Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013

I usually don't do year summaries but this has been a weird year and I feel like doing one.

The year started off with work focus, as a new IT-manager was hired and I handed over my stuff to him (if you missed it, I substituted as IT-mgr during '12). It turned into the longest slowest handover in history, as I was handling admin, figuring out some practical stuff, project coordinating a bit, and telling everything I knew, as the new guy rebuilt the department (similar to how I would have done it had I been allowed to make major changes during my placeholder year - except there are a few more changes I would have done which I haven't seen - yet).

Late in the winter I took the chance of not being on call 24/7 and working ten hour days (for the first time in three or four years) to boot up my social life, and started looking for new friends - with at least some great successes, and a lot of tea had. We tried and failed to get a regular board- and/or roleplaying group started, but it was fun while it lasted.

In spring I attended Julia's craft nights regularly, but I failed to produce much, mostly starting new projects all the time. My reading were likewise slow, couldn't get into books. Sometimes late spring I started re-reading all the Pern books and greatly enjoyed that, and thus I rebooted my reading progress by rereading old favourites the rest of the year.

Work was rather boring and slow and confused, noone knew what my role were and it became less and less obvious what I should do as spring became summer.

I fired my cleaning lady when she killed a beloved house plant I had inherited, and ruined my favourite jacket, all in  one fell swoop. Since then I have struggled to keep on top of things and my flat is far less clean than I should like.

In May I went to Norway for a week, visited siblings, met my sister Vanessa for the first time (squee!). In July I went to Finland for a long weekend and met up with beloved friends.

I acquired a fiddle, and immediately developed arthritic inflammation in shoulder and elbows so I can't play it.

The fall started off badly, with my position at work being ever more insecure and me being more bored and unmotivated than ever, at the same time my most beloved Linus showed sign of severe illness and eventually passed away, after a heroic battle. I had some other losses of closeness among my personal relationships during the year as well, which together with the two above turned the fall very bleak. I stopped doing social things, although I meant to, every day every week, but stuff were just a tad overwhelming.

On the plus side my knitting productivity went up, kickstarted by participating in a Mystery Knit-along in late summer, which produced the green shawl I wear the most of all my knitted stuff.

I exchanged my crutches that I rarely used for a cane I always carry with me, as my legs got worse and I went from running regularly in late summer to randomly falling over when walking as my legs gave out on my later in the autumn. I have had two better-than-great years when it comes to the arthritis, so I can live with this worsening. Hopefully I will have great years again later.

At the end of the year things started resolving as two shy and scared kittens moved in with me, I managed to get myself recruited for a two (became three) month project position in my old department customer service, and I took on the responsibility of being a union rep at work, as well as picking up the threads of both maintaining my irl relationships, regaining old ones, and starting new ones.

I have written 4961 forum posts during the past year though, on the knitting and nailpolish boards. That gotta count for something?

2014 is shaping out to be the year of learning to be social at a rate that won't overwhelm me. I need to seriously sit down and try to fix my financial situation, I was barely starting to recover when the vet bills struck and I am as bad off as I ever was, or worse. If I can swing it, I should hire a new cleaning lady, because it does so much for my comfort and stress levels. I want to knit a sweater and to try working with planned pooling, knitwise. It is also a year with little or no paid vacation, so I need to plot and plan carefully, and since leave will be mostly unpaid, I should endeavor to do cheap things to outweigh that. It sadly means no trip back to NC or TX, both of which were high on my wish list. I am not yet sure what I will be doing long term at work, but for the spring I have a project - I shall be implementing a new switchboard for the entire company. It is the second time I work on this in a few years, but I am getting in earlier in the process this time and might be able to affect some decisions a bit more, which pleases me as the old solution wasn't ideal. 

NYE Movie Marathon


Can you guess what the theme is?

That said, I really should get off my butt and tidy up in here some before you know, gasp, people comes here. And prep some food.

X-mas tree #2


Almost forgot these - the mani I wore for the last workday before X-mas. 


Alasdair & Olivia wishes you a very Happy New Year :)





Neutral nails

Toned things down inbetween the xmas and nye bling.

