Tag Archives: knitting

Well, Hey There!

Holy Hannah, can I just tell you how many blog posts I’ve composed in my head and was convinced I’d sit down and have jewels of words just pour out all over your monitor?  Can I tell you how surprised I was to find I hadn’t written any?  I must have the most realistic dreams in the world…..

  1.  July was a very hot month so I found lots of things to either do inside my house with air conditioning, or in my car with air conditioning, or at somebody else’s house with air conditioning, or in a restaurant with air conditioning.  In July I pretty much forgot what fresh air smelled like.
  2. I also celebrated an anniversary in July, and it always amazes me how my wedding day only feels like two years ago, max.  But it’s been twenty-eight, so either I’m the Doctor and I’ve nailed time-travel, or this is a pretty good marriage.
  3. I learned how to can!2016-08-22 22.18.10
  4. Which maybe wasn’t such a smart thing to do since it introduced a new component of humidity in my house.
  5. August was also hot, but I didn’t care because we went on an Alaskan cruise.  Do you know that it doesn’t go much above 80 on the interior passage of Alaska?  Me neither.  Did you also know that it’s a temperate rainforest?  Me neither.  And what are rainforests good for?  Sing with me, kids: H-U-M-I-D-I-T-Y!!!
  6. It was an amazing experience that I am truly grateful for; we saved up for this trip for eighteen months but it still boggles my mind just how expensive it was.  It also taught me a lesson about cruises (this was my third one): limit excursions to ONE per day.  Not because I was overstimulated or anything like that, it was just so redundant.  We went from Juneau to Skagway to Icy Strait Point to Ketchikan, and every single excursion in every single place took great pains to educate us on bears and skunk cabbage.  Go ahead, ask me about bears and skunk cabbage.  I dare you.
  7. I did get to see a glacier.  Yup!

    That’s Hubbard Glacier, and when I saw how close the ship got and how incredibly cold the surrounding air was, I figured I’d finally found a place to live in the summer. But alas, regulations and rules and all….

  8. My knitting has been in drips and drabs.  I made a shawl to bring with me on the trip but didn’t use it much.  I’ve started two other shawls (because why not) and a couple of baby bibs, because many people I know are into the whole procreating thing.  It’s so easy to knit baby stuff, I keep forgetting.
  9. I started orientation on my new job, where I am alternately exhilarated at the thought of teaching college and appalled at the thought of teaching college.  Classes start September 7th, so if you don’t hear from me after that…..No, that’s not a fair thing to post because after all, I’m pretty bad at posting on a regular basis.  So if you see a post after September 7th and I don’t mention my job, maybe just figure it’s best not to talk about it.
  10. Like that’s ever stopped me before.
bean

I do that too, but for all the wrong reasons.

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Breathe, and Breathe Again

It’s a gorgeous Wednesday afternoon, about 2:00 EDT.  I actually sat down at my desk at 11:45 and fell down several rabbit holes of bill paying, checkbook wrangling, list making, and calendar updating, while simultaneously answering emails and phone calls.  And I’m not even a busy person!  I actually sat down to draw, but now I’m writing so instead I’ll show you the thing I drew last week:

2016-05-27 15.28.25

I have no idea what those lines are all around it, because they’re not on the photo I’m looking at!  Ah, well…..they say imperfection is its own kind of perfection.

And I’ve also completed the shawl that I’m just tickled with, and she’s here right now being America’s next top shawl:

It’s interesting to me how much weather plays a factor in my mood.  I like rainy days, I like the cool weather, I hate humidity (which I’m sure comes as a shock to you, gentle reader, as I’ve certainly never mentioned it before) and glaring sun, but give me a sunny day with the gentlest of breezes and I feel like SuperWoman.  I actually pulled some weeds and threw down some mulch!  Never mind that I’ll need a few hours to recuperate from that, it feels darn good.

I remember how much my mother enjoyed sitting outside, looking at her very small plot of garden and dreaming of what she could accomplish with more time and more energy.  She had some lovely roses that didn’t resemble any kind of prize-winner being as tall and spindly as they were, but the aroma was beyond heavenly and when she brought one into the house to sit in a tiny glass vase, she carried it like the precious treasure it was.  When she died I planted a rose bush, and I was devastated when it, too, died.  What has lived on, however, is a cutting from her philodendron plant (which she bought about 30 years ago) which is now four transplanted pots and three cuttings in water.  That’s kind of how I stay connected to her.  That, and watching old movies.

