Hey look... 11 hours left of 2009 here on the east coast.
There was a ton of beach trips at the beginning of the year -- which here means almost an hour drive each way... funny how when I lived back home it was 10 minutes to the beach and I never went.
I think I slept more this year than I ever have in my life.
I got this god awful haircut. Hair that one day wakes up curly and the next wakes up wavy... does not belong short. Ever.
I fell in love with the two most amazing boys of my life... Alex and Hiroki. Unfortunately being with them meant Alex being disowned by his family and them moving half way across the country and never speaking to him again. I'm not sure how to capture that in a photograph...
I started getting creative with baking and trying things that weren't just straight out of a box. Most of the evidence was eaten before it could be photographed.
My mother and I went on a roadtrip to Canada and Niagara Falls and I took a shitload of pictures.
Alex and I moved into our own place -- no more student living for me!
I went to Cancun, Mexico with my best friend and for once WE WERE LEGAL. Yeah... we had a total of one drink a piece.
We got Sakura.
I brought Alex home and he actually participated in... Christmas! Oh my! Unfortunately there is no photographic evidence of that, you'll just have to take my word on it.
What can I say... my life is average, but I'm alright with that.
I made a few baby hats for a neighbor when I went home for Christmas.
Basic grey hat that should be stretchy enough to fit newborn to 18 months.
Pattern: Little Boy Blue Ribbed Baby Hat by Tonya Wagner. Yarn: Red Heart Ltd. Soft Yarn Solids
Same pattern except I added a pom pom. Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Brites
I definitely prefer the Red Heart to the Caron... but the mother wanted bright blue and this is all I had.
Went to the yarn store today to use a bit of my Christmas money. I'm going to have to avoid buying more yarn for a few months. I've become semi-addicted to making socks. I'm not a huge fan of hugely decorated and patterned socks, I made two pair of basic socks for Alex and I and am working on a third pair for Alex that are ribbed on top of the foot to fit better.
Yarn: Froehlich Wolle Maxi Ringel
I made Alex's first socks out of a different colorway of the same yarn. Unfortunately... the factory that makes this yarn has shut down, so what's left in the stores is all that will ever exist. I fricken love this stuff.
Bought two more skeins of sock yarn today.
Berrocco Comfort Sock that feels absolutely fantastic compared to every other sock yarn and,
ONline Supersocke 100 Florida-Color
The Berrocco is definitely for my feet (I'm a selfish-knitter... Alex is the only person who gets anything more complicated than a hat). I've decided that I'm actually going to find a decent pattern for these socks, no more plain ones. I just wish more free sock patterns were toe-up. I can't stand cuff-down socks, though I may venture out on that plane just for this.
The ONline... dunno yet if it's for Alex or me. Probably will end up for him, as I only wear hand-knitted socks in the house and he'll wear them with shoes. One can only have so many pair of slipper socks.
At my last trip to the same LYS, I purchased two skeins of Fantasy Dark Horse Yarns.
They only had two skeins then, and I looked today and they only have solid colors now. I love this colorway... but what am I going to make with only 2 skeins? I don't really wear hats, I make but never wear scarves, and it's too girly of a color mix to make a hat for Alex.
So after a month of living with three guys (Alex and I shared a bedroom in a three bedroom apartment) I decided that was all I could take.
Alex and I found a cozy little apartment complex where I'm pretty sure we are the only students. I get a small space to plant, hurrah.
I've knitted a few things...
Socks for him are done but I haven't managed to get a FO picture.
Socks for me, done. Improvised.
Hat that was mostly to try out the pattern because I don't wear hats like this... done.
Pattern: Fake Isle Hat by Amy King
First hat for Alex.
Pattern: The Boy Hat by Elizabeth Heath-Heckman
Second hat for Alex that may already be lost. Improvised.
First baby hat at the request of a neighbor of mine back home who just had her first baby.
Pattern: Greenleaf Baby Hat by Evelyn Uyemura
Strawberry pouch to put a gift card for my mother's Christmas.
Pattern: Fruit Pouch by Kate Buchanan
And I've been diligently working on the Decimal Cardigan. About two weeks ago I ran out of yarn (I was using yarn from the frogged nightmare of my first sweater project, Giselle) and just got two new skeins in the mail yesterday.
I'm working on the yoke, so after that there's just the button band to go! And I can actually wear this one in Florida.
