Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Eowyn Wrap Up

One glove is totally stitched and I only have to weave in the last end. The other just needs the long seam done up. I learned a ton on this project. For instance, if you are knitting something with all kinds of fancy pants detail, don't cover it up by using light purple and a dark browny-purple yarn, a noisy combination. You can hardly see any of the details that I labored over unless you hold it 4 inches away from your face and pull on it a little to see the lacy bits. Oh yes, a gauge swatch. You may say "Oh, it'll be fine. It's a fingerless glove for heaven's sake." but it may be a little snug if you don't do a gauge swatch. I did block it, but I don't think it really made much of a difference. And one day, I hope to get my seaming to look smooth and not like a kindergartener went to town with a knotty shoelace and a plastic safety needle. It's weird, the edging I attached to the cable section looks perfect but my long seam is so lumpy. I even undid it and tried again with the same result.

That being said, this was a hugely fun project to do since I got to do lace and cables. It was also a very quick knit. A real knitter could probably do this in a couple hours (it took me about 4). I took about a dozen photos and this was the only one that just didn't look creepy (Ooo! Look! A disembodied hand with a blurry purple thing attached!).

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Weekend Stream

Not sure what is up with me (hormones, anyone?) but I feel so edgy, on the verge of an anxiety attack. I just want to curl up on the couch with tea, knitting and movies on the tele. Hmmm, that's exactly what I did for at least part of the weekend but I think I need about a week more of that.

I can't rock the stream of consciousness like dear Nina, but here's my weekend in short...

Friday night, excitement building, trip to the airport! Our friend arrives! Pile into the car, shrimp bisque, mixed greens with goat cheese, pine nuts and strawberries, chapatti, wine. Uneasy sleep. The morning...the child won't emerge from her room for 'someone is out there!' Breakfast with my Mama, home for naptime (=mamatime). I am a knitty wizard: finish bunny ears and sew them to the body, fix hubby's sweater, finish one edging for my Eowyn gloves...all while finishing up 8 1/2, one of my new fave movies of all time. Muffaletta feast with friends and no one is injured. More restless sleep. Next morning, child still will not emerge from her room. Going to the museum! Pulled over by cop! Ran red light! Can't find current registration or insurance card! Find insurance card! Despite this, only a warning and no ticket for me!!! Museum fun with lots of kiddy activities. Naptime with some frustrated knitting on the second edging. 4 rows from finishing, had to rip it all out. Too many errands post-nap. Our friend departs. I'm feeling jittery. Started and finished the edging while watching Rivers and Tides, the perfect documentary to soothe my mood. Amazing temporal art created from nature that is often blown away by the wind or whisked away by water.

And there you have it, the weekend stream.

This Morning

We're in our hurry-up mode, scrambling to brush teeth and hair. I'm looking at myself in the bathroom mirror disapprovingly.

Kidlet: You happy, Mama?
Me: Well, not really. This sweater feels like it shrunk and it's all lumpy and...
Kidlet: It's ok, Mama. Don't worry about it. It's all right. (Pats my leg gently and walks out of the bathroom)

Deep breath.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Five Very Random Things

1--Fellini. I'm finally watching 8 1/2 on the 4 day plan (30 to 45 minutes a night). I've only seen two other Fellini films (La Dolce Vita and one of my all-time fave movies, Nights of Cabiria) but I'm always struck by his ability to find beauty in the smallest details. For example, there's a scene (in 8 1/2) where a group of boys escape their Catholic school. They run through the dusty streets to the seashore, where a prostitute plies her trade in some bunkers (left from WWII?). The boys scrape together their lire and give it to her so she will dance a rhumba for them. The woman is amazing...she's big and curvy, slathered with the crazy makeup that seems to be typical in these movies. The boys pile on the sand, gleefully hooting and clapping their hands. There's one shot that sticks in my head where Fellini focuses in tight on her round, undulating hip, the ocean waves in the distance. She's so full of life and beauty. Ugh! I can't explain the feeling that this scene gives me but it makes me feel good to be human.

