NaBloPoMo – Trying again

Hello. It’s time once again for National Blog Posting Month. I thought that I had put a couple of posts up so far, but apparently it didn’t save. So, here goes again.

I haven’t felt like writing anything for a very long time. I haven’t felt like spinning, knitting or anything else for a long time either, to be honest. I’ve been depressed about/swamped by work, the world is crumbling around all of us…things like that. For some reason, my depressive fog is starting to lift and I feel like doing more things again. Hence the starting my blog up again thing.

I have been doing some spindle spinning lately/again. Most of that has involved spinning up the giant 8 oz bag of Merino/silk blend with my drop spindle. I even have a use for all the yarn now. I am in the middle of working on a Low Tide cardigan. Specifically, I am at the beginning of Stockinette Hell. The bodice was fun – lots of lace to keep me going. Now? Well, um, it’s kind of boring. I don’t even know objectively if this pattern suits the yarn. But I’m working on it anyway.

I think the rest of the family is awake now – hooray for the end of daylight savings time! – so it’s time to finish.

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Hello. Nice to See You.

Hi. It’s been a while since I’ve felt good enough to write again. Some things have happened in the space in between posts. My father died last summer. I have had the same job for almost an entire year (2 more weeks to go). Both of those things have consumed all my time and energy, especially my dad’s death.

So you know, I have tried to write about my father several times. It hasn’t gone well. Spinning, knitting, embroidery and writing have all gone by the wayside.

I’ve tentatively started knitting again. A pair of “Oh, Valencia!” socks from Custom Socks:Knit to Fit Your Feet by Kate Atherley. A Harvest cardigan that I’m spinning for as well. Plus I’m slogging through the blue/green/white Merino/silk roving that I’ve been working on for forever. It’s just the thing I need to keep from killing my coworkers. I’m probably kidding about the last part. Not the spinning part.

That’s about it for now.

Giftmas 2017

Giftmas is on the way. We once again have almost no money, in spite of two of us working crazy hours for more money that we’ve ever seen before. So making gifts it is.

So far, I have a pair of Vog’on socks for Baby Goth (well, not so much a baby anymore – she’s driving soon), a pair of toe-up Marpleridge socks from Kate Atherley’s Custom Socks:Knit to Fit Your Feet for Dad Goth, and…that’s it so far. I did buy a cross-stitched ornament pattern that I want to make for a couple of my work friends, and a pattern for some tiny Mochis from Mochimochiland, but I haven’t even started those yet.

Right now, my work is in the middle of open enrollment for a lot of our clients. People seem to feel free to be their worst selves when speaking with customer service. It seems to be worse over the holidays. So much pressure to have the picture-perfect Xmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus/Newtonmas/insertyourfavoritewinterholidayhere (mine is the Winter Solstice/Yule), and it’s easy to take out one’s aggressions on an entity over the phone or online. Because we aren’t real.

End of whinge.

What that means is, I have been using crafting as a distraction from everything. Which has worked well in the past, but doesn’t seem to be working this year. I’m still in shock/mourning for my Dad, and I don’t feel like I can talk about it to anyone. My beloved Annabel Lee, our little ginger cat, died a little more than a month ago. That’s been pretty hard too.

So this is my apology in advance to anybody I owe something to. Giftmas present, card, cookies, whatever. I consider getting up and going to work every day an accomplishment these days, and I’ve got a limited number of accomplishments in me. I’m sorry.

Back soon.

The Crazies

One of my favorite movie directors is the late, lamented George Romero. His imagination set the tone for a lot of zombie stories that followed – from novels to comic books/graphic novels (and TV shows). He did make other movies besides zombie movies. One of the better ones IMNSHO is the 1973 movie The Crazies. There was a remake of this in 2010, but I like the older one better. It’s definitely a movie for the conspiracy theorist in all of us, but it’s scary in its own way. The premise, of an accidental release of a chemical weapon into a small town, is kind of timely.

There’s also a remake, done in 2010, but I like the first one more. It’s weird, creepy, a little campy – and the movie stays with you.

Hello Strangers

It’s been a while, almost a whole year since I’ve been here. It’s been a hell of a year, both good things and bad, and the only constant is that I’ve been spinning through all of it. Even the worst of it.

So far, I have:

– lost a job
– gained another job, same industry but much faster meat grinder than the first job
– watched my dad die
– watched my cat die
– watched helplessly as a senile, hate-filled man work tirelessly to destroy the country I love
– yeah, that was plenty for this year.

Anyway. For this past year I have either been incredibly busy or depressed and have let this blog go. I tried to write a couple of times; once when I had just lost my first job back in February, the other on a plane going home from my father’s funeral in July.

