Saturday, January 05, 2013

the gray of the day

My 2 fun-filled weeks off work, frolicking with my husband and family are at an end. Today, I tutored the tiniest Tiger, as well as the sweet girl who always does her homework. Tiger Mother emailed me a schedule for the upcoming week full of new clients, including some adult ESL students, just in from Korea. So I have a slightly new direction, which is good, if somewhat anxiety provoking.

P left for DC this morning, and I was sad to see him go. When I say I like living alone, that's when I am in a groove, getting things done, in a clean house, with nice weather. The day my husband drives away for 3 + weeks, in cold, gray weather, with a holiday-trashed house behind me, and a long day's work ahead, the day after we spent the entire day in the woods watching birds,, I don't like living alone so much. Even the dogs seem depressed. I self-medicated with gyros after work, and now I feel just overstuffed and nasty.

There are diversions ahead, of course, the season 3 premier of Downton Abbey tomorrow, and the kickoff of my mini KAL with Acornbud. We are casting on for  The Lady Edith with the premier. I'm doing mine in this lovely yarn:
Dragonfly Fibers sock yarn

That's Dragonfly Fibers' Dragon Sock yarn, in the Bougainvillea colorway - a pleasing mix of reds with a shot of hot pink. I figure Lady Edith can use some cheering up, as she's all too often the forgotten Crowley sister. I was dithering a lot about what yarn to use, and even bought (off destash, so it doesn't count, right?) this lovely green dream:

but decided it was too variegated for the lacy part, so I will make other plans for it. I do love that Smooshy yarn. It's so...smooshy! 

I'm trying to work up the mojo to clean the house, but really hardly know where to begin. I need a serious kick of motivation, here. Or some sun and fresh air. Really, SAD is sad. I thought I was dealing with it, but it has hit me like a train, the past month, and so I am having the same damn conversation with myself again, my annual SAD struggle. Yick. 

My quest to grow out my hair, in both length and greyness has resulted in some pretty funny moments, including this, which is what it does naturally, these days: 

That flip has been with me since childhood. This is the hair washed and airdried, allowed to do its own crazy thing. I tame the insanity down with a flatiron, and it is really much better behaved on a day to day basis. Longer, it will settle down into waves. I REALLY like not messing around with haircolor for a change, though I do have some electric blue Manic Panic in the cabinet for some frisky fun. The color in the picture is fairly true, though. I actually like the grey, though it is giving me some makeup and skin tone challenges - suddenly I feel pale and washed out, and it has me running for the red lipstick, with pleasing results(not shown here). This is a pleasing new lipcolor I've scored in recent makeup shopping, during the buy-one-gift-for-you-buy-2-gifts-for-me season that has just passed. 

I am trying to be back in the habit of blogging. January is full of possibilities, no? 

Thursday, January 03, 2013

a little knitting, a little striping

I've really been struck by how many of those stripey colored shawls there are out there: Color AffectionCatkin, etc. I was jonesing for a Catkin of my own, but had neither the luxe yarn, nor the patience/time/orthopedic integrity to knit up such an ambitious project, so I cast on for something not entirely unrelated:

I give you Pendulum, still in WIP status, knitted in 2 shades of Malabrigo Arroyo: colorways Candombe (blue) and Chircas (green). It is very pretty and squishy and the garter is boring me and hurting my wrists, and I love it and can't wait to wear it. Yes. Pendulum is all about the product for me. I love how the colors rock back and forth, and they lok like river deltas or fingers of the sea coming into the land. With any luck, I'll finish it sometime this month or so, but I realize there's an error in it a few rows down...I dropped a stitch, it laddered down, and I tried to repair it, and realize I don't really know how to fix garter mistakes - it doesn't work in quite the same way as a stockinette repair. Some research was done, and now I am girding my loins to fix the ugly spot: 

Meh. It wouldn't really be visible, but it is bugging the daylights out of me. I may be developing a little more responsibility for small repairs. Gone are the days when I'd just blithely fold in mistakes in my knitting and wear them proudly. 

