Saturday, February 25, 2006

What do you say when someone asks you how you're feeling? The truth - which is far too long and complicated, and people think you're crazy for doin' what you're doing, or they ask some stupid question like "what went wrong? you seemed so perfect together!" I KNOW, ME TOO.

So here I am, I am not feeling as bad as yesterday but then my whole world fell apart then! So I guess I still feel pretty bad. However I went to watch today's rugby game, we won, and I got many kisses and hugs so obviously he is not doing that stupid boy-thing where they shut down, and act as if you have leprosy, also can we have sex? You know? But anyway, I am drinking a (small) glass of white wine with my minestrone, and I have a Cadbury egg here too, which is good because besides a piece of toast with peanut butter I have not eaten anything. Not because I'm sad, or feel fat, but because my stomach is just screwed up, which happens every time I get stressed.

Now I am going to dye my hair, take a bath, and listen to my new itunes mix I made for myself. No, not heart-wrenching breakup songs, but songs about hope and the future and moving on. (I am, however, avoiding the radio.)

Thanks for the emails and advice, though I won't be following all of it. You just take one step at a time, cry in public if you need to (not that you'll be able to help it. Ya'll know, right? isn't that THE MOST EMBARASSING THING?)

Well, I asked before I posted about this.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Normally I veer away from personal topics, but this one couldn't be ignored, See, after a glass of wine last night and about two boxes of tissues, Mark and I talked a long time and decided to separate. Not because we're unhappy, or don't want each other any more, but because we both have things we want to do that just can't involve somebody waiting on them. He needs to go home to NZ when he graduates and face all the things he ran away from (his words) and I need to move elsewhere to pursue my art. I guess it sucks so bad because we still love/care about each other; I think he shed as many tears as me. I feel so lucky though, not only because we had this wonderful time together, but because we have been able to handle this with real grace and compassion.

We even shared a story with each other. His parts are about the caterpillar, mine about the stone...

In a beautiful garden, it was summer all the time. A caterpillar met a smooth, dark stone in that garden and they became fast friends. They spent every day together and were so close. However, one day the stone was found by the gardener; "This doesn't belong here! it needs to be back with all the other stones, at the beach!" So, not seeing the frantic caterpillar, he slipped it in his pocket and carried it on the bumpy and dark ride to the beach. The caterpillar was left behind, crying all day and all night. Eventually it cried so many tears that its body was covered and the tears hardened into a chrysalis. And as the stone was worn by the ocean, the caterpillar erupted from the chrysalis, the most beautiful butterfly in history. From the beach the stone could see the glint on the wings, and its heart ached with sadness. But the waves washed away the stone's tears, and other parts too, until the stone, too, was transformed into something beautiful. But the days in the garden were a warm memory for both the stone and the caterpillar, and though the ache lessened, there were still thoughts of each other from time to time.

The end!

Well, it made me feel better anyway. I don't know if I'll be posting any knitting progress for a while though. I have never "lost" anyone so close to me and it feels like sacrilege to be doing things I did before. We WILL be living together through May, when we'll split up all of our things (because there's no way we could bear it now.) Until then we'll still be a couple, and not see other people or anything like that! We're just a couple with an expiration date, and one that is sadly too soon.

If you have any good vibes, please send me some as right now both our hearts are breaking big time but this is just how it has to be for us.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

I don't know why, but the last couple days I have been feeling miserable. Not sick, just... miserable. Nothing bad is going on, but I'm crying at car commercials. For some reason my self-esteem has vanished and left a wobbling pile of insecurity and self-doubt in its wake and I don't know why! (As in, any time somebody compliments me, I can't believe them. I find myself thinking "What did they mean by that?") It gets me feeling frustrated, which only makes it worse. I wish I knew what was going on in my brain, because I can't seem to calm down or focus on anything! (Can I have a hug, please?)

Anyway, my ebay auctions ended and I did really well, but I am NOT SPENDING THAT MONEY! It is staying in my account. I am going to Adrienne Outlaw's studio today to see about an internship and one of my favorite people will be there. God, I hope she is, because I could sure use somebody to commiserate with!

(It probably doesn't help I am listening to the Perishers. Their music is beautiful, but it is all depressing as hell.)

Please send some mental love my way, til I can get over this very fragile feeling.

