Thursday, September 30, 2010

From cookie crumbs to Cookie A

WI update: there is damage but I'm not homeless. TAO and the furbabies are safe. And at the end of the day...that's all that matters.

One of the things I like about knitting is it's flexibility. If I need something soothing to keep my hands busy while my mind parses info-endless stockingette in the round fills the bill. If I need a puzzle, fair isle is like building an image one pixel at a time. And for those times when the hard drive of the brain is stuck in a continous loop...charted sucks up all the bandwidth and releases you from worry. With that in mind I cast on the Angee Socks from Cookie A.

I don't generally do complicated socks with large charts. I feel like it's a mismatch of energy. A sock is small thing = portable, therefore a sock with a large complicated chart = does not compute. But in this case, I needed something that would suck up all the worries, quiet the mind, and hopefully let me calm enough to get some sleep. I also wanted something that I had yarn on hand for, and that could conceivably be finished in my lifetime.

I am now 3/4 through the leg of the first sock; with a planned plain foot.

I started with my new Signature DPNs but the weight of the 0s (.008 gm) vs (.002 gm in the 1s) really bothered my hands, so they are going back to the manufacturer. Wish I was a tighter knitter so I could have some of the aluminum sizes. Funny how a control freak like me is a loose knitter. So I switched to the addi lace circs, great needles- don't care for the technique if the socks aren't going to be portable. And then brought out my favorites- Blackthorn DPNs. Sighs contentedly.


Pardon the crummy photo, my camera's battery won't hold a charge, and the replacement is in WI. of course, but I thought those lovely Blackthorn DPNs deserved a photo.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

D-mn Overachievers

TAO and I are recreational birdwatchers. It's something we can do quietly together, and it can be done cheaply when I'm on the road.

One of the things that is special to me about my house is the backyard, we get a wide variety of birdlife. We even had the specialist at our local WildBird Unlimited waves cheerfully at Lori come work out a plan to improve the draw.

Let me preface the next part of this by saying...we never skimp on the house. We pay cash, but we save until we can get "just the right thing". We did without a head/foot board for 9 years until we found "the one."

So...when Lori recommended we add a water feature.....

Did we go overboard?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Watch this cookie crumble.

If you ask people to describe me, strong and it's variations will be heard alot. (some of those variations include the less attractive side of strength, like goatheaded.)

And there is alot of truth to that. I've gotten through much of life by just continuing to get up everyday. I'm still working on rounding myself out with some kindness and compassion.

I would have liked to have a nice breakdown with the death of my children-didn't. Spent 6 weeks eating only yogurt (which I Loathe with a Passion) because we were shorthanded at work so I had to delay major abdominal surgery. Only missed 3 days of work because of the surgery.

Then there's the petty stuff: working 22 days straight with call because of coworker hissy fits, driving cross country to meet weird deadlines, petty stuff.

So there's the Vacation. You know, the vacation TAO and I have planned, pored over books, gotten recommendations, etc. For years. And every year something comes up...usually work. We were supposed to go in March. Work got in the way. So we rescheduled for October and made a pact, "we're going, even if we get fired".

So I'm the last to leave work today. I go out to the waiting room to turn off the tv, and see a map of WI, with a dot just about where I live. Okay. Lets turn this up. The blah blah levee has collapsed. Evacuation of this neighborhood continues

Cue full frontal view of MY HOUSE from a helicopter.

Call TAO- he's safe, he's at work, unaware we've made the news. Call the neighbors, yes they are all safe, but no one knows anything because they were evacuated.

I can't rush home because I have call for the next 11 days - because of hissy fit people- Again.

The irony is our insurance company cancelled our flood insurance 3 weeks ago because FEMA redrew the flood maps. We got our notice. We called our Agent because TAO is on the zoning board, and they expanded the flood map, not reduced it. We'd like our insurance please. Never heard from them.

Really?!? Is this vacation supposed to be one of those things where TAO & I die horrifically and G-d is trying to put it off?

I know it's just stuff. I know I should be grateful no one is injured or dead.

I also know that strength will only carry you so far, and I'm getting tired. Really tired.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Side effects of Cough medicine

Apparently side effects of the drugs for my ear/sinus infection with a side of bronchitis, include among them conversations with imaginary friends. Deciding that a defense is the strong offensive, I've decided to enlist y' not so imaginary friends, because then I'm not having this conversation by myself.

I've been reading the updated edition of The Sunflower. And it got me thinking about Reason. Epistemic reasons and Practical reasons- not Reason as a faculty.

In Judaism there is a teaching about the intention of performing a mitzvah. A mitzvah performed for the wrong reasons is not a mitzvah any longer. ie- if you do the right thing...but for the wrong's no longer a "right" thing.

Which brings me around to intent/reason. What happens if you don't do something - presumably a "wrong" something...does it matter what the reason was? Or does it only matter that you refrained from doing it?

For instance- Two men walk into a bar. Neither orders a drink. One man because he's in Recovery and he choses not to drink, but his friends are meeting here for sandwiches and he wants to see them. The other man doesn't order because he forgot his wallet in the car, and he's really only there to get his friend and they're leaving for a ballgame. Neither drinks...does the reason matter?

Do you think anyone will notice if I write this very shortly after a dose of cough medicine? Nah, sounds rational to me.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sounding the Shofar

So the Horn has sounded and the Book is closed. And I was thinking about whether or not I really cared if my name was in it. Which led to an inventory of the past decades, and to thinking about timelines.

