I know it’s been awhile. I wouldn’t say it’s the holidays that made me too busy to blog; there’s really no one reason to blame. Maybe it’s the working 50 hours (or more) a week thing. It’s been tough enough to keep on up blog reading. And in the spare time that I have, I’d much rather be actually knitting and spinning than writing about it.

This was Christmas at my parent’s house.

I got to hang out with my sisters, see my dear kitty, Merlin, and do holiday stuff like frosting cookies and wrapping presents. I hardly left the house except to see a few high school friends at night, and it was completely relaxing. Christmas day is always extremely low-key with my family; it takes us hours to open all the gifts because we take our time, and take breaks, and enjoy being around each other. I don’t have many gift-knitting pictures, but I’ll show the ones I do have in my next post.

I’m not really one to make New Year’s resolutions, goals, life changes, etc. Usually I tell people that my resolution is “to be more awesome than last year.” But, reading all these blogs the past few weeks on the subject has inspired me to at least lay out some *guidelines* for improving my life a little bit.

1. Meal planning. I received a few cookbooks for the holidays that I had been wanting, and I would really like to actually use them. I get it together and cook every now and then, but this post over at Obsession with Food has inspired me to plan out the meals for the week. This will hopefully a) make cooking at home more and more frequent, b) allow me to be more adventurous and creative with what I make, and c) solve the pesky problem I tend to have of leftover, unused ingredients spoiling and going to waste.

2. Eating more intuitively. Another interesting blog post inspired this. I want to take on a new attitude toward, and better habits about eating. It’s not about dieting, but it is about both enjoying what I’m eating, and giving my body what it needs to feel good. Too often I deprive myself of adequate food during the day, and then come home and eat terribly in the evening. The meal planning should help with my dinner dilemmas, and make those late-night Taco Bell runs less frequent. And if I’m planning out my meals, it should be easier to ensure I’m eating wholesome, quality food, rather than whatever happens to be lying around.

3. Making time. I tend to think that I “don’t have enough time” to do everything, from infrequent hobbies to cleaning the house. While everyone just needs to chill out and do nothing once in awhile, I really think that I can use my time at home better. The other night when I got home from work, rather than sitting down immediately and knitting for 4 hours (until I was tired and starving), I got my laundry going, cleaned the bathroom, and vacuumed right away. It didn’t take very long, and I still had plenty of time to work on several different projects. I felt productive, and I didn’t spend the evening thinking about how filthy the house was. I want to be the same way about my other hobbies too. I’ve been trying to spin every few days, and and I hope to make sewing more frequent as well. Also included in this should be picture-taking and blogging 🙂

I’ve already got a ton of projects either started or in the planning stages.  Lots of good ideas and inspiration have been coming my way lately.  Lots of nice yarn and fiber to see, too.  I promise pictures soon!


I have a new friend!

I found him at Maido in SF yesterday, while I was shopping for stuff for my KVVS pal.  I found some stuff for her too that she is just gonna love.  I tried going to Artfibers for yarn, but they are only open from 2-4pm on Sundays, and I was too early.  I did get myself to Imagiknit though…I hadn’t been there in ages.  I bought a yellow ball of Plymouth Encore for the color bar blanket (if I just buy 10 different colors one at a time it won’t seem as bad), and an awesome green skein of Colinette Jitterbug sock yarn, which I had never seen before.  Yarn and tiny Japanese goodies makes for a great shopping haul.

I also spun a little more of this dark brown corriedale I got awhile ago.  It’s really hairy and not very soft, but I think it’s really good for practicing on.  I hadn’t spun for about a month.  Maybe I should start doing Spinning ___days like some bloggers.  I’m not going to get very far if I hardly ever do it.  The good news is, I was deviating a little from the park & draft technique, and actually managing to draft a bit while the spindle was going.  I am trying to spin this stuff somewhat thin, so I can try plying with it.  I keep seeing people doing awesome things with their spindles, and I want to be able to do some lovely hand-painted roving justice.

