Day Jobs and Debates

Today was my first day at my new day job. I’m not really supposed to say where it is, or what I’ll be doing. But it is in the same place where I had my last oh-so-brief day job, so I know how to get there, and the layout of the building. I also knew a couple of people that I saw this morning. I told one of them what had happened and came very close to breaking down in front of a large group of people. She was sweet, encouraging and understanding. Hopefully things will go better this time, and I can work quite a bit longer.

Last week, the week I was supposed to have started this job, was the time of the first Presidential debates. Anna from Mochimochiland offered two free patterns for tiny Presidential nominees.

Yep. There they are, Tiny Sec. Clinton and Tiny M. CheetoDumpsterFireTrump. Right next to the tissue box, as I haven’t had a chance to make the tiny debate stage. Even if you’ve never made tiny knitted figurines before, it’s pretty easy and a lot of fun. Also highly addictive.

Tomorrow is the Vice Presidential debates. Fortunately, I have to go to bed early so I’ll have to miss them (dang). Let me know below if I miss anything.

Tonight is also the first day of Spinzilla. I’m looking forward to doing some spinning to get the day out of my head.



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
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.

Bad Dalek Mitts

Last night I finished the Bad Robot mitts. Here they are, drying:

Like I said before, it’s all my handspun. I’ve been trying to figure out why one seems bigger than the other. I measured them against each other, and they appear to be the same size – except when I lay them next to each other. Maybe when they’re finished drying it’ll even out. Maybe.

I also thought I’d try changing the order of finishing ops to see if it makes a difference. Blocking first this time, then weaving in the ends. It’s a little more nerve-wracking than I thought, but that may work itself out too.

Today is Memorial Day in the US, and my dad’s birthday. Before the Monday Holiday Law here in the US, Memorial Day was always my dad’s birthday, a fact that I vaguely remember. He lives a pretty good distance from us, so a phone call and a card will have to do until we see him again sometime this summer. Baby Goth and her twin cousins all go to high school this fall (how the hell did that happen?), so we’d like to see everybody again. If all goes well with a new thing I’ve got going – and there are enough ifs that I don’t want to talk about it yet – I won’t be able to go anywhere until after December. So I’d like to go see them soon.

Happy Memorial Day – that always seems odd to say, there’s nothing really happy about it. Remember those who gave their lives for our country.

It’s FO Day

Or something. Yes indeed, I’ve got a finished thing to show off. The Dalek Shawl, she is done! Finally! And blocked.

I’m okay with it. The shawl is all handspun and the border is hand dyed. Next time, I’m not making a shawl unless I have at least 4 oz of fiber on hand and dyed. Nope. Preferably 8; I have a hard time with underestimating the amount of yarn I have/will need for any given project. It’s a talent of mine.

In hindsight, I’m glad that I ripped and redid so many times. The yarn held up remarkably well, stood up to blocking even after ripping out 5 or 6 times. The BFL is considerably “crunchier” than the alpaca, but even washing before blocking softened it up a bit. I’m happy enough with it to wear it to A’s band concert tonight. But we’ll see.

There’s another skein of Churro done too; 74 yards/2.5 oz of very dark gray.
Once it was washed and set, it shrunk down to 66 yds. But still not bad. I’ve got more fleece to go through, so I might have enough.

Other than that, not a lot else going on. I got Geek Knits from the library this week. I think I might try one of the mitt patterns first. Baby Goth is in marching band this year, and gloves will not work with a saxophone. It’s a sad, sad thing, especially when marching in cold and snow, but the gloves she’ll need will have to be fingerless. Since we’re both Whovians, possibly the Dalek ones.

The Snow is Over!!!!!

For the first time in over a week, we have no snow. No snow outside. I am so, so happy. Snow is nice, but it’s May dammit, and snow time is over. Time for summer. It would be spring, but spring usually doesn’t happen here for longer than two days. Anyway.

