January 31, 2010

Tried out loom knitting again last night.  I really don’t get it.  I mean, I have the basic knit and purl, and I even did a K2 together, but I can’t imagine how anyone finds it easier than needle knitting.  I thought I would, and maybe in some ways it is, but you have to have all different kinds of loom sizes and they are more bulky and expensive than needles.  I made myself a winter cap, since I lost mine recently.  I don’t like the cast-on stitches; they are rather bulky, and it fits oddly.

So I just finished using the last remaining green yarn for some practice stitches.  I tried a diamond brocade and a rib stitch.  Still must work on my tension, and go back to square one and try to learn how to handle the working yarn with my left fingers.  I am still taking too much time to wrap the yarn around the needle, but I can’t get over the awkwardness I feel by trying to hold the yarn like “they” say I should.  I am wondering if my inability to hold the yarn this way is affecting some of the tension in my loops, although in my scarf project my tension was fine, and I am doing the same thing.

diamond brocade topped off with a rib.

Well, Tuesday starts week 11 of running.  I really must work on improving my pace, although yesterday’s pace of about 11 minutes a mile was caused somewhat by the fact that I was running in 5″ of snow.  Quite a different kind of run, and my calves feel it.

I have been going through the pantry (small as it is right now) and using up things that need to be used up.  I actually made samosas this morning (man were they delicious) and black bean burger patties last night.  It always feels good to use up everything one has before going to the market for more.  Besides, it’s February, and for us that means: save, save, save.  The mantra for the month.

Is there anyone out there reading this?  I’d love to talk with you about knitting, running ,cooking, or whatever.  I think talking would help me through a lot of things.

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January 29, 2010

Taking a break from the grind.  Been cataloging books all day to fill in for the cataloger who is out for a couple of weeks.  besides it gives me a break from the aspects of my job which have been aggravating me lately.

I am probably about an hour’s worth of work away from finishing the scarf.  Hoorah.  We are supposed to get a bit of winter storm this afternoon and tomorrow, so the timing is good.

I finished the bear.  I have to mail him to his new owner soon.

It’s going to be a very rough February for Donnie and me, financially.  I am trying to set myself up for being strong, but we are so badly off I am prone to get really depressed.  I have already been having the mental gymnastics I maintain when going down that depression track.

I started another blog for noncustodial parents to gather.  All you ever hear about in the news are the “deadbeat dads” who never pay child support.  but you don’t hear about the very unfair laws regarding child support payments and how they often debilitate the noncustodial parent.  What really aggravates me (understatement) is how there is no accountability necessary by law to ensure the child support is actually going to support the child instead of funding a slush account for the custodial parent.  We have no say over what the boys eat, when they go to the doctor, etc., but we live hand to mouth while the ex-spouse has put nothing aside for the boys’ future.  Instead she takes vacations (some without the boys), gets meals prepared and paid for by her own mother who lives next door (and who babysits, thus there is no need for paying a babysitter), and does nothing to better her situation.  She makes (and this is all part of the facts discussed in court, so we know the figures) a paycheck that is not enough to cover her own basic needs, yet she continues to insist on more money so the boys can dress in Abercrombie, Aeropostale, American Eagle, all the hot brands.  One of the boys just got a laptop, and he is not even 15.  We pay full health insurance on the boys; pay 2/3 of a monthly salary to child support (and that is regular payments; nothing is in arrears); and still have to pay 59% of all medical co-pays for appointments she makes and doesn’t bother to tell the father.

Damn it I am too pissed to go any further.

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January 25, 2010

Not a good day.  Life…well…it’s just not a good day.  At all.  The only thing I can concentrate on is knitting or crafting or something, to keep myself busy.  There are so many bad things happening, and I feel utterly powerless, a feeling with which I am neither comfortable nor entirely familiar.

I must admit, I am ready for this scarf to be finished.  I can understand why projects which state they “knit up quickly” are popular.  It will be Spring before this is finished!  Still, I am halfway done.  I went ahead and put fringe on one end last night to alleviate my boredom.  But it has been a teaching experience, too.  I have picked up dropped stitches, ripped out rows, learned about the curling effects of the stockinette stitch…what else?

phot of scarf halfway done

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January 23, 2010

Saturday, and the weather is cool, but fresh and only a bit cloudy.  Good day for opening windows, dusting and sweeping, which I just got done doing.  Now I’m finishing a bit of fuel before I stroll with the dog a bit, then my run for today.  End of week 9!

So, all I have left to do on the teddybear are the eyes and such.

phot of bear I made the limbs movable.  He turned out much cuter than I expected.

I screwed up on my knitting this morning.  I realize no matter how “zen” I get with it, there are certain things that distract me from my numbers, and I somehow ended up with what looked to be a rather large mistake.  But I breathed deeply, and was able, after several minutes, to correct what I had done.

