Thursday, October 27, 2005
In the meantime, I've been trying to knit that mohair bucket hat. The first time I did something wrong ~ can't remember what ~ and decided it would be better to just start over again. The second time, I began to knit a moebius hat brim . . . Knowing there really wasn't anyway to fix that, I decided it would be better to just start over again. (Hah! Deja vu!) Being that the Third Time is the proverbial Charm, I am still on only 1/2" of the brim using the Linen Stitch. Let's not jinx it, but I think I'm finally off to a good start. The problem I'm fast learning about mohair is that it's really not a good idea to frog it. Someone on the Playground mentioned something about putting the mistake-laden project on ice and then it would be easier to rip out. Just what I'd need: a Mohair Morgue of all the failed projects left undone, next to the peas and Eggos. Would anyone care to comment on the hair in the ice cubes? Better to scrap it and start over. In this way, Strawberry gets some really posh nesting material. A well-nested hamster is a happy hamster.
And I think my camera's flash has finally crapped out. I was going to post a pic of the hat, but it looked like this:
With funds funneling into construction, I'm thinking that the realization of a new digital camera is somewhere in Siberia right now. I hope to post more pics, but that rather depends on the disposition of my equipment. Moody little bits of technology! But if you can discern the blobs, you might make out the two failed attempts at mohair hat brim with a Lazy Kate and the third triumphant attempt at this hat. Have a couple of beers first and then check back ~ things might look clearer then.
Monday, October 24, 2005
It's funny to think that, without divulging ages, I've known this man for more than half our lives now. We've grown up together ~ which is a little weird. And yet familiarity hasn't bred contempt; maybe a new breed of sarcasm, but no contempt. He is the best man I know. When he looks at our children, I see the love and delight he has for them in his eyes. And that warms the cockles of my heart. May he find many more years of love and delight in Life and I hope I'm still along for the ride (I believe I'm still the bearer of a non-refundable ticket).
Number candles on the cake blotted to protect the innocent headed for the Incline.
On a fibery note: Upon countless hours of searching for a FREE hat pattern, specifically, the Bucket Hat Pattern, on the 'net I finally ended up digging through past Knits mags to find the Furlana Hat and Mitts by Rebecca Harris ~ Fall 2003, to be precise, page 48. And I got that info off another blog that I stumbled upon, but did not make note of. (I was just thankful to find the FREE pattern.) The brim utilizes the Linen Stitch and then Ye Olde Stockinette about the crown. It should work fairly well with single-spun mohair. I'm just NOT going to fight with plying this goat hair. I'm not even taking it off the spool ~ knitting right off the Lazy Kate, I am. That's it and that's all! Not another word . . .
So, I'll let you know how that goes.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Tonight, I'm reading cards at a Halloween party. Donations only ~ I'm rarely comfortable charging folks for something they could do themselves if they bought a book and a deck. I'd once worked for a woman at the Renaissance Faire reading cards. People never came first thing in the morning. It was as if they needed lunch before being dealt their Fates. Perhaps it's an unwritten rule: Never receive a card reading on an empty stomach. Conversely, if you don't wait a half hour after eating you could throw up. I'm also aware that there will be children coming to me . . . I'll need to make those readings short, sweet and fun. What kind of angst could these little beings need answers on? "When will little Susie stop yanking my hair?" "How can I persuade my mother that, at 6 years old, I am fully capable of running my own lumber mill?" "Will Mark, who's in the 2nd Grade, ever be fully accepted by my parents even though I'm a 1st Grader?" and the ever-popular "What is my life's calling after Kindergarten?" Jeez, kid! I'm 40-whatever and I still don't have a clue!
Friday, October 21, 2005
Now . . . I have ALL of this unspun wool sitting on my Kitchen Comfy Chair (I haven't been able to sit in my favorite chair for a week now). As I walk by to get dinner ingredients, the Pile winks at me, inticing me to stop what I'm doing for some touchy-feely. When I go for that healthy, cleansing drink of water, the Pile invites me to make wooly plans to leave my family and head for the hills with nothing but a spinning wheel and a Lazy Kate. As I'm brewing my tea, the Pile pleads with me to turn it into something luxurious and fantastic. How can I walk by and not comply? What the Pile needs to know is that I have this Mohair on the side that's been waiting to be spun since summer. It's a nicely dyed rosey-greeny colored bit of fiber I got from the Knittingsmith during the Dry Fiber times before I got the the Sheep & Wool. In this, I am a One Wool Woman ~ I'll finish this roving first before tickling my fingers with the new stuff. It's the Right Thing to do. Commitment is so demanding! Soon, my precious . . .
