Monday, March 31, 2014

Rejection (Day 269 KEDfaY)

Today I got a rejection letter. I was excited about it. You see, from all of the jobs I've applied to and all the resumes I've sent out, I've had one interview and now one rejection letter. It would be nice to actually get a job so that I can start chipping away at my student loans. I know this is completely unrealistic. The rejection letter I got today was for an entry level data entry position. I'd like to think that I can mindlessly type in various numbers all day but apparently I'm not even qualified to do that.

But I finally got a rejection letter. It's nice to be acknowledged that you did actually turn in a resume and you did in fact spend time copying over your most relevant jobs and that someone did spend at least two seconds to look at it. It's nice to know that I'm not just being ignored.

If you know anyone who is looking for a plucky writer/knitter who can write and/or knit, please send them my way. Maybe they'll give me a rejection letter too.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

100 (Day 265 KEDfaY)

Wow, I only have 100 days left of my own little challenge. I honestly never thought that I'd get this far. I expected to give up or get bored. I didn't think that I'd actually get half way let alone this far. This is exciting for me!

In the world of knitting today, I didn't really do much. I finished the picture portion of my mystery washcloth and it's a lion. I think. That's what they are saying it is though but I don't see it. I might need to block the washcloth though. This yarn is a bit spaghetti-like.

I have been crocheting a lot today. I'm trying to get as much done on this baby blanket for the family friend as possible so I can hopefully get more points for HPKCHC. I now have 70/100 squares done. I haven't decided if I'm going to a border for it or not. I think I am because I am using slightly different weighted yarn so the border would help keep it all one shape. Right now, I'm really happy with how it's turning out. I mean, it is all pastel colors and yuck, pastels, but I do think it will make mamma and baby happy and that's really what this whole thing is about.

I keep seeing people donating their various knitted or crocheted items to different charities and I always think that I want to do that. And then I remember that my funds are limited and while I do have a substantial yarn stash, I try to keep my yarn buying to an absolute minimum. In the past three years, I've spent less than $20 on yarn for projects for myself. Every other yarn purchase has been for projects for other people, as gifts.

That's one reason why I agreed to make this blanket for our family friend. A year ago, I probably would've come up with a reason not to but now I just want to do things that make others happy. And I have a lot of free time so why not use my free time to create something for someone who will appreciate it?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I knit to make me less crazy (Day 264 KEDfaY)

This article has been running around the internet for the past day or so. You might've seen it if you are interested in knitting or your family knows that you are. It seems when anything knitting related happens in the media, I'm sent links to it from everyone I know who knows I knit. Like the penguin sweater thing. Man, if I had a dollar for every time I was sent that, I'd have so many dollars. Okay, not a whole lot, but maybe like $5 which is still awesome.

The article linked above talks about how knitting is good for you, essentially. It relaxes you, it acts like meditation and it could have lasting effects that could prevent degenerative brain issues.

I was often known as "the girl who knits" in my classes in college. I knit in a lot of my classes. None of my professors ever cared and I always asked before I did. I found that professors would rather have me knit instead of dicking around on Facebook or sleeping like so many of my peers did. I paid attention better and I retained lecture information better. I don't know why, it just seemed that days I knit in class, I would remember better when it came to exam time.

I was asked by someone to teach them to knit and I said yes. I'm willing to teach anyone who is willing to learn because I think it's such a useful hobby. She asked me why I knit and I explained that knitting occupies my hands, it occupies that part of my brain that, when left to its own devices, will go down an anxiety spiral and causes all sorts of problems. If I'm knitting while doing something else, like sitting in a lecture or watching TV, I'm also knitting because that way I won't have the asshole part of my brain trying to send me into an inexplicable crying fit about that random episode of Cougar Town. You might laugh but it's happened before. I couldn't watch Futurama for years because of a situation like this happening.

I still can't watch Rocko's Modern Life.

Some people laugh when I say I knit to make me less crazy but it's true.

I knit because I need to. Knitting calms me and helps me focus on the important things instead of the tiny nigglings that can very quickly turn into a full blown panic attack. As someone who has had panic attacks since I was seven and watching a normal episode of Rocko's Modern Life, I try to have as few as possible.

I knit because I have to.


So in knitting today, I worked more on my sock. I'm really close to finishing the big part of it. I'm doing another afterthought heel so I'll still have to do that but it isn't that big of a deal. I enjoy them and they go quickly and I've found that they just fit the best. For me at least.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

True Detective (Day 263 KEDfaY)

True Detective.

