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Fancy seeing you! In a place like this… A nice girl like y…
That wasn’t where I was going with that.
I appear to have fallen off the edge of the world again.
Short story short, holiday was FANTASTIC. As last time, the highlight was meeting up with all you imaginary internet people. As last time, I fully intend to write it up, or at least hit the highlights, but since I have a million photos to wade through and upload first, I don’t like your chances. For those who are wondering, the photo breakdown goes something like this: 100 photos of alpacas. 50 of sheep. 100 of grafitti. 50 of random buildings. 50 of the sky. About 10 of actual people or events, most of which ALSO include an alpaca, a sheep, or grafitti.
Going back to work was TOUGH. I didn’t really have enough time after I got back to settle into my life again, and I am still sick. Still can’t ride my bike in. And I am not happy about it at all. So the last week I’ve been sort of in hiding mode again, trying to recover from the shock.
My holiday didn’t make me any more patient with people – I still grit my teeth whenever someone brings me a job and then talks to me about it for longer than the job would take – but it did make it easier to hide, or ignore, which is even better. This week has been report week, so there’s been a fair amount of said teeth gritting. It’s been one of those weeks where I’m either frantically working or waiting for content and approvals, and actually have nothing to do. But I’m working on not working myself up as much, and I’m doing ok with it.
Besides, I have something else to think about in the in between times. I’ve started the wheels turning on an etsy store! It’s called Said The Sparrow, and there’s currently nothing in it. But it has a lovely banner from Thompson Designs, who were lovely working with me and my mind changing about what I wanted. I’ve also ordered a custom stamp (along with one of the lovely bookplate ones) from Asspocket Productions (her shop name makes me smile every time I see it). Who were also lovely with my mind changing. It’s been strange to be a design client for once. I’m sure I was super annoying!
Anyway, I have made a few prototypes for friends and family, on the proviso that they pose for photos. This has had the two-birds impact of helping me work out the kinks of what I’m doing, and getting photos for custom orders. Oh, and distributing the tutu love and joy, of course! So, three birds. Howzat! Hopefully I’ll get them photographed this weekend, and then I can have actual products in my little store.
It’s lovely to have a purpose. I’m not saying my life was without ultimate purpose last week, or that this provides it. But it has given me a direction for crafting, and an impetus to do more of it. And I forget how good making things makes me feel, even when the process is not so perfect. And while I am certainly not going to be able to quit my job any time soon, or probably ever, to do the store – and that’s not my aim – it has been good to feel like my job isn’t me – it’s something I spend my time doing, but it’s not really what I do.
Anyway, wish me luck!
I am leaving tomorrow to catch a plane to Melbourne, where I plan to enjoy myself greatly, meeting up with some bloggy friends, and then down to Bendigo for the Sheep and Wool show. I have been HANGING OUT for this holiday, friends.
Friday at work I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I had reached the point, previous to that, where it was too much energy to even give a damn. I mean, I was still doing my work, still earning my keep. But… it was getting harder and harder to pretend that I cared. Which is a horrible feeling because I do care, I do like my job. I just… needed a holiday.
It had reached the point where I had the energy to live a normal life, or to work. So I worked, and did almost nothing else. I have pretty much seen one person outside of work for the last month. Which, ironically, makes me tireder, because socialising can be one of those things that revitalises you. But I just have not had the resources. I was running on empty.
But friday, just knowing that I was shaking the dust of work off of my feet for a week and a half… I felt so much more like my normal self! And it was a shock to realise how long since I have felt ‘normal’.
Really, I don’t want you to get me wrong. All I seem to do on this blog is whinge about how tired I am. And I have been ridiculously tired lately. But I know it’s something that will pass and it is, already.
I am apparently obsessed with this wattle on my street.
I am enjoying doing the year in pictures, although somedays it’s strangely hard to get the camera out. Here is the only picture I took all of yesterday.
Not very inspiring, is it? But that was such a nice day. Let me tell you about it.
I got up and caught the bus into town. I went traipsing around town looking for a flameproof casserolle that wasn’t a million dollars. I spent an hour doing this, and then in the last ten minutes, I found the perfect one, and put it on layby (since I want more spending money for Bendigo!) and also bought a new stock pot. Then I rushed off to see a talk from the Adelaide Festival of Ideas with a friend. We went to the ‘sex, knowledge and society’ talk, and it was fantastic. It’ll be podcast if you’re interested – I wanted to go in again for the ‘shame’ one today, but there was too much going on and I haven’t left the house. But nevermind, I shall podcast that, too!
