Thursday, February 28, 2008

Surf's Up

Here are the Calamity socks. The yarn is Yarn Pirate BFL (from the Booty Club) in the "Calamity" colorway. They are knit in plain ol' stockinette, but I added a cute little cable up both sides of each leg and finished with a picot hem for the cuff. Discovery of the week: the library has free wifi. It seems like a no-brainer, but how often does anyone go to a library anymore? So here I am. I took my test for the city and still have hours left on the meter.

Thanks for the kind words on the lace projects. The answer as to how long the heart took is 34 hours (I kept track, as a lark). I still have to do the filling, but the tape is done, done, done. I will have to remember to email Louise a picture today.
I am still "between opportunities" although I am helping at the yoga studio and have some savings, so I am not destitute. I have spent most of this week weaving like a madwoman (and reading the Harry Potter book. Page 415 explains why not all hallows are deathly.) in an effort to get the dishtowels off the loom and up for sale. I am about 2 away from the end. I have been eating at home (not going out) and not buying yarn, so both I and my checkbook are feeling good. I finished another pair of socks last night, but am trying to spread out the pictures.

Tomorrow I have a yoga office meeting, my appointment with the shrink, and then my day is my own until 5:45 when it is yoga time. I think I will finally get my buns up to the museum and check out the Sam Maloof exhibit. Unless, of course, I get called for an interview somewhere. Keep the fingers crossed!

Monday, February 25, 2008

I Told You So

Here is the Heart. It is nearly done. Since this picture I started the next (last) braid and can finish it in one night if I stop weaving long enough.
Here is the Moon (in-progress). It is done now and waiting to be framed. You can see all the cute bobbins in this shot. I am still "between opportunities" (although I am working at the yoga studio) and am applying for things left and right. Must have sent a half dozen resumes or more just tonight. I am taking the buckshot approach - send them everywhere and hope one hits. I take the test for the City of Riverside on Thursday. I have been weaving like a woman possessed, because once I get the dishtowels off the loom and do the finishing, I can put them up for sale at the yoga studio. They are coming out really nice. Some are tabby, but I have been playing with twills too. I am making them with handspun, organic, naturally colored cotton singles on a millspun 2 ply warp.

Today's big adventures included going to the grocery store, making butter and going to yoga class. The rationale to buying heavy cream for my coffee is that I can use 1/2 of the cream to make butter - then the cream does not go bad and I don't have a bunch of butter beginning to taste like the inside of the freezer. Genius! AND I got to read the first few paragraphs of the newest Harry Potter book while I was shaking the cream. By the way - is there any other kind of hallows than a deathly one?

Not a lot of knitting progress (unless you count the 40 minutes of knitting on the swamp sock that I managed while the computer was booting up tonight). I can sell weaving, not knitting.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Relief... And a Worry

Well, I am a free and easy administrative assistant now. No more bursting into tears, stress headaches, or queasy tummy. Well, a little queasy when I think about the rent. But I am smart and talented and will find a better position. Happier, anyway. And I love having the fishies at home again. They will love being fed on the weekends for a change.

The lace conference last weekend was spectacular. I set up the soap booth, sold some soap, took the Milanese lace class by day, tatted in the evenings, and even watched a little "Law & Order" on cable. Yay, cable!

I am working on Louise's second project - the Heart. The moon, by the way, is still finished but unmounted. One of the ladies brought in her finished one and I want to display mine the same way - in between 2 pieces of glass that were framed together. Anyway, in 3 days I managed to work up one side of the heart, turn the corner, and work partway up the other side. I have been working diligently on it since and finished the second braid. Just the third braid /last turn and the filling to go! The next class with Louise is in June - it seems like forever to wait. I have her permission to work on the Torchon lace fan design, so perhaps I will have something to fan myself with during the June workshop. Louise said I may not start the next Milanese project on my own, no matter how much I suck up. So the Fleur-de-Lis is on hold for me until I see her again. I have the thread though (and it was free).

I bought a small book on tatting and on page 16 I found the answers to all my questions - how to read a pattern and how to connect rings and chains. I am almost finished with my first squiggle that actually looks like lace and not a jumble of bits. Formerly I could make chains, and I could make rings, but not put them together. This is the second year I have been next to the tatting teacher in the vending room, and one of my roomies is an excellent tatter. It was like taking two workshops in one weekend.

I finally hit the point in making lace where I can see what is happening, figure out what the threads are doing, and anticipate how to move them to get a desired effect. During the last project I felt like I was just moving the bobbins where I was told to. My lace tensioning is getting better, and my body tension is going down.

