Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hey Cookie!

I told you cats have unions.


Got my invitation yesterday and have been giving it the once-over. I like it but I doubt I will have a lot of inventory on there. It occurred to me when I was setting up my profile that I don't have that many finished projects. At least not projects that I have pictures of. I just sent a baby sweater off to Haiti today that I didn't take a picture of. I didn't take pictures of the prayer shawls I've knitted. Nor all the dozens of socks.

I guess from here on I become Madame Photographer and record everything. No matter how insignificant.

Ravelry has a great community going on there. I had seen some dissatisfaction on some blogs and various boards...people feeling like there were cliques forming and they were being excluded. I think it's much harder to become part of a group in person than on the web. And so far I haven't seen a group that purposely excludes someone because they're not good enough or not popular enough.

I guess that's just the diversity of us'n knitters. We all have feelings and we all get them hurt in different ways. Or not. I think Ravelry is a pretty good place to hang out.

Edited to add: My raverly name is kawaski.

I've put some of my projects on hold because I need to get a prayer shawl out by next Sunday. A sweet, sassy lady at church broke her hip a few months ago but has been trying to live at home and it's not working out for her so she's temporarily moving to assisted living. I'd like to get her shawl out to her as soon as possible.

I'm using Homespun for the shawl. I would have preferred Light & Lofty but the color selection at StuffMart left a lot to be desired and I liked the colors of this one. It's Prairie. Just a garter stitch rectangular shawl but the colors are really nice. The yarn is okay, too.

Can't put Jesse's Flames on hold though. Zach's birthday is Oct 16th and that's not very far away. Eeeek. Half a sleeve, the neck and sewing and weaving in ends to go. Sleepless nights this week, I think, but Tom is on vacation so I can sleep late every morning.

Off to knit and watch Doctor Who.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Pass the heating pad

While Tom is away up north killing fishes and enjoying his vacation, I decided to work upstairs which I can't do when he's home since he sleeps during the day, even on the weekends. I crawled into the attic looking for clothes I had "outgrown" several years ago (jeans never go out of style) and anything else I needed to get out of there.

What I found was a squirrel's nest in my clothes bag. Ew. Those clothes are going through the wash right now...except for the shirt that looked like it was used to give birth on. That one was walked immediately to the trash.

I also found a stash of yarn, mostly acrylics but some wool. I had forgotten about this...for like 10 years. I got this huge bag at a yard sale and for whatever reason hid it away in the attic. There is enough baby yarn (Red Heart) to make a sweater and hat set but the rest will most likely end up as toys. The wool is less than 4 ounces, fingering weight so I don't know what to do with it. Something will come to mind...when I get one. A mind, that is. Don't ask.

Also what I did on the first day of vacation is to attack the black pit that is Zach's bedroom. Oh, for the days when OCD reigned supreme and he had to have things orderly. Not really. Had to trash his mattress and box spring. They were nothing but painful to sleep on and replaced them with one of the bunk beds. His room is too small for a full size bed anyway.

Which meant a lot of moving, lifting, bending over and maybe a little swearing. The 's' word comes to mind.

I have not done any knitting today and it's getting to the time of day when I sit down to watch Torchwood. Must get the house back together or I won't be able to relax. My OCD hasn't gone away.

Watched Grudge 2 and An American Haunting last night. Both excellent movies in different ways. Japanese horror has a creep factor that U.S. horror just doesn't get. But American Haunting was deliciously spooky. And I didn't see the ending coming at all. I like it when that happens.

So...tonight Torchwood. Tomorrow SG-1 season 3.

Off to put the house back together again.


Friday, September 28, 2007

It's baaaaaack!

I hate appearing so indecisive about my projects but I figured out today that it's because I buy the yarn first and then look for the pattern. It's not always easy to find that union of two souls, so to speak. Still...I have issues with completion. I'm not good at finishing what I start. Never finished college, haven't done much more on the TKGA master knitter swatches, I'm really good at frogging projects and using the yarn over again because I just decide I don't like the result.

It's more than being a process knitter; it's about having difficulty finishing things because I fear failure on the other end. If I finish whatever it is and it's not good or near perfect, then I've failed. To be honest I've lived with this immobilizing fear all my life. I wish I knew how to change.

All this being preliminary to the grand pronouncement that this is back on the needles. In purple. Yes, Shae's sweater got frogged today because after three attempts I just didn't like the way it looked with the Caron yarn. Plus I really do want to make the Stor Rund Dug doily into a blanket. I love it. If I can ever get past round 62. I know it's me and not the pattern because at least half the pattern lined up. I just couldn't find the mistake on the other half.

Drool if you will. This is simply gorgeous. And the iris looks even better than the soft pink.

I must get back to work on the sleeve for Jesse's Flames though. Zach's birthday is in a couple of weeks.

Oh, and my daughter had her baby last night. A boy. My older son (Stephen) called and told me.

And I've been a knitting maniac today with Tom gone. I plan on getting a lot more done this week while I've got this alone time.

Hurrah for separate vacations!


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Did you ever have one of those days?

Zach had a student senate meeting today so I took along this Hibito which I cast on in Caron Simply Soft in Iris (which is purple) for Shae's Christmas present. I was thinking since she is so girly I'd find something with an Asian flare to it and found this. My sister thinks she will take a small in women's. (Isn't there something very disconcerting about this...mannequin with no head?)

So I got it cast on and was waiting in the car (lovely day...not too hot with a nice breeze) listening to Order of the Phoenix and idly watching the lawnmower guy at the college in his John Deere tractor with the canopy and windshield and what the heck was that????

I felt the car lurch and looked up and the lawnmower guy was directly in front of me looking straight at me trying to extricate his lawnmower from my bumper. He pulled away, the car gave another lurch and he drove off. I'm thinking to myself that it couldn't be bad because he would stop and say something so I let it go.

