Some Updates

(First some technical business: What this means is that I’ve forgotten to buy camera batteries, so this shall once again be a photoless blog, like a lot of mine are.)

I have something important to tell you. Something big.

I have a new lover.

Yes you read that right. Me, lover. The two of us happy ever after.

My father was the one who introduced us. I first saw him in the backseat of his car.

I am in love, I must admit it. I didn’t think I could love anyone this much. But I really do love him. He’s quiet, but so thoughtful, he keeps things clean, lives to dishes. He does what you tell him to do, and he likes it to. He takes a little while to get there, but it’s so wonderful when he does. And makes every thing so warm. I want to rub it all over my body.

His name. Frigidaire. His face is stainless steel with a butcher block on top. (I have a thing for men with a butcher block.) He even remembers what cycle I like best, which is more than I can say for anyone else I’ve ever dated. I have to hit two buttons and he does the rest. He’s certainly not a selfish lover.

And he brought his friend, the garbage disposal with him.

We’re going to have a threesome.

 . . . . . . . .

I got the dreaded knit guilt this morning. Oh, why does this happen to me. I started looking around and seeing, really seeing the UFO’s lying about. Okay, there’s only like three of them. Maybe four. But it got me thinking.

I need to finish things.

I could probably finish off the Traditional Shetland Lace Shawl in a week if I really wanted to. I’ve got a pair of socks that need a toe. That’s it, they need a toe. They need an hours knitting and they’d be done. But did I knit the toe. No, I didn’t, and I’m still not sold on the idea. Who needs socks? It’s summer. (We are over looking the fact that it’s rained for the past week or so.)

The Epaulet sweater just needs a body, and not even a whole body, but like 7\8 of one, if we are being honest. I think I could do that in a week if I set my mind to it, and gave up carrying anything else around and using the largest man purse at my defense. Maybe now that it’s a touch cooler I’ll finish up this one. I really do like it and I think it’ll make a great fall coat for this fall, before I’m able to come home and get all my winder things. (Kent is farther north, granted, about ten minutes farther north, but with the lake there (if you ask me what lake I will internet smack you) those few miles make a big difference. And I’ve been told that next year will be a brutal winter, which sounds like both a good thing and a bad thing.

What was I talking about? Right knitting. (I worry, with my bad memory, what I’ll be like when I get older. It makes me think of Nora Ephron’s I Remember Nothing. However, a ray of hope is provided because, at the clothing store, if a person wants to shop, I have to pull their information up out of the little file boxes, by their last name. I realized the other day that I waited on more people who’s name I knew then who’s name I didn’t know. Yet, I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night.)

Again, knitting. My Pi shawl is in the 500+ stitches range, so we are down the home stretch. I’ve just got about 80 more rounds to go. I’m sure that sounds like a lot, but I really don’t think it’s that much. I get to burst into a lace pattern here really soon and then have fun. I’ll be heading up to the library soon and picking out a Barbara Walker. (I know, are you shocked? I don’t own any Barbara Walkers.)I’m also thinking about doing a wide border. Really wide, like 10 inches. (I don’t know why I do this to myself.) Or maybe like 5. That sounds more doable. I’ll do a little more looking later. It’s a cashmere shawl, I’d be crazy if I didn’t want to spend more time with it.

Cadbury’s marketing once again wrecks it’s vengence on me

Well, my father has returned from his adventure up north, and guess what he brought back with him

Cadbury Toffee Cruchies

I don’t know how I’ve lived this long without them. One bite and I believed in heaven. All my spiritual juggling was solved and I suddenly felt like life itself had been given its meaning. Oh, and that was just with the first bite. The second was even better.

And now, a few days later, I’ve worked my way through the bag of 18 and have only one left. I don’t want to eat this one because I’m afraid what will happen to me if I run out. I’m naturally a very high strung person, and not having that will likely make it worse. Maybe I’ll end up taking herion or something. I hear that’s nice and mellowing. Or maybe I’ll do some digging to see if I can order them.

I’m tempted to truck back up there to find some, but I’ve halted this plan for several reasons. One, I don’t have a driver’s license. Two, I don’t have a place to stay, and I don’t think that I’d want to hitchhike at night on the way back. Three, I don’t have a passport, and while I really do like these things, I don’t think that it really is worth illegally sneaking over the border. However, I could always send dad back up there. But, he just got back, and I know he does love me and think highly of me, I think I might be crossing that line.

Well, more household news, not of the knitting variety. I am getting closer to having a dishwasher. Yes, a dishwasher. I am finally going to be one of those people that I have no sympathy for. A dishwasher! I can’t stop thinking about it. (It burns me a little that I am moving away in less than two months.) But I still will have tons of quality time with the new dishwasher, and considering that I’m the only one likely to unload the thing, I think we’ll get to know each other really well. I already love him.

