As much as I have loved being “KnittingFisher”, its just not who I am anymore. In honour of re-defining myself, I have started a new blog. It is called SisuGirl and is at sisugirl.wordpress.com and I hope that you will join me over there. There will be just as many adventures and knitting and spinning too but just under a name that I can keep for a very long time, no matter what relationship, job or lifestyle that I lead. For a definition of ‘sisu’, head on over there and read more!
Happy Friday Everyone!
I know that it has been quite some time between my last post and now but there also has been a lot going on too. Both physically and in my head.
Head and heart-wise, well, I am still getting that all figured out. It always seems that I am living “Plan B” so I guess that I shouldnt be so surprised that the rug is gone again from under me and I have to create a new Plan B but I didnt think that I would have to be creating a whole new plan for my life in it. In the past, I have never planned as far in advance as I had this time. I mean, I really did have the rest of my life roughly sketched out, centering on J and our life together in Pelican. Now that that is gone, I really have to start over from nothing and I really have no clue what I want to do, go or be…so pray for me. I have no ideas but just like they teach you in AA, “one day at a time” and from this too I will recover.
Sisu is my source of joy and gets me out of bed in the mornings and makes me happy tocome home each night so I am greatful to have her by my side, though she seemed to know that I was upset and started to snuggle closer in bed and has taken over the opposite side now, including pillow space. Spoilt little dog. She is getting regular walkies around the park and we have both made some good friends there. Its a good place for both of us. You may know how Mums at a park relate to each other by their kid stories; thats what we dog parents do at the dog park. And we all know the different dogs but have a hard time with each others name! “Oh look! Its Sisu and her Mum!” Yeah. Well, we say that its socialisation for the dogs but we all know and agree that its socialisation for us as people too. If you think about it, we very rarely have a chance to meet and talk with other people outside of a work or friends environment. At the dog park, most people dont know each other very well or have a history. We can be who we really are without fear of A)seeing the person again in a formal setting or B)having to talk to anyone that you dont really want to. Granted, you always have those people at the dog or people park who like to give you all the advice in the world about raising your dog, but just like when they give advice about raising kids, you smile, nod and then talk about the smarty-boots over there who just had the gall to tell you how to raise your *fur*baby with your nearest walkies friend.
I know some of you *coughJanynecough* want pictures but I havent yet been able to take and upload any without looking at all the old ones that J and I took together and of each other without crying and getting really sad so new pictures will have to wait for a bit. I know that its OK to cry and it is because of all those experiences together that I am the person that I am now, but its still difficult. One day soon I will sit down with a friend and tell them the stories and cry and then move and save all the pictures to a file that is separate from the main iPhoto…soon, I promise.
Work has been hectic with all the fun of the start of school and excitement of check in. I had my first experiance with a keg on campus. Lucky for us and them that it was before any of it was consumed :) but it will be interesting to see what the sanctions are for the people involved. Lucky for me it wasnt my resident and will not be my case to handle. Please, no one in East or Templewood get any ideas like that!!! I love my staff members and I am very happy with what they are programming and planning for their own residents as well as I am greatful that I have each and every one of them as my own staff members.
Enjoy your Friday everyone. Have a pint for me to celebrate the weekend :)
My family got to figure out 3-way calling last night with me after I had a long talk with J. I’m sure you will understand the ‘Goodbye’ part of my title as you get to the end but I really hope you read the entire post and think about those special people who have come into your life and made an impact.
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
Thank you for being a part of my life, whether you were a reason, a season or whether you are a lifetime.
Thank you for my season with you Jamison. While I wish it would have been for our lifetime, I lived that season with you just as our ring said “with no regrets”. Be happy with the path that you chose and know that I will always have a special place in my heart for you. God be with you.
