Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Tuesday, and Catching Up on Photos.

So, today was kind of a weird day -- Mom seemed to get along ok with her caregiver, Linda, but then again, Mom's been put on a rather powerful antipsychotic medication, and it makes her even slower and more incoherent than usual. Which I have a problem with... I'm going to talk to her doctor about it tomorrow, but I know he'll be all pissy and say what-do-I-know-about-psychopharmacology-and-Alzheimer's, etc.

And, since I was quite sad about missing my Mom (the way she was before she got sick, I mean) last night, I got no sleep at all, and only a tiny nap today, so... I'm feeling a bit strung-out-ish. In a non-druggish way.

But I did take some photos, today and over the Thanksgiving holiday, so I thought I'd post them, oh yes I did.

This is a photo (and, clever girl that I am, I neglected to put anything in to indicate scale) of the scarf I started after Laura and Tracy and Chauntel inspired me to try the drop-stitch thing. It's with Koigu, but the tags aren't at hand just now (they're not lost, though, so I'll post the colorway number eventually); anyway, this is how it looked before I dropped every other stitch at the bind-off, and then let them ladder all the way down the scarf...



The "After" photo will have to come later -- I've blocked the scarf now, but the edges still look ragged because I used a dumb form of the provisional cast on method (it was dumb for this project, anyway, because it leaves kind of... well, *enormous* loose stitches when you take out the waste yarn). Still, I shall take a photo and post it later. Maybe one of my vast readership will be clever and kind enough to suggest a remedy to the ragged edges! ~hopes~

Then, since we're working on making afghans for charity right now at knitting group, I took a WIP-type photo of my first four attempts at making 8" by 8" squares with acrylic blend yarn...



Please note that the pink square of paper measures exactly 8 inches by 8 inches. Also, I was laughing at myself a *lot* when I took this picture. Just so you know.

No worries, though, because Laura reassured me that acrylic and acrylic-blend yarn is preferred in Japan for making dishcloths and the like, so I'm keeping the way-too-big one for a washcloth, and I've made a couple of washcloths out of Red Heart since then, and I love them oh yes I do precious they are so exfoliatory (if that is a word) and yet they dry so quickly we wants more.

Did I mention that I'm overtired?

Oh, and also, I've made a few more charity-blanket squares now -- including two on the EZ KnittR machine Chaun lent me!! I kicked that machine up the arse over Thanksgiving weekend, and now it respects me, dammit, and I wuv it and must use it to make blanket after blanket -- and they all turned out to be at least *vaguely* 8" x 8". Plus, I learned some new stitch patterns whilst making the squares, and that's always good. Will take photo of the rest of the squares later and post it. For me, though, not so much for you, because... I LOVE them. Lovely neat little pile of off-white knitted squares.

Secretly, I want to *keep* them.

Oh, and this is what I'm working on now: blocking The Sweatshirt. Here's my second attempt (and thank you so much, Chaun, for lending me your blocking board and gorgeous long blocking pin/rod things -- absolute life-savers, those things!) at blocking the sweater...



...the body came out ok, but the sleeves were about 4 inches past my fingertips, and there was NO way I was blocking the whole thing again, so when Trace suggested I try to unravel and shorten them, I went to work and fixed the problem that way. Now they're just the *right* amount of too-long. :)

But yet, The Sweatshirt is not yet finished! Behold my first attempt at steam-blocking the rectangular piece that will somehow eventually become The Sweatshirt's hood...



And don't worry, Chaun, the iron was cold in the photo, and it was only on your gorgeous blocking board because I *posed* it there so as to make a pleasing photographic composition.

I'd already blocked out the hood and let it dry, but I felt like it'd be easier to heat/steam-block while it's still flat, instead of trying to block a weird 3-D piece of clothing, so I unpinned it, put a bit of brown paper down underneath it (paranoia about ruining Chaun's stuff when she's been so generous about helping me along with my projects, you see), re-pinned it, and used the iron's steamer-setting to shoot steam onto the hood. Well, onto the hood via a thin white washcloth, because I heard from Catherine last night that one isn't meant to really let the iron touch the wool. And, let's face it, by the end I was using a hairdryer to get the steam-moisture out (impatient girl) and I just flipped the damned hood over and gently dry-ironed it from the wrong side.

