Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Oddball Sock is coming along pretty well:

oddball sock 2

Lorna's Laces, Cherry Tree Hill and Koigu KPPPM. I have discovered that I need to read up on colorwork and yarn changes because there is a Stupid Knitters Trick going on near the colorchanges where I switch yarn and I'm not sure what's up with that.

close up wtf?

I imagine that I'm doing something wrong. Anyone? Bueller?


My plying is shit, but I also haven't set the twist and I know it will even out a lot when that happens. Superwash merino handpaint from Zero's Etsy store. I had a lot of trouble Andean plying this. It broke a lot and that's hard to deal with when you're have the yarn wad on the wrist going on. I think because of the shorter staple and the inconsistencies in my own spinning style - areas where it was under spun just could not hold up to the weight of plying with the spindle.

zero handspun

zero handspun close

And then the last two skeins of that Spunky Eclectic in a colorway I cannot remember the name of. The finished yarn reminds me of the sky at sunset or maybe dawn and I spun it with fairly long stretches of color integrity so I am going to try to knit it into something gradient and dawnlike. I have 3 more skeins in this colorway spun up and set.

spunky handspun

spunky handspun close

I can't even begin to describe how much I love my new camera. I also can't even begin to describe how much I wish I had my birthday spinning wheel. I really need to narrow it down soon. I'm just afraid of buying one I'll end up not loving.

I know this is a process but lately all I can see is what's wrong with my spinning. I think it's time to take some classes.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Meet... Miss Honey.

Originally uploaded by Kimberly Jennery

Folks round these here parts just call her The Claw....

Seriously y'all, when I saw this picture, my first thought was, "OH dear GOD. My sock yarn." and I realized I had not thought about the impact of two kittens on all the yarn that is hanging around this apartment in bowls, on tables, in baskets...

Sanity says that maybe now is not the best time to cast on a delicate cobweb lace wedding ring shawl. And perhaps rethinking my stance on yarn as decor.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Clapotis is coming along very nicely. I am about 6 repeats into the straight section and really loving the fabric. What fun! This is such a clever little pattern. I made the mistake of bringing her to a work related meeting tonight which ended up being full of smokers. Clapotis and I both reek, plus I was so tense that I've got about half a repeat that is SUPER tight compared to the rest of the piece. I know Febreeze will fix the stench, but the gauge shift may just always serve to remind me of my first meeting as senior staff/managerial type person and all that entails.

Today was relatively good as far as financial decisions went. Today a brand new, designer, gorgeous couch nearly fell into my lap for the low, low price of $200. And I turned it down. AUGH. Yes. I turned it DOWN.

I turned it down for a couple of reasons.

1. I bought a brand new digital camera this month.
2. I stocked up at the olive oil store on my last day, to take advantage of my discount on items that have become kitchen staples, and this was a huge bite outside my normal budget.
3. Given the issues I have with this apartment/building, I'm planning to dump our old sofa when we move eventually anyway. It might make better fiscal sense to wait. I'd hate to dump a new sofa!

In the end, I opted to leave the $200 in my savings account to gather interest. I am sure the Universe will open up and something equally fabulous will fall into my lap at a better time. I need to replace the money I spent on my camera before I even *think* about purchasing another big ticket item and honestly, I want to move before I buy new furniture. That said, it was a really tough decision. It was gorgeous. It would have made the living room look amazing. But I'm more at peace with myself having turned the couch down than I think I would have been with myself once the shiny wore off. I think I made the right choice.

Some blog reading earlier this morning sparked a few thoughts about why I mentally treat "found money" as less valuable than "my money." If I get additional Etsy income or sell a teapot, if I get some tips or a gift from my parents, I tend not to value it the same way. I spend it on more frivolous things and don't think in terms of using it like I'd use money I earned.

