Archive for Knitting

Black Friday is a lazy day.

Posted in Food, Life, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2016 by urbannight

I don’t do any of that shopping on Black Friday.  I don’t like shopping in the first place and I hate crowds.  I am usually dog sitting anyway.

The dogs wanted me to get up and feed them at 2:30 am.  That was a little too early for me.  I fed them about 5:30ish.  Then I drove home to feed my cat for the day, lay down so he could have cuddle time with me.  And got a bit more sleep.  Then I picked up my nerve pain prescription and popped into one store.

Hobby Lobby is right by the drug store.  I needed smaller needles for some sock yarn I have.  I ended up talking myself out of them.  Then I wanted some yarn and was trying to decide between knitting it or crocheting it.  In the end, I talked myself out of that too.  I have too many projects going on right now.  I need to finish some of them first.

I decided to stop by the Amigos right there and have a crisp burrito.  I’ve been wanting that for a few  now.  The Papillion Amigos there on 72nd street was dead.  It was a little early for lunch yet.  There was one  table of people inside and no one in the drive through.  While I was placing my order, one vehicle drove up and started to order.  I went to pick a table and all the tables were dirty.  The floor looked a bit sad too.  It could have used a mopping.  When my food came, there was dried on lettuce crusted to the tray. The walls could use a washing and there was an odd blank space and I realized that there was supped to be something hanging there but it had fallen off but the hardware to hold it was still in the wall.  The service was good but the place looked worse the longer and closer you looked.  I was reading a book as I ate and in the 30 minutes I was there NO ONE bothered to clean any of the dirty tables.  I was leaving as people started to come in, clearly the beginning of the midday lunch rush.  And they had a dining room full of dirty tables and a floor that needed to be moped up and garbage containers that needed a serious cleaning.  I think that the management of that location has really gone downhill and I won’t want to go there ever again.

I’ve just spent the rest of the early afternoon reading and I think I’m going to take a nap.  This is probably how I spend most of my Black Friday’s.  Although lunch is usually a much fancier take out.  Anything but turkey.

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To Do List; or, Why does travel trigger a cleaning frenzy in women?

Posted in Life, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2012 by urbannight

I have an ambitious night ahead of me.  I have to sort the clean laundry and pack what I need for 4 days. I’m going to Breckenridge Colorado for wedding for some friends.

I have to wash the dirty laundry because I’m sure there area couple items I want for the weekend.  I’ll throw in the sheets and remake the bed. 

I want to get all the dishes cleaned and put away.

I need to shower again to try to get the last of the grease paint out of my hair.  I didn’t put it in my hair but some got into my hair as I was trying to get it off my face.

In addition to cleaning the litter box area and making it all fresh and ready for the cats, I want to clean the entire bathroom so it is clean when I get home.

Washing up tonight means I can pack ‘most’ of my toiletries and bathroom stuff tonight and not worry about it in the morning.

I need to set up four-day feeding and watering stations for the cats.  although I will be home half way through the fourth day. 

I think I would like to clean up the bedroom so that I’ll come home to a nice tidy bed.

This is where we will be staying for 3 nights, Tomahawk Lodge in Breckenridge CO.

I’m working the day after we get back, so it would be nice to have a tidy and neat apartment when we get back.  That probably means I should put away the Halloween stuff early this year.  Leave the more autumnal stuff out and set out the more Thanksgiving specific stuff.

Basically, I’m going to try to fit in an entire Fall Cleaning ritual in about 4 hours, while hoping my roommates class runs the full-time. 

I have not even started on my plans for tonight and I already feel the need for this.

Not to mention I want to watch a show or two, do a little stitching, and take some screen shots and do a couple of blogs for which I’ll try to set up publication dates during the time I’m gone.

What is it about going on a trip that causes women to go into a frenzy of cleaning?  Is it learned behavior?  Because I know my mom did it.  Do men suffer this compulsion?  My roommate is a naturally neat and tidy male.  Most I know have not been.  I knew that he, and most other men I’ve met over the years, often just grab their stuff and go.  So I don’t really see men as the ‘gotta clean’ now type.

I also need to take a book or two, a stitching project, a crochet and/or knitting project for riding in the car, and some food prep and take my tea.  Oh, I don’t want to forget the lap top for extra photo storage.

Maybe I need to take two suitcases?  One for clothes and bathroom things and one for stuff to do?

I’m getting tired just thinking about it.  And I have to work a half hour late today.  ARG!

The Life of a Madwoman.

Posted in Books, Entertainment, Food, Life, Movies and Theatre, Work, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2012 by urbannight

I must be mad because this doesn’t feel sane.  I’ve got a Tardis project going.  Friends are suggesting I do some Daleks a scarf like garland and make it all ornaments for a Doctor Who themed Christmas tree. 

