Monday, December 31, 2007

Looking Back

I made up a 2007 retrospective:

Socks finished: 12 pair Socks in progress: 3 1/2 pair
Sweaters finished: 1 Sweaters in progress: 2
Shawls finished: 1 Shawls in progress: 2
Scarves finished: 3
Mittens finished: 2 pair

Those are all the projects I am copping to in the knitting department. I have a bobbin lace project and two weaving projects in progress. As soon as Mandy's sweater is done, I can decide if I want to finish things up or start new things. Or both *bwahaha*

Looking forward, I think 2008 needs to be "The Year of Spinning and Dyeing from the Stash all the Yarns I Want to Buy in the Store". I did an acceptable job of not adding to the stash (unduly) last year, but I did not do much to reduce the piles of fleece. At least if it is changed into yarn, it will take up less volume.

Time to go home early. Whee!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Weekend Plans

Knitting. Knitting. More knitting. Oh, and maybe some "House" :) The GLASG meeting (and holiday party) is Saturday from 9-2 and I will be there with soap, if anyone cares to come smell. The soap. I think I will bring some spinning to do - it has been sorely neglected because it is easier to knit under the covers than to spin under the covers. The Spinning Studio (we really need a catchier name) will be open from 6-9 tonight (Friday). I am going to bring my charkha and video for some practice and maybe instruction.

I have been chipping away at Mandy's sweater. It is a sea of "wisteria". I have been spoiled with variegated and handpainted yarns lo these many years. I am still at an easy section of the pattern, so it is my stoplight knitting. It just should not take me 5 months to finish a sweater! Thank the gods that I did the sleeves first or she would be getting a very funny looking vest.

I realized the other day that I still have not seamed / sewn Petal together. I am a process knitter, as soon as the knitting portion is done, I lose interest. Maybe finishing it should be my reward after I finish the other one.

Icarus is going slowly - it is my Tuesday night lace class project, so I only knit at the speed of my student so that it is easy to demonstrate the tricky bits. Slow is OK. I started a second one here a while back, and it is AWOL, so I may tidy up the yarn areas and look for it to work on.

I am putting off the Irtfa'a project for a little while longer - I want to make one in black of course, but I was thinking that one in barn owl colors would be neat too. Rich reds, browns, and grays for the top portion and light browns and creams for the lower portion and border.

I worked on my milanese lace moon over the long weekend and finished the arch section. I am ready for the uber-scary scroll turn and then the sewings to join the beginning and end and then the filling and then the framing. Whee! Then I can start the torchon fan and in February start the milanese heart at the Winter Lace Conference. Lacing is not difficult, but I can't stir up the passion for it that knitting and spinning do, so it is hard to get motivated. It is one of those hobbies (like tatting, weaving and quiliting) that I only do when I am with someone else that does it or at a guild meeting. If I worked harder and was more secure in my skills, I might do it more often on my own.

I go to see the therapist today. I used to think poorly of people who saw a therapist every day, many times a week, even weekly, but I think I may need to become one of them. My appointments are erratic (esp bcs of the holidays) and 10 days is just too long to go without.

Yoga continues on Wednesdays. That is all I can manage right now and I just have to be OK with that, although I think I can squeeze in a class on Sunday this week. I like the stories and books excerpts that Martha chooses for us. They always seem very appropriate to things in my life that week. Either she is amazing (well, duh) or I have a lot of issues to choose from.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Blue Christmas

...and it isn't even my holiday! The dogs got Christmas morning canned food and I made french toast for myself. We settled in to watch "House" and do some knitting. Well - I knit and they kept my feet warm.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Irony

I have been feeling much better this last couple of weeks. I have been chipper, hopeful, forward looking and making future plans. The trouble? I feel like my blogging has become singularly dull. Way duller than it should be. Knitting - movies - Mr Fixt - knitting - movies. I could write less. I could write more. I could write on a theme each day. I could get new hobbies. I could actually take and post pictures (actually, I can take pictures. I can post pictures. The trouble is getting the pictures from the camera to the laptop to a cd to a computer with an internet connection). Or I can be happy the way I am. That sounds good.

On that note, progress continues on Mandy's sweater version 2.o. No twisting this time. Progress was nearly impeded by short-attention-span-itis, as I was all geared up to get distracted by a new sweater project when I looked at the yarn label and realized I am a dork and ordered the wrong weight. So it got sent back and my attention was again focused on the Mandy's sweater.

I have decided I am in love with Hugh Laurie. I have no idea what I will do when I have caught up all the back episodes of "House". Go back to watching "A bit of Fry and Laurie" and "Jeeves and Wooster". I can share my affection between Hugh and Stephen.

My "Winter-Holiday-of-Your-Choice, If Any" shopping is all done. Donations to organizations took care of the whole list in 3 fell swoops. I feel good, no one is getting more "stuff", and there will be no standing in line at the post office. Ahhhhhh. Now the weekend holds nothing but fun: going out tonight with a friend, a trip to the OC Museum of Art, yoga, going to see "Sweeny Todd" with a friend, having a lace day with other friends, more "House" dvds, pie and german chocolate cake. Maybe I can squeeze in some Chocolatier and World of Warcraft, but those are difficult to play while knitting. Dang.

