Friday, November 30, 2007

Anchors Aweigh

Well, it is almost time to go. I have the petsitter all lined up, I did some basic tidying, I have tackled the laundry. Only a trip to the bank, bookstore, pet store, and then packing to do now. I will be back on Thursday.

Last night I played some "Chocolatier" and then I watched "The Gumball Rally" and was well entertained.

Not much knitting progress to report - just another half dozen rows on Mandy's sweater.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Right this minute, for the past 2 hours actually, I am happy. Can't tell you why, because I have no idea. I like it though. I am finally excited about the cruise, and am going to have a good time. I will try not to end up on those late night shows about people who disappear from cruise ships *shudder*.

I got some knitting done today at lunch - 6 or 7 rows (front and back are being knit in the round, so it is more knitting than it sounds like) on Mandy's sweater.

Otherwise there is not much to report. I worked a little bit on Petal last night and if I don't sleep for the rest of the week, I could probably finish it. I don't know if that is the best plan.

And I forgot to mention it earlier, but I knew it was officially "The Holidays" last weekend when I heard the first "Chia Pet" commercial of the season. I think they must start at one minute after Thanksgiving. I should find mine and bring it to work. Heh Heh.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hidden Talents

I decided to cook this weekend. I spent $20 on groceries and no money at all on eating out. There was T-day cooking: roasted acorn squash, cheesey mashed neeps (turnips), pumpkin bread and cranberry sauce. There was regular eating cooking: scrambled eggs with swiss chard and mushrooms, teriyaki beef, rice, swiss chard and beets one night and salad with seasoned chicken the next. I tried to make potato pancakes out of the mashed turnips, but only got a mess, so I added an egg and called it Turnip Scramble. It could use some sausage, though. It is really fun to cook - I like the domestic feeling. I really like the fact that I get dishes done while things are simmering / baking / sizzling. I have no one to cook for, and that brings me down, but I smash the feeling back into my internal Box of Denial and move on.

I got some knitting done! I disciplined myself and cast on for the body of Mandy's birthday sweater (very overdue). I am translating the pattern for knitting in the round, and have my fingers crossed that the design will come out even. Body, sewing up, neckline. I can do this. Easy Peasy.

I also let myself work on Petal - finishing the body and casting on for the first sleeve. I would work the sleeves at the same time, except that I did not wind the yarn into balls. I am working from the skein, which is draped over a couple of S hooks on the bookcase. It is a fine arrangement for one skein, but I shudder to think what would happen if I were switching from one sleeve to the other and the ends got all twisted up. Bleh. While I finally invested in a ball winder, I was hoping to get a swift from Mr. Fixit for Christmas, and therefore did not get one myself. I guess it is back on the list of things to reward myself with.

I did NOT start any brand new projects, which is good. I also did NOT buy (or inherit) any yarn at the yarn store when I visited on Friday. I did find the yarn for the theoretical rug in the cabinet at home, so that is one hurdle down on that project. Next comes figuring out how much yardage I have and how much warp I need. I worked a little bit on the strap that has been on my inkle loom for... well, I am not exactly sure. Several years, I think. I like beating the weaving into place - it is a good stress release :)

The blue scarf is on hold until I can dig out the other ball of blue yarn, as I have finished ball #1. Hooray for the halfway point! I need to put it back at the top of the priority list and try to get it done before I leave for vacation on Saturday.

I did not work on my quilting homework, although I thought of it often, but I did watch several quilting shows on PBS this weekend. I also managed to watch a disc of "House, MD", one of "Love, Hina", watched some movies on the telly, and re-read all of "Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown (of "Da Vinci Code" fame). I even found my missing (and severely overdue) library book, so maybe I can power through that this week too. Maybe when I am knitting on the blue scarf!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Holding Pattern

Not much new to report this morning. I made further progress on Petal and the blue scarf and watched some PBS last night. I should be able to divide for the front and back today at lunch - whee! This morning I was up early to dry some pants, make some breakfast, and watch some news. How many airport delay stories do we really need? Although the spot on United Airlines was amusing - the passengers arrived before the airline people at the counter and so they printed all their own boarding passes and luggage tags. I love it. Anyway, I really liked taking the time to feed myself, make some tea, and generally warm up for the day instead of falling out of bed at 24 minutes to the hour and rushing around like crazy. The next thing to add to the routine will be a walk for the dogs.

