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So…I have no idea what the formatting is gonna look like on this one. But, one must make due…

Abecedarian is like my new favorite word. I’d call that $4.50 word, if I charged for uniqueness (link pending). I approached crochet and knitting in a very elementary manner. First, I learned that I “feel” my stitching. I know I’m doing a stitch right if my hands feel like they are in the right place, at the right time, with good tension on the yarn. If I heard I was doing it right but it felt awkward (and not in a beginner way), I’d know there was an issue. And Sensei would agree. So there is a fair amount of instinct in addition to muscle memory involved. I barely think about stitches, to be honest.

Second, I am a left-handed knitter, but I am a right-handed knitter (also known as English-style knitting). This knowledge accented an insight I had: for me, crocheting feels more of a creative, freestyle kind of pursuit, like dancing the hook in and out of the yarn, whereas knitting feels more technical and routine and mathematical. Thus, my essentially ambidextrous brain assigns crochet to my right hemisphere (left hand) and knitting to my left hemisphere (right hand). It might also be why I have an easier time with crochet–I’m mostly a southpaw.

The Projects:
I made the swatches as close to the same size as I could, and there is a noticable weight to the crochet than the knit. I learned (somewhere) a crochet project requires around 1/3 more yarn than the same project done as a knit. The crochet is more firm and textured; the knit is softer, stretchier, and drapier.

I don’t remember many issues I had with crochet other than beginner tension and some start/stop procedures. I worked diligently on it.
With knitting, I cried a lot over it. I asked for help constantly and even frogged my beginning swatch. Aside from life getting in the way, I didn’t feel as physically excited to work on it after I reworked my frogged yarn. I mulled over it constantly in my head, though. And I still LOVE knitting–not just the idea of knitting. They are both fun for me.

In Summary:
I wanted to alternate crochet and knit projects, but I feel crochet is going to be my go-to fibre technique. I already found more projects I want to jump into with crochet than knitting on Ravelry, but I really want more practice with knitting. So, I think I’ll read my books (links pending) and soak up some knowledge. Maybe I’ll make a bathmat using both knit and crochet (I need some new ones; there was…some unpleasantness with my last one…and I know I won’t get my full security deposit back).

The Stars of Our Little Show:
My 5″ x 5.5″ single crochet swatch was made using Lily Sugar’n Cream Super Size yarn. The color, Ecru, is colorway 18004 (links pending. I’m not using my phone for a lot of link research when I don’t know how they’ll turn out). I used the Susan Bates G/6 hook my Sensei graciously bestowed upon me. The new Susan Bates hooks are made in Mexico and have a different point than the vintage American one Sensei gave me–and it’s fun to work with! But I use the vintage one to absorb Sensei’s talentsūüôā Also, my new G/6 hook is 4mm, 1/4mm smaller than the elder one, according to the sizing etched in them both.

My 5″ x 5.5″ garter knit swatch was crafted lovingly using Lily Sugar’n Cream Super Size yarn. The color, Cream, is colorway 18003. I used #6 (4.25mm) Boye needles. Incidentally, I dislike the throat of Boye crochet hooks, and when a friend expressed both a renewed love of crochet and an appreciation of Boye-style hooks, I donated them to her and was able to buy her some yarn. We worked the chainstitch together and off she went.

I would end my entry today with thanks to Sensei and our mutual Canadian friend. If I had tried either learning projects on my own, I might have two misshapen, half-done masses of ill-fated yarn and lots of knots and frustration. Books are nice, but having a human teacher (with a rabbit cohort) ensures technique, adds life, and most importantly, ancestry to each stitch. Your style is developed from the lessons taught by your teacher, who refined her knowledge from her teacher, but you’re still adding to the Great Project of Lineage.

Well~ Succinctly put: Dom left his iLappy ’05 electric cord at home. Dom’s blogging objective now requires him to more fully explore the capabilities of the iPhone’s WordPress app. But not right now (too much, anyway).

