Thursday, December 31, 2009

As the year turns

Tonight begins a whole new decade. A new year that we can explore, expand and enjoy life. A shiny new beginning and a new year as yet untarnished with our human flaws. A year filled with hope. With understanding. With hopefully, a little more wisdom.

2009 rings out, and I can safely try to block out blunders from the past year. Ah, all those many horrid "first dates." I can officially try to expunge them from my memory. Along with other embarrassing moments. The recent hunt for the famous "Mrs. Smith's Cherry Pie" being one of them. Feeding my friends Crab Jello Salad being another.

I will try in the new year not to start a major project 2 days before guests arrive. Something for which I've become famous for. Guests? Sure! Let's destroy the house just to make that 11th hour cleaning all that more memorable. Because really, I need a little more challenge in my life. It is a new year to make a bunch of resolutions to try to keep. Me? One word: LAUNDRY.

But I did keep some Resolutions from last year, or made a valiant effort. I stopped waiting for prince charming to achieve my goals. I bought a house and survived. I told people how I felt regardless of embarrassment or possible familial backlash. I did it for my well being, so I know I was honest for myself as well as others. If tomorrow is my last day, at least I was honest and said so. I finished the scarf from last year (or 2) that was never going to be done. I cleaned out my cosmetic hoard. (gasp!)

So this year, I make all the usual resolutions. And promise to myself to keep striving for life, love and happiness. I will try to be a good person. I will attempt to actually follow a pattern's directions to the letter, without modifying the hell out it. I will keep my house reasonably organized and the dust bunnies to a minimum.

I can do this. After all, I have all year to clean the bunnies from under the bed. Right?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Holy Grails and other missing Artifacts

Some of you may not know that I have a degree, a BA. Others of you may not know what it is in, Anthropology. And most of you are unaware what that entails or what my specialties were/are. While my primary focus was cultures, cultural interactions, societies and structuring of cultural-socio belief systems, and I was also trained in Archaeology. Yup, just call me Indie and I have worked on an official dig and everything. (no bad guys in sight, only a bunch of 5th graders)

Since the move in to the new house, I feel as though I am stepping back into that archaeology mind-set. Why, you ask? Because I can't find a damn thing!

I was careful when I labeled the boxes. Locations and a brief description of what is inside to jog my memory when the time came to unpack. So it's been 18 days WITHOUT a hair dryer. The yarn I bought for specific Christmas projects and gifts went MIA. I know I have more than 6 pairs of undies, but I can't seem to find them. (thank god the washer and dryer work!)

I have been systematically searching boxes based on a nice grid search using key clues to track down the items that are buried in the boxes and disorder. I have been rationally dissecting where I would have packed these items. They were held out until the last moment for use, then pack for the move the night before. With all my logical labeling and rational, this should have been a simple task. Uh-uh.

Last night it came to a head with me completely loosing myself in a frustrated predatory hunt through the house for the missing items. The cat hid under the sofa and cringed back from the gleam of madness in my eyes. The neighbor's dogs bayed in warning and fear at the scent of the wild beast that had entered their territory. The glint of the box cutter flashed as paper was strewn through out the house, pitiful discarded remains of the rage, the battle.

By the end, no box stood whole. The complete and utter chaos that best describes the savage scene, lay waiting in tension. Waiting to see if the beast had finished it's rampage. The air was still. All grails were uncovered but the ever elusive hairdryer. Logic had failed to find it. Shear animal-istic hunting instincts failed to find it. All hope was lost. It was time to admit defeat. I went into the master bath to prepare for bed and wash the remains of battle from my face. While drying my face with a towel, the cat appears, looking at me to check the level of sanity in my eyes and then proceeds to paw open the cabinet under the sink. A favorite past-time of hers. She gets the cabinet door open...

There it is. My pink hair dryer. Put away where it belongs.

The last place I would have looked.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Housewarming gift? Asprin

So, tonight I will be washing the dinner dishes by hand.

"Why?" you ask? I have just bought a new house. The house has a dish washer. A theoretically nice dishwasher, correct? The one that the inspector said seems to be in working order and the sellers said was brand new.

Well, if I didn't already know it, the sellers are full of shit and the inspector can't test the heating coil in a 4 minute test. Does the water run? Yes. Does it drain? Yes. Is there any reason why a seemingly brand new machine would have a bad coil? Most likely not. Unless it was bought off a truck and/or defective sale, floor model thing.

And yet, something is not right. I looked through all the paperwork that they left me. Stove, oven, Microwave and fridge were all accounted for. But not the dishwasher. Hmmmm......

So this has been added to the ever increasing amount of things that need to get fixed. Sealing the grout in the showers, snake the one upstairs toilet, shoe molding on the vinyl floors, bottom of cabinet in the Lab that fell out, master light switch that makes crackling noise when turned on, various window issues, the stairs on the deck that aren't as safe as they should be, poor jointing on the wood stove that smokes out the rec room .....

