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February 2005

January 2005

weekend update

The weekend raced by as weekends do.  Saturday I went to Sue's last Saturday of the month spin-in.  I took the Joy and continued spinning the lovely blue, turquoise, mostly dark grey mohair.  I realized when I was packing up stuff to take that I hadn't worked on it since New Year's Day, when I spun it at the last spin-in at Sue's.  I finished a full bobbin.   I'll end up plying this, so started another to go with it and the bobbin of boucle I made from the same roving.  It's very silky and I love spinning it.  The Joy has been sitting in it's bag because I've been using my spinning time on the silk / merino using the Schacht and the Shetland on the spindle. 

The Weekend sweater debuted Sunday morning for brunch and a trip to the museum.  C and I headed into town to see the Paisley show at RISD.  It's very small, occupying only one small gallery, but lovely.  Most shawls were mid 1800S about evenly split between Scottish from the town of Paisley and Indian.  The Indian pieces worked from goat fiber (could this be a description of unrefined cashmere?) & wool.  A show of Fred Sommers works opened in the photo gallery downstairs and although another smallish exhibit, worth seeing.  Sunday mornings are about the only time that parking is available AT ALL near the museum.  Then we went over to a favorite Indian restaurant  for brunch,  mmmmm... I had very spicy mussels and a cucumber salad.  (Don't laugh Cindy, I'm predictable, and I don't want to let the weight creep back, now do I?)

A new project is underway.  I started the sleeve of the Must Have Cardigan as my 'swatch'.  Yarn is Paton's Classic Merino, color: Dark Olive.  Very soft.  After the first 6 pattern rows I ran to the computer to make a spreadsheet to map out the different repeats.  I knew learning these programs wools come in handy, who knew, for knitting??

My broadband crapped out off and on all last week and finally bit it on Sunday morning.  My dial up was connecting at 32 bps so I was very unhappy.  I spent too much time on it, ruined my already fragile attitude and still don't know why it's working now and why my home network that I REALLY do need is not working.  Tech support says a new router is in order, I'm thinking software, but who the hell am I?  And how to prove it.  Arghh..  Monday may not be the day to tackle this problem.  It means trying to actually contact the gods at Microsoft.   The mountain they live on is generally unreachable.  Guess they are too far off the plebeian grid for their own technology (LOL).  Is it me or is TypePad also very slow.

pictures to follow..

(what) was I thinking?

More objects to rework for February's challenge.  I may start early, C gave me this sock I'd made him years ago and asked if I could fix it.



My first impulse was to throttle tell him absolutely not, what are you thinking?  How did it get this way... it's on the top and the bottom.  Were you playing with the cat with this sock??  This morning I had second thoughts, I'd add it to the list of items to be reworked (sounds better that ripped out).   I went in search of the leftover yarn.  I'm fairly certain these were made 5 years ago or so... but I don't throw anything away (don't grimace Dad), so it had to be somewhere.  I knew I'd seen it.  Now, here's the I can't remember anything it seems mystery.  I found it on the floor under the dining room table.  It has not been there for five years.  I must have decided to use it to wrap a present or something, maybe he was playing with the cats, heck if I know.  But there it was, not in storage, but under the table.  Weird, huh?  So a la Sally Melville's class, I'm removing the lower foot, by unraveling from the one row, from the one cut stitch.  And, I'll make a new one.  It's very cold, I attempted to relocate the bird feeder , now I'm waiting for parts. 

Dsc_0002_2  The cats, the ground feeders and the squirrels are very happy with the results.  The platform feeder is now constantly heaped with seed.  All the better to see everyone. 

more snow, it's winter here

Yep, it started again last night, and it's still snowing.. up to 10 more inches by tonight.   When I went out at 10:30 this morning all the municipal plow trucks were driving around with their plows up (that means not plowing), the sanders spraying sand onto the 4 1/2" covering the roads, and people driving and sliding into snow banks to stop themselves ( or maybe because they could NOT stop themselves) everywhere.  Why weren't they plowing?  I've got this theory that plow drivers don't think they are appreciated enough.  So they 'make 'em suffer' so they know, that we know , that they are out there!  Whatever..  it's winter, it's snowing, and the cats really wish I'd leave the office and make a path to the cat door.  Independence.

