Friday, September 30, 2005

Random thoughts about stuff just because I'm bored out of my gourd and if you've never crawled into my mind to see just how weird it can go then give your Z-ticket to the leather dyke over there, strap yourself in very securely and hang on to your skivvies.... Surgery recovery alone sucks. Recovering from surgery by yourself sucks. One part of you wants to go do this go do that I want to check this out I want to go to a movie I want to go talk with friends I wanna f&^*(ing WORK on MEDICARE CLAIMS (my real job, btw) but my belly says "Oh no you can't do that because I'm here and if you don't behave I'm gonna make you really miserable not just now but hours from now and tomorrow you're gonna pay for NOT LISTENING TO ME!" Crap. If the narcotics didn't put a cork in the works I'd be zonked out in bed letting music go in one ear and out the other but when the plumbing was held up earlier this week, jeezus effing it HURT. So I look about my house and here are all these patterns and yarn and nothing calls to me. Nothing. Oh a pattern calls here but I don't have the yarn for it to make it look good. Or some yarn I have says "Try this." So I do and it turns out looking like crap. I attempt Kitchener stitch just so that I can master the bastard and wind up with the first three stitches right and the rest purls. Well I was close. Set it down, watch some Perry Mason..... The mail chime on the computer rings. A brief respite from this place. I cling to it. It's a response to a discussion about moving to Fair Isle to take up residence in one of the houses there. Dirt cheap by our standards but you're in the North Atlantic with nothing to stop the wind. Knitters and master builders wanted. Maybe if I build a yurt or line the walls of the house with felted stash I will stay warm.... I look forward to a weekend where I can sit with knitters and chat about everything then rest for the rest of the day, then rise to sit with singers and listen to them make music. I would not do well on Fair Isle. I am in my Fair Isle house, surrounded with yarn, cut off from my friends and family and stash enhancement expeditions. I couldn't just hop onto the mailboat and traipse off to Edinburgh or wherever the nearest metropolis is from Fair Isle. They'd find me buried in my little house babbling about how I couldn't do Kitchener stitch and must get the mittens done for Christmas.... I can't even practice the music for the next concert. They took it all away before I could get my copy. Two catalogs arrived today. WEBS with its peek into the tantalizing treasure trove. Wool Connection with its kits that I don't want to purchase. I read a few blogs, read the NY Times, listen to "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" while knitting on the mate to my grand-nephew's mitten. I'm being diligent in keeping my kitchen clean. I forgot how much pleasure there is in preparing food in a clean kitchen. How bad was it before? You don't want to know. The night is dark with heavy rainclouds. It was the first real rain of fall. The color changes will be beautiful. Hope there is enough sun to make good photos of WIPs. I'm glad it wasn't a hand or arm that needed surgery. I'd be even more nuts. At least I can work with both hands. I just can't sit up very long without my belly protesting. Go to the bathroom holding your belly in your hands so that it doesn't bounce and jiggle. Work those leg muscles squatting to pick up items from the floor, like dropped towels and dirty cat food dishes. I have crappy knees too but at least they weren't protesting when given their workout. I remember someone coming to the shop with three of her friends. They all drip money in a kept woman kind of way. I'm there knitting away on a project friendly as I can be as we talk about stash enhancement and how I'm a teacher there at the shop. One of the women asks me, "Do you work?" like this is an option not a necessity. I smile and say, "Yes," while the proletariat broad in me is screaming, "You damn right you rich broad, I work for a living! Not like you who probably doesn't know how to read a bank statement because hubby does it for you." But it's pointless to spout vitriol on women like them. It would be nice to have expendible income without having to put up with corporate crap to get it, but I've only been home for two weeks and I'm ready to spit. I gotta have routine, I gotta have contacts, I gotta have a LIFE. And dammit the life I have, even when the going gets rough, is pretty damn fun. I'm the cool Aunt of the family (was told that by my youngest niece and nephew). I'm out and about doing things that I love. I see my work making a difference in people's lives. And just to shake things up I do something crazy. OK. Ride is over. Please leave by the marked exits and have a great day!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

How to get your holiday knitting done. -- Go on vacation. Figure out projects. Find the patterns. Buy the yarn and needed tools. -- Have emergency surgery that requires that you remain in one place for a while but not so much that you can't knit comfortably. A bit drastic but one project's done! Here's my lawyer nephew's scarf. Working on a tam now for one of my nieces. Someone was working with the Encore Colorspun so I thought I'd use that for her tam. The colorway's the lavender, blues, and greens on white. Will get a picture later.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Working on another Christmas gift. This is my nephew the lawyer's scarf made of Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed. It feels exquisite to work with. I'm doing it in Mistake Rib and it's coming out very nicely.

