Tuesday, October 28, 2008

La la land

This weekend was choir retreat weekend and the weather for once was very cooperative. Highs in the 60's, sunshine to make you loll about like a sybarite, and little wind, which for the coast is quite excellent. I rode down in another Bright Red vehicle, this time a Volvo, with a couple of my fellow singers, giving me some knitting time on another pair of DK socks. When the temp dropped, my yurtmates bundled in pj's and electric blankets while I had a flannel sheet for a cover. There are some good things about hot flashes. Apparently I also was very entertaining in the night, talking in my sleep about putting something over there and Margaret. Wish I knew who Margaret was.

The past week was spent mostly working on a pair of socks for one of the administrators where I work. He dropped a hint to me in a kidding way but I took him up on it. Size 12 socks, dude? Ya got 'em. Special gold toe ones just for you. When I finished them up I liked them so much I made another pair, this time intending them to be my size. However, they're just a tad small, so they'll be going to someone else.

Knit night was time for catching up with my buddies. Rachel brought out the shawl she finished and socks she made with StitchJones yarn. The shawl is just gorgeous. The socks striped up so beautifully. Nice job, Rachel. She was also wearing a pair she had knitted up. Cindy couldn't help being silly with them.

It was also a good opportunity to show my Clapotis. It's done! One skein Blue Heron rayon boucle and 2 skeins BH rickrack, all colorway Denim.

Christmas is coming and projects are coming along. One I'm doing required that I do a nice long stretch of grafting (45 stitches). I am happy to say that all my fears of the dread Kitchener have been erased. It's not entirely error free but it's grafted well enough to be invisible to the untrained eye. Sorry, no pics. The receiver may be reading this. Thumbs up!

Updated: I made a mistake in attributing the shawl. The maker was Rachel, not Tammy. My apologies.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I am loved

Someday, Franklin, someday. I'll hoard my shekels, hop the plane to Albany, wend my way to Rhinebeck and give you and Ted and Dr Mel and Queer Joe and all the Wolverinas hugs.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Making amends

Dear Yaz,

I suppose it's awfully late to be writing to you with my profound apologies. At the time of your World Series appearance I was young and smitten with Charlie Hustle, Johnny, Griffey, and the rest of the Big Red Machine. I didn't understand what it meant for the Red Sox Nation to have gone so long without a World Series and the whole history of Boston sorrow. It wasn't like some team who had spent years in the cellar suddenly appearing in the playoffs. This was the Red Sox. They knew what it meant to be champions.

I know. You're saying what would a thirteen year old kid rooting for the other team have to do with the outcome. Yaz, you know that the support of the fans are so important to a team. I didn't understand that my support of the Reds was one notch cutting into the support you needed. I understand now that even when all seems lost that one cannot lose hope. You have to go all the way. Later in my life, I saw the error of my ways. You and Fisk and the rest of the team were strong and plucky. You were the anchor. I admired you and the way you came through in a pinch. Just like the guys in this year's team.

So I'm making it up to you this year. Your guys are fighting a team that is young and brash. They fought a tough series with the Angels and they're really duking it out with the Rays. I'm there, Yaz. I'm with you guys. Even with the fact that the Sox have won a couple of World Series in the past 5 years I'm with you.

I've been hanging a little with the Red Sox Nation on Ravelry. They're a devoted group. Their dedication amazes and humbles me. And this is just a playoff game. Imagine what it will be in the Series. You know what they're like.

So I hope you forgive me for my past infractions and put them to impetuous youth. I am older and wiser and will not stray from the fold again.

Humbly yours,


Friday, October 17, 2008


My latest allergy shot response was good and bad. The good part was I wasn't exhausted after the shot. The bad part was a cold that was waiting for my immune system to be valuable took hold. So I went home early yesterday and am home nursing the bugger. Is it a good sign that you have a dream where Dr House calls you to see how you're doing?

A couple of weeks ago I washed a sample of one of the fleeces I brought home from OFFF. This one was the Lincoln/Blue Faced Leicester/Montadale cross. I didn't use my washing machine as the fleece is very dirty. The couple of washings it took to clean it took out a lot of dirt and ca-ca. I'll have to go through and pick it before processing it more. But the locks are very pretty and white. I have the butt end going the wrong direction, but if you're not American, the ruler's going the right way. ;)

Thursday, October 16, 2008


In blog posting anyway. The weekend was busy and the evenings have been taken up with rooting for the Red Sox, so I've neglected my poor blog. Oh yeah. Saturday afternoon I had an appointment with my allergist to have an accellerated shot series. If you've never had allergy shots, what they do in the program is give you a series of gradually increasing injections of formulas of your allergens to raise your ability to handle things that give you allergy symptoms. The series runs for 3 to 5 years starting with bottles of increasingly stronger formulas then ending with a long series of maintenance shots taken once every 2 to 4 weeks. I was at the level just below maintenance but suffering fatigue the next day after the shots (I get three shots once a week). So my allergist had me do a visit to accellerate the pace. I got the equivalent of a month's worth of shots to bump me up to the maintenance level, which wiped me out for the rest of the day. Sunday I laid low, reserving my energy for choir practice, and wore a nice red blotch where I got the 3-in-1 shot on my right arm. But Monday I felt better and yesterday when I went in for my next shot my allergies were very much under control with no fatigue. Happy, happy, happy! If this continues, my allergist hopes that I can come off of some of the medication, especially the corticosteroid inhaler I have to take daily, so that I can function like a relatively normal human bean.


