Messages From the Universe, Received

NO CRAFTING CONTENT THIS WEEK, SORRY!

Have you ever had one of those weekends where you realize that the universe has been whispering messages at you and you’ve been willfully ignoring them in favor of what ‘seems like the thing to do’?

That is what my weekend was like. I got off of work at 7:15pm and back to my new house about 7:30. I then started shoveling my driveway, I don’t have a snowblower because the big ones do not make sense for the size of my drive and the little ones wouldn’t go through the slushy/icy stuff anyway, so that the company could deliver my washer and dryer on Saturday. After about 30 minutes shoveling in the cold I had about 85% of the way to my cellar door cleared out, I would finish in the morning.

Setting 4 different alarms: Wake Up, You Can Shovel Now, Did You Shovel, and Seriously They’re Coming in 30 Minutes Shovel, I actually started shoveling at the second alarm. To clarify, You Can Shovel Now, is when the sun was high enough that I could see the driveway. After 10 minutes, and a decent amount of progress, my fingers were so cold they actually hurt. I decided to take a break. It only took me another 10 minutes after Did You Shovel to get the path cleared. I made sure I was presentable after Seriously.

The company called 15 minutes before they showed, he measured the area from the front door to the basement, that I told him was too small, and said that it was too small. Then he went to the basement to check the hookups, that is where we hit the first snag. The gas dryer hookup had the wrong…something to attach it to the dryer, and since the hose was copper and already kinked he wasn’t willing to hook that up. He said I’d have to get an electrician to come in to hook it up. I’m already thinking about not accepting delivery of the dryer at this point, but I need to do my clothes, so, okay, I’ll look into electricians. He brought the washer in and the dryer. He showed me the valve/flange/hookup thing so I would know basically what to tell the electrician. Then he starts hooking up the washer. The extension cord went over the top of the ceiling rails and dangled down, he asked if it had to go over, and I admitted I didn’t know. He moved it closer to the floor, I found out later why that was a bad idea, and hooked up the washer. I had to hold it angled while he leveled out the feet. I signed, he left. Then I started my first load of clothes, after looking at the instructions, etc.

Now things get interesting. This is an energy saver washing machine with high ratings on consumer reports, so it is not the washer’s fault. I started the load then went to the living room. It took a little bit of water flow and gentle agitation to get things started….then it sounded like the house was going to come down around me. When I mentioned this to my sister she told me to see if the noise carried all the way up to the bedroom, because if it didn’t then I could go up there when doing laundry. Alright, it’s a bit loud, I can deal with that. I went down to check and found out when it would be done, and put a bag of clothes on top of the washer to be ready when the first load was done. I tried to get a couple of things done upstairs and waited until the first load was complete. I expected a noise….but there wasn’t any things. I went down to check….only to find out that my washer had walked itself across the basement, dumping the load of clothes into the water that was leaking because the drainage hose had moved and the plug (remember the one that was no longer going over the rafter) was in the water. I unplugged everything and called the company that I purchased it from. They sent me to another person, who tried to talk me through leveling it (but I had found out that I only had 48 hours to make them take it back), and I finally found a person with the authority to get them to take it back, so they will be by the 16th to pick it up and refund me the money. Yay.

It was after 2 in the afternoon and I had two bags of sopping wet clothes, some dirty, some I didn’t know if the soap had been rinsed out. So I bagged every piece of clothing and most of my bedding up and went to the laundromat. There is a really nice one not too far from my house, right behind an Arby’s, and for about $20 I got everything washed and dried. Am I happy, no. Am I mad about this, not really. I will try to get one of the ‘off the grid’ camping washers and spin dryers to do my clothes for much cheaper. There was a little more.

My realtor called me to see if we could put off listing the house, I’d been having trouble getting my neighbor to plow like he usually would. I did find out that he had 2 losses in his family so he wasn’t in a good way. I agreed, we should show the house off to it’s best advantage, though I was quite disappointed. Remember about thinking with my head instead of what the universe was trying to tell me.

I’d been having minor problems with the old house four about 5 weeks now, nothing major but having trouble every time I went to check on it. This week was the last straw. I hadn’t realized that my neighbor did not do the driveway so I tromped through a couple feet of snow, thank goodness I wore two pairs of socks. Then once I got in things looked okay as I did the water test, but something made me realize that the house seems abandoned and that is going to cause too many problems if I’m only going once a week. It isn’t a big deal but I don’t want to write about it here and it isn’t anything that equals long term damage, but I noped out of the situation.

Long story short I called my realtor, asked her if she knew of anyone that could plow, deal with the situation and make sure that things are kept ‘lived in’ and list the place as soon as she could. I then called my sister, told her what was going on and that she was going to have to chip in (or pay for) whatever caretaker the realtor can find. So the universe was screaming at me and I hope that this is going to result in some positive change pretty soon (now that I listened). I’m waiting to hear if I’m going to need to do much more than check my mail each week, then I hope that this problem will resolve itself.

On my way home tonight I get a cheeseburger and a sundae. Not a great coping mechanism, but it will have to do. Hopefully I will get some motivation to do some kind of crafting this week, but even if I do not I hope you have a great week.

Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract.

Busy Life = No Posting

Sorry I’ve ghosted you again. Between the movers, my contractor, and the holiday I did not manage to post here for a couple of weeks.

My contractor did manage to get the quarter molding installed, it looks great. I wrote out a check when I got paid, put it in my mailbox…and a week later found out that my mailman did not take it. Oops. It got mailed last night.

The movers managed to get all of my big pieces moved from my old house to my new house in 5 hours including an hour travel time, this was awesome, though it did cost more than the original estimate.

I received a check for the items that they sold, it was a nice amount, I thought I was half a house payment ahead…then I found out that almost the exact amount had been withdrawn from my account for some sort of adjustment to my escrow account, well that sucks. Something else for me to check into on Monday along with cancelling cable at the old house and contemplating setting up cable at the new place…except that my unlimited data on my cell-phone plan is doing well for my tablet and cellphone. If I can get Roku and possibly my PC to route through that wireless signal…hmm. It looks theoretically possible, I have an older mac so it might take some fiddling around, but if I can save that $75 a month I’d like that.

My holiday presents to family (well our holiday presents since I go halfsies with my sister) were ordered this morning. That almost maxes out one of my credit cards, but if I manage to get my storage unit cleared out this month it should not be too bad. Well, what really took up most of my purchasing power was the washer and dryer I had to order…that won’t be delivered until the end of January, yay. If I did not need them, and they were at the best price I am ever going to get, I would not have bothered. The red mechanics cart worked out really well. It doesn’t hold a lot, my impact driver, paint sprayer, and accompanying paraphernalia on one shelf and some other tools on the second. I just realized I should get my license changed to my new address soon…I wonder how much that’ll cost, okay under $20 that’s not too bad.

As you can tell from how scattershot this post is I’m trying to keep all of my balls in the air and it has me a bit all over the place. I completely forgot about Frederick Must Die.

**Talk about Mice and Violence Against Mice, please skip if this is triggering for you**
The Thursday before Thanksgiving I ordered a lovely potroast dinner from the corner shop and took it back to the old house for a relaxing dinner. I went in, set the container on the stove and turned around to put something in the fridge, to see a little body scurry across the dining room and into the kitchen behind something I had yet to get to the new house. I screamed, put my dinner in the fridge (didn’t eat that night) and started panic texting. I then decided that it was early enough for me to do this myself. I made sure that the room I was sleeping in had no signs of invasion, blocked any cracks in the doorway, and went out to buy peanut butter and snap traps (I don’t catch and release, once they know how to get into houses I just kill them, if that offends you..well you do mice your way and I’ll do them mine.). I set up eight traps in spots where I thought they’d do the most good. I had two handled by the morning, I thought it was over. On my way out the door I saw one scurry from the living room behind the loom I had on the floor to be transported to the new house. I called Orkin, was told they couldn’t get to me for two weeks due to the holiday and if I put gloves on that might make a difference. A friend also told me that marshmallow fluff was harder for them to get off, so that might help. The movers came later that week, no other catches had happened so I was barricading myself into the bedroom, and I discovered that there was at least one mouse down in the basement. All the while I had been scouring the house, loudly stomping and hollering, trying to find out where they were staying. I moved the two fluffernutter traps downstairs after the movers had finished, and waited for Orkin to arrive. I called Orkin twice to confirm, once because it was after 4pm and I still didn’t get a confirmation of a time. Turns out he was having a bad time at one of his appointments and was still coming. When he arrived, he was very patient about my near hysteria. I’d been hiding in my room, stomping when I entered the house, and hollering to scare anything lurking around, for two weeks now. I’d been feeling trapped in a house I’d lived in for 30+ years. There were no signs of mice upstairs, he couldn’t find anything. Then downstairs, the fluffernutter trap had caught one, and he could not see signs of anything else anywhere. He looked everywhere and could not find a thing. Orkin rocks, since this was just a ‘consultation’ I didn’t get charged (he even took Frederick Must Die with him to dispose of). Lesson 1: If you have someone doing work in your house or taking things out of your house, do NOT let them prop any doors open or leave the garage door open, especially if you live in the country. Lesson 2: If you are physically capable of setting traps and know that the entry point has been handled then just do it yourself, wearing gloves. In the case of my new house, I’m keeping Orkin hired just to keep myself safe from all sorts of pests I didn’t have in my old one, but for my old house I know that everything is sealed so I’m not bothering there. It has been a very busy couple of weeks.

**End of Mouse Content**

I spent the last two weeks ordering door dash, however my stomach and wallet don’t like that too much. It’s a bit insane to be spending $20 all the time for barely enough food for two meals. This means that cleaning my new kitchen, cupboards, pots, pans and all, just went much higher on my priorities list. Fortunately there is a microwave at work so I can use that and I can justify $1.5 for a bagel when I consider that an entire meal.

Another fun thing that happened: Thanksgiving week I took my garbage down to the corner before I left for work on the day that it was supposed to be taken, this is well before they usually pick it up. I didn’t think anything of it still being there the next day since I might have put it down too late or something. However when I left for work the next week, this past Monday, I was furious to find the garbage still there. I called the company and was told that my service (along with a lot of other people) had been cancelled because it was too far out of their way. A message had been left on a random old number that they had and that was how I had been ‘notified’. I said that I could have sworn I paid the bill, they said no you didn’t. So when I received a bill in my e-mail yesterday I was quite angry. I still don’t have my computer, which has my log in to this account, hooked up yet however I knew I paid the bill, I just checked an they didn’t send me a bill for November, which just makes this stranger. I’m going to have to try to log in again when I get back to my new house, it has all of my current billing things.

Honestly, all of this is getting to me but I just remembered why I didn’t post last week. I had a problem patron, well Security and I had a problem patron. From the beginning, due to a dramatic uptick in COVID cases the library board decided to re-implement mask requirements for the library. Now this library that I work at is an association library. They just became publicly funded this last year, however the library itself (and all contents and employees) are owned (employees are not owned) and managed by our Board of Directors, not the city/school district/county/state. This means that we are not government employees, the library is a privilege (that we try to make available to everyone), not a right. We had a patron and their family come into the library without masks about a week after the policy change. They breezed in and when my colleague on the desk told them that we were requiring masks the woman went off on her spouting about constitutional rights, etc. Of course my colleague had taken a course in constitutional law, but she wasn’t going to argue with someone obviously there to just stir up trouble. To make a very long, and irritating, story short, security got involved, I was securities backup, and it was very frustrating. Further action was threatened, our attorney has been consulted and the rest isn’t my business. In the Two Years and now Four Libraries I have been dealing with this masking nonsense, I hate them too and don’t know of anyone that likes them, this is the first time I’ve encountered this kind of animosity. Thank goodness most people are reasonable and understanding.

In short, yes it’s been a busy couple of weeks. In addition to getting some of my storage unit unloaded I have been able to set up my Saori Loom and taken some time in the evenings to relax and weave a bit. I also have my spinning wheel, Lady, set up and I spend some time spinning. There are several knitting and crochet projects that I have unearthed during the move and I hope to get some of them finished before looking into a new obsession, okay another new obsession. I already started something…quilting. The only real problem is I sort of….really suck at it. I love the idea, I can make half-square triangles until the cows come home. I even have the 4 at a time and 8 at a time methods down. The only problem is when I try to do anything to make those half-square triangle blocks into something else like the pinwheel I lose my points. Instead of nice clean points meeting in the middle I have these flat pieces. I think part of it is that I’m starting with 5″ squares, making 8 half square triangles and then trying to piece these 2″ squares made from two triangles into a bigger square again. Perhaps if I start with larger pieces I’ll get the hang of it better. I’m going to try to make a simple 9 square patch first, I think that is just sewing some 5″ squares 3×3 to make a 9 square patch. If I like that I might do something like a log cabin, or some books for a bookcase quilt and worry about half-square triangles later.

This has turned into a very long catch-up post, however it has also been good for me to look back and see all that I have been fighting through for these past two weeks. I have a tendency to forget troubles once I’ve gotten past them, then I wonder why I’ve been stressed this past however long. Well, in this case, I have had reasons and it is good to see them in black and white. Now it is time for a new week, a new month, and a new outlook. Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!

Rant, no crafting content

Hello This is going to be a rant about what is going on in my life, there will be no crafting content. There will be some home repair content, but most of this is a rant.

I need motivation. I have spent the last three years since mom died trying to get the house cleared out. I closed on a new house closer to where I work on Monday, it needs to have the toilets fixed before I can move in and the locks replaced before I start leaving possessions there. Unfortunately I will call the locksmith on Monday and it is unlikely he will be able to get there this upcoming week, I have my fingers crossed for next week. The same is the contractor that will come to look at the toilets on Tuesday, I wish he could get them fixed on Tuesday however I believe it will be another week before we can get that arranged. This has pointed out that I probably need to take a long weekend in November to plan on dedicating four or five days just on working on the house.

This is where my first two sentences of the second paragraph come into play, I have spent 3 years (almost to the day) trying to get the old house cleared out. The storage unit is stuffed to the gills and I still have bookcases and random items left to move into the new house. My realtor wants the old house swept cleaned, well she wants it in a week but with the toilets and locks being a major issue that is not happening. It was very demoralizing to realized that after 36 months of work I still had a lot to do in the old house as well as the work to do in the new house. Oh, I didn’t explain that either.

In addition to the toilets and the locks, the last owners had cats. You can tell because there is not only a disgusting smell, but on the carpet on the top floor there is a piece of feces (which I obviously did not see during any of my walk-throughs). Fortunately after I get the carpet ripped up, which does not seem hard, I should be able to eliminate most of the smell. I plan on painting the walls of those rooms first to eliminate the need for drop cloths, then rip up the carpet. Since I have no working bathrooms in that house my work is limited to an hour or so at a time. I had myself convinced that I could just concentrate on getting the new house ready, slowly move some of my larger items like the bookcases and eventually the queen bed, as I was able to discover how much room I really had in the new place and where things were supposed to fit. Now I realize that I do not have as much time as I thought and without new locks I am worried to leave anything there. I will actually be surprised if the new dehumidifier I left there on Friday is still there when I go after work on Monday.

I also yelled at my sister, for which I cannot really be sorry. Saying that you love me and wish you could be there to help doesn’t really help. Especially when you are here, the two or three times in the last three years since mom died, you don’t actually help me it is all just false platitudes. I do not mind admitting that I am tired. Physically and emotionally. The realtor was Saturday. I went to an early dinner with my friend, hung out at the bar she works at for a little while, went back to the house, got a good nights sleep. This morning I started moving things into the master bedroom. I found the drop cloth I’ve been looking for and started painting the TV stand that shade of green I want it so that it stands out against the accent wall in my new home. I’m still tired, emotionally and physically, I want to curl up into a ball and sleep for a month so that all of this will go away. But that isn’t going to work, so I need to Woman Up and GET SHIT DONE! No one else will for me, so I’ve got to do it.

Okay, rant over. I have to get both houses ready on my own, just by taking it one day at a time. I’m going to focus on doing what I can, letting go of what I cannot, and actually taking a week for vacation sometime in January to just rest.

Hope you have a great week.

Life Update

This is not going to be too long, like my last post the first paragraph is about crafting content and the rest is a life update.

During the summer I did take three different craft classes. I managed the intermediate class on Sprang and then invested in the “Sprang Unsprung” book that I plan on looking into further when I have time to sit and concentrate. I also took a rug hooking class, this is not the same as latch hooking or locker hooking, and loved how quickly the project went. I then purchased some more Monks cloth and started working on my own design using some wool strips I had along with some handspun yarn. It is slow going but easy to pick up and put down. For August I took an Alabama Chanin style hand sewing class. This is not what I though it would be, however I did enjoy learning this embellishment technique. I also have decided, as a treat for coming to the end of this very difficult summer, I am going to purchase a Saori Weaving loom and start recording and possibly streaming my process for working with the loom. More to come on that in the future.

Fortunately I was able to find a house in my price range that I then decided to purchase. It does need quite a bit of work, however I choose to see that as an opportunity to get everything as I would like it to be. From a new roof with solar panels, a heater with air conditioner attached, etc. I am counting on the sale of my current home to finance these changes. It might be another 6-8 weeks before I know anything for sure.

Onto my current home. I know that I said in May I was starting to wet-vac the carpets. While that is sort of true, it is only this week that I am getting to the end of putting things in my storage unit. Furniture is going to have to stay in the house until I am ready to move. This morning I managed to dust the celing, walls, and fan in one room. Then I went downstairs and found out my dehumidifier malfunctioned. Now I get to go home, mop up spilled water, run the industrial fans I just bought, and wetvac the rest of the water up. What fun. Fortunately it is rubber backed carpet on concrete, so if the worst comes to pass the carpet can just be ripped up.

I will post again in the relatively near future I believe. Work is amazing, I am now down 74 lbs, with all of the stress that is amazing.

Unexpected hiatus and revelations

Very little of this post is going to have to do with crafting, the first paragraph I will update on my projects and the rest is going to be about the move, my weight loss journey, and revelations about clothing fit.

I’ve made quite a bit of progress on the gusset of my second sock, and reading an article about sock knitting tips caused me to realize that I want to make a plain foot. I’m having a ton of fun spinning small bits of yarn that I hope to use for crewel work. I decided to practice sprang using worsted weight acrylic yarn, partially to get a longer warp using less yarn, partially to have really thick yarn to work with.

Onto packing and moving content. My sister and I did not get as much done as I had hoped, though papers are pretty much sorted out. Next weekend I am going to have four days off that I am going to spend hopefully concentrating on getting things completed. I have not yet been able to rent a storage unit, however the basement is mostly cleared out and I can store things there. I have started wet vaccing the carpets. I also found that if you don’t touch your fly tying equipment in 15 years, it causes moths. So I now have that baking in my car, and the stuff that actually got touched by moths has been eliminated.

My sister and I did some shopping while she was here. This is going to get into personal clothing content, so if you don’t want to hear about brassieres you might want to stop reading.

In the past couple of months I have noticed that my bras seem to be more padding than actual bust. I thought that I had lost weight in my bust region, it turns out that if the band of your bra is too big you will not fill out the cups. Now that I have a band that fits around my torso properly, I am wearing a bigger cup size than ever, and the girls look better than ever.

Six months ago when I begin this journey I was 60 pounds heavier and wearing a 3X. Now I am capable of wearing a large, for the most part, however due to the excess skin around my torso I do not have a significant change to my profile unless I wear a tight belt like object right underneath my bust. I am currently questioning whether I am ever going to be wearing anything other than a large, because even some of the larges do not fit over my shoulders. To be honest this is very demoralizing, and I do understand that skin reduction surgery is going to help quite a bit with my profile. I also understand that that is likely over nine months away. I hope to lose another 30 pounds over the next three months and then my understanding is that I have to maintain that weight for six months before they will do the surgery. I completely understand this and don’t anticipate a problem with it. I’m starting to get a better understanding of what regular foods I can eat and how to maintain the diet.

To be frank a lot of this has me looking much more seriously into creating my own clothing. Altering what I already have is not a realistic concept, simply due to my lack of knowledge and inability to focus on reading a tailoring book. To be blunt I am so much smaller than I have been in years and finding out that ready-to-wear sucks has me quite, not depressed but with the potential to be in a bad place mentally. I used to think that it was simply that plus size clothing was horrible, now I realize it pretty much all is. If the regular sized large fits me so badly, it makes me think that I would have to be in a medium or smaller to look decent. I know that this is not true, so I am going to find some patterns that will fit me. This is not a great time for me to start this with moving and everything, however for my own morale I believe it’s something I need to do.

OK, I have to get ready for work now but I wanted to get this post out I’ve been meaning to for a week. I will update you as things change, but for now remember to live life a little more abstract.

Progress and Planning

Crafty Content at the top, no photos this week.

I’ve been touching on a lot of different projects while deciding what is staying out and what is getting packed away. I found a plastic box of mostly forgotten fibers that I am spinning up one after the other. These fibers are all going onto one bobbin. Once that bobbin is full each fiber section, I am putting drastically different colors next to each other to keep the different fiber sections easy to see, they will be plied back onto themselves for crewel embroidery floss, or to be used for color-work knitting in the future.

I am using different colors of my tatting thread to make a warp for my sprang loom, since I want this warp to be wider it makes sense to use up bits of thread I have lying around. This is one of the longer term projects I plan on keeping out.

I did order and receive the special thimble I will need to work on the Sashiko kit I received for Christmas. I plan on keeping the kit out as well as my sewing machine for any alterations I can make to my clothing in the next couple of months.

A few more rows have been worked on the gusset of my second sock, it looks like I will not get through all 4 however getting 2 completed by the end of May is still quite the accomplishment. That is about all for the crafting content, though much of my moving has to do with crafting since crafts are my hobby.

Most of what I have been working on is packing. While I have adjusted my plans some, it doesn’t make much sense to be in another city when I still have a lot of cleaning to do in my house, the basics remain. I need to pack what I plan on keeping so that it can go into storage. This will free up a lot of room and mental space for me to begin getting rid of what needs to be eliminated and cleaning places that I have not been able to get to for years. I love mom, she however, has 10+ boxes of Christmas decorations that we have not taken out in years. That is before all of the other decorations for Easter and Halloween. I plan on keeping the pieces that she made as well as the family ornaments from years gone by and getting rid of the rest of it. I am even thinking about re-packing one of the boxes I already packed simply because I have realized that I do not really value the stuffed animals within. I’ll keep one to remind me, then get rid of the rest. The decision makes me feel free and relaxed rather than anxious. Going through all of the paper that has built up over the years…that is another story. That has me stressed out. My sister is planning a series of bonfires as we sort through and burn the papers we do not need to keep, it should actually be a bit of fun.

That is about it, I have a very busy week ahead of me. I am trying to take some time every single day to get some crafting done so that I do not burn out. Right now I think I have gone as far as I can with the packing and I will wait until I get some breathing room in the house before worrying about the rest. Okay, that’s a lie. The handyman will be coming Monday to take some things from the external garage to the dump, then I plan on moving several plastic boxes out to the garage so I have room to get the bed set up for my sister to have somewhere to sleep on Wednesday night.

Until next week, remember to Live Life A Little More Abstract!

Life Derailed (in a good way)

First, since this seems to be of interest to people, for the first time since I was in High School (maybe middle school) I am under 200lbs. Nutrisystem really does rock. Next is a life update, so if you just want crafting content skip to the row of *********.

On Thursday I spoke with a financial advisor, he was supposed to be advising me on my 403b non-profit retirement account, instead I wound up spilling essentially the entirety of my financial concerns to him. He really helped me to see that I was ignoring the obvious solutions in favor of not having to ask for help, essentially being a stubborn, independent cuss. Due to his advice, my sisters advice, and an offer (and advice) from relatives, I am going to be putting almost all of the household items I want to keep in storage, moving to an apartment closer to work temporarily, and putting my childhood home up for sale. I hope to get all of this done by July, I’m thinking of seeing about an ‘I’m selling the house’ 3rd of July party so my friends, work colleagues old and new, can see the house and I can see the fireworks over the lake one last time, before I actually put the house officially on the market. There is about a million things I need to do first, however I have already started packing up. My sister is coming to town in about 10 days to sign some paperwork and we will probably work on getting some things taken to a storage unit at that time.

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If you skipped to the crafting content, the long and the short of the above paragraph is that I will be moving into an apartment temporarily and putting a lot of stuff into storage.

This past week was quite busy. I had a lot of fun with the crafting I was able to do, and a few cranky moments as well. Let’s start with the bad news. I had to put almost all of my wool yarn into my upright freezer as well as the freezer attached to my refrigerator. I saw a couple of moth corpses in some wool I pulled out of another area of the house and when I started to spin a bit of wool that had been stored downstairs a bug I am afraid is a carpet beetle fell out (it was dead, I simply became concerned). I have not been as attentive to the wool downstairs as I should be, one of the main reasons I need a smaller place, I just cannot get to everything. I am trying to keep myself looking on the bright side. I purchased a big bottle of lavender essential oil to keep the rest of the fiber/yarn (the stuff that did not fit) from getting into trouble. Since I will be moving and putting items into storage this is going to give me an opportunity to choose a couple of kits/projects to leave out and then I ‘have to’ work on them since I am going on a buying hiatus until I am settled into a new house. My sister does not know it yet, however I am going to make sure that my kits are near the front of the storage unit just in case, by some miracle, I finish the projects I am leaving out I will have access to some new ones without having to purchase anything.

I loved playing with my new Sprang loom, the technique is fun and easy! Well, mostly easy. When doing Sprang do NOT EVER take out all of your skewers holding the rows in place. I was getting to the middle and my fingers were not fitting very well with the skewers in so I decided to take the skewers out for the row…then messed up and I was not able to go back because the skewers were out. I cut down the middle and wound up tying the ends to make two shorted pieces. They are a great lesson and I love the structure. They are also not wide enough to be useful even as a misers purse since my fingers cannot get into it when it is sewn together. Oh well, the next piece will just have to be wider, I also plan on practicing with a circular warp to make the piece longer as well. I might as well just jump off the deep end!

When you boil up orange peels you had in the freezer for natural dyeing, try to then use the resulting dye before a week has gone by…I had to throw it out because some mold had decided to start growing on the surface. Lesson learned.

The sock heel flap is knit, now the entire thing is on a circular needle so I can work on the gusset. That is as far as the project has gotten, technically I have this entire month to finish this sock and knit the other two so I am giving myself a little bit of grace, however this gusset had best be finished by next week.