I’m working on designing a wedding sampler for some friends who are getting married in December.   I have to finish designing it and start working on it if I want it to get done in time.  I’m starting to cut it too close.  I’m starting to chang Keep It Simple Stoopid to myself.  Sure, I’m aware of the misspelling there.  I don’t think it good to call yourself ‘stupid’ so I’m splitting hairs and changing the spelling instead.  That has to be another indicator of my insanity.

I have three sessions of dogstitting this month and I took a trip to see my grandmother.  My cats are going bonkers and last night, the first night home after 4 nights away, one kept stomping me all – night – long……   I guess he needed to make sure I was really there.  At one point I put him out of the room.  I then kept dreaming people were repeating things to me over and over and over.  I think it was because the cat sat outside my door and yowled, over and over and over, for nearly an hour.  I let him back in.  Then the whole trampling me thing resumed.  I eventually got up and slept on the couch.  He can’t trample me there.  He goes back and forth walking across my head and neck.  On a couch, there is no room.  All the can do is lay on me.  At least he then sits still and I can finally fall asleep.  I have one more weekend gone.  They are going to go nuts next weekend.

At least the dog sitting slows down then.  But I am also trying to work in more time on writing.  I kinda stopped for the most part last November when our office moved.  It was something I did during the down time that used to crop up for short periods during the day.  It was a way to keep busy and look like I was working.  Now I’m taking some of the time from when I would normally be keeping up with the blogs I read.  So I may get behind on some people because I’ve got a fairly large number of people I really love reading. 

Not to mention that I REALLY have to find time to lose the weight I gained the last two years.  I was put on a blood pressure medication that had a bad side effect.  I developed an insanely violent cough and it took forever for them to figure out it was my blood pressure prescription.  In that time, it got so bad that any effort, including the walk up to my apartment, triggered coughing fits.  I had to stop working out at the fitness center because people gave me nasty looks for going to the gym with a nasty cough.  Then I had to stop working out because I couldn’t do much before I started coughing myself sick.  Literally.  By the time they identified it, changed the scrip, and my system normalized again, I had gained 35 lbs, have foot and joint problems, and a 30 minute walk will nearly cripple me for the next three days.   But I have to get started and do something because most of my problems will clear up if I lose the weight.

And I promised my roommate I would make my lasagna.  But tonight is the only night this week where our schedules line up and I can make it.  Only I’m ready to crash.    I didn’t get anything done last night because dealing with server transfer issues took 3 hours last night on SWTOR and I had to deal w/ Blizzard as well because someone hacked my Battlenet account and changed my passwords.  I’ve taken a break from WoW to play SWTOR but I still don’t want my ‘toons robbed while I’m away.

I have two gift scarves in progress, one blanket in progress, and I was going to make fancy smancy dishrags out of sock yarn for christmas presents. 

My brain hurts and I have a mountain of clean laundry that needs to be sorted.  My cats used it as a bed while I was dog sitting and some of it needs to be rewashed.  I also have an end table of books still waiting to be read, a pile of borrowed movies to watch, a huge queue of Korean films on Netflix that I have not watched because I never sit down long enough to read a movie.  I keep trying to multitask instead. 

All of this excludes a project I was trying to work on for work.  Maybe there is a reason I’m so tired all the time.  There simply isn’t enough time in a week to work on stuff.  So clearly I MUST be insane.

Tardis Update and Other Pretties

Posted in Art, Life, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2012 by urbannight

Close up, just for the fun of it.

Tilting through time and space.

This is simple embroidery with light blue silk on crushed black velvet. I learned several things. 1. Fabric pencils will not work on velvet. 2. Crushed velvet is stretchy. 3. Even with the use of rulers, straight pins, and very carefully trying NOT to stretch the fabric, it is nearly impossible to get straight lines on velvet. Some told me to call it the Leaning Tower of Tardis. Another suggestion was the Leaning Tardis of Gallifrey. I liked the suggesting that it is the Tardis traveling, because it is always shown tilting at odd angles through space.

Needlepoint on Black Canvas

This is clearly my favorite. Okay, maybe not so clear to you. But I’m telling you it is. I am very happy how it turned out. I used variegated cotton, DMC Pearle Cotton, Silk Splendor, and metallic to give it textural interest and stitched in a couple different patterns to give it visual interest. I am very pleased with it and can’t wait to get it matted and framed.

Futurecast, incomplete

This little Teresa Wentzler free pattern is nearly done. I picked a variegated that seemed to be red, black, and white. But when I went to match colors for the stitching, it turned out to be a sort of dark, hot pink. I still would like to do one with more red.

I would also like to find a Halloween variegated that includes orange and purple and black to do a Halloween dragon. But that might be too specific. I might have to hunt around for orange and black instead.  A coworker keeps saying I need to do a blue one.  Hmmm, blue and something and silver.  I still have to decide the beads on this one.  I’m not sure if I want to use one color or three colors.  I figure I’ll not worry about it yet.  Beads go on  last anyway.