Oh... and we've adopted a kitten from the Humane Society since I posted last. Hiroki was scared shitless of her at first, but now they'll occasionally play together and sometimes he won't notice if she snuggles up to his butt (that dog has one toasty ass). He is not overly fond of the butt snuggling. This is Sakura, she's almost four months old now:
Since I last wrote, I've subleased my overpriced apartment with the evil beings of doom (school-affiliated housing... what more is there to say?) and have moved in with Alex, giving us both super-cheap rent and making it just plain easier now that I don't have my stuff in two places.
Classes started last week, and though 3 out of 4 of them will be beyond easy, at least the ones I have to go to in person seem worthwhile. I have held out to take my last two gen-ed courses (one of which is required for my major anyway) until this semester, so in December I will get my A.A.
This semester I've got: Intro to Computer Science - online gen-ed, the biggest bullshit class ever. This class may be useful for an older generation of students who are returning to school, but teaching 18 - 22 year olds of my generation how to use Microsoft Office and their computers is about as pointless as teaching a little kid how to play in the mud. We just know, it's instinctive at this point.
Human Species - gen-ed for my major, awesome professor so it will be entertaining if not slightly repetitive after all the anthropology courses I've already had to take.
Archaeology of Caribbean Piracy - YES it counts for my major! and is with the same awesome professor as Human Species, one right after the other, so I get 3 hours of awesome professor-age and anthropology-ness. Needless to say... love these days.
Elementary Spanish - probably should have taken a higher level, but the professor is really good and is sympathetic with the strangely entertaining online component to the course.
Yeah, what can I say, I'm boring. Class is my thing. I'm one of those people who could make a career out of school and be okay with it.
My birthday was Tuesday, but as it is an age of little consequence it didn't feel very birthday-ish other than dinner out with a group of friends. I think I'm past the YAY BIRTHDAY stage of life.
And Yosemite still sits in my closet -- though it is a different closet from when I last wrote about it, oh progress! -- unphotoed and unworn until at least November.
I move-in in 4 days and classes start in 9. I'm back from our road trip. I only got a few squares done on the baby blanket and nothing else even worked on, as I think I've discovered I do not like knitting in the car.
Leaving for Michigan trip in a few days, and these are 2 of the 3 projects already started for the ride:
A blanket I've decided to knit just using different blocks of stitch work from a 1970s knitting/crocheting stitch book. The construction of it is going to make no sense -- because I'm lazy and don't like connecting all the blocks afterward -- but basically I'm knitting the squares off of one another in a zig-zag.
I'm using the leftover from Yosemite (green), and then bought 2 other colors of the same yarn in blue and yellow. You can't really tell the color of the yellow in this picture.
Let's just say this is going to be one obnoxious blanket. And that I'm going to have to have a baby eventually in order to make this a useful item. Not just greyhound babies, either.
The Boheme I'm making for my roommate's niece/goddaughter. It's hard to photograph the true colors and stitch work of Homespun.
After getting news that my boss has decided to cut the entire payroll in order to save money (meaning I am now in the ranks of the unemployed) my 4 day stay in Orlando has turned into nearly 2 weeks. I'm still here.
I'm working on a cute baby garment called Boheme for my old roommate's sister's daughter (her niece and goddaughter to be exact) that was born about a month ago. The mother requested teal, and I though the leftover Lions Brand Homespun would look pretty with its variegation and whatnot. Making it in a 12 month size, because according to my roommate the baby is HUGE and it'll be a nice fall/winter garment for her.
Once I get back to Jax it'll only be a few days before my mother and I take off for our trip up north, so maybe I'll do some knitting then and give updates. I'd update with pictures, but I remembered the camera and forgot the camera cord. Ah well.
Yarn: Crystal Palace Yarns Merino 5 Print in colorway 9798
Needles: US size 7 DPNs
Just something I made because I only had one skein of this yarn that I bought at a yarn store in Traverse City, MI last summer during my visit-a-ton-of-LYS episode. This may occur again this year... and by occur I mean I'll visit the stores and can't promise any purchases due to financial restraints.
I wanted a design that had blank space to show off the colorway and yummy feel of the yarn, but I didn't want all stockinette. So I just started knitting, took notes as I went along... and there we are.
I'm sure the construction could have been a lot more planned on, but this was an on-the-whim hat that'll take no time at all to make.
Because we all wear tank tops with wool beanies...
I also finished Yosemite today, buttons, sleeves and all. Don't have the time/energy to take pictures tonight, I've got work all day tomorrow, and will be helping my mother coordinate National Sundae Sunday in the morning then driving to Orlando right after to see my baby... oh, and my boyfriend.
