Are you always connected?

I can’t help but sink into the overwhelming feeling that I don’t fit in anywhere, anymore. Everyone I know, outside of my life partner, is constantly connected to the digital universe. I’ve tried it, I really have, but it isn’t healthy for me. I don’t think it’s healthy for most of us. Anyway, I’ve been feeling really lonely lately, and I keep coming back to this thought. No one spends time with each other anymore, everyone seems to be so focused on what’s happening on their phone, that they miss out on the person sitting right next to them. I see people using the digital universe to connect to others who share interests…I’m even trying that, but does it really work? Does making these videos, and sharing them matter at all? I mean, I watch videos. I watch crafty, beautiful blogs…I love them. But, I wish I knew these people in real life. I wish I had a real community, a community of local people who hung out and made things together. We have a small, local group of knitters, but aside from Helen, whom I’ve known since Stitch & Bitch Days, they aren’t really super welcoming or engaging. I feel like an outsider. I’ve felt this way for about 10 years.

Do real friends exist anymore?

Ugh. I have a thousand and one acquaintances, I just wish I had a couple good friends.

Advertisements

Mental Health Issues. You too, huh?

Seems like everyone and their dog, talk about mental health issues these days. Maybe we all have them…

I never even heard about panic attacks and anxiety attacks until I had my first…and then everyone had them. I don’t get it. Maybe everyone has always had them, but we called them by other names?

I don’t know. My whole point was to share that I’ve been dealing with anxiety attacks and apathy something fierce. It makes it really hard to get excited about things, and it saps my creativity.

I’m hoping to come around again soon…it’s just been awfully blah in my head lately.

 

Life stuff and the #knitlifesurvey thing

My mind has been all over the place recently…I’ve just flown for the first time in my life, fully medicated of course(Full blown phobia, hence no previous flying), Attended a trade show at the largest convention center on the west coast, 84 thousand people in attendance…elbow to elbow, vendors hawking their stuff. So many samples, so much walking, and jostling, and touching people. So tired.

I got a call from my mama while I was down there…she had 2 heart attacks. Mom is the best friend I ever had, so of course I’m freaked out and completely unable to do a god damned thing about it. I’m home now, and I know shes home and doing well, but I still haven’t had a chance to touch base and argh.

Oh, also, I was completely sick while at Expo. Full on upper respiratory bullshit. And SO tired. No one told me about the fact that you shouldn’t fly with upper resp stuff, because it really really REALLY hurts the ears. I still can’t quite hear out of my righty.

Now that I’m home, I’m well and everything, but catching up on work has been kind of a nightmare, and then one of my co workers told me that another coworker for whatever reason has it in for me, and keeps bringing up flaws they find in the management meetings. Of course, no one has said anything, because I haven’t done anything wrong, but the fact that they are using that time to vent specifically about MY department hurts my feelings…I had thought we were friends. Apparently not.

It’s just been a whole 2 weeks of crazy intense energy, and I’m kind of over it, folks. I’d like to catch a break now, thanks verymuchmmmkay?

So, while I sit here trying to unwind a little, I thought I’d do this Knitlifesurvey that’s making the rounds. No one specifically tagged me, but I’ve seen it in all the usual places, so here we go.

The Questions:
What sparked your interest in knitting?

Well, my grandma was an avid crocheter, quilter, and all around crafty broad. I recall being about 6 and wanting to learn crochet, so she taught me. I made endless lengths of chains for a long time. My young child self was perfectly content doing that. I finally figured out how to make little squares, but I lost interest when I discovered music, and the fibery crafter in me fell asleep until I was pregnant with my 2nd child.
How and when did you learn to knit?

I taught myself how to knit, using one of those cheap-o pamphlets you can find in any big box craft store. I was wanting to make a blanket for my baby, who wasn’t born yet.  It was in 2003.
What is your favorite cast on method?

Long tail. It’s the only one I use, unless the pattern specifies another one. That being said, I totally understand that other cast on methods have their place.
What is your favorite type of knitting design element? (Brioché, lace? Cables? Colorwork?… etc.)

Lace. I absolutely adore lace. Colorwork and Cables are right up there though.
What is your favorite project you have ever knit?

It’s my very first attempt at lace, The Vernal Equinox Shawl by Lankakomero.

I started it the year that I was chosen as May Queen for our Pagan group. I wanted to make something lovely for my Crone Witch, and with her being a professional quilt artist, I knew she would appreciate a hand knit item. She also looks blissfully beautiful in a shawl. That project was my first ever attempt at lace, as I mentioned, and it took just over a year to complete. It was all in all a lesson in patience. I slowly, carefully made my way to about 3/4 of the way done, when I noticed a glaring mistake that would not be able to be blocked out…I had to rip back to the first section. It hurt so bad, but I did it, and discovered lifelines in the process, which made the whole thing less daunting. And, when I presented it, I was right…My Witch absolutely adored it.
How many projects are in your Ravelry queue?

as of this moment, 168. To be fair, I put everything I would potentially like to knit in there. I don’t take it terribly seriously.
What is your favorite weight of yarn to work with?

