Sunday, January 29, 2006

Weekends are made for KNITTING.

And nothing but knitting. And I think this should be a law. A legally enforcable law. What a weekend...with not a lot of knitting... grandson here overnight (he's not really cooperative lately with the whole knitting thing, being into the whole "terrible two" thing all of a sudden), and a trip to a birthday party for which we had delayed getting a gift. Nothing like last minute shopping! As a result we were late, of course. BUT not too late, as my dad pulled in just ahead of us. My husband did get two loads of laundry done today, with Aidan's assistance. I am usually not sure why Gene does laundry, but I don't protest...that would be self defeating. ("Oh, no, no darling...don't sully your hands on those dirty clothes...let ME put down my needles and rush over and do it for you..." NOT.) It's like when he goes ballistic with the vaccum. We all just stay out of the way and are grateful. I did buy some yarn for myself for socks, and also some to swatch for Rogue. Crisis of buy or not to buy. I do not love the yarn on hand. It is a bit uneven and the result is some lopsided stitches. This is most disagreeable. I really can't stand it for this project. This project, since it's waited so long, needs to be P-E-R-F-E-C-T. Theoretically if I like the Stockbridge swatch, it's $4.00 a ball, and I could probably, given the price point, excuse the purchase of 1600 yards for my self. On the other hand, I DID just buy the Silk Garden for myself. Much to decide.
I did manage to start a baby sweater for the petite unborn. The baby weighed 4.5 pounds on Friday and is due March 18th. I am making the 6-9 mo size...I sense that this is not a tiny baby we're talking about here. This pattern is from an ancient Beehive booklet. The yarn is Filatura Di Crosa Millefili Fine and I love it. Makes great little cotton garments for spring babies! The real color is on the right. It washed out because I took the pic with no flash (the flash washed out the lace!) I am enjoying it a lot. I have the fronts half done, cute little raglan cardigan thing on size 3's. I will post pics of all with bootees and hat when it's done.
Zero progress on the crocheted jacket since the meeting Friday. I am into lacy baby things this weekend, selfish little knitter (and hooker). Swatching Rogue and making baby things seem more important. But I love the way the Silk Garden feels, crochets, and looks. Will I wear it is the question! My wardrobe tends toward very neutral redneck-y things that let me blend into the background of life. "Don't look at me", my wardrobe screams. Well, it's time it started shouting out a little. I guess. We'll see. And if I don't have the guts, I will pass it along to someone who does, no harm no foul. I love the way it looks so far, really really love it. Love the stripes, and love the density of the fabric.
This brings me to what I do not love today. I do not love this yarn for Rogue. I am displeased. My reserve to make myself use it is waning. Not sure you can see that the stitches are not perfect, which for me is an issue. My vision of Rogue is somewhere between the rustic and the sublime. I am not getting anything close to sublime from this yarn. Once I have swatched it with the Stockbridge a decision will have to be made...I really had planned on getting the baby sweater done this weekend and swatching the Stockbridge in the morning, but Aidan sort of crimped that plan a bit. Criminy. You can't even see that there is a cable on the thing can you. Try this instead....if I'd known a blog was in my future I would have gotten a better digital camera. The color is right on the right, and the cable better visible on the right. If only my camera would combine color and's also supposed to eliminate red eye, and does not at ALL, in fact makes Aidan look demonic and the cat truly evil. I hate that. Distressing!
When we were shopping for wrapping paper for Miles' birthday gift and Kristie's baby shower gifts I found this very cool black cat bed lined with leopard print. I have wanted a bed for Hannah for ages because she will not stay off my lap; she's constantly cold. There were great plans for knitting and felting or sewing one, but I really don't have time right now. Yet I feel horribly sorry for her old bones. She's lost a lot of weight in the past couple of months, which - if she had not already been on the decline - I might blame on Mel. She's just changing, is 15, and it is to be expected. Gene and I arged about this sucker. He said she'd hate it, I said she'd love it (but secretly thought I'd have to work her up to it). I brought it home and set it down and stuck her in. She curled up, laid down, and started licking the leopard! She's barely been out of it since. There is a lot of sitting and observing and a lot of curling up and sleeping. Isn't she, in her geriatric sleep sack, gorgeous?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

In Raptures over Silk Rhapsody...