And THAT DAMN FENCE between me and the redneck sheriff so they can park their car on my front yard. It is so clearly not on the property line, that it literally annoys all who see it. Except the neighbors.

But hey, it's mine along with the house. Maybe I'll paint it rainbow.....

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tiny bit of funny

So, today is painting day and I feel incredibly unprepared. Yesterday I spent hours and hundreds of dollars getting what I should need for today. Many of my wonderful friends will be coming over to paint the new house.

So going to bed tired and stressed last night on a chaise lounge surrounded by unwashed fleece in my home office, was really bound to make for some interesting dreams. Smelling raw fleece all night and having paint anxiety do not go together. I'm sure most people's minds can work out some interesting ones at the with little effort. It was the wake up that did it.

I can feel someone watching me. The sheep are safe next to me and the paint is locked safely away from thieves.

Someone is watching. I can feel it.
No, no I am safe from the furniture salesmen. But I can feel the watching. Maybe if I peek they won't notice and I can tell if and where we need to run to. Just a half-eye-open peek.

Slowly opening my eyes, I see a dark shape with green eyes in the haze of sunrise peering at me. Unmoving. Green eyes.

Okay. Maybe the creature is friendly or trying to tell me something. I'll open my eyes again to see. maybe it just wants to communicate.

The dark form takes shape of a four legged creature. It slowly gets up while still staring at me from what I now realize is the desk. Slowly rising, it suddenly pauses, eyes going wide. The creature then begins to "spin" like the Tasmanian Devil of cartoons. Dangerously close to the edge of the desk, heedless of the risk of falling off. Spinning faster and faster. One foot goes off the side and the creature in panic uses the other 3 feet to launch it's self off the desk on to me. Never slowing the spinning.

I, finally, am awake and grab for the furry monster before it accidentally rips into the bags of raw fleece. And I discover the cause for the panic.

While the cat was stalking me sleeping from the desk, she sat on a piece of tape.

Dangerous stuff that.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

One Day more..

One day more..
One day more and I will be able to start moving somethings over to the new house.
One day more and I will have no more excuse to leave out yarn and roving for petting.
One day more and I will be drawing out schematics for the yarn lab.
One day more and I will have a thermostat-climate controlled environment.
One day more and I will have more than 1 bathroom for guests.
One day more and I will have a dish-washer.
One day more and I will have room for my stash.
One day more and I will have to face the fact of packing the basement.
One day more and I will be officially broke but will have a yard to stay-cation in.
One day more and I will have a ton of work to do with will take up all my time and energy.
One day more and I will have to put away my spinning and knitting for a while.
One day more...

Put not today. I think I'll knit.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Packing for a move

I am moving into a house. My own house.

While being prequalified, I took a friend to hold my hand and sat down with a mortgage broker. He was asking the normal questions, budgets, what i would feel comfortable with as payments, etc.. He said make a quick guess at your costs for a month. My friend and I stated running it down: food, gas, electric, entertainment, yarn & roving, phone... The mortgage broker laughed and said" that's funny! yarn?!" He didn't understand that we were being completely serious. I mean, I knew I would have to cut back my yarn budget a bit to buy a house, but it is still important to my well-being!

One of the things I looked for while touring various locations, was how yarn and fiber friendly was the house it's self? The winner was the one with the "half" kitchen downstairs by the family/rec room. It had enough room for my yarn stash, and the extra kitchen will be perfect for washing fleece, dying yarns and rovings, drying and various other experiments. The rec room is large enough to hold a full blown spinning and knitting party and since the extra kitchen is down there, we wouldn't have to keep going up and down for more coffee and tea. I really feel that this house suites my woolly needs.

When I began packing this week, I discovered 2 things. One, is I had to carefully select what projects I'll be working on in the next few weeks and pull them aside. I also had to reach for emotional strength that I didn't realize I would need to put the rest of the yarn and roving into boxes and tape them shut. To be untouched for up to 4 weeks. No petting, wistful glances or just a quick snuggle. Nope, it was going to be off limits. Who knew that would be so tough?

Second thing i discovered is that yarn and roving save you on packing materials. delicate knick-knacks and glass? Pack it in roving and yarn! Saves multiple trees. Stuff some yarn in a vase and wrap it in roving. Perfect!

So the packing continues and my yarn wait patiently for it's new home. I'm just not as patient as the yarn seems to be.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Albatross

For 1 1/2 years I have been working on a cardigan for my sister. I started calling it my Albatross. Now, I bought the pattern and then got the yarn that the pattern called for. Not a normal behavior for me. I knitted a swatch or two and had to adjust needle size to get the gauge. Again, not normal behavior. I followed the directions. So out of character. But I would have a beautiful gift in the end, right?