And he is also brining his new friend with him, Mr. Garbage Disposal. Yep, I’m going to have a garbage disposal too. (I hear the theme from The Jefferson’s in my head right now, do you?) When it rains it pours, only I could use this kind of rain. The really odd part is now, I’ve got a sink drain that I actually can find a stopper to fit in, but I’m not going to need it. Isn’t that odd, but in a good way.

I’ve tons of work to do out in the garden today. Staking and caging the tomatoes, weeding, picking berries, the works. I’m not thrilled about this, but at least it’s not terribly hot out. I keep hearing thunder, and a minute ago it sprinkled, so I’m not really sure if this will happen today, but it stopped there for a while. That’s fine, I’ve got tons of indoor work to keep myself busy.

 

No Knitting Really

It has become that time of year. That golden time of summer when you wake up at five am out of sheer anticipation at the day that it’s going to be. Granted, I usually just go back to bed for a few hours like any sane person would do, but I’m still up and doing things at a reasonable hour. This morning I’ve been up and running. (Well, running is a bit of a stretch, I put on spandex and sort of sprint.) Then I came home, picked the strawberries, picked the raspberries, pulled some weeds, and then staked and caged some tomatoes. (I’ve started referring to my garden as “my annual bought of insanity”). Then I took a shower, played around on the internet for a while and now here I am writing this while listening to “disco’s greatest hits”.

It might not be known to you my gentle reader, but my father has headed for the hills, the hills being in this case, Canada. On a fishing trip. I don’t get this. If I were to go to Canada I would go to Toronto, and take myself on a tour of wool shops, that sort of thing. Eat Poutine. You know, Canadian stuff. Buy things with a two dollar coin. Have a beer. What is he doing? He’s fishing. He goes all that way to put on pleather waders and stand a river.

(Non-knitters, this is sort of like a knitter joke. When you tell people that you’re going off to a wool festival, which I haven’t had the privilege of doing, they always say, “What, are you going to do, just sit around and knit?” You always have to answer ” No, we drink and spin too!” And then you have to compare it to a fishing trip, which, when you boil it down is really just holding a stick and standing in a river, that no one ridicules. That’s knitting humor for you.”

So it’s just Ma and the baby around here for a little while. I find I let my standards of housekeeping down when there isn’t much of an audience, and my audience has decreased by a third. Or maybe I’m just getting lazy. Of course, now that it’s just the two of us, we can allow something like Spanish rice, or tuna hot-dish to pass as dinner — which is nice. (My father is one of those meat eating types, who likes to sit down to a hunk of broiled flesh and if it doesn’t have that, then it’s not a meal. Never mind that the two above both have meat in them, they still aren’t a meal. Don’t ask.)

And we’re watching tons of movies too. One recently was a re-screening of “Under the Tuscan Sun”. Have you ever seen that one? I don’t know what came over me as I watched it this time, I usually get a little choked up at that part where there old man waves, but this time it was positively ridiculous. I cried for the last half hour of that movie, and tons of parts in the middle. Oh, bring on the water works. Ah, at least I’m not one of those men who are afraid to cry. Hell, I’m afraid not to.

Anyway, I’m started to do a little pre-college packing. This isn’t really so much packing, but paring down myself, and reducing my possessions to the lowest common denominator. I don’t need that, I don’t need this. You know the drill. I got rid of tons of shoes, sweat shirts, and jeans. Tons of stuff that didn’t fit me. (Either clothes from when I was fat, or “hopeful thinking”.) I work in a used clothing store so you can imagine how the clothes have piled up. I cleaned out my books and my bags, and my yarn. Yarn was the hard one. I’ve got a lot of stuff that I will, to be perfectly honest, never use. (Sounds snobbish, but I don’t really care.) I would rather rip out a wool sweater than knit with acrylic yarn, at least for the most part. And as long as I’ve got access to a five dollar bill and a thrift store, I can knit a sweater. (And my needles and Elizabeth.) So you have that. I’m starting to think about how I want to store my things, both at home and at college. What to take and what to leave? (Smaller needles and the interchangeable set can come, leave the rest, maybe a few straight needles, my EZ books and a stitch dictionary, that sounds about right. Anything else I can live without, and it’s not like I’m going to the ends of the earth, Kent is an hour away if you hit heavy traffic. Some sock yarn and a few sweater’s worth. I will be at home at least once or twice in a month. I’ll be fine.)

And now I need to go clean up a bit. The dust buffalo look like they are planning a revolt.

Besotted

I’d forgotten that Sadie is on vacation this week and next, so, I sewed on the buttons for nothing, which really pisses me off. Something about her daring to go to California in the summer — this is one of the few times Ohio is warm, why would she leave it now? (It can be argued that it’s too warm, near 90 degrees and muggy as can be.) Anyway, what’ll she do in California without her pot-smoking sweater I’ll never know. (I swear to you I just meet all the odd ones. They are attracted to me. No, you’re not one of them.)