I wish I had more. I wish I had a pound. I wish I had two pounds. In each color, just to roll around in. I love this stuff. What you cannot see on the screen is the incredible halo that surrounds this yarn, it positively glows! I have plans...scarves, shawls...wraps...sweet little lacy cardigan even...against your skin it feels more akin to angora. It is silk and kid mohair, a strand of each, and luscious! Iris, you are ruining me for other yarns! Between the Super, Ultra, Stripes, Regal Silk, now Silk Rhapsody...I'll go broke. And be so joyful about it!
Now about this Rogue potential disaster of Olympian proportions...yesterday as I told Persnickety Knitter I tried to swatch for the Olympics, and ended up having some kind of allergy attack, nose burning, eyes watering, throat all scratchy. Put down the yarn, symptoms resolved a bit. Picked up yarn, symptoms returned with a vengance. I have this big old cone of "something worsted from the warehouse" that I bought just for Rogue. I don't even know what it is, the cone label is gone; I just liked it, and it swatched to gauge, so I bought it. I thought at first it was because I was trying to knit on the bike, and my cadence was up, so maybe just too much going on? But no, it is indeed the yarn, or more likely the dust on the yarn, or the machine oil on the yarn. So, the decision was made, after careful thought, to skein and wash it all prior to use and hope that takes the allergic portion out of it. I have never had any reaction to any natural fiber (other than a mushroom once at an Asian place),and living where I do and leading the life I lead I've had more than enough opportunity to develop an allergy. I have two skeins made, and a second coming along (halfway) and need five total at 200 wraps each to get the 1650 I need for the sweater. Curse my prodigious curves! Damn genetics!! What I would not give some days to be a flat-chested size 2 with thermometer hips to match. Then I'd only need 1100 yards, if that.
Does anyone know how one can create non-alcoholic blue punch that will not turn the mouth of the consumer bright blue? I need blue punch. Carribean, summer sky, tidy-bowl blue. I think we're just going to have to buy one of everything blue on the shelf and sample them all. I have to have the little luau duckies swimming in the punch bowl for this shower. Just have to! I am getting excited about the whole shower thing. I also need to find cute games that will not humiliate the mother-to-be who is verrrry sensitive of late (hormones!), and prizes for said games. I sense a Yankee Candle trip coming. "Everyone" loves Yankee Candles!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Selfish, Selfish Woman

It's all about me today. Well, after I got done watching, feeding, changing, bathing, napping and playing with Aidan.
First the socks I made "for Gene" are now mine. He does not need them. Well, he does, but I love them, and there's always more yarn, and he'd prefer a lighter weight sock anyway. Then I made another pair for me out of the same yarn, but with a turned heel instead of the spiral ribs - see pic. Both pair are Artyarns newHandpaint Stripes sock yarn on size 6's at 5.5 sts/7 rows per inch. Gene's were a toe cast on, inc to 48 sts and knit in a spiral 3:3 rib. I always do both socks at once on a long circular now, except the pair I usually work on when I am teaching dpn socks. Then I use dpn - would not be good for the teacher to be standing there, extolling the virtues of dpn socks while using circulars. I truly do love dpn, and have nothing against them, just that for my own purposes the circulars are so FAST! The ones pictured are 44 sts, top down, using Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks book for an 11 st pattern, and the socks out of my head by now but originally Yankee Knitter's sock pattern (which, if you buy only one sock pattern in your life, it should be that one). I would have put up a pic of the spiral ribs too but they're drying and so would be uncomfortable to wear. Flat they look like what they are...camo colored tubes! Then I finished my crocheted hat for Meg (wait, that's not selfish, is it??) so now there is a written pattern for it(that part might be selfish, writing patterns is really a selfish activity if you think about it), and I can make her more to match her entire wardrobe (or teach her to crochet...). The hat is Artful Yarns Fable, cotton/silk and on hand from a design project, so she can wear it at work and not die from overheating.
Now, in taking pictures for the hat I discovered something truly amazing. I actually look like my half sisters. Bizarre. I never noticed it before (and I suppose 39 years old - in three weeks - is a good time to notice it??) We share a father, but have different mothers. I really have spent a lot of time whining on the inside that I really look like NO ONE in my family, so to discover that I look like someone is kind of cool!! I also spent a lot of time comparing family photos with my face in a mirror when I was a teenager and could never figure out who I looked like, or if I looked like anyone. I was beginning to wonder...But now I know. I look like Jody with a little Jaime around the edges. Pretty cool.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Nah Ta Kaht