2--Clothing. Right now, I am wearing and digging a grey cashmere cardigan that I thrifted this week. Lately, I've been augmenting my fairly small wardrobe (well, it's small when compared to the typical American wardrobe) and wheeee! It's fun! I SPLURGED and purchased this Supermaggie hoodie but it was so very worth it. They were very sweet to deal with; they wrapped everything so nicely and handwrote a lovely thank you card with a sketch of a chickadee on it. Now that's what I call service. Sure, I could have spent half the price at ye olde Big Box but I feel ok giving more money to cool kids who are trying to do something creative.

3--Muffaletta Mix. I made a bucketful of mix last night. I hope it's good as I kinda feel like I put in too much of the giardiniera. Well, that can be doctored with more olives. C'mon over y'all, I promise we'll have enough for you!

4--Camera. I wish I could figure it out. I just don't have enough time to work with it and I end up taking really cool photos that look fine on its big, beautiful LED but then I download it and they are all fuzzy. Sigh. That's the trouble with liking to take photos with natural light. Oh, and I definitely realize this photo is waaaaaaay dark. I really need to get a real monitor instead of trying to do this on ol' lappletop's little screen. I'll fix it later today (hopefully).

5--Knitting, knitting. There better be a bunch of it this weekend. I was working on the gloves this week and got to the lacy bit. Small problem: every time I hit row 5, I'm a stitch short. This has happened 3 times now. I drew it all out on paper because I thought, "hmmm, maybe the pattern is wrong?" Nope. It works when I draw little hashmarks on paper. Try, try, try again (and again and again). Bunny is sloooooowly progressing. I think I've figured out an ear pattern that I can live with. But then it will be on to the assembling and embroidering, which is always hard for me on knitted pieces (or any piece of material, for that matter!).

Fellini followed by clothes? Well, I did say this list was going to be random. I apologize for it not being one of my better posts. Perhaps I should have just made it a list of 'one' (Fellini). Anyhoo...

Our friend, Justin, will be in town this weekend. And a fun time will be had by all, I guarantee it. Hope you have a splendid weekend too, where ever you may be.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Weekend with Pictures

Waiting for the breakfast to arrive. Every weekend, it's the same for Kidlet: one pancake, two slices bacon, a scrambled egg, and a big strawberry.

Do I see a smile on this hunk o' dough?! This is the dough for the calzones that I made Saturday night that rocked the world. The part that didn't rock the world was right before I was about to serve said calzones, Kidlet busted her mouth by falling while a toy from her tool bench was in her mouth. A little blood, a lot of tears, and we're all good again.

This is last night's desert. I made crepes (call me 'crepe maman') with veggies and cheese inside for dinner and then hubby made the most amazing lemon blueberry butter sauce for desert. bunny yet. I'm still thinking over the ear issue. But I did get the body done for the first of my Eowyn fingerless gloves. Yes, that's a cable. My very first. Ok, hubby, I know you are already planning more 'laying cable' jokes. But woo hoo! I flew through this thing. Sad thing is that I didn't do a gauge swatch and it seems like it may be a bit snuggly. Oh and the other crummy thing is that I knit this while watching the Saints LOSE. Sniff, sniff...dry those tears.

Well, that's the weekend update. Hope yours was full of good food, good kids and good fun.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Ummm...does anyone know how to make a decent set of bunny ears? Anyone? Anyone?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Funny Thing About Anger

Last night, I settle in on the couch, Rowan pattern in front of me, River on my needles. Hubby is in the kitchen (basically the same room, just separated by a kitchen island, or as we call it, 'kitschy islely'. anyway...). He says something, I say "what?" and turn around, pulling several stitches off my needles. I drop the f-bomb, whip River off the needles and throw it across the couch. Gotta say, it wasn't very satisfying. It fluttered so lightly, like a butterfly. No loud clattering or breaking. Just softly floated about two feet in front of me to rest on the couch. I grumble. Hubby stifles laughs and comments. A few minutes later, I laugh. Hubby says he never sees me get as mad as I do when I knit. Kidlet can make a giga-mess, the dogs can steal Kidlet's snacks, I can hit my shin on the corner of the bed...nothing makes me as mad as knitting. As the wise Knitting Momma reminded me, "Progress = Process". Must remember this.

