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I wasn't born with wings, so I'm trying to make my own
Sunday, January 28, 2007  

Is it already Sunday night again? I am NOT ready for another week of work. BUT, my birthday is this week, and I'm taking that day off AND I get presents. So, as work weeks go, it won't be so bad. I'm a big fan of reasons for a fresh start. Some people are not fans of New Years Eve/New Year's resolutions, and I see their point. If something is good enough to resolve to do, why wait for some arbitrary date? But I like fresh starts, I like to have a timeline. It works for me. But so far, this year had not been the greatest. From my first world, middle class point of view, it has really sucked. Of course, on the global scale I still have an incredibly blessed life that many cannot even dream of living. But, from my perspective it's been rough. So, now I'm all about my birthday being the start of my new year. It's all uphill from here! I hope. I'm going to wax philosophical on this in a bit, but for anyone who doesn't feel like reading the blah, blah, blah, I'll get right to the fiber stuff and you can skip the rest if you choose.

This week was a good one fiber-wise. I had set a little goal for myself on the BFL and I met it, in spite of a bump in the road. I wanted to finish the first ply in a month, and since I started on Christmas, I was aiming to finish by Thursday. I was on track to do it, and probably would have finished last weekend if not for the video games. But then, the bump. Oh, the bump. On Sundays, Mark and I go to my parents' house for dinner and to spend some time with them and I sometimes take my wheel with me. I took it with me last Sunday and all was fine. On Monday, I was setting up to spin and brought out the wheel in its carry bag. When the wheel is in its carry bag it is not at its most stable. When I was turned around, arranging the cushions on my chair into spinning formation, the wheel fell onto its back, still in the carry bag. Since it was in the carry bag, I figured it was fine, set it up and went off spinning. Soon into spinning I was feeling... something through the treadles. After an hour or so, I noticed a movement that shouldn't have been there. On closer inspection, I found out that the fall had knocked a part out of its position (I'd explain it more thouroughly, but I'm sure I'd confuse you all with my highly technical jargon such as "thingamajig" and "doohickey") Not only was the part in question out of position, but was also grinding other parts (again, very technical here) so I didn't think I should continue spinning. Please see: having a crappy year. I tried to get the doohickey back into the thingamajig (oops, sorry, if I lost you ask your local rocket surgeon) but it wouldn't stay there. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, etc, but long story... uh, not so short, my dad was able to fix it for me later that week AND I still met my own little goal. Yea! And for your viewing pleasure, I've included the very out-of-focus (and exciting) picture of the finished bobbin. Sorry for the lousy pictures, last week I was taking pictures of myself for Project 365 and dropped my lovely, wonderful digital camera and made it go kablooey. Please see: having a crappy year. So, I am now borrowing my original digital camera (read: quite old) from my parents, who inherited it when I got my newer (wonderful, now kablooey) one.

In order that the BFL doesn't become a chore, I'm taking a break before I start the second ply. In my charming anal perfectionistic way, I made a list of all the things I wanted to knit and spin and narrowed it down to one of each (knitting and spinning). I've finally jumped on the bandwagon and I'm making a Swallowtail shawl. The pattern is absolutely gorgeous and a very quick and easy knit. I've just finished the twelth (out of fourteen) repeat of the second chart, and I only started on Friday. I'm using some truly luxurious Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 2-ply yarn and I am in heaven (in heaven with slightly blue fingertips).

Again, please excuse the lack of decent photography (like this blog EVER had that). I'm also back to spinning the variegated wool/silk sample I talked about here. And that's about it for fiber this week. So, prepare yourself for Deep Thoughts with Jenni.

Lately, I've been really thinking about my life and what I want it to be, and what I want to be. Since I graduated from college, my biggest struggle has been finding employment that didn't make me want to cry. Every day. And that has been the main focus of the angst I've felt. Now, I've never exactly been a happy-go-lucky person. I was an only child with a well-above-genius IQ. Guess how well I fit in. But, at least I had the support of adults. I lived my whole life being told how special I was and what a difference I'd make in the world and how wonderful I was. And then I was an adult. And I was no longer special. And I still didn't fit in. And all of that was there, but so much of my unhappiness was focused on the "work" part of my life, because it was the biggest part of my day. But now, I've found a wonderful job that has a lot to do with what I'm passionate about. And I really can't imagine finding a better job that will actually pay me. So, it's time to focus on the other parts of my life. Because, even though I've found this wonderful job, and have a wonderful partner and (very few but totally fabulous) friends, I'm still not happy. I'm A LOT less unhappy (this job, after three months has not ever made me cry, not even once. You do not know how amazing this is to me), but I'm not happy. Rachel wrote the most amazing post about happiness and it may seem like the most obvious thing in the world, but it struck such a note with me. Oh. I need to go after happiness. Well, that makes sense. So, I'm trying to come up with 27 things to do while I'm 27 (or, uh celebrating the second anniversary of my 25th birthday). And this list is mostly (but not totally) centered around opening up my life and trying new things and finding some happiness. I know I'm not going to be happy all of the time, and I don't actually want that (otherwise I would have started taking happy pills a LONG time ago). I just want to find more peace, contentment, and joy in everyday life. Since I was SO UTTERLY MISERABLE for so long in so many craptastic jobs, I just kind of hunkered down and tried to claw through each day. Now I have a little breathing room to stretch and grow and explore my world, because I'm no longer using all my energy just to make it through another day at work. So, I'm spilling all this out on the internet for everyone to see because I need help. I only have 11 things to do while I'm 27. Help me out here people! Here's what I have so far:

1. Buy a house

2. (private, relates to money. boring, I promise. but important)

3. Try 6 new restaurants

4. Cook from 6 new recipes

5. Read 6 classic works of literature (suggestions anyone? I mostly took advanced classes, so I missed out on all the classics. Tell me your favorites)

6. Read 3 non-fiction books for learning purposes (I'm thinking astronomy? Something cool)

7. Take 3 fiber-related classes

8. Take 1 non-fiber-related class

9. Start a muscle-related training program (yoga, pilates, nautilus, whatever. I need me some muscles. Osteoporosis runs in my family. I'm protecting myself now)

10. Take at least one photo a day to document what my life is really like

11. Journal at least 1 paragraph every day

I know I can count on all the people in the internet to help me out here. Thank you!

Sunday, January 21, 2007  

Well, I don't have much to report this week. I've mostly worked on spinning the Foxfire BFL, and I'm just about done with the first ply. I was hoping to be done with it by the end of the weekend, but video games cut into my fiber time. I've always really enjoyed playing video games (how did I study for my AP exams in high school? By playing lots and lots of Monster Rancher. In my defense, I did get all 5's on the tests - the highest score), but ever since I started working full time I'd just rather spend my time doing something I enjoy even more(fiber arts), that also has a tangible result (finished projects). But every now and then, I still just want to lose myself in a video game. I tend to live a *leetle* too much in my head and I think WAY too much about everything. The video games I enjoy the most are strategy games and they are so involved that when I am playing, all I can think about is the video game. It's one of the very few ways I've found to shut up all the voices in my head. I guess I needed some of that this weekend, because I've been enjoying myself very much. We've been getting all kinds of lovely snow and ice down here, and instead of getting up and driving to work, all I want to do tomorrow is stay in my pj's and play video games. Maybe I'll buy a lottery ticket on my way home tomorrow :-)

Sunday, January 14, 2007  

Ta Da!
It's my first FO of 2007. Yes, they're ridiculously quick, easy and floofy, but I've got to take my victories where I can get them! And I lurve them. AND I'm making great progress on my BFL spinning, as well.
A week or two more and I'll be done with the first half. I'm really surprised at how quickly this is going, but I am getting a lot of work done on it. Yesterday I went to a gathering of fibery ladies and along with much carrying on and silliness, I got to spin a lot more than I would on a usual Saturday. It was a really fabulous day. I got to spend time with women I know and love and don't see nearly enough of, and I got to meet some really wonderful women who I hope will become friends. As wonderful as it was, though, it really has me thinking. I'm pulled in two different directions right now. I love the events I go to, and I almost always have a good time. I love the women, I love talking with like-minded people, I love showing off, I love seeing the work of others and being inspired. But I'm also very much a homebody, and I'm embarassingly attached to my routine and quiet little life. Getting myself to go to yesterday's gathering was a struggle. I knew I would have a great time once I was there, and there were some women I really wanted to see there, but I still had to struggle against my inner hermit. I'm so frustrated with myself right now for basically "wanting it all." I want the community and the friends, but I love the quiet and peace of my little love nest with Mark. I know that ultimately, I'm going to have to find the best balance for me, but right now I want both AT THE SAME TIME. I'm so glad I went yesterday. I had a wonderful time. I don't regret it AT ALL. But I missed my usual kind of day, too. And that, basically, is the core of me: I always want more. And I am getting tired of it.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007  

Well, Blogger is STILL being a booger about pictures. Over the next couple of days I'm going to be switching over to the new format, so I apologize if everything appears to be FUBAR for awhile. I'll be working on it, but sometimes I'll need to take breaks to scream and bang my head against the wall. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 07, 2007  

Blogger is being a booger and I'm not able to post photos right now. I will try, try again.

Okay, I'm just gonna come out and say it. So far, 2007 has really sucked. I have been sick all year, and I am dang tired of it! And it just keeps going on and on (and on!). Monday I was coming down with it, and it was not good, but it was still just a cold. Tuesday was nasty, too, but also just a cold. Wednesday it started moving into my chest and by bed time it was UGLY. My lungs were so congested that I could not breathe while lying down. If I wasn't completely vertical, I was just choking. THAT was fun. I slept sitting up in my favorite chair (Mark stayed up all night just to listen to me breathe. Do I have a good guy or what?) and I went straight to the doctor the next day. I was diagnosed with asthmatic bronchitis with a sinus infection - FUN! So, now I'm on antibiotics and things are starting to clear up in the cold department, but ladies, I'm sure you know what really super fun side effect antibiotics can have. So, right now it's not fun to be me. And you can tell I was REALLY sick because Tuesday and Wednesday, I didn't do a single stitch of knitting or spin a single inch! I sure did read and stare into space, groaning, a lot, but nothing fibery. And that's the real sin - all that PTO used at work and no fiber work done. And of course, now Mark is sick, too, but it seems to be a different sickness, so I could still catch that and continue on with the theme of 2007 generally sucking. *sigh*

Since becoming medicated, I have managed to get some fiber work done. I finished my first Blossom footie and the second is done to the heel. I plan on finishing tomorrow, and I'll post pictures when they're all done. I love the first one, so warm and fuzzy, so I can't wait until I can wear them. It looks like I'll manage to make the pair with just the one skein, so I'll still have a full skein left. Mom is loving the footies, too, so I think I know what the second skein will be used for! I'm still working on the BFL spinning, but it's going a lot more slowly now that vacation is over and I'm back at work. I'm still enjoying it, but I'm not quite as much in new-project-love with it. I've always been way more into planning and starting projects than seeing them through, but I'm really trying to concentrate on enjoying the process. Sticking to one (or two) projects at my snail's pace doesn't make for very interesting blogging, though. Sorry!

Monday, January 01, 2007  

I've had such a wonderful week and a half off! I'm so not ready to go back, especially now that I've come down with a cold :-( Blech. And there's absolutely no way that I can call in on my first day back after eleven days off! Of course, getting sick on my last day off is preferable to getting sick on my first day off. But not getting sick would have definitely been best of all! Oh well, cold aside, it has been a fabulous vacation. The beginning was very busy with prepartions for the holidays, but there were definitely big doses of relaxation and fun. I've been getting a lot of spinning done (a lot of spinning for me, at least) and I'm still really enjoying the Foxfire batt. This pic shows how far I am into the first batt (full batt on top, batt I'm working on on the bottom).
I also got to use my new foam tiles to block out a scarf I made last summer. I had blocked it when I first finished it, but I wore it a few too many times in the summer heat (what can I say, I was really proud and wanted to show it off) and it wilted. This is about 13 gms of Navajo 3-ply silk (dyed by the silkworker) knit in the pattern "Fountain Lace" from either Barbara Walker 1 or 2 (sorry, feeling too sick and lazy to go look it up). I spun up the full two ounces I received from her, but this first ball turned out to be a different weight than the rest, so I made it into a scarf, while the rest will eventually be used for a stole. I absolutely love the colors in this scarf, and I'm so glad to have it blocked again so that I can wear it. I just need to try really, really hard not to sweat on it :-P And even though I've only used them once, I'm going to come out and say that I adore the foam floor tiles for blocking. They're thick enough to hold the pins, but they're lightweight and don't take up much room once they're disassembled. I'm so glad Mark took all my hints and got these for me. And the last little bit before I go collapse into bed and whimper:

I started a new quickie mindless knitting project. And I do mean quick and mindless. I am a SLOW knitter, I started these last night and I'm almost all the way up the foot! I'm making myself some footies for around the house from some hand dyed Trendsetter Blossom yarn. This yarn is so plush-silky-soft and I love the little rainbow nylon bits that stick out. I'm really not much for novelty yarns, but I really, really love this one. It is just so cushy and smooshy. Right now I wish I had a whole blanky knit from this to cuddle and comfort me during my battle with the crud. Blech.

Happy (and healthy) New Year!

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