I’m really grateful to be getting paid for sitting in this office at UC Berkeley and doing next-to-nothing, but something about it is giving me horrible headaches.  I have been getting them more often even outside of work.  This a problem that plagues my mother so I know it’s something I’m going to have to live with.  I really think I should get some yoga videos or something (since I can’t afford to go to classes regularly) because I really hate taking (increasingly strong) painkillers every single day.  I think today’s dose is finally kicking in, though.

let’s be honest. it’s not just a knitting blog. sure, that’s my main content, but i don’t like feeling constrained. i like other things too! lots of other things. and sometimes, i post about them. i want this to be a space where there’s no such thing as “off-topic”. i might trend toward certain categories from time to time, but i’d like this to be a space where i document what i do with my time, in how ever much detail i desire. a lot of it will still be knitting-related. some of it will be related to my other hobbies. i hope that it will all be interesting.

the title of the blog is my online identity. it’s been in the url, but the “yarn owl” title, while i liked it, really never fused with me. “if time exists” is my own, unique persona, and i like it. as a phrase, it questions something most of us take for granted. as a name, it reinforces my concern and fascination with such a question. as a title for a blog, i think it speaks to the multifaceted nature of my interests (will there ever be enough time to truly explore them all?), which i document and discuss here. and it makes my little corner of the internet just that more complete.

in other news, i got my ravelry invite! finally! i had all but given up hope. if you’re on it, it shouldn’t be hard to guess my username. and even if it is, there are links to my projects and queue over on the sidebar. for someone who likes to keep things organized and connected to each other, ravelry is pretty much the best thing ever. they have done a really good job so far of keeping everything connected and easy to find. i love that blog entries link to projects which link to everyone else doing the pattern or using the yarn and then you can go see the pictures and find a user’s flickr and their blog. it’s beautiful.

i am ridiculously close to finishing hot lava, ester is nearing completion, i frogged my half of an endpaper mitt, and i’ve got all kinds of things i can’t wait to start. my house is somewhat more organized. i saw sand sculptures. i also made yarn and started taking a yoga class. all these things, and more, to come.

my virtual reorganization last week bled over into the weekend. on sunday, inspired by some ideas i got from the latest issue of readymade, i tackled the daunting task of cleaning out our “office”. we have this little, doorless room attached to our living room, that we call the “office” for lack of a better word. it’s almost a closet i guess, but since it doesn’t have a door, it does have a window, and you can fully walk in and a take a few steps, it doesn’t seem so much like a closet. anyway, we have most of our massive book collection in there, which is somewhat organized on a cheap ikea shelving unit. we also have…all of the other crap that doesn’t have a place. it really got bad a few weeks ago when james put his fermenting beer in there, and then we took a suitcase and a box of my sister’s junk to store for the summer. you had to trip over all that new stuff in order to (maybe) find something in the rest of the mess. so sunday evening while i was home alone, i dove in.

once i got everything out and threw away a lot of junk, i was able to formulate a plan for organizing. cleaning up the office somehow turned into repurposing of furniture, which led to bedroom improvements and more organizing. so last night we went to ikea (!) and bought ourselves an actual chest of drawers, made from real wood and everything, along with some other fun stuff. tonight we need to assemble that, and my next phase can begin. by the end of the week, i will have: 1) an office/storage area that is useful, 2) a bedroom that is more enjoyable to be in, and 3) a more organized and effective way of storing my craft stuff. i’m so excited! perhaps this will motivate me to get back to making those curtains, too.

one project that has been revived is the hot lava cardigan. i started this right before my trip to san diego in april with great enthusiasm (and probably never blogged about it), but after completing half the shrug portion, my enthusiasm died off. last week i picked it up again, to break up the monotony of plain, slowly progressing stockinette on wicked. i’m just rows away from finishing the second cuff, and then it’s onto picking up stitches for the actual body of the thing. part of my renewed interest is sudden flashes when i’m looking through my warddrobe of, “hey, this shirt would look cute with hot lava…if it were finished…”. and with the way the weather’s been around here (less than summery), this is going to be an awesome year-round piece in the bay area. especially in noro silver thaw. bright fuzzy angora bits. and i love seed stitch more and more everyday. pretty!