Which led to the visual image of my daughter, just the right height to lay her head in my lap when I sat at the kitchen table. The same kitchen table and chairs that are in my house right now. And I suddenly realized that while I think of her that way, if she had lived she'd be old enough to argue politics with me. To be dating someone I don't approve of, to be thinking of a kitchen table of her own.

If she had lived, our two strong personalities would have led to arguments galore - some of which I wouldn't have done right.

But for right Now - this split second in time- I would trade the world for her to be that woman; even if she hated me.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What's in a name?

Some of you may remember last year when I had to have surgery and TAO, being the fabulous husband, bought me a selection of SweetGeorgia Yarns instead of an arrangement of flowers. You may even remember the trouble with gauge I had on the diagonal rib socks (stoned=tighter gauge). Then I channeled my Grandmother and put the rest of the yarn away "for the perfect project". Yeah...last year.

Fast forward to August 2010, I had packed the Goldmine colourway of SpeedDemon sportweight sock yarn, for my PA assignment. I decided that since I like plain footed socks, I would knit the feet and then decide on the leg patterning. Took about a week for both feet, then 3 or 4 days worth of knitting leg, ripping out, knitting new leg, ripping out. I finally decided to go with simple and cozy. You know the type of pattern I mean...not plain stockingette, but not tied down to a chart either.
I used Wendy D. Johnson's gusset heel sock and then finally opted for the Lacy Rib pattern from her first sock book. Topped it off with 20 rounds of 1x1 rib.

ie-I stopped worrying about "the Perfect Pattern" and went for toasty warm socks. Sorry Grandmother, but you know what I also remember about your saving "for good"? How much stuff went to Goodwill with the pricetag still on it when you passed. When it's the cold of winter, my toes will enjoy the warmth, and my calves won't care that I didn't knit up some elaborate pattern.

Maybe when I go home in October I'll pack up the other skein of yarn from the "bouquet" and knit something from it too. - but something more complicated this time.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

L'Shanah Tovah Tikateivu 5771

Seriously? Again? Here we are? Where was I the last year? Oh, that's right, run over, swept down, sucked under by Change.

At least through it all there was TAO, the puppies, and string. As well, there were friends. I made some awesome new friends last year, met really good people.

The friends changed the balance. There were more good experiences with people than with ninnies and nincompoops. Which is not to say that there weren't a few experiences with those. But you know what? I don't want bad things for those people. I actually want them to be happy, mostly so they'll stop being miserable, and making the rest of us miserable. Or...if they're not ready for happiness (sometimes we aren't) could they at least go play quietly in the corner and leave the rest of us alone?

Now, was this shift brought on by the universe or by my conscious decision to seek out more positive, or by my own growth/learning to keep my mouth shut? Who can say? Probably some alchemical combination of the three.

As for those situations where I did not act with kindness, compassion or grace. Please, forgive me. It truthfully was not personal. It may have felt personal, looked personal, and sounded personal, but it wasn't. And if I hurt you, I apologize. I can be a vicious and vindictive 5 year old sometimes.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Finishing out the year by finishing something

And being a knitter- promptly show you the inside.

What? You want to see the public side?

Bet you didn't guess whales from the inside. It's the Whale Watching beret from New England Knits. And I would highly recommend this as a beginners stranded project.
It’s roughly 65 rows total + rib, and the whales are a shape that you can “read” easily as you work. “Sky-forehead-sky-tail, sky-foreh.ea.d, crap, go back, forehead-sky-tail” Whereas sometimes it can be difficult on XOXs to see where you’re off if you are new to stranding.

I consider this my WEBS souvenir hat. I got to go to WEBS, and met some Rav friends IRL. That calls for a souvenir knit. The yarn was The Fingering Company Canopy. Except for the green, I chose not to use their Fern colour; As lovely as the store sample was, at $13 a skein I couldn’t justify the extra money to myself. Decided that it definitely needed the green tone, so I used my Loopy Solid Series in Celery- Smashing! And since it took roughly 26 yards of the green...still have plenty for a pair of socks.

I was Not stoked to wind up the yarn and find knots. At that pricepoint I don’t think knots in a 200yd skein is acceptable. Further review on the yarn, I understand that it’s elaborately dyed to be multitoned- but it’s also multihued. Even on the stranded work it’s obvious that some of the whales are green and others are blue. It also crocked all over the place, and bled copiously during washing. I would think that anything knit solid in it would demonstrate a wildly erratic colour changing pattern-perhaps an advantage if you want something with movement of color.
On the plus side…the bamboo gave it a lovely sheen, and the hand is delightful. The stranding will make a cozy topper in spring and autumn- winter as well, in a more temperate climate.

This would be nice for those left over dabs of sock yarn. If you aren’t sure if you have enough of a colour- take a large dinner plate and wrap it 3 times for every round you need the colour in (only 65 rounds + rib in the beret) adding one extra set of 3 wraps for wiggle room = enough.

Thursday, September 02, 2010


Evidence that TAO is the Awesome one as well as The Adored One-
Last nights text thread:
Me- Make the yarn leave my mind alone (I keep dreaming of making Wendy’s Shetland Pi in Dandelion from KP)
TAO-I cannot
Me- Hot & Crabby- 97 in the apt & the computer is on the fritz f’ing Microsoft upgrades
TAO-That’s why you should buy yarn
Me- I have like a years worth on the needles now though
TAO- With more needles for the new yarn
Me- Satan! Begone foul demon!
TAO- Give into the yarn demon
Me- I cast you on- oh wait that’s knitting- I cast you out!
TAO- Knit unto one, purl unto two. So sayeth the Ravelry
Me- You’re a keeper.