So I’ve just placed my order with Wool Warehouse for the annual Drops yarn sale, and this year it was a more conservative order than usual – only enough for three hats, a scarf, one teddybear and a jumper. I think I’m tailing off with my stash and having better ideas for what I’m buying yarn for.
This yarn comes in pretty colourways.
I bought Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (you might know her from The Yarn Harlot) from the Needlecraft shop and it was a cracking read, I finished it in one sitting.
It’s difficult to write, once you’re done with the technical aspects of yarn, about the real stuff you need to know about it: the soul of yarn, its magic, and why, beyond it being the material we need to practice the art of knitting, we love it. I could wax poetic for hours about the softness, the colors, the textures…the things I like about yarn. But none of that really gets to the meat of it.
In the end, the reason we fill our houses with it, visit it in yarn shops, speak of it in glowing terms, and hoard it with passions is that it is pure potential. Every ball or skein of yarn holds something inside it, and the great mystery of what that might be can be almost spiritual. These six balls of wool could be a shawl my mum puts around her shoulders when she’s cold, or maybe it’s a blanket a friend wraps her baby in. Maybe that baby takes a shine to it and it becomes his beloved companion blankie, comforting him for years and years. Maybe it’s a sweater that my daughter is wearing the day she gets her first kiss, and from then on my yarn is part of her memory of that day. Maybe, just maybe, those six balls are a scarf and hat that gets tucked away for years and long after I’m gone someone pulls them out and says, “Remember how Grammy was with all the wool? Remember how she knit all the time?” fingering the soft wool and pondering who I was and what I did while I was here.
It’s a mystery, each ball of yarn…and I don’t know what each one is going to be or what life it will take when I finally set needles to it. But each one will be something I made with my own two hands. This yarn, then – my whole big sweeping stash – is the stuff of dreams.
I can’t believe it’s been seven months since my last post! Daily grind aside, there’s not much of note in my current life. Here, in no particular order, are some things I want to whinge about:
- The new guy at work who sits behind me. He’s alright, but new to our city/country and still likes to have a night out – and keeps asking me about partying. At least every few days. Listen mate, no matter how many times you ask me about whether I can dance, the answer is still no. NOTHING HAS CHANGED IN THE SPACE OF TWO WEEKNIGHTS. Yes, I have lived here for more than two decades but I don’t know where the weekend nightlife is. (Cue tumbleweeds in the city streets at 11pm on a Saturday night in this lovely city.) I DON’T PARTY, I CAN’T DANCE, STOP ASKING ME AND GIVING ME INCREDULOUS PITYING NOISES. GET OFF MY LAWN!
- General work stuff that I’d be paranoid about posting specifics online about.
- Being a student supervisor, being responsible for another person when I have no idea what is going on. (Probably should have lumped this in with above.)
- My social life is lacking, but whatever.
- The cute guy formerly from work is back to jerking me around, I will never get to meet up with him, I will never manage to date anyone, and I will die alone and my unfound body will get eaten by the fifty dogs I will have owned.
- General financial whinging; FUCK HOUSING PRICES AND FUCK INVESTMENT PROPERTIES THAT YOUR PARENTS TRY TO HARD SELL YOU INTO BUYING.
- My room is getting messy but my parents don’t like buying storage furniture. WHY. Everything in my house is in piles or just hanging around corridors and walls.
- Those days at work where you feel unproductive and the flow is all wrong.
- I need a break.
I have finally knitted a completed sweater. Weaved in all my ends. Washed and dried the garment. I used a 1980’s Paton pattern and used a yarn I thought was of similar gauge from the stash – after a few false starts which showed a big difference. So I knitted a smaller size and eyeballed as I went.
I will confess that I found one stitch that was meant to be purled was knitted, in the middle of a row.
Here’s a pic:
V-necks are totally underrated in women’s knitwear – both in handknitting and industrially made womenswear. I was a little sad to know my mum had given away my school jumper along with the rest of my uniform to a daughter of one of my dad’s clients who was starting at my old school. It was bottle green and probably not something I would wear ‘out’, but it was a comfortable, fine wool blend and had a standard v-neck. I may look like a geriatric old man, but at least I will be warm, my neck will be untouched and my boobs will look great! (Just kidding, a nun could wear that neckline, and it’s a mohair blend so I will probably itch and die.)
Also currently wrapping up a knitted reticule I made from the lovely The Best of Jane Austen Knits: 27 Regency-Inspired Designs book by Interweave. It will serve no practical purpose, but it is quite pretty and a great small project after the jumper. Was tossing up between a baby blue or the dusty rose – you can see which one won! Only steps left are making a long i-cord to weave through the holes at the top.
