Sunday, October 26, 2008

Yarn - not Yawn.

I actually managed to finish the second sock. Yay! The leg is the pattern from
Twilight socks with a crocheted cast off. The yarn, while really, really warm shed short brown fuzz the entire time. (New Zealand Possum) Fuzz which matted up and snarled the yarn while in the ball. Matted up and snarled if you had to rip. Matted up and sticks to your hands when you wash the socks. I may post my other colourway on Ravelry for trade. Although...warm socks, may prove to be worth it eventually.

Last secular New Year on Ravelry there was a flurry of group forming - Stash knit down, sock stash, this a month, that a month, resolve resolve resolve. I actually did pretty well, except the sock a month, looks as though that will be only 6 pairs. I guess that's A sock a month, but the goal was pairs.

This year I'm forgoing outside challenges and sticking with social/technique groups.
I wrote out a knitting project philosophy that works with my lifestyle. I plan to let this be my knitting compass for the year.

The flash card version of it is: Simple socks for portable knitting and complex end of sofa projects for home/stressed to the max times.

This allows me to use sock yarn I own, gives me rosary knitting, and sets it up so that my large projects (which I wouldn't carry around anyway) will feed a different part of my creative needs. I haven't decided what this means for TAOs 2009 sweater. I find that complex socks languish because they aren't portable, and I don't want to work on them at home. If I have to read a chart I want a shawl or fair isle at the end, not socks. (Just my personal opinion, you do not have to agree.)

I also set up a yarn Menu, rather than a yarn Diet. I earmarked some limited edition yarn that is set to come out, a sweaters worth each of a yarn for TAO and myself, and enough for 4 other projects. Big, small, whatever. This will encourage stash diving and still leave cheat days.

I also bought the You need a budget software (love it, love it, love it) and filled yarn in there right next to TAOs hobbies. Knitting books come out of credit card points for Amazon.

As I was getting ready to post this I noticed that one of my favourite
Authors died. Sad, but really...what a full life he lived. And when you get to the bottom line, isn't that what it's all about?

That's not what I meant!

When I chose nurturance as a word, it wasn't supposed to be about money. It wasn't buy, buy, buy. Apparently, though, it's going to play out that way occasionally.

On one of the forums I belong to a recent thread has been "spend it while you've got it?" Talking about stocking up on stable items in today's dollar values rather than waiting and purchasing at inflated prices with devalued dollars. On some levels this appeals to the squirrel in me. And as one person so pithily put it "get work done now, while contractors are scrambling and will actually answer the phone." So the TAO and I are considering the floors this year after all. Considering being the key word, as the flooring that took 2 years to find and reach an agreement on is no longer produced. And the new flooring I like is not available in a 100 mile radius of our home. (knew there was some downside to living in the tundra). We've lost more than the floors would cost in the recent shake up, so it's tempting to pull some of it and invest it in something tangible.

On another level affectionate care and attention is going to cost cash. TAO ruined his coat. Dramatically. In a way that will require knee surgery and two weeks of no weight bearing. I, of course, am trying to maneuver things so I will be home. TAO is so much of why I work and consequently, more important than the work. But the idea of loss of revenue is an uncomfortable one for me. Yes, we can afford it. Yes, we can afford it and the floors. It's just, you know...a very noisy voice between my ears.

Back to the coat. Obviously with Wisconsin winter arriving (it's already snowed) I can't make him wander around like the Matchstick girl. He does have a couple lighter coats, but this was his Winter Coat. So I promptly jumped online, oh look they still make it. Oh look, they make a new pricier version too. What's the difference? Hmmn, the old one is rated to -15F. The new one is rated to -35F. Ring Ring, "What colour do you want honey?"

While waiting for him to decide, I notice - they make a woman's version. Also rated to -35F. I have the old version. I have a coat. It's a good coat. I got it cheap at the outlet more than 10 years ago. Yes, one sleeve was chewed by the washer and is patched. But it's a good coat. Still...TAO has gotten 4 good coats in those 10 years. (that was an ugly thought). And look, this coat is warmer with new features. And if you wear it 10 years, it works out to $16 a year. That's when I realized that I was being both cheap and mean. Mean to myself. If the coat was for TAO, my niece, or hell, for-the-dog, it would already be in the cart. So I have a new coat waiting at home. Yay for me! wasn't supposed to be about money.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Calling a Spade...

