knitting, travel

Happy Birthday to Me

Yep, that’s right. Another year older, as of 8:49 pm, EST. And what a great two days it has been.

I got some of my presents early, things from my mom because apparently, I’m hard to shop for (when did this happen? Seriously. Three words: Amazon Gift Card. That’s all you need to know). Both of them came from work–one of those IHome thingies that you can charge your ipod on, and wake up to actual decent music rather than annoying morning shows (that alone makes it worth the $39 price tag), and a super comfy dress in a cotton jersey, light blue. I need to make a couple of alterations, though, so no pictures.

Today, however, I got this:

Counter Clockwise, that would be a handmade necklace from Alice, a set of ergonomic interchangeable crochet hooks (more on that later) and a travel journal from my parents, and a picture of one of the crochet hooks and the test piece I was working on while talking to my uncle on the phone.

Of course, no birthday would be complete without a present to yourself. In my case, I splurged and spent $13 (don’t laugh; that’s almost two hours pay from my job over here) to get myself this:

That’s right. I’m going back to Italy. The letter came yesterday, and I was dancing around work with excitement.

I’ll be spending September 2-Dec. 15, then coming back to the US for two weeks, and then flying back Jan. 7-April 22. Alice and I are already plotting spring break in Cardiff. Torchwood sightings, anyone?

I know, some of you are probably wondering why I’m going back. Well, there are a lot of reasons, foremost among them being that if I’m a student, I don’t have to repay my student loans just yet. Also, if I want to get into grad school for conservation of textiles, then I kind of need a conservation background, not just an art one, so going back to Saci is pretty much the only way I can get into grad school at this point (which is good, because if I’m not in school then I loose all of my insurance. Which is really, really not good.

Of course, I’m still on the market for that Canadian husband resembling Kyle Schmid so I can move to Canada and gain citizenship, but alas, no one presented him to me gift wrapped (not that I would have objected unwrapped), so I’ll have to settle for the Blood Ties DVD set, which, coincidentally, came out yesterday. Yet another wonderful gift that the world has chosen to present me with!


Okay, now for the knitting portion of the show:

Like I mentioned, I got those fancy ergonomic crochet hooks from my mom. I’d been eying them for a while because of my carpal tunnel, but alway nixed them because, well, I’m broke, and it didn’t seem right to buy a fancy set of hooks when I already have at least one hook in every size from F on up, and two or three of my most used sizes.

I tested them out while I was on the phone with my uncle, like I said (his birthday was yesterday, by the way. This might be one of the reasons we are so close, despite the 2,000 miles between us).

I have two grips that I use when I crochet, alternating between an underhand grip (the most common, which is a lot like how I’d hold a pencil), and an overhand (which I only use when my wrist hurts and involves my index finger and thumb running on the the top and side of the hook, parallel to the shaft, with the other three fingers curled around it). So far I’ve found it easiest to use the trigger handle, but the frustrating part of this set is that it forces you to hold the hook in a certain way. I suppose that’s the point, training you to change the way you do things, but so far I find all but one of the grips somewhere between awkward and downright uncomfortable. Also, the hook can only face one direction, regardless of how you hold your hand, which is unspeakably irritating.

I’m still using them though, and trying to adapt. If you are interested in the hooks, you can find them here. They run about $15 for two handles and six interchangeable hooks.

My current fiber projects include the blue sweater (still plugging away at that second sleeve), the sample project shown above, a crocheted death cloak/Anubis mask for Anubis (the details of which will be available on the ResinCast blog sometime next week), and a whole hell of a lot of spinning.

In the last two weeks, I finished with the silk/bamboo blend that I began ages ago (remind me never to hand blend fibers. Pain in the arse) then plied the lot, spun the left over blue bamboo into a gorgeous single, spun the black into a single which got turned into the afore mentioned death robes/Anubis mask, spun and plied together the leftover silk, and have begun spinning a blend of grey milk fiber and hot pink merino into something resembling sewing thread, that will eventually become a three ply. If I can get the fibers to stop coming apart at the wrong moment.
Vanyel, of course, is reveling in the attention, since he sat and collected dust for so long. And plying means that he gets to spend time with his beloved Lazy Kate, Tylendel. He is a very happy spinning wheel at the moment. I’m not sure how to break the new that he won’t be coming to Italy with me, especially since I don’t want to leave him be hind anymore than I want to leave behind my cat, but some things just can’t be helped. He’s way too expensive and valuable to ship.

And that my dears, is the end of this long-winded update. Hope you enjoyed. 🙂

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