Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Booby prize

The Race for the Cure is coming up in September here in River City. In the past, I've done the 1 mile walk but it's so crowded that you can't really walk, so it's often called the Crawl for the Cure. I figure they want my money more than my participation, so I opt for doing the Sleep In For the Cure.

The organization I work for is one of the big medical groups and they're plugging having employees sign up. They want to break the record of most participants, which adds fun to the whole event. We had a fair chunk of folks last year, all dressed in purple team shirts, so hopefully we'll do it this year.

In the meantime, my office is putting together a team and we're thinking of doing something special for the two breast cancer survivors. I've offered to make them scarves if folks are willing to fork up the yarn money. The team will be in a drawing for a prize. When I talked this over with one of the organizers, I got the idea of a "booby prize", which would be one of these. We'll see what happens.

After that conversation, I decided to go ahead and head over to here to pick up the yarn for making a boob. I thought about using Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, but the color was too pink. Instead, I picked up some Cotton Cashmere that was the appropriate color, including one ball in a different color for the aureole. So far it's coming out nicely.

I think I'll give one to my gynecologist.

Orenburg dreams

While I was there I signed up for a January class with Joan Schrouder to learn how to knit an Orenburg shawl. It's not Galina Khmekelova (sp?), but Joan's local and known for her shawls. I'm looking forward to doing that while in the post-holiday doldrums.

Other projects

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I'm plugging away at other projects, switching back and forth from one to another. The Rose Trellis shawl gets a couple of rows done now and then. Currently, I'm working on the dog sweater for my sister Shirley's mini dachshund. I have the body done except for cutting the armhole steeks and am working on the logo patch in the round. When I'm not working on that, I'm plugging away at my Opal Lollipop socks. I tried a different heel this time and like how it curves to go around the heel.

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The heel is from Charlene Schurch's "Sensational Knitted Socks" and is the heel flap heel only doing it on a toe-up sock. In case you're wondering how I was able to take a picture of my foot on the stool, the model is a plaster casting of the bottom of my foot done about 5 years ago for another art project. It works well at modeling socks, but I have to stuff the casting in order to give the upper part any shape.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A shorty...

Today I opted to go clothes shopping because I'm in dire need of office wear that's halfway decent. We have Nordstrom Rack here, which is the clearance store for Nordstrom. I usually go to the one out in Clackamas but I didn't want to fight the traffic, so I opted for the one downtown.

After hunting and hunting for items that could cover my body and not cause people to lose their breakfast, I came home with three tops and six pair of socks. Yes, my friends, I bought socks. At the gauge they would have to be in order to be thin enough to be comfortable, I would have to do them on 8-aughts. Fergit that, piston puss! I also found out that the larger sized items are shipped to the store out in Hillsboro (WTF? That's 20 miles from here). So Saturday will be spent tromping over there to hunt for pants.

My feet are dead. I'm fixing something simple for dinner and working on my latest project if I can muster enough energy. I'm soooooo out of shape. No advice please; I know what I gotta do.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ghost stories

Mel had posted a story of ghost guardians from his childhood. It got me thinking about my own ghost.

The house I have was built in 1913 and was owned by the grandmother of the woman from whom I purchased it. It was a rental for a time, then Marie and her husband Boyd inherited the house and raised their son there. Marie's father was a carpenter, so he did some work on it. It's a Craftsman house, solidly built, and haunted.

When I purchased the house, I had a month available before I needed to move in, so I set to work making improvements. The walls of most of the rooms were covered in icky wallpaper. Those were going to be painted. At the time I was working graveyard shift at the grocery store with weekends off. The weekends were spent at the house, stripping and painting walls and woodwork.

The first weekend I encountered nothing, but the second weekend I was half awake when I sensed there was someone in the room with me. When I opened my eyes, I saw this head of an old man the color of bright green grass staring at me. I became more fully awake and the head vanished, leaving a deep emptiness that creeped me out.

I asked Marie if there had been a murder in the house or any unusual occurrences, but she said she had encountered nothing. The more I thought about it, the more I thought it had to have been her father watching over the house. The third weekend, I asked a friend who I knew was sensitive to ghostly presences to come to the house and help me paint. While she was there, I asked her to sense the house to see what I had. She told me I had a ghost, that it was benign, and not to worry.

The first year I spent in the house had two strange occurrences. My answering machine, which had worked perfectly at the previous residence, became cantankerous. The doorbell decided it wouldn't work. After a while though, they started working without any problems. My eldest sister came to stay one weekend but after that she never stayed at my house. A friend stayed the night and told me she saw something green in my dining room. Another friend felt the presence but was too terrified to look.

My take is that the ghost is curious, sensing foreign presences and checking them out. I've talked to the ghost, which I think spends most of the time in the attic, and explained that I was there for some time and would try to take care of the house as best as I could. In the meantime, I've felt that the ghost is protecting me. I've never had a burglary or major breakdown. The first night I brought my cats from the old place to the house I found them huddled in the basement, terrified, and chewed out the ghost for frightening them. Since then, I've not seen him, but I know he's there. Watching.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

You want to do it.......Really you do.......

