Sunday, December 31, 2017

Blogmas Day 31: Blogmas Wrap Up

Here we are on the last day of the year. It sounds super cliche, but I feel like this year really did haul ass. There was just so much going on, y'all. This year was way too much and frankly, I'm glad it's over.

(Adorable 2018 tea towel calendar I got for Christmas)

Blogmas is also over and I have to say, I'm proud of myself for doing the whole shebang instead of Blogvent like I had originally intended. Writing for myself has been really fun and it's something I've looked forward to every day! I intend on staying on the blog train, as it were, because like I talked about in my post on DPD, having a record I can refer to about past events is honestly very helpful and healing for me.

I'll have another post going up tomorrow about small goals I have for January, but I probably won't be blogging every single day. While it was fun, it's also a lot of work!

I plan on posting about sewing and knitting projects I'm working on, as well as other creative endeavors, and just putting pen to paper as it were about what's going on with me.

I don't have any plans for this evening. I'll probably spend it on the sofa, watching Netflix and knitting something (FOR MYSELF!!!) and watching the fireworks over the Lake Union from my living room window. 

I hope everyone has a safe and mindful New Year, lord knows we deserve it.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Blogmas Day 30: Obligatory Resolutions Post

I've chatted in the past about the split schools of thought on whether sharing resolutions is basically shooting yourself in the foot or not. Personally, sharing my goals with others is a way of holding myself accountable because nothing makes me hate myself more than getting an email from someone that's like 'Hey, is this still happening?'.

Granted, I'm not going to write a whole long list of things I'm definitely not going to do and or things I'm going to unhealthily obsess over. What I'd rather do is make commitments to myself and give myself very broad goals for the year as a whole and focus on smaller, monthly goals. Something I've really liked is the idea of giving a year in time a "theme" so to speak, so I want to try that out for 2018.

In 2018, I want to trust my own two hands.

I feel like I can apply this in a lot of different areas of my life, whether it's my mental health, creative endeavors, politics, my business, etc. I second-guess myself a lot, y'all. I want to commit to myself in this new year that I'll trust my instincts a little more. Everything else comes secondary to trust in pretty much any aspect of life.

There are other things I want to commit to that fall under a pretty broad category that I can drill down into as the year goes on, such as taking better care of my body, being more creative, managing my time better. But all of those things will come after I trust myself and the work I know I can do.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Blogmas Day 29: Instagram Best Nine

I'm just a touch late to the game, but I wanted to hold out until the last minute to get those extra faves in before generating my Instagram Best Nine for 2017.

In 2016, all of my best nine were (rightfully) selfies. Somehow two FOs managed to sneak in this year lol.

I constantly harp on and on about how much I hate having my picture taken and I think it's apparent in the non-selfies that I still feel kind of uncomfortable in front of a camera that I'm not holding myself. This is something I want to get better about, especially if I'm going to make a whole bunch of garments in the new year. I want to be able to show them off, especially if I spend all this time making them!

Same goes for taking photos of costumes. They're such a huge effort and I never get any shots of them. It sucks.

If I'm honest, I just don't know what to do in front of the camera. Do I look at it? Do I smile? Do I not smile? What am I supposed to do? My friends are so good at being in front of a camera and I'm just like "How? How do I do this?" as if a camera is some magical thing that renders me completely unable to process a basic thought.

I've watched videos on this very thing, but I still can't seem to be comfortable with having my picture taken and I'm sure it has something to do with self-image or something. I also have this weird fear of people seeing me take photos of myself out in public. For someone who doesn't give a shit what people think of me, I sure do care if they see me snapping a selfie. What a weird and stupid thing to care about!

I'm going to try my best to be more comfortable with myself and the moments I want to preserve next year. Maybe I should just get a phone case that says "If you don't like me taking a picture of myself, you can suck it I guess".

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Blogmas Day 28: Fo la la la la, my shawl is done!

I think I set a personal record for how fast I completed a project because my Nirmilintu is already finished! Can I just say I really need to invest in some actual blocking mats because blocking on towels on your bathroom floor is some shit I need to leave in 2017.

FO Notes:
- I remain in love with garter stitch because I hate purling and there's no purling in this pattern
- The lace pattern is super easy and the chart (my first chart!) was super easy to understand
- I somehow managed to flub at least one row of lace in each lace repeat but it's not an actual design so you can't really tell
- Boy, did I hate this bind-off. I know it's to give you that pointy picot edge but for some reason, it gave me hand cramps and I feel like it took forever.
- The pattern didn't take nearly as much yarn as it said it would. My skeins are 400y each, but I didn't even use the full first skein. I could have done loads more repeats but I didn't want this huge cumbersome shawl. So, now I have an entire skein left over and then some, which will probably be used for socks if I'm honest.

All in all, this was a super quick knit and I already kind of want to cast on another one in this gorgeous emerald fingering weight yarn I have in my stash as a late Christmas gift for my sister.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Blogmas Day 26: Wearability Worries

One of the great things about being a home sewist now is the sea of choice you have when it comes to fabric. There are so many amazing options out there now, especially with places like Spoonflower were up and coming illustrators and artists can get their work out there.

I've always been a huge fan of fun prints and bright colors. There was a time when nearly my entire wardrobe was comprised of jersey knit tops and dresses that had fun prints like animals or typewriters or bicycles on them.

Now that I'm a little older and live in a different city where fashion trends are much different, I worry about the wearability of heavily printed items. Don't get me wrong, I don't give a shit what people think of me, but there is something to be said about how you present yourself out there into the world and unfortunately, nothing makes something look home sewn quite like printed fabric.

As I'm getting ready for #sewmystyle (less than a week until January!), I've been waffling about what fabric I want to make the first project in. It's a pattern called the Sunny Dress by Friday Pattern Company, and regardless of me thinking this is barely a dress and more of a tunic, it's still really cute and I can't wait to see how it turns out.

(if you have to pull it down it's not a dress, my dudes)

As someone with a huge ass, I'm digging all these indie pattern designers opting for the curved hemlines. It looks great on me so thanks for that, y'all.

But, here's my conundrum: I don't know if I want to make this in a print or a solid. I've narrowed my choices down to four different fabrics, two solids and two prints.

(Top: Organic Hemp and Cotton from Stonemountain, Eye Print fabric from Stonemountain
Bottom: Inky Raindrops from Spoonflower, Italian Windsor Tissue Weight from Mood Fabrics)

In an effort to get more variety of color into my wardrobe (I have a very odd amount of blue in there, somehow), my two solids are warm-toned. I've had my eye on that wine-colored tissue weight from Mood for a hot minute and will probably buy some yardage regardless. I also really love the terracotta color of the second option. I used to wear this color a lot in Florida and find it to be super flattering on my olive skin.