In the sprit of "finishitis" I have a bunch of projects that need my attention. I need to blindstitch and quilt the quilt so I can use it now that it is cold and drizzly here again. I also need to sit myself down and seam that sweater I finished in December. I need to finish tinking back the green Icarus shawl so I can fix the mistake, finish it, and turn it into the shop for display. These are all things I can manage. I also want to get back into weaving (remember how much I loved it?) and get some dishtowels up for sale at the yoga studio. 9 yards of warp did not seem that much at the time. Now it seems like an eternity. I found the battery charger to the camera and will take a bunch of pictures tonight of projects that have been pending. Scout's honor. For real this time. I promise.

I am headed to a rabbit show with Denise this weekend. This time I know that I need to bring a furry friend of my own so that I do not come home with any new ones. I don't know yet if it will be Mr. Whiskers or Seamus MacCavy, but it will be nice to have a lap warmer for the afternoon.

One more thing checked off my to-do list - I managed to pay my library fine and checked out the new Harry Potter book and some audio book. I feel like an honest citizen. Except for the dog license issue, which we will not bring up.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I never would have believed it a year ago, but there does come a point where tinking lace is therapeutic. I made an error in the green Icarus shawl last week, and didn't notice it for 2 or 3 rows. Then I happily picked up the shawl yesterday, knit two rows, and looked down. Now the error was 4 or 5 rows back. It was in the k2tog, yo, k1, yo, psso spot, and maybe I could have dropped the stitches and fixed and maybe I could not. I tried, made a mess, put the mystery stitches on a holder and started tinking away. It is slow going, but not as difficult or frustrating as it was in my first couple of lace projects.

We had a sub in yoga last night, and instead of slow deep stretch we had active intense deep stretch and I am all sore today, mostly in my shoulders. We spent a lot of time in down dog. It was a great class - just a big change.

I finished the Tuscany socks last night (ok, ok, I still have to bind off) and worked 2" on the second Dahlia sock. That will be about it for knitting until Tuesday - what with tidying the house, running errands, making soap, and being at the Lace Conference all weekend. I really miss spinning. I need to carve out some quality time with the wheel soon.

PS. It snowed here at work today. There were only 827 flakes, but it was most assuredly snow and not drizzle. They bounced. Two days ago it was 80 degrees.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Quiltin' Time

So I went to quilting last night, hat in hand, and was welcomed back into the fold. I sewed the border on the top piece (the last of the piecing), we cut the batting and the backing, I sewed all around, and then we magically turned it inside out. Congratulations! It's a quilt! I still have to blindstich the hole shut, iron the edges, and do the actual quilting (not piecing), but that should only take an evening. I feel very accomplished. Julie had pictures of quilts at the last quilt show, and showed off some of her new projects. I am all ready to start a new one - as soon as the other one is Really Finished and I have some pin money for more fabric.

Tonight I made some soap for our show this weekend and did some more applying. Good Lisa. Now I can go home and watch "24" with no guilt. And my little herd of hedgehogs (soaps) is growing.

Knitting is coming along - the Tuscany sock #2 is 55% done or so, and it knits up fast. The Dahlia sock #2 has the leg stitches picked up and the leg pattern begun. The Swamp sock #1 has the heel decreases done, but I have to pick up and work the increases. Whew. I am riding this finishing wave as far as it will take me.

I still keep my tatting close to me, perhaps that will be my lunch project for tomorrow. I also need to get the treadles tied up on the counterbalance loom and get that going. And finish setting up my pillow for the lace workshop this weekend.

I better get moving!

Monday, February 11, 2008

This and Tat

I had a lazy weekend. I was not amazingly productive, but I managed to attend open spinning and the Riverspinners meeting successfully. We learned how to tat and I had a great time. I had managed to forget just about everything I had learned at this time last year, but had it all straightened out by the end of the afternoon. I even practiced a little at lunch today. It will be nice when I can put it together and make something instead of a long chain or a bouquet of loops. When I got home I played some Chocolatier (I finished the game with a new high score) and tottered off to bed.

Sunday was amazingly lazy - I watched "The Tempest" and "As You Like It" and a bunch of "24"s and knitted on the Dahlia sock. The production of "The Tempest" had Andrew Sachs in it - the same Andrew Sachs who played Manuel in "Fawlty Towers". I kept expecting to hear him say "No Meester Fawlty" but alas, no. I made chicken and wee small potatoes for lunch and the potatoes were amazing. There were yellow, red and purple ones (purple all the way through!) and I just threw them, quartered, into a tin with some olive oil and seasoning and turned them several times. I don't know how long they were in there, but they were divine when they came out.

This is a short work week for me - I am taking off Friday and Monday so I can attend the Winter Lace Conference. It seems like I have been waiting forever! This year they are closing the vendor hall while classes are in session, so I get to do both things (as I have been droning on and on about. Sorry). At some point this week I am also going to be adding more hours at the yoga studio as a way to be helpful, be with nice people, and earn some pin money. Tonight is quilting night, and while I have not done my homework (from what? October?), I plan on going and finishing the piecing. Really, there is like one day's worth of work left. I need to hurry before it is no longer quilt weather! I have been in a finishing-projects mood lately and must make the most of it before "startitis" starts again.

