Oh the pretties!

January 31, 2010

I am a sucker for a good surprise. It’s true. Even bad surprises kind of make me giddy.  So imagine my giddiness and delight when I come home last night to find a PACKAGE! A surprise one! FILLED WITH THINGS! Yes! Excitement!

Worst! Photograph! Ever!

The lovely Miss Trine sent me a package all the way from Denmark, filled with goodies.

As if I didn’t already think that I was soulmates with the entire country of Denmark, I now have proof in the form of  turtle-shaped-rum-and-caramel-filled-dark-chocolatese, with promises that the Danes produce many of these. Mmm.

And of course, Winnie the Pooh’s Little Book of Feng Shui, which will nestle happily in between my various copies of Winnie the Pooh and the Tao of Pooh/Te of Piglet books, until of course I run across someone who needs a bit of Hundred Acre Wisdom paid forward 🙂

Not Pictured: The Phantom Tollbooth, and Petit Prince

But the best for last, yes? This yarn actually came out of the package screaming “CALL ME ISHBEL!” (yeah, like no one’s ever made that joke before. Clever, Ani). But it’s true. As soon as finish my FLS (which will happen in about 30 minutes!), and the Clover socks that I am knitting for my mommy, I am going to cast on for an Ishbel. I’ve been wanting to knit one for forever. I was also going to be out of stash yarn (the one benefit to my total creative dryspell recently is a teeensy stash) for projects, and stuck trying to decide between the 500-something projects favorited on Rav. It is a lovely fingering cashmere blend and I really like the color! It’s really nothing like the color in this horrible picture. But I don’t know when  we’ll actually get real light any time soon, so just imagine this as slightly greener, more vibrant and more delicious.

Yum.

So really, it was a good day yesterday! And I am well on my way to a whole three-day weekend that I admittedly can’t afford but am excited about nonetheless. Tonight is devoted to finishing the sleeve on my FLS, washing her, and setting her out to block. Tomorrow is all about sockage and writing yet another gender-based linguistics paper.

Thanks Trine!

She rises from the dead!

January 9, 2010

Okay. So I wanna come back. I was sifting through the random posts, and came across a New Year’s meme that I did last year. I thought it would be a fitting new start! And then we’ll get back down to crafty business – which has been very slow. I have a fractured wrist (inoright?!) and a the attention span of a cracked out hamster, but I do have a couple of FOs for the laters.  Aaaand here we go!

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

Only moved once? Har har. Um. I took some HUGE steps in my personal/health life that were pretty unique (in the good way).

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t really care for the resolutiony-business. Sets me up for the failz.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Lots of people got themselves pregnant, but I don’t think anyone I knew actually gave birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?

I hope not. No one told me, if they did.

5. What foreign countries did you visit?

Hahahahahahaha.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

Hahahahahahahahaha.

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Hmm. February 2! It was a good Imbolc and the day we moved into this house. Good lord, this has been a lame-ass year.

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?

Gesture Project, bitches! I gots me an Honor’s Thesis.

9. What was your biggest failure?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Life.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I can only start so many of these with bitter laughter. Did I suffer illness or injury? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I bought a coloring book. That was pretty sweet. Oooh! And a LegoBatman hoodie!

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Lily! She became a sweet little lap-kitten!

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

I wasn’t terribly happy with my own, really.

14. Where did most of your money go?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

15. What did you get really, really excited about?

A bunch of things that ended up not actually happening. Ouch.

16. What songs will always remind you of 2008?

“Poker Face”-Lady GaGa, “La Costa del Silencio” -El Mago de Oz, and “The Walk”-Imogen Heap

17. Compared to this time last year:

i. are you happier or sadder? Huh. I dunno.
ii. thinner or fatter? Je sais pas…
iii. richer or poorer? These are lame.
iv. older or wiser? How could I not get older? Really. I want to know.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Happy-making things!
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Moping.

20. How will you be spending New Years Eve?

I spent New Year’s Eve in a cranky-ass mood, moping, lazing, and generally being a total bitch. Way to ring in the New Year, love!

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?

Maybe?

22. How many one-night stands?

Um.
23. What was your favourite TV program?

Dollhouse, you poor, poor dear. I also started watching The Office. Oh addiction.
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hahahaha.

25. What was the best book you read?

Ooh difficult! I read a lot of great books courtesy of Matt. I really liked Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman, and I re-read The Phantom Tollbooth so that’s obviously a winner.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Oh gods. I don’t want to admit it. I don’t. But the truth is…I can’t friggin’ stop listening to Lady GaGa. It’s a serious problem.