I am irresponsible with wool, I guess.

Aha! I'm done now! I'm sure you're all sighing with relief (as am I, to be honest) so I'll end this huge post... and just post more later!

Hope everyone had great Thanksgivings, by the way! (And she's punctual, too; how *does* Summers do it?!) :)

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Saturday.

Ohhhhh, how much do I want this? (It looks better in the catalogue, though.)

Also, I feel like crap.

Ouchy!

I have a cold. :( It's only a little one, but I felt like mentioning it anyway.

Up early (due to cold and new habit prompted by 8am weekday arrival of mom's new caregiver) and working on afghan squares for the charity blankets. I was inspired by how Tracy is using each of her three charity-blanket squares to learn something new. I haven't been hugely ambitious, but I did try two stitch patterns out of the Vogue Knitting reference book that I hadn't used before.

Annoyingly, however, two of my squares are a tiny bit too big, and one of them is enormous. Maybe I can hem it? Or turn it into a washcloth and do another one? Bleah.

Anyway, hope everyone's having happy weekends, etc. :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Errata.

Ok, so in the post below about my friend who nearly died, I titled the whole post "A Rant" or something, and then just now I re-read it.

So, let me just clarify that the stuff about spending the day with Chaun and Trace was *not* part of the rant. That part of my day, aside from my having a headache, was lovely. The rant was the bit about Dave.

And, by the way, I still can't reach Dave, and I'm still worried sick. Literally, even. I do not like feeling helpless, no I do not.

Trying to be cheery, though, and today my mom and Linda-the-caregiver didn't have any troubles, so that's a good thing for which I must be thankful.

And, finished one rather horrible-looking square for the charity blankets.

Have to go buy a fax machine now. Hope everyone's having lovely days; *somebody* ought to be! :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Everything falls apart. (This Post = A Rant.)

This post has fuck-all to do with knitting. Just a warning.

Today I spent a few hours with Chaun and Trace, and it was lovely even though I realized when I got home that I hadn't eaten anything but an apple all day, and I was all shaky and disoriented. But whatever, I had a nice time anyway, and I got to meet Chaun's wondermous little daughter, and later Trace and I went on a mission to City College, but the place we needed to go was closed. Still, at least Trace knows where it is, now, and what the hours are so she won't miss it tomorrow.

Then, just now I checked my email and my friend Ed told me that our mutual friend Dave -- who I was just telling a dumb story about to Chaun and Trace, and making fun of some of his more outrageous recent behavior -- tried to kill himself on Sunday night. His idiot doctors increased his medication -- which I didn't even know he was on -- without monitoring him or, I assume, taking into account the fact that he drinks, and the meds made him suicidal. I guess someone found him all cut up and took him to the hospital, and then his on-and-off girlfriend took the train up to get him and take him to her parents' house.

And the doctors did nothing. Took care of his physical wounds, told him to go to counseling every week, and discharged him after two fucking hours. Oh, and they increased his meds AGAIN.

The weird thing is, Dave and I don't really talk much, but he's no less my friend now than he was when we spent the majority of every day together. And somehow I have absolutely no doubt that he thinks of me the same way. I wrote him an email to tell him I care, even though I know he knows that, and all of a sudden I was crying uncontrollably, which is something I don't do lately.

I mean, I think if Dave isn't left alone for a few weeks, and if he gets good counseling and the right meds, he'll be ok. And I've stopped crying now, even if I do feel helpless because I'm 5,000 miles away from my friend, and I can't do a thing to help.

But seriously, if things keep falling apart, I am going to get very pissed off indeed with whatever Powers That Be.

That's all. Going to go knit and watch movies and drink the biggest glass of wine in history and then sleep.

"...the morning was a shining thing."

Well, ~touch wood~ this morning is going ok. Dull and quiet, but... no tantrums as of yet. ~fingers crossed~

I'm washing a whole huge load of towels, so mom and Linda can hang them on the clothesline (no idea why, but mom LOVES doing that), and then... whatever. Mom will just have to get used to Linda, whether she (Mom) likes it or not. Because I'm *keeping* Linda.