Minutes later Zach came out and we went to StuffMart to get the week's worth of sustenance and when I walked back to the car I said a bad word. Yeah...the s one. That jerk had torn my front license plate half off and didn't say anything to me. I couldn't go back to the college just then because I had frozen stuff which was melting in the trunk while I used yarn to try to tie the *#@^# license plate back on. (Good thing I'm a knitter, huh?)

I was going to call the college and let them know but Tom didn't want me to.

I found Zach's knitting in the car (he took it with him to graduation last night. He has the makings of a true Jedi Knitter) and with his permission took a picture of it. Isn't it good?

On the way home from Beaver Dam, Zach and I noticed how particularly awesome the clouds were. As soon as we got the groceries put away I went outside and took this picture.

Within a minute, the sky looked like this.

Two minutes later...thunder and this.

Then a deluge and hail...which is what woke Tom up at which time I explained about the license plate and he told me not to call but did I at least secure it to the car?

I mean, really. Did I secure it to the car? I'm a knitter for pete's sake.

So I got past all that, sat down to knit and noticed that my needle was the wrong one. I was knitting with the wrong size so I had to frog the three inches of ribbing (done in reverse combination which is the only way my ribbing looks good these days) and start over. I have exactly two rows done now because I had to stop and cook supper and my older son called needing a shoulder (it breaks my heart how hard he tries and how much life just keeps kicking him down) and the cat (Hannibal) needing to sit on my arms and get his fur all over my face while I tried to type. Then the dog (Professor) has been having separation anxiety and wants to be held all the time to the degree that when I'm online he's in one arm like a baby and if I'm on the couch he's in my lap and will nip at my hands if I try to knit (but never biting...he's a gentle dog. Really. Just don't listen to what those rat-bastard squirrels have to say about him. They never tell the truth.)

I'm thinking of curling up on the couch for the rest of the week since Tom is going up north to be one with nature (and kill as many fish as he can) and I have the whole week to myselfs, aside from a dog, a cat and an 18 year old...and a bathroom that has to be painted while The Mighty Hunter Fisherman is away since I have to pick a time when there are as few people using the only bathroom we have.

Yep...that's generally what my vacations look like.

I did make a haul at the library and have lots to watch while I play with sticks and string and make beautiful things.

-SG1-season 3 (I had never seen this when it was I'm enjoying it all at once.)

-An American Haunting (Nothing like a good old true ghost story...or not)

-Blackbeard (Hey, it's got British actors AND Richard Chamberlain...and it's about pirates.)

-The Draughtsman's Contract (British mystery!)

-Trading Spaces: They Hated It! (I can't wait to see this since I hated just about every room they did.)

So, I'm fixin' to shut down the computer and do nothing but knit tonight.

May the force be with you!

And also with you.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Zach's graduation

It was a very nice ceremony. Many different speakers, including a state representative. Haven't got a clue what his name was because someone who shall remain nameless *coughmecough* forgot to get a program. There was an organ, Pomp & Circumstance, a procession and everything.

My youngest. What a fine young man he has grown to be.
Isn't he handsome?

A rare picture of me and Zach.

Zach and Tom. Dad was so proud.

So was Mom.

I'm so glad he got to walk the aisle in cap and gown. As homeschoolers we never thought that was an option. I'm glad we went the GED route also. Fewer hurdles he will have to jump through because of the homeschooling.

His hat is coming along. I don't think he was knitting on it much yesterday. I may have turned him to the our side but he's not a Jedi Knitter yet. Give him time and let the force be with him (and as Episcopalians, our correct response is...and also with you. I swear, when I watch Star Wars, I do respond that way.)

Still looking for a pattern for Shae. I've already got the yarn. Just have to find the right project for it.


Just a note

We're off to Zach's graduation (completion) ceremony. I plan on taking pictures so you'll get to see him tomorrow.

On the knitting note, I finished the Nostalgic Pink Cardigan for Rylee except for sewing the sleeves to the body. I hope to get to that tonight when I get home. Still working on the sleeve for Jesse's Flames, the Jaywalker sock and a baby sweater. I need to come up with a pattern for Shae but I don't know yet what I want to make her. She's 10 and very girly according to my sister. It must be purple.

With those guidelines I need to peruse my stash of books and magazines for a pattern. Or hit the internet.


Monday, September 24, 2007

I'm so boring I can't think of a title

Thanks for all the birthday greetings. I'm just astonished you all knew it was me. I'm at a loss to know how you figured it out. *whistling innocently*

Zach's college is having a graduation ceremony for GED/HSED graduates this Wednesday. Caps and gowns and everything. He's so excited and so am I. Found out Sunday that the college also wants to do an article on Zach and me concerning his homeschooling and his high scores on the GED, why we chose that route, how we did it, why he picked a technical college. And why he chose to take the GED.


Boring stuff on the knitting front. Same old, same old. I had to rip the Jaywalker back a bit because the foot portion was too narrow, but this is my sock so there is no hurry. Almost done with the cardigan. I'm working on the last sleeve which is going very quickly (it's a size 2 so how long could it take?) I worked a bit on the dishcloth shawl, which is mindless work but good for listening to audiobooks (Hamish Macbeth this time...Order of the Phoenix is put on standby because I own that one and don't have to get it back to the library in the next two weeks.

I've decided on my Christmas present this year (or maybe my birthday present since the unnamed adult male wasn't the one to get me the egg fact said unidentified adult male didn't get me squat for my birthday except more promises he's going to make me something...yeah...I'll believe that when I see it.) I'm going to get Wrapped in Comfort by Alison Hyde. I've heard nothing but good things about it and I love that she has designed the patterns to stay on the shoulders. Mine apparently slope a lot because I can't keep shawls on (or purses for that matter.) Plus she is very approachable if I need any help. So...yep...I'm going to get me one of those. I'm just too good to me.

I got some spinning done today without many problems at all. I don't know what happened the other day. I'm almost ready to start plying. Once I have that down I'm going to use the roving I bought at the Sheepy Wool festivus. I think I'm going to look into Navajo plying, too. I just can't wrap my brain around it when I read it. I'll look for a video of it.