I would consider making this pattern again as a gift for someone who would appreciate such a bag. It is a decently quick knit, even with the fingering gauge, and is worked top down in the round.
I’ve had a LOT of spare time recently, so I’ll probably cut my teeth on another sweater project soon, especially with all the tv show watching I’ve been doing. So many patterns, so little time.
Bonus: here is a knitted football I came across at a craft fair yesterday.
I’ve spent more hours in this chair than I have sleeping in my bed during this past week. Writing my thesis has consumed all my waking hours, but even that isn’t really correct at all.
I can’t concentrate on productive work for more than a few minutes, before I’m picking up my knitting, or browsing online stores or some other inane time-filler. I’ve never thought I had problems with my attention span until the past month, where every time I sit down to work on this one topic my eyeballs feel like they’re going to fall out of my head.
It’s most likely some intellectual fatigue with thinking and writing (ha) about the same thing over and over again, but this is getting out of hand. My thesis is half the length I feel it should be (can’t someone give me a page limit?!) and physically feel like trash, with all the snacking and lack of sunlight or physical movement in the past three and a half months.
Ten more days! And then a final exam afterwards, but seriously that is a drop in the ocean right now.
Meanwhile, with all that time I should be utilising productively, I’ve thought about where I am going from here. I am constantly plagued by self-doubt regarding my future job at the company: in reality, I’ve only received positive response based on my internship/thesis work at the company and have been offered a place there, but I can’t unconvince myself that it could all shatter at any moment, revealing my true incompetence underneath. I feel like a sham, someone who has managed to bluster their way through and increasingly at risk of tripping up and having nothing to fall back on. Why would anyone want to hire me in particular? Why not someone else?
Afterall, I’m less than six months from having a degree. I will be Qualified, as if that means something. Like sitting through most of my classes and half-heartedly cranking out my assignments has somehow sustained me through these past three and a half years, and somehow netted me with this degree, a few words I can add on my resumé. But what am I now? And even when I do have my degree, what difference does it make?
Things I am grateful for:
- paid internship, getting that foothold in the industry
- WAM is still doggypaddling in the green zone
- made an effort to meet up with friends, had fun
- joined and actively participated in club, events
- saved money
- went to a concert
- learning to stand up for myself
- beat Xionk in Twilight Struggle
Things I am not as grateful for:
- caring a lot less about everything
- being no more independent than I was at the beginning of the year
- unfinished knitting projects
All in all, it’s been a year that has been good to me, and once again I hope to improve in the year to come.
I have just come back from the Bigbang concert tonight and it was great and I am just this mix of emotions right now.
I would like the next two weeks to be over already, please and thank you.
(Will blog in more detail about concert tomorrow maybe.)
We were eating dinner, and my sister brought up the blue book that all families get for tracking the health of their child for the first few years. We got onto the subject of vaccinations, and I demanded the reasons for my lack of vaccination during high school, in particular the HPV vaccine. My mother got all huffy, saying that children had died from the vaccine [it’s as safe as any other vaccine, and 100 million doses have been administered worldwide with no major safety issues] and something about young teenagers being sexually active. Insinuating, I suppose, that getting an HPV vaccine would suddenly encourage the thirteen-year-old me to have sex with all the people. (For those that know me, you can now sit back and laugh at the possibility of that happening.) She went on to say that I shouldn’t question her choices, that it was all for my good.
I guess a sex-positive, or at least a sex-neutral attitude to parenting would be very difficult to expect from my parents. They never gave me the ‘birds and the bees’ talk; it would never occur to my father to even breach any sexual topic of conversation with me. It feels like just yesterday he was still covering the TV screen whenever any PG kissing was happening. My mother is all hush-hush about anything sexual or adult as well. Most notably, the only time she has ever told me anything about sex was when she blurted out, in the middle of driving, that I should save my virginity for the right boy and not sleep around. She doesn’t even like it when I use tampons.
I’m now figuring out when to get to the doctor and ask for the vaccine. I don’t remember what other vaccines I may have missed; I thought there were other times but that may have just been the booster shots for the HPV vaccine. It’s a strange feeling, the transition into adulthood. I don’t need my mother to be in there when I go to the doctor anymore. I don’t have to relay all my signs and symptoms to her. I’m now my own person, and I will get those vaccines, even if costs me $450 out-of-pocket. (I will have to budget for them first. I think it’s $150 per shot, one per month for three months.)