It's a show that has taken the internet by storm. I didn't watch it while it was airing because I decided to be difficult. I knew it was a show that I was going to watch eventually though so I stayed away from spoilers as much as possible. A friend of mine just started watching True Detective and accidentally watched the last episode first, which I would think kinda ruins the whole experience but he says he's still hooked on it.

I watch a lot of TV shows, something that if you have read my blog at all, probably already know. I was told by everyone I know that I need to watch True Detective and that it was new and different and exciting. So I did.

Because I watch a lot of TV, I think about TV a lot. I think about plots and characters and scenarios and how some are played out in every sitcom in every iteration imaginable or how some characters are just like others. Very rarely is there something new and exciting, especially in the world of sitcoms and police dramas, two types of shows that I am weirdly attracted to.

I was hesitant to watch True Detective. Something about a crime drama starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, who might have the most difficult name to spell ever and why aren't more people complaining about it, really put me off. "I'm sure they're great actors," I thought, "But...really?"

And then I watched the first episode. Now I mentioned that I think about TV a lot. It's what I do. I dissect TV. Generally though, I don't stay on one show for too long. I think about it fleetingly as I'm changing loads of laundry or cleaning litter boxes. TV sits on the back of my mind when I have nothing else to ponder, so I'll ponder the latest episode of How I Met Your Mother and debate it with myself. But True Detective was different.

The characters are so complex and unique that I actually woke up in the middle of the night two nights after finishing the series because I was thinking about the characters so much. And the plot. And the uniqueness of it all. To say I was impressed with Harrelson and McConaughey's performances would be putting it mildly. I once accidentally watched the last 20 minutes or so of Failure to Launch or some other movie with a similar plot starring the previously typecast actor. I think I was wasting time until something more exciting came on the same channel. All I know is that I was largely unimpressed with the simple role and the simple actor. I now will watch anything that Mr. McConaughey wants to do. He is now in the category of, "Will watch this actor read the phonebook."

I tried to find news about the show without being spoiled before I had finished the series. I don't know why, I think to find out if there was going to be a second season or not. One of the many articles that popped up when I googled the show was about True Detective and feminism. It's an article that I didn't read and I'm sure it made a few good points but I wanted to remain unspoiled by outside opinions about the complexity of the characters and just wanted to experience the show by myself. I knew nothing really, outside of the starring actors and the mysterious Yellow King that kept popping up on Twitter. So I stayed spoiler free. (I'm sure the whole feminism angle for the show is one that can and probably should be explored but I think for the most part it is a show about the two main characters and their issues, not necessarily about the women in their lives. I'm sure someone is out there yelling at me about how wrong I am but this post isn't about that, it's about how much I enjoyed the show.)

My friend Austin keeps recommending shows for me to watch. The Americans, The Wire, Spartacus, Hannibal, etc. Most of the time, I'll watch an episode or two and be done with it. Not because it's a bad show but because the shows are so intense that I can't handle it. I'm the type of person who gets embarrassed for characters (the episode of The Office where Michael Scott has to tell the high schoolers that he doesn't have scholarships for them is one of the most painful episodes in history so declared by me) so watching True Detective was not something I was looking forward to. I was told it was an amazing show but the possible emotional impact is what scared me off.

And while there were definitely some intense moments in True Detective, especially in the season finale where I actually yelled out loud, it never felt intrusively intense like some shows can feel. I've only seen two seasons of Dexter and one episode of The Americans because they get so intense with their suspense that I start noticing that I'm holding my breath for fictional characters. True Detective didn't feel that way.

True Detective definitely has some issues like the sometimes clunky dialogue that I think was trying to be purposefully repetitive but just felt forced, and of course the aforementioned feminist angle that I'm still not going to discuss, but overall it has done something that I don't think any TV show has ever done for me. It has made me lay awake in the middle of the night contemplating the reality of the show, the characters, the plot. I've thought about numerous aspects of this show and I know I haven't even come close to being able to creating an accurate map of it.

I recommend True Detective. It's intense without being suffocating, it's unique and doesn't feel like a rehashed Law and Order episode like many other crime dramas can feel. And most of all, for me, the characters are interesting. They're flawed beyond belief but they still have a realism to them.

I watched the latest season of American Horror Story. The plot and concept had interested me so I decided to try it without watching any of the other seasons. The idea of witchcraft was appealing to my inner goth 14 year old self. After the season finale aired and I spent my afternoon watching it, I was disappointed. I wasn't shocked. I wasn't ever scared. It didn't appeal to me and it didn't seem that creative. (The fact that it used Stevie Nicks as the White Witch, which was an amazing cameo, was very unoriginal.) The lore and legend that went into True Detective is what I wanted from American Horror Story. It accomplished the feeling of suspense, of mystique and horror that American Horror Story failed to even come close to.