Yarn: 1.5 skeins of Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn! in colorway #60 Aubergine
Needles: Used a US size 6 needle instead of 8... 8 would've been huge, even though I swear I checked gauge twice before I started (and bothering to check it at all is quite worth bragging about for me).
It might be a little snug -- maybe I should have used 7s -- but it still fits fine other than a little bit of curving of the button band. And because the bottom hemline is scalloped due to the lace, the curving button band kind of almost fits with it.
I started working on a simple hat design last week... and started is as far as I got. I can't manage to go buy buttons for Talia or Yosemite, or finish Yosemite's sleeve even though it sits on the floor in the living room and would be oh-so-convenient to do while watching TV or a movie.
What's funny is that in my mind I really want to knit, but I just don't bother picking up the pieces.
BUT! Tomorrow I have to get out of the house early for an appointment, and afterward I swear I will pick out buttons and possibly some yarn to make another beanie that I started in wool, but in Florida that's never a good idea.
So before I go to work Friday and Saturday and leave for Orlando Sunday (it seems every entry here mentions me leaving... I promise there are plenty of weeks where I'm stuck at home) I will have something to show to the knitting world.
Been a bit busy lately. Finished Cultural Anthropology for Summer A, this week started Magic, Ritual & Belief for Summer B. It looks to be a much better -- and possibly more challenging simply because it's actually involved -- class than Cultural Anthropology was.
Blocked Talia and it grew enough to my liking. Still need buttons for it.
Yosemite needs a sleeve and buttons to be finished.
Visited Orlando for a few days and got to see Alex and my baby.
Just so you know my puppy isn't always a dopey couch potato:
Been on a strange Harry Potter kick lately. Re-read the sixth book, am a few chapters away from finishing the seventh. The only two that I haven't read upwards of a dozen times.
Hopefully this coming week I will be a bit more knitty and a bit less busy otherwise.
Last night I decided I was going to finish the projects I had on the needles. Finished the neckline edging of Talia, going to block in a bit. Not really sure how to block acrylic, but I suppose I'll give it a google.
Went to Michael's with my mother today and glanced down the yarn aisle. Found exactly what I wanted for Yosemite. After searching several LYS and online, I found it in Michael's.
Loops & Threads Snuggly Wuggly is only $3.99 for a skein of 446 yards. And because it's a baby sport yarn, it's soft and manages to almost perfectly catch the extremely complicated gauge of Yosemite. You have no idea how many yarns I've pulled out of the stash to try to gauge this thing.
I got this pretty green, kind of an understated version of the color as the pattern is more of a everyday type feel to it rather than HEY LOOK I'M KNITTED AND BRIGHT.
I like the stitch definition this yarn gives. It's halfway between subtle and firm.
For those of you keeping track of my life on the financial front, thanks for commenting and showing that you care. It means the world to me. Alex and I will be fine, we're both out scrounging for jobs and he's filing for financial aid and looking around for scholarships and grants and loans to go back to school for nursing.
Hope all you guys are doing okay on the financial front. This whole ordeal has definitely made me look at the broader picture of just how many people are unemployed and in trouble at any given point.
Alex's job told him they don't actually need him until next month. So he is, essentially, screwed.
My job decided to cut back my hours. I'll be lucky now if I get 16 hours a week. And no one wants to hire me because I'll be starting up school again at the end of August, so I won't be around long enough to make hiring me worthwhile.
Out of desperation, I just applied to be an ice cream truck driver. No lie.
If desperation wasn't so hard, it'd almost be funny.
I've got no new knitting. I keep making an effort to find yarn for Yosemite, but I fall short every time. I've ventured into two different LYS in the Orlando area while visiting this weekend -- even dragging along Alex and a friend V, both of whom I have discovered are not a very good yarn shoppers -- I've perused online selections.
I think my major thing going right now is that I utterly refuse to spend a lot of money on yarn. After surviving a year on scholarship money and seeing how desperate things can get, I am disgusted by project after project on Ravelry that requires ridiculous yardage of fine yarns.
I suppose I understand treating one's self every once in awhile. And I admit that when I went to the LYS to buy for my first real sweater, I bought over $100 of yarn for just that one sweater. And that sweater ended up a mess, mind you.
My Talia Vest (which, yes, still needs a neckline edging and buttons and blocking) used one full skein and MAYBE 1/6 of a second skein of Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn. That's $2.79 for 355 yards.
My Cherie Amour used 1 1/2 skeins of Lion Brand's Homespun, and I felt like I splurged laying down $5.49 per skein there.
But no matter what discount bin I look in, I still feel like it's the biggest rip off in the world to pay $7 for a skein "on sale" that only has 70 yards. I mean, really? Do you realize you're paying 10 cents a yard?
