Saturday, January 21, 2012

End to an hectic week

It's Saturday morning. My man left for Quebec City, where he is taking courses towards a masters' degree early in the morning, so I am by myself for the day.

I woke up, made myself  a big café au lait in my beloved "Gyöngyi Mug", a present I received from  good friends a few years ago, when they lived in Budapest (Gyöngyi is how I'm being called when I travel to Transylvania). I then sat in front of the computer, checked my Facebook, my emails, the blogs I follow, and Pinterest, before starting to knit a little while discovering Red Russian's music. I really like this song. 

On my needles, my man's R2DTuque (tuque is a wool hat in French). I must admit, I was not convinced when he picked that pattern. I'm still not convinced I want to walk around with a grown man wearing this, but I really enjoy knitting it!

It's the first time I  knit following a chart, and it's fun! And easy! (well, assuming I'm doing it right - my mum told me to make sure I carry my yarn, so I figured out a way to do it, but didn't check in the knitting theory to see if it was the right way, as I started knitting in the car on my way back to Montreal last week). These charts open a whole new world of possibilities for me...I'm having so many ideas of what I could do with them..

Other knitting news of the week:
I blocked my wrap at the beginning of the week, and wore it to work on Thursday. I really like it, it is warm, and the final result is pretty much what I had envisioned.

Very bad hair day, sorry!

I also finished another set of cute Mary Jane booties for the new born daughter of one of my man's colleagues. It knitted the 3-6 months, and I find it a little less cute than the newborn size, but at least this time I had time to sew the buttons before giving them away!

I started this post by saying it was the end of a very hectic week. I don't want to say why it was so hectic, because as usual, I'm superstitious and I am worried that I'll jinx this thing if I mention it happens, but I just wanted to end this post by saying that yesterday, the 60 minutes between 2 and 3 were probably the luckiest of my whole life, just because of the number of good news I received within that hour:
  1. I received a call from a place where I had applied to my dream job over 2 years ago. The position had been cancelled before they had picked anyone, but they are reopening it now, and asked me if I wanted it. The job is in Ottawa, so I'm not going to take it, but I have to say that it was a solid boost to my ego to receive this call and have a long discussion with the director. 
  2. While I was on the phone with this guy, I got another call with wonderful news about that other thing I don't want to jinx. Hurrah! 
  3. When I hung up, I checked my emails, and I had received my grade for the advanced English grammar course I took in the fall. 91%, despite not doing the exercices, and passing each of the tests on less than 20 minutes.
  4. A few minutes later, I received a call from the organisation our cleaning lady comes from, telling me that she had been fired, and that they would send me someone new next week. The reason why this is a good news is that we hired that cleaning lady a few months ago through a rehabilitation centre which offers training and work experience to people who can't find jobs. She was awful, and I always had to repeat everything to her, and make sure she had done what was asked, and ask her to talk a little less. I didn't dare complaining about her, because she had a baby, and I felt she really needed a job, and I kept telling myself that at least she was doing things I would not have to do later, so it was better than nothing. But that she was fired without me having to complain was a really good news for me! 
We bought some lottery tickets last night, we felt lucky. The draw if tonight, so we don't have the results yet, but I won 2$ with a scratch ticket I bought!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Finishitis crisis

I can't believe it. My Ravelry page has only 2 WIP (work in progress). My man's R2Dtuque, and a hibernating baby blanket which I started over a year ago, but never touched again.

I finished another project this weekend.
Clearly needs to be blocked.
This is the project I brought with me on vacations this summer, it is this pattern, but with a little adjustment in the front. I chose it mainly because it was an easy knit, and because I could use my favourite yarn (berroco vintage). Seriously, this company should sponsor me, I'm doing such a good job at promoting their yarn!

So basically, this sweater was knitted all over Canada and Europe. I started it in the bus from Trois-Rivières to Montréal, and kept knitting a little bit in the plane from Montreal to Budapest (with a short stop in Zurich).  Then, I was able to do most of the back in a long overnight bus trip from Budapest to Parajd, in Transylvania (Romania). I completely finished the back and started the front in a gypsy dance camp in Kommando, Transylvania. My time in Gyimes was spent mostly trying to untangle my yarn, and our overnight train ride from Gyimes to Maramures, which was spent in part trying to explain (in Romanian) what we were doing to people who were sitting with us, and in part knitting the front pieces.
I knitted some more on our back to Montreal, and then worked on the sleeves (boring!) a week later in the plane on my way to Vancouver. I was also planning to knit a bit more in the car on our way to Lilloet, but the landscape was just too stunning to be doing anything else but watch and drool.

After finishing a bunch of things in the past weeks, I went back to this project and was able to finish it without any trouble. The fact that I spent 2 days in Montreal last weekend (2-hour bus ride + a few hours spent with my mother) gave me ample time to finish it. As usual, my mum jumped on my knitting bag as soon as I arrived, and without saying a word, started to knit whatever she found. We went out brunching on Saturday morning for my father's birthday, and while we were finishing our Iranian tea (miam!) I grabbed something I'm knitting for one of my man's colleagues who just had a daughter, and gave my mum this sweater to work on. I felt like a mother who is giving her baby her set of keys, or whatever she finds in her bag to keep her quiet while she talks with other adults...

Next trip to Montreal: January 27, where I will buy a lot of yarn! Thank you for all that gave me comments after my last post, I ended up buying Fuse, Peasy and Folded (I already had Lauriel). It's going to be a busy knitting year! For portable project, I'm planning on learning how to knit socks and slippers, starting with these.

Have a great day! There is a snow storm warning in effect here, too bad I have to go to work this afternoon!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Respecting my resolutions

It had been on my to-do list or my agenda for 20 months!