It’s the day before Star Wars Day. Please don’t make me say it out loud – we all know it by now. I’m going to try to talk everybody else into buying Star Wars:TFA this weekend. Money’s kind of hard to come by at the moment, but we’ll see. Maybe some amigurumi of Finn and Rey.

I’m still working on the Dalek shawl. I had to dye more yarn and it turned out…a little differently than the first skeins. Yes, my mantra is “I think I have enough to finish”. So the bottom of the Daleks and the edges of the shawl are noticeably darker than the rest of the shawl. Sadly, I have no more fucks to give. It’ll probably be okay; I just don’t want to take it apart one more damn time. I’ll take a picture when it’s done and run it by the Girl’s Gang before I decide to post it.

Also, I have an idea for a spindle case. It’s a really specific thing, that would probably only interest a few people besides me (if any). I found, a long time ago, a pattern online for a coffin purse. I’ve made one out of cardboard for myself and really like it a lot. There needs to be some modifications – not built out of a cardboard beer-can case, for openers, and with some dedicated space for roving that won’t wind up stuck firmly to the spindle end in transport. But it’s just an idea.

School is almost over for Baby Goth. We’re going to have a high school freshman (freshperson?) in the house in less than a month. Where the hell did all those days go? She is somewhat better with endings than she used to be, but I’m not looking forward to this. Several of her favorite teachers are leaving; three are going to different districts, one is teaching only at the high school, and one is retiring. The one who’s retiring is a favorite of all of us. We’re sad to see her go, but she deserves some time off. It’s been a thrill to have somebody working with kids who enjoys what she does and sparks that in her students. I only hope Baby Goth will be as lucky next year to have even one teacher like that.

The Start of a New Week

This past weekend was a bit rough. It was a long weekend for Baby Goth, and we’ve been doing free/cheap things which has been a challenge. She did spend most of Saturday out with her gang, so that was good.

I spent the weekend working on this chart, which was a good distraction.

We’ll see if it uploads, shall we? Not correctly. Sigh.

Now that that’s finished, I need some more to do. I think I may do some crewel work this week with this: crewel1

It’s more of the Churro; light gray to start with, which made some nice-looking dyed crewel yarn. Probably on some hemp twill canvas for a bag, but we’ll see.

The Dalek is coming along. I keep frogging and repeating the lace, as I’ve not been happy with how some of the lace turned out. I think I’ve got it this time. The yarn has held up surprisingly well, considering the abuse I’m putting it through.

And Now, a Bit of Knitting

This has been a long week so far, and it’s only Tuesday. I guess I could start this off by saying there aren’t a lot of good things happening for us right now. We still have a place to live, a car to get us places, and food and clothing. That’s the good part, and the only part I can bear to write about.

Let’s get on with the fiber stuff. I’ve been working on a version of a Dalek shawl for the past couple of weeks. The inside lace part is finally finished, no thanks to my little yarn eater. This past weekend I looked for some yarn for the outside border lace.

There was some laceweight Blue-faced Leicester that hadn’t yet been dyed. It looks like there will be enough. I grabbed a packet of dye that said “Gold”, weighed the yarn, measured the dye, and got to work. While the yarn was simmering it looked yellow. Really, really yellow. Like a giant pile of lemons yellow. Not exactly the gold I was going for. dalekdyejob1

By this time I was sad that I didn’t have any “copper” dye around, but I figured I’d stick with it. I took the dye pot outside and let it cool off, then drained and rinsed the yarn. Not a lot bled off, which was a nice surprise. Then I hung it up to dry.

Superwash wool of any breed takes dye a little differently than even the same breed of sheep without the treatment. The wool tends to suck up the dye and the color is a bit darker than it would ordinarily look. The small skein is a sample of Shetland singles that I had lying around and wanted to experiment with. The color isn’t exactly what I wanted, but I’m going to go for it anyway.

Yesterday I wound up the two BFL skeins and picked up stitches for the border.

I guess it’ll be okay.