As for prints, I wanted something fun but still monochromatic because knits with too much going on tend to look like either pajamas to me. I'm a sucker for watercolor anything, so I'm really into the raindrop print and how apt because Seattle.

I've also been on the hunt for some interesting eye fabric, which is a weird sentence I never thought I'd type. But this particular style of print seems to be really hot right now and I'm definitely into it, though I can't explain why. There's just something about it that makes me go "Yes, good." and I think this would look really cool as a tunic over some leggings with a cardigan thrown over it, y'know?

Truth be told, I'm probably going to grab both a solid and one of the prints. You can never have too much jersey knit, honestly, and some of my t-shirts are getting to the point where they can't really be repaired anymore and will probably have to be replaced soon.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Blogmas Day 25: It's Christmas, y'all!

As if waking up to a lovely dusting of snow on the ground Christmas morning wasn't gift enough, I was pretty thoroughly spoiled this year as far as presents go.

(I know some people find this type of thing in poor taste but no one is making you read my blog, Tiffany.) 

My partner spoiled me with lots of Overwatch goodies. Expect my Snowball plush to find his way into a lot of my Instagram photos, y'all. Same with the crocheted Murloc that my mom made me. Isn't it precious?! I love theeem!! The perfume from Lush is also (allegedly) D.Va themed. It's called Tank Battle and it smells like bubble gum and clove and I'm honestly so obsessed?

My partner and I also have a tradition of giving each other tea for Christmas to drink with our Christmas breakfast. I got them a variety of several Chai-style teas for them to try and I got two teas from David's Tea.

I also received this adorable 2018 tea towel calendar (it's got little sweaters!!!) and a skein of Woolen Boon yarn in the colorway "I Love Lisa Frank" from a Christmas knitting swap.

I'm so fortunate to have people in my life who love me and know me so well.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Blogmas Day 24: A Christmas Eve Cast-On

Christmas Eve cast-ons are a tradition I adore but had no idea existed up until like, three months ago. There's something so calming about turning your Christmas tree lights on, hunkering down on the sofa, and casting on a new project while your Christmas movie of choice plays.

It took me a day or two to decide what I wanted to cast on today because I was torn between two great options: I signed up for Woolberry Fiber Co.'s Gilmore Girls shawl club and I've been thinking of using the yarn for Ash Alberg's Feminist Killjoy shawl. I've also been anxious to dip into my Nox Yarn Co. + Lost & Fawned "Hygge" collab since it arrived in the mail and I think it would be beautiful as a pair of Mistletoe Kisses socks by The Knitting Expat.

Ultimately, I ended up going with something completely different: The Nurmilintu shawl by Heidi Alander, using my Woolberry Fiber Co. yarn. The colorway is called "Bjork Snow Girl", which makes me laugh every time.

Christmas cookies are frosted, I have my hot chocolate, and 'The Muppet Christmas Carol' is playing in the background.

Oh, and it's snowing outside! A Christmas Eve for the books, I'd say.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Blogmas Day 23: Miss Back-On-Her-Bullshit

Y'all, I know I already said I try too many knit-a-longs, but ya gurl just can't help but throw herself into new projects, okay? The #2018makenine hashtag is making the rounds on Instagram and I'm feeling super hyped about it. I'm loving some of the things my fellow makers are committing themselves to in the new year and I especially love newer makers feeling more empowered to take on these challenges because they have a whole community to support them.

Because I remain The Most, I couldn't just make 9 things in total. I had to do 9 sewing projects and 9 knitting projects. I'm also doing #boxofsocks2018, #SewMyStyle, a scrappy socks KAL, and a seamless set-in sleeves sweater challenge. 

In my defense, a lot of the challenges I want to take on in 2018 also overlap. Is that cheating? It's probably cheating. But a lot of my excitement comes from all of the new techniques I want to learn and skills I want to hone in the new year. I want 2018 to be the year that I spend becoming more well-rounded in hobbies that I actually enjoy instead of trying to force myself to learn German for the fourth year in a row, knowing I'm never going to use it and I'm never going to be fluent.

So, let's take a peak at the agenda for next year, starting with sewing:

(Top L-R: Cascade Duffle by Grainline Studios, Kelly Anorak by Closet Case Patterns, Lander Shorts by True Bias
Middle L-R: Renfrew Top by Sewaholic, Suki Kimono by Helen's Closet, V8810 by Vogue Sewing
Bottom L-R: Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns, Carolyn Pajamas by Closet Case Patterns, Moneta by Colette Sewing)

Three years ago, I would have thought it really weird to have two different types of coats, but I lived in Florida and therefore knew nothing of the real world. Seattle requires like, 4 different jackets. It's ridiculous. I'm compromising with just two: I'll probably tackle the Kelly anorak jacket first and the Cascade duffle coat second.

I'm also tackling two different bottoms: a pair of jeans and a pair of shorts. The shorts are part of #sewmystyle and I'm really excited about them! I LOVE how these style of shorts look on me (I have wider hips so I find them to be very flattering). I'm also really excited to try out the Ginger jeans. These are literally everywhere so there's no shortage of help if I get stuck, and are very flattering for wider-hipped persons like myself.

My partner got me a serger as an early Christmas gift, so I wanted to try my hand at a few simple knit patterns. There's a knit shirtdress as part of the #sewmystyle, but I've been wanting to crank out a few Renfrew tops as well as the Moneta. For the Vogue dress, I've had this super cute viscose printed fabric lying around for awhile, but it frays like crazy so I'll probably finish it with my serger as well. The Moneta and Vogue dress are dresses that seem to pair really well with handknit sweaters!

I've also been meaning to make myself a pair of pajamas and a robe for like, ever. The Carolyn pajamas are also getting a lot of love around the blogosphere, so again, there's help if I get stuck. The Suki kimono robe is also on #sewmystyle and something I've had my eye on for awhile. I plan to make them out of more luxurious fabrics because I want to be fancy like that.

Now, onto the knitwear!

(Top L-R: Layla Socks by The Knitting Expat, Damejakka Loppa by Pinneguri, Bird in Hand Mittens by Kate Gilbert
Middle L-R: Pavement by Veera Välimäki, Heliopath Vest by Emma Welford, Bendy Arrow Shawl by Charlotte Bory
Bottom L-R: Herringbone Cowl by Purl Soho, Brioche Cowl by Purl Soho, Plain Jane by Andi Satterlund)

I feel like putting any sort of sock pattern on here is kind of a cop-out because I'm doing #boxofsocks2018 and therefore, should be knitting twelve pairs, but I really haven't ventured outside of vanilla socks and want to commit myself to knitting a sock with a pattern. Not to mention, I want to make these to wear them this year instead of in 2019.

