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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 rewound this the other day: isn’t it gorgeous?
It’s bendigo alapaca, 8ply. Dyed by Emma and bought by me… ages ago. Probably about two years now. Which I know is not really that long, as far as stash goes, but considering that I didn’t really know Emma then, and now I can’t really imagine my life without her in it… well, it’s a long time.
I remember the knitting night she brought it to. I fondled it for about a half hour, before dutifully putting it back in the pile. And then I thought about it all the way home. I remember exactly where the bus was when I caved and messaged her to say I’d buy it.
I want to knit Cobblestone with it. Yes. Again. There’s 100gms. I want to do the yoke and, if I have enough, the cuffs and bottom band, with it. Anyone know how much yarn those take?
I went to the Grates concert on Sunday. They are my favourite band, I love their music, and they put on such a great show. It was FANTASTIC! I had so much fun. I got home tired and sweaty from jumping around like a lunatic, had a hot hot shower with new soap, got into bed and sprawled. I was so, so happy that I didn’t have to share my bed with anyone, let me tell you.
We met up for dinner and drinks beforehand. My friend Anna, my cousin Tessa who I used to live with but haven’t seen for months because she’s a flake, and me. I pulled out my rogue and knit on it furiously. Then one of Tessa’s friends and one of HIS friends joined us.
What was I doing? Was it normal to not have to look at it while I knit? Was it normal to knit that fast? What was the chart for? What do those squiggles mean? What’s a cable? Oh… so they’re not, like, embossed on, they’re as you go… so you just keep knitting in a line?
And then we went to the venue. Unfortunately it was at the local teenage pick-up joint, so everyone had to have their IDs and bags inspected. The security guard checked my bag and, without blinking, said ‘brought your knitting, I see’. ‘Yep!’ I answered cheerfully. Friend of friend made a comment about stabbing people and the guard looked at him like he was stupid.
‘She might get bored’ he said.
Do you like my winding setup? It’s on my stash shelves (LOOK at all those lovely books. Mmmmmm…) Problem is, the metal bit that holds the yarn up doesn’t stay up by itself, so you have to hold it. Combine that with the fact that I don’t have a swift, and you’ve got a good recipe* for one big pain in the bum. But new ones are so expensive, and seem like such a luxury, since I primarily knit with pre-wound yarn. I mean… for what you’d pay for a new swift and ball winder, I could buy two jumper’s worth of yarn. It doesn’t seem like a good deal.
I’ve been doing some gardening. It was incredible how much more of a home the place felt once I’d got my fingers in the dirt and planted stuff. According to the numerology of house numbers, my house (8) “Outdoor gardens filled with trees, plants and flowers add to the ambiance of this house.”
See! Pansies! Also, mystery bulbs, what I don’t know what they are. I’ve planted daffodils and tulips in here, but there are also mystery bulbs that I found there when I planted. I am looking forward to seeing what they turn out to be. I also planted Grape Hyacinths along the other path. The bed in the background, with the stump in it, has hollyhocks in teh back, then I think snapdragons but they may be foxgloves, I can’t remember, then marigolds in the front.
Close up of mystery bulbs. Any opinions? I almost didn’t plant pansies, because they are my mother’s favourite flower and there are Associations. But they are so pretty and cheap and so many lovely varieties I decided not to be stupid.
I love them. And it makes me really happy to look out of the window in the morning and see them. Also, notice the wet stuff on them? That’s RAIN!!! OMGWTFBBQ!!! FROM THE SKY!!!
And finally, here is Pie, in the shiny new hutch that my friend built for them, for which I knit him Habitat. N00b is hiding in the flappy bit, in this photo, because he’s like that. Check out that gorgeous morning light, though!
*I always go to type ‘reci-pie’. That makes much more sense to me.
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.
1) Bendigo is cold.
2) So is Melbourne.
3) Both places have this weird wet stuff that falls from the sky. What’s that about?!
4) Coffee is cheaper in Melbourne. Not better. Just cheaper.
5) I am easily confused. Give me a street and I will get lost in it. Give me a map and I will get even more lost, as I walk halfway down the street before peering at the map, deciding I’m walking the wrong way, and retracing my steps. I can do this several times, back and forth, without appearing to get sick of it.
