Wednesday, May 27, 2015

so i'm an introvert

which means that i don't like big crowds or small talk or networking.  it means that i would rather sit on my couch with my knitting and a couple friends and a bottle of wine than go out to a cool place and be seen.  it means that if i have to shout to be heard, i don't want to go there.  it means that i will probably stand awkwardly in the corner while a party is going on.  it means that i am generally quiet and reserved around people i don't know.  and it means that if i do have to attend events that are not introvert - friendly, i want to do so sparingly, and will need recovery time after.


so this weekend i have to do a lot of extrovert type stuff.  i am presenting at a conference on friday, which will entail networking and talking to a lot of people i've never met before.  since i'm presenting, i have something to focus on, which is great, but what i'm going to do for the hours that i'm not presenting i don't know.  is it kosher to sit in the back and knit while sessions are going on?  no?  ok... i'll take notes i guess.  then on saturday the theater group i've been involved with for the last ten years or so is having a kickoff party for their new space.  this is super exciting for them, and i want to support them, but it is exactly the kind of big party that makes me want to hide my head under my pillows and pretend i don't exist.  i really really suck at this kind of thing, which is why i usually avoid all forms of "launch party" at all costs.  but it's a good cause. and it's easy to ghost out of those events because there are so many people.

and then sunday i will recharge my battery and recover.  i will need it.

i just wish i could make people understand what it is like for me in these situations.  i have many extroverted friends, and it is hard to explain to them the effect that big events have on me.  i also have a bit of anxiety that goes along with my introversion, which means that i not only don't know what to say when small talk is important, but i am so worried that i will make a fool of myself that it compounds the problem. the older i get, the more i like to just stay home more than anything.  it's not because i'm "not fun" or "boring" - it's just that my idea of fun is different.  it's more intimate, and it takes fewer people to make happen.  once in a great while i really want to go out and do something, or host a big party, but mostly i'd rather stay home.  it's just who i am.  and it's taken me a long time to be cool with that.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

TUSAL Page finish!

it's that time again - when i get to play along with all the fun stitchers out there and post my orts for the month.

the last few months i've been dealing with some stitching ennui and focusing more on my knitting, which i've done a lot of for sure.  but it has meant that i didnt' do a lot of stitching.  i started a page in february, and it took me until, well today to finish it.

the upside is that along with my orts this month, i get to share a page finish!  very exciting for me.  and i think my mojo may be back a little bit because as soon as i hit post i'm going to start the next page and keep going.

happy stitching everyone!


Friday, May 15, 2015

frogged.

i don't usually like to talk about my failures.

it's probably something that most people can relate to, right?  we don't want everyone in the world to know when we didn't complete something, or we did it the wrong way, or what have you.  because it's scary - putting yourself out there like that.

"hey everyone!  look at me!  i messed up!"  feels like an invitation for the world to point and laugh...

maybe that's just my introverted nature.

but today i had to share a story of a frogged project.  a project so doomed to not work out - i should have seen it coming a mile away.

a dog sweater.

i chose the pattern because it was adorable - see?


but i didn't know what size to make... the dog i'm making it for is an italian greyhound, so he has a super round chest and then no other meat on him anywhere.  i thought that his chest was roughly the same circumference as my calf, so i measured that and the answer seemed to be the medium.  so i started it, and was feeling good - i even made adjustments for his shorter torso and all that...

but then i looked, and thought "this seems like it will be huge".  and that should have been it.  i should have stopped right there, ripped back, and chosen a new size.  but then i remembered that spatial reasoning and i don't get along so much, and decided to keep going.  it will probably turn out right.  

then i came to the back shaping.  it was fine.  it was fine.  until i looked at the wrong set of numbers in the pattern notes.  i did fully 10 extra decreases from what i was supposed to do for that size.  

so now not only was it gigantic (i wrapped it around my calf and it was fully 2 inches too big around), but it was super long too. 

somehow i convinced myself to keep going and start the hood.  

then i stopped, looked at the insanity, and ripped it all out. 

maybe i'll start it again in a different size
maybe i won't

either way - it was a colossal failure, and i am appropriately ashamed. 

maybe i'll make another hat.  i'm good at hats.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

cancer can suck it

for real.  cancer is terrible, and it needs to crawl back into the ooze from which it came and never show its face in polite society again.

j's mom got her diagnosis in january, had her surgery in february, and started chemo in april.  which means she needed some super duper hats.  and that's where i come in.

i can't cure cancer.  i can't make chemo suck less.  i couldn't do it for my mama two years ago, and i can't do it for j's mom now.  but what i can do is make things to help the survivors cope with the baldness.  wigs are only good for so many hours in a day - they get hot and itchy and awful.  so the best thing i can do is make some soft and comfy hats out of non-itchy fibers to take over when the wig becomes too much.

cotton.  just plain old, lily sugar n cream cotton.  natural, soft, cool, and sturdy.  this makes good hats for after chemo in the summer:

i'm such a pretty model, aren't i?  

then, i wanted to make something that was not a hat, and very soft - even softer than the sugar n cream.  i had this ball of leftover acrylic sock yarn that is very soft, and decided that it would make a great scarf.  i had made one of these for my mama and she just loved it.  i have no idea if j's mom will like it at all, but it was a fun and easy project and used up some scrap yarn, and i thought she should have it. 


so yeah.  cancer can suck it.  not that i don't love making hats and head scarves for people, but cancer is a stupid reason to have to do it.  i should point out that both ladies are cancer-free at this point - both were lucky enough to catch it in time that it hadn't metastasized beyond a single mass, and both were able to get it cut out during surgery - so the chemo is just to make sure there are no stray cells lurking anywhere.  so thank goodness for small victories, i suppose.

