Wednesday, June 29, 2011


No. I am not doing a Tour de Fleece challenge. I am already overloaded. And with that in mind, I had better get moving on my shawl knitting.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Frabjous Day

  • Went to the Redlands Bowl and heard wonderful music

  • Visited with Anne

  • Got in some knitting time and finished a washcloth

  • Snuggled the cockatiel who is going to a new home

  • Finally put that check in the bank

  • Drank quantities of coffee

  • Did not run out of gas on the way home

Monday, June 27, 2011


Somehow I went from "oh yes, I used to knit" to having a shawl & a washcloth on the needles with a pair of fingerless mitts and a chemo cap in the 'urgent' queue. Of course, there is still That Scottish Shawl to finish, a sweater to seam, a sweater that only needs an edging, a cardigan in progress, two half finished shawls and the Irtfa'a project in the UFO collection. And that pair of socks I started this spring.

Perhaps the pendulum is swinging too far the other way, but for now, I like it.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Snuggles & Sociability

I managed to get out of the house to day and be sociable. We gardened in the morning (RIP, beanstalk), I joined my guild for a little WoW time, I chatted with the parakeet and I met my friend in Redlands for an afternoon of knitting and parrot snuggling.

It was nice to sit and knit with someone else - haven't done too much of that since my knitting store closed almost a year ago. I noticed a dropped stitch in my Iron Horse shawl about 8 rows down and have st it aside for the moment. I just need to remember where I put the tiny crochet hook (I swear I just had it) and pull the stitch up the work , squeezing it into the existing rows. Part of me can't believe I missed that glaring error and part of me says, well if you are going to work while you are tired, you are going to have errors. It is an easy fix and I will be done with this soon, I hope.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Maybe, instead of berating myself that I have not gotten anything done this week and fell asleep after one row of knitting today, I should take into consideration the midnight - 4:30 am time slot I chose for sleeping, three days in a row.

In other news, I did get one row of knitting put on my Camp Loopy shawl today before I caved in to exhaustion.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mixed Blessing

A very handsome plant volunteered at my friend's house this spring. I begged for it to stay and it got more handsome and more interesting as it grew, and grew, and grew. They twit me about "the beanstalk" as it is obviously some kind of weed, and somehow they have humored me until it is about 8' tall. Last week it flowered. This week I can see the little pods forming where the blossoms were and it struck me yesterday what this ugly duckling must be... a pokeweed Phytolacca americana. Um... oops.
The good news is that it is a vegetable (kindof) and makes a stain that can be used for ink, paint or fabric dye. The bad news is that just about every part is poisonous and it will need to be removed from the vegetable garden before the dog starts nibbling it. Maybe that is why she has been so quiet this week?

It must have arrived in the garden via the droppings of the birds that visit the feeder. I will have to spend tomorrow taking it out and having a farewell service. I wonder how to get some seeds...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Haiku Thursday

Today I cat sat,
good job! But for my own?
Forgot the cat food.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More Progress

I have hit the long slog of the stockinette portion of Iron Horse. It is also starting to get heavy and hurt my hands; the 90 minute knitting session last night made my thumb numb. I remembered that pain was one reason I curtailed my knitting so drastically a couple years ago.

But here we are, at repeat 21 of 26 sets of stripes...

...and it still looks like a blob. It is going to be too big to photograph soon... I am about maxed out on needle room. It is month end at work this week and I am catsitting, but I think I can get to the lace portion by Sunday. The due date is 7/15 or before, so I should have plenty of time.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Not Making a Choice...

I have been sitting here for 45 minutes, full of excitement at having an evening to indulge my hobbies. Shall I read? Knit on one of several projects? Play with the pets? Play WoW?

Apparently I will hit refresh on Ravelry and suddenly wonder where the night has gone.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Getting Excited

I am thoroughly enjoying Camp Loopy. It kindof sucks that I am broke, but thankfully there is stash yarn of good quality to knit through. I have been knitting - and enjoying it - and chatting on Ravelry quite a bit this week. I love seeing all the new patterns that are out there now, all the wonderful projects and color combinations that people have in progress, and get a kick out of the role-playing about being at camp that my cabin mates have embraced whole heartedly.