Well I had a surprise Saturday. I was preparing to go perform at the 5th anniversary concert for Confluence when I started feeling a sharp pain in my belly around my navel. First thing I thought it was the IBS that was kicking in and hoped that it would go away soon. When it didn't let up for over 2 hours, I ended up going to the ER and found out that evening that I had an umbilical hernia . So at midnight I went under the knife. I'm now home recuperating. Last week was vacation. I'm off for two more weeks. The boss wasn't too thrilled but these things happen.

So I'll have time to work out the Klein hat, finish the mate to the grandnephew mittens, and work on the fabbo slipper socks for my sister-in-law. All I need now are the movies I've ordered from the library.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Mittens! Scarves! Hats! Slippers! What's an auntie to do? Buy more yarn! This is the first of the mittens that I'm making for my grandnephews for Christmas (the thumb isn't finished). It's made of Rauma Babygarn. I can understand why the Scandinavians have such nummy woolens; they have nummy yarn to work with! Once I'm past the eternal rings of 1x1 rib on size 0 needles, I fly! They're good practice for me in doing colorwork too. I'm looking at my colorwork on this mitten and thinking, 'Gotta work on that tension, girl!' Another project is making a scarf for one of my nephews. Now this one is a lawyer-type, assistant prosecutor of the city he was in before going off to Kentucky to serve in the Judge Advocate-General's office as a National Reserve officer. Who knows what he's going to do once he gets home this year. Whatever he does he's gotta look sharp. His favorite color? Black. He's blonde so I'm thinking here's this fine looking prosecutor in a black wool coat so he needs a scarf that is also black but not as black as the coat that will look sharp on him. Here's the yarn I've found; my LYS carries it in a wonderful charcoal. Now to find a pattern..... I did find these great vintage patterns at the Victoria & Albert Museum website. The scarf pattern uses fingering weight. Nope. I'm hunting in the men's knitting sites too. They've got to have something. Otherwise I'm just gonna have to do one myself. Again. Not that I'm getting lazy in doing designing, but it would be nice to try someone else's work so that I get more experience in that area.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Another FO! The colors are exquisite in the sun, like a waterfall of jewel dust. The dress for our 5th anniversary concert is dressy and festive, so I'll be wearing this over a simple black dress and tights. Nummy!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

