Breathe

Yesterday started out well enough; I got up and did some exercise, got ready for work and had a pleasant morning until someone hurt my feelings and for some reason it ruined my whole day. It was a paltry comment, not even worth the breath used to utter it or the synapses used to hear it, but for some reason it irked and wrankled and I could not let it go. It wasn’t meant to be hurtful, and I think the person who said it honestly thought they were commiserating with me. Maybe I’m sensitive due to the pressures I’ve put on myself with my ridiculous procrastination and some fitful nights of sleep. Whatever the case, it hurt and feelings are there for a reason.

So when the end of the day came, I went straight home rather than stopping at the library, and instead of picking up my homework, I picked up some knitting. Knitting for me. With Christmas looming, I should be working on the two gifts I’m trying to complete, but I didn’t want my bad juju to get wrapped in the stitches I am giving away. And I knew I wouldn’t focus on my writing. So I popped in some movies and knit.

And knit.

And the pain of the day unwound as my project grew.

Because it is a sort of meditation. It is a repetitious action that if you concentrate on it, and it alone, it soothes, it is a balm. I realised long into the project that my counting (and I counted my cast-on stitches three times) was completely inaccurate and I was four stitches short for one of my cuffs, but I’m not going to frog that cuff and re-knit it because it doesn’t matter. I wasn’t even angry with myself for doing 76 stitches rather than 80 because I had calmed down. I was still a little sad by the time I went to bed, but I was no longer hurt. And I slept better than I had for days.

Thank goodness for knitting.

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30 Day Music Challenge days 10 & 11

I didn’t get to this yesterday, so I’m combining the two.  Yesterday’s was A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep – after last night, I’ve come to realise that I can’t fall asleep with music playing any more.  I surface sleep and it makes me frown and think I should turn it off until I get frustrated enough to actually roll over and turn it off.

Today is A Song From Your Favourite Band.

I couldn’t find a non-live YouTube link, so I’ll send you directly to Mother Mother’s music page.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “Stream tracks from Touch Up.”  The song I’d like you to listen to is “Train of Thought.”  It’s the first song I had heard by Mother Mother; it had been featured on CBC Radio 3’s podcast (which, if you don’t listen to, you really should, it features really great Canadian music) and the harmonies and clever guitar playing made it something I had to find immediately.

Two albums after that first, Mother Mother continue to make great music with unusual harmonies, impressive guitar- and drum-play, and hilarious lyrics.

Skill + 1Up!

I tend to be a fearless knitter.  I see a project I want to do, I figure out how to do it.  Sometimes, the only deterrent is my gauge.  Yup, I’m one of those people.

So I didn’t really learn any new skills this year.  So my one-up-ing comes from experience points.  This past year I have done more colourwork than I had done in previous years, and I did some modular knitting which involved a lot of picking up and knitting, as well as a lot of weaving in.

I do have skills I need to 1 up – mostly they have to deal with spinning flax fibres into linen yarn.  I need to do this soon.  That ties into the other skill I’m working on – finishing.  I have a wicked case of startitis.

A Tale of Two Yarns

It must be stated – I am a fibre snob.  Working as a costumer at an historic site for the last 13 years has ingrained in me the importance of natural fibres.  Being someone who is becoming increasingly aware of my environmental footprint is also something that affects my fibre choices (I am morally opposed to superwash yarns due to the amount of water and/or chemicals involved in its creation – it’s a personal hang-up, I’ll let you use whatever you please).

The first yarn I worked with on a regular basis was by Briggs and Little.  I got a lot of it, in several different colours and weights, so that I could build shawls for work.  I thought its rustic hand would be perfect for the Park.  Now I look at that yarn and shudder – I have sensitive skin and can’t wear it, so why would I expect my staff to wear it?

My latest go-to yarn is, of course, Cascade 220.  It’s non-superwash (well, the original is anyway), it’s got a plethora of colours, and it’s comfy on my sensitive skin.  That being said, I’m beginning to come to the conclusion that it’s not the best for my physique; I can only wear if it’s made into hats, mittens, or scarves.  I’m not very tall, and I’m curvy, and I am about to frog my February Lady sweater that only needs the sleeves finished because I tried it on and felt it was just too bulky for a girl of my build.   However, it is being made into a cardigan for a female 1920s interpreter, two 1920s men’s sweaters, and it’s been doing quite well for finger-woven sashes (after being over-plied so that it resists pilling during construction).

Neither of these are my favourite yarn but they have been, or are becoming, my workhorse yarns.

Think Less, Focus More

This is what I seem to be learning in university right now.  One of our assignments in English is to write two paragraphs, one about ourself and another about our culture or community, and then put these paragraphs on a forum.  Our paragraphs will be read and commented on by our forum members, and we must do the same for theirs.  It took me forever to write my initial paragraphs because I couldn’t find a focus on them.  And then one of my forum members had a really interesting submission that I wanted to comment on and I just couldn’t find the right thing to say until I decided to say that I had so much I wanted to say.

My goodness, this is going to take some adjustment.

Then there’s the fact that I think differently than the micro-economists do.  A question was asked about the pros and cons of welfare payments, and I responded with job loss and the need vs. want of finding a new job, and the response they were looking for was about retirees.  I have always thought of welfare as an unemployment issue, not a pension issue so this was a shocker to me.

Oy.