I don't think I've ever attempted colorwork before, so I have two projects to put me to the test: the Bird in Hand mittens and the Damejakka Loppa cardigan. I'll probably tackle the mittens first because I tend to do better on small-scale projects when learning a new skill and I don't think my heart could take ripping back an entire cardigan.

I also want to attempt brioche. I've tried a few times this year but I just don't get it so I've kind of given up on it. But it produces such a lovely squishy fabric that I'm going to try again next year.

As part of Andi Satterlund's seamless set-in sleeves KAL, I'm going to go simple with the Plain Jain cardigan (I may possibly finish my Miette as well but there's something about that pattern that hates me). Andi hosts a lot of really fun KALs throughout the year and I did attempt her Salal KAL but the lace pattern was a little too confusing for me so I frogged it and will probably use the yarn for the Plain Jane.

You can see that I decided on which sweater to replace my Gap sweater with, which is the Pavement. I loved the curved hem and the garter stitch neck and I'm really into its simplicity. I can't help but think it'll look really cute with my Ginger jeans!

I'm also going to knit the Heliopath vest specifically because it'll look cute with jeans and over the top of one of my Tradlands button-downs or a Renfrew.

The Bendy Arrow shawl and the herringbone cowl are two patterns that I've been meaning to knit for literal years and even have the yarn for, but for some reason, I keep knitting shit for other people instead! But I'm finally going to bang these two out this year.

This is definitely a lot when I look at it like this. But when I span these things out over the course of an entire year, it's a lot more doable. I'm pretty excited to get started and I think seeing my closet fill up with garments that I worked really hard on and really took the time to get them right, it'll be that much more fulfilling.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Blogmas Day 22: When You Hate Everything You Make

I dunno, y'all. My past few dyeing sessions have been less than fantastic. I'm just not liking what I'm making lately. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with my general mood this time of year, but part of me worries that I'm just bad at this particular craft.

Here are my last few skeins. For some reason, the colors are just so uneven and there's a lot of bleeding where I used to not get any and I can't figure out why.

Maybe I should invest in some cheap undyed skeins for a few practice rounds to see where the disconnect is. I'm sure I could also do with a little more self-study. Maybe I should make a binder for dye recipes and really pay attention to my solutions. It's not that I don't do that normally, but I've been less inclined to do things "by the book" lately.

I'm just really bummed that the one thing I'm good at seems to be a source of stress, especially as I'm planning a shop update next month.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Blogmas Day 20: The Sweater Replacement Project

I have this sweater from The Gap in my closet that I wear a lot. Enough that I apparently wore a hole right under my boob, which a stranger so graciously pointed out to me. Rad.

Normally, I'd just mend it, but this isn't a high-quality garment to begin with. There's a lot of pilling on the back and under the arms and I've found no less than 3 snags while looking for other holes. I bought this sweater second hand about a year ago, and the person I bought it from said it was a few years old anyway.

So, to replace it, I'd like to knit a similar simple pullover-style sweater. Here are some options I'm looking into:

(L to R: Painting by Katrin Schneider, Pavement by Veera Välimäki, Buckwheat by Veera Välimäki)

The first sweater I'd like to replace is similar in style to these three options. It has full-length sleeves, so if I chose Pavement or Buckwheat, I'd alter the sleeves to be full-length. Each sweater has something unique to offer, but I've definitely been leaning towards Pavement due to its interesting hem and neckline. 

I was originally going to go for the same color the original sweater is, which is a light dove grey, but after some stash diving I really want to use up my madelinetosh pashmina in the color "stormborn". I know that's a Game of Thrones reference, but I don't watch that show and I bought it because it was pretty and on sale.

The bottom hank is definitely more speckled than the rest, so I'll be using that for the yolk/shoulders. I have narrow shoulders and wider hips, so placing all the interest at the top of the sweater will be really balancing.

I'm really looking forward to this project and can't wait to see how it knits up!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Blogmas Day 19: My Entire Body Is Asleep

I'm fairly open about having depression, whether it's online or in person. The stigma surrounding it is total bullshit, so I try and be open and honest and upfront about it. I think mental health in general really needs to be talked about more, we need to be more open and honest with ourselves and each other about it. And considering my previous funk period, I wanted to touch on another thing I deal with a lot, especially around the holidays, which is why I'm tired of hearing about buying a god damn sun lamp.

About three years ago (almost four now), I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist as having DPD or Depersonalization Disorder. The entire process of figuring this out took about a year in and of itself because of what your mind and body go through under this disorder and how I was so sure it was just your run of the mill anxiety and depression because that seems to run into my family.

It wasn't until I mentioned offhand that during that past week I had felt like my entire body was asleep and my eyes felt like they were "old movies" that we started moving in a different direction. Suddenly, my being unable to recall childhood memories or even things that happened a few weeks ago made sense because DPD makes you feel like certain events didn't really occur. My constant feeling that I didn't belong anywhere made sense because DPD can also make you feel like you're not physically present in a situation.

Something I struggle with pretty frequently is the feeling like I am not physically present in my current plane of existence. The episodes only last a few minutes, but I'll be on the bus or I'll be sitting and having coffee and I suddenly feel like my whole body is "asleep" (think of a limb that's asleep) or that I'm made out of TV static. That I'm looking at myself outside of myself. It's especially apparent during depressive episodes where I can't even seem to recognize my own reflection, like it doesn't belong to me.

Less frequently is the feeling that I'm the only thing that's "solid" and the world around me isn't quite real. Almost as if it's a hologram. I get tunnel vision or my vision turns into "old movies" where everything is somehow darker and circular. I'm super glad this isn't something I deal with as often because it freaks me out every time and it's a great way to get me to fly into a full-blown anxiety attack.

One of the key factors in me even bothering with yet another blog is that my losing entire chunks of time seems to have become a more regular occurrence. If you've watched the show 'Westworld', there's a scene were Bernard asks Delores if she knows where she is and she responds with: "I am in a dream."

Besides freaking out that I'm some sort of ghost forever cursed to be stuck on a Seattle Transit bus, it also makes social situations incredibly...uncomfortable. For all involved, I'm sure. There was a time I thought I was faceblind because I would meet someone and then re-introduce myself to them because I didn't believe I had actually met them even though I recognized them. It's embarrassing, honestly. It also means that any sort of social outing that involves more than three people means I sit in silence, in which I look like I'm brooding, because I can't keep track of the conversations going on because I start to feel like I'm being pulled apart so to speak and I don't want anyone to notice. I'm not entire sure why this bothers me so much because literally no one has brought it up to me, which makes me think they haven't noticed, but then there's the added anxiety where I'm like "They absolutely know you're freaking out, you idiot, pull it together" and everyone is just too polite to say anything.

