater of DOOM! is finally finished. 

Note to self: it doesn’t matter how stinkin’ small the sweater is, aran sweaters take a sh’load of work.

Second note to self: blackberry (bobble) stich makes you break out in hives. Do not knit anything that requires blackberry again!

Third note to self: I bet I could fly through a baby sweater that doesn’t require 2 types of cables and the flippin’ blackberry stitch….

I have apparently been bitten by the sweater bug.  Is this a good thing?