I think I hear a cup of tea calling my name…..

 

steve sentence

Steve is my spirit animal.

 

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10 Random Things on Tuesday

  1.  One day after discussing with my neighbor that I don’t get seasonal allergies, that I’m susceptible to allergy attacks all year, I get a whopper of one.  I woke up sneezing at 5:45 a.m.  Who does that?  How does that even happen?  How do you go from being sound asleep in a delicious cycle and then suddenly “achoo!”-ing loud enough to scare the birds?  And what’s with the sneezing straight for 10 minutes?  I thought I was going to have a heart attack mid-sneeze.  Can that even happen?
  2. I’m so glad the New York primaries are today.  That means tomorrow there won’t be the stupid commercials.
  3. I’ve never met anyone that didn’t like chicken.
  4. One of the reasons why I like my home so much is that I feel utterly at home.  That may seem like an obvious statement, but there have been places in my life that made me positively ITCH to get going somewhere else and feel settled.  This has now become that place, and I’m okay with spending time just enjoying my surroundings.  Of course, I do that by not looking too closely at the dog hair that wants sweeping up or the gentle layer of dust on the mantle.
  5. There’s an interesting state of affairs in the name of supporting local businesses.  There are neighborhood groups on Facebook (and some spelling program just capitalized that for me; why, I don’t know, since the actual masthead is lowercase.) and lots of requests for recommended plumbers, electricians, landscapers, nannies, places to eat, caterers, car sales, etc.  Helpful folks chime in with their favorites, and everyone gets a fuzzy glow from being good neighbors.  So tell me why NONE of them call you back?  “Hello, Neighborhood Business Owner?  Yes, I’d like to give you money.  Can you call me and tell me when you can perform your tasks so I may give you said money?  Thanks.  Here’s every number in the universe you’ll need to reach me.”  Radio silence for two weeks.  “Hello, Neighborhood Business Owner?  Yes, I called two weeks ago trying to give you some of my money.  In the meantime, my pet llama has disappeared down the pit that is my backyard waiting for someone to fill in the hole, preferably after extracting said llama.  Could you call me, please?  My numbers again are…”  Another week goes by.  Hopping onto Facebook I see the group praising the Neighborhood Business Owners again, and one small voice (not mine, yet) saying “they won’t return my calls.”  Angry friends and neighbors of said Neighborhood Business Owners rush to their defense, claiming they are “great people, coaching local softball, dynamite work, wouldn’t go anywhere else, why are you publicly disparaging him and attempting to ruin his business?”  It’s a conundrum.
  6. I just sneezed six times between paragraph five and six.  It’s a SIGN.
  7. I’m knitting a shawl that I want to use on vacation.  It’s Dream In Color Starry which means it has little silvery bits of shiny in it and I am completely amused, except the name of the color is “starless sky” which would indicate to me that it shouldn’t have the starry bits in it, am I right?  Or is it another conundrum and I have unwittingly stumbled across an actual theme in my life?
  8. I’ll soon be going to a convention with my Hubby which involves us going to a hotel.  We will be invited to a breakfast buffet at 8:30; he departs for a 9:15 meeting, and I go upstairs to change for an 11:00 brunch; after that, I change into casual clothes for afternoon shopping or walking about, leaving enough time to change clothes again for a formal banquet in the evening; after the formal part, folks change into casual clothes to roam the corridors and visit everyone else’s room for a drink as if we were back in college crashing dorm parties.  It is the silliest thing ever, but I like the people I get to see so I put up with it.  Plus two days with no home responsibilities so I won’t hear the dust calling my name.
  9. I saw my former students in a play at the local high school and while I had some anxiety ahead of time, it turned out to be a wonderfully therapeutic night.  All my kids were so happy to see me and I got many many hugs and enthusiastic “you were the best teacher ever!” and I may have cried.  Okay, I definitely cried.  My heart felt like the Grinch’s when it burst out of its cartoon x-ray frame.
  10. Sometimes when I want to blog I think about what would interest people, and then I chuckle to myself because what is interesting about a suburban middle-aged former music teacher who likes to knit?  Then I think about blogging my artwork and I chuckle again, mostly because I call it “art” when it’s really more like illustration, and people come to blogs for the reading.  I think my sarcasm bone must be getting brittle, because I haven’t been sarcastic in a while and you really can’t force sarcasm. I don’t talk about food that much because I don’t cook or bake that much lately (and really, you can get that content just about anywhere else) and I don’t eat out enough to be a picture-snapping foodie (again, find that just about anywhere on instagram).  Then I realize that this blog is for me and the outpourings of my mind, and just like my house, I feel at home here.  When I don’t write for a while, it’s just like a room in my house that I look forward to sitting in for a while and it’s where I feel comfortable just being me.  If you’re a reader of this blog, thanks for coming by.  I’d offer you some cookies but I’m afraid I’m pretty selfish about sharing them because cookies.  I will offer you tea, though, and if the conversation really gets going, the sarcasm may follow.  Or not.