Ummm... ok, I'm going to go and try to conquer the knitting machine again... or start an afghan (sp??) square for the charity blankets we're making at knitting group.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Ohhhhhh Bloody Hell.

Ok, so I really like my mom's caregiver, and she and mom were doing really, really well this morning (I got up at 7 to give mom her bath and get her ready, and then Linda, the caregiver, arrived at 8), so I went to visit Chaun and Trace, and then I was on my way to do errands when I got a call from Linda saying mom had basically kicked her out of the house.

So that was fun. Linda went home, but (thank goodness!) she's coming back tomorrow, and I had A Talk with mom about the whole thing, and since The Talk lasted for a couple of hours, I am now *exhausted*. Calling Linda to apologise, and dealing with my Dad weren't fun things to do either, so that adds to the exhaustion.

I'm a-gonna rest a while, and *hope* I have the energy to make it to knitting group tonight. ~sigh~

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Sunday.

Not a lot of time for knitting just lately, because of meeting and getting ready for my mom's new part-time caregiver. Lots of work, but it'll be good in the end... I hope!

I did manage to wash more hanks of yarn from handpaintedyarn.com last night, though, and this morning I enlisted mom's help (well, sort of pretend, make-work type help, but she needs that kind of thing to keep her happy) in balling up five hanks of yarn with the new swift & ball-winder. Yay!

Also, even though I get to use the little coat-closet for my yarn/knitting stuff now, there's just no way to fit it all in neatly without involving shelves. So, sometime this week I need to figure out what sort of shelves to get, etc., and put them in. Plus, my mom's sewing closet needs to be cleaned out, because it hasn't been used for years and years, so I sense quite a lot of closet-cleaning in my immediate future.

Took photo of sweater but cannot be arsed to put it up. Sorry. Will do it tonight, honest.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Button!

So, I made this button for my blog, and it would be pleasant if you wanted to steal it for your blog or something. :) I'll put it into my actual template sidebar later, but right now I'm *really* going to bed...



Friday, November 12, 2004

Oh, How I Laugh!

Ok, so I had a sort of freaky early morning, then a lovely afternoon, and then a huge errand-frenzy that I only got back from about 2 hours ago. Fun! Of course, one of my 'errands' was going to Borders to look at books, and another one was going to Kinko's to photocopy patterns, but *still.*

Anyway, I'm exhausted, and I have to meet the new mom-caregiver in the morning, which I'm really nervous about for some reason, and my Dad's being a jackass. BUT, I just tried on the handpaintedyarn sweatshirt -- which I tried to block yesterday -- and it is hilarity itself. I mean, it's fixable, but... clearly I stretched it lengthwise wayyyyy too much. Will try to get someone to take a photo of me in it, because... wow.

Night night.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Oh, For Fuck's Sake.

I am sick AGAIN from the damned Good Cup coffee. Good Cup = BAD Cup. Yesssss. Or at least, maybe the brand of milk they use just doesn't agree with me? Because, I did notice that they used a fresh container of milk, right out of the fridge, both times I got my drinks, so... I don't think it was off, or anything. But... ouchy tum!

Ah well; I suppose it's best for me to avoid caffeine and sugary stuff at night (and in general, really), so next week I'll have Italian Sodas with diet syrup, I think. Much more refreshing anyway, that.

And THEN I got news from my dad that the evil Discover Card people (one person called "Ebony," actually) phoned and said my account will go into collections unless I pay them tomorrow. So I'm supposed to call "Ebony" tomorrow. I was TERRIFIED (I even had to text Trace about it because I was all jelly-legged over it) but then I set up an online-payment account at Discover Card's site, and paid more than they want from me, so even though I should really call "Ebony" tomorrow anyway, I don't think I really *need* to.

And obviously I won't because I'm a slacker with anxiety issues, but I do realize that I *should.*

Also, I wish my friend Ed would stop telling me stories involving my ex. Although the one he told me today was really rather important for me to know about because it involved another friend of ours, AND it was fucking hilarious. I am proud to know David J. Brown of Beverley and York, England, I have to say. And not just because he fucks up his life so spectacularly -- and, as I told Ed, with such STYLE -- that it makes me feel a bit better about my own life. I may just have to type out the whole story tomorrow, but for now I'm going to put it out of my mind because it makes me think about the ex, and that's not good. I prefer my life to be ex-free in all ways.