27. What did you want and get?

A gift certificate for a masssssaaaaage!

28. What did you want and not get?

A goddamned pony.

29. What was your favourite film of this year?

Star Trek! Star Trek! Star Trek! STAR TREK! Did I mention Star Trek? I thought it was okay.
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Uh. I turned 21. We celebrated by going to St. Vincent DePaul and buying books. The term system here sucks – my birthday always falls on Dead Week. No funtimes for me.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

PONY.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Boys t-shirts with weird things on them. Yes. Shark t-shirt? You are my soul.

33. What kept you sane?

Sane?I wouldn’t go there. But I had some good friends to talk me through some rough things.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

There was a lot of Patrick Stewart and Alan Rickman love this year.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

I tried to ignore them all this year. I know, lame.

36. Who did you miss?

I missed my Shads, Miss Morgan, and the Zap crew.

37. Who was the best new person you met?

I met the Jose and the Caitlin!

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

Don’t set the kitchen on fire. Don’t set the kitchen on fire. Don’t set the kitchen on fire.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year

Inside-out, upside-down,
Twisting beside myself
Stop that now
You’re as close as it gets
Without touching me
Oh now don’t make it harder
Than it already is
I feel a weakness coming on

Too much going on!

October 31, 2009

I definitely thought I’d be posting more once school started, and I started spending more time online.  Not the case.

I’ve gotten a few FOs off the needles, and started more WIPs…but right now I just don’t have the energy to take pictures, upload them, etc…

 

Things have been really rough for me lately, and I don’t feel like I can share the non-deeply-personal-bits on their own as everything is so intertwined. Hopefully things will smooth over in the next couple of months, and I can share my struggles. Right now it is simply too exhausting, and too daunting to even think about things — much less share them with the whole world.

<3s

…why won’t you release me?

September 14, 2009

I did it! I broke down and cried twice last night, because I just could NOT get the choreography down. I was looking at it all wrong, and I was stressed and focusing on the wrong things completely.

I finally stopped trying to figure out how in the world I was supposed to cue it and just learn the dance! I spent five hours learning that choreography. After my ten hour day. I did a wee bit of yoga, hugged my parents’ kitties and then crashed.

I was back at training at 7:30 this morning. I did better than I thought I would. Don’t get me wrong, it was still utterly humiliating, but I am 99% positive that I was not the “worst” of the bunch. Bottom three, definitely. But not the worst 🙂

That was just in the first run-through, where we taught only the first two minutes of the song (mine was 4:36). We were recorded and then we had to watch ourselves (did I mention the humiliation?) and we got lots of great, helpful feedback so that we could go through the whole song at the end of the day. In the meantime, we did crazy stuff with using barbells on our collarbones (yes you read that right) and our shoulders while salsaing and sambaing, and sticking tape on the heels of our shoes so that we absolutely would not put out heels down while Latin-dancing. We did tons of isolation drills which were something akin to torture, but really super helpful in the end.

When I gave my final instruction, I did so so so so so much better. I let myself get sassy and stopped worrying about cueing. So I don’t really have the instructor bit down, but I do know how I am going to get there.

The whole weekend was a brutal, grueling, amazing experience. I knew it would be if I could just get through it. I am tremendously proud of myself for going through with it and for pushing constantly. I don’t think I have ever really pushed my limits since my injury, and it was fantastic to be able to do so in a relatively safe environment.  While my body hurts so tremendously bad (6 blisters on the feet, two bruises on the bottoms of my feet, bruises on my collar bones and shoulders, and someone set my low back on fire) – the one thing that doesn’t hurt is my injured leg. My IT band is a little bit irritated (as it should be!) but it doesn’t hurt, and I never thought it was going to collapse.

I just got my brother to make me coffee. Now I need to see if I can get him to make me dinner and call a visiting masseuse.

Begging you for mercy…

September 13, 2009

Hi there! Look at me, blogging away like a big girl!

I am having one monster of a weekend. I think it’s a good monster, like in Monster’s, INC….but we’ll find out after tomorrow evening.

For a little bit of background (I keep saying I’m going to make background posts, so that I can just linky-link…but do I? Of course not. I promise, once the 90 minute  lectures start, I will be dying to write those posts!) I am recovering from a massive injury. Basically, I suffered an injury when I was ten, and it never fully healed (I was ten. Physical therapy? Not Cool). Three years ago, I suffered another, bigger injury on top of the old injury. I have been to seven different physical therapists since then. I finally found one who is both brilliant and willing to work with the fact that I live an active lifestyle and will continue to live an active lifestyle. Other PTs have insisted that I stop working at a job that requires me to be on my feet. These PTs have obviously never had the luxury of being a married student trying to get enough hours to make rent and have your workplace work around your schedule rather than the other way around. In the past 6 months, I have made more progress towards healing than I did at any time during the prior two and a half years.

