Category Archives: Newsy

I like to sew with knits

Today, I ran across some awesome sites with tips and tutorials for sewing with knits. A lot of people are intimidated by knits, or scarred by a bad first experience using less than ideal materials, but I’ve always liked working with knits. So it’s always nice to find tricks I didn’t already know!

A shop called Stitch Simple got 6 designers to work with knit fabric, and they had some great results. My favorite is probably Patterns by Figgy’s post with a neat raw-edge finish and a piped-look finish that would both be cute on almost any knit project. Then there’s Knitty Bitties’ ruffled skirt tutorial, which would be great for upcycling t-shirts. Then there’s piccoli piselli’s knit cuff tutorial, which would also work for a yoga pants-style waistband.

No sir, I don’t like it

I have got to get journaling again. Things have gotten really crazy and writing it down usually helps me cope. Or at least remember it correctly later, for comparison. Humans are built to forget the really yucky times, and I’m afraid this is one.

We’re all familiar with the current economy, right? It’s way overdue for a remodel, and I think that’s part of what’s happening to it. However, right now it sucks. We’re both unemployed. The husband was rather suddenly fired, and I haven’t been interviewed seriously for a job since I quit working retail. And of course we have no health insurance now, no prescription coverage, no hospitalization.

Oh, our families will help us out, but I hate taking money from our parents. We’re plenty old enough to fend for ourselves, dammit! I’m perfectly fine with letting family buy Noodle Girl whatever they like, though,especially shoes. ;) Unfortunately, if it takes longer than 3 months for us to find new jobs, we’ll be scrambling to make mortgage payments. Thank goodness we have no car or credit card payments!

Inflation hasn’t hit us too hard yet, but we do have a growing child that can drink a gallon of milk every 9 days and outgrow shoes every 3 months. We’ve been making good use of our warehouse club membership, and I shop thrift and resale whenever possible, but still. We are cooking at home from closer to scratch, and cutting out anything we can. Except cable and internet. Those will be the dead last to go, after one of our cars.

The unemployment office just underscored how sucky things are. We weren’t the only couple there, and a few people had half their extended family there too. The staff was super efficient, though, and after the initial application one makes weekly claims online or by phone. The husband resisted going, but it’s his income we live on anyway. I didn’t apply for unemployment for now since I’m going to school. After finals, I’ll get less picky about the jobs for which I apply, because hey, it’ll be summer anyway.

So I’ve been having paranoid feelings, sleeping oddly, but I feel okay otherwise. Of course we’re both stressed out by the situation and the lifestyle changes we’re having to make, but at least the mister is getting some time off. Noodle Girl knows that something is different, but hasn’t really changed her behavior much, so it isn’t affecting her too badly. Just her toy acquisition! We’ll be okay. We just won’t like some of it.

Now we’ve done it

Well, mostly. There is still the sorting of all the stuff we shoved into boxes to get it out of the way. But, new paint! New floor! New couch! New TV! And it’s eerily clean for now, too. Awesome.

The tv is one of those LCD flat panels and I love it. The couch is a silvery sage green microfiber and it’s very comfy. Plus it has dual recliners that lay down almost flat! The floor is a subtly textured laminate in a nice warm color and I REALLY love it. The best thing is that all of these things are paid for, and our credit cards are paid off as well.

Happy Valentine’s Day?

Every publication has its horrible puff pieces for this day. Of course, for this holiday even my science news sources just haveto have a related story. Like what men and women want in a partner, because that is vital research that’s been going on since the 1930s. It’s almost interesting; apparently we’re all about love and money this decade.

Anyway, I hope you spent your Saturday doing something you wanted to do, no matter what holiday it is.

Another reason to keep small pets

Hamster electricity. No, really. Hilarious hamster jackets are a bonus. It’s not the first time that piezoeletric effect has been eyed to tap mechanical energy for electricity, but it’s the first time to effectively tap irregular biomechanical energy for electricity. Bring on the piezoelectrc gloves! I have a small colony of electronic gadgets to power.

Have I mentioned that I hate winter?

novanddec08 021
And it just got worse from there.
jan09 001
There was an inch of ice on our cars this morning. The roads are clear, but quite a few power lines are down, poles knocked over by trees, and entirely too many trees destroyed. All the storms and flooding last summer stressed a lot of the trees and the ice storm just shattered some of them. Lots more look like a tornado came through, and very few have escaped without losing limbs or the entire top. We went to get groceries (and just get out of the house) and it was like being dropped in another world. Besides the tree carnage, the inch of ice and large quantities of icicles transformed the usual scenery into a world of dreadlocked grass and monster teeth. Of course, I was driving, so no pictures of that stuff, but maybe we’ll go on a photo expedition tomorrow.