My hand is better today. Icing it down, gently stretching the tendons, massaging the forearms, and resting have helped. I've found that mouse work while on the computer aggravates it more than the knitting, so I've taken to using my laptop's touchpad instead. I still limit myself and focus on not tensing up my right hand.

So what do I do? Sign up for Sock Wars.

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If you haven't heard about it, click on the above logo to get to YarnMonkey's site. She'll tell you all about it. So far she has over 400 warriors signed up. This will be interesting. Whether I make it past the first round or so will be the challenge. Since this is a long-distance speed event, conditioning for doing small gauge knitting over an extended period will be important. Not enough conditioning and maintenance of the muscles will open oneself up to injury. Too much can do the same. There will be young knitters who will have time on their hands to knit. We will see how the FiberQat does. I better not get someone with size 12 (men's) feet. At least I'll get a pair of socks.

I promise I won't whine if my hands give up on me. I won't whine to my loyal readers. I won't whine to my fellow glbt-knit listers. I will suffer in silence, a casualty in the battle to determine who's the badass sock knitter.

Friday, August 18, 2006


Short post today. Tendonitis has developed in my right hand to the point where I can't lift anything more than a few pounds. So no computer work or knitting. Pretty much lay off as much as possible, ice my hand down, and consume NSAIDs. I went over to the neighbor's to fetch a few movies for tomorrow; Sunday will be spent playing pinochle (peaknuckle) with the guys. I'm glad I can do it. I'll miss the knitting though. I'm 2/3's through the body of the mini-doxie sweater.

Ted can do my lace knitting instead of making snarky remarks in my comments. *BEG*

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A letter to my LYS

My dear,

This is difficult to put into words, but I feel that I must be honest with you. You have given me so much these years with your cameraderie, your encouragement, and your generosity that I at least owe you that.

I have fallen for another.

I can see you now. "How could you?" you would say to me. "There have been others but you have always come to me, never tempted by their tawdry displays or hipness. I have always been here for you: steady, solid, and providing you with quality product at a reasonable price."

This is true. I have not fallen like others to the wiles of other shops who fell for the trends and stocked their shelves with novelty yarns that are now collecting dust. Those who employ stylish waifs who deign to assist you because you aren't making the latest shrug from Vogue Knitting. I have come to you because you are careful with your choices of merchandise and provide the expertise of a team of knitters who are happy to guide the novice through the jungle of ill-written patterns.

But the spark that had been there in the beginning has started to fade a little. I love your companionship, but I'm afraid you have been less than inspiring to me. I admit I am easily drawn to new things and ideas and have come back to you for the security you provide. But the one thing that would truly satisfy me is missing.


You see, the LYS I'm seeing now has classes. Lots of them. And reasonably priced too. Classes that can challenge an intermediate knitter like me. I know you think that I don't need to take a class because I've learned so many new techniques on my own. But a good class can give me something that I could not give myself with my limited experience. My own experience of teaching classes has shown me that. I'm woefully inexperienced compared to some folks when it comes to knitting. If I come to a class with my skills, I can help but it's an experienced teacher who knows the little tricks that can help in certain situations.

I will visit you and give you first preference when I need to shop for a project, but I want you to be aware that I will be going elsewhere as well. They are open on Thursday evenings which is a dead night for anything interesting on the idiot box. They are inspiring to me and very supportive of my explorations like you. I will still see you on Saturdays, but know that I am sharing my love of knitting with another.

I hope you forgive me.

Sincerely, FiberQat

Friday, August 11, 2006

Goofy Friday

I think the events in the last 48 hours made people silly today at the office. I was feeling fey, others were feeling fey, and a general air of goofiness pervaded the air. I wish I could get more specific on what we were doing, but my brain was refusing to hang onto any short term memories. Gotta love that perimenopause. But there were times when the giggles threatened to take over the department. It was payday, it was Friday, the bosses were gone, and it wasn't blistering hot. So let's plot to make the boss's window to his office an Etch-a-Sketch, shall we? **giggle snort!**

Stitches Midwest is going full bore right now in Chicago. Franklin, Jon, Sean, and Lars have gathered together to up the manliness factor there (and hope to find other fellow manly men drawn by Franklin's beefcake picture who love to knit). So why the heck should I care? Same reason I'm drawn to blogs belonging to men as opposed to women, I guess. I have no idea. Sure, I have a snowball's chance in hell in hooking up with these guys in the romance department. But I also like to sit and listen in on conversations guys have. Well, most guys. I pass on the dick and date comparisons and sports (except baseball). And I love the give-and-take joshing guys give each other. The mild insults and good-natured ribbing. I guess it comes from joining my brothers in ganging up on my younger sister.