Had an interesting week filled with hate mail. Took a little time to track it back and discovered this:

I joined the 2008 Year of Lace KAL. As part of my attempts to hone social skills, I did some blog hopping of other members, commenting here and there - you know the type of comments: "nice work, cute project, excited about the club, feel guilty about the sum, etc."

One site, I commented in January, never heard anything else from the person, thought nothing of it.

Fast forward to October - the person is imprisoned for psychological and physical child abuse. When the newspaper releases the story, it carries several references to her knitting blog, ravelry profile, etc.

As a result people slam her blog, prior to this she had about 3 comments a post, average for nobody in nowhere, now each post has upward of 75 comments, all hateful, vicious and vilifying. This seems stupid to me. Both adults are in prison, one hardly thinks their reading a blog. At this point commenting on her blog just gives the defense an in to argue violation of privacy, etc etc.

But these supposedly "good, concerned" people didn't stop there, they have been clicking through to commenters profiles and spreading their vicious nastiness around. As though I do background checks, go to bloggers homes, or indeed could pick bloggers out of police lineups. Having survived an abusive childhood, I now find in adulthood, that I am being accused of condoning these actions. Which feels personally violating. Of course, these people don't explain why They didn't step up and stop it. Could it be that they didn't know either?

All of this brings up an interesting case: Legally, if you post it out in the interweb, at what point can it be used against you? Or for your defense? At what point can a commenter be considered "involved"? I see alot of new legal specialities arising.

I resent not only the nasty mail and comments, but the fact that I had to turn off the Anonymous capacity, thereby cutting one of my favourite people off from commenting.

Off the soapbox and back to the knitting.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

How did that happen?

I realised today that all my projects are either on tiny needles (size 0) or on small needles (size 2) and really complicated with charts. As a result I am fighting the urge to slurp up 3 skeins of Cedar Tweed Cascade 220 and cast on a slipover. Or pull the February Lady pattern out and start on it in Valley Sugarloaf. Picture sweating brow as I turn from thoughts of size 9s and contemplate current WIPs

I did finish one sock today - Yay!
I began with Lucy Neatby's Square Bosnian Toe from Cool Socks Warm Feet

Worked my way up to the short row heel, remembered vividly why I don't like short row heels. I am a loose knitter and my socks run about 48 stitches around on a zero, which when combined with a short row heel always leaves me with either a line of wrap/turns under my heel or the sock pulls down into the shoe.

According to standard sock instructions this is the point to start working the leg. Uh right.

So I filled it in with short rows, to oppose the shortness.

More about the leg if I ever finish the second sock.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Hah! Finis.

Just a quick casual shot, modeled by an obliging co-worker. The pattern is Smokin' by Jared Flood from Son of Stitch and Bitch. As usual, this would have been a much faster knit had monogamy been the game plan, but I knew TAO wouldn't be wearing this in summer humidity. And then the little episode of having to knit both sleeves over again. It took 14 balls of
Shamrock in Doyle, with less than 10 yards left over. Personally, having knit Two Full Sized Male sweaters out of this yarn, I never want to see it again.

Modifications were only for fit, the usual short rows to accommodate TAOs bodybuilding physique. Otherwise, knit as written.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

5769 Word

I had been mulling over the word for the year. For the background on this idea, blatantly swiped from Chelle check out her post.

I had initially chewed on "Meticulous". I noticed that I was spending increasingly more time fixing minor errors, typos, spills, etc. Also a lot of time looking for lost items, trying to remember interrupted thoughts, forgetting to get things done. I considered that focusing on being precise and careful would help me find a solution.

Then, I realised that the real problem was that impossible had become the new normal. I consistently perform 11 to 15 one-hour exams in an 8 hour day. Hard not to make typos when you are typing with your toes. Easy to spill food when you are eating it with one hand as you do something "more important". Not work time is about doing the books for TAOs business, being the CFO for the family, studying for the MN boards, exercising, and squeezing in some knitting.

When you are juggling two chainsaws and taming a tiger, motion seems more important than details.

The word my life needs is "nurturance". Loving care and attention. I am going to focus on more ways to bring that into my life. Periodically eating food with a knife and fork off of a plate, getting much needed sleep, mild and moderate exercise to deal with stress, drinking water out of a glass instead of a bottle.

What about y'all? What do you do to nurture yourself?