Last night I checked two things off the knit list.  The Natalya wristers are finished, I wore them out today


and the second sleeve of the Weekend Sweater is done.  I realized that most of my hesitation to finish this sweater stems from this one problem.  Which side do I want for the right side.  Check this out.  The little rolled neck edge will match the first picture here.


  But, I like the second option better, the one that uses the 'wrong' side.


I like the rolled edge to roll under.  It won't match.  I still think I'll be happy.  Last night I passed around the finished sleeve and asked the question.  Everyone agrees, roll under.  So, the decision is made.  I'll change the pattern ( what's new??) and use the 'wrong' side.  I feel much better, now I can finish.

I've picked up the gauntlet, taken the challenge... my first recycle, rip it ...
a project I made more than 20 years ago and haven't worn in almost the same length of time.  I just never liked the fit, the shawl collar too, tooo shawly and the ribbing at the hips waaaaayyy too tight.  So here it is..

So there you have it.


finifobia: the fear of finishing*... that's the only excuse I can come up with.  Shortly before the completion of any project that needs to be 'finished', I abandon them, well... not exactly, but work on them stops happening.  I don't generally put them away, but rather leave them, in their own knitting bag, on the floor.  Over a period of time, the bag works it's way to the back of the line that circles my chair; a wagon train of projects from in all states, started or still in the 'dreaming up' .  And there, it waits.  One has actually ended up binned.  I put it away safely in my moth resistant bins last spring rather than just sew it up.  I'm telling you this in hopes that it will break the spell. You know what, it won't.  It's the way I am.  I'll keep procrastinating.. my nature.   I'm not really afraid of the finishing part.  I can do it properly.  I just don't enjoy it.  I have to break the repetitive pattern of the knitting of it, and think again..  and hope that it all works out.  Hope that it fits, that I'll like it, use it...   I like projectss that are made up all in one piece.  When you're done, you're done.   

I liked making the Natalya wristers. I loved the Patons Classic Merino.  I made them longer in the hand and thumb.  When it came time to decide whether to continue the pattern stitich to hte end (and rip the first one back to match), I waffled.  Both have the ribbed edge, it matches that on the thumb.  Would I make another pair?  Sure, fast and easy..  and remember.. when you're done, you are done.

I love this:  Time and again the second frontpage of the newspaper offers more real information than the Frontpage crapola.  Here's an offering I had to share; another use, medical this time, for Duct Tape.  Wart removalby duct tape is more reliable than surgical removal.  Ha!

some snow

Hmmmm... what a weekend.  Friday morning some of the local stations were still forecasting 2-4" of snow.  One of the guys here came in with an 18" possible report and we hooted.   None the less, the blizzard warnings were out there so we prepared by getting ready for a power outage, you know, no heat, no water, that kind of stuff.  The snowblower was adjusted, belt tightened.  I made a big pot of chicken soup.  Water was stored in big pots.  What we ended up with was a very windy snow storm,  as we do most every winter.   When it was over, we dug out.  It may have been a big storm system, but it was a namby ass blizzard.  I'm convinced that the Media / government makes more out of these things 'cause they want some spotlight.  You know, the Gov. remembers the pictures from 1978, when there was a blizzard and the then Governor wore his flannel shirt with sleeves rolled up (or not) on TV for days and days and it was GOOD PRESS.  Made him a hero.  Opportunities like that just don't come along very often, do they now?  In less than 24 hrs. the snow had stopped, people got themselves dug out and the state declared itself in a State of panic Emergency.  Come on...  if you need to close things, like businesses, say it's for the convenience of the clean up crews.  If you want to keep the cars out of the downtown area, run the bus service for free and require people to take them into the downtown areas, don't stop all the buses.  OK, RANT OVER!

It was lovely to finally take some time to light a fire in the fireplace and sit by the window and spin.  Another bobbin of merino / silk, of course.
Here are the pics..