Can't be a cat. Just not a cat. It's a dog. Or a person. But it is most definitely not a cat.
1.) This is not his bed, nor is it his young mistress' bed . It is MY bed.
2.) That is not his book, it is MY book. But he was reading it, apparently.
3.) I do not like cats. I like this animal. Ergo, NAH TA KAHT!
I have never seen a cat so completely at ease in his surroundings that he will fall asleep, belly up like an old dog. This animal is hysterical, amazing and wonderful. He also has a cool trick of tripping humans coming upstairs, or going down, in an attempt to force affectionate interludes. It cannot be a cat. It is a total dog in a cat suit. He and Hannah continue to adapt. There has been no flying fur, but he's pushed himself into her space, and into her face, and she hisses, and he turns his head and all is well. He seeks her out, so we sort of figure if they get into it, it's his own fault! He does not fight back and if she gets mad enough she will pursue and attack, as she's done with the dogs (both of whom tower over her). He spends most of his time above stairs (ON MY BED!!) reclining as above, and reading Jane Austen (apparently). Next he's reading George Eliot. But for now he's on a J.A. kick.
Not much in knitting today. I decided officially on Rogue for the Olympics, in part because I think it's high bloody time and then there is the possibility of completing it in company (if she picks a yarn). I tinked Gene's toe-up socks and decided on simple spiral ribs. I was getting very frustrated with the toe up pattern on hand, and am not in the mood to rush out and buy more books on any subject, and not even in the mood to think it through. Somewhere around here in an older needlework book there is a very detailed explanation of various sock methods, including toe up and afterthought heels. Can I find it?? Could I find it last night before I tinked the damn socks? Of course not. In a fit of hormonal rage I ripped the whole thing out and started again over a chocolate martini. If nothing else, it'll ensure maximum length from the questionable yardage. LOVE the yarn (Artyarns Handpaint Stripes), but a little worried about the yardage making it long enough for Gene's preferences.
I bought baby shower supplies for KF this weekend. Very fun. The theme is...(it's ok, she does not have a p.c.) DUCKIES! They were SO cute. I snagged a bunch of pink stuff to accent with so we're not gender biased in either direction. I am going back for rubber duckies in leis and hawaiian shirts to float in the punch bowl, Meg is convinced we can find ocean blue punch. I got a 3-D ducky cake pan, you know, like the little lamb cake people always had on Easter, with coconut and white frosting (only this will be a yellow iced baby ducky in a white fondant bonnet with blue and pink flowers floating on a half sheet cake pond) and tested it (yummy chocolate duck and worked too!). I wrote out invitations, and will do envelopes tomorrow and want to get them in the mail ASAP. Some of the addresses are sketchy. The manner in which we conduct our lives in the modern era seems to leave us less aware of the details of each other's lives. Who needs an address when we can call or email? This shower thing is turning into great fun. We have a visit to the hospital soon, and another ultrasound this week. It's getting close. Had a talk today about plastic versus cloth, and what one truly needs on hand for the first month or two versus all the crap they try to sell you, like Diaper Genies and Baby Wipe Warmers and a zillion plastic infant containers. They've done no shopping. Nada. None. I got her a co-sleeper, so it'll have a bed for six months at least. Other than that it's got a couple of crocheted and knitted things (some by mom, some by Auntie Mel- OMG. I have the same name as the cat. Well, that won't work. Auntie Liss??) and not much else. It's hard for me to remain unbiased and give balanced opinions. I am a mostly cloth diapers, breast fed only, co-sleeping kind of girl. I have to balance that, offer the pros and cons of both, and try to be Nurse-Educator not Rabid Friend with Nutty Environmental/Dietary/Parenting Beliefs. She gets enough of that from others. Everyone thinks they are right, and they all say so, and loudly too. I figure my job is to say "They're all basically right, it's just what works best for you that counts." (While pointing at a landfill and crying silently, like the Native person in the old commercial...) I've had experience with Aidan on all of this. It is not for me to dictate or force my ideals, or create an environment of mistrust or disagreement. It is my job to promote harmony, open communication, and a safe place to spill one's guts. And hope everyone thinks like me in the end, of course!!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Olympics...but which "event"??

