I have been facing a sort of blog-moral-quandary type thing. I want to write, I think about it often, but I just am blocked by mixed feelings of all kinds! How have I gotten so emotional about this thing? It is just how I roll, I guess. The quandary is this: I want to be all happy-happy-joy-joy here and talk about knitting, 'cause that is fun, and who wants to read about me whining about my life? Actually I feel PRESSURE to be happy-go-lucky-knitter-girl since I know others might read this. But what happens when even knitting isn't making me FEEL an overall sense of happy-happy-joy-joy?? AND, (here is where it becomes a real quandary), shouldn't I make this my happy place? Shouldn't I "behave my way to success" a la Doctor Phil? Shouldn't I do the Oprah thing where I journal happy things every day so that I appreciate my life more? I don't know what the right thing is here, and it has kept me away from the blog. What I have decided, though, is that I am obviously not getting anywhere trying to blog only shiny happy things. That has just made me feel icky and pressured, leading to blogging less than once a month. And really, this is supposed to be for ME, so that I have some place to communicate what is going on with me.... I have decided to strive for a balance of happy knitting stories and less happy stuff that is clogging up my head.
Doesn't all that make me sound like I have been near suicidal and hiding it? That is not it at all; it is just that not everything is sunshine and lightness, and I have been trying to pretend that isn't true. So here goes, in no particular order:
I started my day today talking to a bill collector on the phone and then promptly stepping in cat barf. Then discovering that we are out of paper towels. It has made me a little crabby today.
This has been a really crappy time with money for me, recently. With the exception of the money that I carefully saved from my work bonus, small though it was, for Stitches South, I have been under a lot of financial pressure that I have not been dealing with. It is seriously time for me to face these issues head on and get this taken care of. Hence the conversation with the bill collector this morning. Miss Less (no kidding) was pretty nice for a bill collector, but I would like to move bill collectors in general into my past, thank you very much. I have no one to blame but myself. Which makes it even crappier to deal with, really. I have three remaining credit card debts. I have negotiated two of them to payment arrangements, and I have been sending the third one 50$ a month and ducking their calls.... Maybe not the most productive way of dealing with it, but hey, it is a start, right? My mission, should I choose to accept it (and that is by no means a sure thing, judging by past experience) is to get a handle on the credit card bills and therefore the credit rating. I must save money so I can replace my intrepid old Saturn, who is falling apart like the Modest Mouse song. The radio does still work and the dashboard so far has not melted. The knob to the radio, however, has fallen off. And that is the least of my car worries. Life will be better in general if I can get all of that mess under control and off my back. I feel weighted down by money, and it is starting to get to me. Repeat after me, Jennifer: less yarn, more savings. Less yarn, more savings. Less yarn, more savings.
I know that I have mentioned this before, but it has been really bothering me recently. Being single SUCKS. Big time. I hate it. Recently I have hated it so much that I have been nostalgic about relationships past, and that is a really bad sign. Trust me, considering my past relationships, I should be institutionalized for romanticizing memories of love lost. I have finally given up all hope of meeting someone through Match.com here in BFE, South Carolina, and I don't know what my other options are. The all-knowing, ubiquitous "they" say that you should do what you love and what makes you happy and that love will find you when you aren't looking. That is crap. What I love is blog reading, art history, novel reading, and knitting. Love is not finding me here in redneck central. I feel old and dorky. I am a 38-year-old (in one month) nerd who lives with my mother. We have five cats. Who will probably eat me when I die alone.
Now see, that is just unproductive whining. What good will it do anyone? Blah.
On the other hand, there IS some happy-happy-joy-joy type news in my life. I have two pregnant friends, and I am thrilled for them despite the voice in the back of my head that says "your time is running out." Debbie, one of my favorite friends, is having another girl, and she is going to be named Skye. I am very excited for her, too. She had a hard time with miscarriages recently, and I have been thinking about her lots. I guess things are going well now and it is time for celebration! And girl knitting! (I love the name Skye. I do not always love the names my friends choose, like I get some kind of vote in the matter. But that one is great, and I am campaigning hard for the middle name to be Blue. Again, like I get a vote, right?) I got the cutest patterns from Appalachian Baby design at Stitches South. (More about Knitting Nirvana later, I assure you....) I believe that little Skye Blue is going to get the Lamb's Ear Cardigan. The picture on the pattern is there on the right. Isn't that adorable??! I think that everyone in the world at some point in their lives should wear a cardigan with lamb's ears on the hoodie.... The world would be a better place.
Courtney is also having a baby, her first, and it is long awaited. I know there are little dances of joy going on up there as we speak! I don't know yet what they are having, but they are probably getting a lamb's ear cardigan, too. Lambs are gender neutral enough for me!!
On a side note, I was amazed to see that they are selling the finished cardigans for over 90$. Wow. I wonder if people are actually buying them for that price? I wonder if I could get someone to pay that here for a cute cardigan?? If I was ever going to be able to design something myself, it is probably a basic baby cardigan.... And I do know a lady who owns a baby boutique. Hmmm, speculation for a later date....
