Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Picking up and packing up

Somebody hold a parade. I figured out how to pick up a dropped stitch.

My secret pal sent me The Knitting Answer Book, and it has already proven its worth. I don't know that the illustration is better than anything else I've seen, but the description is clear and specific. I had a light bulb moment and was able to fix the mistake without much fuss.

OK, so picking up dropped stitches is a basic skill I should have learned before now. The only way I've been able to delay it this long is to frog back to the errors--not the most efficient method--or not make mistakes in the first place. Trust me, it can be exhausting trying to be perfect all the time.

I have over a hundred stitches on the circs and have finished the first skein of yarn. (I don't think there's enough left for another row.) Assuming I can keep my eyes open, I'll join skeins and knit while watching tonight's American Idol.

I've found that I get sleepier while working on this baby blanket. Maybe it's the number of stitches, or maybe everything is finally catching up to me. The always brutal winter quarter is nearly over at the college where I work. My co-workers and I are aggravated over some critical things about our future being out of our control. I'm still stressed over the situation where I live. Plus, it really hit me that I'm running out of time to get packed up and line up a new place. All that uncertainty is heavy right now.

Having already worked the equivalent of three days this week, I took the afternoon off and tried to make a dent in cleaning my apartment and packing stuff. I've been too tired, busy, or unmotivated to do it on the weekends. I get plenty of fretting about it done then, though. I thought that slogging through it during the middle of the work day might make it feel less like free time lost.

I have two bedrooms, one of which became the place where I shift the piles if I need to clean up in a hurry. I set a goal of finishing that room today. The goal was unrealistic and unrealized. That said, I filled up a large trashcan, overflowed a recycling bin, and stuffed a trash bag with clothes to donate to Goodwill.

You could call this the initial culling. Since I'm one of those pitiable people known as pack rats, I had a lot of useless stuff to sift through. Anybody need an Entertainment Weekly from the last seven years or so? I probably have it. I'm determined to break myself of this habit--being a pack rat, not Entertainment Weekly--and am on the proper course. I've tossed plenty of Sports Illustrated issues in the recycling bin. It's surprising what desperation and the knowledge that I won't have the same amount of storage at a new place can do for determining what needs to be kept.

How serious am I about reducing clutter? I took eight movies on VHS, a stack of CDs, and a couple TV Guide items to Half Price Books to sell them. I have the movies on DVD, so there was no need to hang onto them. Frankly, I was hoping they'd just take the CDs off my hands. They were unwanted discs that came in lots I bought on eBay years ago. (I wanted one or two of the CDs but got ten for a low, low price.) There is no secondary market for these albums from artists I've never heard of.

I was offered $8 for everything. It seemed kind of low, but then again, what resale value do movies on tape have these days? Not much, I'm guessing. They were probably taking the CDs as a courtesy. If they go straight to the dumpster, at least I didn't have to be the one to deliver them there.

After today's cleaning, I'm feeling like maybe I don't have as big of a task in front of me as I think. I'm probably wrong, but this is the kind of self-deception I need. I'm going to plan to take a least one of the days this weekend to do as much as I can. Hopefully I'll feel like I'm better prepared to move. Then I can contact my landlord on Monday and see if we can work something out about me breaking the lease without any penalties. I would be leaving only a month or two before it runs out, so I'm counting on my unblemished rental history and the problems with the riffraff living here to persuade him to give me a break. We shall see.


At 12:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on working out how to pick up a stitch. That's a skill that's going to save you a lot of time. You'll get all of the packing done in time. You'd be surprised how much a few minutes here and there can accomplish, trust me I've moved more than anyone else I know!

At 9:26 AM, Blogger teabird said...

I'm glad the book already has been helpful!

At 9:41 AM, Blogger Karen said...

I'll hold a parade! You'll have to come up here to Toledo for it, though. Is it OK if it's just you and me? LOL

Kudo's to you for learning a new trick! :-)

At 10:19 AM, Blogger Jenn said...

Good luck on the packing/moving can be such a pain. And the better to get rid of stuff before you move--less to have to find a place for in a new apartment!

And congratulations on figuring out picking up the dropped stitch...I knew you'd get it!

At 5:56 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Good luck on the early-out and all the cleaning/packing, a task I loathe, for sure.

Wtg on the dropped stitch...are we talking on that is more than a row down? I still don't really know how to do that and although I very rarely drop stitches (probably because I look at the work most of the time), I would like to know how to pick them up. Guess I should check out one of these days. Good job picking it up!


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