I get it…you want me to post! Fine. Its not like I havent been busy with very important life skills like trying to remember how to make toast under a broiler, avoiding moose attacks and planning for student staff training and the opening of residence halls for UAA!!! Let me tell you, making that toast can be darn tricky. Even just now I let some get darker than I prefer! That whole thing about ‘a watched pot never boils’ doesnt apply to toast under a broiler; you have to watch lest it burn to a mighty crisp. Everything else has been fairly stress-free. :)
Moose-watch has been eventful. Sisu is way more curious about the moose than she is wary and she managed to flush a Mom and babies (Cow and calves if you are being particular) out from their settled spot behind West hall the other night. Right in front of MB who is the RC of West, who, to her credit, ran straight for the bridge and called UPD while Sisu and I backed quickly off and stood across the street. They weren’t upset for being startled and jsut started grazing again…mainly on the rosebushes at the corner. Such delicate little mouths. S/He managed to get all the leaves and none of the thorns off that branch. I know because I looked later on :) MB was maybe 15′ away when she took this picture. S/He is about 4.5′ at the shoulder and has such skinny, wobbly looking legs. They really are funny looking creatures and you just want to stop and watch them. Sisu kept pulling and wanting to get closer but every time she barked at them I got nervous and the moose DIDNT CARE. There were 3 of them and none paid any attention to the barking black and white little predator in their area. I guess she doesnt smell enough like a wolf to cause alarm and enough like people to cause apathy. Still glad I had her on the leash though!!
MB and I went to the store not long after that to buy her some boots and, as you can see, she had a bit of trouble getting them off again. I was laughing so hard I almost couldnt help her. It was a good evening.
From L to R: The Felted Sheep SWMerino/Tencel and Merino/Silk 50/50 blends, Corridale Natural and Lt. Brown-2 oz each, Merino Top-2oz and Super Angora 2 oz.
I’ve already dove into my survival plan for dealing with these, these…these…oh hell, these lushious, beautiful, perfect fibres and I am loving every moment of them. I stared with the SW Merino Tencel from my friend, K who is The Felted Sheep and who I met at my first day that I went to the Saturday Market in downtown Anchorage. I originally planned to have J send me my drop spindle after I saw and bought those rovings but then fate stepped in and threw Ladybugs at me.
For those of you who are still wondering what the heck I am talking about and why ladybugs have anything to do with yarn and roving: Here:
Meet the Ladybug. Its a spinning wheel by Schacht Spindle Co and is fantastic. You can read all about her HERE. I was torn about buying her, really, I was. I didnt know if I really wanted to get into spinning as a ‘real’ hobby and really didnt know if I wanted to shell out the money for her. I was borrowing my friend SYs’ Louet s10 in Pelican and while I really liked spinning, I wasnt sure if I wanted to continue doing it all the time. Would it replace knitting? What about dyeing? When could I do it? Its expensive! All these questions and more and in the end, I was lead by the fantastic community over at Ravelry to a Ladybug. I knew that I liked spinning on the Louet s10 but I didnt like the single treadle part because of the dead time on the wheel. I needed a double! (and I’ve never said that before!) I considered a Babe wheel because I really liked the inexpensiveness of the wheel and, really, how cool would it be to have a spinning wheel made of PVC? But, after reading more reviews and advice from Ravelers, I went with a wheel that I could spend more time on, instead of spending less but needing to upgrade in the nearer future. I already knew that I could spin well on a Louet but then, I couldnt find anyone nearby who stocked them or had them in a price range that I was willing to get into!
Long story short, I found a wonderful woman here in Anchorage who is a Schacht dealer (kind of like a crack dealer but with lots more fibre floating around). She is the owner of Far North Fibers and runs a shop out of her home. She also does natural dyeing and, wow, let me tell you how beautiful her yarns are. Those colours are amazing and I can only admire and drool. She was having a dyeing session in her driveway yesterday (when I bought the Corridale, Merino and Angora) and the ladies involved looked so happy and were having fun despite the drizzle coming down. Anyway, last Saturday, she came over with my ‘bug and I took her for a test spin. I was pretty nervous about spinning double treadle since I never had and really scared that I wouldnt remember what to do. It was like coming home again. My feet fell right into the rhythm of treadling and as I held the fiber, my fingers knew exactly what to do. I drafted and spun, all the while talking to PG about what I was liking and what a comparison to the s10, my only other experience with wheel spinning. After a bit, she stopped me and came over to see what I had been spinning and said something to the effect of, ‘you already know what you are doing, dont you!’. I looked down at the product of less than 10 minuets work and saw beautiful, even,VERY thin singles. I was, honestly, amazed. I was never able to spin less than fingering weight singles before . There was just something about this weel. I was spun and I used my first paycheck to buy her.