If anyone tells you the age of generosity is gone and people no longer care for each other, tell them they are wrong. I belong to a group of gay knitters whose only contact for the most part is through cyberspace. I've met three of them in person; the rest are scattered all over the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia. During the year, I've shared with them my goal of singing with my fellow singers "Sing For the Cure" at Carnegie Hall NY. I've had a number of setbacks monetarily but I've been of the mindset that I will be there to sing no matter what I have to do to get there. Yesterday, my wonderful friends on the list sent to me a check. They had pooled together funds and through Alicia, my knitsyb who herself lost her home and nearly all the contents to the fires in San Diego last year, they showed how much they support my quest. It was totally unexpected and incredibly generous. I'm still reeling from the shock of their gift. I will sing with my friends beside me in spirit. I know I am not alone.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Buster absorbing the serenity of the Clapotis while meditating on the rain.
If you've ever done socks out of the self striping yarn, you know how enticing it is to just keep going to see what the next stripe is going to look like. On that vein, I've found that the Clapotis shawl I've been working on has just sucked me in like a black hole. Since I'm working with recycled sari silk yarn, the colors are unpredictable, and getting to that row where you can just let one stitch come undone and ladder down is just so much fun!! So in the matter of a week I've gone from this: To this: When I'm not working on the Clapotis, I'm thinking of Christmas. This year I'm visiting family, including one of my nieces who's married to a physicist. For most folks the idea of trying to figure out what to give a physicist for Christmas is a daunting task. However, I come from a family of engineers and love watching physics at work, so I have an idea of how the guy's mind ticks. Usually they're pretty out there. If you're vanilla, they're raspberry banana. Or in extreme cases, pork chop. So I'm thinking of something that I could make that is out there without being ugly or have that particular look that poorly designed handcrafts have. So I'm looking at knitting a Klein bottle . Knitters already play with mathematical constructs with Moebius scarves. A Klein bottle runs along that vein. He lives in the Bay area so I don't know if a hat is in the works but he does glass art so I'm sure he's familiar with Klein bottles. I love this stuff!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Three projects down, two projects up. You'd think I'd learn but *ha ha* never! Not when I have yarn to play with! I rediscovered knitting in October 2002. In that time, I've acquired quite a bit of stash from various sources. It takes up 6 Rubbermaid big totes and 7 Rubbermaid mid-sized Keepers. I have yarn ranging from cheap acrylics to handspun fibers from various fiber shows that a friend visited when she was back east (including the Maryland Sheep & Fool--I mean Wool Fest). I have yarns I picked up on sale and yarns I gathered over time. I have all ranges of thicknesses: cobweb fine Baruffa to Colinette Point Five. And of course I buy yarn, do a project, and have leftovers. So what does a girl do with 3 skeins of Interlacements Cheyenne she picked up 2 years ago and has never gotten around to doing the sweater she had planned to do? She starts a sweater to try out a different method! This is a sweater I'm doing from the top down that was described to me by a customer at my LYS who had the diagrams in the back of her old Mon Tricot dictionary of stitches. From word I've received from my fellow knitters on the GLBT Knit List the method is described there and elsewhere, and I've found patterns using this method. It's a saddle-shoulder sweater that you start at the neck, work the saddle shoulders out to the width desired, then pick up the edges and work the front and back, which are joined in the round under the armscyes. Stitches are then picked up to work the sleeves. No seams! The stapler is to hold down the curling edge. I've finished the neck and shoulders and am working the back first. I put in short rows to help it fit the back of the neck. I also am working with the yarn doubled so that I don't have the color pooling that this yarn tends to do. When you get tired of row upon row of stockinette, what do you do to break up the monotony? The yarn wasn't suited for doing patterns on it (and I didn't want to do entrelac, lace or cables), so I started another project A few folks I know are doing the Knitty Clapotis scarf/shawl. So I jumped on the bandwagon. But the yarn it requires is a wool/silk blend and I told myself I couldn't buy more yarn =8( So I hunted in my stash and came up with some sari silk I had wanted to use to make a vest. This is what I've done since starting it this morning and working on it during breaks and lunch. I don't know how it will handle when I have to drop stitches, but I think I'll be able to work it. Remember I said this if I start cursing later on. I also heard about my friend Ray. He's safe at his daughter's in Houston. *deep sigh of relief* I'll sleep well tonight.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Tears of joy! I just learned that Ray Whiting is okay but still in New Orleans. Such relief to know that he is alive. Now to pray that his family can get to him and get him out of there. There has been such madness in how the relief effort has been handled--must go through channels, can't do this can't do that--that the anger is palpable. I can watch the news now but this all reminds me too much of 9/11. Yesterday I had hoped for some relief from the news coverage on Katrina but my favorite radio shows on Sunday were pre-empted for more hurricane coverage. NPR got a piece of my mind. It's been a hell of a week for me; I can't imagine what families are going through. Another project done. These are done in Rowan Biggy Print. The smaller (4-6 cupper) is going to the silent auction basket. The larger (8-10 cupper) is going to the office. TEA COSY FREE PATTERN To make in super bulky wool yarn: cast on 28 (36) on size 15 needles, join in the round. Knit garter stitch for 4 rows in the round. *To split for the handle and spout, knit 14 (18) stitches onto a straight needle, leaving the remaining stitches on holding needles. Knit stockinette for 3 (5) rows, then knit wrong side row. Knit stockinette for 6 (8) rows, then repeat from * for the other side. Join pieces back in the round onto 4 double-point needles and knit 2 rows to secure. Using the opening for the handle as the beginning of your round, work your decreases thus: ssk at the beginning and end of needle 1, k2tog at the beginning and end of needle 2, ssk at the beginning and end of needle 3, k2tog at the beginning and end of needle 4. Knit one round, then repeat the decreases row. For the larger teapot size work the knit one round, decrease one round again (3 decreases). Finish with a 3 needle bind-off and weave in ends.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

More information to follow on the raffle. Joy!!!

Friday, September 02, 2005

It's hard to believe but the borders are done for the Peace Blanket! The two sides are now attached to the center panel and the bottom and top pieces are cooling from their blocking before they're attached. It will be completed tomorrow; I guarantee it! In the meantime, I'll satisfy your cravings for imagery by showing you the GGH Soft Kid scarf I'm working on for the upcoming silent auction for the 5th anniversary Confluence concert. Did you know that a piece of thin polyester batt makes a great background for taking pictures of your knitting? Many prayers for those who are suffering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. No word yet from Ray. We had a prayer service at the office today. I'm pretty areligious but do believe in a higher power, so I was invoking that power today for Ray. He's a sweetheart of a guy. Thank God for knitting. Current viewing pleasure: a variety of videos from my collection to avoid the news Current reading pleasure: Brother Cadfael mysteries by Ellis Peters Current projects: Peace Blanket finishing; GGH Soft Kid scarf. On the back burner: Crazy socks; sweater for sis Shirley Lurkers: Tea cosy for silent auction; mask/doll for Witt; slipper socks for sis-in-law Yvonne; fingerless gloves for Linda A.; enlarged Booga Bag or CityBag (my own pattern) for moi; shawl for moi