Did I ever mention that the day after I ordered yarn for the llama purse, the yarn that was out of stock returned to stock? Somehow late july because mid-may very fast.

It was very annoying. Especially since they didn't want to combine the orders for me. Poooo...

Well, at least I have all the yarn I need now. And I can start the llama purse as soon as the sweater is done.
A while back, our marketing agency produced a package that was direct lobbying. (Asked members to contact their representatives about specific legislation.) I assumed that psycho boss knew and was ok with it since she reviewed the copy. But she apparently did not know what direct lobbying was. So she was surprised when we got dinged against our lobbying cap.

In response, psycho boss set up a meeting with our lobbying guy to teach us all what lobbying was. I was kinda really annoyed by this since I have sat through this meeting twice already. Our marketing agency account rep was supposed to attend too, but she conveniently decided to take the week off and not 1) send someone in her place or 2) tell us she was going to be out.

I send them a polite but firmly worded email with a copy of the presentation, telling them they absolutely had to review and understand it because otherwise we could lose our nonprofit status. Though honestly I don't think these people care.

When I got home, I decided I refuse to stress about them anymore tonight. So I had a nice dinner. Slow cooker vegetarian chili with a fresh spring salad on the side. And then my dog and I took a nice walk. She had several very good poops and sniffed several new people.

After that, I did some weeding in the garden. The weeds had been trying to take over the strawberry patch. One weed was growing right on top of the strawberry plant! How is that possible?

I also took a look at my other garden. If nothing else grows, at least I'll have zucchini. That appears to be the only thing surviving. My tomatoes did not get eaten by squirrels. This time they just curled up and died on their own. I suspect they were not adequately hardened off. Annoying. The cantaloupe and cucumbers are still seeds, but that's expected since I only planted them Sunday.

Once I washed off a bit, I took pictures of my knitting projects - the sweater I am stuck on and the socks I finished a while back. Behold!
Monochromatic Tubey Sweater - In progress My first socks

And then I enjoyed some dessert (homemade rice pudding with freshly grated cinnamon) while I watched an episode of Good Eats on making hamburgers (A Grind is a Terrible Thing to Waste). I want to make my own burgers for the Fourth of July. In theory, it'll not only taste better, but also reduce our chances of catching a nasty bug like e coli.

When my episode was over, I decided to go through the box of old clothes my mom sent me. I kept two or three shirts for sentimental reasons. The others all went into a bag for goodwill because they were comically small. The bottom hem stopped at my belly button for one too many shirts.

While trying on shirts, a GIANT spider came crawling out from under my dresser. The thing was nearly the size of a quarter. Normally I can handle spiders but THAT was not a normal spider. I used up all my courage, but I managed to trap him in a cup and slide a piece of paper underneath to carry him outside. I did a very graceful fling-the-cup-and-run-like-a-little-girl move before I slammed the door shut.

Now I have to go to bed in that room, knowing there was a giant man eating spider living in it. What if there are baby man eating spiders? I'm going to die in my sleep.
I have hit a small roadblock in my sweater knitting. I do not have the next color I need.

When I was first buying yarn, two of the colors I wanted were out of stock. The Lake Ice Heather was due back in April and the Cobblestone Heather was due back in May. At the time, I figured it takes me so long to knit, I could order the missing yarn later without a problem.

The Lake Ice Heather is now back in stock. However the Cobblestone Heather has been further delayed until the END OF JULY. Unacceptable.

I tried looking on other sites to find some since I only need two balls. Nothing. Very frustrating.

My options now are:
1. Choose a different color. (Which ruins my plans for a monochromatic sweater.)
2. Find a similar color in a different brand. (And risk gauge issues. It has happened to me before.)
3. Wait for the yarn to get back in stock.
4. Start another project until the yarn is back in stock.

I don't know what to dooooooo....

[EDIT] Decision: #4 LLAMA!!!
Yesterday morning was absolutely frustrating. So much so, I am contemplating writing a second entry just devoted to it. But to summarize, our marketing agency is full of idiots. Full-blown incompetence.

It really took me all morning to deal with them. At the same time, I was attempting to write up a summary of the thing I went to the other day. My boss asked for it, which I think is weird because he doesn't actually care about the topic. I guess it was to make sure I actually went. Like back in grade school when you had to write book reports to prove you actually read the book.

By afternoon, I gave up on the marketing agency and let them do whatever they want. I hate them so much. Then I set to work on an out of office memo.

I'm going to be out ONE DAY next week. Just monday. My boss' assistant is going to cover for me. Unfortunately she's not the fastest at learning new things. So despite several months of teaching her how to do my job and having her ghost me a few times, she needs very explicit directions on what to do while I'm out. The level of detail here even included a list of things she's not supposed to touch. (Because while I was out for half days last week, she managed to totally mess up stuff she wasn't supposed to touch at all.)

