In 2002, I went from tenant to property owner, from monthly rent to mortgage payment, without packing a single box, filling out a single change of address form, or lifting anything too heavy for me.  The apartment complex I was renting in was sold, and the new owners converted the apartments into condos.  As a current tenant, I had right of first refusal (and I didn’t refuse).  Nothing changed from the day before closing to the day after, except that my apartment was now my condo.  

On Monday, I start a new job.  I’m going from temp work (low pay, no benefits, no paid time off) to a permanent position (better pay, health, etc. insurance, vacation & holiday time, a 401(k)).   My commute won’t change, however, nor will my coworkers or my day-to-day tasks.  The company that I’ve temped with since July has brought me on full-time, starting Monday. 

On a completely unrelated note, the only flaw in my plan to drop all my current knitting to work on a winter survival kit is that the yarn I ordered isn’t here yet.  I’ve finished the fingerless mittens, and now I’m back to my regular knitting until Monday (ish), when the rest of the yarn gets here.

I got home really early today – the reason why is a longer story for another day – and my condo was cold. Now, I live alone, so I can turn the thermostat to whatever setting I want, but I feel somehow irresponsible setting it too high. Anyway, I have big windows, and I don’t know how well insulated this place is, so I can only get it so warm. I was sitting here feeling sorry for myself. I’m cold at home, I’m cold at work. I’ll be cold when I visit my mom & dad for T’giving and Christmas, respectively. I’ll be a human popsicle if we stay with my aunt & uncle while I’m out visiting my dad.

And then I was hit with inspiration. I am dropping all of my current WIPs to make myself a winter survival kit. Fingerless mittens (so I can still use my hands), felted slippers (fuzzy feet!), and a big bulky cardigan (bulky so it’ll knit up quick). This kit will be red, because, well, I’m me, and (as Kate puts it) a magpie for things that are red. I’ve ordered the yarn for the slippers and the cardi, and I cast on for the mitts today. No other knitting will be done until I have my survival kit, not even socks in pursuit of my sock-a-month goal. I’m caught up on that (ooh, yet another thing I need to post about) and November’s sock is going really quickly. In fact, it’s finished. So, winter survival kit, here I come.

Cross your fingers that the yarn I ordered ships quickly.

This is how my life works. I go for ages with very little to do, and then everything I want to do is scheduled on the same three days.

Earlier this summer, Mom asked if I wanted to go on a cruise. Preferrably in late February, to escape the cold. We settled on a ten-day Carribean cruise that left at the end of February and got back the beginning of March. A knitting cruise, to boot. When I got the job offer from the place I’m temping, I was unconcerned. I wouldn’t have earned enough leave in time for the cruise, but I was fairly certain that my boss would let me work something out. She was in the office today, so I gathered up the info to ask her about that leave.

And that’s when I realized that the company’s biggest DC event of the year, a multi-day conference, is during the cruise. That would be bad anyway, but did I mention that a big part of my new job is event planning?

No knitting cruise for me. I feel some consolation shopping coming on.

Spin cycle

October 31, 2007

Lately, I’ve been on a spinning kick. Jasper thinks drop spindles are fancy spinny toys, so I got my Louet wheel out. He thinks that’s a toy too, but isn’t able to interfere quite so much. So, in the past week, I have done this:
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The skein on the left is spun from pencil roving I bought from my mom’s friend’s Magi’s farm. She raises Icelandic sheep. It is the bulkiest of the three. The middle is a merino/tussah blend from nonoKitty in Sweet Pea. It’s so girly, I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. On the right is a skein spun from one of Miss Babs’s crazy batts. Not sure quite what’s in it – some sort(s) of wool and slubs of silk. Then, I got out the other spinning wheel…

A few months ago, I found an Ashford traditional on Craigslist. I bought it on the theory that I’d see whether I liked it or the Louet better, and then sell the one that doesn’t suit. I love to spin, but I do not need two wheels. I got the Ashford home and started spinning, but just couldn’t get anywhere with it. The wheel had been sitting unused for a couple years, so I knew it might need some TLC. I wasn’t sure how much, though, and built it up in my mind as a huge, complicated task. This weekend, I got the wheel out and decided to start with oiling. It was like magic.
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Things don’t look good for the Louet. And Jasper thinks the Ashford is a toy too. He especially likes the brake band.

Happy Halloweenie!

October 27, 2007

Guess what I found on my doorstep last night? A box of fibery goodies!
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I’m participating in the Knittyboard Halloween secret pal round. I sent a box of yarn, fiber, and fall foods to a secret pal in Hawaii (I hope she’s gotten the box by now!). This lovely box of goodies was sent to me by knitchick in Florida. There was:
– food – candy corn, dark chocolate, and a pumpkin-shaped treat (that’s gone now)
– tea (hooray!)
– halloween-ness – stickers and sock (how did you know I like patterned socks?)
– A cat toy for Jasper (that has already been chased who knows where)
– Sock yarn! (from Cherry Tree Hill in Spanish Moss)
– and spinning fiber (targhee in Oriental Poppies from Susan’s Spinning Bunny.)

I love it all! The spinning fiber is especially good, because I’m in a spinning phase. More details in my next post (hopefully). Thank you, knitchick!

Motivation

October 16, 2007

Two posts in two days! Do you feel honored?