Entries such as:
- Wednesday: pilates and learning to knit at Elizabeth's
- buy yarn and needle to make sweater
- finish casting on sweater
- ask Elizabeth how to fix mistake on red sweater
- ask Elizabeth how to fix mistake in Swiss fan
- knit an inch of red sweater
- ask Elizabeth how to fix mistake on red sweater
- start sleeves on red sweater
- ask Elizabeth how to fix mistake on red sweater
- Skype knitting session with Elizabeth to fix mistake on red sweater
- red sweater
- ask Elizabeth how to fix mistake on red sweater
- finish red sweater so I can bring on vacation
- red sweater
- finish red sweater's sleeves,
- ask Elizabeth how to fix mistake on red sweater
- knit red sweater and finish collar, 
- and at least 100's more similar entries...

until December 26, 2011: 
- organise skype session with Elizabeth to learn how to graft those last 16 stitches!!!

And it happened 2 days ago:

This is the sweater that started it all.
This is the sweater that finally made me think, after watching my own mother knit for over 36 year, that knitting could be a fun thing to try. This is the sweater that showed me that I am quite stubborn, and that even after 2 years, and several infidelities with other projects, I always go back to finish what I started. That's the sweater that taught me pretty much all I know about knitting, especially how to fix my mistakes, and how to get more and more independent in my learning (but not totally yet...). This is the sweater that helped me start a different relationship with my mum, with whom I now share the same passion (not always fun for my dad, who often has to be the witness of our long discussions...).

After 2 years of intense manipulations...

After having been my go-to project for the past 2 years, I think I will miss knitting it very much. I even started to think that I should maybe knit it again with nicer yarn (I had bought cheap yarn because I didn't know if I would be able to finish it). It would be interesting to see how long it takes me, the 2nd time around. But I think I need to start another big project as soon as possible instead. I'm hesitating in between a few patterns:

- Peasy by Heidi Kirrmaier (sorry, I can only find a Ravelry link)
- Folded byVeera Välimäki
- Lauriel by Ysolda Teagues
-Fall away cardigan, by Heidi Kirrmaier
and my latest favourite, published a few days ago only, but is already all over Pinterest and other blogs, made with my favourite yarn (but it looks very difficult!):
- Fuse, by Veronik Avery

I take suggestions, and I'm open to starting more than one, so I still have something to knit when I'm stuck with mistakes in the other project...

Until I make a decision and get the yarn, I still have my R2Dtuque to finish, and a few more baby projects to get on the way. Another baby was born yesterday, if everything went well, and another one is due in 13 weeks. I love baby projects, they go so fast! Keep having babies, friends! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New year, new projects

Happy New Year!

I'm not really a Christmas person, so I am happy that the holidays are over, especially that this year they end with a week off from work! (I'm going back only next Monday).

I usually take my yearly resolutions in September, when I am full of energy, rather than in January, but this year, I feel I have to revisit them. The past semester has been difficult, or rather, not fun, and I really feel that the holiday brought an end to these few dark months. Nothing bad happened, I think that all the changes of the past 3 years have finally settled in, and left me exhausted. Can one get burn out from too many good things happening?

Just to summarize:
- Fell in love with a man living 125 km away from my Montreal (huge change after several years of being very happily single and organised)
- 2 years of long-distance relationship (all weekends used to see each other either in Mtl or 3R)
- Changed job 3 times, which included travelling, stress from not knowing if some contracts would be renewed, several applications and cover letters, several interviews and psychometric tests, several rejections, and no chance to rest from one job to another
- Moved from my beloved Montreal to 3R to live with my man (double change!)
- Got sick enough to miss work and get disorganised and worried (being disorganised is a huge stress for me...) twice.
- Got involved in a craft association, which is a lot more work than I expected
- Got several translation contracts on top of day job
- Started an online translation certificate
- etc.

So, this semester, when no big change happened to me, I had the time to digest it all and feel tired. Add to that that fall was dark and rainy. I also went back to Montreal, and for the first time felt that I was not from there anymore, but still without feeling that I am from 3R yet.

I'm not writing all that to complain. Don't get me wrong, I am very happy, and would not change anything to my life, or to anything I've done in those 3 years. My list of things I am grateful for is at least twice as long as this one. But I feel that writing it down is like giving me the authorization to be so tired...
 Anyway, all this to say that:
1. My man gave me the perfect present when he brought me to this place for 3 days between Christmas and the New Year. I had told him that I wanted to get out of the house, so I would not see all the cleaning I needed to do, and that I did not want to organise any of it. We went tubing, I had a massage, and that's about it! We spent the remaining of the time in the room watching bad (really bad!) tv, drinking vodka and apple juice, and eating bread and cheese. It was wonderful. 

2. I now need to revisit my yearly resolutions taken in September, to see if any of it is realistic, what I have done so far, and if I need to add something. I'm not going to get into details here ( I feel that if I share resolutions with anyone else but my man, they'll somehow get jinxed, and not happen.). I can only say I'm reasonably happy with myself for what I had decided to do back in September, and I will change a few things to them to make them "SMART" and easier to follow in the new year. 

However, one thing I can share is my craft resolutions!

Here they are:

1. Weave more. We want to move in June at the latest, and I need to empty my loom first. I have a little less than 14 yards to weave.
2. Learn to crochet.
3. Do a hardhanger project.
4. Knit myself another sweater
5. Learn how to knit something new, such as socks, or cables, or fair Isle, etc.
6. Finish my 2011 sewing projects.
7. Finish the R2Dtuque for my man. 

It's a lot, but I think I can do it, especially that I am starting the year with almost all my 2011 knitting projects finished already.

Happy creative new year everyone!