Brand New Start

Whew! It’s been two and a half weeks since I moved in to my new apartment. My old lease finally expired and I handed over the keys, so I’m absolutely done with that nightmare.

Let me start off by saying I feel like I’ve finally come home. This apartment is spacious, beautifully light and everything here works. My old place was missing many key features, my new place is the average, standard apartment with all features included. That means my own internet, tv and telephone, and my own hot water supply for the shower and kitchen. While I can hear my downstairs neighbors (as you can with most apartment complexes), they’re not being obnoxious. No more slamming doors, daily fights, weekly parties and so forth. My days are filled with peace and quiet.

I can definitely tell that having lived in my old place for 5 years has left its marks. I find myself lapsing into ‘worst case scenarios’ panic attacks over small things. If I drop a spoon by accident late at night, my first response is a bad panic attack and preparing myself for a visit from the police or bullying from the neighbors. I’ve even broken down crying twice over my cats playing and making noise, something that really isn’t an issue but that used to be an issue with my old neighbors, you know? It really shows how bad my life was and how terrorized I felt. The weird thing is that I never realized just how bad it was until I got the chance to move out, distance myself from that situation and compare it to what a ‘normal’ situation looks like.

The change of scenery was a bit tough to deal with at first. I don’t do change well, and I’m glad that moving took weeks to accomplish rather than mere days. I had to put flooring into my new place (houses in the Netherlands are usually offered ‘stripped’ – i.e. there is no flooring and there are no appliances, you have to bring it all yourself. It’s common for tenants to lay laminate flooring and then take it out when they move to put into the new place.) and paint a few walls before I could move my furniture over. It was mainly just my dad, me and my dad’s trailer moving all of my belongings over. We’re both cripples on disability with back issues, so we had to be super careful not to hurt ourselves in the process. One or two loads in a day was our max, and then we were done for for the rest of the day.

We managed to pull it off eventually! All my stuff is here now, I have a new bed (a cheap one from IKEA that is surprisingly sturdy and good quality for such a low price), I have almost all the appliances I need and my cats are all settled in as well.

I’m really happy that I’ve socialized my cats so well, too. They adapt to new environments very quickly because they’re used to traveling with me. I bring them with me to my parents’ and friends’ places, so they don’t fuss or get stressed from moving around. The first night, both of them were yowling at the door ‘to go home’, but by the second night they slept through the night without a hitch. That’s all it took for them to realize we live here now. 🙂

Let’s see, my birthday was last week on Easter Sunday. I had my family over for brunch and cake, just a quiet get together! I was still pooped from the whole moving business so I didn’t really invite anyone else. I got a knitting book from my boyfriend and ended up knitting a bunch of swatches from it!

11181748_910286089091985_2128460390109030113_n

20160403_105747

First off, I have to say I LOVE the book. I’m sure I can find most of these stitches online, but having them in paperback for on-the-go and in one big collection to flip through is so much nicer than browsing an endless online database and having no real way of bringing that with me. Some reviews on Amazon complain about the way the patterns are written. They’re not exactly conventional, in the sense that the written pattern is usually combined with the chart. You probably need to be able to work with both to make full sense of it.

For example, a chart will have 6 rows. The written pattern is setup in a slightly weird way by saying “Row 1 (right side) and every alternate row: knit like this. Row 2 and 6: Knit all stitches in the manner they present. Row 4: Cable row. These last 6 rows form pattern.” Which essentially a complete pattern, complemented by a correct chart, but it’s not the way most pattern books are written in my experience and it throws people off. However, if you read carefully and follow the patterns step by step, they work out absolutely fine. I haven’t found any mistakes yet and I love the variety in the patterns.

The only thing I’m not too keen on is the fact they include an edge stitch in every pattern, and count this edge stitch in their totals. If you’re like me knitting swatches with a 5 stitch garter edge, it can throw you off when you’re supposed to get to ‘the last 4 stitches, p3, k1 (edge stitch)”. Because I will only have 3 stitches left until I hit the garter border, so my first reaction is “I MESSED UP SOMEWHERE” when I didn’t. But I think that’s also something that I’ll get used to quickly. All in all this is an awesome resource book for knitters, and for its price you really don’t have to leave it on the bookstore shelf.

It also prompted me to knit my first cables ever. They’re something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now but never really felt inspired to get around to. There are so many variations and I wasn’t quite sure where to begin. I picked 3 slightly similar cables to work with and made the above swatches. No blocking because it’s leftover acrylic yarn that doesn’t block well, but it works out!

I wanted to see how cables behave in a fabric, with and without proper borders. Found out that the more stitches you cable (like a cable 6 versus a cable 4) the more they pull. My next swatch will be in the round to see how that works out for socks and the like! I’d hate to ruin a project by guessing wrong so I love knitting swatches.

Somewhere throughout the move I also managed to finish a pair of socks for a friend.

20160403_115052

I ran very quickly out of yarn for these socks for some reason. I’m not sure why, they’re not particularly big ,the gauge is the same as with all my other socks and it’s the same kind of yarn. But they turned out fine and I hope to be able to send them out soon. I might have enough yarn for my frankensocks too, I might incorporate some cables or lace from the book to make something different for once!

What have you all been up to? I’ve been so busy I didn’t really have time to get caught up with my blog feed, I’d love to hear summarized updates!

Advertisements

One thought on “Brand New Start

  1. Glad your move went well. I’ve been knitting quick projects to test out some dyeing I did. Taking more pictures than I’ve taken the time to blog about, and waiting for Spring (it thaws and then more snow!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s