Okay, I think that is enough for one week. Next week will probably be me whining about having to pack everything (I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with my drum carder or Sizzix Big Shot). Until then, remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!

Week of Blah

This post starts off with Non-Crafting content. If you are only here for the (little) crafting I did, then skip to the *****

Have you ever had a week where everything just seems like, blah? That is what last week was like for me. I know where it is coming from, there were a lot of ‘business’ related things that I needed to get done, my sister and I are trying to get our mom’s estate settled. We sort of left everything up to the lawyer, now that we had to do some bugging the lawyer in finally telling us what needs to get done to finalize this. It’s stressful, since my sister is not good about getting this sort of thing done. I can already tell I’ll have to bug her to order the form to switch the name on the little bit of stock we are inheriting as well as calling the house and car insurance company to get our names on the policies. It turns out inheriting (even mom’s tiny ‘estate’ which is a house, car, and a couple of small stocks) is pretty complicated, oh well. I’m not going to be coming into any sort of money from this to be clear, just having legal co-ownership of the house I’m living in and the car I’m driving. This should all be done by next month, along with my taxes which I dropped off yesterday. So my free time, after and before work, was spent figuring out what I might need and gathering paperwork. Oh well, other than calling the insurance company to make sure that the house and car insurance are in my name I think we’re done.

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I did not take much time to craft this week. Last week I started a project where I was going to take the samples of each breed of sheep I have wool for and spin it up to create granny squares with it. I started with the Hog Island, I do not have photos, and I did a two ply as well as a crepe ply. Crepe ply is where I took a section of the two ply (I kept 40 yards of the yarn as a 2 ply for the first square) and plied it back onto itself. This might have been a tidier construction if I had overplied the first 2 ply yarn, so I might do that for the next breed. Take 40 yards off of the 2 ply to make a square then overply the rest so that when I crepe ply it looks tidy. Things to learn!

The Hog Island fleece was a bouncy dream to spin up, though there was considerable VM (vegetable matter) in the combed top so it will take a few years for the fleece to be ‘really clean’. I’m not using any harsh chemicals to clean it so that will have to do. I then started spinning up some Icelandic Fleece I had as a worsted yarn using short forward draw. I was really good about keeping up with this….then I got bored. Okay, so the Icelandic top is probably a year or two old and has compacted down a bit. Since the wool is pretty grabby to begin with this means that it is a bit of a pain to draft from. I believe that I have plenty to make my two samples with, however the granny squares are going to be quite open since I am going to use the same size crochet hook and this yarn is much finer than my first breed. I really look forward to seeing how it will turn out. In order to use up the rest of the fiber I am also spinning up a woolen preparation for the rest of the Icelandic I have on hand. It goes faster and I am pulling the fiber sideways instead of straight out so they do not seem to grab as much. Of course using a long back draw helps as well, well it is an attempt at a long back draw.

The only photo I have for this week is some of the Icelandic on a bobbin as I spun.

As you can see the grey yarn is quite fine, I really hope I was patient enough to get enough yardage that I can crepe ply some of this.

Until next time I hope that you have a great week and Remember to Live Life A Little More Abstract.

Socks, Shawls, and More

I am having a blast crocheting this pair of socks, though I do not really like the heel and will probably go back to the other style of heel once I’ve finished this pair. They are coming along nicely, however I am looking forward to seeing the back of them so I can start a new patterned pair.

I managed to cast on 360 pairs of stitches, with a marker every 10 pairs and a different type of marker every 50 pairs of stitches, for a total of 720 cast on stitches. This is going to be a double sided shawl with a graphic pattern. Fortunately for me, this shawl involves casting on with the number of stitches for the longest side then decreasing as the pattern goes on.

Finally the yarn that I ordered so that I can weave a blanket arrived. I am so excited, and nervous, about warping this up. Since I still have not woven my cowl, this is probably going to take a month or two for me to get to.

I think that is all the news I have fit to write about this week. I have slowed down on some personal projects and decided to redirect my energy into making sure that I have storage that will work for all of my supplies without overwhelming everything. Right now I have my paper projects, quilling, scrapbooking, fiber/dyeing/weaving diary supplies (not the crafts themselves just the supplies to create the diaries_, along with my supplies to make dioramas, on one bookcase with my fiction books and sewing supplies on a second bookcase. The top shelves of these cases are not load bearing so I put my blocking mats up there, the foam essentially does not weigh anything. Perhaps I will take photos when I have my cases the way I want them to be. Next is going to be a case for my crafting books, then one to store my yarn and fiber. This is going to give me an idea of what space I will need in a home to realistically store my supplies, a great project while I am saving up for a down payment on a house.

