Friday, September 28, 2007

Dear Joe

Happy Birthday.

You’ve been in my life for so long it’s difficult to remember a time before you arrived there. We’ve certainly learned a lot from each other, including how to drive Mom nuts by squabbling over a roast chicken.

I learned how to settle in for a nice long motorcycle ride:

I learned the finer points of the Leica vs. Nikon debate; an appreciation for black and white photography; how to pose over and over for a “candid” photograph; and how rare it is to get a photo of a photographer (which will almost certainly include them holding a camera of their own):

I learned how to hold my own in a debate, because you often seemed to delight in taking a position precisely opposite of my own. I learned the value of hard work and saving my money (we won’t talk about how much of my income is going towards yarn, I’m still making my retirement contributions). I learned that home baked bread is superior, by an order of magnitude, to anything you can buy.

I learned that it’s very important to have someone to play with:

But the most important thing I learned from you is that you love me, and that you always will. Wild hair, strange friends, lonely phone calls from the other side of the country, you were there for them all.

You are one of the greatest treasures that the universe has ever gifted me with, and I cherish your place in my world.

Straight ahead,

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tips For Blogging

Things you should do:

Post pictures of your yarn:

Post pictures of your WsPS:

With detail shots:

Post pictures of your FO's:

Tell your loyal readers about how much fun you do or don't have on your projects.

Tell them about what you learn and the mistakes that you make.

If you're a particularly brave and conscientious blogger, you'll have photos for the most egregious mistakes.

Share your blog with your friends and family.

Spread the love of your craft as far and wide as possible.

Things you shouldn't do:

Post on your blog about having eye problems without having first informing your mother about such problems.

Failure to do so may result in getting an email like this one I got yesterday.
Subject: EYES?

It must be one for the books. Your Muthur has to find out about the trouble with your eye by going to your blog site! When were you going to get around to telling me about it?
Truly, I guess that you don't need to get rid of all your sock yarn and tiny needles. Continue to use your glasses and be as have as you can.
love, hugs, and kisses,
Ouch, that stings! Sorry Mom. I'm bringing you a sample of that new bread today, I promise!

Just a tip, folks, a word to the wise!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Eye Trouble

What is the thing that most knitters fear the most, aside from hurting their hands? That's right, problems with their eyes.

I had to leave work on Thursday due to an itching, burning, bruised-feeling eye. In addition to being annoyed that I was going to be behind in my projects, I was frantic that I might not be able to see well enough to knit. I've got an incredibly active imagination, so I cooked up all kinds of scenarios in my head. I had settled on a scenario which included super-bulky yarn and size 50 needles... not a pretty picture in my head, considering my passion for socks and my growing interest in lace.

One of the good things about being a cynic with an over-active imagination is that my worst-case scenarios rarely come true. I went to the urgent care center on Friday and the doctor hemmed and hawed, and then allowed as how amputation would probably be over-reacting. He told me that there had probably been something in my eye for most of the night on Wednesday, and that I'd been rubbing at it in my sleep. Putting on my contacts on Thursday didn't make things any better, and by Thursday afternoon my eye had decided that enough was enough.

So, no contact lenses for a week, and I cranked up the resolution on my monitors to reduce the strain. Thankfully, I don't need to go stock up on super-bulky yarn!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Best Friend

My best friend came over tonight. We had veggie sandwiches on homemade bread with corn on the cob. It took twice as long to eat dinner as it usually does, because we were laughing and chattering so much.

She hadn't seen the stash in a while, so I acquainted her with some of my recent purchases. Have you ever fallen in love with a yarn all over again just from showing it to someone? It reminded me of why I'd bought it in the first place, of how soft it was and how the color just called to me.

But the best part was just having time with my friend. We haven't seen nearly as much of each other lately as we'd like. We've talked on the phone or stopped by each other's work, but tonight was the first time in a long time we've been together when one of us wasn't working. It was so good to get together and just hang out. To look into her eyes and see her laugh.

It's easy for me to get stuck inside of my head, and she's got this ability to get me to come out of it, to stop taking myself so seriously and just live right now. She helps me remember who I am and who I want to be.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Knitter, Know Thyself


So important. One of the great immutable laws of knitting.

I knit loose. The first few items I knitted were so tight they could have doubled as bullet-proofing material. So I changed the way I hold my needles, the way I hold my yarn, everything. And now I knit loose.

I know this, I accept this, I make adjustments for this.

Except for this time.

I’m making a scarf for my step-father, a free pattern called “Columns” that I got at KnitPicks. I’m using Elegance, a most luscious and amazing alpaca and silk blend, in Barn Red and Redwood. A joy to work with, truly. The pattern calls for size 7 needles. Please go back and reread my third paragraph... I knit loose.

Did I practice this pattern at all? Test drive the yarn, try different needle sizes while I got used to how slippery it is? Nope, not me. I just dove right in with the 7’s. And even though the scarf looked maybe a little wide, I just kept humming right along... until I used up 110 yards of Barn Red. Then I finally had to face it.

This scarf wasn’t just wide, this scarf was friggin’ ridiculous. 9.5 inches wide and only 15 inches long.

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This was not a scarf... I don’t know what it was, but it wasn’t a scarf. (Please note that the fabric is so loose that you can see through it it several places.)

I took the tips off, stuffed it in a box and ignored it for several months. Last week I realized that I've got less than a month until step-dad's birthday, so I started over... and I actually knit a gauge swatch. Settled on 5s and, after 110 yard of Barn Red, this is what I got.

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7 inches wide, 19 inches long. A scarf... at least half of a scarf.


Monday, September 3, 2007

Now Maybe I'll Have Time

... to post here.

Apparently things went crazy while I was on a mental health sabbatical from KH. I woke up this morning thinking I felt like posting there, and it turned out that all the people I wanted to talk with had left.

Well, OK then.

Seeing how many months it's been since I updated this, and remembering how excited I was when I started it, perhaps its time to shift gears.

Big hugs to any refugees who read this!