Happy Yule, everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I feel kindof funny this afternoon, like there is a big depressing *something* that is looming over me, when in reality I have the evening to myself. There should be a "House" dvd in the mailbox, I can put a pie in the oven, I can let the rabbit hop around the kitchen and freak out the cats. Those are all good things. I am even going to get a haircut tonight (don't get excited, it is just a trim). It is cloudy, gray, and drizzly this afternoon and that may have something to do with it. Perhaps i need a poinsetta in my future. Every year I buy one, and every year I keep it alive until July when we have a heatwave, and then I have to get another. I always think it will last the whole year. I can keep things alive - my secretary's day chrysanthemum is 3 years old and doing fine.

I had to rip out Mandy's sweater body yesterday, as there was a twist in it. Sigh. It is all the more frustrating because I checked 3 or 4 times that the cast on row was not twisted before I joined the first time. I rejoined today and knit several rows at lunch. Now I am checking it every 8 stitches to make sure it is still right. I put in my lucky stitch markers and I am hoping for the best.

I delivered the blue scarf last night and Danny put it on. That is a high knitting compliment! I stayed for yoga class and had a nice, stretchy time. I tweaked something in my knee, but have been babying it today and it should feel better soon. I can still only manage to make it to yoga once a week lately, but at least I can do that! It always makes me feel good before (to see everyone) and after (on that yoga high), but there is a place in the middle of class where I sometimes get cranky and frustrated. But I breathe and breathe and breathe some more and it always passes. If only I could remember to do that in "real life" too.

I have been all caught up at work and that is a very odd feeling. I like having some backlog. It is the same reason I always have some pet "works in progress" in the knitting pile. If everything is finished and there is nothing on the needles I think the universe might just stop! Maybe it makes me feel useful and needed to have projects pending.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Fran and I had a good time at lace knitting last night and put in another 5 good, solid rows on our Icarus shawls. Ending on an up note is nice. She made the most adorable gingerbread house - I can't remember ever meeting someone who has. We also had some excellent chattiness and made plans for our lace day this weekend.

I finished the blue scarf and washed it last night. It is here with me at work, drying, so I can gift it tonight.

Used my 40% off coupon at Borders and scored the very last copy of "Carnivale" season 1 - it was hiding in a display. I love multi layered shows like that which have lots of symbols, only some of which are explained. It lends an air of mystery. I was watching "House" the other day and Chase's dad was the guest; it drove me nuts trying to figure out where I knew that voice from. It is Lodz from "Carnivale". Then when I was watching the credits for "Cannonball Run" I saw Adrienne Barbeau's name, and a little bell jingled in my head. The connection got made last night - she is in "Carnivale" too. What a small acting world.

I am pretty caught up at work, which makes me happy. It is nice not to be buried and hopelessly behind all the time. My policy of working much less is still in effect, and still working out. The fishies are on a diet (which they are not so happy about), but they were getting pretty darn chubby. Maybe I should get a little shark type fish to chase them around.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Soapy Sales and More

So as you may know, Mandy and I have a soap business and, as it is the holiday soap-gifting season, we set up shop at the Downtown Festival of the Lights and at the Knit N Stitch open house this weekend. It was a good time, and we have plenty of holiday soap left for your stocking stuffer selections. In addition to the regular inventory, we made up special holiday scents including: Gingerbread, Peppermint, Eggnog, Mulled Cider, Applejack, Creme Brulee and Chocolate Mint (that one is so good that someone took and ate the tester for it last night). We have peppermint snowflake guest soaps and gingerbread men soaps. They are just too cute. We also have adorable Christmas / Holiday cards from Ruth at The Dizzy Ewe. And if you buy four soaps, you get a free guinea pig!

In other news, I am still feeling OK about life and Mr. Fixit. I still miss many things (and don't miss some others), but I don't beat myself up about it or take it personally anymore. Watching a lot of "House, MD" helps, as does snuggling under the covers and sleeping in. In between episodes of "House" I did quite a lot of sock handwashing - I found pairs that I forgot I knit. You might think that means I have too many, but I think it means I just need to keep them clean and in the sock drawer in a more organized fashion. Or grow more feet.

I knit very diligently on the blue scarf at the KNS open house and that evening at the soap booth (until I couldn't feel my fingers), and it is nearly, nearly done. Maybe I can churn out the last few rows today at lunch. Next on the list is a full-scale attack on Mandy's sweater. She is going to be able to wear it at Christmas dinner if it kills me.

I had a nice visit and Thai lunch with Rose on Saturday. Petsitting gifts were delivered, and general catching up was accomplished. It is nice to enjoy being around people / my friends again.

