Friday, 19 September 2008

Finishing Party!

OK, it wasn't really a party, it was me, a sewing needle and a crochet hook, but 3 things got finished! Yay!

This is the liquorice shrug, by Megan Marshall. I love this shrug! I test knit the pattern for her, it was a lot of fun to knit, and it's now my favourite piece of clothing. :) Oh, the pattern link takes you to the ravelry page for that pattern, where you will be able to buy it later.

I used Debbie Bliss Rialto 4 ply for this shrug, I think it must be my first time knitting with merino. I love this yarn to bits, it's very soft and yummy. Black is a bit of a pain to see the stitches in, but I have lots of lamps in the house! :D

I wore the shrug to dance class last night, and got some very nice comments about it. I always have to explain how knitting is not old fashioned whenever I talk to new people about knitting though. But it's fun to watch the slightly surprised and bemused look that comes across people's faces when I say I made something!

These are crochet slippers designed by Zuleika, from life in the zu. This was another pattern testing project.

These are so super cute! I love them. I used James C Brett With Wool Aran, an acrylic/wool blend. They worked up really quite quickly and like I say, very cute when on.

Last but not least, my February Lady Sweater. The knitting for this got done ages ago, but I had to find buttons big enough. I ended up buying 2x100 button sets off ebay to get 3 the same. But now I have a growing button collection too, which is a bonus. For this, I used Teddy Vanguard. I wasn't sure about the solid colour when it came off the needles, I thought it might look better in a semi solid, but when I added the buttons and tried it on, it hung just right, and I was very pleased :)

So now I only have Laminaria on the needles and a sweater I started yesterday. Oh, and the BPT jacket is still waiting on a zip so it still counts as a WIP. How hard can it be to find a 24 inch bottle green zip? Apparantly, it's very hard. The poor jacket has been sitting there for ages! Laminaria had to wait for a bit, because my needles were too blunt, and my thumb started to ache from pushing it through, but I ordered some new ones, and it's doable now :) These needles still aren't particularly sharp, but they work. The sweater is a big cosy sweater to slob about in during winter, using more of the James C Brett Aran, and Anne Budd's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Retail and Pattern Therapy

Wow! Thank you all so much for the lovely comments on my last post! They really help make me feel better, thank you :) I'm seriously thinking about printing them out and making a don't-pay-attention-to-mean-people card to look at whenever I feel them getting to me. :)

I really think it must be a control thing with these people, who feel the need to put others down so they won't get ideas above their station. I've had the exact same experience with other people throughout my past, where they invoke the People Who Will Laugh in order to stop me doing something. They've used exactly the same words as this person last week, and that really shocked me! I think I must have a pattern picking out these sort of people unfortunately. :( At least I recognise their behaviour (only took me 30 years, lol), so I can try to ignore it. My strategy really is to turn it into a sort of battle in my head. Someone says I shouldn't do something, well I'll just have to force myself to try twice as hard. It always seems to surprise me when it happens though, and I start feeling bad about myself regardless of whether I know what they're up to. Stupid emotions ;)

So anyway, let's talk about something nice and ignore the meanies! Yarn!!!!!

I kind of had an expedition to my LYS ;) I bought some Debbie Bliss Rialto 4 ply for a shrug, which I'm knitting up just now. I also stumbled on the sale basket, oops! I bought 6 balls of Debbie Bliss cotton DK, which I'm thinking will also become a shrug.

I've also been buying lots of patterns (emotional purchasing, moi? Never!)

I have queued a lot of patterns from these mags! This is the first interweave knits I've ever liked the patterns enough to buy. A lot of people don't seem to like the newer issues of Interweave Knits, but I really like this one, whereas I didn't like previous ones that other people liked. I'm contrary like that! I really like the Estes Vest in particular.

I bought the Debbie Bliss mag from Web of Wool online, and I must say I'm very impressed with their service. I ordered on Wednesday night and it was here Friday morning! I'll definitely buy from them again. The mag itself is lovely, lots of nice patterns. It has that very definite Debbie Bliss style. And there's a recipe for scones! That made me laugh.

And I bought the pattern for Faux Bois from Twist Collective.

Ever since I first saw that scarf it's been stuck in my head. I wanted to buy it immediately, but then I read that it has steeking as well as colourwork! I got a bit scared and left it for a while, but it won't go out of my head! So even though it's scary, I'll have to give it a go.

