Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Japanese Socks: A new adventure


I know it has been almost 6 months since my last post but they went by so fast.  Working 12 hours shifts has been an adjustment to say the least.  I am currently working a night shift and loving it (6 pm-6 am).  I never thought I would like nights but I really do.  I can see this being beneficial for my schooling future.  However, while I finish training I am delighted to get some knitting in.  I found this amazing book on Amazon about Japanese knitting techniques.  There are 30 patterns and I plan on blogging their progress here.

Most of these socks will end up going to Jessie bc she is my muse for this book however I may keep some for myself.  I love the colorway for this first pair of socks and even though it is Red Heart there is no acrylic in it!!!

The socks I am starting with are called Konnichiwa which is "good day" in Japanese.  This sock starts with a somewhat unique pattern (at least for me) for the ribbing on the cuff. It is still a combination of knitting and purling but they overlap in parts.  Its pretty to look at (as you can see in the pic) but I'm not completely sure about how stretchy it is.  It could just be that I cast on a little tight, but  it still fits up my forearm so we should be good.  The main pattern consists of what the author is calling a right/left twist slip.  It will be interesting to learn the nuances of this stitch.

I want to use these posts to also document my modifications so I don't have to keep guessing on the second sock as to what I did on the first one :-).  I will probably switch to two socks at a time at some point when I can buy new needles.  So far I am using size 2 needles and I cast on 60 stitches as opposed to the size 6 and 40 stitches it calls for.  I am not always good at doing my own mods so I especially for this one I am relying on Airynia from Ravelry to help me.

On a side note, I have always knit my socks with size 2 needles.  No matter what the pattern I have been able to make that work.  I don't know if that is normal for everyone to use the same size, but I don't know what I would do if I had to use different sizes.  I guess I need to go back through my sock history and see if I made a lot of mods to numbers of stitches to make the pattern work.  Hmm.....

Well, that is all I have to say for now so I am signing off.  Below is the pic of the cuff (I need to knit 5 more rows before I start the main pattern.)

Purling Kitty

Monday, March 25, 2013

I have a Job!!!!


Well Monday Mar 18, 2013 I started my new job.  I am a Public Safety Dispatcher for the City of Tucson working with the Tucson Fire Department.  There is so much to learn and do!!!  I have been so tired and so busy studying that I haven't been able to knit, but I think that I am going to make time in my schedule to do so bc it will give me something fun to do that will take the edge of what is quickly becoming a highly stressful (though very rewarding job).  Based on the sensitive nature of calls that I handle I will not be able to discuss many things that happen during my shifts but I will be able to talk about my personal progress within the department.  Currently I just finished day 1 of Week 2.  Last week was mostly rules and regulations.  This week we are listening to past calls and hearing all the communication that happens between all the different fire stations.  It is intense and hard to follow but I know I will get better at it with time and practice.  Tomorrow we will listen to a 4 alarm fire call.  That should be interesting.  Now it is time to memorize a few more station address' and then work more on Jessie's second sock. :-)


Monday, February 25, 2013

The steering wheel did what????

So today was a crazy day.  I was planning on finishing the first sock on Jessie's second pair of socks. (See other post for image.)  However, as I was sitting down to lunch I get a call from Len asking me to pick him up.  I asked him why and he said that the steering wheel of his vehicle fell off while he was driving.  (Yes you read that right!!!)  So I got dressed and went to where he was and sure enough it is dangling by cords and touching the pedals on the floor!  I'll take a pic and post it soon.  This led to quite the adventure.

First I called one of his employees to see if we could borrow her suburban, then we drove across town picked it up and went to UHaul.  They had a trailer that tows it by 2 wheels, but they didn't have a ball for the trailer.  So we had to go to Walmart buy the extra parts and go back to Uhaul.  Then Len started hooking up the trailer.  Unfortunately, the pin was 1/4" too short, so we had to take a second trip to Walmart to exchange it.  Finally, we got the trailer connected and drove to where we had left the Cavalier.

Then came the fun part, we had to back the car out of the spot and pull the trailer in front of it.  We had to try to line up the ramps on the trailer with the car (all without a steering wheel!!!).  So once we had it lined up I stood by the drivers door and Len was at the back and we tried to push the car up the ramp.  We rocked it up and then let it come down and used the momentum to push it higher each time.  After 3 pushes we had it up.  Unfortunately, the tires were not lined up in the place holders so we had to roll the car off and then I ran after it holding the door trying to stop it.  We tried lining up again and ended up removing the trailer and lining it up for sure with the tires and then reattached the trailer and started pushing the car up again.  we thought we had it on the third try but we were not in the place holders so we did one more momentum heave and made it onto the trailer.  Then we attached the straps to the tires and pulled the car to our apartment.  Fortunately, we were only 1/2 a mile away.  Unfortunately, My strap wasn't attached correctly.  Len should have checked it better but I was so proud that I put it on the tire that he just went with it.  That was a bad idea because then the car rolled forward out of the place holder and over the front edge of the trailer.  OMG!!!!