In two weeks Zach's schedule goes into overload because he has two more classes that are starting up. He's been driving a bit more but he's still very white-knuckled and got scared driving with Tom Saturday and swore he wouldn't drive again. It looks like I will be spending more time in the car or library knitting (which, to be honest, I don't mind so much.) If he got an appointment now for the road test, it would be January and in Wisconsin, that's a very iffy time to take your driving test. So I guess my winter is spoken for.

Waking the Dead tonight (season 1). I've got so many things on order at the library. I hope they don't all come in at the same time.

Off to knit some more on the second first sleeve of Jesse's Flames. I should get past the intarsia tonight if I'm diligent.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

WIP Saturday, a new convert, and someone's birthday

Here is the Nostalgic Pink Cardigan for Rylee. I started the sleeve last night and it's going pretty quickly. It's hard to get the lighting right. Tom is going to make me a light tent so it will be easier but since he's got a list of things he's going to make me, I'm sure it will be a while.
The second first sleeve for Jesse's Flames for Zach's Christmas. I think I like the yellow now. It makes it look more three dimensional but the duplicate stitch didn't work for me so I knitted it in. All kinds of problems with tangled yarn but it still went pretty quickly. I started on the first second sleeve last night and made a lot of progress before I fell asleep while watching Needful Things. Fortunately, this time I didn't knit on while sleeping so I didn't have to tink.

The Jaywalkers in Kroy Paintbox. I do like love these. I'm ready to start the toes, I think, but these are travel socks so I don't work on them much at home. Maybe I'll finish them this weekend though.

I taught Zach how to knit as a part of homeschooling several years ago but it didn't take. I think largely because he was using stuff from the stash and working on unimaginative projects. On a whim yesterday, while at the library, I got the book Knitting with Balls for him and let him look through it while I was at the bank. He decided he wanted to try knitting again so we went to Loose Ends and he got some Cascade (non-superwash)...I, of course, got some more sock yarn. A creamy milk chocolate color which is upstairs in my stash and I'm too tired and lazy to go upstairs and get it for a picture so you'll have to wait until I do feel like it. But I really like the color.

He started working on a Fisherman's cap from the book and after one false start is ribbing in the round, continental style. He's doing a great job and I'll try to get a picture tomorrow but he's not here and I don't want to do it without his permission. Knitter's rights and all.

It was so neat to be knitting together. I've tried to convert Tom and he's considered it but he's not ready yet. I don't push.

And yes, it's someone's birthday today. She woke up this morning grumpy because her body is getting older and she slept upstairs where there are...duh...stairs to deal with on frequent nightly excursions to the bathroom but Tom, not working on the weekends, is up all night and her weekday bedroom isn't available although this winter he will have to suck it up and just deal with it by watching tv in the dining room because she's not going to use a space heater to heat up the there! as I was saying...someone was grumpy this morning and raced came hobbled down the stairs, into the kitchen where she held back a shriek because the kitchen was a complete disaster (happy birthday my ass) and a certain adult male who shall remain nameless informed her that he didn't get her anything for her birthday because he hadn't been to the store yet and anyway he didn't know what to get her (in spite of the fact that he asked a month ago and I
she told him she wanted Buffy the Vampire Slayer season one) so she got a Happy Birthday. And nothing else.

Later she started to feel better because she decided to join the Sock of the Month club (the bimonthly edition) but when it came to it, she thought about the sock yarn she had in her stash and all the lovely free patterns out there and the tightwad in her wouldn't let her do it. So then she looked up from all her intense perusal of blogland and noticed that two unidentified males from her household were gone (but the pets remained behind so she knew they would be back). Reveling in the luxury of a moment of time alone she decided to take a candlelight bath for her birthday but got sidetracked and then the computer froze up and she had to reboot and when she finally got back online she got some email she had to answer right away and by that time she lost interest.

Then the phone rang and it was the younger male who shall remain nameless asking her about how many grams of sugar she was allowed (since she is diabetic) so she answered and he mysteriously giggled gleefully and rang off.

So...the day may be salvaged after all.

Oh...they just got home. Zach the younger unidentified male got me her a movie I she wanted and the older male got her a package of egg a day because of the calories but yum...

Edited to add: I forgot to mention that I bought EZ Baby Surprise Jacket pattern while at the LYS. I started working on it upstairs out of stash yarn. So far so good.


Thursday, September 20, 2007


I need some mojo-boosting vitamins today. Haven't gotten much of anything done today and pretty much everything I tried to do didn't. I gave up on spinning today when the yarn broke for the hundredth time in less than an hour. I tried pre-drafting yesterday and it went well. I tried it today and it went to heck in a hand-basket (which is a lousy way to travel, not having shocks or anything to compensate for all those bumps in the road...and it's room for luggage...and no shade...and the bugs get in your teeth.)

I was so proud of myself when I calmly got up and moved the kick-spindle to its place and didn't drop kick it like I wanted to. I have so much restraint I just impress myself to no end.

Then I went to work on the right front of the cardigan for Rylee and had to tink back four times because I kept messing up on the same row of lace. It's not like I'm an idiot (shut up!) and can't read a pattern. I wasn't even watching television because I accidentally turned on the timer to the vcr and taped over A Chorus Line that I wanted to watch today and instead taped Uncommon Threads which was about quilting, which is not my thing, and Annie Modisett, who did the corset-T on Knitty Gritty but I was watching it at the time and you would think I would notice the stupid vcr was taping but no, I didn't so now I'll have to get A Chorus Line from the library but I probably won't because I'll lose interest by tomorrow when I go.

Where was I?

Oh, I finally got the row and went a few more and decided to do the grocery shopping today instead of tomorrow because I'm out of everything. I did manage to do that without messing up but I spent way too much money...because I was out of everything, no doubt.

So now I'm hesitating to pick up any knitting today because I'm afraid I've been secretly attacked by some kind of knitting-mojo-vampire who sucks all the knitting mojo out of you.