Owww, tum hurts. Back to the bathroom with me!

Rain.

I really wish it would rain, because I'm officially tired of seeing my little Charlotte's blood all over the road. Considering filling a bucket with soapy water and going to pour it on the stain.

I feel mopey.

Off I go to knit.

Sweaters Galore.

Ok, so I'm too lazy to take photos right now, but I feel the need to update anyway. I have the main part of the sweatshirt done, and ten inches left on the hood to knit. I'm going to take Chaun's advice and block the main part before attaching the hood, though, just in case stretching the whole thing lengthwise in an attempt to make it more flattering changes where I need to sew the hood to the neck.

Of course, whenever I think about blocking it, I suddenly feel incredibly tired. I had enough issues blocking out the Gryffindor scarf, for goodness' sake -- how many hours will I spend fiddling around with a whole sweater?

Then, yesterday I finished the back of the Purple Haze Cardigan from Knitwit, which I'm doing for my mom with Emerald merino worsted from handpaintedyarn.com. I thought it would be a good sweater for mom because a) it's a cardigan, and therefore easier on the person dressing mom than a pullover would be, and b) it doesn't have buttons or a zip, so as long as mom can keep it right-side-out and right-way-up, she'll be fine to put her new sweater on by herself. It's not guaranteed about the right-side-out or even right-way-up, though, believe me.

Anyway, I think I've already sort of messed up mom's sweater, but I think it might come out ok if I'm able to keep messing up the pattern directions the same way throughout. It'll be short and squat, but then my mother is quite short, and she'll be able to wrap the sweater around her and be cosy and warm with the extra room. I hope!

Um, and then I want to do the Skully sweater from Stitch n' Bitch, and I have the yarn and everything, but I can't seem to find my copy of the damned book. Which is always nice.

So mostly I'm spending my free knitting time trying to properly mess up the front of mom's sweater, and then getting bored, thinking about blocking the sweatshirt, feeling spontaneously tired, and then moping around instead of doing anything at all. It's a good system, I feel.

Ok, that's all. Will attempt to update later on with photos & that.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Hoo boy.

So, I'm feeling really gross today. Quite dazed and weak, due (I think) to the coffee I drank last night not agreeing with my tum.

Just saying.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Charlotte.

One of my cats, Charlotte, died today; she was hit by a car, and then I took her to the emergency pet hospital, where they put her to sleep. It was all very bloody and horrible, and I wish she hadn't died in such an awful way.

So anyway, I had sort of a shockingly bad day, but I'm ok. Very tired, and disturbed because of the gore, but I'm consoling myself by listening to Jane Eyre and learning to seam various parts of my sweatshirt together. I've done the tops of the shoulders and about half of a sleeve so far. Of course, I still have another sleeve and the hood to knit, so there's only a limited amount of seaming I can do right now.

Well, that's all for tonight. I think I'll try to finish seaming the one sleeve and then go to bed.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Ever So Impressed!

You know, I was going to post something vaguely angsty and complain about being tired -- you know, my usual sort of post -- but then I read Tracy's blog and realized she's taking care of three little children all on her own! I mean... I may be tired and grumpy, but I've only got *one* extra person to take care of!

So, my day's been thrown into some much-needed perspective and I'm going to make a big effort to get over feeling tired and annoyed by relatively small issues, and instead I shall do my best to develop a sunshine-and-roses sort of attitude. Then, later tonight, I'll actually post about *knitting.* It'll be like turning over a new leaf and all that. Yay!

(Stop laughing! I really do mean it! ~g~ )

Tattoo.

I've just realized that I may not get much knitting done today after all, even though I've got almost all day free! I've been promising myself a new tattoo for a long time, and I think I've finally dug out enough of my art books so that I can actually start designing something now.

The tricky bit is that the inspiration for the whole thing comes from this...



...which I suspect will not translate easily onto skin.

Any ideas?

Last Night, I Went on a Quest! And This Morning, I Organized Patterns!