If you have 8 hours to spare, I suggest that you spend it watching True Detective. At the end of it, you at least won't think that you've wasted your time.


And now to make this even more of a niche post, I'm going to talk about my crafting for the day.

Here, have a cat picture!


Knitting has been the mystery washcloth as usual and my sock. I just did the row for the afterthought heel so now I'm working on the leg bit. It's going much quicker than I expected. I'm really glad I tried this pattern. I might even be able to make my goal of finishing it by Sunday.

I also got a good bit worked on the baby blanket for the friend of the family. It needs to be in Indiana by April somethingth so I have a little bit of time to work on it before I need to mail it so it'll get there in time for the baby shower. I can't find if I've actually talked about this before, I know I have on Ravelry. There's a friend of the family that is expecting her second child soon and my mom asked me to make her a blanket for her impending baby and I was actually in a good mood when my mom asked so I said I would. There's actually a deadline for it now so I've felt motivated to work on it instead of it just sitting, partially finished, in my pile of crap next to my desk.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Periods, amirite? (Day 262 KEDfaY)

It seems like every month, I lose more and more of my motivation and when my motivation is low to begin with, it isn't helpful in getting anything done.

On the knitting front, I have gotten a good portion of sock numba two done. Depending on how much yarn I use, I might even be able to get a third sock from this yarn, which would make me super happy. For this one though, I am using the ever popular Baudelaire sock pattern from Knitty. It's surprisingly easy. It has been in my queue for years and for the longest time I was intimidated by it, being toe up and everything. But now that I actually know what I'm doing, the intimidation has disappeared. It's much easier than I anticipated and it's even working out relatively well in this yarn. It's even going surprisingly quick now that I've figured out the lace pattern, something that isn't difficult but uses some non-traditional stitches.

I also need to work on the baby blanket to mail it off. It's halfway done now and I've just started watching a new TV series so I figure it should get done soon. I started Veronica Mars because everyone has said that I should watch it. And Everyone was correct about True Detective so maybe they'll be right about Veronica Mars too.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Heel (Day 261 KEDfaY)

Knitting: Afterthought heel for my sock. Started the second one. My goal is to get the second one done by next Sunday. We'll see how that goes.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Dandelions (Day 260 KEDfaY)

Sometimes you just need to doodle dandelions.

Knitting today - Mystery washcloth. I still have no idea what it is.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Don't be a... (Day 259 KEDfaY)

Knitting: Mystery washcloth. Mostly crocheting today on the baby blanket. Officially halfway done.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sproing (Day 258 KEDfaY)

Spring has sprung. I'm not usually one to get caught up in various holidays or seasonal traditions but today the urge to clean struck. I scrubbed floors, I did laundry, I cleaned tubs. I opened the windows and turned on the fans and tried to blow out the funk of winter and dreary feelings.

I think it helped.

Knitting today was just the mystery washcloth. I was asked if I could get the baby blanket for a friend done and mailed by the beginning of April so now that I have a deadline for it, I actually seem to want to work on it. It isn't taking long, just need to actually work on it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Priorities (Day 257 KEDfay)

I used to walk everywhere.

I would walk to the store when I needed something. I'd walk to class. I'd walk to see friends. I'd walk just for the fun of it. At one point, I was walking about three miles a day just because I could and because I wanted to.

Then we moved to Florida.

I don't know if it is true outside of Jacksonville, but it seems to me that pedestrians and bicyclists face more danger than in an average city. At least once a week I read a story about how a person walking across an intersection was hit and killed. Or riding their bike. Once there was even a man in a wheelchair who was crossing an intersection who was hit and killed.

I don't walk everywhere any more. I hardly walk at all and when I do, I allow extra time to cross the street and hope and pray that the person who is turning right at a red light doesn't ignore my right of way and think I'm wasting their time.

Today a man was arrested for painting graffiti on stop light utility boxes around the city.

They aren't gang related. They aren't abusive to any group of people. They are simply a tribute to another artist, Keith Haring. They're beautiful works of art and yet unknown amounts of money were spent trying to catch him and will continue to go towards any further prosecuting.

Early Tuesday morning, a bicyclist was hit and killed. The driver fled the scene of the crash. Family members of the bicyclist said that it wasn't the first time he had been hit by a car while riding his bike. Most of the pedestrian accidents that happen in Jacksonville end with the driver of the car fleeing the scene. Families then ask the public for help in trying to find the person who did it. Sometimes they are found. Sometimes they aren't. Sometimes they are found and then nothing happens.