No, I'm sure I read about that somewhere. I know they exist. Maybe I saw it on Buffy.

So now I'm cooking supper but staying out of the kitchen as much as possible. And I'm not handling any knives.

I hope this is just a 23 1/2 hour virus or something...knitting-mojo-vampvirus. Sounds about right.

I don't dare go near anyone knitting today. It might be contagious.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I thought about making this title "All Vicki, all the time," but I was afraid she would get a restraining order against me. I could so stalk her she's that much fun. We didn't get raucous at Mickey Ds but we did have fun. Or at least, I did. When I get nervous (and I am painfully shy no matter how much I try to hide it) I babble. I can just imagine when she got in her car to leave she was saying to herself, my word could that woman talk any more?

Her hand to hand cardigan is wonderful. I sat watching her cable without a needle and was mesmerized. I told her it was entertainment to watch someone knit. The yarn she's using is really strange. It's basically very thin roving with a thread of yarn wrapped around it to keep it from pulling apart, but boy do those cables pop with that yarn. Her pictures don't really show the detail and she's got a pattern she adapted from a lattice to a near-herringbone. It's beautiful. I have to get that pattern from her.

I stopped off at the pharmacy to get a refill and would you believe the tech didn't know it was Talk Like a Pirate Day? Had never heard of it. I enlightened her and I'm sure she let everyone else in the pharmacy know as well. Maybe next year they won't look at me funny when I ask for my prescription with the words ahoy matey, I be lookin' for my prescription under the letters Wa. If Judy had been working she would have laughed.

At least they were talking like pirates on ESPN today. I watched and knitted while waiting at McDonald's. Yes, this McD has two flat screen televisions, a fireplace, automatic soap dispensers and a flushing mechanism that kept me in the bathroom for at least five minutes trying to figure out. But the service reeks. It was much better before they upgraded.

I was listening to an indoctrination orientation for new workers while waiting for Vicki and I sure wouldn't want to work there. Especially not for minimum wage.

Would you believe I forgot the camera today?

Finished the intarsia on the sleeve, got the back and left front done on the cardi and almost ready for the toe on the Jaywalkers. And (said sheepishly) I cast on a baby sweater at 4:15 a.m. when I couldn't sleep. Which I will most likely frog because I found a crocheted round baby blanket pattern last night.

I need help. Maybe intervention even.



Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sleep, blessed sleep

Did you know the body repairs itself when you are in deep sleep? Yep. And I slept deeply for 11 hours last night so I'm feeling pretty good today. So good, in fact, I've been doing that deep cleaning I was threatening to do and not as much knitting. I got a little done on the cardigan...almost finished the left front. But not a thing besides that. I will catch up a bit tonight after supper.

Tomorrow I get to meet Vicki! Yay! I'm so excited. Taking the Jaywalkers to knit, of course.

I like how they're turning out. Don't know who's going to wear them but I like them.

I hate dieting. I know I have to lose the weight and I'm working on it. Been down 62 pounds for a couple of months, which is okay. I know the body plateaus and I was ready for it. I even increased my calories for a while to see if I could without gaining weight. Yep. Success there. But I have to say that some days I want to just eat whatever I want until I explode. I do miss sugar, but being diabetic...can't. Or rather, shouldn't. My sugar levels have been excellent for the past 8 months. So as much as I'm jonesin' for sugar, not gonna do it. I'll just sit here and chew on this sugar free gum instead. My what a satisfying substitute.

Oh...and I'm on a yarn diet, too, which is okay since I've got a lot in my stash to work from. When that gets lean out!


Monday, September 17, 2007

The myz'ries...or whine and cheese

I woke up around 2:30 this morning with pain, I thought, from my fibromyalgia. It's not uncommon for this to happen. I take an Ultram and go back to bed and wait for the pain to ease off. This morning, however, it didn't ease off. It was particularly hurting in my left hip. That sent up a red flag for me...I don't think I will ever take my pain for granted and not wonder if there are nasty little cells forming committees in my bones or organs.

I didn't sleep the rest of the night but sat up watching SG-1, season 2, and worked on Jaywalkers. (Got the heel turned and well into the foot portion.) After a couple of hours, I took another pill, which my rheumatologist had said was okay to do. That took the edge off the pain but it was still there and by this time I wasn't sleepy anymore.

Got a phone call from the doctor's office this afternoon and the result of my dexascan were in (bone density.) My aromasin (anti-estrogen meds for my breast cancer recovery) leaches calcium from the bones and I'm supposed to take calcium supplements, which I haven't been terribly faithful at. Bad news is I've got significant bone loss in my left hip. Good news is the rest of me looks pretty good. So the hip pain is from bone loss and the rest of it is the fibromyalgia.

But I'm still in pain.

I think I'll go to bed early and take my ultram before the pain can wake me up.

I did some knitting today though. Ready to divide for the sleeves on Rylee's cardigan and almost done with the intarsia pattern on the sleeve for Zach's sweater. And got a lot done on the sock. I hope I feel well enough to spin tomorrow. Fortunately I don't have to go anywhere tomorrow and can stay home and heal.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Uh oh

I always check my sitemeter to see how many people have been reading and approximately where they come from. Someone from my computer read my blog while I was at church (the first time he had done that.) Someone being an adult male who shall remain nameless whom I was...ahem...miffed at on Wednesday. He either didn't read that entry or chose to ignore it. In any case, it's not fair to him to vent on this public venue so while I may not be able to really apologize in person, if he sneaks in here again...I'm sorry!!! It was a really bad day for me, not that that is an excuse.

Moving on...

Jesse's Flames sleeve, part deux. I can't make up my mind if I like the yellow but I'll be darned if I'm going to frog again since I'm almost done with the design part.

I've got to get busy on it. Zach's birthday is in a month and I'm not there yet. Definitely have to work on it tonight. Upstairs is LOTR: commentaries right now. Downstairs is SG-1: second season.

In the car is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, soon to be replaced with Hamish Macbeth: Death of a Cad. How do I keep track, you ask?