So now my life is Sisu, knitting, spinning and Residence Life. Yes, I have found the time to balance all 4.
And I have even found time to enable my own stalker, AlaskanMama. She is buying a Ladybug now too. Now that is the real meaning of a fibre-y life. To be enabled and enable other. My life is good, especially since now I will have a spinning buddy :) Thanks A.
Life, to me, is all about those little and not so little habits that we have created for ourselves. They are the things that we do without having to think about it and they mean so much to us and our lives. Since I have moved and started a new job, I have had to create and get working on some new habits. Some are ones that I have had for years and want to continue, others are ones that are getting broken and then rebuilt.
#1? A Sisu habit. In Pelican, my job was fluid enough that I could be home at many different hours of the day and I was generally only gone for 4 at a time. We could go for walks/runs and play on the tide flats pretty much whenever we wanted to (depending, of course on the tide!) Now? Work is 4 hours, lunch break and then 4 more. I can and have been gone for 9 hours at a stretch and that is a long time for us. She has no potty issues for a day of being gone and has lots of toys but it still isnt the same for either of us. I have been making it up in the evenings and on the weekends. I have mentioned that there is a dog park across the street and she loves to romp and play there. We go every evening just as soon as I can change my shoes and grab the treats :) Did I hear you say ‘Treat’?
What I REALLY want and need for her is also getting into a morning walk/run routine. I am definetly more of a morning person but havent gotten a shift down yet because last week was the first of my new job :) But now, going into my second, I am more than ready for my own morning run!
#2 Blogging more regularly. As you can tell, there has been quite a bit of time between blog posts and honestly, I hate that. I really want to be faithful to you, my readers, and post more often so I am going to reserve that time in the mornings after my shower and with my tea to update you all.
#3 Knitting. What? You didnt think that I could leave off the knitting, did you? I have more than enough on my needles at this very moment to keep me happy for quite a while. Don’t believe me? Well, and
*Ahem* Yes, well, thats all. And, If I’m being honest, I have the yarn for another yoke sweater too. Eco Wool and this beautiful handpaint from a local Alaskan artist.
Speaking of handpainting, I need to get back into dyeing but I think that its going to have a wait just a bit longer as I have so much work to do and that HAS to be ready for student staff training. As soon as the school year begins I will have more time to dye but, for anyone who is waiting for more to come into stock, I’m really sorry but it will be at least another 2 weeks. I’m trying, really, to get it all under control but this job change was a wrench in a very important system that I am trying to get back.
I blame my mother on my need to have a system! I thank her too so it all evens out!
I shall leave you with moose calves…they were out my window the other morning and Sisu alerted me at 6:30am that something was amiss. I got to see them thanks to her. She also went back to bed shortly after seeing them and realising that they were OK and supposed to be there!
This is a pretty picture heavy post so I will apologise in advance if it takes you a while to load. This is our new place in Anchorage, complete with a final picture of a new neighbor who came over while I was washing dishes. Sisu just stared out the window.
The hallway leads back to 2 doors on the right and 2 on the left. The one you can see there on the L is a storage closet which is pretty darn big. It could have been a 3rd room if someone was thinking clearly…see the next photo for more of an explaination.
Yes, it is HUGE. You could honestly fit another tub/shower in there with ease. Possibly the argument could be made for handicap accessibility but there are no fittings anywhere and the toilet doesnt have the clearance. Even a new underling who stopped by today made the comment that it was huge. They could have brought the wall shared with the storage room forward about 6′ and created a room, granted, it wouldnt have windows but still. Or they could give me a hot-tub. Just sayin’
There is a closet without doors off to the left too. Another bedroom, the same size or a bit smaller is off to the right. No need to see a bare mattress and empty dressers!