I took one project for my allergist visit but I wanted to do something else on Sunday, so I dug up the Clapotis I was doing in Blue Heron rayon yarns (boucle and rickrack in colorway Denim). I was on the decrease portion when I put it down. You're probably thinking, why did I put it down at that point? Well this was a wide Clapotis and I was plenny sick of it. But I was able to finish it and wear it to chorus Sunday. It's lovely for wearing at the office when the a/c kicks on.

Picture forthcoming when I get a good one taken.

And now for sports!

So what is it with the Red Sox this playoff with the Rays? Is it the mojo the Rays got when they took the "Devil" off their name? Or is the ancient curse of the Bambino raising its ugly head to humble Red Sox Nation? I'll be watching Game 5 tonight and decked out in red and working on the red Voyager Lace stole. YOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Seen elsewhere

If on your blognation perambulations you see this entry, scroll down to the Portland OR stop and see a familiar face in a familiar vehicle. Thanks, Franklin, and have fun at Rhinebeck!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sunday meditation

Sunday mornings are usually spent listening to NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday, This American Life, Car Talk, and A Prairie Home Companion. While I listen I'm usually doing a few things around the house, enjoying a cup of tea, or doing the NY Times Sunday crossword from their archives. By the time PHC is done, I have a little time to get things ready for the carpool to choir practice in Salem.

This morning during This American Life, there was a discussion of the current financial crisis and an explanation of what's happening to cause the meltdown of the credit markets. I highly recommend listening to it, no matter your political affiliation. It was something I needed something calm to do during the broadcast, so I picked up the baby alpaca I got last weekend and started spinning up some laceweight.

I'm now more informed and have a pretty single. I'll need more calming spinning as the powers that be try to get the markets straightened out.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Saturday of projects

The autumn sky has turned to gray again as the beginning of the rainy season makes its presence known to the city. Now that the summer events have come to a close for me, I'm now focusing on the holiday season ahead. The company has an employee craft fair in November so to raise some spending money I've dug into the stash and started knitting up tubes for making cat toys. Now you're probably thinking I'm out of my mind to try to knit up all these tubes. Trust me; I wouldn't do this if I didn't have an easy way of doing it.

Thank you Mattel. So far I've done up enough yarn to do 36 cat socks and have two more skeins to do up. A friend has offered a quilt batt to me and I'm on the hunt for good fresh catnip that doesn't cost a fortune (I'm thinking bulk catnip from a source). The final construction will occur away from home so that I don't have crazed felines tearing at the products.

Christmas is coming so gifts are being knit up. I've been perusing patterns and coming up with ideas. I'm looking over my stash and picking out potential colors. What colors should I avoid? Will this fit the item? Would that pattern be too busy? Shall I put the techniques I learned to use in this? Am I insane to do this? If I wasn't, I wouldn't be part of the multitude of knitters who are doing the same thing.

Taming A Pattern

To prepare for the drafty days of winter, I'm knitting up Franklin's 1840's Gentleman's Night Cap. I must say this pattern gave me fits in the beginning. I don't usually knit with straight cotton because it can be hard on my hands, but I wasn't going to do it in wool. I was going to follow the pattern as it was written, something I don't normally do. I had balls of Dale Stork in the stash and size 1 and 0 needles. So I set out to knit it.

In the beginning, I found that the double point needles were somewhere in the ether, not in the double point needle case I usually carry them in. It wasn't just that one set was missing. I was missing 3 sets somewhere in the chaos of my house, stuffed with a bag of sock yarn or holding a toe in progress. The circulars I had on hand were Crystal Palace and Addi Turbos. The CP joins kept snagging the stitches as they went around and the Addi Turbos were too slick, making my hands hurt from keeping the stitches from flying off the needles. Then I cast on and wound up twisting it when I completed the round. Frustrating to say the least, but I was bound and determined to conquer this pattern. It had to be the tools, but what would work?

Last Friday, I went out and about with Melissa and Barbara on a lovely yarn crawl, and it was at Twisted that I found my needles. HiyaHiya needles come with a nice short tip in bamboo and a smooth join. Later I picked up a set of long #1's for the finishing, but I've found that the HiyaHiyas saved me from ripping out the whole thing and cursing Franklin for devising such a horrid piece of torture. It's coming out beautifully.