I have decided to join the Knitting Olympics . The difficulty lies in choosing a project that is difficult for me to complete in 16 days. Bear in mind that I am throwing a baby shower in there someplace, and my stepson is coming home to visit for a weekend which involves wine and song and late nights, so there will be some impediments...
I am limiting myself to the following personal rules:
  • Must be something I have on hand, no shopping for pattern or yarn
  • Must stretch myself
  • May be, but does not have to be, designed by me
  • Ideally would be something FOR me!!

Ideas so far:

  • Rogue Hoodie which has been on hold forever, and takes a perpetual backseat to all else.
  • DH's Dale sweater on 3's which is not far on and could be tinked and restarted on Feb. 10th.
  • Lace Weight Shawl, as complicated as I can find around here.
  • The planned bag of Berk Bulky garment. Can't say what it is, because it is a surprise, but know that it involves slash pockets and a zipper.
  • Variety pack of tank tops, all Dale patterns and all sitting in bins since last summer when I swore I'd take some time to knit them for myself.(all three in 16 days)
  • Ultra-Personal Berkshire sweater, using only colors and amounts on hand, design as I go, intarsia and much color.
  • Any combination of the above if I finish the selected item too quickly. Which can happen if I get carried away.

Well...That narrows it down...I am VERY willing to take opinions - please, help me pick!!.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Good Girl, Bad Girl