When my local Gold’s Gym announced that it was finally gettiing a Group Groove training session not only in the Pacific Northwest, but actually in Eugene, I asked my PT if I could go. She said yes. Biggest excitement/scare of my life!

What is Group Groove? It’s a super awesome fitness-dance program. You get to do Urban, Club and Latin dancing and it’s a huge self-esteem booster. The tagline is “If you can move, you can Groove”. And it’s great – no one is looked down on if they don’t do the moves right, etc…

Today I spent 10 hours “moving”. I have learned that my body does not move the way it did before the injury. In many ways I am more flexible, but in many ways I am terribly inhibited. It was hard not to break down and cry sometimes because I would be telling my body to do something that it could have easily done three years ago, and today it came out as a total mess. I felt like I could not keep up with everyone else – plus I’ve never instructed before. Cueing is hard when your brain is filled with “YOU! HIP: MOVE OUT NOW SOLDIER. I SAID NOW! NOW! THAT WAS NOT MOVING OUT! WHY DID YOU NOT MOVE OUT?”   I feel like my whole body has been beaten with several baseball bats. And I’m currently just taking abrief break because I have to get up and practice so that I can teach a song tomorrow. I get another 10 hours tomorrow – and it’s supposed to be harder.

The instructor took pity on me and gave me what is probably the easiest track. There is the part  of me in the back of my head saying “she thinks you suck. Look…you’re doing “Mercy”. How lame is that? She gave up on you…” But I am trying to ignore that.  In all likelihood, she was trying to play to our strengths. Some of the really strong instructors got genres in which they were totally out of place and uncomfortable, and that will be their challenge. For me, just getting out of bed tomorrow is going to be a challenge!

Part of me just wants to cry. I do feel like I am doing terribly, and that everyone else in the class is just shaking their heads and sighing at me. But if that is the case, then I need to go work on it and show them just how awesome I am going to be!  But first I need a shower. Like…a 90 minute shower.

P.S. I am housesitting for my parents and their adorable kittehs! They have a hot tub – AND IT’S NOT WORKING. I’m feeling pretty indignant about this. If they go to Europe, I get to use their hot tub. It’s common sense.

It’s here! Knit FOs! Finally. I’ve had some yucky days involving getting called into work on my weekends to cover for a girl who got “let go” (her own fault, really) and getting into a really dumb yet intensely unpleasant scuffle with the Matt. My NoSpend week ends tomorrow and I will give more details and thoughts on that either tomorrow or Monday. We’ll see how much sleep I can manage to get (I worked at 6:30AM, then until 9:30PM and then again this morning at 7:30AM. I feel like a zombie).

Cowls

I’ve been making a lot of cowls. I like them. They are adorable accessories – especially since I am trying to keep my wardrobe very simple these days. I am also attempting to use up my whole stash, which require a lot of one-skeiners. I never purposefully bought yarn just to stash it, but have ended up with a lot of frogged projects or just never  actually started the project. Oops.

Darkside Cowl

My new teacups!

My new teacups!

Check out those raised beds!

Check out those raised beds!

I had a skein of Noro Cash Iroha that I received from my Atypical Youth Swap, and I tried literally SEVEN different patterns before I found one that fit it. I adore it.

Silky Cowl

Those pear tomatoes are delicious. I dont know why I look so distressed about them.

Those pear tomatoes are delicious. I don't know why I look so distressed about them.<

Mmm. Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk. Knitting with it is just as divine as eating the fresh pear tomatoes. I chose a really simple cowl – mostly just stockinette. I couldn’t get a good close up picture, but know that it is soft and wonderful. And bright yellow!

Simon Cowl

Simon Cowl + Simon Tam

Simon Cowl + Simon Tam

Strawberries and Zucchini

Strawberries and Zucchini

I hated knitting my Simon Tam. Hated the stitch pattern – too easy to just mess up completely. Hated the way the yarn knit up into the stitch pattern. Naturally I decided to use the leftover yarn to knit a cowl in the same pattern.  In case you hadn’t noticed, I am not terribly bright. The stitch pattern went much better this time around, but then my YOs all ganged up on me and of course I didn’t have a lifeline, so instead of worrying about it, I switched to garter stitch. And I really, really like the effect of both Simon stitch and garter stitch. I may not be bright, but I at least have a faint glow.