Trying, desperately, this week, to photograph and update my ravelry project pages and stash page, including handspun. It has all run away from me. We'll see if I catch it. 

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

New Year's Day

Ooh, Happy 2013! I bid a pleased farewell to the departing guest of 2012, helping it pack and get its ass out my door. I am not one to wish away time, but 2012 was a challenge. I suppose I should try and see the good, and it was, in many ways, a good year.

Good Things Happened
 - I found my job at Tiger Mother Tutoring, a great boss, enjoyable work, and good experience teaching ESL. I also did some easy-money sub teaching work.

- I knit and finished a surprising 13 items!! When I first thought about 2012, I didn't think I knit much, beyond Aidez, but I actually finished some things - smalls, and stuff that had been on the needles a few years, but still...

- Ella is healthy and frisky at 14, and we are treating her arthritis, and she's responding to the meds and has had a good year. Cricket has really settled down, I've kept him bite-free and fight-free, save for one day last month when we were rushed by a neighbor's dog, resulting in a scuffle. My dogs have kept me going, this year, and represent the thin gray line between me and the Black Dog of Impenetrable Depression and Craziness. I love them.

- I got into GA State, took 3 graduate level classes, worked my ass off, and nailed a 4.0 this semester. More important, I feel like I actually LEARNED a lot, and made good professional and research connections. I also clarified further for myself that I am truly non PhD candidate material, and this endorsement may be it for my academic career.

- I won a raffle for a week's tuition at the John C. Campbell Folk School, to happen sometime this summer. I also won a raffle for one of Rachael's books.

- I spun a lot of yarn, and am actually knitting projects from my handspun.

- The commuter marriage continues to work, and most days, I'm okay with it. I don't see my husband enough, though, and I hope to get to the DC area a lot more in the coming year.

- I cleaned out the Clamcave and made it a better studio and workspace for myself.

- I found a UU church that feels good to attend. I don't go as often as I like, because laying around on Sunday is my true religion, but I can say that this church feels like home.

- I got certified as a GA Master Naturalist, by taking a 10 week class in Athens, every Friday last spring. I also got certified to do chemical and macroinvertebrate monitoring for GA's Adopt-A-Stream program. I joined up with a couple of neighbors to start a stream cleanup group in the neighborhood.

- Obama got re-elected. Election drama and facebook and family wank aside, this was great news for our country.

- I joined the Outlander Swap on ravelry, and had an awesome time immersing myself in the wonderful time-traveling world of Diana Gabaldon's books. I will do this again.

- I grew out my grey hair, and am working on growing it longer. I actually like it this way!

- I started making my own laundry detergent, and made some dryer balls by felting some of my crappy handspun.

Bad Things Happened (please bear with me as I chronicle what I realize are First-World problems.)

- I let the house and yard go to hell, and am really going to have my work cut out for me getting it cleaned up and decluttered/weeded/pruned back to a reasonable state.

- I gained 10 lbs for no good reason.

- Just as I got the knee straightened out, my shoulder flared up with an impingement, which I ignored (because grad school was so much more interesting) and then developed into a full-blown frozen shoulder. gah. It is no fun dealing with chronic pain, and that is an ongoing issue in 2013. Let's not talk about how I can only knit a little without hurting, right now.

- Schedule and injuries have caused me to fall out of my yoga practice.

- I am pretty broke. My jobs pay relatively little, and while I DO have P's salary to fall back on, I don't have a lot of fun money after my food and household money, and the lack of substantial travel funds is sucking my soul.

- The ONE class I need to finish my endorsement isn't being offered this semester, so I have to go to summer school, and that screws with my professional timeline. I have cried my tears about it, and am making the most of it, by using the time to work more, make some $$ and do some professional and portfolio writing, but still, it galls me.

- I lost a cute project bag, with a nearly-completed sock, and my beloved Kollage square dpns somewhere out in the world. All efforts to find it have turned up nada.

All in all, the good tremendously outweighs the bad, and I have had a pretty blessed year. I am looking forward to working on getting my body back, and moving forward in life.