I took some time one evening this weekend and browsed around the Mission Galleria, seeing what I could see. I picked up a CD of "Pictures at an Exhibition" and "The Firebird" for $2 which totally made my day, and I found some small stocking stuffer items. They had one spinning wheel, but upon close examination it turned out to be a decoration piece only - the knob to adjust the mother of all is merely stuck on (not an actual wooden screw) and the flyer did not have the hollow bit where the yarn goes through - it was a solid piece of metal. Otherwise it was a very handsome saxony style wheel. Someone with a metal shop, who also doesn't care about adjusting their tension, might enjoy fixing it up. I saw a gift Mr. Fixit would have liked, but I don't think he deserves anything nice from me. So there.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

She'll Fly True

Yesterday was a pretty good day. After 6 weeks, I am finally getting some distance from my grief of losing Mr. Fixit. I don't want to forget the fun times and the happy feelings that we had, but I am tired of feeling sad. I don't think that being sad doesn't have a place, but I am just exhausted from it. I can't always make everything right all the time just through force of will.

I have been feeling like seeing friends and going to activities again (finally), which my therapist tells me is a good sign. I like the feeling that I want to see people and do things, instead of feeling adverse to them or resentful that I have to do things in order to push through my sadness. I went to knitting night last night at Knit & Stitch where Other Lisa and I started our sock class. I also got some good knitting in on the blue scarf. The end is in sight.

Yoga class was after that, and I had a really good time. Part of me is sad / guilty that I am not able to go to yoga 4 or 5 times a week anymore, and part of me is forgiving and happy just to make it on Wednesdays. All I can do is all I can do and there is no point in making myself upset about it. We did a couple poses that were really relaxing to me for the first time. I don't know if I came into them differently, or if I had some amazing release, but it was sure nice to just feel comfortable in the stretch and not worried that I was going to fall.

I finished off the night huddled in two shirts and under a blanket and 3 cats, trying to keep warm and watched "House, MD" late into the night. Or early into the morning, depending. It got to be wayyyy past bedtime and I was just really, really awake. I don't know if it was extra energy from the backbends we did in yoga, or something else, but I was tempted to just stay up the entire night and knit and do laundry. I am on Season 2 of "House" and they seem to have softened Hugh Laurie's character quite a bit. I hope it does not last - I like him sarcastic and cranky. Reminds me of me.

Tonight is a night at home, with no errands to do or activities to host or attend. I am planning on some cooking, some chores, some laundry, and watching "Cannonball Run".

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Different...

The quilt-in-progress. You can see the gray fabric for the backing off the side.

Some of the guinea pigs who need homes. How many can I sign you up for? There are 3 girls and one boy (the brown one in the center).

The body of the Petal sweater. This was taken before the arms were done.

The arm of Mandy's sweater. Both arms are done and the body is started.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Coming Up For Air

This week is going better than last week, when I was in the maelstrom, but shiny happy it is not. Oh, I have a job, car, house, pets, knitting stash (and I am grateful), but I am just trudging through the days.

I actually picked up the blue scarf and knit on it for a while in the waiting room today, and that made me happy. It really needs to be finished and gifted away. Ditto with Mandy's sweater. Saturday is an open house at Knit N Stitch, and I plan on wandering over and getting in some good, focused knitting time. They had movie night last Friday ("White Christmas") and I had a lot of fun visiting and working on Petal.

Speaking of which, Petal's pieces are done and I just have to wash & block it, sew the bits together, and add the collar/ neckline hem. So close and yet so far!

Friday, December 07, 2007


I am back. I did not have a good time. The highlight of my trip was getting an IV on Tuesday night to rehydrate after being violently ill for half the day. Then I was quarantined in my cabin for 2 days (but I escaped for dinner, which was pretty darn tasty). I am still a bit unsteady on land due to being rocked on ship all week. I kind of like the feeling - like being drunk but without the hangover. But I also feel like I will fall off my chair at any moment. I did watch a lot of movies, some of which were surprisingly good: "Evan Almighty", "Night at the Museum", "Pirates: End of the World", "No Reservations", "Ratatouille", "Ocean's 11 (and 13)", and "We are Marshall".

Some knitting did occur. I finished the first sleeve of Petal and have made good progress on sleeve number two. Tonight is movie night at Knit N Stitch ("White Christmas"), and I will take one of my pending projects to work on. Tomorrow is the RiverSpinners Holiday party and the plan is to finish spinning up the Ashland Bay roving in the "seamist" colorway. I don't know what it will be yet, but I love to look at it. It is a grayish-bluish-greenish-goldish-silverish merino / silk blend and I adore it.

I also got a little reading done. Diana Gabaldon's new book "Lord John and the Hand of Devils" came out last week and my Borders had one copy left. If you like historical fiction and mysteries, give it a try.

My friend Anne's guinea pigs are rooming with me temporarily, and they are just adorable. There are 4 babies that are just a few weeks old and they are cute beyond words. I wish I could keep them all, but I think Mr. Whiskers (my GP) would be jealous. Does anyone need a furry friend? We also stopped by the bird store to board her parrots for the week, and it was a narrow miss on me adding another feathered friend to the flock. But I like the birds I have and need to spend more time with them, not get a new one.

And last but certainly not least, a boisterous "shout out" to my friend Rose who watched my pets for me while I was away. Everyone was fat and happy when I came home, the mail was in, and the place was still standing. She is a real trooper.