This treatment of found money is a common mindset. We all do it. We find a dollar or a twenty and we go out to dinner. We get the tax refund and we buy a treat. This isn't to say that buying a treat or going out to dinner isn't ok, just, it's very common not to think of the found money as having the same value. This is a habit that I'd like to bring more mindfulness to in the future. Twenty dollars spent is twenty dollars spent. Period. It's twenty dollars *gone*. Perhaps in future I can make better decisions about what extras I spend "found money" on, if I even spend it at all. Perhaps I can try to see more clearly what gives me the most "found value" instead.

How about you? What do you think of found money?

Friday, June 22, 2007

The verdict is in from the cardio. While I am indeed having a metric fuckton of pvcs and they don't feel very nice at all, the factors that would make them dangerous (heart attack, valve problems, high blood pressure, etc.) are all fine, and so I will live to be 94 and given my family penchant towards forgetfulness in the twilight years, will probably be hiding my own Easter eggs towards the end. This is reassuring. I still can't have coffee except as a very rare treat, and I have to take up yoga and also do some cardio every day. And then we'll see how it goes.

Tomorrow is my last day at the olive oil store. I am sad to leave it, but it is for the best.

Clapotis is inching along. I'm beginning to loathe the straight section. 8 repeats to go.

Charly is feeling left out of the bloggy goodness and wants the world to know he is ready for his close up.


Also, some more gratuitous Mittens cuteness:

And then also there is Honey:

Honey is, er. Well. See. It's a long story. But now I have four cats. Because how could I break up this?

The way I look at it, I am preventing sibling rivalry. Yep. There's a kitten for each kid. No arguments. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I viked the kitten pictures from the flickr account of their current foster mama, the very kind lady who is taking care of them and socializing them until they are old enough to be adopted and come live with me. Hopefully that'll be within a few more weeks. They're still very small.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tonight I told Puff about the pending arrival of Mittens.

We're getting a WHAT? I shall poop in your shoe.

"We're getting a WHAT?" he seemed to say. "I think I feel the pending arrival of poop in your shoe."

Lord Of The Sock Yarn

"Or perhaps the sock yarn. Yes, yes, that's it. Put the kitten down or the sock yarn gets it."


*twitches tail*

"I say, could you please remove the protective plastic wrapping?"

Also, Clapotis! Frogged, recast, and reworked with fewer repeats widthwise.

clapotis wip
Four straight repeats down, 9 to go.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Well I had my echocardiogram and got my Holter monitor all hooked up today and so I get to walk around like Borgy MacBorgerson with my wires and my electrodes and my little portable monitor in a bag. It's only for 24 hours. I confess, I melted down like a big melty thing on the way home from the doctor's office, but have calmed down considerably since then. This has all been very scary, but this too shall pass. I'm having a hard time keeping the diary that 'm supposed to keep with the monitor, but, I'll figure it out. I can't always record the palpitations when they're happening and I'm supposed to - but if I'm driving or whatever, it's hard.

Two more weeks at the OO store and then I will be working only one job. I've successfully (if unhappily) gotten off the demon caffeine and am working on all those other life changes.

Clapotis got frogged, recast and is now being worked with fewer repeats. This makes me happy, as I was worried about running out of yarn and now I think it'll be fine. Have I mentioned how much I love this Schaefer yarn? OMG. So luscious.

The kids head off to camp on Sunday. It's gonna be weird to have the house all to myself for a month. It'll be the first time in seventeen years that I'll have my living space entirely to myself for that kind of length of time.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

First off, thank you Knitnana!
My KTS3 pal sent me the most wonderful box, and a box of my favorite tea from Special Teas as well! Those are two skeins of Lorna's Laces, in blackberry. She made me that great sock bag, which is really sturdy and superior craftsmanship. You can order bags from her site and she'll special order fabrics for you if you ask. I'm getting a skully knitting bag when I save enough pennies! I feel so spoiled!

Not sure what is up with the camera, things are not good, colorwise, but here are some pics I've been saving up.

I've dropped one set of stitches. Terrifying. Fun! Drop with impunity!

SRT heavyweight in "Lagoon" and STR Silkie in "Lunasea" - I may be getting a few more skeins of the Silkie for another Clapotis. It's indescribably delicious.