Speaking of a lack of focus, here’s a photo of some yarn I received for my birthday:

Changing the Face of My Blogging

Last week was momentous in my little world.  It held my 34th birthday, my relief of getting another yarn-school extension, and the dawning of my shiny new “education journey” as my brother calls it.  It also held one of my typical OMGOVERLOAD! moments, and so I ended up doing far less than I should have.

I have come to the conclusion that 2011 is going to have the theme of balance.  I need to balance a lot, and I’m grateful that I live in a country that allows me to get involved in everything I’m getting myself into.  Here’s what’s on my plate:

  • Full time costuming job, which is evolving in exciting ways that I would never have been able to predict and so it’s still enjoyable after all these years.
  • Part time receptionist position at a glasses shop.  It’s only 4 hours a week but it’s something different and it makes me happy.
  • Yarn school – which I hope to finish sooner than later so that I can focus on other things, but at least I got an extension that will allow me to finish it.
  • Microeconomics.  I might not have been so nervous about this class if everyone I’d mentioned it to wouldn’t have said, “Eugh, I hated Microeconomics!”
  • Introductory Composition.  I loved English in high school, it was my highest mark throughout (except, I think, for Art 30), so I’m looking forward to this, so long as I do my readings before I try to write, unlike on Wednesday when I tried to plow along and made myself angry.
  • My friends and family and fun things.

One of the things we are encouraged to do in our Introductory Composition class is to start a journal.  So this blog is probably going to change from its previous crafting-orientation to more of a writing-orientation.  I’m going to try to write daily now, and you can feel free to keep on reading it, but if it gets too boring, I’d get it if you didn’t want to follow along.  There won’t be many pictures for the first little while as I haven’t been taking as many with my D90 in the shop and being out of practice with my old Canon point-and-shoot, but hopefully I’ll get back into a photo of the day thing.  My posts may not have anything to do with the photo, but we’ll see.

Welcome to my blog where writing may become the new crafting…

A Couple of Taps on the Keyboard

And I’m signed up for my first class at Athabasca University!  Woot!

I signed up for an Introductory Composition class this morning; it’s been 13 years since I was in college so I thought it would be a good idea to get some essay writing skills back under my belt.  I’ll also be signing up for a micro economics class since it’s a requirement for the program I want to take at the UofA and I’d like to get that out of the way so I can do more fun things later.  It’s like eating the liver off your plate first so you can really enjoy your dessert.

I’ll be starting on my birthday; I think it’s hilarious that I got myself a tattoo for my 30th birthday and I’ll be getting myself an education for my 34th.

I’ma Gonna Get Me an Edumacation!

I’m 33 years old and I’m contemplating getting a degree.

I didn’t do well in high school, so I don’t think my marks are going to take me to university; I have to be very creative in acquiring my degree.  I am a little miffed that I have a college diploma in costuming, but because none of those credits are transferable, they won’t even look at my excellent college marks (I got Dean’s Listed at least once).  But I understand that rules have to be abided or there would be chaos so I’ll go with it.

I met with a recruitment officer for the program I hope to study (which does involve textiles) yesterday and she said that it would be unnecessary for me to retake my high school courses.  She told me that I could accumulate 24 credits through the below means, and if I maintain a 2.0 (or C) average throughout these credits, I could get into the program.

1 – Open Studies through the university I want to attend.  You can take a maximum of two courses per semester, and often the program I want to take will let open studies students into these classes so I could potentially get some credits that are program-specific before I’m actually enrolled in the program.

2 – Get transferable credits through an online school.  There are some requirements for the program I want to take; some science credits, economics credits and English credits.  I could get these credits while studying online and then I’d have them out of my way when I start studying my major and minor!

I’m going to start slow as I want to go to school while keeping my job.  I’m going to hopefully start with an English class and a Micro Economics class in February through the online university, just to see if I can get myself back into the school mindset.  And then we’ll see where things go from there.

I think this blog is starting to lose its craftiness…don’t worry, I’ll still throw some knitting or spinning stuff on here, but it certainly isn’t what it was when I started it.

Edit:  A mature student needs a 70% average in English 30, Math 30 and either Bio or Chem 30 to get into this program.  I may be wrong, and have requested a copy of my Courses and Marks (free is cheaper than a full on transcript) to be sure, but I’m rather certain that I didn’t do that well in high school.  I know I did well in English, but I don’t know that it would be enough to carry my Math and Bio (and I most certainly didn’t take chem 30).

Dear Blog

I don’t know what happened.  Well, maybe I do.  I let myself get back on Facebook.  I blame my friends, I kept sending them e-mails and they never really checked them.  They told me it would be best to send them messages through Facebook, and well, you know, I reanimated myself after over a year of decay and…well…it’s a time-suck.

Then they told me to hook up with Twitter.  I think Twitter’s going to be trouble.  It’s all like, hey let me help you follow these people, you can talk to them even.  And I’ve succumbed.  I commented on a tweet for a person who, in a normal world without these weird computer things, I would be really unlikely to talk to in the real world.  So weird.  I’m going to try to prevent it from becoming a habit but Twitter’s a slippery slope…

Anyway blog, I apologise that I’m not sharing the love the way I used to.  I’ll try to pop in once in awhile.  In the meantime, I’ve been taking photos almost every day.  Here’s a shot of a raven I took yesterday.  I did have to touch it up; I cropped it and made it a little brighter, but I’m pleased with it.  I hope you like it too.

Well.  Talk to you soon.  ♥ Delly Bean