Everything except work has been going swimmingly. I am happy about activities, following up on promises, not hiding under a rock, working on projects, finishing projects, making plans, and thinking about my future. What a nice change. Maybe I will even start to look around at boys soon. Well, don't get your hopes up in that department. I daren't go off my medication, though. Which is also a nice change - the time I took meds in the past, I went off them as soon as I started to feel better, which was a Big Mistake. I think the sunny warm weather has been good for me too.

Just for Mandy: I washed 13 pairs of knitted socks this weekend!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Keep on Movin'

Nothing to see here.

Yesterday I managed sock knitting class and yoga and went home to fill in some forms for city applications. Woo. Watched a show on spontaneous human combustion and added an inch to the Dahlia sock.

Tonight is groceries, picking up soap, more applying, and interviewing for a part time gig at the yoga studio. No deep thoughts for the blog, just trying to slog thru the days. Funnily, the after-work time seems to fly by.

Tomorrow you are all invited to open spinning, and on Saturday the Riverspinners are having our meeting and a tatting workshop. C'mon down!

The staff here at Plantation Productions is sending out feelers for our 2009 cruise - how many people would be interested in a week or so of lace knitting?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Crazy Time

I. hate. my. job.

I like knitting, but there is no time. There has to be a happy medium somewhere. Or better yet, be independently wealthy and spend all day knitting and petting the dogs. They would like that.

I did everything on my to-do list yesterday - and that NEVER happens. I usually put twice as much stuff on as I need to, just so I will do half of it. I voted, I went to the grocery store, I went to the coffee shop to use their wifi on the job hunt, and I went to Fran's to wind bobbins for Conference next week. They are all done now and we watched an interesting show on VH1 about the history of black music in America. After I came home I managed to watch and episode of "A bit of Fry and Laurie" and knit a few rows on the Dahlia sock #1. I like knitting.

Today is sock knitting class, yoga, and more time at the coffee shop. There are other things on the list, but doing them all will mean no sleeping tonight, so I will do what I can and then turn in and get a good night's sleep.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I'm Right Here

I am still here, just drained of all energy and motivation. Having a rough time at work and it is making my anxiety level go off the charts. I am not used to that. Maybe the shrink will give me a RX for a Valium drip tomorrow.

Not much to report in the crafting department. I managed a little sock knitting on Sunday and that is about it. OH! I did finish my lace moon on Friday night and unpinned it on Sunday afternoon. I am mighty proud. I believe I start winding bobbins for the heart tonight. Hard to believe the Winter Lace Conference is next weekend already! The way work is going, I am highly motivated to do more spinning / dyeing / weaving and get it onto the Soap Plantation website for sale, although when I come home I feel wrung out and helpless.

The Dickens Festival was fun and soap sales were strong on Saturday. I always enjoy the actors, the music, the other vendors and the outfits people wear. I even enjoy meeting people who have stumbled upon the event on their way to the library. We looked adorable in our Victorian outfits and tried to stay warm with blankets, shawls, capes and all the soup we could manage. Sunday was drizzly, then rainy, then windy and rainy, so we called it a day and packed up around 10. Our tent cover was a smashing success and we were clever enough to remove it from the tent on Saturday afternoon, so it remained safe and dry in its container.

With a surprise free afternoon, I watched the first episodes of "Weeds", which were entertaining. I can't watch "24" right now because it makes me anxious and upset. I also watched "The Merchant of Venice" with Jeremy Irons, Joseph Fiennes and Al Pacino. I have never seen it before nor read the play, so I was expanding my horizons a bit. I really liked the production. I also managed to squeeze in "The Departed" which was OK too. I can't really tell Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio apart, so spent part of the movie very, very confused. It was gory and violent but not suspenseful. I hate suspenseful.

Today's goal is to make it through the work day, go use the wifi at the coffee depot in the evening, and then go to lacing at Fran's. A rewarding plan. I can do it.

Friday, February 01, 2008

By Request & Applying Myself

...or maybe not. I thought the picture of my lace was in my files, but it must be on the CD I left at home. Sorry. Soon. The moon will be finished tonight - gods willing.

I am spending today applying for more jobs. Turned in my resume at the temp place I used to work for, and am working on the Riverside County website now. I am using a shotgun approach here - apply for everydamnthing.

My therapist was pleased with my positive job hunting outlook. I said, I know I can work, I know I can get a job. It's relationships I can't handle.

Come see us at the Dickens Festival this weekend! Look for the gorgeous blue and yellow striped tent cover.