Halloween Prep Month

This is Halloween Prep Month for procrastinators. I, myself, am a terrible procrastinator. The proof is every single Xmas gift recipient I have ever made something out of fiber. Every. Single. One.

The worst part is that usually, Halloween prep = costumes. I have been planning a particular costume for years and years now. At last, this year Baby Goth will be putting something together for herself. She did mumble something or other about a “Victorian outfit” or something, but I’m sure she’ll come up with something that I don’t have to sew. I feel good about this.

Baby Goth and her girl gang are going out trick-or-treating again this year. There aren’t any definite plans, but I would have heard by now if they weren’t. Every year for the past couple of years, I’ve made a pitch for dressing up to hand out candy, turning the lights out “early”, and watching monster movies at home for the rest of the evening. Nope.

I still want to do Zombie Marie Curie this year. The skirt was drafted, cut and sewn last year. Now I need a shirtwaist, a long wig to put up, and to get my good boots cleaned. I already have test tubes, makeup and glow sticks, so except for the blouse it’s almost done.

The other thing I’ve been thinking of is based on one of the DC Bombshell characters. Wonder Woman has always been dear to my heart, ever since I found her at the candy store on my walk home from school. I never got to read every month, but I treasured the copies I had. For pretty obvious reasons I will have to modify the outfit a bit, but the hardest part will be finding boots that aren’t my red Doc Martens. Of course, there’s always next year.

Someday I would like to buy an actual good skeleton for the front porch, but that may not be this year. Not sure what else we’re going to do, but we’ll see what happens.

How is your Halloween prep going?

A KAL that I might be able to finish

This past weekend, I was looking for something to work on. Probably knitting, but hopefully spinning too. At least something to cut back on the yuuge stack of stash yarn all over the house.

Reddit’s knitting group began their latest KAL last week. Two things stuck out in my mind:

  1. The KAL goes through the end of October.
  2. It’s a lace (or beaded lace) shawl project, with what looked like an intriguing advanced pattern.

Then I took a closer look at the pattern itself. The pattern looks lovely, and a challenge which would be a nice…distraction. Unfortunately, I cannot personally support the designer. Which is not to say that you might not enjoy the pattern, or have a problem supporting a given designer in their career. If you ask me, I’ll tell you which one it is, but it’s readily available at the Reddit r/knitting group.

For their KALs they offer the option of the “otterlace” category. If you have a particular pattern in your Ravelry queue, and it fits the criteria, you can let the group know you’re working on that one. Which I did.

Remember the Bat Shawl? This one. The yarn was very fine, cobweb-lace sized fine, and it blocked out smaller than I expected. This time it’s going to be a little different.

I’m using handspun alpaca instead of the Filatura de Croza, and it’s slightly thicker. The needle size is 1 size up – I think I’m using a US5 instead of the 3 I used the first time. So far, I’m up to inserting markers for the second row of bats and it’s coming along nicely. I think I’m happier with this so far than the first one. Not that I’m unhappy so much with the first one – I learned a lot, it was my first full-sized shawl, and it’s held up. But this might be worn more.

September

Today is the first of September, the second best month of the year. I love autumn, even though in the place I now call home autumn is unpredictable and can easily be mistaken for winter. Roughly 20 miles “up the hill”, it’s snowing hard enough to close a major tourist attraction permanently for the season. Autumn is bright yellow and scarlet leaves when the snow hasn’t fallen, cold nights and relatively warm days (not the 90F of last week, for example), acorn squash and pumpkins, giant sweaters, and Halloween.

It’s also a good time to start knitting, crocheting and other things for December. Or at least thinking about it. Let’s be honest – the actual making won’t happen for at least another month, amirite? Probably the rest of the world is far more organized and together than me when it comes to Giftmas. Anyway, Halloween comes first.

Baby Goth has decided to put together her own Halloween costume again this year, which is awesome. She’ll probably be coordinating with her friends again, which is fine, and yes, they do go trick-or-treating. To quote one of her friends, “I’m going out for candy till I’m 90! Try and stop me!” Hard not to like that kind of focus and determination.

I have started making presents already, though. There’s another of these
wearehappy2serveyou
that needs to be felted, embroidered and packed up to send to the Frozen Wastelands where part of our family lives. I’m still working on the Weasley Sweater for Baby Goth, and am putting something together for Dad Goth and myself. Maybe it’ll look like a hockey jersey. Maybe not.

I’m also working on a pillow/sampler/something for my parents. My Mom and Dad are both retired chemists; Dad was a college professor, Mom was a medical lab technician. So I’m hoping they’ll like this. I don’t think I want to use Aida cloth, but it’s far cheaper than what I’d like to use, so we’ll see.

This weekend, it’ll be time to put everything out for Halloween. Frankly, I think I’ve restrained myself from not leaving things out all year. But some might consider it a little early. I’d rather not wait till the snow hits.

Distractions

It’s been a…difficult few weeks here at Chez Goth. An understatement, really, but I get inappropriately sweary when I think about what’s been going on. So difficult it is.

I’ve been dealing with it by distracting myself. Music, spinning/spinning prep, knitting, crochet, cross-stitch. Distractions.

My favorite distraction so far, the Steotchalong 2016, is almost over. It really has been fun, and the theme is one I’ve been hoping for for 4 Steotchalongs now.

The next-to-last part of the Mystery Steotchalong 2016.
The next-to-last part of the Mystery Steotchalong 2016.

Just a few words left to go, and it’ll be ready to frame.