My main issue has been decoding the pattern. Several people have assisted me in this endeavor over the past year and a half. People who are fr more experienced knitters than myself. Women who can whip out a sweater while sitting in a theater watching a movie. Women who know the proper way to read charts, patterns and knit like they took classes at a university for it. And they all came to the same conclusion:

This patterns sucks!

(stronger language was used in most cases)

I had bought the correct yarn, and found perfect pewter buttons the size that the pattern called for. (guess what, it needed larger buttons.)

But still, I continued on this torturous quest. The cardigan move from being a birthday present to a Christmas present. To being a Birthday present again. To now, no longer mattering because my sister has lost weight and now would be swimming in the thing should she try it on. But it will get finished because someone will wear this thing. Me or someone.

But finally, last night after a late night run to WalMart to get buttons, it is done. I washed it this morning and it is blocking as we speak and drying. It is not one hundred percent symmetrical, and the buttons pull at the border which it does in the picture, so that one is definitely not my fault. But it's done. I have my large project case back. I can tic a WIP off the list (there by allowing me to cast on 2 new projects).

It may never be worn, but it is done.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dear Yarn Maker,

I was excited when I saw your yarn. It comes in a ball which works perfectly with my yarn bowl, and I like using it. When I saw the example picture on the tag of how it knits up I was thrilled.

It blends gradually from color to color and back again. Smooth transition with no abrupt lines. Perfect for what I had in mind! I wanted to make socks for a guy. We all know the difficulties here. Must be un-obtrusive in colorway and design. Lets face it. I know very few men who would be willing to wear funky socks (except if the funky was the last pair before the wash that didn't make your eyes water).

So, your gradual blend of white to gray to black seemed perfect! Realistically, only a few inches of socks show when a guy is wearing them with pants. Which ever color shows would be acceptable. I just need to make sure to line up the colors on the two socks. Since I got 2 balls of yarn, this shouldn't have been a problem. Maybe I should have read some of the reviews.

Far enough into the sock, there was a small, loose knot. Now the knot pulled apart quickly and if I hadn't been watching the furry person out of the corner of my eye, I wouldn't have seen it. The cat loves to watch the yarn spin in the bowl in a mesmerized trance, but occasionally she grabs.

For this reason I was keeping an eye on here movements. If I hadn't been, I wouldn't have noticed that the mill had tied two colors together. Not even an attempt at splicing. White, stop, gray. Not even trying to line up colors. Opps! And then I read some reviews.

Apparently, this is something that has happened with out fail to other knitters. Complaining of the same thing. If I was making socks for a small child, this may not have been an issue. But socks for a full grown, large guy on a time line makes it a frustrated f-it issue. Because I'm screwed. It is too late to start a new pair of socks. There is no way to fix it, short of un-winding both balls of yarn in their entirety and hoping that I can splice bits and parts, breaks and shifts into the continuous colorway shift that I thought I was purchasing.

Which I don't have time for. So, for the nice thoughtful going away gift I had in mind, he is going to get some bazaar block and shift pair of socks. And there is no way that they will match. No possible way to line up the colors. I shudder to think of what the second ball will be like.

So curse on you yarn maker for your fraudulent promises of ormbre socks. I know that the only place Secret Agent man will wear these is the couch while he is watching news from around the world to discover where he must fight crime next. But my socks will not go with him when he goes to catch the criminals. They will not protect him or be his lucky socks. Because MenInBlack can't wear socks that look like a Picasso while on duty. My socks will be couch socks.

Really expensive, couch socks. Maybe I should turn your fraudulent promises over to him for prosecution, because as you swindle knitters and crocheters, you are breaking the law and hearts of all those who have bought in to your false promises.

Shame on you!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The socks I don't want to knit

I don't want to knit these socks. Not because they are a boring color, crappy yarn, or anything along those lines. I bought the yarn months ago knowing exactly what I was making and who I was making it for. And why.

A very special friend will be leaving soon due to work. Communication would be at best, intermittent and eventually we will lose touch all together. I know this. I've known this since the on-set. There will literally be oceans between us. Not so bad you say? There is always the internet. Except where he will be, it is not feasible.

I am going to make him socks to take with him as a memento of our time spent together. And as a joke, since where he will be, wool socks would be ridiculous and utterly un-usable.

So I bought the yarn. I picked out the pattern. I even managed to do a swatch. I got feet measurements.

And I have continued to put it off. Because that would mean we are getting closer to that day. The one involving the airport. But time is officially starting to count down. And finally I cast on the sock.

And it is now real. He will be leaving, on my birthday, taking a piece of my heart with him. And a pair of wool socks that will be knitted with my love, blocked with my tears and always carry a part of me. A bit of knitting magic to keep him safe and loved on his adventures.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


So after a year of living in this rental house and scrubbing the kitchen and bathroom floors on a regular basis and not managing to get it to look clean in the slightest, I have decided to take drastic measures. This was one of those things were I knew before I even attempted it, it was going to be a sitcom episode.