Anyway, while I was waiting for reports to print, my brain wandered over to the Stitches Manly Four and started churning verse a la Gilbert and Sullivan. This happens periodically: a song starts up in my head with goofy verses and I must write it down (not necessarily to a Gilbert & Sullivan tune). So I wrote down the verses and liked them so much that I thought I would actually send a copy to the Stitches Manly Four via Franklin's email addy. I feel like a fan writing to a pop star. It's just been that sort of day.

I'll let you know what happens. Maybe the verse will show up. Or maybe I'll find Dolores at my doorstep with a baseball bat with "Cease and desist" written just under the Louisville Slugger brand.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Yes there is knitting

August is here and with it comes working on rehearsal tapes, sorting music, and preparing for the upcoming singing term. The chorus is supposed to be doing a joint concert with Satori in December, so we'll be singing in Portland as well as Salem. More to come.

I have been knitting things. Really I have. Here are the Submarine socks I've been mentioning, made from Interlacements Toasty Toes Submarine.

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Currently in my knitting bag are my Opal Lollipop toe up socks. I'm using the heel from Charlene Schurch's "Sensational Knitted Socks" and really like how they curve around the heel.

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My sister Shirley requested a dog sweater for her mini dachshund with the Indian motorcycle logo on the back. I had the choice of using teeeeeeeeny weeeeeeny gauge yarn or shrinking a patch down. Guess which one I chose. In the meantime, I took a print of the logo and made a chart from it. It's going to be a fair bit of work, regardless of what I do.

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I'll make a patch with the logo then sew it onto the back of the actual sweater. It's a process that will produce fewer grey hairs.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Calgon take me away

I've always been emotionally sensitive, but in the past few years I've noticed that my sensitivity has increased. Part of it I can attribute to my going through hormonal changes. It doesn't take much anymore to make me feel hurt or guilty or angry. I deal with it through medication, awareness, and stress reduction. Quiet seclusion is one of my favorite methods.

Unless you're hiding in the wilderness somewhere or in the depths of Alzheimer's, you're aware of the many conflicts that are going on that threaten the balance of world relations. The US has isolated itself with its current administration's foreign policy and the Middle East is on the brink of a religious war. North Korea talks about their nuclear bombs they're going to use, making Japan very jittery. I never thought that news about Fidel Castro's medical problems would be such a welcome relief.

It came to me why I have latched onto knitting and reading knitting blogs over the last year. I am desperate for some relief from all the horrible things that I see on the news. I turned on local news yesterday, something I don't normally do, and saw report after report of people doing awful things to each other. One was on a good samaritan stopping a man from kidnapping a woman and her two children at the zoo so in a way it was good news, but it reminded me that an innocuous trip with one's children is not one hundred percent safe. I used to listen to the news religiously in the morning and evening. Now it's just the morning and even then there are times when I shut it off. I would start my weekend mornings with listening to NPR news followed by their programming. Lately I haven't been doing that. I'd rather go to my favorite websites and read about someone's observations of the events in their own lives. I'm seeking that seclusion that helps me deal with my own emotional turmoil.

If it weren't for newspapers and the Internet, there would be no resources for me to seek out the news. Connection with the rest of the world is important. You can't make a difference in your community if you cut yourself off from it. For me, it's the silence that is so important. I work in a noisy office. The last thing I want to do at the end of the day is bombard myself with more noise. Give me an online newspaper and dinner and I'm happy.

All I need now is a mouse that can be operated by my foot so that I can knit and read the news at the same time. Get at it inventors!

Knitting stuff

I'm not so much a yarn freak as a book freak. I can't tell you the number of knitting books I've picked up in the last three plus years but they outnumber my cookbooks, my humor books, and my art books. It's the designing part of it that attracts me as well as having a library I can turn to when I'm looking for a project to do. I find a book, fall in love with some of the patterns in it, and before you know it it's on my bookshelf. Lately I've been more selective, but haven't really slowed down. Ray is having a moving sale at his Knitivity site so while I was perusing his list, I found this:

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I had to have it. Once I got it, I found some patterns that I would most likely use later on. Don't you love the model at the bottom? The rabbitty teeth really make her.

Amazon is evil. They would put in my Gold Box this at nearly half price at a time when I can't take advantage of it. Evil! Evil! A pox upon them, the scurvy swine!

Off to go play with yarn and chat with the grrrrls.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Sharpen those Turbos!

Grumperina posted a few days ago that someone told her that "Karin Skacel Haack, Vice President of the Skacel Collection, makers and distributors of the Addi Turbo, is entertaining the notion of making Addis with sharper tips!" When I saw that, my heart beat just a little faster. I'm a big fan of Addi Turbos but the tips are too blunt for my liking when it comes to working lace or socks. Grumperina is calling out to everyone who is interested in sharper tipped Addi Turbos to write to Ms Haack indicating their support for such a line. Email her at this.

Stay cool if you can!