Beats me.

The sweater for Rylee. Nostalgic Pink Cardigan from Knit It! Fall 2006. Simple lace pattern, size 2 so it should go quickly if I can pay attention to what I'm doing so I can stop tinking every other row.

Caron's Simply Soft, soft pink. I have some green that I'm going to make a skirt out of with pink pleat insets. But that's down the road a bit so I'm trying not to think on that until I finish Jesse's Flames.

The color is pretty close, but the lace pattern didn't come out as well as I'd hoped.

Off to knit, downstairs so it's the pink cardi and SG-1. I'll be taping Inspector Lynley though. I'm so glad they got a new Helen. This one is more like the book Helen, ginger-haired and funny.

I taped Torchwood last night so I've got that to watch, too. Now that I've seen that I must get some back episodes of Doctor Who.


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saturday blahs

I woke up with energy and started doing some deep scrubbing of the house and then as the day wore on I got achier and achier so I thought I would catch up on some knitting. I've decided what to do for Rylee. I found a sweater in Knit It and a skirt on Knitty. I'll have enough left over for a wee purse for the wee girlie.

Shae will get a poncho but I haven't decided which one yet. I know I don't want one with two rectangles put together. More shaping, similar to the Yarn Harlot's but I don't want to use bulky weight yarn. I've seen several out there that would work, but haven't decided yet. I'm a ways away from committing though.

Shae wants to learn how to knit so I will have two days to teach her the fundamentals. I need to find a good book that she can follow. They have a kit at StuffMart so I might get that.

No pictures today because the batteries are dead in the camera because someone who shall remain nameless *coughmecough* left the camera on so the batteries are recharging. I promise pictures tomorrow. I'll have more done on the sweater by then.

I tried to refill the color ink cartridge on the printer but the kit I got said my cartridge was included, but it wasn't. None of the holes will fit my cartridge so I can't get the lid off. Now I've got ink all over my hand and an empty cartridge. I'll have to get another one tomorrow. I'm going to look into Walgreen's refill thing but our Walgreen's is still under construction time, I think.

I'm forcing Zach to get behind the wheel tomorrow to drive to church. Hardly anyone is out that time of day so it should be good. Unfortunately yesterday while I was driving him to a friend's house some idiot woman decided to pass a whole line of cars heading toward us and I had to go off the road and slam on the brakes or we would have had a head on. Didn't faze her though. As soon as I passed she was out passing the rest of the cars. It scared Zach though and, I have to admit, I had to tighten up certain sphincter muscles myself.

Oh...and she was chatting on her cell phone.

Off to watch SG-1, season 2 while Tom fixes supper. He is kind of handy to have around. Although he's outside right now setting up the tents in the backyard. I assume it's because we didn't use them this year and he wants to air them out.

I hope that's why.

It got mighty cold last night. Felt good to snuggle under the fuzzy blanket. I love this weather, but I'm a winter girl. (Okay don't hold me to this come next February.)


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Surrender! Retreat! Regroup!

I admit defeat. The doily has beaten me. I got to the same row and messed up again even though I diligently counted stitches and used stitch markers. And it's not visible until about five rounds later. I just can't find the mistake and I'm pretty sure it's not in the pattern. It's in the knitter. The yarn isn't durable enough to take this much frog abuse and time is counting down so I will find something else to knit for the little munchkin.

It's just been consuming too much of my time and energy.

I worked on the Jaywalkers today while I waited for my bone density scan. I am really happy with them.

Thinking of frogging the sleeve and not dealing with the yellow because time is counting down, as I said before.

I'm just too tired. I'm a homebody and my body is much happier at home than on the road. One more day and then I can stay home all day.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

No WIP Wednesday

I sat in the car all day knitting, waiting for Zach's various classes today and didn't get home until about an hour ago. I did enjoy it, listening to audiobooks (The Order of the Phoenix this time), knitting on three different projects, but it does chew up the whole day. And I walked into a house that was...well, shall we say less than clean. The sink was full of dirty dishes (which is inches away from the near-empty dishwasher), the counters were full and cluttered, papers scattered all over the living room. This is why I don't work outside the home. Last time I did, some adult male ( who shall remain nameless) didn't lift a finger to pick up after himself then either. Since no one was home but said unnamed adult male (who shall remain nameless) and the house wasn't in that state when I left (it wasn't sparkling, but it wasn't that bad either) then I must make the assumption that said adult male (who shall remain nameless) is the perpetrator of cluttering.

But no pictures today because that would involve moving from my present position and I'm too tired to do that. What? you say. You've been sitting in a car on your butt for over 9 hours. How can you be tired? My response to that is...bite me.

On the knitting front (and this is a knitting blog after all), I had to frog the Stor Rund Dug doily/blanket because I was tired of tinking back for four days trying to find out where I made my mistake. Starting over seemed like less work. And this time (I'm such an idiot) I used stitch markers. What a difference!

photography by Anders Andersen

Mine is in pink and using Simply Soft soft pink but I love the pattern and it is fun to do...when you don't have to tink it back three thousand times.

The Jaywalker is coming along beautifully. Paton Kroy Paintbox looks great with the pattern. The colors pop out much better than a plain vanilla sock. I like it. I got the heel turned today on the first sock. I don't usually suffer from SSS so it should go nicely from here on.

I can't make up my mind about the Jesse's Flames sleeve. The colors are working out okay with the yellow since I embedded it in stockinette instead of duplicate stitch but it is mighty slow going. I'm only getting a few rows a night. Mostly because I'm so tired when I make it up to bed. It's too complicated to take places with me and I don't want to work on it downstairs because Zach would definitely notice this where a plain black sweater didn't set off any radar. This may be a Christmas present instead of his birthday in October.

I got one of my cable swatches done last night but I hate the bind off so I'm going to look into different ones for cable. It just looks sloppy but I had to do it loosely because of the blocking. I may do nothing, block it and see what happens. I can always redo it after blocking if I don't like it. I'm pretty happy with my cable swatch. Not perfect by any means but no meltdown over it either.