String Theory Porn:
This is the "Rainwood" colorway. My friend Reesa named it after me! *grin* My very own colorway. This is what she says:
"Start with equal parts heart and zen grooviness. Mix with generous helping of goth stompy boots. Swirl together with determination, strength, and hilarity. Serve with a lovely pot of tea (the good stuff, -please-!).

This colourway is based on a dear friend who embodies all of these things and so much more. Deep velvety rose, rich black, cool celadon and teal, and warm, tea-stained brown."

Pretty spiffy if ya ask ME. My camera does not do it justice. Her site is better and even HER camera does not do it justice, not really.

Have spent the last few days sleeping like a big sluggish sleeping thing, when I'm not at work or playing on Ravelry. Between the new meds, kicking caffeine and sugar and just, work, something has got me beat. Kids leave for camp on Sunday. I am not sure what I'll do with myself for a whole month.

"Go out with friends." my oldest suggested. "You do have them. Remember?"

"Get a life." said the youngest, helpfully.

Thanks, guys. I love you too.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I just got my Ravelry invite! SQUEEE! Bestest social networking thingie ever.

Any of y'all on there? Leave a comment with your username. I'm "rainwood"

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The power of cute. It will compel you.

Mittens. Coming soon to Chez Yarnpirate! Because having friends who rescue feral kittens and then socialize them into adoptable balls of wonderful fluff is a good thing, right?

So paying heed to the signals my body is giving and actually listening to the good Dr. P (Bestest Doctor Evar) about lowering my stress levels, I gave notice at my second job today. In two weeks, I will no longer be pushing the premium food pr0n, I'll just be working at the cafe. I'm sad to leave, it's been a wonderful job, but I am actually kind of hoping that this will free up time to actually do some pottery for my Etsy store.

In other news, giving up caffeine is really unfun, particularly when one is working mere feet from a hopper filled with sweet anodyne. Sheer willpower, baby, today was difficult in the extreme. I am told the headache goes away eventually. I suppose it is simply evidence that yes, caffeine is a drug, and I guess that makes me an addict. So on one level, I am glad to be kicking the habit. On the reality level, I want coffee. Now. Kthx.

Instead of coffee, I have pictures of Mittens. It is unknown how Puff and Charly Bear will react to the interloper, nevermind Tiki, but I think eventually everyone will get along okay. Besides, does this face look like the face of a kitten who is going to let a bunch of elderly cats and one neurotic dog push him around?

The cute is compelling, non? Gratuitous, but compelling.

Friday, June 08, 2007

I've had some health stuff lately that's resulted in some very late nights and a lot of anxiety on top of the anxiety I already enjoy in general as a big, twitchy, anxiety ridden thing. It has sparked worries about things like two suddenly motherless children, etc., and I would prefer that not to happen, obviously. Also, I have a lot of sock yarn in my stash and I want to knit it all, kthxbye. I have a lot of knitting to do.

So yesterday I decided to ask my doctor, the Bestest Doctor Evar, to check it out and hoped very much that he would tell me I was being a big complainy drama queen. He says I am not being a big complainy drama queen. So. Poo.

The good news is that that this is generally fixable with a few very simple life changes. I probably won't even need medication and that's the very last thing they want to put you on anyway these days. It is annoying and scary and doesn't *feel* good but it is not something that is going to kill me. We're running a few tests to make sure there's no other underlying causes for it all, next week.

It is a relief, on one hand, to lie down on the table and have the little things fastened to one's chest so they can see your heart beat, and then be told "Oh yep there it goes, you feeling that? I'm seeing them happen right now. No you are not imagining this. This is real." and know you are not a crazy person with an active imagination. Er. Okay, fine, I AM a crazy person with an active imagination, but this is not because of that. Right. At the same time, holy SHIT it is real. I'm finding this all a little scary in a "seeing the mortality bus whiz by in the next lane and oh shit, the passengers just waved at me." kind of way. I am absorbing it. We are very dependent on that little ball of muscle to keep pumping away normally and you know, we just take it for granted that it will. Until one day, maybe it isn't quite normal, and that's a wake up call. Life is precious, don't you go taking it for granted.