But, on Friday as my reward, I found myself staring at the great bookcase of yarn looking for something yummy. (Normal people look in the cupboards, just saying, also, normal people don’t store yarn and food in the same place. Bite. Me.) I found myself pulling out some reclaimed cashmere from last fall I do believe. It’s a light blue, and it’s unbelievably thin. (About a lace weight, but feels really thin to me because I never use lace weight. I may be changing this.)

That isn't two strands of yarn, I just didn't want to shut off the fan.

That isn’t two strands of yarn, I just didn’t want to shut off the fan.

 

You know how it is when you start some new project and you just can’t get enough of it. When it’s the last thing you put down in the evening, and the first thing you pick up in the morning. (After coffee and the toilet lid of course.) This is sort of the feeling with this one. It’s still small and light enough to be portable, and let me tell you that I am abusing that quality. I have been flying with this one. I love this so much that I even worked on it on my way to work yesterday, and the way home. Granted, I only knit about six rounds in an hour, but I still got a lot done for time that would have been wasted. (You know, time not knitting = wasted time.) I got a lot of strange looks, but I get that a lot. I am making such good time with this. Of course, now that I’ve said this, progress will pretty much come to a halt, but such is life. (For a point of reference I am at the point where you work 48 rows without an increase. This makes sense if you know the pattern.) I’m doing the “concentric holes” version of the pattern, which I do about every six rows. I say about every six, because sometimes I forget.

I can’t seem to find my copy of Knitter’s Almanac, which is the book that has that pattern in it. Well, it’s pretty simple, and once you get the basic principle of doubling the stitches every time you double the rows it’s pretty much execution. EZ certainly is a big fan of “launching pads”, and this pattern is no exception.

I don’t know if it’s the cashmere content, the fact that it’s for me, the new factor, or the cashmere content. (Did I mention how much I loved this stuff. It’s like sex but better! I really just want to roll naked around in this stuff. Am I oversharing? Probably. You’ll live.)

And I think that I was starting to get a little bit better at knitting. When I was doing the tricky circular cast on where you’ve got four needles and nine stitches, I only dropped one needle. Only one, can you imagine that? I usually have at least two or three hit the floor. I’m at the 24 inch needle stage, so really from here it’s just the long haul out.

Anyone what to race and see how fast I can get this one done. I

The Clap #Two

Well, good news people, today, as a matter of fact just a few minutes ago, I finished Sadie’s sweater. No, I forgot to weave in an end, hold on . . . .

Okay, now I’m done. Really done this time. I mean it now. I’ve finished the body, the edging, I’ve sewn the buttons on, wove in the ends and washed it. I’ve even put on a pocket. (A weird, inside pocket that I just kind of made up as I went. It involved short rows, tons of picking up stitches and a bit of sewing.)

There you have it. (Also, in the background is the quilt I made and the only one that I will ever make.) It’s made from a sweater that I unraveled about a year ago, some scraps and the red was a present from Cindy. The pattern is the Rorschach Sweater from KW, and it’s for a friend of mine, Sadie, who commissioned this after I wore my own Rorschach Sweater to the coffeehouse. She made me take it off and she went around the shop for about twenty minutes wearing it. I wasn’t really sure that I would get it back. She pestered and pestered and pestered me into knitting this for her, offered to pay me. (Which I took, and glad I did so, considering that yesterday I added up my assets and my liabilities and realized that I am, well, screwed.)

I also didn’t tell her the story of why the Rorschach sweater will forever be in my head the Gonorrhea sweater.

I’ve been writing the newsletter and studying math all day today. Tonight, work. (I have to leave in about 20 minutes) and then I have to deliver the sweater. I will hopefully start something new tomorrow. (I have a feeling that it will be a shawl and that it will be cashmere. That will be my reward.)

I did four buttonholes, the sneaky kind that I love. (They are the ones that you do in applied I-cord, when you just work a few rows un-applied I-cord, and then skip a few rows on the sweater’s edge.)

Still at fourteen projects left to go in KW, because this is the second time that I’ve knit the Gonorrhea sweater in a year. I think I should be finished with the Traditional Shetland Lace Shawl soon. (I said think.) I’ve got two edges left to knit on it. When I’m all said and done with it, that shawl will be about as tall as I am, if not taller. (For reference I am about six feet tall.)

Let’s see, what else. I applied for an on-campus job yesterday. In the fundraising department, essentially making phone calls and the like. (I am fine when I’m making the call, I just get flustered when someone calls me because they never ask me how I am doing.) The pay is good, the hours are minimal, and if it’s where I think it is, then it is near stuff. Considering that I’ve got tons of experience doing PR for non-profits, (well tons is a stretch, but I drummed it up a bit) this should be for me.

