Monday, December 19, 2011


I'm the worst sort of person. Here's what I gave my non-knitting sister-in-law for Christmas:
If you wish hard enough they'll become those socks you wanted!
My brother got a card. There was an apology inside for not having finished his tie. There was no yarn because I haven't found some yet (anyone know of a good variegated black/grey sock yarn?). There was no pattern because my printer has decided it's done playing nicely with the ink cartridges. This is the first year that I haven't finished my Christmas knitting on time. Of course I had a lot more to do this year but tastes a little like failure.

In other crazy pants news: Last night when I came home (late) from my parent's house I noticed my downstairs neighbors had a candle burning on their patio. I was a little concerned because it was pretty close to the vinyl siding wall but they had Christmas lights on so I figured that they would come out and blow out the candle in a little bit. I came inside and did some stuff around the apartment and I kept thinking about the candle. I don't want my stuff burning down because some idiot left a Christmas decoration burning on their porch all night. So, I went downstairs to see if they had blown it out (P.S. It was after midnight at this point). They had not. Then I realized I was going to have to take action. So I go and get a cup of water, sneak down to the front of their porch, lean over as far as I can, then chuck the water in the direction of the candle. Success! Candle goes out, no siding was melted, the complex was saved. Now I just have monitor their porch to make sure they don't do it again.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Almost a Scrooge

This year I was almost a Scrooge. I almost didn't decorate for Christmas or put up any sort of tree. A few weeks ago I decorated my porch with lights (through the aid of a glass of wine). Today I put up a Christmas tree. Sort of.
It's 2 feet tall with fiber optic lights. But I did decorate it. If you consider Charlie Brown's pitiful branch to be a tree then mine is ballin'!

I have some little retro Christmas ornaments that were just perfect for decorating my tree with. There's all the holiday classics:
A gingerbread bear addressed to Nancy from Bobbie from Christmas of '87 (whoever those people are, not anyone in my family that's for sure).
The Christmas wishing well (what?).
This psydo Russian chap on a sled with only one arm.

The, light post? street sign? water tower? next to the Christmas tree.
The slightly creepy clown/snowman/elf riding a cork rocking horse.

And everybody's favorite: Frosty the Janitor Snowman!
Please note that I also decorated the tree with some festive old school cranberry type garland. It really adds to the nostalgia.

The tree is on top of the t.v. stand/chest. I did find my Peruvian nativity set which I put out beside my Cabbage Patch kids Christmas set.
The Hispanic Jesus and '80s consumerism together at last!
The whole Christmas set up looks like this:

Tree, tree-smelling candle for that authentic "I Just Cut This Baby Down Myself" tree smell, lighter (for lighting candle), dragon shaped incense burner, Peruvian nativity, and Cabbage Patch kids (P.S. If they ever start putting those things in Happy Meals again I'm going to tear it up.).

Merry Christmas everyone! Only 8 more knitting days until Christmas! Oh crap....

Sunday, December 11, 2011


For the last three days I have done something that will astound and amaze you. Perhaps even to the point of calling me a liar. Yes, what I have done for the last three days is something rarely seen in these parts and rarely even heard of. My friends, I have been relaxing.

Yes, I know. It's hard to believe.

I have been sleeping late. I have not been working for 12+ hours every day. I haven't touched anything remotely graduate school related until this evening (and then I only spent about 3 or 4 hours on it as compared to my usual 6 or 7). No, I have done nothing and it's been amazing.

I will have to go back to the daily grind soon but I felt that this hiatus in chaos must be shared.