Well, at least the knitting on the bunny should be done tomorrow and then it will stuffing, seaming and embroidering. I'm so very happy with the little bunny feet!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Le Sigh.

Work is settling down to just merely 'busy'. But for the other 12 hours of my day, things are starting to pile up. Sure, there's the real work of trying to keep the house in some semblance of order and cleanliness, but I'm talking about the good stuff. I want to take more photos and maybe even print and frame some. Start a meditation practice. I want to finish the bunny project and kick into overdrive on the lace. Cast on circular socks. Get a new fun art project that's brewing in my head rolling. Watch the next few movies on the Netflix queue (Invincible (I {heart} Herzog), 8 1/2, Rivers and Tides) that I've had to put off during school. Yes, I said the word. School. It's coming up.

I told myself I'd give myself some time off to do all these lovely things but a couple of little things called "holidays" and "work" got in the way. I don't feel like I've had more than a couple weeks of break, much less than the 2.5 months that I did actually take off. But at the same time, I feel I must get back in school before my momentum dies off, before I forget how to write in the scholarly style. Hmmm, my resolution was to 'simplify'. Maybe I should cut out doing laundry and scrubbing the bathroom, eh?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Weekend Dream and Reality

The Dream:
After breakfast out, go hang out with Hubby's Mom. Have a 'football dinner picnic' on the couch, record the rest of the game and go out to hear balalaikas with Kidlet and Hubby. Home again and snuggle on couch and watch rest of game with Hubby after Kidlet goes to bed, knitting all the while.

The Reality:
Breakfast out, hanging out with Hubby's call from work. Work until 1:30 am Sunday.

At least I'm not salary! ;)
At least my team won!
Always seeing the good side...or at least trying. Today looks like it's about to take a digger (work again), however.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Yesterday was a very good day...

Yesterday, I ...

--Took the day off and didn't look at the internet except twice (refreshing!). Once to check the weather for today and the other time I wanted to look on eBay to see what Hello Kitty Micro Pets were going for. I found one thrifting and was curious to see if was some crazy collectible. Nope. It's just a toy for kidlet.

--Don't think I was lazy yesterday! I moved the furniture in the bedroom and vacuumed under all of it. I think I found 3 fluffy dogs under there.

--Hubby and I painted the bedroom from a tropical turquoise (which he always hated, but he humored me, thanks Sweetie!) to an deep olive. It looks like a library. Love it.

--I did a ton of laundry. For real, a ton!

--Ok, maybe I exaggerate.

--I thrifted for the first time in a very, very long time. And I actually found stuff for a change! I bought a crocheted sweater ala Anthropologie for 4 bux. And the Hello Kitty Micro Pet, a cute hunk of fabric for 50 cents (blue gingham with little fruits scattered across), a black lacquer tray with a poppy (photo above) and a tiny red enameled saute pan (not Le Creuset, but it is stamped 'France'), and the most groovy perfect sunglasses. I haven't thrifted much here since the quality has seemed to be pretty crummy and good finds were too few and far between (at least for this thrifter who can't get out much). Man, the thrifting I used to do in New Orleans spoiled me for life. Vintage silk Chinese outfit for 7 bux? Yup. Faux lamb coat from the 50's for 3 bux? Yup. Unusual home decor? Old Fisher Price? Yup and yup. Everything was always in excellent condition too. Maybe I'll have to give the ol' Reno thrift scene a second chance. It would mesh nicely with trying to reduce my impact.

--And I ate sushi and drank a beer. In the afternoon. Suh-weet!

Now, it's back to work. And snow. Snow! I was wishing I had time to take a bunch of snowy photos on my way in to work this morning but, sadly, no time. Of course since I bought a fancy-pants camera, I've hardly taken any photos (and the ones I have look like crap, since I'm still figuring out that new baby). Anyway, work, I say.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Links You Should Check Out (Now)

I'm loving these two posts at wishjar. My favorites are the "buy nothing year", "independence day" and the various reading themes (travelling the world, books that are connected). Ms. Smith has expanded my mind in so many wonderful ways.

I shoulda called this blog "Frogger"...