You tell me which....
I went to the store for the sole purpose of obtaining three things: work for Girl to do, Girl's payment for work finished, and a toe-up sock pattern.
I came home with 12 balls of Noro Silk Garden and a bag of Berkshire Bulky, a toe up sock patterns Iris wrote just for the self striping sock yarn which is exactly what I need it for, Girl's pay and more work for Girl. Now really...was I a good girl or a bad girl? I lean toward good. I managed to get everything that was on my list! And I hardly shopped at all!! And after all, I did spend an hour on the bike this morning.
This is how I figure it....The Berk is a gift for someone. Knitted up, not in the raw. I like to give gifts. It makes me feel all warm and cozy. And this is for someone who's very important to me, and who will appreciate the work, which we all know is a rarity. The Noro is for me. I want to crochet a jacket for my 39th birthday in February. This seems to me perfectly reasonable. I'm cute, I like silk, I'm looking at my kids and realizing that I am no shall I put this? YOUNG. That's the word I was looking for. It will require the purchase of a book, but hey, what's one more book (one more or less...) Let's pretend that 39 is some kind of milestone, like 40 only smaller (no diamonds or sunlit vacations, but still worthy of note). We'll call it "almost 40", and make it a big deal. In that case, 12 balls of Noro for a 39th birthday is practically piddling!! It's a drop of nothing!! I do not understand why 40, or the onset of 40 is in any way disruptive to me. 30 was a lark, a walk in the park. I enjoyed it. I could not figure out what the fuss was all about. 40...well, now this is a different story. And I think I know why. I will be 40 when Megan turns 19. I am turning 39 as she hits 18. Gene and I have a two year old grandson. Our oldest is 29. We keep saying 25, but he's really not 25. He's going to be 30, which makes my husband "almost 50" which is why, I think, we keep wishfully saying Brendon's 25. It's too many milestones in one path at one time. I will spin it happy by crocheting a wildly hot pink and orange jacket, which I will wear on my birthday, on which I have scheduled a baby shower for my best friend who is, at 36, having her first child. Did I mention too many milestones? I had my first child at 18. See my dilemma? Am I old, or am I young? I feel young. But logically, if I have a grandson and "the baby" is nearing 20, I must be old? Too confusing. Maybe for my 39th I should have a martini instead of a crocheted jacket. Better yet, a margarita while wearing the crocheted jacket. Preferably in Mexico. Surrounded by young, hot guys who cannot take their eyes off of me. (read: "well paid")
Girls car has been repaired for $90, much less than she'd fantasized about - welcome to "the real world" we've all been talking about - buy a cat for $120 of hard-earned savings, take over the insurance payments of your first very own car, and your first very own car breaks down on the spot. This is the way the world works sometimes. But look at him...he's so worth it. And Girl is lucky to have a grandfather who was born with a wrench in one hand and a welder in the other. While he was here he asked Girl to check her oil, which was bone dry. He then turned to me...the youngest of four daughters born to a man who I think would have liked just one boy...a man who has sternly lectured me on the importance of checking one's oil before the cute little red light comes on...also bone dry. Sigh. Car maintenance is just not my thing. If I can't knit it, I'm really not interested.
So was I good or bad?
Still messing with the template. I am not sure how I feel about the modular bit at the top. I like the idea but need better software to manipulate it as I'd like to. I have plans...I will play more with colors soon. It amuses me. It is dangerous as it takes time away from knitting, but then they tell me there is more to life than knitting. Don't ask me what. I said THEY said, not me!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Frustration and Disease

I have spent a good bit of time here in the last 24 hours changing things, only to have none of my changes show even after republishing. Very sad! I am now going to go knit, because this is entirely too frustrating to do with a toddler sneezing all over me. He woke up this morning sneezing, coughing, and hot, and has not stopped yet. In fact, he appears to be getting worse as the day moves on. I think I will finish my diamond blossom scarf. Then, after Sarah comes, I will spray my entire house with lysol! We've done SO well at not getting sick this year!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The 36 Hour Cashmere Sweater