I decided what I really needed to do was to strip the floors, re-seal them and re-wax/finish. This process would remove all the years of really bad grime and mop n glo from the no-wax vinyl floors. I decided to start small and do the bathroom first. Here are some things that I learned about stripping the floor in your ONE AND ONLY bathroom:

Make sure your neighbor is home, knows the circumstances and it isn't midnight when you do this.

Make sure that you watch what you eat for the day. Excessive dried fruit and caffeine should be avoided.

Girls, check your calendars to see if Aunt Flo might possibly be visiting!!

The next day, start extra early with the kitchen. 4 hours of sleep is plenty. Remeber that it is only 3 steps. Strip, seal, finish. Easy. HA!

First of all, for the kitchen I had to strip twice. I have to say that washing fresh raw wool was less disgusting and had cleaner wash water than stripping the floor. Both times. It was black. I almost tossed my cookies. I clean the floor every 2 weeks with good old fashioned pinesol detergent or straight bleach. This muck was from layers of dirt that the previous tenants just waxed over.

While it does look better, let me say this: Did I really think I was going to un-earth marble? The vinyl is not a color or pattern I would choose and nothing will make that to my liking, no matter how clean. The dark marks around the toilet did not come up one bit and after examination I understand why. The are not the result of paint, dye or water/mold damage. They are burn marks. My therory is the former disgusting hick tenants at one point blew up the toilet and it was replaced with out replacing the flooring.

I'm not actually surprised about this.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Snake, a Sock, a Mailbox and a Flip-Flop

Everyone has a special talent. I have one friend who can recycle anything, one who can turn garbage into art, one who makes everyone feel thought of, one who can make you giggle, and one who can organize the next Super Bowl with out breaking a sweat.

My special talent? I can turn every-day, ordinary tasks into a comedic sequence that screen writers couldn't dream up. Really.

Today for example: I slipped on work flip-flops, put on my new hat, grabbed my iPod and a sock that I'm knitting and went to get the mail.

You see, I need to practice walking and knitting at the same time for the upcoming charity walk that I am participating in. I thought a walk to the mailbox would be good practice. So I walked along the gravel drive at work to the mailbox, enjoying the day, listening to my ipod and knitting my sock. Blissfully unaware of the upcoming danger.

I reach the mailbox, and with one hand holding my knitting, use my free hand to open the door to get the mail.

Well, I really can't blame the snake as he was just trying to enjoy the sun before the storms rolled in, and looking for a place to shelter down when they would come. I can't blame the mailman for not shutting the mailbox all the way tight as it is a new mailbox and he is still getting used to having a door on it at all. And I certainly can't blame the other inanimate objects involved as the flip-flop did not intentionally jump off my foot, the sock did not intentionally mean to unravel, tangling around me.

But there I was by the side of the road, startled out of one shoe, forgetting I had knitting in my hand, hopping on one foot, scooping up the dropped shoe while keeping shoeless foot(and leg) in the air, wrapped up in yarn due to some bizarre pirouette that got the yarn hooked onto the mailbox and me, trying to keep my hat on, taking the loose flip-flop and banging the hell out of the side of the mailbox while trying not to fall over in an attempt to scare a pathetic little garden snake all the way out of the mailbox and away. All the while cars are passing watching my "snake dance". Time span: less that 1 minute.

You know that snake took one look at the crazy lady and "ran" for it.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memo for next 3 day weekend

For any future three day weekends I have, no guests unless they have their own lodging or are willing to do something of mutual interest. The weekend started okay with weeding and an art festival that got cut a bit short.

It then turned to hell in a hand basket. With a side of torture and a helping of becoming a social outcast.

It got better when I did finally get to escape my "house guests" and attend a friend's bbq where I could knit, cry, knit, act goofy, laugh, knit and actually be accepted and loved for being myself. It didn't hurt that my friends, upon hearing the drama, determined that I was normal and being nice and considerate and the other party needs extensive therapy.

God, I love my friends!

So, some worlds I have been forbidden to walk in. Fortunately, I have my world. With knitting, chocolate, shoulders to cry on, hands to pull me up, and friends who are more dear to me than they will ever know.

My world ROCKS!

Monday, May 4, 2009

I give up.

On the Lace stole?


The Albatross Sweater?


Being a good little employee?


The top two items have been driving me bananas for quite some time. And, truth be told, so has the third.

Here's the thing that is making me nuts. I have been painstakingly following the instructions on the patterns so that they will come out absolutely perfect for my sister. The Albatross is no longer going to be worn by her, but it will still go to a good home. After all, it's not mine or the sweater's fault that my sister lost weight and now looks like a skinny leggy super-model. Why punish the sweater? So it will go to a good home elsewhere.

The stole has a long time to be completed. Since I am currently only working on the prototype that I will be wearing, I am using it as a learning experience so when I do make her stole, I won't be screaming and cursing at it, thus imbuing it with negative vibes.

