knitting

Reflections on 2015

This year has felt more like my life is in a process of continual evolution than I have felt in a long time. It’s stressful, because pretty much everything is in flux all of the time, but it’s also exciting, because there are so many possibilities all of the time!

Stuff that’s gone on:

Work-related stuff

  • I started out this year in the midst of a contract doing circulation at a public library. It wasn’t a librarian position, but it was a solid start. It was also in this job that I went ahead and started the process of trying to change my name in the professional context (so I would have references from a relevant job that knew me as Kasey, among other reasons). It turned surprisingly ugly, and escalated to the point of my having to get union backing to threaten a human rights complaint (I’m still astounded that is an actual thing that happened in my life), but I persevered and won!… and then that contract ended.
  • I got a new, extremely part-time (4.5 hrs/wk, srsly) contract at another public library, this time in a supervisory capacity. I was hired under my chosen name, and no one batted an eye when that didn’t match any of the ID I provided. Progress of sorts!
  • In order to actually, y’know, make a living, I have also gone back to my old retail gig. I have yet to get around to telling them that I changed my name (wah-wah). But I have decided I will do so once the legal change comes through – just waiting to hear back on it at this point – so I have a sort of arbitrary but also symbolically relevant thing to kick me out of my complacency. Turns out I don’t mind being called by my birthname unless I’ve told the person doing so that I actually have a different one, though introducing myself that way is really hard – I go all deer-in-the-headlights with every new employee right now.
  • Sneak-peek into 2016: I have an interview for an honest-to-goodness (part-time contract, of course) librarian position this week. Mayhaps I will be holding down three jobs soon.

 

Creating Stuff

  • Even though I gave myself a December-long hiatus on writing (and I swear I will be getting back to it some day soon, by the way! I have been trying to sit and write lately but keep hitting walls. One of these days I’ll break through it, though, I am confident), I still published 69 posts last year, way up from 2014. I’ve started writing more about my demisexuality and my sexuality in general, and I am maybe a person who sometimes writes poetry now? It remains to be seen. My readership has grown steadily though not speedily, but more importantly I’ve made some genuinely strong connections with other bloggers this year. This gives me much happiness.
  • For the first time ever, I did cross-stitch of my own design, rather than following a pattern. I’m super into it and plan to continue.
  • I also just recently ended an accidental two-year hiatus I’d taken from knitting. I finished the second glove in this pair I started way back when:20151225_012109

 

Relationships

  • Romantic-wise, it’s been all over the place. I had a relationship end. I had a relationship go through a radical redefinition (as an update there, by the way: things are really very solid with me and the partner formerly known as spouse-person. I think we’ve refound our centre as a couple (or created a new one, anyway), and our relationship is quite possibly stronger than ever. We haven’t actually moved out of our shared place yet, and part of me is irrationally terrified of that, but it’s for the best for a bunch of reasons, for both of us, so I’m sure it’ll be fine). And I’ve met someone new, who is giving me many squees. I am generally pretty happy.
  • Friendships-wise, I am continually astounded and humbled and just plain delighted to realize that I have a really strong, extensive, and varied support network in my life. I’ve finally figured out the whole making-friends thing, I think? I’ve definitely gotten better at trusting that people actually like me, and stronger connections seem to have resulted. Huzzah!
  • Family-wise: my relationship with my mother is the strongest it’s been since I first came out to my parents as (at the time) bisexual, over a decade ago, and possibly even the strongest ever. We relate to each other as adults, and we are capable of talking about difficult things without anything exploding. My relationships with my father continues to be estranged, and I am extremely comfortable with that. There is some mild pressure on me to try to patch things up, but I am honestly just not going to take responsibility for that shit. The prospect of a relationship with my father still has a pretty terrible potential risk:reward ratio, though I am just about convinced that he is actually a less toxic person now than he was. It’s just not the best place for me to be putting my energy.

 

Overall, my life is solid and making me happy in the day-to-day. There is much room for growth, but I hope that is always the case, and also there are rumblings of growth already happening, and so I am comfortable for now, and excited to see what happens over the next year.

Knitting again!

Okay, so I admittedly haven’t written much here lately. But it’s not because I’ve been generally unproductive in my life! I am taking two very challenging courses to finish up my Master’s of Library Science, and working full time, still.

And I’ve jumped back into knitting as the weather has turned cold. My latest creation: a scarf for my little brother!

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Here’s a close-up of the pattern (it’s English Rose Tweed, done with thirty stitches across on 6.5 mm needles using Paton Shetland Chunky yarn.

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It’s super plush!

I will hopefully be back to a more regular writing schedule by the new year at the latest. I love you all!

Knitting – Quilt Squares Set 1

A while back, I picked up a bunch of Red Heart Designer Sport yarn on clearance – two balls each in Crimson, Berry, and Lemon Zest. I didn’t have any plans for them, but I knew I wanted to cheap yarn to experiment with.

Anyway, I decided to knit up a bunch of squares to sew together into a quilt. Here’s what I produced from the first ball of crimson. I got five ~6″ squares (I haven’t actually measured them, so this is a very loose estimate) in my tight-ish knitting.

For each square I cast on 38 stitches (I picked 36 as a good number that’s divisible by a bunch of things, and therefore versatile enough for me to try out a lot of different knit=purl combinations, with an extra to stitches to make sure I have clean edges.

So, for most of these squares, what I did for each row was:

slip one purl-wise, *follow pattern for given row until last stitch*, k1.

And I cast off when it approaches squarishness.

Here’s my first five completed squares!

1) Moss diamond and lozenge pattern (available here)

2) Sailor’s Rib (pattern)

3) Garter stitch Basketweave (pattern)

4) Broken Stocking (pattern)

For this one, because I was concerned that the fabric would curl at the edges, I did something slightly different than for the the others, and added a border of moss stitch. So the pattern for this square is as follows:

Cast on 38
Row 1: Slip 1 purl-wise, *k1, p1*, knit last stitch
Row 2: Slip 1 purl-wise, *p1, k1*, knit last stitch
Row 3: Same as Row 1
Row 4: Slip 1 purl-wise, p1, k1, p1, *repeat row 1 of broken stocking pattern until last 4 stitches* k1, p1, k2
Row 5: Slip 1 purl-wise, k1, p1, k1, *repeat row 2 of broken stocking pattern until last 4 stitches* p1, k1, p1, k1
Row 6: Slip 1 purl-wise, p1, k1, p1, *repeat row 3 of broken stocking pattern until last 4 stitches* k1, p1, k2
Row 7: Slip 1 purl-wise, k1, p1, k1, *repeat row 4 of broken stocking pattern until last 4 stitches* p1, k1, p1, k1
Repeat Rows 4-7 until almost square, and then end with three rows of moss stitch (i.e. as Rows 1-3) before casting off.

Here’s what it looks like:

5) Triangle Tesselation (pattern)

Knitting – Basketweave scarf

This one was on a much lighter weight yarn than I’d worked with before, and took a lot more time to get through than my earlier projects, but I love the results!

This one was done with Red Heart Shimmer yarn in hot pink, with a two-by-two mini-basketweave pattern, and three-stitch wide border of garter stitch. I used two balls, and wound up with a nice wide scarf at about 9′ long!

Knitting

Oh! I also knit, so I’ll be keeping a record of completed projects here. I don’t have photos of my first few projects (one scarf, two hats), but I’ll start taking pictures of them all from here on out. This one is a scarf I made for my mom for Christmas. It’s just basic knit 1 purl 1 ribbing.Image