Knitting Like A Sailor

Friday, September 30, 2005

Please, Somebody find a paper bag...

I have been practicing the great art of retail therapy. I feel faint whenever I think of the bills, but I knocked my want list way, WAY down.
Shall I share with you?
It started with this:

Grey RomneyxBorder Leicester fleece bought off of E-bay, it's from last years clip. I'm thinking a nice sweater.

That felt good, so I moved on to some things I've been needing:

That would be a pair of Strauch Cotton/fur half size hand cards

A lovely swift

And because I'm a literary kind of gal:

I've been looking for this locally and couldn't find it.

Since I was ordering anyway...

This looked really interesting.

I decided to complete my collection:

and start a new one

A mystical mosaic sock kit, St George pattern, Black and Blue/Violet colorway

Beth B-R's twined sock pattern

Hazel Carters Spider Queen Shawl pattern

Her Rosy-Fingered Dawn Kit.

I then purchased a selection of the knitpicks dye your own yarns. No pics, they're um white, I'm thinking you can visualize white yarn...

But since I was buying all these lace patterns I needed to get some more lace yarn.

Porn anyone?

Hmmm...That's enough for four shawls, plus the knitpicks, and I only have one pattern...

Must Have More Lace.

So, I did it. I bit the bullet, and ordered these:

The Spring Shawl Pattern

The Unst Bridal Shawl

The Rosebud Shawl

The Ring Shawl

and, since I was paying all that shipping:

There are a few things I will still pick up, I would like a copy of Rogue, a nice little sweater pattern Terri Shae designed, some more needles, but I have to let the card rest a while (and wait until I can get Paypal to accept my new account) since it was screaming for mercy.

Cheaper than a Therapist, but I still hurt for my little guy. The vet let us know on Wednesday what killed him. It was a cottonmouth. It was fast, but it wasn't easy for him. We have a professional coming out to scope the yard, house, and sheds for snakes and Make our home less palatable for them.

Thank you for the condolences, both public and private.

Monday, September 26, 2005

In My Life, I Love You More

Rest Peacefully, Sweetheart.
July 16, 1996 - September 26, 2005

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Autumn Memories

Leaves crisping under my feet, a warm cozy sweater, chill nipping the ears and nose...
Yeah, well, it's still in the 90's here in the greater Charleston area. However, I remember fall in the Midwest fondly.

Truth be told, the best fall weekend that I've ever spent was in Iowa in 1990. I had requested time off from my first adult job, and driven down from Wisconsin the night before to visit my sister in her big, old victorian house. It was her very own, her first house, quite a coup for a single 27 year old woman. She had turned the attic into a guest suite/yarn storage/closet, so I awoke to a bright, airy, color filled room. I pulled on some leggings and a sweater and ambled off downstairs to find my sister. We met up in the kitchen and were sharing some hot oatmeal muffins with apple butter, when the phone rang. It was her office, she needed to come in and review a case that was now emergent. At the time she was a coordinator for a major companies' in house health insurance, so interruptions like this were common. She apologized profusely, but I told her I'd be fine on my own and it would be enjoyable to have the day to myself.
After she left for the office, I decided to get something in the crockpot for supper. Beef stew sounded just about right. After browning the beef, seasoning it with fragrant bay, rosemary, and a few grinds from the pepper mill, I started searching through the fridge for vegetables. Realizing that all she had for stew veggies were some left over baked potatoes and a rather wilted carrot, I pulled on my shoes, tossed her wool muffler around my neck, stuffed her mittens in my pocket, and set off for the local grocery. On my way there I ran across a small gourmet fruit and vegetable stand. Deciding that the higher cost was worth not walking six more blocks, I picked out some carrots, potatoes, onions, a block of cheddar cheese, and a bottle of red wine. Crossing my fingers that he wouldn't card me (I was 19 at the time) I paid for my purchases. The lovely man behind the counter told me that this was his last day of the season, so I turned around and bought a paper bag brimming with green, rosey cheeked apples. Carrying my purchases back to her house, the scent of tangy apples and fresh paper bag were a perfect companion to the bright maple leaves crunching around my feet, and the crisp chill in the air.
Upon returning, I cleaned the vegetables, tipped them into the crockpot with the beef, along with a generous measure of the wine. I prepared the apples, and dug out the ingredients for lunch, and a pie. While the soup simmered and the crust baked, I pulled out some of her housekeeping books and started reading. There's just something about autumn that brings out the homemaker in me. After lunch I slid the pie out of the oven, built a fire in the living room fireplace, and curled up with her cat under one of the afghans my sister had knitted. As the fire died down, I layered another afghan on and cozied in for a nap. A bit later she called to let me know she was done and asked me if I wanted her to bring some McFood back with her. I turned down the McFood and said I'd scrounge something for us to eat. Knowing I had about a half hour, I hurriedly whipped up some biscuits, started her old percolator going with a family recipe for mulled cider, and cleared up the kitchen. Inspired by the books I had been reading, I searched her buffet for supplies.
When she came in the door, the dining room table was set, complete with table cloth and wine glasses, the stew was waiting in a pretty pot I found (it turned out to be a soup toureen, but it worked) and there was a big basket of steaming biscuits. She made up a salad and we dug in. Chatting with her about this and that, I watched the tension drain from her face. She reassured me that she had the next two days off as we cleared the table and took our pie and cider into the living room. She built another fire and we spent the evening talking, reading and knitting. At the time I knew how to knit, but had not gone any further than making the odd scarf. My sister worked on sweaters and afghans, and I knitted a garter stitch scarf from some green wool left over from a cardigan she designed. We spent the rest of the weekend hanging out in our jammies, watching old movies and reconnecting.