I haven't gotten any spinning, scouring or teasing done at all this week. I've got to make the time for it but this is the month for my physical and my doctor loves tests and the hospital is 45 minutes away from here so I have to make a few trips up to Fond du Lac. And of course, I can't get everything on one day. And nothing on a day Zach doesn't have class. I would have made a lousy soccer mom. I hate all the traveling. I love being at home.

So I had my physical yesterday. The doctor was so pleased with my weight loss...over 60 pounds. My liver is healthy (I had fatty liver disease), my cholesterol is great (aside from my hdl being slightly low), my sugar is perfect. My blood pressure was ideal. So does she take me off some of my medication? No. She wants me to take more. And more blood tests. Sheesh. Fortunately, I have learned the word no this past year. I will have the bone density test since the cancer meds I take tend to leach calcium from the bones (although she said my blood calcium was a little too high and I should take this expensive blood test to find out why.) And the dreaded colonoscopy. And of course, I never miss my mammogram (which is where my cancer was found...don't neglect to get those, ladies...and men. A friend of the family had breast cancer when I did and he died recently of possible metastatic breast cancer.)

I shall take the Stor Rund Dug with me for Zach's student senate meeting, rush home, drop him off and me and the Jaywalkers will head up north with Harry Potter and the soundtrack for POTC: I & III.

I did get out of the car and walk a bit today. It was a beautiful day and I have to stretch my legs now and then. He had an hour to kill so we went to Mickey Ds and had a coke. I knitted in the booth by the bathrooms and got several strange looks from all the ladies. The men, not so much.

Well, off to clean the kitchen and living room before I fall into bed and get up early tomorrow to get ready for another day of living in the car.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007


The fall of 2001 has a great deal of meaning for me. I remember sitting at the computer, bleary eyed from yet another night of insomnia, reading the obituary newsgroup and seeing a post about the twin towers. As I read more, my eyes widened and my mouth dropped open. I raced to the television and turned it on. I can't remember what channel was on, but there was the tower with smoke billowing, flames orange against such a clear blue sky.

To my shock I saw another plane, within seconds of turning on the tv, turn into the tower and strike it. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't even move to sit down. I stood there watching in horror.

All I could think of were the children on those planes. How frightened they must be in their last moments. Did they suffer? What kind of monsters would do that to children?

Then I thought of the adults. I have a huge problem with being empathic. I am constantly feeling what people feel and living emotionally what they live. I was suffocating with all the emotion from those lives snuffed out so brutally and the anguish from those left behind.

A few weeks later I was in the radiologist's office staring at my mammogram, looking at the little sun with an aura radiating that was my tumor. She didn't say the word "cancer" but she didn't have to. She asked me if I had a surgeon and was there anyone she could call to come get me. I told her my surgeon's name and thanked her but the drive home was a forty-five minute one and my husband wouldn't be able to come get me anyway because I had the car.

I had so much to think about in those forty-five minutes. By the time I got home, the radiologist had called my physician who had called my husband to tell him of my appointment with the surgeon.

Still the word "cancer" hadn't been mentioned.

Obviously six years later, I'm still here but that was the year from hell for me and my family. In the course of that year, my father-in-law died from metastatic esophogeal cancer, my son was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, the world went to hell and I had cancer.

I felt so selfish that I didn't continue mourning with the rest of the world. But all I could think of was me and mine. While everyone was grieving and dealing with all the anger, I was going bald, swelling up and feeling weak, trying to salvage as much of my life as I could. And wondering if that Christmas would be my last.

As much as I do feel for the people who died in that tragedy (and let's not forget the Pentagon and United 93) other people mourned their own losses more privately and quietly. Children died from abuse or accidents or illnesses. Fathers and mothers were left with empty arms. Their pain was no less than that of the families of the tragedy of 9/11. It just wasn't as well-known. A little girl went missing. A mother left work and never came home...was never heard from again. A little boy was hit by a car and left paralyzed for life. A man, driving home from work on his motorcycle was hit by a drunk driver. His very young children will never know him.

So maybe I have a different perspective on 9/11. Yes, it was a time when we suffered a tremendous loss. But to be honest we suffer that loss every day. We just don't know it.

We should grieve over the national tragedy of people killed by drunk drivers. Or children who are murdered by their own parents. Or kids showing off and driving too fast..and they take someone else along with them when they kill themselves. Or when stupid diseases like cancer take someone you love away from you by inches.

9/11 happens every day in some way to some one. We just don't hear about it because it's not news.

Never forget 9/11. But never forget the other 364 days either.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Recuperative Sunday

No buyer's remorse here. I usually get it but I was careful with my purchases. Maybe I should use this strategy everywhere I go.

I wish I could remember which sheep is which, but they came out of the camera out of order with what I wrote and I don't have the best memory in the world.

I'm pretty sure these (above) are Icelandic. But I could be wrong.

Not all the sheepy pictures came out because of windows and sunlight streaming in. Not to mention some sheeps showed me their butts when I tried to take their picture. Hmph.

I don't know much about this one, but I do remember watching with the intensity of a good Buffy episode. I could have watched her for hours.

Just as we walked through the doors, we met this sight. Kismet, I'm sure. The world is telling me I need to get busy spinning. The woman on the right was just learning. She did a really good job, too.

Lee on the left and Tom (my husband) on the right. Lee is my pusher supplier of black sheep fleece. (See, Lee, I told you I was going to put you on my blog.)

Not sure why this didn't center, but this is a demonstration of sheep herding dogs. I was amazed. This little stinker would nip the heels of the sheep when they didn't do what he wanted and the sheep would bleat like crazy. I'm so amazed at the dogs' abilities.

On to normal things. I have to frog the sleeve of Jesse's Flames. I had Zach close his eyes and tried the sleeve on him and it went past his fingers. *sigh* I even shortened the pattern a bit. I'm knitting the yellow in instead of duplicate stitching and it looks better. The color blends in better than ds-ing it. Don't know exactly what the difference would be but...there you go.