I leave you with this thought-provoking idea from my spirit animal, the Dowager:

knitting-not-exercise

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My View

2016-02-05 09.19.05

That’s a lot of powdered sugar

This is my perfect kind of morning.  Everybody else in the house has left for work, and I get to look at this beautiful view while I sip my tea at my desk.  I have tons of knitting, tons of tea, and streaming Netflix.  It is a perfectly satisfying way to spend my Friday.

 

I do remember, however, when I was in my early twenties and living in upstate New York.  It snows there.  A lot.  Like, several times a day.  And there are lots of hills there, too.  So it wasn’t as charming as this little scene outside my window, although I really did love snow.  But when you clean it off your car to drive to school, then clean it off again to drive to your part-time job, then clean it off again to drive to your OTHER part-time job, then clean it off again to go home and realize you get to do it all again tomorrow, then it gets a little less charming.  It was beautiful, however, and except for the time that my engine froze and I couldn’t get to work (and got yelled at for it, because apparently I should have walked seven miles in windy, 12-below weather) and I hadn’t laid in the requisite bread and milk (that was a scary time) I really didn’t mind it all that much.  Of course, that was before my knees betrayed me and decided to only work part-time now.

 

But now I’m in a different phase of my life.  So I get to look at this gentle view, sip my tea, and remember just how lucky I am.  Hopefully I’ll have the good sense to re-read this post when I inevitably get into one of my crabby moods and fantasize about running away for a while.  Hmmm…….

good day otter

That otter has sass.

 

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Ten on Friday

  1.  The Mets are going to the World Series.  It is very strange to type that sentence even though it fills me with absolute joy.  I don’t think I remember how to be a baseball fan in October.
  2. My knitting seems to be all garter, all the time.  I have a huge garter blanket going right now for a gift, as well as a garter Baby Surprise Jacket for a December baby, and I’m thinking of another garter blanket when this one is done.  I wonder if that’s a secret signal that my knitting brain is fried.
  3. It is October 23 and it’s still not warm enough to think about baked apples, butternut squash soup (yes, Younger Daughter, I think you jumped the gun), and pot roast.  I think November is going to be a flurry of fitting all these things in before turkey and cranberry season.
  4. I am purging things in my house like mad.  I used to be a collector of stuff, certain I was saving the earth from needless garbage while I thought about how each item would be carefully recycled into something beautiful or useful.  Now I’m all get-that-crap-outta-my-house.  And I’m not doing the “tidying up magic” that’s all the rage now because I seriously cannot hold wallpaper scraps in my hands and divine whether or not they bring me joy and thank them for their usefulness.  I just want all-that-crap-outta-my-house.
  5. If I hear “where’s my hoverboard” one more time I may have to punch somebody.  It’s a movie.
  6. There are a bazillion ideas floating in my brain for landscaping our huge backyard, and I think back to the days when I was moving rocks and digging whole gardens.  Today I couldn’t get up from a kneeling position.  Time, you are a schizophrenic friend.
  7. Of all the things I miss about working, having the funds to hire somebody to clean my house tops the list.  It’s not that I don’t clean my house, it’s that I really suck at it.  I don’t notice stuff until it’s in full horror-movie mode and then I’m frantically trying to fix it before somebody notices.  Or worse, I think to myself “huh, I’ll have to take care of that” and then poof! it’s gone from my thought process and I’m playing another game on the iPad.  (I love my iPad.  It’s so bad for me.)
  8. This year I’m not buying any candy for Halloween.  (Gasp.)  I am getting a pumpkin and painting it teal.  Have you heard about that?  It’s to signify that you are a home dispensing treats that are safe for little monsters that have allergies, so no nuts or wheat or crushed roaches or whatever.  I am handing out little bags of potato chips instead.  And while that is making sweet-tooth Hubby a bit pouty, I am all about the chips.  Mmmmm……
  9. Can we fine all political candidates who flood our mailboxes with glossy mailers about how wonderful they are going to be if you elect them, even though they haven’t been wonderful before this and they’re surely wasting money and materials mailing out those stupid things?  Because I could get behind that.
  10. Luna bars make a perfectly decent breakfast when you don’t want to go through the hassle of making breakfast.  My favorites are Coconut Chocolate and Honey Salted Peanut.
I shall pose like this and look like I'm in charge.