Now we have children, and men (aka big children), in our lives. The big old victorian has been "upgraded" to a split-level ranch in suburban North Carolina, and I am in South Carolina. She has been promoted and executized, and hasn't had time to pick up her needles in many years. I think the afghan she started that weekend was one of her last. I'm a full time college student, now I am the avid knitter, and a spinner too. We've both grown in separate directions and years go by without us seeing each other, months between calls, but we both still remember that weekend, when we were young and life hadn't gotten in the way yet.

Thank you, Princess Knits, for your contest and prompting me to remember that weekend. Even if I don't win, I have the best prize.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Cool Toy!!

I was futzing around with stuff (still under the weather) and went looking for a way to magnify or do something to hilight the row I'm knitting on excel spreadsheets. Found It! It works with anything on the screen you want to magnify, and I believe it's packaged with all XP accessories. It's called magnifier, and the path is start menu --> accessories --> accessibility --> magnifier. Windows also has a taskbar magnifier in their power tools area but I don't care for it as much because it doesn't go the full width of the screen and it's not as easily parked (I had to move the whole taskbar whereas with the packaged magnifier it was click and drag, and it's resizeable to one line rather than the three the taskbar one does) on both you can adjust the magnification. Really handy little toy. I see much more charting and scanning in my future.
Downside? the packaged app has a box that stays on top of everything whereas the taskbar app does not. Eh, i just park the box in the corner.
have a good evening!

Insert Title Here

For some reason I've been having trouble getting the title to show up in the last couple of posts. I guess I shouldn't complain considering it's frequently months between posts. *sigh* Semester started a couple of weeks ago. I've a heavy science load on top of an eng class with a prof who enjoys highly structured, philosophical assignments, and her greatest pleasure is watching students have moments of discovery be it in their thinking, lives or deciphering MLA formatting. So, if you ask a question she doesn't answer it, she tells you a story about it. Greaaaaat. I haven't had too many difficult questions, but her style is annoying. Other than that I really am enjoying my classes this semester.
On the needles, well, I have an v-neck pullover that I mentioned previously, I'm knitting a lace scarf for my sister with some moss green alpaca laceweight and I'm trying out a few different things with it, like the way of knitting scarf and edging at the same time as in the orenburg shawl book, using some shetland motifs and basically winging it. So far it hasn't been bad but conversely so far all I have knit is the bottom edging lol
I have been trying to make the mediterranean lace shawl from gathering of lace, I've cast on for it something like 31 times, and I've even gotten through three repeats of the pattern but something seems to happen each and every time. I have to admit most of the time I lose one or both needles out of it and it starts unraveling in my backpack. I need to figure a better solution for toting my knitting around, but I don't want to carry two bags. The doors at school are awkward and heavy and close really fast, so frequently my rolling backpack gets slammed in the door, and my knitting saves my laptop. Maybe I should break down and use some point protectors or something lol Ah well, the yarn is getting an attractive, cushy halo around it from being yanked back so many times. I'm starting to think I'm going to have to brush it to make the rest of the not-nearly-so-abused yarn match. We'll see, if I ever get to keep knitting on the damn thing.
I've been under the weather last night and all day today. I didn't even get out of bed today. Kevin did everything, and my sole contribution was dropping a handfull of fish sticks on the kids plates at dinner time, and then staggering back to the bathroom. I'm better than I was earlier today. Serious time was devoted to pondering how I could move the bed closer to the bathroom, because those 5 steps were too far. I also found myself cursing the former owner of the house for removing the bath part of the bathroom, it would have made clean up so much more pleasant when I lost the guess which orifice is going to spew game this morning.
I do have to say that the laptop and the wireless router has been the best investment. I seriously was worried about spending the money, but man, it's been a life saver. I can do homework anywhere in the house, and I can even take it outside and study while the kids play. Today I accomplished no studying, I devoted my time to pressing myself as flat as humanly possible on the bed, and reading blog archives. Bloglines ate all of my feeds, every single one, so I've been cruising the knit, spin, and fiber rings to find them, and running across some interesting new ones. Some of the ones I had to have back immediately? Knitting Curmudgeon, Queer Joe, Yarn Harlot (and today I went and re-read her archives, great way to pass the afternoon) Boogaj, Wendyknits.
Okay, time to go be flat again. Have a good weekend.
PS Shaela's a great dog, we vetted her and found out a) she's only 3 years old, b) she had heartworms (we're saving to get her treated, almost there!) and c) she's closer to a purebred than we thought, the vet thinks she may be pure unregisterable. (what he calls the dogs that the good old boys breed for huntin' and such.)
bed time now
*Edited to add*
Not that I care if Shae's a purebred or not. She's fantastic, she's sweet and funny and beautiful just the way she is. Pedigree doesn't even enter the equation.