Can someone PLEASE tell me how to rotate these darn pictures in WordPress? They are right-side up in my iPhoto and this is driving me crazy! Either way, I have this beautiful set-up here and I am 1.75″ into the ribbing on my Vail sweater.
He came by the other evening and I was washing dishes and saw something out of the corner of my eye and I almost dropped my plate. He was RIGHTTHERE next my window eating the tall grass you can see close to the front of the frame. By the time I dried my hands and came around the bar, he was already moving off and this was the best shot that I got of him. Where was Sisu? Looking out the window, not making a sound. She was as baffled as I was. My first moose!
Hopefully soon I will have some more pictures of our new life here in Anchorage. I want to get some shots of Sisu playing at the dog park. She has such fun there and then always sleeps well that night. Hopefully too I can have some pictures of more progress with my Vail sweater as well as something else that I swatched for.
I made a new stalker friend and went over to her house for a knitting group on Wednesday and I had so much FUN! Thank you so much for inviting me and I cant wait for the next one. As much as I miss my knitting group friends back in Pelican, I know that this is going to be a great group of friends too. I cant wait to get to know them all better.
Off the knitting notes…Thanks to not having a car, having a bike is great for my legs and waistline! I can already feel my legs being and getting stronger. It also helps that the dog park is right across the street and Sisu wants to spend every spare moment there. I am challenging myself to 8 miles a day on the bike (has been more every day since I got it…more like 10-12) and 2 miles at the dog park (simple because 1 lap is about 1.25 miles). Add to that the fresh fruit and veggies that I can get at the farm stands and natural market about 3 miles away and I should have to buy some new clothes again in about a month or so.
This post is going to have a bit of everything in it. Some bites you will love and wish there was more, other bites will make you screw up your lips and want to spit. Please dont spit :)
#1) Anchorage. I am here and I pretty much like it. It is, of course, a much bigger city than I have lived in in quite some time and there is always the learning curve of finding your way around, not to mention finding where things are and where they are not. My first full day here was spent walking down a main road looking for a natural foods grocery store that I ‘knew’ was there. So said the website. 5 hours and about 10 miles later, I was back at home, the proud owner of a new bike, bought at the furthest point in my journey at a bike sale at REI. No, I didnt find the grocery store that day. I found it the day after thankingyouverymuch and it wasnt where the site said by a long shot. About half a mile down a different road but I had been relatively close. AND right across the street is an Asian market where I found kim, go chi jang, kalbi meat, nang muen noodles, even sushi…the only thing missing was the panchan (side dishes) to end my Korean food fast. Lucky for me, I met someone in the store while I was looking around who asked me if I knew what to do with the go chi jang (hot pepper paste) and the kalbi meat. When I told them yes, I did but I was still looking for duk (rice paste cakes cut on the bias) for duk gook and panchan to complete my meal, her face lit up and she told me to go to this different market about 4 miles away. Today I went and I found everything that I was missing, along with some Korean squash, tofu and a few of my favorite panchan and of course, some excellent kimchi.
Anchorage is fantastic for bikers. EVERY intersection that I have come to and seen has had a ramp in the pavement to allow for smooth crossing. Every one. At all big roads there is a pedestrian crossing sign and the buttons to push are right there for bikers to get to easily. Both bikers and pedestrians are good to each other and people treat the sidewalk just like a street-pass on the left, walk on the right side of the ‘road’ and look out for others. Now, I am usually not an advocate for riding on the sidewalk. A bike is a vehicle and there needs to be a safe place for people to walk. That said, I have never lived in Anchorage where there are a LOT of cars and more than enough room on the sidewalks for pedestrians AND bikers alike. There needs to also be a safe place for people to cycle and considering the daylight hours in the winter time and all the snow, this is a great compromise on the part of all people who use it.