Typing that up took me much of the afternoon. Every time I revised it, I would add more steps between the steps until the memo was gigantic. Then I sent the draft off to her and asked her if anything needed to be clarified. After that, I added more steps and directions. It is an epic out of office memo. For one day out of the office. I need to find a new job before I go on vacation. Otherwise I'll have to plan a month in advance for the novel I'll have to write for her.

In the evening, I did some knitting practice. I had noticed that my knitting style had strayed over the years and was extremely nonstandard now. I have no clue how that happened. So I looked up some youtube videos and practiced knitting for an hour or so before bed. I did a few practice runs with some scrap yarn. Once I felt confident I was back to standard continental style, I started the swatch for my next knitting project to practice some more.

I had a nightmare while I slept, so I felt it would be best for my mood this morning if I went out and did something productive. I drove out to super h, one of our local asian groceries, to stock up on essentials. I think in the future I'll go to lotte. While it's not as nice as super h, it is significantly closer to my new home.

Super h always makes me want to play tourist and take pictures. I was polite though and did not. The giant display of squid was really tempting...

I was good and barely bought any junk food. I stuck mostly to my shopping list of short grain rice, onions, instant curry, and curry sauce cubes. I find it crazy that my regular grocery store will charge $10 for a bag of rice ($4 at super h), $3 for instant curry ($1.50 at super h), and $4 for curry sauce ($2 at super h). The onions were pretty cheap too. Despite the long drive, it was significantly worth it for what I saved.

After that, I drove to michaels to get some nice-looking baskets to hold things in my pantry. My onions and garlic are constantly rolling away. And my bags of beans were sliding off the shelves. Problem solved now that they are safely contained.

I was starving when I got home, so I made curry rice. It made sense since I just got back from buying it, right? (Fun fact: Curry is so popular in japan, the average person eats it 125 times a year.) I use the curry sauce and then add my own spices to make it super tasty.

After dinner, I made curry onigiri with the leftovers. Unfortunately I made more curry than rice, so now I'm making some bread dough for curry pan. I will be having curry all this week for lunch.... (Good thing it is tasty, I guess. At this rate, looks like maybe I could achieve that 125 times a year number easily.)
Woo! My very first sock! And I am already about in inch done with the second one!

First Sock

It's probably the busiest looking sock in the world. All the color changes and ribbing. Wow.

Hopefully the next one will look a little nicer. Practice makes perfect!
It took me about 2 months to make my first sock. Now I have to knit the second one. Almost wishing I only had one foot right now. I need to figure out where I put my camera and take a picture of it in all its single-footed sock glory.
I can't wait to have internet back at home. Living without it on weekends is madness. But at least I am not without things to do.

Saturday was an unpacking day. Ben made me take a break to go shopping with him. We both ended up cranky and fighting, but we made up by the evening. We went out to a thai restaurant for dinner. It was tasty.

Sunday I did more unpacking. Then I went to a local stitch n bitch meeting. It did not go too well, which upsets me because I was trying really hard to make friends. Women-focused activities are babybabybabybabybabybaby alllllll the time. Since I really had nothing to talk about with anyone, I got a lot of knitting done. I'll give it one more chance, but I don't have high hopes. I wish women would realize that not everyone cares that they reproduced.

I came home extremely stressed out and exhausted. Trying to overcome my social anxiety took everything I had. Ben was sweet and hugged me on the couch while we watched Supernatural. Once I was calm and sleepy, I went to bed and slept like a rock. But I still woke up tired!
My knitting friends are all going to laugh at me, but I realized an amazing thing today. Something so amazing, I bet everyone else already learned it years and years ago.

When I lose count in a ribbed pattern, I can tell what I'm supposed to do next by looking at the next stitch. If it's "wearing a little vest" then I should knit. If it's "wearing a little turtleneck" then I should purl.

This will save me so much time! I always lose count on the bus and train! And then I have to go to one of the ends and start counting, "p k k k p k k k p..." until I get back to where I was. But no more! Now I will just check what the next couple stitches are wearing! Yay!
I finished my sweater last night. It is big and ugly but it's all mine!

Skully Sweater

I am wearing it today at work. At least it's warm! I had to wear a black undershirt though because I knit the top the sleeves too loose and you can see through them if I wear something light colored underneath.

Now I start my first pair of socks. Already I hate sock knitting. Double pointed needles are a lot tougher than I remember. Maybe it's because these are so tiny.

I think I may have messed up already though. It said to cast on 64 stitches, but I just recently counted after a few rows and now I have 63 stitches. How did that happen? I double counted the 64 when I cast on, so I know that was right. And I couldn't see any dropped stitches. *sigh* I hate knitting.
Knitting socks scares me. Which means I must master sock knitting. So people who knit, are there any specific patterns/books that you would recommend to someone for their first pair of socks? Anything you'd suggest I stay away from?