Elegant Pumpkins

As you can see, Elegant Pumpkins is coming along nicely.  I am having trouble getting two of the fibers. But I’m sure I’ll find a way to get it done.  I like how I can sit down at the coffee table and get large sections done with a good movie.  It is the largest of the items I’m currently, actively, working on. I have some that are larger that I’ve set aside for the time being.

Ruffle Scarf

This is a ruffle scarf made with ruffle ‘yarn’. To be more accurate, this is machine crocheted lace acting like a yarn.  I want to find the ribbon yarn as well.  That is a ribbon with machine stitched loops running along the top that you can knit or crochet through. This was very easy to start but difficult to figure out how to end. I did it by counting the loops I needed to cast off and then cutting off the lace but leaving the top line of stitching intact, so I would have something that could be knotted and woven into the top row of the scarf.

He died and I don’t know if I should offer her my condolences or congratulations?

Posted in Life, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2012 by urbannight

I’m trying to process my thoughts and reactions.

Once upon a time in a land far far away a young woman didn’t have a very good home life. As a result, she married someone in order to get out of her parents home. Because back then, you usually lived at home even after school and college if you didn’t manage to get married during college.

So she ends up living on a farm, being allergic to all animals other than camels and llamas (which is why here vet degree turned out useless), married to someone with the same issues she had growing up in her parents home.

She eventually has enough and leave him and moves back home swearing she will never marry again. She has never really shared details of what her home life was like or what finally happened that caused her to leave him. But once again she became desperate enough to leave her parents home that she married again. She said that this husband was better than the first because, “at least he didn’t hit.”

When I met her, her son from her first marriage was grown and she was coming to our stitching group. When her husband would let her. He didn’t like it when she went out by herself. He didn’t like it when she drove. And when they went on trips, he had to do the driving. So she knew something was wrong when he asked her to take over. In fact, she ended up having to take him to the hospital.

For the next 8 years or so, (I don’t think it has been a full decade) he has been ill and needed a great deal of care.

While we don’t know a lot of details about the marriage before he fell ill, we do know he was manipulative and emotionally abusive and a serious control freak. After he became ill, is was worse in some ways and better. On one hand, she could get out a little more. Especially whenever he was hospitalized.

On the other hand, his treatment of her got worse. One day he had her drive him to the bank so he could make sure her name was not on any of the accounts and make sure she wouldn’t have any access to money. He was also contacting a lawyer so she or her son would never get any of his money. He wanted to give power of attorney over to a relative that did not live near them.

She eventually convinced him that this was a bad idea. For the simple reason that she would not be able to pay any hospital bills and if he was hospitalized and completely out of it, as had happened a number of times, she would not be able to okay any treatment until they were able to get the relative to fly in.

One time he almost killed himself because he was taking his medications wrong. She rushed him to the hospital, they got him straightened out. After that they told her that even thought he seems okay enough that he ought to be able to keep track of things like that, he wasn’t really and she needed to keep track of it all.

And then she stopped coming to stitching because the woman she came with started working had worked and her job included weekends. This husband was only okay with my friend going places with this woman. Maybe it was because she was a stay at home mom and wife for so many years that he thought she ‘knew her place’. As the woman is a wiccan, he probably had no idea the amount of support she gave our friend and how much we all kept trying to work on this friend’s self esteem issues.

This woman I’m talking about is a wonderful woodcarver. She calls her style crude primitive but in actuality it is not crude at all. It is slightly on the primitive style but that is a legitimate carving group that refers to a look but not to any lack of skill. She also has a huge heart and spends a lot of her time knitting mittens and hats for someone she knows in the social work field. These get handed out to kids and poor families if they go in during the cold months.

This woman had her sense of self-esteem and self-worth beaten into the ground by her family and two husbands but was not broken. She is stronger than she thinks she is. We always thought she was strong enough to stand on her own but I think, in the end, it wasn’t because she was afraid to try but more because she just didn’t have any idea on how to do it.

She is also a bit of a technophobe and she refused to have anything to do with the internet. To her, a computer is only a fancy word processor. So the other day, she called a mutual friend who owns the store at which our stitching group meets, to inform her that her husband had died. The shop owner then disseminated the news via a media form most of the stitching group would see.

My first reactions was elation. Followed very quickly by guilt that I could feel that way. It turns out I wasn’t the only one. The person who spread the news said that when our friend called her, she didn’t know whether to say, “I’m sorry,” or “Congratulations”.

At that point the other day, our friend was “ecstatic with the idea of just her and Agnes (the cat) sharing the house. She’s also excited that she can go to McD’s any time she wants now without having to plan an excuse.”

