Saturday, October 28, 2006

Feel Free to Add to the List

Things I've Learned From My Needlework:
  1. Every little bit really does count.
  2. Just because you don’t see or feel progress doesn’t mean it isn’t there. You might just have to focus on something else for a little bit to see it.
  3. Both God and the Devil really are in the details.
  4. Sometimes things just don’t make sense or seem to have any particularly special results until after you do them.
  5. If it’s not turning out the way you want it to, and you can’t fix it, frog it and try again. If it still isn’t working out, either adapt or find something different to do. You can’t force something to be what it isn’t.
  6. Patience is a virtue.
  7. Just because lots of other people who have similar interests as you like something doesn’t mean that you will.
  8. Practice does make perfect. Having a natural skill and/or a drive to learn also helps.
  9. Breaking large projects down into pieces or steps makes them not seem so huge. A large afghan is either one pattern or lots of smaller chunks of patterns. A shawl is a bunch of pattern repeats. A sweater is a back, a front, two sleeves, and a neck. A 2ft. square cross-stitch of a Precious Moments Noah’s Ark consists of lots of pairs of animals and a boat. Eat the elephant a bite at a time.
  10. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. If it isn’t up to your standards, it will bug you every time you think about it, and who needs that kind of annoyance? On the other hand, nothing is perfect, either, so give yourself some slack.
  11. Always go back to the basics. When it all comes down to it, even the most complex lace or cable knitting is nothing more than knit and purl stitches. The most elaborate cross-stitch is still just a bunch of x’s and /’s.
  12. If you don’t learn the basics and make a habit of using them properly, nothing you ever do will turn out the way you expect, no matter how carefully you follow the instructions.
  13. Everyone has different standards and tastes, but no one should ever look down on you for yours.
  14. Just because you think something is special doesn’t mean anyone else will.
  15. If what you are doing “to relax” is stressing you out, stop.
  16. Just because you CAN make something doesn’t mean you SHOULD make something.
  17. Everyone has some kind of idiosyncrasy when it comes to their crafts. Including you.
  18. When you are taking a break from a project, actually walk away from it.
  19. Chocolate and fine wine are both great restoratives, but can also cause lots of problems.
  20. If you don't like it, don't buy it.
  21. Buying the best you can afford is bullshit. Just because a something is expensive doesn't mean it's any good. If you like it and it fits your needs and desires, go for it.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Doncha Hate It When...(Lossa Pics and Kinda Long)

You pick up a project you haven't worked on in months (okay, a year or more) and realize how damn close you were to finishing? I've been rearranging my apartment, because my brother has come to stay for an indefinitely extended visit. As I have a one bedroom apartment, he gets the luxury of sleeping in the living room where my computer and knitting stuff was. To give us both some privacy, I rearranged my bedroom (and finally got a decent desk and dresser in the process!) and moved my computer into it.

(Yes, I love blue. How on earth does my desk get so cluttered so quickly? Never mind, don't answer that!)

Anyway, since the computer is in the bedroom now, the stash had to move, too. I realize this is not nearly as big a deal for me as it is for some people, but I do have to say that I feel a bit sorry for it, getting all squashed in the corner now.

In the process of moving the stash, I came across my cross-stitch basket and found this.

(Not difficult, as my knitting needles were resting on top of all that comfy canvas and floss and patterns.) I had started this project about two years ago as a wedding gift for a friend (they were decorating their bathroom in this theme). I was not able to get it finished in time for the wedding, ended up buying them a gift, and got hooked on knitting shortly after. I picked it up - and realized I have maybe three colors left to do in the entire thing! I worked on it again last night, and have about thirty stitches left in the main body, then the Chinese characters that go along the sides and the backstitching. That's it! Gah! I was so close two years ago! I'm going to finish it and give it to my AF friend, who is studying Chinese, appreciates Asian culture, and has a soft spot for cross-stitch. I'll of course tell him the whole story, so he doesn't get all worried - he knows how much time and patience go into needlework!

Oh, and in other fiber news, my dad thinks spinning is pretty cool and was asking me all sorts of questions about it. I didn't show him my first attempt (only have a pic of the swatch I knit with it)

I did show him my much better but still fairly sucky effort that is currently in progress (pics of that are turning out very blurry for some reason). My dad is the type who very much appreciates technology and new toys (hell, he was a CSI and now is in charge of training all the CSIs in Illinois, he knows his toys), but still cans his own veggies, makes his own jams and jellies (I was eight before I realized that other people actually BOUGHT jelly in the store - I still refuse to and either make my own now or get some of Dad's =) ), and has a very strong tie to our family's farming history. Yes, that's where I get it from - I love my daddy! He's also a softy and was able to sweet talk my mom into getting these guys

when they got home from visiting me. Apparently their names are Gomer and Merlin. Why? I haven't got the faintest idea. I guess my brother suggested the names and they liked them. No reported problems so far with the Lab and two other cats that also currently reside with them, so that's good.

Speaking of kitties and fiber, Teddie really likes the cross-stitching thing, because Mom swears much more when he bats at the floss and pulls it out of the needle than when he bats at the knitting yarn. You can practically hear him snickering as he runs under the bed for safety. (ETA: Teddie apparently prefers men over women. He was pretty shy when my family was here, but would be coaxed out for my dad and brother. He would not have a thing to do with my mom for some reason, though. If she was around, he'd hiss, run and hide. *shrugs*) However, some knitting progress has been getting done. I'm almost done with the first chunk of yarn for the sock stash log cabin. I have one repeat of stripes for the CDT done. I had the toes complete on the stockinette socks I was working on and then frogged them. I love the yarn still, but think I need to go down a needle size for it, and my US 1s are currently in use for the April Fool's Socks

My beloved US 2s are now housing this:

The yarn suddenly started screaming the other night that it wanted to be Jaywalker socks. I'm game for trying the pattern again. This time I'll even try to do it correctly! I'm going to try a toe-up heel flap and gusset on these, and I'm going to do them one at a time.