Bulky yarns on larger needles tend to make my hands cramp. I really adore knitting with Fingering weight yarn.
What was your first knitting project?

It started out as a blanket for my 2nd kiddo. I ended up making a hood to attach and it became a cozy hooded blankie for cuddling up in. I used the most god awful baby blue boucle acrylic, because at the time, I didn’t know about wool.
What is the longest time you have had a half-finished project in hibernation? What is it and when did you cast on? Do you still want to finish it?

I have currently a project that is 5 years out, in Hibernation, and yes, I totally wanna finish it. It’s just squeaky (but beautiful) acrylic, so I do a wedge and then put it away for awhile. I just pulled it out again, and it really shouldn’t take too much longer to finish. It’s the Wingspan Shawl, by maylin Tri’Coterie Designs
What is the largest project you have ever knit?

I just finished enough blanket squares for the Magical Throw by Erssie Knits

which, once sewn together will be the largest project size-wise.
What is the worst and just overall bad, didn’t work out thing you ever knit? (Explain what went wrong, lol)

So far, I haven’t had anything end up so bad that it wasn’t fixable. I’m fairly methodical in my knitting, and as soon as I see shit going sideways, I fix it, or frog it.
What is your favorite kind of project to make (socks, sweaters, shawls… etc)?

So far, Shawls. Shawls, and funny stuffed things, or creepy novelty things like the Lab Rat by Emily Stoneking
What is your favorite type of fiber to work with?

That depends on the project. I love knitting with silky soft fibers, but if I was using them for colorwork, it would be a nightmare. My favorite type of yarn to work with is the correct fiber for the given project. And I DO love a good MCN.
Are you a self proclaimed yarn snob?

I don’t know, I don’t think so. I think more often than not, yarn snobs don’t really have a clue what they are talking about. it’s all about superwash merino blah blah blah…No, I am more than happy to use what some yarb snobs would call scratchy wool, when it’s necessary. I do prefer high quality wools, and I do not use acrylic (save for that one last project that I started before I knew about wool) I never judge others for what they use…
What is your dream knitting retreat or fiber festival to attend?

Retreats are something I only just heard about, and they seem to be exorbitantly expensive. I’d rather spend that money on nice yarn, and retreat to my room. LOL It would be fun to go to Edinburgh or the NY Sheep and Wool Festival though.
What is the oldest yarn in your stash?

I might have something as old as 5 years in there. I tend to not keep things around for too long before finding a project for them though.
Are you a gifty knitter or a selfish knitter?

Yes. I love to knit for knitworthy beings, and I love to knit for me.
What do you like to watch or listen to while you knit? (Listen to books, music, tv, movies, vlogs, podcast) list your favorites if you want.

I love watching youtube podcasts, specifically ones that run close to the hour long mark or longer, while I knit. Just a few of my favorites are:

Squirrel Pie Productions

 

These next folks speak mostly Icelandic, and their podcast is very beautiful Kammebornia

This gal, Randi is a super adorable and prolific crochet artist, and also a very real, very down to earth mama, and that is super appealing to me. Her life happens right there on camera, and it’s very refreshing. Random Randi’s Ramblings

Of course, there are the Grocery girls, Knitting Expat, Voolenvine, and all of the other already super well known podcasts…

Outside of fiber arts podcasts, I enjoy Lada Duncheva, Astrologer Because I think her astrology classes and readings are spot on.
Do you prefer wood or metal needles?

Generally, I prefer wood. I like the warmth and earthy feel, and I don’t see any difference in my knitting speed from one to the other, aside from the fact that my yarn doesn’t slip off the needles when I use wood.
Is there a pattern or project that you have knit more than one time ?

Yes, mainly toys, stuffies, ornaments and things like that. I tend to do hats or shawls only once, because there are SO many that I want to get to.

Just for fun:
Do you have any other hobbies?

I do! I enjoy camping, attending artsy fun festivals, and pirate events, I’m a belly dancer, and I love to read.
What is your favorite snack?

I’m a salty crunchy type. I absolutely adore the Simple Mills Nut Crackers. They are the MOST delicious snack cracker in the known universe. Fact.
What is your favorite color?

I have SO many. I really love black, jet black, dark black, medium black, grey, charcoal, coal black, ebony, sable, Pitch black, silver, gunmetal, Slate, and Pewter.
Do you have pets? If so tell us about them.

Yes of course. At the moment, I have 1 cat. Her name is Lucyfur, and she goes my prah mrauw, or Lucy for short. She is a very tiny cat, delicate bone structure and small round head. She is the color of a russian blue, but with a darker blue classic tabby swirl. She’s gorgeous. Her eyes are the palest silver grey I’ve ever seen, and they just glow. She has a crook in the tip of her tail, that she’s had since we brought her home at 11 weeks of age or so. She is a very twitchy kitty, and her tail constantly twitches as if shes terrified, or about to spray…but she isn’t, and she never does. she’s just a skitty kitty.
Last but not least…. coffee or tea? We have to do that one for good measure, lol!