Sunday night at the Webs Holiday Party Kathy gave me the yarn and pattern for this little cropped cardigan, Classic Elite Intrigue. Knit at 4 sts/6 rows per inch, quick and cute. It is very soft knitted up, and has just enough glitz to make it dressy without the overkill of some lurex laden novelty yarns. Did I mention it's CASHMERE?? She wanted it, if possible, by Thursday to take to TNNA which I of course take as the throwing of a gauntlet. Of COURSE I can have it done by Thursday! How, then, is it a 36 hour sweater? Well, this is New England, and the weather can change at the drop of a hat. Gene told me "bad weather" was coming. I took this as a second gauntlet and decided to finish and deliver the thing Tuesday instead of Thursday. I made it. I actually would have been done around noon but for a major setback. I started swatching after the party on Sunday and finished the sweater at 3:3pm this afternoon. The pattern calls for 6 hanks for the size small. I ran out of yarn midway through the sleeve cap shaping and had to make an emergency yarn run this morning for another skein. There was not enough in the six hanks to complete the project. My only other complaint was the large number of knots in one skein. One I can handle, but there were three in one hank of this stuff which considering it is a luxury fiber I do not expect.
Not much else is happening here lately. Girl got a cat. His name was Sol and he was at the Dakin Shelter. He's now called Mr Mel Gibson. He's a mere three years old to Hannah's 15. Hannah keeps throwing herself at him, the trampy old lady, and he ignores her (mumbles "Old hag!!" and walks away. ) Hannah gets her nose out of joint and pouts for hours. He does not come down stairs yet, but is learning that Owen is a foolish beast who means him no harm while Kioshi is to be avoided.
Aidan is here with BukBuk and Bear. He's staying the night, which is fun for Omie and Opie. Amusing for a while but I don't want to own one! Right now he and Girl and Opie are playing in the box the range came in...they've colored it all up with markers. Mommy stayed for a while yesterday when she picked him up and she got in on the fun as well. I don't know what we'll do when the box is covered with scrawl. Maybe buy another new appliance?? He loves the box. Tells everyone they have to hide with him, and draw pictures. He says no all the time now, constantly. A stream of no. "Do you want to watch Pooh?" "Nooooooo." as he's pushing the tape in the VCR. "Do you want juice?" "Nooo..." as he reaches for the cup. I remember this. I did not love it. But the negativity is counteracted by the discovery and awareness. Today we discussed animal sounds. We worked on the obscure animals other people skip, like turkey, llama, alpaca, goat and sheep (there is a difference there). We worked on saying "Bad Dog" when we burp, which is a really, really sad and sick family habit. We worked out the details of our new pc with Uncle Brendon so Aidan can have his own to use. He helped sweep and load the dishwasher and was very annoyed when I refused to do laundry. He helped with the 36 hour sweater by sitting on my feet watching Pooh. I am not sure what the Pooh fascination is, but we'll use it for days like these. Omie needs a sweater done by Tuesday afternoon...Aidan can watch a little Pooh! I love being a grandmother. You can do stuff like let them stick their hands in the masked potato and say it's sensory development. You can smile when they use their washable markers to write on your cordless phone, or finger paint your cabinets. It's all good. And you can use the formerly despised electronic babysitter for your own selfish purposes, like presenting your boss with a 36 hour cropped cardigan. CASHMERE cardigan!!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

EX-TREE...EX-TREE!! Read All About It!!!

Is this not beautiful?? This is non-knitting related, but still, IMHO, worthy of commentary. The most joyful event in the life of a baker occurred yesterday. We had a most welcome new arrival to the kitchen here at MelissaKnits' home base. Is it not the most beautiful thing?? The oven is a vast cavern. It is freaking huge! The bottom is flat, with recessed heating element which means I can bake directly on the oven floor. This is actually a huge benefit for a lot of foods - crusty breads, pies...even, I suppose, the occasional pizza. The top rack is split to make room for taller items, while still allowing a half-rack space for smaller things. Example: While a tall ham bakes on left side of oven, oysters and a tray of dinner rolls can fit on the right side. There was great rejoicing and celebrating, even though I have not been allowed to turn it on yet. It has spent Thursday night and all of Friday in a truck with temps well below freezing, and I was warned by the kind delivery boys to allow it 24 hours to come to house temp before using it. I will not make it to 24 hours. I plan to make breakfast this morning for Brendon and Leighann when they arise.
If Brendon dares show his face in my kitchen after last night...we went for Chinese last night when they arrived. We had a wonderful meal at my all-time favorite Chinese and Sushi place. Lots of good food, good conversation, much fun. We left the Chinese place with the intention of coming home and cracking a bottle of wine and playing board games, which we do a couple of times a year with these guys as we enjoy them a great deal. They stopped on their way back and grabbed a couple of bottles of wine. Brendon opened one and found it to be displeasing...rather, he said, like vodka flavored with grape juice. I sipped a bit and agreed, definately vodka with grapes waved over the pot, and bad vodka at that. I said it was nothing compared with something, like, say, my Octagon that Kristie gave me for Christmas. "WHAT!?!" said Brendon "You have a $32 bottle of wine and we're drinking this crap?? OPEN IT!! Give it to me!! I'll open it!!" Feeling festive with Meg getting her license, and company in the house and the new range in the kitchen waiting for today, I gave way and handed over the precious bottle. Brendon took the corkscrew and began to uncork this little taste of wine heaven. As we chatted gaily around him I heard a low "Uhhh....Uh-oh..." and turned to see Brendon holding a broken cork stuck to the corkscrew in one hand, and the sacred bottle in the other. I gasped. "YOU CORKED MY WINE!!!!!!!!!!!!" I was crestfallen. "Not yet." He said and showed me the bottle, with a tiny chunk of cork blocking the wine about as low in the neck as you can go and NOT be corked. After some attempts to retrieve the cork piece we gave up and whacked it down into the bottle. It got him back by spitting wine directly into his eye, which I felt was fair and just. I poured myself a nice glass of cork dust blended with formerly excellent wine. Siiiggh...It is, after all, only wine. And I did, after all, not actually pay for it. I told Gene that for my birthday I would like a bottle of Octagon, please. Better yet, BRENDON could pay for an inclusive wine weekend at the winery from whence it came!!
Tomorrow is Aidan's Second Birthday Party. I wish I had knitted him a sweater. I wonder if I have time today to do so. You know...I bet I have more than enough time to crank out a 2T sweater by 1pm tomorrow. Stay tuned....