6) I am unnacountably excited by trains.
7) Internet people are fun.
8 ) Normal people look at you weird when they ask why you are in Melbourne, and you say ‘well, I was in Bendigo for the Sheep and Wool Festival and I thought, it’s only a two hour train trip, so why not!’
9) They look at you even weirder when they ask you what you are doing during your stay and you say ‘well, Tuesday and Wednesday I am meeting two of my imaginary friends…’ (that would be the aforementioned internet people)
10) Alpacas are CUUUUUUUUTE.
11) Walking around all day and then spending the evening meeting new people is tiring.
12) Suburbs are a thing in Melbourne. Almost everyone I met asked me what suburb I lived in in Adelaide, even though not one of them had any idea what I was talking about when I told them. I don’t know whether it’s just the people I hang out with, but generally Adelaide people will only ask you where you live if it comes up in the conversation – it’s not typically right after ‘what do you do?’ as a conversation started.
13) Alpacas. They are CUUUUUUUUUUTE
It’s raining out. That set-in, determined rain that makes weekends so cosy. The type of rain that makes you long to be in bed, with a book and a cuppa and maybe some knitting.
I seem to be doing a lot of longing recently.
Whatever. Time for some knitting content.
I’m sure y’all remember the ‘never quite right’ mini hissy fit I had a whiles back. I don’t know why suddenly I’m from Texas. But there you have it.
Well, last night I re-examined my CPH. I had taken Carol’s advice and soaked it. I soaked it for about 30 hours. It just dried last night. The sleeves have relaxed – they’re still a scooch tight, but they’re no longer stupid-tight. And, judging from my wrap cardi, they will relax some more before too long. So that’s good. And given that, the fact that they are too long actually becomes a bonus. Walking to work from the bus stop this morning they came in handy as mittens. Pity the hood looks retarded and I am only going to use it in temperature or precipitation emergencies.
However, the point of this is that it still doesn’t close over the front. I was discussing this with the knitting group the other week, and several suggestions were made. Last night I raided my button stash. Nothing like what I wanted. And buttons would involve working an i-cord or crochet edging for loops, or ripping back. Neither was something I wanted to attempt at that hour (ok, so it was, like, 7:30. But it felt much later).
Who suggested this? I can’t for the life of me remember. I only had small ones. And it was, you know. Late. So I just whacked them in.
I know, I know. Taking photos of yourself in a mirror at night is full of suck. It’s the best you’re gonna get. None of the ones showing how gapey it was without them came even close to being acceptable.
How can tht room look so messy? That table is seriously the only thing in there (the bunnies usually live here. They’ve gone home to stay with my folks while I go on holiday. It’s real empty all of a sudden.)
ANYWAY. The upshot is, it’s still not quite right. But it’s wearable. In fact, I’m wearing it now (as hinted at above). I will need to get bigger press studs, I think. Either that or just suck it up and find some buttons, but I kind of like the way it looks now. If I find the perfect buttons, though, I’ll rethink.
If I was doing it again, I would definitely include buttons.
I also ripped the too-big cowl. And started another one. In different yarn. What? It’s going to be cold in Bendigo. I won’t finish a DK-weight cowl by then. But an aran weight cowl? In two days… sure. I can totally do that. If I don’t, you know. Clean. Or pack.
Oh yeah. And, I’ve started the sleeves for that weird alpaca thing I knit a while back. Don’t remember it?
And blogged here. In February.
I tried a couple of times to do the sleeve maths myself, but couldn’t brain. Had the dumb. So I found a sleeve that looked like I wanted, in the right gauge, and decided that I would just risk it. That’s me. Winging it. To be fair, I am totally prepared to take it if it turns out to be a disaster. Oh, I will whinge about it. I just won’t feel righteous when I do.
Last night when I was finding needles to cast on my new cowl with, I discovered that the lace was on my 3.5 knit picks. This was odd, because I thought that that was what I was knitting the sleeve with.
Nopes. 3.75. Well, you know.
Actually, that might be why I got gauge. The sleeve I am knitting calls for 4mm needles. The rest of the top is 3.5. God, I am sooooo professional.
And somehow in my brain I am going to finish this before or at Bendigo.
My delusion is all part of my charm. Or something.