laying low...

is anyone else getting their a$$ handed to them this allergy season?! ugh.

apparently i'm not the only one who is feeling extra sensitive to the excess pollen and other allergens floating around at higher levels. i was wiped out the earlier part of the week... feeling sluggish, achy, almost feeling like i was getting sick. and then there is that feeling of being out of sorts and in a fog from pressure in my sinus cavities. then i realized, it's been mad windy and i've been outside like a moron appreciating nature's wonders: all the trees and plants on the hillside in full bloom and all the birds and butterflies stopping by for a visit, all the while inhaling all kinds of gunk that has been flying around in the air... perfect recipe for a sinus infection! i never learn. what can i say, i'm a sucker for spring.

------- weekly wrap-up/finished object(s) current projects -------

knitting vintage socks progress

on/off the needles
still working on my socks. i'm on repeat 8 out of 10. these make for good celebrity apprentice knitting! the pattern is really lovely and i love how impressed non-knitters are with it. there were lots of "oohs" and "ahs" this past mother's day weekend. both my parents were like "wow, you did that?" just totally impressed. i love that. after i finished my fiber show-and-tell and shared the time frame some of my projects take (i'm at a little over a year on my first sweater!), my dad made an interesting observation. he said something to the effect of, "for someone so impatient, it's amazing that you have the patience to work on this stuff for as long as you do."

well... it is a labor of love. and this type of thing doesn't annoy me. i'm working on it alone, with no deadline other than ones i may set myself, and it's no one's fault but my own if i screw something up. i accept everything that comes along w/ the territory of handmade, the good and the bad. i guess this goes back to when i first really got into sewing over a decade ago. i quickly realized that preparation was as important, if not more than the final product, and i learned the importance of measuring twice, cutting once. i also learned that when you are stressed out you are more likely to make a mistake that you make not be able to fix (this speaks specifically to cutting fabric). so i don't sew when i'm upset. last, my hobbies are extracurricular activities for me. they are a way for me to get out pent up creative energy, what i do to relax and i enjoy the entire process from start to finish, despite my complaints. if at any point they are not relaxing to me, i will stop doing them. life is too short to allow oneself to be beat up by a hobby!

so in addition to working on my sock, i also started the lauren sweater. it's a quick knit so far... well, when i am knitting. i spent about 2 hrs yesterday ripping back about 9 rows because apparently, i still do NOT know how to read and follow patterns *sigh* i totally missed the mark on making the first cable. i may have been a little caught up on how quickly knitting goes when you are using larger needles and thicker yarn! or it could've been how totally distracted i was as i was knitting this during knit night :D typical. i knit like the wind on knit night, and spend the next day ripping back and fixing mistakes hahahhaaaa!

 new sweater started!

i decided this time around i would not yank my needles out of my project, rip back to the correct area and fumble aimlessly to pick up each live stitch, but i'd try to stick the needles where the section was correct and then rip it back to where my needles were and continue the pattern. well... that didn't work and what a p.i.t.a.! there is a reason why i don't do this. so i went back to the tried and true method (of fumbling aimlessly) and got back on track in a fraction of the time. lesson learned again. sometimes it's best to stick with what you know! every moment, does not need to be a teachable one!

on/off the spinning wheel
finished my first traditional 3-ply. i'm saying "traditional" for the often smug technical folks out there who are quick to be condescending and ask "did you navajo-ply?" to which i would reply, no jerkface that's why i said TRADITIONAL 3-PLY *side eye* traditional 3-ply = three strands plied together. that's what it is! and here are 4 snapshots of the wrap-up below.

SweetGeorgia Feb Fibre club BFL/Silk Snapshot

on/off the sewing machine  
don't get too excited. but finally i am motivated. this is what i'm thinking about right now...

spring/summer sewing! finally!!!

funny, all the blue sketches on the patterns are the items i am planning to work on. of course i'll do some tweaking here and there to get a custom fit, but it's easier to do this w/ a base. and less time consuming than me finishing my block! and even funnier... all the fabric i have set aside, of course, is blue! *sigh* i need more color in my life! hahhaaaa

i've been hanging out on the burda style website all week, filling my mind up with inspiration. and boy is there lots of inspiration on this site! there are so many talented people out there and i love to see what gets uploaded each week. i frequent this site, as well as the colette patterns site and flickr regularly. i probably spend more time add items to my favorite list then making them... but in due time.

