From one frenzy to another

Christmas is over and I spent both days at my parents’, first day with my cats, the second day with my sister and her girlfriend.

My parents’ dog didn’t quite know how to handle the cats’ presence. He’s used to them in the sense that when he was a puppy, I introduced my cats to him (I take them with me frequently on trips and such) but he also took a couple of beatings when he spazzed too much around them. So now he’s cautious and very submissive around them even though they couldn’t care less about his presence. I think they claim my parents’ house and he surrenders but they don’t act like dogs so he’s lost. Thankfully they frequently just lay down and nap without any trouble and nobody gets hurt, so it’s not all that bad! He was visibly relieved when we all went home though. 😉

The rest of the days were spent eating well and enjoying my family’s company. Last year, on the 21st December, my back gave out again and I was bedridden in my apartment for over 2 weeks. I missed Christmas and New Year’s Eve, so it was important to me to make up for it this year.

2015-12-25 (1)

My parents’ gift to me was this lovely basket full of hygiene products! Shower gel, shower scrub, body butter, body lotion, a little flask of perfume, some chocolates, Christmas decorations and a card. 🙂 I particularly love the perfume, it smells really good on me. (It’s Gloria Vanderbilt Eau De Toilette for the curious!) My sister promised me cash for the holidays, but as I plan on moving over the next couple of months, we agreed she’s going to hang on to it until the time comes when I need some extra cash for appliances. Lovely scents and bath products are common gifts in my family cause you can always use them and they don’t drain your wallet like crazy, in case anyone is wondering about ‘subtle hints’. We all smell lovely all year round thanks to gifts like these. 😉

The socks I knit for everyone were well received! I had to teach my dad that he shouldn’t stuff one sock inside the other though, cause that was the first thing he did. (I’m grateful my mom’s the one who does laundry, hah!)

I had barely finished my sister’s socks on Christmas Eve when I cast on for my new sweater. (Finally one I’m knitting for myself that I will actually wear too!) The yarn is knitting up wonderfully and I love the colors very very much. Progress is just as fast on this top-down raglan as it was on my boyfriend’s sweater, so hopefully I’ll be done with this before the second week of January. By then the temps should have dropped low enough to warrant a warm wool sweater on my body too. I don’t know what it’s like for the rest of you, but our flowers are starting to bloom…

2015-12-28

When I put the sleeve stitches on the holders, I worried that my bust wouldn’t get enough give and it would be too tight. I knit a little ‘pocket’ of extra stitches right beneath the arms to allow the sweater to stretch in that area purely as an experiment. I cast on 8 stitches beneath each arm for the sleeve before continuing in the round, and I marked those 8 stitches and increased them to 16 stitches every by adding 2 every other row. Then I knit a few rows plain, and then decreased back to 8 stitches per side. This did create a weird little area but it also did the trick for a fit (and really can’t be seen in that position). Unfortunately I’m bigger in circumference than my 100cm needles (downside of being a heavy and tall Amazoness) so I had to transfer all my stitches to scrap yarn, including the sleeve stitches. It took 30 minutes to transfer them on yarn and 30 minutes to transfer them back onto the needles.

2015-12-27

But the modification did what it had to do! I’m in my jammies here and not wearing a bra so only the top of my boobs were covered, but it was enough to confirm the fit for me. I will pick up stitches around the v-neck so it’s not as open, although my next v-neck sweater will probably be a little bit differently shaped. I was wondering about the instructions in the pattern and made a best guess. It didn’t turn out bad or wrong, but for a less deep v-neck I would do it differently. You can check out my notes on the pattern on Ravelry here.

This is still all very experimental for me, but I’m enjoying the process a lot! I can only imagine the awesome sweaters I’ll be making this time next year. 🙂

Did you cast on anything during the holidays?

Advertisements

Feeling a bit… stranded!

I finished it! And it turned out perfect. 🙂 I’m so happy with the tension on the stranding and the final look! I might make several of these and sell them as they work up so quickly and are interesting and fun to make. I never thought I’d be doing this so quickly (it’s only been 2 years since I made my very first stitches) but bam, here we are!

20151206_211901 20151206_212534

I followed my own advice and knitted an extra 7 rows of stockinette after I finished the chart, and it was definitely the right thing to do. It fits me properly now without being too tight or short, which is a problem I have with my Moss Stitch hat. I guess when you’re a 6’1″ amazon lady you have to keep in mind that your head is also bigger than the average adult’s!

20151206_213620_2

There’s just enough room at the top of the hat to make it not look like it’s been vacuum sealed to my head. Hooray! (And yes that mirror needs a serious dusting, holy crap.)

Now that it’s done I’m trying to work my way through writing Christmas cards at… oh, almost 3 in the morning. I have five cards left to go, and one package with the Jayne hat to include with the sixth card. My hand is so cramped up from writing it’s almost embarrassing realizing just how little I’ve actually written this year.

It’s pretty exhausting though. I’ve been participating in an event on RPR that encouraged you to write something nice to people on the site. There are a lot of people I have so many good things to say about and I’ve been trying very hard this week to write something to all of them. The impact on the community is massive; over 700 of these kudos and still counting have been given out and we’re still two days away from the deadline of the event! I’m getting close to 50 kudos and then having to write individual Christmas cards on top is making me nothing short from dizzy.

I’m going to take a good night’s rest after I write my last cards and then tomorrow I’m going on a trip to the post office… wearing my new hat!