I'm being patient. I'm following the rules. These are good things correct? I should at least get a pat on the head, if not a cookie.

At my job, I pointed out some discrepancies between two reports. I didn't say anything, one way or another. Just let the boss know that perhaps things aren't adding up and he might want to keep an eye on things. He asked another employee why his report was so different from the system's.

The other employee basically threatened me. That I "better watch it." And that he was going to "mess with my shit." I should "fucking stay out of (his) business".

I relied the conversation and my ensuing concerns with my boss and he basically told me to just play nice and "(I) have to just figure out how to work with (the other employee)"


So, if my mutilated body is found in a ditch somewhere, or I seemed to have over dosed on pesticides, or ran over with a bob cat or lawnmower, I'm posting this blog so that at least my parents will know that I wasn't suicidal, wouldn't get in front of a huge nasty piece of equipment willingly, or put my person in danger in any other way.

I was actually just doing my job.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Those Jeans

You know those jeans. The ones that live in the back of your closet or the bottom of a drawer. The ones that will fit you when you loose 5 pounds, and then will look so hot, that traffic sill stop, men will faint, your boss will give you a raise, and they discover how to make your favorite confection calorie-free. The jeans that will bring ecological harmony and world peace when you wear them.

Just 5 more pounds.

Well, I have a pair of these jeans. And I've dropped 15 pounds so these suckers should fit beautifully. What a load of horse pucky! If I loose any more weight, I will officially be pushing too slim and just be considered bony. So the jeans should fit right? When I bought them I was larger than I am now and they still don't fit, which makes me think.

I don't think I've actually ever worn these jeans. I think I looked at the size (which is one up from what I'm currently wearing), grabbed them and bought them, with out trying them on, because I needed a pair and was heading somewhere. I'm also beginning to think that they are junior sized. Because let's be honest here, I have no ass. Never had one, never will-it's genetics. My hips aren't overly broad either, and this is where these "jeans" don't fit.

I have come to the conclusion that short of shaving bone from my pelvis and hip joints, these will never fit me. Ever. And do you know what I almost did? Fold them up and put them back into the drawer. No, no, no!

So I stayed my hand and instead, started a pile. And the jeans led the way. Followed by turtlenecks (I really can't explain how horrific I look in those), cap sleeve shirts ( I already have the shoulders of a linebacker, do I really need to point that out?!), and every button down shirt and cardigan that I can't actually button.

I feel better already. And I'm going shopping for jeans this weekend to fill the gap in my wardrobe.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring is here!

Spring is here and it is official. Do you know how I know? I had to mow the lawn.

All up and down my street today, the residents in my fair little shire broke out the hats and sunscreen. Grabbed the keys to the shed, and dusted off ye ol' lawn mower. Across the realm could be heard the sweet buzzing of bees, the chirping of birdies and the whirl of mowers and trimmers. You could smell the fresh cut grass and almost taste the victory lemonade.

And then there was my house. The sounds of which should not be repeated. But I will confess to swearing in three different languages and would have added more had I known them. My mower would not start. After extensive kicking an cussing, and with the help of a nail file, I got it started, mowed the frippin' grass, locked the damn thing back in the shed until next week and headed in to take a shower and cool down and recompose.

Better, yes? Birdies are chirping again, the windows are open and the cat looks dreamily out at the aforementioned birdies. Ahh. Then I pick up my knitting.

On the needles I have : one lace stole, three 2nd socks, a tank top out of sock weight aptly named "frogged camisole", a tweed sweater 3 sizes too large, an albatross for my sister she will get when she's 80, and the beginning of another tank in 100% cotton, because I want to see if it works before wasting good yarn on the pattern.

If you are not a knitter, you may not understand the list. You might say something silly like, why so many projects? If you knit, you understand and groan in sympathy. All are time consuming pains in the a$$ that are currently ranking with the lawn mower.

My solution? Make lemonade, eat ice cram and ignore knitting until next weekend. Then put knitting and Mower in the "Rabbit Cage o Rage" and see which one comes out in the end. That or the garden which needs to be plowed eats them both.

Brilliant, yes?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Girls Scouts Live On!

Ah, the memories that can come crashing back when there is a proper trigger. Or in this case, total immersion.

I can now look back on being a girl scout with fond memories. I seem to have blocked out the revulsion I had at the time to the wonderful polyester uniforms purchased at the nearest JC Penny. Okay, not completely. I remember the tasseled socks, annoying sash, the troop goodie-tooshoos (Jill Lusher) who had all the badges, the mean rule mom (Gail Lusher) and trying to hide our "secret society" in high school. I remeber my friends and crafts and projects instead. And hey, who can forget the cookies? Ever?