i spent most of my free time at work reorganizing my flickr. despite the lack of my camera and cable to upload more recent photos, i realized there were some photos of yarn and things on the opera server that for some reason, i decided not to post on flickr. and since i was making a whole set just for yarn & fiber porn, i went and brought those over. i made collections to house my new expanded sets, and now the link on the sidebar goes straight to the crafts collection. i didn’t like the look of the wordpress flickr widget, and for some reason, wordpress won’t display the supercool flash flickr badge you can make on the site. but now we have a mosaic anyway, so it’s prettier, and you don’t have to look at whatever random thing i just uploaded unless you want to.

i still haven’t started spinning but i did find some explanatory videos, and i’m getting more confident. i also found out about dixon lambtown, happening at the end of july, and i’m totally going! i’m going to try and sign up for the beginning spinning class, so even if i’ve already started on my own, i can get some tips from someone who knows what they’re doing. you have to register by mail though, so i don’t know if it’s full yet.

in anticipation of my new hobby i even ordered a pound of natural black roving (on sale!) from beaverslide. it was really just an add on to the wool i ordered to make a second, brown ester in case this one comes out too small. i have been working on ester almost exclusively during my downtime and lunch breaks at work. and look what i’ve been able to do:

in just one week, too! things have definitely started moving more slowly now, but it feels really good to see that many cables!

i have slight concerns that it might come out too small (someone on the kal had issues so now we’re all paranoid), because my unblocked gauge is a little too small and i can’t block it too severely without ruining the ribbing. but if it does come out small, i might see if keriann or someone else a little smaller than me wants it. and then i will make myself a tweedy brown one for autumn. one that fits.

other things are moving along as well. lately i just love spending nights in, watching a season of a tv show in 3 nights, and happily knitting away on one of the three sweaters i have going. time to tear myself away from the computer to do just that.

yarn owl

i found a new friend at work yesterday. i get the best toys when little kids leave their shit laying around. he is modeling here with my current portable WIP. the yarn is mountain colors bearfoot. the colors looked ok in the ball, but knitted up in this textured rib they are coming out so lovely.

my birthday was pretty awesome, i got lots of calls and text messages. i had to go to a meeting in walnut creek for starbucks with some of the other supervisors at my work. while the meeting itself was lame, we made the rest of the day awesome. i wish i had pictures, but i didn’t bring my camera. which was a real shame when we decided to drive up mt. diablo.

i ended up getting carsick and puking on the way down the extremely winding road, but that didn’t put a damper on my day. we ate hawaiian bbq (i could eat it everyday), and spend a relaxing night in with james. last night i went out with him and some of his work friends and did japantown kareoke. nothing too crazy this year, but lots of fun.

i got a few more presents in the mail. one of them was the offhand designs circular needle case i asked for! i got the cappuccino bloom and last night i put all my circs inside. it’s awesome! now all my needles have a home.

i’m currently having a bad bout of startitis, and i’m finding myself craving yarn for which i have no immediate or set purpose. usually i am pretty good about only thinking about buying things when i have an actual project in mind. right now, i want to go crazy on sock yarn, since i found out some members of my family really appreciate hand knit socks, and after completing my first sweater, i suddenly have this urge to be prepared for all the others i might knit in the next year. considering i still don’t have a definite use for all that debbie bliss cotton i just got (after shunning the dollar and a half cardi), i really need to exercise some control. but paired with the influx of $$ this month from tax returns and some decent paychecks…well, it’s going to be tough.

i’m just going to try and focus on making with what i already have (no shortage there) instead of lusting after what i don’t need. it will still be there when i’m ready to buy it.

some time about two weeks ago i finished these. i had been wanting some lacy handwarmers, and when i saw yarn harlot’s, i knew i had found the perfect pattern.

pattern: delicato mitts
yarn: rauma finullgarn
needles: knitpicks 2.5mm dpns
mods: none

i loved the first one so much that i wore it around, michael jackson-style, for the 3 days it took to make the other one. i also started to give myself a blister because i was trying to knit the second one so quickly. eventually i resorted to wearing a bandaid on the weak spot. it worked beautifully.

today james took my computer to the apple store on his lunch break. apparently they have sent it off, and from what it sounds like, i won’t have to pay anything since it’s still under my extended apple protection plan. good thing i spent that extra $100 when i bought it! i probably won’t have it back until next week, but somehow, i’ll survive.

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