Xmas Tree!

I put some quickly made paper ornaments in my chestnut. Already got a tree, didn't feel like bringing in another this year. :)

The Hellcats helped me sort yarn

Meet Nestor and Nemesis, tenants.



Sibling love




Xmas hair and nails



Tuesday, 24 December 2013

This is no angel either


Taken yesterday, when he was eight months old exactly.
My biggest kitteh ever.
His sister is the littlest furball.

The return of the Hellcats

So the Hellcats are here for the holidays, and things are getting lively.

Nestor broke into the cat food cupboard, stole a package of cat nip treats, poured them all over the kitchen floor. By the time I discovered it three out of four cats were belly up on the rug drugged out of their skulls.

Meanwhile Nemesis was busy breaking into the cleaning cupboard in the hallway, where her mischief consisted of dragging every single blue ikea bag (commonly used for laundry in Sweden) out and spreading them all over the flat.

Nestor keeps stealing my cotton, both single cotton pads and entire packages, and running off with.

My leather glove (one of them) is MIA, I hope nobody killed it with claws and teeth (I expect it will turn up).

Nemesis jumped up on the kitchen worktop and "tidied" it, by batting down every single item she could get at. Mostly spices. The racket frightened the others so much that it was completely silent here for half an hour as everybody huddled under the sofa.

And now, christmas morning, I put some packages under my tree.


Saturday, 21 December 2013

Different craftiness

Today's craftiness was organizing my nail polish. Last weekend I swatched it all.

(Click to enlarge photos)

Crazy catlady





I am practicing my crazy catlady-ness over xmas. In addition to my own two black kittens I have borrowed Nestor and Nemesis until sometime 2014. Party on!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

New game!

Cats discovered a new game while I was at work - called "kill the sand bags" - since I had bought several huge sacks of cat litter last night that were stacked by the door still. Came home to a sandy floor in the hallway... to put it mildly. I cleaned it up before it occurred to me to document it.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Fox Spirit

I haven't actually taken pictures of these after they were all the way finished. I am not sure why. But I wear them and they're great! FOX MITTENS YEA! I like foxes. If you hadn't noticed. 
Pattern Kitsune. 


Thursday, 12 December 2013

Button hat

I knit this in an improvised manner and wound up with a hat that I usually don't wear like this, but buttons opened and centered on my neck - so it fits like a hood. I love it!

Thanks to dearest cousin Lisbeth who gifted me the yarn for this a few years back :D I finally decided what it was born to become.


Monday, 9 December 2013

Shawl hack

I started knitting Cladonia which I really liked in the designer's variation, but it reduced my yellow and grey to mush. So I went back and reworked the pattern, only using the lace border - but repeatedly, both in smaller parts and in full.

Now the yellow pops as it should! This is knit in Mal worsted and is So. Snuggly. And. Soft. I wear it as a scarf. :)

Folden in half to block (or wet stretch in muggle lingo). It is big! 

Unstretched and wrinkly, but shows the colour really well! 


Saturday, 7 December 2013

In the early spring...

...I knit this cowl for a friend. It has a longer front so it can be worn under a coat that is open in the neck with some style.

Modelled by the late beloved Linus (who loved being inside it - snuggly and warm!), and me, because I don't feel comfortable about showing off my photo of my friend in it without his permission.





Friday, 6 December 2013

Earrings


Now working on a choker/necklace that I will hopefully manage to make nice so I can wear it for the holiday season :)

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Necklace

This one is for a lady whom I have never met but who has been very kind to me several times throughout the past year.



Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Ampersocks

I knit a pair of socks as a gift this fall.

Pattern out of my own head; not written down.


Monday, 2 December 2013

Hellcats

The hellcats have been visiting since Thursday!

Nestor

Nestor with bonus me in the mirror

Nemesis

Mystery knit

In the late summer I knit this shawl as part of a mystery knit-along, where the participants only get a piece of the pattern at a time (in this case once a week) and work together.

I made a few hacks on mine, more beads for one thing, but I am fairly satisfied! Mayan Garden is the pattern.