Last night, I was treated to a flash back of epic proportions with the difference that I was THE adult and not one of the girls running around and giggling. I finally understand how my mother in her middle years felt and why she managed to have the most childish fun at every turn she could. While I would blush and get embarrassed, my mother would get us not only kicked out of Toys'R'Us, but banned as well. She was behaving the same as a child. In other words, she was HAVING FUN! Imagine that, an adult having fun. Simple, childish fun.

But I digress. Last night I had the honor of escorting a friends darling Duchess daughter to her Girl Scout meeting. And I so wanted to play too! And they got to play dress up! Movie Stars for the night. I can't say I was entirely an observer, as I went slightly overboard and brought various hats and such for the girls to wear for pictures. But alas, in the end I was the adult and did not get to dress up. But I did get some great photos. And let's face it, I have a whole closet I can play dress up with, the purpose being dress up. Some items from my mother, some that I have collected myself. Hopefully someday my own daughter will have a collection too. In the mean time:

And don't forget, Girl Scout Cookies loose their calories when put into ice cream!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Weekends of fruitfullness

Okay, it is Sunday. And I am taking it as a day of rest. Why is it when I spend a weekend with nothing planned on my agenda that I manage to keep busy, I feel like I have done nothing constructive and have been totally reclusive. And yet, when I have a full schedule set up for a weekend, I feel exhaustive, rushed and like I still haven't gotten anything done.

And when I have a weekend where things are scheduled I long for"A weekend at home where I can just knit and relax all day, sleep in and take naps so I'm restful." Work on the guitar or yoga.

I feel exhausted come Monday and I can never quite seem to get back to balance. I need to work on that.

And a cat is playing with my toes.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lace: An evil no one tells you about!

Grandma's doilies, trendy tops, hair ties, and table clothes. All have lace. A beautiful airy fabric that can be thin enough to slide through a wedding band. Or, that's the goal and the true measure of knitting a lace stole.

Right! The true measure is going to be can I make the practice one with out having my family commit me. The test of character will come if I can bring myself to start the "real" one if I ever finish the test run.

So far, even the cat has not been seduced, enchanted, or developed even a remote interest in the tangled nest that is the 1st stole. I admit that my sub-conscience is leaving it out and vulnerable to see if she goes for it, (so I can blame her for the mess) she's not biting.

And yet, I can't yet put it down. Because in my mind, there has to be a way to make this simple and to make it make sense. I could breakdown and atom easier.

I love the fact that at this point in time, on of my knitting idols is working on a lace shawl. so in my mind, we are working as a team to create lace for the world. Hopefully she is having better luck than me.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mending Bruised Hearts and Egos

Well, yet another possible boyfriend has been kicked to the curb. I did explain that I would not tolerate game playing. I also warned him that I'm smart enough to know that 2+2=4 not 8. The load of BS really was unbelievable. I surprised he thought anyone would buy it. When called on it he said "his life is complicated, you wouldn't understand." Well, unless you felt like telling me what was up, no, I could not possibly understand with no information. The fact that he couldn't/wouldn't speaks clearly if you ask me.

So my ego and heart were a little bruised. And my best friends came to the rescue. They swarmmed armed with 3 qts of Ben & Jerry's, a bunch of movies, and girl talk/ men bashing, chocolate and fiber. Who could ask for more wonderful friends?

Valentine's gifts at Knit Night, a "Yarn & Fiber Tasting" and tea and hugs. Encouragement, books lent, and patterns given.

So the guy didn't work out. There will be others, no doubt. But I am not alone, I have friends who care, understand and support. They share their stories, thoughts and fears. And best of all?

They totally get the fiber thing!

Love you girls.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Harry the Hank

It's a ...




Nope! It's Harry the Hank! Da ta da ta!

Meet Harry the hank. My first attempt at spinning and then PLYING yarn. Plying yarn is trickier than it sounds. I'm going to have to work on that. I know it doesn't look like much, but heh, it's my first attempt. Harry is un-dyed and naturally processed. He is very eco-friendly and is made from local blue faced wool (type of sheep I think) and Alpaca (type of cuddley camel). It's impossible to show detail in picture, but harry is actually brown and grey plyed together.

Yes, I know he's small, but he is enough for a coffee cup cosy. However, think that Harry will be staying as a hank, simply because I'm so proud of him, and he is kind of cute. The cat also thinks he's cute, and that could be a problem. We'll see.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I am proud to be a "Townie!"

So, I now live in a small town in northern Virginia, not to be confused with "Northern Virginia." I did not always live here. I grew up in a large metropolis in beautiful sunny southern California. Yup, you read that correctly, I moved here willingly. I thought it would be a nice change of pace, that it would let me explore my "granola" side a bit more. I thought I had moved to the country (I also thought I moved to New England), it was explained to me that this wasn't the country.