Oh, and one more thing, I may be a bit late on the uptake, but I'm loving the latest Tori Amos CD (did I spell that right?), "The Beekeeper." For three days now I've turned the boom box on to Play and then Repeat listening to Tori's haunting voice until the cows ~ or rather, the children ~ come home. On the same day that was purchased I also got some older Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Freaky Styley" with P-Funk's, George Clinton. Delicious music!
Errata: I'd once posted that Cait Johnson's "Cooking Like a Goddess" had been reprinted as "Witch in the Kitchen." It would appear, by the looks of Amazon dot com, that I was wrong and stand (or sit and spin) corrected.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Rather than doing an arm-sweep cleaning of the dining room table filled with recent Star Wars gifts for Ian, I decided to include them. So here's some of the wool I bought with a portion of the Star Wars ensemble.
Here, the gun ship Clone Troopers are guarding the latest shipment ~ an addition to the yarn stash. Mostly handspun, hand-dyed (could have been foot-dyed, I don't know) sheep wool and some of it was some angora mix. This is the only time I lost my head at the Sheep & Wool.
In this scene, the Trade Federation is ready to talk turkey with the Republic on a fun deal of $10 per hand-dyed wool top roving from Nick's Meadow Farm. It's one of my usual stops at the Sheep & Wool ~ I have yet to be disappointed.
Obi Wan Kenobi bravely defends the mohair/wool blend from Clone Troopers. (The Wool Cats were still napping from their all-nighters.)
This is a skein I bought for Bennie's yarn stash with Luminara fending off the Empire. Now before I get any comments about the disparity in amount of added yarn between my stash and my daughter's, let me say in my own defense ~ it's every knitter for themselves! This is an angora blend, by the way.
Much appreciation to Tom Geithner for technical notes and who's who in the production of this photo shoot.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
1) Do not eat the hamster.
2) Do not whack each other with the wide array of Intergalactic weaponry. (The light saber may have been a "more refined" weapon for ObiWan Kenobi, but in the hands of any male aged 9 and up, it's the perfect Plastic Whacking stick made all the more interesting and amusing when lights and sounds flicker upon contact with other light saber-bearing males.)
That being established, let's have a gander at the rules that eluded even Honorable Mention:
1) Thou shalt eat like a human being. We, as parents, spend so much time and energy teaching our children correct behavior in social situations. Table manners are the first to dissipate in the face of an All-Boy Dining Experience. Seafood becomes the favorite word as gaping maws display partially masticated Sesame Chicken and rice. Belching is not only an occurrance, it is encouraged and fueled by carbonated beverages of all kinds. (Although, I now have it on good authority that rootbeer is by far the best material for burping.) Reciting the alphabet in Belch-ese is practiced with great gusto. Flatulent activity also gains points, especially if delivered in the proper tone and timbre.
2) Thou shalt flush and wash thy hands. Okay, that aside, let's discuss Aim. One would think that when approaching a target roughly 12"-14" in diameter, the ability to direct one's aim at 6" away should be dead on. Au contraire! 9-year-old boys have better luck hitting the proverbial broad side of the barn. (I rather wish I had a barn right now ~ clean-up wouldn't be such an issue.) Now that my bathroom resembles a road-side restroom, the bushes are becoming an attractive option.
3) Thou shalt not dispense Wedgies. 'Nough said.
And the Queen Mother of All Rules that left the building . . .
4) Thou shalt commence slumber at a reasonable hour. We need to modify the term "Sleep Over." No one ever sleeps over anything. In fact, the hosting parents get the least amount of sleep and are seen the next day in a coffee-induced zombie-like state dragging reddened eyeballs and their baggage on the floor. Having imbibed coffee does little to help this state ~ only a proper nap followed by more sleep is the cure. No, "Sleep Over" needs desperately to be redefined. A more appropriate term might be "Boys-Up-All-Night-Making-Disgusting-Noises & Smells Over," or "Perpetual-Gaming Over," or a "Snigger-All-Night Over." I can attest with a fair amount of certainty, that the Sandman gives "Sleep Overs" a wide berth.
Nonetheless, despite the Missing Rules, Ian had a memorable birthday party with four of his Best Buddies and his older brother. And, really, that's just what any kid turning 9 years old needs: memories to bank on when see-food and belching are socially unacceptable, accuracy of aim increases, Wedgies occur naturally in embarassing situations, and sleep becomes sacred. I'm happy to report there were no injuries . . . Wait. I take that back. The assault on my living room isn't pretty and it may take the bedroom a week to recover. The cats are lining up for double doses of nip and the rabbits are flopped over in nervous ticks and exhaustion. The only critter seemingly unphased by the All-nighter is Strawberry the Hamster.