It felt so good to just sit and think. I haven’t done that for a while. And then we left the hall and talked about it. Bliss! I remember when I was a thinking person… I miss that.
This evening I seamed up my Rogue. It’s been done for a week or two, but sitting in pieces. I realised that the whole point of it was to wear it to Bendigo, so I had better get it put together! I’m wearing it now – the sleeves are an incy bit short, but I think when I wash it they’ll ease out – I steam blocked it prior to seaming, but the sleeves are hemmed. Otherwise, it is just about perfect!
I also cleaned and tidied the house. It feels so much better – and not just cos it’s cleaner. I realised I was standing straighter, looking up more. I feel more comfortable, less cramped in my own skin. And I’ve only been on holiday two days, both of those normal weekend days!
Here is today’s YIP
I can see these from the loungeroom window, and they make me so happy!
This appears to be a bit of a nothing post. But I wanted to blog before I set off for Victoria… I am feeling a bit anxious about the travelling, for no reason at all. Or maybe there’s a reason – I only have one project to take with me! I’ve started the lace on Juno, which is lovely. But it’s a concentratey project, and everything else I have is in one stage or another of problem. Maybe I’ll have to cast something on to take… wouldn’t that just be terrible!
I made a hat!
Trilobite hat from Knitty. Cascade 220 I bought cos I wanted a hat. As soon as I saw this pattern I knew it had to be mine. Even though I am usually strongly anti-bobble.
He’s waaatching you!
I started this a while ago, but I knit the bulk of it on Friday. We had an all-staff day which mostly involved the admin staff getting there at 8 and running around like idiots, and also a lot of people talking about stuff that doesn’t involve us at all. It was ok, but mostly cos I was allowed to knit. Otherwise I think I might have gone crazy.
Many people were stunned and thrilled to see me knitting. A junior member of staff declared the finished hat ‘wicked!’ That made me feel old. I remember Michael Hutchins (no not that one: the one I went to primary school with) saying that and making me all confused because surely that was the opposite sentiment to what he meant?
Anna didn’t bring her knitting, so she held the ball of yarn in her hand and fed it to me as I knit. When I cast off, she looked at the hat and said ‘I’ve touched all of that yarn’. Which I thought was a nice sentiment because:
This is a picture of the adult sized pattern trilobite hat, underneath a baby hat. Oops. I swear I got gauge. I’ve had to rip a couple things lately cos I guess I’m tense (surprise!) and knitting tighter. Anyway, a guy at work has just had a baby boy, so I think they can have the hat. They won’t love it as much as me, but at least they’ll wear it. Plus, I look silly in hats.
I really enjoyed knitting this, though. It was super fun, and I love the way the single stitch cables make the spine of the trilobite – it’s so tactile! You can’t really tell in the photos cos it’s still fuzzy form being a bit wet. Here it is on ravelry.
The other hat was also for a colleague:
Bunny Tail from Itty Bitty hats (thanks Em for lending it to me! I really should get myself a copy of this, it’s not like I wouldn’t use it…). Rav link to my project. It’s in Bendigo baby yarn, held double.
I made it for someone in the admin team who’s sister has just had a baby girl. It was a bit of a trial because her sister is in a wheelchair (I can never remember what her condition is, so I won’t embarrass myself by saying the wrong one) and her health was a bit iffy at the end. The baby ended up arriving a couple weeks early, so this one won’t fit her for a while. I was intending to knit this hat, but on Saturday facebook told me of the early arrival, so Sunday night when my sister left for work, I sat down and started this.
By the time she came home, it was done and drying. It took me about four hours (not counting untangling time – I held the yarn double and it was a bit tangly to say the least because I can never find the bit in the centre so I completely eviscerated the thing) otherwise known as five episodes of Doubleknit. (What? Shuffle just came up that way…) The ear on the right is a bit shorter, and the one on the left leans in, and I didn’t do the pompom tail, and also I wish I had made the front not the part with the cast on but I DON’T CARE DO YOU HEAR ME!!!! None of the people in the recipients family are crafters and, frankly, nobody will notice but me.
I will definitely knit this again – in fact, I’m thinking of knitting it again right away and having some stashed in case of baby. (Would putting it behind glass, with a sign, be too extreme?) My extended acquaintence is starting to do that reproducing thing, and handmade presents are nice. These two hatsare my 1 and 2 to give – only ten to go, and if I stock up another couple baby hats, I’m laughing!