I had to remove the blooming orchids from this area as the temps were into the low 50s in the room. 

0122052By late Sunday, the sun was out just enough for a real sunset.  I have not tried to open the sliding doors, the snow on the deck is too high for that, and the cats are finding that they have absolutely no experience in tunneling, so have abandoned the use of their cat door until plans are completed for their Big Dig.  Poor things.

Good new... I have found the ultimate squirrel deterrent.  So far, they have not figured out how to use the snow capped feeder as a launch pad.  They've retreated to get shovels, no doubt.


The first Natalya wrister is completed.  I wore it all evening as I knit the second.  I found it snug, warm, and a comfort to my very sore wrists.  Shoveling, sweeping, typing, knitting, spinning...... all hard on them.   This is a very classy pattern.  I've made mine longer for my long arms, and made the hand part longer too.  I bound off,  and now have second thoughts about the little ribbed edge.  I may rip that back and continue to the end with the cabled pattern repeat.  I've already increased the hand length an extra inch and have found that it is still not quite enough. 

Sometimes you just got to see it

1. I love the Patons Classic Merino.  It's very soft and wonderful to knit.
2. I think these beads are fun.
3. Just because I can doesn't mean I should use the two together. 

I'll frog this shortly.  It was fun.  Sometimes you just got to see it.  The only way is to knit a swatch.  It can change everything.  Perfect example.  The cables alone are far more elegant.


I made these little purple halfmits a couple years back.  Lately, with my wrists and forearms so sore, I've taken to wearing them, or any of the other assorted pairs that are presently hanging around, indoors.  It's kind a comforting.  Please note however, that I do not recommend wearing them while trying to use a very teensy beading hook.  It's like having velcro'd hands. 


Any questions?


The Morning Post

Get up, grab my robe, find my slippers under whatever was thrown on top of them as I jumped into bed the night before, have a glass of water on the way to the kitchen...   make the elixir of life COFFEE, wait for the COFFEE, pour the COFFEE, and take the COFFEE with me to the computer to read the morning news from Blogworld.  It can set up or knock down your day.  Sound at all familiar?  I'm beginning to suspect that I'm not too far off on this scenario, based at least partly on the timing of the comments posted to some of the blogs.  Are you with me on this?  Does what you read influence your day?  I'm betting it does.  I'm betting that you think about what you saw and read off and on all day.  You plan to 'find that yarn' or 'make that scarf' or whatever.  But you are under the influence...!  And so, I started my day.

Lots of things happened after I read the early morning posts, but something I read, and have read before, "Tuesdays are for Spinning"...   sounded the bell in my head.  It stayed with me all morning.  What the heck, I already missed Tuesday.   I made up for time lost.  My stash of silk / merino rolags is getting smaller.  It's almost time to do some more carding.   My arms are barely able to knit after last weeks ice removal marathon.  This can only lead to dyeing.














Early afternoon, Cindy stopped by for a cup of tea and to bring me this book. 
We've waited for Amazon to deliver since early  December.



Don't forget it's the 20th already and it's time to keep your hands in your pockets, not your pocketbook.   You can do it, it's only one day.

Not One Damn Dime!

squirrelly notes

The cats and I love spend lots of time watching the birds at the feeders outside my office window.  We also watch squirrels. The house is surrounded by very tall, densely packed oak trees.  In the tops of many of them are huge (and I hope cozy) squirrel nests.  Everywhere you look, there are brown, oak leafy nests.  They (the squirrels) are fat, happy. and well fed at my squirrel bird feeders.  It's a challenge that most folks don't win; how and where to place the feeders to discourage the squirrels.  First off, squirrels LOVE a challenge.  I believe they take it as personally as Bostonians take a Patriots playoff game, or whatever.. go ahead, imagine your own local sports fan.  It being equal to the squirrel vs. feeder challenge psyche.  Got it?  My Dad came up with a challenge this year that actually lasted, hey I don't know, a week?  Oh probably not, it's far more likely that no one saw the squirrels win earlier.  It was a good one too, lots of ropes tied between far apart places and a suspended feeder.  My feeders..  they'll use either, but the hanging platform is by far their favorite.  It's easy to sit on while feasting.  I decided to move it the other day to give the cardinals a chance.  Here's the result.


step 1: jump from post to feeder #1

step #2: use round top to jump to feeder #2

NO Problem! 