I have only done things I enjoy. Like finishing some Christmas presents.
Basic dishcloths.
And indulging in some geeky reading.
Honestly, I can't get enough of magazines like this. I'm a dork and I know it.
I have been taking some time to breathe and get myself right mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It will all be over far too quickly but, in the meantime, I'm going to enjoy myself.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Sometimes life is tough. Really tough. This week has been one of those weeks for me. On Tuesday I went to the doctor for my ankle which was still swollen and still had a limited range of motion. My general practice physician wasn't especially helpful. She told me it might be this or it might be that and that I might want to stay off it for a few days or ice it three times a day or get better shoes and I could get x-rays if I wanted. I was frustrated when I left so I called the podiatrist whose office was right next door. I got an appointment but not until 3 hours later. And I was on the other side of town from my house and there was morning traffic. I went to Michael's craft store thinking I could at least look for yarn for my brother's Christmas gift and found they didn't open until 9 (it was about 8:15). So instead of shopping I pulled over next to a little median in the parking lot and slept for an hour. Then I checked my email and updated Facebook on my phone and headed back to the doctor's. This time I was able to at least get a little more information. The podiatrist is pretty sure I have tendentious in my ankle and that all the walking last week aggravated it. He took x-rays and it's not broken or fractured so that's good. Then he put me in a walking boot for a week to help keep the ankle stable and hopefully get it to heal faster.
If the swelling and pain aren't better in a week then I may have to get an MRI. After leaving his office I was in a terrible funk. Podiatrists are expensive and I don't have that kind of money right now. Finances have always been a huge issue for me. I let my money woes rule my thought life way too much. When I got home I had to take a real hard look at my bank accounts and I realized that the situation was not good. Then I had to make some tough decisions. I spent this morning applying for more part time jobs. Not something I wanted to do since I already have 20 hours of school work and 20 hours of nannying on my plate right now. But it had to be done. I also have started to contemplate the idea of a roommate. This has really not been pleasant for me to think about. I moved 18 months ago so that I could fit all of my stuff comfortably in one apartment. I needed space to run my business and my charity and I couldn't do that effectively in my one bedroom apartment. I have finally gotten my office to the place I want it to be and now I'm having to think about living and working out of here.
This is my stash wall and in front of that are donations. Yes, all those boxes and bags are donations. And this happens quite frequently.
This is my desk, winding station, and shipping center.
 Dyed yarn storage on the left and more yarn and donations on the right.
My light box and misc. office supplies.
Now try to picture a bed, dresser, and chest of drawers in there as well. Yeah, tight squeeze. I don't want to have to do it but it may come to that. Today I also found out that the internship site I wanted for the spring has a very high chance of not working out. I can videochat with the head of internship department but I just don't know if it's worth wasting any more time over. I've contacted two more possible sites and now I'm waiting to hear back from them. This leaves me with about 4 weeks to find a site, fill out 30 pages of paperwork, and have it submitted to the school. On top of all this I still haven't raised enough money for my trip to Romania at the end of December and my computer sporadically runs slow and gets super glitchy. Forgive me if I seem whiny. I try to make all my decisions based on faith (I say try because I'm only human and sometimes I don't make the right choice) and I really feel like I did the right thing by leaving my full time job but that hasn't made things any easier. On the plus side, Eastern European and Russian Orphanages Project continues to grow by leaps and bounds. It seems like at least once a week I meet someone with a connection to Eastern Europe or Russia that has helped me further the work we are doing. I keep getting donations weekly and people are already excited for the knit alongs and crochet alongs we will be doing on Ravelry next year. So I know that being able to spend more time on EEROP was a step in the right direction. It would be really nice if some other things started lining up as well. Needless to say I'm very much looking forward to this weekend and spending some time with my family watching football. It doesn't seem like much but I think it will be a nice distraction from a rather crappy week.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pressure Cooker

First, let me offer a belated Happy Thanksgiving! to everyone. I have seriously been neglectful of the blog this month. Which means I have to catch you up rather quickly:

1. Had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my parents, brother, and sister-in-law at sunny Universal Studios in Florida.
I rode the hugely popular Forbidden World of Harry Potter twice
rode all the roller coasters and saw several shows. It was nice to see some of the Christmas decorations going up. Which reminds me...I need to get out my Christmas decorations here at the apartment.
We had a great time despite the fact that I may have sprained my ankle. Apparently walking on hard concrete for three days in a row and standing in lines for hours at a time isn't so great for you. My left ankle is swollen pretty bad so tomorrow I'm headed to the doctor's early in the morning to see what's up.

2. The Eastern European and Russian Orphanages Project "headquarters" (a.k.a. my office) has been overrun with blanket donations. Just as I had sent 40 off there were at least that many to replace them. It's really a wonderful problem to have. Thankfully my mom came and helped me organize said office/headquarters and now things are looking much better in here. Once I get the latest batch of donations sorted, tagged, photographed, and stored I will try and take some pictures of the new office space.

I did finish seaming together some patchwork squares but alas, no picture of the finished blanket yet. Also, if you're the knitting or crocheting type stop by our Ravelry group. We're getting ready to do a huge year long knit along/crochet along with tons of options for participating.

On another crafty charity note...the crafting group at my church was featured in the local paper the other day. Pretty cool!

3. Christmas knitting. Oh dear. The title of this post says it all. I'm in a real pressure situation here, folks. I didn't realize how much I still have to do!