I like both, but coffee does tend to aggravate my anxiety. I love tea. Love love love.
Now tell who you want to tag (tag 5 vloggers or podcasters with knitting themed shows & Please mention who tagged you).

Nope. Everyone I can think of has already done it. No one tagged me…I just wanted to have some fun.

 

Instagram follows…

I’ve recently unfollowed a bunch of IG accounts, even though they are knitting or craft related. I had noticed that some accounts are just images of knitted items, and not people who are actually creating garments, or patterns, or yarn…

I’m not into following those kinds of accounts, they just don’t feel real to me. I don’t have room in my day, to occupy myself with regram’d content, and especially when the poster doesn’t even bother to offer where the original content came from.

Unless it’s for a contest, my content is not regram’d from other sources. For me, IG is a place to be real and post original makes. It’s not an image board it’s not pinterest or tumblr. It’s supposed to be for real makers, and so if you have an account for regraming, or showing off other peoples things without even bothering to tell us who they are…I just won’t be following you.

Mars, Pluto, and all the Planets.

My sweetie and I are  taking part of an in depth astrology study with our Crone Witch this year. We are very excited. There are 12 of us taking part, and each of us has been assigned a planet to study in depth.  My planet is Mars. Sweeties planet is Pluto. How funny! I thought for sure I’d get Saturn, being a Capricorn and all, but getting Mars threw me for an interesting loop. Pluto is the higher octave of Mars, which I find amusing and appropriate, considering our relationship.

So, my Mars is in my 11th house. This is a tough study for me, as it brings up some tough shit from the younger days. I don’t yet know how much about that I’ll share here.

And even that sentiment rolls right back around to mars being in my 11th.

hmmm.

Holidays

Hello!

I’m just coming down after 4 days off, and starting to prepare for getting back to work.  Now, I only work 32 hours a week, and I get 3 day weekends as the norm, so I really shouldn’t complain too much. I have a job that I enjoy, even if it isn’t soul fulfilling. If I could find a way to craft and create every single day, I would literally be in heaven.

*sigh*

Anyway, I’ve been a busy little crafter for the past few days. It’s been so nice because my Partner has been home with me and we get along so well together that having days off with no kids, no work, and no responsibilities, can make us forget we aren’t teenagers.

It’s been a good time. 😀

I finished the Lang dress for Ava, the toddler of my friend Joyce. It’s so cute, but I would never in a million years do this pattern again, in fact I won’t ever even consider using another Lang Pattern.  It was SO poorly written, and left out entire chunks of information that I had to go to other patterns to figure out. I had to rip out and start over, several times at different stages, and I had to completely reinvent the sleeves because the instructions made no sense. I mean, it tells you to cast off stitches at each end of every other row, when it should tell you to cast off stitches at the beginning of every row. You can’t do as they said, or you’ll end up with giant holes from that last stitch. Ugh. So, this project was a freaking nightmare, but I’m glad it’s finished.

I drew the name of someone I really enjoy for the Secret Santa Party at work. I don’t typically knit for just anyone, they have to be knit worthy, and this person totally is. So, she is getting 2 lovely winter hats, one with a gorgeous lace tree pattern, and one is a sparkly purple/pink/silver/black pussyhat! I know she will love it.  Those hats got finished today, so I can now concentrate on making Yule gifts for my few close friends, and family members.

We have a craft fair coming up next Saturday at work, and I’m going to take a few things down there and see what I can sell. Well, I will sign off for now, I have crafting to do!

z

 

 

 

Welcome to the Dark side…we have yarn!

Hi!

I’m Zira, the person behind the LoveoftheDark (Fiber) Arts Youtube channel/Crafty podcast thingamajig. I know I have that other blog over at blogspot, but that’s turned into mostly personal and work related stuff, so I wanted to have a space specifically for my crafty related goodness.

So, here I am. I’ve never used wordpress before, so this thing is likely to change a lot over the next few weeks as I figure out how it works. Thank you for your patience.

So, whats this about? Why am I here, and why should you be reading this?

Well, I love to share my creative outbursts and connect with others who also spew craft. I make all sorts of things from knitted items, to hand spun yarn, to reclaimed ceramic critters, bags, stitch markers, art…I mean, the list goes on. You get the idea. I’m a crafty broad. I’m here to connect with other crafty folk! Now, here’s a catch (for some anyway), in addition to being a creative kookoo with a big smile and a sweetly sarcastic sense of humor, I’m also a Witch. This will likely cut off about half of my potential audience, out of fear or judgement. In this day and age of acceptance and tolerance, I find that disheartening to say the least, but I will never pretend to be anything other than what I am, and I am the grand daughter of the Witches you couldn’t burn.

So mote it be.

Are you still here? Awesome! I do hope you stay awhile, and come back often. My goal is to make at least one post per week, likely with several posts over the next few days, to get a little something something going in the mean time. I’ll be posting about my craftyness, cooking, helpful home ideas…just all sorts of domestic goddess shit. ❤

Bis Spater!