River Cowl

River Tam and River Cowl

River Tam and River Cowl

I didn’t knit the River Cowl in the  same pattern as the River Tam – but it’s  not all that obvious. I love the Cashmere Canapa – it’s perfect for lacey summery items. I’m going to be sad when I start needing things to keep me warm and these have to go into seasonal hiding.

Hat!

High Street Hat

High Street Hat

The really good picture that I have of this hat is being a meanie. I had this beautiful Mirasol Sulka, also from my Atypical Youth swap lying around and it was dying to be a hat. I really really liked knitting with it. I finished this hat in about two hours. Oh, and I look adorable in it 🙂

WIPs

Five US0 needles + cables = Inventive Cursing

Five US0 needles + cables = Inventive Cursing

I made my mom some fun socks as a “Thanks For Cleaning Our Entire Apartment Post-Move” present from some super fun Noro Kureyon Sock. I had plenty leftover for some socks for me, but I decided instead to have a go at some gloves. The cables and the pooling are making for some interesting gloves. I have finished the one that you see above, but no pictures yet. I adore them, even though they are probably not everyone’s cup of tea…and I would never dream of making something that odd for a gift. The pattern is fun, but I will have to wait another week or so to cast on for  the other glove. Gloves are…intense. I find that I have to sit down and knit one in one or two sittings or it all goes wrong and I lost interest. Also: I hate my small gauge bamboo DPNs. I love  them for larger sizes but not  for these itty bitty ones.

I have also already finished another cowl that I made in one sitting out of leftover dark green Cascade 220, and am currently in the process of making a neckwarmer on these things called “straight needles”. I actually have to flip the needles around and *gasp* purl. I’m nearly done with my stashbusting adventure! Sadly, I think I will be frogging my FLS because I hate working with that yarn. It’s been four different things already and I think I am just going to felt it into balls for the cats to play with because I am start to hate it with a fiery passion.  Never fear! I think I’m going to be starting another FLS and a Moch cardigan soon – as well as  making a sweater for Matt.

I need some pictures of my spinning adventures too, but I’ve been having a hard time getting good ones.

That’s it for tonight – time for some yoga and a good book. I just picked up some kinda cheesey fantasy novels from the library and I am enjoying their cheesiness wholeheartedly.

Accomplishments: Non-Fiber

August 27, 2009

I finally got pictures off of my camera. Finally. I came here to make my big post when I realized that it would be just too bloody big.  I’ll be splitting into two different posts – a Non-Fiber related post and one that’s devoted to the six billion cowls and hats that I have made during the summer.

First, I’d like to quickly update on my NoSpend week. We made it through the first three days despite the BoyDevoursAll fiasco. I did go to the store with the remaining cash I had left over from grocery shopping and bought him some dried fruit and nuts. I am going to just pretend it was part of the original grocery transaction however, and I still came in several dollars under grocery budget. There was miscommunication and grieving – it happens.  I did some creative things with rice and broccoli and the tomatoes out of the garden which weren’t exactly delicious, but definitely serviceable. My mom brought me some fresh blackberries, so instead of making a second batch of zucchini bread, I make blackberry cobbler! YUM!  I just started marinating my tofu in pineapple juice and tamari, and I have to go coat it in coconut soon. Did I say “YUM!”? Repeat that a couple of times for me.

First category: Carpentry

Carpentry? Why, yes, I may be a wee little girl but I am moderately skilled in the ways of power tools and metal pointy bits. Thanks to my handy-man mother and my time working backstage on sets! I pretty much am limited to a small pink tool set that I got when I moved out, so I don’t do much unless I get the chance to get to my mom’s. In July I finally made it over to create a beautiful set of spice racks and to bedazzle an old, cheap kitchen cart.

Kitchen Cart

I’ve been looking for a kitchen cart for awhile. One thing about vegan cooking is that it tends to require a LOT more kitchenware than someone who just fries some steak and boils a potato for dinner. I’ve got lots of pans, pots, a wok, a blender, a food processor, etc… I also don’t have a pantry of any sort. My drawers and cupboards were all ajumble and just frustrating to use. I decided to de-clutter the heck out of my kitchen –  I gave most of our now-useless wedding presents away, and just boxes of stuff. However, I still wanted to create a kitchen space that was most useful to me. I needed extra counter space! Badly! Preferably moveable counterspace too. I didn’t want to buy a new island because of the cost and the waste. It’s really hard to find something that useful and that modern in second hand stores, so eventually we found a beaten up base model and extra parts and over the course of several months acquired the necessities for creating a moveable kitchen cart. I have to say that I am ashamed that I don’t have before pictures. It didn’t even occur to me! I am so silly. After a lot of refinishing and cutting and sanding and ohhhh the coats of varnish, behold:

Kitchen CartI wanted to make it black since the original plan for our kitchen was a black and white theme. While our landlord let us paint everything else, he refused to let us pain the kitchen – not even to touch up the white! Sad, but true. So we varnished it to be approximately the same colour as the spice racks and just left it in all it’s wood grainy goodness. The sides fold out! Voila! Triple the work space!