Don’t let life or obstacles get you down for long! Remember to Roll with Changes and Live Life A Little More Abstract!

Taking My Time In All Things

Please skip to the line of *** if you are only interested in crafting content. This week has been a visceral reminder that I need to slow down in all of the things I am working on. That life is not a race. That I have time to find the house that will become my new home. That if I go 15mph over the speed limit I am going to get a speeding ticket. It has been an interesting week.

I had a viewing for a home that had just come onto the market and was at the lowest end of the price range I was looking for. Right now I am living in a 3 bedroom 2 bath home, and I would like to downsize to a 2 bedroom home. I did not realize just how big my home was until I entered this little shoe box of a house. I swear that the entire first floor would fit into my living room and dining room. This led me to send an e-mail to my realtor and reevaluate what I am looking for. I realized I do have time to figure these things out. I would like to be moved into a new place by next winter, however I do not have to be. On my way home, I was eager to order a fish fry and chill for the night, my lead foot had me speeding right past a state trooper. This ticket is probably going to cost me one of my side hustle paychecks, however I really deserve it. I have to start thinking about my commute as time to listen to an audiobook, think about what I am going to do for work, think about my crafting projects, plans for my new home, basically start taking this as a time to reflect rather than something to get through. I also need to be more careful driving around a busy city, I had a couple of close calls this past week. Life is full of lessons, some are just a little more like a fist to the face than a gentle nudge. No one was hurt, this was a relatively gentle set of life lessons. Time to start the week fresh.

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Saturday was a ton of fun. I felt restless after a frustrating week so I wound up touching on a lot of different projects throughout the day. You are probably not interested in how much laundry I completed, nor about cleaning out my dishwasher drain and running to clean that up. However you might be interested in my crafting projects!

Earlier in the week I had decided to dig up my needle felting supplies and needle felt soles into the inside of my hand knit socks. The socks getting holes in them is entirely my fault, I used a yarn that was completely inappropriate for socks. I hope to use two fingering weight yarns held together for my next pair of socks, especially since I enjoy worsted weight socks in the winter and they work well with my shoes.

Red hand knit sock with a hole in it and purple wool behind the hole.

It will take me some time to complete this, especially since I am trying to find a way to have foam in the right place to felt these pieces together. This weekend I kept working on spinning up my art yarn.

Yarn on a wooden bobbin, moon shaped charms hanging down and curls popping out of the yarn.

I also started spinning my ply for the cowl along. I decided on a 3 yard warp and started winding up the warp with the sample yarn I already had. I managed to wind about 3 inches, 15 ends, before I ran out of yarn. I was going to wait until I had finished the art yarn before spinning the second ply, however I changed my mind and I am spinning the second ply on my Ladybug.

My Mirrix is all warped up with soumak at the top and bottom, I was told that since I cannot weave a 4 selvedge piece I did not need soumak at the top. I am going to leave it in since this gives me a very firm set of weaving parameters, I only need to fill in my rectangle.

In addition to messing with these projects, and some basic chores, I made progress on my knitted skirt. I finished the first panel, learned how to pick up wrap and turn stitches, and started on the second panel. Since this is almost the end of my first hank of yarn I caked up the second and have it ready to go when I run out. I love how easy the pattern is even as I hate how long this is going to take me to complete.

I have also picked up another project that was sitting to the side for a while, my hand sewn skirt. Saturday I double folded the hem, pinned it all the way across, waxed the cotton thread, threaded seven needles and started hand felling the hem. I do not have any photos of this for several reasons. My fabric is wrinkled and I do not need anyone yelling at me about not washing and pressing before I started…I did not press my seams either, I will live with the uneven seams. I am also sewing on a tv tray type table, so I don’t need yelled about that either. I’m having fun and I will stick with that being the entire purpose for this exercise. This also has me looking into medieval sewing patterns, I would love to make a lined medieval hood out of wool. The expense of 2 yards of wool fabric is a bit daunting as well as linen for a lining…ouch for my wallet.

Next Saturday I am getting my oil changed an attending 3 classes on Virtual Knitting Live. Learning Intarsia Knitting, Crochet Socks, and Kitchen Scrap Dyeing. I am so excited for these classes. I do realize that tonight is the Superbowl and that this sporting event is going to make a large difference in the lives of many people. All this has done for me is cause me to realize that 4 chicken wings or 1 slice of pizza are over 200 calories…so I’m not going to partake. If this is your thing I hope you have an absolute blast.

Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!