When life gets in the way

I mentioned yesterday that I have had a lot of non knitting things going on and I thought I would make a separate post to go into, at least a little bit of what has been taking up my time from knitting. This will be a tad long. You have been warned. Sadly the bulk of what I have been doing is planning for the future and that means I have nothing physical to show for it so I feel as though I have accomplished nothing, even while I have accomplished quite a bit.

First of all one I am starting back to school this fall and because of that, I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get everything turned in and situated for classes and financial aid. This may not seem like that big of a task, but I had a hold on my account for not paying a fee that I didn’t have any clue was owed. Once I got that squared away and got my application put in again and all, I couldn’t log into the school website. It ended up taking me something like 3 phone calls to get that fixed only to find out that I couldn’t register for classes because I had another hold on my account. Apparently they sent something to an address I haven’t lived at in over 7 years and the mail was returned. They didn’t use the address that I had on my application, which would likely be a better address than one I used 10 years ago. In fact since that time, I have lived at other addresses and been registered for classes and have never had this problem. After several phone calls, I finally got it fixed. Then there is the financial aspect of it. Financial aid and applying for scholarships takes a lot of effort and time. I am still waiting (im)patiently to see how much this is going to set me back next semester. I honestly can’t imagine getting ready for school with a full time job and a toddler, because it has taken me weeks of being a stay at home mom with a toddler and having time to do things. A lot of it has been waiting on other people to get things done and now I am playing the waiting game on all my financial aid stuff. For once I didn’t procrastinate and I am so thankful for that. I know that all of this will be worth it in the end, because it will put me in a better position to do the things that I would like to do as Jonathan gets older and as it gets closer to my hubby getting ready to retire. We are hopefully looking at 15 years, give or take, so I should be able to be done with school and get a good career going by then. I hate that it has taken me until my thirties to get all of this going, but life is what it is.

Outside of preparing for school, it has been a lovely, busy spring so far. Jonathan and I went with my dad and one of my best friends and her two boys to Silver Dollar City and Branson. It was so much fun. The day we came back from Branson, hubby and I took little man on his first camping trip. So far I have really enjoyed camping in the hammocks, though once the bugs start getting thicker, we will have to get the bug nets before we can do it again. Jonathan’s first camping trip was wonderful. He had a lot of fun. The campsite that we went to is in a lovely Arkansas State park nearby on the lake. We chose a site that was up above all the others so that we could have a little bit of privacy and it is now our favorite spot. We ended up going again the next weekend, just the two of us. It was wonderful, even if it was a quick trip. I think that if the weather keeps this up, we will be going camping a lot this year. While it was easier without the little guy, I sure don’t sleep well when he isn’t around so he will be.

I have been itching really bad to do some spinning. It has been almost a year since the last time I have gotten to use my wheel. Shortly after we moved into this house, some sweet adorable little boy stood on my wheel and knocked a nut loose so now it doesn’t treadle. It is a simple fix, only it requires a wrench which I haven’t made the time to look for. I will look for it tonight or tomorrow, because I want to get back to spinning really badly.

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Finished project pictures

Just a little update and some pictures. I know you are shocked, but I actually have a few pictures.

But first a quick update. College is definitely possibly in my not too distant future. I am nervous about money and having a newborn and all that, but I know what doesn’t kill me will only make me stronger. And this will be a good opportunity for me to give my child a better possible future yada yada yada. Nothing is in stone yet so I won’t rattle on too much about that.

So for the stuff you actually probably read my blog about (does anyone read this?): KNITTING!!! Let’s start with unfinished/unstarted projects and work our way up to the grand finale.

I am waiting for some needles to open up so I can start another pair of socks. I don’t even love knitting socks that much but I love how fast they go. I have a couple different pairs that I have in mind to knit. Yarns anyway, not so much patterns. I need to get to looking for patterns for them. The first I actually have the yarn for, Trekking in a lovely neon yellow and orange and green? Something like that. And I need to knit some socks for my mom. I am thinking pink, but that is as far as I have gotten on those. I also have some super secret designing plans in the works. Ok they aren’t that super secret, but I am not ready to announce them until they are a little more in the works than what they are right now. I know basically what I want but I am having some difficulty figuring out exactly how to make it become a reality. I have some ideas but I haven’t gotten to play with them yet. My focus has been elsewhere.

