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It’s been in the air for a week or two now, but I didn’t want to jinx it by saying something out loud. But this morning, the air is fresh and clean, and it sounds like summer. That sounds daft – does anyone know what I mean? It’s like the air is made differently, is thinner, and light and sounds travel through it better, crisper, cleaner.
It’s just a taste, but I’ve been waiting for it. Hopefully I can drag my way out of my winter funk.
I got off of work for two hours yesterday to go look at houses. One was one in Birkenhead. It was really, REALLY, REALLY REALLY nice. And I want to live in it. Only problem is, it’s in Birkenhead, which is a fair hike from the city, where my sister will be studying. And while it’s one bus for me to work, it’s two buses for her to where she will be working, and it might get a bit hairy.
Making it worse is the fact that my mother has got in both of our ears. She told me she was worried that Maeve (my sister) wouldn’t be able to afford living out of home because ‘she’s got no idea how much things cost’ (uh… what 18 year old does? Isn’t that half the point of moving out?) and that she is afraid that Maeve will flake in a few months and leave me hanging.
She told Maeve that not only is Birkenhead just too far (which is a reasonable argument – I think it’s just on this edge of being too far, but I will happily concede that it is more remote than is ideal) and that she will not be able to bus home from work (based, apparently, on the idea that Maeve will be working late. But the last train to Birkenhead is actually later than most last trains/buses, so… ?). That sentence got too long, so I ended it. It’s too far to taxi, but that’s about it. Anyway, she also told Maeve that I ‘think I care about her but I don’t’ and that I don’t understand, or have her best interests at heart.
Now, I will concede that I have my own interests at heart slightly more than I have Maeve’s. (I think that’s fair enough, myself) And that I want to live somewhere not a student house, and that this house is so nice (it has a HUUUUGE bath! It’s near the beach! There’s a garden! Anda sunporch!!) that I am willing to put up with a little bit of inconvenience – for me, and for her. But there is no one else in this whole world whose interest I have more at heart than my sister. There just isn’t. Full stop.
I had a fairly bitter fight with her (my mother) on the phone the other day. We were both tired, and we bought in to the family script. I had to call my friend and get her to talk me down, I was really upset. I don’t think my mother realises how sneaky and upsetting she is.
Maybe this place is too far. It might be. But Maeve gets to make that decision. Not my mother. Maybe it’s too expensive for me to move now (I’ll be carrying it by myself for a bit before Maeve can move in. I’ve done the maths. It’s fine. Not fun, but totally doable) but I get to make that decision. Not. My. Mother.
Ugh. Anyway. I hope we get this place, because I have already moved in, in my head. Again. I keep getting invested! I have a couple of questions about the application, and I jsut rang the agents, and half their office is off sick. So I won’t be able to get my application in until Monday at the earliest. I hope that that doesn’t ruin my chances. I can’t move until the 18th anyway, so…
Here are some photos of my alpaca jumper and my hair, taken early this morning. I am sorry they are shit, I will try for better ones this weekend, when I have someone else to hold the camera. Taking photos of yourself without a tripod or a remote is HARD.
I think it’s saying something to say that this is the best photo of the lot.
You don’t want to see what I was using as a tripod. What’s that? You do? Well, alright, then…
I warned ya. Not pretty, is it?
(Why does my apartment always look so messy in photos?)
Well, ok. Maybe this is a better photo. But what’s with that face? (I hate having my photo taken. I can’t pose for peanuts)
This one is… artistic… that’s right… it’s meant to be that way (cough, cough)
Let’s talk about this jumper for a bit. It started out as the fairy net blouse (ravelry). I finished it, seamed up the body, started the sleeves… and realised that nobody needs a short-sleeved alpaca jumper. If it’s cold enough for alpaca, it’s too cold for short sleeves. So, I decided that I’d have to make up sleeves myself. That seemed hard, so I put it away to think about what it had done. It had a lot of thinking to do. When I pulled it out again, I decided that sleeves still seemed hard. I knew what type of sleeves I wanted (wide, picot edge) and so I trawled my knitting books until I found one that matched the armscye of the jumper.
That turned out to be a bit looser gauge – it had been so long since I knit the body I didn’t realise it was on larger needles. I think that might be a good thing, since the body is what needs to be warmest. So, I seamed the first sleeve, it seemd pretty good. I knit teh second one… right up until the last two inches, when I ran out of yarn. I waited almost two weeks for more yarn to arrive. I finished the sleeve, seamed it… and decided that the sleeves were too long, and I’d have to rip back and re-cast off.
I tried the jumper on again last night. The sleeves are long. See:
But I think not too long. Not for this jumper, anyway.
