Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Knitted Thus Far: Believe it or not, I don't have much to show for the past two months I've been gone. It's been an intense two months of job hunting and interviews with little time to really sit and knit. I do have one pair of warm boot socks completed for a young lady who interpreted for me at church during the summers. They were done in the colors of my alma mater (which is her current university). I hope to send them to her soon since I just got paid.


Ate thus far: Ok..two months..I ate enough. >.> I am down to 274 lbs! Yay!

These two months have been a ride. I've been hearing about how horrible the economy is but I didn't really feel it until I really started hitting the pavement hard. It is next to impossible to find work when you are not working. Nobody wants to give you a chance! I guess it makes sense in some weird place of time and space but it doesn't to me right now. I did find a job though...(FINALLY!) at a childcare quite far from my home. It is a trek and a sacrifice to get there with little pay. (10 bucks an hour at part time hours) Suffice to say, I was making more with my social security. The big difference now though..is I no longer am on Social Security. I know it seems silly but this makes it worth while. I get to earn my check rather than have it given to me by the government. It is one less thing that is attached to me as a "person with a disability" and it leans me more toward Deaf adult.
I only started accepting SSI in order to help cover expenses at school. It seemed (and still seems) a worthy cause to help support myself through school so I can focus. As a student with a hearing loss, we rely on various sources of information to receive the same amount of information that students can just listen to in class. We rely on interpreters or captionists, notes, books, and sometimes independent communication with our teachers. This takes up alot of time and not all of us can work and attend school...I was one of those who couldn't do both.
So I am not ashamed that I had to rely on SSI to help. Now that I don't have to, I am glad to get off the government dime. I am thankful for the help but now I want to pay into that system and hope that my dollars I put into our government will go to someone like me who needed help and found it. (Naive dream..but I'm gonna dream it.)

More later...

Meli

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Special People

Ate so far today:
I was not good today as I usually try to be.
I ate a bowl of cereal in the morning and pizza for lunch. Do I feel like a pig? Yes. Do I regret it? No not today.

Knitted thus far:
I have been a busy body while trying to look for work. I made a pledge to myself to not buy new yarn for myself while I am unemployed. The only new yarn I bought was for my aunt because she requested a pair of fingerless mitts and I wanted to make them in a real funky colored yarn because she is absolutely awesome and she's got that type of personality and spirit  that could wear crazy colors. Some are mono tonal...my Aunt Ginger is multi tonal. My aunt is also a crafty person and makes wonderful jewelry. So here is a plug into her blog and a link to her Artfire page!
These are called "Can Cans" Why they are called Can Cans...I do not know. All I know is that they are very fun and quick to knit. (Rav Pattern Here)

Here is your very own chubby knitter modeling said gloves. I hope my aunt takes pictures and posts them on facebook. I will make sure to share them here when she gets them.

Here is the palm side of the same glove. I have to improve on those holes that pop up when making the thumb part. I know I can get better I just have to figure out how. :)
Last month was also a busy month for me social wise. Let me give you readers a little bit of background.
I am a very shy person. I don't have many friends. I don't blame my Deafness but the fact that I am just a horrible conversationalist. So going to college, I expected the same, no friends and lots of work. I ended up meeting really great women and making friends (yes me making friends, huzzah!). One of these great women is expecting her first daughter. Her and her husband are so excited. For her, I wanted to make something real special so I made her the Naming Blanket from Easy Baby Knits.

Here is the Naming Blanket. It kind of blends in with my real blankie but I think it's clear enough to tell the difference. Hehe

Here is a detail shot. It was a simple blanket to do but it took a while since I was doing other projects at the same time.
Here's Tiffany and her husband. Great people!
Finally, I'm working on a winter set for another good friend of mine, Greicy. She's been egging me on to make something for her but I've been holding off since I don't knit for just anyone (seriously, I'm very picky). But she is definitely knitworthy after putting up with me for two years and being a great support as I finished my Masters. So I want to make her a purple winter set for the cold winters in Chicago. She's originally from Cali so they don't know what snow is, right?
This is the Star Crossed Slouchy Beret. It's free on Rav! The pattern, not the hat.

