when i decided to give away my handspun,
i never said exactly when i would pick a winner.
somehow, today feels like the right day.

let’s all bow down to the power of the random number generator,
and give our congratulations to lucky number 20 (a.k.a. sarah)
who has won this yarn for her sister amy.
can’t wait to see what she knits with it!
and she better knit something.
or else.

yarny goodness

April 25, 2011

as promised,
i’m gonna get this blog back on track,
and give everyone some yarny goodness to peep.

though i don’t have a wheel of my own,
when i was working at natural stitches,
i could use a shop wheel.

in between helping the fine customers,
i worked on my first ever 3-ply yarn.
once i got all the singles spun,
i plied like the wind!

of course yarn isn’t done once it’s plied.
there’s always something more to do, right?
like the brutal weaving in of the ends after endless knitting.

personally, i follow judith mackenzie’s directions for finishing yarn from her amazing book the intentional spinner: a holistic approach to making yarn (every knitter should own it. even if you don’t spin, it’ll change how you knit. go on. buy it.)

first, you count your strands to calculate yardage.
doesn’t do us much good if we don’t know how much yarn we’ve spun, right?

then we “full” it a little by swishing it in hot soapy water.
(in the book, judith is shown using a small plunger and is really going at it. this scares me. i choose to “sauté” my yarn.

then we rinse/swish it in cold clean water.(remember to scoot your roommate’s papers out of the way, and put down a towel. never incur the roomie wrath during finals)

then i squeeze out the excess water in my own way.
i start at the top, and sort of pinch and roll with my hand.
it’s kinda like milking a cow (look it up).

then the fun part: the thwacking!
i beat the shit out of my yarn against the side of the tub.
(if only you knew how hard it was to get this shot)

after it hangs up for a while to dry,
poof!
yarn is born. (these were the first two skeins)

if i’ve done my math right,
i’ve got roughly 466 yds of a dk/worsted yarn.
not too shabby if i do say so myself.

and just to spice things up,
how about i give the yarn away?
here’s the rules; it’s a little complicated.

if you want the yarn,
you must get one of your knitter friends to leave a comment for you.
then, i’ll pick someone at random (it’s only fair).

are we clear?

you can’t comment for yourself.
your friend must comment for you.

just promise me, please,
if you win, you’ll actually make something with it!

who wants it!?

freedom

April 22, 2011

well bitches,
i’ve pulled through.
i’m recovering happily at home.

the meds i’m on make it a little difficult to focus,
but here’s what i’ll say:

whatever you feel about healthcare,
who gets it, how it’s paid for, and how we deal with it here,
all i know is that the healthcare system did not fail me.
without it, i would be dead now.

there are several instances where i came close to it.

don’t get me wrong,
it was fucking hell (evidence below).
and it still is since i’m exactly done with everything.
there were times where i felt ignored, forgotten,
like no one would listen to me.

but!
i’m here.
and grateful.

like i said,
the drugs are making it difficult to do normal things.
recovering makes it difficult to do normal things.

but in the next couple days,
i have some yarny goodness planned for you.
stick with me bitches.

mostly, though, i want to say thank you.
thank you to all the readers, inter-knitters, and friends
for your good thoughts, your well wishes, comments and prayers,
for all the tweets, texts, visits, and vibes from across the globe.

it was a dark time for me,
you all helped keep me strong.

so thanks, bitches.
i’m still here!

hospital

April 13, 2011

i begin this post with a caveat; i’m in the hospital, on narcotics, and writing from my ipod. editors of the world cool it, k?

dear blogosphere. i have not forsaken you intentionally. at first, super secret knitting and subsequent lack of anything resembling knitting mojo kept me from writing. then it was the sheer gravity of the changes my life was soon to face. i found everything to be a bit much, and the writing stopped.

for instance:
i surprised everyone by leaving natural stitches a month early. i’d saved enough to pay my bills and thought the time off would be good for me, give me extra time to hunt for an apt in nyc, and hang with the people i love in the burgh.

and that’s when i realized that i accidentally started settling down here. pittsburgh was always supposed to be a stepping stone in my life plans. somehow, after years of being a nomad, my desire to heed the north wind was greatly diminished. i no longer wanted to leave, and had made absolutely no way for me to continue living here.

i have an internship in new york, and position in the phd program i most wanted in my home state waiting for me in the fall.

and yet, i want to stay.

there are people i love here, people i don’t want to lose. people i want to continue knitting with, laughing over tacos or pho or brunch. gossiping, hugging, fucking.

you know. a happy life.

but love won’t pay my bills, nor secure for me a future i’ve been building towards for years. that’s on me.

not making a viable option for staying in pittsburgh is the first real regret i can point to in my life. i guess that’s not too bad for twenty six years.

then things happened that were totally blogable and slipped through:

my final package from my secret pal, a kick ass canadian with excellent taste in yarn (angora merino bitches!) and wool wash (eucylan is all i use). and my first two skeins of my first three ply yarn.

totally noteworthy.

posts only ever written in my head.

just when the super secret knitting was getting close to being finished (about a week early even) so i didn’t feel bad about skipping a night of knitting to hit up my friend’s birthday party, my stomach hurt.

laying down seemed like the best course of action. then everything’s a blur:

calling home crying.
googling an emergency room.
trying to find it (thank you iphone).
scans.
pokes.
serious drugs.

your appendix maybe?

crazytown.

that bitch and I divorced ten years ago.
discharged.
drove home on crazy drugs with rx for more, and instructions for what to do if things got worse/better.
nap time.
more pain.
frantic calls to get a ride back to er.
er now full of people clearly not in an emergency situation, but get treated before me anyway.
more scans with dye in me.
dye makes me feel like i’m on fire/wetting the bed.
more crazy crazy drugs.

it is my appendix.
again.
huh.
apparently, it can happen.

i can never be normal.

almost a week later, after too many strangers have seen my cock, ass, and jiggly bits, after getting excited about farting, and taking the messiest shit known to man (and not being able to clean up unaided), after projectile vomiting sticky green goo all over myself not once, but twice, the long and the short of it is, something is keeping my pipes from fully getting started up again. this means more surgery to cut at scar tissue, and maybe remove some bits i rather wish i could keep.

this is serious. if the surgery doesn’t go well, and i don’t get flowing fast enough this time, it could be months of recovery.

no one prepares you for when the scary shit is gonna mess with *you* this time. luckily, i haven’t been alone in all this or god knows I wouldn’t have made it this far. i got two loving parents, a soul twin, a mixologist/driver, my mother/sister/aunt, two of the best men i’ve ever met to make me laugh and help me walk, and tweeters from far and wide to comfort my weary soul. not too shabby in terms of visitors and well wishers.

plus the person in the next room sounds way worse off than i am.

it’s the little things.

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