Actually in progress, I have the Hermione Everyday Socks. I am still not 100% fond of the yarn I am using (Knitpicks Stoll Handpaint in Cartoon) but now that I

have completed one sock and cast on the second sock, it looks ok. Just not exactly the colors I was looking for. It is no fault of the yarn, just not what I want. I don’t exactly understand SSS. I find finishing the first sock kind of like hitting a checkpoint in a video game. It is satisfying in the fact that I have an entire sock completed, but I still get the joy of moving on to the second and having something already planned for the needles next. I am pretty much a monogamous knitter, so I rarely have more than one or two projects going. I like to have an easy project and one that requires more brain power so I can knit in just about any situation so the second sock sometimes gets on my nerves when I am ready to start a new project, but I just can’t leave an orphaned sock! I have two feet and I don’t want one to be walking around fully clothed and the other to be naked! I am so ready to start on some different socks, but I just can’t say no to the second sock. I got my second sock cast on last night and several rows of the cuff knitted. I am not going to put a goal time on this really but I would like to be done with it in the next couple of weeks. I have found when I have something sit for a while I tend to frog it in the end anyway, so if I don’t complete the pair sooner than later, they won’t get done! I will be casting on something else before too long though.

The Bitterroot shawl is done. It is beautiful. I ran out of blocking pins so I didn’t get to block it near as aggressively as I wanted but I will next time. It is still lovely! And I have pictures! I am very please with this shawl. It was fun to knit and it came out looking rather nice!

Ready for its close up:

The entire (almost) view:

Shop announcement!

Ok. I really need to stop letting my emotions get the best of me. So I got my award letter from the college and for whatever reason did not notice that it was only for the Spring semester, not the entire year. This is because my hubby opened the letter and emailed me the results. I didn’t go back and read it thoroughly. Why should I? I only got half what I needed for school. Yup. Half. So half for half the year is? Yeah. Classic example of I shouldn’t let my emotions get the best of me and make sure I have all the information before getting down or upset, or heck, even happy! I got my letter on Friday. I was pretty well bummed most of the weekend, but decided that I was really going to hit this whole yarn thing really hard and get serious about selling online. Yes I understand that to actually make profit, it will take time and there will be ups and downs and blah blah blah. I know and despite all that (or maybe because of it, since my husband thinks I am O.D.D) I want to pursue it. Fiber makes me happy. We have discussed it in depth for about a year or so and we really want to open up an actual shop someday. Now understand that we are talking 10 years out, but it is still in the plans. We want to start selling online first, mostly handspun and hand-dyed fiber, but eventually also handmade spindles, stitch markers, project bags, maybe even handmade spinning wheels (that one is all my hubby!). We will be doing this starting with Etsy.com but hopefully will have our own website in about 5 years time. My Etsy shop is “up” but we (ok Hubby) is in the process of working on a banner and I am getting stuff ready for listing. Since I work a full time job and need time to, I don’t know, continue working on inventory, I am taking my time with this. I know I hate when I see a site under construction thing, but I will have items up no later than January 1. I really would like to do like a big Christmas thing. I am thinking about doing a gift with purchase. I still need to do some thinking on that one. I have so many ideas and so little time and resources for the next couple weeks.

Spinning: I have had two really busy nights in a row, one grocery shopping and one watching a movie plus working late, so my spinning time has been short, maybe 15 minutes or less.  I know. I know. For someone who wants to open a shop, that sure isn’t enough time, but I have had one of those weeks where there just isn’t the extra time. Even in this small amount of time I have had, I can’t seem to make it through this teeny tiny amount of fluff. I get that it is very wide roving so what looks small is acutally much, much larger, but still. I have said for two days, “I just want to make it through this little bit of fluff”. Still hasn’t happened. I think that my wheel is getting jealous. I completely understand, but I want about 4 ounces (or maybe 5) to be laceweight, and while I can spin laceweight on my wheel, it is a ton easier on the spindle. This is making the Matchless look even better. I really need to spin on one first though. I just can’t seem to get my wheels tension right to not fight for laceweight, for plied yarns. On the spindle I can get 23+ WPI on a 2 ply, and it is lovely. But it goes so much slower on the spindle. I want to order more roving so badly, but I think I may hold off a bit on that.

Knitting: I haven’t had much time for knitting. The second (4th) Fog sleeve is about an inch or so long now. I should have knit last night while we were watching the movie, but I got caught up in looking over financial aid stuff that I didn’t I REALLY need to get this going because I want to have it finished before Christmas and I think I may rip back part of the other sleeve! I plan on doing nothing else tonight. Maybe someone else in the house will make dinner, so I can knit all evening. My plans for this weekend include dying and knitting. Nothing else, which means I probably won’t have time to dye or knit! LOL! Also on my knitting plate, I really want to knit the New Pea Coat from Interweave Knits Fall 2008. I wish I already had it knit now that I don’t know where my coat is from the move and it is starting to get cold! It probably will not be completed before the end of this winter. Actually I doubt it will be started before the end of this winter. And for the Ravelypics, I have joined Team Knitmore, and I will either be working on a project for me to wear to Stitches South (I haven’t picked what yet) or I may go with a pair of fair isle mittens (also no pattern yet).