I’ve probably put 30 miles on my bike already and I haven’t had to move into the street once. A good thing too because some of the drivers here need to go back to drivers ed. Its not fair to say that its an Alaskan thing or an Anchorage thing…all drivers need to be reminded once in a while that they are not the most important thing out there. For example, I have seen 3 firetrucks and ambulances going out and all 3 times I have seen people staying right where they were, driving as if they could neither here the sirens nor seen the flashing lights. MOVE OVER PEOPLE!!! One guy and yes, it was a guy, stayed right in his lane and kept right on going like nothing was happening. If you were in the back of the ambulance or if your house was on fire, you would want the emergency service people to get there ASAP so move your rear so they can get there for someone else!! Also, look for bikes. I look out for you, you have to look for me too. I have the right of way when crossing the street, just like a person walking and even if you know you are bigger and trust me, I know you are too, I still have the right of way! Getting off the phone helps too, especially you, the idiot in the explorer with your bass up, tinted windows and your one hand on the wheel while holding the phone…LOOKING AT IT TO DIAL AND THEN TALKING. People like you make me scared for humanity. Everyone one else who cut me off or tried to, you all can wait for me to get out of your way before making a right turn, trust me, I’m faster than you think and you will still get wherever you are going faster and without helmet hair or fashionable bike shorts. Unless you like that kind of thing on purpose.
I finished my first sock from the Otter, my own colourway and I love them! There is very little striping/pooling and I couldnt be happier with the yarn and how it all knit up. So soft and pretty…I want the 2nd sock NOW. I will cast on for them tonight while having a movie marathon and Korean food feast :)
Pictures…Yes, I took some and yes I have them…just not on the computer yet. I think that I left my USB cable in Pelican and have to get a new one on Monday. And I will, I swear because I want you all to see what I have done, where I live, what I am eating and what I bought too.
Speaking of buying things…Thursday was a, um, shopping spree day for me. Ok, I haven’t bought clothes in 4 years and had nothing, seriously NOTHING, that I could wear as professional gear and nothing that wasn’t jeans, long sleeve t-shirt or sweatshirts. So I went to JC Penneys and, get this, HAD FUN SHOPPING. Really. Truly, I did, I swear I did. For the first time ever. I loved the way everything fit, the colours, the styles. Part of the fun of the fitting is that I was buying size 12 and looking very good but also was that they style was very me and very perfect. A-line skirt that hits right below my knee with a fitted top and whatever shoes that I want…perfect. So I got a few skirts in more neutral colours and black and white so I can wear any top too. Shoe wise, well, I needed a dress pair that would go with everything and I know what I like…so I bought a new pair of Danskos that look like a pair of Mary-Janes in a deep-wine leather and I LOVE them. To keep myself in my size 12 and hopefully a bit smaller :) I bought a pair of running shoes that give me great support for my heel and arches and in just 2 days of wearing them to break them in walking around the dog park with Sisu, my heels dont hurt and it feels like my plantar faciia is beginning to heal. Its going to take a bit of time to heal all the way but I miss running a lot and I know that Sisu does too.
Sisu is being spoilt though and, lucky dog her, we have a off-leash dog park across the street that is a much loved place for all dogs in the community. Yesterday was the first time she was off-leash and she did so well playing with other dogs…but that was never a concern for me. My big concern was getting her to come back! She is fantastic with recall (coming when called) when it is just her and I out somewhere but add in another dog and her ‘listening’ button switches to OFF for the most part. Yesterday was a bit of a heart flutter at first but then she came without bribery at first but then, lucky for me, when I went to get her back on the leash when we got near the construction area, she only wanted to play. She went up to visit another dog and their owner and was standing right next to the owner and I called for them to grab her for me. She laughed and said sure, catching her collar with ease (because she was standing so nicely right there!). Today, I stopped my Freddies and stocked up on Sisu-treats as the perfect bribes and they were! She came to almost every call and only after an hour and a half did she start to get tired. Tomorrow we will go again and since she did so well today, I really hope that she does well tomorrow too.