You’re now hearing the X-Files themesong.

It’s magic!

I was about to sit down and watch the X-Files on Netflix with my knitting (mom’s pair of socks for Christmas) when I felt the itch for blogging. I’m not sure what to write about that I haven’t already said before, though. So before I go on a repeated ramble, let’s soak in the new template on my blog!

Simplicity is always my favorite theme for a template so that’s what I was going after in the list. After 30 minutes of browsing and previewing different themes, I settled on this one. Nice and quiet, calming on the eyes, pleasant teal link colors and just enough room for the widget area. A winter themed banner on the top (which I might switch out in the near future) and I’m all settled until spring. 🙂 Looks good, doesn’t it?

Last night I finished my dad’s socks. They took a little longer than I anticipated, but I was very tired last week, and I ended up not taking the full 2-3 hours a day I planned for them. So rather than 7 days, they took 9 to complete. Not bad! I admit they look a little baggy, but I promise you that my dad is not a frail bodied fellow and he will fill these out nicely. I worked in the knitting-in elastic into the cuff (which you can kind of see) so I hope the cuffs will retain their elasticity.

20151125_201641

I almost finished my mom’s socks’ toes before I went to bed, but as I hit 30 stitches on the first needle (out of 34) I was done for and put them down. I will be increasing to 34 stitches per needle (68 total) for her socks and then work them the same way I did my dad’s. The sock yarn I picked for her socks almost made me regret buying it as I began to knit it up, but I’m growing fond of the colors after all and I think the pattern will turn out nicely! I’ll share a picture soon.

Some less good news is that my avoidance behavior is maxing out again. I didn’t go to my social skills course and couldn’t get myself to call to cancel. I just panicked and pretended my phone didn’t even exist. Then I got an email from my therapist and refused to open it out of terror. Last Monday I flaked out on an appointment and missed their calls. It’s pretty bad, I know that it’s ridiculous to react this way to someone who’s there to help me, but going to a course and going to therapy is more than just ‘sit down and talk’. It’s ‘sit down, talk and let’s work on this!’. It’s the ‘work on this’ part that scares me off. I don’t know where I’d get the energy from to do it. I’m exhausted by clinging on to my group afternoons, which I refuse to ditch cause I love it there and it makes me feel at home. More so than in my own apartment even. I’m exhausted from this bullshit with my landlord. I’m exhausted from waiting to have all my finances handed over to an administrator so I don’t have to worry over paying bills anymore. I’m exhausted from worrying ‘is today the day my car will break down and I’m left without transportation cause I can’t afford anything else?’.

I had an appointment with my group counselor yesterday, which doesn’t stress me out because I know she’ll take the wheel when I can’t, and I ended up confessing to her how bad it is. She sat down with me to analyze why it’s happening, especially because I’m so vibrant and happy in the group. After some discussing we agreed that I’m taking a break from therapy until the holidays are over, and then pick it back up in January. It will give me time to settle down a bit in this very hectic period, my finances will be out of my hands officially by then and I should have found a way to be able to make the appointments with an alternative form of transportation.

My group counselor emailed my therapist to explain all this, and this morning I got another call and email from my therapist. As their office calls from a private number I didn’t pick up, but now I’m also afraid to read the email. Again. I know it’s nothing bad and just asking “How are you doing?”, but then there’s nothing rational about anxiety, is there? I’m breaking this down in my head bit by bit and hopefully I can sit down, read and reply to the email this week at some point. It would be nice if I could do that!

It’s not easy, but I’m glad to have my group. I don’t know where I would be without the wonderful people who work there, or even my fellow clients who are so kind and fun to interact with.

Anyway. I’m going to pick up these socks and knit for 1 or 2 X-Files episodes before I’m making dinner. Although I don’t celebrate thanksgiving being Dutch, I figured I’d make myself a fancy dinner with fish, potatoes and veggies tonight. 🙂

How are your holidays going? Are you getting any knitting done?

*sprints across the finish line! *

I’m writing this post face down in bed with a cat curled up on my butt/thighs, so please excuse typos and weirdly aligned images. No, I’m not confined bed but I needed to rest my back and had the urge to blog. 😉

Great news though! I finished my boyfriend’s sweater last night and wove in the ends today. I’m going to show it off to some people before I put it through a soak and wash.

image

How’s that for my first sweater? 😉 It still feels unreal that I made this myself from scratch. (Does anyone else get this sensation every time they finish a project?) And in just a little over two weeks too! It flew off my needles like crazy and I felt no doubts or insecurity about it whatsoever, the whole thing was a breeze.

With that behind me I cast on a pair of socks for my dad. I hope to finish them within a week as they’re vanilla socks and I’m familiar with the Fish Lips Kiss heel now. 🙂 Then I just have my mom’s and my sister’s socks left. Why did I wait so long again?

Let’s celebrate!

Do things finally look up?

The boyfriend has a 4 day weekend this week, although he has duty on Saturday – that’s okay though, we still have extra days to spend together.

He’s been recovering from a cold (or maybe the flu?) and is probably going to be better for the holidays. Wednesday he will also get off his shift quite early.

Although I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving because I’m Dutch, I’m pretty damn thankful we get to spend some time together after so many days where we couldn’t. He suggested we celebrate it by drinking. He bought some booze today, and because my disability came in I treated myself this month with a bottle of Jägermeister.

We may be half a world apart but that certainly doesn’t stop us from having fun!