I guess I'm just disappointed that a craft that was supposed to be so economical and handy "back in the day" has become a rich hobby.
So if any of you have any suggestions for:
a) a place online (or in the Orlando/Jacksonville areas) that is genuinely cheap on yarn that isn't Red Heart -- no offense Red Heart, you just aren't meant for wearing near my skin.
b) a "cheap" yarn you've used that you really like that is sold in chain stores or
c) where I can find designers and free designs that utilize economical yarn options
It's not the most flattering fit, but I've found that my body size rarely works with any pattern regardless of exact gauge and claimed finished sizes. Oh well. It'll do. More for something to spend my time making than something to wear constantly.
I'm debating whether to leave it like a tank, or to make short cap sleeves on it. My mother votes cap sleeves.
Everyone is tired of hearing about the economy. Even I am. Especially I am, I guess.
Because right now, I'm not sure about what is going to happen. I wish they had taught us useful things in high school. Like how to deal with economic crisis.
What happens when:
You've got $10.62 in checking, $0.89 in savings.
You've got $420 of rent due, your other bills are $300.
Your old job owes you $700 but the company is going under and may never pay you.
You are 20 years old with specialized trade skills in construction/remodeling and plenty of sales experience...
and yet no one will hire you.
The thing about college kids is that yes -- we are as frugal and desperate for money as movies and books make us out to be. But most of the ones I know -- including myself -- have parents that, if starvation and homelessness are a true possibility, will come in and rescue us.
However, there are some that don't.
Such as Alex. Who recently left the Jehovah Witness church. Meaning he has been disowned by his parents and is no longer able to rely on them in any way, financially or emotionally. Even though I know this is not me personally, I can't help but feel anxious about it. Because in a matter of days he could be homeless. With a dog he can't feed and a car that barely runs.
I try not to write about personal matters like this here, but I couldn't help it. It's all that runs through my mind now. I've started knitting as a worrisome nervous habit these days.
So for all of you out there who don't believe that the economy is half as bad as the media is making it out to be, or those of you who are in the same situation -- tell me, what do you do when it's truly the end of the line? Because I'm out of ideas.
My job is outside. So when it rains, we close up. And when there are torrential downpours for a week straight, we don't even bother opening.
So no work Thursday and Friday meant I got bored enough to paint my room.
Considering I've had white walls for the entire 18 1/2 years I've lived in this room, green is a nice change. It feels like an actual room now.
Other than knit -- which I'm already doing four days a week -- I don't know what to do with myself, so it better quit raining here soon.
Sunday I drove down to college town to visit my friends. Stayed until a few hours ago today, so it was a nice visit.
And, oh look! In between the sleeping a ton, cuddling up with Alex, and partying... I managed to almost finish my Talia vest:
Since this photo was taken, I finished the edging on the other sleeve. Just needs the neckline edging, blocking, and some buttons. Hurrah. I hope it stretches a bit when I block it... while knitting I tried to account for the fact that my boobs are a bit bigger than most girls who are my waist/torso size, but at the moment it's still a bit snug.
Somehow every time my camera enters that apartment, I end up with a slew of Hiroki pictures. One of the cutest of the bunch:
One of these days I should learn to take good pictures like the rest of the knitting world. Forgive me, after years of art school I have blocked out as much of the inner artist as possible.
Most students don't view their textbooks as an adventure. They read them -- actually, no they don't --, they fall asleep on their pages, they spill energy drinks on them.
I, however, attract scam artists with mine.
I bought this book for my Astronomy class:
Because a new edition was coming out, the bookstore wouldn't buy it back from me. Or any of my books from Spring. Bastards...
So I put it on Facebook Marketplace, a tool I'd never used before but my friends sold stuff on all the time.
I got a message from an interested buyer and we exchanged some e-mails. He was obviously foreign. A few e-mails in I realized this was a scam.
Because he wanted to send me a check for the money. I was asking $45 for the book (brand new), and he said he'd send me money for the shipping people who would come and pick it up from my place because he was getting a few items from the area. Oh... and he'd throw in an extra $50 for any "inconvenience" the transaction caused.
Red alert. You're going to pay me double for my item?
He mentioned Western Union in all of this and I e-mailed him back saying I would not work with Western Union. Please, I'm not stupid. Why do you think craigslist and ebay say DO NOT USE WESTERN UNION.
He ignored this and told me the check would be here today by UPS (!) and that I was to cash it immediately, keep my side of the money, and send the rest through Western Union money order to the shipping company.