Details of my trip (the whole two days of it so far) will be few and far between. Though my trip isn’t classified, I do not talk about military goings on via the internet. If you know me, I *may* share things with you if it’s not operational and even remotely interesting. As far as the off duty stuff, yeah, I’ll want to show you updates on crafting and musings and stuff.

Like: this place has a Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donut combo business sharing a building with a Papa John’s, next to a gas station with a Dairy Queen inside. Walking distance from my hotel. It’s a good thing I have knitting to hold my interest, or I might get bored enough to make a visit…

More later~

Often times, it's for the best.

Frog you!!! via Instagram.

So…first things first: ¬†Instagram. ¬†I like it, and >90% of my photos from now on will likely come from it. ¬†I mention this not so much to advertise, but to give the heads up that I’ll be posting crazy-looking filters and borders to¬†experiment¬†with the styles and how they play one Facebook and my blog. ¬†So far, I’m not liking this border–I have to figure out how to change the color–or does it randomly assign a color…? ¬†And my favorite filter so far is Valencia. ¬† as a great, comprehensive, and easy to read post about how to use Instagram. ¬†Trust me, if I found it interesting enough not to tl:dr ¬†it, it’s a good interweb read.

And to the heart of the matter: ¬†The Little “F” Words that Made Up My Day. ¬†Those words, mostly in order, were “Frick, Frog, Fun, Fuck, Food.” ¬†All but two, you may notice, are four letter words, but “frick” has five, and “fun” has three, so they even it out. ¬†So there are five “F” words with an average of four letters.

  • Frick: ¬†My day began with problems. ¬†Trivial inconveniences, nothing life-altering. ¬†My not-entirely secret crush is recovering from some sort of illness, so we didn’t get to spend anytime together today. ¬†That bummed me out, but I also meant I could cover more ground in the crafting world solo before I leave for my trip. ¬†Which was my second issue: ¬†my knit swatch’s last hoop messed up last night and I tried everything I could to fix it. Thanks to the miracles of the modern world (if you know anything about me, the most ironic statement I likely ever use), my remedies included taking a picture and crying¬†online. ¬†I now had time to go to The Grove¬†to grovel for help from the owners.
  • Frog: ¬†My fibre Sensei, ever present, admitted she, too, was planning a trip to The Grove, and we would just meet up. ¬†After we evaluated my progress, we decided the best thing to do was frog the whole thing–I hadn’t gotten very far, anyway. ¬†Frogging, for the uninformed, is the self-destruct technique practiced by unhappy fibreworkers–when your project isn’t going well, you ribbit (rip it). ¬†Since I was knitting only a single continuous yarn, this was quite easy.
  • Fun: ¬†That was a generally good idea all around. We thought I added a stitch to the original knit, but I had in fact added several more–it looked highly skewed to me, and Sensei realized it was, too (we forgot how many I started with until she taught me the value of counting knit stitches). ¬†The yarn tension was off–normal for beginners like me–and there were weird gaps. ¬†I do like knitting, and am sold alone on it’s value in my fashion future, but I think I was spoiled immediately on crochet. ¬†I thought I’d do the one I thought I’d use the least first, but I’m drawn to crochet projects slightly more on Ravelry than I thought (1-2 total projects¬†more than the knit ones I like). ¬†Still relatively equal terms, but the crochet ones seem easier. ¬†I treated Sensei to some ice cream and went on my way.
  • Fuck: ¬†Before I left the area, I HAD to get some chunky alpaca yarn (link pending). ¬†This is one of the most enjoyable fuzzy things I’ve ever run my fingers across–so soft, so soft. ¬†I wanted some mohair–you know, cuz my new¬†obsession¬†with it inspired a goat-collecting frenzy–but all the mohair products I found had very fine (thin) yarns, and I don’t want to do something so delicate yet. ¬†I reluctantly decided to go do some research at some chain craft stores (though my primary loyalty is always local first, never forget), and called a homie who I knew would want to get out of the house. When I got to her place, I realized I was missing one of my knitting needles. ¬†She didn’t live far from the Grove, and so returning found it laying in the street, already dented and scuffed by traffic. ¬†F-u-u-u-ck–but that’s too many letters to balance our other words, so a single vowel will have to do. ¬†My homie and I ran around to several stores and found things we needed to rekindle her love of crochet and some last minute supplies for me (new knitting needles becoming an added priority).
  • Food: ¬†Today’s food included: ¬†Wasabi’d dried cherries (my own invention), homemade ice cream (my flavors were macadamia nut toffee and Mexican chocolate), and chicken tacos. ¬†Where as there might have been a story to accompany this “F” word, it is lost at 2:10am PDT, and parts of it may have been absorbed by the story above.