I’ve also been working on something that I keep putting off. It’s a crochet pattern, Asphyxiation, by Severina (Aundrea Murphy). Originally published on The Anticraft! back in August-ish 2006, it’s something that I’ve been wanting to make for a while. In fact, I’ve started and ripped it out at least a dozen times from then to now. I also have Just Enough linen handspun to finish. Coincidences FTMFW! I want to wait until I block the body of the choker to take a blog picture. Right now I’m almost finished with the Irish rose for the middle. It’s not black – it’s bright blue – but I’d like to make another one with black commercial crochet cotton. Just so I can say I’ve done it.

For music, I’ve found Mixlr and am trying to figure out what I’d like to play. There’s also going through the Clara Schumann Book of Secrets for the piano. I will master the 3 Romances if it kills me.

That’s pretty much it. Just things to keep me occupied and not thinking about What If and What May Happen.

Starting Something New

I began a new day job last week – this is my 10th day and I’m still there. So that’s something. It’s not the field that I expected to be working in – it’s an inbound call center – but the subject is close to what I’d ultimately like my day job to be. So it’s good for as long as I can hang in there.

There were three knitters there when I first started; two of us are left. I’ve brought my drop spindle to work, but the resulting yarn has been…less than inspiring. It’s the llama hair my sister got me for Giftmas last year. Not the type of thing you want to wear as a T-shirt, but I’d like to make it into a bag. Possibly. The color is lovely; a cinnamon-brown that is really pretty, and I’d like to make something out of this. I don’t think the mini spindle is the right tool for the job. The hummingbird Wooly Designs might be a better idea, but I can’t really take that to work with me.

Probably the hardest part of my job is the hours. For the first month I’ll be working the bright-and-early shift, which means I wake up before anybody else in the house. It also means I have to be in bed before everybody in the house, at least until high school starts next week. Next week! Yikes! My baby taking another step away from home. The other challenge is…well…being around normal people. This is not easy. There are a couple of other awkward people in my training group, but being awkward and all, we have a difficult time talking to each other. Ah, the joys of being Not Normal.

There are a couple of friendly people, like there are anywhere. So we’ll see what happens. Meanwhile, I need to find something to work on. I’ve been thinking of Asphyxiation with some bright blue handspun linen. The interior motif is easy enough to work on without too much concentration.

The Circus is Back (Thank Goodness it’s not Here)

This is the week of the Republican Party’s National Convention in the US. When I was younger, politics was like a game. A weird, sometimes hilariously funny, mysterious game where the winner and loser didn’t really matter, because the world still went on.

Then Donald Trump decided he was going to run. For President. Now it’s not so much of a game anymore.

8 years ago, Barack Obama, the junior Senator from Illinois, won the election for President of the US. Some people said it was the end of racism in our country, because we finally had a Black President. As it turned out, not so much. There were questions about where he was born, because if he had a Kenyan father, he couldn’t possibly be One of Us. There were questions about whether or not he was a Socialist. (On a personal note, it is a dream of your blogmistress to actually have a socialist president. But I don’t think our country is ready for that today.) He had more threats to his person and his family than any president in my living memory who hadn’t actually been assassinated. But he kept going, no matter what horrific racist garbage was tossed his way. The Democratic National Convention was held not far from us and it was amazing. Even with police roughing up protestors and keeping the press at arm’s length whenever possible, it was amazing. I don’t remember where the Republican convention was that year, but it was pretty entertaining.

And 8 years later, we’re getting political party conventions again. The Republican convention is, from my personal perspective, a horror show. I cannot describe it in any other way. It was so bad that the Colorado delegation walked off the convention floor em masse on the first day.

Let me say that a little slower. A. Delegation of elected delegates. Walked. Off. The convention. Floor.

The cover story was that “they were going to dinner”. At 4 in the afternoon. Of course.

The next day, when the official verbal vote count went out, the results told the true story. Out of Colorado’s 37 electoral votes, 31 votes went to Ted Cruz, later amended to 33. 2 delegates abstained. The other 4 voted for Trump, now the official Republican party nominee for President.

That’s not even mentioning the blatant racism, sexism, and homophobia proudly on display over the past few days. Like the dinosaurs howling their last after the cataclysmic event that brought their demise, the vast majority of party speakers can’t seem to stop being the party of Proud White People.

As of today, I’ve spent the entire RNConvention writing this post. Last night was the big speech in front of the Reichstagacceptance speech for the Republican nomination. Apparently, clocking in at 74+ minutes, the longest speech in the history of nominee acceptance speeches. I was busy recovering from our trip to the Fancy Amusement Park with Baby Goth and her BFF and wasn’t in the proper frame of mind to watch last night. This morning, between Twitter and our local news, I’ve managed to make up for that. My goodness, that looks truly frightening.

So, now that the convention is over, register to vote in November. Do it today. If you live in a state that offers mail-in ballots, please please take advantage of that. I can assure you it’s worth whatever hoops you have to jump through, especially if you live in a state where the weather is unpredictable in November. Register today. This is no longer a joke. This is our new reality. If we don’t want it to be our reality for the next 4 years, please vote in November. If you’re not bothered by that, I’m not certain you’re reading the right blog for you.

I’ll write more spinning-related posts this weekend. Promise.

Changing the curtains, tidying up

I thought I’d distract myself from this past horrific week (JFGI for now, please) by doing some badly needed, long put off housekeeping.

For starters, the theme I’ve been using is one I’ve been using for a very long time. So I’ve changed that. It needs a bit of work, particularly the sidebar – I’m still trying to figure out how that works and what to make more readily visible. But I think I like it. I’d like to know what both of you who still read this think too, so hit the comments and speak up.

There’s a new header that more accurately reflects what I’d like to show here. Mostly. Frankly, it was the nicest black bobbin picture I have up here. I think I’d like to move patterns to another page so they’d be all together. I’d also like to move some patterns off the site altogether. But we’ll see.

And now, I’m going to cuddle with my dog, finish breakfast and work on making yarn for somebody. See you soon.