Tuesday, December 11, 2012

in progress - knitted santa christmas card holder

Hello, friends!  Welcome to another stressful day in the life of Jenn.

Yes, I know I'm complaining.  But my stupid migraine aura is still there - three weeks after it started - and it's really starting to get on my nerves. That said, I'm trying to ignore it and hope it goes away since nothing seems to help.  The solution is to sit back and relax, which is impossible to do right now.  Go figure.  This couldn't happen next summer or something?

While I wait for heck to apparently freeze over, I've been working on this knitted Santa card holder (click here to purchase the pattern):

And I love it!  I'm further along now than I was in the photo - the whole base is done, hat and all, so now I just need to add the beard and sew on the eyes and pom pom.

Overall, the pattern is very easy - it's essentially a long scarf made in sections and knitted together to create the card pockets.  The best part is that although it's easy, it still has enough difficulty to hold the attention of more experienced knitters.  For example, the loop stitch is fun to make and I had a ball making the nose.  I don't know why - it was just so wonky and funny to me.

I'm using Hobby Lobby "I Love This Yarn" doubled up to create the bulkier yarn needed for gauge.  It's thick enough to stand the abuse of putting cards in and taking them out at the end of each season, but softer than Red Heart Super Saver, which makes it nice for me to work with.  And using thick needles means it's a pretty quick knit (except it's been taking me forever due to all my health detours).

I can't wait to see what this looks like when all is said and done.  Shouldn't be much longer now.  Hubby and I had a bunch of "Dexter" episodes to catch up on, so I wove in a bunch of ends during our marathon this past weekend.  And when I wasn't working on this, I was trying to figure out a complicated beast of a knitted lace pattern that makes me frustrated.  It's awesome :)

That's pretty much it!  I've made a dent in my Christmas purchasing for the year, though I still have a bunch left to get or make.  I keep telling myself as I'll reward myself with a crafting weekend once my eye problem disappears - I've been waiting for that to happen since Thanksgiving.  On top of it all, the woman whose wheel tore my car apart is still evading the insurance company, which is delaying the entire process.  Call me disgruntled.  You know, the first Christmas in two years where I don't have school anymore PLUS a week off from work, I just wanted to enjoy the holiday season.  I know I'm ranting now, but jeez.  I'm beside myself.

More updates to come, so keep checking back :D

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

the one in which i overshare

So, where have I been for the past couple weeks?

Well, it kind of starts with this.  Behold my new car (the one on the right):

It's a 2012 Mini Cooper Countryman in cosmic blue with white mirror caps, roof, and racing stripes.  Can you tell I'm kind of in love with it?

It was a random decision.  After taking my 2007 Jeep Compass to get inspected and walking out with yet another $800 of repairs with another $600 on the way after winter PLUS a dying transmission after just 44,000 miles, I decided I'd had enough.  So I started looking at new cars and had settled on a Hyundai Tucson right before Hurricane Sandy hit.  After dealing with that aftermath (and hoping a tree would just take out the Jeep so I'd get some kind of insurance), I decided to take a look at one more car - the Mini.

Behold my car now:

Yes, that is tire treads on the hood of my car, a broken fog light and bumper, and a whole slew of other annoying problems.  After returning home from a friend's housewarming party over Thanksgiving weekend, a wheel shot off a car on the other side of the PA turnpike, torpedoed off the median, bounced, then took out the front of the car I had owned for just nine days at that point.

At the time, we didn't know where the wheel came from, so we just pulled over, reported it to the insurance company, and then notified the police that hey - there's a terrorist tire floating around on the turnpike.  By the time we returned home, we had learned there was another driver involved and blah blah blah - I started to feel better about the whole thing.  You know, aside from the fact it could have crashed through our windshield and killed us.

My car is finally scheduled to go into the shop after a bunch of problems with the other driver's insurance, but thankfully it will get repaired on New Year's Eve.  Thank God it's drivable, but I hate driving around with a brand new dented car having people judge me as if I were the negligent party.

Next on my list?  A three week migraine.  A couple weeks ago, I developed a flash in my eye.  After getting it checked out by two eye specialists, we ruled out anything serious with my eyes and it's not a brain issue.  After then seeing my GP, we decided I'm in the middle of a prolonged migraine cycle brought on by stress.  SHOCK! HORROR! I could go on and on about all of my stressful issues, but I won't - however, the car thing and the way it's been handled is one of them.  So now I'm on all sorts of fun drugs to get this flashing to go away.  It's too early to tell if it's working, but boy am I hyper.

Add to that extended work hours and projects, trying to get the house in shape for the holidays, finishing up my MBA (it's done - DONE!), my cat getting pink eye, and everything else you don't care to know, it doesn't surprise me that my body has given up.  I hope to have all the pieces put back together by Christmas so I can actually enjoy it for once, but if this is my life now, I can only imagine what will happen by then.

So as far as crafting goes, I've been struggling to do pretty much anything.  I'm finishing up my last order before the holidays and enjoying it because it's a Santa card holder.  It's been fun!  I even started one of my Christmas gifts last night.  But you can imagine that with an annoying flash blurring my vision in one eye, I haven't really had the motivation to do anything but nap.

There you have it.  Suffice it to say, I've been ripping my hair out.  I'm hoping to get back in the groove next week.  Hope all you fabulous readers are doing well, and thanks for listening to me vent :)
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