Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The never-ending infinity scarf

If you want my advice, I'd have to recommend just buying a cheap infinity scarf. It just isn't worth it.

I've been working on this project for months now (I know, it just isn't like me!) and I can't finish it for the life of me.

It started out as a simple project. I bought the Thick and Chunky yarn on sale and thought I would just "whip this up". It would be so simple to make a scarf like the ones on trend right now. Most of them look like they are just knit 1 row, purl 1 row. But, after several days of knitting, I noticed that the project was turning. I thought I could easily just block it to get it flat...WRONG! So, of course I picked out several feet of scarf to try again.

This is the popcorn stitch. I've gone through two balls of Thick and Chunky yarn and one ball in a navy sparkle that I'm knitting together to give the scarf something extra. I will now have to go back and buy more yarn (fingers crossed they still have some of that batch left, but--come on--it was before Christmas!) So, when all is said and done this will be a $40+ scarf that I could've just bought for $10 at a cheap clothing store. It is just over half finished.

So not worth it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's been a long time...

I have not posted on this blog for a very long time, so I thought I better. What happened? Well I managed to find myself working several part time jobs after graduating from University and thus the knitting needles were left alone.

I started a project two days ago since buying a new pattern book: Weekend Hats. I frequently read one of the designers blogs and immediately knew I had to buy the book. It has 25 beautiful hat patterns and I am starting with the Ruche Beret designed by Susan B. Anderson. It is a top-down construction that I have never done before, nor have I ever knitted a toque on a 16" circular needle (it is small in comparison to the other circular needles I've used).

I've got about two more inches to knit before I can start the ribbing, so it won't be long. The hat is for none other than me. Why? Because I need a hat. I can't find any hats and I've recently moved away during the week taking only the essentials to my tiny unfurnished apartment. I can't dig through winter bins in the evening searching for hats.

But the new job gives me a lot of extra time in the evening. As a journalist I do occasionally have to attend meetings and events in the evening, but otherwise I sit in my small apartment watching TV most evenings streaming from my computer (I don't own a TV). So it should be the ideal scenario for me to start up my knitting again. Oh how I've missed it so!

And with Christmas on the way I am more than a little bit excited about the prospect of knitting projects in my future.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I could really knit right now

Well I haven't knit for five days now and today was just one of those days where I could really use a set of knitting needles in my hands at the end of the day.

I had a crazy, roller coaster, jam packed day and when I finally got home, checked my messages, ate something, and took my dog out, I was still wired. I could not calm down. It was just go, go, go. And I've trained myself to deal with these kinds of days by knitting and watching TV.

I read my book, I took a bath, I checked my email. Nothing.

But I left my knitting at my real house for the time being (I sleep at my parents' house on the days that I work), because I was confident that I would not have ample time to knit during these past three days.

So now, I'm breaking my resolution. I just had to turn on the TV for a few minutes and sit in my pajamas, sans knitting.

What a waste of time it is just watching TV. I could have completed half a snowflake on my newest sock project from Interweave Knits magazine. Although I am not yet convinced that multi-colour projects should be considered relaxing. But I will get the hang of them before I know it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New year, new challenges

Okay, so I have a list of New Year's Resolutions flying around in my head and I thought it best to write them somewhere.

After Christmas, some family came to visit and I got to chatting with my Uncle Lyle about a five-year plan. Five years?! I don't know what I'm doing tomorrow, I thought.

So, this Thursday I'm sitting down with my significant other to try and tackle a plan. Until then, I have a few things that I should focus on.

1) I really, really, really need to find myself a permanent, full-time job. The sooner the better.

Absolutely nothing can make you feel more out-of-control than being underemployed. Which is also why a five-year plan seems impossible at this point. Will we have to move for my job? Will I be making $9/hr or $15/hr? Will I work at this job for six months or 20 years?

I have been looking for a job for one year now and I am MORE than frustrated in my job search. I am incredibly wired, high-strung, desperate, angry, and my feelings and behaviors are negatively effecting my job search and personal relationships. I just don't understand why, after a year, I am still working my part-time job (that I held through University) when I have a degree. I've asked for assistance and I've gotten nothing but positive feedback and a few comments: "It's this town, trust me."

2) I really, really, need to go back to the gym and/or start jogging.

I love to run when I'm angry and stressed, and running makes me feel powerful. So why do I insist on avoiding the gym when I'm feeling angry, stressed, and weak? I'm digging out my sneakers today.

3) I really need to do more freelancing.