Remember the table I bought weekend before last? How it inspired me to get back to work on that room? Well, this past weekend, I took this Craigslist find:
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and turned it into this
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I basically sewed a cover for the headboard and footboard, and then made a “skirt” to connect them. I did most of the sewing by machine, but tacked the skirt to the head- and footboard by hand once everything was on the bed. The hardest part was figuring out that pleat in the skirt. I had initially planned on the headboard being more padded, but it’s possible I calculated the pattern wrong. Unlikely, but possible. I’m pretty pleased with the result, and actually a little disappointed that the bedding I chose covers most of the skirt.

After some wrestling with duvets and duvet covers Sunday, I made the bed, which looks like this:
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Next weekend, I take on wall art. I have plans.

I leave you with one final picture, for no other reason than that I like the contrast between the fabrics.
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Cats and Knitting

October 14, 2007

Occaisional instances like this
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notwithstanding (don’t worry, he didn’t damage it), Jasper doesn’t show a lot of interest in my yarn. True, I haven’t shown him anything really sheepy, but in general, he is unimpressed with fiber. Doesn’t batt at it, doesn’t knead it, doesn’t chew on it.

No, what Jasper likes are knitting needles. I recently left a US17 circ unattended in my living room for a week. A new, and really quite lovely, Destiny circ. When I picked the project up again a week later, the tips had been gnawed to the point of being useless. You’d think a dog (or termites, but I don’t think they like bamboo) had gotten to it. I didn’t take a picture before I tossed the needle, but trust me, it was bad.

And then there’s what happened Tuesday. I was taking pictures of my knitting projects to update Ravelry, etc. I took this picture, which didn’t show the detail of my current socks (Rococo in merino/tencel from Ellen’s Half Pint Farm) the way I wanted.
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As I was getting ready to take a new picture, Jasper came up to investigate (when I have both the camera and my knitting out, he gets excited. Actually, when I have my camera out, period). Before I could stop him, he had grabbed hold of one of the needles and yanked it right out of the knitting. After a few seconds of speechless horror, and a few more of shrieking, I think I saved the sock (although you may be able to see Jasper’s contribution), but I’m carefully guarding my needles from now on. Good thing the closet where I keep them is such a mess, not even Jasper can get in 😉

Inspiration

October 10, 2007

Sunday, I went shopping with a friend. On my way out of the mall, I stopped in West Elm, drawn in by the red and purple display in the window. They were selling some floor samples, and among those for sale was this great little mirror-topped table. I don’t need a table, but it was just so pretty. And priced well (75% off!). And pretty. I sat in the store for half an hour, staring at the table, until I figured out where it would fit. It won’t work in most of my rooms, except, I hope, the guest bedroom. If I’m lucky, it’ll make a nice bedside table:
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(cat added for scale)

Finding this table has inspired me to get back to work on that room. Yesterday, I bought a bed for that room. It’s not perfect – far from – but I have a plan. More on that later. I have lots of plans for this room – if only it were the weekend, so I could work on them!

Agressive or over-eager?

October 2, 2007

When I adopted Jasper, his foster thought he would be good as an only cat, because he was aggressive with her cats when he got out of isolation.

I am cat-sitting for a friend this week. Since there is no convenient way for me to get to her place every week night (I don’t drive to/from work, and she doesn’t live near me or on a Metro), I brought her cat, Neeli, to my place to stay. Neeli is well and truly freaked out. His human left him abruptly, he’s alone for a couple of days, and then some vaguely familiar human comes and takes him to some new place. A new place with another cat. Neeli hissed, growled, and got all fluffed up as soon as he saw Jasper. I mostly have kept Neeli shut up in my spare room. A day and a half later, he still has no interest in Jasper (although as soon as Neeli had a Jasper-free moment, he ran for my lap).

Jasper, on the other hand, is just beside himself trying to get to this new cat. He ran in right away to see Neeli, and every time I open the door to the spare room, Jasper is there wanting to get in. This is Jasper when I left for work this morning.
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Neeli is on the other side of that closed door. Tonight, I let Neeli out, and he came into the living room for a bit, but he still has no interest in being friends with Jasper. Poor Jasper approaches Neeli very carefully, in a way that I read as submissive (tail down, looking away. Tonight he even rolled over and showed Neeli his belly), but Neeli still growls. I think Jasper is perplexed.

This will be an interesting week.

Dids and Didn’ts

September 24, 2007

This weekend, I:
*DID go to two wineries on Saturday
*DID go to an apple orchard Sunday
*DID pick far more apples than I know what to do with
*DIDN’T go to Ikea (again)
*DIDN’T fix the curtains in the living room
*DIDN’T do laundry

On Saturday, Krissy planned a wonderful trip out to VA wine country in celebration of Meghan’s graduation from that other Virginia school. We started at Breaux and then went on to Doukenie, where it just so happened they were having a ‘Taste of Italy’ fest. Went home tired and happy (and with more wine. Because that’s what I really need.)

Sunday, I had grand plans to get up early and make an Ikea run – a few returns, a few small purchases (picture frames for the dining room!). I did get up early – Jasper wouldn’t have it any other way – but I decided that the drive/traffic to and from Ikea was more than I wanted to do. Especially since Resha had arranged for us to go apple picking Sunday afternoon. Apple picking is harder than I thought! Not only did I end up with lots of apples (anyone want apple pie? Please? Someone?), but I got apple butter and watermelon rind pickles, and local honey, and butter pecans and fresh-baked bread. Yum.

Came home tired and happy again. Trying an expiremental apple pie tonight…the recipe is a little low on the details, so we’ll see what I end up with.