Here's the side view. I blocked it on a plate which was interesting.

Here is the Double Dayflower Scarf. I never block but I really wanted the pattern to show well so I tried it out. Needless to say, it came out wonderfully.

Here is the same scarf folded up. Greicy is shorter than me and I try to make scarves taller than the person wearing them. This scarf is taller than me so it should fit her fine. :)

There is something I love about knitting for other people. I like thinking about them and their tastes while sifting through patterns. I like putting time and effort into picking yarn that feels good and that have colors that would look good on them as well as show off their personality. I like that while I'm making each single stitch, I am thinking about the person who will wear that garment. The people I knit for have to be very special to me. I think as crafters, we do this because in essence, what we are giving away is a part of ourselves. When we give handmade gifts, we are pretty vulnerable. We are opening ourselves, our creativity, our skill to the opinions of others who may not understand what time and effort it takes in making that gift. Those who don't make things cannot begin to understand what it means to give away something that has been put together stitch by stitch, bead by bead, piece by piece. So I do feel really lucky to have wonderful people in my life and even more lucky to be able to give them pieces of myself and those pieces being received with kindness.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Ate so far today:
Chorizo and Eggs (yes I really like Chorizo)
Protien coffee drink

Knitted so far:

I am pleased to announce that my two sock sets are finished. That means I am up to a total of four completed socks. Am I a sock knitting addict yet? I believe I am, Sir or Madam, I believe I am.
Mom's Peek A Boo socks. She asked me to make these for her so she can keep her feet warm while wearing flip flops. She gets cold easily. O.o
These are my witchy witchy Jaywalker Socks. As you can see on the left foot, I sorta ran out of the yarn from Knit Picks and had to purchase some Lorna's Laces to finish that one up. Luckily the Lorna's matched many of the colors so it didn't look TOO out of place. Right?

Clandestine. I showed you last time this sock in progress. I have to say this was the most challenging pattern I have ever encountered but I loved every second of it. It really tested my skills and taught me neat tricks and how to repair errors in knitting that I would have never had the balls to do before.

Everyone Outta the Pool! These are my first toe up socks. I have to say I didn't like toe up as much as I had hoped. Or at least I didn't like the short row heel. It left a hole at the gusset. It's probably not as big as I perceive it but it's big enough for me to notice...which is who is most important anyways.

This past week I have been reflecting on the importance of family. My family has been going through several growing pains and life changes these past months that have really impacted the dynamics of how we interact with each other and the love we share.
Growing up, my family was very close. I have a close bond with my brother and sister and we all have a deep relationship with our mother. Our dad (technically my step dad but he's really stepped up since my biological dad doesn't really seem to care) has always been sorta distant but each year I see him trying to get more involved with us. We would have celebrations where everyone would come in and join; bringing foods from our culture, musical instruments, and lots and lots of conversation. I joke with my mom that nobody knew I had such a bad hearing loss because our family was so damn loud that it didn't matter.
Fiesta de la Navidad. (Christmas party) That's my grandpa Angel and grandma Maria singing and playing music. We didn't need stinking iPod playlists.
Grandpa Angel and my little sister Millicent on her first communion.


Your very own Chubby Knitter with the maracas and my little sister Millicent with the G├╝iro.

My Tia Rosa (Green top) and my mom Mary (gold top) holding my little cousin David on his first Christmas. He was born just two weeks before this picture was taken.

Our grandpa Angel, Chubby knitter in the green dress, and little sister in the white.


Grandpa, Grandma, my cousin David (white shirt) and my little brother Dannie, aka The booger (green and blue shirt)

My cousins David and Maribel.
As a family we were poor, we didn't have much money or expensive trinkets or gadgets. We had hand-me-down clothes, Payless footwear, and K-mart. We didn't have TVs in every room, walk-mans (old version iPods LOL), or cell phones. These days were hard but they were good.
Lately, my family has been changing. No longer do we have the loud rambunctious parties where everyone comes together in song and in laughter. No longer do we come together and share. Our family has broken off into corners and only speak to each other in whispers. We pay more attention to our iPhones and Blackberries than we do to each other. This breaks my heart. I want my niece to grow up how I grew up. A struggle, yes, but there was a deep appreciation that we had for each other. We didn't talk through IMs or Facebook, we sat down and looked at each other face to face. We made efforts to make sure we spent time together. I miss these days. Now this is something I have to make sure is in Jazmin's life before it's wiped away from our family forever.
My nice Jazmin. The shorts behind her belong to my brother Dannie.