This weekend, I had time to knit. No schoolwork (for a couple more weeks anyway), no holiday stuff to prepare or clean up, no baking to do since I had really gone over the top last Thursday (three loaves of bread and chocochip cookies for a wee dinner party for 3. Yes, a loaf of french bread per person, long story but I didn't mean it to happen that way). I had already finished the front of the blue bunny and had started the back. My pattern is very fuzzy. I scrawled on a piece of "Hello Kitty" notepaper from one of kidlet's notebooks that she had already scribbled upon..."CO 23, st st....(big space here)...Dec beg each row. BO last 15 sts." I followed my instructions and side two of bunny came together quickly. Until I took it off the needles. Yeah. About 1/2" shorter than side one. I made a quick count of the rows and it was within 3 rows. Guess I should have made a real pattern, eh? Tried to frog it so I could knit more length, but the itsy bitsy needles I'm using made it rough. I spent a good 1/2 hour trying to fix it instead of starting over. I have a bunch of the yarn so I don't know why I think struggling to fix is going to be faster than starting over. Lesson learned. For probably the 12th time.

Since I was experiencing bunny burnout, I looked and found a lace cast-on that was nice-n-easy to start on River. I got rolling and then made a mistake around row two. Lesson learned, I start to take it apart. The cast on edge is all tangled up. Break yarn. Deep breath. Cast on. Ten rows! Ten rows! I feel like a knitting rock star! I check my work. I have inadvertently added 3 stitches. Ok, this shawl is for me. I can 'fix' that. But then I see some strange stitch back about row 5. The lace hides no mistakes. I try to fix it a couple of times, with poor results. Frog on, frog on. Break yarn. Deep breath.

Despite the fact I had no progress, I still feel satisfied with my 'progress'. I'm going to get it all right, just not right now. I need to remember that the action of knitting and concentrating on the stitches, instead of trying to multitask (as always) by knitting and watching a movie/reading/blogging, is a very good idea. Besides, I want to start meditating, maybe just being alone with the stitches would be a baby step in the right direction.

Friday, January 05, 2007

In a Kidsilk Haze...

I awoke with my heart pounding at 1 a.m.. Not unusual, as of late, since I do suffer anxiety issues. But the unusual thing was that I remembered that I was dreaming about Rowan Patterns, yarn overs, knitting through the back loop...maybe I shouldn't have been pouring over this magazine before bed? I'm taking the plunge into lace knitting. I will be knitting River (sorry this photo isn't more clear). Oh dear. I haven't even cast on yet and I'm already having unsettled dreams.

But first I will knit up a little bunny toy. For Kidlet? For our friend's little boy? For me? Who knows, but I do know I need to get this idea out of my head and into reality. I've been carrying it about for about 6 months now. I need to make more room in there!

I also ordered my Addi Turbos for the new pair of socks. I think I'm getting in a little deep here, just a couple weeks before I dive back into school. Oh well, I'd just better knit extra fast, right? Ha ha...

I've been leaving my little cards about town again. I was on hiatus, but I'm bringing guerilla goodness back into the new year, oh yeah! I think part of my problem about leaving the little drawings is that I have to be totally prepared. If I have to dig around in my big bag, it'll look like I'm shoplifting instead of leaving something behind.

Hope you have a cozy, knitty weekend...or just fun if you aren't of the knitting persuasion.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The One and Only Resolution for Me

Simplify. That's all. Oh, and maybe work on my slouchy posture.

Last year, my resolution was to really think about my consumption and try to purchase more mindfully. I think that resolution went over pretty well and is being integrated into my life. I joined a CSA and tried not to buy what I didn't need. I didn't always succeed, but I feel pretty good about where I'm at with it right now.

I've got a lot more ideas for stuff I want to do this year but I don't think it's resolution-fodder. For example, I'd like to do a little guerilla gardening. There's a blighted spot that's pretty close to home that could use some brightening. I'll have to check the soil because I'm sure it's like cement. I also would like to leave more of the little cards (like above) or do new cards with fortunes. I've come up with tons of ideas but haven't executed. Typical, for me. That's ok though, at least the seed is planted in my head so even if I don't do much with these projects this year, there's always next year.

Now, sit up straight!