It is nice to be "up" today, making plans for the weekend's activities and looking forward to having a good time. It also helps that today was payday (early for the holiday), I have a 4 day weekend, we go on our cruise next weekend, and there is coffee made. And that I have spent the morning playing on Ravelry and reading knitblogs instead of working. I am doing about 30% of my previous work output, and am getting the same amount of praise (or not) and the same amount of money (no raise in the last 3 years), and no one seems to notice the things that are not done or are half done, so I see no reason to go back to the way things were. No one else works hard or accurately; why should I? I know it is because it is the "right" thing to do - but it makes me frustrated and angry when I work hard and others don't, and I don't need the added stress anymore. If we all worked hard and were rewarded for it, I would feel differently.

Boy, I hope no one at work reads this blog!

Tonight is yoga night, but I also plan to take some time for a trip to the bookstore, the pet food store, and maybe start a little holiday cooking.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I Like Knitting

I have been trucking away on the reward project (Petal) and it just keeps making me happy. I no longer worry that I will run out of yarn. Also, I discovered that it is fun and easy to knit up a hem as you go (well, as I go) when making a picot edging. One stitch mysteriously disappeared, but I am calling that a mistake-on-purpose so as not to offend the Knitting Faries. Fairies. Good thing the Spelling Fairies have the day off. I also picked up the blue scarf today and added some rows. I need to get back on track with that before it is Spring! I am looking forward to a LOT of knitting and tv watching this weekend. Perhaps I will install myself at Knit N Stitch on Saturday and work on Mandy's sweater. I like knitting, I like Mandy, it should be a snap.

I had my 2nd appointment with the new therapist today. I still like her quite a lot. I also like the 30-40 minute drive each way, which gives me some getting back to "work mode" time on the way back to the office. And it is right next to the Claim Jumper, so if things go badly I can always go get chocolate cake.

I continue to toodle around on Ravelry, adding projects to my queue and joining groups. I am pickyknitter75 if you want to visit me. I like adding virtual projects - no money to spend, no books to store. Perhaps this weekend will include a glut of picture-uploading. I have big plans (!) to spin yarn this fall / winter for several projects. Of course there are also the big plans to do more (some) weaving, to go back to school (starts 1/7/08!), and sell more soap.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Refreshed and Clever

I had a nice restful weekend. Friday I had a very sad day and went home from work at noon. I did some tv watching, some knitting, and some much needed napping. Around 5 it was time to get moving, get dinner, and open the studio for Open Spinning Night. 4 of us had a mighty good time. I plied not one but two 2oz balls of merino/tencel singles (from my own hand-dyed) and started in on some "seamist" top that will possibly become a shawl, or might just replace the mittens I made in this colorway a couple of years ago.

Saturday I made it to the farmer's market bright and early, and scored some turnips, lettuce, tomatoes, pomegranate jelly, and other fun veggies. The egg man was not there, so it was off to Trader Joe's for eggs, milk, pumpkin bread mix, cranberries, stew meat and some other goodies. It feels good to have food in the house again, and better to cook it up. In the afternoon I finished sleeve 2 of Mandy's sweater *yay* and as a reward, wandered over to Knit N Stitch to visit and to cast on a project for me, to work on in my "spare time". I bought a skein of yarn to make presents with, and called it a day. It was nice to visit with Linda.

I watched "Cars" this weekend (twice) and really, really enjoyed it. The animation was great, the storylines were good, and the jokes were funny. I am glad that Mr. Fixit introduced me to racing, as it would not have been as funny without some prior exposure. It made me feel all nostalgic for the pits. Sigh. But I liked the movie and it made me smile so it was a winner. Next up is season one of "House, MD", hopefully in time for the Thanksgiving weekend. Otherwise it is a "Firefly" weekend or I will have to make a trip to the video store. Or I could install myself at the coffee shop and play WoW for 4 days. Yum.

