Friday, November 26, 2010

My horoscope for November 26, 2010

"If you have been planning to make changes in your life, this is the right time to do so. With the Sun aligning with the planet that rules endings and beginnings, Pluto, you now have the insight and the courage to break free from situations that you have outgrown. If you back your instinct about certain issues, you will make a positive and life-enhancing choice." 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New Beginning

I've taken a much needed break from this space the past few weeks to sort a number of things out.

I flew back to New Jersey two weeks ago because a dear friend of my beloved passed away from a brain tumor. He was only 28 years old. They buried him one year after he and his wife were married. Nick took the news really hard (as did the rest of his friends) and I flew out there as soon as I reasonably* could to help ease him from the pain. He had a hard week from the time he found out about the death until they buried him a few days later. Knowing that I was coming to visit helped. By the time I got there, he was feeling much better and we spent a wonderful 6 days together.

Visiting New Jersey just confirmed how much I miss living there and how unhappy I am here in California. I moved here. I tried it out for two months. But it's just not working out. Being close to family isn't enough to make me happy and I desperately want to move back home.

I found out on Friday that I failed the California bar exam. I was devastated when I found out. I cried for hours. I still feel melancholy knowing how hard I worked to prepare for that exam. I was pretty ready to sign up to take it again and to sign up for a course right here until all my friends told me what I knew was true-- that I shouldn't just take this exam for the sake of taking it. That I should let it go and focus on the New Jersey bar exam since that is where I want to be. Not here. I very much do not want to be here.

This has been stewing in my mind for the past two days. I've slept poorly thinking about it. I've felt weighed down by this awful news and this major decision. For most of it, I've felt helpless.

I wish it hadn't turned out this way. I wish the path was easier. I wish I didn't have to confront my father and break his heart (and my own) to be happy. But I'm not happy here and I won't be happy until I stop doing what I know he wants me to do and start doing what I want to do.

So, I'm just focusing on the task at hand. I'm trying to keep my best interest in mind. I'm trying to own the consequences of my decision. I'm figuring out how to make this all work.

It's hard. But as Anirban keeps telling me, it's ok because it won't last forever. And it's ok for it to be painful and to cry and feel miserable. As long as I keep working towards my goal.

I've lost my knitting mojo and I'm a bit bummed out by that. But I have been looking through a number of beautiful blogs, which has very much helped to keep me going. So thank you to everyone helping me get through this, whether or not you know you're helping.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Holiday Knitting continued...A FO and a WIP

I finished and blocked the blue Summer Flies shawl a few days ago. The pattern was incredibly fun to work with and I loved the ever-so-slight hue changes in the yarn I used to knit it. Gotta love hand-dyed yarn. While I was knitting it, the yarn was dying my fingers ever so slightly, so I was worried that the shawl would bleed horribly while I soaked it before blocking. Fortunately it did not bleed at all!
 The picture above represents the color of the shawl best while the two below it show the details more clearly.
 Since I had approximately 440 yards of yarn and the pattern only called for 380 yards, I just kept knitting the ruffled edge until I thought I reached a safe enough point where I could start binding off without having too much leftover yarn.

The pattern called for a picot bind off (binding off 2 sts, slipping them back to the left needle, cable casting on 2 sts, then binding off 5 sts)... I forgot that the picot binding ends up using a lot of yarn since you're creating lots of stitches with the cable cast on. I followed the instructions for the picot bind off until about half way through the row when I realized I would not make it through to the end of the shawl. I wasn't sure if I could properly pick up all the right stitches if I ripped back the last binding, so I decided to forge ahead, binding off 6 stitches, rather than two, then increasing that to 8, until the last few sections ended up binding off 10 stitches!
I wasn't sure whether I should go back and rip out the last row so I decided to see how I felt about it after it was blocked-- honestly, it doesn't bother me very much at this point. I don't really think it's noticeable unless you're actively looking for it, so I'm going to keep it the way it is for now. This shawl is meant for my boyfriend's oldest sister, a woman I admire very much and really enjoy spending time with. After I finish the rest of my holiday knitting, I might come back to this and reevaluate whether I want to rip out and rebind off that last row.

I started a scarf for my boyfriend's father. I bought this beautiful worsted weight yarn while I was out in Apple Valley last week, helping my parents move into their new house. And I cast on for the scarf yesterday afternoon:
I am thrilled with the way this scarf is knitting up! I love the horizontal strips of colors and think it's looking rather professional. This is the pattern from Son of Stitch 'n Bitch I mentioned in my previous post. I'm not generally a fan of scarves since they always take so long to knit up so I'm hoping to complete this by the end of next week. Then I should only have 3 infant and 4 children's hats to knit before my Holiday knitting will officially be complete! Depending on how much time I have, I might knit up hats for the boyfriend's brother and brother-in-law, too.

I'm pretty sure I know what I want to knit for my boyfriend but I think it'll be a good idea to get all these little projects out of the way first.

I've also been cooking and baking lots of yummy treats but I don't have too many pictures of those. I  made a batch of Buckeyes for a Halloween party this weekend...

... and a modified version of Pumpkin Chili (fully clothed), some Apple Walnut bread and Sesame Chicken with rice.