I shall pose like this and look like I’m in charge.

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Day…..What? It’s Over? Where Have I Been?

Admit it, this doing stuff every day like, I don’t know, a routine or something is not easy.  Really.  Wasn’t I just writing my last post yesterday?  Did you all enjoy the many blog posts I wrote in my head?  Which one was your favorite?

In other words, I cannot believe it’s October 9, I haven’t done the tag thing yet, I haven’t blogged the last week of Writing 101 (and there were some awesome ideas coming, trust me) (you kind of have to trust me, because there’s no way you can verify whether or not I actually had awesome ideas in my head which is the closest I’m going to get to exercising some sort of control right now), I lost track of my days and missed teaching a music lesson, I didn’t do any of the things on the lists I made because I misplaced them before I could do the things…..

So what HAVE I been doing?  Funny you should ask.  There has been a lot of knitting because I quickly remembered that I had two baby showers in quick succession and one involved a trip to Virginia.  There’s a really cute photo of the really cute sweater (in my head) but have I gotten the camera to shoot said photo?  No.  I have that disease where as soon as you swivel your head in a different direction and focus your eyes elsewhere, everything you were just thinking flies right out of your brain.  When do I remember these things?  In the shower.  When I’m driving.  As I’m climbing the stairs to bed.  All terribly inconvenient times.

And the kicker is, I can’t promise myself it’s going to get any better.  I think I’ll make a list of all the things I want to improve on this weekend…..yeah, that’s a plan.

Sure.

Sure.

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A New Home

The lovely Winsday has offered to adopt my little family of yarn, so off it shall go to the friendly climes up north.  Winsday, please email me at woolizard at gmail dot com so we may chit chat about delivery.  And thanks!

And that's how baby projects are made, kids.

And that’s how baby projects are made, kids.

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STU

(As soon as I saw those letters I was inspired to simply post SHUT THE UP.  But that would have made even less sense than the normal drivel I post here.)

Since Christmas has passed, I have been Supremely busy with getting things together.  I have gone through all my Stash (yarn, to you non-knitting muggles) and posted it on ravelry (mecca, to you non-knitting muggles) So that I now have a clear idea of not only how much yarn I actually own, but what it is and what it could be used for.  It’s nice to look at a pattern and See Suggestions for the yarns that are actually in your Stash that could work for this project, although it’s embarrassing to See just how many of Said yarns are actually in my Stash.  The group I’m doing this Cold Sheep with (like cold turkey, but with wool) recommends converting the yardage to mileage.  That was pretty Scary.  Hubby didn’t flip when he learned I own over 40 miles of yarn.  He innocently wondered how I keep my yarn separate from Younger Daughter’s yarn, and when I Sheepishly confessed (hahahaha! SHEEPISHLY) in a very quiet voice that the closet he was peering into contained only my yarn, he just Smiled and Shook his head.  I knew I married the right man!

That led me into scrutinizing other areas of my life That could benefit from getting it Together.  My Tag-making, for example: I now have beautiful boxes To file all the lovely little Tags neatly by category and holiday, and I bought materials To make my own light box so The photos aren’t so horrifyingly ugly.  My Tag-making Tools of pens, pencils, cutting Tools, measuring Tools, etc. are all neatly in a little basket on my desk, and my inspiration books are in an actual magazine holder on same desk.  This is unheard of in my history.  I’m usually jazzed To start all This stuff and Then I get waylaid by how many little doohickeys need organizing and is That a cup of Tea I hear calling my name?  I even found a place for The cord That connects my laptop To my camera:

Yes, of course I decorated it.