Sunday was the 2nd weekend of the craft fair in Hermosa Beach, and I took my reward project and a good attitude (gasp) with me. We had a better day than last week, so I am glad it is a two weekend show. It was cold and overcast all day, so no toe-dipping occured at the beach. At least not by me. Then it was home to watch PBS and take a nap and work on the reward project some more. It is a soothing knit and trying to work some "cuddly" vibes into it so I will feel safe and warm and comforted when I wear it. I might not take it off.

I feel clever this morning, as I think I have found the answer to a project. I was drooling over this yarn all week, and today I was doodling around, trying to find the right weight for a sweater (which would get real expensive, real fast). Then I remembered that I have wool. Lots of it. White and natural colored. And dye! You can see where I am going with this - I can destash and reward myself at the same time if I pull out Pearl's fleece (a black romney), spin it to the appropriate grist, and then overdye it in color. Some days I amaze even myself. I think that somewhere in the stash is some black alpaca and some black merino, if I want to blend the romney for added softness.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's a (Shrink) Wrap

I went to see the new therapist last night. I am pleased and excited and encouraged. I hope it lasts! In addition to listening, making notes, and asking pertinent questions, she is a crocheter and a quilter who has dogs.

I fell asleep with the TV on last night and woke around 2am to see a story about the "Birth of the Cool" art exhibit at the Orange County Museum of Art. They combine furniture, art, and jazz from the "midcentury"" for a full experience. It sounds like fun and runs through Jan 6th.

I have been knitting obediently on Mandy's sweater and think I am closing in on the end of the 2nd sleeve. The blue scarf is still seeing progress, as it is my "knitting at stoplights and while waiting for things" project. Icarus is not a gift, so it is on temporary hold - every time I want to work on it I turn to another project so that they will actually get finished!

I stayed for yoga last night (slow deep stretch) and was glad I did. If my mind started to wander or feel sad, I let it go and focused on breathing again. It is always fun to see "the regulars" and know that they like to see me too. AWWWWWW.

"Cars" (the animated movie) and "Love Hina" arrive in the mailbox tonight, so I plan on feeling cheerful later.

**Edit to add** ... I must have this. I read on a blog that it was designed to go with the Blue Moon Raven Clan colorways. Yum.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sew Easy

I had a great time at quilting last night. I got all the strips sewn together and the border started last night. My machine is back from the repair shop and runs like a champ. I even got to wind a bobbin last night - so easy! This machine was the top-of-the-line when it was new (1975) and does just what I need it to. We are the same age, so I feel a certain affinity for it besides.

The quilt top is looking great and I procured batting and a piece of fabric for the backing this weekend. There is plenty of material left for a pillow case. I am amazed how quickly this has come together (so far) and really enjoy a 2 hour break from being sad about all the stuff that has been going on lately.

Tonight is lace knitting night and progress on Icarus will continue. My lunchtime knitting absolutely positively will be Mandy's sweater. It is getting colder here (intermittently) and I don't want her to freeze!

Netflix watching has been thin on the ground. I watched "Little Fish" with Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving this weekend and have no idea why I queued it. I moved some anime ("Love Hina") to the top of my queue yesterday in an attempt to find some comedy. I have a very somber queue! Funny (not insipid) movie recommendations are very welcome right about now.

Friday, November 09, 2007

In Living Color

The Icarus shawl. I know it looks like a lump, but it is really a very attractive burgundy colored lump, very light and delicate. Those are the new Addi Turbo lace needles (size 4) that I am using for the knitting. Pattern from Miriam Felton, Interweave Knits, Summer 2006. Yarn is Lane Borgosesia, procured at The Loopy Ewe last year sometime.