I talked to my mom today. She's wanting me to teach her how to knit so I'm hoping to go down for T-day this year. She's in her mid 70's and I'm so proud of her. She's tried to organize a stitch group at their church but not one person has responded. She included quilting, crochet and knitting. Sheesh. What does it take?

My great-niece (the one who likes purple, not the pink one) is coming up the end of October and wants to learn. Her dad (my favorite nephew) wants to learn as well.

I found out my daughter's baby is due in a couple of weeks. I have a book for the baby, but haven't knit anything. As much as I defend acrylics, I wouldn't use that for her baby. It's hard to explain but I think she wouldn't appreciate it. I'm waiting to find out what it is before I knit anything. They didn't want to know in advance. How unique in this day and age.

I haven't knit a thing all day. I've done some cleaning but mostly just vegged out. But now I must get some done or I'll go into withdrawal. I need my fix.


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival

Wow. It was wonderful. I can't remember the last time I had that much fun. Here's some pictures of the mini-haul. I didn't take a lot of pictures because I was too busy walking around with my mouth hanging open.

I probably should have found one that had to do with knitting since I do that more, but there was a lot of spinning going on today and that was on my mind. I saw so many different kinds of spinning wheels and some spindling. Roving and fleece and yarn, oh my!

At one booth a little girl in a stroller reached out and tipped over a very nice, very expensive spinning wheel. I was talking to the man who owned the booth and I never saw anyone move so fast. He made it to the wheel before it did any damage. The little girl was scared and the mother was horrified. But everything worked out okay. was a heart-stopping moment.

I didn't spend a lot of money. I had a strategy that I wouldn't buy anything on the first pass and I didn't. We looked, I took pictures and notes and then we walked back to the car and had lunch.

The sock had lunch, too. Not my Pringles though. I eat the reduced fat kind.

Then we walked back and I started whipping out my wallet. Cash, of course, so I didn't spend more than my budget.

First off was this Opal sock yarn. This is for my sister's sabbatical socks. I'm thinking of making them from the Fawkes pattern. I'll have to try it first because it's a striping pattern and I don't know if it wants to be Fawkes. The colors are pretty true.

I looked at a lot of roving and drooled over some. (Don't worry, I didn't cause any damage.) Lots of alpaca there and I got the business card for a farm not terribly far from here. They offered me a tour any time if I call ahead. I may take them up on it. I told the man I wasn't ready for alpaca yet since I was just learning but maybe in a year. Anyway...he said I can meet the donors themselves. Yay!

This roving was from one of the smallest vendors there. Also the cheapest. I saw lots of great handpainted roving (and yarn!) at reasonable prices but I really wanted something plain to start out with. This is a denim color and I can definitely use that. I got 8 oz for less than most other vendors had for 4 oz. It's from Dorset sheep. Feels nice and soft yet has body.

This was Tom's purchase. He had such a good time and didn't leave me behind once. In fact, I outpaced him a few times. He took pictures of drum carders and spinning wheels. He wants to build me some. And I won't say no.

More pictures tomorrow although they aren't very good. It was hard holding the camera out with one hand and dealing with the crowd and stuff. I need to work on my photography skills. I got a picture of the man who gave me 80 pounds of black sheep wool. I told him I was going to post it to my blog but I think he thought I was joking.

Nope, I'm not. But that will be tomorrow.

I've really improved physically. I didn't get tired once. Maybe I'll do well at my physical on Tuesday.


Friday, September 7, 2007

Friday ramblings

Tomorrow is the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool festival and I'm both excited and dreading it. I really want to go but my husband walks at a pace that race walkers would envy. Everywhere we go I am at least 10 feet behind him all the time so I don't know what tomorrow will be like. And shopping? I hate shopping with him. He has no patience to just look at things and wants to get what he needs and leave.

Hence the duality of minds.

I will take pictures and try to take notes but with Speed Racer alongside I don't know how well that will work.

Although he does seem to be excited to go so maybe he'll take pity on my poor feet and knees and give me a break.

I do plan on taking my shopping cart along. No, I won't look like a bag lady but I'm not going to lug my purchases in my arms, especially if I find a fleece I can afford. It's collapsible and kind of tall. I got it in San Diego when Tom was out to sea and I had a toddler and an uphill block from the carport to lug groceries to an upstairs apartment.

And of course, the Jaywalkers will go with me. They might even pose for a picture or two.

I've been working on the blanket for Rylee but I've had to do an enormous amount of tinking because I'm just not paying enough attention and am missing yarnovers. I have days when I live in a fog due to fibromyalgia so maybe those should be the days I work on the patterns that don't require a lot of concentration.

I got the yarn for Shae's blanket. She loves purple so I found some pretty purple in Caron Simply Soft. For these girls acrylic is the right yarn for the project. I make no apologies. Plus, the price is right.

I haven't forgotten TKGA. I'm working on my cable swatches which are not causing a meltdown but I do need to refine how I do them. It's not too bad actually. I may only have to do a couple of them.

I've been able to walk Professor at night and last night we even ran. Of course, we ran because I walked into a swarm of mosquitoes. And I really mean a cloud. It was so thick I must have looked like a maniac to the people driving by on the major highway that runs behind our house. I was running, waving my hands frantically over my head and around my face. I looked like an idiot. But I've never seen that many mosquitoes in one place at a time.

Next week Zach has a full schedule at school so I will spend a lot of time knitting and listening to books. I'm almost done with The Subtle Knife and have Death of a Cad on order from the library. I'm in a Hamish Macbeth mood. I love the tv series but I much prefer the books. It's not so much the cleverness of the murder solving, but I love the community. I wish I lived in one like that.

I have Stargate SG-1, season 2 to watch next week as well. Boy howdy do I love the library.

I have to decide what I want for my birthday and I'm wavering between Buffy the first season or Sock of the Month club. Which should I choose?


Wednesday, September 5, 2007


I succumbed to the infamous double-pointed-needle-on-the-couch-syndrome. Mercy that hurt.