There are washcloths, and lots of them, that need doing.
There is a wine cozy to finish. Er...start.
A tie, a pair of socks, and a knitted toy that also haven't been started yet.

And then there is a vest that is two shoulder seams away from being finished but for some reason I lost steam right at the very end.
Gah! Enough typing, must go finish some knitting. Only 26 days of holiday knitting left!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fool Me Once, Shame On Me. Fool Me Twice...

Never has such a simple and small project given me such a headache. A project I have made probably 50 times before. A pattern I have memorized in my sleep. The most basic of the basic...

A washcloth.
 But not just any washcloth you see. This is part of a set of washcloths I'm making for my mom for Christmas. And my mom has only qualm with the washcloths I make: she doesn't like how the look for all the odds and ends knit up together.
The natural, red, and blue washcloth on the end is what she's talking about.
So, being the loving daughter I am, I took great care to divide the skein of cotton in half and then find the middle of each of the individual balls. The thinking was that I could increase using half the ball of yarn and then decrease using the other half. Sounds simple. Sounds logical. It wasn't. I started knitting and increasing until I got half way through and then started decreasing. After about 10 rows I realized that there wasn't going to be enough yarn left to finish the dishcloth despite my calculations. So I ripped back about 15 rows and started decreasing again. I made it further but it's become obvious that I'm not going to make it again.
The little bit that's left for the last 15 rows.
This means I have to rip back again and try and get everything to work out. I just don't have it in me right now so I'm going to go crochet some blanket squares together.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Don't Hate

I'm about to confess something that will probably get me punched in the mouth the next time I'm out and about: I kind of wish I'd gotten some snow this week. Not the blizzard that slammed the Northeast but just a light dusting. We hardly ever have snow in Georgia. Last year we had a White Christmas with about an inch falling. It was the first White Christmas in 129 years. 129, people. Some places haven't been 129 years without a White Christmas. It's more likely that you'll see snow here in January or February. And one year we did have a blizzard in March. But October would signal hell freezing over. So, while I love the look of a "snow sky" (when the sky goes all grey or white just before it snows) my chances of getting snow this early are pretty slim. I think the idea of being stuck in the house all week like earlier this year must seem appealing or something. The coming of snow is also the end of the holiday season. By the time snow comes Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are all done. And you know what that means? Christmas knitting is done too. And I'm ready to be done with Christmas knitting. I'm ready to be knitting on some new charity projects or making myself some new socks. But, alas, I have Christmas gifts to make. In fact, I have a quite a few I still need to finish. It might be important to note that I have only finished one (1) Christmas gift so far. This is not such a good thing. Maybe I can finish up the second tonight. The reason why I haven't gotten more done is that I took on a new nanny job and I've been baby-sitting lots more. And graduate school started back. These things now rule my life. So I generally try to stick to mindless things like washcloths.
Washcloths for a commissioned project.
I'm also trying to get a few rows in on the Log Cabin blanket too. Being all garter stitch helps in the mindless category.
*SLOWLY* growing.
Thankfully though, I have mindless projects to work on. Otherwise nothing might get accomplished around here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


As promised here is a recap of my recent trip to Helen.

Started the day with my mom and sister-in-law headed to Cleveland, GA which is only about 10 minutes outside of Helen. That's where Babyland General Hospital is.
The place is massive.
Babyland General Hospital is where Cabbage Patch Kids are "born." If you are not familiar with Cabbage Patch Kids you are obviously not a product of the '80s.

We had a fun time wandering around and looking at all the sites and acting like kids again.
Me and my SIL is front of magical baby growing cabbages.

I would have taken one home if not for the fact that I'm 28 and I already have enough people looking at me funny. I don't need a doll to compound that problem.

After we left Cleveland we went to Helen. Helen is quite unique in that it looks like an alpine village. It's also the home of the South's largest and longest running Oktoberfest. I don't know if that means it's been around the longest or if it runs the longest number of weeks. I don't think it really matters. During the summer you can tube through Helen on the Chattahoochee river. Right now it's too cold but it's still a lovely little town.