I suppose, this story is all wrapped up for tonight. ¬†Next, I’ll relay and expand upon my Theory of Creativity I was discussing with a new friend.

P.S.: ¬†In the picture, the yarn I’m using is¬†Lily Sugar’n Cream, colorway¬†18003 Cream. ¬†Reasonably accurate, considering it’s a filtered photo on a computer screen.

Summer Love Sets In...

Two of the many ways Dom plans to keep busy. via Instagram.

We’ve all seen it before: ¬†Dom says he’s going to do something, plays around with it, gets busy or upset, then abandons said project for whatever reasons and ends up playing video games all day. ¬†Like this blog (sigh). ¬†Well, that’s going to change starting now, because of one major life-requirement: ¬†art direction. ¬†The ability to learn was there. ¬†The need to create was there. ¬†The motivation and drive were there, at times, faltering because I had no way within myself to combine technique, creativity and raw goods–no vision, no signature. ¬†I had nothing that would stamp the combination with something that stated, for all the world to know, DOM HAS GRACED THESE GOODS WITH HIS OWN HANDS AND HAS CRAFTED THEM INTO SOMETHING EVERYONE SHOULD WITNESS AND MAYBE FEEL THAT MUCH BETTER FOR HAVING EXPERIENCED HIS CREATION.

Well, I have such vision, and I have the tools I need to do things this summer. ¬†And, thanks to the Air Force, I’ll have time away from home and distractions to realize my goals. ¬†I got some shiny new toys, and I plan to make full use of them.

My plans this summer include:

  • Russian Punchneedle embroidery. ¬†I’ve always wanted to embellish my designs with embroidery, and when I went to the¬†Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival in Del Mar, California, my eyes fell on exactly what I wanted my style to look and feel like. ¬†Russian Punchneedle is made with thread loops, which gives it a napped texture in feel and appearance. ¬†And it’s even more versatile than that. ¬†I’ve planned out motifs I want to do and have great colors of embroidery floss to choose from.
  • Crochet/knit projects. ¬†I started yarn-work just a couple of days ago. ¬†I crocheted a washcloth. ¬†I am very, very proud of that washcloth, and my sister is jealous that it isn’t lopsided like her projects are. ¬†That’s motivation enough for me, tacky as it is to say, but it’s praise in it’s own way, and a blessing omen that I’m can be good at something. ¬†I bought some “teach yourself” kits with needles and hooks, and, while at The Grove shoppe searching for embroidery floss, met a teacher, a wonderful woman, who, without realizing it, told me my gear could be improved and set me on the right path to yarn bliss. ¬†I like yarn-work over cloth-work because you create the fabric, as opposed to cutting into cloth. ¬†You can’t undo a scissor bite. ¬†I can’t wait to actually make the projects I have now swimming in my head. ¬†I love that yarn-work makes me feel that much more connected to my family, particularly my father’s mother, who continues to make useful and beautiful creations with cloth and yarn.
  • Flat patternmaking. ¬†My initial project for this summer was to go through my patternmaking book and go through the lessons again, and play with the patterns on the accompanying DVD. ¬†I have yet to open it and unlock mysteries. ¬†This plan hasn’t changed; in fact, I started early, before my trip. ¬†I’ve been tutoring a lady in patternmaking because she’s retaking it in the fall, and we’ve been meeting to work on projects. ¬†My goal is to create, in half-scale, a portfolio of my skills as a r√©sum√© builder, so while I’m teaching her, I work to hone my technical and sewing skills. ¬†So far, I’ve been underwhelming in my sewing technique, but I wasn’t planning on sewing much until I return from my trip. ¬†I am going to specifically miss my new-to-me Kenmore 1802 machine this summer.
  • Exalted RPG campaign development. ¬†I’ll be running a pen-and-paper game when I come back! ¬†It’ll be my first, and I want it to feel just right. ¬†My storyline is specifically loose until I get to know the characters that will be playing in it (adding an organic feel, as if the characters belong to the story). ¬†But I can still plan global events and people the world with NPCs and artifacts and such. ¬†Then I have to teach others to play, cuz no one I know does, and it’ll be new for us all~ ¬†But, I’ve read the books for years, so I have a good grasp on the world, and look forward to sharing it with others.
  • Blogging. ¬†You’ve heard this one before, I know, and over the summer, of course, but this time, I know what I want to write about. ¬†I have things to say, and I don’t intend to be whiny. ¬†Weird, most certainly, but not depressive or tedious. ¬†And I really do like the way my blog looks, with the themes offered on WordPress. ¬†Maybe I’ll have it customized later, but who knows.