One of the women in my knitting group was apart of the Jewish community here in Jacksonville before she moved to Seattle for a job. She knew a woman who was on her way to the synagog, who was hit and killed by a driver who fled the scene. Her daughter was seriously injured. They were walking in the crosswalk when the handy little crosswalk sign told them to. The man who hit them, who has now been found, won't be facing any criminal charges. This isn't the first time he's hit and killed someone. This isn't the first time he has gotten away with mere traffic violations. In addition to the woman that was hit and killed, the same driver hit and killed a six year old child.

A graffiti artist who did no harm to anyone is arrested but a man who has killed two people is getting off with a couple of traffic citations.

This is just one of the many examples of a city that has it's priorities in the wrong place.

This is one of the many examples of why I will never adopt Jacksonville as my hometown.

Knitting: Finished the main foot of my first sock. Still need to do the afterthought heel.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Red Tide (Day 256 KEDfaY)


You know.

I used to brag about how my periods weren't that bad and that I didn't understand why there was such a fuss about them. And then I switched to my latest birth control. While the cramps and flow are at a minimum, as they always have been, my mood swings are enough to scare me. Last night, I actually bawled, all out body shaking bawling during Frozen, a movie that many wouldn't think would induce that level of emotion and yet there I was, crying my eyes out.

Any way, I've been knitting. Still working on that sock. I'd show you pictures but it looks pretty much the same as yesterday.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pollen (Day 251 KEDfaY)

No picture today because I was lazy and forgot. You know.

Felt a bit sick all day. It probably has something to do with the dangerously high pollen counts. Finished spinning. That's a fun story that I'll tell later when I can string two thoughts together.

Knitting was my mystery washcloth. Still clueless.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Beauty (Day 250 KEDfaY)

Isn't it gorgeous? 

Spun some more today. Still have 2/3 of it left to ply. Finished my washcloth. Worked on my small square blanket. Did dishes. Nothing too exciting but very productive nonetheless.

That's just how it goes sometimes though. Nothing exciting but lots of stuff to tick off of the to-do list.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Three's the magic number (Day 249 KEDfaY)

Look! Here's some of my spinning! Isn't awesome? Don't you love it? I totally love it but alas, it is to go to my very awesome aunt. I hope she loves it as much as I do.

I'm doing my very first true three ply yarn which is exciting. I've done n-plying before, which I enjoy and has a certain rhythm to it, but so far a true 3 play is a lot like a 2 ply. I haven't done a true three ply before though because I only have three bobbins so I had to wind one of my plys into a center pull ball. Hopefully it won't lose too much twist.  It would be nice if I had another bobbin though, or two, so I can do three or even, *gasp* four ply yarns in the future. I know. I'm adventurous like that.

I was trying to go for a DK weight yarn but I think it will be more of a worsted once it's all said and done. I still am in love with it though. I'm sure it will make something really awesome for my aunt when she knits it up.

Speaking of knitting, I have the first half of a washcloth done for HPKCHC. I also worked more on the mystery washcloth. Still have no idea what it is but it is fun. I have some things to work on and get off of the needles. What? My vest? No, I have no idea what you're talking about. (I do, but I'm lost as to what to do about it so I'm making like an ostrich and ignoring it in hopes that it will go away.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mischief (Day 248 KEDfaY)

The Boyfriend was getting ready for work this morning as I was laying, half awake, in bed, scrolling through Twitter for any important tweets or funny jokes. The Boyfriend turned around after leaving the bedroom and peeked his head in and said, "I'll just leave your knitting where I found it."

[We've been keeping the cats separate at night during the week because, sometimes, not all of the time, they will decide, usually around 5:30 am, that they hate each other and need to fight over territory, much like West Side Story but with less dance numbers and more screaming. So we keep Buddy, the more relaxed cat, out in the rest of the apartment while Pebble stays in the bedroom with us.]

At some point in the middle of the night, Buddy took not one, but two of the scrap blankets I'm working on, and dragged them into the next room. I don't really know why he did this. It didn't seem like he was trying to hurt them or get payback for us kicking him out of the bed room. I like to think that he did it because he was trying to make a comfy bed even though the two strips that I call blankets that really aren't yet weren't too close to each other. 

Or, and this theory is break-your-heart sad and endearing, he was trying to bring them to me so that I would open the door and pay attention to him. I know. It breaks my heart too. 

But seeing as he is currently sleeping on the bed in the bedroom across the apartment and hasn't wanted to deal with me at all really, in the nonchalant way that cats are, not in the purposefully ignoring me way, I'm assuming he was just being mischievous and rotten. 

No damage was done to either blanket, both of which are crochet and not knitting. The Boyfriend cannot tell the difference though. 

Squares 68 and 69 because teeheehee

On the knitting front, I did the usual two rows for my mystery washcloth, which is tons of fun. I quite enjoy working on it and having no idea what it'll be. I also finished one sock and started fixing the other one. I need to start another washcloth for HPKCHC but that one is just going to be a plain, boring one. 

I also have been spinning. I am working on some yarn for my aunt and it's going well although one of the cats decided the fiber needed to be played with. It was rolled into a nice neat little ball and then in the five seconds I had my back turned, one of the cats had taken that neat little ball and made it a fluffy, disorganized mess. I told the Boyfriend about this fluffy mystery and he tried to pawn it off on Buddy because he's more of a kitten and libel to do things like that butI didn't know which one until I went back to my spinning and caught the culprit right in the act, as I was pulling from the fibery mess. I should've known it was Pebble. She's done this once before, just not when I was actually using the fiber. The fiber is now sitting in a bag and hopefully she'll leave it alone. I hope to have all of the singles done by Wednesday and plying done by this weekend. I hope. 

That's the plan at least.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Don't care! (Day 244 KEDfaY)

I am majorly procrastinating now. So badly. Like. Woah. Like. Seriously.

I know I should be working on my vest but honestly I'm so sick of it. I want to work on blankets and socks and think about lace patterns for my future pi shawl I have planned. I don't want to think about more color work. Don't get me wrong, I love how it's turning out, I just hate working on the damn thing. At this point, it is going in long term timeout. I know that it will probably languish there for a very long time but I don't care. I'm just sick of working on it and thinking about it. I want to think about other things like handknit socks. Mmmmm....Handknit socks.....

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

American Gods (Day 243 KEDfaY)

I did something today that I haven't done in a long time.

I read for a good portion of the day. I read until I finished my book. I was excited that my plans got canceled so that I could finish reading my book.

Today I finished American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I was hesitant starting this book and I don't know why. There was just always a feeling of, "Well...maybe later..." when I thought about starting it. I have no idea why. And then I started reading it. It was very enjoyable. It built a world out of pre-existing characters and none of it felt forced. The whole thing flowed naturally. I've read other of Gaiman's books but this one might be my favorite. I mistakenly read Anasi Boys before I read American Gods but it didn't detract from how good either book was.

But now I'm in that post book mind frame of thinking, for sure, that I'll never find a book as good as the one I just finished. The same thing happens with TV shows.


Knitting was more of the mystery washcloth. I got a lot crocheted though, after finishing my book. And spinning too. Can you tell that I'm putting of working on my vest?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Redo (Day 242 KEDfaY)

Knitting: Mystery washcloth even though I should be working on my vest even though I really don't want to.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Je mange une pomme (Day 241 KEDfaY)

Do you remember me talking about this blanket? Well, unsurprisingly, I'm still working on it. I turned in the February squares for HPKCHC and I posted my progress to the French forum. I posted, in French and responded to my replies, in French. I took zero French in high school because our French teacher was not a nice person and I decided I'd rather take German. I took a semester in college because I needed something to fill my time and it did so quite nicely. But aside from that semester of French 101 that I barely remember since it took place during a time where I really should've been put under some sort of psychiatric care and was dealing with a lot of mental health issues and didn't really have anyone who I felt I could talk to, I haven't really had any French education.

Until recently.

Today I'm going to talk about Duolingo. Never heard of it? Well you should've. Duolingo is a free website and app that teaches you, through fun (honestly, FUN) exercises, various languages. French, German, Spanish, Portuguese or Italian. They're even working on courses for Russian, Dutch, Polish, Hungarian, Turkish and Romanian. You go through and do fun little lessons that give you experience points and you can eventually level up. And it's free. I mentioned that before but I feel it needs repeating. It's free. Completely, 100% free. They run off of donations by various individuals and use students who are learning through Duolingo to translate real world webpages. It's one of the best transactions on the internet. If there's a catch, then I haven't found it and I've been a member for over a year.

You can also add friends and see their progress. I'm lmontano0 if you want to add me! Each lesson takes me about 10-15 minutes and so far I've already learned enough to (somewhat) confidently translate and respond to native French speakers online. Check it out! If anything else, it's a fun and educational time waster!


Knitting today was just my mystery washcloth. I know there are tons of things I should be working on instead like my vest but I seriously don't want to. I actually had a dream last night where I was designing my next large, long-term knitting project (a pi shawl knit from the silk yarn my aunt got me for Christmas because she's awesome).