However, I think what I did was redo stitches that belonged to the previous row, not the row I was on.  So, later on today, I will take out the rows until I get to a point I know is row such-and-such.  For now, though, no more crafting until my walk and run and perhaps some mopping at least the stairwell.  And no more knitting until I have worked on my other “secret” project (the one that one of you may ead about and for whom the project is intended).

So take care everyone!

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January 22, 2010

7:00.  Coffee to my left.   Yorkie in my lap.  What am I doing, someone who sits at a computer all day?  I am posting a comment about my KNITTING.  I believe I am becoming obsessed if I am not already.  I have talked to other knitters who say this happens.  My plan upon waking was to type a post quickly to show you that I finally have succeeded at getting several rows on my scarf done with no curled edges.  The first incarnation of the scarf, where I am trying cables, was fine, and I had a lot finished before I realized the curled edges were never going to press out, according to my co-worker and now knitting guru Marian.  Thank you, Marian!  She was honest and said “Rip it all out or you won’t be happy with it.”  I wouldn’t have been either. It was curling up like a piece of ziti pasta.  But undoing it all that time, and several more times, has reminded me the value of patience.  Knitting is really a metaphor for life in many ways.

cable scarf image So yay.  I am going to finish this scarf before I begin any new project.  Knitting project that is.  I have a couple of other projects going already, too.

I am working on something special for someone who might read this so I cannot share with you right now, but I will later on, I promise.

I am also finishing up this patchwork teddy bear.

teddy bear picture I used a pattern I found in a book.  It’s going to be really cute, and I plan on making a few more.  They’re a good way to use up scraps of fabrics.  I think I will stuff the next one I make with those little pellets that make the limbs more malleable.

I will NOT purchase them at my local Hancock Fabrics.  We don’t have a lot of fabric stores around here, and this chain is one of them.  I used to work at Jo-Ann Fabrics, and so, looking for part-time work, I applied here a couple of weeks ago.  They had a huge sign in their window saying they were hiring for part-time employment.  I called the manager yesterday and he sounded very bored as he said, quite simply, “I’m not hiring.  It’s just corporate policy that we have to put that sign in the window.”  I was livid.  I said thank you to him, but I immediately sat down and typed a letter to the President and CEO of the company telling her that I found this “policy” deplorable and that I would not shop there any longer.  And I won’t.  I put my money where my mouth is.  Always have, and always will.  I think more people should.  We could really affect some major change if we would just show companies, with our wallets, what we really wanted from them.  So you know what?  I’m going to apply at Jo-Ann today!  Why not?  Yeah!  I need the money.  A goal of mine for 2010 (no, not really a New Year’s goal per se) is to clean house financially-get things in order, clean out old files, take care of credit reports, really investigate savings, etc.

Another goal is to run at least a half-marathon.  As you know I am running my first 2 races in March (see Post from 20th or 21st).  My love of knitting is similar to my love of running.  I have tried both in the past but went nowhere long-term with them.  Now I think I am into both for the long haul!

Well, I’d better stop, or I will have to skip breakfast, a big no-no, wouldn’t you say?  I would.  If I do not eat breakfast I hit a slump before NOON.  I am slated to go on a field trip to another county’s library this afternoon with the rest of the librarians where I work, so I need to be ready for this day.  Plus, how can I remember what row I am on in my knitting during my late morning break if my brain is fuzzy?  I think people trying to quit smoking should take up knitting.  Of course, it’d be sort of funny to watch all my friends take a break from their drinking when we go out to take a knitting break, and stand outside in the cold with their needles and yarn.  Ha.

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January 21, 2010

Well, here I am. Taking a break from work, and using the time to write something.
Watched Julie and Julia recently and got motivated by the main character’s creation of a blog to talk about what she loved most: cooking. What do I love most? So many things I love-cooking, gardening, dogs, sewing and crafting, books. And now, running!
Anyway…this post is more about getting myself into the habit of making posts. Hopefully I will be able to remember. I will as I come to enjoy it. If not, well…
Tonight I am on day 2 of my ninth week of running. I will run 4 cycles of 10 minutes with a 1-minute walk in between each. Tuesday morning, early, I ran 10 minutes, followed by the 1-minute break, then 20, 15, and 10. I felt so good at the end I was giddy.
View Interactive Map on MapMyRun.com

It looks like the rain that has been coming down all morning has finally stopped, so I may not have to run in too much wetness. Not that I mind too much, but a heavy downpour would sort of be a pain.
I am registered to run in my first race-The Shamrock Shuffle, a 3K, and then, a week after that, a 10K. I should be ready by then, and I’m looking forward to it.
My partner, Donnie, has only smoked 2 cigarettes since December 31, 2009, and I am proud of him. He quit cold turkey, too, but he was not really the kind of smoker who HAD to have them. They were just highly enjoyable.
So for now…I’ll post this and get back with you all soon.

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