I held out pretty long, don't you think?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I guess I was thinking more "buy less yarn" than "buy no yarn". I did buy some yarn today, but I don't feel bad about it because:

1) I know exactly what it will be used for (socks for Mother's Day.)

2) It was on sale. ($13 I got these for, and the shipping cheap too.)

3) I like the seller. Not personally, I don't know him/her, but when I sent her a little advice about his/her auctions, she thanked me and asked me some more questions, and seemed genuinely interested in being a good businessperson. How can you not buy from somebody like that?

Anyway, I counted it up, and I have bought 3 balls of yarn this month. I am really proud of myself! I also had a swap go really well too; I traded away 13 balls of DB merino dk I didn't want for...drumroll please...

2 balls of Kidsilk Haze (in a color I wanted anyway)
2 balls of Lorna's in Desert Flower (ditto)
8 balls of baby alpaca silk in red (I have been wanting to try this yarn, and it's enough to actually DO something.) YAY!

So while I have all this yarn coming to me, the expenditure was practically nil and my stash also lost a little weight. (Did I mention my WIPs as well??)

Anyway, I'm feeling so good that I sent in my tax return. Now, tax return time is bad for the yarn stash, as it tends to swell insanely from all the "free money" I get back. But seeing as I'm on this yarn diet, AND enjoying the effects of it, I decided the tax return would be spent this way: 40% into savings for summer vacation. 40% towards credit card. 20% is free money to play with, about $40 I think.

I spent last night thinking about what I would spend said return on... and I'd like your feedback if possible. You've come to know me, you know what I'll use, so let me hear your opinion!

1) One hank of Artyarns Silk Rhapsody. I doubt I'll go with this, as it's not much yardage for the money and it's the last yarn I'll be buying for a while.

2) Four hanks of Lorna's sock. (colorway options: gray's corner, happy stripes, wisteria, watercolor, seaside.) I love LL. What can I say?

3) lace patterns. Baltic Sea Stole from Fibertrends, Violets by the River from Blackberry Ridge.

4) 2 hanks of Schaeffer Anne (socks)

or 1 of 2 kits, the garter stitch jacket kit from Fleece Artist, or a shawl kit from Blackberry Ridge. Right now I'm leaning toward this conglomeration:

Fleece Artist mohair jacket kit ($29), and a lace pattern or two. What do you think? (new suggestions I may not have thought of are, of course, welcome.)

Yarn porn!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Originally uploaded by The Prolific Knitter.

And you thought I'd been a bad girl, didn't you? Truth is, I am D-Y-I-N-G to have some of this, but I am being strong! No new yarn til I don't owe anyone money! (I just paid $50 too. Pretty good, huh? At this rate it will only take.... 10 months to pay it off!)

Anyway, if there is a rich, yarn-gift-loving person out there, I am currently in love with the purple mix. But really, I'm not picky! :)

Honestly though, I've found it easier and easier to say no to yarns when I think of how many years that gapcard has hung over my head, collecting interest (and in the past, late fees. But no more!) I'm trying to pay more than the minimum each month, and putting money into savings too. When I think about going to Asheville in the summer, and San Diego, and how much that will cost, I won't be able to do those things and be paying big ole credit card bills. (Well, bill. but I don't make a lot of money!) So I just think of my future happiness, enjoy the new yarn that's out there, and live vicariously through other peoples' purchases. So please, share your buys on your blog - it's the only way I'm getting new yarn action for a while! *grin*

I've also been working dutifully on the Faux Russian Stole, which is about to become the Faux Russian Baby Blanket because I'm bored of the pattern already. I'll take a picture when it's done, otherwise I might get lazy!

Mark's Felted Hat

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Mark's Felted Hat
Originally uploaded by The Prolific Knitter.
I forgot to mention, I finally got a new Flickr account. I was pretty pissed off that yahoo/flickr merged and then made it such a pain in the ass to merge the accounts. Anyway, I gave up and got a new yahoo email (which I won't be using) and a new Flickr account.

I knit and felted this hat all yesterday, in one day. That is some kind of record for me, seeing as I've never felted before and did it by hand. I knit it using a hat calculator, which I won't link because it didn't work for me and I ended up with a hat that would've fit the Jolly Green Giant. We filled the sink with hot water and scrubbed and rubbed and twisted, and this is the result! it fits perfectly, and I have to admit it's darn cool looking through I was not keen on knitting all that grey and brown.