The Rum Runner socks. These were begun when Mr. Fixit and I were in Monterey at the races. The first one was finished at the Coronado Speed Festival in October, and the second was finished on 11/9, here at work. If I hadn't gotten dumped, I would have waited to finish it until this weekend at the Big Bore Bash, making them real racecar socks. And so it goes. The yarn is from the Yarn Pirate Booty Club, installment #1.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Un Shrunk

Firstly, I am feeling better today. Both happier and more even tempered. I know it is due to the placebo effect of starting my meds (which will take 3 weeks to kick in), but I am enjoying it for now.

I went to see the therapist this afternoon and as I was leaving told her I cannot come back due to the expense (which is true. I have an electric shut off notice waiting in the car for me to write a bad check tonight). The irony is not lost on me that I left her exactly like Kip left me - I did not tell her that I thought she never listened to me, that she only wanted to talk about herself, and that I am hugely relieved never to see her again, but rather used an excuse about myself (I'm broke) that, while true, is not exactly the whole truth. Am I a bad person? Is this my way of exercising control over someone I can't communicate with? The amount of money involved is 25% of my income, which is a Big Deal no matter what else is going on.

Knitting content: I finished (and photo'd) the Rum Runner socks on Tuesday at long last. I will wear them to the RiverSpinners meeting on Saturday, or at least bring them for show and tell. I worked on the burgundy Icarus shawl (also photo'd) in doctor's offices yesterday and got quite a lot done. It is a soothing knit. I may have accidently started a scarf for the security guy who watches over the yoga center (I don't know his name, but I always wave or say Hi), as it is getting nippy and breezy in the evenings. It is nice to have the will to knit again. I was pretty worried last week when I couldn't even look at my knitting bag.

I realized yesterday that I left y'all hanging on my reporting about my vacation to Maui. The rest of the pictures have been put on the computer and I will have a little visit with Flickr soon, so there will be an interesting post soon. Or colorful, at least.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Good News, Bad News

The good news is that I must be feeling better today because I perked up when I got my Loopy Groupie "heads up" email and I went browsing through the new yarn listings at The Loopy Ewe.

I think we can all guess what the bad news is.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Maybe They Won't Notice

I managed to pull myself together and have a pretty decent weekend after all. Friday I met Ruth and we had dinner and pie. It was awfully yummy - pumpkin cheesecake can smooth over a lot of hurt feelings. Then I finished up some soapmaking, did some laundry, and valiantly tried to watch "Lady Jane" with Helena Bonham Carter, Cary Elwes and Patrick Stewart. I ended up finishing it last night. It is a movie about Jane Dudley, who was briefly Queen of England between the reigns of Edward and Mary, Henry VIII's children. I can't tell you how historically accurate it was, but it was pretty good. A little slow in sections, but not terrible.

Saturday was Lace Day, hosted by the Freeway Lace Guild. I sold some soap and some hedgehog cards, and visited with lacemakers large and small. I worked on the RumRunner sock a bit and drank all the coffee I could find. Some new RiverSpinners came and tried their hand at bobbin lace for the first time; Fran and I were happy to bring them into the fold *bwah ha ha*

Sunday was the Southern CA Handweaver's Day, and it was chock full of goodies as usual. The vendors took up 3 rooms this year. People were very interested in soap, and that is always good for the ego! I saw several friends and acquaintances and had a good time chatting with them all. I drank even more coffee than the day before and in the cacophany of wool offerings, I may have had a minor wool accident. I'm not sayin', and no one took pictures. Laurie Lawson at Capistrano Fiber Arts and Sandy and Elff at Red Fish Dyeworks / The Weaver's Cottage had particulary yummy colorways in both fiber and yarn. Una from Wooly Walkers brought some beautiful felted items for dispay and for sale.