In fact, we are a fairly large city with a Costco and TWO Super WalMarts! "Okay." I said with a giggle, this is a city?! "No, we are not city folk here. We are not counrty bumpkins, either. We are townies. " My wonderful, patient friend explained. What is a townie? Tonight I got to see first hand and am thankful for the experience.

(After reading this next part, my father is going to promptly call me up, and rightfully so, chew my butt off)

My lovely American-made 4-wheel drive SUV decided that it was time to remind me that I have obligations to my vehicle. Like my cat, I feed it and pet it (wash), but I also need to take it in to get a check up on occassion. You know, things like check the oil and other fluids in the car. You see, this car came with me from the west coast, and hasn't really been adjusted to this climate, like myself.

So today and tonight, it kept shifting on the fly into 4 wheel drive. The light wouldblink at me, saying"you need more traction!" I was sitting in park in a parking lot. The light continued to blink at me, mocking me. I saw my tax refund flying out the window as I tried to figure out how I was going to drive to work in the morning for 45 miles in 4x4. The light blinked more.

My wonderful patient friend was with me discussing a very important move in her life, and I was completely fixated on the blinking light. I couldn't hear a word she said. I couldn't see anything else.

Just the light.



Crap. My friend then offered to follow me home and push my car if it needed it with hers. Give me a lift and the number of Boyce, the best mechanic in the valley. I get a slight thought flittering through my head as drive. I haven't had the oil changed since LAST YEAR! Which was the last time the fluids were checked at best. (go ahead daddy, I deserve it) I pull into the gas station by my house, explain the situation to my friend and pop the hood.

I look for the correct dip stick and discover: 1. I'm out of coolant/antifreeze (not good this time of year) 2. out washer fluid (that would help get the salt off the windsheild) 3. Out of Transmission fluid (I am praying I didn't do major damage) 4. the brake fluid, fortunately was full. I didn't check the oil.

Here is where living in a small town is great. I go inside to get an assortment of fluids, having no idea that there are different types, and before I can blink, have multiple men from 18 to 80 handing me the correct fluids and then, once paid for, putting them in my car. It is 23 degrees F outside right now with a bitter wind and there were 4 men who didn't know each other or me helping me out. And yes, one did make me promise to take the car in tomorrow and get it looked over.

They closed the hood, gave me smiles and waves and were off about their own business. I get in the car and turn it on. I shift through each gear like they told me to do. Waiting at least 3-5 seconds in each one before shifting again. I am holding my breath. The light stays off. It stays in 2 wheel drive.

I don't want to jinx myself, but I will say, it had to help the issue. I will take it in tomorrow like I promised. I should have gotten their names and addresses to send them all thank you notes and mittens. Now I can use my refund for that Malabrigo sock yarn.

I love townies.

Monday, January 26, 2009


So, I'm being a good little girl and doing my taxes now instead of putting it off. I qualify for filing free online. Yippie! But alas, nothing ever goes off without a hitch, right?

I needed some information from last year's return, so I went digging in what passes for an office in my home. No luck. Now, this is an aberration. I am, if anything, overly meticulous about saving important forms and filing them away. But for some reason, I can't find last year's return. Ok, there is a number at the IRS that you can call.

I called last week and the guy told me the information was $xx,VVV. I continued to fill out my info and electronically sent my file to the IRS. It was rejected because the number the guy gave me was incorrect. So today, I call back.

I am told that the wait time is 10-15 minutes. I figure for the IRS at this time of the year, that's got to be pretty good, so I wait. I put on my hands free so I can do other things while I wait. I dye a cashmere sweater lilac to cover an oil stain-30 minutes. I finish one more pattern block on a Valentine's day sock for self-25 minutes. I feed the cat. I wash said sweater by hand. I do the dishes. I spin enough yarn to make two more pairs of socks. I'm beginning to wonder if it would be tempting fate to take the phone with me into the shower, because I won't have time to dry my hair in the morning.... A nice woman finally comes online. She politely gives me her name and id number then asks if I'm on a cell phone. Yes, I don't have a land line. CLICK.

Uh... Okay, breathe, stretch, small patience prayer. Call back. I am now way ahead on the sock game. Get a nice gentleman who patiently continues to say "hello" while I try to figure out how to get my phone off mute (not sure how it got on in the first place, I'll have to look that up). No mention of my cell phone. Yes! Okay, need some info from last year. "Where did you work?" "XWZ & Company" Could they be under another name? Not that I know of. I need this info to verify your identity, please check. " Don't hang up" rummage through file drawer "don't hang up, please" dig through computer bags "please god sir, if you have a heart, don't hang up!" Ah HA! Found a check stub. And it says "XWZ & Company" Address? blah blah. "Well, the address is right right. Your AIG was $V,xxx." You sure? "yep, V-x-x-x." Thank you wonderful man.

I return to the online site to fix the information.

"I'm sorry, we are experienceing technical problems. Please check back in at least 60 minutes."

Good night.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Frustration is wanting to do multiple things at once that each exclude you from being able to do any of the others at the same time.