Unfortunately, there's not a lot I can do about these episodes right now. I do want to get back into therapy and talk to a professional about what to do about all of this. I've tried a few medications, but while they help with my depression, they don't really seem to have much effect on the DPD. Until then, I'm just going to have to keep doing what I've been doing for the past few years: Tell myself that I'm real and the world around me is real and hope that works.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Blogmas Day 18: Capsule App

Any time I speak an app into existence, some invisible demon steals it out of the damn air and whispers it into the ear of someone who actually has the skill to build it and then I find out about it like, months later. It's annoying but also fine because then I don't have to do any of the work.

Enter the "Capsule" app. Capsule is a free phone app available for iOS created by Kelsey Leftwich. It's super simple to use and you can link your Ravelry account, which is really awesome. You can add tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, and accessories with pictures and create capsule wardrobes from your items.

You import photos from your camera roll. All of mine came from a quick google search, but you can also snap photos of your clothes. I recommend hanging them up and placing them on the back of a solid color door, if you do.

You can also break it down further and create capsule wardrobes from your items. This is super handy if you live in an area that has actual seasons and to help you plan for upcoming changes in weather. Another great application would be to help you pack for trips. I used to do this with Polyvore, but that site leaves a lot to be desired lately so I've kind of stepped away from it.

Drill down further and you can create outfits! I wasn't super creative with any of the outfit names, but I imagine you could put the date or the occasion instead of just a number like I've been doing. This is what I'm wearing today, by the way!

The app even has a randomization feature if you'd just kind of stuck on what to wear. I've used it a few times and have gotten some really cute outfits from it!

I really like the simplicity of the app and I like the ability to import from Ravelry for sure. It makes getting dressed a lot easier instead of just standing in front of my closet going "Uh...what?" for like, an hour.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Blogmas Day 17: Fire Pit Mitts

I mentioned before that I was kind of addicted to joining knit-a-longs but never actually finish the assigned project. Well, suck it Past Me, I finished a project for a knit-a-long in the assigned amount of time with plenty of time to spare.

Using some yarn I got in a KnitCrate back in October, I cast on a pair of Tayler Earl's Fire Pit Mitts in the long version. I have this really cute salmon coat by Lauren Moffatt (not USA made, but until I find another coat to replace it with, it's all I have), but the sleeves are 3/4 length so regular gloves just don't seem to work with it. My Fire Pit Mitts are the perfect length to wear with this coat, and they look pretty cute peeking out from under my Tradlands flannels.

I've been meaning to make a pair of mittens or gloves for myself, but OTHER people keep needing shit lol. Y'all this was such a fast knit, I banged out the pair while binge-watching 'The Crown'. There's something about worsted weight yarn on size US7 needles that just makes projects fly off!

This pattern was super simple and easy to memorize. You're literally just knitting the in the round and making a thumb gusset. A pair of the short mitts would make a really good Christmas gift too and considering how fast these are, you have plenty of time to churn out a few pairs.

Not to mention, I had a fair bit of yarn left over! I have another skein of this same yarn so I might make a matching hat or something with the leftovers.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Blogmas Day 16: MTV True Life I Binged Watch Tudor Farming Documentaries

I joke a lot with my friends about how my retirement plans consist of living in a tiny cottage in the woods with a flock of sheep so I can live the rest of my life in peace as a forest hag. I'm halfway joking. Sort of. 

I have always wanted to own or work on a farm, specifically a sheep farm. Even before I began knitting, I've always loved the temperament of sheep and my dad grew up on a dairy farm. Over the summer, I stayed on a farm in Oregon for a weekend and while feeding a few pigs and chickens for two days isn't actually farming, there was something about the environment itself that I felt incredible at home in. 

Over the weekend, while finishing up Christmas knitting projects, I watched a BBC series hosted by a historian and two archaeologists about life on a monastic farm during the Tudor period. Apparently this trio have hosted a fair few of these specials on farms during different time periods and I wonder if they want a fourth person to hang out with? Anyway.

I found a lot of the things I took for granted before, I really appreciate now. Like clean drinking water and not having to make paper out of linen pulp (though I've done that before in Girl Scouts). There was a lot, technology wise, that I had no idea even existed back in the 1500s. I never knew you could process lead outside of a factory despite taking an art history course that had an entire unit on the Bronze Age. I didn't know curdled milk was used to make floors waterproof or that soldering existed that far back.

It was an incredible enlightening series and I really enjoyed it. You can watch the Christmas Special (perfect timing!) for free with Amazon Prime and there's even a book to go along with it!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Blogmas Day 15: The Crown Got Me Like

Y'all, I finished 'The Crown' and I'm SHOOK. By nature of being American, I know very little about the Royal Family. It's not like I know that much more now, considering this is a TV show and I'm sure things are changed around to make events seem more compelling and dramatic and juicy. I still think Prince Phillip is a huge butthole and the show didn't make me feel any sympathy for Charles. We all had to deal with our dads being shitty and go to schools we didn't like, Charles.

Like the rest of the internet, I'm obsessed with the costumes. Especially this number worn by Queen Elizabeth II in episode 7 of season 1. I may or may not have a similar deep plum fabric sitting in my Mood Fabrics shopping cart right now.

There's something I really love about the more casual attire worn throughout the series as well. Yeah, ballgowns and Queenly attire is all well and good, but there's something very human about the leader of a (former) global empire wearing a cardigan, y'know?

I haven't looked to see when season 3 is gonna drop or even if it's going to happen but 'The Crown' was just the thing I needed to help lift me up out of me previous funk because no matter how bad I think I've messed up, I've never been banished from my own country by my niece for being bff with Hitler.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Blogmas Day 14: Old Lady Craft Hands

If you sew or knit or just generally use your hands a lot, you're probably familiar with the phenomenon I like to call "Old Lady Craft Hands". I'm sure there's at technical term for it, but I like mine better so suck it I guess.

My hands cramp up a LOT and instead of taking care of my body to avoid arthritis later in life (lol as if), I have a few things I do to kind of soothe the pain. Now that it's colder and my knuckles like to tell me when it's going to rain (which is always because I live in Seattle), I've been using them a lot more. Christmas time is especially brutal because it's a perfect storm of cold weather and crafting overdrive to make sure Christmas gifts get finished on time.

1. Compression Gloves

I knit a lot of small, fiddly things like socks and Christmas ornaments during the holidays and find my hands cramp up pretty badly after an hour or two. I have a simple pair of compression gloves from JoAnn Fabrics that I keep in my Fringe Supply field bag, but I've been looking into a nice pair like these ones from Easy Comforts.