I tend to sit all curled up and get into position as I'm lowering myself onto the couch so I caught that needle between the back of my upper thigh and my heel. I had to pull it out of my heel where it had imbedded itself about a quarter of an inch. I reached down to see what I had done to my thigh and my hand had blood all over it.

So I did what any strong, independent mother would do. I yelled for Zach to come bring me bandages and antiobiotic ointment. I have to admit I got a little light-headed. I'm not good with pain. I have been known to pass out and have the paramedics called when I slammed my finger in the door. (True story...I was in the Navy at the time.)

He had to administer one bandaid because I couldn't see it. (Hey, do you think I've got eyes in the back of my head or something?) Embarrassing for him. Embarrassing for me.

But he gets out of his labs tomorrow because I won't be able to sit in the car for two hours. He's ahead anyway.

I'm going to bed and work on the lace shawl for a while. Hamish was good tonight but it's time for Angel now.

WIP Wednesday

The computer was being obnoxious yesterday and this morning. It was running (ha! not running....moseying) so slowly I couldn't even get my mail. It took about 4 hours but I finally got my clean up program to fix things.

On to my WIPs. Not all, of course, but the ones I've been working on the past few days.

The Jaywalker pattern is perfect for the Paint Box yarn. The colors really pop with this pattern. I'm loving these.

This is my attempt at the lap doily. Jared started this with the Hemlock Ring. Mine is Stor Rund Dug, picture in the post below. My version is right here. I'm using Caron Simply Soft in soft pink. The color is pretty true. I love this. I'm going to make more of these and maybe go with other doily patterns. This is for one of my great-nieces. I might make another in a different color for the other great-niece. It's so dainty and fun to knit. It would be a perfect first lace pattern for someone, too. The pattern is very simple.

One caveat: Don't knit this while watching Pitch Black. I had to tink back four rounds.

And this is the Jesse's Flames sleeve. I googled yesterday looking at other people's finished products (Oh Ravelry where art thou?) and only saw one in which the duplicate stitch was good. And I still didn't like the bright yellow. I'm content with just the red. I had to tighten up some stitches but I think when I wash it, the rest will look more even.

Zach has class tonight so I'm taking the Jaywalkers and the lap doily. More listening to His Dark Materials, book 2. And then tonight (be still my heart) Hamish Macbeth season 2. I love the library!

And Robert Carlyle isn't bad either.


Monday, September 3, 2007

Hello, my name is Kathy and I'm a process knitter

I can't believe I did it but I frogged some projects last night. One being the Paint Box socks because I didn't like the plain-ness of them. I know the colors are wild but I think they would be enhanced with a pattern so I frogged them and cast them on as Jaywalkers.

Then, I frogged a blanket I was crocheting in tunisian crochet. Decided I wanted to do something else with the yarn.

After that I frogged the sweater I was making my great-niece because, darn it, I just didn't like the pattern. Never mind it was Caron Simply Soft. Which I'm beginning to change my mind about and thinking of using again. I have some pink upstairs in my cabinet that I was thinking of making a circular blanket for said great-niece instead. Using this pattern. If Jared can do it, why can't I?

I don't have the particulars worked out yet but I love the pattern. I'll keep you posted.

I stopped myself from frogging the lace shawl because I've already done that once and regretted it. I'm almost back to where I was when I frogged it. It's my crochet fix.

I finished one sleeve of Jesse's Flames and tried three times to duplicate stitch the yellow part of the flames on but it looks terrible. Never mind that I've never ds before and it was very poor quality, the yellow doesn't look good against the red and black. It's too bright. What looked great in the picture, didn't appeal to me in the fiber, so to speak. So I'm just going with the red flame and forgoing the yellow. I'll use the yellow for socks.

I got some spinning done this weekend but not much. Next weekend is the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool festival and I'll be taking pictures there and I hope, bringing home a fleece and some roving.

Off to knit Jaywalkers and finish up SG-1 the first season.


Sunday, September 2, 2007

Sunday musings

Not so much about knitting today but about the universe and everything. I wonder if the answer is still 42 (ask me if you don't understand the reference.)

Sometimes when I read other blogs where the most beautiful works of fiber art are being displayed with the most luxurious fibers, I get envious and dissatisfied with my life. I need to put that in perspective and be content with what I have and not want what I don't, or can't, have. It's not about what yarns I knit with. Or what projects I've got on the needles. It's about who I am while I'm knitting.

If I am a bitter, angry person who thinks it sucks to be me because I don't have all that I want, then I am a poor excuse for a person. It's not about being a part of the knitting "in crowd." It's about being the best person I can be.

There are many beautiful yarns out there that aren't designer yarns or the yarn of the month. And some of them are Red Heart acrylics. *gasp*

And there are many patterns out there that aren't the bandwagon pattern of the month that are challenging and beautiful to knit.

Not that it's wrong to jump on the bandwagon. I've had a blast with the Monkeys and watching everyone else knit them, too. I love knitalongs and would love to be a part of one someday. It's fun to be a part of something bigger than yourself.

But if I jump on the bandwagon just to be part of the "gang" then that's the wrong reason.

This is not about anyone else. This isn't about being a groupie (although I am a minion but I try to keep the evil side to a minimum.) This isn't about which clique to belong to. Or being a part of the in crowd. This is about me being happy with myself. And I haven't been. Because of me. No one else but me.

Not one person in my physical life or the internet has done one thing to make me feel inadequate. I've done that all by myself thankyouverymuch.

What do I really want? I want to produce beautiful pieces of knitting and crocheting. I want to learn to spin and dye my own yarn. I want to learn to design. I want to be a master of my craft. And for me it's a craft, not a hobby. (Not craft in the arts and crafts sense, but craft in the sense of craftsmanship.)

But mostly I want to be true to myself and to forge knitting or crocheting relationships based on that.

So...I am going to try much harder to be content with who I am and not try to be someone else.

I will remain...Kathy.