I am intrigued by self-striping yarn, so that's the direction I am heading in right now.
holytoastr: (sewing)
I finished some crafty stuff today.

First, a hat and booties set for a coworker who is having a baby.

Monster Hat Monster Booties

I'm a little sad by how unprofessional they look, but maybe she'll like them because they're hand made?

Anyway, after that, I finished up my skull skirt.

Pink Skull Skirt

It is loud and obnoxious. I will wear it to work tomorrow.
Ben took me shopping yesterday. I had several winter goals.
- Thermals
- A tank top (for wearing under itchy sweaters)
- Snow boots
- A winter coat that covers my butt
- A pair of warm tights

I ended up coming home with:
- A tank top
- A pair of warm tights
- A sweater
- Long sleeved shirt

I guess I will have to keep looking for the rest of the things.

After shopping and dinner, we went home and I knitted up a storm. I am almost done with the first sleeve on my sweater. Just a few more inches to go. Then I can start the other one. And then I can sew the whole thing up. And then I am done with my very first sweater. After many long months, I can see the finish line. :)
Silly me! I thought I could knit my sweater on the bus again once I got it started. I had no clue what intarsia would be like. I have many many balls of yarn hanging from the back and they are constantly fighting and knotting together. It is madness.

I think it's going well though. So far the picture is looking like the one in the book. So, yay!

Skully Sweater in Progress
holytoastr: (melting panda-aurianrose)
I had nightmares all night about work. I kept dreaming about making edits to a very difficult package that was already overdue to the printer.

I definitely woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Once I was done crying, ben suggested we take a walk down to the bagel place for breakfast. That was a very good idea because I felt a lot better after.

We also stopped at the library to return a bunch of books, which made me feel really productive.

When we got back, we tried watching Dark City but all that sunshine and fresh air had totally exhausted me. I kept dozing off. We paused it halfway through and I took a four hour nap. I didn't dream about work so I felt pleasantly rested when I finally woke up. And then we finished the movie while I worked on fixing my sweater.

All the collar holes have been repaired and it doesn't look too bad now. The collar is still a bit tight but I think it'll be ok. So I'll start on the sleeves tonight. I want to get far enough along that I can go back to knitting on the bus again.
I am about halfway done with my sweater. The back and front panels are both done and stitched together. I'm a little concerned about the collar because it's a bit tight. My head fits through it, but not super easily.

Also, parts of the collar look stretched out, creating holes. I'm not sure why that happened. It doesn't look nice. Maybe I can discreetly sew the holes together later.

Next up: I start the sleeves.
holytoastr: (angry gir)
A horrible woman knocked my knitting needles out of my hands this morning! And didn't even apologize!

This wasn't a casual accidental bump either. The needles went FLYING onto the ground. And I had a decent grip on them too. She really smacked into me!

It was so horrible, it all happened in slow motion too. "*GASP!* Nooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!" As I reached for the needles flying through the air. About half a dozen stitches fell off too! Luckily I was able to save them, but it was an extremely tense moment.

After that, I put my knitting away because this woman was clearly a psychopath. Luckily my stop was next so I was able to get away from her.

What is wrong with people!?!?!
Tragic news on my sweater. After knitting up the whole front and much of the back panels, I gave everything an additional measure and discovered the stupid thing was going to be 5 inches too big across the chest. That's taking into account the ease and possible shrinking of the wool. That's a ridiculously huge sweater.

I am baffled by it because the gauge was absolutely correct before I started. Yet the end measurements are completely off.

So last night I ripped apart the back panel and am going to try knitting it the next size down. At least with fewer stitches it's going faster. Hopefully this size will fit better. I'm paranoid that it'll end up too small now. Just to mock me.

Knitting is so frustrating. With sewing, I can measure as I go along and know right away if something doesn't look right. But with knitting, I may not notice for months that something is very wrong. If I could sew on the train instead of knit, I'd totally do that.
holytoastr: (melting panda-aurianrose)
This morning I went to the closing down yarn store, but the discounts weren't very good at all. Only 20% off. I ended up buying only one ball of yarn - the pink I need for the skulls on the sleeves.

The rest I ordered online. I'm too poor to afford yarn in a real store!

In the evening, ben took me out for chinese food. And he bought me a new video game. He's sweet.

I told my mother about the attempt to buy a house during our weekly miserable phone call. That was a big mistake. All of her advice involved breaking the law in some way. If this is how she has bought her past houses, it's a miracle she's not in jail.
Would anyone be interested in knitting me a pair of dinosaur mittens? (With teeth! Raaarr! CHOMP!)

I'd be willing to make you some sort of pottery of your choice in exchange. (Except plates. I am REALLY bad at plates.)
Why do all the patterns I like end up being crochet patterns???

Maybe I'll re-learn how to crochet...

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January 2015

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