Do you know what this is?


Here’s a hint.. it is a very handy thing for a knitter to have while traveling, particularly if the knitter is also a passsenger. Which, is exactly what I had in mind when I went out searching for this little bugger. Now, notice the handy clip mounted with a rotating ball and socket at the top. This little light can clip onto your seat belt. Point it down and directly at your work in hand, and voila.. the driver barely notices. The knitter, however, can extend the knitting hours into the night. I tested it on my trip south Sunday night. Perfect! See the 3 led lights? The batteries should last a very long time.



Next up, the Shetland I spindle spun on the Golding Tsunami.


Ninety-five yards, spun and plied on the spindle… off one spindle. That’s a lot of yarn. Maybe I’m easily impressed.

I spent the rest of my ‘free time’ working on the typepad account. It’s winning, not me.   But, I'm still standing, thanks to Norma and her steady stream of email advice.  By rhe way, what is with this thing?  Now, it's working, and the screen looks IS different.  I can do things it would not let me do only hours ago, like use the 'strikethough' button and 'insert pictues'.  It's NOT me, it really happened, I swear.

there and back again...

Update:  It’s taken at least a full two hours (and that’s only counting the hours spent since I returned to RI and started working high speed cable) to get the Bloglines button up and working on Typepad.  Learning any new program is at the least frustrating.  This goes into the ‘DO I REALLY NEED THIS’ category along with “IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT”.  I’ll blame it on my curious nature and Norma.    She emailed me that I really needed a RSS feed.  I know it works, I love using Bloglines.  but what the h#%$ is an RSS feed anyway?   I could have been knitting.  I could have finished the last sleeve.  I could have, hmmmm… I used the time to set up a Bloglines button, its working, so subscribe NOW, OK?  Click the damn button!
That parts easy, its fun. 

Next up.  It was so good to be in VT, even if our stay is continually cut short these days.  We drove north through dense fog most of the way.  The last bit of snow had not been plowed, and it was a very good thing.  Warmer than usual temps had made the ice / snow pack into slush on ice... very thick ICE.  Any bare of snow area would have been like driving on an ice rink, UPHILL…  ahhh, Vermont in winter.  I worked for hours cleaning off as much as I could chop and scrape from the decks and walks.  The barn would require the tractor / snow blower in the morning.  It poured all that night.  If it had been snow, I’d still be digging out and my now ruined forearms might never recover.   Around 6am the temps dropped and 5” accumulated quickly on top of another 5” of now mushy ice slop.  We did not leave the property Friday.  Driving or plowing the snow off that combination would make a luge run out of my ½ mile downhill driveway for who knows how long.  Could’ve been dealing with that for the rest of the winter, never know.   Anyway, the upshot of all this weather crap is that I stayed home all weekend.  I left once, for a very short trip (after everything finally froze solid under the snow), over the hill to see my friend, KP.  She gave me this.


She made it.  It’s perfect for storing my extra bobbins and some of whatever I’m working on, and keeping my cup of tea handy while I’m spinning.


Saturday night, ‘cause I was so much in love with my Tsunami, I spun the spindle full of shetland.  Then (as per Rita Buchanan’s instructions) made a center pull ball, wound (using both ends together in preparation for plying) it onto my not yet felted ball,


and proceeded to ply it onto the Tsunami.  Now, I love the Tsunami doubly.  That was its first time plying.  I’m amazed at what it held.  AND, it’s balanced.. the yarn, that is. 

Just because I could, and I WAS SO HAPPY to have all my stuff in front of me, I also spun a bobbin full of wonderful very dark brown llama on the Dixon.  Have I mentioned that I LOVE MY DIXON ?!!


See, all that shouting is because I was so happy.  Meanwhile, I’m looking outside at my pond.