We didn’t lose power for very long at a time, but it kept going out, including today for three hours. The land line and internet have been out a lot, and we still don’t have cable but it doesn’t matter as long as we have the internet! ;) The rest of my family still doesn’t have power, though. My parents got to Lowe’s to pick up the propane heater Dad ordered just as they were unloading some generators so they came home with both. My sister and her family went to stay with some in-laws with their three kids. Several places in the area have set up shelters and several of the fitness clubs are offering free hot showers for people who aren’t as lucky as we are.

I should really go to class tomorrow; the only times I’ve seen the college closed were that one winter that it snowed two feet at a time. All the public schools are closed tomorrow, though, so Noodle Girl’s preschool is closed too and I don’t know if the Mr. will be awake long enough to watch her. Good excuse, anyway. I haven’t been to school since Monday!

Another one

I am having a hard time believing it’s the end of 2008 already. What happened to this year? I swear it was September just a minute ago. I…feel like making a couple of lists. Sick and twisted, I know.

    Bye Bye 2008:

  • Noodle Girl became a little girl and definitely not a baby anymore. Potty trained! And other big-girl things.
  • I quit working in retail, narrowly averting another mental health episode. Again.
  • I became certified in phlebotomy and CPR. And I still didn’t get a job.
  • I was rejected by the MT program at UAMS again. Sigh.
  • I took up some new crafts; spinning, dyeing, fabric painting, the non-bead kind of weaving. Fun!
  • I adopted a new online persona, MadScientistK, and finally joined some social networking groups.
    Hello 2009:

  • Back to the U of AR for a few more classes. Then reapply to UAMS. I will make it into this program.
  • I want to do more research on weaving and natural dyeing, especially using bacteria. This one is easy. ;)
  • Now a hard one – clean and organize my work space so I can actually finish some big projects!
  • Knit a sock a month for six pairs of handknitted socks this year!
  • Bring in some money somehow. A job would be nice. Although that might require some cooperation from the economy.

That’s it for now. I really intend to post about Christmas and some of the hilarious pictures at some point, and do a craft post with all the stuff I’ve made lately, but it won’t be today!

Everybody knows about LOlcats, and probably LOLdogs as well, but I has LOLbunnies. I even have a favorite LOLbunny video – Bunny Concert.

I found a playlist of Christmas songs I actually like, but it looks like the service won’t be there for much longer so go listen now. I’m sort of in the mood for Christmas music anyway, unnatural, I know. It’s the not being in retail and hearing the music for two months that does it. I don’t miss retail at all.

I was horsing around on Etsy and noticed that my Etsy favorite sellers list is four pages long! My current favorite is rayela, who specializes in ethnic textiles and has some fabulous molitas and saris.

I’m playing with this star/snowflake element and I really like it. I’d like it even better if I had about an hour a day cat and munchkin free to bead. And I’ve started a cotton scarf on my frame loom to get the hang of weaving and it’s pretty fun. I can’t wait to start my tapestry! I also got some fat quarters and embroidery floss today to make a tote bag for Noodle Girl, but I’m giving myself until fall 2010 to finish it because that’s when she starts (eeeek!) kindergarten.

Really, I’m enjoying the opportunity to bum around. Work is just as scarce here as it is in other places, and I start classes again on January 12 so it’ll be back to that grind soon enough. For now I get to hang out with my parents and the kids, work on crafty stuff, and ignore the housework from a relaxed point of view instead of a harried one. What, you didn’t think I was suddenly a good homemaker, did you? Because I’m not ever going to be one. Clean counters and washed laundry just aren’t as satisfying as, say, designing a tapestry or spinning up some custom alpaca-bunny fur blend.

So I’m a Transmodernist.

Read this. Yes, it’s a scholarly article but read it anyway. I’ll wait.

Was the article describing you? If not, why not? I was so gratified to realize that, even though I’m so not a joiner, there’s a whole recognized movement of people that think and believe the way I do. That gives me more hope for the future of our society than I think I’ve ever had before. And lets me acknowledge that traditionalists creep me out big time. It also helps explain why the acquisitive modern culture doesn’t work for me, either.

Now if everybody just realized that this cultural movement existed, and saw its merits….