How bad does a marriage have to be when that is a woman’s reaction to the death of her husband? From every hint I’ve ever heard, I think this is being freed from a prison or sorts.

Tardis Update and Other Projects.

Posted in Advertising, Books, Holiday, Life, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2012 by urbannight

I thought I would do that stitchery update now.

Rosemary

This is Rosemary. One of the store cats at the Mystery Bookstore. All cats seem to love sleeping on stitching supplies.

Surprize Stripe

Knitting w/ Surprize Stripe

This is a sofa blanket I’m making with ‘I Love This Yarn’ brand yarn in the color Surprise Stripe 804. I love it. This yarn has the most perfect name ever. It is great to work with. It is a Hobby Lobby exclusive yarn. It doesn’t fray or unravel like other yarns if you have to keep ripping it out and restarting. If you don’t have a Hobby Lobby near you so you can get this yarn then I feel very sad for you.

Tardis Blackwork

It is starting to look like a TARDIS.

I could have been farther along. You would think that just outlining with the double running stitch would go more quickly. But it is a bit boring, to tell the truth. This is usually my complaint when working with one color only. There is also the issue of getting each stitch to lay right. I’m actually using three strands and sometimes it wants to twist or it just refuses to lay nicely and I have to make several attempts on a troublesome stitch. The outline would have been done if I hadn’t also suddenly wanted to work on pumpkins.

Elegant Pumpins

DMC 832 Golden Olive

I love projects with pumpkins and Halloween themes. I fell in love with this one even if it is more Harvest than Halloween. This is Elegant Pumpkins on a lovely green evenweave. I’ve forgotten the exact type of fabric. The color, Golden Olive, is very heavy on golden. It is supposed to be heavy on the olive if the magazine photo is any indication.

Elegant Pumpkins  This is what the finished version should look like. The photo from my camera loaded onto this computer seems to be true to the image I see in the magazine. But since colors don’t show up the same on all computers, readers may see something different. All I know is that the pumpkin I’m stitching is the rather green looking one to the front right of the picture. What I’m stitching looks very orangey gold rather than golden olive. The primary color is normally the second word in a color description and the first word is the direction the primary color seems to be tinted towards.

Spooky Jack with Kitty Cat

Spooky Jack with Kitty Cat

Like I said. I love Pumpkins, Jack’O’Lanterns, and Halloween stuff. As you can see by my chubby little shoulder here, I love them so much I have one inked onto my skin.

The Vanishing Voice

Posted in Entertainment, Life, Uncategorized, Work, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2012 by urbannight

I intended to write more last year.  I made the same promise to myself this year.  I am not getting off to a good start.  On the other hand, I’ve been knitting a LOT more this year and I started playing a pen and paper roll-playing game and I started playing Star Wars The Old Republic.  I have more hobbies and interests than time for them all.  Too bad I couldn’t clone myself. 

But that is not the voice that is vanishing.  It is my literal voice.  The sound that emerges from my throat when I make shapes with my mouth and pass air over my vocal cords.  I blame it all on Yankee Candles.

I love candles.  I don’t have a problem with them.  So long as there are not too many concentrated in one location.  I can’t handle candle stores.  I didn’t even go into the candle store.  All I did was walk past it while looking for a gadget store that is no longer in the mall.  On one hand, it was a complete waste of time.  On the other hand, it killed my cords.

The intense mix of scents that permeated the passageway in front of the store triggered a coughing fit.  One that continued all evening and all night long.  I would feel perfectly fine until I started coughing.  Then it cased a weird, sharp pain in my throat.  Not a normal sore throat. 

When I got up this morning, I sounded raspy and weird.  As the morning has gone on, and I work at a job that requires me to take calls and talk to coworkers, my voice is getting odder and odder.  I feel perfectly fine until I try to talk. 

The only thing I can compare it to is the time I got laryngitis about 21 years ago.  I should probably stop talking to my coworkers and save my voice for the phone.  But it is a tediously dull day.  I thought it might be busy.  Another unit has all of it’s compilers out, so we are covering for them. 

I was hoping for a nice busy day.  Busy days fly by.  If I’m tired after a busy day I sleep well.  If I am tired as a result of boredome from a slow day, I end up wide awake in the late evening and unable to sleep at night.  The sad thing is that I never used to get bored.  We had a reorganization and restructuring of departments and job duties and now I have started suffering that stange contion. 

It isn’t that there is nothing to do.  It isn’t that kind of boredom.  It’s a mental condition.  If I have nothing to do with my hands, I can find things to do.  But unlike the past, finding things to do no longer properly engages my mind and I start to drift off into a general state of mental ‘blah’ that I define as boredom.

The end result is that I can’t chatter at people (not that I’m all that big on chattering) and I have less to do than planned so it is harder to distract myself from my painful, vanishing voice and make the day end sooner.