2. Tiger Balm

Again, despite the fact that I'm not even 30 yet, I need to make sure everyone around me knows I am internally 97 years old. Therefore, I carry a tiny pot of Tiger Balm around with me everywhere I go. I use it in small amounts and no one seems to notice the smell or they're just to passive aggressive to say anything. I'd say too polite, but again, this is Seattle. If you've never used Tiger Balm, it's similar to Icy Hot, which would be a fine alternative if you can't find this. But Tiger Balm definitely works better on me. I just rub a tiny amount on the parts of my hands that hurt the most and it starts working in a few minutes.

3. Wiccy Magic Muscles Massage Bar

Much like the Tiger Balm above, I rub this little dude on my hands and arms to help with sore muscles. And there's something to be said I'm sure that the rubbing is what's doing the actual work, but the cinnamon oil in this massage bar does actually help. Wiccy Magic Muscles was the first Lush product I ever bought, even before I worked there, and will always be a favorite.

4. Heat

Heat helps loosen the tight muscles in your hands and arms after long bouts of working them. There are tons of options out there for heat packs that can be microwaved (and some that are both hot AND cold), but I just use an old (clean) sock filled with rice. I pop that bad boy in the microwave for a spell and then rest the toasty pack on my hands while I take a break from knitting or sewing. I also like to knead the warmed rice a little and that seems to help a bit.

Rest also helps, but I seriously never know when to quit and if I could knit in my sleep, I probably would. I'm definitely going to have some gnarly looking hands in my twilight years, but that's a problem for Future Hadeel to contend with.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Blogmas Day 13: Feels Bad Man

The past few days have been...tough? And before anyone is like "oh it's the weather" it's absolutely not the weather. I'm somehow the only person in Seattle that's unbothered by the lack of sun. It's not the weather. It's just the end of the year.

The end of the year has always been a tough time for me. I'm hardest on myself during this time because I always get this overwhelming feeling of not having accomplished anything. A year wasted, essentially.

Even though I know this isn't true, I can't help but feel this way. Another year of me not being a doctor or a lawyer, another year of spending too much time on the computer, another year of not taking care of my body. Another year of being a disappointment.

This shit all starts in November and just ramps up right around this time and despite the fact that I've been having this same spell every year for the past five years, it catches me by surprise every time.

This year in particular, where I've done so much still feels like a year of not enough. I've talked to professionals and nothing seems to help. I even bought a stupid sun lamp because no one will get off my back about this weather (it's not the weather). Nothing seems to help.

I think there's more to unpack here than whether or not the sun is out. I just wish I knew what it was.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Blogmas Day 12: Yarn Chicken

My mom is the type of person who, each year upon asking her what she wants for Christmas, she replies with "Make me something!". So I'm making her something. And like every other project I have taken on during the course of my entire life, I sure as shit didn't plan ahead and nearly ran out of yarn before I finished.

This is all I had for the final two rows, the bind off, and to make tassels with. Is it just me or do other people start knitting faster when they see their skein getting smaller and smaller. In my mind, the music indicating that you only have 100 seconds left in a Mario level started playing and y'all, I was sweating. But I was able to bind off with just enough to make tassels. There was literally no yarn left over.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Blogmas Day 11: Addicted to Knit-a-Longs

I really cranked up my knitting this year. It was something I did really passively for awhile, a scarf or hat here, some baby stuff there. All for other people, as gifts. But something about this year made me like "Fuck yeah, LET'S GOOOOO" with the knitting and I've joined like, eighty KALs.

Y'all, I can't stop joining knit-a-longs. It's ridiculous. I NEVER finish in the allotted amount of time. I can't seem to figure out why I keep doing this or why I think I have enough time to participate in all of these things, but here I am.

I think it's because I like the sense of community that a knit-a-long brings? We're all kind of working on the same thing together, we're all on the same timeline. If I get lost or stuck on a pattern, I can ask the others who are participating for help.

But I should probably stop joining KALs if I can't actually finish. I might join some KALs next year if they're longer or the projects are simpler, but there's no way I can finish 17 sweaters. No matter how fast I knit.

I also kind of want to host a KAL of my own, with my own yarn. But I know that should come a little later in the year for sure.

There's one thing that participating in KALs has done for me, whether I've finished the project or not: It's kept me knitting and I've really enjoyed the process of making with my hands this year.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Blogmas Day 10: A Christmas Gift Guide (For Me)

Like, if we're real honest, we all know gift guides serve as a way for bloggers to get some kickback through affiliate links. I mean, I'm sure people have found cute shit to get people via a gift guide, but let's not kid ourselves. I mean, I'm all for getting your payday, but I see you. I don't think I'll ever monetize this blog and if I'm honest, I should be paying y'all to read this nonsense as an apology lol

But the more I think about it, the more I kind of get it? I've definitely been in the position where someone finds out I knit and I get a skein of yarn I'll NEVER use and a pair of knitting needles in a size that I already have three of. Or, oddly enough, I've definitely gotten "Learn To Knit" kits from a work gift exchange and I mean yeah, the thought counts, but if you're unfortunate enough to hear me harp on about extremely complicated garments, why would I...need...that?

So, here's a non-affiliate link gift guide for those of you who are a little confused on what to get the maker in your life. Or me. You can buy any or all of this for me.

Starting from the top, enamel pins are really big right now. I totally get it and have my fair share of them and I continue to accumulate more. They're inexpensive, wearable art! My own book has an enamel pin you can nab, as well. Enamel pins make perfect stocking stuffers (or just put it on the stocking because that's also cute) and there are no shortage of designs. I'm sure you'll be able to find the perfect pin.

You also can't go wrong with some really fun self-striping yarn. Self-striping yarn is perfect for all levels of knitters because it makes the final garment look more polished, in my opinion. I always get compliments on my striped socks!

Progress keepers and stitch markers are another avenue you can go down, especially if you're on a tighter budget. Like enamel pins, stitch markers and progress keepers run the gamut of interests. From foods to fandoms, there are stitch markers out there that'll tickle anyone's fancy. Not to mention, they're one of those items that knitters and crochets can never have too many of.

Another item I personally can't seem to get enough of is project bags. I'm one of those terrible people that knits like fifty things at a time and they all need their own project bags. I want to say, at last count, I had 6 or 7, and I plan on making a few more. They make knitting and crocheting all the more portable while keeping all the notions and yarn in one place, which is not at the bottom of my backpack where it can get tangled.

A yarn bowl is a perfect place to store the new yarn one gets for Christmas. They come in all shapes and sizes, but this one is particularly cute. It's a hedgehog! What's not to love?