Len was able to rock the car back in place and then set the trailer up so we could dismount the car.  We did this and now the car is diagonally "parked" in the parking lot.  Then we took the trailer back to Uhaul, returned the suburban and I took Len to work.  Now we are down to one vehicle and we don't know how we are going to straight park our car.  I am covered in grease and exhausted.  I'm so proud that I was able to help as much as I did and I hope that we will be able to come up with a solution for another car soon.

Now I need to rest more later,


PS I also finished my Clapotis!  I love it.  :-)  I will post another pic of it once I block it.

Leyburn Sock for Jessie

Leyburn Sock for Jessie by Purlingkitty
Leyburn Sock for Jessie, a photo by Purlingkitty on Flickr.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Socks, Clapotis, and Cooking

Well it has been a rather busy last couple of weeks.  I had to order more yarn because I ran out while making Jessie's socks. :-(  The yarn came quick and I bought a little extra because I like it so much and want to make something for myself with it.  The only downside is that my yarn ball winder is no where to be found.  I went to my storage unit and tore it apart.  I found a lot of my knitting supplies which made me happy but still no winder.  I guess I am going to have to suck it up and go to a knitting store and pay for them to wind it for me.  I want to get her socks to her before its too hot to wear them.

One of the things I found during my search was a package of gold yarn that Jessie gave me for my 29th birthday.  I had not decided what I was going to use it for earlier, so it's been sitting safely and patiently waiting for me to become inspired.  I have been using knitting to help keep me distracted while I wait for my new job to formulate and while I deal with my lost friendship.  Therefore, when I happened upon my yarn this time I jumped onto Ravelry and searched.  I finally came upon the Clapotis, which is actually from Knitty.com.  I think it is really beautiful and decided it would look great with this yarn.  The yarn is Crystal Palace Yarns Creme.  It is 4.5-5 sts per inch and recommends US 8-9 size needles.  It is knitting up very nicely.  There are a few tangles within the ball, but nothing major or super bothersome.  I am getting close to the end of the main repeat section.  For a few days, I thought I would never finish but now I only have 4 more repeats to do before the decrease.  So excited!!!  I snapped an obviously unblocked picture of my progress.  I really like the color and am super excited to be done so I can use it.  It can be used as a scarf or a shawl and I have always wanted something like this.  Len is not a big fan of the look of larger scarves so he has always been against me buying one, but he can't stop me from making one! :-)

Last night was the Super Bowl.  I used that as an excuse to make two different recipes.  Both from Plain Chicken.  I have to give a shout out to Sheri Woolridge for turning me onto this sight.  At first  I was nervous about using any of the recipes because most of the savory ones seemed to be spicy.  However, I decided to take a chance and make the Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili.  It was so simple!  I changed the rotel to a can of crushed tomatoes with garlic and left out the chili powder and cumin, mainly because I am a heat wuss.  I may try it with a little of those two spices in the next go round just to see how it changes the flavor. Unfortunately, I cooked it on high rather than low because I wasn't paying attention and there was no liquid left when it was time to serve, so it was more like the filling for enchiladas (as Len said) than a soup.  It was still very good and there was none leftover which is always a good thing.  I also decided to make the Nutella S'mores Pulls for desert.  I had a hard time putting the nutella between the cuts.  However, I did just read the directions for one of her other pull breads and it says to cut one way spread the stuff and then cut the other way and spread the stuff. I wonder if that would make it any easier.  I will have to try it and find out.  The only alteration I made is that I had a package of regular sized marshmallows so I just cut those into pieces and used them instead of buying more.  This was a huge hit and is definitely something I want to make again very soon!

In other news, I am optimistic that I will have some real information to share about a job very soon.  I really hope it works out.  I am very bored sitting in my house all day every day.  Also, I am doing better at handling the loss of my friendship (see this post).  I still have my days of setbacks but I am feeling much healthier and actually see some light in this very dark tunnel (even though I am still shocked that this tunnel exists).  I have to say thanks to my friends Jessie, Omar, and Sheri who have stood by me and helped me maneuver through this nasty maze.  I am closer to the exit because of your love and support.  Thanks for validating that I am a person who deserves only goodness and light in my life and that the dark cobwebs shrouding me are not of my own fault.  Your words of encouragement are the best brooms a girl could ask for.  I continue to fight my insecurities so that I may one day see the me you see when I look in my mirror and can accept that this person is NOT WORTHY of me!