So I can't drink coffee anymore, or black tea unless I decaf my tea. No more alcohol or red wine. I have to avoid sugar as much as possible and try to get my stress and anxiety under control. If I can do that, things will likely go back to normal. I will probably even get to drink coffee and have a glass of red wine now and again, even if not every day. I am finding it hard to imagine life without either of these things, so, humor me here. The fact that I work as a barista in a freaking coffeehouse is rich in irony. Rich, annoying, unfunny, making me want to flip something off in a shocking and rude manner, irony. But that's ok. I'll deal. It would be stupid not to.

Until then, there is chamomile tea. And yarn. I am reliably informed by a medical professional that yarn is great therapy, good for stress and anxiety, and I should keep playing with it.

My KTS3 box came from my pal, yesterday! I am getting a digital camera sorted out today and making up for lack of picture posts later this afternoon, so tune in, same bat time, same bat channel.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I have to remember batteries today so that I can take pictures of the gorgeous new fiber from String Theory (who, btw, got Yarn Pr0ned by Lime n Violet two shows ago) and other yarny goodness that wants its picture taken.

I also have to remember to drag the girls and myself down to the Sears and Roebuck (does saying it this way date me or prove I am from a small rural town where we'd go and order from the catalog because there was no actual *store* for half the stuff they sold?) to have our pictures taken before they leave for camp in two weeks. We are still a family. I need something to remind myself of that while they're gone.

Another evening of being too tired/sore to cook dinner, so I ate granola and fruit while the children foraged for leftover pizza and guacamole. Another night of tossing and turning and glaring at the digital clock which insisted on telling me what time it was and it kept getting later and later, so I could get angsty about having to be up at 5:30. Another morning of sleeping over my alarm, having to rush and being late to work. Doing that means I don't have time to ride my bike and must drive, which is ridiculous because I live 5 blocks away and there's no reason to drive.

The more the ex Mr. YP seems to be having a "normal" life, the more angry and resentful I find myself sometimes. I am so damn angry some days and I'm not exactly sure why. I think that's just part of watching your ex move on. I think it's normal. That whole, grieving process thing. It includes anger iirc. I sure hope it's normal because that's where I'm at.

One thing I am coming to terms with and perhaps why I am so angry in part is how short I sold myself for the decade of our marriage. I never thought I was good enough to ask for/demand what I needed. I didn't ask for his respect and I didn't respect myself. I didn't stand up and demand to be an equal. I thought I was "lucky" that he married me and "saved" me from a life of spinsterhood and single motherhood and I never wanted to rock that boat. I sold myself out. I sold myself short. And when he would complain that I was not Action Adventure Wife, I would feel guilty and bad and broken. But the truth is? I was not broken. I was okay the way I was. I didn't have to be guilty or grateful. He never saved me. I didn't need saving. It would have been okay to be a single mom. I'd have managed. I am managing now, thank you. It is not the end of the world, I am not a second class citizen, single motherhood does not make me immoral and all the things that marriage "saved" me from have turned out to be false fears.

When I said "I do." and did not place high expectations on our partnership because of all that, I sold myself out. I was pathetically grateful and that translates to "pathetic" in the end. In fairness, I know he tried. So did I. I think he was just as bewildered and hurt at all the places it didn't work, as me. I can't say it was his fault. It wasn't. We created the relationship together and neither of us understood the places where we were broken. In the end, a lot of my anger is at myself for not valuing myself the way I should have.

It really makes you think about what and where you need to be in order to create a healthy foundation and a healthy relationship. And how far we can be from that, but because we need love, touch and companionship, we still try, we still want, we still find other people and do our best. Sometimes we fall down. Sometimes we limp. Sometimes it works anyway. Sometimes it doesn't. We just keep trying.