And speaking of happy-happy-joy-joy, we did go to Stitches South! It was awesome, like a giant shopping mall full of yarn! Sigh. I saved carefully for the event, and I think I even was pretty reasonable in my spending. I made a notebook with patterns for which I was shopping so that I would have the actual pattern with me when I wanted the yarn. Not gonna mess up my yarn amounts or weights, no siree! I feel pretty good about my purchases, and am having trouble not starting everything at once. Let's see, I got:
1. Pure Marino DK for my Kingscot in the most beautiful dark blue. Not precisely midnight, but more of a very inky slate blue. I am VERY anxious to start that one, but it will be a fall sweater, so I am trying to restrain myself.
2. Berroco Seduce, a very slinky ribbon yarn to make a very slinky draped cardigan. I had seen the pattern online, and hadn't been interested. I guess I am just a sucker for excellent salesmanship, cause the girl in the Berroco section at the Webs booth sure talked me and my mom into this sweater.... She made me try it on and I was sold. It is one of the ones made out of a big rectangle with sleeves inserted, so that the back comes to funny points and it has a drapey shawl collar... It was way cuter on than in the book. I got a solid sage green for that one. The Mom is already working on it in lavender, and it is really pretty. I just hope I don't go nuts dealing with that slippery yarn and throw the whole thing out the window!
3. A copy of Kim Hargreaves Thrown Together. I really love her patterns, and there are a couple in there that I want to make. I positively covet Olivia. <3>
4. Miss Babs Solo in my very own custom color is on order for the Canopy Cardigan. I have wanted this one since the moment I set eyes on it, so I finally found a yarn with enough "rustic-ness" to it. She sadly didn't have the right color in the right amount of yarn, so I talked to Miss Babs herself, one of my new favorite people, and she is going to make yarn just for me. I can't wait to see it!!! Another fall project that I will have to resist casting on for.
5. Laceweight yarn that I may never be able to do anything with. I have in mind both Ishbel and the Swallowtail Shawl, but I think all three skeins that I bought, though heartbreakingly lovely (hello, olive green laceweight, my love), may be too fine for either of the projects. Or maybe too fine to make either of the projects out of at my level of lace-knitting experience.... Either way, I am having little trouble resisting casting on for these. Right now I am just enjoying petting the pretty yarn.
6. On the last day, we surrendered to the pull of the giant play-pen of clearance yarn at the Discount Brand-Name Yarn booth. I got a bag of 10 skeins of Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool that I shall turn into the Slinky Ribs pullover from Custom Knits. I feel that Silky Wool is a versatile yarn that doesn't need to wait until fall, so it will get cast on soon. It is navy blue. Not normally my color, but it was half off and the only other color they had was the rust I made the Beachcomber Tunic out of. I seemed to be on a blue kick this time, didn't I? I also grew weak when I hadn't bought as much as everyone else and threw in a bag of King Tut cotton, made in Croatia despite its name. It does say it is the finest cotton, so maybe that is true. It is a lovely greyed down peach color, and cotton, so I am sure that I will find something worthy of ten skeins. Surely! The comments on Ravelry have been positive, thank goodness. I look forward to some further summer knitting!
That seems to be it, other than some loose patterns and a very few needles. I will probably think of more later, but isn't that enough? I hope it is enough to sustain me through the saving time, anyway!!
There has been some knitting in addition to all the acquiring, too! I finished the Beachcomber Tunic completely, in time for Stitches. Despite the 90 degree weather, I proudly wore it Saturday until I actually began to melt in the late afternoon. I was afraid the sweater would be ruined if I actually turned into a puddle of goo, so I took it back to the car.... I love it madly, will wear it as often as possible during all seasons, and have plans for more out of the Silky Wool in the future.... It is the best finished object of my knitting career! Others admired it suitably at the show. :-) Pictures to follow.
The You-tee is seamed and now the ends need to be tied in. It turned out well, but it is a little fitted for me to wear right now, since I have fallen off the diet wagon and feel like a giant wildebeest. It may be a slight exaggeration, but I haven't felt like wearing something that might show off the giant donut that I am growing around my middle. Blech. I will probably get over it sometime soon and sew in the ends.... Pictures of that one eventually....
I used the CotLin that I bought earlier this year to make a Classic Elite pattern to make Camellia. It is awaiting blocking and seaming, which I have every intention of doing this weekend. The pieces are so very cute that I think I will actually get it done, too. I can't wait to see it all completed. And it is starting to get hot enough here to need a short sleeved cotton sweater! I am so seasonally appropriate!!
Now I am working on the top down leaf tee from Classic Elite Round Pond. I haven't made anything but a teddy bear sweater with this construction before. It started out awesome, I was just knitting up a storm. Now, after about a million raglan increases, every row is taking a distinct percentage of my life to complete, and my enthusiasm is waning. I am trying to stick with it, because the Shine Sport in dark eggplant is fab, and the sweater should be cute. Remember, Jennifer, no seams to sew at the end!! Keep going! I am considering making the sleeves a little longer than the pattern calls for. I don't really have the arms to wear cap sleeves, and it is supposed to be easy to modify things in this construction. We shall see..... Anyway, I should have plenty of yarn to do so....
And lest we forget the happy-hap-happiest news of all.... Matt got a job! Yeaaahhhh Matt! He starts Monday at my old customer service job. Not any ones dream job, but hey, they will give him money to come take the abuse.... And he can ride to work with his sister! :-)
Ok, whining and celebrating over for the time being. I will try for a balance in the future and see if that works for me. Hope I didn't scare any readers away. (Hi, readers!)