I’m not sure what to do with the neck, though. Because it’s alpaca, it’s a teeny bit itchy, and at the moment my eczma is playing up, so I can’t wear it next to my skin. I have to wear long sleeves under it because the worst part is my elbows. And it looks funny with a lot of things. All my nice collared shirts are still wet (damned apartment with nowhere to hang stuff. Did I mention that this house in Birkenhead has a washing line? It does. Have a washing line, that is) so I can’t experiment. Apart from that, I am happy! I would probably add an extra inch if I could, but it’s not too short. I’d just prefer a bit of extra, there. The short rows that I calculated using Big Girls Knit’s formula worked fabulously, and it sits really well.
Quick hair photo:
Those splodges are dirt on the mirror. I’m so awesome.
I promise better photos of both hair and jumper, later. Oh, and the mitts, which it would be easier to find if I spelled them properly, I imagine. Genmaicha (ravelry) I am on the second mitt, and I am really enjoying the pattern. I defninetly see a pair for me in the near future. Well, maybe the middle distance. OK, the far future. Happy?
While we’re on what I’m wearing today:
What’s that? You can’t see the shoes? You want more leg? You need to see the pattern on the side of the sock?
I am soooooo obliging. I just hope ya’ll appreciate it. That’s all.
I’m looking for houses. Not to buy. To rent. Ha! Because I am going to be able to afford to buy a house… oh, exactly never.
ANYWAY. This is a self-pity post, but not yet. Getting ahead of myself there.
So, I was idly looking, because I will need to move out of my place in November. I love my apartment, but I am tired of living in an apartment. I don’t have a bath. I don’t have a garden. I don’t have somewhere where I can sit outside, because my balcony faces the walkway of another big block of units, and there’s this group of dodgy guys who always loiter there. And they can see right in through my loungeroom window. Also, I have nowhere to hang laundry – last time I hung stuff on the communal line it got nicked. So all the doors in here are draped with my sheets. It’s very attractive.
And I am going to move out with my sister. She turns 18 tommorrow! Ack! Also, she will be finishing school, and she needs to move out, because my mother is mental. MENTAL. And she is one of the few people I wouldn’t ruin my relationship with by moving in.
So. We are moving in November, because my lease is up at the start of said month, and she is done school at the end of it.
I was sort of thinking about this in a kind of ‘later on’ way. Until one of the houses right near my work emptied and went up advertised on one of the rental sites I’ve been stalking.
There was a frenzy. I went and peered in the windows. (hardwood floors. Sun porch. Grassy area out the back just dying to be a vegetable garden.) I looked at the bond and did the maths. I could afford to move in in October. It would be tight, there would be no splurging, but I could do it. Providing my parents paid the bond, which they said they would, ages ago, when we discussed this.
I asked about it. My mother was encouraging. Said she thought that would be fine, but she had to talk it over with my dad. Call her later that night. I did. She was passive aggresive (surprise!). They could pay some of the bond. This said in a voice like I had asked for her firstborn. Which, uh, would be ME.
Anyway, I was ignoring the delivery and going with the message. It’s cool, I could still afford to move, it would be even tighter, but I could. I got in touch with the land agent and she said that the landlord was still clearing the property up, and he would be setting a date for an open inspection soon. I planned. I plotted. I schemed. I stalked the websites.
This evening I noticed. The house wasn’t up any more.
I don’t know what this means, but I am pretty sure that whatever reason there is for it not being there it means this: I can’t have it.
It’s nice, and it’s about a thirty second walk from work (which is good and bad, but mostly good, given my levels of laziness) and it’s nice, and, frankly, I had virtually moved in, in my head.
And given my level of crossness because of my mother’s difficultness about the whole thing, my anxiety about moving, and my general winter funk, I was DOWN about it.
So I dyed my hair bright red. I feel a little better.
Oh, yeah. And I finished my alpaca sweater last night. The sleeves are too long.
Poop. I think I will have to cut them and cast off about an inch or two from where they are. Which means that I did have enough yarn, all that time!
Now I am off to finish at least one of my sister’s requested birthday fingerless mitts. It is genmachia, which is a lovely pattern that I have been dieing to knit, in some of Emma’s yarn, which is lovely. But… I don’t think I like the two together. Too late, and bad luck, since she is warm colours, and I have no warm colours in my stash, and no time to buy more. I think they will be nice for her, but I am not happy with them, in general.
So, I still have that half-finished write up about my holiday. But halfway through Sunday I came down with a horrible lurgy. I was sitting there, perfectly fine one minute. The next minute I was thinking ‘hmmm. I don’t feel so good. My throat is scratchy and my ears hurt’ two hours later and I was full of snot. I spent Monday in bed, literally groaning. So, by the evidence of my sookiness I declare that I have the dreaded manflu!!! Because usually it is only the mans who are so astonished by being sick.