Yes, of course I decorated it.

Understand, however, that this is not necessarily going to be an ongoing thing.  It is January, after all, and just as the gyms are flooded with well-meaning do-gooders and Weight-Watchers is having their version of Black Friday, I anticipate that by the end of February that little tin will be the only thing that is organized about my life.  But it is very fun to dream, eh?  Maybe I’ll organize my Umbrellas next, or Hubby’s Underwear, or other USB cables, or Ummmm…  Well, I know what I won’t do:  there’ll be no Udder-pulling or Ugg-buying.  (How else was I going to work “U” into this thrilling narrative?)

Oh, hey, there's a "U" in there!  Go, me!

Oh, hey, there’s a “U” in there! Go, me!

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Well, That Was Fun

For the second year in a row, I made a pilgrimage to Rhinebeck for the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Family Festival.  (Excuse me while I lie down a minute to recover from that verbiage.)  It was a gorgeous October day, if a bit windy, and I had both Hubby and Younger Daughter with me.

And for the second year in a row, I came home with one perfect skein of yarn.

Well, yes, it is a long way to drive (two and half hours) just to buy yarn.  But that’s not the goal.  The excitement comes in spotting some folks that are only known online in the ravelry world (and if I have to explain what ravelry is then I am going to assume you know nothing about knitting and perhaps you might prefer to peruse some non-knitting posts in my archives?  I don’t want you to feel left out.) and seeing the walking fashion show of handknits for free, and sampling the free wine and munchies at the pavilion and hearing the ubiquitous pan flute group and experiencing sticker shock at the various prices of string and finding the perfect bite to eat and wondering if you have room or strength for ice cream and decide which sheep you want to kidnap and bring home with you.  (Or would that be lampnap?  Kid being a goat, and all…)  

But that one skein.  We are on a little bit of austerity here, since Hubby has been job-hunting since Labor Day but he insisted we go and enjoy the fresh air and whatever else it is I enjoy about these things; it wouldn’t be like years past when I might come home with a dozen skeins of perfect yarn because 10 of those 12 skeins are probably still in the stash, patiently awaiting my flirtations with new yarns to cease and really, if it’s not going to be WOW yarn why should I drop the dough?  The entertainment of petting everything was almost enough.  I say “almost” because I did find the perfect skein.

I found (deep breath) 1,000 yards of a 3-ply, jewel-toned royal blue, 100% cashmere laceweight.  And when I tell you laceweight, I mean you look at how absolutely FINE that thread is and realize that it’s 3-ply and you have to shake yourself mentally to take this in.  What must the single ply look like?  It was a moment suspended in time as the other shoppers walked around me, carried on conversations, and looked at other yarns.  Other yarns!  When sublime perfection was in my hands!  I was transfixed.

Younger Daughter was a perfect partner in this.  You want somebody with you who can point out the possible flaws, the slubs that may not have been noticed, the bad color due to the bad lighting, the other minor flaws or excellent advice that a yarn shopper needs to keep a level head.

“You should totally get it.”

I’ve got to bring that girl with me everywhere yarn is involved.

This is EXACTLY what I look like when I knit.  Or in this case, darn a sock.  Which I've never done.  Either way, picture me in a pinafore on a window seat.

This is EXACTLY what I look like when I knit. Or in this case, darn a sock. Which I’ve never done. Either way, picture me in a pinafore on a window seat.

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Friday Fun Day

In no particular order:

  • Woke up chilly.  I love that feeling!  Gets my blood pumping and an eager outlook to my morning.
  • Scored an impressive victory in a game I’m playing on the iPad.
  • Took a walk to the local library’s Book Sale and got five (FIVE) books for seven (SEVEN!) dollars.
  • Almost finished another Christmas gift, it will be off the needles today and then I start something new.  Yay, stash-diving and pattern-matching!
  • I will be the only one home for dinner tonight.  I get to make whatever I want and I control the TV!
  • There will be wine consumed, too.
  • Messing around with illustrations and kind of liking how they look.  Maybe I’ll share someday.

In the meantime ~

It's almost hockey time!  Yay!

It’s almost hockey time! Yay!

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