I worked on the RumRunner socks all the way through the leg and was all set to start the cuff ribbing when I realized that my pattern notes (I had done some decreasing on the first sock) were still at home. Drat. Always prepared, I brought out my Icarus shawl-in-progress and soldiered on for a row and a half until it was time to pack up and trot home. With only 2" of k2, p2 ribbing to finish, I should be wearing these socks by the weekend. Whee!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Chipper if it Kills Me

Last night I had a good, distracting time at the Riverside Arts Walk. Two other Riverspinners joined me and we demoed spinning, plying, and drop spindling. I managed to wind off 2 skeins of sport weight BFL for dyeing (200 yd) and have some left over. Then I started spinning some laceweight merino / tencel in bright greens. Denise was working on a golden retriever fur hat and spinning up more yarn for that, which impressed the onlookers no end. Margie dazzled by spinning up some laceweight merino / tencel in deep reds on her drop spindle. It is going to be very pretty.

Today I have a proposal due at 2pm and then I have the rest of the day off *thank you Boss*. I will get the buttonholer to the sewing machine shop so they can make sure it works, I will get some dyeing, soaping and ironing done, I will meet Ruth for pie, and I will be in bed at a decent hour so I can get up early to drive to Torrance.

And the BEST part of yesterday was the fact that my chocolates from Tien arrived and they are spec-tacular. It is difficult to not eat them all at once, but the note does say that they have to be eaten within a week, so I will make sure that they are gone by then. With all the sad things this week, a box of chocolates is well-timed and much appreciated.

And while my cell phone did not leap in my purse this morning, the camera did, and I WILL take pictures of knitting today at lunch. I am eager to show off my progress and prove that this is, indeed, a knitting blog.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Quilting progress: I turned in the sewing machine to the shop yesterday for a checkup. I should get it back next week. Last night I sewed (on the loaner) the first rail fence blocks together and then all the new strips together. Today I have to find / make / buy an ironing board and press all the seams and sew the strips to each other to make new blocks. This is coming together crazy-fast, but I imagine it will languish in the "pieced, not quilted" stage.

Spinning progress: I worked on plying some BFL singles two nights ago and will finish tonight at the Arts Walk demo. If I hustle and remember my niddy-noddy, I can measure out 200yd skeins and get them dyed for the So Cal Handweaver's event on Sunday. I also measured out 4oz rovings to dye, but have run out of cling wrap to wrap them in. I will add it to the list with the ironing board and cat litter. Imagine the look on the cashier's face! And maybe a little Cherry Garcia ice cream.

Soaping progress: I bagged up finished soap last night and watched some Law & Order. I miss working with soap. Spending time with Mr. Fixit took away from my soap duties, and while it is not the same as snuggly time, soap is comforting in its own way. I bagged up Lime, Pumpkin Spice and Vanilla, and will have autumn theme soaps and peppermint guest soaps for the weekend. That reminds me, I should inventory hedgehog soaps tonight! I am really looking forward to the soap shows this weekend. It will be good for me to see other crafty people and maybe get some spinning in if it gets slow.

Knitting progress: Well, I haven't picked up the needles on any of the three current projects since I got back from Maui, but I haven't started any new projects either. In fact, I have felt so sad this week that I can't even bring myself to buy comfort yarn! I don't know if that is good or bad, exactly.

Today is shrink day. I am not real excited. The cost is driving me crazy (!) and I am pretty sure I am going to need to go back on meds at some point, which requires a whole other shrink and then the cost of the meds. I really just want to give up on the whole thing and stay unhappy. I know how to handle unhappy. Or I like to think I do - there may be disagreement on that. For the last month or so I have been trying to stick to a new theory: "I am doing this because it is good for me", which applies to way more things than going to the shrink (like getting up, eating, not eating only cake, cleaning the bathroom, washing the car, and returning the library book that I forgot was due today), and I invoke when I know I need to do something and I just don't wanna because no one will see or no one will care.

I thought I was starting to feel better today, but I realize the tone of this little blog entry is pretty down. I am in a mental/emotional place where I have a really short fuse (really.short.) and no energy to talk to anyone more than twice in one day. So I have been snappish and sour and I know I should care but it is all I can do to put my clothes on and get in the car in the morning. And since I made it to work (on time thank you) I suppose I should get something done today. Sigh.