Anyway, it's a lovely Monday, and my big plans are possibly going to play disc golf, hunting on Astaria, and carving the jack o' lanterns from the pumpkins Kelly insisted we get. I'm sure there will be fiber time, too!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I don't normally share these here, but I really liked Firefly and was happy that I got this result w/o even trying to manipulate the answers!

You scored as Serenity (Firefly). You like to live your own way and don't enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.

Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with

Thursday, October 12, 2006

No Progress, No Pics

On, well, anything, really. Some on the CDT, but I've had two people tell me that maybe the colors I picked don't work so well. The yellow apparently is not in the correct tonal world as the rest. I've looked at it, I agree, and decided that, for now, I don't give a damn. Note that I am reserving the right to frog it all back at some point in the future. I've accepted and admitted that I'm in a fiber funk right now. No work has been done on anything else, though I have thought about it. It just seems so...difficult to pick up the needles right now. I need to take one of these two at a time socks off the needles and put it in my rehearsal bag instead of the CDT. That would be the smart thing to do. I love doing socks two at a time, but it is SO SLOW! I really don't understand why.

Oh, I did find The Dress I Must Wear For Opening (since I can gloat and sit in the audience Opening Night for Seussical - one of the perks of this whole two stage manager deal), but I really need to work on my legs before hand. They just aren't really toned enough to show off in this dress. To help with this (not the only exercise, but definitely the most interesting to me right now), I got one of the balance balls the other day and have had fun playing around with it so far (wow, can I feel it in my back and abs!). It's a lot of fun, but the dvd that came with the ball that showed you how to properly use it and not injure yourself doesn't work on my computer. After various negotiations with the company and me stressing how disappointed I was in this, they are sending me a new copy of the dvd. I hope that one works, I'd love to learn to properly use this instead of the random stuff I've cobbled together. It's been great as a substitute desk chair, as it really makes you aware of your posture! I've been trying to use it as that for an hour or so everyday.

Teddie doesn't like it so much, as it is much more difficult for him to sit on my lap when I'm sitting on it. He's become a lap kitty all of a sudden lately. Not that I'm complaining, but I'm not sure what's up with that. Maybe it's the changing weather. I'm thinking of getting him a playmate, but due to his maturity, am not sure if that is a good idea or not. He just seems bored now that he's over his allergies and feeling better.

Two guys on my mind lately, one really distant and one not so distant but not convenient either. I'm just mostly enjoying the idea that other guys interest me again, as even a month ago, the idea of being around another guy in any kind of romantic sense made my skin crawl. It's fun to crush on guys again. There's something in the water or something, though. I know of five long term couples (two years or more) that have broken up over the past four months. Anyone else notice this?

Family is coming out to visit this weekend (I think). I suppose I should clean the place, huh?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Guess where I was today?!

Does this help?

or this?

or this?

Monterey! One of my friends (okay, an ex-bf, but still, we're friends now) is currently stationed at the Army post there (he's in the AF, I don't get it either, but apparently such things are the norm) and had today off because of Columbus Day. So I drove up and we spent the day hanging out around the bay, taking in the jawdroppingly beautiful and somehow peacefully violent ocean cliff views, eating ice cream, and just enjoying being in each other's company and not wanting to kill each other. It was really really nice. We are already making plans to do this again. Unfortunately, the military doesn't really go for the whole "Monday off" thing, and my job doesn't really go for the whole "weekends off" thing, so we will have to wait until I am in performance schedule for Seussical or he gets a random three day weekend. Btw, Highway 1 between Monterey and San Simeon is not for the faint of heart. I'm sure it's a gorgeous drive during the day, but I'm rather glad I was doing it at night - those curves are wicked and I don't think I could have done them with any distractions! It was fun for the first five or six curves and then got nasty fast. I much prefer the more boring 101.

Teddie is not happy with me for leaving him home by himself all day, especially after I spent yesterday rearranging furniture. My brother is coming out for an extended stay soon, and I realized that if he was sleeping on the futon, I was gonna have to move my computer into my bedroom as I keep vampire hours and didn't want to disturb him. So the bedroom furniture all got rearranged. Then, I realized I didn't have any spare pillows. So I truck off to the store, and lo and behold, pillows on sale! I got a standard set for the futon and a queen set for my bed, as I haven't gotten new pillows in years, either. And of course, had to get sheets, too, for both beds. And a floor lamp that actually works for my room. And a set of drawers that aren't cheap see-through plastic to store my undies and socks in. (I didn't think my brother would appreciate that much.) My bedroom is so pretty now! And the futon is much improved, as well!

No real fiber news. I haven't really worked on the spinning at all. I frogged and restarted the second CDT on bigger needles. It was just going too slowly for me. And, my inner yarn slut came out again and I had to start a new pair of socks. I mean, seriously, have you seen Amy's September offering? Look me straight in the eye and tell me you could have put it away!

Dames is closed (pout - we agreed, if we had stayed in the Marian we could have done a few more weeks, but it was too damn cold in Solvang!). I'm starting Seussical tomorrow (they've already been in rehearsal for a week), and also have two meetings for a couple of shows in preproduction for next semester, and have to set up a meeting for a third show. Oye. And, as I got up at 6:30a this morning so I could be on the road by 7:30a (the sacrifices we make for friends!), I think I shall go to sleep!