Well, that is enough sappiness for one day.  My Clapotis is calling me.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

One sock done

Well I am close to finishing the socks for Jessie.  They were pretty easy to knit.  One is completely done and the second one is almost to the heel. (knitted top down).  I am making Garnish by Ariel Altaras.  Here are two images of the first finished sock. 

You can see the pattern up near the toe pretty well

I am happy with how they have turned out, They are a little big, but this is because I used an alpaca worsted yarn that is meant for bigger needles. and I used a bigger needle than the pattern called for.  However these will work for Jessie because she will most likely wear them over other socks in the freezing cold that is Boston. because I didn't check gauge and have less stitches per inch then I should.  Also Jess said she would wear them with boots since they are super warm rather than layering.

In other news, the bump on my finger is not currently affecting my knitting abilities which makes me happy.  However, it is making bowling a little difficult but I am dealing with it the best I can.

Also, I have gotten myself some self-help books that are helping me deal with losing my friend and improving my self esteem.  So far they seem to be helping, but is is a slow arduous process.

Still no news on the job front.  I am hoping to hear something this week (but I've been saying that for a couple weeks LOL).

I hope everyone is having a happy New Year!


Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year = Big Changes

Well, it is New Year's Eve, and I am sitting here contemplating everything that happened this past year and I am blown away.  This time last year my life was completely different.

First, I was extremely ill.  I couldn't keep any food or liquids in my body for more than 5 min.  I ended up losing the healthy bacteria and had to rebuild most of my immune system. Then I got a sinus infection that lasted for 10 months.  I have also been having some heart issues.  I am hoping that I will be able to resolve many of my afflictions and can have a much healthier 2013.

Second, I had a job.  The company I worked for had filed bankruptcy, but if anyone had told me then that our office would be closed, my friends would no longer live here due to being forced to relocate, and I would be unemployed I would never have believed it.  Yet, here I sit, jobless.  Fortunately I have something in the works and I believe it will change my life in a billion ways, making everything from this last year worth it.  (Prayers and happy thoughts are appreciated and desired please) I will give details once things are more secure.

Third, I had a person in my life whom I believed was and would be everything to me.  The way I felt when I was with them was like nothing I had ever experienced.  My doctor even loved them because even though I don't have high blood pressure, it was even lower after I spent time with them.  We had the same sense of humor and adored silly jokes.  The cornier the better!  We were both extremely sensitive and had gone through many very similar experiences in our lives.  We bonded over so much.  I would have done (and did do) anything for them.  No task was too great, from listening to stories of woe to renovating their entire house, I offered and did it all.  You'd think there would be some appreciation for that...you'd be wrong.  All I got was lies, betrayal, and humiliation.  I was then cast out due to my being upset with them for the lies.  None of it makes sense even now and I don't know where to go from here.  Most people say I should let go and move on, and I am in the process of that, but I need and want answers.  Am I going to get them? Probably not due to the fact that they are a liar, but I dedicated 3 years of my life to defending and adoring this person and putting up with so much crap.  I am hoping the universe will help supply me with the information I need so that I can protect myself better in the future.  I was completely blindsided, I can't let that ever happen again if I want to keep my sanity.  This is another thing I never saw coming and would have never believed.  I am just left to wonder for now, was any of it real for them or was I just a pawn they used and then tossed in the trash.

Fourth, I was in school.  I am not finished with everything, but I am done with Pima and just have to CLEP out of Algebra to get my Associates.  I will be applying to the University of Arizona this February and depending on my new job schedule, will start in the Fall.  I am nervous and excited and hope that I can afford to go (come on transfer scholarship!).

Lastly, I was not knitting.  It is very hard to knit when I am so tied up with school work and work work.  Yet I have decided I need to take the time.  I have missed it more than I realized and it is very relaxing and therapeutic for me.  I currently have something going on with the first joint on the middle finger of my left hand which makes things uncomfortable, but I am hoping I can work around that and not have to quit.  I am hoping it is not arthritis, but am worried that it is at the same time.  :-/  I will update once I know, but in the mean time I am persevering in making the socks for Jessie. :-)

So this is where I stand now.  On the precipice of all new adventures.  What will 2013 bring? I don't know.  I just need to keep my faith and believe that this journey will take me to where I belong.  Good things come to those who wait, and I've been waiting for quite awhile.  I just have a hunch that this will be the year of relishing in those good things! :-)

See ya next year!

Purling Kitty