Oh, and the fall Knitty came out! Drool! I'm really liking Camden, Retrofit and Baroque. I've queued others, but they're my favourites. My rav queue is getting beyond ridiculous now, over 1500, and they just keep bringing the great patterns out!

So that's my retail and pattern therapy. :) With the length of this post, I think I'd better leave it till the next one to list what I've actually been knitting!

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Back (with some issues)

It feels like I haven't blogged for ages, but it's only been a week. It's been a bit sucky round here. Something happened that gave me a pretty big blow to my self-esteem - someone was very mean to me, and I cried. That happy self-esteemy post about my belly dance birthday where I said I was happy to be myself? Complete opposite, all in a couple of days, all because of some mean comments, by someone in a bad mood. I tried to ignore them, and not to cry and not to let them get to me, but dammit, they did. Not as much as they were intended to, I think though, but they still got to me.

I had a dance performance on Sunday too. It was interesting trying to get into performance mode feeling like the ugliest, most worthless person in the room. But I got up on the stage, and it actually made me feel better. I was performing a couple of bollywood routines with my friend at a council sponsored multi-cultural event. There were stalls with foods from and information about China, Poland, the Czech republic and a whole lot of other countries, represented by people from those areas who lived locally. I don't know what they thought of two white women dancing bollywood, but we went on and did it anyway.

The audience was a mix of children and adults. Most of the children had their faces painted. It was interesting to look down and see kids with tiger faces running around in front of us! And kids are always a good audience, they're so un-self-conscious, and they dance as well (usually copying the moves enviably well). So that part was helpful. The adults were also smiley and encouraging, which isn't always the case with non-dance crowds. Some of them even started moving in their seats - you know, dancing a little without standing up? They were fantastic! I came off stage feeling like, you know, it doesn't matter if I have a few extra pounds, dancing can still make me feel good.

Of course, that didn't last forever. I'm still feeling a bit depressed, and it's quite an effort to force myself to do things, but I will force myself. This person who was mean to me is not going to make me stop doing what I love - dance or anything else. I may not be the best at what I want to do (I'm not just talking about dance now, more about things in general), and people may not like it, but it's not their life. There are certain things I want to achieve, and I can't let comments like theirs stop me. I may not achieve them in the end, but at least I'll feel good that I tried.

There have been a few people in my life who have told me that I shouldn't even attempt some things because 1: I'm not going to manage it so why bother? and 2: I'll just make a fool of myself and other people will laugh at me.

I lived my life for years trying to live life according to those rules and reasons, and it's only now that I'm nearly 30 that I've realised those reasons are rubbish. They're not reasons that I should use to avoid doing anything. If people laugh at me, they laugh at me. I tried to hide in the shadows all through school and beyond, and you know what, people still laughed at me. There's a growing part of me that just does not care about that sort of person. They're going to laugh no matter what, and they're going to find something about me to laugh at. It's not my job to hide things so that they can't laugh at them. It's not going to make them nicer people, or myself happy. So f*** them. The only part of it that I can influence is that I can do things that make me happy. So I'll just have to make myself keep doing those things. The laughers usually don't have anything in their own lives that make them happy, I've noticed. They don't attempt anything of their own, so they laugh at others. Well, they can laugh, point and stare. I'm me, and I can't change me. I've spent the past week wishing I could, and I'll spend a large part of the next week wishing I could, but I know I can't.

As for the first reason I shouldn't attempt anything - that I'll just fail? Well, I won't know that till I try. I probably will fail. I've failed at a lot of things in my life. But one day, I might succeed.

I think it's more of an attempt to keep the status quo going. If I try to actually do stuff, then things might change and I might not be so available or pliable. Life may not go as these people want for them because I might not be able to facilitate it. Well, that's not my job either. Letting these comments hurt me lets them win in a way. Letting them stop what I'm doing definitely lets them win. I just have to turn it into a battle inside my head, then I'll definitely keep going. :) If only the comments didn't hurt so much in the meantime.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Vogue Shawl Completed!!!!!

OK, the knitting was done a while ago, and the blocking was done about a week ago, but I've finally taken pictures, so now it counts as finished!

Pattern: #02 Beaded Shawl by Karen Joan Raz from Vogue Knitting, Winter 2007/08
Yarn: Rennie 100% pure wool, off of ebay, in gray
Needle size: 4mm
Started: June 30 2008
Completed: September 4 2008

(Thank goodness for ravelry, eh? I'd never have remembered all that, or taken notes)