Ok, so you know those perfect knitting-project bags that Tracy, Chauntel, and Laura use? The ones Tracy discovered at Ross? The navy-and-cream-colored ones that're about the size of men's shoeboxes? And they're made of canvas, zippered all along the top, and adorned with ever so useful handles plus a little plastic label-window so you don't even have to open the bag in order to know which WIP is inside which bag? Remember those?

Well, I believe I have mentioned that a certain lovely friend of mine bestowed two of these wondermous knitting-project bags upon me recently (even though she *knows* Ross seems to be suffering from a massive shortage of the bags! Such a darling!)

I believe I have *also* mentioned that I am now addicted to the absolute perfectness of these bags, and I really, really want to find more of them. Especially since Chaun has a *red* one, and... yeah. Summers likes red, yes she does. :)

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I decided to go on a little shopping trip last night, to see if anywhere else in town carries the perfect wondermous knitting-project bags. My day had been really up-and-down earlier, you see, and all of a sudden I just *had* to get out and partake of that alone-in-a-crowd feeling that solo shopping provides.

And, *that* part of the shopping trip was really therapeutic. Plus, I got lots and lots and *lots* of exercise. But I'm sorry to say that, as far as I can tell, Ross is the only place in town that even *pretends* to sell the project bags, and yes, Ross is indeed still out of them. I ripped Ross apart for an hour, then did the same thing (but more self-consciously) at Linens N' Things, K-Mart, Staples (it was a whim, don't ask), etc., etc. By the end of it all, I was so tired and broken that I had to put back a few things I'd found for various friends' birthday pressies, because I though I might fall over whilst waiting in line to pay the cashier. Ah, well.

On a happier note, though, I did write down what these randomly-spotted birthday-presents-to-be were, and which shops I saw them in, so if I have enough energy later this morning, I'll go back and fetch 'em. Woohoo!

Oh, sorry, I got carried away as usual with spewing out my Tale of Fruitless Shopping, and I forgot to tell you the *good* knitting-project-bag news! You can get them online, from here. They're quite a lot more expensive online than they are at Ross, I think, and I couldn't find one single site that sells the red bags, but if you've got $8 lying around and no place to put your knitting, well... order away.

* * *

Um, and also since the house is still absolutely bloody freezing, I woke up really really early again today, and organized (almost) all of my knitting patterns! Yay!

Now, if I can actually find time to sit and do some knitting today, I might stand a chance of finishing one or two projects by Christmas! Wish me luck? Please? I promise I won't tell dull, verbose stories anymore if you... oh, no, actually that's a complete lie. Babbling is my life.

Bye for now!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Oh, the Hilarity! [ Edit: And the Horror. ]

As it turns out, I was just informed that my parents will be out for most of the morning, because Mom has a doctor's appointment.

So, the one day I could be guilt-free about visiting my friends = the very day said friends have a big new job to start at work, and thus they can't be visited.

Welcome to my life.

(Actually, I totally can't stop laughing. This is just so. my. luck.)

[ Edit : Ok, so I went out for about an hour to buy the Rit dye I was too tired to buy the other day? And when I got home my brother was here -- he announced he's staying the night at my parents' house tonight. With absolutely no notice. And does *he* get to clean up the guest room my mom has taken over for hoarding things in? No. I get to. Plus, Dad says that Mom threw a huge strop at her doctor and refused to give a urine sample, so now I get to take a urine sample from her. And, obviously, Dad is in a foul mood.

Any guesses as to how much knitting I've got done today? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? ]

Oh, the Joys of the Political Process.

So, I decided early this morning that I wasn't going to vote. The atypical depression is striking in force, so I was just too tired.

But in the end, I did vote. I'm just back from the polling place, which was a church. There's something fundamentally wrong with that, to me... you know, separation of church and state, and all that. I mean, the least they could do is *physically* separate them!

Here was my post-voting experience:

Me: "May I have two of the 'I Voted' stickers, please?"

Little Old Volunteer-Lady: "Do you have a little boy?"

Me: ~baffled pause~ "No, I just want two. For me. I like them."