Friday, June 01, 2007

I took a page from the Yarn Harlot's blog and decided that we'd be having themed fiber days around here.

Monday can be Christmas Was 6 Months Ago, Finish That Damn Painter's Scarf Already Mondays.
Wednesday can be Finish Tiki's Scratchy, Uncomfortable Fair Isle Sweater, Winter Is Coming And You Want To Embarrass The Dog Don't You? Wednesdays.
Fridays are going to be Roving Is Taking Over The Apartment, Spin Something Please Fridays.

Go figure, spinning leads to yarn just like the Harlot said! I'd had some Spunky Club languishing on the spindle for months and about 2oz of roving left to spin and ply. It's so old, I don't remember the colorway. Rose, blue, violet, golden yellows. It's very pretty and I remembered how to Andean ply, resulting in 4 small skeins of chunky two ply that I think will probably knit up into a reasonably nifty (if scratchy) hat. Now all I have to do is tackle the last 9 months of Spunky Club offerings. Oy.

Monday the plan is to skein up the second skein of Lisa Souza that I need for TDPS and get a chunk into that.

We're not talking about Wednesday out loud. Tiki doesn't like wearing her S-W-E-A-T-E-R-S. I think she's convinced that all the other dogs are laughing at her when she wears them. I think I'll just try to knit it when she isn't looking.

To reward myself, I dug some Schaeffer Helene (50%/50% silk/merino) out of my stash that The Handsome Cabin Boy gave me for my birthday about two years ago, and cast on for Clapotis. Because you know, yes, I do need something else on the needles to reward my diligence in dealing with the old stuff on the needles.

About 60% through sock #2 in LL's "Iris", though this one ended up being LL, Cherry Tree Hill and Koigu stripey goodness. It sort of matches the first one, in that it contains some of the same yarn, but doesn't match a bit otherwise. I'm getting rid of some small sock yarn balls and leftovers, so figured I'd knit a bunch of mismatched but "related" socks and then I'll always have a "pair" no matter which ones are in the wash. I am brilliant. Also, I think I saw something like that for sale once online, and so it is not really my idea but still brilliant and I am smart to have remembered it.

Digital camera is MIA, therefore there are no pictures of the roving which my friend Reesa at String Theory sent me this week. There's 4 oz of merino in the Hanauma Bay colorway, plus she gave me some goodies for free! 1.5 oz of merino/BFL/cashmere blend in the Cyberia colorway. Plus a couple of samples of roving as yet unidentified, but verra soft and tres luxe. I will also not be taking pictures of the two skeins of STR that arrived on the same day, one Silkie, one regular. Not yet, anyway.

It seems to be feast or famine with me. I can either be totally frugal or I just blow my budget all to hell. Buying one thing means suddenly I am in a shopping frenzy. Well this month, I broke my good habits and it was a shopping frenzy of fiber. Quicken says my fiber spending was 500% over the budgeted amount, for May.

Er. Oops.

May's shopping frenzy concluded today, in June, with a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond where I finally bought the comforter set that I'd been wanting to get for my bedroom ever since Mr. YP moved out in January. He'd always had this thing about flowers and hated anything "girly" in our home. Well it's MY home now and MY bed and dammit, I love feminine, girly things. Not necessarily fru fru ruffles, but I like things that indicate that maybe someone with girl parts* lives here. So now I have them and I likes them very much, precious.

I am sure I will enjoy the beans and rice that I'm going to be eating (ah hell, I've earned it) for the next few weeks, as well.

Maybe pictures this week if I ever find my camera and some batteries.

*the youngest's "Family Life" classes ended this week. State sponsored sex ed, at a federally funded school means abstinence only education. To sum up what my child spent the last month learning, "If you have sex before marriage, you will get chlamydia, get pregnant and DIE." The instructor used the phrase "man parts" to refer to the external male genitalia. From now on, at our house, we will refer to anything in this area as "parts" and then fall over giggling at the stupid that is public education.