Just as one amasses yarn, one also does the same with knitting needles. While straight needles, hooks, and double pointed needles can be stored fairly easily, circular needles are a little more difficult to wrangle. I used to keep them stored in the little cellophane pouches they come in when you buy them, but those eventually start falling apart. I've seen some sewn circular needle organizers out there, but this one is by far the cutest. The seller also has the sewing pattern available, so if you have a knitter who also sews (that Venn Diagram is nearly a complete circle), the pattern and some cute fabric would be a nice little gift as well.

Again with the enamel pins, but this one was too cute to pass up. I also may have bought it for myself when I found it.

Shibori fabric seems to be very en vogue right now, and I can definitely see why. This complex folding-then-dyeing technique produces incredible and unique results. Impactful in both large and small quantities, shibori fabric would love beautiful in small garments like a camisole, or in patchwork quilts.

Ask any sewist to name their most valuable tool and I'm willing to wager that most, if not all, will say their shears. And because all of us seem to live with absolute monsters who open their Amazon Prime shipments with said shears, a new pair of really stunning shears that will last for years to come with proper care and frequent sharpenings will never be unwelcome.

As someone who sews very involved and large-scale projects, sometimes I get Project Fatigue and can't bear to look at my sewing machine, but I still have the urge to sew something. Little handsewn projects like this ornament kit really fit the bill. There's enough material in the kit to make 24 ornaments, which will fit a smaller tree just beautifully or can fill in the gaps on a larger tree that houses other lovely ornaments. It's the perfect thing to do while binge-watching Brooklyn 99 on the sofa.

I wanted to include another fabric in this roundup because this particular fabric by Fireside Textiles is really something else. Each piece is screen printed by hand in varying motifs and some are even made with shimmery ink. They don't come in full yards just yet, but even the largest pieces can have sizeable projects made from them. I met and chatted with the creator of Fireside this year at GeekGirlCon and it really gave me an appreciation for fabric as a form of art.

Another fabulous kit that combines two of my favorite Japanese crafts: sashiko and shibori. This kit includes a pattern for the ever-popular Stowe bag by Grainline Studio, fabric, and needles and thread. It literally has everything you need to make a gorgeous and one of a kind bag, no sewing machine required!

So, to preface this section a little: my whole reason for diving back into knitting and sewing and just creating pretty much full bore was because I wanted to get the fuck off the internet and do something else. The internet can be such a negative place, especially right now, but no one is forcing me to be perpetually logged onto twitter and facebook. I know how ironic that sounds from someone who blogs, but everyone needs a break and you might as well do something useful.

One of the crafts I wanted to learn last year (but didn't get around to it) was weaving. I actually got a Squid Ink Co. loom for Christmas last year, but haven't really done anything with it. But, I broke it out of its Rubbermaid prison and put it on my craft table so I'd be more tempted to learn a bit about it. Squid Ink Co. has an even smaller loom available now and it would make a really great stocking stuffer.

One of the weird skills I picked up from cosplay is LED circuits and how I can translate them into clothing and costumes, which led me into an entire world of e-textiles and Smart Textiles. This fun firefly jar sewing kit is super cool and very unique. It's also very customizable. I could see this being a cute standalone project or a really rad applique on a denim vest.

Leatherworking is another trade that's seeing a bit of a resurgence with the ~*~millenials~*~. For killing off every industry, I sure am seeing a lot of people my age take up more tactile hobbies. Weird, right? I saw this little wallet kit and it never occurred to me that I could make my own. I make my own clothes, my own outerwear, but I never thought to make the one object I hold at least once a day? Leatherworking is one of those skills that isn't very forgiving (once you poke a hole in leather, it's there for good), but it's extremely rewarding.

Painting is also very rewarding, especially now that Bob Ross is on Netflix. My friend Holly uses these watercolors and having seen them being used in person, I want to get my own set. They have really small sets, too, so you're kind of forced to get creative with color and opacity.

Like I mentioned in a previous blog post, I accidentally took up spinning yarn. And by accidentally, I mean on purpose because I have no impulse control. Spinning has been pretty therapeutic for me lastly and even though I'm not super great at it, the physics of spinning fiber into yarn is definitely interesting. And now that I have a bit of handspun yarn, I have something to practice weaving with!

Embroidery is also one of those skills that anyone can pick up and it's as portable as you want it to be. It's literally drawing on fabric and you get the added skill of being able to fix your clothes if something happens to them. Visible mending is all the rage in slow fashion these days. I picked this particular set because it looked really cute and I love flowers, but there are nerdy embroidery kits and even offensive ones out there. And you don't really need a kit. Just pop down to Joann or Michael's, pick up one of those cute mini embroidery hoops, some muslin, and a few floss colors and you've made a cute little kit to give to someone special. Or me. I'll also take it.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Blogmas Day 9: Another Con Bites The Dust

For the past however many years, I along with millions of other people, begrudgingly wake up assbutt early on a Saturday morning to attempt to get tickets to the biggest comic and pop culture convention on earth: San Diego Comic Con.

Despite the fact that I've never gotten past the "virtual waiting room" in my last ten or eleven attempts, I still set my alarm for six in the morning for that fateful Saturday so I have time to get coffee and wash my face and put in my registration code and sign a blood pact with an ancient god and light a candle and and and.

There are entire networks of people who exchange information and plan months in advance for a chance to get a single ticket for this thing. Part of me wonders why because the people that DO get in, complain about the lines and not getting a special plastic toy or a sticker sheet or their fave being problematic or or or.

This year is the first year where I've kind of wondered if I'm just...too old for conventions? But this was also a thought I had at six in the morning so it's not to be completely trusted. I did tell myself that this would be the last year I tried for these stupid tickets because I've never gotten past that insipid blue pinwheel and I don't need to be wasting my Saturday morning staring at it like it holds some secret. It doesn't. It's a line of code and the moment you enter your registration number in, your fate is already chosen and you just have to wait to see if you've won this lottery.

I did not win the lottery this year. I foolishly sat in that room, that stupid blinky circle on one screen and an episode of "The Crown" on a secondary screen. I sat there for about an hour until the text inside the yellow marque changed to "all passes have sold out".

But, I'm still going, for two of the days at least. I finally wised up and looked into one of these networks of people where you swap info and all sit and wait together. A friend of mine ended up getting in and we were able to snag Thursday and Sunday passes.

I'm still really excited about getting to go. It's one of those things that has to be seen to be believed. The jury's still out on whether or not to cosplay, but I think it's something I'd have to bring my best work to. I have about seven months to prepare, so I guess we'll see what I decide.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Blogmas Day 8: When you wanna be a soft mori girl but you're just soft

For the past couple of years, I've been really into this artist I met back when I had a tumblr (lol) named Teagan White. I've always been drawn to botanical art and hers is some of the best out there. I managed to snag a print from her last year, but I still haven't hung it up yet. I really need to get a frame for it and just hang the damn thing already. Maybe that's what I'll do this weekend.