So, that's Helen! It was a nice little one day get away to start the fall off right. Now really is my favorite time to go to the mountains. The leaves are changing color and the air is cool and crisp. This weekend I'll be in Asheville, NC for the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair. Come see me in the barn! I'll have to decide what knitting project(s) I want to take with me. I finished up two BIG ones this last week.
The Patchwork Blanket
The Square, Not a Circle Blanket
The Patchwork Blanket was made from squares donated to the Eastern European and Russian Orphanages Project for the Project 154 blanket collection. I have enough to do two more blankets I think. And I finally finished the Square, Not a Circle Blanket! It looks a little lopsided in the picture because of the way I tacked it down. The bind off was too tight. If I make another one of these in the future I will definitely change the way I bind off (I used the crochet bind off that the Yarn Harlot describes here, it's quite, um sturdy). And as you can see, Penelope loves them both. Especially the Square, Not a Circle one. She's been sleeping on it all day. It's going to be tough telling her she can't keep it. I think she will understand though since it's going to to a good cause.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cheese and Whine

Taking a break from grad school work for just a minute or two. Took a brief walk down to the mailbox. I needed to mail some letters but I also needed to get up and move. I'd been sitting on the couch reading and typing for several hours. I had forgotten how much of a time suck graduate school postings can be. I had also forgotten how stressful taking two classes at a time is. The tension of this week has increased ten fold since school started back this Monday. Looking forward even less to next week when I have to travel and will have school work to complete on top of that. Just hoping that my final papers don't coincide with travel like they have in the past. That was torturous.

Haven't worked much on any knitting this week as other things have taken up my time. I have finished the patchwork blanket, just need to photograph the finished product. Almost finished with another Christmas present too. Have added a few other things to the Christmas knitting list so need to make a "Knitting Priorities" list soon to make sure I stay on top of things.

My apologies that this was such an uninteresting post. I have done some interesting things that I need to tell you about (going to Helen this past weekend for one) but I'm slightly unmotivated at the moment. Also my camera does not remotely load pictures and I'm too lazy to find the cord then upload, export, and select all the files I want. The next post will be better, I promise.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hot Friday Night

It's Friday night which can only mean one thing at Chez Single Knitter: big party!

Ok, that was a lie. I'm sorry I lied to you. What it really mean is weaving in ends on a patchwork blanket.
Kickin' it in front of the t.v.
Sometimes kitty helps.

Sometimes she just sleeps.
It also means ice cream.
Kitty likes ice cream too.
And kitty pets.
And some crappy non-cable t.v. Why is there never a good movie on t.v. on Friday night? Why do they always assume people are out living it up? Not that I'm not living it up. Because I am. I even made dinner after resisting the urge to call for pizza. And I went for a walk. So, yeah. Big time Friday night. Be jealous.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Best Kind of Day

Today is my favorite kind of day. Not just because I have the windows open and the central heating and air conditioning off but because today is a 100% bona fide Work From Home Day! That means sweatpants and no make up, computer on the couch, and snacks at the ready. And, if I'm good, I might allow myself to watch some Jerry Springer in the afternoon. Somehow this makes even the mundane tasks of filling out job applications, doing the laundry, and cleaning the trash can seem so much more pleasant. Of course this does increase the chance that the cute guy who works in the apartment office will come by to discuss something totally random with me. Lucky for him I did brush my teeth. The gleam off my incisors should distract him from my Capella University t-shirt and non-matching yoga pants.

I also love Work From Home Days because I get to work on my charity (my passion), update my blog (usually a long overdue activity), and knit (my other passion). Thankfully all those things are somewhat connected which makes me very happy indeed. Take for instance a New Project:
Piles o' squares.
These are squares that have been donated to make blankets for orphans in Russia and Ukraine. Last night I started stitching (or rather crocheting) them together. Now I have this:
Patchwork Blanket
As you can see I didn't really get the hang of it until the second/third columns but now that I have a better idea of what's going on I can keep trucking along. I also started my second knitted Christmas gift. Thankfully all my gifts this year are fairly small (no sweaters or blankets for family) so once this is finished I will be 2/5 of the way done! The most daunting gift will be a pair of socks but I'm thinking that if I start those in November and work on the washcloths I need to make sporadically throughout October and finish the felted wine cozy order and finish up that Log Cabin blanket for my friends who got married in June and then start on the final Christmas gift in December that I should have plenty of time to get everything done! In fact I will even have time to start another charity blanket! This one:
Not that I've been thinking about starting this or anything like that...
I even have the yarn picked out.
Hard to see the brown, sorry.
I'm thinking of calling it Mint Chocolate Chip Ripples or something like that. Or I might snap out of it and realize that I'm delusional and will be working until Christmas Eve to finish everything but that's doubtful. I did finish my mom's scarf for SAFF and washed and blocked it to boot.
Shiny and silky
Now I just need to add a little bit of ruching to the ends and we're set to go! Something easily accomplished on a Work From Home Day.