Spice Racks

Again, I should have taken pictures of the whole process, but considering how long it took for this to even make it to blogdom, it’s probably okay that I didn’t. Mom and I went hunting at Bring, this amazing recycling center that sells everything and found some cute little molding panels that were just the right size for spice rackage. Originally, I wanted something more akin to a standard spice rack, but like everything else in my life, we bought the moldings and then didn’t get around to making it for a month. We pulled out the bits that we had and had no clue how we were planning to put them together. This is what we came up with:

Incoming Pictures 077We just made little boxes and hung them on the wall. So simple and it took maybe ten minutes tops. Then I decided to hammer in some small nails to hang utensils that I use frequently. I have never been happier with my cooking situation! It still needs some serious work. Things are rather unorganized, but that’s just because I’m taking it slow in buying up storage containers.

Second Category: Sewing!

I love to sew, but I don’t do it very often. It’s hard for me to get my sewing machine out, clear off the kitchen table, set it up, find the iron and extraneous sewing notions….you get the picture. We don’t have any space for my sewing stuff, so I don’t do it often. It also isn’t like knitting which I can just pick up for ten minutes and then put it down. I can’t sew while I spend time with Matt. So I just don’t do it.  I found some great charcoal grey fabric at St.Vincent that I just knew had to be a work skirt. I cut out the pattern six months ago. When I finally pulled down everything to work on it, I discovered that my machine is broken. I know what’s wrong with it, and I know how to fix it but honestly, it’s such an old, bad machine that it’s not worth the cost to fix it. I’ve got my mom and grandma keeping an eye out for another machine for me.

I was determined to get some sewing done that night, and decided to handsew the skirt. I’m not the best at sewing. I’m too impatient and I’ve never really learned the fine details, and while I know how to do things I don’t know why I’m supposed to do them that way. It seemed like a good idea then to start at the very beginning. I’m really enjoying it so far! It takes a lot of time, but I really like the result. Slowing things down is really helpful. I decided to use a ruler and draw lines to make sure that my seams are straight. Well, brilliant! I should’ve been doing that with my machine too since I’m so slapdash about it all. I have made the most beautiful darts:

SkirtDart2SkirtDart

I’ve got it all sewn together, I just need to hem it. I plan  on finishing the hem tonight while hanging with my man.

Skirt

And that’s it for non-fiber crafts. Tomorrow or the next day will see a LOT of pictures of me in my garden wearing lots of different knitted items.  It will feature less rambles as well.

I have lots of FOs coming up, but since this one is the only one uploaded, here we go!

So now that I’m on my way towards owning lots of black, white and grey clothing items, I decided that I need lots of fun accessories to lighten up my outfits. First on the list was a black scarf. But why make a scarf when you can make a shawl that is also a scarf, pray tell? So behold: Lacy Black Shawlette

Okay, so having pictures taken of me is not my strong suit.

But it’s cute and versatile!

Used as a shawl on our 2nd anniversary. Also featuring Rowan, Camera Hog Extraordinaire.

Used as a shawl on our 2nd anniversary. Also featuring Rowan, Camera Hog Extraordinaire.

This is a pretty standard summer outfit (it doesnt get terribly hot here). Classy with the black shawl, but made more fun with coloured cowls and necklaces and stuff.

Summatime!

I know I should take more pictures of the stitch on the FO itself, and I’ll get around to that when I do my massive FO post. Spoiler: Look forward to LOTS of neckwarmers and cowls.

Compassion please!

August 8, 2009

I am revamping this lovely blog so that it is actually lovely, and something that I update with frequency. I’m rather excited about it.

This started out as an attempt at a knitting blog, but it’s clear that I do things that are all too often not knitting!

And so once I get this thing all sorted out, I’ll be back. And! I am finally getting all my pictures uploaded, so that you may all witness the glory that is my craftiness.

FAIL

July 13, 2009

Mission Relax was a fail.

Mission Airtight Containers was a fail.

Mission Ani a fail?

Stay tuned.

😀