 ------- odds & ends  -------

what i love this week/who's inspiring me
i've been getting the crap scared out of me this week. i like to knit outdoors in full sun and part sun when the weather permits. it's a great way to recharge. i'm solar-powered, remember? the past couple of days, the strangest sounds have been coming from the neighbor's palm tree, and when i'm zoning out on knitting, these sounds scare the bejezus out of me! i'm usually on edge when i'm outside anyway, because there are all kinds of weird noises and strange activities going on around me (probably why i seldom get tons of knitting done outside because i'm easily distracted!) - hummingbirds scaring the crap out of me because they sound like large flying bugs, birds dive bombing me because i'm in my backyard but too close to their nests, my dogs making snorting noises as they are sniffing out vermin that have scurried under the deck for safety, lizards shuffling across the top of our fence.... anyway, today my newest visitors decided to show themselves. and this whole time they have been watching my every move. and now it's me watching them, watching me. is that a lyric to an awesome song? can't remember.

whooooo are you!

barn owls. aren't they lovely? so peaceful. so mysterious. and the best free vermin control (aside from mini schnauzers) a person could have. i have half a mind to climb up that palm tree and deliver both owls the biggest, eyeball popping out of the sockets, gasping for their last breath, smooshy hugs ever!

whooooo are you!

i'll be good and resist the urge, and just admire them from the distance. honestly, they kind of spook me out a bit. i can't stand being watched. it feels like an invasion of privacy. who knows how long they will stay... i know there are good eats on the hillside and in the backyard. on the wiki link, i love this note: "Contrary to what is sometimes assumed, the Barn Owl does not eat domestic animals on any sort of regular basis; it might snatch a young chicken or guinea pig once or twice in its life, if at all." good to know. and you know it crossed my mind ;) i'll be the first to admit i should brush up on my bird knowledge, but damn, we can't be experts on everything! my mom and i were joking about riley being picked up as an early thanksgiving meal, dangling from the talons of these 2 owls, because you know it'd be a team effort to pluck her up from the yard! now i can rest easy knowing that my small dogs will be safe hanging out outside.

on another note... the backyard is doing really well. the ice plant is really starting to take off after 2-3 weeks of babysitting and deep watering. it's about 2-3x it's original size and getting ready to spread. the bell peppers, which were about 4" tall in the beginning, are now a foot tall. the tomatoes are also doing really well in their pots, almost quadrupling in size from 2 weeks ago, with lots of blooms, and for this i have the bees to thank. it's sad that some people really don't understand the importance of bees and don't work harder to protect their habitats and provide them with a safe environment to thrive in *sigh* well... at least some of them have my yard :)

 in praise of bees

in praise of bees

this is why we seldom hedge our wall of privet in the backyard during spring. [you love how i'm acting like it's all about the bees? :D] it allows this shrub to bloom to full capacity and in addition to how nice the blooms smell - very soft and sweet - the bonus is that the bees can hang out and collect pollen to their heart's desire and we benefit from their visits to our plants regularly and in turn we get an abundance of plants throughout the year. of course, all the blooms (and pollen!) are an allergy/sinusitis-sufferers nightmare. i mean... there is pollen everywhere! and it has been windy as hell too! whoooo! needless to say, i spent the earlier part of the week with my 3 best friends around this time of year - neti pot, steam and hot compress!

 privet wall in full bloom 

bringing it back to sewing... here are 2 of my most frequented sites for all things sewing: colette and burda

and my head is feeling like i'm underwater again, thanks to my earlier photo session of owls and bees, so i'm going to chillax now and get some knitting in :)

until next time...

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