I’ve been doing a little knitting and crocheting, mostly toys and smaller things. The spinning that I’ve done has all been either giant yarn for a rug or very fine spinning for shawls and lace. That’s been pretty much everything I’ve been doing.

This latest job is taking up more and more of my time, and more and more of my energies. By the time I get home I’m numb and not interested in talking to anybody let alone write to at least one person who might possibly be reading this. Anyway.

It’s even my favorite time of year, which is why I wanted to start again. I got hooked on Stranger Things, which I haven’t enjoyed nearly as much as the rest of my family has. I guess I’m feeling too old to enjoy The Goonies as much as I did the first time – sorry. it was kind of nice to see Winona Ryder again, even if she’s a little too good at playing a Crazed Mom. We’ll probably watch it on Halloween weekend when it goes up on Netflix. I would like to, and probably will, dig out some of my favorite horror movies that never seem to make it to television. I meant to this weekend, but I am now a Band Mom and this weekend was insanely short.

So there’s my story. Not all of it. I can’t bear to do that all at once. I may take another stab at writing about my dad later on. But we’ll see.

I’m working my way through Socktober. Right now I’m working on a pair of <a href="http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer07/PATTvogon.html”>"Vog'ons for Alena’s Giftmas present this year. I also want to work on a pair of socks for DadGoth and possibly something for myself before I get really going on my always unrealistic Giftmas list for this year.

My family is demanding dinner, so I suppose I have to oblige them. Happy Halloween 15th, guys.

Happy New Year, 2017

I almost said “do your worst”, but the new year might hear if I’m too loud.

I’ve promised myself to write at least one or two lines every week this year, on both of my blogs. This is the other one. I have 3.5 weeks to go in my new job, so I need to find something else in a hurry – and not leave the old one too early, which is becoming more and more of an issue. Anyway. Spinning has helped there. I haven’t killed anyone yet, or raised my voice on the phone, so that’s something. More later.

Black-ish Friday

If you celebrated American Thanksgiving yesterday, I hope it was a good day; with good food, tolerable family, and few arguments with Racist Uncle Bob. Which might not be so easy given our recent election (not linking, you’re all adults and can Google it yourselves if you don’t know), but anyway. (One thing we’re thankful for: relatives that are 1000+ miles away. Just saying)

Anyway. I am gainfully employed for (at most) the next 2+ months, so I had fully expected to be working today. Thanks to the magic of “severely overstaffed”, I was able to take today off. I have worked on “Black Friday” for several years when I worked in retail, so I remember the joy of going into work at 4:30 AM the day after Thanksgiving and staying until 10PM when the store finally closed for the day. Then doing that again the next day, and the next day for the entire weekend. I would rather claw my own eyes out than go shopping today.

This year, for both of the people who read this, I thought I’d make a gift/shopping guide and a pitch for Shop Small Saturday. These stores are ones where 1)I know the owners, either IRL or online, or 2)I have shopped there before and would recommend them highly. So here goes, in no particular order…

1. Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find is a lovely comic shop in Charlotte, NC. They have grown over the past…almost 35 years into a larger storefront, an online presence, and a comic convention (HeroesCon). Heroes is where I first found, and fell in love with, Love and Rockets. If you’re anywhere near Charlotte, go for a visit. You’re welcome.

2. Evil Supply Company. Do you, or any of your giftees, like writing? Letters, journals, etc.? You’ll find everything you’ll need except for writing implements here. There are stationery sets, notecards, stickers, posters, patches, pins, journals, planners… Every month, Atticus Q. Redghost, Esq. puts out a subscription package with all sorts of things inside, around a different theme every month. You can sign up for one month, or for a year. The service is awesome. Now that I am mostly gainfully employed, I will be buying some things for myself once again.

3. Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins. Like the website says, everything related to fiber arts: weaving, spinning, dyeing, knitting, crochet, tatting… everything. The sales staff are friendly, knowledgeable, and love their crafts. If you’re near Boulder, go visit.

4. The Scarlet Letter. If you like reproduction samplers, the history of embroidery, or would like to learn more, here’s the place. The store is on a farm in southwestern Wisconsin, where there used to be breeders of Shetland, Navajo-Churro, Jacob, and some other rare breeds of sheep. I discovered the embroidery store when I went for a fleece shearing/sale years ago.

5. Sweet Libertine Cosmetics. Mineral eyeshadows, blush, concealer, face powders. The colors are beautiful, the names are awesome, and the company is run by a lovely knitter. She offers samples with every order and the service is outstanding.

That’s all I have time for today. If you know of another online company that you’d like the rest of us (or both of us, to be honest) to know about, speak up in the comments. Don’t be shy. And try to get outside this weekend.