My preciosa (precious) brushing her teeth before going out with her Tio Dannie and Titi Meli

Here is Jazmin being nosy in grandpa and grandma's room.

My niece is the girl of 1000 faces.

Food court time with Jazmin and a free plug for Subway. Subway...Eat Fresh. Now where's my free subs?
I love it when Jazmin is here because it gives us a chance to bond with her and share with her just like we had when we were kids. It was a fun day had by all though we were fully exhausted by the time we returned home.

I know today's post was full of alot of pictures but I just felt the need to share how much I do love my family and hope that soon we can go back to how it was.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mother Nature is Bipolar

Ate so far today:
Chorizo and eggs
Cup of homemade chocolate protein coffee drink

Knitted since last time:
I finished up the sock I showed you last time and completed one from the Everyone Outta the Pool. I try to avoid SSS (Second Sock Syndrome) by alternating socks. This won't last for long as I am soon running out of sock yarn. *pouty face* Now to find a job so I can replenish my yarn supply!

Clandestine Sock #1 completed

Everyone Outta the Pool Sock 1 completed

I was hoping this would show the slip pattern texture. My mom said it looks like honeycombs.
Mother nature is bipolar. There isn't much else to say on that... >.>

I wish I could report that I have found a job or at least I am close on my search but nothing has come up yet. Unfortunately, due to the low incidence of hearing loss in the general public, jobs that focus on the Deaf and hard of hearing are not that readily available. I'm starting to regret my decision to not pursue my teaching certificate but then again, who would hire a Deaf teacher to take care of children with severe disabilities such as autism or cognitive impairments. I'm sure nobody would want to discriminate but I have to be realistic. My hearing loss can...no...it WILL impact my ability to be aware of my surroundings. I feel frustrated and angry at that truth but my professors were right to be concerned that I would not be able to find a job.
On more positive news, I did check my weight after all this time. When I had left my ex-husband's house (more his mother's house), I was up to 315. Last I checked (which was a week ago), I am down to 284.5. A slow decline but a decline none-the-less.
I am struggling with feeling more alone. A good friend of mine is moving to Utah to be with his girlfriend and her daughter and I am thrilled for him but I know I will miss having him around now and then. I need to find opportunities to meet people like me. I'm going to try and attend the deaf event this weekend for WSAD (Western Suburban Association for the Deaf) but I am so nervous around people I don't know if I will be able to walk in. Wish me luck.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summertime and Job hunting

Eaten so far today:
Breakfast: 1/2 cup of oatmeal
                1 serving of homemade blended coffee drink
Lunch: Turkey BLT Sandwich (Delicious and made right in the kitchen!)
           12 Doritos chips (counted)
Snack: 1 Jello Sugar Free cup

Knitted so far today:
Added 7 rounds to the sock on my needles.

Job hunting today is difficult for everyone...especially those with little to no experience. So when I say that I am having a hard time looking for work in my field (Deafness and hearing loss rehabilitation counseling), then you will know what I mean. I am trying not to get upset because I know that everyone is having a hard time, not just me. I just wish I could find a lead to a job where I can help my fellow Deaf and hard of hearing people.

To made matters worse, my car died on me yesterday. I was driving my brother to a bible study session at a church in Oak Brook when it started sputtering then shut off in the middle of the right lane. I couldn't move it off the road or into a parking lot. I was definitely scared but more upset and frustrated than anything. It wasn't until I got home where I really did some reflecting.