It was due to this hat that I broke my yarn diet. I discovered I love this hat, but cannot handle the greyness. So I started another one - out of teal possum/merino I had from NZ, and the leftover grey wool. I had a ball of Knitpicks' merino style in Vanilla, but no other color that matched it... so I hopped on Knitpicks, and, armed with my free shipping coupon code, ordered one measly ball of merino style in crocus, a cheery yellow. Yellow and cream make the prettiest stripes! I also got a colorcard for merino style, to make color picking in the (far) future easier. I know it isn't much, but it's a good feeling to just buy what you'll use right away rather than adding to an enormous pile. There're so many things I found while cleaning that I want to knit, I began to realize by overstashing I lose things I want to have handy.

it's done!

Chamonix Sweater
Originally uploaded by The Prolific Knitter.

I started this back in December, and picked it up again when we got back from New Zealand. I designed it using 6 balls of Jaeger Chamonix in "Marseilles" (with some left over!). I used size 10.5 needles and a copy of "The Sweater Workshop" to create this custom sweater, that is SO comfortable and a little bit sexy too! I took measurements at my hips, waist, and bust then figured out sts/in and just did the math. (Please note: I am horrible at math. You can design this too, with the help of this hand book!) I also have an extra copy of the Sweater Workshop, so if you want to buy or swap for it. send me an email or leave a comment with your info.

Anyway, this sweater is the most comfortable, flattering thing I have and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. In fact, I am thinking of swapping my four remaining balls for a different color and buying two more to make a striped version! (I'm thinking cream (Orleans) and gold (Rouen).) I hope you all like it as much as I do!

saving is good. but painful.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Much like working out, saving money is one of those things that feels good after you've been doing it for a while. Not when you're in the act of "ten more minutes of cardio," or "I'll just walk out today without buying anything." But later, much later, when you're sleeping soundly instead of wondering if you can pay rent with the yarn you just bought.

See, last year I had a problem; a shopping problem. When I am stressed and frustrated, I buy. Especially yarn, because it makes me think of what I'm doing in the future, and, stemming from that, that there IS a future out there for me. So I shopped, a lot, and have lots of yarn to show for it. But I did a lot of lying awake, and after an emergency loan from my parents (God, how embarassing) I realized I was a little bit sick and needed to fix myself quick. (hey, that rhymed!) So after Christmas, I said no more yarn. Not really thinking I could do it, but guess what? I've only bought two balls of yarn since January 11. I know, it's still yarn bought, but that's a total of $14 spent on yarn in a month. That's pretty good!

Not to say it hasn't been hard. But what IS fun is trying to figure out how to use the 1 million little balls I have collected. A shawl is being knitted, a sweater which will use a whole cone, and an art piece that is eating up my little balls. I couldn't be more pleased. Seeing the drawers actually close without having to be slammed, no wiggly strands waving limply from baskets and containers.... it's a good feeling.

I still have to make it til January 1, 2007 without buying more than an "eensy-weensy" amount of yarn. I'll even knit my dad or boyfriend a sweater out of the Debbie Bliss merino dk that I bought, to avoid buying new yarn for a new sweater.

Oh, and I'm teaching at the Knaughty Knitter now. On March 9 I'll be teaching cables. Wish me luck! (Good thing I only get an employee discount in the month that I teach. That should keep it way down!)

Faux Russian Stole

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

So here is my problem. I want to knit the Faux Russian Stole from Gathering of Lace by Meg Swansen. Except that it calls for 1200 yards of fingering weight (sock weight) yarn. Now, I'm not normally a cheapskate, but I'm not even working enough hours to pay the bills (thank God there's two of us) and I can't justify buying new yarn. Yet the only yarns I have in quantity are Jaeger Luxury Tweed and DB Merino DK, both really too large. I think the Luxury Tweed (Kingfisher Blue) might work better than the DB, though it's supposedly larger, because it's so lofty and has a fuzz to it. My only other option is to double-strand Knitpicks Shadow, which would cost me all of $14. But, I'd rather use what I have so I'll start swatching with the Luxury Tweed before I buy anything else. And really, I could stand it if the stole were a little bigger, so bumping the needle size up to an 8 (to make a holey fabric with the larger yarn) would be ok with me.

I can't get Flickr or Yahoo to talk to each other right now, so I may have to sign up for another photo program. Too bad, since I liked Flickr so much!