Recently, she launched an online collab studio with fellow artist Erica Williams and they have some stunning stuff in their store. It's called GALLOW COVEN and I'm having a hard time not spending All The Money there. One thing I want so badly I'm having a hard time not whipping out my credit card is this incredible set of prints.

They're all hand-stamped with gold foil on black matte stock and y'all. Y'all. I'm SHOOKETH. I can already picture them artfully arranged on the wall above my sewing table, honestly.

Which kind of brings me to the topic of aesthetic. Maybe it's because I was born in Portland and still live in the Pacific Northwest, but I have this innate desire to be a Mori Girl or a Strega Girl. There's a lot to unpack about how a lot of the so-called New Age and Modern Witch practices are resurfacing and are now being marketed towards white girls when it's something Latinx women have had to keep to themselves forever, but that sounds like another post honestly. Fashion is complicated, go figure.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Blogmas 7: I went to a Nutritionist and didn't die, somehow?

Real talk: I suck when it comes to food. I don't eat nearly enough, I don't eat the right things, I suck at cooking, and I've definitely been on that diet cycle train for close to a decade now.

I decided I would seek out the help of a nutritionist so I could just eat and get on with my life. I had my 2-hour intake appointment today and it was the most well-spent two hours of my adult life, honestly.

Without going into every little detail, my nutritionist is an incredible person and we're going to be looking at nutrition through a very specific lens for my personal journey. I have a lot of feelings tied up in food, colonialism, Eurocentric beauty standards, etc. and we're going to tackle my needs in a way that will help me dismantle these systems from my own life.

I had a lot of anxiety going into the appointment, but now I'm really excited to get started. I have two appointments next week before the winter break and then next year I can only imagine all of the really amazing things we're going to achieve together.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Blogmas Day 6: I wanna keep talking about clothes tho

Okay so yesterday I talked about the mess that was not only my closet but also my life and I wanna keep talking about that today. The whole purpose of this whole "let's get back into blogging" thing was because in addition to taking up every hobby in the world, I'm also back on my sewing bullshit lol. I'm the worst, I swear to god y'all.

I've been sewing for a hot minute, but most of my skills have been used to partake in Weeaboo Nonsense (cosplay) and I want to start taking it seriously and making myself some serious garments. Now that I have a serger, all bets are off and the knits are comin' OUT, y'all.

I have this insane desire to be self-sufficient and making actual, wearable garments is part of that. As 2017 draws to a close (where the frick did this year go tho), I find myself making new goals and resolutions for the year to come.

I've read studies (and by studies I mean, I read the headline and the first half-paragraph) on how you're more likely to achieve goals and meet your new years resolutions if you shut the hell up about them, but I'm the type of person who has to be held accountable because I'm a five-foot-tall child I guess. I'm extremely fortunate to be surrounded by amazing people who DO hold me accountable and frequently check in with me about goals, so I don't know if that particular advice really holds true for me, I guess.

In addition to carrying my 2017 goal of not buying any new clothing from fast fashion stores, I want to expand on it. I'll continue to abstain from fast fashion and I'll continue to give my business to American made brands because I've seen a lot of personal growth come from that. I no longer feel this undying urge to go shopping. I can go through Target and get ONLY the items on my shopping list (also sometimes a candy bar but that fell in there I dunno how that got there), I can walk through a shopping mall and not buy a single thing that isn't a bath bomb from Lush because those don't count hashtag self care.

My main struggle in 2017 with regards to my goal comes from a very unique place: Finding business professional work wear made in the USA that's not ugly is like, really hard?

Maybe it's because I have a kind of "unique" style that isn't really found in women's business wear or maybe women's business wear needs to cool it with the weird sorbet tones in October and ugly flower prints, I'm not sure. But I've got it in my head that I'd like to make myself a few staple pieces I can break out when clients are in the office and kind of in the same vein as what I brought up yesterday, I kind of like dressing up. I'd love to save my jeans for Fridays or something. Secretly, I want to be the fancy lady in the office, okay? I'm that bitch. There, I said it.

I'm trying to avoid the Decision Fatigue I've experienced in the past with clothing so I want to start small, at least. Now, you may think that none of this really screams "professional", but I DO work in tech and we're a very jeans and t-shirt office. But our clients come from finance so when they decide to pay us a visit, we break out the slacks and dresses.

I think a nice blouse, a skirt, a couple dresses, a blazer and a cardigan is a good jumping off point.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Blogmas Day 5: Little Black Dresses

My partner's holiday party is this Saturday evening. We're still not sure if we're going and normally this would stress me out (because honestly what doesn't) but this time around I'm totally fine. In years past, I was the type of person that had to have a new thing to wear for like, any major (and minor) event. Everything required a new outfit for some reason. Holiday party? Log into Kate Spade. Job interview? Stop by Banana Republic. Dentist appointment? Target. I'm kidding about the last one. Maybe.

The point is, it left me with a closet so full the doors wouldn't shut and clothing I would never wear again. I even bought clothing for events I didn't end up attending and had dozens of items with the hangtags on. A lot of it had to do with shopping to feel better about something (this, surprising no one, does not work) or the unforgiving cycle of decision fatigue. All of those issues on top of living in an area where fashion was A Whole Thing and it was the perfect storm for wastefulness. It legit hurts me to think about how much money, not to mention time, I wasted on that behavior. It was so bad that I actually decided to see a therapist about it (excessive and compulsive shopping is destructive behavior) and it took quite awhile to undo some really bad habits. But when I was ready, my therapist told me to watch a movie called The True Cost. It kind of snowballed from there and I read a few books on the fashion industry and the pitfalls of fast fashion.

My only resolution I made for for 2017 was this: I wouldn't purchase items from fast fashion stores and would only purchase from small companies that were based in and produced products in the United States. I won't lie, it was extremely difficult and the upfront cost kinda freaked me out but there were steps I took to ground myself in reality for the coming year.

To begin, I created a speadsheet of every item of clothing I owned. It was huge, by the way. I listed brand, when I bought it, how much it cost, the state of the item, where it was manufactured, and why I bought it. There was a huge number of items that hadn't been worn and had their hangtags on. These items were the first to go and a good 90% of them were able to be returned. The others I was able to unload via Poshmark and eBay. I didn't get all of my money back, but I did get some.

The next task was to look through clothing that didn't fit. We've all bought clothes with the intention of wearing them on a body we don't really have yet.