I've been a bad Christian. I've lost sight of what I am supposed to be doing, putting my faith in God. I have been so focused on doing something with my life that I forgot it isn't my life to be doing anything with. I fully accept that I have to act as God wishes but lately I've been acting on my own wishes and not talking to my Lord. I had even stopped my daily bible reading that has made me feel even more disconnected from my Lord. I know what I have to do and reestablish that bond with my God, I just feel guilty and kinda pissed at myself for letting it drift as it has. So I ask my brothers and sisters to pray for me as I will pray for all of you to find that connection with God and hopefully together we can give ourselves to the Lord without hestitation.

I did take some pictures to share with everyone. I love being able to share bits and pieces of my life with the world.

These are Peekaboo from Joy of Sox by Linda Kopp. I made them for my mom out of Knit Picks Stroll Handpainted Tonal "Lullaby."

This is the latest prayer shawl I slowly but surely work on when I am able. I do dabble in crochet but I stopped for a while until Margo (our little prayer shawl group leader) "hooked" me again. Damn it!
I have about three rows done but I am taking a break because with the heat, I don't want a hot blanket draping over me.

Here's my Benji. He is sad (as we all are) because we had to put down our Blackie two days ago. She was so ill that it would have been cruel to keep her with us. I would put up a picture but it is still pretty hard to look at her without tearing up.
This is the latest challenge I've taken up. Clandestine in Knit. Sock. Love. by Cookie A. I was doubtful it would fit on my feet since I have some thick legs but it did.

Here's just a little bit of brightness so you can see the pattern better.




Here's my Lorna's Laces yarn Shepard Sock Solid "Cookie's Deep Dark Secret." It was a total accident that I already owned the same yarn used in the pattern. So I figured...why not?

This is the love of my life, Scott Bakula. Yes he is all dressed up.

This is the next sock on my list. It's called Everbody Outta the Pool. Pretty cool huh?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Commencement means to start and to begin not to end.

Eaten Today: 1 cup or 1.5 cups of chorizo migas. (This is chorizo meat mixed with eggs and lightly fried torillas. My stomach is regretting it right now.)
1 cup of coffee

Knitted so far today: Nothing yet but I did finish two more squares for this blanket I'm making my friend Tiffany. Almost ready to move on to the next set of squares.

According to Webster, to commence is to start or to begin. This is the truest definition I have ever seen. First let me share with you about my graduation, then we will go into what happened after.

May 5th 2011
My mother stayed home this day just to make sure that we would all be on our way and on time to UIC. My brother had to go to school though as he was presenting at a banquet to honor the employers who open up positions for students with disabilities and work with the school to promote career development and work experience. My mom and I started cleaning the house since Saturday was to be the graduation brunch and started getting ready early just in case my brother needed an early pick up. Alas, he did. We drove together to the banquet hall and picked up. Since we were already on the way toward the highway, we decided to head into the city. The problem with this is we ended up being four hours early! We camped out in the parking lot for two hours before my dad came from work and brought us coffee and snacks. The positive in this is the fact that we were famished with all that waiting, the negative is that there are no bathrooms at the UIC Pavilion parking structure!
Despite all this, we were still in good humor until I realized that the flats I brought to walk in were cutting my feet. My back up shoes were too tall for me to walk up and down the stairs in. So I had to suck it up and wear the skin cutting shoes.
Finally it was time to start gathering so we can line up when my sister, my cousin, my niece, and my grandma showed up. Huzzah!
My cousin and my sister drew on my hat with my name and my graduation year and a big red heart that says God is Love. My hat had to be the best one out there. I was blinging!
My sister helped me register as my deafness can get in the way of communication. Lo' and behold when we arrived, they had not even heard of me! They had my name but they did not know that I required accommodations! The problem with this is I had requested accommodations a month prior to the ceremony. My coordinator ( the lady who sets up my accommodations) assured me I would be able to access the ceremony. Well that ended up being a big pile of B.S. They sat me on the opposite side of the arena where I couldn't see the interpreter. I had to be moved twice during the ceremony away from my graduating class to be able to access the information. I was irate but I wasn't going to let this FUBAR ruin this ceremony.
See that short chubby one in the middle. That's me!