And I’m so glad I’ve finally finished that sweater. I think that is about my 20th. My 20th that I would actually wear in public.

 

Home Upkeep and Knitting (No, I’m not knitting curtains.)

Okay, first I have to tell you all that yesterday I cleaned out that space between the bed and the wall. It only took about two hours, and really, had I known it would have gone by that quick, I would have done it a lot sooner. My bedroom looks so much bigger and my bed is so much closer to the window. What this means is the sun shines on my pillow sooner, and I get up earlier. (See, right now I am actually at my desk before ten am!!!!!) (And I’ve also discovered that the Village People are perfect music to clean to. It’s loud, energetic, and their songs are all about ten minutes long.)

Also, yesterday I got a letter! This isn’t really anything unusual, but this letter was from Rachael. (Did that link work, if not I’m sure you know Rachael. She’s that Rachael.) A little while ago, she posted her address on her blog and told people to write her letters. Well, I did, and I got a very lovely reply. You know how when you’re reading her blog you think “She can’t really be like this in person.” Well, she’s like that in her letter at least. (Which is also writing I suppose, but you must admit that it has a lot more character.)

We’ve got more news around here. (I swear, I don’t blog for one fucking day and I’ve got a backlog.) The washing machine broke. Well, the spin broke, so it would wash clothes, it just wouldn’t finish. Well, there was a period where it wasn’t spinning but if you thumped it really hard on the side and then banged the lid twice it would spin. But that system didn’t work for long. (You can imagine.) So, I wrung out the clothes in it by hand. (I was sore for a little while. Why, why, did I chose that day to wash the sheets?) And then pictured myself schlepping a laundry bag all around Wadsworth. (It would be one of those days when I really wished I wasn’t so afraid of driving.)

Well, my father took a look at it and was essentially able to fix it. It spins, it just doesn’t stop. The little switch that stops it when you open the lid, that went bad. (It essentially was reading it as being open even when it wasn’t.) So he just kind of took that out of the mix. It matches the dryer, which still spins and dries when the door is open. (I fell on the lid a number of years ago and broke that. I’m still a touch bitter that everyone’s first concern was the dryer, not me.)

Last night I reached a turning point on The Epaulet sweater. I finished the last sleeve and am now sailing down the body. (Sailing? Crawling.) The rows are about 200 stitches long, but this is pretty thick wool so it feels like more. This is one of those rare instances in knitting when I wish for a 32 inch needle. But I’ll get over it. Anyway, it’ll be slow going from here on out, with no excitement of more shaping or quick finishes of the sleeves, which is typically my pet peeve with top down sweaters. Though I do like the idea that when I finish the body that I’m pretty much done. And I was glad to try it on for a minute and I can see that I will like this sweater. At least I hope. Now, having spent some time at Kent, I certainly can imagine myself wearing this while bashing around campus. (At seven forty-five in the morning. I personally believe that if something cannot be done after eight in the morning than it simply is not worth doing. I may have to revise this policy.)

It looks rather bunched up, sort of like a woolen mess, but I like it just the same. Sure, it’s not flashy. There might not be a cashmere content, some of my knitting friends may think it feels like burlap but I love it just the same.

I will love it even more once I put on the afterthought pockets.

Sadie’s Sweater

Okay, since coming off of that college high, I’ve been able to get something done. It  goes without saying that I define “something” as something besides pacing the house and spontaneously starting to skip while singing show tunes. What this something is, well, it would happen to be of the knitterly variety. Here is a picture of the Sadie’s sweater taken in the shitty light because it is really cloudy now, and rainy, and towards the evening time.

 

I assure you, it doesn't glow in real life

I assure you, it doesn’t glow in real life

(As an aside, I have to tell you that a friend once told me that the cloudiest place in the United States is Medina County, where I live. I don’t know how much I believe her, but I looked it up online, and Cleveland is pretty high on the list, and it does feel like it’s very cloudy. I blame, as per usual, all the Republicans. This place is lousy with them, with more popping up all the time.)

What I’m doing now is applying I-cord all around the edges of this thing, making buttonholes as I go, and contemplating a pocket. Sadie wanted a pocket on the inside, but do to the construction of the thing, an afterthought pocket is impossible. (Come to think about it, I don’t know how I would do one of those on the inside anyway, without it showing on the outside.) Anyway, I’m starting to think about how to do it. I’m thinking something that involves picking up stitches along one side of it, knitting it together at the bottom, and then sewing it along the other edge, with some short rows to make the bottom wider than the front. (If you don’t knit, don’t worry about all that stuff, it’s not really as complicated as it sounds, at least to me.)

I just saw something on TV that reminded me of something that was written in one of my books, so I think I’m going to go and read that part before I run out of battery life.