The hardest pick through was sentimental items, most of which were nearly threadbare. T-shirts from bands that no longer existed, most so full of holes I couldn't possibly wear them out and none of them fit so I couldn't wear them as pajamas, I had gym shorts from middle school for some reason, dresses from events long past that I could no longer get over my hips. It all had to go and it was hard.

There was also a fairly sizeable selection of items that I had that I had no intention of wearing at all and didn't even like but they all had one thing in common: I bought them when they were all on super sale (most from Target). This was the most shocking to me, honestly. This is still an impulse I fight today: buying something on sale because it's on sale. A lot of it has to do with growing up in poverty, but that's another post for another day.

When all of my sorting and picking was said and done I was left with a very bare bones closet and a very telling excel file. The amount of money I had spent on a closet I hated was pretty shocking and it actually helped me feel okay with spending more for pieces I knew would last ten or twenty times as long with proper care and were made by people who were paid a fair wage, worked in a safe environment, and had agency. The amount I spent on shitty Target-brand jeans and refused to throw away despite the fact my thighs had effectively rubbed them into shorts far exceeded how much I paid for a pair of jeans from Imogene + Willie, which come free hemming and repairs for a year and have yet to show signs of wear.

Instead of trolling the clearance rack at J.Crew to buy button ups I know won't fit and will have to safety pin closed, I spent the money at Tradlands and don't spend all day tugging at my shirt or panicking that my coworkers can see my bra because they can't.

But this post was about a dress for a party. This was my biggest hurdle. I love to dress up. I love to femme it up, I love to get pretty, I love fancy clothes. Most of the clothing I got rid of were party dresses from Kate Spade because nothing made me feel as feminine and Fairy Princess-y as Kate did. How would I overcome this, my true fashion love? I told myself I'd start very basic. I'd take it slow, I'd dip my toe in. I'd start with the "little black dress".

It took me a lot longer to find what I wanted, but find I did. The answer was right under my nose the entire time, as a matter of fact. My good friend Anna McClurg is an incredible seamstress and fashion designer, who's work I've been admiring for probably close to a decade now. I've been reading her blog since just after I graduated high school and it hit me one day that "Oh shit, Anna had this amazing black velvet dress". But when I went to her storefront, it wasn't something she carried anymore because duh, that collection was from like four years ago.

But here's the great thing about indie makers: They're all exceedingly amazing and cool and sometimes, if you send them a message with enough crying emojis, they'll reorder the fabric and make you a dress of your very own.

I remember getting it in the mail and just marvelling at how beautifully and carefully packaged it was. I almost didn't want to wear it because it was just so pretty in the tissue paper. But I bought it to wear it and I wasn't about to begin my cycle of buying clothes to hang them up and forget about them.

I've worn this dress to a Christmas party and a New Years Eve party. I wore it to Hamilton (and made sure to send a picture of that to Anna and literally everyone else I've ever met), I wore it to my birthday dinner, my anniversary dinner, and I recently wore it to a wedding. I've worn this dress more times than any other dress I've ever owned. And that's the point: buying clothes you love and feel good in and wearing them.

If we decide to go to the Microsoft Christmas party on Saturday, I'll wear it there, too. I'll probably wear it to my own company's Christmas party, I'll probably wear it on New Years Eve and hell. I'll probably wear it just because I want to and until I find another party dress as incredibly well made and beautiful as this one, I'm probably going to wear it until it falls apart but seeing as how skilled Anna is, that won't happen for years and years to come.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Blogmas Day 4: I actually went Christmas shopping, y'all.

In some weird turn of events, I am actually already finished Christmas shopping (save a few stocking stuffers and handmade items). Now I just have to wait for everything to get here, it needs to be wrapped and then sent off to wherever the frick it's supposed to go.

I just started my mom's Christmas present today and I'm already making hella headway on it. I figure if I make the same amount of progress as I made today throughout the week, this main part of it should be done by this weekend. I'm not really using a pattern, just something I'm coming up with on the fly, so I'm not sure how I want to finish it, but I'll see where I'm at on Friday and go from there.

Part of me wants to save some of it for Saturday so I'll have something to do at the Friday Tea brick and mortar opening on Saturday, but it's not like I don't have other projects to work on. Also I might not even be able to sit down if it's too crowded anyway. And can I talk about how pissed I am that this place is opening in Wallingford after I already announced to the universe I'm going back to the Eastside in May? I'm real buttmad about that. But it's not like I can't just...go there. I go to Ballard all the time. I go to The Cookie Counter in Greenwood all the time.

Anyway, I'm pretty pleased with myself for not putting Christmas shopping off until the last minute. It still stresses me out, but I did do it. I'm sure the stress will go away once I get confirmation from my parents that everything arrived, but also probably not lol I am never not stressed y'all.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Blogmas Day 3: I picked up another hobby because I'm dumb

I managed to pry myself off of my sofa in a cute outfit today to attend a trunk show and while there, I picked up a beautifully handcrafted wallet and spinning kit by Wild Lupine. Lupine (that's her real name which is so, so rad) is such a lovely person! I am so awkward and annoying IRL and told myself the entire walk up to the show "Don't be weird, please don't be fucking weird okay? DON'T." and I was probably super weird but Lupine was definitely not and we talked about spinning for a bit before I let myself wander around to look at the other sellers. I had seen these little spinning kits on her Instagram story and was like "Do I need another hobby? Naaah..." but I honestly couldn't resist. I love knowing how stuff is made and yarn is no different. Lupine told me I'd be obsessed with spinning and I totally am now. I haven't even MADE anything but I've watched a thousand videos since this morning and I'm like "guess I better buy some roving lol".

The kit came with a handmade spindle, a beautiful project bag, and two little puffs (they're definitely not called puffs, but I don't know what they're called) of randomly selected roving. I got a beautiful blue that reminded me of saltwater taffy for some reason and this other puff of brown and grey and ivory and y'all it is just my aesthetic okay. 

So I mean, it's obvious I have no idea what I'm doing from that picture but it was for The 'Gram anyway and I've since untwisted the mess I made and smoothed the roving back out and I'm going to watch more videos before I take another crack at it. I actually work with someone who spins yarn so I'll probably take this in tomorrow and be like "Uhhh so how do I make this not suck?"

I'm definitely not looking to add handspun yarn to my shop or anything, but my mom got me this mini loom last year for Christmas (again with the fiber hobbies) and I think it'd be kinda fun to like, make a few weavings out of the yarn just to have on the walls of my studio.

Outside of investing money in yet ANOTHER hobby, I rearranged my office a bit. I still have too much shit in there and really need to go through some things and downsize, but it's looking a lot better which is hilarious because we're moving in like 6 months. But I can't work in a space that's messy so might as well make it liveable for the next half-year. Might even hang some shelves if I'm feeling crazy.
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