Later this afternoon, we will be going to the theater, buying tickets and popcorn and probably slumbering through "Wallace and Grommet." Therefore, I won't be able to tell you one thing about the movie.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
In order to get on the mend, I've spent the day puttering and knitting and reading. Not sitting, lying or standing for too long. I need to be in shape for the Friday Night Chinese Dinner/Theater Sleep Over for Ian's 9th birthday with FOUR EXTRA boys. (Did I not mention I'd sold my soul to get to the Sheep & Wool this Sunday? The deal is sealed. Anyone else who has made similar arrangements to attend can meet me later in the Underworld. I'll be wearing the green and purple striped socks. BYOK ~ Bring Your Own Knitting. Oh, wait, we'll be in Hell. Nevermind.) As testoscerone levels will be abnormally high in this humble abode, Bennie will be camping out at Kirsten's with Jade in a more girl-friendly atmosphere. Then we all go to the movies Saturday. "Wallace and Grommet." Should be a hoot.
Now, as I've sat long enough, I need to go lean against something and heat up dinner. I think we'll just have frozen peas.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Also, I've declared the Butterfly Madonna finis. Artists can do that. Just call something done ~ stick it with a fork and serve it up. So . . . I'm done. Time to move on to the next thing.
I would have preferred posting a photo of an installed window unscathed, but alas thanks to some-inconsiderate-one, all I have is a future claims shot. It was nice before that someone jammed a metal rod through the Very Expensive Double-Paned (or is that ~ Pain?) Window. We've been assured by the manufacturer that it can be replaced (for a nominal fee, of course) and that these things occur frequently on job sites. Well, I mean, the nerve! If anyone had a clue as to how far we've come, instead of vandalizing the window they would have dropped to their knees and did a few Hail Marys and Beatitudes, offered up a sacrifice or something. (Can that be done in the same sentence? On this subject, I admit to complete ignorance. So much for that Theology degree I was thinking about.)
On the up side, I might just make it to the Sheep & Wool this weekend. More on that later, I have a few details to tidy up with the Devil on the sale of my soul to make it happen. I think the closing is this Friday.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Enough of that . . .
Seen here is Jango sporting a sock-in-progress using Malabrigo Merino single-spun wool in Hollyhock and Green Spark, alternating stripes. (The Inspiration: the striped socks of the Wicked Witch of the East (?) with the house unceremoniously dropped on her in The Wizard of Oz. Great pair of pins until they began to shrivel and curl ~ she must have done yoga. And can Glinda please come do my dishes?) The needles are #4 circulars, the Turbo kind. I have no idea what the guage is (I rarely do). The shank is made using Spinderella's Slouch Socks pattern (http://www.spinderellas.com/patterns/slouch.html) modified for the Magic Loop. Once at the heel flap, I reverted to the Magic Loop instructions and am now in the process of working the gusset decreases. It is at this point that I'm winging it and hoping I remember the process when knitting the other sock. Well . . . who says socks have to match perfectly anyway? I could be making an artisitic statement here. The point is, this stuff knits up like buttah! Really, the wool isn't spun, more like very fine roving. All squishy and soft like Wonder Bread, but better quality.
As I was taking these photos, Ian, observing the Day Off in tighty whities, asked if he could be included in the photos since I was using his indignant cat as a prop for the sock. That would be an unequivocal NO, Ian. Now, for the love of little green frogs, get dressed!
Saturday, October 01, 2005
I used to believe in that whole Soul Mate thing and wondered if this person was mine. Then I realized that if we all met our Soul Mates then we wouldn't learn a blessed thing in our life times. We're meant to be with who we're meant to be with for the time we're meant to be with them. (Are ya with me?) Each relationship is a platform for learning about ourselves and the world. Each relationship is precious. (I am in NO WAY speaking for anyone who has gone through abusive situations. I haven't had that experience and wouldn't dare to suggest that abuse, in any form, is an educational one.)
So, we've done more than half our lives together. We have three wonderful kids between us. We're continuing to build a house and a life together. It hasn't all been sunshine and roses, but it's been a lot of fun. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm looking forward to more fun . . . and laundry.
To celebrate, we're installing more windows. I have my Malabrigo yarn wound and ready to go for a pair of funky socks. I might be inviting disaster (bring it on), but I'm going to hazard another modified pattern. More on the technical notes later.