These are my peeps. This is my passion.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pulling into the Station

My Iron Horse shawl is coming along nicely. The picture isn't very good, but the project is pleasant and the yarn is heavenly.

I couldn't get much knitting done this weekend due to an overnight trip to Ramona and a day working in the garden, but I really turned up the energy today and have made great progress. I am still concerned about a yarn shortage, but then I remember that lace gets blocked.

I have been keeping up with the Cabin 3 posts on Ravelry and it has been great fun to see what everyone else is up to.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Good Tired

Off line yesterday and today due to a sleepover / gardening party. I packed up the dog and scampered down to my friend's rural property. We chatted about old times, new times and future times, had yummy snacks, pulled a gazillion weeds, uncovered a long-forgotten garden path, identified birds and lizards, watched my dog chase peacocks and brazenly dig dog wallows right in the yard and flower bed and generally enjoyed the day. It felt really nice to get out in the open, as opposed to my urban home and cubicle workplace.

No pictures, for I am a dummy. Sorry.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I was reading in bed last night (the dog woke me up at 3:30 and I could not get back to sleep, when I came across a passage that rocked me.

"Sam noted that she had only told Georgette the same things she'd told Annie -- that she was smart and strong and could do anything she wanted to do. That she was beautiful and lovable and someday she'd find the right someone to love her as she deserved" - The Four Corners of the Sky, p 101.

I wondered, what would my life be like now if anyone had ever told me that? Would I be confident, successful, popular, loved? I have sort of a vague idea that parents are "supposed to" support their children, but never had any idea how that actually would get applied. I guess now I have an inkling, and I feel cheated.

I've heard the phrase 'it's never too late to have a happy childhood' bandied about, but I can't see it. The concept / idea / expectation that there is someone to depend on, to encourage, support or comfort me no matter what or when is completely absent.

Do I know how to proceed? No. The most appealing option is to sharpen the resentment to a fine point, but that will only cut me. Try to go back and ask for a frame of love and affection? Too little too late. I suspect only French Vanilla ice cream has the answer, for now.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Knitting on the Iron Horse

Quite good progress for a morning's knitting today. It feels good to have yarn in the hands again. Techniques are coming back to me slowly, so I am glad ths is an easy and forgiving project. My major success was working out / remembering how to carry the off color yarn up the side of the work. I wasn't too sure about pink and green together (I keep having flashbacks to 1987), but I think they are working really well. They are also slightly variegated, which adds a lot of visual interest.

I seriously despair that I will have enough yarn, but I always feel that way at the beginning of a lace project.

Break time is over - back to the salt mines!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gearing Up

This morning I whetted my knitting mojo by surfing Ravelry for a pattern and winding two balls of yarn for my Camp Loopy project.

This evening I kept up the pace with an evening of washcloth knitting (for fun and profit) and movie watching. It feels good to have yarn in my hands again.

It is nice to be snuggled in grandma's rocking chair, headphones on, an evening that is not too hot nor too cool and no kitties walking back and forth in front of the screen.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Camping - the Knitterly Way

I am signing up to participate in Camp Loopy this summer and getting excited about knitting again. Interestingly, my aunt requested a shawl to take to Mass to ward off the air conditioning so now I have might have a new home for my Camp project already lined up!I purchased this yarn a couple years ago for a different project (sorry Karen) but I think it will work well for the challenge - a two color project. I was surprised to find three skeins, and I am sure I can do a lot more with 555 yards than I could have with 370.

I am still mulling over my project options. Stripes seem boring, but I haven't found a pretty pattern that is also free. The one I truly adore, Catkin, is $6. That is a perfectly reasonable price, but I will have to wait a bit before I can justify it.

I washed and blocked the alpaca scarf today (pictures when it is fully dry and finished), wove off the last of the huck lace warp, will wet finish that tonight and am knitting washcloths furiously to restock the soap booth supply box. I am nearly out of my favorite yarn; I will have to "interview" new cotton yarns and find a steady supplier. I remembered this morning that I work 3 miles from one of the largest yarn stores in a two county area and will make a pilgrimage there next week.