Little Old Volunteer-Lady: ~gives me frightened look~


So, I grabbed two stickers and legged it. All in all, I think this Election Day has been a success.

Stuck. Or, Real Life Issues Spill into my Knitting Blog Once Again.

So, I've been trying to ignore it, but... when I got home tonight (well, last night, if we're being completely honest), Dad and I got into a huge fight. About what, you ask? About me walking in the door crying because of the whole Mom situation, and asking Dad for a hug.

A HUG.

He said I'm wasting my brain by knitting all the time, which is bullshit -- I'm wasting my brain by taking care of his wife, for fuck's sake, and because he asked me to do it!

Then? He denied ever asking me to move home and take care of Mom. Flat-out denied it. And, I mean, I have such a sharp memory of the conversation in which he asked me to move home that I can hear it, word for word, in my head.

But no, Dad's version of events = Summers couldn't keep a functional relationship with her fiance. Fiance dumped Summers. Summers moved home. Summers moved to San Francisco. Summers was then, somehow, "in trouble" -- I never got what *that* meant out of him -- in San Francisco. So, Father took pity upon Summers and allowed her to come home and take care of her invalid mother.

At the end of it, I just sort of sat, in shock, with not a single clue about how to get out of this situation, now or in the future. Not in any permanent way, I mean. Obviously I could steal the car and drive somewhere, or use my savings to fly to Australia or England, but the one really useful thing James taught me is that you can't rely on other people -- you have to get out of the really big problems on your own, because nobody can fix you except you.

After the shock wore off, I wrote emails (which probably sound manic because I didn't want anyone to realize I wasn't doing very well emotionally), spent an hour re-typing the knitting-group contact list, just so I 'd have something to concentrate on, and then after Dad went to bed I cleaned the kitchen.

Maybe I'll knit now.

[ Edit: Well one good thing about today -- most of my errands are done, and it's only quarter past 6 in the morning. Have cleaned the kitchen, made and packed up Dad's lunch, fed, bathed, and medicated Mom, and done one load of laundry. ]

Monday, November 01, 2004

Monday Night.

Well, I guess not a lot of us made it to Andersen's tonight, but I did have a really lovely, relaxing and good time with Trace all the same. Yay!

Still, I hope the last hurrah at Andersen's was lots of fun for all of you who made it there tonight! I, for one, want to see pictures when we meet up at the new place next week!

Now I'm home, though, and... suddenly the depression is really bad. I think it's just the stress and being on-call almost all the time (even when I'm sleeping!) as far as taking care of my mom goes, and... yeah. Not even sure where to start with fixing the situation(s), either.

Think will curl up and watch a movie. Or... I don't know. Something.

Night night.

Sweatshirt Sleeves.

So, since tonight is knitting group, I really want to get one of the sleeves for the sweatshirt finished. I'm sort of changing the pattern (I got up the courage to try it because Chaun showed me how she changed the sleeves on her sweatshirt) so the sleeves will be longer, and wider at the wrist... sort of with a little bell at the bottom, but not an obvious one.

Anyway, I'm not sure it's going to work, and I sense that I'm going to need some advice on how to fix my mistakes!

Also, since Election Day is tomorrow, I'm considering bothering Chaun (and Trace if she's not feeling politics-phobic today ~g~) and getting her to tell me more about her political views -- every Election Day, I wonder if I vote for the Democrat purely because I support him, or partly because my family = full o' Democrats.

Oh, and also today's the last day I can wear my "Republicans for Voldemort" t-shirt and have it be even remotely relevant, so I really need to find it and wash it. The only thing about it is that I wonder whether people understand it's a joke... I don't actually think Republicans = Evil, or that Bush = The Dark Lord. I just like the Harry Potter reference. Summers = simple, simple girl.

Really I just want a President who'll figure out how to make Alzheimer's go away. Not that either Kerry *or* Bush really have a To-Do List with "Note to Self: Fix Alzheimer's" at the top, but still. That's my wish; world peace can go hang. ~sigh~

This post is really not much at all to do with knitting, is it? Oops. I'm going to go work on that sleeve now. Wish me luck!

[ Edit: I notice that no one commented on how cute I looked in my costume. ~pouts in blatantly attention-seeking manner~ ]