It was freaking COLD today. The grass crunched when I walked on it. Crunch crunch crunch scrunch. And my socks got wet through my shoes. Isn’t the light lovely, thought?
The grass didn’t make my YIP today, even though I think it’s prettier and a better photo than this one:
I chose this one, even though it’s ever so slightly out of focus, because I can take a photo of grass anytime. It’s at the front of the bus where there’s a thing to put ads in, but it always ends up getting filled with bus tickets. I enjoyed this scrap of paper so much I even got my camera out in public, which I feel uncomfortable doing, for some reason. Although after I got off the bus, I did take my FO photos in the middle of Port Road, in rush hour, so maybe I’m over that hurdle.
There was writing on the back but I couldn’t see what it said. A shipping list, probably: milk, bread, vegemite, toilet paper, Them and the so-alones. The emoness made me think fondly of my other bus times, as a teenager. Bek and I were discussing today about how we were emo before it was invented. I wonder what happened to all that horrible poetry and that not-quite-as-horrible prose that I wrote? I think some of it must be somewhere.
We also discussed my sudden desire to open an etsy shop. Do those of you who have one have anything to say on the matter? I think the current hurdle (apart from the fact that it’s a lot of work!) is that I would have to value my own handiwork – enough to put a dollar value on it, compete with other products, and send it out into the wild. That is a scary, scary thought.
Oh, here’s something else I made today!
I used valuable work time and resources (photoshop and illustrator, about five minutes) to put this kitteh head on this plane. Woo me!
I haven’t had much to say, lately. I am generally fine, the days go by and I feel a bit discontent, cranky at being tired and sick all the time, still, over being cold. But when I stop and consider what I would write, it all seems so blah, more whinging when actually, I feel lucky to be where I am in my life. Or else it’s been a bad day, and I really really don’t want to open that floodgate.
Does it look cold? That’s cos it WAS!
I realised mid last week that it was six months Since. I also realised, that I never, in my head, say Since what, exactly. Because it isn’t exact. It’s Since whatever is bothering me that week.
Since my father chose not to be a part of our lives.
Since things got harder with my mother.
Since we had to move.
Since some good things, too – that time, you know? The feel of it is what is in my head when I think of Since.
And After. Sometimes I am talking and I will say ‘right After’ like that, with a capital. Then I realise the person I’m talking too probably doesn’t know what I mean, and I have to go back and say – what, what do I say? Usually it’s ‘After the stuff with my dad’ or ‘After the shit went down’. So vague. But it seems too small to say ‘after my dad died’ and too uncomfortable to say ‘after he killed himself’. That’s not really what I mean, anyway. After my whole life changed, forever. You don’t just drop that one into conversation!
Well, anyhow. I realised it’s been six months Since, and I hadn’t noticed.
It’s been a hard couple of weeks, though. The idea of socialising literally makes me want to run away and hide – and that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing. Hiding. It’s nice that I can, but it’s also pretty darned boring. Especially since it’s so cold, all there is to do is huddle by the fire. And knit, I suppose, but although I haven’t lost my mojo, I’m not being lit on fire by any of my projects at the moment.
But this morning, after I had done some tidying, put some laundry on, I was puttering around my study, putting things away. And I got cross with my needles. As one does.
See, I bought a bunch of bamboo DPNs on ebay. 10mm to I think 2mm. 15cm long. Too many to fit in my needle roll that I bought off etsy, many moons ago. So they were sitting in a pile in my stash shelves, looking untidy, sliding around. And I thought ‘I need a new needle roll.’
Then I looked at my sewing machine, which I’d just moved into a more accessable position and I thought ‘… I could make a needle roll.’
So I did. It’s not perfect, not close. But I thought of it, and then I sat down and did it. I made a thing, where before there was not that thing. I forgot how good that feels!
There’s something thrilling about those chalk marks.
Can I tell you how much I love that ‘mum? Lots. That’s how much.
The fabric is from a big (obviously handmade) pillowcase that my sister saw in an op shop and bought for me, because it’s my colours. As demonstrated by the fact that it exactly matches my favourite handbag:
I am pleased it didn’t go into my stash to marinate. I am pleased that I DID something with it! I am pleased that I like it, and I had fun making it.
If I did it again, I would make the rows closer, so they sit on top of each other more. I would make the flap at the top longer. And I wouldn’t be stupid and sew the tab I was going to use as a clasp on the inside of the thing. DUH.
However, it is made, and it WORKS! And I did it all myself in about an hour. I am pleased as punch.
Now what else can I make?