Wet nails and knitting don't mix.

Wet nails and spinning REALLY don't mix.

Spinning and reading don't mix.

Reading and candle making don't mix.

Cats and any of the above don't mix. (Especially with the hot wax on the stove while nails are wet)

Saturday Snows, Spinning, Trance States

It just started snowing here, a bit unexpected. So I can officially stay in all day. Now the question is what to do. There are three things that I would like to do today. One is make candles, two is finish a book and paint my nails, three is fiber related, either spin or knit.

So here's what I'll do. Candles first because they mess everything up. Then clean up from that and do my nails, finish the book. Follow that up with spinning.

Yes, spinning. I am spinning fiber into yarn. And I've finally figured it out! My yarn is a little rough at the moment, but it will just take practice at this point. I had the "Ah, HA!" moment. You know, the moment when whatever you've been attempting and keep hitting a block finally clicks and you get it.

My moment came this morning while blow-drying my hair. I discovered that I had been spinnig fiber for years and hadn't realized it. How is that possible you ask? Let me explain. I have wavy/curly hair and all the frustration that comes with it. the fashions and styles are sleek and smooth. Straight hair swept up or back to accentuate cheek bones. After all, the magazines tell me that this is what great hair looks like, right? So for the past 5-8 years, I have been using a technique called blow-outs. You use a round bristled brush, blow dryer, and a twisting motion to blow straight your hair. Now, adjust the brush to a drop spindle, prettend my hair is wool and guess what you get? the same twirly motion that creates yarn. Spin and twist using your fingers to hold the twist and release it while pulling the hair, opps, wool out for the spindle to twist.

Okay, bad explanation, but the point is I get it! I came out of my repetitive motion trance with the hair dryer, rushed down stairs and grabbed my drop spindle. Yup, same motions I use on my hair to get it straight work on taking puffs of wool and making it into a yarn. So, with half wet hair falling in my face (yes, some accidentally got spun into yarn with the wool) I have had an epifanny for the day.

Pictures to follow....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Socks have it!

I am taking a short break from my continous sock knitting to write a few lines. I have now completed 2 pairs of socks and have a third pair well under way. I have also picked up a fictional dime store novel on knttting which has sucked me in.

Now the issue, I can't seem to read and knit at the same time. I use a cookbook stand that my fater made me to hold the book, bt I get so engrossed in one or the other that I loose my spot/stitch count.

I've also taken to doing both these in bed, because of lack of heat, the down blanket seems to be the best place to hang out in my home. So now I am waking up with needles in my hair and yarn balls covered in droll. I' ll get it all worked out eventually. I just need more hands.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

You ever see a cat have a sneezing fit?

Sorry my cute kitty, but you are absolutely hystarical when you start sneezing uncontrolably. My poor precious little fur-butt has a cold. And aside from my being a wreck and wondering if I can give ecenacia or baby aspirin to a cat, she really is funny sick. And absolutely pathetic.

I had breakfast this morning with a very tall Brit. It went well, and he didn't mind me dragging him to a yarn store (or two). And his eyes didn't quite glaze over when I waxed poetic about wool and real Aran yarn from Ireland. He's got connections there and might be able to smuggle some of the real stuff out for me.

Let's hope there are many more dates to be had. Besides, as crude as this will sound, I feel so petite with him. I love it.

Well, I have to go because I'm getting mewls from my baby and she's trying to climb into my arms and on my shoulder to be held. Must take care of the little one.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Work Rant (I had to get this out)

Okay, now we are at 2 pay periods that we haven't been paid. My loyalty is seriously wavering. Today was a day that you threw your hands up and laughed hysterically with tears streaming out of your eyes.

No heat. Have heating oil, but the furnace isn't working. I even took my own life in hand by pushing the red "reset" button, having no idea what would happen. As it turns out, nothing happened. So, no heat. Ever try to type in gloves?

Special landscaper software had "catastrophic error." That is literally what the error message read. I'm going to go on a limb and say that is not a good thing. So billing has not been done. I managed to flex my genius and got around it (sort of) to at least give all of our lovely little clients bills. Hopefully before too many more cancel.

As I was taking part of the mailbox out to repair it and re-attach it; hammer, pliers and quick ties in hand, I notice that we have a burst water pipe. Spraying water all over the place. Eek! I'm new to this kind of stuff, better get the boss. Here is the kicker: We are a landscape company that has just spent a few weeks turning all of our clients' irrigation systems off and "blowing-out" the pipes so they don't burst causing major issues. Guess what happened to the pipe? Yup! So, no water. (good thing I had just gone to the potty before walking out to fix the mailbox)

No heat, no water, no working computer system, no water.

So I've come home, where the oven isn't working, the heaters are flickering the lights and aren't giving off heat, ( I am completely numb at this point), the cat has a cold, and the worst of all things have happened: