Tag Archives: frustration

Can do vs want to

Last year’s spring was a bit rough – job woes, future angst, and a new dog who was a bigger challenge than I was ready for – and then to top it off, I did a cement-surface face plant and broke my glasses.

(The dog was somewhat involved in the accident, though it wasn’t his fault).

(I was so bummed at the time, I forgot to shoot the gnarliest stage of the black eye…)

I bought the glasses only a year or so before – they were a special-order, handmade in the USA, souped-up lenses (my vision is pretty bad) pair, and were a bit over my budget, but I figured on having them around at least 5 years. I’ve broken glasses before as a kid (when the glass was actually glass) but never to the extent I couldn’t repair myself as an adult. It was oddly devastating. And it was the only pair of glasses (apart from sunnies) that I had – in my better financial years I had two daily pairs to choose between, usually black frames and a brown or green – so it was the icing on the shitcake that my one and only was no more.

Wearing the broken pair was pathetic, and the second arm is really quite necessary for functionality, so I had to get a new pair immediately. I went to the local place figuring on needing to return at least once for a better fitting and not wanting to have to schlep to the crazy congested places if I didn’t need to. The local optometrist insisted on a different prescription than what the local ophthalmologist had given me – I’m sure it had to do with a small-town ocular feud of sorts because I still can’t see as well as I’d like, though it’s too vague to figure out. And then I wanted the boring black pair of frames but the sales guy insisted that I needed something more interesting and I hated that I couldn’t get both, because I like to be boring at times and wanted a choice, but out of fuck-it frustration, I got the colorful pair.

And in an attempt to cheer myself up over the whole deal, I bought a sewing kit for a dress that seemed simple enough and okay for my shape. It was on sale to the extent that the pattern and fabric were cheaper than if I’d bought the fabric alone.

And the fabric matched my new eyeglasses.

I’m not sure how I feel about kits and online classes and such – it’s good that they exist, but mostly not for me – YouTube has been my knitting tutor at times, but I need real people and things for real schoolin’. I’m also not a fan of trendy anything, so I was hesitant about getting a fabric pattern that had shown itself on social media a bit and was now “outdated.”

But of course, I didn’t get around to sewing it – last year was what, busy? My head and/or heart wasn’t up for it? (Not that I need “passion” to sew, I just needed to not have a coronary).

But this summer I wished I had a cottony dress or two, and I’ve got some other great fabric (that doesn’t match my glasses) in my stash that’s been waiting for years (decade?) to become a couple of dresses and skirts.

I had a weekend to myself mid-summer and spent an early morning tracing out this pattern and printing and cutting out a couple of skirt patterns. And I was lazy or stupid to do it on the living room floor rather than the freshly-cleared-for-this-purpose library table in the basement, so things might be a bit wonky from tracing on the plush rug and all tape has dog hair stuck to it – he was not helpful at all during the process…

And then I waffled passed golden to nearly burnt on whether to make a muslin out of well, muslin, or stash fabric I didn’t like, or the fabric that came in the kit that I decided I didn’t like that much after all (it’s pretty thin). I figured if it ended up fitting – in the sense that it wasn’t too small and covered my body, it could at least be a bathing suit cover up.

So I decided to go with the kit fabric as a wearable muslin and cut a size that seemed slightly more, but not too much, more than my actual measurements,* and gave myself another couple of inches of length at the bodice, then dutifully serged all of the raw edges.

Then I sewed the bust dart.

Then I ripped out the bust dart.**

Then it was a messy heap on my tiny fiber room floor for a couple of weeks.

I know I am a weird size, and I always have a hard time finding clothes – SO OF COURSE that means patterns will make clothes that don’t fit well either. And this is the reason I need to be able to make my own clothes, because everything in my closet could be near perfect-fitting if I made them with my own customizations, but on one hand I don’t know how to tweak stuff in the right way, and on the other I can’t be bothered to.

For me, making clothes is the equivalent (sorta) of tiling a bathroom – I can do it, but certain circumstances (the measuring) stresses me the fuck out, and then I don’t want to do it, and then I really don’t want to do it, then I loose sleep thinking about doing it, and then there is a trigger/siren/smack of utter necessity that makes me finally do it, and it’s fine – sometimes pretty good – but so far always good enough and well worth the few hundreds/thousands in savings.

But I don’t need that stress over a dress – I should go back to making a couple of skirts – from the pattern I’ve made before, not a new one.

(And the dress pieces are off the floor, and I’ve forgotten where I’ve stashed them already, and my now year and 1/2ish old glasses are pretty scratched up…)

*My usual mistake is to sew something way too big and then spend more time taking it in.

**I can probably still save it to a degree – the pattern is made for neat, top-shelf titties, and mine are bottom of the barrel, lying on the barroom floor – but the bodice is still too short – and yes, I read all about full bust adjustments online, but it just doesn’t stick…

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Unspun

What’s the point of another post full of trumpdisgust?

Boobs not balls. #election2016 #hillaryclinton #ivoted #president #electionday2016 #vote

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And an earnest plea and pledge for doing more good and wearing safety pins?

I am absolutely sick to my pit that 42%  of (mostly white) women voted for that dangerous sack of meat and guts – not because as being women they should automatically vote for a woman – but they have such a low opinion of themselves and their fellow sex…

And what are they teaching their poor children too?

I’m terrified about healthcare – especially because of my femaleness and desire to be childless – and a man should have zero input in that one…

And this man should have zero input on everything.

And I’m just terrified, and many voted for him because they’re terrified for entirely different and unfounded and utterly ignorant reasons.

And a whole bunch of other things are just shit at the moment too – some new sadness, some of the same ongoing frustrations, the lack of daylight, and the approaching least wonderful time of the year.

I’m not particularly productive now, but I’m selling old crap again a bit, keeping a few last roots and greens in the garden alive, and mostly spinning and unraveling.

I finished up a long-suffering single – I’ve been concentrating on learning/forcing myself to spin singles more slowly – but this one is shit for the last 20 yards or so.

Spinning – good for stress, bad for yarn. #spinning #wool #wovember #yarn #handspun #overspun #blackandgold

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Stress is bad for spinning singles.

And I’m nearly done with those couple of atomic/molten lava/flames/superhero braids I recently got.

But I’m likely going to have to unspin this one too…

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Anniversary assessment

November 2013 007 - Copy

I first posted to this blog a year ago today.*

I wanted to keep a journal of the things I make and get into the habit of writing again.

On that point, I’ve stayed on course.

I wanted to publicly declare my unfinished objects (UFOs) in order to shame myself into finishing them.

On that point, I’ve utterly failed.**

And I wanted to keep true to my mission statement/manifesto.

That one had mixed results – I’ve slipped up on whining about my personal woes.

But woes affect workflow and the creative process – occasionally for the better, but most often for the worse.

Of physical states and habitation, nothing has changed from last year.

Of mental states, artistic paths, and new careers, I’m still lost.

This was also a year spent in mountains around the country and world and those were the good parts.

Otherwise the suspended animation-ness of the rest is maddening.

But I’ll continue to putter about and ramble on all things fiber for a bit – I’ll even fess up to some more UFOs in the new year.

sept. 09 031 - Copy

*Thank you for reading.

I won’t brag about my reader statistics because I can’t – I know most of you in life or ravelry, so consider yourselves a special, intimate, elite group!

**In case you’re keeping track, I have not finished Long term UFOs – part I, part II, part III, or part IV.  And I recently and completely forgot about part IV, but I’m closest to finishing that one and the quilts will have to wait until I have more space.

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Filed under hiking, knitting, sewing, spinning, travel, unemployment

Needle in a scrapstack

I’ve been having a run of good bad luck lately.  Not luck that is at first bad, but then allows for something awesome to come in,* but good in terms of a good dose of it.  Don’t get me wrong, it could be much, much worse, but it is annoying as all get out.

I’ve barely spent any money lately, but my last two online orders involved a bottle of shampoo ending up all over a book, and an item of clothing needed in a timely manner arriving with a giant slash – and I did not cause it myself by opening the box with an evil box cutter or anything so keen.

I’ve been trying to set up a new doctor here and ended up with a $558.00 bill for a physical that should have been free.  For the last month, I have been calmly and persistently contacting the doctor/billing office/lab/main office/insurance company to resolve it.  All say they can’t but the other guy can.  One kind soul read back to me the transcript of the call log at the doctor’s office – I sound like a f*cking obnoxious demanding crazy bitch.  In this instance though, I am not – I have been perfectly professional with them, and only cry with rage and shake a little about the potential of having to part with the money that I don’t actually owe when I’m off the phone.

But with bad, sometimes good shows up a tiny bit.

Needle in a scrapstack

I dropped one of my current favorite sewing needles into a big box of scraps.  Bad, but not too bad, but then I sometimes use my scraps to stuff things and what if someone bought something made with them and then gave it to a toddler (though I specifically say my things aren’t meant for kids) and then the toddler sucks it down his slobbery germ-hole and requires a dramatic surgery and then my precious needle ends up accessioned with the other surgically removed swallowed things at the  Mutter Museum.  Bad (although I like that museum).  But after shaking and scrounging and hoping to find it when it penetrated my own digits, I finally located it without bloodshed.  Good.

Hair thread

I stitched up a little piece with my own white hairs.  Bad?  Well, I’ll give you kinda gross, but it is what it is.  The bad part was the haircut I got a few weeks ago that was supposed to be an inch and ended up three and more in various hideous feathery layers.  And the annoying routine I go through with every hair cutter when she/he tries to convince me to color my hair.  I rarely get a haircut, you think I can keep up with roots?  And hello, money?  And hello again, chemicals?  And ciao bitch, I’m aging, that’s what happens!  But the biggest bad is that my greys are coming in at an alarming rate and falling out at the same pace.  I figure they’re my newest strands so they should be sticking around longer…  Needless to say I had more than enough to finish the piece and now I don’t know what to do with the leftovers – I don’t think I want to use hair-thread again though.  (And not to worry, I’m not saving boogers, ear wax, and toenail clippings… well, maybe a few fingernails, but they’re for art purposes too.)  Sounds scarier than it is.

Blue scraps

And the last is a bad me for not finishing the epic summer-long quilt yet.  I’m terrified to do the quilting part (and my machines are getting tensiony), so I’m considering my options of finishing the top off and calling it a coverlet.  I don’t intend to use it anyway.

And the good?

I found my rotary cutter!

* And speaking of rotary cutters and needles, if one more person/media outlet/memoir tells me that loosing their job was the best thing that ever happened to them, well I just might get slicey and pokey.

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Third time isn’t the charm; seeing stars and I don’t want the walls to talk

We just got f*cked on house #3.

My wall words

It was a late Victorian, it had enough space, it had more than one toilet, it had old doors and knobs, it had gas instead of heating oil, it was in good shape but still needed some sprucing up, it was light and bright and airy. The sellers accepted our offer, and everything was going swimmingly.  I started researching the house history, I had a warm paint palette in mind, and visions of hex tile designs dancing in my head.  We even picked out new vanity license plates* since we’d also be moving to a new state.

The night before the inspection, the seller told us they got another offer for $5,000 more.  Just $5,000…  We are in an area with a disgustingly inflated cost of living and obnoxious salaries – $5,000 is probably less than the price of one of the seller’s wife’s purses.  The seller was already going to profit hundreds of thousands of dollars.

What happened to civility and honoring your word?

A bigger profit of $10,000 or more?  Yes, I understand that and would possibly do the same.  The asshole who offered slightly more money?  Well, shame on you.  In the past, we have chosen not to bid on houses that already have offers on them – but perhaps we must become a bit more unethical ourselves.

So now, we have no house, again.

Everyone says it is for a reason.  It is a sign.  But there are no signs pointing in the right direction nor do I have any reasoning left.

I can’t find a job and we can’t find a house.

Now I have to clean the scummy sh*t off the shower that I thought I’d be leaving behind.  I went to the big-box hardware store.  I nearly broke down in sobs.  I used to cry a little when I had to go there again and again and again all in the same day just to buy the right screw when we were remodeling our old house.  This place isn’t for the unmoored shitbox apartment dweller.  I wanted to buy the non-native invasive pesticide laden flowers to liven up my window boxes.  I wanted to browse for new vintage-inspired sink handles.  I wanted to buy cement for N to fix the goddamn back step again.  Instead all I needed was some caulk for our frighteningly moldy tub since the management does a terrible job with such things here.

Last night we found a slug slimeing its way up the living room wall.

I know this post breaks my rules of telling tales of personal woe and rants as outlined in my manifesto/mission statement.  To bring it back somewhat on topic, at least on the topic of home decor which does include fiber arts (but not this time) allow me to bitch about the aesthetics of many of the residents in our area. (And yes, I am channeling my inner curmudgeony old man with canned corn stuck in his teeth right now).

So many houses we’ve looked at have these goddamn stars all over them:

  stars4  stars3  stars5 stars6 stars7

Are they supposed to be quaint and country?  (Didn’t country thankfully die in the 1980s?).

Are they supposed to attract celestial dwellers?

Are they patriotic?

I guess I am not patriotic, from outer space, or own a denim shirt with embroidered hearts because these little bitches set my teeth to grind.

Another thing?  I don’t want my walls to tell me to live, love, laugh or describe the room’s obvious function even if it is in a European romance language – I don’t want the walls to say anything.

wallwords2  wallwords3   wallwords6**

I can almost accept putting your child’s name on the wall of her bedroom – I’m all for literacy.  But one house we viewed had “Laundry” in cheery script over the washing machine – really?  And the ubiquitous “Live, love, laugh” in the bedroom – it was the home of a divorcing couple.  I guess they didn’t love or laugh – the living one is hard not to do as matter of routine.  Does anyone’s house say f*ck, cry, die?  I might buy that in vinyl script…

*Our attempted new state is known for its asshole drivers and we thought we’d look a little more like friendly drivers having plates with old buildings or woodpeckers or trees or smiling puppies on them.

**All pics yanked from real estate sites.  It’s likely I’m violating copyright.  Realtors aren’t my favorite people at the moment.  My apologies if I made fun of your house, but really, if you want to sell it, take that sh*t down.

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Sock, you suck

sock 007 - Copy

As I was finishing up the second in a pair of socks, I was thinking about how I would write them up on my ravelry page.  I was going to be brazen and claim that I was never afflicted with second sock syndrome –  in fact, the second usually flies off the needles.  This one flew alright, and I was so brazen that I didn’t try it on once…until just now.  What insult can you hurl at a sock?  It has no mother to wear combat boots, it’s sexless so it can’t go f*ck itself, it has no religion and thus hell isn’t a place it can go…  But I want to hurt this second sock, make it feel very low and very bad, but all I could do was rip it out.    Now the sock pictured above, in near perfect knitted glory, is its older twin (older by nearly three years)!  I was going to call this an UFO, but I figured I could whip it out in a week or so.  I knit socks only in the spaces of time that I wouldn’t knit otherwise – they are the perfect little project I can tuck inside a purse and work on while traveling and waiting.  I haven’t done much waiting lately, and these were started on metal needles, so I was afraid of the TSA and thus didn’t take them traveling much, so my sock knitting timetable nearly screeched to a halt on this pair.  So what happened in the meantime?  I think I forgot that my new aforementioned metal needles were a size smaller than my normal ones and that the first sock was an experiment to see if I could go down a size and still use my standard stitch counts.  Then I probably ripped out the first sock and started again with four or so more stitches (I still need to count) but by the foot section I could in fact go down to my regular stitch count on the smaller needles, so I forgot the business about the top.  At least that’s what I think happened.  I can’t look at the pile of kinky ripped yarn anymore, and that’s too bad, the first one fits soooo well, and I can’t wait to wear it…maybe I can sneak it on with one from another pair if my pants are long enough, or I am bold enough…maybe it need not ever have a twin (maybe that was its plan all along and it sabotaged its twin in knitero!)

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