I didn’t put sewing, or cooking/baking, or mixology on my list because I won’t be near any of the equipment/materials needed for such pursuits. ¬†I could hand sew, yes, and I likely should, and I could buy a small liquor cabinet or sample bottles of booze to play around with, but I think the above is more than enough for six weeks of¬†after-schooltime. ¬†Besides, ambition aside, I’m horrible at gauging time, so I can’t really say how much I’ll get done. ¬†But every effort will be made, no excuses.

Oh! I almost forgot! ¬†Look for me on Pinterest! ¬†And if you crochet/knit, find me on Ravelry! ¬†They’re my new favorite (online) things–besides Ponies. ¬†And goats. ¬†They’re like my new favorite animal.

So Much Fluff...

Angoras are like my favorites. They‚Äôre from Ankara, T√ľrkiye, you know‚Ķ

It’s been a while…I know I was supposed to post all the time, but really, I didn’t have any direction with what I wanted to do, despite planning. So, as a blog reboot, I’ll start with a summary of what we’ve missed and how I came to resurrect my love of seeing my own thoughts published for all to see.

Since last year, around this time, I applied and was accepted to FIDM. I got wrapped up in the notion that, for more money, I would get the same education as San Diego Mesa College‘s Fashion Design Program, but also the added prestige of the FIDM name. It would turn out later that such prestige wouldn’t be worth me going into student loan debt for so much, so I had to drop that–but it was too late to get into Fall classes at Mesa.

I got a job at a department store and HATED it. ¬†HATED it. ¬†It *helped* pay bills (Not really), and though most of the people were nice, except fot the manager of the department I really wanted to be in, I really don’t like the idea of pushing credit cards at people just so the company can save a couple bucks per electronic transaction. ¬†And everything they told you ended with the phrase “a condition of your employment.” ¬†Who really has to use¬†indelicately-veiled threats like that to motivate their employees?

I quit that job when school started again, mostly because my school schedule wouldn’t allow it, but even to this day, I can’t see one of their ads without getting mad. ¬†I myself won’t state the name, but if you have base¬†access¬†in San Diego and you can get to the Navy Exchange, just know you’re getting the same brands that store offers as store exclusives.

And onto school~! ¬†I loved and hated this semester. ¬†I had such good classes too: ¬†Textiles, Fashion History, and my personal favorite, Flat Patternmaking I. ¬†I absorbed knowledge and techniques like a sponge. ¬†It was as if I found my life’s calling. ¬†Patternmaking combines my right-brained need for creativity with my left-brained aptitude for math and geometry. ¬†This promised to be a good semester except three problems:

  1.  I had little money for supplies.  My car got hit in October, and I had to scrounge and beg for money to pay my $500 deductible (on top of my other expenses).  I was just recovering from that.
  2. Fashion Sketching. ¬†The dark cloud of misery on my otherwise partly-cloudy-but-silver-lined sky of promise. ¬†First, let me say that I love the professor. ¬†She is the most supportive, encouraging, and understanding person they could have chosen for that class. ¬†But the¬†workload¬†was far too much just for 3.0 credit hours. ¬†AND I’M MISERABLY BAD AT DRAWING. ¬†It took so long for me to finish less than half the weekly assignment each week. ¬†And I started to neglect my other work trying to get something done in that class. ¬†The semester ended badly.
  3. I was 3.0 credit hours overworked. ¬†I’m not a very good student as it is, and I really could have shined more if I had less to do. ¬†UNFORTUATELY the Veterans’ Affairs office decided that we need to have a certain number of credits to get our full GI bill benefits, or we get a percentage if we have less. ¬†I tried very hard to keep up, as before this semester I rarely got C’s, and when I did, I knew I needed a change in my major. ¬†This semester (I haven’t looked at my grades), I’ll be lucky to get C’s. ¬†I took voluntary F’s in sketching and history (which killed me cuz I was tutoring others in that class), because I couldn’t finish projects. ¬†And Fashion Design is not a “stay up late and knock out a term paper” class (I won’t admit to ever having done that, but will casually state I could do it easily if pressed). ¬†If I had this semester minus sketching, I would have been an A/B student for sure, but I would only have 75% living money (which I wouldn’t have been able to afford).

So the semester’s over. ¬†I have a sewing machine, I’m getting my home cleaned and nice, I’m enjoying the Air Force Reserve, I made lots of new friends and deepened friendships with old ones, and I’m learning new crafts this summer!!! ¬†I’m learning to crochet, knit, embroider, and I’m re-fining my patternmaking skills. ¬†And drafting a campaign for White Wolf‘s Exalted role-playing game. ¬†And planning costumes for my band, Bricklayer Bosh (and we have some FUN things lined up for the fall). ¬†And yes, most of it will get done this summer, because I’ll be on the other side of the country for most of the summer.

It’s been so long…I totally failed all my blogging goals. ¬†But I’m working back into it. ¬†It’s been in the back of my head the whole absence while I figure out an actual format for the blog and some of the serial projects I had planned. ¬†I never did come up with anything good, so I figure I’ll start posting now to get things out of my head.

And of course, as I sit down to write, my materials aren’t nearby. ¬†Shucks. ¬†So, here is an update, with new material forthcoming! View full article »

I am almost done with the last school project I have to work on outside of school. Then I can look for a job for a while.

Meanwhile, I’ve been really stressed lately. Job hunting these days is demoralizing; being rejecting for a job online before a human even looks at my application. I don’t have much time left before I won’t get paid this summer, so money is on my mind a lot. I’m also quite lonely, as I do not want to seek romantic leads without having financial stability. And my studio has major chi blockage with all my storage boxes littering my kitchen. Dom isn’t in a good place yet.

Times like these are when I turn to spirituality and prayer. Really. The problem with that is that as I try to attune myself to higher states of being, I naturally find my more basic side seeks equal redress–I swing toward each extreme like a pendulum, with increasing momentum. Each act of [beauty/piety/nobility] is matched with so urge of consumption or depravity. Counterweights don’t bring harmony.

What I have done is establish a Purge Day–a pressure realease in my spiritual regimen. Today, I listened to none of my own music or my own thoughts (if you know what I’m like in the car, you know how intertwined the two are). I was stuck with inane chatter on the radio, but it wasn’t my internal dialogue of shoulds and fear and psychic static. I allowed myself to accept the happenings of the day without self-conciousness. I didn’t think much at all today, but I also let go of my spiritual disciplines for a bit. I feel there is a lesson here I can almost grasp, but we’ll digest it together as I explain thr foundations of my spiritual outlook (later~).

I also made an appointment to talk to an advisor at FIDM, a design school in San Diego and (mostly) in LA. I know that I can achieve great things if I can afford to go. I’m so financially dumb, it’s not funny. I want to go there so much, but there are big things in the works, besides financing. More on that later, too. I need to make some phone calls tomorrow.

See you soon, WordPress.