If I could just put down the knitting needles and turn off the TV, I would get a hell of a lot more work done and actually work in my field. But the lack of control is just exhausting. And when I'm feeling exhausted all I want to do is knit. When I'm feeling stressed, I want to knit.

Uncle Lyle assured me that once I have a five-year plan, my life will feel like it has some direction. The problem is that I don't know what I'm doing from one moment to the next. But I guess that sitting around knitting is just my way of procrastinating. I'm giving myself one month to figure my life out.

So in the next month I am going to cut back on my knitting to five hours per week max! I am cutting back on TV too. It's taking over my life! I've already watched two hours of TV this morning from 7am-9am. Two hours of terrible reruns that I've already seen several times, just to procrastinate getting dressed this morning.

If I'm only allowed to knit for five hours per week, then I think it best that I should only allow myself five hours of TV per week as well (I like to watch TV while I knit). The rest of the time I will be going to the gym, walking the dog, writing resumes, applying for jobs, reading, researching, pitching freelance article ideas, volunteering, and looking for an apartment for us in town.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I survived Christmas!

I only managed to complete one Christmas gift before Christmas this year and it was a pair of socks for my Dad. (photo)

To add to the stress of shopping and working a retail job, I thought that knitting a few projects for Christmas would be a great idea. However, one thing led to another and last week I said to a friend: "You are getting an after Christmas project. I already bought the yarn and the pattern, I just don't have time. So instead would it be alright if you get a New Years present this year?" She laughed at me.

Even with these socks that I successfully managed to knit, I found myself madly knitting Christmas Eve. It is difficult to knit a surprise for someone when they are in the same house. So instead of socializing on Christmas Eve, I hid in the basement with my smaller cousins and finished up the last sock.

I am very thankful that the stress of Christmas is over. I still have projects that I need to complete, but they will get done in no time. Top of the list is a pattern for beautiful Norwegian Snowflake socks from Interweave Knits Winter 2010 issue. It will be my first attempt at multi-colour work and I am very anxious to get started.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The countdown has begun

Well I may not be as extreme as Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (the Yarn Harlot), but I am beginning to count the days left until Christmas and I keep thinking: "Uh oh...well if I sit at home all day Saturday, I may be able to finish this gift so that I can start the other gift next week. OR I could finish Saturday and start another smaller gift on Sunday and finish that on Monday leaving me all next week to work on my other projects."

Pearl-McPhee explains in her first book "Yarn harlot: the secret life of a knitter" that she casts on to several needles at a time around Christmas and works each one for a bit and moves onto another. Of course by the time she is in panic mode she is thinking about pulling all night-ers. That would be a very, very bad idea for me considering that I'm just getting back into the game. I'm only knitting for an hour or two at a time, which means that any presents that I have to make are slow-going.

And it just so happens that I'm only on my first present and I have the next three days off, with nothing to do but a little housework and some baking.

I will not resort to buying back-up gifts until closer to Christmas. There is still plenty of time right? RIGHT?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Unfinished projects and other annoyances

Today was a frustrating day. For the first time in a long time, I was so frustrated that I had a hankering to go out and buy some more yarn. Buying cheap, on-sale, acrylic yarn is my instant, go-to pick-me-up.

And I haven't made any major yarn purchases lately because I'm holding out to buy yarn from Jennifer at Jay Springs Lamb Company. But that yarn is going to be special and it is imperative that I buy her yarn to complete a certain Christmas gift.

Normally, I would not buy hand-spun yarn to make a gift. I enjoy acrylic yarns. I'm on a tight budget and when I do buy expensive hand-spun yarn I'm either too afraid to use it, or I curse myself the entire project because of the amount of money I spent.

So today I took the bus to the craft supply store and gave myself a half an hour to find yarn to start yet another gift. I know, I know, it's already Nov. 26th and I should have started my gifts a few weeks ago. But my arms are still not up to par.

Sadly though, I could not find any suitable acrylic yarn in the time I had given myself (the bus was coming). It all just seemed so mediocre except for a new line of Vanna's choice that actually has sparkle.

But I'm still debating: are sparkle mittens too much?

So instead I came back to my parents' house and went through my magic bag of unfinished projects that I left here. (The hat that I started is at my house.)

I'm glad that I took a closer look at these mittens because I'm going to need to alter the pattern before I start making some gifts. I used a really old Beehive pattern that I got from my gramma. The pattern is for child-size mittens and I just increased the size. Now I will need to do some more alterations so that my next pair is perfect.

If they are going to sparkle, they are going to stand out.