on the bright side, the weather has turned gorgeous here, and i've been getting some outside knitting time in.  and i finally realized what the extra cup holder in my chair is for:


patterns:
one i made up for a basic hat
eyelet brim cotton cap
chemo do-rag (aka scarf)

Friday, May 8, 2015

my first socks!

i made a pair of socks!

i have always been a little intimidated by socks, but i decided that they can't be all that hard and i should just get over it.  and you know what?  they aren't, i did, and i made some.

and this isn't my last pair of socks, either.  i'm fully converted to the joys of sock knitting.

pattern: my knitted heart vanilla socks size medium.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

April TUSAL

so i can't believe it's the end of april already.  i mean, i can, because all of the end of april stuff is happening, but it just seems to have gotten here all of a sudden.  especially the work stuff.  it feels like one minute we were dragging along, enduring the snow days, thinking of how we could rearrange our syllabuses to accommodate the missing days (ps, there is a major debate in my head about whether it's syllabuses or syllabi, and i can't seem to find any kind of consensus on the subject.  suffice it to say that i use them interchangeably, and the one i choose depends on my mood for the day.)

anyway, now all of a sudden it's the end of the semester, everyone is edgy and frazzled in a way that only the end of spring semester at a community college can produce in people, and i'm exhausted.

so many things happen at the end of april/beginning of may too, outside of school, that my head is spinning.  i've got, in the next few weeks, a concert, a meeting with my replacement for the house, a production meeting, a commencement ceremony, and auditions.  plus, the next few weeks include my sister's birthday, our anniversary, mother's day, and j's birthday.

and on top of all of that, j and i are house hunting.

to say that i've had little time for any sanity-building experiences like stitching is an understatement.  most days i get to the end of the work day wondering if i ever remembered to eat lunch (today the answer is no, which is sort of set off by the fact that i didn't actually get to finish my breakfast biscuits until almost 2:00) and then i get home and zone out for a couple hours before simply collapsing into bed.

but, silver lining, it will all calm down soon (i hope).

anyway, here is my meager addition to my ORT jar this month:

that's the page i started in february.. remember when i had high hopes that this piece would be done by christmas?  i think that bird has flown.

and here's where the piece stands as of now - i've done almost 2 whole 10x10 grids since my last post... whew (if there were a sarcasm font i would be using it right now):

but that's how life goes sometimes, right?  some days you get to stitch, and some days you don't.  i think the days when you just can't make the ones when you can all that much brighter.  

and now i must return to my regularly scheduled insanity.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

on finishing a project at 1 am...

a little while ago, i decided that i should treat myself to something lovely and very selfish. i had been looking at my ravelry project page and realized that out of 80 some-odd projects over the last few years, only 4 of them had been things that i kept.

now i know that this is probably the norm for crafters, since if we kept everything that we ever made we would have overflowing baskets of things we couldn't possibly wear as often as they should be worn.

but nonetheless, i took that as a sign that i should do something nice for myself.  and since craftsy was having a sale on their kits at the time, i decided that the nice thing i would do would be to make myself a shawl that is lovely and spring-weight rather than warm enough to wear in fall.

luckily, trufa by corrina ferguson was on sale as a kit from craftsy:

isn't it pretty?

 the kit included two skeins of manos del uruguay serena yarn:



which is lovely and of a much higher quality than i usually buy.  plus, this is a company that employs women artisans in rural uruguay and promotes identity and is pretty much just awesome (read their story here - you'll need to translate the page, but it's a very cool story)

so i chose my color: green tea.  doesn't that sound lovely?  and then two days later, it came.  yay!

the problem with buying nice yarn for me is that i don't own a swift or ball winder, so the first thing i had to do was improvise:

yes, my living room is a mess. and yes, i was watching sleepy hollow - what of it? 

once i got it all balled up, i started, and it was fun!  such a fun pattern to work on and i had already gotten to the start of the short rows when i started reading the comments on ravelry - everyone ran out of yarn!  oh no!  so i ripped back and started again on a size smaller needles, confident that it would fix the problem.  i got through the short rows and started on the lace section, and i was about halfway through the second ball when i panicked and decided that i should order another one just to be safe.  so i did.  and i decided i wasn't going to do any more on the shawl until i had it, since i didn't want to run out mid row and have to remember where in the pattern repeat i was... so i didn't work on it again until saturday, and i was convinced i could get it finished in time to wear on sunday to easter brunch.

i may  have overestimated my speed a bit. 

and underestimated how far the ball of yarn would go. i never ended up needing the third ball of yarn. sigh. so now i have a ball of green tea that i need to do something with... i'm thinking fingerless gloves... 

i finished the shawl at 1 am on saturday morning. go me! crochet bind off and all!

brunch wasn't until 11:30 on sunday - in my sleep deprived and slightly addled brain, this was plenty of time to give it a wash and block and have it dry. so i soaked it and pinned it out all pretty:

even if i was a little bit lazy with pinning all the lace:

and i went to bed excited to show it off the next day.  of course, shock of all shocks, it wasn't dry (who saw that coming?)

so i committed the cardinal sin and threw it in the (gasp!) dryer... let the admonishing begin... but i wasn't about to forgo the wearing of something that i had stayed up until 1 am to finish - no way man!





















it didn't get ruined - just kind of reverted back to what it would have looked like if i hadn't blocked it at all.

i still got lots of compliments on it on sunday, and i will certainly be re blocking it soon.  next time though, i'll be more careful to finish early... maybe... probably not...