Friday, January 06, 2006

Everybody's Doin' It...

OK, this seems to be a trend so I'll jump on the bandwagon, why not??

Taking Stock:
1.) Accomplished some goals I did not know I had in the knitting world. I really love teaching, and really love designing.
2.) Spent much time with Aidan and watched him grow. This is about the most important thing I've actually done this year. I forgot how narrow the window is to influence for good or ill. I hope it's for good.
3.)Let...nay, encouraged Meg to get her license. This is huge for me. She is the last, the baby, the final chapter. With my best friend pregnant it is, I think, harder to accept that I am done with active parenting. What I am ending, Kristie is just beginning, and I envy her the journey some days. And Meg has just been such an incredible kid that it's hard to see her grow up and begin to go. Gene sees this whole license thing as very beneficial. If I no longer will need to drive Meg to Webs to work, and therefore will not be "forced" to stay and shop a while. He seems to forget that I do have a license and a car all my own, and do know how to get to Webs.
4.)Lost interest in cleaning the house. This can be looked at as good or bad depending on your perspective. It certainly frees me to knit more.
5.) Got cool chickens from Sandhill. Funky little guys, some quite rare, and I adore them all.
6.) Bravely submitted designs to someplace other than "Kathy's Office".
7.) Stopped trying to prove myself Yankee Wife of the Year by hauling large quantities of cord wood, grain, dog, etc. I actually discovered that I have limits, and I learned that other people can do some of these jobs and the world keeps turning.
Resolved (or at least seriously considering for this coming year):
1.) Get off my butt. We've now got a bike set up so I can knit and pedal which will make it easier for me to find motivation. I've been on it a couple of times since we ordered the new trainer and I basically get so into my knitting that I am not really aware of time passing and so spent 40 minutes the other day without realizing it. And yes, there is sweat. I get so absorbed I pedal faster, increase the tension, keep's actually the smartest thing I've ever done in terms of exercise.
2.) Keep knitting area more tidy, with a list of WIP's, to do's, and design plans.
3.) Write that book!
4.) Submit more to the outside. Organize design stuff into a cohesive pile instead of the disaster of hotel napkins and grocery receipts it currently is.
5.) I am NOT going to, as my beloved husband suggests, promise to buy no yarn or knitting books this year. He can forget it. He can kiss my - well, you know what he can kiss. I will say that I shall try to complete my planned projects, WIP's and etc before buying new ones. As to the books, forget it, it's not even worth it. I will however try to buy only with store credit or under deep discount. That's as far as I am willing to budge on that one.
I guess that's it. I wonder if I will have the fortitude to accomplish the book thing. It is hard somedays to push past the idea of myself as a chicken farmer from Western Massachusetts. Not that there is anything limiting about being a poultry farmer, and I revel in it, but the idea that I could write a book verges at times on the preposterous!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Great Excuse