I used to have a pretty physically demanding job with the seaplane service simply because I had to haul the cart with, generally, 600 pounds of stuff on it. For about 1/4 of a mile to the post office and then back to the office. And 600 pounds is the general weight. It was 1100 yesterday, not even joking. Either way, its not such a physical job anymore because we got a ATV. Early on in the ownership of this new toy, a fisherman who I am not particularly close to quipped, “You are going to have to run more and workout harder to make up for not pulling the cart every day!” We all laughed and I acted insulted…but I was extremely mindful of keeping up my workouts…for the first month.
I pulled up my jeans this morning and I realised that there was a bit more pull going on than even a few days ago. Granted, *ahem* there is a girly reason this is happening, but still, I dont want it to be happening at all! So for the next few days before going to Anchorage, I am getting back into an exercise routine and moving my rear end into a good habit again. I know that I have missed running and that workout high, that and the exhaustion afterwards!!
Keep me in gear here people! Ask me in a few days how I have been doing :) Please.
There has been so much going on for me for the past week, I cant believe it. I’ve had my first few days off of work in over 3 months and took full advantage of the ability to sleep in, lay about and knit when and where I want to and take Sisu for a walk on the tidal flats when the tide is out, regardless of the plane schedule. That was last week and I loved it. I still love it.
Since I phoned Skeins and found out the good news about my yarns, Nancy sent me a list of the colourways that she would like to have restocked so while I had to fill in at work on Monday, yesterday, I dyed like a madwoman. 7 colourways, 28 skeins, 8 hours. Ouch. But, I caught up on podcasts and while my feet hurt, I loved every moment of the process. And I ran out of blue dye right at the end so that is perfect for my move situation. I’m going to restock as soon as I get there with another round of sock blanks and dyes. I really do love dyeing, especially right now as I am knitting with some!
Since I prefer the DK weight, I dyed for myself a skein of Otter in the DK weight a few weeks ago and once I finished my slippers…
…though they still need to be shorn and get a bottom coating…I started to knitting on socks. My Otter socks are going to be 3×1 rib socks and I am knitting them on my 3mm Harmony DPN’s. While I love my Harmony needles and I wouldnt trade them for anything, I cant ever seem to knit without creating ladders when I use DPN’s. I love using 2 circs or magic looping because I never have ladders but it doesnt matter what I do, I always have ladders with DPN’s and its enough to make me want to pitch them all.
12 more days before my move…I am getting more excited/nervous as the days go by!
I felt that I needed to make a short post telling everyone that I am still here in Pelican and still absolutely crazy busy some days. I have moved into an apartment (Brightonwomans apartment actually, to house-sit while she and her family are travelling down south) for the next month or so and then I will be Anchorage bound!
I’ve been packing and re-packing some of my things and realise that there are more “Things” that I was going to pack than what I really need. Despite when I initially thought, I dont need to pack all of my yarn, just a few skeins for socks and the yarn for my Vail. That will be my big sweater for the year and some thing great to come back to Pelican with. 10 months should be long enough to knit a sweater for an adult woman on US 2′s, right? Considering 80% is boring stockingette, I am sure that it is but its the 20% of stranding for the yoke and tops of the sleeves that has me worried.
I have to buy some new dress clothes for work and while I will pack a few of my t-shirts, I am sure that I dont need them all or even most so that paring will be a good thing. I think that I have it down to taking 2 large totes (1 for me, 1 for Sisu’s bed and toys) and 1 small one (yarn and knitterly objects) thru the mail and then 1 suitcase with me on the plane along with Sisu herself. I know better than to pack everything or to ship everything because then the most important box always gets lost. Best to have just enough to get by for a few days of everything packed with you. Since J will be fishing, my most important thing is Sisu and since I dont plan on losing her either getting on or off the plane, the flight will be smooth.
There will be more updates as the month wears on, I promise but right now I dont have internet at home and the work computer is rather slow :)