Quick snapshot of mi preciosa and her baby doll.

That's me, receiving my diploma cover.
These are a few snapshots of the ceremony. My sister gave me a good reminder that this was not only my day, but a day that my family and I have earned. We all made sacrifices and worked hard to get here. I am deeply grateful. I did get a fun little surprise at the end though. My close friend, Kevin, drove all the way from Wisconsin to come to the graduation. I was totally floored! I don't have many friends but the ones I do have, I am very thankful for their love and support.

May 6th, 2011
Friday was a pretty quick day. Lots of cleaning and prepping for Saturday's brunch. I did get to pop in and see my friend Margo who had just gotten out of surgery a few days prior. I brought her some crochet thread and a pattern for a thin summer shawl. I thought it would be a fun challenge for her since she was pretty immobile. I did have to deal with someone stealing money out of my bank account though which was not fun. I'm not sure if anyone has heard but Chicago area Michael's stores recently had data stolen from them and have been stealing money from people who swiped their cards at the PIN machines. (More information here) I didn't get alot taken (less than 200) but I am on SSI so that is a good chunk of my funds. I'm not pleased to say the least.

May 7th, 2011
Brunch day! Not many showed up BUT I did have a great time. My cousin, sister, and my buddy Kevin arrived and we all enjoyed good food, great conversations, and fun music. I had a hell of a time attempting to interpret though. Never ask a girl who has her own severe hearing loss to interpret for anyone who is deafer than she is. It makes for every awkward communication mixups.
From Left to Right (my cousin Mari, my brother Dannie, and my sister Millicent)

My brother and I and in the corner there, my buddy Kevin.

That's my sister and I. She's speaking and I'm interpreting.

That's my dad, Dannie Sr.


My grandpa and grandma, Angel and Maria. Oh and me :)
 May 9th, 2011
Well yesterday was pretty much taken up by running to the banks and the police station to report the identify theft. Not cool at all thieving bastards! (Directed at them, not everyone)
Today I am organizing my resume and applications for state employment (I want to be a rehabilitation counselor for the Deaf). Tomorrow I head out to take the qualifying exam in Chicago. I am excited to start working but I am scared at the same time. I've never let my difference hold me back but I've never had to wear it on my sleeve so openly to so many people. Working with the state and getting accommodations means alot of people are going to know what is pretty obvious anyways. I guess I'm just spazzing over nothing but I'm sure many understand what I mean.

Wish me luck as I continue these adventures. :)

Meli

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wow since Feburary?

What a crazy few months it has been everyone! I'm so sorry for neglecting my blog (if anyone reads it that is) but school has been driving me up a wall. I've been a little bear in her cave for the past two months just working on end of semester projects...really end of grad school projects. That is true ladies, I graduate in one week..exactly. I am so thrilled to have finally reached the finish line. I've been pretty busy with school but I did take some times to do some yarny fun as well.
My preciosa Jazmin eating some yummy oranges




I've been given a gift in one of my projects to observe and document the language development of my niece, Jazmin. It has been a pleasure since I got to spend so much time with her and video tape her playing and squealing and laughing. To watch this little girl grow makes me want to be a better tia (aunt) and a better woman.

This is the beginning of a sweater for my teacher's baby. I actually have more parts done. I've just yet to photograph them.

My sister Millicent with her new fingerless armwarmers made out of Felici Rainbow. It was for her birthday. She's a St. Patrick's day baby.

My first attempt at fingering weight socks. There are more pictures I will add when I have some time.

Yarn porn...oh yeah love it.

My first yarn winder, a nosepinne? something like that.

I made two of these hats for two very special people. My family and I went to a comedy show and I made these for the performers.
This is my family and I at the comedy show with the comedians, Dov Davidoff in the black leather jacket and Bryan Callen in the purple sweater. That's right ladies, those are my hats they have. Bryan wore his and Dov had his in his hand for this picture. Loved it
I'm rushing off to school for my last day of formal class. I will post more asap everyone. Please keep me in your prayers and thoughts as my family and I hit this last leg of my journey in school.

Meli