Friday, June 10, 2011


I had a dream last night that I was dating the dad from "Billy Elliot" and also that I was in the tornado that struck Joplin, MO.

I don't know what that means, but it was actually a pretty nice dream.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Work of my Hands - Teaser Post

I have actually made some knitting progress in the last 24 hours. Last night I finished a "broken rib" scarf made of alpaca yarn that I dyed some time ago and then today at lunch I finished a cotton washcloth. The washcloths get made in spare time and go into the "soap for sale" box so there will be some when I have a gig.

It felt good to knit and it felt better to have some finished goods. I have to wash and block the scarf and will get some pictures posted soon. The only drawback was that I the book I am reading (_The Two Towers-) requires both hands to hold it open, so I was not able to knit & read at the same time. I will bring a different book tomorrow as I add some rows to the sock-in-progress.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


I took a break from frantically weaving some small hand towels (for sale) to check the bank balance and budget spreadsheet... and found that I had missed a deposit and am suddenly in the black $90. That is dog & bird food for the month and gas money for a week. Let that be a lesson to double check my work.

In separate news, I am trying to watch all the movies in my Netflix queue before shutting off the service and finally saw "Billy Elliot". Why oh why did I wait so long? It was just wonderful! Another lesson: if I think a movie sounds good, maybe it is worth watching and not avoiding.

Monday, June 06, 2011


Today was my "Sunday" since I worked on Saturday. Played on the computer, stared out the window, brushed one cat and two dogs, put in some laundry, read some of _The Two Towers_ and made a little lunch.

Oh, and had a dream that I was working at NPR and sneaking around the theater for the Academy Awards in places I shouldn't be.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Dog Days

I have been considering for a while now whether I will get another dog after Sunny and Dozer pass away. They are getting up there and you know I like to think about things for years before making a decision (and then rush into it after all, but I digress). I love my dogs but aside from chase the cats and keep me company on late night car rides, they don't really do anything. On the other hand, I can't really envision life without one. I guess they are useful as an icebreaker in public settings and a cheap alarm system. I realized this morning that while I often think of getting a new dog when these two are gone, I have never considered what I would do if one died and one was still going strong. That knocked me for a loop. Since I adopted Sunny to be Sophie's companion (1998), I have always had at least two dogs. These two don't really interact with each other, but they aren't antagonistic. Will Dozer be lonely if Sunny dies? Will he notice? There are still cats to chase and frankly, I think he considers himself one of the clowder.

There are several breeds of dog I would like to try - flat coated retreiver, borzoi, dachshund, husky et al, and several I would like to avoid, but if they live as long as Sunny has, I won't have enough years to try them all. And I am deifinitely done puppy-raising. One was enough to put me off that task forever!

We may find out the answer to these questions sooner rather than later because if Dozer doesn't stop humping the cat while I am trying to type I may have to kill him. Argh.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Last Samurai

I finished The Last Samurai last night and it was absolutely heartrending. This is no relation to the movie of the same name (which I love and adore and may watch later tonight), but rather a somewhat bizarre story of a brilliant young woman raising a genius child and earning their way by transcribing back issues of Carpworld and Aquarium Fish Hobbyist. Their main hobby is watching The Seven Samurai ad infinitum.

Her introduction of the Greek alphabet and the first level (?) of Japanese kanji are worth the read all by themselves, and I am finally intrigued by the idea of learning classical Greek. I love books and authors who reference other books, which she does in spades, but through the filter of Sibylla it is more interesting than just dry footnotes and margin scribbles.

I loved the way the story seemed to jump about, but always picked up its loose ends. I loved the characters of Sibylla and Ludo and the strength of the bond between them. There are passages hilarious, tedious, moving and illuminating all. I was just along for the ride until the last couple of chapters, when things took a crazy left turn and everything came into focus. Ludo does find his father, but I think that he learns that the relationship that is most worth saving is the one he has with his mother.