Dom’s Bosh-Vampire Dream

Dreams don’t follow any logic, as you must know. ¬†My dreams are really weird, and lately I’ve been waking in screams. ¬†I’m going to blog whatever parts of any dream I can, and here is the first. View full article »

Dom likes food.  This is no secret.  But did you know:

  • Dom emotionally connects to people through food.
  • If you accept food offered from him, he feels you view him as safe and friendly.
  • If you ask him for food, he will readily give because you are reaching out to him, and he loves being needed.
  • If you offer him food, whether he accepts or not, you have made a friend.¬† He is extremely loyal to food buddies.
  • Dom would rather be treated to a meal than accept a gift.
  • Hates eating alone.
  • Hates eating in restaurants alone. ¬†More often than not, he will not sit in a restaurant by himself, unless he doesn’t want to eat at home by himself.
  • Sometimes eats in his car outside of a restaurant if he feels awkward.
  • Dom thinks arriving a destination with a boba drink makes him cool.
  • He feels arriving late with a boba drink makes him appear more casual, even though he hates always being late.
  • He never stops for boba when he is late, even though being later with his casual boba drink is no different from being slightly late and frantic appearing.
  • Dom worries about getting fat.
  • He works out so he can eat more.
  • Dom always chews his food extremely well.
  • Dom hates eating all his food if he’s getting full, but hates wasting food more.¬† These two impulses are locked in constant battle if it is not practical to save food for later.
  • Dom prefers drinking his nutrients vice eating them.
  • He prefers real fruit smoothies to solid food.
  • Dom hates eating food when it is hot outside.
  • Dom is an unashamed omnivore.
  • Most of his teeth are pointy and sharp, naturally adapted to consume meat, but he believes in a well-balanced diet.
  • Dom prefers to eat meats with fruit. ¬†Avocado and pineapple are particular favorites, but not in the same dish.
  • Dom dislikes chicken, but will eat it if no other meats, mushrooms or tofu are available.
  • Cooked mushrooms are an acceptable meat substitute, but raw mushrooms are not.
  • Dom’s preferences are:¬† Lamb > Fish > Beef > Cooked Mushrooms > Tofu > Seafood > Turkey > Bacon > Vegetarian > Other Pork > Chicken.¬† All menus are scanned for in this order, with variance based on previous meals and price.

Da Ba Dee Da Ba Dai

I thought long and hard about what would be my first post. I realize that in order to understand me better, I should explain my outlook in easily digestible bits. It would be far too complicated to explain my existential concept of water without lots of tangents and other background information. The most basic and well-known element is my natal star chart.

I really do learn from astrology, but only because I actually did my own observations. I watch other people, and I reflect on myself. As far as general concepts go, I interact with people with amazing success when I know their signs. I see trends in my own life that parallel with my signs. OBVIOUSLY, astrology’s not an all-inclusive manual on every person–that’s na√Įve. And I don’t really read predictive horoscopes I don’t cast myself. Of course, I can’t cast my own yet, so I don’t worry about it.

I am referencing a few main books and Web sites for this venture:

  • The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need, by Joanna Martine Woolfolk¬†was my first guide into the world of astrology. ¬†I read this book front-to-back once and reference it many, many, many times.¬† I have the 1990 edition, but there is a shiny, newer one out.¬† I have not reviewed it yet, and that makes me sad.
  • Astrodienst¬†is an amazing Web resource for many articles and lessons. ¬†I haven’t gone through most of it yet. ¬†What I find most valuable here is the free natal charting they offer. ¬†It’s where I got mine from. ¬†You should try to find your birth time to get a more personal chart. ¬†Mrs. Martine Woolfolk’s book teaches you to create and interpret your charts, but I like to “check my work,” and this is a great tool.
  • Indian Astrology, by Komilla Sutton¬†is an introductory book into the world of Jyotish, or Vedic Astrology. ¬†I use it as a primer, to familiarize myself with the concepts that will be found in more in-depth books. ¬†Ms. Sutton’s Web site links to an online store she prefers, but the store may not carry it anymore. ¬†In any event, I prefer to go to locally-owned bookstores whenever possible.
On a related note:  Today is the first day of Aries 2011.  I thought it would be appropriate to start my blog today, the first day of Spring, because of the significance of initiation and newness.