Friday, October 28, 2011

FO: Team Sweden Socks

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Pattern: Fleegle's Toe-Up No-Flap No-Hassle socks, sort of.

Yarn: 100g / 437 m 75% wool, 25% nylon, hand-dyed by me. I had about 25 g left over - can you say hexipuffs?

Notes:

I cast-on 24 stitches with Judy's Magic Cast-on and increased to 60 stitches. I should have increased more or used a larger needle, since as I went along my gauge got a tighter, so the socks are a bit snug. I'll see what happens once I wash them, since I didn't block them.

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I initially intended to use Priscilla Wild's no-hole shortrow heel from the Lifestyle socks, since I suspected the Fleegle heel wouldn't play nice with the self-striping yarn. This heel looks lovely, and did in fact have no-holes - a first for shortrow heels with me. It's an excellent choice if this kind of heel fits you, but you hate wrap&turn shortrows. However, as much as I tried, it didn't fit me. I ripped it out and tried again about 3 times, having lengthened the foot, moved things around, etc... but to no avail. That's it, I'm done with shortrow heels when I knit socks for me. Blast my giant insteps. After frogging the heel so many times, I got fed up and frogged the socks in a fit of rage. I usually do anything to avoid starting over, but this time it was cathartic.

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After all the frustration and frogging, the final incarnation of the socks went pretty quickly. I love the Fleegle heel. Love it. It's tidy, easy, there are no wrapt&turns, and no picking up stitches. As you can see, it did change the stripes a bit, particularly on the instep, but I don't mind. The fit around my heel is excellent, and I will definitely use this again for toe-up socks.

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I didn't do any special stretchy bind-off, since I usually find I bind off loosely enough... but this time everything was running tighter than usual, and I think a stretchier bind-off would have been a good idea. Oh well. I can still get them on, and they'll probably stretch out more over time. If not, I'll redo the bind-off at some point.

This yarn is a test for the durability of food-colouring-dyed yarn. I am almost positive it won't run, since it didn't when I washed it post-dyeing, but part of me is still a little nervous that I'll end up with greenish-brown stripes after the first wash. We'll see!

See more FOs at Tami's Amis!

p.s. I got a job! A temporary seasonal low-paying Christmas job, but a job nonetheless. Permission to feel like a productive member of capitalist society, for a few weeks at least :P

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

not good enough

The last little while, every time I go to blog I end up wanting to vent dissatisfaction and frustration, so rather than fill this space with more negativity, I haven't posted. This blog is a personal blog as well as a crafty one, so I don't feel the need to keep my feelings and personality out of it as a rule. That said, when my thoughts are tending towards self-loathing rather than my usual cheerfully sarcastic look at my own faults, I stop and try not to flood the blog with it. I figure, nobody else wants to read that, and I'm not sure it even helps my state of mind to air it. On the off-chance it does help, and because I'm tired of censoring myself right now, here are some scattered thoughts.

It's a bad time to be mediocre, if there ever was a good time for it. I'm generally okay with my own failings, and treat them with the aforementioned cheerful sarcasm. I've never needed or wanted to be The Best at anything, objectively. I am good at many things, and as my blog title implies, I think I'm good enough at most things I work hard at; however, good enough isn't good enough right now.

On the other hand, I have generally had success in life so far, possibly due to privilege, possibly due to family support, possibly due to factors beyond my control, possibly due to my own skills. I think this is why my constant failure to get paid employment hurts me so much, other than the obvious financial burden of being unemployed. Perhaps I have some misplaced sense of entitlement; I've always been passably good at things, and even successful at them, so why can't I get hired now? Why do I suddenly have to be the very best? I have never failed so consistently in my life, and it doesn't feel great. I can hope that my experiences now will serve to kill that sense of entitlement so I can look on my situation more objectively and maybe make some changes for the better. I'm becoming increasingly convinced that I am far from good enough at the things that matter right now, i.e. being employable. The standard of good enough has gone up. There are so many people out of work that only the most brilliant get noticed. I resent that I have to exaggerate my good points to prove myself to faceless companies that proceed to ignore me anyway. I resent that none of the things I've tried so far have worked. Although I know there will always be more things to try and other avenues to explore, I resent that I have to pursue all those other routes. I am tired of trying, even though I haven't tried all the things. Resentment isn't helpful or rational, but it is still clinging to me as my dominant feeling through this process.

I had a job interview last week, a phone interview yesterday, and I'm going to an assessment centre this afternoon - more responses to my job applications than I've had in a while. This has to be a good thing, and I'm trying to be excited about it. Even a minimum wage retail seasonal Christmas job would be awesome. However, it's hard to stay enthusiastic about pretending to be the best when so few positives seem to come through at the end.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

In reverse

It was time. Liesl, the little lacey cardigan that served me well for so long, has retired. It was getting shapeless, stretched out, and scruffy; a cardigan for wearing around the house only, these days. The yarn itself looked okay, so I decided to reclaim it for a future knit. A bit sad to say goodbye, but I'm glad I can recycle the yarn into something new!

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Things I learned while unraveling a well-worn, completed sweater

I am better at weaving in ends than I thought.
This yarn has terrible yardage, or maybe it was just full of knots, or both - I don't remember what I was thinking when I knit it, but there were some surprisingly short lengths of yarn in there that I'll probably have to discard when I knit it up again. I may be getting more impatient with yarn faults as I age...

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I can't remember why I decided to sew the buttons on backwards, now that I can see their fronts again. A handful of reclaimed buttons is inspiring.

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Good bye Liesl. See the cardigan in its former glory, back in 2008.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

hearty soup

I said summer never came to Scotland this year, but almost as soon as I said it the UK had a "heatwave." Well, autumn is reasserting itself after a few warm days. Today I was glad to remember I had some soup already made, just waiting in the freezer for a cold, drizzly evening. Even better, I took pictures when I first made it, perhaps thinking I would blog about it before now, so I wasn't tempted to wrestle with my camera in the dark.

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Okay, so I never said it was an appetizing picture. It was delicious, honest!

This is Mushroom Barley Soup from the Tall Grass Kitchen. It was tasty the first time, and just as tasty after defrosting, although the carrots disintegrated a little. No worries. I also added broccoli this time, since everything is better with broccoli. (Oh, I'm the only one who thinks this? Haha. Ah well.)

I found the recipe while browsing Gojee.com, a recipe aggregator website that I discovered not too long ago. Although it does some things that other recipe sites also do, such as sorting recipes by ingredients you already have, I love the presentation on Gojee - gigantic, delicious photos for each recipe possibility. Food Pr0n.