I have spent most of the week convincing myself I am well – really! And that I can totally go back to work and keep up my social engagements and do maths re gauge.
Ahahahahahaaha. Lies, all lies. I have been barely capable of feeding myself. Come to think of it, I have had no appetitite whatsoever (I know, right? I must REALLY be sick) so I haven’t even really done that.
What’s that you say? What does maths have to do with sickness? What are you… oh. The post title. Right. Sorry, my attention span is a little bit dodgy at the moment.
I scored some Elisabeth lavold Silky Wool from Mel’s stash sale. It is yum. It’s a beautiful periwinkle blue that is a little bit light for it to be perfect for me now, but I think it will be absolutely perfect for me come summer. And since it is a light and lofty yarn, a summer top it will be.
I had a few things in mind for it that might be nice. But when I was looking at them again the other day, none of them seemed right, not in that ‘omg I must cast on NOOOOOOOW’ type way. Which was disappointing, because I had just got some new pattern books (more about that later) and was full of startitis urges.
I’ve wanted one of these for ever – since before there was ravelry, even! (soooo long ago) I remember it was one of the first things I looked up on said social network, because I wasn’t sure it would be flattering/advisable on someone so unlike the model in every way (that would be me. Because, you know. I have boobs. And other lumps)
And then I thought ‘oh. I can’t cast on right away. because I don’t have the pattern, and it’s the day before pay day, and while I do have $7, it’s not in my bank account.’
And then I realised I had already bought the pattern. Yessssssssssssss!
It was Meant, people. Meant.
That I can’t figure out what size to make.
Because it’s supposed to have a tonne of negative ease. The two sizes I am thinking about are the 41″ and the 45″. Now. I am a 44″ bust (TMI? Maybe) Three inches of negative ease seems a lot. But one inch of positive ease in a garment that should have negative ease seems like a lot, too.
Add to that the fact that I don’t quite have gauge – I’m one stitch off, over four inches. And that I am using a dk weight instead of a worsted, so the fabric is a bit looser than I would really like.
Since I started writing this post, I have come to a decision (I’m at work, ok. It’s only taken me all morning. There has been time for several back-and-forths on this). I have had help. Yesterday I messaged Pug mama (ravelry link) who has made three (!) of these in that yarn. After to-ing and fro-ing, and her doing some maths, and me inflicting my back-to-front maths on her (I always have to do it the long way, for some reason) I have decided. I will go down a needle size, and up a pattern size. This ought to give me a firmer fabric, and a better fit. I’ll swatch, though. I swatched! I even washed my swatch! It was so exciting – usually I do a lame-o swatch of about 5 rows, get close enough, and then rip the swatch and use that to start the project – since I never sever it from the ball, anyways. I know. Recipe for disaster. But Gauge LIES, anyway.
And since writing that, I posted to the stitchdiva group on ravelry to ask for advice, and Wendy (the designer, people!) like, totally agreed with me! Like, omg! I’m awesome.
Turns out I don’t need you after all. My social networks have beaten my introspection. So there.
OMG you guys! There is this WET STUFF falling from teh sky!!11!!!1!! Some of it is HARD wet stuff!!1!
WHAT DO WE DO WHAT DO WE DO?!?!?!
(I hope my bunnies aren’t scared by thunder. After all, it would pretty much sound like one huge alarm signal to them. Oh, noes! Scared bunnies)
I have a half of a post written about my holiday. But this first week back at work is kind of whooping my arse. So it’ll have to keep. And you get a dodgy post…
I got new glasses. they rock. Now, I can see the computer screen without squinting. Which is awesome. And yesterday, at the end of the day, it didn’t feel like someone had been rubbing glass into my eyeballs. Not even a little teeny bit. Isn;t modern technology incredible?!
I started a pattern drafting class last night. It’s only a four weeker, and in that time we make blanks for ourselves for a skirt, a bodice (and then combine the two to be a dress) trousers and a sleeve. Yesterday was the skirt, and it was very exciting! We made the blocks, did all the calculations (really, it’s much easier than regular algebra) and then the lecturer showed us ways to make our tailored skirt pattern into different kinds of skirts by chopping and changing it. It was very liberating, at least in theory. At any rate, I can’t make more of a mess of fitting it than I do out of bought patterns, so I figure I’m ahead.
I’m going to raid my fabric stash and see if I have something suitable to make a muslin this weekend. If, you know… I can get my act together… (it is to laugh)
Also awesome: this tshirt. It is pretty accurate in describing how I feel when attempting to shop in the city on a Friday.