OK,'s this for rationalizing...or not... because it's not particularly rational thought, but it got the job done.
I had totally decided against buying a new range. Silly extravagance, and after all I made it through the holidays just fine, so what if it has some issues, it'll last forever, waste of money, etc. But THEN...I had a moment of clarity (read rash, selfish consumerism) . I do not deserve to cook on a dying range with a dying oven. I am a baker. I love to bake. I have not really baked since we moved in here except for holidays because it's so depressing. And then...IT happened. Fate stepped in. (I am reaching here, help me...). We do not subscribe to Consumer Reports. It did not seem worth it with a perfectly good library in about every town. Even if ours is only open one day a week. My father last week brought over three issues that he was getting rid of, in case I wanted to read them. I ignored them, and then today I decided that I would recycle them. And what, I ask you, WHAT was on the cover of the top issue?? A complete review of kitchen ranges, cooktops and wall ovens. It was like a sign. Like fate. It was just meant to be. So, I did it. I bought the range. It comes Friday, and is not a CR Best Buy, nor is it even on their list. And I don't care! I got it for $775, with a $75 rebate. This softens the blow, this $75 rebate. Another justification! Free delivery, free taking away of Evil Old Range. COOL!! $813 with tax, and I now have a charge account at this large chain appliance center, with a ridiculous line of credit in case I want a hi-def large screen tv, home theater system, refrigerator, and dryer at 22% interest (gag).
I finished a modular shawl for the store the other day - see my adorable model? This is what you'll do for fun at 4am when you can't sleep; you'll stick your dog in a shawl made of expensive hand-dyed silk yarn that belongs to your employer. It is Artyarns Regal Silk and wonderful. I love it. Boo does too. I have some other store projects to do, but have been distracted. I need to make bear samples, P-90 shell samples (in tanks/t-shirts, very flattering thing), and something else...what was, it'll come to me. There's a list here someplace.
Also made two pair of kid sized Berkshire mittens for Gail's Mittsicles class. She will KoolAid dye them as samples for students. This got me thinking...I want to dye some mittens for a treasured child with Valley Yarns Berkshire! I rummaged down cellar and came up with enough Berkshire to make a pair for Aidan. I dyed them this morning and now have to make a hat to match. Then I got to thinking...he needs a more neutral hat and mittens for daily wear, so made him a set with Plymouth Encore and leftover Artyarns from his mom's socks. We'll call it "Holiday Knitting" and tomorrow I will get back to "work knitting" for the store, or design or what have you.
I mailed the plaid section to Annie on Thursday. It arrived today. I am very excited to see it done and on a model someplace!
Girl is broken-hearted. She found a kitten at the Dakin (the small calico in the link pic) and Gene said no. Actually, he said we could put Hannah down first, then get a kitten. Hannah has a bladder condition that is aggrivated by any stress or change in her environment. She's the sick cat of a post previous with candy canes on her head. A 4 month old kitten in the life of a geriatric cat is about as stressful as it gets, I suppose. This kitten is very similar to Meg's cat Hickory, aka Icky Cat (see pic of Icky at right) who was put down with bladder problems similar to Hannah's only completely out of control. She was a skittery little thing and the slightest change would send her off into hiding, peeing blood and crying, horrible. Evil man. You'd think we had two dogs, two cats and 35 chickens or something. That pic of Hickory, by the way, is on her $110 cat bed. Meg wanted this throw of Fantasia and Charisma, and so I bought it all and knitted it for her. Next thing I knew, the cat has taken it over.