Ha. That's what you think.
Almost 10 minutes after I got the e-mail, the doorbell rings and a UPS truck is outside. Not wanting the driver to see me and be able to verify that I did indeed get it, I waited until he drove away. Which does nothing except satisfy my inner suspicions that he could be a spy.
Oh look, an envelope on my doorstep. With a check! Oh boy!
So minus my share ($95), the shipping company is charging you $1,855.95? I don't think so.
And then my phone started ringing. Withheld number. Answered it, knowing it had to be them.
"Is this Lindsay?"
"She gave me this number."
"This is not her number."
They call again. I don't answer.
(He's stopped calling... so that's the best action shot of that I can manage.)
Okay, so yes... I was the dummy that at first thought it might genuinely be a college kid trying to get a textbook. He's got my name, address, and phone number.
I've got... several of his addresses. Because the starting point of the UPS envelope tracking is from one place. Carnesville, GA. The last e-mail sent was signed from Lula, GA. The check and actual envelope list Spring, TX.
Eenie meenie minie mo?
Needless to say I will not be attempting to cash this check. Because I'll get the funds, send the money via Western Union, and then the check will turn up bad. Which means I'll have to pay the full check value from my accounts AND a bad check fee. That's how these things work. I'm not entirely stupid.
So for any of you who have gone through this, how do you suggest I further handle this? Because I don't know a real name (he went under Tran Peterson up until today when it was signed Peggy Hamby). I don't know a real address.
Is it possible for me to go to the police with the check and have them trace it and the origins of the UPS envelope?
Or we could just entertain the notion that this is an honest transaction and he's just a really good tipper.
So after spending way too much time on Ravelry in my newly inspired knitting mood, I have come up with the semi-crazy goal of knitting five tops this summer before I move back for school. Yes, five.
Semi-crazy because I know it's completely possible, as I'll have about two and a half weeks per top and when I get going on something I really like I don't put it down.
Semi-crazy because if I fall out of said knitting mood, I'll be lucky to get one done.
I've got the first four already picked out. My requirements for a good pattern are: realistically useable (because let's be honest... an 18 year old college kid doesn't wear over-cabled cardigans and a Florida girl doesn't wear long-sleeve bulky color-work sweaters), minimal seaming, and a close-ish fit.
1. Talia vest by SweaterBabe from the Spring 2008 issue. (Starting this tomorrow when my mother isn't home to lecture me on driving out in this horrible rainey bluster to get yarn.)
2. Cherie Amour by Ashley Adams Moncrief from the Fall 2007 issue.
3. Yosemite by Swanky Knits from the Spring 2008 issue.
4. Ultra Femme by Jenna Adorno from Stitch N Bitch Nation and Knitty Gritty.
Five has yet to be determined. Got any suggestions that fit the above criteria? I might design something, depends on how ambitious I get or how frustrated I am with my suitable pattern search.
Oh, and this is all besides the socks I'm knitting for Alex, the socks I'm going to make for me, the baby socks for Charlotte, the beanie for Alex, and the stuffed pterodactyl for Nicole. And whatever other small projects come along.
I've been home from college for 12 days and it already feels like forever. The upside to being bored out of my mind and away from all my friends is that I might, for once, concentrate on productive things. Like classes (taking two online this summer for something to do). And reading. And knitting.
Found some sock yarn I bought mid-spring and decided that for once, I was not only going to make it through a pair of socks, but they were going to be some damn attractive socks as well.
The first time I attempted socks, I was still pretty new at the whole knitting-garments-that-actually-work thing and bought needles about 6 sizes too big and the socks ended up more like padded boots. I vaguely knew of shrinking things in the wash, and yes... I must admit that I tried to shrink Red Heart acrylic yarn. Go me.
After several years and projects, my almost-finished sock looks like this:
It's a little big on me because it's for Alex. I had him tell me his foot measurements over the phone and just kind of assume that it's going to fit him. You'd be surprised at how hard it is to find measurements of sasquatch-size socks on the internet. And here I was thinking you could find anything through the power of Google.
In the past 24 hours I've knit the majority of one sock (it's going to be a short leg, so I'm a few rows until the cuff now), got a new set of tires for the car, submitted a homework assignment for a class that started today, read about four chapters, and slept 10 hours.
Just so you get an idea of what I'm missing, here's something I had to leave behind when I moved home:
This is Hiroki, my loveable puppy that is actually Alex's. Yes, he's a greyhound. And quite possibly the sweetest thing I've ever met. If you've never had the experience of playing with or being around a greyhound... add it to your list of things worth doing in life.